Series: Love Unplugged

Guest Review: The Way Back to Us by Jamie Howard

Posted January 18, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: The Way Back to Us by Jamie HowardReviewer: Tracy
The Way Back to Us (Love Unplugged #3) by Jamie Howard
Series: Love Unplugged #3
Also in this series: All The Ways You Saved Me
Published by Swerve
Publication Date: December 12th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 350
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books

Gavin MacCormack found the one. He fell in love. Hard. Until one night he ran out for some ice cream and came back to an empty dorm room, closets bare and nothing but a quick hand-written note saying, I’m sorry. Those two words taught Gavin the meaning of heartbreak. A feeling he never wants to encounter again. And as the lead singer of a Grammy award-winning band he's had plenty of opportunities for casual, no-strings fun, which is just the way he likes it.

Dani Winters has had more names than birthdays. On the run with her father for nearly as long as she can remember, she’s lived her life by three rules—always plan for the worst, maintain a low profile at all costs, and never let anyone get too close. Except she broke that last rule once and her heart has never forgiven her.

One chance encounter changes everything. Seeing Dani resurrects feelings in Gavin he thought were long buried, and this time he’s not letting her disappear without getting some answers. But Dani’s life is the definition of complicated and she’s playing with fire by letting Gavin back in. When the time comes to run again, Dani needs to decide if a life without love is worth living, or if it’s time to stop running and fight.

Gavin has been heartbroken for years.  He thought he was over his one true love, who suddenly left him without a word when he was in college.  When he sees her again he thinks he’s angry but really he just can’t believe that she’s back in his life.

Dani Winters has been running most of her life.  When she was in college the last thing she wanted to do was leave Gavin, as she loved him so much, but her life is unpredictable.  When she reappears in Gavin’s life she lets him know that it’s only for a short time.  He agrees they’ll be together as long as they can and when they have to part it will be fine.  They’re each lying to the other, however, because they both know that when they part the last thing it will be is “fine”.

The Way Back to Us was a wonderful reunion story.  With Dani coming back into Gavin’s life we didn’t quite know what to think.  The author was pretty closed-mouthed about what was going on with Dani until further along in the book.  We knew that Dani had been on the run for years but we didn’t know why until near the end of the book.  Because I didn’t know the facts it was hard for me to get too attached to Dani.  Sure, I knew that all would work out in the end (I mean, come on, it’s a romance novel!) but while I felt for her and her situation I felt more attached to Gavin and didn’t want him to get hurt.

I loved Gavin to pieces.  He was an incredible anchor for his (all female) family and a great friend.  The last think I wanted for him was to lose Dani again.  I was happy when he made the decision he did in the end I was truly happy when all worked out.  Howard had me on the edge of my seat there for a while – good on her as normally figure those things out ahead of time.  I never would have guessed the ending of this book.

Overall I’ve really enjoyed the Love Unplugged series and I’m looking forward to Ben’s story. If you haven’t picked up the series yet, you should do that as the books are wonderful.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Love Unplugged Series


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Guest Review: All The Ways You Saved Me by Jamie Howard

Posted November 10, 2016 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: All The Ways You Saved Me by Jamie HowardReviewer: Tracy
All The Ways You Saved Me by Jamie Howard
Series: Love Unplugged #1
Also in this series: The Way Back to Us (Love Unplugged #3)
Published by Swerve
Publication Date: November 1st 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books

Bianca Easton is the perfect senator’s daughter.

Law school? Check.

Camera-ready smile? Check.

A dull and boring existence? Double check.

But that was before. Before she lost her best and only friend in a tragic accident. Before she found that friend's unfinished bucket list. Definitely before she turned her life upside-down by deciding to stay in New York for six months to finish it.

It's while she's checking off her first item on the list--buy coffee for a stranger--that she meets Ian Mathis. Between the tattoo sleeve curling up his right arm, his guitar-roughened fingertips, and the secrets shadowing his past, he's a complication Bianca doesn't need but desperately wants.

With every item they cross off the list together, Bianca uncovers a piece of herself that she's buried under what's expected, all the while breaking her own rules by falling hard for Ian. But when her six months run out, Bianca has to decide if she's willing to risk her empty but picture-perfect life for a chance at real, messy love.

Bianca is a senator’s daughter and has always done what her parent’s wanted her to do.  They don’t really love her and she knows this but she keeps trying in the hopes that one day they’ll look at her and realize all they’ve missed by constantly ignoring her.

She’s just graduated from law school in New York and plans on returning to her home in Texas so that she can take the bar and then take a position at the firm where her father used to be a partner.  Except something tragic happens to her friend and Bianca decides that finishing the list that her friend made.  The list was made because her friend stated that they were going to be so busy with work and school that they needed to take every opportunity to cram awesomeness into their lives.  She stated, “It the little moment’s that make life amazing, you know?” Staying in New York for 6 more months won’t really make any difference in the long run so she goes for it.  Her parent cut her off – of course, since she’s not doing what they want her to do – so she gets a job at a pub as a waitress to make ends meet. Her apartment is already paid for so she just needs money for bills and food.  In the course of completing her friends list she buys the person behind her a cup of coffee (on the list).  The guy is a little leery of accepting the coffee (it’s NY after all) but eventually does.  When Bianca is at that café sometime later the same guy approaches her and they end up becoming friends.

Ian is a bit standoffish and she’s not really sure what to make of him.  They only ever get together on Thursdays but they have a great time together completing things on Bianca’s list. They agree that whatever they have is just casual as she’ll be leaving eventually but the more time they spend together Bianca finds herself falling in love with Ian. The problem is, she just doesn’t know that much about him except to say that he’s a musician.  She’s sure that something has happened in his past but she’s not sure she’ll be ever able to compete with whatever it is as it seems to take up his whole life – even when he’s with her.  Bianca’s not sure she can she get past whatever it is and get to the real Ian.

This was a bit of a new adult book as both of the characters were trying to find themselves – even if they weren’t in the 18-22 age range.  Bianca is bucking her parents rules for the first time and the more time she spends out in the “real” world she finds that maybe she doesn’t have to follow everything they say after all.  Would it be easier financially?  Yes, but what’s the payoff? There isn’t one.  Ian is such a mystery to her but he can be so open and when he is it’s like the sun has come out in her world.  It’s such a great feeling but he eventually goes back to the closed-off man he is.

Ian’s story slowly unfolds for us.  We get his story that starts seven years prior and works its way to the present throughout the book.  It’s wonderful and heart-wrenching at the same time but frankly I wish we would have gotten to the conclusion faster so that he and Bianca could have spent more time together as a couple.  Yes, they’re a couple in the book but it’s different.

Because of Ian’s back story it’s definitely more of a darker romance but I still found it to be a good book.  If you’re looking for a light and airy book this is not it but if you like emotional reads then this is the one for you.

Rating: 4 out of 5


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