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Friday, April 3, 2015

RFTC Hall Pass Event with AJ Pine

AJ Pine writes stories to break readers’ hearts, but don’t worry—she’ll mend them with a happily ever after. As an English teacher and a librarian, AJ has always surrounded herself with books. All her favorites have one big commonality–romance. Naturally, her books have the same. When she’s not writing, she’s of course reading. Then there’s online shopping (everything from groceries to shoes) and, of course, a tiny bit of TV where she nourishes her undying love of vampires, from Eric Northman to the Salvatore brothers. And in the midst of all of this, you’ll also find her hanging with her family in the Chicago burbs.

AJ’s first series with Entangled Embrace, IF ONLY and companion novel, WHAT IF, are out now. Her new NA series, ONE NIGHT (April 2015) and ONE LIFE (October 2015), releases with Penguin/Intermix this year!

I can already tell what my list is going to show about my book boyfriend preference. Basically, my hero love spans all age categories from YA on up. And the best way I can put into words why these heroes would be on my hall pass list is to use some quotes from the lovely authors who created these heroes to show you. =)

1. Levi from Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl. Aside from Levi being the “smilingest person” our heroine Cath has ever seen, the beauty in Levi is how he inserts himself into Cath’s life as her friend before ever letting on how he feels about her. He is there for her without question long before they have their first kiss. Plus, he says stuff like this. How can you not melt into a puddle?

“I like your glasses,” he said. “I like your Simon Snow T-shirts. I like that you don’t smile at everyone, because then, when you smile at me.… Cather.” He kissed her mouth. “Look at me.”

She did.

“I choose you over everyone.” (Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell)

Now excuse me while I pick myself up off the floor and restore myself to solid form.

2. Jonah Griggs from Melina Marchetta’s On the Jellicoe Road. This book is a puzzle. It’s one of those that you can’t discuss with someone until they’ve read it. When I told a friend who’d already read that I’d finished it, her first question was, “Didn’t it change your life?” And my answer was a resounding YES. Marchetta’s writing is magical, and this story is one that will forever be in my heart. The relationship between Jonah Griggs and Taylor Markham is one that will always make me swoon. The story is much more than a romance, but the love story aspect is gorgeous. It takes Jonah and Taylor a long time to get here, but when they do…ugh…all the feels.

“If you weren't driving, I'd kiss you senseless," I tell him.

He swerves to the side of the road and stops the car abruptly.

"Not driving anymore.”

And this…

The head nerd of the Cadets is my partner and when it's over he asks me for my number. I'm very flattered and he looks a bit crestfallen when I say no.

"It's because they don't have coverage out here," Griggs tells him.

"No," I say, looking up at Griggs. "It's actually because my heart belongs to someone else." And if I could bottle the look on his face, I'd keep it by my bedside for the rest of my life. (On the Jellicoe Road, by Melina Marchetta)

3. Etienne St. Clair from Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. This book was actually my gateway book as far as contemporary romance is concerned. I loved my paranormals and my dystopias, but when I read Anna, I was an immediate convert to not only reading but writing contemporary romance, and the character of Etienne St. Clair is a big reason why. He speaks with a British accent, is fluent in French, yet is technically American, which is why Anna meets him at SOAP, School of America in Paris, her senior year. Never mind that Perkins had me at British accent and French-speaking. But Etienne and Anna’s story is another long road of friends to lovers, and Anna sums it up best when she says:

For the two of us, home isn’t a place. It’s a person. And we’re finally home. (Anna and the French Kiss, by Stephanie Perkins)

4. Let’s move on to New Adult, shall we? How about Cade from Cora Carmack’s Faking It, the second book in her Losing It series? I have to admit, after we met Cade in Losing It, I thought there was no way he could top Garrick. But oh was I wrong! Cade is the good guy, the best friend who gets jilted by Bliss in Losing It. And when he meets Max, the tattooed, pierced girl who needs a good guy to pose as her boyfriend for her parents’ visit, who better than the good guy actor, Cade? But of course, we know where this trope is going, and while Cade and Max might look like polar opposites on the outside, they are both connected by the same emotions and fears and a growing love that is anything but fake. And if you want to swoon for Cade, all you need it this:

