When Hollywood It Boy, Reid Alexander, arrives on location to shoot his next movie, his goals are the same as always—film another blockbuster hit and enjoy his celebrity status to the fullest while doing so. His costar is a virtual unknown with whom he had blazing hot chemistry during her auditions. The universe is lining up nicely to grant whatever he wants, as usual, until he’s confronted with unexpected obstacles on location like a bitter ex-girlfriend and a rival for the first girl to spark his genuine interest in years. Emma Pierce just got her big break after more than a decade of filming commercials for grape juice, department stores and tampons, and more recently, bit parts in made-for-TV movies. Nailing the lead role in a wide-release film sent her agent, father and stepmother into raptures, and should have done the same for her. The Problem? Emma is experiencing a building desire to be normal, and starring in a silly, modernized adaptation of one of her favorite novels—opposite the very hot Reid Alexander—isn’t going to advance that aspiration. Graham Douglas doesn’t fear playing the part of a nerdy dimwit; when it comes to choosing film roles, if it pays, he’ll do it. Besides, his friend Brooke Cameron snatched up the role of the bitchy hot girl and could use his help as a buffer, because her ex is the star. Graham has no problem keeping a handle on the situation, until he finds himself attracted to Reid’s costar, Emma, the girl Reid is pursuing full-throttle with his standard arsenal of charm, good looks and arrogance. Author recommendation: Mature teens+ (language/drinking/sexual situations) ~From GoodReads
I have friends who recommend books to me all the time. Great books. I usually read what I'm told, sometimes I push it off, saying "soon". My friend Autumn at Autumn Review and I have an agreement: If one of us doesn't read an "OMG-You-Must-Read-This-Series-Now!!!" recommendation when we're told, the recommend-er is allowed to punch the non-compliant recomend-ee in the face. Virtually, of course.
So here I am, offering my face up for a beat down, with no arguments, because Autumn, among others, has been telling me to read Tammara Webber's BETWEEN THE LINES series for months. Why didn't I listen?? I could have been in on all of the fun, and I've been missing out. I hate missing out.
This book? It went above and beyond my high expectations. You have Reid, beyond gorgeous, the hottest young actor in Hollywood. Reid is a womanizer, to say the least. He can have any girl he wants, and he wants them all. He's a bit of a sleaze. Except...there's more going on with Reid. His parents are royally screwed up, distorting his perception of healthy relationships. I'm hoping to see Reid have some redemption later in the series. But for now?
Reid wants Emma, his new co-star. Emma was a completely endearing, sweetheart of a character. ADORE. Emma is the type of character that you want to smoosh up and hug when she's upset. She is self-aware and self-assured. I love that she knows who she is and what she wants for her future. Despite the fact she is a rising actress, she's yearning for a normal, happy life. I love that even when she is hurt by a guy, she is even more devastated by her troubled relationship with her best friend. I love that even though one of the hottest guys in the world wants her, she can't stop thinking about Graham.
Graham.I just...I just can't adequately describe my feelings for the sensitive, introverted, intense, beautiful boy. Graham is everything I love about books guys. He has the quiet moments that speak so much. Most of the book, Graham is a mystery. Not dangerous, just unknown. I liked him so, so much throughout the story. He is an anchor for Emma. I completely fell head over heels, completely and forever in love with him in the last several chapters of the story.
I honestly did go into this book with the highest of expectations. Dangerous, I know. I just knew I would love Tammara Webber's writing. I was hooked from the first paragraph. The characters were alive to me. The story was engaging. I actually left a music festival to go read for an hour in my hotel room. A music festival. That's serious business, guys. And soooo worth it. The ending completely killed me, in the best way possible. And as soon as I turned the last page, I started book two, WHERE YOU ARE.
"He releases one wrist long enough to catch it with his other hand, and he flattens my hands to the bed on either side of my head. His eyes are black in the low light of the room. 'Do you surrender?'
