Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Release Day Launch: The Shape Of My Heart by Ann Aguirre

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We are so excited to bring you the Release Day Launch for Ann Aguirre's incredible THE SHAPE OF MY HEART! THE SHAPE OF MY HEART is a New Adult contemporary romance, published by Harlequin HQN, and is the third book in the 2B Trilogy Series. Don't forget to grab your copy of the first two books and fall in love with her characters all over again!

The Shape of My Heart


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THE SHAPE OF MY HEART on Goodreads



THE SHAPE OF MY HEART Synopsis:

Some people wait decades to meet their soul mate. Courtney Kaufman suspects she met hers in high school—only to lose him at seventeen. Since then, Courtney’s social life has been a series of meaningless encounters, though she’s made a few close friends along the way. Especially her roommate, Max Cooper, who oozes damaged bad-boy vibes from every pore.

Max knows about feeling lost and trying to move beyond the pain—he’s been on his own since he was sixteen. Now it’s time to find out if he can ever go home again, and Courtney’s the only one he trusts to go with him. But the trip to Providence could change everything…because the more time he spends with Courtney, the harder it is to reconcile what he wants and what he thinks he deserves.

It started out so simple. One misfit helping another. Now Max will do anything to show Courtney that for every heart that’s ever been broken, there’s another that can make it complete.



2B Trilogy
 Make sure you grab the entire 2B Trilogy!

 I WANT IT THAT WAY

AS LONG AS YOU LOVE ME

THE SHAPE OF MY HEART

EXCERPT:

So many questions ricocheted around my brainpan, but Max’s shoulders were pulled up almost to his ears, his chin nearly on the table. Without looking at me, he shredded the napkin in his hands into four pieces and then in half again. The waning sunshine streaming in the smeared window behind him haloed his hair, so that the highlights shone blue instead of tawny or copper.

“You don’t have to tell me a bedtime story,” I said gently.

“No, you need to know. So you understand what’s going on and why it’s so tense when we get there.”

“Okay. If you’re sure.”

“I’ll set the stage.” His tone was brittle, uneven, and the bits of paper in his hands kept getting smaller. “I was sixteen, just got my license. My dad was drinking, acting like a fuckhead. Business as usual. When he started in on Mickey, I grabbed the keys. Figured I’d get us both out of there for a while. I don’t know if you’ve noticed but taking off is kind of my specialty.”

“Between your bike, the garage office, and the place you showed me by the river, I’ve picked up on the pattern, yeah.”

“I thought I was doing the smart thing, you know? But I was driving too fast and some asshole blew the stoplight. T-boned us. Mickey got the worst of it… weeks in the hospital without knowing if he’d make it. Then once he stabilized, we found out he’d never walk again.” He curled a fist and slammed it onto the table, making the pizza box dance. “Ironic, huh? I was worried that my dad would hurt Mickey but I’m the one who—”

“Not true,” I cut in. “That’s a textbook accident. Don’t tell me you blame yourself.”

“It’s impossible to do anything else. No, wipe that look off your face, Kaufman. I didn’t open up to make you feel sorry for me. I just want you to know the deal going in. I mean, my dad’s the biggest asshole I ever met and he hates me, too.”

“What about Mickey?”

“We weren’t talking much when I left. Every day I think, what if I’d put up with my old man’s shit for five minutes more? What if I’d picked a fight with him instead of grabbing those keys? I—” His voice broke on a shuddering inhalation.

Until this moment I didn’t realize how much weight Max carried on a daily basis or how good a job he did hiding it. I came out of my chair and rounded the little table before I consciously decided to make a move. Standing beside him, I hovered, unsure what to do. He answered the question by wrapping both arms around my waist and pulling me onto his lap. Unsettled, unnerved, even, I let him press his face into my shoulder, resting a hand on his head.

His breath warmed the skin of my throat, rousing an inappropriate shiver. Now is not the time. It wasn’t like I’d never noticed his hotness; he specialized in a scruffy, soulful appeal that women of all ages seemed unable to resist. But it was so much better for him to call me Kaufman and confide in me instead of flirting. At the moment, Max needed a friend. I stroked his back for like five minutes before he raised his gaze to meet mine.

“Sorry. The closer we get to Rhode Island, the worse I feel.”

