Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Remembering Joy by Jenni Moen

Alexis doesn’t believe in fairytales. She knows first hand that life can turn on a dime – that one stupid mistake can shatter dreams and irrevocably shape the future. Even though her memory of that day is hazy, she has spent the last ten years trying to put it behind her and focus on the future.

Armed with the knowledge that her career will be her only legacy, Alexis works night and day to prove that she is more than just her last name. It’s not only that she doesn’t have time for love – she doesn’t have the heart for it. After all, there’s no point in starting something that you can’t finish.

However, when she meets Adam, she’s drawn to him in a way even she can’t deny. The film student is dark and brooding and strangely charming. He’s the perfect distraction from the mundane life she’s created for herself. And, as if fate is pushing them together, he seems to be around every corner. It’s enough to almost make her entirely forget about her past and take a chance.

Unfortunately, Adam’s memory isn’t hazy . . . not in the least. And, what she doesn’t remember, he can’t forget.

Alexis in an up and coming lawyer. To say that she is a workaholic would be a major understatement. She is at the beck and call of work 24/7, and most nights, she can be found working late at the office. She is happy with the direction of her life. She doesn’t do relationships due to a past accident. She works, hangs out with her best friend, Ethan, from time to time, and hangs out at home with her cat, Rubber Cat. As we get deeper into the story, we see that she is actually more than just work. She is kind hearted, generous, and can actually be fun. She is also a Big Sister to a girl named Lizzie. Outside of work, she is Allie’s priority. Adam changes her perspective of life.

Adam is somewhat damaged. He wants revenge and he wants it on Allie. Unfortunately for him, he is a great guy and revenge doesn’t come easily for him. There are several sides to Adam and I think the author did an amazing job portraying his different moods. There are so many things that I enjoyed about him, but his wit/sense of humor tops the list for me. He is constantly wearing t-shirts with funny saying. He is also constantly sending Allie gifts with some sort of witty line on the cards.

This book is written in the dual perspectives of, you guessed it, Alexis and Adam. The author did a really good job with both sides of the story. Allie is a pretty consistent and predictable character, but she is very likeable. She did have some growth, though. I am glad that she came out of the box that she had stuffed herself into. She didn’t believe that love was in the cards for her, so she just avoided it. Adam helps her come out of her shell and to move on from the past. In return, he finally starts to live again. While I liked Allie, I really liked Adam’s parts of the story more. We watch him transform from full of hate to full of love. It’s a gradual transition and we get to witness it every step of the way.

This isn’t just a love story. Remembering Joy started out as a story of revenge, but ended as a story about acceptance and forgiveness. I can’t wait to read book 2 in the series, Finding Joy.

 Adam and Ethan Interview
Hi, guys.  I’m very happy to have you on my blog today.   Let’s play a little ice breaker game.  Empty out your pockets.

Ethan stands and digs through the pockets of his dress pants.  He pulls out two things: an obviously expensive money clip, monogrammed with his initials and flush with cash, and a condom.  Adam retrieves a beat up wallet from the back pocket of his ratty jeans and a set of keys.

Wow.  You boys are some light travelers.  Show me what you’ve got.

“Sex and money,” Ethan says unapologetically. “What else is there?”

He unabashedly grabs Adam’s beat up wallet and rifles through it.  

“Looks like all he has is twenty-six bucks, a subway pass, and  … wait …. what’s this? A hunting license.  Are you from Texas?”

Adam shrugs. “Yeah, so?”
Ethan’s eyes narrow as he processes this new bit of information.

[I pick up the donkey keychain.] This is nice.  Is there a story here?

“Yeah, a certain funny lady gave it to me when she gave me the key to her apartment.  Said it was a bad ass key chain for my bad ass car.”

“She gave you the key to her apartment?” Ethan asks incredulously.  “I’ve never even been in it.”

I think we need to change the subject.  Adam, everyone knows how much you love your car.  Tell me about it.

“She’s a 1967 Shelby GT 500 … a replica of a Super Snake with more modern parts. She has an aluminum 427FE engine that was bored and stroked to 482ci. with a T Trim Vortech supercharger.”

Was that even English?

