Thursday, June 18, 2015

Never to Hope by Amie Grey

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Never to Hope Front Cover
Book Title: Never To Hope
Author: Aimie Grey
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions
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As the daughter of addicts, Alissa Ross is determined to break the cycle for herself and others like her. After years of following a set of carefully laid plans and working a demeaning job to save enough money, her lifelong goal of attending law school is almost within reach.
Alissa believed that love was out of the question for her…that is until the day Carter Smith moves in to her apartment building. From their first meeting, there’s an undeniable connection between them, and Alissa slowly begins to trust that it’s okay to hope for happiness in her life. For once everything is looking up, but as she has learned all too well, when something seems too good to be true, it usually is.

Will Alissa be able to trust the man who has everything to gain from destroying the only thing she’s ever wanted, or will she
accept it is better never to hope?

Six Years Ago
The cold tile floor on which I sat sent chills through the thin material of my robe to my nearly bare skin, and the cinderblock walls holding me upright were as unforgiving as my conscience. My body was tucked tightly into the corner, and my knees were covered with black streaks from running mascara as I hid my face against them and sobbed.
Over the years my body had been at the mercy of what others wanted, but I had survived, and I’d taken back control over what happened to me. For the first time, I’d used my body to benefit myself instead of my family, and the rush felt…good.
The power I’d experienced the first night was an incredible high—as if I’d given the universe a giant “fuck you”. I couldn’t quite reconcile the emotional pleasure I felt that night with my painful sexual history. All I knew was that I got to call the shots. I got to choose who and what I did. The power was in my hands.
The second night, however, was much harder, and the third was nearly unbearable…and now here I was huddled in a corner, crying. I wouldn’t—couldn’t—give up, though.
“Hey, are you all right?” A pair of smooth, shapely legs came into view when I lifted my watery gaze. “Pretty new here, huh?”
Nodding, I did my best to dry my cheeks and then swiped my forearm beneath my runny nose.
“What’s your name?” she asked as she crouched down to my level.
“Alissa,” I replied quietly.
“No, it’s not,” she said in a firm voice. “Not here, anyway. The first rule of survival is anonymity.” She paused for a moment, as if working something out in her mind. “From now on, every time you step through those doors, your name will be Lisa.”
“Lisa…” I repeated hesitantly, testing the name on my lips.
“I’m Veronica, by the way, but the clients know me as Vicki. How did you make out tonight?”
“Not very well,” I admitted. The money was better than waitressing but nowhere near what I’d been told to expect.
“You’ll need a new look to go with your new name. I’ve worked here long enough to know what the customers want. My sister owns the little beauty shop a couple of blocks over on Bridgeview. Meet me there tomorrow at noon, and we’ll get started.”
“Why are you being so nice to me?”
“Because someone helped me when I was sitting in that corner. You aren’t the first, and you won’t be the last. Someday, you’ll have an opportunity to pay it forward.”

Never to Hope follows up the first book, Never to Keep, perfectly. It definitely didn't go where I expected it to go, and that somehow made this book better. Of course, the author would know how to take the characters where they need to go, and thank goodness for that. This book. It's good! 

I absolutely fell in love with Alissa and Carter. Alissa comes from a troubled past (her parents are drug addicts), but she is determined to rise above her circumstances and make something better for herself. She has a set of plans and rules she follows that puts her on the right track and she is so close to reaching her goal. Carter was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. However, he doesn't want the life that his parents planned out for him. He wants to make his own life on his own terms and I loved that about him. 

Carter breaks through Alissa's rules into her heart, but everything isn't as it seems. Though he made me so mad with his white lie, I was equally as angry at Alissa for being so dang stubborn. My heart also bled for them. I could feel their emotions and longing and want. Their love was swift and strong and powerful. They formed a tight bond in friendship before it became romantic. 
Never to Hope is part of the Accepting Fate series, but can absolutely be read as a stand alone without being lost. However, book 1 was so good, that I recommend that you read it first. These are two not to be missed books! 

Aimie Grey didn’t read a single book until she was in her early thirties. One fateful day, her friend decided to put an end to the madness and shoved a steamy romance novel under Aimie’s nose. After being forced to read one of “those” scenes, Aimie went home and bought the book, and the next one, and the one after that. In the two years since, Aimie has read close to four hundred books. Somewhere along the way, she became frustrated with reading repetitive stories revolving around the experienced man seducing the still virginal woman. Aimie decided to take matters into her own hands and wrote her debut full length romance novel Never to Keep.
In addition to her day job as an IT system administrator, and her new evening gig as a writer, Aimie’s primary role in life is wife and mother. Aimie lives in the Midwest with her husband and two teenage daughters.

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What an emotional, beautiful story! From the prologue to the very last page, this story is packed full of heartbreak, love, forgiveness, and strength. If you are looking for a book that will tug at your heartstrings, look no further. 

Madison and Sawyer are a perfect match; they just don't know it. She is busy working, finishing school, and raising her niece. He is the typical good guy that is afraid of commitment. They meet at a bar and have a one night stand. That's a first for Madison. She is a good girl who just doesn't do that sort of thing. Of course, it isn't a first for Sawyer. What is a first for him is how he can't get her off his mind when she leaves before he wakes. Fate brings them back together in the form of her adorable niece. Their attraction quickly gets too much to ignore. 

Through the heavy parts of this story, the fun and lightness of Madison and Sawyer's relationship balances this story out perfectly. The characters are well rounded, and very relatable. This is a great start to what I know will be an awesome series!

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