A Little Too Far <— It’s LIVE on Amazon right now!
<— YAY!!! I must declare this is another one for my “Absolute Favorite Books” list! I had SO much fun reading it. No cliffhanger (well not like a traditional “cliffie”, ’cause this particular story is complete, but I am THRILLED to know there will be a sequel). There just HAS to be, considering I’m writing this while simultaneously trying to rub the ache out of my chest.
This “innate reaction” of mine says it all. Because I felt it from the start, and I still feel it now. This physical response is proof that I loved it that much. I’m in pain, I’m elated, I’m happy… I’m sad and the only way to alleviate that ache is to release it in a review. Right now.
Maryse’s Book Blog: Okay this is what I’m reading right now (and already loving it). It’s that “taboo” one I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, where she’s *ahem* “with” her stepbrother (hehe) and then she leaves for Italy, and she meets a gorgeous young deacon (about to be a priest). You know where I’m going with this. Total crazy love-triangle. And already, I am voting for the stepbrother (*whoooo*) but I’m still in the beginning stages, so I could change teams…
Lynetta: Oh! I’m reading this soon! Can’t wait to see your thoughts.
Maryse’s Book Blog: So far so good Lynetta! The writing is great, the pacing is too, and I LOVE her stepbrother. I’m sorry but I can’t blame her one bit.
Clare: I LOVED this book!!!
Maryse’s Book Blog: Me too… having SO much fun today with it.
Vernalee: Something Different at least. Is there a HEA?
Maryse’s Book Blog: No clue yet…
Darla: I’m so excited about this one!
Rayni: Ooohhh loving the synopsis
Michelle: Looks like it’s book 1 in a series or trilogy. Let us know if there’s a bad cliffhanger.
Maryse’s Book Blog: No clue yet… I’m nervous.
Maureen: Not a real cliffhanger. Such.a.good.BOOK!
L.m.: I’ve been waiting for this forever!!! So glad you’re liking it. I have a soft spot for the forbidden romances.
Maryse’s Book Blog: Still loving it and I’m soooo freakin’ antsy right now. My heart is pounding in my chest… and I swear I just called a certain character a name.
Maryse’s Book Blog: I just finished (writing the review as we speak) and all I can say is I wish they would release it right now!!!! OMG it was awesome!
Maureen: I was so excited to read that there was going to be more story told! I let out a happy little YAY at the end there!
Me too, Maureen. I SO need more, and ASAP (and luckily we don’t have to wait too long). November is doable. And anyway, I need to get over these tremors and aches first.
Yep. I had another book-induced physical reaction. Feeling this way, is one of the things I love most about reading. It’s happened to me a few times, but only with books that end-up burned into my brain (and my heart). The physical ever-present chest ache (aching, both in romantic anticipation, and in romantic distress). The swooping stomach butterflies (’cause in this case? I think I loved them BOTH equally. Team who? I just didn’t know anymore… I switched back and forth a few times.) And I had a case of wet lashes that stayed with me for a good part of the read. I won’t forget this one.
That exquisite slow burn, the sweet temptation of friends that want so much more, done just right. For me, really-well paced, and once it hit 50% I was wholeheartedly invested and questioning… everything. My heart connected to every stolen moment. From an intense, momentary look, hesitant touch, full-out belly laugh, phone-text, frantic whisper and all-out plead. I was right there with them, vocalizing, (and embarrassing myself in the process). Groaning (in agony), calling out a few choice names (in anger), and Oh noooo’ing in desperation. And especially sighing (in frenzied need… and occasional relief). But make no mistake. My heart BROKE. A few times, actually.
Hrmmm… to give you an idea, this one reminded me of how I felt while reading “Thoughtless” (that thrill), and “Beautiful Disaster” (that desperation that ravaged me as I read). Not the same in story, per se (well the friends that want more but can’t… part, yes…) but more along the lines of how I felt, while reading.
This one made me desperate. ‘Cause I mean, really, either way, there could be major repercussions. But… yes. I’m adding it to my “so desperate for it” pile, and loving every minute of that anguish.
If you like the kind of books I like… this kind of super-angst, but with that realistic feel that comes through in the writing, even in it’s *crazy drama* (’cause I mean, there has to be some form of extra-drama in fiction, right?), then this one is for you. This is one of those books that had me anxiously glancing at my page location, dreading the fact that I was getting to the end. Even though I was dying to know where it was going, I didn’t want it to be over.
So what’s it about?
Lexi and Trent have been best friends since they met at 16. Which is amazing considering they are step-siblings (his mother married her father). Usually step-siblings fight, but these two have been pretty much inseparable and very tight-knit. No. Get your mind out of the gutter! They are just sweet! They tell each other everything. Confide in each other (heartaches, personal worries you know… all of that) and comfort each other. They laugh together, play video games together, and console each other when things get tough.
