Review and Giveaway: Emerge: S.E.Hall

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Laney Walker is a quick witted, athletic, southern tomboy who lets few get too close, using her sarcastic zingers to deflect. She also has no idea how others view her, Evan having protected and coveted her since they were children. But college puts a gap between Laney and Evan that neither of them were prepared for- old relationships are tested, new ones are formed and nothing will ever be the same.

Especially when in walks one Dane Kendrick, not at all the familiar, southern charmer of home, but an animal all his own.

A story of growing up, friendship, loyalty, first love, primal love...and life.

Book two: Embrace coming October 2013

Laney and Evan were best friends since they were ten years old and gradually progressed to being in a more romantic relationship as they were getting ready to leave for college. They were sweet, loving, and devoted to each other. They knew everything about the other, were completely immersed in the other's lives, and thought they would be together forever.

I loved Evan. He was the All-American boy next door football star. He was sweet, swoon worthy, romantic, loving and adoring. Laney was the most important person in his life. He understood  her, supported her, and he even watched Disney movies with her. 

"Laney you're that girl. The one guys make up in their head when they put the parts together to make one perfect girl. Them an who gets you to actually pay attention, well, he'll be the luckiest guy on the planet, and he'll know it. "

Laney had trust issues and insecurities. But Evan has always been been her hero. She was a sassy tomboy, who played softball, and was used to just being Evan's best friend. She didn't need anyone other than Evan and her other friend Kaitlyn. She was not big on partying or social events. 

As their feelings were revealed, the moving ahead of their relationship and their love was beautiful and tender. They really seemed like they were the perfect couple and meant to be together. My heart broke as their time together became shorter as college loomed ahead. 

"It's nothing but space, Laney...It means nothing. I'm still yours. I'll always be yours."

As they headed off to different colleges, their lives took different paths and they were exposed to new people, challenges, tempting situations, and feelings of loss. It was more difficult than either of them imagined to be away from each other and their safe zones. 

One night, Laney and her new room mate Bennett meet the guys in her co-ed dorm and everything changes. They find new friends and more of a social life. I didn't think I could like a guy for Laney more than Evan...I was sure of it. And then came Dane...Laney's first impression of  him was that if his big brother Tate was hot, then Dane was "illegal, immortal, and too damn pretty not to be a girl" and belonging on the cover of "World's Sexiest Reasons to Drop Your Panties." He was charming, sexy, charismatic, thoughtful, funny, down to Earth, and a bit mysterious. He did things to help Laney feel safe, secure, and confident while encouraging her to spread her wings. He opened up a whole new world to her. I found myself falling for Dane and rethinking my Team Evan status. He knew what he wanted and was not afraid to go for it, but was also respectful. He was mature, determined, successful, and fair. But he doesn't like to share. And he was so hot and sexy that it oozed off the pages.

"Baby...You can plan our dates, tell me what to wear, run the radio...You can even name our kids one day...after Disney characters even. But in the bedroom, the hot tub, against the wall, or basically anywhere I have you naked and wet...let me lead."

"I want to be with you, exclusively or whatever girlie label you want to put on it, meaning on one gets near here," he says, using his finger to tap over my heart, "but me. I want to touch you, kiss you,  freely.  I want you to be my girlfriend...I want you to be my baby."

So Laney ends up in this love triangle with two amazing, hot, caring, swoony guys. What a hard choice. What's a girl to do? It takes her awhile to figure it all out. She was confused, indecisive and afraid of hurting others. And this is not only a romance, but also a journey for the previously shy, quiet girl to open up her horizons, learn to live life, be social and open up to people. She found her inner strength and resolve. She truly loved both of them(so did I). There was angst, drama, misunderstandings, hurt feelings, indecisiveness, and pain. My heart hurt as theirs did. It was a hard decision either way and someone had to get hurt.  There were secrets revealed and emotional events. It was heartbreaking, tense, and romantic. 

“I'm not sure what kind of love you mean, baby, but if you mean do I want you to be with me forever, that I can't bear the thought of being without you as my lover, my best friend, my whole world....one day my wife, and my baby mama, then yes, I love you, love you!” 

“You are magnificent. Thank you for waiting for me, for this. I love you. I didn't know what that meant until I met you. You were made to be my other half and I yours.” 

I was completely involved in this story and these characters. Not only did I love the main characters, but also the sidekicks: His brother Tate, her room mate Bennett, and their friends Sawyer and Zach. They all truly became a pseudo family, and each one had such unique and caring personalities. They also provided comic relief and shots of pure honesty.

S.E. Hall writes in an easy flowing style that draws you in, makes you feel, and makes you fall in love with her characters.  They were well developed, likable, humorous, and intriguing. Even though Laney could be unsure and indecisive, it did not stop me from liking her(sometimes wishy washy heroines drive me insane). But it just showed how deep her emotions were, how much she cared, and how loyal she was. She did not want to hurt either guy, but knew she had to. They guys were both perfectly wonderful and either would have made her happy. But one just made her feel more intensely and the connection could not be denied. I was so glad to get all three of their points of view.I usually do not like love triangle books. But this one had me totally invested, flipping pages like crazy, and sad to leave when it was over. 

I cannot wait to read the upcoming books in the series and see how the heart broken man from this one moves on in book 2 Embrace. I also look forward to Zach and Sawyer's stories in the future. This whole group wormed their way into my heart. This was a sweet, emotional, poignant read and a very pleasant surprise. I devoured every page and when I got to the end, I was wishing the next book was already here. 

Thanks to S. E. Hall for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review. 

S.E.Hall resides in Arkansas with her husband of 17 years and 3 beautiful daughters. When not in the stands watching her ladies play softball, she enjoys reading YA and NA romance.

Giveaway: 2 ecopies of Emerge
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