Friday, July 18, 2014

Release day event: Designed by Alicia Renee Kline

Designed Release Day


Book Title: Designed 
Author: Alicia Renee Kline 
Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Release Date: July 18, 2014 

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?


profile photo  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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I haven’t read the first two books in the series, so maybe this is why it took me a while to really get into the book. Even though this book can be read as a standalone, because the hero and heroine were side characters in the previous books, I think I would’ve probably gotten a bit more out of it, had I read the other books first.
Unfortunately, I failed to connect with the heroine, Blake. At first I didn’t like her behavior, how she jumped from one man to the other, and I couldn’t understand why she did that. I really liked Lauren and Matthew the side characters (who were the main characters in the first two books), and I’ll probably read the first two books in the series to know a little more about their story.
In the first part of the book there were a lot of flashbacks, telling the story of how Blake and Chris fell in love, but sometimes the back and forth was a little confusing so it took me a while to really become involved. Once the story progressed in the present, I was looking forward to reading about Chris and it wasn’t until he finally entered the story that I got hooked. Chris is an adorable hero, even though at some points I wished he would strangle Blake because she was being too childish and annoying.
I liked how the book ended and that we got a glimpse of the next book. Gracie and Will (two side characters) will be the heroine and hero of the next installment in the series, so it should be a funny read because Gracie is such a quirky character and Will seems like a cute hero.
All in all it was a cute story. The reason I rated it 3 stars is because I couldn’t connect with the heroine and at times the story seemed to drag, without anything important really happening.
If you’ve read the previous books in the series, you will want to read this. If you haven’t, I think you should give the book a chance anyway, especially if you like second-chance love stories.


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