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Strip Search
Shayla Black, Aletha George
Fighting Redemption
Kate McCarthy
Ten Days of Perfect
Andrea Randall
Tough Luck
C.M. Stunich
Conklin's Blueprints
Brooke Page
Reckless Abandon (November Blue, #2)
Andrea Randall
Michelle Pace, Tammy Coons
Remy (Real, Raw & Ripped, #3)
Katy Evans
Remembering Joy
Jenni Moen

Something's Come Up

Something's Come Up - Andrea Randall,  Michelle  Pace I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Giving a rat’s ass caused me issue after irritating issue for a lot of my childhood. So after my mom died, I quit caring. Gave it up for Lent and never looked back.

Once I heard that this book was in the works I could NOT WAIT to experience the melding of minds that is Michelle Pace and Andrea Randall. Through various book groups, I have come to know both the ladies over the past year. Let me tell you; they are some kick-ass chicks! Snarky, funny, honest to a fault, and simply put, AWESOME. I am familiar with both of their writing styles as I have read all their books, some more than once. Both authors have collaborated with other authors previously, and I was curious to see the outcome of their epic merging. Sufficed to say, Something’s Come Up far surpassed anything I could have imagined.

Good old Pace. Six feet and four inches of ripped, ebony sex god. Tasty, tattooed, and oozing testosterone.

I am not even going to lie. There is very little romance in this book. What is there then you ask? TONS of sexy, fun banter and plenty of panty-dripping excursions. Randall and Pace have a fluidity of writing that puts you in the story. There are many points in the book where I found myself needing a fan and a cold shower. Sexually descriptive, yet not vulgar, Something’s Come Up give you erotica with an actual story. The sexiness aside, what I really loved about this book was the repartee between Steph and Pace. They both give as well as they take, and boy do they ever give! I found myself smiling throughout the entire book and even laughing out loud at some parts.

“Cat got your tongue, Cary?”
“Interesting choice of words, given what I’m about to do to you.”

This story stars Steph Brier from Michelle Pace’s Sound Wave series and Pace Turner from Andrea Randall’s November Blue series. Having devoured both series, I loved hearing about interactions I didn’t previously know existed. The storyline isn’t forced and it fits into each series flawlessly. If you haven’t read either or both series, don’t fret. While you don’t HAVE to in order to understand what is going on, you definitely SHOULD because they are just that good! Both series have new books coming out in the next few weeks and I cannot wait! I loved getting to know more about Pace, as he is only briefly in the November Blue series. I look forward to seeing more of him in the future.

“That’s how I’ll come, with your legs around my waist and your back trusting the glass. But first I’ll let you watch the city below as you scream my name.”

There is little to no angst in this book, so look forward to a fun and sexy read. Worth every penny and more, I will always snatch up anything these authors write! 5 mouth-watering, red hair a blazing, chocolate sex god in waiting stars! I know you will enjoy it as much as I did ;-)

The Perfect Distraction (The Perfect Distraction, #1)

The Perfect Distraction (The Perfect Distraction, #1) - Melissa Rolka I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Review to follow as part of the tour.

Snowed Over

Snowed Over - Angie Stanton Review to follow.

Trust in Me (Wait for You, #1.5)

Trust in Me (Wait for You, #1.5) - J. Lynn,  Jennifer L. Armentrout I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Shortcake was staring at me, her eyes a wealth of secrets. Our gazes locked and something infinite passed between us, a spark I swore I could almost see with my eyes.

Honestly, Wait for You was one of my top reads of the year. I read it back in March, and devoured every last word. I lived and breathed the characters, completely immersing myself into their world. The language and tone in which Jennifer Armentrout writes is just so inviting. You aren’t simply reading a book, you are LIVING it. You dread turning the page only because it means you are that much closer to the end, and even the moments when nothing is necessarily happening are never dull. You feel every single emotion the characters do, every prick of pain. The relief, the sadness, the joy, the hope, the lust, and the peace. It will ALL hit you ten-fold when you read a book of hers, no matter the subject.

Avery was such a mystery to me; a paradox of innocence and allure-a mystery I was determined to solve.

