Sunday, February 28, 2016

A Peek In The BiblioBin #189

Welcome to our Stacking the Shelves post! Stacking the Shelves (or as we like to call it, A Peek in the BiblioBin) has been created by the lovely ladies at Tynga's Reviews.

Stacking the Shelves is a way for bloggers to share what books they have won, received for review, bought from the bookstore, borrowed from the library or friend, etc.

For Review:

F*THS by G.L. Thomas

Dirty (Dive Bar #1) by Kylie Scott


November 9 by Colleen Hoover

Hollow City (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children #2) by Ransom Riggs

Let It Snow by Maureen Johnson, John Green and Lauren Myracle

Cold-Hearted Rake (The Revenels #1) by Lisa Kleypas

Friday, February 26, 2016

Midnight Marked by Chloe Neill Blog Tour and Giveaways!

We are thrilled to be participating in the Blog Tour for Midnight Marked, Book 12 in the Chicagoland Vampire Series.  If you haven't read this series, go buy Some Girls Bite right now.  We'll wait.

You need to read this series because Merit is kick ass and Ethan is completely swoon-worthy and their supporting cast of characters will leave you wanting more.  This is one of my favorite series and I hope you love it too!


A vampire's grudges don't stay dead long...

Merit's one of Chicago's most skilled vampire warriors; these days, she doesn't scare easily.  But she and Master Vampire Ethan have made a new and powerful enemy, and he won't give up until he owns the Windy City.

With his last plan thwarted, he's more determined than ever to watch Cadogan burn.  Ethan has put the House's vampires on high alert, but their enemy will stop at nothing, including pitting vampire against vampire...

In this deadly game of cat-and-mouse, the stakes are life or death - and winning might mean sacrificing everything...  

Pre-order here:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Books-A-Million | Kobo | Indiebound

You can also enter to win a fabulous giveaway on Chloe's Blog.  Chloe has the best swag and she's outdone herself with a giveaway that includes a Cadogan House medal pendant!  Enter here.

Chloe also provided this sweet swag pack as a giveaway for the touring blogs.  Check out the awesomeness!  

See the rafflecopter below for your chance to win!  

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Rookie Move by Sarina Bowen Cover Reveal

Can't get enough hockey romance in your life? No problem - Sarina Bowen is looking out for you! We're pleased to present the cover reveal and teaser for Rookie Move, book 1 in her brand new Brooklyn Bruiser series. 

Scroll down to enter the giveaway to win a signed paperback of Sarina's (your choice) and also the right to name a teammate in the next Brooklyn Bruiser book! How cool is that?

COMING SEPTEMBER 6th: A sexy new hockey series from Sarina Bowen.

      Rookie Move (Brooklyn Bruisers, #1)

In high school they were the perfect couple—until the day Georgia left Leo in the cold...

Hockey player Leo Trevi has spent the last six years trying to do two things: get over the girl who broke his heart, and succeed in the NHL. But on the first day he’s called up to the newly franchised Brooklyn Bruisers, Leo gets checked on both sides, first by the team’s coach—who has a long simmering grudge, and then by the Bruisers’ sexy, icy publicist—his former girlfriend Georgia Worthington.

Saying goodbye to Leo was one of the hardest things Georgia ever had to do—and saying hello again isn’t much easier. Georgia is determined to keep their relationship strictly professional, but when a press conference microphone catches Leo declaring his feelings for her, things get really personal, really fast...

"Romantic and hilarious, Rookie Move will hook you from page one. Nobody does hockey like Sarina Bowen." --Elle Kennedy, New York Times bestselling author of the Off Campus series.

Pre-sale Links:

Amazon     I     Barnes & Noble     I     iBooks     I     Kobo     I     Google

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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (180)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that highlights future releases that we are excitedly anticipating.

Out of Frame (In Focus #3)By Megan Erickson
Publication Date: March 15, 2016

Romance trades the open road for the high seas in the latest from the author of Focus on Me and Trust the Focus...

Perpetually shy, Quinn Mathers is content to remain in the shadow of his brash best friend Jess Hartman. But before their college graduation, he and Jess have planned one last hurrah: a spring break Caribbean cruise.

And it won’t be just any cruise. On board are members of the reality show Trip League, which follows young twenty-somethings on adventures around the world. Since the show’s beginning, Quinn has been fascinated by J. R. Butler, with his amazing body, warm eyes, and killer grin. Unfortunately, he’s straight—or so the world thinks.

