A sweeping story told in letters, spanning two continents and two world wars, Jessica Brockmole’s atmospheric debut novel captures the indelible ways that people fall in love, and celebrates the power of the written word to stir the heart.
March 1912: Twenty-four-year-old Elspeth Dunn, a published poet, has never seen the world beyond her home on Scotland’s remote Isle of Skye. So she is astonished when her first fan letter arrives, from a college student, David Graham, in far-away America. As the two strike up a correspondence—sharing their favorite books, wildest hopes, and deepest secrets—their exchanges blossom into friendship, and eventually into love. But as World War I engulfs Europe and David volunteers as an ambulance driver on the Western front, Elspeth can only wait for him on Skye, hoping he’ll survive.
June 1940: At the start of World War II, Elspeth’s daughter, Margaret, has fallen for a pilot in the Royal Air Force. Her mother warns her against seeking love in wartime, an admonition Margaret doesn’t understand. Then, after a bomb rocks Elspeth’s house, and letters that were hidden in a wall come raining down, Elspeth disappears. Only a single letter remains as a clue to Elspeth’s whereabouts. As Margaret sets out to discover where her mother has gone, she must also face the truth of what happened to her family long ago.
Sparkling with charm and full of captivating period detail,Letters from Skye is a testament to the power of love to overcome great adversity, and marks Jessica Brockmole as a stunning new literary voice.
Letters From Skye was unbearably lovely from the very first page. I loved that it was written all in letters, and that it still managed to be a dual timeline novel. That seems tricky! It made the book focused while still remaining detailed within the letters themselves. The voices were so distinct and I loved the unraveling of the mystery and the blossoming of the romance. It’s a wonderful, quick read that is emotional and thought provoking (I almost cried a couple times), while the early letters contain quite a bit of humor. The story is very charming, full of family relationships & friendships, as well as romance. I highly recommend for historical fiction fans.
She never saw it coming. Without even a shiver of suspicion to warn her, Caroline Hammond discovers that her husband is having an affair with a man—a revelation that forces her to question their entire history together, from their early days as high school sweethearts through their ten years as a happily married couple. In her now upside-down world, Caroline begins envisioning her life without the relationship that has defined it: the loneliness of being an “I” instead of a “we”; the rekindled yet tenuous closeness with her younger sister; and the unexpected—and potentially disastrous—attraction she can't get off her mind. Caroline always thought she knew her own love story, but as her husband's other secrets emerge, she must decide whether that story's ending will mean forgiving the man she's loved for half her life, or facing her future without him.
Compassionate and uplifting, Results May Vary is a bittersweet celebration of the fact that in love and in life, we rarely get exactly what we bargained for.
We’ve all heard the stories: after years of marriage, a husband finally admits to himself and to his wife and family that he’s gay. Most recently you may have read about Trey Pearson, a Christian Rocker, who come out as gay and whose story really touched me. The difference here is that in Results May Vary the revelation wasn’t as honest or heartfelt as Trey’s was.
Results May Vary is about the fallout of a betrayal in a marriage. It’s about how Caroline picks up the pieces of a life she was so secure in and how she comes to terms with the realization that she’s never really known the person she loved and married. But it’s also about all the good that will come after such a devastation.
If you’ve visited my blog in the last year, or even the past six months, you’ve probably seen me say at some point that Bethany Chase’s debut, The One That Got Away, was a favorite read last year. This book is really different than that one. I loved Results May Vary in a completely different way. This is one of those books that really made me think about myself and the people I know, about the experiences in my life and how they’ve shaped who I am now. While reading I wondered, “What if that was my man? How would I react?” Devastated, for sure. But I would hope that above all I’d be kind. Caroline’s journey through this was really heart-wrenching at times, but I really admired her in the end. I was glad that we got to see her go through so many ups and downs because it made her character more authentic. I was very happy with where this story left off and felt content, but at the same time I was left feeling like I was saying goodbye to people I knew in real life. They sure stayed in my mind for a long while after.
