Archive

BOOK REVIEW + GIVEAWAY – Run Away With Me (Come Back to Me #3) by Mila Gray

BOOK REVIEW + GIVEAWAY – Run Away With Me (Come Back to Me #3) by Mila Gray

Run Away With Me was a beautiful story that I fell madly in love with. So check out my 4.5 Star Review below and enter a fabulous giveaway to win all three of Mila Gray’s books (I’ve loved every single one of her books btw!). Enjoy!

BOOK REVIEW + GIVEAWAY – Run Away With Me (Come Back to Me #3) by Mila GrayRun Away With Me (Come Back to Me #3)
by Mila Gray
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Emerson Lowe and popular ice-hockey player Jake McCallister have been best friends since third grade but as their friendship starts to morph into something more a terrible event occurs that heralds the end of innocence for both of them.

Within a week, Jake’s living on the other side of the country and Emerson is left alone to pick up the pieces of her life in a small town determined to paint her as a liar.

Seven years later, Emerson is still living on the beautiful Pacific West island of Bainbridge, helping run her family’s business. The last thing she needs is Jake turning up, bringing with him old memories and opening up old wounds. But Jake—even better looking than Emerson remembers—seems determined to revive their friendship no matter how much Emerson tries to push him away.

Forced to work alongside him for the summer Emerson can’t help but fall for Jake, and soon they’re in the midst of a passionate romance that neither of them wants to end.

But both Emerson and Jake know that if they’re to have any kind of future they must first confront the past—a past that most people want to stay buried.

Review:

Mila Gray has become one of my favorite authors because her books contain emotional stories and the characters always find a way into my heart.  I know without a shadow of a doubt that each time I pick up one of her books that I’ll laugh, cry, sigh and fall in love.  And that’s exactly what happened when I read this friends to lovers romance.  Run Away With Me was a beautiful story that was filled with hope, friendship, family and love.  

I look up and meet Jake’s eyes. A hot sun rises in my chest. I quickly smother it to ash. – Em

Emerson Lowe and Jake McCallister had been best of friends since third grade.  But just when their friendship started to turn into more, something horrific happened – trigger warning for View Spoiler ».  It left Em’s life in shambles and Jake moved away with his family.  He left right when she needed him the most.  Yet seven years later, he came back.  And that’s where the story begins.  I loved that all of Em’s hurt, betrayal and pain was laid out on the table for us to see.  And I understood why she was cold and distant to Jake.  But Jake was beyond persistent and he wasn’t going to leave her ever again.

I’ve prayed for other things too. Lots of things. The universe never listened. My prayers were never answered.
Until now.
Jake came back. – Em

As the story unfolded, we slowly got glimpses into their past.  We got to see how they were the bestest of friends.  And we watched as their friendship started to turn into something more.  Those moments were so sweet and adorable.  But then we also got to witness the horror unfold, along with the aftermath.  And that gutted me to the core.  But having those moments from their past, interlaced throughout the story, added so much depth to who Em and Jake were.  It was beautifully and seamlessly done, and it helped me feel as though I knew the both of them inside out.

As stupid as it sounds, even when she was six years old and I was seven and we were playing Star Wars in my backyard I never wanted to play Luke. I always wanted to be Han to her Leia. – Jake

Run Away With Me was told in alternating views between Em and Jake.  And while it felt a little jarring it first, I ended up loving how it was told.  It was if I was right there with them, feeling everything that they were feeling.  And while Em felt like a bff, I loved listening and watching everything Jake did.  I fell incredibly hard for him.  He was such a kind hearted, good man who was also at times fierce and protective.  So of course I found myself rooting for everything I had for Em to accept the friendship Jake was offering to her.

“I wanted to, you know,”he says quietly.
“Wanted to what?”I ask, my voice hoarse.
“Come back.”

