Sunday, January 31, 2016

Audiobook Blog Tour: Anyone But Him by Cassie Graham

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.

“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.”

audio sample

Anyone But Him by Cassie Graham audiobook: the book was good and I recommend, but the audio was lacking. I always find audiobooks intriguing and when the opportunity to review this book as an audiobook presented itself, I grabbed it. I tend to find that the readers authors hire to read their books are many times hit or miss…and this one was so-so. I’ll get to that in a moment.

Whitley is working on her master’s degree in teaching while going to school when someone suddenly highjacks her cab one day. She had been shopping earlier with her best friend and television star, Holly and decided to take a taxi home. That would prove to be the moment when her life would change forever. Here was a man that she was instantly attracted to, someone she couldn’t stop thinking about, and someone who could be a problem for her heart. She believed in living in the moment and never getting too attached. It was a lesson she learned as a teenager, that and she’s hiding from something or someone.

Jennings was a big shot actor trying to get away from a horde of fans who were stampeding after him and he dove into the first cab he found in an effort to escape. Inside he found a girl that drew his attention and intrigued him. She wasn’t star struck like most people that met him were and she was more beautiful than any actress he had ever met. Something about her drew him to her like a moth to a flame. But things changed when he decided to go to her school and pretend to be someone else in order to live a normal life for a while. Little did he know it would become more complicated if that was possible.

Their lives seemed to revolve around each other. They were in class together, Jennings or Oliver knew Whitley’s boyfriend, and they couldn’t stay away from each other. They were falling in love. I do have to say that I feel like Whitley is a bit of a whiner and a hypocrite. She had her secrets and then got upset that Jennings had his own and he didn’t divulge. She also likes to run away. It is easier than trying to face the hurt and difficulties. Will love be enough to conquer all? Will Jennings remain by her side? Will she face her past and her future?

The story was intriguing and fun to listen to. It had love, angst, twists and turns. There were times you were rolling your eyes wondering when Whitley would get a clue, but you found yourself liking both characters. I give the story 3.5 stars and can't wait to see the next book in this series in addition to any other work from the author.

The audio book was okay. There were two readers: Angel Clark reading Whitley’s POV and Terrence Bayes reading Jennings’ POV. Angel’s interpretation sounded choppy and almost like a valley girl at times even though the character is from Kansas and living in Oregon. It almost sounded as if I was listening to a newbie actor in a high school play. Dialogue was handled better than the narration though. Terrance’s reading of Jennings was much better, flowed, and seemed to fit the character. There were a couple of awkward passages as well, but those were few and far between. Another problem was the editing. In chapter 24, Angel pulls away from the mic to ask a question and the editor did not catch it. Overall, I would rate the audio part of the book a 2.5.

Anyone But Him was a twisted story about lies that will shatter everything. I would give this story a 3.5 star. I really did enjoy this book but there was apart of me that couldn't quite grasp how the lie wasn't discovered sooner, it was pretty obvious so that being said I still enjoyed the story and would recommend it to others. This book did take me surprise at the end because I though it was done and the epilogue will blow that right out of the water... so now I am curious as to where this story will go from here. 

Whitley is going to college to make something of herself, this is all she has left and she won't let anything distract her. She does have a boyfriend Lark but she doesn't feel for him what she should and he doesn't treat her the way she should be treated but she tolerates it because he is just a means to and end. When Whitley is going home one night a stranger will jump into her cab and she doesn't realize it but this stranger is a famous movie star running from his fans-- Jennings Cohen. Her world will get turned upside down... 

Jennings is tired of the repercussions of being famous.. he always wanted a normal life where he went to college.. but acting is a passion.. so when he is running from fans and ends up in a cab with the most gorgeous woman he has ever met he will try to find a way to be normal... but one problem she has a boyfriend so he has to be put in the friend zone. 

When things don't work out for Whitley and Lark because she finds out a huge secret he has been hiding things will start to pick up with Jennings. Neither know how to handle it because of his career so Jennings will make a decision and this will become a lie and a secret that could destroy everything they have built. Or will Jennings's career and famous status break them before the secret comes out? Or does Whitley's ex Lark break them apart?

Go get this book you will still enjoy it and I look forward to reading more by Cassie Graham especially the next one in this series.

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.