Because I love the book so much, I did a re-read of Wait for You before starting on Trust In Me. When I first read WfM I didn’t know there WOULD be an alternate point-of-view (POV) book. So this time while reading it, I found myself anticipating reading certain scenes from Cam’s POV. Needless to say, I was NOT disappointed. Hell, if anything, I fell in love with him all the more. There is something about hearing what goes through a man’s mind that makes me melt. EVERY TIME. Having just read WfM, I skimmed through a lot of the dialogue between him and Cam, but there were actually quite a few scenes that were new to this book. Not only were there new scenes between Cam and Avery, but we got to see a different perspective of his relationship with Jase, Ollie, Theresa, and his parents. Trust in Me sets us up really well for the next book, which will be about Theresa and Jase, and I CAN.NOT.WAIT!

The one thing I’d asked from Avery was the one thing she couldn’t give me. Nothing, not even love, would work without trust.

Cam Hamilton is a character that will forever hold a piece of my heart. The way he selflessly cares for others, protects fiercely, loves madly. And don’t even get me started on his cockiness and sense of humor. There honestly wasn’t one thing I would change about him. They say you never forget your first, and while I may end up loving future couples in this series, I will always come back to Cam <3<br/>
For the sheer fact that I will NEVER get enough Cam, this book gets a 5 star rating from me. I cannot wait to see what happens next in the books 

Meant for Her

Meant for Her - Raine Thomas Review to follow on Have Book Will Read.

The Edge of Always (The Edge of Never, #2)

The Edge of Always (The Edge of Never, #2) - J.A. Redmerski I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

“We may not have the details mapped out-and we don’t need to-but we both know which direction we don’t want to go.”

I will admit it, I was extremely apprehensive going into this book. Counting down the days until I could get it into my greedy little hands, yes, absolutely! But I absolutely LOVED the first story and was scared that nothing else could compare to the journey I took with Andrew and Camryn. I may not have experienced the same level of emotions with Always as I did with Never, but that is perfectly alright. As Camryn figures out in the book, you can’t re-create memories, it just taints them. Instead, you have to make new ones. That is exactly what I felt like this book did for me. It took me on a new journey, one similar to the last, but completely different in a plethora of new ways.

What Andrew and I have been slowly doing without realizing it is what shatters dreams: we’ve been getting too comfortable.

I know how easy it is to get comfortable in your relationship, to just assume that everything is okay and always will be. To not put forth the extra effort to keep it growing, changing. Because as living, breathing creatures, that is what we do. It is inevitable. No one stays the same person they were when they were younger. We get older, we become complacent, and we take for granted that people will always be there. Andrew and Camryn teach us all that we have to cherish what is right in front of us, EVERY DAY, in that moment, because you never know what the next day will bring. Tell someone you love them as often as possible, show them in ways only you know how. Appreciate them, and never take them for granted. Today is guaranteed, tomorrow never is.

Now, there comes a time in a person’s life when you have to face something so horrible that you feel like you’ll never be the same person again. It’s like something dark swoops down from somewhere above and steals every shred of happiness you have ever felt and all you can do is watch it, feel it go, knowing that no matter what you do in your life that you’ll never be able to get it back. Everybody goes through this at least once. No one is immune. But what I fail to understand is how one person can go through it enough for five people and in such a short time.

My heart simply broke into a thousand pieces MULTIPLE times in this book! The depths of despair, over and over, were insurmountable. I felt as if I would never crawl out of that black hole, and every time I inched up slightly, I fell back down. Though the walls seemed too high to climb, I never gave up hope. I could see the light around the bend, I just had to figure out how to get there. Because surely they would get there right? Surely this couple that I fell in love with would get their happily ever after? The problem with that though, in life, we aren’t guaranteed an happily ever after. And sometimes, it may come in the form of something that you didn’t even know was possible. Something you didn’t even know to dream of. And ever so slowly, the pieces start to get put back together.

“You’re the world to me,” I whisper onto her lips. “I hope you never forget that.”
“I’ll never forget. But if I ever do, for whatever reason, I hope you’ll always find a way to remind me.”
“Always,” I say and kiss her ravenously.

