Blog Tour: PRESENT PERFECT by Alison G. Bailey
Release Date: August 6th, 2013
New Adult Contemporary Romance
Amazing Book Cover by artist Robin Harper of Wicked by Design
I’ve been unsure about many things in my life except for one thing, that I have always loved him. Every single minute of every single day that I have been on this earth, my heart has belonged to him. It has never been a question, never a doubt. The love had taken on many different forms over the years, but it had always been a constant.
Everyone has their definition of love. There have been countless songs sung about it. A gazillion books, articles, and poems written about it. There are experts on love who will tell you how to get it, keep it, and get over it.
We’re led to believe love is complicated. It’s not the love that’s complicated. It’s all the crap that we attach to it and put in front of it that makes it difficult. If you’re smart, you’ll realize this before it’s too late and simplify
Amanda Kelly spent her entire life trying to control every aspect of it, while striving for perfection. Her obsession with being perfect, along with her feelings of worthlessness, consumed her. The one thing she thought was perfect in her life was the bond she shared with her best friend, Noah.
Everything was going according to her life plan until she woke up one day and realized she had fallen in love with him. The one thing she couldn’t control was the affect he had on her. Noah had the power to give her one hundred lifetimes of happiness, which also gave him the power to completely devastate her. He was the one thing in her life that was perfect, but she couldn’t allow herself to have him.
Her life begins to unravel. Events take over and force her to let go of her dreams and desires. She needs to realize that a person cannot control the events in their life, only their reaction to them…but will it be too late for her to save her relationship with her best friend? Present Perfect is a story of how past events have present consequences and how perfect your present could be if you stopped fighting and just allowed it to happen.
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ALTERNATE POV: NOAH – The Line
I took a step towards her, but she held her hand up, letting me know that was as close as she would allow me to get. The hurt in her eyes cut into my chest and made it ache. She should know I would never say anything to hurt her on purpose. I was going to do everything within my power to keep her safe and away from Brad, though. There was no away that Smurffucker was going to get his hands on what was mine and Tweet was mine. It didn’t matter how many times she pushed me away, I wasn’t going anywhere. One more hurtful glare from those gorgeous teal eyes was sent in my direction before she turned and then stomped away from me, out of the park.
“Where are you going?” I yelled.
“Home!” she yelled back over her shoulder.
“You’re not walking home by yourself at night!”
“Yes I am!” I knew she’d be fine on the walk home, our neighborhood was extremely safe, but I couldn’t let her walk away from me, not like this. I just got her back in my life and I was going to hold on to her tight this time.
I followed a few steps behind her, in silence, the entire way home. I was hoping by the time we reached her house she would have cooled off. Even though she was pissed at me, I couldn’t help watching her ass as it quickly swayed from side-to-side while she walked faster and faster away from me and towards her house. Just watching her walk got me hard and had me thinking of all sorts of things I would like to do to that sweet round little ass. Fuck! I needed to get my head in the game and out of my crotch.
Once at her house, I stayed at the bottom of the steps as Tweet fished her key out of her pocket and slipped it into the lock.
Clearing my throat, I said, “Aren’t you going say goodnight?”
“Goodnight, Noah,” she said. I could hear the tremble in her voice.
“Goodnight, Tweet.” I stayed glued to my spot. I couldn’t leave like this. I needed to feel that connection. I needed to be physically close to her. I needed to know things between us were alright.
Walking up behind her, I placed my palms on the doorframe, caging her in.
I leaned in close. I felt a shiver run through her body as my warm breath hit behind her ear and over her neck. God, she smelled good. Apparently, my dick liked the scent of raspberry and vanilla because it started twitching like it had been tasered with one-thousand volts of electricity.
My mouth was so close to her ear, my lips lightly brushed against the shell of it when I whispered, “Please, don’t be mad at me. I just want to protect you.”
“I’m not mad. I’m scared,” she said, breathless.
“That we’re not going to be able to go back to the way we were. You’ve been back in my life for an hour and it already feels like we’re crossing that line. I just got you back. I don’t want to lose you.”
“I promised you I’d stay in the friend zone and I will. But the line has already been crossed, Tweet. I wish you’d step over it with me.”
When she leaned back against my chest I knew I had to get out of there. I was already so hard it was becoming painful. All I could think about doing was turning her around, pressing her back against the door, and shoving my tongue down her throat.
I pushed off from the doorframe and wrapped my arms around her waist. Placing a soft kiss behind her ear, I said, “I’ll see you tomorrow.” I kissed the top of her head, dropped my arms, and headed home for an ice cold shower.
Nicole’s Review 4 stars
The best kinds of books are the ones that grab you and you don’t even know it. You know…you are reading and it’s an ok book. You’ll finish it and be like “Yay!” But every now and then a book starts off that way and WHAM!!!, you realize that you are totally invested in the characters, what happens to them and how it will all end. Alison Bailey’s Present Perfect was that kind of book for me. I was happy to read it and thought it was a fine book, and then it knocked me out!
