by Kimberly Lewis
From The Book Junkie Reads . . . What’s Left of Me . . .
Sweet second chance at that one love you cannot forget not matter time and distance. Cole returns home to find family, friends, and Jenna, but connecting back into the fold did not come without a test or two and a challenge thrown in for good measure. Just because you are ready to make things right again does not mean the past can be wiped away and all can pick up where it left off.
Jenna and Cole has a few things that needed to be cleared up before they were able to get on to building that future. Time was said to heal things but explanations make the road easier.
I found this a sweet, quick afternoon read about wanting that second chance at the one love you can never forget. While having to repair the deeds of the past that could break that chance at the future.
**This ARC was provided via Tasty Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.**
Letting go of the past is never easy…
Jenna Olsen has spent the last four years trying to move on from the heartache that tore her world apart, but when Cole Sullivan suddenly shows up back in town all of those feelings come flooding back…and even some new ones she didn’t know were possible.
Leaving town all those years ago was necessary, but now that Cole finally has a handle on his life he decides to return home to his family, friends, and the woman he just can’t forget.
Coming back home though comes with its costs, and Cole ultimately has to decide…will he be able to fight his inner demons to keep Jenna in his life, or will the chance of hurting her again be too much to risk?
“I was just kidding,” Jenna tells me, her mouth inches away from my ear with the rest of her body curled around my back. “Come on, I’m too heavy for this. Put me down.”
I chuckle and readjust my grip on her thighs. “First of all, you’re far from too heavy. Hell, my gear weighed more than you do, and I carried that around in hundred-degree weather,” I joke. “Plus, I’m starving. And with the way you hike I think it’d be closer to tomorrow afternoon by the time we got back to the house instead of your original estimate.”
Her hand slaps against my chest. “Shut up.”
I chuckle again and make my way down the steep incline with Jenna perched on my back. And I know she was joking when she’d insisted I carry her. I’m not an idiot. But I’m also not stupid enough to pass up an opportunity to hold her in my arms and have those soft curves pressed into me—especially when it was her idea.
When we make it back to the house, I release her from my hands as she slides away from me. A disapproving groan bubbles in my chest from her sudden absence, and I fight hard to hold it back.
“I need a shower,” she says on a sigh as she makes her way up the deck stairs in front of me. Her ass is in perfect sightline with my eyes, and I’m drawn to the way her hips sway with each step. “You’re not going to fade away from famine if you have to wait for me to take one, are you?”
Sunlight filters through the treetops and bounces off of her golden hair and tan shoulders as she turns back to me. Her smile steals my breath, and there is no doubt in my mind that this will forever be one of those images burned in my brain. I’m staring, but I can’t help it, and—honestly?—I don’t care. I’ve missed seeing her pretty face and smile that warms me to the core … and her laugh, her personality, even that dorky dance move she does when she gets excited after winning at something. Hell, I’ve missed all of her. But she doesn’t know that, and she also doesn’t know how just the thought of her right before I fall to sleep usually keeps the nightmares at bay.
MY INTERVIEW WITH KIMBERLY LEWIS
How would you describe your style of writing to someone that has never read your work?
I’d have to go with carefree, and I like to think my books are easy reading. For me, I read to escape from reality, and I want to give my readers that same experience so I try really hard to keep things interesting and not bore them with mundane details or scenes. My goal as an author is to make you smile, laugh, swoon, and feel everything the characters are feeling as they’re on their journey to their happily ever after.
What mindset or routine do you feel the need to set when preparing to write (in general whether you are working on a project or just free writing)?
When I’m writing I like to work in absolute quiet because I can get distracted very easily. If I’m in an area where it’s not quiet I’ll settle into some headphones and play some studying/ambient music to help me focus on the words and not the world around me. And I’m always accompanied by my trusty cup of coffee—or cups depending on how late it is and how long my writing stretch is :)
Do you take your character prep to heart? Do you nurture the growth of each character all the way through to the page? Do you people watch to help with development? Or do you build upon your character during story creation?
Usually I’ll start with a story idea and build my characters from there, deciding on what they look like, how old they are, what they do for a living, etc. Once I get them on the page they just take off from there, surprising me sometimes. I’ll be halfway through the story and—boom—they have a fear of needles I didn’t know they had or they have an obsession with football and a love for junk food.
Have you found yourself bonding with any particular character? If so which one(s)?
Honestly I probably bond with all of my characters during the writing process, with the most bonding happening with my main characters at the time. Each of them holds a small part of me (my personality, my past, my hopes, etc.) and I like to think that makes them feel more like real people instead of just characters in a book.
Do you have a character that you have been working on that you can't wait to put to paper?
This one is kind of funny because my answer is Jenna and Cole from What’s Left of Me. I started this story five years ago (give or take a few months) and at the time it had a completely different story line. I couldn’t get it to work and was so bored with the story that I shelved it. But I loved these characters and knew they needed to have a story of their own, so when the idea for What’s Left of Me hit I knew it needed to be about Jenna and Cole.
Have you ever felt that there was something inside of you that you couldn't control? If so what? If no what spurs you to reach for the unexperienced?
Fear of the unknown is probably one of the hardest things for me to control. It’s this exact thing that keeps me from going too far out in the ocean or any body of water for that matter. The first time anything I can’t see brushes against my leg I’m done! That said though, I do try to experience things and force myself to do stuff I normally wouldn’t. You only have this one life to live, and when I look back on my past I want to be able to say I had the guts to do whatever I put my mind to.
I got this one from a friend. If you could have dinner with 7 fictional characters, who would they be?
I read this question and thought “Man, this one’s easy!” … but it’s hard! I’m going to break the rules a little bit and just go ahead and say that I’d have dinner with all of the characters from my books. But I don’t think that’s the answer a lot of people would want to hear because it’s so predictable, so here goes (in no particular order):
1. Killian Jones/Captain Hook, Once Upon a Time
2. Daenerys Targaryen, Game of Thrones
3. Amy Fleming, Heartland
5. Hermione Granger, Harry Potter
6. Keely McKay, All Jacked Up by Lorelei James
7. Mark Dixon, Defenseless by Corinne Michaels … although I’d probably save his company for dessert :)
Can you share your next creative project? If yes, can you give a few details?
Yes, of course! I’m working on the next book in my McKades of Texas series that follows the middle brother Luke and his love interest Karlie. And one teeny tiny detail about the book without giving too much away is … Luke and Karlie have known each other forever, so it comes as a shock to Luke to find out that Karlie has been holding feelings for him for years. At first he’s not sure it’s a good idea to get involved with her, but Karlie is quite good at convincing him otherwise.
Bestselling author Kimberly Lewis writes sweet, sexy contemporary romances filled with heart and humor.
Born and raised on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, this country girl caught the creative bug at an early age, doing everything from drawing to writing short stories. After dabbling in many genres, Kimberly rediscovered her love of romance stories and soon after published her first novel.
Kimberly still lives on the good old Eastern Shore of Maryland with her wonderful husband, two beautiful children, and spirited Doberman Pinschers. Along with writing, Kimberly enjoys reading, horseback riding, and spending time with her amazing family.
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