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Stinger Kindle Edition
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|Length: 398 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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So what do you do when a weekend in SIN CITY results in not just having a good time, but in being the catalyst for a series of cataclysmic events that forever alter your life and put you on a path of self-discovery, reflection, respect, forgiveness, understanding and, ultimately, love? Well, you try your best to live it, even when you cannot seem to fully enjoy it because you aren't sharing it with the one person who made it all possible.
An unlikely situation
An accidental sing-a-long
A brief kiss
A dime for your thoughts
A series of confessions
An offer that can't be refused
An abrupt exit
A brief reconsideration
A nervous throwing of caution to the wind
A decision to step outside of the norm
A deviation of a well-laid plan
A weekend of firsts
A long hike
A peaceful sunrise
A sad realization
And a goodbye
This story of two unlikely lovers pulls you in with intrigue from the moment Grace arrives in Vegas meeting Carson, a man who is the polar opposite of her, and keeps you captivated through an entire weekend of exploration and discovery.
Jealously, hot dogs, Titanic, 80s songs, dimes, dunks, confessions, realizations, hiking, sunsets, a friendship, a connection and a love are shared and lead these two individuals to learn more about themselves through the eyes of someone else.
But they part and the two are now forced to face their lives with these new found feelings and revelations. What do they do? They go back to the daily "grind," so to speak, and hope they can "perform" in all things that are expected of them. But they soon realize that what used to be their daily norm is now the one thing they no longer want or even know anymore and, well, they make a sharp turn in a new direction and follow a new path.
Time ticks on and both are living their lives apart yet together. Each carries the other with them in some way because the life they are living is a constant reminder of the person who showed them how to be the very best version of themselves. It is never "out of sight out of mind," but always "absence makes the heart grow fonder." These two could never truly remove the other from their thoughts, their hearts or their lives because each one of them had the other etched into the very fabric of their being; their new being...the very improved version of themselves that not only is what they truly wanted, but all that they saw in each other.
So, they moved on...plunging into a future as the new versions of themselves. And just like that fickle finger of fate, they find themselves coming full circle and back where it all began and, in true DESTINY fashion, their paths cross again in a way that entwines their NEW SELVES to each other once again.
Their paths cross
They have a moment
A request is made
A kiss is shared
A quick escape is necessary
An impromptu visit is received
They share another moment - more intense than the last
A truth is revealed
A decision made
And FINALLY there is room on that "raft"
This is a book where the world doesn't look at you as one person, but when one person truly looks at you as the world. A world full of hope, dreams, possibilities, positivity, change and, most of all, love. Each character brings out the best parts of the other, showing them a world of options that they never once thought they could have for themselves, or maybe thought they weren't capable of attempting to achieve.
This book took us from a fun weekend fling, to a heartbreaking goodbye, to a wake-up call, to a drastic change, then to a life of proving who and what you are not just to yourself, but subconsciously to and for the ONE person who helped you see that it was never too late to be everything you were born to be.
The paths chosen by both Grace and Carson makes their decisions heartfelt and believable, because choosing to behave differently would equate to nothing more than going back to what they chose to leave behind. It also solidified what it was that changed for them in that hotel in Vegas those many years ago.
The author took great care to methodically weave the nuances of these characters and their time together into a life without each other. This made their coming together again intense, explosive, cataclysmic and, ultimately, GAME CHANGING.
This story was so perfectly entwined together that it reflected and equated to the sentimental warmth and comfort of that very special blanket hand crafted and crocheted by your grandmother. That one thing that every time you see it, hold it or are wrapped up in it, it brings back those warm memories that make you smile, cry, laugh, remember and wish. I cannot express enough how perfectly suited these characters were for each other, and how perfectly executed their path was to ultimate acceptance, redemption and love.
Just like Rome wasn't built in a day, neither are other things of perfection, and this is a love that is truly perfection; maybe not for others, but definitely perfect for these characters. And while the author leaves us hanging for some time allowing an air of mystery to linger regarding a question always asked and an answer always avoided, the moment of the reveal is so touching that you can do nothing else but smile when you see just how real, personal and heartfelt what was shared truly was and just how important and necessary it was for Carson to always carry Grace with him. It is in that very moment that you realize the profound effect that each of these characters truly had on each other and just how powerful it was all those many years ago why they held on so strongly to those memories.