Results May Vary is easily my favorite book of the year so far, and I think it’s going to be hard to top at this point. The writing is superb and the emotional depth really moved me. I hope you all run out and get a copy! Or you could try to win the extra one I unknowingly purchased, haha.
And now, here’s Bethany Chase…
Writing Playlist – Results May Vary
This is an interesting thing to write about, because this book has such a different musical personality from my first book, The One That Got Away. When I was writing that, I was listening to a lot of classic soul and 70’s rock (think Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack), and that made its way into the book in many places. Results May Vary’s playlist is a lot more eclectic, both on purpose and by accident.
Sugar & the Hi Lows, “Right Time to Tell You”: This song is gorgeous. The melody and harmonies are about as pretty as it gets, and the lyrics are incredibly apropos to Adam’s situation—the narrator has something to confess, has been waiting for the right time to do it, but no time is ever the right time.
Fountains of Wayne’s gorgeous “Valley Winter Song”: This is a quintessential New-England-in-winter song for me. It talks about short, dreary winter days and snowstorms and hanging in there till the summer. (True, perfect fact: the Fountains guys are Williams alums just like Caroline and me.)
Band of Horses, “No One’s Gonna Love You”: Really sums up Caroline’s feelings toward Adam in the early part of the book.
Amos Lee, “Chill in the Air”: Another beautiful breakup song (in this one, it’s the steel guitar that cinches it), and a nod to Caroline’s predilection for mopey singer-songwriters. I think Amos is fantastic, but the man sure can write a good mopey song.
The Grateful Dead, “Fire on the Mountain”: This is one of my personal favorite songs that I was delighted to give to a character. I am only an entry-level Deadhead, but the guitar riff on this song is just so mellow and pretty that I could listen to it for hours. Or, you know, 13 minutes, which is the length of the longest live version of it that I own.
The Apache Relay, “Katie Queen of Tennessee”: Very pretty little love song from one of Jonathan’s favorite bands.
Jo Dee Messina, “Downtime”: Ruby wasn’t kidding that Jo Dee is the queen of upbeat breakup anthems. I’ve always loved this song because it’s about the process of recovering yourself while you get over a breakup, which is really what the book is about. I especially love the line where she says “Your memory’s taking second to a good book and a nice, long bath.”
Duke Ellington, “Jeep’s Blues”: this piece gets a very specific call-out in the book because good lord, is it sexy. I’ve always thought blues is the sexiest music there is. (And this stood me in good stead when one of the questions on my online dating survey was “What’s your favorite music to get you in the mood” and I referenced something about one of the Allman Brothers barn-burners, which impressed the musician who is now my husband.)
Rodgers & Hart, “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered”: I have an Ella Fitzgerald recording of this song that is one of my favorite all-time pieces of music. Ella’s voice is so beautiful, and the song’s lyrics have this sly, witty charm that—yes, I sound like an old person—you so rarely find anymore. “I’m wild again, beguiled again, a simpering, whimpering child again…” It’s such a great description of being infatuated.
First Aid Kit, “Emmylou”: Stunning harmonies in this song, and sweet, upbeat lyrics that remind me of Caroline and Neil. Especially where she says “I’m not asking much of you, just sing, little darling, sing with me” and “Things just don’t grow if you don’t bless them with your patience.”
A native of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, Bethany Chase headed to Williams College for an English degree and somehow came out the other side an interior designer. When she’s not writing or designing, you can usually find her in a karaoke bar. She lives with her lovely husband and occasionally psychotic cat in Brooklyn, three flights up. This is her first novel.
A beautiful violinist is haunted by a very old piece of music she finds in a strange antique shop in Rome.
The first time Julia Ansdell picks up The Incendio Waltz, she knows it’s a strikingly unusual composition. But while playing the piece, Julia blacks out and awakens to find her young daughter implicated in acts of surprising violence. And when she travels to Venice to find the previous owner of the music, she uncovers a dark secret that involves dangerously powerful people—a family who would stop at nothing to keep Julia from bringing the truth to light.