While there were so many moments that had me laughing and sighing out loud, this book does have a strong emotional side to it too.  I found my heart shattered again and again.  There were quite a few times that I found myself sobbing, and I just couldn’t stop.  And once I got to that point, it felt as though my emotions were always on the edge, waiting to tumble-down into an abyss.  But then something would happen that would pull me back into the light and my heart would beat with joy again.  This is definitely an emotional book, that was also filled with drama and angst, and I loved every minute of it!

“You remember you said you didn’t want to be friends?” he says.
I nod, unable to find my voice.
He licks his lips and swallows. “Well, I don’t want to be friends with you either . I want more.” He’s looking directly in my eyes as he speaks.
Slowly, I let out the breath I’m holding. Everything inside me is vibrating as if my body is a note on a piano that’s just been struck.
“And I think you do too,” he says next.
My breath becomes jagged and uneven.
“Tell me if I’m wrong.”

Run Away With Me was a touching story that I absolutely loved.  It was rounded out with fabulous friends and a home life and parents that also pulled at my heart.  So if you love a sexy friends to lovers romance, or a story that will pull at your heartstrings, then definitely give Run Away With Me or Mila Gray’s other books a try.  I hope you love them just as much as I do!

PS Each of these books can be read as a standalone.

*ARC kindly provided by Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / iBooks

Excerpt:
I hear a voice behind me.

‘Need some help with that?’

I spin around.

It takes a couple of seconds for my brain to confirm that it’s actually him. That it’s actually Jake McCallister standing in front of me and not a hallucination. My heart does this fierce smash and rebound against my ribs as though it’s been violently woken from hibernation. I draw in a breath so big it feels like my lungs might explode, as if all that air is filling a vacuum and I’ll never be able to let it out again.

I hate this feeling. Hate the way the adrenaline floods my blood stream and tears sting my eyes. Hate the way my body reacts in a thousand contradictory ways at the sight of him, as though someone has plugged me into a wrong socket and fried all my synapses.

I have an impulse to throw myself at him but I’m not sure if it’s because I want to hug him or beat the living crap out of him. I drop the kayak, my hands fisting automatically at my sides.

I watch the smile on his lips fade when he notices the set of my jaw. His expression had started off wary but now I see him swallow and press his lips together, something he always does when he’s nervous.

I take note of that and at the same time notice a dozen other tiny, insignificant, monumental details about this new old Jake. I see the faded white scar on his chin—the one I gave him and the new scar cutting across his eyebrow. Then there’s his height – we were always the same height but now he’s tall. . . much taller than me. His dark brown hair is the same, though – unruly, untamed, falling in his eyes. He’s looking at me with the same mix of uncertainty that he looked at me the very last time I saw him.

I glance away, down at the sand. My whole body is shaking and I can’t seem to get it under control.

‘Em?’ I hear him say.

My head flies up before I can stop it. No one calls me that any more. His voice is deeper, mellower. The inflection though when he says my name is still just the same… and instantly something inside me starts coming undone. Jake always used to say my name like it belonged to him, and only him.

About Mila Gray:

Mila Gray is the pen name for Sarah Alderson, author of Hunting Lila, Losing Lila, The Sound, Fated and Out of Control.

Originally from London she has lived in Bali for the last four years with her husband and daughter.

As well as writing young adult fiction under the name Sarah Alderson and adult fiction under the name Mila Gray, she also writes screenplays.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

BOOK REVIEW – Stay With Me (Come Back to Me #2) by Mila Gray

BOOK REVIEW –  Stay With Me (Come Back to Me #2) by Mila GrayStay With Me (Come Back to Me #2)
by Mila Gray
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

From the author of Come Back to Me comes a heartwrenching novel about a forbidden romance, a wounded marine, and the girl who’s determined to save him.

Didi Monroe has waited her whole life for happily ever after. So when charming Zac Ridgemont sweeps her off her feet, Didi believes she might finally have met the one.

Until she begins an internship at a military hospital in California. There she meets wounded marine Noel Walker. Frustrated on the outside and broken on the inside, Walker’s an irritating patient who refuses any care, keeping his distance from everything and everyone—including Didi.

