Monday, May 12, 2014

Before You by Lisa Cardiff with Excerpt & Review

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Aubrey Keaton has never had a supportive family. Luckily, she has Camden…

Her childhood friend. Her savior. Her boyfriend.

Even after Camden leaves their hometown to chase his dream to be a musician, Aubrey can’t imagine her life without Camden and his family.

Before starting a job search for her own dream job, Aubrey decides to visit Camden in California for a month. But when she arrives, something unexpected happens…she meets Jax Carmichael, the lead singer in Camden’s band.

Jax Carmichael doesn’t have time for a relationship…much less love.

Even if Aubrey is irresistible, she’s a complication he doesn’t want or need. He has spent the last few years building Chasing Ruin, and the band is on the verge of being signed. Pursuing Aubrey could destroy his band, and he’s worked too hard to be successful without his family’s money, or connections, to let that happen.

Aubrey feels an attraction to Jax like something she’s never experienced before.

Confused, she tries to resist, but when her relationship with Cam begins to unravel, she realizes that Jax might just be the one thing she needs.

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  Jax either started pulling her toward him or she started leaning toward him, she wasn’t sure which. The way his thumb delicately stroked her wrist scattered her alcohol-soaked wits, and it took her a few seconds to remember to breathe. Bre stared at his mouth; completely fascinated by the sensual curve of his lips and she just barely resisted the urge to wet her own lips in anticipation. 

With his mouth only inches from hers, he whispered, “You can’t look at me like that, Bre. I’m trying to be good. I know you’re Cam’s girl and the band’s important to me, but there’s only so much I can resist, and when you look at me like that I want to ignore all the reasons why kissing you is a really bad idea.” 

Unable to speak, she closed her eyes, trying to regain her senses, but it was hard when she could feel his heated gaze and his warm bourbon breath tickling her face. She knew the rational thing to do was push him away, but she didn’t want to. His lips brushed hers, moving slowly, causing a tingling sensation that she suspected wasn’t a figment of her imagination. “Hmmm...” she murmured, draping her arms carelessly over his shoulders, breathing in the smell of him, wanting to be closer to him, wanting more of him, wanting to forget everything but him. 

As he wrapped his arms around her waist, his tongue caressed hers once, then twice, and then his fingers began tracing the skin on her thigh just below her hemline at an indecently slow pace. Just as he started lowering her to the floor, inching his body between her legs, she heard laughter outside the still open door. Bre’s eyes popped open. 

“Jax always hides out in his room when he gets in his moods.” Bre froze, recognizing Katie’s shrill voice. 

“Maybe he knows where Bre is. I haven’t seen her for over three hours.” 

“Probably not, you know how Jax is with his personal space.” 

Bre’s eyes blinked in confusion. Then, suddenly she scrambled backwards and onto her feet, nearly tripping over the almost empty bottle of bourbon. 

“It’s Cam,” she mouthed to Jax, bracing her hands on the footboard of his bed, completely shaken, but oddly disappointed by the loss of contact with him. 

My Review: 5 stars
This was such a great book. I loved pretty much everything about it. The story line was smooth and just flowed along. The characters were interesting, creative and flawed. 
Initially I was a bit confused I thought that Camden was just Aubrey's friend, not her boyfriend. That came clear soon enough. I knew when Jax and Aubrey met, that Camden's days were numbered. Then the more I read, the more I understood that Camden's days had already been numbered, but neither him or Audrey knew it. 
Cam was stupid enough to believe that he could have his cake and eat it too, with no consequences for his actions. I couldn't believe that Aubrey kept believing in him, and he kept proving that he didn't deserve her. Lord knows why, but Cam kept pushing Aubrey and Jax together. While that was good for both Aubrey and Jax, it backfired on Cam. Cam was always giving Aubrey excuses that he had to go do things because of the band, he played guitar and sort of managed things for them. While that may have been true part of the time, it just wasn't true all of the time. He took Aubrey and her feelings for granted, and got his just desserts.
It really took a lot for Aubrey to open her eyes and acknowledge what Cam had done to her and how he consistently treated her. On the other hand, Jax was always there when she needed a friend, because Jax knew that eventually either Cam would screw up or Aubrey would see things clearly. Jax, in my opinion, was presented to Aubrey the way he was because Cam subconsciously knew that he would be competition. Jax is a talented singer, and clearly he valued Aubrey above many things because he made time for her to be in his life. 
I really loved the way that Aubrey was so selfless, and just gave and put everyone ahead of herself. But there comes a time when she realize she's just going through the motions with Cam and has been for a long time, although she did remain true to him until she broke up with him. I loved the ending of this book, I loved Jax and Aubrey together. They were just so comfortable and easy with each other. Then there was that whole chemistry thing that was so clear from the first page. They did things the right way, in my opinion, and I'm very happy with the outcome. 
This is the first book I've read by Lisa, and hopefully will not be the last. I know there's another book coming out in a month or so in this series and I would love to continue reading about these people and this band. Just fantastic!!

  After spending years practicing law and running a real estate development company with her husband, Lisa decided to pursue her dream of becoming a writer and she must confess that inventing characters is so much more fun than writing contracts and legal briefs. A native of Colorado, she lives with her husband and three children in Denver. When she isn’t managing the chaos of raising three children and owning her own business, she can be found reading or writing a book. 



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