At nineteen, J. R. signed a contract to play straight for the show, and there’s no way to get out of it now. Yet with each passing day, Quinn and J. R. find it harder to keep their hands off each other and to keep out of the camera’s frame. But when the lens finally focuses on them, J. R. must decide if he’s willing to risk his career by admitting his bisexuality, and Quinn must determine if he's bold enough to stand in the spotlight with the man of his dreams...

Getting It Back (Red Hot Russians, #3)
By Elizabeth Harmon
Publication Date: April 4, 2015

In this second-chance romance, a former top men's figure skating champion is willing to risk everything for a comeback--except a new start with his long lost love.

An unexpected phone call from the man who broke her heart offers Amy Shepherd an opportunity to return to the work she loves, training elite figure skaters. Except it’s just one figure skater: Him. Can she finally forgive and forget?

Figure skater Mikhail “Misha” Zaikov once had it all: medals, money and the adoration of millions. But a devastating injury put an end to his career and his romance, leaving him with nothing but regret over what could have been. His last chance to re-join the world’s top skaters is now. And there’s only one person who can help him: Her.

On Russia’s unyielding ice, Misha must reclaim what he's lost while facing off against a talented young rival and risking further injury. But Amy soon discovers Misha's much bigger challenges lurk off the ice. And she's determined to keep Misha whole and healthy, even if doing so ends his shot at the gold.

Love & GelatoBy Jenna Evans Welch
Publication Date:  April 12, 2016

A summer in Italy turns into a road trip across Tuscany in this sweeping debut novel filled with romance, mystery, and adventure.

Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn’t in the mood for Italy’s famous sunshine and fairy-tale landscape. She’s only there because it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn’t around for sixteen years? All Lina wants to do is get back home.

But then Lina is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina’s uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries. A world that inspires Lina, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother’s footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept from Lina for far too long. It’s a secret that will change everything she knew about her mother, her father—and ever herself.

People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Thanks for the Trouble by Tommy Wallach

* * * *

A young man overcomes a crippling loss and finds the courage to live after meeting an enigmatic girl.

“Was this story written about me?”

I shrugged.

“Yes or no?”

I shrugged again, finally earning a little scowl, which somehow made the girl even more pretty.

“It’s very rude not to answer simple questions,” she said.

I gestured for my journal, but she still wouldn’t give it to me. So I took out my pen and wrote on my palm.

I can’t, I wrote. Then, in tiny letters below it: Now don’t you feel like a jerk?

Parker Santé hasn’t spoken a word in five years. While his classmates plan for bright futures, he skips school to hang out in hotels, killing time by watching the guests. But when he meets a silver-haired girl named Zelda Toth, a girl who claims to be quite a bit older than she looks, he’ll discover there just might be a few things left worth living for.

Wallach’s debut We All Looked Up was so stunning that I jumped at the chance to read this. Since WALU was about an impending disaster, I wondered what kind of tone Thanks for the Trouble would have. This fanciful tale featuring two strangers meeting and discovering a camaraderie who go on to create their own adventures, is both hopeful and serious.

Parker seems like a normal kid except that he refuses to speak. All the therapy he’s been through can’t unlock what’s disturbing him the most since the death of his father a few years before. He's simply not ready. He depends on his journal to communicate with people and also to write the many stories that bound through his imagination. Being the odd kid, he resorts to stealing as a hobby. One of his favourite things to do is to hang out at hotel lobbies, which is where he notices Zelda who seems to be lost in her own world. When she leaves the hotel, he sees that she’s left her bag behind and he decides to steal it. Only he can’t bring himself to do it. In the meantime she returns and confronts him about his pitiful attempt at theft. Instead of being upset about it though, she’s intrigued. She announces that they should spend time together. That is until she receives a life-changing phone call that she’s been expecting and at which point they'll part ways.

I was so tuned into this story. Zelda is a larger than life character who’s own personal story is quite unfathomable. Parker doesn’t believe her at all but gets wrapped up in her persona none the less. She’s determined that Parker needs to come out of his shell and also look to his future. She strikes up a deal with him that to him seems one-sided. Parker can’t help but worry about her welfare despite her assurances that she doesn’t require any help. He is such a sweetheart and a good-natured guy. Meeting Zelda has lifted his spirits and given him the push he needs at this crucial time in his life. The best is when it dawns on him that even though he’s retreated into himself, he isn’t alone and that he can still be a part of a social circle that embraces him wholeheartedly. 

