Stacking the Shelves (41)

Saturday, November 29, 2014

It's my birthday month aka the month I hoard books. Meh, that's every month. And I'm pretty tame this month, in retrospect.

For Review

I Was Here by Gayle Forman (ARC)
*signed* Only A Kiss by Ines Bautista-Yao


*signed* After Hello by Lisa Mangum (review!!!!11)
Hold Still by Nina LaCour
Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson


*signed* These Gentle Wounds by Helene Dunbar


Althea & Oliver by Cristina Moracho (YOU GUYS, I LOVE THIS NOVEL SO MUCH.)
Life of Pi by Yann Martel (Read a library copy back in high school. Glad to have my own!)
Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
*signed* The Young Elites by Marie Lu
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (My copy's with a friend and it's so wrecked so I bought one.)
Ben Fox: Squirrel Zombie Specialist at Your Service by Daisy Whitney (review)
Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
Winger by Andrew Smith
*signed* The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
*signed* The Kitchen God's Wife by Amy Tan

I also got my Marie Lu's Legend trilogy signed. Thank you to Simon & Schuster UK, Ines Bautista-Yao, Lisa Mangum, Precious of Fragments of Life, Irene of Gorgeous Books, Helene Dunbar, and Fully Booked. Most of all, thank you to National Book Store for spoiling me and taking all my moolah. Thank you for bringing Marie Lu here in the Philippines! I love you to Pluto and back! Special mention to JB for getting my Amy Tan books signed! <3

How I Organize My Ebooks

Friday, November 28, 2014

Soooooo, I have tons of ideas for discussion posts but I've never really posted one for various reasons in a nifty list*:

1. Everyone is doing their own discussion posts and my topics aren't exactly new so no one would care.
2. I'm sure people have already said what I'd like to say so no one would care.
3. I'm lazy and I couldn't care about actually writing them.

*Chloe from Top Ten Clues You're Clueless  by Liz Czukas is rubbing off on me!

I wouldn't have even started this post if I wasn't in the laboratory today at 1PM trying to keep my eyes open. Seriously, science involves tons of waiting. Really. A lot. I guess that's why I'm not THAT patient because I channel all my patience to my experiments but never in other aspects of my life. Ugh, here I go again speaking in tangents.

So today, I'll be sharing how I organize my ebooks. Why is this pertinent, you might ask?

1. I'm a hoarder of eARCs. Ick. NetGalley and Edelweiss are my downfall. If ever people from the future found my remains, I'd be figuratively drowning in eARCs...
2. If you hoard 'em like I do, you might be interested!
3. I'm a mood reader and I've tried, lord I've tried, but I can never follow a reading schedule. Ever. And I think my system allows me enough breathing room to read whatever I want WHILE still following a bit of a reading schedule.

So without further ado, here are some pictures**!

**I really suck at taking pictures. And please, forgive me as I took these with my eyes half-closed around 3AM...

As you can see, I organize my eARCs by the month of their publication! I make a collection per month and then I put the eARCs I get into their respective folders. With this, I have enough "freedom" about what I read while still being "restricted" by my blogger duties.

(And yes, my Kindle's name is Adrien bb.)

Let's look into one of the collections!

So for example, here's my December TBR. I have 12 titles in there (I specifically chose that instead of the collections with 40+ in them...) and here are just four of them. I looked into them this morning (yes, at 3AM) and I actually decided to read Top Ten Clues You're Clueless. Now, while I restrict myself into reading from this pile, I can still choose among several titles. With that, I feel like I'm still control of what I read. I'm sure there is a psychological term to what I'm doing to myself...

Now, you've seen in the first picture that I have a collection named Purchased/Won. It's pretty self-descriptive in that I put everything I bought and I won there. So far, it has 290+ items and when I feel like reading FOR MYSELF (aka no obligation to review or whatever), I just choose from the gazillion items in there.

