Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Worth the Wait (Kingston Ale House #3) by A.J. Pine

* * * 3/4

I like to think of myself as a man of pleasure…

I enjoy a good pint of ale, being in the arms of a beautiful woman, and living by my own rules. The only thing I try to avoid? Commitment. And I’ve got a three-year success rate to prove it.

I wasn’t planning on Grace—the beautiful, funny, totally off-limits massage therapist who keeps popping up in my life. She’s on a six-month mission to rid her life of toxins. No alcohol. No red meat. And, yeah, no men. I’m talking full-on man cleanse.

I know I should walk away, but I can’t…and the only way to keep her in my life is to live by her rules. I’ll need to prove to a woman who’s lost all trust in men that I’m worthy of her love. And do it all without so much as a single kiss.

The only problem? If I win, I’ll lose the one thing I swore I’d never give up. My heart.

Source: e-galley provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review

What happens when two people who were burned by their exes find themselves falling in love again? Do they jump in eyes closed? Or do they come up with some bizarre way of doing things to get around it? 

Both Jeremy and Grace have been busy nursing broken hearts. Their temporary solution is to give up on relationships. These days, Jeremy likes being unattached as he happily goes through a series of women. Grace has sworn off guys, at least for six months as part of a man-cleanse, an idea she got from a self-help book. Things become tricky after she and Jeremy meet in a rather intimate way (he's her massage client) and an undeniable attraction follows. It's so tempting to do something but unfortunately, it's a case of right place, wrong time. Jeremy surprises himself by wanting to be with Grace, telling her that he'll wait for her until she's done with her cleanse and done putting herself back together. Sounds like a plan they can agree on: friends first, then whatever next. But wait. More complications arise when Grace winds up as star of her own reality show based on her current six-month hiatus from dating. It's a too-good opportunity that she can't afford to miss out on for a number of reasons. So for now it becomes a much harder wait for them. Meddlesome exes aren't helpful either.

This was such a cute story to dive into about two young people wrestling with their feelings and gradually blurring the line between friends and lovers. These are characters becoming more self-aware and truthful about what they want. It's about taking another leap of faith despite the fact that things went badly before. And even though they're trying hard to behave themselves, they do manage to find loopholes, and those are always so fun! It was nice to see the rest of the Kingston Ale House gang again especially since there's guaranteed fun when they're around. One can almost envy this close-knit circle of friends who go way back. As for me, I get to live vicariously through these young friends living it up in Chicago. 

Here's the best reason to read A.J. Pine: for the happy vibes that will inevitably wash over you. Who doesn't love a story about falling in love again after what seems like devastating heartbreak? A happily-ever-after is a nice place to go after it's all said and done. So do yourself a favour and check out the Kingston Ale House series and read WORTH THE WAIT!

~ Bel

Hey Readers, A.J. Pine was sweet enough to do an interview with us about the Kingston Ale House series. Check it out!

A.J. Pine (photo: Goodreads profile)

Congratulations on how well the Kingston Ale House series has done! The series is set

around a micro-brewery – it was the central focus of book 1 (THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY). What inspired this setting?
Is I like beer a good enough answer? Ha. Just kidding. I mean, I do like beer. But there’s more to it than that.
I have this theory that most things in my life are six degrees of separation from the show, Friends. And The Kingston Ale House series is perfect proof. I have great friends from high school and college, but I always wished I had a core group like Ross, Rachel, Chandler, Monica, Joey, and Phoebe—friends who started and ended their days together, hanging at Central Perk, who were basically each other’s second family. That’s where the Kingston crew came from. Jamie, Brynn, Holly, Annie, and Jeremy are the core group. All have known each other since high school, and all ended up back in the city after college. Wes (THREE SIMPLE WORDS) was part of that group but left for a number of years before coming back. Will (our sexy British single dad from SIX MONTH RULE) and Grace (our quirky massage therapist on a sex cleanse in WORTH THE WAIT) are the only two outsiders but were both lovingly welcomed into the fold. In a sense, Kingston Ale House is Central Perk, just with beer!
As you sat down to write, did you have any idea about how the subsequent books would evolve?
I had to give my editor a short description of all four books so she knew I had planned stories for each. And books one, two, and three all went according to plan. But Jeremy was a HUGE surprise. He was not the planned hero for book four. At this point I don’t even remember what book four was supposed to be. All I know is that as soon as Jeremy returned in book two and I got to know him better, I couldn’t get him out of my head.  I quickly thought of the best conflict for my commitment-shy player—a woman who had sworn off sex. I emailed my editor while writing book two and said, “Jeremy has to be the hero for book four. Here’s his story. What do you think?” I think it’s safe to say that she agreed with me. ☺
How much fun was it for you to base the series in Chicago?
It was so fun but also made me nostalgic for my twenties when I was spending my weekends in Lincoln Park! I love getting to give shouts to my favorite Chicago staples like Lou Malnati’s Pizza (the best deep dish pizza…no contest), the Chicago White Sox (my dad is a die-hard Sox fan), and also the Cubs.
I know they’re all your babies and it’s hard to choose but is there a character that is your favourite or that you feel an affinity with?
Oooh, this is hard (twss?). Annie (THREE SIMPLE WORDS) is probably the heroine who is most like me because she is a bookshop owner and romance blogger. We’re a bit of a bookish pair. She’s all about the happily ever after, and I loved that she never lost hope that hers was out there.
The heroes were all super fun to write. Like I said, Jeremy was a force of nature, demanding his own book, and I loved that about him. But I think my favorite hero to write was Will from book two because he was British. And a single dad. And the combination of his accent and his love for his little girl was just enough to bump him to the top of my list. But I really do love all my babies.

Finally we're going to ask about things related to our motto: books, boys pie. Is there a book from high school that you didn’t like that you’d consider reading again?

Honestly, I can’t remember the ones I didn’t like, but I can remember the one I did. The Great Gatsby. It’s the only book I’ve reread since high school simply because I wanted to. I was a high school English teacher for 13 years and definitely have a new appreciation for canon literature, but Gatsby is one that stuck with me.

What’s your favourite dessert? We’re thinking bribery material here ;)

I will never say no to crème brulee.

And which male celebrities do you picture as your characters from KAH: Jamie, Will, Wes and Jeremy?

I’m not saying I’ve thought about this in great detail or that I fan cast my heroes while I’m writing, but I’m not saying I don’t either. I might even have links for each one of the pic that looks how I picture them. LOL.

Jamie Kingston: Chace Crawford…with a baseball hat.

Will Evans: A cross between Henry Cavill and Theo James…because how can I be expected to choose?

Wes Hartley: Wait…I never cast him! Um…how about Jared Padalecki? Post GG. Definitely Supernatural Jared.

Jeremy Denning: Even though I say in the book he looks like a younger Michael Fassbender, there is this model, Ken Bek, who I just learned about from the RED HOT 2017 calendar (of which I’m giving away a copy on my author page along with other fun prizes). He could SO be Jeremy.

Many thanks again to A.J. for spending time with us! Get your copy of WORTH THE WAIT out now!

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