Wednesday, June 24, 2015

review || REMIND ME { blast }

Remind Me by Ann Marie Walker & Amy K. Rogers

Publisher: Berkley/Intermix (4/21/2015)
Series: Chasing Fire, book 1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Tasty Book Tours/NetGalley
Purchase links || amazon | bn | itunes | kobo | googleplay || add to goodreads


First in a tantalizing new trilogy about reigniting a forbidden desire from long ago...

As heiress to a media empire Alessandra Sinclair was raised to put family obligations first. But everything changes the night her first love walks back into her life and turns her whole world upside down. Haunted by the memories of a secret romance with a boy from the wrong side of the tracks, she can't seem to get Hudson Chase out of her mind. Once again torn between two worlds, Allie must decide how much she's willing to risk to have the love she's always longed for.

Ten years is a long time to wait, but billionaire Hudson Chase didn't become CEO of one of the country's fastest growing companies by giving up on what he wants. Now that he's got Allie in his sights again, he's determined to make her regret breaking his heart. And this time, he's going to make damn sure he's not so easy to forget.

Includes a preview of Release Me book two of the Chasing Fire trilogy.

about Ann Marie & Amy || Though thousands of miles apart, Ann Marie Walker and Amy K. Rogers are in constant contact, plotting story lines and chatting about their love of alpha males, lemon drop martinis and British supermodel, David Gandy. You can find them on twitter as @AnnMarie_Walker and @Amy_KRogers.

Ann Marie's Social Media

Amy's Social Media
facebook | twitter | goodreads

{ excerpt } .
Just when he was about to rip the damn door off the hinges, it swung open. “Took you long enough.” Not an ounce of amusement resonated in his voice.

Alessandra stared at him for a beat, her face registering disbelief and bewilderment. “I was in the shower.”

Hudson stood framed in the doorway. Right now he wasn’t feeling like the billionaire mogul the rest of the world knew, but a man past the limits of control. His eyes raked over her from head to toe and she pulled the lapels of her robe tighter against his searing gaze. “Why did you come to my place?” he demanded.

Her spine straightened. “Shouldn’t you be out with a leggy brunette about now?”

“Canceled. Now answer the question.”

“I . . .” She hesitated.

“Tell me.”

“I don’t know.” Her grip tightened on the silk robe, wrinkling the fabric.

“Bullshit. You do know. You can’t stop thinking about me.” He jutted forward, bracing one hand on the doorjamb. “I know this because I can’t stop thinking about you.”


“Every time I close my eyes I see you, feel your mouth sliding against mine, and it drives me fucking crazy—”

She held up her hand. “Hudson, please stop.”

“Then you show up at my penthouse. And now, knowing you’re naked underneath that robe . . .”

“You can’t keep saying these things to me.”

“You don’t mean that. In fact,” his eyes flicked down briefly to her nipples straining against the thin fabric, begging for his attention, “I think it turns you on.”

“You’ve got a lot of nerve.”

“Do I? I bet if I rip open that robe and feel between your legs, you’re soaking wet.” His gaze darkened and his voice lowered to an intimate challenge. “Want me to prove it?”

Her jaw dropped. “You need to leave.”

When she made a move to close the door, Hudson’s palm smacked flat against the wood. “Not until you admit I’m right.”

“Is that what this is about, you being right?”

“No, though I am.” His voice took on a decisive edge. “The road is paved in hard truths, Alessandra, not denials.”

“And you think I’m the one in denial?”

His gaze was rock steady. “I know you are. But fuck if I’ll let you push me away again.”

“It doesn’t matter how I feel.” Her voice thinned. “It’s too late for us, Hudson.”

“The hell it is.” His chest expanded and he blew out an exasperated breath. He needed to connect with the girl she used to be, the girl he knew was still there, beneath the layers of socialite status. “Damnit, Allie. Just admit you feel the same.”

“Admit what? That I haven’t stopped thinking about you since the moment I turned around and saw you at the gala? That I can’t stop picturing what could have happened in your office? Or about how part of me was disappointed you didn’t fuck me on that barstool? Is that what you want me to admit, Hudson, that no matter how many years have passed, I still want you as much as I did back then?”

“Yes, I need to hear you say it.”

{ review } .
REMIND ME opens up with Hudson on the phone with his lawyer while waiting for his punctually late ... lady friend ... to get in the limo for a charity event he must go to. Never one to attend them, it was decided that his presence was needed at this particular charity event when the large donation was made. Immediately you get a sense of who Hudson is -- impatient, money hungry, status hungry. He keeps Sophia around because she's good in bed, yet the more she drops hints for a future, the more he wants to ditch her. He'd been head over heels before... he wasn't doing it again.