Here's a picture of my recent purchases:

I've already read Wild and I'm planning to read something I bought a few months ago soon. How soon is that? I don't know.

So, how do you organize your eARCs? Any suggestions on how I can even improve mine? Feel free to comment!

Free Mockingjay Bookmark When You Buy the Mockingjay Movie Tie-in Edition!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Hi bookish Filipinos! Have you watched The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 already? I did, TWICE. Was it glorious? Right? I'll be reviewing the movie soon! But for now, I have a wonderful deal for you.

Scholastic Philippines has teamed up with National Book Store and Powerbooks to bring you these awesome Mockingjay bookmarks! All you have to do is buy the movie tie-in edition, which is so pretty imo, and you can get a free bookmark. Promo is from November 22 to December 22 of this year. Be sure to get yours!

Cover Reveal + Giveaway: Forever Found by Nazarea Andrews

Last May, I read, loved, and reviewed Girl Lost by Nazarea Andrews. You can click on the link to read my gushing. I mean, it's a wonderful new adult contemporary retelling of PETER PAN. PETER PAN. Aaacccckkk. And now, Nazarea is releasing a companion novella in Peter's perspective. IN PETER'S PERSPECTIVE. I am going gaga here! Anyway, check out the cover and blurb and an excerpt below!

Title: Forever Found (Neverland Lost #2)
Author: Nazarea Andrews
Date of Publication: December 30, 2014
Genre: contemporary NA romance

Losing Gwen was one of the hardest things I've ever had to survive. I've never loved anyone the way I love her.

But finding her was never about that. And now that I have found her--now that she knows the truth about me and the Island, I have to trust her to believe. Because her leaving me didn't just destroy me--its killing Neverland.
I need her to love me. But we all need her to believe again.

Peter Pan has grown up and found the girl who left--but the stakes are higher than ever in this romantic conclusion to the story begun in Girl Lost.


Gwen is leaning against the window. Every time I leave her, I forget. She’s not all gangly limbs and huge eyes and dirty hair hanging in her face, flinching at her own shadow. Not anymore. That Gwen still haunts my island, but this—this Gwen is breathtaking.

She thinks she’s broken. Fractured pieces of a broken mind, held together by medication and stubborn denial. But she doesn’t see herself, not the way I do.

Lane had that right. She’s breathtaking—even now, when I know she’s sad and broken. She stands straight, a pair of thin sleep pants curving around her ass before falling loose and free to the floor. Her shoulders are back, graceful and strong, under the thick sweater she’s wearing, her hair pulled into a messy knot at the top of her head.

She can see me, my reflection in the dark glass. And I see the tension in her tighten, drawing her up and sharp, until she’s almost vibrating with it. “Why are you here?” she asks, her voice low and hoarse.

She sounds like that when she’s been crying. I know—I’ve heard her so many times, heard her tears. Wiped them away. Whispered happy thoughts until I teased a smile from her.

“Peter,” she snaps, and I jerk, out of the memories and into the moment.

“You ran away.”

She gives an unladylike snort. “You decided you were a delusion of my past, and then you expected me to sit there and listen to your insane ramblings. Thanks, but no. I can’t do that. I’ve had enough crazy for one life.” She bites her lip, and then blurts, “You stole my file, didn’t you? That’s how you know about the Boy.”

“Do you remember the firefly meadow?”

She goes still, and I smile, gently. “You do.”

“That wasn’t real,” she whispers, and I feel the shudder.

“We’d hide there, from the lsot boys. And you’d fall asleep telling me your happy thoughts, and wake up to a galaxy of fireflies, and we’d chase them until you made yourself sick, laughing. And then I’d hold you and we’d stare at the stars, and you always said they were different. It smelled like jasmine and honey-“

“And wild woods and freedom,” she whispers, her blue eyes impossibly wide in her pretty face. I take a tentative step toward her, and touch her fingers.

Why are your stars different?

