Friday, October 25, 2013

BLOG TOUR REVIEW: Long After by Cheryl McIntyre

For Annie Phillips, there is a right way to do things and everything has a place. College and her flawless GPA are top priority, as is planning her perfect future. Anything less than perfection is unacceptable. So when she meets Loden Guiles, she believes she has finally found her perfect happily-ever-after.

Chase Malloy is funny, loyal, and an all around nice guy. He’s also sloppy, tattooed, and undirected. All Chase wants to do is survive college, hang out with friends, and make music. Knowing his best friend’s step-sister since they were fourteen, Annie and he have always had a love-hate relationship. The last thing Chase expects is to fall for Annie, but he knows he’ll never live up to her idea of the perfect man.

On the outside, Annie and Loden’s relationship appears picture perfect. But behind closed doors, Annie quickly realizes Loden isn’t the man he pretends to be. Every time her not so well laid plans crumble, and Loden proves to be not so Mr. Right, Chase is there to pick her up and brush her off. Will she realize the perfection she’s been searching for has been in front of her all this time?

*Long After is a companion novel to Sometimes Never and Before Now. Many of the same characters appear in Chase and Annie's story. However, it can be read as a stand-alone book.

**This is a new adult novel. Due to harsh language, sexual situations, and violence, this book is recommended for 17+.

4 Star Review by Lisa Kane

Annie and Chase were secondary characters in Cheryl McIntyre's Sometimes Never (Hope and Mason's story) and Before Now (Park's story). Chase is best friends with Guy, Hope's foster brother. Annie is Guy's step sister and Hope's foster sister. Chase and Annie have known each other for years and both go to the same college. Annie trades constant insults with Chase; it is engrained in their relationship. Some part of her thinks of Chase as a loser. He may be gorgeous and a chick magnet, but he is lazy and has no drive. She would rather keep her distance from him by keeping her shield of distain in place. Offense is the best defense in this case. She can't risk her plans for her future by admitting, even to herself, that she might just have feelings for Chase.
Annie meets Loden. He's wealthy, well connected, and going places. Just what she has planned for her life-he fits the bill nicely. Maybe he doesn't make her heart skip a beat like Chase does, but his other qualities will compensate for that.
Chase doesn't understand why Annie seems to hate him so much. They have known each other for years, how did things get so messed up? He's not crazy about her dating Loden but there is no way Guy would be okay with Chase dating her. He knows he is a player, he hates school and he has no idea what he wants to do with his life, other than have fun. Annie is gorgeous and smart and has her life organized into neat little compartments. He can never be what she needs.

Not to pat my own back, but I think I'm a damn good friend to have. And I'd make a pretty good catch, too. So why the hell am I still single? No, really, why am I still single? If you know, you should really help a guy out. I'm not looking to get married. I'm just want a nice, simple relationship with a girl that's cool. One that likes music, can make me laugh, and that I get to have sex with on the regular.  
No one knows the truth about what is going on with Annie and Loden's relationship. When he goes away for the summer, Annie can breathe freely again. One of the first things she does is to reconnect with Chase. She couldn't do that if Loden was around. Chase loves having Annie back in his life, although he isn't sure why she dropped out of it in the first place. Even if they are frenemies, they were always part of each other's lives.

She shifts in her seat and I know I shouldn't have mentioned him. He's like this dark cloud hovering over our heads. I don't know how long their break will last. Is it just while he's away for the summer ? Or is it permanent?

When Annie pushed him away, Chase met Heaven. He may not be serious about her, but he likes hanging out with her and she doesn't blow hot and cold with him. Now that Annie is back in his life, where does that leave Heaven?

"I'm serious. You're pretty-more than pretty. You're smart and funny as hell. And you're the perfect mix of mean and nice. You don't disappoint." I reach for her again, slower this time. I lift my chin and meet her eyes. "Well, I was a little saddened when you wouldn't let me watch you change , but I'll get over it."

Too soon the summer comes to a close and Loden is back. Only the situation is worse than before and Chase starts to suspect things aren't as perfect as Annie makes out. When things spiral out of control, will Annie turn to Chase or keep living a lie?

I loved this book as much as the others in this series. There is always an underlying serious social issue in each of the books and there are passages that are difficult to read. That's the way it should be with a good read, it should be uncomfortable and push your comfort zones. That is growth. The epilogue in this one is delightful and these two deserve their HEA.
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