Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Five Stars for The Back-Up List from Smexy-bookaholics

Reviews always make us nervous- biting our lips 'til they bleed- nervous. Someone is out there, with your baby, and they're going to tell you what they think- good or bad. Our fingernails are often bitten down to the nubs, but I digress- Smexy Bookaholics is a great blog- and they gave us three glowing reviews! Thank you so much ladies, while we tend to our bleeding fingertips! Here's the link to a fun and sexy blog!


                                                                   The Back-Up List      

I wasn't sure going into this what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised. I usually only connect with one or two characters in the book but I actually loved ALL the characters in this book with the exception of Madison's mother-in-law and a woman named Mandy. They all made a huge impact in the story and tied the whole book together!

Madison is a wife and mother of four. She got pregnant and married her high school sweetheart during her senior year in high school. They had a wonderful marriage and a wonderful family. One tragic day, her entire family is taken from her. Madison is devastated. Madison is feeling guilty. She had a fight with her husband before her family left. She just wanted a day to herself without children. A day to relax. Now she has more time on her hands than she wants. Madison doesn't know how to cope with the loss. She goes into a deep depression and everything around her reminds her of her family that she lost. She doesn't want to leave her house as when she goes out, she also sees all the reminders. She just doesn't want to go on without her family.

If it wasn't for her best friends Kinley, Megan and Kate, she would probably not have made it though after her family's death, but it was Kinley who was her closest friend and who is like a sister that was the main person to see her through it all and Madison would have given up hope of living anymore if Kinley wouldn't of been there to push her to do things. Her family was her whole world. The tragedy of Madison losing her family doesn't only affect her, but also affects many of the other characters. The realism of what a person really goes through in such a tragedy, was extremely well written.

In the case of the untimely death of their husbands, Madison and Kinley had a Back-Up List of celebrity men who they would want for a replacement. It was always a joke among them. Even their husbands were aware of the list. On the top of Madison's list was Calvin Hunt, a lead singer the group "Murder of Crows".

To try and snap Madison out of her depression, Kinley bought Madison tickets to go to the concert to see her favorite band "Murder of Crows". They waited in line for hours so they could get right up to the front to watch. While standing in line to go in, Calvin sees Madison and her friends. He is instantly taken with her. He gives a message to one of the security/body guard to take to Madison and her friends to join him backstage.

Calvin has always been a playboy and has been able to have any girl that he has wanted. All the rest of the members in the group, including Calvin's brother Rory are already married. When he meets Madison in person, he doesn't understand why she isn't attracted to him and acts so nonchalant. He is so used to girls falling all over him and not being able to resist him, that it is something new for him when Madison doesn't do that. He doesn't understand why she doesn't want anything to do with him. She doesn't seem to care that he is this great looking and famous man.

Luckily, after that night when Cal couldn't get Madison out of his mind, Cal's bodyguard/security was able to get information for Cal and he was able to track down Kinley as she was the one who had paid for the tickets. He was questioning her about Madison:

"Is Madison a lesbian?"
He heard her gag, and laugh and snort. "What made you ask that?" She was practically dying.
"I tried to kiss her and she turned her head." She was still laughing.
"It's just that...well it's never happened before." he reluctantly admitted. He couldn't think of a single reason why she would turn her head.
"No, she's straight. It's just a bit too soon." Something in Kinley's voice made him not want to ask any more questions. He realized she'd be deliberately playing obtuse.
"Kinley, may I ask you something else?"
"Sure, anything." He could picture her smiling.
"Can you forward me the picture you took backstage of me and Madison?"

Cal feels that Madison may be the one who would change his life forever. He is willing to pull out all the stops to win her heart over. He doesn't want anything to do with any other woman after Madison. Cal does anything an everything in his power to try to be with her and get to know her.

Even though their relationship grows into more than just friends, Madison struggles with guilt over the loss of her family and her feelings for Cal. She is still so consumed with grief over the loss of her family so many months ago and feels guilty for moving on with her life and is always questioning if it's too soon to move on.

Madison is not the only one devastated by the loss of her husband and children. Kinley's children, who were extremely close to Madison's are also affected, especially Kennedy (who was best friends with Riley), one of Madison's daughters. While Madison and Kennedy are talking one day, some of Kennedy's words hit Madison very hard and in her own way, during their talk, Kennedy gave Madison some advise that is life changing for Madison and has her questioning if she's been looking at this all wrong from the start.

....."I think it's like you said, I can have more than one best friend, and so can you. I can find new people to love, that doesn't mean that I have forgotten Riley. She is still my best friend, and she always will be. I'm just adding new people to love, not taking anyone away. It's okay to keep living and to find new people to love," Kennedy spoke softly but her words hit Madison hard.

Kinley also is deeply affected with the loss although she is keeping a secret from Madison. Madison has an ability where she sees when people die. She did actually see what was going to happen to Madison's family. It has haunted her, but she never let on to anyone, especially Madison. Kinley was the strong one to a point, where it almost tore her apart, but she never let anyone else see that part of her.

There is misunderstandings between Cal and Madison that affects their relationship. Madison doesn't open up completely about things that had happened recently to her and then she misunderstands a situation involving Cal while he is on the road and in turn keeps another secret from him that he should know.

Cal's bodyguard looks out for everyone in his band and has been with them for years. He knows about Maddy losing her entire family and encourages her to open up to Cal. He also encourages Cal, telling him that she has had some stuff happen to her in her past that could be affecting her actions and to keep trying with Madison. He won't tell Cal the story himself as he feels it is up to Madison to do so. His bodyguard plays a vital role in getting Madison and Cal together.

Madison and her group of friends are hysterical! They have had for years, wonderful traditions that they do just with the small group of girlfriends and also have traditions that they do with all of their families. Kinley and Madison's banter between them will leave you laughing hysterically at times.

There was just so much to this story, but I don't want to give anymore away than I already have. I will say that you won't be disappointed if you read it.

There is sad endings and beautiful new beginnings. You have true friendship, trust, tragedy, heartache, never ending support, misunderstandings, wittiness, humor and love. Not just love between Madison and Cal, but love between everyone. I laughed and I cried tears of happiness and tears of grief. I have not had so many emotions and been so moved by a book in a long time.

I thought this book was so beautifully written. I didn't want to put it down once I started it. It had all the makings of a great book. I would definitely recommend this to anyone. I have also found another book boyfriend to add to my list! I am looking forward to reading the next two books in the series,The List of Possibilities and The Bump List.

**ARC provided to our Smexy Bookaholics blog by the authors Miriam Brady and Amber Best in exchange for an honest review**



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