“It wasn’t a delusion, Gwendy. You know it wasn’t. Trust yourself.”

She shudders. “Can’t. My mind lies. It wasn’t—“

“Gwendy,” I say, desperately. Her eyes are filling with tears and I can feel the disbelief, the way it will tear apart the world I’ve known, and the girl I’ve loved, and I can’t. I move without thinking, catch her head and bring her lips to mine.

About Nazarea Andrews

Nazarea Andrews is an avid reader and tends to write the stories she wants to read. She loves chocolate and coffee almost as much as she loves books, but not quite as much as she loves her kids. She lives in south Georgia with her husband, daughters, and overgrown dog.

You can follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Nazarea Andrews is agented, and all inquiries about rights should be directed to Michelle Johsnon of Inklings Literary.

{Blog Tour} Excerpt + Giveaway: Wild by Sophie Jordan

Monday, November 24, 2014

Sophie Jordan's The Ivy Chronicles comes to its conclusion with WILD. Read this HOT excerpt from the book and you can also join the giveaway here!

Wild (The Ivy Chronicles, #3)
Title: Wild (The Ivy Chronicles #3)
Author: Sophie Jordan
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Date of Publication: November 18, 2014
Genre: contemporary NA romance

A good girl goes fabulously bad in the final book in New York Times bestselling author Sophie Jordan’s sexy New Adult romance series, in which three Ivy League suite-mates seek higher knowledge of just how far they can go.

Months after her boyfriend dumped her, Georgia can still hear the insults he hurled at her. Boring. Predictable. Tame. Tired of feeling bad, she’s ready to change her image, and go a little wild. What better way to prove her ex wrong than a hot night of sexual adventure at the secret campus kink club?

In the shadowy den of the kink club, she unexpectedly runs into Logan Mulvaney, her friend’s little brother. A player extraordinaire too hot for his own good, he may be younger, but the guy is light years ahead when it comes to sexual experience. Now he’s telling her to go home—“good girls” don’t belong here!

Georgia is tired of having others define her. She’s going to teach Logan a lesson he won’t forget—one white hot, mind-wrecking kiss . . . that leads to another . . . and another . . . and. . . . Realizing she’s way in over her head, Georgia runs.

Only Logan won’t let her go. Everywhere she goes he’s there, making her want every inch of him. Making her forget who she is. Who he is. And just how wrong they are for each other.

Purchase from Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository


“I gotta go,” I said hurriedly, turning to walk around the Jeep, ready to climb in the backseat, not even caring how obvious I was in trying to put distance between us by unnecessarily circling around the vehicle.

I felt him move behind me before I felt his hands on my arms. “No, you don’t,” he growled. “You don’t get to run away again.”

I squeaked as he hauled me back against his chest. My spine stiffened iron-rod straight against the wall of his broad chest. I felt my eyes go huge in my face. He was touching me. Again. And I was freaking out on the inside. I sucked in a deep breath, determined that my freak-out stayed internal only.

“Let me go. They’re coming.” My heart hammered violently in my chest and I didn't know if it was because we were about to get busted by my friends or because his body felt so unbelievable against mine. Okay, fine. It was both.

His mouth brushed my ear as he spoke, spiking sensation to every nerve in my body. “Are you embarrassed, Georgia? You don’t want them to see me with you? Don’t want Pepper and Reece to know about us?”

“There is no ‘us.’ ”

“Oh, but there will be. We both know why you came tonight.” His fingers flexed, each digit a burning imprint on my forearms.

“Yeah?” Was that breathy croak my voice? “Why?”

“Because you haven’t been able to forget what it felt like to kiss me, and you want to know if the rest of it will be that good, too.” He bit down on my earlobe and a whimper escaped my lips. “It will be.”

An invisible band squeezed around my chest. I swallowed against my constricting throat. “Arrogant much?”

“It’s okay. I haven’t been able to forget either. I can still remember the way you taste.”

Oh. My. God.

