It's Always Been You

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It's Always Been You

Room For Rent, #2

Since Ame's first sighting of Michael in college, she had fallen in love with him. Her insecurities stemming from her geekish looks and extreme shyness prove her to be a lost cause in grabbing the attention of the hottest guy on campus. However, Ame's two best friends take on the challenge of making her over in the hopes of boosting her confidence and giving her the opportunity to make her presence known to him in a major way. The desired effect is achieved, but not without consequences. Although Ame's life is forever changed, her heart remains Michael's – even if he doesn’t know it.

There was no way Michael didn't notice Ame and with each covert glance her way she became more and more interesting to him. While others only saw Ame's baggy clothes and thick glasses, Michael saw the real and beautiful woman underneath. Yet every time he tried to approach her she would literally avoid him. Her affect on him has him a little shaken, but he can't ignore the strong attraction. That is until Amelia walks in the door. Torn between moments of recognition and the building lust of this woman he's never met, Michael spends an incredible night of memorable connection with Amelia. Yet Amelia's disappearance and Ame's beautifully innocent face haunt him.

In the years that follow, confusion and unanswered questions are all that is left as they each move forward in their careers. Until it all comes to a life changing halt as Michael and Ame are reunited under professional circumstances. Underneath all the high-stakes businesses transactions, attraction instantly flares like no time has passed and soon it all becomes too much to deny any longer, but the secrets still stand between them.

This story is immediately captivating as the reader gets thrown into a story of two people from two different walks of life trying and several times failing in coming together despite the fierceness of their attraction. The prologue takes us through their college time together, so we get a sense of how their relationship ended before it even got a chance to begin. Despite their inherent character flaws, Michael and Ame bring some serious heat to the pages that is indeed intense and all consuming. It's frenzied, tender, romantic, and frustrating just like their developing relationship.

Although I enjoyed a great majority of the story, there were a few issues that I couldn't get passed. The constant switching of POV's between Michael and Ame without warning created a stop/start effect that was hard at times to navigate. Same with the rough editing that hindered the flow of the story. Those frustrations aside, the storyline left quite a few questions unanswered, but had me thinking about all of it long after I was finished. The characters are very well described and it was easy to lose myself in their dilemmas. Even the secondary characters aren't left dormant in the background as they add to the drama of Michael and Ame's emotional and sometimes humorous misunderstandings.

This is the second story in the Room for Rent series and although I have not read the first, this story stands on its own. If there were to be a sequel, I would be thrilled to see the updates on Michael and Ame as well as any follow-up to the other characters. All in all the writing and editing is a bit rough around the edges, but there is definite potential since the storyline and characters are so memorable.

Book Blurb for It's Always Been You

Mike Devereaux didn’t have too many regrets in his life, save one; the way he had left Ame Song back in college. A friend of his sister’s, Mike had been attracted to from day one despite the baggy clothes and big glasses. Disappointed that Ame hadn’t shown up at the party before he left, he’d gotten terribly drunk and had slept with a girl named Amelia that had reminded him of her. He still had flashbacks of that night, confusing Amelia with Ame. Now, years later he was still confused about that night. Although, he did remember the parting slap that Ame had given him when he’d asked about Amelia the next morning before he’d left.

When he is relocated back to California, Mike ends up working for the same company as his best friend Jason. Needing a secured place to stay while he finds a house to live or build, Jason recommends renting a room from his secretary, who is none other than Ame.

Although Ame had avoided him throughout their college years, not wanting to be another proverbial notch on his bed post. She knew that the night of the party celebrating the end of the semester and Michael’s leaving was her last chance to be with him. She had let her friends talk her into a complete makeover and he hadn’t realized who she was. He had been so drunk that even after making love to her, Mike still hadn’t realized who she was. Hurt and disappointed, Ame never said a word and Michael had left the next day to work at a research facility for the government. No one had heard from him since that day; until now.

Now four years having gone by, Ame realized he still didn’t remember that night. As she had to introduce herself to the man who had taken her virginity; the man she still hated to love, did she think she would still be able to work for him? Did she really want to open her home and her heart to the only man she’d ever been attracted to?

Night Owl Reviews May, 2012 4.00