It’s no secret that I love Tess Gerritsen, I’ve fallen in love with her Mystery books about vivid characters, murder and medicine. I love the Rizzoli and Isles series but when I heard she had a new stand alone, I was overly excited to get my hands on it. Though the ending wasn’t what I expected, I found myself completely engrossed until the end.
I’m not musically inclined so when words like musical bars, measures, accidentals and arpeggios showed up in the first chapter, I was a worried they would keep me from truly understanding the musical aspect of the book. Thankfully I was able to comprehend without having to Google (too) many terms Gerristen used to describe the haunting music.
Present day takes place in Boston with Julia, her husband Rob and daughter Lily. Julia is a professional violinist and is Rome for work when she finds a piece of music called the Incendio waltz. Julia becomes awestruck with the music and it’s mysterious composer and purchases it from a local shop keep. Once she gets the music home and starts to play it, something in her daughter shifts-she is no longer Julia’s sweet innocent little girl. After two particularly bloody incidents with Lily, Julia decides to go back to Rome and find out as much information about the composer of the waltz as she can, even if it might kill her.
I really enjoyed Playing with Fire. It was a quick read that really captured my attention from the beginning. I devoured it in just a few hours and recommend it to any mystery fan.
Since the death of her brother, William, Elizabeth I has ruled England. She’s made the necessary alliances, married Philip of Spain, and produced a successor: her only daughter, Anne Isabella, Princess of Wales. Elizabeth knows that her beloved Anabel will be a political pawn across Europe unless she can convince Philip to grant her a divorce, freeing him to remarry and give Spain its own heir. But the enemies of England have even greater plans for the princess, a plot that will put Anabel’s very life and the security of the nation in peril. Only those closest to Elizabeth—her longtime confidante Minuette, her advisor and friend Dominic, and the couple’s grown children—can be trusted to carry forth a most delicate and dangerous mission. Yet, all of the queen’s maneuverings may ultimately prove her undoing.
I won a finished copy of this book from the author’s website, though I would have purchased it in any case. This did not affect my review in any way.
The Virgin’s Daughter made me giddy for a multitude of reasons (in no particular order):
-It’s a sequel trilogy to the Boleyn King trilogy, so there are many favorite recurring characters that were such fun to catch up with. Definitely older, sometimes sneakier, sometimes wiser ;) For this reason (and despite the spoilers in the synopsis), I really recommend reading The Boleyn King– it’s EXCELLENT and you’ll get so much more out of Laura Andersen’s Tudor England.
-It’s alternate history that feels like real history. I was enmeshed in the Tudor court, the English countryside, the French manor homes. It feels familiar as a history buff for those reasons but because it’s an alternate timeline, you don’t know how events will actually transpire or turn out! Elizabeth never had a daughter in real life, so how am I to know if Anabel will become Queen one day or who she will marry? I don’t! It adds a delicious layer of tension and excitement to the story. Plus there are really good ships! ;)
-The spies and mystery: the rotating POVs gave the impression of an unreliable narrator, which was great- loyalty, betrayal, treachery,and murder abound. You don’t know who to trust or who is telling the truth. In the end the reader got to know the truth before the characters, or some of the truth anyway, and it made me so nervous and tense!!! I wanted everyone to uncover the secrets already!
-THE CHARACTERS! Both real (Elizabeth I, Mary Queen of Scots) and imagined (Julien LeClerc, Princess Anabel). They are vivid, they are passionate, and they are vibrant. I absolutely loved Lucette Courtenay and her puzzle solving mind. I swooned over Julien, and I loved seeing how much of Anabel’s personality reflected her fiery mother, who in turn is as fully fleshed out as you could wish. Elizabeth is fierce, demanding, and powerful, but has softer moments as well. It humanizes her.
If you’re a history fan with Tudor fatigue, I highly recommend this book! Laura Andersen’s writing feels both familiar to fans of historical fiction and original in its subject matter and characterization. It’s a great twist on English history. The Virgin’s Daughter is compulsively readable, action-packed, descriptive, twisty, and romantic. I can’t wait for the next book.
