If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all. - Oscar Wilde
We shouldn't teach great books; we should teach a love of reading. - B. F. Skinner
No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting. - Mary Wortley Montagu

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Review: Perfectly Aligned by Stephanie Alba / @indiesagepromo @authorstephalba

Title: Perfectly Aligned
Author: Stephanie Alba
Publisher: Airamabla Publishing
Release Date: October 20, 2015
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
ARC Received From & Reviewed For: IndieSage PR

How does your mind move on from someone your soul can't seem to forget? How can your heart resist a love that never fully came to be?

Ten years. It's been ten years since Hailee saw Corwin Rogers. In person that is, because despite their lack of physical contact, Corwin's gorgeous face has plagued her dreams all this time. In its most idle hours of the night, her mind always reverts back to the image of the teenage boy she loved in secret years ago.

They were classmates for four years, forging a limited friendship within school grounds and occasional parties, but they also shared a unique bond over their struggles. Hailee never told him how she felt, and she wasn't sure if the feelings were reciprocated, but she always wondered. How could she not when he shared so much of himself with her and only her?

Seeing him a decade after their high school graduation presents the two with another fateful opportunity to be everything for one another. Hailee starts to consider that her inexplicable dreams actually mean something, and that her ties to Corwin are stronger than she ever allowed herself to believe. But after years of separation, their chance at happiness is challenged by secrets from their time apart. When the truth emerges, colliding pasts and futures, Hailee and Corwin have to decide if they truly are perfectly aligned.

This was so refreshing to read. It's a second chance, friends to lovers romance that is slow to start, slow to build, and slow to end. But don't take that to mean it's a horrible story.

Ten years is a really long time between people. Things have happened. Their lives have changed. They have changed. With so much ground to cover, I don't want an instalust/instalove story. I want something that will engage me, pull me into each character's life, make me feel like I'm there with them.

Corwin and Hailee were once high school friends. Hailee had the biggest crush on Corwin but couldn't bring herself to admit it. Instead, she sat back and watched the boy of her dreams date everyone else but her. Ten years later, they're reunited and it seems the attraction she felt for him then is still alive and well. They spend time getting reacquainted and explore the new/renewed feelings between them.

Their relationship wasn't sunshine and rose petals though. Corwin was holding back about something. At first it was subtle, hesitation at changing his weekend schedule, refusing to elaborate about that schedule. But then, as they grew closer together, I wondered at it. I hated how he pushed her away but not as much as him refusing to explain anything to her. It was cruel the way Hailee found out and I wished Corwin told her sooner that he was a father.

But sometimes things like that make people stronger, fight harder, live and love harder. The decision to separate was Hailee's idea but it was the push Corwin needed to really get the things he deserved. The month apart did wonders for him and he was able to share them with Hailee when they reconnected, which made a future together look so much brighter.

The beauty of this story isn't so much the romance or the happy ending but how Corwin and Hailee got there. From that farmer's market meeting to a baby on the way, they went through ups and downs that are familiar to some modern day couples. Yet they never gave up, even when it felt like they were. They never denounced their love for one another, even when it felt like nothing was reconcilable. Mistakes were made, apologies given, heartfelt promises to do better were sworn. It took a lot (and I do mean a lot) of work, time and patience for them to get their happy ending, but it was worth waiting for.

A great story that explores the workings of a relationship ten years waiting to happen. Pace aside, this really was a romance worth reading.

Stephanie Alba has wanted to write for as long as she can remember. Writing was always a way to express herself, as well as an escape. In August of 2014, Stephanie decided to start writing a story that she dreamed about. At first it was just something fun for her to do, a way of keeping her sanity during her first year as a stay at home mom. Over the months she couldn’t stop writing and that’s where For Both Are Infinite came along. Rhys and Ellie’s story was hard work, but it allowed her to fulfill the goal she’d always had of writing a novel.

Before becoming an indie author, Stephanie taught high school English. Now she is a stay at home mom to the happiest baby ever, a wife to an amazing husband, and a graduate school student. She also hopes to continue writing. When she’s not glued to her laptop or with a notebook in her hand, she’s swimming, running, reading or chasing her toddler.

Stephanie is currently working on her second novel, a friends to lovers story set in Washington state. It is set to release during fall 2015. She also plans on writing more of Ellie and Rhys’ story, as well as stories focusing on other characters you meet in For Both Are Infinite.

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