Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Review Blitz: Better by Carey Heywood

Better Review Blitz

Book Title: Better 
Author: Carey Heywood 
Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Release Date: February 17, 2014 

Aubrey is embarking on a bucket-list trip around the world, the last wish of her Aunt Ally. It was supposed to be the trip Ally would have taken when she got better. Now, it’s just a chance for Aubrey to say good-bye. Adam escapes in his solo trips overseas, working just enough to fund the next one. When the opportunity to circle the globe falls in his lap, he can’t refuse. The only catch is that he won’t be traveling alone this time. Unable to hide from each other, Adam’s overprotective nature thwarts Aubrey’s desire to find her own way. Can they move past initial assumptions to find something better?

4.5 Fabulous Stars

Review by Nicole Lorenzo

When her Aunt Ally gets sick with cancer, Aubrey sacrifices everything to help her. She gives up her dream of going away to college, her social life and everything else so she could focus on helping her parents get Ally better. Ally is more than an aunt to Aubrey, they are more like best friends. Together they make a Better Board, a cork board depicting all the places Ally wants to go and see when she beats the Cancer and gets better. But after a long struggle and many years of being sick Ally loses that battle. Aubrey is beside herself with grief and feels completely lost as to what to do with her life now after putting it on hold for so long.

Days like today make me feel like I will never be okay again, like I will always feel like a part of me is missing.

The answer comes to Aubrey in the last wish of her Aunt Ally. She wants Aubrey to take her trip for her and visit all the places on her Better Board that she never got to see. The idea of traveling around the world alone terrifies Aubrey, especially because she has been so closed off the last couple of years, but she is determined to do this for Ally no matter how scared she is. Her parents help her plan her trip, they even find a guide for her to travel with. Adam is the son of a guy Aubrey’s Dad works with, he is photographer who has traveled around the world plenty of times. Aubrey has no desire to travel alone with a man she has never met, but she knows it’s the safest way to travel and she’s not doing it for herself, she’s doing it for Ally.

When Aubrey finally gets to meet Adam, the guy she will be traveling the world with she has mixed feelings about him. He’s definitely the most good looking guy she has ever seen, but he is also bossy and kind of a jerk. He’s under the impression that Aubrey is spoiled even though that’s the furthest thing from the truth. But as their trip begins and she starts spending almost every minute of the day with him she realizes that he can also be very sweet at times and she finds herself falling for him. Adam has made it clear that starting something would be a very bad idea. He is very over protective when it comes to Aubrey, and she finds it infuriating, she doesn’t want to be treated like a child, especially by him.

There is something about him, even when I feel like kicking him that pulls me to him.

As they travel around the world together, visiting all the places Ally always yearned to see, Aubrey scatters Ally’s ashes leaving a piece of her all around the world. As the days turn into weeks and the weeks turn into months Aubrey and Adam find themselves no longer being able to deny the pull they feel towards each other. Knowing full well that once this trip ends they will be on opposite sides of the country, they take one day at a time and just enjoy each other. Adam helps Aubrey slowly heal from her grief and she falls in love with him along the way. Can Aubrey handle the heartbreak that will come when they get back to the States and go their separate ways?

“I didn’t see you coming.”

Better is a heart wrenching story about Aubrey who sets out on a journey of healing and self-discovery in honor of her Aunt Ally. Aubrey is strong but overcome with grief over her aunt's passing. With Adam's help she sees the world and falls in love along the way. Adam is infuriatingly gorgeous and he’s harboring his own reason for his fierce overprotectiveness. The two of them together travel the world and take a journey together neither of them expected to take. Carey Heywood’s emotional story about grief, love, hope was filled with both tender and angsty moments. I loved every second of this book and highly recommend that you take this journey with Aubrey and Adam, you won’t regret it!

“What are you doing in here?" I stammer.
He’s on his knees by the bed, reaching under. "This bed is a trundle. There's no way I'm sleeping on that sofa."
"But I'm sleeping in here," I argue.
I watch as he pulls the trundle out. It's smaller, maybe twin sized.
"Yes, and I'm sleeping here." He makes a wide sweep with his hands over the smaller bed.
I remember how awkward it felt, sleeping so near him the night before. At least the trundle is low to the ground. My mouth drops as he depresses a lever and raises it to the same height as my bed, and the way it's made, we'll be face to face with maybe an inch separating his bed from mine.
I gulp. He turns to look at me. "Um, I was going to get changed."
"Oh, don’t mind me."
"Out," I order him.
His eyes travel lazily down me, and I shiver. His mouth twitches before he turns to leave, closing the door behind him. I hurry over to it and lock it, sagging against it. I had been looking forward to a night away from him. I quickly change, unlock the “door, and climb into bed. I hear the door open and shuffle further under the covers.
When I wake the next morning, I'm facing him. Wiping sleep from my eyes, I watch him. He's shirtless, his sheet draping low across his hips. I lick my lips, mesmerized by the rise and fall of his chest. I quietly slip out of bed and out of the room, taking my clothes for the day with me. I need distance. I can't stay in that room any longer. It smells like him, a mixture of Irish Spring, his cologne, and something just him.
I shower and get dressed. I'm in the kitchen, rummaging through the cabinets for something to snack on when he walks out. He's still shirtless. Why can't he put on a shirt?
"Hungry?" he asks, scratching the back of his head.
"A bit," I admit.
"Give me a minute. I saw a bakery close by."
He walks back into the room and shuts the door. A couple minutes later, he walks back out, now in jeans and a vintage looking M*A*S*H t-shirt.
"Nice shirt."
He laughs. "It was my dad's."
"You're wearing hand me downs," I joke.
"Just trying to live the green life."
I don’t give him the satisfaction of a chuckle even though that was funny as I follow him out of the flat.
"What about Abe?"
"He can get his own breakfast," he says, grabbing a set of keys that are hanging on a hook by the door. I give him a look.
"Don't worry. I'll bring him something back." He holds the door open for me.
I tuck my hair behind my ear and hurry down the stairs. I wait for him at the bottom, not sure which direction to go. He comes up beside me, tilting his head to the right. We turn together and walk.
"I saw you."
"Excuse me?" I stop.” “He's now a step ahead of me. He looks back at me.
"I saw you watching me this morning."
"I wasn’t," I stammer, looking away.
"If you say so," he says as he continues to walk.
I follow him but stay a step behind on purpose. I can't believe he saw me.”

Carey Heywood Carey Heywood is a self-published New York Times and USA Today bestselling author with six books out and many more to come. She was born and raised in Alexandria, Virginia. Ever the mild-mannered citizen, Carey spends her days working in the world of finance, and at night, she retreats into the lives of her fictional characters. Supporting her all the way are her husband, three sometimes-adorable children, and their nine-pound attack Yorkie.

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