“It’s understandable. You have to be worried about how your brother will react when you see him.” The rest of his family sounded like jackwagons. Though he’d only told me about his dad, if he had any decent aunts, uncles or cousins, they would’ve stepped up when his old man went upside his head with a bottle. A scar like that would take eight or ten stitches, minimum. I imagined Max as a scared kid with blood gushing from his scalp, and all of my protective instincts roared to life. People had been calling me a bitch since I was fifteen, and I was ready to wade in against Max’s family. Yeah, the funeral might be tense and shitty, but if his family said one fucking word—

TSOMH Available Now




Author Photo

About Ann Aguirre:

Ann Aguirre is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author and RITA winner with a degree in English Literature; before she began writing full time, she was a clown, a clerk, a voice actress, and a savior of stray kittens, not necessarily in that order. She grew up in a yellow house across from a cornfield, but now she lives in sunny Mexico with her husband, children, and various pets. Ann likes books, emo music, action movies, and she writes all kinds of genre fiction for adults and teens, published with Harlequin, Macmillan, and Penguin, among others.










Review:

What to say about The Shape of my heart? It was my favorite in the series, it was also the most angst-filled and dramatic. And truthfully, I just, well, loved it. Not because this was written any better or the story line was so much better. Nope, that's actually not it. I think. Honestly? I am not quite sure why, actually. But I was a contently sighing puddle of emotions by time I was finished.

The prose is great. It's Aguirre we speaking about, so duh! I think she is a great writer.... And in TSOMH she proved me over and over why I will read anything she throws at me. Her writing is beautiful and she is a master at taking me on a emotional rollercoaster. I was totally invested by the end of this.

Well, frankly the end.. was... uhm, well to perfect for my taste. But I still did nonetheless grin happily even when I rolled my eyes at it.
The story line is in some way the typical romance plot- but Aguirre added bits and pieces that changed the rich girl poor guy story into a unique tale. The pace of this is perfectly crafted. I was growling in frustration at the two MCs by the time the finally got their act together and we got to the good bits- which is halfway through by the way! Then I kept on waiting for the other shoe to drop, saw a million scenarios play out, but only really go the right idea, when Aguirre dropped a hint the size of a football field on me. And that was literally just before it happened.  Then I was totally taken aback by the pain and was hopeful and lost hope and oh well you got the gist. Let's just say it:Great pacing make for great storytelling, people!
The good bits - also known as smut- were not my thing, I was really really under-whelmed by them. In fact when it finally happened, I kinda couldn't believe that was it, went back and re-read it, but yeah it was that, well, for the lack of a better word and a need to be nice, let's just say: boring? I had hopes it would get better, but sadly not by much.

Not that it phased me much- Because this in my opinion shines through the character building. I adored Max in the first book already and was really looking forward to reading his story, especially after knowing how unlucky he was, after reading As Long As You Love Me.  And Max did not disappoint- he was a tad melodramatic, but I enjoyed that, apparently if melodrama is written well, I gobble it up. As I read The Shape Of My Heart, I got to know him better and started to understand where he was coming from, this is even more impressive, since this is written entirely from Courtney POV. Now while I connected to Courtney, I didn't like her that much for most of the book actually. I found her whiny and spoilt. And the whole he-is-too-handsome-for-ugly-duckling-me line irritated me to no ends. But then she grew up, changed and well, stopped whining and I ended up not only rooting for her, I like her. The banter and relationship between Max and Courtney is probably not only the most entertaining but also the most happy fuzzies inducing thing in the entire series! Just superb. Though a lot of it is about the two MCs- I really liked the support cast as well. There were quite a lot of new characters added and they were interesting and one got the feeling that one knows this group of friends, understands their dynamics. 
The only thing I didn't like when it comes to characters were the parents, they were all super cliche and super one sided. Kinda odd, especially since all the other character building was done so well. In fact most badies felt too black and white and with that a bit like cardboard people. Sad really, cause I think this could have been so avoided.

No matter, this is a great end to a fun New Adult series. I can only recommend it to lovers of the genre and fans of Aguirre.
By the way this end of this left me with the question: Will Aguirre write a book about Michael? 
I seriously hope so, if not, I for one vote that she must keep writing contemporary books as well as her fantasy. I am for sure going to keep reading them.


Rating: 


ARC was provided by Publishers through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review



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Monday, November 24, 2014

Review: Cinder & Ella by Kelly Oram


Cinder & Ella

Author: Kelly Oram
Publisher: Bluefields
Pages: 269 pages
Genre: Young Adult
Release Date: October 1st 2014



Summary:

It’s been almost a year since eighteen-year-old Ella Rodriguez was in a car accident that left her crippled, scarred, and without a mother. After a very difficult recovery, she’s been uprooted across the country and forced into the custody of a father that abandoned her when she was a young child. If Ella wants to escape her father’s home and her awful new stepfamily, she must convince her doctors that she’s capable, both physically and emotionally, of living on her own. The problem is, she’s not ready yet. The only way she can think of to start healing is by reconnecting with the one person left in the world who’s ever meant anything to her—her anonymous Internet best friend, Cinder.

Hollywood sensation Brian Oliver has a reputation for being trouble. There’s major buzz around his performance in his upcoming film The Druid Prince, but his management team says he won’t make the transition from teen heartthrob to serious A-list actor unless he can prove he’s left his wild days behind and become a mature adult. In order to douse the flames on Brian’s bad-boy reputation, his management stages a fake engagement for him to his co-star Kaylee. Brian isn’t thrilled with the arrangement—or his fake fiancĂ©e—but decides he’ll suffer through it if it means he’ll get an Oscar nomination. Then a surprise email from an old Internet friend changes everything.




Review:


I’m always so happy when a book that I expect to be average turns out to be one of the best I’ve read in a long time… and especially when I’ve been in such a terrible, never-ending book slump.

I remember that a couple of months back my book friends were raving about Cinder & Ella. I would have added the book to my TBR pile right then if not for my skepticism for the author. As it turns out, this book has all the elements that I completely adore in a book. But before I go all gaga over my love for the story and the characters, I’ll just give you a brief synopsis of what to expect in this lovely, feel-good, fluffy romance.

As the blurb promises, we have Ella and Cinder, two internet book buddies (BOOK BUDDIES YOU GUYS! LIKE US!! YAASSSS!) who share their love for a book series called the Druid Chronicles and are secretly in love with each other. Everything is good in their lives, till one day Ella has a horrible accident and loses almost everything. Cinder, knowing nothing about Ella’s real life, even her actual name, doesn’t know what to believe other than thinking her dead after her sudden disappearance. While Ella is hospitalized and recovering, trying to get a grip on her life that’s turned upside down, Cinder (a.k.a Brian) is getting all the media attention as the next “it” thing in Hollywood. They find each other again after months and realize that their feelings for each other are stronger than before; but… if only relationships in real life were as easy as the online ones…

So as the story goes, the title hints towards this being a rendition of Cinderella, and I won’t deny that it does have few Cinderella-sque moments, but the plot is so much more than a girl getting married to a Prince after one fine night at a ball! We have a female MC who has been through shit and has been treated like shit but unlike Cinderella, she doesn’t sit and weep in a corner waiting for a fairy godmother to fix it. She stands back, calls people out on their BS and doesn’t act rebellious or nasty for no reason. The story isn’t just about evil step mothers, step sisters and an aloof dad either. It also focuses on the strained relationships between the MC and her step family and as the story progresses, we see each relationship strengthen and witness the MC accept and begin to appreciate the importance of her new family and friends. But among all this, for me, the romance steals away the spotlight. The relationship that Ella and Cinder shared was beautiful and made me completely fall in love with this book. It was their friendship, their banter, their attraction, the way they understood each other, made each other happy, just about everything, that made their romance magical.

*happy sigh*


Anyway, the other thing I adore about this book, are the main characters. Ella is one of the most relatable and likable female characters that I’ve come across amidst all the angst ridden, snowflake, bimbo head cases we have as protagonists. As for Cinder, he is one of those characters you roll your eyes at but still really like. He uses cheesy lines, is a flirt, uses “woman!!” to address Ella way more than I like, treats Kaylee like shit (but she was a spoiled brat so I didn’t really mind) but is also a fellow book reader who follows bloggers, is passionate about his career and takes it seriously, (did I mention he reads books and gets into discussions about it?), is a celebrity with super-hot looks and is so in love with Ella that it just made me grin like a goof and like him more.

As for the other characters, well, Ella’s dad was an ass for majority of the book. The reasons he gave in the end gave me a better perspective on why he left Ella and her mom, but the way he reacted in certain instances just made me want to smack some sense into him. Ella’s principal and shrink were the worst actually. I think I disliked them even more than Ana. So get this, Ella’s shrink, who is supposed to help Ella, actually threatens to put her in a mental hospital because of her not socializing in school.

……
………….
Anyway, that’s one crazy shrink. The other douchebag we have in the story is Ella’s principal. He thinks that Ella should be in a school for the disabled because she is scarred and limps. That guy actually had the balls to say that he wasn’t responsible for students bullying Ella because she seemed to invite trouble. Like, why is this man even running the school?

Apart from them, Juliette, Vivian and Rob were pretty cool. Even though I highly doubt the existence of guys like Rob.

All in all, this book was really fluffy and full of drama till the end. It entertained me a hell lot and had me feeling all sorts of warm fuzzies by the time I was finishing it. That hasn’t happened in a very very long time.

So, 5 stars for Cinder-Ella awesomeoness alone!


Rating: 






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Friday, November 21, 2014

Review: Grim



Grim 




Author: Anthology
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: Kindle Edition, 480 pages
Genre: February 25th 2014
Release Date: Young Adult



Summary:

Inspired by classic fairy tales, but with a dark and sinister twist, Grim contains short stories from some of the best voices in young adult literature today:

Ellen Hopkins
Amanda Hocking
Julie Kagawa
Claudia Gray
Rachel Hawkins
Kimberly Derting
Myra McEntire
Malinda Lo
Sarah Rees-Brennan
Jackson Pearce
Christine Johnson
Jeri Smith Ready
Shaun David Hutchinson
Saundra Mitchell
Sonia Gensler
Tessa Gratton
Jon Skrovon



Review:

This took me only 10months to read... well, I read at first one story a week... wrote reviews for each.. then I kinda put it aside and never got back into it. Till one day - well today actually - I decided that this was ridiculous and I read the entire thing in one go.

So why did it take me this long?!

I love anthologies. I have a fondness for short stories. They like the little treat in-between, the unexpected surprise in the middle of a work day.
Still I found this difficult to get through.
I think part of the problem was that I did this the wrong way and the other I have this in the wrong format.
I strongly recommend others to get a hardcopy of this. Because in my opinion this should be a coffee table book. It does look pretty enough for starters. But also as I said, when you relaxing and feel like a tidbit of reading this might be your mini-fix. If this would be the case my other advise flip the book open and read the stories randomly at your on pleasure.
So since I don't have an hardcopy and I got the ARC of this, I found myself never doing said procedure, which is a huge part why this took me so long.
The other reason was simply I set myself a too high goal writing a review for each and every short story- meant I didn't pick this up because I had no time to review it straight after... simply to ambitious of me

Now the book itself has some seriously good stories in them and some that I didn't like.
Since this is written by different authors this was to be expected.
I actually should confess that I am always always really skeptical when there is a fairytale retelling involved. Because frankly when Disney went a called a movie Rapunzel that had absolutely nothing AT ALL to do with the original fairytale - which happened to be on of my favorites when I was a child, by the way- I was beyond disappointed. I could simply not like the film. So now I am always always wary.
And while Grim is really fabulously done, I am still not convinced it is my favorite genre. I think I prefer new stories... or maybe I just grew out of fairytales? Who knows?
Still this a great gift for lovers of anthologies, the genre and books.
And in fact I shall procure a hardcopy for those cold days in front of the fire when I feel like a little treat

Rating: 




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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Blog Tour: No Weddings by Kat Bastion with Stone Bastion



NO WEDDINGS


Authors : Kat and Stone Bastion
Genre: Contemporary Romance





No Weddings

Summary:
Award-winning author Kat Bastion teams with her husband, Stone Bastion, in this first book in the No Weddings Series about Cade Michaelson, a successful man with his sights set on a new venture in business, and Hannah Martin, the woman who makes it personal.

I think I have my act together as a successful bar owner, my master’s degree within reach, and a list of no-strings-attached women warming my bed. Turns out, I don’t.

Hannah believes she has safeguarded her wounded heart by shunning men and focusing on her new baking business. The thing is, she hasn’t.

When my three sisters and I form an event-planning business with Hannah as our baker, I have no idea how my life is about to change. As Hannah and I work closely together, the attraction between us becomes irresistible. And complicated. I’ve promised my sisters I wouldn’t mix business with pleasure. But I’ve never been one to follow the rules.

Rating: 





One Funeral

Chosen by FreshFiction.com as their Fresh Pick for October 7, 2014
Summary:

The stakes climb higher in this second book in the No Weddings Series for Hannah Martin, a woman restrained by her past, and Cade Michaelson, the man who could help set her free.