And in case you love audiobooks, check out this clip from THE VIRGIN’S DAUGHTER:
From the beloved New York Times bestselling author of The Language of Flowers comes her much-anticipated new novel about young love, hard choices, and hope against all odds.
For fourteen years, Letty Espinosa has worked three jobs around San Francisco to make ends meet while her mother raised her children—Alex, now fifteen, and Luna, six—in their tiny apartment on a forgotten spit of wetlands near the bay. But now Letty’s parents are returning to Mexico, and Letty must step up and become a mother for the first time in her life.
Navigating this new terrain is challenging for Letty, especially as Luna desperately misses her grandparents and Alex, who is falling in love with a classmate, is unwilling to give his mother a chance. Letty comes up with a plan to help the family escape the dangerous neighborhood and heartbreaking injustice that have marked their lives, but one wrong move could jeopardize everything she’s worked for and her family’s fragile hopes for the future.
This book really got me, and in more ways than one. I had had a particularly hard week at work- not just regular work stress–I mean contemplating leaving my job after nearly 6 years–stress. When I came home to this book on my doorstep, I burst into tears and hugged it to my chest. To be completely honest, I don’t know how it arrived at my house, it had been so long since I’ve received a physical copy of an ARC I was really surprised and grateful that it appeared when it did. Was this something I signed up for on Goodreads? Was this sent from the Penguin Random House lovelies I met at BEA? I really didn’t know but I do know it arrived on my doorstep just in time.
Once I dived into this amazing story, I fell head over heels in love with every single character. It took me a while to warm up to Letty but once I did I really really loved her. She made some poor decisions early in her life and it took her a long time to figure out what really matters. When she finally pulled it together, nothing else mattered except her children Alex-15 and Luna-6.
Alex is easily my favorite character. He is smart, selfless, loving and unlike most teenagers I’ve ever met, I kind of want to be him! Of course every great book has to have a love interest-or two, when these two guys walk into Letty’s life, she doesn’t quite know what to do with them because they are both amazing in their own ways. In the end I love the choice she made, even though for a while I was rooting for the other guy!
Have I said yet that I love this book? Maybe it’s the timing in which it arrived in my life, (it could just be the amazing author too) but this easily falls into my “Favorite of all time” list and I will continue insisted everyone I know read it.
Perfect for fans of Emily Giffin and Jennifer Weiner, this bright, funny debut from a fresh voice in fiction offers a delicious take on love, family, and what it means to build a home of one’s own.
Sarina Mahler thinks she has her life all nailed down: a growing architecture practice in Austin, Texas, and an any-day-now proposal from her loving boyfriend, Noah. She’s well on her way to having the family she’s hoped for since her mother’s death ten years ago. But with Noah on a temporary assignment abroad and retired Olympic swimmer—and former flame—Eamon Roy back in town asking her to renovate his new fixer-upper, Sarina’s life takes an unexpected turn. Eamon proves to be Sarina’s dream client, someone who instinctively trusts every one of her choices—and Sarina is reminded of all the reasons she was first drawn to him back in the day. Suddenly her carefully planned future with Noah seems a little less than perfect. And when tragedy strikes, Sarina is left reeling. With her world completely upended, she is forced to question what she truly wants in life—and in love.
Full of both humor and heartbreak, The One That Got Away is the story of one woman’s discovery that, sometimes, life is what happens when you leave the blueprints behind.
THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY had me hooked from the first few sentences…
Because you know it’s true and it instantly made me want to find out more about Sarina’s One Person.
Bethany Chase’s writing also drew me in from the start. It felt current and authentic. Her characters felt real and the setting was so vivid. If you’re curious about what living in Austin is like, this book takes you there.
Sarina’s life is pretty much set. Or so she thinks. She’s content with the friends she has, where she lives, and with her boyfriend. She’s super ambitions about her career though and works really hard at it. Her boyfriend is also ambitious about his work and at the start of the book we find out he’s just moved to Argentina for a year for work. So here comes Eamon, her One Person, back into her life and he’s about to rock Sarina’s boat.
