Emerge By S.E. Hall
ARC provided by Author –
Special thanks to S.E Hall & Sam.
Laney Walker is a quick witted, athletic, southern tomboy who lets few get too close, using her sarcastic zingers to deflect. She also has no idea how others view her, Evan having protected and coveted her since they were children. But college puts a gap between Laney and Evan that neither of them were prepared for- old relationships are tested, new ones are formed and nothing will ever be the same.
Especially when in walks one Dane Kendrick, not at all the familiar, southern charmer of home, but an animal all his own.
A story of growing up, friendship, loyalty, first love, primal love…and life.
You know those books that contain so many heart-pounding moments of angst and frustration that you just can’t help but love them? It is the journey of emotions that they take you on. The frustrations you feel at the decisions the characters make. Ultimately, it is the way the love story is so beautifully constructed and weaved together. Books like this are so beautifully heartfelt, yet intense and this is one of those books.
Emerge tells the story of Laney, a young woman who has lead her life with the knowledge that not everything is forever, not all relationships last and not everyone sticks around. She is overly aware that the possibility of having those that you love leave you is great, and has shut herself off. That is until she meets Evan. Evan is the gorgeous, over protective boy next door, who slowly weaves his way into Laney’s heart. As these two grow together, so does their relationship and quickly the platonic feelings they share turn into much more. When unforeseen circumstances force them apart, Laney and Evan struggle to find balance and maintain the solid relationship they briefly shared. When Laney settles into her new life and unexpected plans, she is surrounded by new people and forms new friendships and experiences. Experiences that no longer include Evan. It is when Laney meets the sexy Dane Kendrick that everything truly changes. The charming and mysterious young man cannot seem to get Laney out of his mind and suddenly Laney can’t seem to escape him either.
Emerge is a sharp, sexy, intelligent and highly endearing read. It grabs you by the heart and does not let go. This is a book that will hold you captive until the very last page.
S.E Hall doesn’t attack you with angst, she attacks you with creating incredible and realistic characters who tug at the heartstrings. Never, have I read a book where the characters vied for my affection so strongly that I struggled to choose a stance on whose side I was on.
S.E Hall crafted two of the most gorgeous, compassionate and driven male protagonists, whose affections and demeanours suck you in whole. I found myself at a loss as for who exactly I wanted to win Laney over. Every time I read from Evan’s Perspective I felt this gorgeous, gentle, loving boy next door’s heart break in two, as he continually placed the blame of his and Lane’s impending separation on himself. But then S.E Hall introduces the reader to the charming, sexy, sultry character of Dane. And every little element of my heart that Evan had won over was overpowered. Dane is a handsome, gorgeous man who has been reduced to an insecure guy. He is terrified he is not enough to win the heart of the stunning southern girl, a girl who has invaded his world and given him a reason to care. What I also truly loved was Laney’s character. She is an incredibly likeable heroine who is at times brutally honest, and despite some of her questionable decisions she is endearing and humorous.
I love reading about love that does not come easy to characters but is more of an explorative and turbulent journey that feels more realistic. I also have a love/hate relationship with love triangles, but when an author entwines the complications of love so well within a story, as S.E Hall does, it completely sells me over!
Emerge is a novel that is so expertly crafted into an incredibly consuming, compellingly and addictive tale of love. The escapism it provides pulls you into the narrative world of these characters so deeply. This was a brilliant novel that I HIGHLY recommend, and I am so gracious I had the opportunity to read such a beautiful book. This is one of those few stories that I will simply not forget.
5 shiny stars.
EMBRACE (Evolve Series #2)
Emerge (Evolve Series#1) is not the end for these characters. The series will continue with Evan’s story, which will be released in October!
He sighs and cast his eyes down. “Laney, you’re that girl. The one guys make up in their head when they put all the best parts together to make one perfect girl. The man who gets you to actually pay attention, well, he’ll be the luckiest guy on the planet, and he’ll know it. All that, and the fact that you never date, is pretty damn intimidating.”
There’s a flutter in my chest; does he mean I’m the perfect girl made in his head? Is he intimidated by me?
He moves closer now, I can feel the heat coming off his body. Yes, Evan, find the courage. And then his hand is cupping my cheek, and I instinctively lean in to it, a little gasp of air escaping my lips.