Walker is strictly out of bounds. Didi knows this, respects this, but the more she tries to help Walker the closer the two grow. Soon neither one can ignore the sparks flying between them as their attraction simmers into dangerous territory.

But Walker doesn’t believe in love or happily ever after—not after what he’s seen. Not after what he’s been through. He doesn’t want to hurt Didi, but he doesn’t want to push her away either. She makes him feel peaceful. Hopeful, even.

Then tragedy hits, shattering both their worlds, and Didi realizes that love isn’t as simple as happily ever after. Love isn’t easy. It’s difficult. Messy. Complicated.

Now all Didi has to do is decide if it’s worth fighting for.

Review:

Stay With Me was an emotionally, beautiful story that will stay in my heart for a long time to come!  While there are many reasons I fell hard for this book, it ultimately boiled down to two things.  The characters and the sexual tension.  The characters easily worked their way into my emotions.  I couldn’t help but feel everything they did.  And the sexual tension and angst left me longing to read the pages as fast as possible while also slowing down so I could savor every sexy moment.  So yes, I definitely recommend this book, and I can’t wait for you to meet Walker and Didi!  But before I go any further, I want you to know that this book can be read as a standalone.  Although I love and highly recommend the first book too (Come Back To Me), it was about Didi’s best friend Jessa.  

Everything can change in a heartbeat. – Didi

Didi Monroe ends up taking an internship at a medical facility on a Marine Base, since she’s a trainee psychologist.  She’s the bosses daughter and knows that it won’t be easy, but she didn’t expect her first day to be a total nightmare.  And part of that nightmare has to deal with her run in with Grumpy aka Noel Walker.  Walker was part of the Alpha Team and was one of the youngest Lieutenants in the Marine Core.  But the majority of his team died while he was left blind with a knee injury.  

The goddamn darkness. I can’t get away from it. It’s like being slowly buried alive. Every day another shovelful of dirt gets thrown on top of me. – Walker

Walker didn’t even want to talk to Didi.  But as her daily visits added up, he started to warm up to her.  Slowly over time start they formed a friendship, yet it’s not that simple.  You see when Didi and Walker are around each other, there’s an underlying sexual tension that is through the roof scorching hot!  Their moments together had me holding my breath, because the electricity between them was mind-blowing intense.  It couldn’t be ignored.  And anyone around them saw it too.  There is a shaving scene and many, many others that you must read.  Those moments contain the perfect amount of sexual tension and angst!  I absolutely love when angst is done in such a fabulous way that I can’t help but have my emotions on edge.  

His hand nudges closer across the bed. I move my own hand to meet his. Our fingertips brush— that’s all. But it feels like I’ve just leaped across a line, smashing every last boundary that lay in the way. – Didi

Underneath Walker’s gruff exterior, he is suffering from PTSD.  Watching him struggle through the flashbacks, mood swings and nightmares shattered my heart into a billion tiny pieces.  Yet Didi’s friendship starts to help, although they have a lot of obstacles in their way.  She isn’t allowed to have relationships, let alone even be friends, with patients.  And he doesn’t want to tie anyone down, since he is blind.  But the connection between the two of them, even when they were talking about something as simple as music and movies, moved me.  It was pure and so real.

What are the scars on the inside like? Are they just as bad? And how do you heal those ones when you can’t even see them? – Didi

The story was rounded out with side characters that I absolutely loved!  Sanchez and Dodd were wounded Marines who were at the same facility as Walker.  They added moments of laughter and moments of heartbreak.  I became just invested in them, and I hoped they would get their happily ever after too.  And I loved the friendship they not only had with Walker, but with Didi too.  They saw that Didi had this huge heart and good head on her shoulders.  I loved that she tried her hardest to help others and find good in the world.  While some of her choices, cough Zach cough, made me shake my head, it made her that much more human.  She had flaws, just like we all do, and it made me love her that much more!