I swallowed a moan and lurched free from him. Swinging around, I faced him and felt my knees go weak at the look in his eyes. Heavy-lidded and deep, his blue eyes looked almost indigo as they stared down at me.

“I know you probably think it’d be some great joke to bang one of your brother’s friends, but I’m not going to be another notch on your bedpost . . . some girl you screw once and forget about the next—”

He moved fast then, closing the space that I had established between us. Oh, yeah. He was a jock with ninja-fast reflexes. I needed to remember that.

I gasped as his hand slid around my neck, fingers burying in the hair at the base of my scalp. He lowered his head, dropping his forehead against mine until our breaths clashed and mingled. His fingers pressed and massaged the back of my head, shooting sensation straight to the core of me. Holy hell. Was that some kind of secret pressure point?

His words gusted over my mouth. “You think we’d fuck just once?”

My stomach plummeted at his blunt words.

He took my hand and dragged it between us, pressing my palm to his crotch—against the outline of his cock in his tight baseball pants. It hardened, growing beneath my touch and I felt an answering ache clench between my thighs. God, it had been so long.

“This doesn’t feel like a joke to me. You don’t,” he growled in a tight voice. “I want to do things to you . . . things a clean, vanilla girl like you never dreamed of. Things that tool boyfriend of yours never came close to doing to you.”

“Ex-boyfriend,” I replied automatically.

At my response, Logan pushed my palm harder against him, rubbing the hard ridge of him. A tiny moan escaped me as the ache squeezed between my legs.

He angled his head. “I think you want me to do dirty things to you, Georgia.”

About Sophie Jordan

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.


Review: Delayed Penalty by Shey Stahl

Saturday, November 22, 2014

I already wrote this review before I learned that Shey Stahl got involved in a plagiarism issue and all. She made a statement though that it wasn't true and the whole debacle but I didn't read it all. I just prefaced my review with this because I didn't know she faced plagiarism allegations. If I knew, I don't think I would have read the book if it was found to be true. Anyway, still, here's my review!

Delayed Penalty (Crossing the Line, #1)
Title: Delayed Penalty (Crossing the Line #1)
Author: Shey Stahl
Date of Publication: June 5, 2013

A minor penalty that is not called until the offending team gains control of the puck. As long as the non-offending team maintains possession, the referee allows play to continue and signals a delayed penalty by raising his arm.

I’m Evan Mason, an NHL hockey player for the Chicago Blackhawks. I spend my nights roughing up two hundred pound defensemen and, at times, spend more time in the penalty box than I do on the ice.

That’s my job.

One night changed everything I thought I once knew about my life on, and off, the ice.

A girl.

A brutally beaten girl left to die in an alley.
I don’t know why or how but something made me stay that night after taking her to the hospital. I didn’t know her, nor did I have an obligation to stay but something inside of me rooted me there telling me I should stay. Saving a life is worth something. At least I thought so. And I wouldn’t have been me if I just simply left her there.

Any man who put his heart and soul into a game of hockey couldn’t just walk away when someone needed them. She had no one else right now. The same guy who saw determination where there was desire, now saw hope where there was once despair.

I couldn’t leave. That wouldn’t be me. No, not a man that put all he had into something some called just a game. I couldn’t walk away from her holding onto life, weak and powerless to something she had no control over.

So I stayed. In a room full of family members praying for their loved ones to pull through, I prayed for a girl I didn’t know and had never met before, to have a beating heart. While others’ sorrows turned to grieving pain, I sat waiting on the words of the unknown.

No bond is stronger than the ones you’ll bleed for.

Purchase from Amazon | B&N


My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

This is the kind of book I would have loved if I read it a year ago. Alas, I've read a lot of new adult novels by now and I now know what makes me love a novel and not. And I am actually sad that I didn't love this novel as much as I thought I would.