Everything starts out innocently enough. Eamon (pronounced ‘Ay – mun’ – yes, I looked it up!) is super cool, friendly, and thoughtful… and hot, ok? He’s hot. He hires Sarina to remodel his new home so they spend a lot of time together, and since they had a thing before, the sexual tension begins to build, strong and fast. I enjoyed every second of it.
Now you may be asking, “What about the boyfriend?!” Wellll it’s a sticky situation. The long distance separating them is not their only issue throughout the story. I think sometimes space gives you clarity. The more they talked about what they wanted from their lives together once Noah returned to Austin, the more it became clear to Sarina that they maybe weren’t on the same page. I think there will be a few people that won’t take kindly to the way things happen between Noah, Sarina, and Eamon, but for me, I think Bethany Chase wrote it as realistically and respectfully as possible.
I loved Sarina’s friends. They were honest, supportive, and so fun. I also loved Sarina’s relationship with her stepdad, her only living parent. But what I loved most was Sarina’s journey and growth in the span of the year in this story. She found her true self, her home, and real love.
The One That Got Away was sexy, fun, and at times really emotional and I enjoyed every second of it. Be sure not to miss this one!
Now, I have a treat for you! Bethany Chase created a book playlist, giving us exactly where each song fits into the story! Thank you, Bethany!! I love it!
Sarina and Eamon have terrific taste in music, if I may say so myself. These two do have similar taste in music, heavily skewed towards 70’s rock and soul, and they bond over it at various points in the book.
Fleetwood Mac: Rumours. One of the most brilliant albums of the 70’s, made when the entire band was breaking up with each other (romantically, not musically—yet) and writing songs about it and performing them spectacularly. Sarina’s favorite song: “I Don’t Want to Know.” Eamon’s favorite song: “You Can Go Your Own Way.”
Stevie Wonder, the other Stevie in Sarina’s life. She maintains that “Don’t Worry ‘Bout a Thing” is the all-time best; Eamon votes for “As.”
Bill Withers: Sarina’s favorite is “Heartbreak Road;” Eamon’s is “I Don’t Know.”
The night of the Labor Day barbeque, the boys are listening to Steely Dan when Sarina and Noah arrive. Specifically, “Only a Fool Would Say That.”
When they’re on the way home from Jay’s wedding, talking in the car late at night, I imagine The Eagles’ “I Can’t Tell You Why” comes on. It has the right slow and dreamy mood.
Then while they’re driving home from the trip to Round Top, Player’s “Baby Come Back” comes on the radio and they both start belting it out. She can sing pretty well. He cannot.
The Joni Mitchell song “Help Me” has always reminded her of Eamon; specifically, the way she felt after their one night stand.
Then, obviously, Simon & Garfunkel’s “Homeward Bound.”
SPOILER HERE: After they get together, she changes her ringtone for him to The Pretenders’ “Don’t Get Me Wrong.” He sets his for hers to Ling Floyd’s “Groove Me.”
Q&A with Bethany Chase, author of THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY
What got you interested in writing?
I’ve never not been! My love for words has been one of the most consistent characteristics of my personality for my whole life, though it’s taken many different forms. (Poet, journal-‐writer, email-‐writer, blogger, novelist.)
Tell us about the first book you didn’t finish.
It was a historical romance I started writing when I was fifteen years old and heavily in the thrall of the film version of The Last of the Mohicans, with Daniel Day Lewis. (Which means, specifically, I was in the thrall of Daniel Day Lewis.) So heavily enthralled was I that my novel consisted of a first-‐person account of a well-‐bred colonial English lady who for unclear reasons found herself trailing her muddy skirts through the Adirondack forest, accompanied by a ruggedly handsome and ambiguously Native American trapper wearing buckskin. Shockingly, I didn’t complete it.
Did you ever keep a journal?
Is there a writer on earth who didn’t? I had kind of abandoned journaling by the time I graduated college, as by that point I had moved on to burdening all of my nearest and dearest with my woes over 2,000-‐word emails rather than pouring it all out into a journal. But the high school journals are EPIC. Basically, you would have thought I was the first person in the history of humanity to have emotions and be attracted to people who didn’t like me back.