Grace was Carson's life raft...always keeping him afloat...and he was her backbone...showing her the very drive and strength she had in herself to live her life for herself and not with the cushion of the dependency of others. It is in that moment that it becomes real and they realize that not only had they "never let go," but couldn't let go because you can never be apart from the one thing that has made you COME ALIVE without feeling dead inside. *sighs* A rollercoaster of revelations and emotions and worth every single bit of it because the payoff is GRAND and the ending is truly warm and fitting.
This author continues to DAZZLE on all fronts, and her beautiful writing and spot on delivery and consistency of behavior and development make this another fabulous read. She takes such great care to stay true to her plot, her characters and her vision for their entire journey that you have no other choice but to be completely consumed by it...so much so you find yourself not only rooting for them, but feeling every emotion because you become so engrossed and in love with them that you just want them to be happy. Her talent as a writer continues to blow me away with how well rounded, funny and detailed it is. She will make you cry with her words just as quickly as she can make you laugh with her wit.
Truly a worthy read and a 5 star one at that.
Carson Stinger is a straight male porn performer. He's in Vegas for a convention where he literally runs into Grace Hamilton in the lobby of the hotel where they are both staying. Grace is about as rigid and straight-laced as a person can be. She's a law student who has a plan, and when I say plan I mean she must write things down in pen so she can't deviate from them ever. She thinks he's gorgeous until she sees his nametag "Carson Stinger, straight male performer" and knows that he's with the porn convention. Sure, she's being horribly judgmental, but can you blame her? I don't know many women who would go for a porn star, no matter how hot he is. Anyway, they are thrown together in what turns out to be a very fortunately unfortunate situation and realize they have more in common than one would assume, not to mention sizzling physical chemistry. They decide to spend the weekend together, and in doing so, are irrevocably changed.
Carson is one of the best male characters I have had the pleasure to get to know in a long time. He's had a hard life, but manages to be very grounded and self-effacing (thanks Granny!). He's hilarious as well, which is always a winner. And he's sexy as hell. Really can't go wrong with that. Grace is also a very endearing character. She's driven and also has a quick wit and vulnerability about her that draws you in. What I found genuinely wonderful about reading this book is that in the journey these two take over the course of a five year period, they change in ways while they are apart that bring them closer together. The book has an underlying message to it about life that is quite beautiful. Life is messy, life is complicated, life is ugly, life will let you down as much as it lifts you up, life is unpredictable, life is unfair, life is lovely. Life is wild.
It's also rare for me to read about a relationship in a book that has so many realistic elements to it. The ease between Carson and Grace is something that echoes in real life relationships, and I really connected with that. Not to mention, the writing style and plot development make it difficult to put the book down. This is one of those books for which I ignored everything going on around me (sorry kids! Sorry husband!) in order to finish...I literally could not stop reading it until I finished it. As I said, it really took me someplace I didn't expect, and I can't imagine you will meet anyone who reads this book that can give it less than a stellar review. It's just that good.
Grace is very dependable, and she is studying in college to become a corporate lawyer. Grace is young, beautiful, and since her mother died when she was young, her main purpose in life was to strive to make her dad proud of her. She has gone to a Lawyer Convention in Las Vegas, when we meet her in the book. Grace has a plan for her whole life, and how it will be; until she meets Carson Stinger.
Carson Stinger is also at the hotel Grace checked into and he is there for a convention also-An Adult Entertainment Industry Convention, and his attendance is wanted as he is a male actor in porn movies. He has no plan in his life, he does not worry about what anyone thinks and he lives his life day by day. Carso is stunned when Grace runs into him accidentally and he feels a strange connection to her-as does she to him.
Can two people from two very different walks of life actually ever be able to be together? Read this book ad find out. I loved how they met, what it takes for them actually to find each other again a few years later and so much has changed. Mia Sheridan has a way with words that keep you thinking about all of her books long after you have read them.
I gave this book 5 evocative stars, because like me, I think you will be thinking about this book long after you read it!
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