I’m drawn to Cade as he charms his way into more of my life and offers me something I truly haven’t ever had: a friend. Yet his humor, patience, and drop-dead sexiness take my breath away, and I know my heart is at risk. I want to move forward but am terrified I can’t.

Cade seems to have it together from his own devastating heartache. His subtle actions, however, suggest a different story. And even though he says he wants more, I wonder if he’s able to trust in our developing relationship.

As we navigate through our tangled feelings, we vow to take it slow. Yet no matter how careful we try to be, things between us intensify—and there’s nothing we can do, or want to do, to stop it.

But the biggest question remains: Is chemistry enough to move beyond the past and toward a future together?


Review
Rating: 





Two Bar Mitzvahs

Summary:

Summer heats up in this third book in the No Weddings Series, where Cade Michaelson strives to balance his and Hannah Martin’s new relationship with the growing demands of his financial success.

Waiting for Hannah has been the best and worst kind of torture. Now I can claim her as mine. We believe we’re done with the past and can move forward together.

Hannah grows stronger than ever as she trusts in me—trusts in us. And when obstacles appear, she shows a surprising fierceness that rivals my own.

However, all is not perfect in paradise. Things get chaotic while I try to juggle multiple businesses, an ex from hell, and a girlfriend I’d do anything to keep. And in the middle of the whirlwind, I recklessly think I can handle everything.

But when all the madness is over, will I have everything I want—will I still have Hannah?


Review 
Rating: 






Three Christmases

Summary:

As the holiday season approaches in this fourth book in the No Weddings Series, Cade Michaelson strives to be better at balancing work and love, and Hannah Martin’s growing ability to trust is put to the test.



Lust and friendship brought us together, but with the increasing demands of my two businesses, Hannah’s thriving bakery, and our successful event-planning company, stability becomes my focus.

Then a once-in-a-lifetime career opportunity takes me to the West Coast, and everything goes into a tailspin.

Laughter, love, and excitement fill our lives, but Cade refuses to settle into the wonderful bliss we’ve found—he wants spectacular fireworks and an unshakable foundation. Driven like no one I’ve ever met, Cade insists a dream job across the country will be better for our future together, but I worry about whether we can survive the present apart.

When intimate time diminishes…and lives get more hectic…

Will a little bit of faith be all that it takes? Or will the sacrifice to get there be too great?
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Review
Rating: 


Review:

I was pondering which ones of the books to review today and as I was pondering about it I came to the conclusion that I will review the series as a whole. If you want to read the reviews I've written to a specific book you can click at the respective link and find it on Goodreads.

Before you read on: *warning there are some mild spoilers*

The writing style of this, is clearly up my alley. I would have never read four books if it wasn't. But the prose is really beautiful at times and really witty.  And let me tell,  while you gotta wait two full books to get to the smut. It is well worth it. The smutt throughout is seriously hot. And we not talking about the same thing over and over, nope the Bastion's managed to keep it interesting and surprising- and sizzling over the series.

The character building of the two MCs is fantastic. I mean FANTASTIC. I feel like I know Cade and Hannah, understand them and most importantly I totally can related to them.
See I'm one of those No-Wedding-Commitophobes, who ended up married to a guy, who like me, works a lot, running his own business, we also both do help with charity events... and we both travel a lot for work- the best part, I wore green to my non-wedding. So somehow this clicked with me on a personal level, but the characters became real because the character building was done precise and thought through. We talking down to minimal details. I know these two, I feel like I spent a year with them, seen them grow and change.

The story line is the biggest surprise in some ways. At times a wee bit too cliche and fantastical for me, at others too long wound and slow paced, it did keep my attention and more importantly this is not the story of the everlasting one and only that was discovered by one glance - insta-lust and love are nowhere to be seen. THANK FUCK! To quote Cade. No this is a story of two people who after first attraction become friends and then more and more. It is beautiful. And looking back, it's one hell of a satisfying journey.

The best and my favorite part is definitely: CADE. *sigh*
And then there are the little details that the Bastions added to Cade and Hannah's relations ship. The three dots, utility closets, smocking marsh mallows, burlap sack and many many more.
This is what makes this a really unique series- a great series for lovers of the genre. If you are however looking for insta-fix you might wanna move on, or which is what I would suggest, reconsider. The long wait to the fluffy happiness that the end provides is well worth it in my opinion.