Once again, Wallach’s writing is solid and alluring, weaving together Parker's contemporary world with Zelda's fairytale of a life. What I admire about his books so far is that he writes his characters as smart and insightful. He's great at capturing significant moments that are set within a limited timeframe. And the location being in San Francisco, one of my favourite places ever, made me enjoy the story that much more. 

Thanks for the Trouble is charming, witty and heart-warming and I have nothing but fondness for this little treasure!

~ Bel

Sunday, February 21, 2016

A Peek In The BiblioBin #188

Welcome to our Stacking the Shelves post! Stacking the Shelves (or as we like to call it, A Peek in the BiblioBin) has been created by the lovely ladies at Tynga's Reviews.

Stacking the Shelves is a way for bloggers to share what books they have won, received for review, bought from the bookstore, borrowed from the library or friend, etc.

For Review:

Atlantis Quest (Atlantis Rising #2) by Gloria Craw

The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson

Selfie (Bluewater Bay #2) by Amy Lane


Going Long (Waiting on the Sidelines #2) by Ginger Scott

Red Card by Carrie Aarons

Off the Bookshelf:

Waiting on the Sidelines (Waiting on the Sidelines #1) by Ginger Scott

Friday, February 19, 2016

Who I Am With You Release Blitz by M. Lynne Cunning

Title: Who I Am With You
Author: M. Lynne Cunning
Release Date: Feb 19, 2016
Find on Goodreads

People only reveal what they want you to see…

Chad Kirkwood has a secret. One he’s determined to keep buried until he’s ready to divulge it. So when he shows up on Katie’s doorstep in answer to a job posting, he stretches the truth and tells her only what she needs to know.

Katie Wicken is broken. Left to pick up the pieces of a called-off engagement and a failing farm after the death of her father, she’s determined not to let anyone else into her heart. Then she hires Chad, and Katie finds herself glancing in his direction, watching him work, and thinking about him after the sun goes down.

Something begins to awaken within Chad, too. It’s been forever since he’s felt such a genuine connection and been able to fully enjoy his life. Hell, live his life. But when Chad’s lie catches up with him, he’s forced to come clean.

And the truth could break Katie’s heart once again.

Grief and pain can make people do crazy things… but so can love.


Chad lay back on the futon in the barn office, convinced he could still hear the occasional snap of the bonfire even though he’d extinguished it hours ago. Still, he couldn’t shake the thought, and he found himself padding across the office in his socks to peer out the window. Sure enough, the fire was completely out, and only a sliver of gray smoke still rose from the pit. He was about to head back to his bed when he noticed the strip of light shining through the partially drawn curtains upstairs in Katie’s house.

It had been more than three hours since their fireside conversation. Three hours since their kiss. Yet, Katie’s bedroom light was still on, too. She should be in a deep sleep by now. So should you, you idiot, he chastised himself silently, shaking his head at still being up so late. He initially wondered if something was wrong. Perhaps Mason had suffered a bad dream and Katie was attempting to console him. However, as quick as the assumption flitted into his mind, it was quashed. She’s awake for the same reason you are, he told himself.

Their kiss. The tender way they’d embraced each other. Chad had never experienced the same things Katie had in life, and he wouldn’t pretend to have endured her pain. That said, only those who’d hit their own personal rock bottom could identify with the despair and anguish Katie had been subjected to. He didn’t necessarily know her, but he understood her, at least enough to offer her the only thing he really had to give.

His heart.

M. Lynne Cunning has always wanted to be an author, but it wasn’t until she discovered National Novel Writing Month and all the insanity that goes along with it that she began to truly realize her love for writing stories. While she doesn’t limit herself to writing only specific genres, her first two published novels, Until I'm Found and Blurred Lines, are considered Romantic Suspense. Her new book, Who I Am With You (to be released February 2016), will be the first in a contemporary romance series. She also doesn’t believe that the traditional typical “happily ever after” is always the way to go. You’ve been forewarned.

She is almost always reading or writing, but also enjoys spending time and traveling with her husband/best friend, Dennis, and is the proud dog-mom of two brindle boxers. She’s also a too-far-gone coffee addict and a lifelong country music fan.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Getting Him Back by K. A. Mitchell

Getting Him Back (Ethan & Wyatt)
* * 1/2

An unexpected fresh start leads to an unlikely-but-absolutely-perfect pairing in this male/male new-adult novel from bestselling gay romance author K.A. Mitchell 

Ethan may have followed his high school sweetheart to college only to get dumped his first day there, but he's not going to let that stop him from exploring all his new life has to offer. Sex-only hookups, his photography, new friends and a campus-wide game of zombies vs humans all help keep his mind off his broken heart and move him toward building a new, better life without his ex.

