Author: Melissa Brown
Series: Love of My Life #4
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Release Date: February 3, 2013
Genre: New Adult
More Info: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon US
Purchase: Barnes & Noble
Purchase: Amazon UK
It’s funny how the tiniest of things can change your life… an invitation, a simple kiss goodnight, a matchbook…
Auden Kelly is in need of a change.
She’s trading in her nine-to-five sales job for the adventure of a lifetime: a one year contract with a European tour company.
For one full year, Auden will get paid to see the world. What could be better? Her brother gives her a journal, instructing her to document all of her adventures as she travels from country to country. And that’s exactly what she does.
When a mysterious stranger enters her life, however, everything changes: her expectations, her priorities and her view of the world. And nothing for Auden will ever be the same.
“I love this bridge. It’s gorgeous, isn’t it?”
“Yes,” I said, my voice small.
Campbell’s brow knitted in concern, “Auden, is everything all right?”
“Why do you ask?”
“You seem distant. Did something happen today? With Anabelle?”
“No,” I said, looking out into the water, “just thinking.”
“About me?” he said, a smug grin plastered to his handsome face. I shook my head in amusement, cracking a smile without meaning to.
“Perhaps,” I said.
“Look,” he said, “all kidding aside. I’m into you. You must know that by now.”
“But, your job means everything to you. And it’s not fair of me to ask you to risk it.”
I said nothing, hoping he’d continue.
“So, if you want to call this off. If you want me to leave you alone. Just say the word.”
The thought of missing out on whatever this was with Campbell was more than I could handle. Without hesitation, my head shook as I focused my eyes on his.
“I’m into you, too,” I said. “A lot.”
Campbell closed the space between us, whispering into my ear, “Then be with me.”
I swallowed hard, closing my eyes and listening to his words. Craving them, wanting more. Wanting his hands on me. Knowing that’d be next to impossible out here in the public eye. Knowing that finding actual privacy would be just as impossible.
His hand was warm in my grip. I squeezed it in solidarity, wanting him to know his desire for me was reciprocated. He placed a gentle kiss on the tip of my ear, before leading me across the stone bridge.
Hand in hand, we walked, gazing at the water, the tourists and the shop owners of the market. We didn’t say much, which felt odd at first. But, the silence between us became soothing and calm. His hand in mine, the way his thumb grazed over my fingers was all I needed to feel content.
Street lamps were the only light to be found by the time the water bus was back in our sights. Campbell stopped walking. His eyes were on fire as he took me in with his eyes. His need for me was obvious.
“Come with me,” he said, pulling me to the side of a building. One small street lamp shined dim with burnt orange light. I leaned my back against the stucco, feeling it’s cold, bumpy texture. Campbell placed his hand against the building, just above my shoulder. His other hand pressed to my hip.
“I can’t let you go yet,” he said, his eyes searching mine.
Brave Auden finally decided to make her appearance.
“Good,” I said, lifting my chin. His eyes widened, pleased with my response.
“Why?” he asked, exploring my neck with his lips.
“Why what?” I asked, playing dumb, yanking back on the control once again.
“Why is that good?” he asked, placing gentle kisses along my jawline.
“Because…” that simple word hung in the air for several moments. Campbell continued to seduce my skin with his lips and I did my best to slow down my breathing.
“Tell me,” he said.
“Tell me,” he repeated.
“I want you,” I said. The words left my mouth in a whisper.
Campbell stopped his kisses and I could feel his cheek against my neck. It was puffing out, forming a satisfied smile.
“Tell me again,” he said, pulling back, gazing into my eyes.
I swallowed, unsure if I should say it again. But, terrified at the thought of not saying it.
“I—I… I want you.” I said, my eyes narrowed. I was trying desperately to hide my fear, my anxiety, my lack of self-control around this man.
“You’re exquisite,” he said, his fingers running down the sides of my cheeks before he cupped his hands to them and kissed me. Hard.
His tongue entered my mouth immediately and I stroked him with mine. Delicious strokes that left me wanting more. And more. His fingers weaved through my hair, pulling gently at the base of my scalp. My back dug into the stucco, but I didn’t care.
Harder and harder, he pressed me into the building, my arms wrapped around his neck as his hands wandered down to grip my ass, hoisting my legs around him, my heels digging into the small of his back. He was hard beneath his jeans and it excited me. The feel of him beneath me was intoxicating.
Campbell pulled his mouth from mine, pushing me up further so that his lips were level with my chest. Slowly, he unbuttoned the top buttons of my tunic, exposing the lace of my bra.
“So sexy,” he said, running his fingers across the lace, causing goosebumps to rise along my arms and legs.
“Say it again,” I said, enjoying his appreciation of my body.
“You’re so fucking sexy. I can hardly stand it.”
“You want me, don’t you?” I asked with a smirk.
“You know I do,” he said, before dipping his head into my chest, stroking the skin beneath the lace with his tongue. A moan escaped my lips as I pressed my hips into his arousal.