What I loved about Andrew and Camryn – this is a couple that fought for each other. Neither one could fool the other, and when they tried, they were called out on it. There were no lies, no half truths, no I am doing this to protect you. They simply were. Two halves of a whole. Two peas in a pod. Mirror images, complementing each other. Orpheus and Eurydice. In all their flaws and imperfections, they were perfect to me.

“We can’t control death,” I say. “There’s nothing either of us can do to avoid it or to hold it off. All we can control is how we live our lives before it comes for us. So, let’s promise each other things that we can hold true to no matter what.”

I felt like these two souls saw life in a very honest, raw way. They accepted the hardships thrown at them, but didn’t go down with a fight. They faced death head-on, never shying away. There is a truth in them that I think we should all strive for. I know I do. While nothing can surmount the epicness that was The Edge of Never, I loved this story for many different reasons. That said, it is by far a five star read for me, and one I will be revising in the future. I am not now, nor will I ever be, ready to let completely go of Andrew and Camryn!

“You think we’re lost?”
I tilt my head back a little and look up at the stars behind her and say, ”In society maybe. But together, no. I think we’re right where we need to be.”

The Edge of Never (The Edge of Never, #1)

The Edge of Never (The Edge of Never, #1) - J.A. Redmerski Simply put, words have not yet been invented to adequately describe how I feel about this novel. As jumbled emotions course throughout my veins, my heart tries to put itself back together. Music plays in the background, singing of millions of dreams, and the sound of a song when it hits you just right. I zero in on the story as I try to coax the thoughts from my head and to do this book the justice it so rightly deserves. I won’t allow myself to move on until this is finished, I won’t move from this spot, as if I could even if I wanted to.

Depression is pain in its purest form and I would do anything to be able to feel an emotion again. Any emotion at all. Pain hurts, but pain that’s so powerful that you can’t feel anything anymore, that’s when you start to feel like you’re going crazy.

I loved the way this book allowed me to move slowly along with them, making discoveries of my own as they did, falling deeper into bliss. It wasn’t filled with needless drama, but trust me when I say you will be swept away from the very first page. I found myself looking down at the percentage, dreading that surely it must be over, only to find out there was so much more story to experience. I felt as if I had known Camryn and Andrew forever and I wasn’t ready to let them go.

“Pain is pain, babe.” Every time he calls me ‘babe’ I notice it more than anything else he says. “Just because one person’s problem is less traumatic than another’s doesn’t mean they’re required to hurt less.”

There are so many layers to Camryn and Andrew, and I found myself falling in love all over again. I’ve read this story three times now, and I feel as if I not only get to know them better each time, but learn new things I didn’t notice before. I am going to try to do this review a little differently, and mainly just speak about how they made me feel. I don’t even want to give away small details, for this is truly a journey you must experience with them, and come to your own conclusions. This story left me contemplative, and it echoed in my soul. But isn’t that what we want out of a book? To make us think? I know the ones that stick with me surely do, floating around in my subconscious, waiting for the seeds to take root.

“I think I’ve been afraid most of my life to be myself.”

The despair I felt for a good portion of the book was incalculable. How do you measure what another is going through when they put on a happy face? I can honestly tell you that the ones that appear to have it all together are usually the ones who need a helping hand the most. We all need that human connection. We need to feel as if there is someone out there that cares whether we live or die. We need validation that we have some worth in this world. But most of all, we just need to love and be loved in return. Yes, I just went Moulin Rouge on you 

I just stare breathless across the space, letting Andrew’s voice course through every loft and bone in my body. It’s like irresistible poison: I’m mesmerized by the way it’s making me feel though it has the potential to crush my soul and I drink it down anyway.

This is a story that will resonate to your core, to your very essence. Whom among us cannot relate to being at a point in your life where you aren’t really sure of which direction to go. Unsure of your thoughts, you know you have to do something, ANYTHING, and knowing that it will likely change the course of the remainder of your years. All too often, in fear of making the wrong choice, we choose to do nothing, choose to do what is expected of us. But the brave ones? They set sail, lifting their feet into the air, going wherever the wind may take them. This isn’t just a story about a road trip. Oh no, it is SO much more than that. It is a journey of self discovery, of coming to terms with the past, of embracing the future.

