Thursday, December 3, 2015

RELEASE BLITZ & 5 STAR REVIEW: In a Lifetime (Lifetime #1) by Ariadne Wayne

When Matt lays eyes on Ella, it’s love at first sight. At the very least, lust. But when fate steps in, Matt ends up playing Good Samaritan and losing the girl he wants to his best friend, Sam.

When Ella and Sam marry, Matt leaves the country, desperate to get over the deep feelings he has for his friend’s wife. When he returns, he finds a couple struggling with infertility; cracks appearing in their relationship. Making things worse, his feelings for Ella have intensified.

When you’re in love with your best friend’s wife, whose side do you take when everything falls apart?

My Review

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

WARNING: This review may be slightly spoilery, but I just couldn't help it! Read at your own risk!

First of all...I just want to say that I am in LOVE with this cover. It's absolutely gorgeous and I can't stop staring at it! 

Matt sees Ella from across the room at a party he and his roommate Sam are throwing. He is immediately attracted to her and wants nothing more than to talk to her, but he has to bring one of the drunk partygoers home. By the time he gets back, the party is over and he finds Ella and Sam getting to know each other. In the biblical sense. Ella and Sam fall into a serious relationship and Matt, being the great guy that he is, does nothing but be a great friend to both Ella and Sam. He watches the woman he loves build a life with his best friend. 

I absolutely ADORED Matt and my heart broke for him throughout the whole book. He may have lost the girl, but Matt moves on with his life. He gets a job after graduation. Gets his own place after Ella and Sam move in together. The three still spend time together, but it's not as often. At this point Matt is so in love with Ella, just being around her hurts too much, but he does it because he's a good friend. Matt still dates now and then and even meets someone who he brings to dinner with Ella and Sam (Talk about a big step!) It's at that dinner Matt learns that Ella and Sam are engaged. He thinks he does a good job of playing it off, but later that night he has this conversation with his girlfriend:
“So, how long have you been in love with her?” 
I froze, the question punching me in the face.
“Christie, I …”
“You love her.” Christie’s voice sounded so small.
“Don’t do this. You know I want to be with you.”
I was lost in those deep, dark eyes. They were sad, and I knew the simple act of responding the way I had to Ella’s announcement had broken her heart. I could see it.
“Do you?”
“Taking you to meet my friends was a really big thing. I haven’t taken a girlfriend to meet them before. Hell, I’ve not had anyone who I’ve called my girlfriend in ages.”
“Because you love her.”
I grasped my forehead with my fingers, rubbing it, knowing I’d have to be completely honest or find a better way to lie. So far, she’d seen right through me. 
My mouth was dry as the desert, and I licked my lips, trying to summon up some courage. “When I first met Ella, I had feelings for her. But she’s with Sam, and now they’re getting married. I’m with you.”
So you don’t have feelings for her anymore?” I could tell from her tone that Christie already knew the answer.
“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t. But I’m happy for her and Sam. Their happiness means just as much to me.” I flicked a lock of straight brown hair from her shoulder. “The feelings I have for you are growing all the time.”
“You can’t say you love me yet, though.” She had that puppy-dog look, the hopeful one, the one that had made me ask her out in the first place.
“Only because it’s been six weeks. I like what we have; I’m enjoying us getting to know one another.”
Christie frowned. “What if Ella and Sam break up later on? What about me?”
“Maybe we need to not overthink things, and see how it all goes.” I slid my fingers under her chin. “You’re amazing.”
She smiled a little, but I could see it in her eyes—she wasn’t sure if she should stick around to see what happened. She took a deep breath. “You’re pretty awesome yourself. That’s why I don’t know if I can do this.”
I shook my head. “No. This isn’t the way to deal with this. I’m here with you, right where I want to be.”
“Because she’s with him.”
I could try my hardest to fight this, but she was right, and not giving an inch. It wasn’t because I didn’t care about Christie, and I wasn’t lying about wanting to be with her, but there was someone who was that much more important to me. Someone who, despite my attempts to keep my distance from, I’d still come running to if she clicked her fingers.
I hated this feeling, and I loved it, torn between my heart that told me she might one day still be mine, and my head which told me the only way that would happen would be for Sam’s heart to break. That was the last thing I wanted to happen.
Christie backed out of my arms and my bed, and as she dressed and walked away in silence, I knew there was nothing more I could do.
So I let her go.
**sigh** I just wanted to give him a big hug. It's not like he isn't trying!!!

Fast forward to Ella and Sam's wedding. Of course Matt is the best man and it turns out he fits in with Ella's family way more than Sam ever did/will. Even Ella's sister Vanessa sees how much Matt cares for Ella. But soon after the wedding Matt not only leaves town, but he leaves the country. Let's just call it self preservation. While he is away, he has minimal contact with people back home. When Matt finally returns, he finds Ella and Sam's marriage is in trouble and things get interesting. 

One would think that Matt would jump at a chance with Ella, but he is not that guy. Matt is Ella's friend first and foremost. And Sam is practically his brother. He may not be happy with Sam and their friendship could end up severely fractured, but he would never betray him in that way. So Matt does what he knows best. He becomes Ella's friend again. He even gives her MONTHS of space to help figure things out. And of course he is going to be there for her when she makes a decision. He loves her. 

Poor Ella. I never doubted her love for Sam (don't get me started on that guy!), but I knew deep she felt more for Matt than what was on the surface. And I think that Sam really did love her, just in his own way. Unfortunately for him, it wasn't the right way and it came back to bite him in the ass. And just when things seemed to be falling into place, her world fell apart. I just kept my fingers crossed that she was going to get a happily ever after, but because she deserved it. 

I just loved everything about this book!!! It took a while to get to "the good stuff", but that was a necessary evil. And Matt's grand gesture to get Ella back in his life on a permanent basis...SWOON CITY. Actually pretty much everything Matt did when it came to Ella made me swoon. 

Oh!  One more thing. VANESSA. I loved her. Despite the age difference (9 years), she was a wonderful friend to Matt. After realizing he had feelings for Ella she quickly became an important ally for him. She never really cared for Sam and had no problem hopping on Team Matt & Ella. Plus she was good comic relief when things seemed to get too tense. Great secondary character!

I really could go on and on, but just do yourself a favor and go buy the book! GO! GO! GO!

New Zealand writer. Giving writing a go after a very long break. Letting my imagination run free after so long is a bit scary, but here goes!

I can usually be found at my blog, on Twitter or on Facebook. Come and chat! I love stories about real people, with a bit of drama and sometimes a touch of spice. My stories are usually based in little old NZ. :)

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