Blog Tour and Giveaway: Past Imperfect: Alison G. Bailey

Past Imperfect (Perfect #2)
Alison G. Bailey
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In Present Perfect, Brad Johnson was sexy, cocky, rich and a complete Smurff**ker. He could afford anything he wanted and could charm any girl he set his eyes on. Everything was laid out in front of him, all for the taking except the one thing he craved and needed. A tragic event forces him to reevaluate his life. When he tries to change, will the people in his life let him move on from his past or will they constantly hold him to the life altering mistakes he’s made?

Mabry Darnell is intelligent, ambitious, beautiful, and sassy. Secrets from her past haunt the present causing her to question her actions in order to shield her heart and protect her life.

From the moment Brad and Mabry met, their connection was strong, intense, and electrifying. Both knew they had found the one person who could satisfy what the other ached for. When their pasts collide with their present, will it prevent them from having a future together or will love be strong enough to conquer their demons?

"I'm sorry Mabry. If I had know you were going to be in my future, I would have been a better man in my past."

Brad Johnson was always a cocky, egotistical, self-centered player. We saw him begin to change a little in Present Perfect.  Amanda gave Brad a glimpse into what it was like to have someone who cared about him, even if he was not truly ready for it at the time. And other situations over the years, shaped him into the man he has become and has made him want to be a better man. And now we see him finding a woman and falling in love. The problem is that she wants nothing to do with love.
Mabry has issues...big ones that are not easily faced or solved. Brad has some too. Both of their pasts are full of reasons why they did not feel truly loved or accepted. Mabry's past has significantly marked her. And she had to develop ways to cope...the least of which is avoiding emotional entanglements. She needs to numb her pain from her past and has certain ways to do it. She also has deep seated fears that rule how she faces life. 

I was stupid to have thought I could have something casual with him seeing as how he affects me, mind, body, and soul. There's something between us, a deep connection, as if we were supposed to find each other in this life. 

They are compatible in their lives, careers, intellect, and passion. They have amazing chemistry and affect each other like no one else has before. But they have  buried secrets and hidden pain that keeps rearing its ugly head and driving a wedge between them. 

This book exposes the effects of depression and how different people cope with it. It shows how one person's actions have a ripple effect on other's lives and has far reaching effects. And sometimes the past does not stay buried and continues to affect the present. 

This story is told in both Brad and Mabry's points of view in alternating past and present. We see both of their pasts unfolding and shaping the people they became. They both suffered loneliness, heartbreak, loss, guilt, and pain. We see how they try to deal with it and how ineffective it can be. 

“I know you’re scared, so am I. But we can do this together. We’re not alone anymore. Now we have each other. I don’t know what the future holds. All I know is that I need you in mine.”

And we witness two lost and broken people that have been through so much, but finally find someone worthy of holding onto, trying to heal with, and be a better person for. But they are still so afraid that they are going to lose the connection that has become so important to them. My heart alternately broke for both Brad and Mabry during the course of this book. There were underlying issues swirling around bringing their pasts crashing into their present and possibly ruining their chance at a future. But I was so impressed with how far Brad has come since we first met him. 

I try to mentally prepare for my past to collide with my present, and pray that my future with her doesn't become a casualty.

This book had a different feel than Present Perfect. It was a bit darker, but it was also sweet, emotional, and heartfelt. They had pain, damage, and struggles. There were times that one or both of them felt hopeless. But they both had to keep digging deep to find their inner strength to conquer their demons to even try to move on. It was not an angsty book. It was a bittersweet, emotional journey towards understanding, healing, and forgiveness. 

It pulled me in right from the first page and I was completely invested as their pasts and stories slowly unfolded, while also seeing their present relationship and issues. I loved them as a couple even if they were not perfect and all along I hoped that they could find enough healing together to truly find complete happiness for the first time in their lives. 