There’s another pause before he asks, “What color’s the sky?”
I smile, but at the same time I feel a sharp tug in my heart. What must it be like to know you might never see the sky again, or colors?
I look upward. “It’s blistering blue. Swimming-pool blue. Like someone’s poured chlorine into it.”
“Is chlorine blue?” he asks.
I laugh. “Actually, I have no idea. But the sky is very blue today. And there’s not a single cloud.”
He tilts his face up to the sun and I find myself staring at him, at the hard line of his jaw and the soft curve of his mouth. I look quickly away.

So yes, I definitely recommend this book!  Especially if you love tortured males and slow burn romances!  Although I will say that I wish this story had an epilogue.  There was an epilogue in Come Back To Me, the book about Didi’s best friend, and it was absolutely perfect.  So I wish Did got one too, since I had a few questions about the future.  But then again, I’m an epilogue junkie.  But regardless, I can’t wait for you to read Didi and Walker’s story!

*ARC kindly provided by author in exchange for an honest review*

 

Reading Order & Links:
Amazon (click on covers), iBooks (click on titles) & Book Depository (click on book #)
***Each book can be read as a standalone.***
Come back to me mila gray
Come Back To Me #1
Reviews:

Jen
stay-with-me-mila-gray
Stay With Me #2
Reviews:

Jen

 

About Mila Gray:

Mila Gray is a pen name for Sarah Alderson, author of Hunting Lila (winner of the Kingston Book Award), Losing Lila, Fated, The Sound, Out of Control and Conspiracy Girl (all Simon & Schuster).
Having spent most of her life in London, Sarah quit her job in 2009 and took off on a round the world trip with her husband and daughter on a mission to find a new place to call home (a journey that was documented on this blog and later turned into a book).
As well as writing young adult novels and screenplays, Sarah also writes adult fiction for Pan Macmillan (Simon & Schuster in the US) under the top secret pen name Mila Gray.
Find out more here: 

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

BOOK REVIEW + EXCERPT + GIVEAWAY – Come Back to Me (Come Back to Me #1) by Mila Gray

BOOK REVIEW + EXCERPT + GIVEAWAY – Come Back to Me (Come Back to Me #1) by Mila Gray

I am so ecstatic to be a part of this tour! Come Back to Me became one of my favorite books of the year! So check out my gushing 5 Star review below, read an excerpt, and enter the giveaway where we at Star-Crossed Book Blog get to give away one copy of Come Back to Me, yay! Enjoy!

BOOK REVIEW + EXCERPT + GIVEAWAY – Come Back to Me (Come Back to Me #1) by Mila GrayCome Back to Me (Come Back to Me #1)
by Mila Gray
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

In this heart-wrenching tale of love and loss, a young Marine and his best friend’s sister plunge into a forbidden love affair while he’s home on leave.

When a Marine Chaplain knocks on her door, Jessa’s heart breaks—someone she loves is dead. Killed in action, but is it Riley or Kit? Her brother or her boyfriend…

Three months earlier, Marine Kit Ryan finds himself back home on leave and dangerously drawn to his best friend Riley’s sister, Jessa—the one girl he can’t have. Exhausted from fighting his feelings, Kit finally gives in, and Jessa isn’t strong enough to resist diving headfirst into a passionate relationship.

But what was just supposed to be a summer romance develops into something far greater than either of them expected. Jessa’s finally found the man of her dreams and Kit’s finally discovered there’s someone he’d sacrifice everything for.

When it’s time for Kit to redeploy, neither one is ready to say goodbye. Jessa vows to wait for him and Kit promises to come home to her. No matter what.

But as Jessa stands waiting for the Marine Chaplain to break her heart, she can’t help but feel that Kit has broken his promise…

Riley or Kit? Kit or Riley? Her brother or her boyfriend? Who’s coming home to her?

Review:

Come Back to Me started off with a burst of emotion, and then slowly started to enrapture my heart.  Before I knew it, I was in the midst of an emotional powerhouse that floored me.  I can happily say that this is one of my favorite books of the year.  And that’s saying a lot, since we are currently in December.  But once you start to see how breathtaking, emotional, butterfly inducing and entirely addicting Come Back to Me is, then it becomes clear why I loved every minute of this story!

