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WHEN I COME AROUND ebook

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1999 goals: Get a life, get real… and get a room.

 

No one ever said I was the brightest bulb on the tree, but a near-death experience finally knocks some sense into my thick head.

 

Luckily, my jerk of an ex washes his hands of me, but I’m left with so many burnt bridges to re-build. Landing a job on any movie or TV show that’ll have me has to be my #1 priority. Thankfully, my life-long friends still love me enough to help.

 

When the one I always wished could be more than a friend shows up on my doorstep, however, all my good intentions go right out the window. Before I know it, I’ve convinced him that an out-of-town, friends-with-benefits deal will be the perfect way to get over each other.

 

Is it another in a long line of bad decisions, or a move that'll turn things around? 110 percent, I hope he can handle the truth.

 

Fans of 90’s TV shows, from Friends to Freaks and Geeks, will love this second chance, friends-to-lovers, retro romance, where a grumpy cinnamon roll hero and a wounded bird heroine vie for a happy-ever-after despite interference from meddling found-family friends.

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Kristie G.

2 days ago

Fantastic read!

This is the fourth and final book in the Carolina Classics series and it’s fantastic! I’ve been waiting for Whitney’s story…she hasn’t been the easiest character to like (based on her behavior in the previous books) but this story helps us understand why. Karen delivers an amazing story of second changes, forgiveness and finding ones self. Whitney has not had the most supportive upbringing, is very insecure and needs a fresh start. She knows who her friends and support system are so she heads back to them. Ford is a sweet, patient and caring man. He is also very career driven but will be at his friends side at the drop of a hat. As Whitney and Ford reunite after many years there are so many questions between the two, trust issues, but a love that has never been forgotten. This book has all the emotions…Karen writes a lovely story, with challenging/tough topics, and handles them beautifully. These characters are some of my favorite and prove that friendships can withstand many challenges, disagreements and misunderstandings. A perfect ending to the series.

Anni R.

3 days ago

What a way to end the series!

What a way to end a series! 5 glorious stars! I can’t wait to read this for a third time when the audio releases (first read was beta and the changes/updates from then to the arc copy were perfection), and find out which awesome narrators she’s picking for these, my favourite characters!

Karen Grey has a knack for taking extremely sensitive and serious topics (timely both from the retro era she’s writing about, the late 90’s, as well as now), such as women’s reproductive rights and domestic and spousal abuse - in this case emotional trauma - and giving us a beautiful second chance friends to lovers story.

Ford has always been in love with Whitney - in fact he and Sully had a falling out over it many years ago (since they both were), and then she went and married that creep Hardy…. and not one of their tight-knit friends group could figure out why. Everything comes out at the very start of this book, when Whitney needs to be rushed to the hospital in the middle of Violet’s bachelorette party due to a miscarriage. Hardy and her parents show up at the hospital and their true colors all come out, including the absolutely disgusting side of Hardy and how all he wanted was a “breeder” and that her parents basically sold her to him to pay her college bills, and he’s done with her.

She disowns her family as much as they disown her after the miscarriage leads to a hysterectomy, but her old friends take her back in, especially Ford - leading to all the old feelings.

A beautiful and long-awaited joining of these friends who were meant to be together but too many outside influences kept them apart for years. Working together in the film industry poses its own challenges, and she needs to have some independence after the awful experiences she lived and she still keeps him at arms length, but we finally get our friends and series conclusion that we waited such a long time for, and it’s even better than I could have anticipated!

I completely and totally recommend not only this special and spectacular read, but the entire series (it’s better with the whole character arc)! Grey is such an amazing author and storyteller and you do not want to miss this one!

I received an advance copy from the author and Home Cooked Books PR, and this is my honest feedback.

Jocelyne G.

3 days ago

Beautiful Story!

This is the fourth book in the Carolina Classic Series. This is my favorite in the series. Whitney and Ford's story is beautifully written, and emotional, filled with drama, and romance. I liked the friendship in the story. This is a great second chance romance, friends-to-lovers, and retro romance. I enjoyed it.

kgagnon

3 days ago

Captivating, emotional, and steamy romance!

Ford has been in love with Whitney since they were young, but felt she was always out of his league. Ford came from a working class family and Whitney came from a home of privilege. Whitney was pressured to keep up appearances but she only felt accepted when she would sneak off to be with Ford and the rest of their friends. Ford was always there for her when she needed him, but she couldn't show him how much she cared for him. She eventually married a man who was worthy to her parents, but lost the only 'real' friends she had. When she sneaks off to her friends wedding, she collapses and almost dies, but Ford is there to catch her. After her stay in the hospital, she recovers, but has also been set free to make a new life for herself. She is determined to also make amends to the people who have always been there for her unconditionally. Ford has felt guilty for pushing Whitney to hard to be with him before. He is excited to have a second chance at convincing Whitney that they are meant for each other, but he will have to help her heal first. When they end up working on the same remote set, they feel free to finally act on the feelings they've always had for each other. But when it's time to return home, will Whitney be strong enough to face her past and move forward a stronger woman? This story made me feel so many extreme emotions. Grey weaved a story about a very sensitive issue with honesty and empathy, making my heart break and then put it back together again. I loved how she took her time with Whitney and Ford, allowing them to heal, and become stronger, and know they were worthy of love. I also loved catching up with all their friends and watching them love and support each other unconditionally, and even meddle a bit! I really enjoyed this captivating, emotional, and steamy romance!

A. R.

4 days ago

When the time is right

I'm truly sad to have this series end. I have started this review over, so many times throughout the day I just can't quite seem to get it right.
So I went back to the 90's and Greenday to see if maybe they had some words of wisdom.

"So go do what you like, make sure you do it wise
You may find out that your self-doubt means nothing
Was ever there
You can't go forcing something if it's just not right"

*Songwriters: Billie Joe Armstrong / Frank Edwin Wright III / Mike Ryan Pritchard

This I think explains perfectly Ford and Whitney's non-relationship. The group itself had so much growing to do. None started out wisely that first night the night of the hurricane. But in the end they all had to face self-doubt and no one quite as much as Whitney and Ford. And just like Whitney's parents tried to force her into something, trying to force something to not happen won't work either. Ford and Whit are clearly meant to be, if they can commit to the work.

So much character growth in this book. We really get to see Whitney evolve into a self-sufficient person. Not that she needs to be but if she chose to be she could survive on her own.
Ford finally has to man up and face his feelings. Which I absolutely couldn't wait to read.
I also have to note I immensely enjoy and appreciate that it is frequently brought up that it is completely acceptable and normal for women not to want to have children or to give birth. The tragedy that caused this to be a topic was I felt handled well within the book as well.
I have voluntarily left this review.