Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Review: THE GIRL HE USED TO KNOW by Tracey Garvis Graves

by Tracey Garvis Graves
Publication Date: April 2, 2019
Published by St. Martin's Press
Pages: 304
Source: Goodreads | Publisher

Annika (rhymes with Monica) Rose is an English major at the University of Illinois. Anxious in social situations where she finds most people's behavior confusing, she'd rather be surrounded by the order and discipline of books or the quiet solitude of playing chess.

Jonathan Hoffman joined the chess club and lost his first game--and his heart--to the shy and awkward, yet brilliant and beautiful Annika. He admires her ability to be true to herself, quirks and all, and accepts the challenges involved in pursuing a relationship with her. Jonathan and Annika bring out the best in each other, finding the confidence and courage within themselves to plan a future together. What follows is a tumultuous yet tender love affair that withstands everything except the unforeseen tragedy that forces them apart, shattering their connection and leaving them to navigate their lives alone.

Now, a decade later, fate reunites Annika and Jonathan in Chicago. She's living the life she wanted as a librarian. He's a Wall Street whiz, recovering from a divorce and seeking a fresh start. The attraction and strong feelings they once shared are instantly rekindled, but until they confront the fears and anxieties that drove them apart, their second chance will end before it truly begins.

My Thoughts

THE GIRL HE USED TO KNOW deserves 5 stars and more! Annika and Jonathan experience a love so genuine that it spills from the pages. It is tender, almost ethereal. I hope that everyone could experience a love like theirs.

I was in a state of complete awe as I read it - the pacing is perfection. And when I was rapt with too much emotion (and the tears started to fall), . . . I never do this, but I had to flip to the end of the book to get just a glimpse of what was to come for Annika and Jonathan. I HAD TO know what was in store for the characters and prepare my heart for whatever was coming their way.

Favorite Quotes:
"Let's take a nap." (page 114)

"I learned that the closeness of two people had no limits.
Out of all of the firsts I experienced with Jonathan, that was the one I treasured the most." (page 167)

THE GIRL HE USED TO KNOW was one of my most anticipated reads of 2019. Tracey Garvis Graves left a mark on my heart with ON THE ISLAND and now with TGHUTK, she did it again. It is incredible. It's one of those books that you hope will conjure up the same feelings that you had the first time reading it.

I know I'll share this book with friends and readers for a very long time. It's a story that I will always remember.

Disclaimer:  I received this ARC from Goodreads and the publisher.  I was not compensated in any way other than the ARC provided. Thoughts and opinions are my own.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Sunkissed Days by Samantha Chase - Excerpt

We are so excited about the release of SUNKISSED DAYS by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Samantha Chase. SUNKISSED DAYS kicks of the brand new Magnolia Sound series and it's a story you don't want to miss!



Mallory Westbrook is ready to make her move on Jake Summerford, the boy – now man – she’s been crushing on for years. Coming back to Magnolia Sound to celebrate her great-grandfather’s birthday provides the perfect opportunity to show Jake that she’s no longer a child.
The last thing Jake expected to do at his mentor’s birthday party was to find himself kissing Mallory under the moonlight. Though he’s known her for years, the thought of kissing her never crossed his mind. But the shy tomboy he once knew is gone, and in her place is a woman he can’t resist. They have one summer before they go their separate ways. Insecurity wars with the possibility of a future together, but it could all come to an end before it even has a chance to start.

Add SUNKISSED DAYS to your Goodreads TBR!

Get your copy of SUNKISSED DAYS today!  

Amazon | Apple Books | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | GooglePlay | Audible


Read an Excerpt

     His first thought was finally.

     But his second thought was this is so wrong.

     Nudging that second thought aside, Jake Summerford put all of his focus into the responsive girl in his arms and dove in for another taste. For years he had denied that there was any attraction between himself and Mallory Westbrook.

     She’d always been cute, always been sweet. But because of their age difference he’d never allowed himself to think of her as any more than a kid.

     Well…she certainly wasn’t a kid anymore and he was fairly sure he was allowed to think a lot of different things about her.

     Like how soft her skin was.

     How full and wet her lips were.

     How her family trusted him and treated him like one of their own.

     Yeah, this was so wrong.

     And still he couldn’t find the strength to care – not as Mallory pressed even closer and made the neediest little sound. He found his own arms banding tighter around her as he tried to think of the best place to move them for a little more privacy. Not too far away there was a party in full-swing for Ezekiel’s ninetieth birthday. There was a houseful of people, music was playing and really, it was where he and Mallory should be right now. How the hell had they gotten out here?

     Oh, right. Mallory had given him a shy-yet-flirty smile and asked if he could help her move a painting from the boathouse, and like an idiot, he’d said yes.

     And now look where they were.

     Then a thought hit him – the boathouse! They hadn’t even made it all the way down to the pier before she had shocked him with this kiss. If he could maneuver them the rest of the way across the yard, they’d be completely out of view once they were inside the boathouse!

     Carefully, slowly, Jake began to walk them further down the lawn toward the pier without breaking the kiss. The urge to swing Mallory up into his arms was strong, but right now he couldn’t think straight.

     What the hell was happening to him?

     He wasn’t a kid, for crying out loud! He was a man! A man who’d kissed more than his share of women. Women who…

     And that’s when it hit him.

     The enormity of what was happening here finally broke through and as much as he wanted to keep on kissing Mallory, he couldn’t.

     Jake broke the kiss and took a step back. His breath was ragged and once his eyes focused on her and he saw how sexy she looked in the moonlight, he almost dove back in to start all over again.

     “Why did you stop?” she asked breathlessly.

     He swallowed hard as he tried to remember exactly why he stopped. In the moment, he knew it was the right thing to do. But now? Not so much.

     How could he possibly explain to her how this wasn’t right when all he wanted to do was pull her back into his arms?


Don't miss all the Magnolia Sound stories coming in 2019!




Samantha Chase is a New York Times and USA Today bestseller of contemporary romance. She released her debut novel in 2011 and currently has more than forty titles under her belt! When she’s not working on a new story, she spends her time reading romances, playing way too many games of Scrabble or Solitaire on Facebook, wearing a tiara while playing with her sassy pug Maylene…oh, and spending time with her husband of 25 years and their two sons in North Carolina. 


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