Book Excerpt: If Only by A.J. Pine (Blog Tour & Giveaway)

Posted March 26th, 2014 in Blog Tour, Book Excerpt, Giveaway / 22 comments
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Welcome to the If Only Blog Tour. I actually read this book and will be posting my review after the tour is over. So, for now, enjoy my favorite excerpt from the book. I just loved this moment between the two main characters. Also, enjoy the tour wide giveaway below.

Title: IF ONLY
Author: A.J. Pine

Series: Entangled Embrace #1
Publisher: Entangled Embrace
Pub. Date: March 24, 2014

Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Pages: 342
Find It: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble


Sometimes it takes crossing an ocean to figure out where you belong.
It’s been two years since twenty-year-old Jordan had a boyfriend—which means it’s been forever since she, well, you know. But now she’s off to spend her junior year in Aberdeen, Scotland, the perfect place to stop waiting for Mr. Right and just enjoy Mr. Right Now.

Sexy, sweet (and possible player) Griffin may be her perfect, no-strings-attached match. He’s fun, gorgeous, and makes her laugh. So why can’t she stop thinking about Noah who, minutes after being trapped together outside the train’s loo, kisses Jordan like she’s never been kissed before? Never mind his impossible blue eyes, his weathered, annotated copy of The Great Gatsby (total English-major porn)…oh, and his girlfriend.

Jordan knows everything this year has an expiration date. Aberdeen is supposed to be about fun rather than waiting for life to happen. But E. M. Forster, Shakespeare, and mistletoe on Valentine’s Day make her reconsider what love is and how far she’s willing to go for the right guy.

I grab Fitzgerald’s masterpiece from his hand and appraise its worn edges and spine. The pages are dog-eared and filled with highlighted lines and annotations. I read a few of his handwritten notes, which illustrate passionate understanding of the characters and an undisguised zeal for the work.

“This is not the work of a guy who is preparing, a year in advance I might say, to teach this book. You love this book.”

His grin widens, and I struggle for air at the sight of it, not just because of its beauty but because of what put it there in the first place–a book.

“You caught me.”

What about this, Sam? What am I supposed to do with a guy who beams at me noticing his love for a book?

I do the only thing I can do and hop on the nerd train.

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” British literature is my passion, but I’ll never forget reading The Great Gatsby, nor will I ever apologize for memorizing and reciting my favorite lines of books.

“Impressive,” he remarks, and all signs of Noah’s unease dissolves with that one word. He holds my gaze, and his smile meets his eyes. I want to look away now not because of our bumbling introduction but because it’s too much. But I can’t do it. I’m trapped.

“It’s the only book I remember from high school, the only one that moved me to tears. That last line? The futility of all Gatsby tried to do to prove himself to the woman he loved?  He was never able to escape his past or the boy he was when he first met Daisy. What he tried to do, it was ridiculous, insane, and at the same time altogether lovely. But it was for nothing.”

My voice catches at the memory of finishing the book for the first time, of realizing that no matter how hard you try, life doesn’t always have a happy ending.

Something shifts in his gaze, and Noah pulls the book from my hand, laying it on the floor between us. His hand returns to rest on my cheek, and before I have time to process what he’s doing, his lips sweep against mine.

For a few seconds I rationalize that I imagine it because things like this don’t happens to me. Boys don’t ask me to inscribe my number on their hands, and they certainly don’t kiss me minutes after we meet. But the train coasts smoothly on the tracks, s his palm on my face, drawing me to him, is no act of turbulence.

I freeze, unable to kiss him back yet not daring to pull away. Thoughts of Griffin, of a fairy-tale year, disintegrates into this moment. For the first time I believe it. Now is all that matters. And right now, Noah’s lips cover mine again.

The first kiss was a question, but now he possesses a sureness betraying his initial reticence. And that scent, the reason I could have stayed buried in his chest on our first meeting, intoxicates me. My shock quickly melts, and so do I, falling against him in a kiss so gentle, so delicious.

This kiss is the answer.

Author Bio
AJ writes stories to break readers’ hearts, but don’t worry—she’ll mend those hearts with a happily ever after…maybe. The first book she wrote was YA, but now she’s two-timing her first love Pine4BWwith NA. She’s always in the middle of reading two to three books, adores online shopping (everything from groceries to shoes), and she still loves vampires, whether it’s Eric Northman or the Salvatore brothers. When she’s not writing, AJ is sneaking off to her day job as a high school English teacher or hanging with her husband and kids in the Chicago burbs.

AJ’s debut NA novel, IF ONLY, releases with Entangled’s Embrace line on March 24!

Representation: Courtney Miller-Callihan at SJGA.

This is a tour wide giveaway.

Blog Tour, Book Excerpt, Giveaway

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22 Responses to “Book Excerpt: If Only by A.J. Pine (Blog Tour & Giveaway)”

  1. saaratis

    I finished reading this book today too. I really liked it initially but Noah then ruins it for me. Up until the point where they get together at New Year, it reminded me a bit of Anna and the French Kiss, though that book was loads better.

    She should have booted Noah out the door the day he walks out on her. I was so irritated by him. Even them getting together in the end was’t much of a reprieve to me. I’d rather she had left him forever. He would have deserved it. I have trashed Noah in my review, but my heart is still not content. That guy just irritated me sooo much.

    • Jennifer Bielman

      I agree whole heartedly. I was so done with Noah the day he walked out. He was already on my shitlist, but then that baby fit was the last nail in the coffin. What a child. I wish she ended up with someone else.

    • saaratis

      I know. I’d rather she was either single by the end of the book, or maybe try to work something with Griffin. Even baby steps towards him would have been okay. But God, Noah was an asshole of the highest kind. I wanted to hit him over the head, but i wanted to bang my head on a wall too.

    • Jennifer Bielman

      Pretty much anything would have been better than her just accepting that Noah is an asshole and being with him anyway. It’s so weird because he seemed so sweet half the time. It’s like he is Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

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