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Tuesday, February 07, 2017

*Grabby Hands* Release & Review - The Feeling of Forever (Love Unplugged #2) by Jamie Howard

  Title: The Feeling of Forever
(Love Unplugged #2)
Author: Jamie Howard
Publication Date: February 7th, 2017
Age Category/Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Swerve
Juliet St. Clair has spent her life under Hollywood's spotlight. While being America's favorite girl next door has had its perks, having to testify against her stalker to put him behind bars certainly wasn't one of them. But when she thinks about walking away from it all, she can't help remembering the enormous pile of medical bills her family is drowning under. Bills that just keep on coming.

Felix Donovan had it all--stunning good looks, gorgeous women, and a spot as the drummer to a band that's sitting pretty at the top of the charts. Until one life-altering decision left him paralyzed from the waist down. He doesn't know whether to laugh or cry when he wins this year's Sexiest Man award, but the one thing he immediately does is send out a Non-disclosure agreement. Hiding his condition from the public is hard as hell, but he's not ready to face the world while he's still struggling to accept his new reality.

Except this year's Sexiest Woman--Juliet St. Clair--never looks at him with pity, only desire. But falling for Juliet means a permanent spot in the tabloids, a decision Felix isn't sure he's ready to make. And when Juliet's stalker re-emerges from her past, Felix's secret isn't the only thing at stake, it could cost Juliet her life.

Buy Links: Amazon

4.5 “Juliet, let me be your stalker” Stars

ARC via NetGalley

Thank you, Swerve.

Yeah, from that title up there I guess you already know I love Juliet, right? The deal is, I don’t just love her. I love LOVE her. Like Ella Harper from Paper Princess level of love.

Unlike Ella, who conquered my heart last year with her sass and take-no-bullshit attitude, Juliet made my favorite female characters ever list by being super sweet, completely relatable and pretty much perfect. I know some will say “but perfect isn’t realistic and blablabla”. Here’s my answer:

She’s just the best.

Before I get into how and why Juliet is book-girlfriend material, let me just thank (and congratulate) Jamie Howard for writing, yet again, a character I fall madly in love with. In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, read my review of Until It’s Right. This author is responsible for creating one of my most precious book boyfriends, Mr. Kyle I-still-love-you Lawson, and now she’s giving me a book girlfriend, too. Well, Jamie, if you haven’t noticed this from the fact that I’ve read all your books, then know you have a fan in me.

The Feeling of Forever is the second book in a series that focuses on the love lives of the guys in a famous band, and even though Felix, the drummer, was also an amazing character, his love interest and the female leading lady was the one who stole the show for me.

Juliet St. Clair is one of Hollywood’s favorite actresses and the Sexiest Woman of the year. She’s also nothing you’d expect from a rich superstar. Instead of demanding, Juliet gives. Instead of looking down, she sees the best in people. Instead of acting like she owns the world, she seeks peace and privacy. Juliet is good, and she’s just what we need in such a bad world.

Plus, Juliet has impeccable taste, as you can see from this:

“But hey, there was no such thing as having too much Joshua Jackson in your life.”

Juliet establishes herself as a force to be reckoned with early on in the story. Her attitude when she meets Felix is as perfect as it’s honest. Her confidence is reassuring, because she doesn’t have to be loud, bossy or sassy (there’s nothing wrong with those things, mind you) to show everyone around her that she knows what she wants and she’s not afraid to put herself out there. I love my sassy characters, but it’s not often that we see Juliet’s kind of confidence. A quieter but still powerful confidence. I was so, so pleased to see it.

I absolutely loved all the ways Juliet showed Felix that she was into him. How she helped him, in a not obvious way (another great thing), to move past his own fears and insecurities. How she handled herself with grace in every situation, no matter how hard life was kicking her. How she never complained or stop believing things would get better. How she fought for what she wanted/deserved.

“You deserve better and you know it.”
She shot to her feet. “I deserve whatever the hell I want. You don’t get to decide that. (…)”

With all of that and much more that you’ll get to see if you read this book, Juliet won my heart.

But, okay, enough of Juliet (for now). Felix will also make you feel and win your heart!

To contrast Juliet’s brighter personality, Felix has a darker side to him. I’m not sure if he’s always been like that or if it’s a result of the accident that left him paralyzed… maybe both. But even though he isn’t exactly an optimist, Felix is dealing with his paralysis much better than some other characters out there. And Jamie Howard is portraying disability with the respect it deserves.

Sure in the beginning Felix thinks himself unworthy of the best things in life, because he thinks he’s a burden—to his roommate and best friend, to the amazing, beautiful, smart and sexy girl who’s invinting him to movie nights on her couch (where things much, much hotter happen), but I kind of expected this behavior from him. Some more evolved people out there might deal with changes in their lives in a more balanced way, but most people, me and Felix included, aren’t like that. And this maybe has less to do with a disability, but more to do with change.

Change is hard, and it takes time to adapt your mentality to it. Felix is in that phase, but he isn’t alone. He has a great support system. His friends are the best (I loved the Xmas scenes at Ian’s house with all of them sleeping in the living room). His girlfriend never, I mean never, makes a big deal of the fact that he can’t walk. She never even thinks it’s an inconvenience, and that certainly helps him understand how to move forward. All of that, combined with how layered his arc is and how respectful the author's approach is, makes watching Felix embrace the big chance in his life even more pleasing.

Felix is a good guy and Jamie Howard knows how to write good guys well.

Aside from Juliet's awesomeness, Felix's arc and the incredible chemistry between them, this story stands out because of the suspense aspect. As the blurb explains, Juliet has been suffering with a stalker for years and he's back to haunt her and try to take the joy out of her life. The whole mystery wasn't as hard to figure out as some might like (I had a pretty good idea of what was happening, who was responsible and what the motive was pretty early on), but it brought something new to the story, so I appreciate it.

Truth is, with or without the stalker element, this book would've still been great. Juliet St. Clair would've made sure of that. 

Now, I NEED Rachel and Ben's story, which I'm guessing Jamie Howard will be saving for last, because we already got a sneak peek of Gavin and the red-haired woman who broke his heart and I'm betting that's what we're going to see next. No complaints here because I want to know what happened, but can we pretty please get Rachel and Ben soon?

*If you liked this review (or not), if you read the book (or not), come say hello and leave your comments bellow.

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