I love the holidays, so when I was approached about reviewing this book I couldn’t pass it up. I also always love “feel good” stories and knew this would be filled with them. It didn’t disappoint. It has twelve different stories having to do with the holidays written by an amazing variety of authors. No matter what holiday you celebrate, this book will make you smile. Some even had me tearing up with happy tears. I always really have a hard time reviewing anthologies because I don’t want to have a review that is super long or too short, but I am going to try to do it as good as I can, but be assured, this is a book you want to read around the holidays or any time…
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Publication date: June 7th 2016
by Tor Books
At fifteen, Amanda Grace was abducted on her way home from school. 738 days later, she escaped. Her 20/20 interview is what everyone remembers—Amanda describing the room where she was kept, the torn poster of TV heartthrob Chase Henry on the wall. It reminded her of home and gave her the strength to keep fighting.
Now, years later, Amanda is struggling to live normally. Her friends have gone on to college, while she battles PTSD. She’s not getting any better, and she fears that if something doesn’t change soon she never will.
Six years ago, Chase Henry defied astronomical odds, won a coveted role on a new TV show, and was elevated to super-stardom. With it, came drugs, alcohol, arrests, and crazy spending sprees. Now he's sober and a Hollywood pariah, washed up at twenty-four.
To revamp his image, Chase’s publicist comes up with a plan: surprise Amanda Grace with the chance to meet her hero, followed by a visit to the set of Chase’s new movie. The meeting is a disaster, but out of mutual desperation, Amanda and Chase strike a deal. What starts as a simple arrangement, though, rapidly becomes more complicated when they realize they need each other in more ways than one. But when the past resurfaces in a new threat, will they stand together or fall apart?
-A copy was provided by Tor Books for review-
It’s been so long since I’ve read a book that completely hooked me and wouldn’t let go. I am so glad that I picked this one up to read because it reminded me of how much I love getting absorbed in a book and nothing can stop me from putting it down. The characters were so complex and amazing, and the story was interesting to read. I needed to know what would happen next and how their relationship would progress. This book gave me all the feels and I had many tears of happiness, and of heartbreak. I felt like I really knew the characters and what was happening to them took a toll on my emotions.
I will start with Amanda Grace. My heart broke for her so much, but I also didn’t want it to be breaking because she would have been pissed. She has been through horrible trauma with being held captive for so long, and abused mentally, physically, and sexually. She suffers from PTSD and it’s hard for her to try to live a normal life with fear constantly ruling over her. Not to mention everyone treating her like she is a super fragile child and not an adult who wants to try to get her life back to normal. She is sick of people seeing her for what happened to her and what she has been through instead of the person she wants to be, or is trying to be. She takes a huge step out of her comfort zone by going with Chase. I love watching her come out of her shell and make decisions on her own and try to face her fears. She was one fierce and brave girl.
Chase is a has been who is trying to revive his career. Since it is around the 2nd anniversary of when Amanda Grace was found and brought home, and he was part of her survival story, his team thinks it would help his image by visiting her and letter her come to the movie set where he is filming for a few days. What starts off as a publicity stunt that is horrible in every way, becomes something more. Chase has had a pretty messed up life too, and people only see him for his mistakes. They don’t see who he is trying to be, or think that this time will be any different than the other times he’s tried to clean up and get better. Amanda Grace sees the real him and inspires him to want to be better. For real this time. I adored him. Yes, he’s made some really bad mistakes, but he’s really a good person.
The romance was super swoon worthy. It was very real even though it was quick to happen. The chemistry between them was sizzling. I loved that he made her feel comfortable and really looked out for her, but he didn’t treat her like she was broken or couldn’t make decisions of her own. He let her do the things she wanted when she wanted and he was never pushy. His only mistake was that even though he shared so much with her that he doesn’t with anyone else, he wasn’t honest about the important things. They were so friggin cute sometimes, that I would be smiling while reading. Them falling for each other was so fun to experience.
What I thought was the best about this book was that even though it is a short span of time. The way things unfolded made sense. Amanda Grace and Chase first meeting was hilarious, but also sad because of how it affected her. I also really loved the secondary characters. They were all very individual and were such integral parts of the story. It’s so hard to write much more without gushing and giving the whole story away, but this is seriously a must read. It has many dark parts to it, but also so many parts that make you have a stupid happy grin. A word of warning though, there are some very sexually explicit parts, so it’s not for the young or people who don’t like to read that type of thing. I can happily say that this is one of my favorite books of 2016 so far. I absolutely loved it!