“I’ll remind you every day how amazing it feels when your body touches mine. I’ll remind you of the good times, and help you forget the bad. I’ll remind you who you are when life has beaten you down and made you doubt it. I’ll bust down your door in the middle of the night and kiss you until you remember that your fears are just that, and they can’t control you. I’ll take my chances against your fickle heart if it means it’s mine.” (Faking It by Cora Carmack)

5. I’ve grown to be a total fangirl of Anne Calhoun in the past year. Her erotic romances are full of sizzling heat as well as deep, emotional connections between her heroes and heroines that always get me right in the feels. One of my favorites of her is Afternoon Delight, a novella that takes place in New York and introduces us to Sarah McCall, a gourmet food truck owner and Tim Cannon, a strapping, blonde, gorgeous EMT (in my head…Chris Hemsworth) who rushes through life so it never has time to disappoint him. But when he meets Sarah, he learns the art of savoring not only her cooking—and her in his bed—but life as well. Even though both Tim and Sarah say they are having a fling, it’s clear in this quote that much more is brewing between them.

“So you knew I’d probably seen something similar in Paris before we even climbed the stairs.”


“Why do it?”

“Because I knew you’d like it anyway. And I like watching you see new things,” he said. “When you see something new, you’re…delighted. Hell, when you see something old and loved, you’re delighted. I like watching you be delighted. Even though you’d seen it before, I wanted…I wanted to delight you.” (Afternoon Delight, by Anne Calhoun)

SERIOUSLY. Come on, folks. Hot sex and a guy who says stuff like that? Yes please!

So, there you have it. It was hard to choose only five, but those five heroes would be lovely to have on a hall pass. =)

Amazon - B&N

Amazon - B&N

Amazon - B&N

Amazon - B&N

Amazon - B&N

When she lost it all, Jess decided to cope by living a lie.

But you can’t keep on pretending forever…

Twenty-one-year-old Jess used to have everything—a loyal best friend, a boyfriend she loved, and a future that was right on track. But in a single night, her whole world changed.

Now, Jess lives for the impersonal connection of drunken hook-ups and to-go coffee cups in the morning. All she needs is one night to pretend everything is fine…until she meets Adam.

Thanks to a sports injury, gorgeous, charming basketball star Adam Carson is stuck in physical therapy at the hospital where Jess interns—giving her the perfect opportunity to see his sweet, considerate nature and making her realize that maybe she does want something more.

But while Adam might be the best thing that’s happened to Jess in a long time, letting him past her carefully constructed walls means letting him know what happened...and why he'd never want her for more than one night.

Includes a preview of the upcoming Only You novel, One Life.

Purchase: | Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Google | Kobo |
 Check out what's up for grabs.

Up For Grabs:
  • 1 eBook copy of One Night & Swag Pack + eBook of Choice from Hall Pass list

To Enter: 
  • US shipping ONLY for swag pack. If outside US, eBook will be sent only.
  • Please fill out the Rafflecopter form to enter.

**Don't forget to enter the grand prize giveaway!

Good Luck! 

Special thanks to AJ Pine for sponsoring this giveaway.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. This sounds intriguing. Can't wait to see what happened in her past!

  2. thanks for such a fun post :)

  3. Cade would be high on my list, too!

  4. sounds like a wonderful story--love the snippets

  5. I love A.J.'s hall pass list. I'd never think of Levi, but that passage reminded why he's so swoon worthy!

  6. I like how you ladies have a different way of making your list.

  7. I loved What If. I'm happy to see that AJ is coming out with another book and it sounds great. Can't wait to read it.

  8. never read any of those hall pass books

  9. Enjoyed reading your list & ended up adding to my TBRs. Thank you :)

  10. Thanks for the chance.
    Nicole Ortiz