I remember reading the first chapter of this more than a year ago in Shey's blog and I was squealing in the wee hours of the morning. I remember tweeting Shey again and again about it and that I want it to be released already. There was just something about that first chapter back then that made me so passionate about reading the whole book. (In recent times, this also happened with Amber Hart's Before You and I also ended up not loving it so maybe I should stop reading excerpts.) Then the book came out and I immediately bought it and started reading it. The animal that I am, I suck at delayed gratification so I was skimming to get all my giddy and fluttery feelings on. I remember stopping midway and said that this isn't right. That I should read the whole book and get into the world of hockey rather than just focusing on the romance. So I stopped. And I never got to reading it again until recently.

Sadly to say, I didn't change. I admit to only skim-reading this. I wouldn't actually call it skim-reading but I skip non-dialogue parts and I just gloss over most. I feel bad for doing it but it didn't start out that way. I was reading the book properly and then I started to notice how the writing wasn't winning me. The sports part was amazing, each chapter starting with a definition of a hockey term that was used or at least mentioned or is related to that chapter. It was also told in dual perspectives, which was always a plus for me. However, the words felt too simply worded for me. This and that. This happened. I felt this. I mean, the characters were ripe with emotions and all but the writing felt stunted and unfeeling. It took me away from immersing myself in the book because I couldn't pinpoint what exactly I didn't like with the writing but I just didn't like it. It didn't feel organic and it didn't feel like actual people were talking. That's just my opinion though.

Additionally, having read tons of new adult novels and quite a few of them having sexually harassed/abused characters, I knew all the plot arcs coming my way. Plus, the book relied heavily on coincidences and things like having the same birthday to make the reader feel that Evan and Amy were meant to be. Fine, maybe it's just me again and my cynical self but I found it too cheesy for my liking. Moreover, it wasn't only cheesy but it sounded preachy as well and that is not something cool for me.

Let's get into the characters. Thankfully, I love the characters. Evan has so much heart and he really is perfect for Amy. Amy's lightness was a breath of fresh air though. You'd thought that after the harrowing night she went through (which she can't remember), she'd be a timid and broken girl. I don't mean to make light of what happened to her and maybe it's because she doesn't remember that night, which made things probably quite easier on her. I was actually shocked at how forward she was and how it was Evan who was holding back and who kept on trying to slow down their relationship for them. Which made Evan all the more endearing because he has nothing on his mind but Amy. However, yes, this was a case of instalove and sometimes I question if Evan only has a messiah complex.

But all that thinking won't do you any good! Just focus on how Evan and Amy are just for each other. It didn't hurt too that this book was steamy and hot even if they're only making out. I mean, come on! How did you do it, Shey?

While I didn't love Delayed Penalty, I'd still recommend it to fans of contemporary romance, especially to those who love sports-infused one. I didn't have any clue about hockey before this but I wasn't lost at all and I appreciated how dedicated Shey Stahl was with keeping the sports part of the book.

About Shey Stahl

Shey Stahl is the author of the Racing on the Edge series. A USA Today Best Selling author, she's a native of the shady Northwest where she makes her home with her family. 

She's an avid World of Outlaws fan and on the weekends she can be found anywhere there's a dirt track.


Review: Before I Go To Sleep by S.J. Watson

Thursday, November 20, 2014

I know that this blog is a YA-NA book blog but I also like reading other types of books. And my brain wants me to review this novel so I have to let it. When a review comes to you, you should definitely post it. So, here goes!

Before I Go to Sleep
Title: Before I Go To Sleep
Author: S.J. Watson
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks
Date of Publication: February 7, 2012 (first published in June 4, 2011)

'As I sleep, my mind will erase everything I did today. I will wake up tomorrow as I did this morning. Thinking I'm still a child. Thinking I have a whole lifetime of choice ahead of me...'

Memories define us. So what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep? Your name, your identity, your past, even the people you love — all forgotten overnight. And the one person you trust may only be telling you half the story.

Welcome to Christine's life.

