Saturday, September 19, 2015

4 1/2 Star Review: Unwritten (Unwritten #1) by Lauren Runow

Charlie Ashley, or Mr. Ashley as his clients know him, is a high-end male escort who gets paid thousands for whatever services his clients require. He’s lived the last ten years alone, not letting anyone in, enjoying his success and provocative lifestyle.

Allison Hayes has no idea the man she is falling in love with is a male escort. She connects with Charlie through their love of music, playing a taunting game asking herself if she loves him, hates him or if she is going to save him.

After meeting Allison, Charlie enters a world where everything he knows no longer makes sense, leaving him too scared to move forward, yet making it impossible to look back.

But can he give up his entire life for love?

My Review

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

I read four books in a row that left me with a massive book hangover and this was one of them. The synopsis for Unwritten grabbed my attention right away. I've read a lot of books, but this one sounded like nothing I had read before, so I was willing to give it a shot. Well let me tell you, once I started reading it, I had a hard time putting it down. 

Charlie, is an escort. It's pretty much all he has done his adult life. It's all he knows and up until now, life has been great. But then he meets Allison. Talk about a game changer. He first sees her at a concert and while he is immediately attracted to her, he doesn't get a chance to talk to her. Luckily for him, Charlie runs into Allison at a Starbucks. He strikes up a conversation with her and that turns into hours of chatting/flirting. Charlie has to leave for an appointment with a client, but asks Allison to meet him at Starbucks again the next day. She agrees after meeting up, the two of them go out to dinner. During dinner they discover that they both love Crossfit and make a plan to work out together the next morning. It was at this point I realized that the two of them belonged together, but circumstances being what they were, it was mostly likely going to be a long and winding road to their happily ever after.

From the moment Charlie met Allison, something in him shifted. The first time he was with a client after meeting her, felt different. He finds himself thinking about Allison and his heart just isn't in it, but being the professional that he is, Charlie does his job and leaves his clients more than satisfied.  But the more time he spends with Allison and his feelings start to grow, the more he realizes that he cannot act on them. They go on these wonderful dates and just when things get hot an heavy, Charlie shuts down. It's clear to Allison that Charlie is holding back and it's killing him to do so, but he won't talk to her and tell her what is going on. Luckily for him, she is more than understanding. 
Holding her tighter I lean down and kiss the top of her head. Yes, I’m going for it, and I really think I can do it this time.
I’ve loved every second with her and haven’t felt any fear since she’s been here. I know I’m totally falling for this chick and that’s all it was. I can do this…
Allison’s breathing hardens as she slowly moves her head, looking up at me, directly into my eyes. I lean in and kiss her softly before moving back and looking for her reaction. She gives me a kiss-me-now look and I lean in again, kissing her, slowly moving her down so she’s on her back and my chest is on top of her with my legs lying to her side.
I stop kissing her and pull back once more just to look at her. I still can’t believe that someone, this beautiful woman, can make me feel so whole, so happy.
I move her hair out of her face, giving her a warm smile before I kiss her again. The passion grows between us with each breath. I reach underneath her shirt, wrap my arm around her back, feeling her soft bare skin before grabbing the bottom of her shirt and slowly pulling it up over her head, taking it off and throwing it on the floor beside us.
She reaches for my shirt, pulling it up over my head as well. We are skin to skin, feeling each other’s heartbeat as we continue to explore one another.
Allison reaches for my pants and starts to unbutton the top button and there it is again. That scared feeling I felt before, making my stomach turn and my heart leap into my throat. I try to push it out of my mind, not understanding what’s going on or why this is happening. My heart beats harder and harder until I can’t breathe and I have to stop kissing her, dropping to my back so I’m lying beside her. What the fuck?
My breathing is so strained I have to focus on breathing slowly, in through the nose, out through the mouth, to try to calm it down.
Why am I so nervous? It’s like I’ve never done this before. Then it hits me.
That’s why. I’ve never done this before. Every time I’ve had sex it was with a client. I’ve never had feelings for anyone I’ve been with and the realization is overwhelming.
Allison leans to her side and I can tell she’s concerned, “Charlie, what is it?”
“God, Allison, I wish I could explain it to you.”
Putting her hand on my face, she whispers, “So try…” 
I take a deep breath in, letting it out veryslowly and covering my eyes, “I can’t…” I pause before I put my arm down and look into her eyes. “But please stay here with me. Stay the night and sleep here with me.” I know I can’t hide the pleading coming out from deep within and I hope I don’t sound too pathetic.
She smiles, turns her back to me and curls up in my arms, grabbing my hand and pulling it up to her lips, kissing it saying, “Ok.”
Nothing else is said and we fall asleep wrapped in each other’s arms.
The above situation happens more than once, but their relationship eventually does progress. And just when you think that they are heading toward that happily ever after I really want for them (because they are the most perfect couple ever), they are brought back to reality. And in the most horrible of ways. Everything Charlie was afraid of comes to light, but it is actually much worse than he could have imagined. The twists and turns in this book were nothing like I expected.

Charlie and Allison were just amazing together. I couldn't put the book down because I had to know that these two were going to be okay and that their relationship was still headed toward that happily ever after. I found myself so invested in their relationship that I found myself crying. A LOT. It was obvious that they loved each other very much, but time and time again it just seemed liked the odds were against them. Talk about heartbreaking.  

Now my caveat for you is that this book does end on a kind of sort of cliffhanger. So if you don't like that kind of thing, you may want to wait until the next book comes out and read them together. When I finished I immediately tweeted at the author with something along the lines of "OMG! When is the next book coming out! I NEED IT!" Or something like that. I can't wait to read Rewritten and I will just be keeping my fingers crossed that things will turn out the way I hope.

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