“That’s what Allie said, too,” he says with a small smile.  “You want to go for a drive when we’re done here? I’ll show you what she can do.”

I would! Now, tell me about your shirts.  They are hilarious.

Adam looks down at his t-shirt and chuckles.  A parrot is splayed across his chest.  Underneath it is the phrase, ‘Cracka, please.’  “I have quite a collection. This is one of Allie’s favorites.”

“Hey, I’m feeling a little left out here,” Ethan says.

Okay well, I know you both like to talk about Alexis.  So, what three words describe her best.

“This is an easy one,” Ethan says.  “Confident, driven, and emotionally unavailable.”

Adam looks at Ethan and just blinks.  “Beautiful, funny, and scared,” he adds.

That’s interesting.  It almost sounds like you are talking about different people.  Who’s known her the longest?

Ethan jumps in quickly.  “I have.  We’ve been together all of our adult lives.”

Adam looks at Ethan with murder in his eyes.  “I think that’s a little misleading, counselor.”

How about you, Adam?

“I just recently bumped into Allie at a bar that I never should have been at.  Funny, how things happen when you least expect it.”

Well, who knows her best?

Adam let’s out a deep breath.  “To be honest, I seriously wonder if anyone really knows Allie at all.”

“Speak for yourself,” Ethan says.  “I have the inside track with Alexis.  I know all of her secrets.”

Adam rolls his eyes.  “I’m sure you think you do.”

You guys really can’t get along, can you?

“I don’t trust him,” Ethan says.

“I just don’t like him,” Adam says.

Okay, so what are your intensions toward Alexis?

“Alexis and I are just friends.  I mean, there was that one night a few years ago.” Ethan arches an eyebrow devilishly at Adam, and Adam visibly bristles.  “But right now my only intention is to protect her from this guy.”

Does she need protecting, Adam?

“I think Allie has bigger problems than me.  Our relationship is complicated, but we are on the same page.”

Ethan groans.  “See.  This is what I mean.  He talks in riddles.”

I notice that you call her ‘Alexis’ and you call her ‘Allie.’

“Her name is Alexis.  She goes by Alexis,” Ethan says and then adds, “Only her dad calls her ‘Allie.’”

Adam sits up a little straighter.  Confidence rolls off him.  “She asked me to call her ‘Allie’. Clearly, she already considers me family.  After five years, I guess you’re just not there yet.”

Is that the only nickname you have for her?

“I’ve been known to call her ‘Allie Cat’.  But it usually only slips out when it’s just the two of us.  I think the name speaks for itself.”

Ethan growls.  “I’ve got a nickname for him, but I can’t say it in mixed company.”

“You’re such a woman,” Adam retorts.

All right, guys.  Thanks for the interview.  Think I can get that ride now?

“You bet.  He’s not coming, though.” Adam says, flicking his subway pass at Ethan. “Here you go.  Ride with the least common denominator where you belong.”

“I wouldn’t ride with you even if it came with a hooker and a dozen dogs from Gray’s Papaya,” Ethan snorts.

“See we really can’t agree on anything.  Because a guy from Texas knows the best dogs are at Lansky’s,” Adam says, sending me a wink and panty- melting smile.

Locked out of Heaven - Bruno Mars
One more Night - Maroon 5
Stay - Rihanna
Just Give Me a Reason - Pink
PayPhone - Maroon 5
Madness - Muse
Beneath Your Beautiful - Labrinth
Daylight - Maroon 5
Little Talks - Of Monsters and Men
Love Somebody - Maroon 5
When I was Your Man - Bruno Mars
Sad - Maroon 5
A Thousand Years - Christina Perri
Sail - Awolnation
Let's Stay Together - Maroon 5
This Love - Maroon 5
The Man Who Can't be Moved - The Script

Jenni Moen lives in her hometown in Oklahoma with her husband and three crazy, exuberant kids that have the potential to burn the house down at any moment.

When she's not chauffeuring kids around town, performing her mom duties as a short order cook and maid, or vacuuming for her fastidious husband, she hammers away at her keyboard at her big girl job as a patent attorney. While vodka and exercise have provided some relief from the daily grind, it is reading ... and now writing ... that are her true escapes.

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