Friday, February 19, 2016

To the Stars by Molly McAdams ~ Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway

~ About the Book ~ 

To the Stars (Thatch #2) by Molly McAdams

Source: e-ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

In the second standalone book in New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Molly McAdams’ Thatch series, Knox Alexander must convince his long-time love Harlow Evans that they’re meant to be together.

He promised to wait for her.
She told him he was wasting his time.
Not waiting for him ended up being the biggest mistake of her life.

When they were younger, Knox Alexander swore to Harlow Evans that he would wait for her to turn eighteen so they could be together. But that was two and a half years away, and Harlow couldn’t ask him to give up all the fun and thrills of going away to college for her. As the years passed, Knox remained a constant in her life but when her eighteenth birthday came around, Harlow’s heart belonged to someone else.

Every day for the last four years, Harlow has been haunted by that fateful choice. And though he may appear unaffected by what happened in their past, Knox has always tried to fill the void Harlow left. But when he comes stumbling back into her life and refuses to leave, will Harlow finally let him into her heart…?

Book Links:

~ Review ~ 

Considering my addiction to Molly McAdams' stories, I'm sure the fact that I've been waiting something akin to FOREVER to get this book in my hands and read it comes as no surprise. I've been muppet flailing over this pretty for a while now. So of course, after MONTHS of waiting, I sped straight through To the Stars in less than a day. Honestly, it was even less than half a day. For this 400-ish page book. I couldn't help myself. It was just so dang good. And now I sit here facing the very real fact that I officially have a new favorite Molly McAdams couple---Knox and Harlow.

Above everything, I must say that my favorite thing about this novel is...well, the title. Not in and of itself (because that would make no sense, who loves a book simply because the title?), but because to the stars is a huge, meaningful saying in this novel, and I loved it more than I can say. It was said countless times through the book, and it never got old. Warmed my heart, set off butterflies in my stomach, and made me incredibly happy.

Knox and Harlow have known each other for years and have been in love basically that entire time. Due to a small age gap, they couldn't be together right away (Knox was 18 while Harlow was 15). So instead, they decided to wait until Harlow was 18 to become a couple. But things got complicated and Knox and Harlow ended up going down different paths---until they meet up again in To the Stars and feelings that had never really gone away rise back into focus.

I adored Knox. He was sweet and respectful, supportive and protective. He's the kind of guy you totally want in your corner. He never shied away from his feelings for Harlow, and he never stopped letting Harlow know how much he loved her. I felt for Harlow. Her life got so twisted and brutal. I respect her for her strength, and wanted nothing but the best for her. Which of course meant I wanted her and Knox to get together ASAP.

Knox and Harlow's romance was beautiful. It spanned years, though there is a gap where they go their separate ways before finding one another again, but once they do their feelings return full force. It is deep and passionate, and I was rooting for them so hard. They're one of those couples that just HAS to work out because honestly, that's the only thing that makes sense. They belong together. And Knox and Harlow now hold the spot as my favorite Molly McAdams couple---which is a big deal considering how much I LOVE Gage and Cassidy and Kash and Rachel and Jagger and Grey... you get the point. Molly writes some swoon-worthy couples.

Speaking of Molly McAdams' writing, it had me hook, line, and sinker with this book. The story is told in dual POV, while also dipping into moments from the past while the majority of the story is rooted in the present. Reading both Knox and Harlow's voices was great, and gave valuable insight into how they were both thinking and feeling. Jumping to moments in their past was lovely, too. I so enjoyed seeing how their relationship started, and how deep their emotions ran back then. It made their relationship even more worthy of swoon.

While this book is the second in the Thatch series, it can 100% be read as a standalone. And I don't mean in a "you might be a little spoiled for book 1" way. I mean in a "while you have glimpses of book 1's couple, nothing main to the plot is given away in To the Stars" way. (Except whether or not the couple ends up together, but I mean...) This couple is completely separate from Letting Go's couple, so it's not like their stories intertwine, and you'll be able to understand if you read this one first.

Overall, To the Stars is a beautiful novel and has claimed the spot as my new favorite by Molly McAdams. Knox and Harlow's story is heavy, but also sweet and captivating. I enjoyed every moment of To the Stars, and now I await whatever comes next from Molly McAdams. I'll surely be picking it up the moment it lands in my hands!

5 stars - Beautiful and captivating, To the Stars is my new favorite by Molly McAdams!

~ Excerpt ~

Despite the glimpse of the Collin I’d once loved, it only ended up being that—a glimpse. Over the next forty minutes I messed up too many times, and Collin’s anger with me continued to grow. I knew I could have done a better job at being the wife Collin thought I should be; I just couldn’t concentrate.

I could feel Knox’s eyes on me, and it was too easy to turn and find him. But I was terrified that if I looked at him, Collin would notice. Forcing myself to look away from what my soul reached for was draining and taking every ounce of focus I had. I knew I needed to get it together, I needed to start impressing Collin even; but Knox was there. There. As was Collin. And both were incredibly pissed-off. The only good part of the night was that Ren had already left with a girl my age.

“You know what I’m finding hilarious?” Collin asked as he pulled me away from the latest couple we’d been speaking with, his lips brushing my ear. “It seems like for the past hour I’ve had to convince people you love me. You’re holding yourself stiff and away from me, you seem distracted and your responses are delayed, and you’ve barely made eye contact with me. Now tell me, Harlow, why would I have to convince all these people that my wife loves me? Better yet, why would I have to try to convince myself that she still does?”

I froze. In the years of going through all this, in the years of him having sex with someone who couldn’t bear to look at him or take part in it, Collin had never questioned my love for him. Dread filled me, making it feel like there were hands gripping and twisting my stomach. His questioning something like this would end horribly. “Collin, don’t be ridi—”

“Do not speak.” His fingers dug into the inside of my forearm, and my mouth immediately popped open, a harsh breath blowing past my lips. “Don’t show your pain, Harlow,” he warned.

I snapped my mouth shut and tried to control my expression, but I knew I wasn’t succeeding when his fingers pressed in harder.

“Do not show your pain,” he gritted out—his smile never wavered.

I clenched my jaw and somehow managed to plaster a tight-lipped smile on my face.

Collin’s lips ghosted along my neck. “Do you love me, Harlow?” His grip loosened enough to allow me to answer.

I loathe you with every fiber of my being.

~ About Molly McAdams ~ 

Molly grew up in California but now lives in the oh-so-amazing state of Texas with her husband, daughter, and fur babies. When she's not diving into the world of her characters, some of her hobbies include hiking, snowboarding, traveling, and long walks on the beach … which roughly translates to being a homebody with her hubby and dishing out movie quotes. She has a weakness for crude-humored movies and fried pickles, and loves curling up in a fluffy comforter during a thunderstorm ... or under one in a bathtub if there are tornados. That way she can pretend they aren't really happening.

~ Giveaway ~ 

Enter to win a signed copy of Letting Go and To the Stars and a $50 Amazon/B&N gift card! (US/Canda only)

This is a tour-wide giveaway not sponsored by StuckInBooks. StuckInBooks is not responsible for selecting winners or sending prizes.

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