I still wanna ask the Bastion's  questions... I got a few that were unanswered, since book one.  Like; how does one co-author a novel but also; how much of this is autobiographical? And; How did they meet?
Well just to mention a few...

There are a couple of things I need to discus as well.

First: washing chicken? REALLY?! I am sorry but this is just a no-no... at least where I trained it was. And I did actually ask AJ if maybe I got old fashioned views on the chicken thing--- he trained in the Bristol, Paris and worked for Ebulli, Barcelone, he also trained me and is still working as a chef--- he was very quite for a minute. Then he said: "Please tell me, you're not consider doing it? I would have to disassociate myself from you professionally and possibly privately as well..."
I guess there is my answer.

Second: Wasn't bad, although nothing beat a cup of reliable Starbucks in the company of Hanna

I don't know what to say.... does Cade mean any coffee with Hanna beats the italian blend he was drinking? OR shock-and-horror that Starbucks coffee beats the italian? Well, since I haven't had the italian, I couldn't really comment on it, except there is the word RELIABLE..
So let me just say the worst coffee I ever had in my entire life was at BEA'14- it was from Starbucks.
And that is quite a feat. I drink a lot of coffee, I mean A LOT. At least 2 cups a day, but more like 5 a day. AND if we wanna talk good coffee? NOT Starbucks. It should be a micro roaster to start with...
but I shall shut up before I go on a coffee tangine, not only do I adore coffee and drink buckets of it, Mr. O has a micro-roastery... so yeah. *zips her mouth*

Despite my two rants, I did love the food writing. I am kinda passionate about it- you might have noticed. ;)


So: a must read for lovers of the genre!
And I for one hope that there will be more in the future from the fabulous Stones.





Rating: 




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About the Authors:

Shoe and Boot PhotoAward-winning and bestselling romance author Kat Bastion has teamed up with her husband Stone Bastion to create the new contemporary romance series No Weddings.

A few factoids about the writing team…

Kat enjoys her chocolate rich and dark, her music edgy and soul-filling, and her vacations exotic with toes dug into the sand. And she’s wildly, madly, deeply in love with Stone.

Stone likes pounding the trails on a mountain bike, vibrating the sound system with rock music, and down time spent on a stand up paddleboard. And he loves Kat wildly, madly, deeply…and then some.

Together, they’re having a blast bringing fun-filled romantic stories to life and hope you’ll join them in the exciting adventure.

Kat’s first published work, Utterly Loved, was a twentieth anniversary gift of love poems to Stone that they decided to share with the world to benefit charity. Net proceeds from Utterly Loved, and a portion of net proceeds from all their books, go toward charities involved in the fight against human trafficking.

Kat and Stone live amid the beautiful Sonoran Desert of Arizona. Visit their blog at www.talktotheshoe.com, website at www.katbastion.com, and their Twitter accounts at https://twitter.com/KatBastion and https://twitter.com/StoneBastion for more information.

Keep informed about new releases by joining their Email Subscription list.

Enter Kat and Stone's Giveaway!!


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Quotes



A connection flared stronger there. Some unnamable bond, fragile new, had begun to form between us, and it had flickered to life long before she'd created a mural of every tattered heart's emotions exploded in a million pieces. Only now, I realized something very important- she knew devastating heartache too.
No Weddings

Love is a complete and utter disaster. But even with all the heartache, we have to believe there is joy.
No Weddings

Real love is messy. It's fights, but more about making up. It's pulling apart to find our own paths, but running together and holding on tight, refusing to let go. Love is the calm in the middle of the storm.
No Weddings

Why was I so black and white when it came to my heart? As I sat there, held by someone who had been there and survived, I remembered why. And accepted it. I'd buried my emotions behind a wall of steel because I hadn't been ready. I didn't want to trust that it would never happen again. And... it had hurt like a motherfucking bitch.
No Weddings

Well, that made two of us, because in the next breath after saying how noncommittal I was, I felt drawn toward her in a way I hadn't with anyone in a long time. And it scared the shit out of me.
No Weddings

In the history of dating, I'd be willing to bet no man has ever made an appointment for sex and a musical on the third date.
No Weddings

We've come a long way in a couple of months after burning bad memories of our past, in this very backyard, to give us a chance at a future together. And now here we are.
Two Bar Mitzvahs