Alessandra has been little more than a pawn in her family's status game through the years. As a young adult, she was always to be seen with men of certain status. Her now-fiance fell into the family business with ease. It is expected of her to do away with her charity work once she's married. Ten years ago, she fell for the boy on the wrong side of the tracks; a boy that her family would never accept. That didn't stop her from sneaking out to see him, though. However, when she is with her family and their paths meet, she ignores the boy -- ending what they had.
Now, ten years later, he's asking for a dance before he signs over a large donation.

Allie is just as swept off her feet by Hudson now as she was then. He may look different -- more brawn, fancier clothes -- but she still sees the Hudson she once loved in his eyes.

These two, in this first part of the three, learn to overcome the past and try to find a way into the future. As things continue to play out, though, Allie is again thrown into the pawn game her parents have put her in.
Through flashbacks, you get a glimpse of how life hardened Hudson. Sure, he'd been rough around the edges before, but he is much angrier as an adult. Additionally through these flashbacks, you see how much Allie has always cared from him, as well as how much she still does. The problem? She's engaged and her family is pushing for the marriage sooner than later. Her mother's father handed the business down to her father, and her father's to hand the business down to her soon-to-be husband. Julian is old-French money and because of that, Allie's mother believes she's marrying 'up'.
Hudson is a man who gets what he wants -- and when he wants something, he works hard to get it. That is evident in his self-made billionaire status. He went from poor kid to a man with a large empire and fancy clothes who bought fancy jewellery for his lady friends. So when he knows he'll see his Allie again (she was only ever Allie to him), his main mission is to get what he should have taken ten years ago. Boyfriend should have expected to fall hard for her again.
Hudson with Allie, truly with Allie, was a sight. It doesn't start out easy by any means, but when things fall into place for them (as well as they can in their situation), Hudson once again becomes that kid who loved Allie with his entire being. He cares about her and wants to take her to places she would enjoy; he knows her body language and tries to respond in kind -- when she's happy, or when she's nervous and fidgety in public. He's just not sure how he's going to be able to keep competing with Julian, and he refuses to share the woman he wanted ten years ago -- the one he's wanted every day since.

She was an engaged heiress and he was the playboy billionaire. A dark secret once again.

It hurts him that the further they get into the relationship, the more he wants her yet he knows she belongs with another man. I am not a fan of cheating, in real or fictional life, but there are so few Julian references that you nearly forget it until Allie's mother brings something up. Do not get me wrong, there are important Julian scenes, but I was easily able to lose myself in the relationship of Allie and Hudson. Hudson is the one person Allie has ever wanted. Allie chose Hudson ten years ago -- to a point. He wasn't handpicked for her because of status and wealth. She saw him, she liked him, she wanted to get to know him. And unfortunately her family got in the way of that.
What I love about some of these trilogies (SIN, CONKLIN) is that as a reader, we get three long stories to watch the couple finally get to their happily ever after. I have every confidence that these two are going to need that entire word count -- we have unhappy meddling parents, parents who don't think their daughter is anything more than an asset, a brother who gets into more trouble than Hudson can take anymore, the need to let what happened ten years ago become water under the bridge, finding a way to trust one another and accept that their feelings are true and real... I'm excited to see where this trilogy goes.

Personally, I found Hudson to be an ass through the first... quarter plus of the book. So much so that I wasn't sure I'd be able to push through (and I really wanted to push through). I thought Allie was a tad weak when it came to her family and lifestyle (granted, there's the whole debacle surrounding her job) -- but loved that Hudson supported her and pushed her to find her own happiness.
"You have the power to take control of your life." --Hudson

Their conversations at the beginning were a bit cold -- so much so that it almost felt like there wasn't any familiarity, but in truth, there were simply a lot of hurt feelings. The use of Miss and Mr. aided the coldness of their conversations, but later they were used in a more playful manner. Hudson was actually extremely sweet on Allie. He's a good brother, likely even too good, but I think he'll eventually be a better man (for Allie).

The overall writing of the story was seamless -- I am oftentimes amazed when a co-written story falls together so perfectly. You hear one voice, you see one style... Had I not known going into it, I'd have never guessed this was a co-written story. Also, kudos to the Lake Geneva reference/scene. A, it is indeed the playground for Illinois wealthy, and B, fall is certainly it's best time. I like summers in Lake Geneva, too, but there's no room for us Wisconsin folk to walk when it's bombarded by Illinois weekenders ;)

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publication date: July 21, 2015
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 publication date: October 20, 2015
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