Present Perfect is the story of Amanda and Noah, best friends from childhood. The book starts out with them as young children and continues to tell their life story. Amanda is the youngest sister who lives her whole life being compared to her near perfect older sister. Amanda’s self-esteem/loathing gets its start early in her life and sadly, it pretty much runs her life. Her self-judgment is so skewed that she cannot allow the one person who loves her unconditionally into all of her life. Amanda holds Noah at arm’s length in the “just friends” category. He wants so much more. He sees Amanda as herself, not a poor copy of her big sister. Through the entries of Amanda’s journal (instead of chapters, the book is divided into entries), we share their journey. Now, I have to be honest and tell you that when I first started this book, I was totally thrown off by the entries. The italicized part is the actual entry. The rest of it is the event(s) that lead to the entry. It took me a couple of entries to make the connection, but sometimes the obvious can escape me like that!
I’m not going to lie to you…I didn’t love this book at first. I was reading along, enjoying it because it was easy to read and reminded me of my youth, but I wasn’t completely into it. Then WHAM!!!, out of the blue came the biggest “never saw it coming” and I realized I was totally invested. I was up to my eyeballs in it and I wasn’t going anywhere until I finished the whole book that afternoon!! I did finish it and used at least a half of a box of tissues to do it. Yep…you are going to cry. You can’t help it because the “never saw it coming” is so powerful and relatable on so many levels that you are THERE! Amanda and Noah had worked their way into my heart and mine broke right along with theirs.
Read Present Perfect by Alison Bailey. It is a great story. I will tell you that as an adult, I had to remind myself to think like a teenager and young 20-something. (It’s been a while since I was there; you know what I’m sayin’?) Amanda’s self-loathing can be over the top and keeps her from seeing the bigger picture of both herself and Noah. Her lack of self-esteem pushes her to make some bad decisions; the kind that have you shaking your head and wondering “What the heck are you doing?” BUT…that is how teenagers and young adults think. Lord help us all!
I give Present Perfect 4 stars. Bailey tells a great story that sneaks up on you and keeps you in it. I look forward to more books written by her. From the looks of this one, there will be more!!
Abby’s Review 4 stars
Amanda, aka, Tweet, always felt like she lived in her sister’s shadow. Her parents always compared her to her sister. From the beginning of the story you have sympathy towards Amanda because inadvertently she is groomed to be second best.
Amanda holds one thing extremely close to her. Her relationship with Noah. The pair are born minutes apart and are life long soul mates. Amanda does not value herself and so she won’t give into her love for Noah. Not going to lie. I wanted to punch her. Hard right upside her head. I was getting frustrated with her self doubt. Poor Noah! You felt for him.
As frustrated as I was with Amanda, I was hoping for character growth. What I got was so much more. Something happens that will surprise the heck out of you. It makes you cry, hard ugly cries. Then you understand the title Present Perfect. And you get some smiles in too. As frustrated as I was with Amanda, I really feel like the whole story wrapped up perfectly and it is so worth the read.
Dawn’s Review 4 Stars
Let me start by saying that I’m not an ugly crier on a lot of books, but dammit if this one didn’t make me ugly cry!! So well worth the read though, trust me!
Present Perfect hooked me in gradually (so keep reading if you think you might put it down!) but then I became so caught up in Tweet(Amanda)’s and Noah’s lives, I found myself looking for every moment in the day when I could sneak a read. Alison Bailey delivered a story that took me on a journey from friendship, to young love, to painful moments, to stupid mistakes, to unending love. Although this is a New Adult novel, I really feel it moved from Young Adult to New Adult to Contemporary Romance and is hard to categorize.
Tweet grows up under her older sister’s shadow, or at least that’s her perception of it. She constantly feels inadequate and not perfect enough to deserve what she really wants in life – to be with Noah and let him love her. Those perceptions make her say and do stupid, stupid things that hurt Noah over and over. Yet Noah, god, he’s the most patient, loving man who has grown up knowing that Tweet is his, will always be his, and is perfect for him. I loved him and hurt for him and wanted to smack Tweet upside the head a few times for her callous words!!
There are so many back and forth moments between the two and just when something seems to go their way, BAM! Life and all its ugliness hits hard! I loved Alison Bailey’s treatment of what happens – it was real and painful, but also filled with moments of pure beauty and love. What an emotionally-packed read and a journey I know has made a mark on my heart.
Copy provided by author for honest review.
Alison was born and raised in Charleston, SC. As a child she used her imagination to write additional scenes to TV shows and movies that she watched. She attended Winthrop University and graduating with a BA in Theater. While at Winthrop she began writing one act plays which she later produced. Throughout the years she continued writing and producing several one act plays, but then life got in the way and she hung up her pen for a while. On the advice of a friend, she started writing again. In January 2013, Alison sat down at her computer and began writing her first novel, Present Perfect.
Alison lives in Charleston, South Carolina with her husband, Jef, and their two furry children (dogs). She’s addicted to Diet Pepsi and anything with sugar.
Alison’s philosophy: Don’t let your obstacles define you, let them refine you. At times life can get pretty overwhelming, but with a great support system and a lot of humor you can get through it. If you have humor in your life your spirit stays strong and you can tackle anything.