Friday, 16 January 2015

Review & Excerpt: Heart Grow Fonder by Cristy Rey

Heart Grow Fonder

Cristy Rey

Adult Romance


Wrong place. Wrong time. Right people.

Jessie Bravo knows what’s wrong with her life; she just doesn’t know what to do about it. Eleven years ago, she saved Tyler Cantrell from getting his ass kicked by gay-bashing high school jocks. Since, they’ve been the closest of friends. Years later, Jessie circled the drain of chronic depression, spiraling out of control, and it was Tyler’s turn to save her. Who knew her best friend would become a Hollywood A-lister? Though Jessie credits Tyler for keeping her together, living in the shadow of her best friend’s celebrity isn’t all it’s cut out to be. It’s up to Jessie to figure out what she has to do to be happy: get better or get lost.

Stardom is on the horizon for British television actor Boyd Kerrington. He’s starring opposite Tyler Cantrell in an American feature film sure to blow his career out the water. For all the years he’s focused on his career, however, he’s settled in his personal life. That is, until he meets Tyler’s best friend, Jessie. Jessie is refreshingly cool, passionate, and compelling…but she’s also complicated. Worse yet, she’s not interested in remaining in the celebrity stratosphere, even for her lifelong friend.

 It was… to meet you.  

“What was that?” Tyler said in a hoarse whisper.
Wide-eyed, his face shimmered as if he’d been doused with glitter under a blinding white spotlight. Dumbstruck, Jessie remained staring into the gaping hole of the universe where Boyd Kerrington sat only seconds earlier.
“That was…” Jessie struggled to get out even those two words, and she couldn’t think of another to follow them.
That was Boyd Fucking Kerrington. It was Boyd who’d stopped her world spinning on its axis for a suspended series of seconds that, for all she knew, could have lasted a whole year. She’d acted a brat and he’d thought it funny. When she realized she was embarrassing herself in front of Boyd, she stopped dead in her tracks and swallowed her pride, painfully.
Then their eyes met. She’d looked at him dead in the eyes a million times, but those instances had all been through the television. Sure, those eyes were the same—icy blue like a frozen-over lake in the dead of winter—but they weren’t Astor Welles’s eyes this time; they were something altogether new and different. For the first time in weeks, she felt something other than a vacuum of nothingness.
While he looked away, returning to his breakfast, Jessie watched him, for the first time free of the veneer his character. But he avoided her gaze, keeping his attention, instead, on Tyler.
Layers of stage makeup and all the smart hairstyling of Astor Welles peeled away to reveal a real human being with complicated expressions and a wealth of idiosyncrasies. Despite his severe, angular features, Boyd’s manner was approachable, even a little bit sweet. His voice was the same, but the cadence wasn’t. Astor Welles cut through steel with a crisp arrogant timbre as much as with his cheekbones’ daring angles. Boyd Kerrington wasn’t as clipped.
Sensing she was doing nothing to benefit her friend’s morning with him, Jessie excused herself.
“I have some writing to do,” she said, standing and stepping toward the sliding glass door.
Though she expected Boyd would relax a little at her departure, he reared to face her with an unmistakable tinge of remorse. She bit into her lip and reiterated her need to get to work. Boyd nodded shortly, his handsomely sloppy curls lifting in the breeze for a second before settling down again. Tyler said something that sounded like “Good idea,” but that melded with the white noise of Vancouver.
“It was… to meet you.” Red with embarrassment, she tucked into the suite and shuffled into her bedroom, slamming the door behind her.
With no one watching her, she banged her head against the door. Boyd Kerrington was currently sitting on the balcony of her suite, talking with Tyler over cigarettes and a king’s brunch feast. Rather than join them, Jessie relegated herself to the bed. She curled up beneath the comforter, fully clothed, and stared into the oblivion of her private bathroom.


A beautiful, heart-rending and thought provoking story of two people who meet at the wrong time in their lives. This poignant story will tug at your heart, especially if like myself you have first hand experience of someone burdened with the daily demands life places on us. But out of despair comes light and also hope, that broken pieces will mend sufficiently to move forward in life again.

Tackling a heavy duty subject like depression is never going to be easy within the realms of a romantic tale, but the author has done a wonderful job of making emotions raw and very real. It is impossible not to get sucked into the heart of the plot and empathise with the protagonists. All characters are multi-faceted, believable, relatable and likable. We get to hear the voices of both Jessie and Boyd as they both deal with their problems and to understand how it all impacts on themselves and those that surround them – questioning whether current lifestyles and demands are work risking personal happiness and contentment.

I've purposely not included any book blurb within the review because I don't want to add more than is revealed within the synopsis. Proof is very much in the reading, so be prepared to go on a deeply emotional journey. I heartily recommend this amazing book.
I love it when an author engages their readers in such a way that when they have finished telling the story, it triggers your imagination to take over. Heart Grow Fonder is such a book and thanks to Cristy Rey it will stay with me for a very long time.

4½ Stars

***ace received in exchange for an honest review***

About Cristy Rey 

Cristy Rey is the author of the romantic urban fantasy Incarnate series. Taking Back Sunday, Trail of Dead, and the prequel novelette, Edge of Seventeen, were released in 2014. The third full-length installment, Wolf Parade, will be released in 2015. She also writes and publishes unconventional romantic women’s fiction. Weeping Angels and her second, Heart Grow Fonder are available now.
Cristy lives in Miami, FL where she is a reader and writer most of the time, and a knitter much less of the time than she was six months before she took up writing again. She writes the books that she likes to read. She describes her writing style as riot grrrl Jane Austen sprinkled with a little magic. There’s always a killer soundtrack running in the background of her novels – all you need to do is turn to the playlist to know what’s up.

      Find Cristy Online
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