Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Anyone But Him by Cassie Graham- Audiobook Tour with Review!

Title: Anyone But Him
Author: Cassie Graham
Audiobook Release Date: Nov 30, 2015

Find on Goodreads

Whitley Hayes is an ordinary girl with a gypsy heart. College is the only constant in her life. She’s made a lot of mistakes and she intends on keeping them in the past.
Move on and forget.
That’s her motto.

Jennings Cohen is no ordinary man—not at all. He would have never imagined his life would turn into such a spectacle. The tabloids exploit him, fans stalk him and the paparazzi are relentless. It’s not always fun being Jennings.
It doesn’t help that he has a secret. One that comes at a price he’s not sure he can pay.

Relationships get complicated and hearts shatter.

It’s not easy living a lie, but it’s easier than telling the truth.

My Review

Anyone But HimAnyone But Him by Cassie Graham
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Story: 3
Overall: 3

Whitley Hayes is finishing up her teaching degree and is ready to move forward in her life. She only has short-term relationships with people she isn't all that connected to, and is feeling like she would like more from her life, but doesn't really know how to move on. Jennings Cohen is a very popular award-winning actor. While he appreciates his status, he would also like to have a chance at normalcy. Whitley and Jennings meet randomly and find a connection, but both have secrets that may keep them apart.

I did enjoy this book, but I felt at times like the author was trying to put too many elements into the story. Really, any one of the issues could have presented enough conflict for the characters to deal with, but we get many more. There is the celebrity/non-celebrity coupling issues, stalker, traumatic past, and dual identify stuff going on here- which is a lot to deal with in one book. I think I would have liked for one or two of these concepts to be explored a little more thoroughly rather than each being presented partially. I did enjoy these characters even though I was frustrated with them both at times. Whitley is smart and a little prickly, but easy to like and cheer on. Jennings is pretty great, if a bit hyperbolic at times. The chemistry between them was very hot, and I was really hoping that they would be able to make things work because they were both characters that I wanted to see find happiness. Both characters had strong friendships that showed the importance of a good support system. Even through some of my frustrations, I wanted to know what was going to happen next.  Overall, I liked this and would read more by this author in the future.

I am an avid listener of audiobooks, and I really enjoy experiencing books that way.  One of the most important qualities of a good audiobook, for me, is that I forget about the narrator and become immersed in the story.  Unfortunately, I did find the narration of this book distracting, and I was aware of the narrators most of the time.  I enjoyed the dual narrator style of this audiobook, and I enjoyed hearing Whitley and Jennings' parts narrated separately by a male and female narrator.  I found the female narrator a little more distracting than the male narrator.  I felt that her cadence and the way she emphasized the words made Whitley sound more petulant than the author intended.  I found the narrator of Jennings' chapters to be okay, but still somewhat distracting.  Everything was a little over-acted and it made the character seem less genuine that I believe him to be. At times the author also made Jennings sound much older than his 25 years.

*A copy of this audiobook was provided in exchange for an honest review

“I very desperately want to kiss you.”
My mouth forms into a line. “And that’s bad because…?”
He takes a deep intake of air into his lungs and looks at me. I mean—really looks at me. Deep into my being. “Because I’m afraid if do, I won’t be able to stop.”
I elevate my body and collapse onto his chest. “Then, don’t.” If anything is like his previous kisses, I’m in for a passionate road ahead.
His hand reaches behind my head and I watch in slow motion as his beautiful face moves toward mine. The moment our lips touch, all of my other senses go haywire, feeling everything. Pleasure, need, hunger…want. So much want. I want everything he has to offer. In this moment, I don’t care what the future holds. I don’t care if he finds out about my shattered past and hates it. In this instant, I only care about him and the feelings he’s unleashing in and on my body.
His grip on my hair tightens as the kiss deepens. We moan together, feeling the pleasure poring from our bodies. His lips are sweet at first. Restrained and guarded. Almost as if he’s willing himself to slow down. But, I don’t want him controlled. I want him wild. I want him like the rain pours down. Taking no prisoners. The rain doesn’t care who it drenches; it just comes down, down, down. Soaking you. I want him forceful and firm, taking me how he wants. Just like the rain.
The thought of stopping makes me physically ill. This moment, being with him, in his warm, comforting embrace might be the most beautiful moment of my life. It’s heated and perfect. Stopping isn’t an option.
My hands move down his torso, taut and hard. His muscles move and bend under my touch and I feel myself growing wet as every second passes. The swirl of his tongue sends me high and I bite his bottom lip.
“I don’t think I’ve wanted anything or anyone as much as I want you, my Pretty Girl,” he hums in between kissing up and down my neck. “Nothing is as good as being with you. You have me soaring.”
He doesn’t have much time to say anything else before I’m pulling him up by his shirt, lifting it up and over his head. He grabs at my blouse, unbuttoning every button with detailed precision. When he opens my shirt, he simply stares, eyes electric. He puts his hand in between my breasts and just touches—feels.
“Come to bed with me. As much as I want you. Here. Now, I’ve gotta have you in bed. Slowly.”
I nod my head, unable to form any coherent words. It’s almost as if the hand that’s resting on my chest is somehow digging into my body, willing my heart to beat violently. He’s able to control me.
I wonder if I do the same.
I gently move off of his body and stand, watching him swing his legs off the couch. His body lifts and like a peacock, he looks big and alarming. Proud.
Grabbing my hand, he leads me up the stairs, stopping half way to pin me against the wall to thoroughly kiss me.
Hauling me to his room, he opens the door, turns on a small light on his nightstand and the cool air whooshes against my face. The blindingly white down blanket shines bright, but the dark, patterned pillows offset the brightness of the covers.
“Christ, you’re beautiful.”

Cassie Graham is the author of Unable to Resist and Anyone But Him. She also hates talking about herself. It makes her nervous and somewhat sweaty. So, she’s going to make this short.

While writing is her true passion, her family is even more important. Her ultimate happy place is sitting in her house with her husband and daughter while writing stories about lovers who are meant to be together. She’d live in that world forever if she could.

She lives in Arizona with her husband, daughter and two crazy puppies.

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