I'm shocked at you, Maestro. Who are you, and what have you done with Hannah?
She's gone camping!
Two Bar Mitzvahs

And so, safe in our campsite in the middle of the Pocono Mountains, beside the only person in the world I wanted to be with, we watched our poor innocent marshmallows give up tendrils of smoke in surrender right before they burst into flames
Two Bar Mitzvahs

I'm a guy; we go there. Not gonna feel guilty about it. 
Two Bar Mitzvahs

Little sandwiches - food no grown man would touch unless nothing else existed - were arranged on a tower of connected silver platters
Two Bar Mitzvahs

...beer, of the all-is-right-in-the-world variety
Two Bar Mitzvahs

I leaned over to my comrade in normalcy. "Wanna see if they have a supply closet?"
Two Bar Mitzvahs

Kikki grabbed another miniature sandwich. It was her fourth; I'd been counting. 
And still, when you added hem all together, it didn't equal a whole sandwich
Two Bar Mitzvahs

Shaking my head, I set my nearly empty bottle down. "Captive audience, outrages rates, and low nutrition.  Keep the members brain-dead, and they'll keep spending money.
Two Bar Mitzvahs

"Are you two coming?"Kendal popped her head around the corner. No. But we'd like to be.
Two Bar Mitzvahs

I needed what she provided: grounding, understanding, comfort. To be lost and found - with her. 
Two Bar Mitzvahs

There aren't enough words to describe what you do to me, for me. Every day, I wake thinking about how I can make you smile, cause your laugh. I know I love you because of the things I want to learn about you, endless ways I want to touch your body, your heart. There are so many adventures I want to take you one, experiences I want to have with you- just to live in that moment with you.
Two Bar Mitzvahs

Where did those annoyed looks originate, anyway? Women must've patented the damned thing and gifted the ability to each other when men weren't paying attention.
Two Bar Mitzvahs

Wasn't bad, although nothing beat a cup of reliable Starbucks in the company of Hanna
Two Bar Mitzvahs

I gripped my coffee mug like an anti-puke lifeline and raised it up in front of my face in self-defense. 
Two Bar Mitzvahs

Fuck. Do all women have an ingrained ability to remember old resolved screw-up to recycle at a later date?
Two Bar Mitzvahs

Intimacy doesn't take a lot of time, but you have to make the time. You can't work long hours, days at the time, only keeping the prize at the end. A healthy relationship meeds constant attention, daily, even if just a few moments to connect. Like a pot on the stove - you want to keep it on simmer so it doesn't boil over.
Two Bar Mitzvahs

"The next time I run. And there will be a next time; I am going to run- this we've established." She paused, and the corners of my lips twitched as I fought a smile. Her hand squeezed my knee. 
"You have to chase me. I'm so fucked up when I'm lost in the middle of a panic attack, I don't think. You have to think for me. Chase after me. Always fight for us, even when I can't" Her voice fell to a pleading whisper, her tears spilling over onto her cheeks. "Promise me."
Two Bar Mitzvahs

"That's why I came back."Laughing, she tilted her head."My soaking wet kiss?" I tapped her nose. "Nope."I arched a brow. "Although I do like you wet..."She shoved at my chest with little force. "Neanderthal."
Two Bar Mitzvahs

I could've done a meadow of cupcakes and run naked through them. But I bake for shit, and arrested for streaking seemed like the wrong message
Two Bar Mitzvahs

"Did you just smell me?""Mmm-hmm. You smell amazing, spicy male."Glad you like my sweat."
Three Christmases

But I held back, dimply aware the authorities frowned upon standing sex in the middle of an airport terminal. 
Three Christmases

I flipped him off. Hey, I missed the crazy fucker. Had to show him some reunion love.
Three Christmases

"Damn, I missed the fuck out of you"
"Any other swear words you'd like to fit into that sentence?"
"No"
Three Christmases

A lazy smile curved his lips in concert with mine. Words weren't necessary. He knew. After all we'd been through, he spoke my language.
Three Christmases

"Perfection."I grinned. "And the chicken's damn good too.""

He knew. I knew. And we both knew the other knew. The impasse between us was like a drug.
Three Christmases

"Yeah,"he murmured against my skin. "Do I love having sex with you? Fuck yeah, I do. Making you laugh or throw cupcakes at my head? Yes. And yes. But the quiet after, when all we need is to lie together, touch. Absolute favorite time."
Three Christmases

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