And then there's Wyatt. Mysterious, grouchy—hot. And possibly not gay. But Ethan's not going to let that stand in the way of figuring out what makes Wyatt tick. New college goal? Get Wyatt into bed and into Ethan's life.

Step one: arrange a "tutoring" date. Step two: "accidentally" bump into Wyatt as often as possible. Step three: explore the sexy body under that ever-present hoodie. And when their friendship deepens into something neither of them expect, convince Wyatt he's not just a pity fling or a one-time hookup, but that Ethan is in it for the long haul.

This book is approximately 43,000 words.


Alright.  Let’s clarify things.  I feel that the description of this book is misleading.  A few things you should know – there are no sex-only hookups.  Barely a promise of one.  Photography is mentioned twice, maybe three times.  And most importantly, those first few steps to get Wyatt into bed had absolutely nothing to do with getting naked with Wyatt and everything to do with Ethan trying to get information on his ex, Blake, so he could convince him to get back together.  But things never stay true to the original plan in a book.  In his attempt to get back together with Blake, Ethan realizes that Blake’s quiet and cranky roommate is kind of hot and intriguing. 

The two things I enjoyed most about this story were the pace and Ethan’s development.  This was a quick read and I absolutely loved that.  I love a writing style that engages me so much that I can’t wait to get to the next word, next page or next chapter.  As for Ethan.  He’s a little needy and clingy with Blake in the beginning but as the story progresses he does an admirable job of learning his self-worth and gaining independence.

Unfortunately, the romance between Ethan and Wyatt just didn’t work for me.  It was just too fast to be believable.  By the end of this book I would have bought a Happy For Now ending where the MC’s were still getting to know each other and wanted to see where it all goes.  Instead I saw two kids that had barely exchanged any words yet are declaring their love for each other. 

If you are a fan of insta-love I would recommend picking this one up.  It will be a quick and satisfying read.  But if you are like me and really need a slow burn in order to buy the romance of it all, this might not be for you. 


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Keep Calm & Hop On Blog Hop Giveaway!

It's winter and gross, so we are cheering ourselves up by continuing our winter of giveaways!  This time we are participating in the Keep Clam and Hop On Blog Hop sponsored by The Kids Did It  and Mommy Island.  Don't forget to check out the other participating blogs in the linky below.  

You know the drill; fill out the rafflecopter below to win your choice of one book from or Barnes and Noble up to $20.  Good luck and thanks for stopping by!  

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Sunday, February 14, 2016

A Peek In The BiblioBin #187

Welcome to our Stacking the Shelves post! Stacking the Shelves (or as we like to call it, A Peek in the BiblioBin) has been created by the lovely ladies at Tynga's Reviews.

Stacking the Shelves is a way for bloggers to share what books they have won, received for review, bought from the bookstore, borrowed from the library or friend, etc.

For Review:

Out of Focus (In Frame #3) by Megan Erickson

Us (Him #2) by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

The Girl Who Fell by Shannon M. Parker

The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy E. Reichert


Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi

Off the Bookshelf:

Romeo Redeemed (Juliet Immortal #2) by Stacey Jay

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Reign of Shadows Blog Tour (Review)

Find it:

About Reign of Shadows:

Seventeen years ago, an eclipse cloaked the kingdom of Relhok in perpetual darkness. In the chaos, an evil chancellor murdered the king and queen and seized their throne. Luna, Relhok’s lost princess, has been hiding in a tower ever since. Luna’s survival depends on the world believing she is dead.

But that doesn’t stop Luna from wanting more. When she meets Fowler, a mysterious archer braving the woods outside her tower, Luna is drawn to him despite the risk. When the tower is attacked, Luna and Fowler escape together. But this world of darkness is more treacherous than Luna ever realized.

With every threat stacked against them, Luna and Fowler find solace in each other. But with secrets still unspoken between them, falling in love might be their most dangerous journey yet.

With lush writing and a star–crossed romance, Reign of Shadows is Sophie Jordan at her best.