The heart always wins out over the mind. The heart, although reckless and suicidal and a masochist all on its own, always gets its own way. The mind may be what’s best, but I don’t give a shit what my mind is telling me anymore. Right now, I just want to live in the moment.

I’ve only given this rating to one other book before, but The Edge of Never, without a single doubt, belongs in this category. So nice I rated it twice = 10 soul-searching, heart-breaking, life-affirming stars! Though I don’t know where the road will take them, they will forever have a home in my heart.
With Every Heartbeat (Cities of Love) - Melody Grace ARC received in exchange for an honest review.

There are some things in life we know to be true, beyond logic or reason, science or faith. Irresistible truths, they’re called, the things we seem to instinctively grasp, as if the knowledge were imprinted deep in our DNA, written on the very fiber of our souls.

Right from the beginning, from the first glance at the cover, you are instantly swept away on a romantic adventure. You may not know what is in store for you, or what lies ahead, but the truth remains glaringly obvious it will be life-affirming and unforgettable. Set beneath the gorgeous backdrop of Rome, come visit a place that time all but forgot. To a land where the culture and history is as rich as the gelato that will melt on your tongue. A place where, try as you may, you cannot help BUT fall in love. Sometimes you find the love of another, but once in a while, if you are lucky, you learn to love yourself.

We don’t dance to be happy. We dance because we must.

With Every Heartbeat is the romantically delicious coming of age story about Annalise and Raphael. All Annalise has every known is ballet, her entire life being consumed by the drive to be the best, to be perfect no matter what she does. Despite her best efforts, she continues to stay hidden in the shadows of her over-bearing literal prima donna ballerina mother. And Mother with expectations so high, Annalise can never hope to live up to them. Feeling as though this is her last chance to make it big, she jets off to Italy for a summer residency in a ballet company in Rome. It is here that we are introduced to Raphael.

Raphael. The face of a saint, the body of a sinner. And Oh, how I long to see him again.

Oh Raphael……. Just the sound of his name rolling off my tongue induces pleasured shivers, thoughts of a subdued yet honest romance. Raphael too knows of over-bearing parents and living and the unrelenting quest of living up to expectations. Not wanting to play that game, he left home 5 years ago to embark on his own destiny and dreams. Though we are led to believe that our couple meets by coincidence, when two souls are fated to be together, can anything TRULY be by chance? At what point do you stop questioning how things came to be and just realize that they are as they are because surely there could be no other way. Surely a world does not exist in which we don’t encounter and live out our days with our other half, be they next door or halfway across the world.

I have to close my eyes, to feel the soft touch slowly ripple through my entire body. I don’t understand the spell he’s cast over me, how one minute I feel perfectly normal, and the next, it’s like I’ve leapt off a tall building, in total free-fall towards the ground-and loving every second of it.

Have you ever been sure of what you were meant to do in life? Continuing to live day by day, existing solely under the weight of what is expected of you, yet not really having any real direction. Believing with all your being that this one thing, your passion, if you don’t do it, you will cease to exist. This is how Annalise and Raphael feel about dancing. They breathe the movement, yearn for the slightest of touch, and revel in the fluidity of limbs. To have such belief in knowing exactly what makes your life true and worthy, to know what you were put on this earth to do and feeling it all the way to your core, that’s what this book is about. Finding your passion. Even when we may think we know what our avenue in life will be, destiny throws us a curveball and we are left deliriously happy, despite the outcome. Whether you believe it at the time, it was meant to happen, and that can’t be all that horrible, right?

The intensity in his eyes makes my heart stop. There’s a naked hunger there, consuming, and I feel it ripple through me, an answering ache rising in my very core.

Though the beginning started a tad slow for me, once I was pulled in, I connected so deeply with the characters. I think everyone will be able to understand the points they are at in their life, as we all go through similar situations. If nothing else, Annalise and Raphael will show you that it is okay to go after your dreams, to always be true to yourself, and once in a while, the love of a lifetime is just around the corner.

Sweet Surrendering (Surrender Saga, Book One)

Sweet Surrendering (Surrender Saga, Book One) - Chelsea M. Cameron ARC provided in exchange for an honest review for SMI Bookclub. Review to follow.