Purchase from Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository


My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Thank you to Jean for the wonderful recommendation! Jean is a non-blogger friend and I try to read whatever he tells me to but I suck at actually reading them. I prioritized this because the movie would be out soon at the time I started this but it sucks because the movie wasn't shown here in the Philippines. Bummer. But I am still so glad Jean pushed this to me so much because THIS. BOOK.

Most of the blurbs of Before I Go To Sleep described it as a page turner. Was it a page turner? Absofuckinglutely. I am not kidding. The title should probably be Before I Never Get Any Sleep because you won't stop reading until you know. Know what, exactly? You see, the novel is centered on Christine, a forty-seven year-old woman who wakes up every day with her memories erased. A clean, fresh slate. Every time she goes to sleep, her brain lets go of the memories she formed that day. Bad enough as that is, she wakes up thinking she's still twenty-two and sometimes a child, panicking who she's in bed with, who's actually her husband. Tough life, I know. However, she started keeping a journal with a doctor's suggestion and she finds that her husband Ben isn't being completely honest with her. Why is he telling her another version of the past when her sudden flashbacks tell another? So, what exactly, is Ben hiding? Why is he lying? Can Christine trust her? Christine wants to know and I WANT TO KNOW, dammit.

It frustrated me even more because I read this during a week-long vacation and my family and I went to tons of places so I couldn't read as much as I wanted to. If you follow me on Instagram, you'd see that this book was in tons of pictures because I read it in a week. Do you know how hard it is to read a pageturner in twenty thousand sittings? IT WAS TORTURE. When I did finish it while waiting for the plane back home, I actually had goosebumps all over my arms.

Truth be told, I think I would have loved this even more (like, five stars and all the exclamation points) if I didn't know anything about it. My friend Jean told me that he might love this book even more than Gone Girl and that's a big thing to say because we love Gone Girl. Moreover, he told me that the twist was insane. So I knew that there was a twist or that the reveal would be shocking and so, the whole time I was reading the book, I was waiting for the other shoe to drop. I was anticipating everything, so in the end, I wasn't as shocked as I might have been. Or maybe I just judged early, stuck by it, and ended up right. Oops, yeah, I just realized I might have ruined the whole experience for you guys too. I shouldn't have reviewed this!

Lastly, the resolution of the novel kind of felt flat and rushed and too convenient for me. The previous reason I stated for me not loving the book is because of me. But this is the only criticism I have for this book. Still, I had so much fun (and by fun I mean being glued to the page and getting excited, curious, and hypothesis-crazy) riding along with Christine's story. I highly recommend this to fans of mystery and suspense thrillers.

About S.J. Watson

S J Watson was born in the UK, lives in London and worked in the NHS for a number of years.

In 2011 Watson's debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, was released to critical acclaim. It has now been published in over 40 languages, and has become an international bestseller, winning numerous awards.

The movie of Before I Go To Sleep, starrring Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth and Mark Strong, is due for worldwide release in Autumn 2014. Watson's second book is out in Spring 2015.

Blog Tour: The Boyfriend Backtrack by Dawn Lanuza

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Here's a contemporary romance novella by a Filipina author and I hope you'll support her and her book by joining the tour! I recently got to know Dawn and she has awesome music taste and I am just fangirling so much. Haha! Thank you as always for signing up!

The Boyfriend Backtrack
Title: The Boyfriend Backtrack
Author: Dawn Lanuza
Date of Publication: October 3, 2014
Genre: contemporary romance

If they say that life flashes right before your eyes when you die, do you also get a flashback of your exes when your perfect boyfriend is proposing to you? At least that's the case for Regina Cortez. There's her dramatic high school boyfriend, her first college crush, the irresistible heart breaker, and the ever elusive one. By backtracking to her past, will Regina make it to 'I Do'? Or will she just keep running away?