It’s always been easy to talk to Trent. Just knowing he loves me unconditionally – that he’ll never judge me, and I don’t have to hide who I am to him – it makes me feel understood. And he’s never stopped holding me when I’m upset. Like now.
Their parents beam in pride with how close they are. How sweet their whole family is. And it is, you guys. I LOVE them all. No darkness here. Loving, supportive and happy.
And now that they’re adults (heading back out to their different colleges) *whoops* … yeah.
… desperation like I’ve never felt before swells inside me. Years of suppressed desire rear up, and, suddenly, I’m starving for him.
You can put your mind back in the gutter now, ’cause you guessed it.
All of a sudden, he isn’t my stepbrother. He’s everything I ever needed.
A moment of sweet and quiet comfort becomes so much more. And steamier. AND OMG “What did we just DO!!!???” But both realize they have very deep feelings for each other and are literally torn apart by that realization.
And all of this, a day or so before she leaves for Italy. For a year (for her art studies). No time to talk it over, no time to work out that awkwardness, and soon, Lexi realizes that she may have just lost her best friend forever. Things have changed and her heart is breaking.
… he closes the few feet between us and wraps me in his strong arms. “Love you,” he whispers into my ear. He’s said those words to me a thousand times, but today they feel different. They make my insides quiver.
So while in Italy, she goes to a Catholic church to confess her sins. And part of her penance is to work on a children’s community project with Alessandro (a gorgeous young deacon, who has already taken his vow of celibacy and who is about to become a priest).
As he shows her the beauty of Italy and it’s art (and while they work with the kids), these two become friends. She tells him about her stepbrother, Trent. He councils her. They start hanging out, whenever they can…
“I forgot to ask if you have any olive oil.” His head pokes out of the kitchen, and when he sees me standing here in nothing but a towel, his eyes widen for just an instant before he ducks back into the kitchen.
“It’s okay. I can make do with butter.”
I loved all of those relaxed “just friends hanging out” moments. Because it proved that the perfect almost-priest was really… just a man. Gah! I hate saying “just” when it comes to someone as extraordinary as Alessandro.. It’s SO sweet… and it’s soooooo much more. *whoo*
I’ve got the hots for the good reverend.
I thought I was going to hell before, but this pretty much cements it.
And she still goes back home on her breaks, so… you know. She may be in Italy most of the time, but…
I knew I was already wanting to choose her stepbrother from the start (believe me, you will too… it starts fast but there is so much emotion and intensity and it’s so well done… this isn’t “insta-love”). I was so into them already, that I was bummed being in Italy. I just wanted to go back to what we just left.
I was SURE I wouldn’t be able to fall for the priest.
I was wrong.
There’s something about those intense charcoal eyes on me that makes me feel… dangerous. It must be the forbidden thing, I think. And, sh!t. There’s that tingle in my groin again. I can’t have the hots for an almost-priest, no matter how good looking he is. It’s just wrong in so many ways.
No worries. As crazy as the premise is, it’s not… obnoxious.
Well… of course a few times I felt a bit “sacrilegious” (swooning over such an amazing, kind, sweet, practically perfect character that was about to become a priest – considering I’m Catholic and all – eeeeeeeeeep!!!!!) but whoa! He was just…. both were just…. *sigh*
I love them.
But no matter my occasional discomfort and social issues, it didn’t make me too uncomfortable. It’s got that taboo edge, and it does pretty much… take it to the top, but it doesn’t go too taboo. You get to meet the man behind the priest. You get his story. And you get just enough taboo *oomph* to give you that guilty-pleasure, every step of the way. But to me, this is the ultimate love story. My kind of love story.
I dunno if it’s just ’cause I knew BOTH heroes were essentially forbidden that made me love this as much as I did (you know me and the socially “unacceptable” subjects – I’m such a rebel <– ha!!), or if it was the awesome writing (’cause it was great!!), and the totally relatable characters (she made me mad a few times, but still I *got* her). Or was it the guys? Oh, you guys… *swoon*. I dunno.
I’m going to say that it was simply the whole shebang. It had everything I love, and need to feel “complete” in my read. The selfish needs and honest mistakes, healing, self-discovery, and growth. Unconditional love. Super-steam and realistic writing (you know… descriptions, thoughts, conversations, interactions, reactions… totally movie-style). Angst that I could feel and understand, dilemmas that had me invested… and best of all? Romance that had me feeling as if I was in love. ‘Cause I am. With both.
