Book Title: Designed
Author: Alicia Renee Kline
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 18, 2014
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions
Blake Snyder is an expert at bringing visions to life. Owner of a successful interior design business, she prides herself on creating things that are picture perfect. If only her talent extended to her personal life.
Chris Taylor is her brother’s best friend, but more importantly, her ex. After a messy breakup years ago, they’ve been careful to avoid each other.
But out of sight isn’t necessarily out of mind. Chris holds a special place for her in his heart – and a never presented engagement ring. Blake can’t stop thinking about him – despite her frequent attempts to replace him.
When a series of events in the present lead Blake to confront the truth in her past, she knows that it’s time to come clean about what really drove them apart. What she reveals is something that brings him to his knees yet again.
Can Chris forgive her for a decade of secrets and omissions? Will their love for one another be strong enough to withstand the repercussions of a decision made long before? Or will the bombshell spell their ultimate demise?
When I first started reading this book I was having some difficulty getting into it. I kept thinking I must be missing something. Then I realized that it might have made it easier had I read the first two books in the series prior to reading Designed. That being said, the author does a great job of having flashbacks in the beginning to help the reader have a better understanding of the history of Blake, Matthew and Chris.
Blake is a girl that was born with a silver spoon in her mouth, or so she would say, but growing up that same silver spoon almost choked her. The only blood relative that Blake has is Matthew, that being said she also has a soon to be ‘sister’ Lauren who just recently became Matthew’s fiancée and used to be Blake’s roommate. She also has Gracie who is really Lauren’s friend, but throughout the book we see the friendship between Gracie and Blake grow and develop.
Chris is Blake’s first and only love from high school. He is also Matthew’s best friend. The three of them grew up with each other and were always there for each other up until approximately 9 years ago when Blake told him to leave her alone. The problem is Chris never understood why, but he never tried to find out either. They both have spent the last decade doing a really good job of ignoring each other.
This is a story of Blake and Chris’s past, while Blake deals with the present where Lauren and Matthew are going to get married and have their first baby together. At one point Gracie does an excellent job of summing up the Blake and Chris into something that resembled a movie preview:
‘Two people who love one another, torn apart by the vents of a wild, drunken night. Mistakes were made. Secrets developed. The truth hung in the balance for many years until converging events brought everything out into the light. Will the betrayals of the past keep them apart, or can they find their way back into each other’s arms?’
The relationship and bond that Blake has with Matthew is amazing. They are there for each other no matter what, they are each other rock and support through life.
The connection that Blake has with Chris is what fairytales are made of, but with the twist of a secret that drew a wedge between them. I really loved the characters but I have to say there were many times I wish I could have yelled at Blake or maybe just slapped some sense into her. I know she was young and dumb when mistakes were made, but come, she wasted so much time.
This book was a wonderfully amazing read. It might have taken me a minute to become engaged in the book, but then I was hooked. I was rooting for Blake and Chris to find their happy ever after throughout the entire book…I am so glad that I didn’t give up because this book and these characters were definitely worth my time and I enjoyed finishing every page…
Alicia Renee Kline has been writing for as long as she can remember. Her work has evolved from scrawling story ideas in spiral notebooks in loopy, middle school handwriting (complete with scribbles) to more professional looking fare via her laptop. She is eternally grateful for the “delete” key, so that no one can tell that she doesn’t get everything right the first time.
She resides in Northeastern Indiana with her husband, two daughters, two cats and two hamsters. When she isn’t being an author, she works full time in the insurance industry.
Why did my mind always wander to him? I stared at my reflection in my bedroom mirror, wondering if I was only fooling myself into believing that I was happy being by myself. I’d proven both him and my father wrong during the almost decade since Matthew’s second arrest, holding true to my word that I’d be okay on my own. In many ways, I had been.
I slumped down on my round mattress, allowing myself a moment of composure. This was my sanctuary now, a place Chris had never physically touched, though his memory lived here most every night. My bedroom was my favorite room in my house, loving referred to as “The Bubble Room” due to the circular patterns found throughout. The look I’d been going for was reminiscent of floating on a cloud, or blowing a giant bubble out in the middle of a purple sunset. I succeeded on both counts based on the looks that people gave me when they entered. It almost made me believe my own hype; that I was as talented as others insisted I was.
But clouds brought storms and bubbles popped.
And my sanctuary wasn’t a place of fond memories, of calm and restoration. It was a place where I retreated, alone, after a full day of pretending that I wasn’t. A place where I sometimes woke up in the middle of the night, drenched in sweat and sobbing, doubled over in phantom pain as I remembered the life that never was.
It had been a nice touch to make my bed round, I supposed. It might be quirky and impossible to buy bedding for in a store, but it was damn well convenient for curling up into the fetal position.
So often, I’d dreamt about him being here with me, stroking my hair adoringly as he dried my tears. As he whispered forgiveness for what I’d done to him. As he told me the thing I most wanted to hear: that he loved me despite everything in our past.
But he’d never sat beside me and said that, much as I wanted him to. Yet I reserved that space for him here like he had, much the same as I held it open in my heart. Until he’d warmed it with his presence, it was sacred and I’d never let anyone else fill that void.
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