Jessa and Kit’s story is one about falling in love for the first time, and it made me squeal while grinning like a love sick girl! I felt their uncertainty of moving from friends into something more.  Excitement rushed into my stomach from their first kiss and the start of little touches here and there.  And I loved the anticipation, while they bantered, about taking their relationship to an even more intimate level.  It easily transported me back to my teenage years and my experiences, which made Come Back to Me even more enticing!

It all started because Jessa and her brother’s best friend, Kit, can’t ignore the electricity between them anymore.  Jessa’s brother, Riley, has been friends with Kit for years.  He even enlisted into the Marines right along with Kit.  But neither Jessa or Kit acted on their emotions or thoughts before this moment.  Now they only have one month together before Kit is deployed back overseas with Jessa’s brother, Riley.  And once deployment happens, either Kit or Riley won’t be coming back home to her.

While Come Back to Me was filled with cliches, honestly that’s a moot point.  Because the direction those cliches were taken made it impossible to knock the grin off of my face or stop the laughter that kept escaping my mouth.  This book was so much fun!  But, can I add a but?  In the midst of all of my giddiness, we catch back up with that first chapter.  The one where Jessa is about to learn which of the men she loves is coming back to her.  And I sobbed.  Yes I cry while reading, but nothing like this.  Gut wrenching, heart crushing, ugly sobbing exploded from me, and there was no stopping it.  I became that emotionally invested.  But have faith, because by that last page my heart somehow pieced itself back together, and I closed the book with a smile.

Each person I met was memorable.  Kit was adorably sweet and thoughtful with his words and gestures.  I seriously wanted to steal him out of this book!  Jessa had this happy, beautiful, free side to her despite having a controlling nightmare of a father who suffers from PTSD and a mother who idly stands by.  To Riley and how his situation and mannerisms wormed their way into my heart.  To even Didi, who was Jessa’s faithful best friend, whose book is next in line and I can’t wait to read!  I felt something for everyone that tumbled throughout the pages.  So if you love a swoon worthy story about falling in love for the first time, then I have a feeling that you’ll become captivated by this sweet, sexy, adorable story just like I was!

*ARC kindly provided by Simon Pulse via Fantastic Flying Book Club Tours in exchange for an honest review*

 

Reading Order & Links:
Amazon (click on covers), iBooks (click on titles) & Book Depository (click on book #)
***Each book can be read as a standalone.***
Come back to me mila gray
Come Back To Me #1
Reviews:

Jen
stay-with-me-mila-gray
Stay With Me #2
Reviews:

