Monday 9 May 2016

Review ~ Noah by Cara Dee

Title: Noah
Author: Cara Dee
Release Date: April 26, 2016

Have you ever woken up and expected to see destruction everywhere?

In 48 hours, I lost everything. I came home to find my girlfriend of four years with another man. The next day a plane crash ripped my family away from me, shattering me in the process. In many ways, I died that day, too. The fun-loving man who'd lived in the fast lane and loved his career in the film industry was gone. Left was a forty-year-old shell that dwelled at the bottom of a bottle.

Only one person knew what I was going through. My sister's stepson, who hadn't been on the plane. Julian knew what it was like to lose everyone he loved, too. He'd stopped showing up at reunions when he was a teenager, so I didn’t know him very well. But I told him at the memorial service he could come out and visit me in LA whenever. One day he did, and I guessed it was as good a day as any to start picking up the pieces and see what was left of us.

One of my favorite things about Cara Dee books is that they feel so real. No detail is spared—the conversations read exactly as if you were sitting in the middle of the exchange. Every little touch, every little thought, every emotion, it all feels authentic and genuine. Noah was no exception. This book carried an intensity—both due to its subject matter and its hero—that kept me glued to my Kindle, my heart in my throat, as I experienced Noah and Julian sort through their feelings and find their way back to each other over and over again. 

I was a little nervous about the taboo nature of this book initially. I decided to trust the author, whose books I've enjoyed in the past, and it paid off. It's not taboo so much as it's unconventional—it maybe forces you a little bit outside of your comfort zone, but it also paints, with a pretty broad brush, the picture that love can be unconventional and still be beautiful and heartfelt and incredibly tender and emotional. 

Noah and Julian were all of these things (and sexy—dead fucking sexy, hot damn), and as they worked their way through their own misgivings about the nature of their relationship—on top of the way they're perceived in the world—it became impossible not to root for them, to root for love, and to invest in their happiness.

There's no fiery drama here, and while the book starts off with a pretty big bang, the romance starts slowly; just a hint of a smolder that grows over the course of the book. I think that because so much of what Julian and Noah have to work through is their own internal healing, it was sometimes hard to connect with them or follow their leaps—but inevitably I was drawn back in and warmed all over by the fierceness of their love, and the depth of their commitment to each other.

While this book works just fine as a standalone, it has some cross-over with the Breaking Free series (which I adored), and shared many of the same characters. I loved the time we got to spend with Sophie and Tennyson, and the visit back their world. I loved the friendships (particularly Noah and Tennyson's), and how this group manages to support and love each other without judgment. 

In all, Noah is a solid read. A hot (HOT) read. It's a little intense and unconventional, but deeply emotional and, in the end, very fulfilling. I loved Julian and Noah and am so glad I took a chance on this book that fell just slightly outside my comfort zone—it was definitely worth the stretch. 
~ Review by Shelly

There aren't many things better than picking up my Kindle and getting completely sucked into a whole new world—where words morph into images and characters' moods suddenly reflect my own. Aside from good plot and writing, for me, it boils down to relatable characters. 

As a writer, I'm not finished until the men and women in my books come to life, until I can see them as real people, until I can connect with them. Which means I write what I want to read: everyday heroes and heroines who have the same struggles we all do. They evolve, have flaws, make mistakes and amends, learn, and find the endings they fight for. 

Those are the characters who take the readers on a journey away from work, laundry, grocery shopping, and to-do lists. 

When I'm not writing, researching, or brainstorming, I'm either planning my next trip (never-ending bucket list!), reading, watching hockey, or spending time with family and friends.

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