Thursday, January 21, 2016

Blog Tour: In This Life by Christine Brae


Author: Christine Brae

Release Date: January 22, 2016

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It started out so simply. Anna runs away to Thailand, drags her best friend Dante with her and spends a few weeks away, taking on other people’s problems while getting away from her own. She meets the enigmatic Jude Grayson, and for as long as it’s clear to both of them that it ends when they leave, she thinks she’s got the perfect fling planned out.

Or does she?

Anna returns home to find that her life is no longer the way it once was, and that she can’t stop thinking about him. She learns through tragedy that nothing she’s ever believed in has turned out to be true. The worst part? The people she loved were keeping a secret from her. And that no matter what she does, no matter how hard she fights against it, every path she takes keeps leading her back to Jude. 

This is a story about love, found in a faraway place by two very unlikely people. It is also a story about friendship and loyalty and fighting for what you have despite the illogical mystery of fate. And with the struggle between morality and guilt, faith and acceptance, there comes a learning that even the best-laid plans are powerless against the alignment of the universe.

From the beaches of Thailand to the streets of New York, three friends, Anna, Dante, and Jude will learn the hard way that once providence steps in, there is nothing in the world that can change what is truly meant to be.

Book Trailer

5 stars
Review by Lisa Kane

He's a force that pulls me towards him, a cliffhanger in a story in need of an ending.

I'm not sure how to write this review. There are major plot twists which would ruin the story if I posted spoilers, but those twists are the cause of my stomach plummets and this reader lives for those moments. 

Anna Dillon and her best friend Dante Leola are in Thailand doing missionary work. Anna is a med student and Dante-well he would follow her to hell if she wanted him to. Anna is running from the problems in her life. 

For all the partners we'd had, we each came first for the other, through breakups and make-ups and one night stands, our friendship was a constant.

Her mom has thrown her family for a loop and Anna -and well,  Anna needs to leave all that behind right now. 

Anna meets Jude Grayson and is instantly connected to him. But it isn't just his outward appearance, although that makes him pretty swoon worthy.  

He was Adonis personified-piercing dark eyes outlined with a kaleidoscope of colors and swirling with secrets, nose perfectly sloped and proportioned, defined cheekbones over an angular jaw lined with glorious stubble, impeccably groomed and shaped. His hair fell in slightly untamed curls above his ears. And those lips. Full, plump, luscious. They could swallow me whole. 

There is an innate goodness in him. He teaches religion to the children there-helping to guide them but also taking into consideration their own circumstances. He is no slave to church doctrine. He personalizes his teaches to his students real life situations.

Jude and Anna jump into a passionate romance, but both think that this is time out of time. Anna senses from what Jude has said that he has commitments back home and his life is there. Anna is no stranger to physical encounters but what she feels for him-it confuses her because she needs to focus on finishing school and her career. She tells herself over and over that this is temporary regardless of how real this feels to her.

In spite of the obvious feelings that Anna and Jude share, their ten days is coming to an end. Anna gets devastating news and has to return home early. But she and Jude spend one more night together and promise to get back in touch. Anna threw her phone into the ocean in anger over some family drama but Jude has Dante's number and promises to call. But Anna never hears from Jude. Dante lets her know that there hasn't been any word. Anna has to force herself to move on. Their time together was short, but she gave her heart to Jude and she doesn't really want it back. 

Fast forward five years later. Dante and Anna are now much more than friends. Anna knew she had to go on with her life, but she still feels something's missing. 

In these five years, I had experienced two deaths. The death of my mother was clean cut, more defined. No matter what, there was no hope of ever seeing her again. The death of my feelings for Jude were more difficult and just as painful. 

Dante is crazy about Anna and wants to start a family. But Anna has a million excuses for why it's too soon. 

The problem was that sometimes our happiness was at someone else's detriment. We were burglars in the night, stealing someone else's laughter for our own and replacing it with tears. 

In the most unexpected place Anna sees Jude again. If her heart was broken before, her soul is now shattered. She has so many questions and so much anger and feelings long suppressed are bubbling to the surface. It seems Dante, Jude and Anna all have secrets that they have kept from each other. Secrets always have a way of getting exposed, and the hurt they cause is far hurtful than the truth would ever have been. 

I could have loved you, I wanted to tell him. I could have given up my entire life for you, followed you anywhere in the world.
If only you had chosen me.

But humans are flawed and we make mistakes with the greatest of intentions. All three of these characters are inherently good. They want the best for each other, they do not act out of malicious intentions and most of all Jude and Dante both love Anna and she loves both of them. 

"It means that I love you most in my life. That you are my greatest love. That my love for you is real and true, and it comes from the bottom of my heart."

This is a beautiful story about fate. In spite of the route we have mapped out for ourselves, there are other factors at play, those that really determine how our lives play out. We can fight fate, we can dig our heels in and tell ourselves that we are in control of our lives but at the end of the day, we can't deny that sometimes fate points us in another direction. That road is where we are meant to be, even if we have to have our hearts broken in the process. 

She became living proof that sometimes, you have to lose faith in order to truly believe. That you may never find a Jude or Dante, but through adversity and tears, you will always end up finding you.

Character Profile


Listen to the songs that inspired the story of Anna, Dante and Jude.
In This Life Playlist 

Author Bio

Christine Brae is a full time career woman who thought she could write a book about her life and then run away as far as possible from it. She never imagined that her words would touch the hearts of so many women with the same story to tell. Her second book, His Wounded Light was released in December, 2013.

Christine's third book, Insipid, is a standalone that was released in June, 2014, and her fourth book, In This Life is scheduled for release in January 2016.

When not listening to the voices in her head or spending late nights at the office, Christine can be seen shopping for shoes and purses, running a half marathon or spending time with her husband and three children in Chicago.


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