Happy Book Birthday to Lia Riley’s Carry Me Home! I’m so excited to participate on Launch Day. Keep reading for my review of the novella, an excerpt, and giveaways!
I received this book via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.
Series: Off the Map, #3.1
Published by Grand Central Publishing on 2015-05-05
Reviewing eARC from Netgalley
Love doesn’t have to be perfect to be true…
Years ago, Tanner Green loved Sunny Letman. She was meant to be his first kiss, first love, first everything. Then their world spun upside-down and out of control.
Free-spirited Sunny doesn’t do commitment. Sure, guys are great for a night or a week, but she always leaves first. That is, until professional skateboarder and town golden boy, Tanner Green, unexpectedly walks back into her life.
Despite their broken history, a fragile and undeniably electric connection still holds them together. Now Tanner has to convince Sunny that even though love isn’t always perfect, it’s worth sticking around for. . .
Carry Me Home by Lia Riley is a short novella, a companion to the series Off The Map. I have to be brutally honest for a minute. This novella is nothing like what I thought it would be. It is the first time I’ve ever read this author and with this sweet cover I was thinking a light contemporary romance. Well, that’s not exactly the case. This is the opening line to the book (Note it is a bit graphic):
Shoot me, I like sex. If I wait for true love before getting busy, I’ll be covered in cobwebs, and that’s bad news for someone with arachnophobia. ~ Sunny
So yeah, I don’t even know how to respond to that!
Sunny Letman is a young woman in her twenties and she thinks she has everything figured out. She never stays with a guy for more than one night. She’s a love ’em and leave ’em kinda gal, which is a role reversal from most New Adult books I’ve read. She’s crass, snarky, and has this hatred for Tanner Green that I just didn’t understand from the beginning. It’s quite obvious to the reader the girl is in denial!
Then there’s Tanner Green, the pro-skater who basically left his old life behind and carries the guilt from it with him. He’s an interesting character. His girlfriend died a few years back in a car crash and he’s never been the same. He has some serious issues though, I mean in the first chapter he WATCHES as Sunny is literally riding another man – EWWWWW!!!! Can we all say perv?! This really kind of ruined my perspective of him from the get go, however the author redeems him as the chapters alternate POV and we get inside his head a bit. Poor guy is screwed up!
This novella is really short and I enjoyed it some what. I think I may have enjoyed it more without the very open-door, graphic sex scenes. I’m just not that kind of girl. However the relationship between Tanner and Sunny is volatile and sweet all at the same time. If you enjoy new adult contemporary romance or you’ve read the series Off the Map and want more, then I believe this short is for you.
Review in a Gif:
Final Conclusion: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ & 1/2
Note: This excerpt contains sexual references and strong language.
Tanner is in the shower when I let myself inside. There’s a wooden rocking chair in the corner. I walk over, sit and close my eyes. He’s naked, soapy, skin flushed from the hot spray. I could join him. He wants me. The space between my legs throbs to the beat of my heart. What’s set in motion between us isn’t going to stop.
I rock, straighten my backbone and focus my attentions. Imagine each breath spiraling through the open door, to the sky, leaving the atmosphere. A quiet prayer. Please. Please don’t let me fuck this up. My hands grip the rocking chair sides hard, hands that ache to touch his wet skin.
The water turns off and he’s out, rubbing a towel over his body.
I’m going for it, can’t help myself.
I tried my best to be my own island.
Turns out my best isn’t nearly good enough.
The door opens and he stands, backlit in a tight white t-shirt and pair of low slung jeans. His mop of hair is wet, slicked back from his striking face.
“Good, you’re back,” he says. “I didn’t like you out there alone.”
“I was fine, nothing scary outside.”
He frowns, catching my double meaning. “I decided to sleep in the back of my car.”
“No, it’s fine.”
“I don’t mind.”
Of course he doesn’t. He’d sleep on bare concrete if he thought it would be easier for me.
“I get it.” He backs toward the door. “Tonight’s been extreme. You want space. I’ll go–”
“Stop.” I’m in the darkest corner, in this rocking chair throne, the Queen of the Shadows. There’s a great mystery at work. How can my heart be chained to this guy and still feel free?
A bead of water drops from his thick hair and falls to his shoulder. Then another. Tiny wet patches appear on his shirt each time one makes impact. The way he watches me, his gaze writes a secret poem on my skin. “Tell me you don’t want me,” he says. “Say you’re not interested and nothing will happen.”
I want to curl in a ball. Instead, I stand up.
“Sunny,” he whispers, and it’s hard to know if he intends my name as a question or an answer. Funny, the way it sounds like both.
My lids flutter closed of their own volition as he closes the distance. He’s tall enough that when he bends, his face buries into the top of my head. He inhales as if I’m a secret flower. I wish I only ever bloomed for him. A stupid notion. This moment would be perfect if it wasn’t us. If we were other people.
I hook my fingers into his belt loops and do an uncharacteristic fumble, aim too high and brush his stomach instead. His abdominal muscles flex and there’s my cue to explore. I can’t help but inch under the cotton, trace the thick muscles that make up his defined V-line. My nails gently cut to the top of his jeans. His groan vibrates into my skull.
He’s slipping, less careful with every ragged breath. His skin heats under my fingertips. There’s no choice. There’s never been with him.
I rock into him, hard, and his mouth explodes on mine like a wet, hot grenade. He bites my lower lip and even though I’m scared, I’m not scared of him anymore.
Enter for your chance to win an ebook copy of this novella!
The publisher is hosting a launch-day giveaway. 12 people can enter to win an ebook copy of the novella. Click below to enter!