4.5 Star Reviews Book Reviews

New Review & Spotlight: Hopeful by Louise Bay

7:02 AMAlma Lopez

Title: Hopeful
Author: Louise Bay
Release Date: July 15, 2014

Guys like Joel Wentworth weren't meant to fall in love with girls like me. He could have had his pick of the girls on campus but somehow the laws of nature were defied and we fell crazy in love. And for a short time I thought it would be for infinity.
On July 10, 2006, straight after graduation, Joel left for New York and despite him wanting me to go with him, I refused, unwilling to disappoint my parents and risk the judgment of my friends. I never saw him again. Never even spoke to him.
I've spent the last eight years working hard to put my career front and center in my life, dodging any personal complications - I have a strict no dating policy.  I've managed to piece together a reality that works for me. Until now.
Now, Joel's coming back to London.
And I need to get over him before he gets over here.

*Not suitable for younger readers due to sexual content and language.*


I got to say BRAVO to the second installment to this series and a tip of my imaginary top hat to you, Louise Bay! I have been trying to pin point exactly why this book really did it for me, but it's not really just one thing, it's everything wrapped together in one awesome and delicious book. I really connected with the characters and the way to story was told effectively had me tied to my Kindle. Joel had me a swoony wanton mess and the connection between him and Ava was endearing and heart warming.

"I managed to piece together a reality that worked for me. It wasn't that I wasn't in love--I was. It was that my love just wasn't in my life. Love hadn't been enough." -Ava

Ava Joel had a passionate and tumultuous secret relationship while they were both in college. They both loved each other desperately, but they made many wrong choices that left them at a terribly conflicting crossroad once they graduated.  Ava chose to stay in London to pursue her dreams instead of going to New York with Joel to chase after his. After many years of failed attempts to forget Joel Wentworth, Ava is thrown off kilter, when she discovers that he is returning to London. She is determined to at least appear put together, so she enlists the help of her friend to set her up with an online dating site. The hits and misses of online dating is always a sure way to have me laughing my arse off! So she sets off on her mission to speed date her way through the internet, all in order to not be single when Joel arrives. The anticipation of their first meeting was giving me ants in my pants for sure (the good kind that is). Ava wasn't sure how she would be received once he returned. They shared the same group of friends so there was no hiding from him.

"He was indifferent, and it was unexpected and brought a different kind of pain. I was prepared for his anger to still be there. Even if I tried to tell myself I wasn't, I was hoping to see some remnants of love. But indifference? I just wasn't prepared for it." -Ava

While they both struggle to find their footing in the present, we get flashes back to the past from when their whole relationship started. These were my favorite parts for sure. I loved how they started out as study buddies, and the sexual tension slowly simmered in. They kept their relationship a secret from their friends mostly because Ava wanted it that way. The reasons she does so was both understandable and relatable. Joel was the ultimate hunky playboy and in her eyes she was nothing special and he was miles out of her league. She not only struggled with feeling deserving of his attention, but also didn't want to face the judgement from others. Well, we all know that this recipe always leads to unbearable acts of jealousy because neither one of them could publicly lay claim to each other.  

"You know this is it for me. You're it for me," he said in my ear as I unbuckled his belt. 
I nodded. I dod know. I knew this, what we were about to do, had the power to end it for me, and he felt it, too. Maybe that's why he'd held me back for so long. Maybe it was as much about him protecting himself as him protecting me.

In the present, they battle between the feelings they shared in the past (which were not all warm and fuzzy) and what emotions they provoke in each other in the now. How long can they possibly last before the emotionally bomb goes off and they cave? Their friends still have no idea of their past relationship, so they both are forced to make an attempt at indifference to mask the true inner turmoil. Once everything ignites, will Ava finally be able to put away the fear of everyone else's opinions and scream out her love for Joel? Or will Joel be forced into being a dirty little secret again? Can they actually have a chance at a real relationship this time around, or will the past rejection, anger, and secrets continue to hold them hostage?

"Joel, I love you. I have always loved you and I will always love you. You can have any piece of me you want. You can have me tonight or forever. I'm yours." -Ava

My heart was irrevocably stolen....more like willingly thrown at Joel's devilishly handsome feet. I thoroughly enjoyed this book not solely because of Joel, but also the storyline and the emotions that were successfully forced out of me. I connected much more with this one than the first book, I got to say. I read romance in all varieties and appreciate them all the same, so I know you don't always need the same recipe to produce a solid emotionally gripping story. If done right, all you need are amazing characters...check...enthralling storyline to keep you wanting more...check...and sizzling hot chemistry...double check! This book hooked me right from beginning to end and I sunk right into the turbulent depths of their journey. I would definitely recommend this book to my fellow readers out there. 

4.5 out of 5 Emotional, Heart Palpating, Hopeful Stars!


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Author Low Down:

I write sexy, contemporary romance novels. My first novel Faithful was released in April 2014 and the second, Hopeful, was released July 15 2014.
Ruined by romantic mini-series of the eighties, I love all things romantic. There's not enough of it in real life so I'll settle for books and films.
I love the rain, the West Wing, London, days when you don't have to wear make-up, being alone, being with friends, elephants and champagne.

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