Thursday, October 3, 2013


Courtney recently read Beyond Control for the blog, and as soon as she finished she emailed me, telling me I must read it. (There was a lot of !!!s and a few F-bombs, too) So I decided that I would read Beyond Control, too, and do a joint review to see how our thoughts compare.

Beyond Control (Beyond Love Series, #1)Series: Beyond Love #1
Category/Genre: NA Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Bulldog Press
Publication Date: 9/2/13
Format: eARC
Pages: 336
Source: Received from author for review
Rating: 5 stars (Courtney)/4 stars (Andrea)

Gabby Sullivan learns in college that some things are impossible to control, and whenever life has spun out of control bad things seem to happen. She promises herself that she’ll stay a safe distance from the top three culprits:


But some things are beyond control…

Gabby handles her mom’s death and brother’s sudden abandonment just about as well as anyone could at the age of twelve. Left feeling alone, she finishes high school, developing a bit of a wild streak, and lives like there’s no tomorrow. That is until an illness stops her in her tracks. Learning to control life around her becomes her comfort. With a visible scar that reminds her and the world that she beat the odds, it’s impossible for her to put everything behind her, no matter how hard she tries.

Right out of college she begins working at her family’s company and buries herself in the safety of the corporate world. No extra time, no life, no relationships. It’s safe to say she might be a little demanding and overly ambitious, but she’s got everything under control, just how she likes it.

Jason’s been trying to piece his life together after a personal tragedy, only it’s not working. He’s thrown himself into his work, but he’s only becoming angrier. He’ll never forgive himself and doesn’t expect anyone else to either.

When the back of his vehicle is clipped by an obnoxious limo driver he can’t wait to let the driver have it until he hears Gabby’s voice coming from inside the sedan. There’s something soothing about it, something familiar.

The moment she sees him, she knows her life will never be the same. But she doesn’t know why. He’s everything she said she never wanted. He’s cocky, arrogant, and infuriating. With his dazzling amber eyes, dark hair and chiseled features she can hardly remember where she’s going, let alone where she’s been and maybe that’s a good thing. She begins to let him show her what life could be, if she really lived it.

Neither wants their past to define their future, but sometimes destiny has something else in store. It’s only as their love grows and secrets are revealed that they realize a devastating connection from their past might actually tear them apart.

Courtney's Take...
I had to take a little bit of time to calm down after I finished Beyond Control because I was deliriously excited by how much I loved it! So now, hopefully I can say things other than it was epic and OMG! I mean those things and said them over, and over, and over but seriously I thought this book was really, really amazing.

From the first chapter, I was telling my friend Shelley "OMG, the writing in this book is seriously fantastic.. You need to buy this book." and told Andrea "You have to read this!!!" I'm certain I was making both a little crazy with text & tweet, but I was sucked in and was not going to stop reading it until I finished it! And that is exactly what I did!!!!

So, what is this about you say? Okay Gabby is a 22 year old girl who really seems to about pleasing everyone else after she graduates college and got a job at her father's company selling organic cheese....yeah..! That sounds really fun, right?! The first chapter is a flashback to when she is 12 and she loses her mother, so you know right off the bat that she's experienced some loss. If it only stopped there, I would say she is a pretty tough chick to go through things...but of course it doesn't! The blurb tells you that her brother Aaron "abandoned" her around the same time, and I quote abandoned because she has no idea what happened. She hasn't seen or heard from him for 10 years, so when he is sprung on her at a charity event her world is turned upside down. Before this little twist, she meets a gorgeous man named Jason. Her nerves work her over, and she comes off pretty snarky so it was pretty cool to see that he called her out on her BS, and luckier for her he thought her attitude was cute.

Jason is 27 and has also had some hard life experiences in his early 20's as well. But he wasn't one of those guys who wallowed in misery. Sure, he was miserable, but he also found a way to follow his dreams and make something of himself. Jason also builds custom motorcycles, so can anyone say "Can I have one of those please? Of course, I meant the motorcycle....!" I was seriously stoked to enjoy a character like him.

Now, no spoilers from let me see...this story is about two people becoming in friends, wondering if they will be able to get to know each other through awkward experiences, will they fall in love, will her family be okay with her following her dreams, will she be grown up enough to listen to what her brother has to say and forgive him? Will Jason be able to get over the things in his past and fall for Gabby? Oooh, there are just so many parts and people in this story that became genuine and real characters in my mind. Beyond Control is not overly angsty, but they do have a few pretty significant issues to work through. Forgiveness is a hard theme for any character to overcome and quite a few different people needed it hardcore. So, it was epic!