My heart is pounding, and I'm tingling from head to toe. 'Surrender to what?' I whisper, my chest rising and falling, my eyes locked on his.
His gaze doesn't waver. 'A kiss.' "
Published April 29th 2011
You can purchase BETWEEN THE LINES at:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Source: Personal Purchase.
Graham Douglas doesn’t do romantic relationships, but he was knocked for a loop when he met Emma Pierce on the set of his last film. As they grew closer, he did everything in his power to keep from falling for a girl being pursued by superstar Reid Alexander. Now home in New York, his life is once again under control, until Emma appears and shows him how not over her he is. Emma Pierce is forsaking an up-and-coming Hollywood career to embark on a life she’s only dreamed of—the life of a regular girl. After spending months burying her feelings for the two night-and-day guys who vied for her heart while filming her last movie, a twist of fate puts her in a coffee shop in the middle of Manhattan with the one she still misses. Brooke Cameron was a fresh-faced Texas girl when she arrived in LA. Now she’s a beach sitcom star turned conceited heiress on the big screen. Having just survived three months on location with her ex—Hollywood’s reigning golden boy—she’s older and wiser and has set her sights on her close friend Graham. The only thing standing in her way is the girl he can’t forget. Reid Alexander can sum up his life in one word: boring. Between film projects, there’s little going on outside of interviews, photo shoots, and the premiere of the film he finished last fall. The next-to-last thing he expects is to get a second chance with Emma, the girl who rejected him. The last thing he expects is for his still-bitter-ex to be the one to offer it to him on a platter. Author Recommendation: Mature Young Adults (language, drinking, sexual situations) ~From GoodReads
**While this review is spoiler-free for WHERE YOU ARE, there may be spoilers if you haven't read book one, BETWEEN THE LINES.**
When I read BETWEEN THE LINES, I thought Tammara Webber had written a great book. And she did. But I could take all my feelings about BETWEEN THE LINES and compound that by 40 bajillion. Squared. To the nth power. And I hate math.
The reason I love WHERE YOU ARE with such obsession is Graham Douglas. I have never, ever, EVER loved a boy as much as I love Graham. (Sorry to all my fictional BFs!) I was intrigued by Graham in BETWEEN THE LINES, but I didn't actually know anything about the true Graham until the last few chapters of the book. And, OHMYGOSH!, I did not see that coming at all. Graham is quiet and smart and thoughtful and careful and intense...I feel like my heart could swell five sizes when I think of all the ways I love Graham. If you think I'm exaggerating, this line will prove my point:
"I tilt her chin up and bend my face to hers, silently praising every woman who's had a hand in making her who she is." (ebook, 81%)
The way he loves Emma is what we all wish for ourselves, our daughters. The way he respects her, holds her in reverence (all without being a creeper) makes me weak.
And Emma, sweet Emma. She continued to hold my heart in this book. She knows where her heart lies, and isn't afraid to jump. She accepts things about Graham, no hesitation,that a lot of girls her age would give pause to. She's beyond wise and so endearing. I will love Graham and Emma forever.
As for Reid and Brooke. I can't even go there now. I admire Reid a teeny tiny bit for having at least one moral standard and listening to his conscience. But, ugh, it's going to be hard to be his personal cheerleader. And Brooke? I feel stabby, blackout rage for her right now.
This entire series, and WHERE YOU ARE in particular, have pole vaulted into my all-time favorites short list. I am so, so sad to leave Graham and Emma behind. I could honestly read about them until the end of time.
This quote is one of the most beautiful I've ever read. Hands down.
"Something about first love defies duplication. Before it, your heart is blank. Unwritten. After, the walls are left inscribed and graffitied. When it ends, no amount of scrubbing will purge the scrawled oaths and sketched images, but sooner or later, you find that there's space for someone else, between the words and in the margins." (ebook, 1%)
Published October 21st 2011
You can purchase WHERE YOU ARE at:
Amazon | Barnes&Noble
Source: Personal Purchase.