Mine (Real, Raw & Ripped, #2)

Mine (Real, Raw & Ripped, #2) - Katy Evans PHE-nomenal!!!! Review to follow.

Getting Rowdy (Love Undercover, #3)

Getting Rowdy (Love Undercover, #3) - Lori Foster Book received in exchange for an honest review to follow on Angie's Dreamy Reads.
Trials (Rock Bottom, #2) - Sarah Biermann ARC received from the author in exchange for an honest review.

The Temptation of Lila and Ethan (The Secret, #3)

The Temptation of Lila and Ethan (The Secret, #3) - Jessica Sorensen ARC provided courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

The pills keep away the memories and feelings of what happened last night, along with many other nights in my past. And not remembering them is important. Pain equals unwanted emotions, meltdowns, embarrassment.

There is no easing into Lila and Ethan’s story; you are thrust directly in the deep end, gasping for air as you struggle to breathe right along with them. I have a list of characters I’ve read over the years who tug at your heart, so broken down by life, every being of your soul aching for them. Lila is almost at the top, only surpassed by one. I will admit that from the beginning I didn’t know where this was going…..

It’s amazing how one moment in life can be beautiful, and then you return home-to reality-and remember that beauty isn’t everything and that the ugly painful part will always exist in the form of unpaid bills, bad choices, and tiny white pills.

This is the story of Lila and Ethan, the best friends of Ella and Micha from the previous two books. You don’t really NEED to read those first, though you should because they are THAT good! Jessica Sorensen has a way of writing that literally grabs you from the first sentence of the first page. She grabs you by the heartstrings and you cannot breathe until the last page is over. God forbid there be a sequel and you are left with a cliffhanger. Talk about major book hangover!!

I think I may have just fallen in love with him. No one has ever said something so nice to me or put that kind of confidence in my character. In fact, I’ve been told the opposite for as long as I can remember.

Honestly, I have never hated someone’s parents in a book as much as I hate Lila’s. To even call them her parents is doing a major disservice to the word, for they are anything but! These are vile, disgusting people who should have never had kids to begin with, They care only about themselves and keeping up with appearances, though in reality their lives are as far from perfect as you can get. They constantly cut Lila down until she is threadbare, and even when she is lying on the ground they metaphorically kick her some more. Lila has absolutely NO self confidence and uses sex in an attempt to feel something, anything.

Because what I’m feeling right now, this terrifying, cliff falling, heart dropping, thoughts racing, plunging into unknown was far from anything I ever felt for London.

Enter Ethan. Ethan has his own broken past, for different reasons than Lila. He carries around a lot of guilt and burden on his shoulders and cannot escape his past. He despises large crowds, preferring the solitude and quiet to people. Despite all this, he is the only person Lila can turn to. The attraction between these two, despite how much they try to ignore it, jumps off the page. Like moths to a flame, try as they might, they can only fight their desire for so long. Needless to say when they finally give in, it is pure magic.

Perfect doesn’t exist. Realness does. Realness is when I need. And Ethan is as real as anyone I’ve ever met.

I have never rooted for a couple quite like I did for them. The road isn’t easy. Many bridges need to be crossed. There were definitely many struggles and life affirming changes to be made. A lot of self reflection and hard truths. This was by far a 5 star read for me. I cannot wait to see what Jessica comes out with next!

Fiercely. Forcefully. With heat, desire, and hunger suffocating both of us as we drown in each other’s feelings. Our bodies align and press together as I kiss her with all the pent-up energy I’ve been collecting since the first day we met. I’ve lost all control over my actions. Rules don’t exist. The past and the future dissolve and only this moment exists.

Repair Me (Kin Series Book 1)

Repair Me (Kin Series Book 1) - Jennifer Foor ARC received in exchange for an honest review.

I stared at him, wondering if I should slap him or tell him that every time he spoke I felt like I was on fire.

I have been a HUGE fan of Jenn Foor for a while now! I LOVE anything Mitchell Family related, and devour every single book as soon as they are released. I am invested in each and every character in the series, and long to see where she will take them next. That being said…….this book fell a little flat for me. I wasn’t able to connect with the characters as I usually am with her books. I will try to explain further.

