Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Blog Tour: Embrace by S.E. Hall


Synopsis:

Evan Allen is a handsome, athletic, southern gentleman who now attends Georgia Southern University for no good reason.

After what he expected to be the romantic gesture of the century, Evan is looking at no friends, a year of ineligibility on the football team, and no girl.

He's starting over alone and doesn't know quite how to proceed. Certain members of The Crew refuse to let him face things by himself, taking him under their wing, and it doesn't take the ladies long to notice him, either.
Sometimes life doesn't go as you had planned. Sometimes it goes better.

Embrace it.

Embrace, the second book in the Evolve Series by S.E. Hall, follows the characters from her debut New Adult romance, Emerge




4 star review by Jen Hagen

Embrace is the sequel to Emerge.  I recommend that you read Emerge first before going further into this review.

Evan is trying to find happiness in his life and to move on from the devastating realization that he has lost Laney, a girl he thought he would be with forever, to another man.  Evan gave up his football scholarship to move to Laney’s college to be closer to her, but it’s too late.  Evan and Laney’s slow drift apart through the months has now surpassed into an ocean of separation.  They have lost their friendship, the substance that was the basis of their relationship. 

How na├»ve I’d been, thinking Laney and I were forever, that distance wouldn’t affect our closeness.

Laney feels awful knowing what Evan forfeited in coming to be near her.  She sees his pain and loneliness, and she knows that she is the cause of it, but she doesn’t know how to make him happy.  She misses their friendship, but her feelings for a man belong to Dane. 

All I want to do is hug this wonderful guy and make it better, but I know it wouldn’t.  A hug is much less than he wants, what he thinks he needs, and I can’t give him anything more.  My heart’s no longer mine to give away; Dane took it, he owns it.

Evan is able to develop a strong friendship with, Sawyer, a member of the “the crew” (the group of guys/Laney/Dane that hang together) and is happy to have a friend cheer him up. (Sawyer could make anybody laugh…he has the best sense of humor even though it might be a little crude.)  Evan also has developed a friendship with a girl, and as much time as they spend together, have things in common and he can laugh again, Evan is being cautious in thinking that he could develop this into more.

…I want nothing more than to scoop her up and kiss the lips off her, but I just can’t.  It might ruin everything, and I can’t lose another great friend because I misread things.  One thing I’ve learned the gut-wrenching way – I’d rather keep the friend forever than get a month or two of “more.”

Evan agrees to try dating and is set up on dates by his friends.  These are all disastrous (and hilarious!).  Evan decides that instead of leaving it up to his friends, he will let fate decide who he should date and he finally concedes that happiness is staring right at him it’s worth risking the friendship .

“You make me happy…more than I thought would be possible again.  Better even.”

I’m going to be completely honest…I was Team Evan in the first book.  My heart broke for him in Emerge, and it continued to break for him throughout Embrace until he was finally able to find love again.  I was questioning how the author could possibly make everything okay for Evan again, considering how his heart had been stripped bare, and as much as I wanted him to be with Laney (and I was willing to offer a bribe to the author to change the storyline so that Laney and Evan could find their together forever again) I have to say I am pleased with how Evan’s story ended. 

The majority of Embrace is told through Evan’s point of view, and it was fun to read a book through a young male’s perspective.  Evan’s inner monologue had me laughing, and the author should be commended for letting us slip into our young adult lives again.  She kept it simple enough to make it feel like we were 20 years old again and could relate to everything that was rumbling through Evan’s thought process. 

The entire gang makes appearances throughout the book.  They add so much to the storyline with their humor.  Laney and Dane are still in love, although there’s a time where Dane has to come to terms with an incident from his past and he feels Laney won’t love him because of it.

“You have no idea how much I love you, Laney.  You are the best thing about me.  The only thing in the whole world more beautiful than you is my love for you.” – Dane

If you are looking for a reprieve from the alpha-male setting, give Emerge/Embrace a try.  They are sweet love stories interlaced with strong friendships and humor.  Emerge had more of the angst factor for me, and Embrace gave me the warm, fuzzy, all-is-good feeling.  I truly enjoyed how this author tells a story and hope she is going to give us more from “The Crew.”

The Crew is one big family – functional, funny, endearing, and truly accepting of one another.  Everyone cares about the others and has each other’s backs, and I’m really glad to be part of it.  I get to see Laney and spend time with my friends while holding the girl I’m so enamored with I can see nothing else.  I can’t believe it happened; it’s so unbelievable, but it did. -- Evan





Excerpt 1 - Days OCT 1, 3, 5
Laney

“Hello?”

“Zach, don’t say my name,” I choke out, storming across the lot as fast as my shaking legs will carry me.

“What’s wrong? Where’d you-“ his voice comes loud and worried through the phone.

“Don’t say that!” I interrupt, God, how embarrassing. “Can you walk away from everyone and talk to me for a minute? Where no one can hear you.”

My voice is nasally and obnoxious, getting on my own nerves.

“Yeah Mom, hang on.” Zach- not a great actor. “Okay Laney, I’m by myself now,” he whispers.

“I’m sorry I bailed on practice, and I’m sorry to bug you now, but I need a Zach of infinite wisdom fix real bad right about now.”

“Let’s pretend I don’t already know what’s up your ass and you go ahead. It’ll give you a chance to vent.”

Alright, so that almost makes me grin.

“Basically, he just hung on that bitch in front of me just to piss me off, and it worked! Seriously? I don’t do that shit to him! Nothing I did was to purposely hurt him. How long did I absolutely torture myself NOT to hurt him Zach, huh? A long ass time!” I come up for air, waiting for him to tell me how right I am while I climb in my truck.

“Laney, you know I love you, right?”

This can’t be good.

“Yes…”

“Then you know it’s with love when I say this.” Dramatic pause that makes my skin crawl. “Get over yourself! I don’t care if he fucked her on the field and asked you to film it. You may not have meant to, but you destroyed that kid. He’s here with no friends, no girl and a new team. Sound familiar?

He’s just trying to put one foot in front of the other every day, just like you did. You got your happily ever after, so back the fuck off and let him try to find his.”

Well then. Zach-1. Laney-0.

It hurts, not even gonna pretend it doesn’t, but his words are honest…and absolutely dead on. It angers me at myself for being the cause of such sad, but true words, describing the crushing of my Evan. It’s a lot to think on and

I have to do that now, before I cruise right out of control.

“You’re right Zach. That’s why I call you. I’ll always get the straight-up what I need to hear. Thanks.”

“I luv ya Laney. Don’t be mad at me, but much like yourself, don’t ask for my advice if you don’t want it.”

I chuckle, “God, if that isn’t the truth. You’re harsh, but right. I’m not mad, I swear. Now go coach! I’ll talk to ya later.”

“Later Laney.”

I hang up and stare out my windshield, pondering. Zach is right, I’m being a selfish bitch.


About S.E Hall
S.E.Hall resides in Arkansas with her husband of 17 years and 3 beautiful daughters. When not in the stands watching her ladies play softball, she enjoys reading YA and NA romance.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/S.E.HallAuthorEmerge
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7087549.S_E_Hall  

Twitter: https://twitter.com/emergeauthor

Buy Links
Embrace Amazon 
Emerge Amazon 


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