Thursday, August 14, 2014

Blog Tour: Always In by M.R. Joseph

Author: M.R. Joseph
The Shore Series #2
My name is Raphael Cruz. I was once a man made up of only flesh and bone. Never feeling, just existing. I indulged in the pleasures that others gave to me, and those I gave to them. That's all it was—pleasure. Physical pleasure. No emotions, no attachments. I didn't need all those feelings, didn't want them. There was no longing for love, no longing to let anyone in. Until I found her. And I gave in.

Harlow Hannum showed me what love was all about. I savored it and held it close, not even knowing I really wanted it in my life. She made me feel loved. She made me accept love. She taught me how to love in return. My heart was open to it all. My heart was hers. It belonged to her. But, she never knew. And then lies, deceit and betrayal forced me to lose the one thing that made me more than a man who just existed.

I should have told her I loved her when I had the chance. I should have told her I gave in to all the powers that love possess.

Will I ever have the chance to tell her? Will my past mistakes never give me that chance?

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4 Star Review by Jennifer Hagen

The first book, Giving In, was a huge surprise find for me.  I loved all the angst and how our reformed one-night-stand stallion was able to be tamed.  The ending was so sad and Raphael Cruz was breaking my heart…but in a good way.  My heart was swelling with love for that man, and in this second book my heart was breaking for him.  Please don’t read any further if you have not read the first book

Quick recap (quickly exit out if you don’t want to know the first book) -- Cruz and Harlow had a strong friendship which eventually turned into a relationship.  Harlow’s controlling grandmother didn’t see Cruz as a good fit for their family and threatened Cruz.  Cruz backed off from their relationship never telling Harlow that he loved her.  It’s now too late to tell her how much she means to him and that he loves her because she was involved in a boating accident that placed her into a coma.  Cruz never left her side. 

Cruz has spent so much time at the side of Harlow just waiting for the chance to tell her he’s sorry that he never told her of his love for her.  He wants to say the words and have her hear them, and  more than anything he wants them to be together again.  But when Harlow awakes from her coma, it’s not the pleasant hugs and kisses reunion we all wanted; instead it is screams and security-escorted exits. 

Cruz is devastated that Harlow won’t give him the time of day.  She won’t even give him a chance to prove how much he loves her and how good they were together.   Cruz drowns his sorrow in booze…lots and lots of booze.  The poor guy is drinking himself to death.  It broke my heart how much he hurt for her, how much he loved her, and how little Harlow was willing to give him.  I despised Harlow.  There are very few times when I am so upset at a character that it alters my perception of the book, but in this case if it wasn’t for Cruz and how engrained in his character I was, I don’t know if I would have been able to finish it.  Harlow is very self absorbed and I couldn’t accept her way of thinking.

Cruz on the other made the entire book for me.  He loves hard and can’t forget how he felt when he was with Harlow.  He doesn’t want to go back to the man he once was of nameless faces keeping him company.  He is willing to be Harlow’s friend with the hopes that eventually she will come around again like she did before when they were friends and became lovers.  Somehow I don’t think his plan is going to work…Harlow is headstrong and there’s no convincing her that what she and Cruz had was the real thing.   Even if things looked like they would eventually get back together again, there’s the simple fact that Cruz has lied to Harlow about his past.  Harlow may not be willing to forgive being lied to.  Cruz may have to accept the facts that he and Harlow are no more.

“Be happy, Har.  Be happy in your life whatever path it takes you down.  Always know that you made a difference in my life and for that I’ll never forget you.”

Wise up Harlow!!!  Get your head out of your butt and see that your future is looking at you with teary eyes.  He loves you so, so much and at one time you did too!!

“With you is where I belong.  I’m in baby.  Always.”

Honestly, the angst in this book was by far the most painful I’ve read this year and for that I give it 5 stars; but I just couldn’t accept Harlow and her decision-making process and that brings it down to a 4.  We are told the story from both Harlow and Cruz, and Cruz’s words will rip you open and shred your heart.  I’ll say it again – my heart BROKE for Cruz.  Remember Morty??  …Every now and then Cruz will reference his…errr, ummm…appendage, and that lightens the mood.  

Morty should be a happy camper.  He’ll be very active for the next fifty years or so.


~ Playlist ~


See where it all started.....

The Shore Series #1
Raphael Cruz doesn't do it. He just doesn't. Cruz doesn't fall in love. He's a "get in and get out" kind of guy. Ladies love him and fall all over him for his swoon worthy good looks and overwhelming sex appeal. He knows how to talk to them and tells them exactly what they want to hear. When he's done making them scream his name, he shows them straight to the door. The meaning of the word love doesn't exist in his world. But that could all change with a wink of a girl's eye... And one hot-as-hell romp in a bar bathroom.

Harlow Hannum is your typical girl-next-door. She has the brains, the beauty, and the money. What she doesn't have is the luxury of being someone's first choice in the game of love. She always comes in a distant second place, leaving her guarded with her feelings. Lies, betrayal, and secrets of her past follow her wherever she goes, no matter how hard she tries to hide them. That is until she's reunited with the one guy who can ignite the spark in her heart that's been extinguished for so long.

With sunny days, heated nights, and love lingering in the air in the beach town of Sandy Cove anything can happen. Especially when fate steps in for Harlow and Cruz. Will their blossoming friendship turn into unexpected love or will the collision of their opposing worlds be the end of what could have been?

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M.R. Joseph 

I'm a book enthusiast, turned author, who loves all things "Happily Ever After". 
My first book, 'Reunion' debuted in November, 2012. Meant only to be a Christmas gift to my family and closest friends, word got out, and here I am. The second in the series, 'You Belong With Me', released in March, 2013, and the final installment in the series, 'Letters to Luca', released August 2013.
Mom and wife by day, writer of contemporary romance by night, I believe in soul mates, true love, and all that mushy stuff.

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