“I’ll fu** you so good that the only car you’ll ever drive will be a Ford, because you’ll never stop thinkin’ about me.”

We start the story with Skylar. Having just found out that her long time boyfriend is a dirty rotten cheating scoundrel, she takes off for a fun weekend at the beach with friends. As luck would have it, her car breaks down and along comes the sexy tow truck driver. Enter Ford. No, not just the truck, the man. The Southern, sweaty, sexy as sin Ford. Sparks fly from the get go between these two, but they are determined that it will just be a fun time and nothing more.

I guess I was just regretting giving myself completely to a guy that didn’t give a damn about even himself.

Honestly the brightest part of this book for me was Ford. Here was a broken man doing his damndest to keep everything together. The only adult in this book that actually takes responsibility for anything, he has dropped out of college to run his alcoholic father’s auto repair shop. Addict Mom is out of the picture in parts unknown, and the entire family is still reeling from the death of his sister, who had also fallen in with a bad crowd. Ford has an excellent head on his shoulders, and underneath his hard exterior is a heart of gold who really just wants to love and be loved in return.

For someone that wasn’t trying to hurt me, he did a d*mn good job doing the exact opposite. Being with Ford felt so natural. The way my hands fit into his and how he touched me made me feel like I’d been with him for years. I hated knowing that it was all going to end.

While there was definite chemistry between Ford and Sky, I feel like a lot of the prerequisite circumstances that cause couples problems weren’t necessarily angsty, but actually annoying. Just wait until you meet Ashley, and Shayne, and Ford’s dad, and Ford’s mom, and Ashley’s Dad, and pretty much EVERYONE that wasn’t named Ford. The next book will star Shayne and Lacey, and I am very interested to see if my opinion of him will change.

4.5 star read for me. I will definitely read it again before the next installment releases, just to get my Ford fix.

Without You

Without You - Brooklyn Skye I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review for SMI Bookclub.

A guy who is in love with his girlfriend and couldn’t stand to be away from her for five excruciatingly long months. A guy who is afraid to lose the one person in his life that brings out the better person in him.” My hand slides down her wrist and grips her fingers. “A guy who loves you more than anything in the world.”

Ask and you shall receive, Without You is a love letter from Brooklyn Skye to her fans. After the wave of emotions that we went through with Torrin and Quinn in Stripped, we too felt stripped bare. Stripped to the core, where there was nothing left to do but heal. With this novella, not only did the healing begin and end, but we came out hopeful for the future and what life would bring these two. I don’t know if there will be more story for Torrin and Quinn, and I almost hope there isn’t. Through ALL the trials and tribulations, truths uncovered, souls bared, love given and received, I know they are on the path to the rest of their lives. That being said, I could possibly see a story for her friend Jessica. The way she left abruptly in Stripped left the door open for MANY possibilities. Alright, I am getting off course here. Back to the main event!

“Turning off my emotions is easier."

“It’s also scarier.” I push her back. “Not that I didn’t like the old you, but this” – I dry her face with my thumb and hold it up to show her the wetness –“is why I fell in love with you. When you feel, it’s intense and penetrating and oceans more than any normal person.”

We don’t waste any time diving back into their lives. We pick up two months where we left off, then a chapter later jump back a month. Torrin had put in an application to intern for a world famous photographer, months before Quinn came in the picture, on a whim. As luck would have it, he is chosen, but it would mean leaving Quinn for five months to work in Puerto Rico. Not wanting to be away from her and scared that she will shut down results in him not wanting to tell her about the amazing opportunity he has received.

There’s this place in me where your fingertips still rest, kisses still linger, and your whispers softly echo. It’s the place where a part of you will forever be a part of me. ~ Gretchen Kemp

This story is entirely in Torrin’s POV, and I feel like it has more impact than Stripped for that reason! Yes, we fell in love with Quinn and she broke our heart with the emotions she poured out, but, I don’t know. There is something about a man pouring out his heart and soul through inner dialogue that makes me melt. Maybe it‘s the fact that I am a woman and I know how our minds work, but it was so refreshing to hear what went through his mind. How he went through his decision making process, thinking of her first every step of the way, always keeping his love for Quinn front and center. That love played out in all his decisions, and I fell in love with him a little more because of it.