I’ve never imagined this with Evan, it’s never occurred to me to even dare hope what he felt for me was more than a protective best friend. Good thing, I would have done the fantasy no justice. His thumb brushes my bottom lip and I realize…I could be swinging a bat, casting a reel, and driving a truck all at the same time, but I’m still 100% woman.
I think I speak out loud. “Are you intimidated, Evan?”
He leans over, touching his forehead to mine as he takes a deep breath. His nose brushes along mine, his whisper on my lips. “Not anymore, I’m done with that, and I’m done not kissing you. All you have to do is say no, precious girl. But please, please….just say yes.”
As I whisper “yes,” his mouth takes mine. His lips are soft and gentle, sending a sizzle throughout me. His hand glides from my cheek to the hair behind my ear, stroking it slowly, over and over again. He breaks contact to lean back slightly, meeting my eyes, and a whiny protest from the loss escapes me. I’m positive he sees a confusing mixture of happiness, shock, and…lust?
“Again?” he asks me in a low grumble.
I leave the question unanswered, putting one hand firmly on the back of his neck, the other over his heart, feeling that hard chest and rapid beat under my palm, and pull him hard against my lips. He groans and steps in so his body is flush against mine as I open to allow him free reign of my mouth. Our tongues tangle together, knowing each other just as Evan and I do.
My mind is racing as quickly as my pulse, but instinct takes over as my hands move all over him. His solid arms, firm shoulders, strong back…tight ass. I can’t feel enough of him in this moment and lose myself to the desire consuming me. His sweet murmurs along my neck, jaw, in my ear spur me on, almost to the point of no return, until loud squeals from the party rip through our haze.
All at once, I remember where we are and that anyone could walk upon us. It also shames me that I was careless enough to leave Kaitlyn alone this whole time while I fondle my best friend in a field, so I regretfully pull back. Evan’s eyes take a while to slowly open and find mine, but in them I see everything I need to, overpowering any inkling I might have had about regret or embarrassment. In those blue pools, there’s no second guessing, these are not the eyes of my “friend.” I know my Evan, and he liked it. I really liked it, beyond my wildest dreams that I never had.
“Come on,” I say almost painfully, “we have to get back and check on Kaitlyn.”
His shoulders slump and he rolls his eyes, but finally grabs my hand and interlaces our fingers. We’ve held hands a million times, but never like this. It feels good, I feel secure, but most of all—I start to believe what people have said here and there in recent years…I feel beautiful.
Evan tugs on my hand slightly, slowing me up some, and turns me to him. “Laney,” he barely whispers, “can you do one thing for me? “
He could say climb Mt. Everest right now and I’d agree. The look on his face is so sexy and now that I know how that mouth feels…wait, what was the question?
“Yessss?” Am I flirting?
“Can we pretend you’re really mine, just mine, Evan Mitchell Allen’s, at least for tonight?”
I think of the gentle hand on my cheek, the soft then rougher kiss, the protection from Matt, the #14 on his back every week, the Disney movie marathons, and I say, without a doubt in my mind, “with pleasure.”
The smile that spreads across his face and the fist pump I doubt he realizes he’s just thrown assure me I should feel as good about my answer as I do. At least for tonight…is that all I want? All he wants? I refuse to overanalyze right now; this is new, overwhelming, and exhilarating…I’m just gonna ride this wave without worrying; there’s a first time for everything.
I’m not sure which of us sets the pace for the walk back, but neither speeds it up. Once back, still hand in hand, I immediately notice that Kaitlyn is slow dancing with Matt, so she’s definitely way past drunk, or maybe he used a better line on her. Whatever. As long as I can see his hands, I’ll let her enjoy herself. Evan nudges me, so I look up.
“Dance with me?” Evan asks with an eyebrow raised and sexy plea in his eyes.
It’s “Big Green Tractor” by Jason Aldean in the background; we both love this song. I nod.
Evan sings the song softly in my ear as we dance. He has no idea what a good singer he is, and apparently my body just received the memo tonight as well. All the times we’ve cruised around together, singing at the top of our lungs, or played iPods while we fished…it did not have this effect on me. Why oh why could this not be the longest song ever written???
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