Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Real Thing by Cassie Mae with Excerpt & Review

Written by Cassie Mae
Published by Flirt
August 19, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-553-39253-1

In this electrifying novel from Cassie Mae, two close friends surprise themselves by shifting from platonic love to sexual attraction.

Eric Matua has one friend—his best friend and childhood sweetheart, who needs a place to stay for the summer. Mia Johnson has thousands of friends—who live in her computer. Along with her email chats and Facebook notifications, Mia also devours romance novels, spending countless hours with fictional characters, dreaming of her own Romeo to sweep her off her feet. When she starts receiving supersweet messages from a stranger who thinks she’s someone else, Mia begins to believe that real love is possible outside her virtual world.

When the two friends become roommates, Mia finds herself falling harder than she ever thought she could. But Eric keeps his desires locked away, unsure of himself and his ability to give his best friend what she deserves in a boyfriend. As her advances are continually spurned, Mia splits her time between Eric and her computer. But she soon realizes she’s about to lose the only real thing she’s ever had. 

Get your copy of THE REAL THING
(from Chapter Two)
“Do you want to pick your room?” I ask, hoping she doesn’t march over to the pictures of my teenage self on the beach. I’m pretty sure my man boobs rivaled my mom’s at one point.

“I get to pick?”

“Yes. There’s only two, but you get first choice.” I use my shorts to wipe the sweat from my hand before grabbing her suitcase. She seizes her laptop before I get the chance to take that, too.

She bounces down the hall, and I can’t keep the smile off my face. Same Em . . . there’s no medium setting for excitement.

“The master is on the left, up those two steps.” I jerk my head that way, even though she’s not looking at me. I’m ready to lug her suitcase into that room, but she swerves right to the room that’s usually reserved for me and my brother.

“I want this one.”

“Uh . . . you sure? You haven’t even looked at the other—”

“This one has a desk and an outlet. And it’s closer to the bathroom,” she says, slipping out of her flip-flops and resting her laptop on the desk. “So it’s perfect.”

There’s about two seconds when my head suggests I stay in this room with her, but I shut the door on it so I don’t freak her out. The two twins are pushed against separate walls, and she plops onto the one I usually take, bouncing a few times to check out the mattress. I try not to let my gaze drift south as she moves, but it’s a wasted effort.

“Yep, perfect,” she says, falling down on the sheets and inhaling the pillow. A smile floats across her face, and she sits up, wiping sticky hair from her forehead. “How long till that AC works?”

I push her suitcase against the wall for her. “I’ll go outside and bang on the unit a few times. Maybe it’ll kick in.”

“Still have those handyman skills I remember,” she jokes, and I give her a face. I might not have been so handy a few years ago, but I’ve improved. I mean, I fixed my uncle’s washing machine in Samoa . . . how different can an air conditioner be?

“Do you mind if I check my email while you do that?” she asks, eyes flicking to her laptop. Why would I care? She’s going to be living here. She is living here. She can do whatever she wants.

“Emmy, this is your house for the summer. Do whatever you’d do at home. I’m going to be doing that.”

She cocks an eyebrow. “You mean I can walk around in my underwear?”

“Hell, yes.” Damn it, that came out fast.

She laughs and tosses a pillow at me. I catch it one-handed and chuck it right back. It flops against her face, and she says, “Oh, that actually feels pretty good.” She holds the pillow out and then tosses it at herself. “A breeze!”

“I’m on it,” I promise, then tap the top of the door frame on my way out.

Halfway down the hall, I hear her yell, “As soon as this AC is on, you’re going to pay for that face shot!”

If it means a wrestling match like we used to have, then I’m sort of glad that pillow hit her face.

My Review: 4 stars
This was a really good read. I liked that it was different. The hero is the one with body issues, not the heroine. Eric has body issues because of the way he used to look. He's worked very hard to overcome that, but still inside there are always those doubts. He's very human, and real. Mia is pretty much like a lot of the younger generation - phone or tablet always at her fingertips keeping in touch with her "friends." I get that and really understand to a point, but completely agree with Eric when he wants her to be there - in reality with him. Things between them are easy because they've been friends for so long, and the switch to something more is always exciting. I will admit that Mia irritated me a bit, because you would think that having a real life, right in front of you boyfriend would make her want to be all over that. Ii did love the way that things worked out. That Mia did realize what she would lose if she kept choosing her "friends" on social media over her real life. This was a great story, funny, sad at times, and very real and relevant to today's world and the way we live. Cassie did a great job conveying all of that, and in the end won me over to even liking Mia more that I did at first. 

About Cassie Mae

Cassie Mae is a full-time writer and mother from Utah. She loves being glued to the computer, thinking up new stories, and writing the day away while the kids run wild at her feet. When she finished her first novel, she started a blog that now gets more than five thousand hits a month. Her group blog is also dedicated to reaching out to aspiring authors by providing critiques and other marketing tools to help them succeed in the industry. When she’s not writing, she’s spending time with the youth in her community as a volleyball and basketball coach, or searching the house desperately for chocolate.

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