About Sophie:

Sophie Jordan grew up in the Texas hill country where she wove fantasies of dragons, warriors, and princesses. A former high school English teacher, she's also the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Avon historical romances. She now lives in Houston with her family. When she's not writing, she spends her time overloading on caffeine (lattes and Diet cherry Coke preferred), talking plotlines with anyone who will listen (including her kids), and cramming her DVR with true-crime and reality-TV shows. Sophie also writes paranormal romances under the name Sharie Kohler.

Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a $50 Amazon GC and signed copies of REIGN OF SHADOWS, FIRLELIGHT, & UNINVITED, US Only

Rafflecopter link:

Bel's Review:

* * * *

Step into a fantasy world that appears to begin somewhat peacefully but soon escalates into morbidity. The world has turned into a savage place that has been devoid of the sun for nearly two decades. People are forced to live in hiding, scrounging for what they can during the one hour of daylight, known as “midlight”. It’s miserable in this every-man-for-himself land where no one can be trusted lest you lose your food, your belongings or worse yet, your life.  

Luna lives in isolation in this bleak place with her two keepers. She’s being kept hidden from the tyrant who usurped the throne when he murdered her parents shortly after her birth. As the true heir to her kingdom, her heritage is kept a secret to protect her. But this quiet world they’ve carved out as a trio is interrupted when three strangers turn up needing help. Luna who has never met anyone else is fascinated by them, in particular Fowler, who’s not much older than she is. This gruff newcomer's priority is to get as far away from this terrible land as soon as possible, hopefully without any extra baggage. Unfortunately, his plans are thwarted. When Luna’s safety is under attack, they’re forced to escape together. The forest is a treacherous place because a fellow human is not the deadliest encounter out there.

Luna and Fowler are two opposites. She believes in kindness and helping people while he feels it’s a sure way to death. He refuses to trust anyone or get close, in part because he carries a heavy heart. Admittedly Luna is slightly naïve considering her sheltered upbringing but she’s hardly a weakling. She has been trained to be a skilled fighter and knows how to read her surroundings. Just when things seem grim, they arrive at a turning point.

This is some world that Jordan has created along with nightmarish creatures and desperate, skeptical humans doing anything they can just to stay alive.  I got a bit squeamish when she described these giant hellish bats. (Now I know what she was up to when she mentioned researching them in one of her Facebook posts. She did her research well, folks!) Jordan also elevated the risks by slipping in a vital detail at the beginning that I didn’t even catch until it was said out loud. Sneaky, sneaky! I love being surprised like that and it just made me that much more vested in the characters’ welfare. It also made me admire how Jordan raised the stakes.

Reign of Shadows is a rousing start to what looks to be a heart-pounding series set to a gruesome backdrop. I don’t think Luna and Fowler are going to get much rest. Their success in their quest depends on them remaining alert and quick-witted. It's been a while since I've read any fantasy. Reign of Shadows was a fun way back to it and with a doozy of a cliffhanger, I for one am beside myself to know what happens next!

~ Bel

To the Stars by Molly McAdams Release Week Blitz

To The Stars - Release Week Banner

We are so excited to bring you the Release Week Blitz for Molly McAdams’ TO THE STARS! TO THE STARS is a contemporary romance novel being published on February 9th by HarperCollins’ William Morrow Impulse imprint and is the second novel in Molly’s Thatch Series.

  To The Stars

Grab Your Copy Today!

Amazon ** Barnes & Noble ** iTunes ** Kobo ** GooglePlay

    To The Stars - RWB Teaser 1   About TO THE STARS: In the second standalone book in New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Molly McAdams’ Thatch series, Knox Alexander must convince his long-time love Harlow Evans that they’re meant to be together. He promised to wait for her. She told him he was wasting his time. Not waiting for him ended up being the biggest mistake of her life. When they were younger, Knox Alexander swore to Harlow Evans that he would wait for her to turn eighteen so they could be together. But that was two and a half years away, and Harlow couldn’t ask him to give up all the fun and thrills of going away to college for her. As the years passed, Knox remained a constant in her life but when her eighteenth birthday came around, Harlow’s heart belonged to someone else. Every day for the last four years, Harlow has been haunted by that fateful choice. And though he may appear unaffected by what happened in their past, Knox has always tried to fill the void Harlow left. But when he comes stumbling back into her life and refuses to leave, will Harlow finally let him into her heart…?   To The Stars - RWB Teaser 2  


