Monday, 25 January 2016

Blog Tour, Excerpt, Review & Giveaway ~ In This Life by Christine Brae

Author: Christine Brae
Release Date: January 22, 2016

Book Description:

It started out so simply. Anna runs away to Thailand, drags her best friend Dante with her and spends a few weeks away, taking on other people’s problems while getting away from her own. She meets the enigmatic Jude Grayson, and for as long as it’s clear to both of them that it ends when they leave, she thinks she’s got the perfect fling planned out. 

Or does she? 

Anna returns home to find that her life is no longer the way it once was, and that she can’t stop thinking about him. She learns through tragedy that nothing she’s ever believed in has turned out to be true. The worst part? The people she loved were keeping a secret from her. And that no matter what she does, no matter how hard she fights against it, every path she takes keeps leading her back to Jude. 

This is a story about love, found in a faraway place by two very unlikely people. It is also a story about friendship and loyalty and fighting for what you have despite the illogical mystery of fate. And with the struggle between morality and guilt, faith and acceptance, there comes a learning that even the best-laid plans are powerless against the alignment of the universe. 

From the beaches of Thailand to the streets of New York, three friends, Anna, Dante, and Jude will learn the hard way that once providence steps in, there is nothing in the world that can change what is truly meant to be.

Buy Links:



“Blue,” he sighed, “I wish things were different.” The luster in his eyes was gone.
I rested my head on his chest as he clasped his hands together behind my back. There was nothing else for me to say. I too wished that everything was different, and yet I hoped that things would stay the same. I needed my mother at that very moment. I wanted to tell her that I understood. I wanted to ask her about these feelings. I wanted her to confirm whether this was love.
I lifted my head up to catch his lips slightly parted. “I have to call my mom,” I said.
He acknowledged the loss of the moment. “Sure. Let’s get back inside and you can use my phone,” he replied, continuing to hold me close while smoothing his hands over my hair.
“Hmm?” he answered dreamily.
“I’m a little freaked out. There’s something rubbing against my leg.”
He lifted me up gently, turning the flashlight back on and handing it over to me. I settled my feet lightly in the sand, afraid to step on something I couldn’t see. He guided my hand and held the light a few inches above the water.
“Look,” he said excitedly. “They’re seahorses.” He reached his hands down just below the surface, enclosing them in the palms of his hands.
“Cool! Why are they tangled up with each other like that?”
“It’s their defense mechanism. Do you see how the male with the pouch is hanging on to her tail? He’s protecting her.”
I brought my face closer to the water.
“Hey, do you know what they say about seahorses?” Jude asked.
“No, but I know you’re about to tell me,” I teased.
“That they mate for life. One mate. One partner. For life.” He emphasized this fact.
“That’s just a myth. Nothing, no one, mates for life.”

 Our Review:

Reviewed by Donna ~ 3 stars
***ARC received for an honest review***

“When you lose your soul to a kiss…it’s irretrievable.”

This was my first read by Christine Brae and I do love a new to me author. I fell in love with the synopsis of this one and I couldn’t wait to dive in.

I have to say that Christine Brae’s writing style is fantastic, it is eloquent, raw and mature and I was soon totally engrossed in the story that was panning out in front of me. However, as you must all know by now, I am an emotional reader, I have to believe in the characters, feel them and for me, I didn’t get this with Anna and Jude, however I had it in spades with Dante. This book was emotional or at least should have been for me and yet because I didn’t feel them, it lost its impact and I just wish that I could have related to them better.

“It was a promise kiss, a goodbye kiss, a kiss that signified the end but also the beginning.”

This book starts off with Anna and her best friend, Dante, taking a mission trip to Thailand. Anna was a doctor and treating the families that were victims to a Tsunami seemed a good idea when she was trying to get away from her life in New York. Dante had been her best friend since school and where Anna went, he went too.

Anna had a heart of gold and treasured her friendship with Dante, they really were inseparable. He was her rock and they had been through a lot together. Dante was hilarious at times and a bit of a ladies’ man, but his unwavering support to Anna was truly beautiful. We all need a best friend like Dante. Dante made this book for me.

“You’re in love with a ghost, and you need to exorcise it from your soul.”

While in Thailand, Anna meets Jude, who is also American and they spend ten blissful days together. Intellectual and deep conversations were the basis of their friendship and they really clicked. However, when Anna has to suddenly go home, her time with Jude is cut short. With promises to keep in contact Anna leaves but it seems so does Jude…five years later she still hasn’t heard from him and yet still yearns for the one that got away. Now she is married and working at the hospital, the last thing she expects is to cross paths with Jude once again. Feelings that she once thought were buried are soon brought to the surface.

“The line went dead. It didn’t go silent, it didn’t go blank. It separated him from me for good, it killed us, devastated him, set me free. Our line, our connection, our love, gone. Just like that.”

And for me, this is where it all got a bit over the top. There was a lot going on, a lot of twists and turns, a few I saw coming and a few I didn’t but sometimes less is more and this was one of those cases for me. Unfortunately, the change in Anna really annoyed me, I tried to see her side of things but I couldn’t and her actions just continued to irk. As far as the men involved were concerned, I did feel for them, my heart went out to them. But the hot and cold that Anna blew would have been confusing for anyone. Yes, this is a love triangle but no cheating, sometimes secrets that are kept for the best can have a catastrophic results and that was definitely the case here.

“She was mine and I was hers, not in the next life, nor in the future life, but here and now. In this life.”

Although I didn’t love this book, I did like it and kept page turning and that is testament to Christine Brae’s writing. Although Anna was not my favourite person in the world I still wanted to know what happened, how her life panned out and those of the men involved. Despite a few eye-rolls, it was an addictive read.

“This is where it ended. This is where I died.”

About the Author:

Christine Brae is a full time career woman who thought she could write a book about her life and then run away as far as possible from it. She never imagined that her words would touch the hearts of so many women with the same story to tell. Her second book, His Wounded Light was released in December, 2013.

Christine's third book, Insipid, is a standalone that was released in June, 2014, and her fourth book, In This Life is scheduled for release in January 2016. 

When not listening to the voices in her head or spending late nights at the office, Christine can be seen shopping for shoes and purses, running a half marathon or spending time with her husband and three children in Chicago. 


Giveaway: (1) – US Residents Only

Giveaway: (2) – Philippine Residents Only

Giveaway: (3) – Signed Copies

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