We’re celebrating the release of Both of Me by debut author Amber Kelly! One-Click yours today and don’t miss the sneak peek below!
Release Date: February 28, 2019
Designed by: Sommer Stein
Gabby Mastreoni has been in love with Christoff Scutari since she was four years old. Their fathers are in the same business, and nearly twenty years later, their families remain close. With four older brothers, Gabby leads a protected and sheltered life—until she and Christoff cross a line, and she discovers that love can hurt people.
Brie Masters left everything and everyone behind to begin again. Starting over in California, she’s found her new home. She soon learns though that she can run away from her past, but it will always be there. No matter how many miles she puts between herself and her former life, she is still running, reinventing herself—so much so that she’s not even sure who she is anymore.
And she has to ask herself, “Am I Brie, or am I still Gabby?”
“Awfully fancy burger joint you brought me to.”
He looks around and then brings his eyes back to me. “I like it here. It’s comfortable and quiet and pretty private for a burger joint.”
It is lovely. The pool area is subtly lit in an array of soft colors. Everyone is lounging in their cabanas or seated at low-lit wicker tables. Very nice indeed.
“So, Jacob Mason, tell me all about yourself.”
I decide to start the personal interrogation so as to keep it from being pointed at me.
He leans in super close. “What do you want to know?” I can feel his breath on my cheek as the words leave his mouth. That’s too close for my comfort.
“Everything. Start at the beginning.”
Our dinner arrives quickly, and he spends the next hour filling me in on all things Jake Mason as we enjoy our food. He is twenty-four years old, and he works full-time for his dad’s production company. He has lived in or around Los Angeles all his life. His dad is a television producer, and his mom was a stay-at-home mom. He has two siblings, both girls. Aspiring actresses slash waitresses. He shares a house near LA with two roommates. One is a college buddy, and the other is a guy who answered a Roommate Wanted ad. He is a stoner, but he pays his rent on time, so they don’t really care.
“I am also very much single in case you were wondering.”
“Ouch. You sure know how to hurt a guy’s ego.”
“Oh, I have no doubt your ego is just fine, Mr. Mason.”
“I like the way you call me Mr. Mason.”
I look up at him, and he has a sexy gleam in his eyes. He thinks I am a challenge, and he is very much up for the chase. This is exactly what I didn’t want to happen. Although I will admit, Julie was right about one thing. It sure is nice to bask in his attention.
“Stop looking at me that way.”
“What way is that exactly?”
“Like I am a puzzle you want to solve.”
“You are a puzzle I want to solve.”
“Nothing to solve here, Jake. I am just a girl working her ass off to pay her way through school. No mystery. I am the least interesting person on the planet.”
“Funny thing, you keep telling me that, and yet I don’t buy it. Why is that?”
“I don’t know.” I shrug. “Maybe you’re just pigheaded.”
“Perhaps, or maybe I can see right through your charade.”
God, I hope not. A sliver of fear runs through me. If he could, he would not like what he saw. I might look all clean and put together on the outside, but my insides are a mangled mess. I am not the girl he wants to get involved with. Trouble will eventually come looking for me. I cannot outrun it forever.
“There is nothing to see through.”
“Evasion will get you nowhere, Brie. I am on the line now. Hook. Line. Sinker.”
“Then, don’t blame me when I toss you back out to sea. I warned you. I am not playing a game of hard to get. I am just not interested. It’s not you. I am not interested in any relationships outside of friendship right now.”
“Then, we will be friends.”
I look him dead in the eye. “Are you capable of that?”
He stares right back at me. “Baby, I can be the best damn friend you have ever had.”
That’s what I am afraid of.
Going into a Debut Author’s 1st book, is always like unboxing a gift on Christmas morning. You really don’t know what you are going to get or what to expect of it. What is their writing style? What is the story about? Will I love it or hate it? Will this by my new favorite author??? I must admit with Amber Kelly I was very excited. Not knowing much more than a small blurb about the book, I was still very on the edge of my seat anxiously awaiting this to hit my kindle. When it arrived, I devoured it within hours. This book is the first half of the Cross My Heart duet and let me just say Amber delivered such a different story than what is out there in the romance book world, that I couldn’t put it down and now am enthusiastically awaiting the 2nd half.
In Both of Me, we get alternating points in time between the past with Gabby and the present with Brie. While some authors struggle to keep ahold of the back and forth in time jumps, Amber found a nice balance that didn’t leave me confused on where we were in time. Gabby has loved Cross her whole life. Literally since she was four years old. Events unfold throughout her young life that take her down a path she must flee New York as Gabby, and reinvent herself in California as Brie Masters. She tries to run from her past, from Cross, but as things begin to unfold in her new life out West, she soon discovers that she can’t escape her feelings or the events that lead her down this path.
Both of Me was a great start to this duet, and I loved the angst and betrayal that we see sprinkled in. I can’t wait to see how Gabby/Brie’s story concludes in the 2nd half of the duet, out later this year. Amber has blown me away with her debut novel and I can’t wait to read more of her work!
About the author:
Amber Kelly is a romance author that calls North Carolina home. She has been an avid reader from a young age and you could always find her with her nose in a book completely enthralled in an adventure. With the support of her husband and family, in 2018, she decided to finally give a voice to the stories in her head and her debut novel, Both of Me was born. You can connect with Amber on Facebook at facebook.com/AuthorAmberKelly, on IG @authoramberkelly or on twitter @AuthorAmberKel1. http://authoramberkelly.com/