“Relationship,” Knox huffed. “Low, I’ve told you, you could hardly call it that. Besides, I told her about you before whatever she and I were ever started,” he said. “It’s not my fault she thought I was joking.”
“Well, it’s kind of weird, don’t you think? Telling her, ‘hey, sure I’ll be your date for this group thing, but there’s this girl I’m waiting for, and she’s my priority’, seems like a way to say you don’t want to get too attached at the beginning.”
“But I told her,” he reasoned.
“You’re horrible.”
“Not horrible. I’m just in love with you, and I have a year and a half left until I can have you.”
I gripped at my warming chest and tried to ignore it as I sighed. “I’m going to stop answering your calls whenever you get a new girlfriend.”
“There won’t be a new one, and I know you wouldn’t.”
My eyebrows rose even though he couldn’t see me. “And how do you know that?”
“Because you love me too. Through all this bullshit, you love me, and you need these calls as bad as I do.”
“I do love you, Knox,” I whispered into the phone. It wasn’t the first time I’d told him, and I knew it wouldn’t be the last. “I love you to the moon and back.” My eyes fell to my dresser where my monthly bouquet of red poppies sat. These had come just a few days ago. The card, as always, had read: I’m still waiting for you.
“To the moon?” A deep, husky laugh filled the other end of the phone. “The moon isn’t that far, Harlow.”
“Isn’t it?”
“No. Not far enough.” There were a few beats of silence before he confessed, “I want to love you to the stars.”
My mouth parted and a soft huff slipped past my lips. I closed my eyes and let his words replay in my mind and move through my body as I agreed, “Then to the stars.”

And don’t miss the first book in the Thatch Series…

  Letting Go - cover


Amazon ** Barnes and Noble ** iTunes ** Kobo ** GooglePlay ** Audio

    Author Photo
About Molly McAdams: Molly grew up in California but now lives in the oh-so-amazing state of Texas with her husband, daughter, and fur babies. When she’s not diving into the world of her characters, some of her hobbies include hiking, snowboarding, traveling, and long walks on the beach … which roughly translates to being a homebody with her hubby and dishing out movie quotes. She has a weakness for crude-humored movies and fried pickles, and loves curling up in a fluffy comforter during a thunderstorm … or under one in a bathtub if there are tornados. That way she can pretend they aren’t really happening.      

Website ** Tumblr ** Facebook ** Twitter ** Google+

TO THE STARS Goodreads ** Molly McAdams Goodreads

    To The Stars - Available Now  
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The Two of Us by Andy Jones

* * * 1/2

Falling in love is the easy part. What matters most is what happens next...

Fisher and Ivy have been an item for a whole nineteen days. And they just know they are meant to be together. The fact that they know little else about each other is a minor detail. Over the course of twelve months, in which their lives will change forever, Fisher and Ivy discover that falling in love is one thing, but staying there is an entirely different story.

The Two of Us is a charming, honest and heart-breaking novel about life, love, and the importance of taking neither one for granted.

Ever encounter a situation where it seems that things are happening backwards? That's the jist of The Two of Us with two adults meeting, having crazy, intense “magic time”, and then trying to figure out if there's a relationship to salvage there. And then something occurs that changes their dynamics.

Fisher and Ivy have enjoyed that sweet honeymoon period when a couple first meets and are so hopelessly attracted to each other that they simply can’t get enough. Then something shifts and Fisher can’t put his finger on it. He’s unsure if he’s done something wrong, or if Ivy’s having second thoughts or if he’s imagining things. Fisher’s worries are understandable being that their relationship started with physical intimacy first and not much else. They hardly know anything about each other making him unsure if Ivy wants a commitment as much as he does.

What’s most appealing about the story is that all the questions that come with the newness of a relationship are very much relatable. The fact that both Fisher and Ivy are in their forties though gives them the benefit of being more forthcoming in their approach to their unique situation. It’s their awkwardness with each other that makes them endearing. As they go about with the business of being a brand new couple – learning to read their personalities, getting used to the other’s habits – Fisher remarks on the things that matter to him and how he wants to share the important parts of him with Ivy. The story isn’t short of amusement thanks to the abundance of entertaining family and friends. They love ribbing on Fisher and it’s easy to see what a good and decent guy he is. There just aren’t enough of those around. 

The Two of Us is a delightful read all around. I feel that anyone can commiserate with the characters over the agony of building something new on slightly shaky ground. What’s refreshing to see is that this isn’t played out in a vacuum but rather in the presence of their friends and family, who bring perspective and depth to Fisher and Ivy’s personalities. There’s no unnecessary angst; just two people falling in love with a future ahead of them.

~ Bel