But most of all. It had detail. Personal touches. That AMAZING “just friends” interaction that made me crave what they were craving. Words unspoken, tiny actions, a hand squeeze, a forehead kiss… mostly innocent, but laden with emotion. Wonderfully detailed in everything that counts. Those little details, that feel true-to-life when you’re *crushing* on someone and aren’t sure if they’re feeling it back, yet. Little tiny stolen “barely there” moments that fed my need in tiny bite-sizes, just enough to keep me begging for more.
His hand slips around my neck and he kisses me again, this time on the cheek…
The perfect detail. The perfect pining.
… eyes lift to mine just as she pulls him through, and there’s a question there that I just can’t read.
Oh, Lisa Desrochers, how you tease… and I love you for it. LOVE I say!
So it was perfect? Well, (for me)… almost. Like I’ve said, if the writing is really good, and I find myself reading it as if it was a really good movie (playing out perfectly, seamlessly in my head), then I will often star-rate on how it made me feel. That becomes my main focus. How ecstatic I felt reading it. How much I felt as if I loved as they loved. How physical my reaction was during (and upon completion) of the read. Did I just close the book in the end, and shrug? Or did I back up a few pages and read them again? Did I immediately put it down and go into the kitchen for a bite to eat, a bit disappointed or indifferent? Or did I sit there, and stare at the last page for a minute, just feeling… everything?
This book had me feeling from start to finish. I was thrilling, craving, beaming and aching. There were a few that I wanted to cuddle and console, and there were a few that I wanted to scream at and chastise!
Of course anything can be critiqued. So I’ll say my *only* hitch was well of course some of the “non-communication”, but you know… insecurity and the “forbidden” issues can forgive that melodramatic angle (for me). I would say my only real issue was the… mmmm…. how do I say…? The… ahhh you know what? You’ll see it when you get there.
It wasn’t enough of an issue to drop me off my 5-star rating, ’cause with this one, how I felt while reading it, and after I read it cinched that 5-star rating. Oh. I know! Let’s just say that tonight I saw that somebody tweeted the word “whiplash” (in reference to this book) and, yep. I’ll go with that. A sort of… surprise. A part where I was all… Wait. whaaaaa? No worries. That doesn’t spoil a thing ’cause it could be anything, couldn’t it? But still, kind of a quickish ending considering the whole process. I think I needed more of a certain angle, a certain character… and yet…
I L-O-V-E-D it to the very last word!
Considering that my heart felt like it was going to explode out of my chest at times, and the butterflies in my stomach were whirling full-force… and considering how I had a light case of the tremors when I finished it, I don’t think any of my “nitpicks” can dim my experience of it.
5 stars PLUS!!!
Thank goodness that #2′s book release is soon (November). I know I said no cliffhanger (so no worries), but believe me, if you loved this one, you’ll be ecstatic to know there is more to come! In fact, I suspect I may just love book #2 even more.
P.S. Please excuse my extra long review. I couldn’t stop rambling and gushing… and when I went back to remove parts, I just… couldn’t. This was me, in the moment. Consider this my taboo-love-triangle journal, and this super-long post was my therapy.
P.P.S. Thank you, THANK YOU to the publisher for randomly sending me this review copy. ‘Cause the synopsis thrilled me when I read the back cover in the car, and the book lived up to my every thrill, and more!!!!! TOTALLY MY THING!!!!
Okay so for fun, I included my book notes. Scroll past the book cover below, if you want to read them but alert! No real *spoilers* but if you want to go into this “fresh”, skip it until later, in case my reactions give you any preconceived “ideas” – right or wrong – about where the book is going…
My book notes – mini ALERT —> Again: no real *spoilers* but if you want to go into this “fresh”, skip it until later, in case my reactions give you any preconceived “ideas” – right or wrong – about where the book is going):
- I already know who I want to win.
- Oh no, it’s gonna be so hard.
- Stupid desperate %$&*! Oh geez… I’m so mean.
- Awwwwwwwww my heart.
- Can someone love two people at the same time? If it’s these guys, yesssssssss
- Oh my!
- My heart. My stomach just swooped.
- This is one that I’m purposely reading slow so I don’t finish it too quickly. I love this.
- has that Abby and Travis “best friend” quality. They are both so obvious but they keep it innocent. Sooooo close though and I love the tension.
- omgomgomgomgomg!! I looooooove their closeness
- I wanna cry
- Oh oh. He can tell…
- OMG I’ve never wanted a book-kiss to happen so bad. Except maybe with Travis… heh!
- True heartbreaking, soul-shaking love.
- Mmm mmm mm
- Ohhhhh no
- Tell him, you crazy %$*&%!!!
- Oh she better not DARE!
- Help me!!!!!
- This is making my top 5 of the summer. I’m so glad I waited until the end of summer to make the list.