Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Review and Giveaway: The "What If" Guy by Brooke Moss

Series: Stand Alone
Genre: Adult Contemporary
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Format: PDF ARC Submitted by Author for Review
Release Date: August 2011
Rating: 5 Stars

What would you do if your "what if" guy showed up at the lowest point of your life?

(Autumn Cole clocked hers with an encyclopedia.)

After losing her job at a swanky Seattle art gallery and finding out her father has been hospitalized, single mother Autumn Cole reluctantly returns to her tiny hometown of Fairfield, Washington, to put the pieces of her life back together.

Her disgruntled twelve-year old son isn't thrilled about going from hip to hick, but Autumn's got it worse. She resumes her role as the daughter of the town drunk, promptly facing a crisis with her father that's been decades in the making.

Running into Henry Tobler, and nearly breaking his nose, is almost more than she can handle, but can rediscovering love-and herself-with her "what if" guy teach Autumn to forgive before it's too late?

This is the second book I have read by Brooke and I am starting to develop a small crush on her! Her stories are so honest and emotionally endearing I always leave feeling like I made new friends. The "What If" Guy starts with Autumn Cole breaking up with her college love Henry Tobler because she found out she is pregnant with another mans baby. She doesn't feel worthy of his love and leaves him high and dry, well not dry because she leaves him in the pouring rain on a dreary Seattle day. Once the prologue ends you pick up 13 years later to see Autumn moving back to her home town of Fairfield Washington to stay with her dad with her 12  year old son in tow. She is less than thrilled to be back seeing as how growing up she had to drag her alcoholic father around town when he couldn't take care of himself. Growing up in a small town isn't easy, I've been there, so watching Autumn struggle to get back on her feet was something I am familiar with. She holds resentment towards her father for the way she had to grow up, always in the town spotlight of gossip. It was just her and her dad because her mother abandoned her when she was 8, which we find out is the main reason her dad fell apart. As her and her son Elliott get accustomed to living with her ornery father and she enrolls him in school she gets the surprise of her life when she finds out her sons teacher is none other than Henry! She is so caught off guard by seeing him that she embarrasses herself and her son by busting his nose with a book. Talk about cringe worthy, you want to hide behind the couch because you feel so bad for Autumn. Henry doesn't appear to be happy to see her like she always hoped if she ever saw him again. Once the shock of the moment wears off and they figure out how they ended up in the same small town, they try to be friends. Her son Elliott is having trouble fitting in at his new school but Henry being his teacher looks out for him and helps him find his niche in after school programs. Throughout the book Autumn is trying to take care of her father whom she discovers has a serious illness, she tries to keep her son happy and starts focusing on her art career. Things between her and Henry start to warm up and they develop a relationship again but Henry has a previous attachment that may cause problems for him and Autumn. During a really rough time for her that attachment shows up in the form of his soon to be ex wife. Things go from bad to worse when he leaves town to go back to California with his  wife leaving Autumn an Elliott back in Fairfield. I'm not going to spoil it but I just want you to know this book was really good! I got emotionally involved in the story of Autumn and Henry. These two you knew loved each other even from the first moment they saw each other again. What they think is the town being nosey and meddling in their business turns out to be them trying to get these two together and it was so adorable to watch. Autumn is a very Private person she doesn't like being there and ultimately wants to move back to the city. She realizes that she can no longer do everything on her own without friends and family and that was such an endearing thing to see. She slowly starts to build friendships with the towns people and watching her and her dad connect brought tears to my eyes. The best part of course is Henry! He is such a cool down to earth guy and the way he treats her son is beautiful. He was encouraging and thoughtful, he looked out for Elliott and taught him things like a dad would. He was so good to Autumn also, he never stepped on her toes parenting wise and he stood by her side when she needed him the most. The main reason I am becoming a huge Fan of Brooke's is because when she writes an epilogue it is in the guy's perspective. It's a reflection of the things they have gone through and the things they look forward to from his eyes. That right there is what tugs at my heart strings. You see the majority of the book through the woman's eyes and then at the end you are given this beautiful gift of seeing into the heart of the man. I was in tears by the end and I don't cry often if I can help it. I try to be all tough and unmovable but sometimes a good story just tugs a little to much at my heart strings and the water works start. With an epic romance, a little bit of drama and a heart warming conclusion The What If Guy is a hit in my book and I can't wait to read more from Brooke as she turns these stories out.

“I would have taken care of you.
I didn’t care that you were pregnant with another man’s child. I would
have loved Elliott like my own. I never wanted to lose you. You’ll never
understand what it did to me.” PDF pg 182

“I never stopped wondering where you were,” I
whispered, nipping at his lower lip. “I always wondered whether you still
thought about me.”
“How could I not?” Light from the flames danced across his face. “You
were everything to me.” PDF pg 198

“You’re a good woman. A good mother. All because you learned
how to take care of yourself. You learned how not to raise a kid. You coulda
turned out so much worse. A drunk, or worse. And if you had, nobody
around here woulda been surprised, after what you’d been through.” PDF pg 222

                                     About The Author:
 Brooke Moss lives in beautiful eastern Washington with her handsome nerd and five darling, wicked children. When she isn?t spinning tales, she spends her time collecting tacky owl d├ęcor, changing the color of her hair, and watching too much reality television.


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