Title: In This Life
Author: Christine Brae
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: 22nd January, 2016
Re-released: 15th November, 2016
Publisher: Vesuvian Books
Secrets ruin lives, and lies protect those secrets…
Wanting to escape her life in New York City before starting medical school in the fall, Anna Dillon convinces her best friend Dante to travel with her to Thailand on a medical mission. While volunteering in a coastal village recently ravaged by a tsunami, Anna meets Jude Grayson. They share an instant attraction that leads to a brief, passionate affair. When she has to rush home for a family emergency, he promises to stay in touch.
But Jude never calls, and Anna tries desperately to forget him.
Five years pass, and Anna finally moves on with Dante after giving up hope that Jude will ever return—until they come face to face again in a chance encounter. Reeling, Anna discovers the life-altering secret of why Jude never contacted her—and why they can’t be together. But the passion that ignited between them on an exotic beach years ago never died, making it impossible to stay away from each other.
And Dante? Anna discovers that the friend she grew to love—and trust—has a secret of his own.
Reviewed by Sharon Thérèse Nuttall.
Five Glorious Stars
A newbie to this author’s works, my curiosity was aroused and going into this read completely blind was certainly an experience for me. I also had a feeling that this was going to be one very special read after turning the first page, and I wasn’t disappointed. Lacking in a prologue and banter in the first chapter is irrelevant since the setting captures the reader’s attention immediately. Reading on, not only does the blurb kick in between all the characters, but I was also enthralled by the style of writing. Natural surroundings are so artfully described that I was transported to a country I have never been to. I was there dipping my feet in the crystalline waters while observing the sea life; walking on the sands and lapping up the sun. The story’s protagonists’ development is articulate, their personal situations not without moments making me want to scream out loud at them. Delicate issues are touched with sensitivity and gripping to the point of frustration which brings into effect, an unputdownable read. One thing I must mention is the first half and one of the reasons I like going into a book with absolutely no idea where it’s going to take me. I was desperate for Jude’s point of view and wondered if or when his feeling would be divulged. So my surprise was tenfold when it came.
“What you said about fate. I really believe that we have the power to change it.”
Anna Dillon. “Deary me Anna! You were in the right place but at the wrong time. I know you had to get away; find yourself, learn to forgive someone so dear to you. But later on, you would fool your own heart and make a decision changing the course of the future.” Understanding her stance was of importance as the circumstances she was in were to say, complicated. She has faith, is proud and a hard-working young woman. When she falls fast and hard, little did she know about this man cloaked in secrets, or why he disappeared of the face of the earth. Later the truth would be disclosed tormenting her soul even more than it already was. And the man she should have given her heart to unconditionally, suffered so much that I cried for him. Then again, nothing is fair in the ways of love and regardless of a troubled conscience, eventually she does what she has to do.
“We’re both lost. How can we be found? How can we both find purpose?”
The Will of God. Moral ethics. Abiding by the rules of his calling, Jude Grayson never questioned his choice of work. Until the last thing he expected happens. His benevolence has no boundaries, his empathy outshone his good-looks. His very persona would be put to the test though. He also makes some harsh decisions which would reflect on all concerned. And I could have jumped into my Kindle and gladly strangled him. So much hurt was caused because of him being torn between his vocation and his true feeling for the one and only woman who dazzled the pants of him. (Pun intended!) If only he and Dante had been honest with her… The mysterious power such as is destiny plays a hand they will all have to come to terms with regardless of the outcome.
“I will quarrel with the heavens and fight with destiny to be with you.”
Dante and Anna have a very special relationship going way back. How could I possibly not adore this drop-dead gorgeous guy whose concern for his bestie was always foremost. I have to confess I was on his team. Loved his sense of humour, the daft name he calls her, his passion! I really don’t want to let on as to what will happen to these three beautiful people because it’s a must read. But I will say this. My emotions ran riot when one twist in the plot was revealed and another literally floored me. Gushing tears, I prayed for them. Then there were fan grabbing occasions. Never fear, scorching hot Dante and Jude will push the room temperature up. Keep this in mind ‘cause you’re going to need something to move the thick air around!
“Open your eyes, Blue. Watch me give myself to you.”
What a great storyteller Ms Brae is. I particularly enjoyed the little hints she kept dropping only to discover that it wasn’t actually what you thought it would be. A true guessing game! There was just the right amount of angst, just right amount of sexiness and just the right amount of scenes pulling on your heartstrings. There wasn’t one main or secondary characters who I disliked or didn’t connect to. Reading this book in one-sitting which is by no means short, tells you how much I loved this book. I am so glad I found you Ms Brae. Bravo!
“With freedom of choice comes the freedom to sin.”
Christine is represented by Italia Gandolfo of Gandolfo Helin Literary Management.