Friday, January 1, 2016

#Review: If Tomorrow Never Comes by Mary J. Williams - 4 Wine Glasses

Series: Harper Falls #2
Author: Mary J. Williams
Narrator: Amy Robinson
Format: Audible, Unabridged, September 22, 2015
Published: 09-22-15
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Audible
Reviewer: Linda
Source: Author
Rating: 4 out of 5 Wine Glasses

Welcome back to Harper Falls, WA, a place where love is in the air, but danger is just around the corner.

Dani Wilde had already met the love of her life and lost him. Two weeks of passion and romance five years ago. Then he had walked away.

Dani thought she had moved on, She dated, enjoyed the company of other men, even thought that she was keeping her heart open to the possibility of another love. But when Alex Fleming rode his motorcycle into Harper Falls, she knew she had been kidding herself. Her heart was still his.

Alex Fleming knew what was waiting for him in Harper Falls. His sister, his best friend, a good job, and the woman he'd spent the last five years dreaming about--trying to forget. At the time, walking away had seemed like the only way. Now he has a second chance, but it isn't just his personal demons keeping him from Dani, his past is about to put the only woman he's ever loved in danger.

He has a choice, walk away again or stay and fight.

Love has a way of catching up with you. Dani and Alex are getting a second chance at their happily ever after. Now they just have to be strong enough to take it.

Book two in the Harper Falls series is a stand alone story. Look for book three, Tyler and Drew's story, "If You Only Knew."

Linda's Thoughts:
How devastating to find 'the one' and not be 'their one.'

IF TOMORROW NEVER COMES by Mary J. Williams was a very enjoyable, steamy romance as another best friend finds her happy ever after with a hot ex-military hero. I have wanted to read this heroine's story ever since she was introduced in the first book in this series, IF I LOVED YOU.

The books in this series are primarily the love stories of three best friends: Rose, Dani, and Tyler. The bond between these three strong women is the bedrock of the series. Their friendships have endured from childhood and grown stronger as they've grown up. Their stories all take place in the small, close knit town of Harper Falls. The books could all work well as standalones, if that is your preference, but I believe that your enjoyment would be exponentially increased if you read the series in order as the author as written them.
This was the story of Dani Wilde and Alex Fleming. Dani was a feisty, kickass character who looked like a Disney princess. Dani had met Alex years ago and they'd had a seriously HOT fling. She hadn't heard from him since but she's never gotten over him. So... when he roared into Harper Falls on his motorcycle, she thought that he was there for her... but he hugged another woman instead.

I loved both primary characters and relished this return to Harper Falls! Alex was a war hero battling PTSD. I applaud the author for sensitively tackling the issue of PTSD while also imparting understanding and knowledge about treatment options.

Following please find a few of my favorite quotes from this story:

"I'd rather have sex than dessert."

She wasn't going to explain how the morning she woke up alone she had gone back to the same salon that had cut and dyed her hair and had the woman change the color back. She wasn't going to tell him that she hadn't been able to stand the thought of looking into the mirror to see that girl anymore. The girl who had been born the day she met Alex and died the day he left.

"Why is the TV on, and why aren't you on the way to naked?"...
"My head and the rest of me" - he drew her attention to his erection - "heard sex. No putting that genie back in the lamp..."

There was no substitute for a post-coital cuddle.

I had so many favorite scenes in this tale; I'll only mention one when the couple enjoy a breakfast of pastries. It had me laughing out loud at their antics and banter: Following is a short snippet from it:
“He opted for a flaky, apricot-filled croissant and Columbian coffee. Dani chided him for being unimaginative, then proceeded to eat most of his, while ignoring her own.
"I'd be glad to buy you one."
Dani gave him a wide-eyed, innocent stare, then popped the last bit of his breakfast into her mouth.
"I couldn't eat another bite.”

This was a very difficult review for me to write as, while I thoroughly loved the story, the audio had serious technical, aka narrator, issues. IF TOMORROW NEVER COMES was narrated by Amy Robinson. Her voice was clear. She didn't differentiate between characters and I was fine with that. She exuded enthusiasm at the proper times. That said, I've never listened to a narrator deliver such a poor performance. She paused so long at times, I thought that the audible had turned off. She repeated herself thru-out - one time she repeated herself four times before moving on. There was an annoying ticking noise in the background during some of the last chapters. She'd often clear her voice, cough into the microphone and that's not all. To say I was frustrated while listening to her execution is to put it mildly.

On a happy note, I am thrilled that the author has changed narrators for the final two books. I love the author's stories, but this narrator seriously detracts from, rather than enhances the story. Because of this, I would strongly recommend that IF TOMORROW NEVER COMES be read and not listened to. Be aware that this narrator also narrated the first book. She had some similar issues in it, but nothing like this. Unfortunately, after this extremely aggravating listening experience, I would never pick up another book narrated by Amy Robinson. While I'm giving the story a 4-Wine Glass rating a I enjoyed it despite the narrator, I would give Amy's performance only a begrudging 1-star.

Overall, I delighted in this return to Harper Falls with characters I fell in love with in the first book. Catching up with each bestie was an added treat. I also can't neglect mentioning the swoon-worthy hunks that populate this series. Mary J. Williams is quite adept at writing steamy sex scenes. Oooh La La! I highly recommend IF TOMORROW NEVER COMES to anyone who enjoys racy contemporary small-town romances. I can't wait to listen to the next two books with a new narrator!

Suggested Reading Order: 
IF I LOVED YOU (Book #1) 

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