Jen
Order Come Back to Me:
 photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg
Excerpt:
Chapter 1
Jessa
A whorl in the glass distorts the picture, like a thumbprint smear over a lens. I’m halfway down the stairs, gathering my hair into a ponytail, thoughts a million miles away, when a blur outside the window pulls me up short.I take another step, the view clears, and when I realize what I’m seeing, who I’m seeing, my stomach plummets and the air leaves my lungs like a final exhalation. My arms fall slowly to my sides. My body’s instinct is to turn and run back upstairs, to tear into the bathroom and lock the door, but I’m frozen. This is the moment you have nightmares about, play over in your mind, the darkest of daydreams, furnished by movies and by real-life stories you’ve overheard your whole life.You imagine over and over how you’ll cope, what you’ll say, how you’ll act when you open the door and find them standing there. You pray to every god you can dream up that this moment won’t ever happen. You make bargains, promises, desperate barters. And you live each day with the murmur of those prayers playing on a loop in the background of your mind, an endless chant. And then the moment happens and you realize it was all for nothing. The prayers went unheard. There was no bargain to make. Was it your fault? Did you fail to keep your promise?Time seems to have slowed. Kit’s father hasn’t moved. He’s standing at the end of the driveway staring up at the house, squinting against the early morning glare. He’s wearing his Dress Blues. It’s that fact which registered before all else, which told me all I needed to know. That and the fact that he’s here at all. Kit’s father has never once been to the house. There is only one reason why he would ever come.He hasn’t taken a step and I will him not to. I will him to turn around and get back into the dark sedan car sitting at the kerb. A shadowy figure in uniform sits at the wheel. Please. Get back in and drive away. I start making futile bargains with some nameless god. If he gets back in the car and drives away, I’ll do anything. But he doesn’t. He takes a step down the driveway towards the house, and that’s when I know for certain that either Riley or Kit is dead.A scream, or maybe a sob, tries to struggle up my throat, but it’s blocked by a solid wave of nausea. I grab for the banister to stay upright. Who? Which one? My brother or my boyfriend? Oh God. Oh God. My legs are shaking. I watch Kit’s father walk slowly up the drive, head bowed.Memories, images, words, flicker through my mind like scratched fragments of film: Kit’s arms around my waist drawing me closer, our first kiss under the cover of darkness just by the back door, the smile on his face the first time we slept together, the blue of his eyes lit up by the sparks from a Chinese lantern, the fierceness in his voice when he told me he was going to love me forever.Come back to me. That was the very last thing I said to him. Come back to me.
Always. The very last thing he said to me.Then I see Riley as a kid throwing a toy train down the stairs, dive-bombing into the pool, holding my hand at our grandfather’s funeral, grinning and high-fiving Kit after they’d enlisted. The snapshot of him in his uniform on graduation day. The circles under his eyes the last time I saw him.The door buzzes. I jump. But I stay where I am, frozen halfway up the stairs. If I don’t answer the door maybe he’ll go away. Maybe this won’t be happening. But the doorbell sounds again. And then I hear footsteps on the landing above me. My mother’s voice, sleepy and confused. ‘Jessa? Who is it? Why are you just standing there?’Then she sees. She peers through the window and I hear the intake of air, the ragged ‘no’ she utters in response. She too knows that a military car parked outside the house at seven a.m. can signify only one thing.I turn to her. Her hand is pressed to her mouth. Standing in her nightdress, her hair unbrushed, the blood rushing from her face, she looks like she’s seen a ghost. No. That’s wrong. She looks like she is a ghost.

The bell buzzes for a third time.

‘Get the door, Jessa,’ my mother says in a strange voice I don’t recognize. It startles me enough that I start to walk down the stairs. I feel calmer all of a sudden, like I’m floating outside my body. This can’t be happening. It’s not real. It’s just a dream.

I find myself standing somehow in front of the door. I unlock it. I open it. Kit. Riley. Kit. Riley. Their names circle my mind like birds of prey in a cloudless blue sky. Kit. Riley. Which is it? Is Kit’s father here in his Dress Blues with his Chaplain insignia to tell us that my brother has been killed in action or that his son – my boyfriend – has been killed in action? He would come either way. He would want to be the one to tell me. He would want to be the one to tell my mom.

Kit’s father blinks at me. He’s been crying. His eyes are red, his cheeks wet. He’s still crying, in fact. I watch the tears slide down his face and realize that I’ve never seen him cry before. It automatically makes me want to comfort him, but even if I could find the words my throat is so dry I couldn’t speak them.

‘Jessa,’ Kit’s father says in a husky voice.

I hold onto the doorframe, keeping my back straight. I’m aware that my mother has followed me down the stairs and is standing right behind me. Kit’s father glances at her over my shoulder. He takes a deep breath, lifts his chin and removes his hat before his eyes flicker back to me.

‘I’m sorry,’ he says.

‘Who?’ I hear myself ask. ‘Who is it?’

About Mila Gray:
Mila Gray is the pen name for Sarah Alderson, author of Hunting Lila, Losing Lila, The Sound, Fated and Out of Control.
 Originally from London she has lived in Bali for the last four years with her husband and daughter.

 As well as writing young adult fiction under the name Sarah Alderson and adult fiction under the name Mila Gray, she also writes screenplays.

Find out more here: 

Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 Tour Schedule:
Follow the Come Back To Me by Mila Gray Blog Tour and don’t miss anything! Click here to see the tour schedule.

 

Save

Save

Save

© 2017

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑

%d bloggers like this: