Author: Amber Nation
Series: Brown County, #1
Publisher by: Independent
Published on: November 25, 2013
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romance
Emmalynne Morgan thought that getting married to her High School sweetheart and starting a family was all she wanted in life. Everything was perfect until circumstances change and devastating blows occur.
Fast forward five years, Emmalynne thinks she is broken, not only emotionally but physically as well, so her confidence was severely lacking. Being a single mother to her son, Tucker, as well as an owner of a small town Bookstore, she does everything she can to keep men at arms-length, not thinking she is worthy anymore with her plus-sized body and scars.
Taking it upon themselves, Emmalynne's best friends, Toby and Tessa make it their mission to bring her out of her tight-knitted comfort zone. That is when she locks eyes on the male perfection that is Grady.
Grady Finnegan was the gorgeous new guy in town. Recently injured and discharged from the Army, Grady comes to his Uncle’s aid in helping manage the family bar. Not being anywhere near innocent when it comes to women, Grady meets Emmalynne and he knows one thing, that he wants her.
Sparks fly and passion ignites, but will that be enough? Not ready to lay her heart on the line, Emmalynne guards it as best she can and ultimately fails. When chaos erupts and Grady's past comes back to haunt him, it leaves Emmalynne's already broken heart, shattered.
Will past circumstances prevent Emmalynne from having the future she deserves? Or can Grady help her follow her heart and show her that she is Not Alone?
Emmalynne is a dedicated mother and friend with heart of gold. However, the verbal and emotional abuse of her now deceased husband has caused her to build up walls around that heart. She along with her son, Tucker, have built a satisfying life for themselves along with her close friends, Tess and Toby. She wasn’t looking for love, but isn’t that usually when it finds you?
When Grady comes to town to take over his uncle’s bar, he is immediately taken by Emmy good nature. He knows from Emmy’s friends that she struggles with self-confidence so Grady makes it his goal to help Emmalynne see just what he seeing – an extraordinary woman inside and out.
However, Grady is not the only one to have noticed Emmy’s inner and outer beauty. When Emmalynne becomes the focus of a stranger’s unrequited attention, drama escalates to dangerous levels.
Not Alone is the debut romance novel by Amber Nation. She wrote a very real and likeable character when she fashioned Emmalynne Morgan. Conjuring up an uber-sexy male counterpoint seems more like child’s play because, if you’re at all like me, it doesn’t take much to make me swoon! However, making the female something that the everyday reader can relate to, that’s more of a challenge; one that she nailed.
The dialogue felt forced and had an inorganic flow to it. My suggestion to the author would be to describe the characters tone, actions, or expressions in between some of the phrasing. Those descriptions allow the reader to make inferences rather than needing the author to just lay it all out there for us. Also, slow down some of those love scenes. I wanted those moments to last! Hell, I’d be willing to give up some pages on Toby or Tess or the storyline about Emmy’s father to have a bit more detailed lovin’ between Grady & Emmalynne!
I enjoyed the inner monologues and multiple point of views. Getting to see / hear each of the main characters thoughts and feelings lets the reader get a full view of their emotional range. I however did not care for the abrupt switch to Tess and Toby’s point of view. I personally would have rather read the entire story from more of a third-person-omnipotent point of view.
Overall, I thought it was a decent debut novel. Editing and those love scenes need more attention in her follow up novels, but the author has good potential to tell a quality story and I look forward to seeing what she has in store.
Emmalynne turned around, fiddling with the bottom edge of her shirt. She looked up at me with her bottom lip tucked between her teeth, her eyes wary. She was nervous again, but seeing her nibble on her lip made me want to take her, here and now. “Thank you for bringing me home, Grady. And for coming to my rescue, I appreciate it.”
“Don’t worry about it. I’ll see you tomorrow, yeah?” I had to get out of there and fast.
“Oh yeah, right, for our date.” She stepped towards me and closed her eyes, her tongue darting out to lick her lips then puckering them. She wanted to kiss me. That made my pants grow even tighter and I wanted nothing more than to explore every inch of that amazing mouth. Those lips were all pouty and sexy, but she wasn’t totally coherent. And as much as I wanted to, and Lord did I want to, I wasn’t going to take advantage of her like that. So I leaned into her and kissed her forehead, the smell of her shampoo hitting me like a brick, Vanilla and Mint. I exhaled as I took a step back and, she immediately opened her eyes, her expression pained.