Title: Love Me
Series: A Pleasant Valley Novel
Author: Anna Brooks
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: April 25, 2017
Vaughn Morris survives on denial and hope. He spends his days permanently marking other’s skin and his nights trying to forget the scars imbedded in his soul. When he returns back home desperately seeking approval from the mother who left him for dead, the last thing he expects to do is fall in love with a woman who is just as closed off as he is.
Rayne Garner hasn’t truly lived in years. She made a promise to her high school sweetheart, and she refuses to break it. Nobody has made her question her loyalty until Vaughn forces her to face reality, no matter how brutal it may be.
As tempers clash and ugly truths are revealed, a friendship they didn’t need turns into a love neither thought they wanted. But Rayne and Vaughn not only have to fight for each other, they must survive threats from a past they’re both trying to move on from.
“Vaughn, look . . .” I whisper.
“I am. And I really like what I see.”
I knew earlier that he was trouble, but now, with his hands on me and the thoughts I’m having that I know I shouldn’t be . . . I’ve gotta squash this before anything starts. “Listen, I—”
His hair moves freely as he shakes his head. “Don’t blow me off. I know that’s what you’re about to do. Don’t do it.”
“I’m a lesbian,” I blurt out. “I’m flattered, but sorry.” I’ve rehearsed the line so many times I almost believe it myself. Wish I believed it sometimes.
He laughs. It catches me so off guard that I find my jaw open, and I’m staring at the way laughter changes the hard angles of his face to soft ones that make him less intimidating and more beautiful.
“Why are you laughing? You’re the one in a gay bar.”
“I’m here for Kenny and Brad. I’m not gay, darlin’, and if you think that, then I gotta step up my game.”
“I’m not interested in playing games.” I cross my arms defensively. “Besides, I didn’t say that you were gay. I said I was a lesbian.”
He laughs again. Once he catches his breath, he takes another shot. “The way you were moving your hips. Grindin’ on my cock . . . Damn, baby. Got me hard as a fuckin’ rock. You’re not a lesbian.”
“Yes. I am.” This is what I tell people when I get hit on, because the truth is too hard to bear. Sometimes, I just don’t want the reminder that I won’t have anything else.
“You’re not a lesbian.”
“Fine.” I sigh. “Caught me. I’m asexual.”
He huffs. “No, you’re not.”
“Am too!” I screech.
He extends his arm and runs a finger around my knee and up to the hem of my very short dress. I try to pretend he doesn’t affect me, but my breath hitches in my throat, and my cheeks heat up. When he traces just beneath the hemline, I shiver. Dammit. Asshole.
“No. You’re not.” He smirks and squeezes my thigh before letting go.
Love, Me by Anna Brooks
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Love, Me is a heartwarming story. Its paced perfectly, zings you at exactly the right moments, and fills you with hope.
Rayne and Vaughn meet at Rayne’s restaurant. They meet again when its revealed they have mutual friends. The two then embark on a different path, pushing and pulling at each other, squeezing your heart a bit more with each word and each reveal. Rayne is loyal, so is Vaughn. The two experience a magnetism to each other, one that the reader feels and just wants to root for. They are each keeping secrets. Some the reader is privy too, others we are not. It was exciting to keep reading, anxious to what would happen between Vaughn and Rayne.
I really loved Love, Me. It reads as a standalone, but is the second book of a series. I read Love, Me with no prior knowledge of the series and followed the story perfectly. I am excited to go back and read the first book. I would recommend this to the reader who is looking for a decent amount of angst with their love.
*Review Copy requested and reviewed on behalf of OMG Reads*
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Anna began writing when she thought the world would want to hear her sick lyrics through song. Since then, she’s realized her childhood dream wasn’t so far-fetched, just misguided. Now she writes romance with real emotions and happy endings. If Anna isn’t writing or reading, she can be found by a space heater painting her nails and drinking a ridiculous amount of Diet Dr Pepper. She also likes to hang out with her husband and two boys. If it wasn’t for them, she wouldn’t ever leave the house. Anna was born in Wisconsin but now lives in the Evergreen State.
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