Visiting Australia had always been a dream, so in January of 2008 I took a leap of faith and flew to Melbourne. Sixteen days of holiday were planned, the first week to be shared with my friend. Sydney, the Blue Mountains, the Gold Coast and Great Barrier Reef stretched beyond that first week filled with promise of adventure.
Australia is a secret land of amazing beauty. Why do I say 'secret'? Because no commercial, film or word of mouth had ever touched upon the truth of the place. It is stunning.
When I arrived home, the novel I had been planning took a definite turn down under. The hero of the tale, Bryan Lassiter, closely shadows the life situation and emotions of my young friend when the novel opens. Thanks to a place I had never dreamed of and a man who spent seven days sharing his home town, dreams and aspirations with me, the Bryan at the beginning of the novel, became real.
And as one review said:
" I especially loved watching Bryan become a man."
So without further adieu:
When We Were Amazing by Christine London
When tragedy nearly destroys Brian's family wine business, can this reluctant young heir forfeit his dreams and online love to save it?
“Walk me home, Bryan.”
The smile slid from his face. Re-fastening the stud of his jeans, he turned to her. “What’s wrong, Carrie?”
“Look at me.” He hooked her chin with two fingers. “Why are you treating me like I’m suddenly a stranger?” Tilting her face up to his, he lowered his head to engage her eyes. She still had hers cast to the ground. “Come on. Did I say something wrong? I felt…it was…you were amazing.”
Her eyes scrolled in reluctance to his. “I don’t think I can do this.”
“What do you mean? You just did…and in the most incredible way.” He smiled, testing the waters of her reaction.
“It’s not you…You were perfect.” She leaned her head against his shoulder. “I don’t think I’m ready to talk about it.”
Clamping onto her shoulder he looked into her with intensity. “God damn it Carrie. Don’t start clamming up. We never did online. Why start now?”
“We never had sex online.”
He raised a dubious brow.
“Okay…so we wrote about sex. That doesn’t get you pregnant.”
“So you are worried.”
“I should have waited to go to the chemist.” He shook his head in self-recrimination. “Should have had a condom.”
“No…I can’t.” She stiffened again in his arms.
“You can’t what?”
“I can’t get pregnant,” she spewed.
He felt his jaw drop. “You can’t…”
“Yeah. Can’t,” she reiterated in cold indifference, like a news reporter delivering a story.
He instinctively drew her to his chest, holding her body as though it might break. “I never dreamed…I think it’s…okay…”
She pulled away from him, engaging his eyes once more. “Yeah…I can tell it’s just what you had in mind.” Turning, she began to jog away from him in the direction of the high-rise hotels.
“Damn it, Carrie.” He took off after her. She quickened her pace. Shit she was fast. He broke into an all out sprint to catch her.
Hooking her arm, he twirled her about like a top. She spun into him, air knocked from her at the impact. “Let me go, Bryan,” she spouted in gasp.
“I don’t even know where you’re staying.”
“Why do you need to know? It was obviously a mistake coming here.”
He took her by the shoulders. “Listen to me Carrie. It’s you who’ve decided what’s important to me. I don’t give a rat’s arse if you can have kids.”
“Yeah…that’s why you’ve been talking about what a great dad you’re gonna be…how much you want to watch them grow up.”
She’d caught him. He had said those things when they’d exchanged hopes and dreams online. He tried to keep his expression even, but the look on his face sent her over the edge. The pain in her eyes was something he never wanted to see, never meant to cause. He knew he’d sent a knife to her heart.
She turned from him again and ran. He stood, arms hanging in impotence at his side and watched her disappear into the night, her figure reappearing in the lighting of the awning of the hotel closest.
It seemed an hour before he was able to move. His feet felt glued to the pavement; his mind reeled in self-loathing and regret. Why hadn’t he stopped her? What was wrong with him?
The chill of the night invaded him. He felt it press into his bones through the thin t-shirt he’d dragged over his head. He’d left his jacket behind under the trees where they’d...
“Damn.” The word shot from him sounding like it came from someone else. His chest ached with it. He turned toward the beach car park and walked numbly to his Rover.
Many thanks to all the thoughtful reviews that take the time to put their feeling about what I have written on the page.
Rating: 5 Stars
Review: Christine London’s When We Were Amazing blew me away. It’s a heart wrenching story about two people who spend years pining for each other, but the demands of life and their own stubbornness interfere each time they almost get together. Carrie and Bryan began an internet relationship of sorts that grows until she decides to fly from her home in California to surprise him in Australia. Their first meeting doesn’t go as planned, especially after Bryan learns she has a son she never told him about. It takes an accident to draw Bryan to California and they spend a few wonderful weeks together, but their time together is cut short when a family emergency pulls Bryan away. This story has a lot of twists and turns like this, and there was never a dull moment. I loved the hero and heroine (even though I wanted to wring their necks a few times), and I especially loved watching Bryan become a man. I was a little worried at the beginning of this story because he seemed indecisive and definitely not the type of hero I usually root for. But my opinion of him changed drastically as he met the challenges he was faced with head-on, overcoming huge obstacles and making sacrifices for his family along the way. Cassie, who is significantly older than Bryan, also had a lot of pain in her life and having Bryan just to lose him again only added to her troubles. It takes years, a chance meeting, and the interference of Cassie’s son to get these two soul mates together for good. I loved this contemporary romance novel and couldn’t put it down! Easily 5 stars!
Other review snippets:
" Grab the Kleenex--you'll need it, and not just at the end."
" finely written portrait of the saga of a single Californian and physically challenged son, and her on-again, off-again romance with a young Aussie heir to a winery fortune, with whom she has initially cultivated an on-line relationship . Scenes and characters are developed in loving detail, almost as if the author is using a paint brush to part multi-colored portraits on a broad canvas."
" This is a beautifully written love story that takes a realistic view of what an age difference really means. Ms. London has a way of describing people, places and emotions so you feel you are a part of the story."
For more information or to purchase:
MuseItUp Publishing: https://museituppublishing.com/bookstore2/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=259&category_id=60&manufacturer_id=20&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=1
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/when-we-were-amazing-christine-london/1108487346?ean=2940032993728