Amber Merchant had it all. Living with and engaged to her teenage sweetheart, nice house and job of her dreams.
Following a devastating revelation from her Fiancé, Amber finds herself single once again and vows to never entrust her heart and soul to another.
After a bad experience on a rare night out to celebrate her newly single life, a chance encounter with a tall, dark and handsome stranger leaves Amber’s head reeling. Intrigued by her draw to him but scared for her heart she flees.
Twenty nine year old Craig Silver has been fighting demons of his own. Intent on a life of meaningless affairs and one night stands, he isn’t prepared for the overwhelming and immediate attraction, and desire to protect the striking blonde on the dance floor.
At first it seems the attraction is mutual… until she runs. Bewildered and frustrated Craig wonders if he will ever see her again.
Sometimes the roads to our future are paved with many trials. Will Amber take the right path and find the silver lining to the happiness she deserves?
I’m not gonna even attempt to figure out how this is a debut novel. E.J. Shortall has done something so amazing here and I absolutely fell in love with it.
Amber has found herself single again after several years. She had the perfect life: high school sweetheart, engagement, fiance, wedding date, guest list… and then it all comes unraveled right in front of her eyes. When he is out of the picture it is time to move on.
Never expecting to go through that again… of course, it wouldn’t be a sweet romantic tale if that’s how it turned out… So on one of her first nights of freedom, she is convinced to hit the town. But that amazingly handsome guy, with the great bod and beautiful eyes, enters the picture and now all bets of her heart’s safety are off.
Craig knows what he wants and for the first time in years, he sees it. But Amber can’t do this… she can’t find him attractive. She is just starting to get her life back together. This is not going to happen… oh but Craig is a very determined kind of guy and he knows what he wants.
Amber has fully opened up to Craig but she knows there is so much he is holding back. She knows before they can go anywhere with a relationship, she is going to have to get him to trust her enough to open up and be honest with her. She has had enough secrets kept from her in the past. She can’t do that again. But is he willing to put all of the cards on the table and tell her everything or is she going to end up being broken even further than she was before? Can these two survive when secrets are discovered, uncovered and revealed?
I loved the characters in this book. They were smart, witty and the banter between them was fabulous. I fell in love with Becky and Amber and I completely swooned hard over Craig. Now, when I started this review, I admitted that I was really surprised that this was a debut novel for this author. Not just a little surprised. She caputured the essence of fabulous in her writing and I was so completely drawn into the characters and their story.
It had so many elements that I just adored and just when you get enough of one thing, something happens and you have your “ah-ha” moments but they only leave you even more intrigued. This book was cleverly written and had a great attention to detail. I really enjoyed this book and I cannot wait for the next book in the series, it was amazing!
“Are you alright, Pingu? You have a strange look on your face.” We are walking along the seafront towards the pier. It is a beautiful late May afternoon, and the sun is shining and glittering off the ripples cascading across the water. Gentle waves ebb and flow along the shoreline where children sit with their families building fortresses, and other unrecognisable structures, out of damp sand.
I stop walking and move around to stand in front of Craig, reaching my arms around his waist and snuggling into his chest. I take a deep breath in, inhaling his now familiar earthy scent mixed with the fresh smells of the sea air. “I’m perfect. This is perfect. Thank you.”
“You are perfect. I’m glad you recognise that.” He smiles as he looks down into my eyes and wraps his own arms around me. He places a kiss on my forehead, leaving his lips attached to my skin. Why did I spend so many years wasting my life on a man that basically thought he owned me but had no interest in really being with me? I have missed out on so many days like this.
Becki was right with what she said. I’m starting to see that everything does happen for a reason. Maybe I was meant to stay with David until now so that I could be right here, right now, with Craig. He really is my Silver Lining. He gives me hope and optimism for a brighter future, despite whatever issues he has going on at the moment.
We spend the next few hours strolling around town, looking in shops, chatting about anything and everything, and just enjoying being together. When my stomach suddenly growls rather loudly, letting me – and probably everyone else in Paignton – know that it’s time to eat, we grab some Fish and Chips and sit on the pier eating them. Craig wanted to take me into some fancy restaurant, but relented when I started ranting about not being able to come to the seaside and eat fish and chips out of the paper. “It’s a British tradition,” I argued.
With our stomachs full, we kick our shoes off and take a stroll along the sand. The beach is quieter now, the falling early evening temperatures driving families back to their hotels or wherever it is they came from.
“You’re a bit of a snob, do you know that?” I say to Craig as we walk along an almost deserted area of the beach. I’m walking backward, facing him and laughing.
“Oh yeah?” Craig quirks an eyebrow. “How’s that?”
“Only snobs would be snobbish about eating fish and chips and candy floss when they come to the seaside. These are staple Seaside requirements, Mr Silver, along with making sandcastles and… this…” I flick my foot in the shallow water and splash him.
“Oh, you’re in for it now,” he growls, staring into my eyes.
Shit, this isn’t good. He has a devilish look in his eyes that makes me want to jump on him and flee at the same time. I gulp when he flinches and as quickly as I can, turn on my heels and run away from him, squealing in laughter, running as fast as I can through the soft sand.
I’m laughing and trying to catch my breath while evading Craig’s attempts to catch me. When I hit a large ditch in the sand, I stumble, giving Craig the perfect opportunity to lunge forward and grab me around the waist. The momentum from his attack causes me to lose my balance and we both crash down onto the sand.
Turning over quickly onto my back so I can swipe the sand away from my face, I look up to see Craig leaning over me. He is breathing heavy, his chest rising and falling sharply with each laboured inhale and exhale. We are both laughing uncontrollably, trying to catch our breath. My heart skips a beat looking up at him. He looks so young and carefree; a stark contrast to his usual cool, calm and controlled demeanour.
Our eyes lock onto each other and the laughter immediately ceases. We simply remain frozen in time, lost in each other’s gaze. I vaguely hear music in the distance, the song being carried along by the gentle sea breeze. The words from “What About Now” by Daughtry filter into my emotion filled haze.
“Craig, I…” I’m cut off by a pair of soft, warm lips pressing down on mine. He doesn’t try and deepen the kiss, just remains hovering over me with our lips locked.
EJ Shortall was born and raised in London, England where she currently still lives with her long suffering partner and their son. Having worked in education for the better part of 12 years, EJ decided a change was needed and following a moment of inspiration one morning, she decided to put pen to paper and start writing her first novel.
She has always enjoyed reading, but found it was mostly just a holiday extravagance, to while away the hours whilst relaxing on the beach or by the pool. Then she discovered a certain worldwide best seller, and that was it, she was hooked. She couldn’t devour books fast enough. The books on her book shelves and reading device range from sweet, Young Adult romances, to smouldering, erotic encounters.
“I am on one amazing roller coaster ride at the moment, meeting new and wonderful people, discovering new music gems to integrate into my stories, and learning so many new skills. I can’t wait to see where this journey takes me.”
If you would like to join E.J. on her journey, please follow or contact her. She would love to hear from you!
Silver Lining, EJ’s debut novel was released on 21stFebruary 2014.
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