Published by Tryst Books on August 17th 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
NatalieÔÇÖs world is shaken to its core when she discovers an old photo of a woman who looks like her. Could this woman be related to her birth mother, who put Natalie up for adoption as a baby?
When she tracks down the person who dumped the photo album at her thrift shop, sheÔÇÖs shaken again. Especially when the gorgeous fire-fighting guitarist offers to help her find the owner. They quickly become friends ÔÇô which is all theyÔÇÖll be, as far as NatalieÔÇÖs concerned. Her rebellious youth turned her off cheating men, and the new Natalie is looking for true love and a family of her own ÔÇô something Casey isnÔÇÖt willing to provide. But how long can Natalie ignore her undeniable attraction to the man with the Irish accent and the broken-down ÔÇÖ57 Chevy?
In Chelsey KrauseÔÇÖs second novel, friends become lovers over a whirlwind summer of rockabilly rhythms, twirling skirts, and a mystery that takes them hilariously far out of their element.
Do you ever pick a book because of it’s cover and title? In the case of All Shook Up by Chelsey Krause, that’s exactly what I did. That at least made me pause long enough to read the premise and to decide it sounded like a fun read. And it was exactly that and then some. While it’s fun, there are some dark moments too and I really felt like I was in Natalie’s head as she reasons through the choices she makes.
As a friends to lovers story, we see the formation of the relationship through to the “please let them see what more they can have” as Natalie talks herself in and out what she feels for Casey. It’s got that delicious feel of unrequited love, but is it? Krause keeps us guessing. We know how Natalie feels as this story is from her POV, but Casey is hard to read. While some things are obvious, he’s an incorrigible flirt and oh so charming – and really a chick magnet, so we get how that would turn her off. Plus he states that he’s never gets serious with any girl as he has no desire to marry and have kids. Krause makes him feel so genuine and that makes him a character that I couldn’t help but love.
It’s Natalie that will leave you in knots. She’s got a lot going on, searching for her birth mother while maintaining a relationship with her adopted parents, she’s taken a new job, making new friends. Through it all, she is also undergoing some profound challenges about how she thinks about herself. Natalie’s journey, the premise of the story, is unique and is a great vehicle to reveal her story. It does take a bit to get to Natalie’s truth – to show us who she is and why it takes so much for her to allow herself to move forward in life and to learn to trust. I was rooting soooooooo hard for these two to figure out what they feel and to take a chance on each other.
Krause is new to me and I found really enjoyed her writing style and the little things that she drops into the storyline. It’s easy to picture the rock-a-billy atmosphere that Casey and Natalies’ friend Millie are a part of, and it challenges Natalie to let go of needing to be “beige” in order to show she’s rejected a dark time of her life. Every chapter is titled for a song and gives a hint as to what’s coming, and I love how she bonds with her mother through sewing. All shook Up is a very enjoyable 4.5 stars read and one I highly recommend.
~Review By Cyndi
A breeze picks up and a chill settles around me. I pull my knees to my chest and pull the blanket tighter. Casey looks at me from the corner of his eye, and after a beat, he lifts up his arm.
I hesitate for a moment, noticing that my pulse has quickened.
“I know youÔÇÖre cold,” he says. “You have goosebumps.”
“Umm, yes,” I say, feeling like my tongue is slow and awkward, stumbling over my words. My body feels jittery and cold, as if all the blood has rushed to my heart, and my flesh prickles with an intoxicating mixture of excitement and nervousness. ThereÔÇÖs no way IÔÇÖm admitting that these goosebumps are from being around him.
He tilts his head to the side, inviting me in once more. A shiver passes through me. Probably half from the cold, half from adrenaline. IÔÇÖm not sure if this is a good idea, but IÔÇÖm freezing my ass off. I slide over and let him wrap his arm around my body. He pulls the blanket up higher with his free hand and tucks it around us.
“There. Snug as a bug in a rug,” he says.
CaseyÔÇÖs body is incredibly warm. Solid. Reassuring. I catch myself thinking that I wouldnÔÇÖt mind staying right here for the rest of the night.
“So, did you sleep with her?” I ask casually after my raging hormones have calmed down a little.
“With who?” he asks, sounding genuinely confused.
He laughs. “No, I didnÔÇÖt. I just walked her back to her trailer and said good night.”
“No good-night kiss?”
“No. She smelled like cigarettes. Yuck.”
“Wish IÔÇÖd brought another blanket,” he mutters.
“IÔÇÖm glad you didnÔÇÖt,” I say without thinking.
“Why?” he guffaws.
My heart throbs a quick, panicked pulse. Crap! He canÔÇÖt know how I feel about him! How can I fix this?
“Oh you know,” I say, my voice sounding high and tinny. “You, uh, wouldnÔÇÖt want to over pack.”
He grunts, sounding amused. “Okay thenÔÇª”
Tryst Books is offering one (1) lucky winner a Kindle loaded with the following titles: All Shook Up, Sweet Bliss, Drawn Through You, Ms. Conception, & Lessons in Pure Life! To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below: