Series: Standalone Novel
Published by Self Published on 4/13/17
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Buy on Amazon
They say it happens when you least expect it.
It did for me.
It started the moment I saw the simple message pop up on my computer screen:
Cameron’s Mac: Hi.
And when I met the eyes of the gorgeous man messaging me from across the coffee shop, I never thought my reply would lead to the most intense, sexual, and passionate relationship of my life.
We both agreed to check our bags at the door and put our future hopes and aspirations on the table.
I fell in love with his no holds barred attitude, sexy smirk, and undeniably good heart . . . and for a while we forgot about our baggage. We happily tripped over it to get to the other, neither of us willing to show the contents of our pasts in the off chance it could ruin us.
We built our love on a foundation of gray.
It was life in black and white that threatened to tear us apart.
We are so in love with this book! It’s heartfelt and sexy, sweet but also angsty, and the feels will keep you on your toes. I can’t wait for you to dive into this new release from one of favorite authors. It’s available on Amazon exclusively and you can read if FREE if you have Kindle Unlimited!
5 “This was Everything” Stars!
I feel like I need a minute, a minute to sit and breathe because wow! WOW. WOW! I’m breathless. That was… I can’t even explain the feels. It’s unreal. I’m stunned. One minute I was relaxed, lured into a delicious bubble of happy, sweet, sexy, fun romance and then the next BOOM! Explosions of angst everywhere.
I’m so overwhelmed by this story as a whole. The emotions. The romance. The quirky characters. The everything. I’m blown away. I’ve been a fan of Kate Stewart’s for a bit—she wrote Drive, The Brave Line, both my absolute favorites—and I can undoubtedly say that I’ve added a THIRD TOP FAV READ from this author to my list. Actually, The Real, Drive and The Brave Line are ULTIMATE reads, mandatory reads when it comes to this author.
The Real was riveting. Compelling. Heartbreaking. Combustible. There are so many words I could use to describe my reading experience. What started off slow and easy, became a tumultuous, heart wrenching tale that left me wrecked and ruined in the very best way. And let me tell this is UNFORGETTABLE. From the moment you start reading, you’re swept up in Cameron and Abbie’s sweetness. The swoon is REAL, people. The flirting, the banter, the back and forth tender moments, the chemistry between our characters is out of this world. I was spellbound with Cameron and Abbie, ensnared by their slow-burning love story. On top of allllllllll the swoon, there are so many times where I laughed out loud because Abbie is adorable. She says things, does things that make you fall in love with her. And then you add in Cameron, our hero—a sweet, gentle man who still contains all those sexy alpha male qualities and I just can’t get enough. It’s everything, I tell you. The way he romances Abbie, the way he slowly breaks down her walls…
I die. I die a million sweet and swoony deaths over this couple. And man, are these two hot together!!!! The chemistry explodes, becoming an inferno of need and lust and desire. But what really adds to this novel, what makes it just so unforgettable is the deep-seated feels. The heart pounding connection between Cameron and Abbie is raw and intense, so all encompassing!
“Fuck, I’ll never forget the way you look right now,” he whispered.
I felt beautiful and worshiped, the new normal that only he could make me feel.
“I don’t want anyone else.”
“I’ll keep it that way,” he assured as he tore off his undershirt.
Man, these two are epic together. You feel them in every scene, in every line, in every page. And when they angst hits, it tears you apart. I honestly couldn’t get enough. It’s such a gorgeous story, one that really speaks of second chances, new beginnings, of hope, forgiveness, and healing. I swear, it’s going to surprise you. It’s going to knock you off your feet.
Overall, I’m blown away. I’ve been such a fan of Kate Stewart; not only is she a gorgeous writer, but her stories are always heartfelt. She truly outdid herself with The Real, giving her readers an absolutely unforgettable experience. And I truly feel like this is one of the best books of the year. I hope everyone adds this to their list of MUST READS!
5 “This was Everything” Stars!
Where do I even begin? I loved this book SO MUCH but for entirely different reasons than I loved Drive. Drive was my very first Kate Stewart novel and it was one of my absolute favorite books from last year. So naturally I was not only anxious for more of that angsty deliciousness but I couldn’t help but compare The Real to my only other experience with Stewart’s work. If I’m being completely honest, there was also a brief moment where I grew worried that The Real wouldn’t live up to the expectations I had set for it after how much I loved Drive. But I couldn’t have been more off base. This book is angsty and emotional in an entirely different way. It’s so much more unforgettable and beautiful and utterly fantastic than anything I could’ve hoped for. And Kate Stewart’s writing on these pages is even more exquisite than I remembered.
This is such a beautiful story. This is such an important story. This is an unforgettable romance, a story so sweet my heart was bursting. But it’s also a profoundly REAL story, one that portrays a dynamic that is devastatingly relevant. I was anticipating angst and heartache and a bumpy, tumultuous, emotional journey. And The Real IS all of those things. But straight out of the gate, Kate Stewart set the stage for a romance that would be so different from anything I could’ve predicted. For much of it, The Real is adorably sweet, blissfully romantic, and so so so heartwarming. It’s peppered with humor and sharp banter that had me laughing out loud. I wanted to curl up and roll around in all the warmth and delicious sweetness Stewart delivered in much of this book. But then the story started twisting and turning and breaking in directions I never saw coming and I was completely and utterly ruined.
It wasn’t so much the shocking twist that makes this storyline the heartbreaking experience that it is. It’s the truths that come out after the fact. It’s the longing and the loss and the grief these characters endure. It’s the moments of pure desperation that completely gutted me. It’s the stark contrast between the blissfully romantic build of this love story and the devastating fall into heartbreak. It. Is. Everything. It’s the images of Cameron’s devastation that I can’t stop seeing in my head. It’s the palpable heartache I could feel and breathe and taste right along with Abbie. It’s the beauty of coffee house chats and the memories of brutal goodbyes and it’s the hilarious friendships and the sexiest moments and it’s dancing in the snow and first kisses and zoned out neighbors and horrific revelations. It’s all these unbelievably breathtaking things culminating into one phenomenally captivating story that I can’t even tell you how much I LOVED. This book was fantastic. This book embodies why I read romance. This book is an ABSOLUTE must read, a torrent of so many emotions that I hated to endure and yet couldn’t get enough of. It’s a profoundly important storyline and I adored it more than I can possibly say. Cameron is hands down one of the most delicious leading men I’ve read in ages and I don’t even want to share him with anyone else. But together he and Abbie make for a story that MUST be told, a story that broke my heart and put it back together, a story that BLEW ME AWAY. I loved this book so hard and I can’t wait to reread it immediately.
Cameron’s Mac: Hi.
I looked above my laptop and took a deep breath before I accepted his invitation.
Abbie’s Mac: Hi.
Abbie, he’s going to wear your skin! I tried to ignore my inner voice.
Cameron’s Mac: I saw you with the homeless guy.
Abbie’s Mac: Ok?
He took a sip out of his Real Men Love Pomeranians mug and shrugged before he typed.
Cameron’s Mac: So, that was nice of you. Most people in the city just walk on by.
Abbie’s Mac: Oh. Most people do walk past Bennie. But he’s different and I’m not most people.
He lifted a brow and bit his lip.
Cameron’s Mac: I see that.
Cameron’s Mac: Want to have your next cup with me?
Say yes, say yes! It’s only coffee!
Abbie’s Mac: No, thank you.
His brows drew tight with his frown.
Cameron’s Mac: Sure? How about some breakfast?
My pulse raced with the memory of my last reaction to that type of attention and the consequences, and I answered without another thought.
Abbie’s Mac: No, thanks.
His chuckle was deep and covered me, even across the space between us. He bit his full bottom lip as he typed, his smirk still intact.
Fuck. Me. Damn it, Abbie!
Cameron’s Mac: Well, I guess today is not my day.
Abbie’s Mac: That’s all you’ve got?
I had no clue why I sent that message . . . why I was bothered that he didn’t try harder. Just that fucking smirk. It was sexy as hell.
He read my message and shrugged as he typed.
Cameron’s Mac: You seem to enjoy coffee. I don’t have an agenda. You’re beautiful, I noticed. I wanted to drink coffee with you. You said no. I’m going to scrape up the rest of my pride now and head out.
He closed his laptop and stood while I deflated. Damn it. He was being nice. Since when are guys just . . . nice?
Am I a man hater? Have I become that woman?
I spoke up as he slipped his computer into a worn leather bag. “I’m sorry,” I offered in quick apology. “I was expecting some horrible line or screwed up proposition. The web, messaging, anything that has to do with technology has been hazardous for me. I’ve seen enough unsolicited dick pics for a lifetime. I was just being cautious.” And that was the truth. But I’d said it aloud in verbal vomit. Did I really say “dick pics” out loud?
He chuckled again as he looked down at me from where he stood, then grinned. “Today isn’t the right day.” The husky baritone of his voice matched the silky hue of his eyes, which seemed to darken as he looked me over.
“No?” I asked in a whisper as I sized up his six-foot-plus frame and imagined the possibilities.
“No,” he said. “Maybe we can not have coffee again sometime?”
He’d tapped out with a simple ‘no’ from me. He couldn’t have been that interested in the first place.
I couldn’t deny the disappointment welling up in my ovaries.
“Okay.” I lifted the last syllable when he didn’t press further.
Cameron pulled out his wallet and set some money on his table then walked over to mine and did the same.
“At least let me buy your next cup.”
After setting the bills down, he stood over me briefly and I caught his scent—purely masculine. I inhaled as much as I could without being obvious. He didn’t smell like a psycho.
Cameron picked up his man–bag while I pictured running my fingers through his messy, inches thick, dark-brown hair.
Don’t let him leave. Tell him you aren’t that big of a bitch. But that would seem desperate. You aren’t desperate. But you are horny. Omg, are you horny??
As if reading my thoughts, I caught another flash of his teeth and had to bite my cheek to keep my reaction in check.
“I’ll see you.”
“Yeah, see you. And thanks,” I said to his retreating back, an octave louder than necessary. “For the coffee,” I added. Outside the window, Cameron bent and exchanged words with Bennie before sticking some cash in his hand.
Well, Abbie. Guess you’ll just have to wait until the next time you roll out of bed and a beautiful man hits on you. Should happen again, you IDIOT!
Once again, my hesitance had cost me. And I couldn’t help but feel like this time it cost me big.
Sagging into my seat, I continued to stare in his direction, watching those broad shoulders walk out of my life.
About the Author
Kate Stewart lives in Charleston, S.C. with her husband, Nick, and her naughty beagle, Sadie. A native of Dallas, Kate moved to Charleston three weeks after her first visit, dropping her career of 8 years, and declaring it her creative muse. Kate pens messy, sexy, angst-filled contemporary romance as well as romantic comedy and erotic suspense because it’s what she loves as a reader. A lover of all things ’80s and ’90s, especially John Hughes films and rap, she dabbles a little in photography, can knit a simple stitch scarf for necessity only and does a horrible job of playing the ukulele. Aside from running a mile without collapsing, traveling is the only other must on her bucket list. On occasion, she does very well at vodka.