Eliza Smith has never been the one to seek a relationship. She’s never dated a guy in her life, never even hugged a man (outside of her father/manager of the hot and popular rock band, FireNine) but when she decides to spend her summer on tour with FireNine, it all changes. Eliza really gets to meet Gage Grendel - her former crush from high school and the lead singer of FireNine - and witness sides to him to which she’ll begin to truly despise.
She’ll ignore him, she’ll dislike his ways, she’ll do anything to try and stay away from him until Gage finally gets her to slip up and give in. She agrees on a casual fling with Gage, but soon they’ll both see how the fling will blur into something they can’t control and when it’s finally time for Eliza to go and accomplish her own dreams, she’ll know there’s more she took from Gage than she ever thought possible.
Eliza Smith is 21 years old, a survivor of physical abuse at the hands of her step-father and a mother that did nothing about it. She’s been living with her father for a few years now & he’s the manager for the band FireNine. Eliza has kept her crush on Gage Grendel, the lead singer, hidden since high school. He was three years ahead of her in school so they never really knew each other. Whenever the band comes over to her house, she hides out in her room. She’s a bit of a recluse, doesn’t have any close friends & finds peace in her art and reading. Well….that’s all about to change. Ben, her father, wants her to come out on tour with FireNine for two months during her summer break. At first she doesn’t want to go, but when she hears that they will have their own bus she gives in.
I haven’t read any of Shanora’s previous books yet. I do know that I have one on my Kindle that has been trying to get me to give it some breathing room. And after getting a taste of Ms. Williams’ work…it will be read in the next week or so.
I am jumping up & down, OK..maybe I’m sitting right now, but I’m so glad that I had the opportunity to read this book. Holy crap…..well-written, emotional, sweet, ticked me off sometimes, hot and a whole lot of other feelings. I loved the interactions between Gage & Ellie (that’s the nickname he’s given her). It’s like these two had the rugs pulled out from under them.
“Okay. Someone like you is….innocent - but knows how to have a good time. You’re someone who can creat a smile without even trying. I’ve noticed it lately. I’m not really sure if it’s your innocence that makes people automatically fond of you or if it’s just that smile of yours that always seems so wide, yet so much is hidden behind it.” Gage’s smile fell the same time mine did.
For some reason, I couldn’t look away from him. His eyes sparkled from the light of the moon, and as he blinked, I finally lowered my head to look anywhere but at him.
“You’re someone who I can tell doesn’t trust easily. Love easily. Fall easily. Someone who knows how to step away from stupidity and nonsense instead of lingering around it. You’re the kind of person who knows she deserves it all because you’re strong, knowledgeable , and mature for your age. I find it nice, really,” he said, grinning, but I could still feel him looking at me. He then said the unexpected.
OMG….Gage had me falling for him very fast. His words, his smirks, his looks. Guess this is why he’s the lead singer & lyricist for the band. Gage’s life hasn’t been all peaches and cream either. It’s been a hard one and you’ll learn more about it reading this book. No spoilers from me. There’s so much going on in this book that my head & heart are still spinning. In a good way, of course.
Friends with benefits……..
“Get ready for me,” he murmured, his warm breath running across my core, “Eliza,” he whispered so faintly I thought I was imagining it. “I don’t want you to lie to me after tonight.” He kissed the top of my knee, but I frowned, confused, “Don’t tell me we’re just friends’ again. I’m about to show you we aren’t anymore. I don’t wanna be. I want more of you……”
“You’re the first girl I’ve given that kind of satisfaction. I’ve never given pleasure without pleasing myself in return.”
Gage has some great qualities. He’s not just a rocker who randomly hooks up with one-nighters. I didn’t expect these words to come across this 24 year old’s lips. I’m falling……remember I said that before?? Well….I’m flat on my face now! Their friendship/relationship has taken so many turns during the course of this 2 month roadtrip.
“Eliza, I can’t do that to you. I can’t take something that valuable away from you. You’re so innocent and I’m just……me. I’m Gage Grendel, a guy who hardly gives a fuck. You need someone who cares to take that away from you.”……..”I’ve been around you for awhile now and it wouldn’t feel right to just….take it. You’re a nice girl. I don’t want to turn you into one of the many whores in this world who thought their first was going to be their everything. I wouldn’t even be able to live up to being your everything.”
It’s a journey of a lot of “firsts” for Ellie and some for Gage, too. I believe these two are my new favorite “book couple”. How do you experience all that these two young people have been through and not have some walls that you’ve erected around your heart? Ms. Williams spun a truly amazing web of words with this love story! Yes….I’m calling it a love story.
“I wondered if he thought more of me, as I thought of him. He said a lot the other day, but everything was broken up. He didn’t complete his sentences and it confused me even more. His face was torn, but I needed to hear it. I needed to know I was hoping I wasn’t overreacting to our fling that got transformed into something more. I wasn’t stupid. I could feel it between us. I just wanted so badly to ignore it. To just pretend it was nothing. Of course, that was nearly impossible.”
Eliza has some decisions to make. She still has her scholarship at University of Virginia to finish. She wants to make something of herself and live her dream in the world of art. So…does she continue on with the plans she already had in place or does she take a different road? I did NOT expect what I got at the end. Could someone please pick me up off the floor?? Dust me off and tell me that September will be here before I know it. Shanora Williams……I’m going to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for such an amazing story. But I’m also torn between wanting to give you a big hug or smack you with my Kindle. I have another band to love!
Review by Jessie L.
S. Q. Williams was born and raised in Matthews, North Carolina. She's the author of the New Adult series, OBTAINED and the Best Selling New Adult novel, Hard to Resist. Her upcoming mature New-Adult/Adult novel, Who He Is, will be released in July of 2013.
When she's not writing, she's happily reading or watching cartoons like the big kid she is. She has a wonderful family that you will hear her brag and talk about all of the time. Whenever she just wants to get away from the words for a while, she'll spend some time with her loved ones, eat gummy bears, or drown in Coca-Cola and anything else caffeinated.
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