Reid Alexander's life is an open book. His Hollywood celebrity means that everything he does plays out in the public eye. Every relationship, every error in judgment is analyzed by strangers. His latest mistake totaled his car, destroyed a house and landed him in the hospital. Now his PR team is working overtime to salvage his image. One thing is clear—this is one predicament he won’t escape without paying for it. Dori Cantrell is a genuine humanitarian—the outward opposite of everything Reid is about. When his DUI plea bargain lands him under her community service supervision, she proves unimpressed with his status and indifferent to his proximity, and he soon wants nothing more than to knock her off of her pedestal and prove she's human. Counting the days until his month of service is over, Dori struggles to ignore his wicked magnetic pull while shocking him with her ability to see past his celebrity and challenging him to see his own wasted potential. But Dori has secrets of her own, safely locked away until one night turns her entire world upside down. Suddenly their only hope for connection and redemption hinges on one choice: whether or not to have faith in each other. Author Recommendation: Mature Young Adults (language, drinking, sexual situations) ~From GoodReads
**Although there are no spoilers for GOOD FOR YOU, there are spoilers if you have not read BETWEEN THE LINES and WHERE YOU ARE.**
So....Tammara Webber did it. She made me, against all odds, love Reid Alexander. Reid amused me in BETWEEN THE LINES. He was a jerk, yes, but when it came down to the wire, he was no match for Graham when it came to winning Emma's heart. I was not amused with Reid in WHERE YOU ARE. The way he actively schemed with Brooke to split Emma and Graham up? Uh uh. Although he redeemed himself in a small way at the end, I just didn't know how I would take to him in GOOD FOR YOU.
I knew I would love the book because, HELLO?, Tammara Webber is a genius author. I just didn't know how I could ever move on. But Webber took the egocentric, reckless, dangerous Reid and made him into something more. You get to see, in a way, how Reid became the way he is. Reid lives in a dysfunctional family. It's all he knows. His mother is an alcoholic, his father is emotionally distant. He hasn't lived with any type of boundary in five years and he's only nineteen. That's a sure recipe for disaster. Add to that a lavish lifestyle in which people live to cater your every whim, it's not wonder Reid is a Class A jerk.
Then, Reid meets Dori. Dori is as selfless as they come. The daughter of a pastor and a nurse, she has been raised to serve those in need. Dori is generous, kind, respectful, loving. She is basically the classic good girl. Dori also happens to be hiding a lot about herself from everyone she knows.
When Dori meets Reid, it's not pretty. They don't know each other, but they do know enough to write the other off. But day by day, as Reid proves himself at the job site, and as Dori lets down her guard, they discover that maybe, they could be good for one another.
I really don't know what I can say about this book without being stupid. I loved it like crazy. The way Tammara portrayed these characters, fiery and passionate one moment, fragile and unsure the next, it made me dizzy with happiness. The characters are fully fleshed, their stories, the painful journeys, are heart breaking and raw. GOOD FOR YOU was an emotionally draining yet beautifully uplifting book that I could not have enjoyed more.
"There's something uncontaminated about her, and I don't even mean sexually or whatever. I mean the way she is, at her core. Like when you wake up and the world has been blanketed by snow overnight, and not a single footstep or tire track has spoiled the untouched perfection of it. (ebook, 46%)
" 'When you tell me to be good, it makes me want to be good,' I say, hearing the undisguised desire in my voice. I run my fingers through the hair at her temples, taking her face between my palms, and she doesn't move. 'It also makes me want to be very, very bad.' And then I kiss her." (ebook, 50%)
Published December 15th 2011
You can purchase GOOD FOR YOU at:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Source: Won in a giveaway with no obligation to review.
A Note About The Series: BETWEEN THE LINES (the series) is a series I put off far too long. I can not aptly describe how much I loved each book. Tammara Webber is one of the most gifted authors I've had the pleasure of reading and is now on my auto-buy list. If you haven't read this phenomenal series, do yourself a favor and start now. You will not be sorry.