Did you always want to be a writer?
Nope. In fact for most of my life I avoided the idea, because I assumed it would be too hard and I’d never make enough money. I’ll let you guess which of those two assumptions has proven to be true.
What were your favorite books growing up?
The Anne of Green Gables and Emily of New Moon series were HUGE for me. I mean, they were books about smart, dreamy, romantic, highly verbal girls who wrote, loved beauty in all its forms, hovered at the fringes of social popularity and also really liked being alone. Emily and Anne were and always will be my spirit sisters. Also, I think my many rereads of James Herriot’s marvelous All Creatures Great and Small books legitimately helped form my sense of humor. Between Herriot and all of the Monty Python I watched growing up, I think I wound up with a fairly British sense of humor for an American.
Who are your favorite authors now?
Chuck Wendig, Guy Gavriel Kay and Philip Pullman for fantasy; Mary Kubica for suspense; Emily Giffin, Taylor Jenkins Reid and Joshilyn Jackson for women’s fiction; Cara McKenna and Julie James for romance.
Do you have “one that got away?”
I did. He was my high school boyfriend. I tracked him down seven years after the fact, like, legitimately slightly stalker-‐style, and we actually started dating again, and you know what? We weren’t right for each other. At all. It was all very romantic and fraught as long as one of us was pining for the other one, but actually just together, with no angst? It didn’t go anywhere. We are now both very happily married to other people.
Your bio says you are married—tell us about your love story.
True story: when we first started dating, we had such strong physical chemistry that I assumed that meant there wasn’t going to be any more to it. My friends would say, “How’s Allen?” And I would shrug and say, “He’s hot.” This led to him being known amongst my circle for the first couple of months as Hot Allen. As far as Sex-‐and-‐the-‐City-‐style nicknames for guys go, I think he came away in a pretty strong position with that one. But then he just kept growing on me, until a few months into it I realized, holy shit I’m in love with this guy.
What’s your idea of romance?
No flowers, no candles, no gestures, will ever be as genuinely romantic as those random little moments that happen when you least expect them and you just get this flash of piercing sweetness and you think, yep, this is it. For me, personally, it often involves humor, or awkwardness, or both. The questionnaire on the dating site where I met my husband asked, “What’s your favorite movie sex scene?” And my answer was, the one in that 90’s Liv Tyler movie Stealing Beauty, where she’s with the guy and it’s all kissing and dreamy music and then he goes to take her underwear off and it gets stuck on her ankle and she laughs—that is THE BEST. Those little beautifully imperfect moments. And also just those moments of kindness and support; like how Anne of Green Gables doesn’t marry the wealthy guy who pulls out all the stops on the glitz and glam—she marries the guy who gave up his local teaching position, at tremendous personal inconvenience, in favor of the farther-‐away one so that Anne could live at home with her family. That is romance.
What does home mean to you?
The place you belong. I think for most of us the specifics of that place change, but the definition never really does.
How did you come up with your characters’ name?
Well, Eamon has been my favorite name for a guy ever since the first time I fell in love, at four years old, with my neighbor Eamon McCormick (a nice Russian boy, obviously). And despite the fact that I am usually a strident purist about name spelling, I’ve always thought the unusual spelling “Sarina” had something especially graceful about it. Everyone else was pretty arbitrary. I tend to just go, “okay, think of a name!” and the first one I think of sticks.
What do you love about the cover for THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY?
EVERYTHING. Seriously, I hit the cover jackpot. I love the colors, the bird, the graceful lettering, and the way the lettering moves rhythmically back and forth across the page. I could give you a full art-‐history-‐style image analysis of how wonderful this cover is in every way.
What are you reading right now?
I just started Liza Palmer’s Girl Before a Mirror and am really enjoying it. She’s such a funny yet thoughtful writer.
Who’s your favorite book couple?
