Title: Picturing Perfect
Author: Melissa Brown
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Expected release date: 12 June 2013
Life may not turn out like we planned, but sometimes that’s what makes it perfect…
Hadley Foster has always been a planner. But, since the age of nineteen, things haven’t exactly gone according to plan… not at all. And the changes continue to mount when a trip to Europe with her best friend starts a domino effect in all aspects of her life. Suddenly, the future she had envisioned for herself seems unlikely to happen. It’s time to make a new plan… or accept the dominoes as they fall.
Jason Kelly has a great life. He’s a successful self-published writer who’s living his dreams. But, something is missing. Hadley Foster. Letting her slip through his fingers is one of his biggest regrets. Over time, he had to accept the idea of being without his first love as he watched her fall in love with someone else.
When circumstances bring Jason and Hadley back into one another’s lives, they’re forced to deal with their past, their present and the possibility of a future together.
The next morning, sitting at the breakfast table with Auden, Jason strolled out of his room wearing his dimpled grin and the “Camp North Star” t-shirt that I had bought for him at Spencer Gifts. Underneath the symbol for Camp North Star, it simply read, “It Just Doesn’t Matter.”
At the time, Jason was obsessed with the Bill Murray movie called “Meatballs” and his very favorite scene was when Murray rallied the entire camp to chant “It Just Doesn’t Matter!” I saw that shirt hanging in the store and knew he needed to have it. But, seeing him wear it made my cheeks blush to a horrible shade of crimson.
“Nice shirt,” Auden said with a laugh, having no idea that I was the one who had purchased it. I had seen it while shopping with her at the mall, but made a special trip back to buy it alone. I didn’t want her to make fun of me. This gesture meant way too much to me.
“Isn’t it?” Jason said, smoothing the cotton of the navy blue t-shirt. “It’s my new favorite shirt.”
“Where’d you get it?” Auden persisted.
Jason grinned at me, his dimple showing as it always did, before he directed his attention back to his sister. “Someone pretty awesome gave it to me. And that’s all you need to know.”
“Mmm-hmmm,” their older sister Maya said as she took a sip of her coffee. A wave of embarrassment swept through me and I hung my head, looking down at my bowl of Cheerios. Auden turned to look at me. Her gaze burned my cheeks, but I continued to stare at the blue bowl in front of me.
“Okay, whatever,” she said, finally dropping it. I went back to eating my cereal as Jason took a seat at the table. Mrs. Kelly placed a cup of orange juice in front of him.
“C’mon, let’s go listen to CDs in my room,” Auden said, pulling me up from the table. I could feel Jason’s eyes on me as we walked out of the kitchen. I’ll never forget that smile.
Auden closed the door and glared at me.
“Did you give my brother that shirt?”
“What does it matter?” I asked, my pulse racing. I had no idea if Auden would be upset or feel threatened by my feelings for Jason. All I knew was that I wanted to keep them to myself.
“Just tell me. C’mon, vault.” That was our word. The word we always used when we were promising not to tell a secret. We’d put it in our “vault” and never breathe a word to another person.
“Vault?” I asked her with terrified eyes.
“Yes, vault. I promise,” she said before narrowing her eyes at me. “Are you in love with my brother?” She was always the dramatic one.
“Ummm,” I started.
“I knew it!” she yelled, pointing her finger at me. “Why didn’t you tell me? You’re my best friend! I need to know these things. All this time, I’ve been thinking you had a crush on Daniel McMillon!”
“From ceramics class?” I winced. “Um, no, that’s gross.”
She rolled her eyes as she sat down on her bed. “Well, you’re always super nice to him.”
“That’s because he doesn’t have any friends.”
“Yeah, because his breath smells.”
“Auden!” I yelled, my eyes wide.
“What? It does!” She shrugged. “Anyway, I totally thought you liked him because you always sit with him in class.”
“I do not like Daniel.” I shook my head with certainty.
“Well, that’s a relief…although I have to say, liking my brother is kinda up there as far as the ick factor goes. I mean, c’mon, it’s Jason. I mean, ew.”
“He’s not ‘ew’ to me.”
“How long has this been going on?”
“Umm, I kinda lost track.”
“Seriously?” A look of absolute betrayal crossed her melodramatic face.
“It’s been a while, all right? Remember, vault.”
“Vault, I know. Okay, so you got him the shirt. What else have you done for him?”
“Well, he seemed to like it.”
“I know, right?” I said, finally smiling as I remembered the sweet expression of gratitude on Jason’s handsome fifteen-year-old face.
I looked to my best friend for approval, “Are you sure it’s okay?”
“You liking my brother?” she asked, wrinkling her nose.
“Yes.” I nodded.
“Yeah, I guess.” She shrugged again. “I mean, ick. But, fine.”
I couldn't put this book down, I loved it that much.
Hadley is in a relationship with a guy who shall remain nameless that I couldn't stand from the moment he opened his mouth. He's self serving and an all around douchebag. Yeah, I said it. He may be successful but his personality is lacking big time. I adored Hadley and what she stood for. She's a character that had depth, morals and values. She's someone that I could relate to at different times throughout the book.
Have you ever read a book that described a man that possessed every single quality you could ever possibly want? Well let me tell you, Jason Kelley is that guy. He's sweet, patient, kind, dorky hot (which is the way I like them, I kid not) selfless, compassionate and is seriously one of my favorite leading men. This is the kind of guy I go for.
Melissa Brown takes us on an emotional journey with Hadley. We go through each month of her trimester with her. The ups and downs as well as the everyday things in life we sometimes are forced to face.
All of these characters were true to life, had depth and each had their own cross to bear. I found myself laughing, crying and feeling each and every person's 'self discovery'.
Fantastic book Melissa Brown. You seriously made this girl's night. Yes, I read it in one sitting. I relate to books that are more real and true to life. I always find a way to take something away from it, something to think about and ponder. Can't wait for the next one!!
Melissa Brown is a hopeless romantic living in the Chicagoland area with her husband and their two children. Aside from writing, she enjoys reading and baking. She also has a slight obsession with actor Henry Cavill and the TV show New Girl. This is her third novel.
This is a tour-wide giveaway for three signed paperback copies of Picturing Perfect. This contest is open internationally.
Tour organised by Natasha is a Book Junkie