December 15

Her Book Thoughts - Review
Books and Insomnia - Excerpt
Cinderella Stories - Excerpt

December 16

The Word Eater - Review
Notebook of Books - Excerpt

Eccentric Everything - Excerpt

December 17

Spiced Latte Reads - Review
The Great Big Jump - Review
The Bibliophile Confessions - Review
The Book Pile - Excerpt
Publishing in Pajamas - Excerpt

December 18

Tumbling in Books - Review
chaotic reader - Review
Writer For Misfits - Excerpt
Tea-rrific Reads - Excerpt

December 19

Geeky Chiquitas - Review + Excerpt
Coffee, Books and Me - Excerpt
The Bookish Confections - Excerpt

Perky Reads - Review + Excerpt
The Library Mistress - Review
Amour Pour Cadeaux - Review
The Phantom Paragrapher - Review
Mr. Book Wonder - Review
Bibliophile Mystery - Excerpt


a Rafflecopter giveaway

{Blog Tour} Spotlight + Giveaway: Letting Go by Molly McAdams

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Letting Go (Thatch, #1)
Title: Letting Go (Thatch #1)
Author: Molly McAdams
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Date of Publication: November 4, 2014

Grey and Ben fell in love at thirteen and believed they’d be together forever. But three days before their wedding, the twenty-year-old groom-to-be suddenly died from an unknown heart condition, destroying his would-be-bride’s world. If it hadn’t been for their best friend, Jagger, Grey never would have made it through those last two years to graduation. He’s the only one who understands her pain, the only one who knows what it’s like to force yourself to keep moving when your dreams are shattered. Jagger swears he’ll always be there for her, but no one has ever been able to hold on to him. He’s not the kind of guy to settle down.

It’s true that no one has ever been able to keep Jagger—because he’s only ever belonged to Grey. While everyone else worries over Grey’s fragility, he’s the only one who sees her strength. Yet as much as he wants Grey, he knows her heart will always be with Ben. Still they can’t deny the heat that is growing between them—a passion that soon becomes too hot to handle. But admitting their feelings for each other means they’ve got to face the past. Is being together what Ben would have wanted . . . or a betrayal of his memory that will eventually destroy them both?

Purchase from Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository



Grey May 10, 2012

“Then over there is where the girls and I will be waiting before the ceremony starts,” I said, pointing to the all-seasons tent just off to the side. “I think the coordinator said she’d get us in there when the photographer is taking pictures of Ben and the boys on the other side house, so he won’t see me.”

I glanced to my mom and soon-to-be mother-in-law talking about the gazebo behind me, and what it would look like with the greenery and flowers, and I smiled to myself. They’d been going back and forth on whether we should keep the gazebo as it was or decorate it ever since Ben and I had decided on The Lake House as our wedding and reception site. And from the few words I was hearing now, they were still undecided. I honestly didn't care how it was decorated. I wanted to be married to Ben, and in three days, I would be.

“Grey, this place is freaking gorgeous. I can’t believe you were able to get it on such short notice,” my maid-of-honor and best friend, Janie, said in awe.

“I know, but it’s perfect, right?”

“Absolutely perfect.”

I grabbed her hand and rested my head on her shoulder as I stared at the part of the property where the reception would be. Ben and I had promised our families that we wouldn’t get married until we’d graduated from college, but that had been a much harder promise to keep than we’d thought it would be. School let out for summer a few days ago, and we wanted to move off campus for our junior year … together. That had'’t exactly gone over well with my parents. They didn’t want us living together until we were married. I think in my dad’s mind it helped him continue to believe I was his innocent little girl.

I’d been dating Ben since I was thirteen years old; the innocent part flew out the window over three years ago. Not that he needed to know that. After a long talk with both our parents, they agreed to let us get married now instead of two years from now.

That was seven weeks ago. Even though Ben had asked me to marry him last Christmas, we’d officially gotten engaged once we’d received the okay from our parents, and had started planning our wedding immediately. Seven weeks of being engaged. Seven years of being together. And in three days I would finally be Mrs. Benjamin Craft.