Anne and Gilbert. Obviously. In all seriousness, in terms of their mutual love, caring and respect for one another I think they are a model partnership for young girls to read about. Clearly it worked for me.
For more content and to follow visit the other blog tour stops, visit the page for THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY! There’s an excerpt, so you can see for yourself how awesome this book is. :)
About Bethany Chase
A native of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, Bethany Chase headed to Williams College for an English degree and somehow came out the other side an interior designer. When she’s not writing or designing, you can usually find her in a karaoke bar. She lives with her lovely husband and occasionally psychotic cat in Brooklyn, three flights up. This is her first novel.
In the tradition of New Adult superstar Jessica Sorensen, Ellie Cahill’s debut novel is a charming friends-with-benefits story . . . with a twist!
What if after every bad breakup, there was someone to help “cleanse your palate”—someone who wouldn’t judge you, who was great in bed, someone you were sure not to fall in love with? “Sorbet sex” could solve everything—as long as it never got too sweet.
Joss and Matt have been friends since freshman year of college, meeting one night after Joss is dumped by her boyfriend. After a few drinks, Matt humors her with a proposition: that he’ll become her go-to guy whenever she needs to heal a broken heart. In return, she’ll do the same for him. The #1 Rule: They’ll never fall in love with each other. People scoff at the arrangement. But six years later, Joss and Matt are still the best of friends . . . with benefits.
Through a string of boyfriends and girlfriends—some almost perfect, some downright wrong—Joss and Matt are always there for each other when the going gets tough. No strings. No attachments. Piece of cake. No problem. After all, since they wrote the rules, surely they can play by them. Or can they?
Advance praise for When Joss Met Matt:
“Hands down, one of my favorite New Adult reads . . . Ellie Cahill is definitely one to watch!”—New York Times bestselling author Cora Carmack
“This is one of those books that make you forget everything around you. Prepare to be consumed by this story.”—Sophie Jordan, New York Times bestselling author of Wild
“Fun, sexy, and full of amazing chemistry, When Joss Met Matt is an entertaining escape that will leave you smiling with every turn of the page.”—Cassie Mae, author of The Real Thing
When Joss Met Matt is by far one of my favorite New Adult books out there. It’s pretty clean as far as sexy books go, but I didn’t mind that at all. Ellie Cahill made me care so much about this couple. She told their story brilliantly in dual timeline form. I seriously could not get enough.
Both Joss and Matt were the sort of relatable characters that make you think of people in your life. They’re regular peeps like me and you. I thought their chemistry was off the charts, but their friendship and banter is what I really loved most. They’re pretty freaking funny together.
I loved that their story spanned so many years but I was skeptical as to how they’d be able to pull off still being friends without things getting messy. Well, they did remain friends, but things didn’t really remain un-messy. There were times when lines where blurred and other times when Sorbet Sex worked perfectly for them.
What is Sorbet Sex, you ask?
And what are the rules?
In the end I was happy with how things turned out. It was a real journey! I look forward to reading more Ellie Cahill books and you guys should definitely not skip this one.
Now, Ellie Cahill has put together an AMAZING playlist for us. Not only did she pick songs, she explains why she chose them, which I love to read about.
Playlists for When Joss Met Matt
This playlist is full of songs that gave me that Joss and Matt vibe. Some of them even helped inspire the original idea. It’s more like one of those albums of music “inspired by” a motion picture than a true soundtrack. But I think you’ll see how these songs fit with When Joss Met Matt
Say Goodbye – Dave Matthews Band
It doesn’t get much more dead-on for Joss and Matt than this song. It’s all about the friend hook-up.
Relevant lyric: Lovers for tonight, lovers for a night… Tomorrow go back to being friends.
Need You Tonight – INXS
This song inspired the code phrase between Joss and Matt. Plus, it’s just so damn sexy I can’t even handle it.
Relevant lyrics: I need you tonight ‘Cause I’m not sleeping There’s something about you girl That makes me sweat.
Laid – James
Although the relationship in this song is pretty messed up, there’s just something about it that reminds me of When Joss Met Matt. Maybe because it’s kind of fun even though it’s about an obsessive relationship.
