My rating: 5 of 5 stars
5 'I see you' STARS
Rachel Blaufeld knows how to give you something unexpected but so real. She doesn’t deal in fairy tales or romantic dreams although in the end, that’s exactly what you get.
“Life isn’t like an editing job where all the t’s have to be crossed or the i’s dotted. It’s like a mix tape, a compilation of all the best hits, some slow and others fast. Some songs aren’t my favorite, but mixed with the others they make a great album.”
Layton Griffin is a successful guy with his own music business in LA, no problem getting women, friends and a loving furry, four-legged girl, Harriette. I want to say ‘but’ here but I won’t. Lay’s good looking, funny, smart, endearing and overweight. [Lay, I deliberately didn't say 'nice']
When Charleston (Charli) Richards first lays eyes on Layton, all she sees is a chunky monkey sitting in 2D, the first class seat right beside her. She immediately dismisses him and prejudges him as a fat loser.
Well, she’s soon eating her words, or actually choking on them. Charli’s drawn to him. Lay breaks down her bitchy, superficial veneer for the brief flight. And that scares the shit out of her. Charli’s has a plan:
own a rent-controlled condo in New York City (check), have the perfect body (she works out like a fiend), the perfect job (she hates her job) and the perfect guy (lots of good-looking men but no one worth it). Layton does not fit that dream, at all.
So ensues a cross-country cyber friendship with a few in-person meets. Lay can’t stop thinking about Charli and wanting to be with her. She's unattainable but he can't help himself. And his attraction isn't only physical. He likes Charli. He sees beneath the "image" and finds her beautiful inside and out.
While Charli likes him, like really likes him, but she doesn’t want to. She fights it tooth and nail and does some pretty shitty things that she's disgusted with herself for.
This was such a great read and says so much about how people can get wrapped up in “perfect” on the surface that they miss perfection right in front of them. Lay is perfect.
“…but it felt like he was trying to really see me. Get me. All of me.”
This is a refreshing, poignant and heartwarming read. I just love picking up a book by Rachel because I never know what I’m going to get but every time she puts a smile on my face and gives me that warm and fuzzy feeling in my chest. I highly recommend this!
**ARC generously provided by author in exchange for an honest review.**
“Cheers.” My seatmate good-naturedly tipped his glass toward me. He wasn’t going to leave me alone.
I took a long gulp and looked back at my computer screen.
“Do you like working for them?”
I tugged at my turtleneck; it was so freaking hot all of a sudden. My nosy neighbor’s face had a slight sheen to it, clearly from being hot, and now his warmth was seeping into my space.
“I do. They’re a growing company and . . . I’ve made great strides there.”
What the heck? Why was I even answering him? Because he asked, and if I was honest, it was the nicest anyone had been to me in months.
Furthermore, why did I sound like I was on an interview? Or an infomercial?
He was kind—I could tell—and his smile was gentle and calm, his eyes like warm coffee with just the right amount of cream swirling through it. I turned a little in my seat to face him and my knee brushed his thigh. I let my gaze travel his Beastie Boys T-shirt until I settled on his computer.
Playing on it was a rom-com, one I’d never seen before, but Katie What’s-her-name—all stunning, shiny hair, celebrity mom, perfect life—was front and center. Her arms were full of shopping bags and she was wearing a big grin on her perfect face as she walked down a city street.
“You don’t strike me as the romantic comedy type.” I felt my eyebrow lift. I wasn’t sure if I was teasing him or myself as the question floated from my mouth.
He laughed. It was soothing and comforting like a coffee-and-Kahlua on a cold night, and warm like the sun on the first few days of summer.
I allowed my eyes to close and imagined he looked like somebody else—not someone else totally, but just different. Fit, not slender but muscular. He still had the same gracious smile and inviting eyes, but he wasn’t wearing a music T-shirt in my imagination. Maybe a Henley? And dark-wash jeans instead of the regular everyday ragged blue I’d noticed him wearing.
“It’s work too,” he said, interrupting my fantasy.
“Oh.” I chugged the balance of my mimosa, cooling the wash of desire recently conjured up from my brain.
“Actually, I’m pretty sure BubblePOP will end up reviewing this one, will probably have someone at the premiere too. That’s why I asked about the site. Six degrees of Kevin Bacon and all that. Our worlds are connected.”
“I don’t do movies. I’m the fitness editor, but if Katie What’s-her-name is in it, I’m sure we’ll be all over it.”
He shifted his gaze over fully to me now. His eyes weren’t exclusively deep brown; tiny flecks of amber circled his pupil. They were captivating in a weird way, as if they didn’t belong with this guy.
I’d never met a slob who was so interesting before, yet he was definitely intriguing. And not really a slob—that was my own bias. Clearly, I was having some sort of psychotic breakdown on this airplane.
Rachel Blaufeld is a social worker/entrepreneur/blogger turned author. Fearless about sharing her opinion, Rachel captured the ear of stay-at-home and working moms on her blog,BacknGrooveMom, chronicling her adventures in parenting tweens and inventing a product, often at the same time. She has also blogged for The Huffington Post, Modern Mom, and StartupNation.
Turning her focus on her sometimes wild-and-crazy creative side, it only took Rachel two decades to do exactly what she wanted to do—write a fiction novel. Now she spends way too many hours in local coffee shops plotting her ideas. Her tales may all come with a side of angst and naughtiness, but end lusciously.
Rachel lives around the corner from her childhood home in Pennsylvania with her family and two dogs. Her obsessions include running, coffee, icing-filled doughnuts, anti-heroes, and mighty fine epilogues.
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