Thursday, May 16, 2013

Review, Interview & Tour: Inhale, Exhale by Sarah M. Ross

Jillian had a plan: celebrate the end of her first year of college with an amazing summer full of beaches, barbeques, and bonfires. When her mom insists she needs a summer job, and her boyfriend spends more time with his band than with her, Jillian’s plans go down the drain. 

Grant had a plan: finish his Masters, get a great job at Google, and get the hell out of Georgia. He might be giving up some of the fun of his youth, but he knows his all work and no play method would be worth it when his dreams came true.

But things never go according to plan. 

When temptation brings them together and tragedy tears them apart, Jillian and Grant will be forced to choose: fight for their dreams, or fight for each other.

*ARC provided by author for honest review*

With all the New Adult novels coming out almost daily, I have to admit that most of the stories have become repetitive for me. So, while the summary and teasers the author put out for this book caught my eye, I truly was not expecting much from it. But that was my mistake because Ms. Ross delivers not only with a beautifully written story but what one that stands out in the crowd.

First, I LOVED that we get both Jillian and Grant's POV. I have become a huge fan recently of getting the male perspective in the books I read. I believe it only enhances the storyline. And though I am sure it is not an easy task for a woman to write a man's view, this author does it well.

Which brings me to Grant. He was so easy to love from the moment you meet him. He isn't perfect by any means, but that is what makes him all the more appealing. I liked the alpha male in him that saw something he wanted and went after it. Add in the fact that he actually had his crap together and had a plan for his life and his hotness level just bumped up a few notches!

Jillian was, for the most part, a likable character. She had her moments where I didn't agree with her decisions, but I could see why she would make them. But the thing that made her stand out for me is that she owned up to her mistakes. She didn't place blame on circumstances. So for that, I respected her. But it was also those decision that had me withholding a star. 

And then we have Christian. Where as Grant was easy to love, Christian was just as easy to hate. He was barely present and when he was, it very evident that he was shady. He was not there for Jillian in the way you would expect a boyfriend to be after having a four year relationship with someone. 

And the best part? NO CLIFFHANGER!! The author wraps the story up nice and neat. You are not left waiting for another book for closure. That alone makes it a must read IMO. Plus the hot smexy scenes don't hurt either. Couple that with a hot guy named Grant and you have a great book!! 

First, I wanted to start by saying THANK YOU for taking the time answer a few of my questions. I loved Inhale Exhale and am excited to have you here at Reality Bites!

Okay I am going to start with the toughest question first, chocolate or vanilla?

Chocolate! 100 out of 100 times! It is by far my favorite dessert!

What are three things you can not leave home without?

Hmm.. I would say my iPhone, my Kindle Fire, and my “to go” cup – usually filled with Mint Water that I infuse myself at home J

What is the last book you read?

The last book I read was One Week Girlfriend by Monica Murphy—and it was great!

Okay, now that we for the fun questions out of the way, let's move on to the book! One of the things I loved about Inhale Exhale is getting the dual POV's. How difficult is it to write the male perspective?

For me, it was a bit difficult. I was nervous the whole time that I wasn’t making Grant “manly” enough. I (obviously) am not a guy, so I had one of my male friends read each of Grant’s chapters to make sure they sounded authentic.

But even if it’s difficult, I am very glad that I included Grant’s POV. I think that it really helped readers understand a lot of his motivations, and I really think readers love getting the male POV in books that they read!

In an exploding market of Contemporary New Adult genre, what do you think makes your book stand out in the crowd?

            New Adult is the cool kid on campus right now, and I’m thankful I just happened to have an idea for a novel in the genre. I think what makes Inhale Exhale different is the emotions behind the characters. My goal was to bring the struggles of these characters to life, and I hope that I accomplished that.

What was your favorite moment between Grant and Jillian?
            That’s a tough question because, honestly? All of the moments between Grant and Jillian are my favorite! If I had to pick one however, I would say that I really enjoyed the scene at her car just after bowling. They were both so amped up from earlier and so, so close to what they both wanted. Trust me, even I wanted them to just give in at that point!

And last question, what new projects are you currently working on?

            I am currently working on another contemporary romance. I’m not sure if it’ll be mature YA or NA. I’ll have to wait and see where the characters take me. I’m also working on the second book in my Earth Angel trilogy, Fate of an Earth Angel.

What is the one interview question you keep waiting to be asked that no one has yet?
Hmmmmmmm….. I keep thinking someone will ask me what’s on my iPod right now. 

And how would you answer it?
            Ed Sheeran
 Thank you again for taking the time to answer my questions today!

                Thanks again for having me!!! It was fun!  I hope you and your readers get a chance to fall in love with Jillian and Grant just like I did!! 

The laughter, clinking of glasses, and music from the juke box faded away. I could only hear the whooshing of my own heartbeat. I swallowed hard. Grant’s eyes lowered to watch the movement of my neck, and I imagined what it would be like for him to kiss me there like in my dream. To trace the line from my jaw with his finger or tongue down to my clavicle, dipping into that tiny hollow.
I forgot to breathe.
My leg grazed his, with just the tiniest amount of friction. I didn’t take my eyes off him, and I could see his own widen almost imperceptibly. His hand slipped under the table next to mine, hovering. He never touched me. I could feel the heat from his hand like a furnace. He was waiting for permission, a sign that I wanted and accepted his touch. My hands stayed glued to the seat beside me, but I lifted up onto the balls of my feet, causing my knee to bump into his awaiting hand.
It took but seconds for his large, strong hand to clasp the top of my leg, the pad of his thumb brushing along the soft skin inside my thigh. I looked around the table, but everyone was deep in their own conversations, and no one was paying us any attention.
Neither his hand nor my leg moved for a long time. Just the tiny swipes of his thumb, causing my breath to hitch. We didn’t look at each other as to not draw attention. He chatted casually with people at the table, while I was drawn tighter than a bow.
Finally, after an excruciatingly long time, he began to move his fingers. He ran his thumb in tiny circles on the inside of my thigh as his fingers brushed behind my knee, making a painstakingly slow ascent upward. One millimeter at a time.
Time stood still and the room around me blurred. He was still an inch or two below the hem of my shorts, but I felt like he was touching me at my core. Goosebumps rose along my skin, and I shivered. 
Grant must have taken that as a good sign, because he began to very slowly—agonizingly slowly—inch his fingers further up my thigh. My muscles tightened in anticipation, knowing this was wrong but wanting nothing but his touch.  He made his way to the hem of my tiny shorts, sliding his fingers back and forth against it. Inside my thigh. Outside my thigh. Inside. Outside. In. Out.
My vision blurred, and my eyes slid shut with pleasure. I bit my bottom lip to contain the groan that threatened to escape my lips.

Be sure to add this to your Goodreads page:

Sarah Ross started her obsession with reading at an early age, getting in trouble for sneaking BabySitter Club and Nancy Drew books into math class in elementary school. She would read any fiction book she could get her hands on. Sarah knew it was an addiction when instead of grounding her from TV or music, her mom would take away her books as punishment (The Horror!). Her love of all things paranormal was inspired by her good friend Laurie, who convinced Sarah that books with vampires, witches, and all things shifter were amazing. After a little reluctance, she gave it a shot with the Sookie Stackhouse books, realized she was right, and the rest was history.

Sarah grew up in Pittsburgh, graduated from The University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English, and taught 8th graders to love reading as much as she does for several years. She will always be a proud member of the Steelers Nation, but couldn’t take the cold and moved her frozen tush to Florida where she now lives with her family and two cats. You will find Sarah now with her trusty Kindle in hand and toes in the sand!


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