Relevant lyrics: This bed is on fire with passionate love.
Mr. Brightside – The Killers
This is the song that gave me the earliest ideas about writing this book. It’s about a guy watching a girl go back to her boyfriend when he wants her for himself but letting her go anyway. The story got a lot more complicated as I started planning it, but that was the very first flash of inspiration.
Relevant lyrics: Now they’re going to bed And my stomach is sick And it’s all in my head But she’s touching his-chest Now, he takes off her dress Now, letting me go
Intermittently – Barenaked Ladies
This is one of those songs I’ve had for a long time, but didn’t really pay attention to until one day it came on in my car and it was like a thunderbolt. This song could be about Joss and Matt. Almost every line in the song in applicable, but I’ll just give you one of my favorites:
Relevant lyrics: I’m kissing you by proxy Hope you don’t mind
Completely Pleased – Semisonic
Okay, straight up, I love Semisonic and I don’t care what anyone else thinks about them. So it’s possible I’m biased in my affection for this song, but come on. How sexy are these lyrics?!
Relevant lyrics: Want to see you smiling, weak in the knees I want to see you come, come, completely pleased
Use Somebody – Kings of Leon
I can’t help but picture these words tripping off Joss’s tongue the first time she propositions Matt.
Relevant lyrics: You know that I could use somebody Someone like you
Secret – Maroon 5
Maybe this song is a little too dramatic for Joss and Matt, but I like the secrecy it alludes to, and of course I love the little twists of dirty gotta-have-you sentiment.
Relevant lyrics: And as you wipe off beads of sweat Slowly you say “I’m not there yet!”
Consider this your personal soundtrack. Get these songs cued up and ready to play while you read and I’ll give you the chapters that go with them. Warning: the following playlist may contain spoilers.
Never Getting Back Together – Taylor Swift
Ben. What a jerk. This is definitely the song Joss would have on repeat during chapter 3 when she’s trying to get over being dumped.
Sex on Fire – Kings of Leon Chapter 6. Joss learns what she’s been missing all this time. Yum.
Come A Little Bit Closer – Jay and the Americans
In chapter 9, poor Matt realizes what kind of girl Her Highness is (just like the one in this song). Thank goodness he has Joss there to help him in his time of need.
Criminal – Fiona Apple
Joss embraces her inner bad girl in chapter 11, but it doesn’t suit her very well. So she spends chapter 12 “feeling like a criminal” and trying to figure out how to fix everything.
Heart Skipped a Beat – The xx Chapter 14 finds Joss and Matt spending the summer with a series of short-term relationships and plenty of each other.
Eleanor – The Low Millions
Martin was never going to be The One, but it was good while it lasted. In chapter 15, Joss has the nicest break-up ever, but still—ouch.
Apologize – OneRepublic Chapter 16 is all about heartbreak and how hard it can be to get over it when the person you thought you loved turns out not to feel the same about you.
Paper Doll – John Mayer
After Joss runs out on T.J. she counts on Matt to get rid of all the ickiness. Chapter 19 is about Joss finally starting to figure out what she wants.
Gives You Hell – All American Rejects
Ah, crazy Christine. Chapter 21 calls for a good riddance song for sure. Matt and Joss are both happy to see the back of her. Hard to say which one is happier.
Beam Me Up – P!nk
In chapters 23 and 24 Joss finally realizes what she’s got with Matt is something she doesn’t have with anyone else. When he’s at his worst, she wants to be there. But how do you make the leap?
I Won’t Give Up – Jason Mraz
Joss has some serious work to do as chapter 27 opens, but she’s determined not to give up. Even if it means facing her worst fear.
This Year’s Love – David Gray
If you’re not saying “FINALLY!” by the time you get to chapter 28, I have failed you as an author. This song is perfect for the least first first-time scene ever.
Save the Last Dance For Me – Michale Buble
If a book had credits, this song would absolutely be playing over them. As it is, you can start playing it as soon as you get to chapter 29.