Meeting you was fate, becoming your friend was a choice, falling in love with you was beyond my control….

If this was the end of Torrin and Quinn’s story, I was left extremely sated, hopeful, and full of love and wonder. However, if Brooklyn wants to give us more, who am I to look a gift horse in the mouth! I’ll read anything she blesses us with.

Falling Stars: A Thompson Sisters Novella

Falling Stars: A Thompson Sisters Novella - Charles Sheehan-Miles Received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I am just going to begin with saying that Charles Sheehan-Miles is one of my favorite authors, and his Thompson Sister series is one I will go back and read again and again. He writes with such fluidity and strength, every word you read having a purpose. I find myself trying to find clues along the way then resolve to just enjoying the ride. The depth of emotion he pulls from each and every one of his characters is what makes his stories so magnificent. You will finish one of his books feeling as if your soul has been altered irrevocably. Even having never experienced anything near what each of these characters have, I find myself connected with them on a pure human level. Their triumphs are my triumphs. Their devastation is my devastation. When they fall in love, my heart bursts from my chest right alongside them. Charles doesn’t just tell you a story, you truly live it!

I’d managed to avoid voicing the one thing I truly didn’t want to say, the thing that would ruin our trip and break my heart. Which was, I didn’t think I could stay with Crank any more, and that this trip was going to be our goodbye.

Right from the beginning we are simultaneously filled with a impending sense of doom all the while holding out hope. Surely the couple that we fell hopelessly in love with in A Song for Julia isn’t headed down the path to a resolute conclusion. Say it ain’t so?! Not Julia, a character the likes of which is still so broken yet on the road to recovery and finally out from under her parent’s watchful and scrutinous eyes. Certainly not Crank, a man who went through his own disappointments and was mad at the world. We left this couple with answers, a clear and promising future, completely immersed in each other, so completely in love. What could have possibly happened to cause them to voice such doubts?

“It’s just that…I see what you and Julia have, and I’m watching you throw it all away, and it just makes me feel like you’re a pack of idiots. She worships you, Crank. Do you know how rare that is? I’ll be lucky if I ever find anyone I love half as much.”

In Falling Stars, we pick up near the end of the summer after A Song for Julia. Having toured for a few months with Morbid Obesity, Julia, Crank and Sean pick up Carrie and make their way to the east coast. Tension is thick on the journey, neither Crank nor Julia knowing where it will lead them, and neither will voice their concerns, hurt, and uncertainty. Sean and Carrie provide the much needed comic relief on this mismatched road trip of epic proportions. Shenanigans ensue, one involving a huge eight or more legged creature and the police, and the outcome is……well, you will just have to read to find out.

“Carrie, you know, some day you’ll find a guy who will be your soul mate. Someone you would do anything for. Someone who makes you feel whole”

She gently shook her head in frustration. “When I do, I guarantee you I’ll stand by him. I’ll be his strength, and he’ll be mine. I won’t let some stupid jealous bullshit get in the way of who I love. It’s a damn shame to see you and Julia doing that.”

Besides the continuation of Julia and Crank’s growing relationship, I was continually amazed and devastated at the foreshadowing in this book. If you have read The Last Hour, you will get what I am talking about. I loved the relationship between Crank and Carrie. It was abundantly clear that he has a soft spot when it comes to her well-being and that he would always be her protector, when she would let him. I loved the no-nonsense dialogue that Carrie delivered to him, seeing through all his crap.

Once again we got to witness one of the sweetest relationships I have ever read; Julie and Sean. They truly are best friends, and it permeates so well in this book! There is a pure honesty in Sean’s words. You can merely be in his presence and know that he only speaks the truth. Carrie and Sean are so invested in the relationship of Julia and Crank, and it is clear from the start that they will do anything to help them find their way back to each other.

Falling stars might be bullshit. And I knew just wishing wasn’t going to be enough. If I wanted her, I had to go to her.

It is true when they say that sometimes the best things come in small packages. This novella is only 70 pages, but you will leave MORE than satisfied! Drawn in from word one, I couldn’t wait to continue on the journey with them all, and devoured every last word. A resounding 5 stars from me! I cannot wait for more Thompson Sisters!!