THE END. Holy shizz, the end. I am not a huge fan of cliffhangers and there is one here. BUT before you freak, the next book is a companion, so somehow or another Karice made it to where the freaking cliffhanger is about the couple in the next book...and that sort of blew my mind. *Kaboom* I for one will be stalking, I mean watching her twitter excitedly for when the next book is to be released...because I cannot wait to find out what is in store for Aaron!

Andrea's Take...

So Courtney emailed me as soon as she finished Beyond Control, and her enthusiasm had me curious. I'd a few of Karice Bolton's Paranormal YA books and enjoy her writing. Beyond Control is another good story from Bolton.

Like Courtney, I really liked the characters quite a lot. I admired Gabby's feisty personality. She was funny and bold, but also timid when it comes to taking chances. I enjoyed Jason even more. He was mysterious, nice, and sexy. Oh, and the fact he builds customs motorcycles was kind of hot.

The relationship between  Gabby and Jason was built on attraction initially, but more so, friendship, family, and a bond neither of them realize. I have to say, I figured out what was going on pretty quickly, but was very curious to see if I was right. I was, and this was a doozy, in a good way. It reminded me of the plot of a movie from several years ago that I loved. It pains me that I can't even mention the title of the movie, because it would completely give it away.

As Courtney mentioned, Beyond Control ends on a cliffhanger. But this isn't a cliffhanger, this is a CLIFFHANGER. My jaw literally dropped open when I turned the last page and saw "to be continued".  And no, this is not a conventional cliffhanger, because the story between Gabby and Jason isn't left unresolved, the series just moves in a different direction. I have to wonder how many e-readers Bolton's ending has sent careening across the room?

If you're looking for a story that seems fairly typical on the surface, but has several surprises in store,  Beyond Control is worth a shot.

Favorite Quote:

  "I know there's more to you than the rich girl fa├žade you like to put on. The one who acts wounded from small things when it's the big things that are crushing you. But I'm willing to wait. To find out who's really behind that wall you've put up. I know it's worth waiting for."   ~ eARC, 42%

  "I want to help you get over your fears. I want you to lose control, give me the control."
 ~ eARC, 73%
Purchase Beyond Control

About the author:
Karice Bolton is a Young Adult/New Adult author living in the Pacific Northwest.

Karice married the love of her life who she met in high school, and she still can't get over how cute and funny he is. They have two English Bulldogs that are the sweetest bullies in the world, and they use their cuteness to get what they want. Karice loves the snow and gravitates towards the stuff as often as possible! She enjoys skiing and tries really hard to snowboard, but often makes a nice little area to sit while everyone zips by on their board. She enjoys writing, and she also loves to read just about anything with print.

Karice would love if you stopped by her blog or FB page to find out the latest news on giveaways and upcoming releases, or you can just send her an email. She loves hearing from her readers and responds as soon as she can.

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  GoodReads



  1. Oh, excellent reviews, Courtney and Andrea! I love the fact that you say it's not "overly angsty," Courtney. In some books it's over the top, and I'm wishing I could get off the roller coaster! I love unexpected twists and turns, Andrea! This is definitely going in my TBR. :)

  2. Thanks for the dual perspectives, ladies!! While the premise seems to be fairly typical of many NA titles I've been reading reviews for, I am quite curious. I love that the cliffhanger isn't what you expect, even if it DOES make you want to scream and throw your e-reader.

  3. I love when you post dual perspective reviews! Since both of you loved this one, it has me eager to check it out. Great reviews!!!

  4. Love the sound of a fiesty main character like Gabby

  5. SOLD! Yes, I now want to read this. And it's not even really my type of read... but I REALLY want to read this!! LOL

  6. I am loving the premise! The "abandonment" issue alone is so juicy it's a bomb waiting to explode. And what's with the cliffhanger?!

  7. Well geez, that cliffhanger doesn't sound too fun! But I gotta say, this excitement is contagious and while it's not something I would normally pick up, you have me very curious!

  8. I was like noooooo cliffhanger but that kind of sounds like a cool - must read the next book NOW cliffhanger.

  9. Excellent reviews, girls!! I think I have one of Karice's novels on my ereader...hmm, this one, maybe?!? Beyond Control definitely sounds incredible though - so I'll one-click it. ;)

  10. Hmmmm...cliffhanger? Pass for now. Later.

  11. Great Reviews Ladies! I'm glad to see that you both enjoyed this one. Great quotes! I read a book by this author, and really disliked it, but your reviews make me think maybe I should try another one of her books :)

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

  12. I'll be reading this one before the end of the year. Nice reviews ladies!

  13. Both of your reviews are wonderful. I am going to read this, but not until the sequel comes out. I am not a cliffhanger fan at all.


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