With how the last few weeks had dragged by, it felt like our day would never get here.

My phone rang and I pulled it out of my pocket. My lips tilted up when I saw Jagger’s name and face on the screen, but I ignored the call. Putting my phone back in my pocket, I kept my other hand firmly wrapped around Janie’s and walked over to where the rest of the bridesmaids were. My aunts and grandma had gathered around the gazebo-debating duo, and were helping them with the pros and cons.

“So what are we going to do tonight?” I asked, hoping to get some kind of information about the bachelorette party.

“Nice try.” Janie snorted. She started saying something else, but my phone rang again.

Glancing down and seeing Jagger again, I thought about answering it for a few seconds before huffing out a soft laugh and ignoring the call a second time. I knew why he was calling. He was bored out of his mind and wanted me to save him from the golf day Ben and all the guys were having before the bachelor party. Normally I would have saved him from the torture of golfing, but today was about Ben. If he wanted to go golfing with all his guys, then Jagger just had to suck it up for his best friend.

Almost immediately after ignoring the call, I got a text from him.

Jagger: Answer the goddamn phone Grey!

My head jerked back when the phone in my hand began ringing just as soon as I’d read the message, and all I could do was stare at it for a few seconds. A feeling of dread and unease formed in my chest, quickly unfurling and spreading through my arms and stomach.

Some part of my mind registered two other ringtones, but I couldn't focus on them, or make myself look away from Jagger’s lopsided smile on my screen. With a shaky finger, I pressed on the green button, and brought the phone up to my ear.

Before I could say anything, his panicked voice filled the phone.

“Grey? Grey! Are you there? Fuck, Grey, say something so I know you’re there!”

There was a siren and yelling in the background, and the feeling that had spread through my body now felt like it was choking me. I didn’t know what was happening, but somehow … somehow I knew my entire world was about to change. My legs started shaking and my breaths came out in hard rushes.

“I—what’s happ—” I cut off quickly and turned to look at my mom and Ben’s. Both had phones to their ears. Ben’s mom was screaming with tears falling down her cheeks; my mom looked like the ground had just been ripped out from underneath her.

Jagger was talking, I knew his voice was loud and frantic, but I was having trouble focusing on the words. It sounded like he was yelling at me from miles away.

“What?” I whispered.

Everyone around me was freaking out, trying to figure out what was going on. One of my friends was asking who I was talking to, but I couldn’t even turn to look at her, or be sure who it was that had asked. I couldn’t take my eyes off the only other women currently talking on a phone.

“Grey! Tell me where you are, I’m coming to get you!”

I blinked a few times and looked down at my lap. I was sitting on the ground. When had I sat down?

Janie squatted in front of me and grabbed my shoulders to shake me before grabbing my cheeks so I would look at her instead of where my mom and Ben’s were clinging to each other.

“What?” I repeated, my voice barely audible.

Just before Janie took the phone from me, I heard a noise that sounded weighted and pained. A choking sound I’d never heard from Jagger in the eleven years we’d been friends. The grief in it was enough to force a sharp cry from my own chest, and I didn't even struggle against Janie when she took the phone from me.

I didn’t understand anything that was happening around me, but somehow I knew everything. A part of me had heard Jagger’s words. A part of me understood what the horrified cries meant that quickly spread throughout every one of my friends. My family. Ben’s family. A part of me acknowledged the sense of loss that had added to the dread, unease, and grief—and knew why it was there.

A part of me knew the wedding I’d just been envisioning would never happen.

About Molly McAdams

Molly McAdams grew up in California but now lives in the oh-so-amazing state of Texas with her husband and furry daughter. 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. When she's not at work, she can be found hiding out in her bedroom surrounded by her laptop, cell, Kindle and fighting over the TV remote. She has a weakness for crude-humored movies, 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.


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