Thursday, 25 June 2015

Stumbling In (The Shore Series #3) by M.R. Joseph - Arc Review



Everyone in Sandy Cove knows that Willow Taylor and Max Vincent are like oil and
water. They live to torment one another and if they survive being in the same room together, it’s nothing short of a miracle. Sure, Willow is rich, blonde and beautiful and Max is an achingly hot and talented up and coming rock star—but that just makes it easier for them to hate one another!
Until one night. One drunken night. It was just supposed to be a night of celebration after each of their best friends’, Harlow and Cruz, were reunited. But a few hours of civility leads to one night of unbridled, earth-shattering, cataclysmic sex. It doesn’t help that the details are sketchy in their minds because the off-the-charts after effects still linger. One thing is clear…that night changed everything. 
From that moment on, sabotaging each other’s hook-ups was their primary goal until a truce is made. A pact. No strings attached, no feelings, just more of what their bodies crave whenever they see one another. They both get what they want and no one gets hurt. 
Until someone does. Until love and tragedy gets in the way. The heat between Willow and Max is undeniable but will that spark of desire be enough to sustain them through the pain and heartache that threatens them?



Kristine's Review:

Reviewed: June 2015.

I have so much love for this author, M.R. Joseph seems to effortlessly weave stories of love and lust, of loss and regret, of second chances and new beginnings and every single time I find myself falling in love with new characters, as they cement themselves in my heart and soul, I celebrate their joys and commiserate with their sorrows, such is the type of connection I have with her characters, the soul deep affinity I feel for the people she creates.

Max is cocky, arrogant, on his way to being a rock god and funny as hell, he gives as good as he gets and isn't afraid to ruffle a few feathers. Not only is he working the whole self assured angle but he's hiding this huge heart that truly cares for his friends, he's not some shallow, one dimensional character who's flat, his energy jumps off the page, his sense of fun is infectious, and his zest for life and for living each day endears him to the reader so effortlessly.

Willow is the original ice queen, she's rich, beautiful and uses sass and smart arse remarks to keep people at a distance. Willow isn't a new character as such, she's had a good life, loving parents, every luxury money could buy, she has the perfect example of what love is in her parents, and her friendship with Harlow has shown her the kind of love that can exist between friends, but even with all the trappings wealth can provide Willow still guards her heart. 

There's a beautiful fragility and yet a fierce strength in Willow, the dichotomy of the two warring sides of her personality made it so incredibly easy to be captivated by her, despite the seemingly shallow image she portrayed to the world at times there was always a depth lurking just below the surface, one that dragged you in, demanded your attention. There were moments of heart wrenching pain, unadulterated joy and soul shattering loss that stole my breath, Joseph's ability to weave a happy and at times silly and sexy romp through early adulthood, and yet blend it with characters that make you stop, and a story that tugs at your heartstrings shows the kind of talent that the author possesses. One that leaves me awe struck, stunned and ultimately so unbelievably overjoyed that I can lose myself so utterly in another world that's at once so real it's tangible, and yet so far away that I can watch the story unfold from the sidelines.

Stumbling In is a story of first impressions and second chances, it's a story of giving in, letting go, and allowing yourself to free fall, it's about believing in yourself, it's about trusting in those around you, it's about friends and lovers and family, there's such a beautiful message that underlies this entire story, and what I adore so much about M.R. Joseph is that, that message can mean something different to each reader, for me Stumbling In reminded me the kind of joy and love that's in this world when we are willing to open ourselves up to it, it reminded me that I am enough, I'm not just my past nor my present or my future, I'm a sum of all of it, and so much more, but more than anything this book reminded me that friendship is precious, to hold onto it with two hands, to savour it, to cherish it, to revel in it because when things fall apart, when you feel broken, the people you surround yourself with will be the ones to help hold you together.



Excerpt From Max-

Stumbling In-The Shore Series Book 3

I go to her and place my hand on her shoulder, and she turns around and I’m faced with the most unexpected thing that I think has ever happened. Willow turns around and grabs handfuls of my shirt and pulls me to her soft, wanting lips. She kisses me, and it’s just not a kiss that breathes lust but it breathes the fire of passion, of meaning. It makes my hair stand on end and leaves the skin beneath electrified. The soft motion of her mouth with mine, the scent of her hair and the taste of her tongue dancing inside my mouth, spins me into oblivion. There’s more to this kiss. I feel it in my bones. I feel it in my soul. She kisses me like we are music. We are the rhythm joining together with the notes and the melody. I grasp the back of her head and thread my fingers in her hair softly. I deepen the kiss and I reach the point where I swim in this moment so deep that I don’t want to come to the surface… and that’s when she pulls away and I know I’m fucked.

I’m so fucking fucked.

She holds her lips with her long, slender fingers. Her eyes find mine and I’m still lost in whatever that was. I can’t even ask her because I can’t even speak. It wasn’t the normal wanton kiss that happens between us when we just use each other. No, oh no, this was something else.

“Willow…” She holds up her hand to stop me.

“Let’s just leave it at that, Max.”

I walk past her slowly as I hear the relentlessness of the bus’s horn and slide open the door to her room. I turn around and she’s already back to leaning on the rail. Her body turned to the calm waters. The sun shines down on her bare, bronzed shoulders and the wind picks up and blows her hair around again. It’s the last time I’ll see her in person for a while and after that kiss, my head and something else right at this very moment doesn’t want it to be the last time. It’s not the right time to analyze what that kiss was. Maybe it was a goodbye kiss. A proper send off. The end of whatever we were to each other. Was it a blessing for me to go and see where it goes with Cora? What was that? I’ll tell you what it was. The unexpected.

“I’ll miss you, Willow.” Not being so sure she can hear me, I say it as I walk out the door. I leave her with my brain consisting of mush and my lips already feeling some sort of loss.

Most of all… a lot to think about.



I'm a book nerd turned writer who loves the 'Happily Ever After' mixed with a bit of suspense, drama, and the occasional cliffhanger! My love of books started me on my writing journey. I began writing my first book in July 2012 and since that time I have created 2 series. The first series 'The Reunion Series' debuted in November 2012 and two books followed. My new series 'The Shore Series" debuted in March 2014 and claimed Best Selling status shortly after the release of the first book. There will be 6 Shore Series books in all. I’m also the author of the Romantic Comedy, 39 & Holding. I live in Philadelphia with my adoringly handsome husband, and pretty cute kids if I may say so myself. You can always find me with the Kindle glued to my hands or in my car with the music turned up whileembarrassing my children with my mad car dancing skills.

Twitter~ @redkar_m

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