The water bus let out three long sounds of the horn.
“Shit,” Campbell said, knowing that was the signal for last boat of the night.
“Last call. We’d better…um, we should probably go,” I said.
“I know, but…”
“I know,” I said, pressing my forehead to his. “I know.”
Slowly, he lowered me to the ground, buttoning my top for me and smoothing down my hair. Such a gentleman. He was practically devouring me just a minute prior, but when reality resurfaced, so did his chivalrous nature.
We ran to the water bus, hands again interlocked. But, when a few members of the tour hopped on the boat, my hands jumped quickly to my lap. We remained detached all the way back to our hotel, saying a casual goodbye for the night, knowing the tour members eyes were upon us.
As if it were ever ANY question, Melissa Brown has proven once again why she is the queen of romance! I’ve read all of her books multiple times, and like a fine wine, she just gets better and better with age. Just when I think the next book cannot possibly be better than its predecessor, there she goes proving me wrong. This book will make you feel. Ooh how it will make you feel. MB writes women who while at a crossroads in their life, are so incredible headstrong and independent. She writes women that you can relate to, women you want to be friends with, and women who don’t take crap from anyone! Women who are dealing with real life issues. While some of the issues may seem trivial compared to others, there can be no comparison when it comes to pain. Pain isn’t a contest, and you have every right to feel the way you do. Despite all of this, Auden isn’t afraid to go after what she wants.
Through Auden, we are able to go on an adventure of a lifetime. Some authors will write about a locale yet you feel like a spectator. Not MB! She doesn’t just simply write about it, she grabs your passport and literally shoves you on the plane. You can taste the pizza in Italy, feel the breeze on your skin as you ride in the gondola, smell the pot as you walk through Amsterdam 😉 But most importantly, throughout this trip, she allows you to not only find yourself but fall in love.
On the outside, this may seem like a cliched romance. Girl goes to foreign country, falls in love, lives happily ever after. If you’ve ever read a MB book before, you know this simply just isn’t the case. Once you scratch through the surface, the depth that lies beneath will have even the blackest of hearts melting. While I thought no character could EVER top Jason Kelly, Campbell has officially thrust himself upon the throne. And he plans to back down for NO ONE! I loved this character not simply because of who and what he was, but more-so of what he wasn’t! What he wasn’t: full of drama, full of insecurity, full of IT and himself, ashamed to say what was on his mind and how he was feeling, and afraid to call Auden on her bull crap. I loved how he saw through all her walls and said so. I loved how he seemed to know what she was thinking and feeling, sometimes even before she did. I loved the relationship he had with his family, always loyal. But mostly I loved the way he loved her.
It wouldn’t be a MB book without a few twists and turns, but those just made the book even more delicious. There is one scene involving a trench coat that STILL has me rolling! I could go on and on about this book til the cows come home. I love the love. MB teaches us that it is never to late to chase your dreams and that sometimes you can’t wait for your fairy tale, you have to go make it yourself!
Book One: Bouquet Toss
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Ever since Daphne Harper graduated from college, all of her friends have fallen in love, become engaged and walked down the aisle. Be it a blessing or a curse, Daphne (a hopeless romantic and perpetual single girl) catches the bouquet at every single wedding she attends.
Daphne’s love life is a mess. Her first love, Mayson, haunts her heart and keeps her from pursuing happiness with any man who comes along. As she struggles to move on from the one who got away, Daphne wonders if she will ever break her curse and find her happily ever after.
Book Two: Champagne Toast
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Kate Armour and Evan Maxwell fell hard and fast for each other while attending college. Their once passionate and loving relationship ended when old scars eventually tore them apart. Two years after their breakup, they’re each struggling to piece together what went wrong in an attempt to move forward.
Kate, a no-nonsense bartender, must face her past while attempting to focus on her future.
Evan is stifled by his bitter heart, which threatens each and every relationship he attempts after walking away from Kate.
Will life offer them a second chance at love or are old patterns simply too hard to break?
Book Three: Picturing Perfect
Hadley Foster has been through a lot in her twenty-two years: the death of her beloved father, her mother’s descent into mental illness, and the loss of her soulmate, Jason Kelly, from whom she walked away years ago.
Despite all this, Hadley has remained hopeful and optimistic about life. She has been with upstanding investment banker Tucker for six years, and the future looks bright—until a trip to Europe with her best friend brings a series of events no one could have foreseen. Suddenly the brilliant future she has envisioned for herself seems to shatter before her eyes. She is faced with a stark choice: move on again, or pick up the pieces.
Back home, nerdy but handsome Jason Kelly is now a successful writer who could have anything—and anyone—he wants. But deep down, he still misses his beloved “Haddie” and dreams of winning her back.
When destiny leads their paths to cross once more, Hadley and Jason must confront not only their painful past, but what the future may hold for them both.