This was another unique, surprising, moving, and emotional installment in this series. It can be read as a stand alone as the author did relay some of the pertinent events from the first book, but I still recommend reading Present Perfect first because it is a beautiful, poignant love story and it also gives even more insight into Brad when he was younger. I was not sure Alison could top Present Perfect since it was one of my fave reads of 2013 and totally took me by surprise, but I think she managed to write another story that is unique and amazing in its own right. I highly recommend these books. They are very well written, the characters come alive from the pages, and she throws in surprises and twists that make them even more interesting. I am a sucker for a good epilogue, and I have to say that the way she did the epilogue for this book just made it that more special. When I finished this book all I kept thinking was "Wow!". Well, it is even worth a "Wamfu!" (You will see what that means once you read it.)

Thanks to Alison G. Bailey for providing me with an arc in exchange for an honest review. 

Past Imperfect is the story of Mabry and Brad, two people with not so perfect pasts. He is disconnected with those around him and does not think twice about casual hookups with random women. We met Brad in Present Perfect, when he dated and humiliated Amanda. Since then, he has grown up but continued in his use ‘em and lose ‘em ways. As a child, Mabry watched her mother lose a battle with depression, eventually finding her mother after she committed suicide. While her father pulls away to deal with his grief, Mabry turns to self harm, a practice she continues well into adulthood. Both characters sort of float through life, using sex as a tool rather than for the connection. Until they meet.

I spent the first half of the book feeling so heavy and dark. Both characters are dealing with so much grief, pain, and guilt over their various past activities and experiences that I couldn’t see where the story was going. Until I hit about the halfway mark. At that point the pieces started falling in to place and I began to wonder how they would work through the present to heal their pasts. 

Once some hints about how and why Brad chose to turn his life around started to come out, my attention was hooked. For me, he was the key character because he was the one pulled from book 1 in the series and I had disliked him so much when I read that one. He had a lot to prove in order for me to connect with his story, and though it took some time, I finally warmed towards him. When his background started coming out, I was shocked and understood more where he was coming from with his actions. And once I was warmed up to him, he was golden. 

Mabry had my heart from the beginning. The things she had seen and experienced caused her to be so broken. She could see the damage she was doing to herself, but didn’t see a way out and didn’t want to let others see that darkness in her. Even with Brad, she always held a bit of herself back, and knowing that hidden bit was there just kept breaking my heart every time she took a step backward in her journey. 

This had a vastly different feel than Present Perfect, rightly so, based on the two main characters. While their stories started out very dark, together they start to see light and eventually I was rooting for them to work things out together. 

Thanks to Alison G. Bailey for providing me with an arc in exchange for an honest review. 

Present Perfect (Perfect, #1)Present Perfect (Perfect #1)
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Kim's 5.5 star review
I’ve been unsure about many things in my life except for one thing, that I have always loved him. Every single minute of every single day that I have been on this earth, my heart has belonged to him. It has never been a question, never a doubt. The love had taken on many different forms over the years, but it had always been a constant.

Everyone has their definition of love. There have been countless songs sung about it. A gazillion books, articles, and poems written about it. There are experts on love who will tell you how to get it, keep it, and get over it.

We’re led to believe love is complicated. It’s not the love that’s complicated. It’s all the crap that we attach to it and put in front of it that makes it difficult. If you’re smart, you’ll realize this before it’s too late and simplify.

Alison G. Bailey Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter   GoodReads

Alison was born and raised in Charleston, SC. As a child she would create (write) additional scenes to TV shows and movies that she watched. She attended Winthrop University and graduated with a major in Theater. While at school she began writing one act plays which she later produced. Throughout the years she continued writing and producing several one act plays, but then life got in the way and she hung up her pen for a while. At the end of 2012 a very talented author friend convinced Alison to go back to writing and see what happens. So she did and fell back in love with it. Present Perfect will be Alison's first self-published book. A few personal facts, Alison loves anything sweet, especially frosting, and is addicted to Diet Pepsi. Alison's philosophy: Don't let your obstacles define you. At times life can get pretty overwhelming, but with a great support system and a lot of humor you can get through them. If you have humor in your life your spirit stays strong and you can tackle anything.

Follow the tour

1-Kindle paperwhite, 5 signed paperbacks (US), 1- $25 Amazon gift card

a Rafflecopter giveaway
One ecopy of Past Imperfect

a Rafflecopter giveaway

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for being a part of my tour and the wonderful reviews. The post looks wonderful.


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