Thursday, May 21, 2015

review || THE CLOSER YOU GET { release day blitz }


The Closer You Get by Carter Ashby

Publisher: here (5/21/2015)
Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Source: Book Enthusiast Promotions
Purchase links || amazon | bn || add to goodreads

Rating: ★1/2

If there’s one thing Rye Holcomb hates, it’s small, tight-knit towns with high virtues and zero tolerance for outsiders. Fidelity is just such a town. And Rye is just such an outsider. So when he and his brother, Cash, take jobs in Fidelity, Rye decides not to get too comfortable. Which is why he is avoiding some rather confusing feelings for his new boss, Cora McKay.

Cora was born, raised, and baptized in Fidelity. She owns a thriving construction business, has a close circle of friends, and is the breadwinner for her mother and four sisters. The one thing she lacks is a sex life, something she’s never longed for until now. One conversation with Rye sparks her sexual awakening, and, in spite of his reputation as a man-whore, Cora can’t resist giving in to his advances.

As Rye enjoys initiating his virgin employer, and Cash experiences a relationship with a man for the first time in his life, they begin to think of Fidelity as home. But small towns have brought them trouble in the past, and it appears Fidelity holds trouble for their future. Can their newfound relationships be enough to overcome a past that relentlessly follows them? Can two men who have been burned by love learn to trust again?


about Carter || Carter Ashby is a hardworking housewife and homeschool mother by day, and a romance reader and writer by night. She lives in rural Missouri with her husband, three children, and two dogs.

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{ excerpt } .
He took one step toward her, closing the distance between them a little bit. “I’m sorry I hurt you, Cora. I’m sorry for what I did Sunday. That was just really shitty of me, and I got no excuse. But I figured out that I’ve done this to myself. You have every right to think badly of me. I walked into this town figuring it was just like any other town, so I might as well get mine while I could. I already had my mind made up, so when something sweet and amazing came my way, I didn’t have a fucking clue how to handle it.”

Her heart pounded hard in her chest, and she found she couldn’t keep staring into his eyes.

“Cora, when you smiled the first time, you changed my life. I haven’t been able to get you out of my head this whole time. I’ve been praying to God all week that I haven’t messed things up for good.”

Now she felt she could barely breathe.

“Did I? Did I mess things up for good?”

She couldn’t even turn to look at him. He must have sensed it because he touched her chin with the tip of his finger and turned her head toward him. His eyes were so incredibly beautiful and earnest.

She cleared her throat and in a husky voice, asked, “What is it you want with me?”

“Just a chance. Let me prove to you that the guy you’ve known the past month isn’t really who I am. It’s just who I became after giving up on people. I can fix this, Cora.”

She opened her mouth to answer though she didn’t know what to say. Thankfully, the sound of trucks approaching interrupted them. She turned toward the noise. “We should get back—”

He spun her into his arms and pressed his lips to hers as he smoothed her hair off her forehead, leaving his hands to gently cup her face. The urgency and sincerity in his kiss undid her. She fisted her hands in his shirt and held on.

“I want you,” he whispered against her lips. “I’ve never wanted anyone like I want you, Cora.”

{ playlist } .

Ah, this is such a perfect mix of music for this book! The Man I Want To Be, while could be used in either relationship I suppose, it totally Rye wanting to be worthy of Cora's time and emotion. And Might Tell You Tonight? There's one exact scene that plays over and over in my head when I hear that song... You'll know when you read the scene and/or hear the song, but my gosh, it just works.

{ review } .
I loved this story. It is going to be one of my few four-and-a-half star reviews on my "Favorites of 2015" list. The reasons for it not quite getting to that five star are minor, but because they're there, I can't quite clump it with what I consider a five star read.


Zachariah Halcomb, who only goes by Rye, has played keeper for his younger brother for the past ten years. When Cash came out, fists flew, feelings were hurt, people were unjustly accused as well as unjustly hurt, and Rye wanted to protect his baby brother. In his quest to keep Cash safe and happy, Rye has put his own feelings aside and goes through the motions. When things start to get tough, he and his brother pack everything up and find a new small town to live in.

They choose small towns because they're within an hour of home, but where most people idolize small town living, Rye detests it. There are prejudices and cliques; people are unwelcoming when you do not conform to their ways.

Immediately when we meet Rye, you get a sense of hardheadedness, hotheadedness, and his don't-give-a-shit attitude. When he sits down with Mrs. McKay for the end part of his job interview and she asks the hard questions, his shackles certainly get raised.

Cora has her reasons for asking the questions, though -- she doesn't need a hot-head on her construction team. She wants him there for his talent, but she can do without the attitude. She knows all about 'different' people and she knows how to handle the prejudices; the way Rye has handled himself in the past is something she's not really ok with.

Between wanting to be his brother's savior, and a past relationship gone bad, Rye has no time for anything serious. He's a class-A playboy when he and Cash roll into Fidelity -- but the more time he spends with spunky, mostly scowling at him, Cora, the more he starts to want to spend time with her. He finds himself falling for her wit and dimples.

...definitely her dimples.

Cora is extremely virginal in her ways -- she's always put school and work above all else, and besides, when you have gorgeous sisters, why bother trying? Especially when the guy you think you may be crushing on will openly flirt with said gorgeous sisters...

I loved watching her as she began to become that swan she eventually fully becomes. She starts to trust herself a little bit more and begins to flirt to see Rye's reaction. At first, she still doubts herself and figures she won't hold his attention long, but Rye sticks around. The more they hang out, the more he tries to convince her she's not really that ugly duckling she so believes she is.

To say she's different from his normal conquests would be an understatement. When she's behind her desk, Cora is one of the most confident women Rye's ever known. She doesn't take shit and her small self seems much bigger than everyone else. But when he sees her outside of work, she is anything but confident. He finds her shrugs and her quiet glances amusing, but strives to find ways to make her come undone.

Of the two relationships that unfold in this story, Rye and Cora's was hands-down my favorite. Well, Rye and Cash's was pretty up there, too, but romantically, Rye and Cora's was my favorite. Cash was more open to finding relationships than Rye was, but Cash was well aware of the (un)likelihood of him finding someone to settle with. When Cash first meets Adam, Adam is the biggest flirt he'd met, but it took Adam openly asking Cash if he were straight or not for Cash to believe that perhaps this guy was for real.

I started out liking Adam. He was cute and fun, both for Cora and Cash, but as Cora was learning to live a little, Adam became more of an ass. I think Adam has letting go issues, to be honest. 


I loved that Rye was not attracted to Cora at first. I liked that it took her personality to bring him around. I also really love that he calls her 'boss'. Just love it. I hope that we can revisit this couple a few years down the road and he stills calls her 'boss' because it's so damn cute.

Cora had her own issues to get through, but Rye helped her with them. I loved the little things he did for her -- the dates, the comments... As their relationship progressed, Rye became less the hardheaded hot-head we first met and became a really sweet, genuine guy, and I loved that side of Rye. I loved when he became soft-hearted with Cora, when he realized that he could be someone good with her. I loved the tickle fights and the wrestling, the laughing... Rye and Cora were very, very good for one another.

So as for those "little things" that make this book a not-quite-five? They really are minor, I promise. They fall along the lines of writing style, some quick development in places where I'd rather it be more stretched out, and character inconsistencies (mainly the fact that Rye seemed to let go of things and BAM! He was willing to yell and throw punches again). Side note on the writing style, though? I liked the Big Girl Panties series, but again, had issues with it. I feel that Carter Ashby's writing was so much better in this book -- I was more gripped and invested in this one title than I was in the entire BGP trilogy.

{ giveaway } .

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