Run To You by Rachel Gibson

IMG_20180705_183804_928.jpgTo have Beau, a strong, tall, mysterious, muscle bulging ex-Marine turned private investigator come rescue you from your mob affiliated boss in Miami would be what any woman who hope for when in that kind of trouble. Not Stella the beautiful raven haired, blue eyed Latina mix bartender who swears she can handle her own and believes her troubles only started once Beau (the ex-Marine now PI) dropped into her life. 

Stella’s half sister who wasn’t aware of Stella’s existence until their mutual father died, hired Beau to track Stella down to bring her to the Texas cattle ranch where at last they could meet. Believing it would be a walk in the park, Beau agrees to the mission and seeks out Stella in the dive bar in Miami. However, once he reached the bar in Miami and meets Stella, he soon discovers getting Stella to come to Texas to meet her half sister is more difficult than expected. Stella has no desire to meet her half sister as she suffers from anxiety and fears she would only be looked at as a disappointment or outcast. However, the freedom of choosing to go to Texas is quickly obliterated. Once Beau knocks out Stella’s mob-boss (because he refuses to let go of Stella’s arm) and Stella slamming a door on her boss’s right hand man, the exit strategy for getting to Texas because improvised and hurried. Now as a target, Stella has no choice but to hop into the black SUV with Beau and head for Texas whether she wants to our not.

After years of sleeping around with many women, Beau decides to take a vow of celibacy and vows to stay away from sex until he is married and it is meaningful. However, through tension, quirks and heat of the South, Beau finds himself now stuck in a rented SUV with Stella and is captivated by her beauty and curves. As the hours pass he feels the need to protect her. Without her trying to, he finds Stella has an ability to stir emotions within him sexually and dare he say his heart. In the mean time, Stella finds Beau cold, irritating and rough but yet is drawn to his masculinity, body and warm personality that she sees hints of. Stella is a virgin and promised to not have sex with anyone who she isn’t in love with. However, by the time they reach New Orleans, sparks fly, Beau’s southern bulge grows and they way Stella’s black hair falls around her soft plump breasts the two can’t resist each other. After a night filled with erotic and tasty pleasure (that excludes penetration) Stella experiences orgasms unlike any before. Having now broken all his “rules” with Stella, Beau finds himself caught between wanted to distance himself from her and wanting to be with her all the time. 

Once they reach Texas, the sisters meet and questions from the past are finally answered. Stella decides to spend another night of blissful rubs and touches with Beau in Texas and she ultimately confesses that she is in love with Beau. Of course, not wanting to admit his true feelings, he breaks Stella’s heart causing her to run out of his place, leaving him alone. Beau does go to run after her, but she refuses to listen as her heart has been crushed she just wants to move on with life. After weeks go by with none of his calls or texts being answered, Beau decides to use his private investigator skills to work and arrives as Stella’s doorstep. Will Stella take him back? Will they live happily every after? Find out by reading this sexy brain-candy romance. Perfect for a beach or weekend read. 5 stars

LOVE by Matt De La Peña (Illustrated by Loren Long)

IMG_20180207_104304_432.jpgLove by Matt De La Peña is an illustrated children’s book that brings the word “love” into a new perspective. Often, when people think of the word “love”, happy couples, hearts, sunsets, romance and/or marriage comes to mind. What I enjoyed about this picture book is that Matt De La Peña brings to light all the different ways people can experience love throughout their life. Love is not pigeon-held to just couples, romance, marriage etc, but it is the relationship we have with parents, friends, neighbors, brothers, sisters, our city and/or food. He mentions how a parent holding a child in their arms as the child is waking up from a nightmare saying “it’s okay, it’s okay”, is an act of giving and receiving love. Matt mentions how seeing the same musician outside of the subway playing “love notes that lift into the sky like tiny beacons of light” provides a sense of comfort and in a sense love. A grandfather and each crease in his face as he is fishing with his grandson is also an act and sense of love. A sister providing a piece of toast for her brother is another act and/or experience of love. It’s a perfect children’s book to help kids understand that love can be all around them and all they have to do is recognize it. What everyone else can learn from this storybook is to appreciate the small gestures in everyday life and how they add up over time resulting in happy memories, stability and most of all…love. A good story to read to your kids around Valentine’s Day. 3 stars – Liked it. 

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

IMG_20170922_131010_336.jpgWhen you look into the mirror do you trust the person looking back at you? Most likely the answer is yes, but what if you had to look at yourself standing right in front of yourself, would you trust that other version of you? You know it is another of version of you, but does that mean they’re exactly like you and have the same morals? It’s a tough question and something that one will not know the answer to until they are in the moment like Jason Dessen, the main character of Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. Jason lives a wonderful life as a physics professor and has a beautiful wife Daniela and a great son Charlie. One night he goes out to meet his old friend Ryan for a drink and on his way home, Jason is kidnapped, drugged, held at gunpoint and ultimately wakes up strapped to a gurney surrounded by hazmat suits. However, Jason also leaves the bar and arrives safely home and makes love to his wife on the same night. 

At this point, I as the reader begin to wonder if I missed something? Did I skip a page by mistake? The answer is no and so the story unfolds as such. This science-fiction novel is sprinkled with quantum mechanics propelling Jason into a multitude of time travel adventures where he can witness first hand how his life would have been different had he made a different decision in different moments. Having witnessed his life is splendid times and horrific times he is now desperate more than every trying to figure out how he ended up where he is and if he can ever return to his real home and be with Daniela and Charlie. As his misadventures down the time travel cube (which he created in another life of himself) Jason gets closer to where he wants to be, but ultimately is being followed and targeted by other versions of himself who are attempting to get back to the same rendition of reality that he knows is the one he wants.

Once Jason achieves the goal of going through the door that leads him to his original life (where the book started), this novel of science-fiction, mystery and quantum mechanics turns into a game of chess, a battle against his own thoughts and a survival of the fitness leading into much suspense and murder. The reader ultimately begins to feel like Jason and initiates the questions of what is real? Who is real? Did it happen or are you dreaming? Can you trust yourself even if it isn’t the current version of you? How do our decisions change versions of ourselves? How far is one willing to go for love? What is one willing to do to oneself so save the ones you love? This fast paced, engaging and contemplating novel is an excellent read and leaves the reader in awe.

Remember, life is laid out in a matter of minutes and in each minute we have a choice. Depending on what you choose will alter all the other minutes in your life. What choice will you make?