After a failed marriage and quitting her high-pressure job, Carrie Steinhem is ready for uncomplicated fun. Love? Not what she’s looking for. She’d rather crash a wedding with her friends and find a hot hookup. The bride’s father is on to her, though. But just as her night out veers toward public embarrassment, a sizzling stranger sweeps in and claims Carrie as his date.
Potential hookup? Check. If she doesn’t get cold feet first.
Ryan Burton is on the fast track to a promotion…assuming he can avoid distractions and nail this new account. Except the woman he rescued at a friend’s wedding ends up not only being his new neighbor—she’s his client’s ex-wife. And his client has every intention of winning her back.
Carrie and Ryan would love to leave complicated alone, but when two people share a duplex and irresistible chemistry, temptation—and love—is right around the corner…
|Publisher:||Entangled Publishing, LLC|
|File size:||2 MB|
About the Author
Cynthia Cooke's first novel was published in 2003. Since then she has gone on to publish 17 novels in 12 different countries, in many different languages. She is an award-winning author published with Harlequin, Steeple Hill, Entangled, and Amazon Kindle Worlds. She has a deep affection for romance, thrillers, and all things that haunt the night. When you delve into one of her stories, don't forget to turn up the lights. Cynthia Cooke's books are not sweet and they're not for the faint of heart.
Embrace the Seduction.
Read an Excerpt
Going All the Way
A Kiss the Bride Story
By Cynthia Cooke, Kate Brauning
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2016 Cynthia Cooke
All rights reserved.
Crashing a wedding was always easier in the movies.
Carrie Steinhem hurried across the manicured lawns of the Tudor-styled hotel near Muir beach — a gorgeous spot for a nighttime wedding, full of twinkling lights and beautiful gardens. She spotted her friends behind the low stucco wall, surrounded by a throng of single ladies all waiting for the bride to turn and toss the bouquet. Their laughter reverberated through the air. Luckily their attention was on the bride and not on Carrie sneaking in the back gate. She was closing in, only ten feet away. Finding parking had been harder than she'd anticipated. She'd been away from this city too long and her timing was all off.
A trickle of guests had spilled out of the reception area and across the back lawn, smoking, laughing, and swapping stories. She quickened her step. Hopefully it would look like she'd just gone out to her car and come back. She was almost there — then her tall heel sank deep into the soft grass. Her ankle turned and pain shot through her foot. She let out a yelp and would have fallen, if not for the quick hand grabbing her elbow, the strong arm slipping around her waist.
"Are you all right?" a warm voice asked.
She looked up into incredibly clear grey-blue eyes and for a moment, her voice was lost. "I am now. Thank you."
"My pleasure," he said with a smile that stole her breath and muddled her brain further.
This day was suddenly on an upswing. But before she could ask him his name, she heard Phoebe's distinctive drawl carried over the rumble of the crowd.
"Oh, yeah, baby!"
Cringing, Carrie turned to see the bouquet sailing through the air and her friend leaping above all the others, her arm shooting up to grab it.
"Oh, no," she muttered, and hurried toward the wrought iron gate. As she went through, she took a quick look back for her handsome rescuer, but he was already gone. She sighed. Another opportunity dashed. What else was new?
It was just — moments like that had become rare for her.
She joined her other friend, Naomi, and they both stood frozen and slack-jawed as they watched Phoebe take a picture with the bride, the bouquet clutched in her hand, a victorious smile on her face. "The bride has no idea who she is," Naomi said.
Everyone assumed the best at weddings. If they didn't know you, you were probably a cousin's date or a coworker's plus-one. "So much for keeping a low profile," Carrie said.
"Yep." Naomi gave Phoebe a big smile as she approached. Carrie followed her friends and they searched for an empty table at the edge of the stone courtyard, as far away from the bride and groom's table as they could get and preferably behind a large potted palm or banana plant. The sweet scent of jasmine and gardenias drifted through the air, and tiny bright lights twinkled above their heads in the clear night sky. It was truly magical, and Carrie would be enjoying herself immensely — if they had been invited.
A waiter passed by with a tray of champagne flutes and handed each of them one. As she took a sip of the expensive bubbly, the father of the bride looked at them, the crease in his brow digging even deeper. "Don't look now but I think the father of the bride is growing suspicious," Carrie whispered.
"It'll be all right," Phoebe said, shrugging. "We're old pros at this."
"We were old pros. Now we're just old, or at least too old to be crashing weddings," Carrie muttered.
"Ha! Speak for yourself, you've just forgotten how to have fun." Naomi smirked and took a long sip of her champagne. Her auburn hair glinted brightly beneath the twinkling lights as she held up her wrist, displaying a white ribbon.
Phoebe grabbed Carrie's wrist and tied a matching blue ribbon on it.
"Whoa. What's this?" Carrie snatched back her hand and stared at the blue bow as if it was slithering.
"One of the ribbons from the bride's bouquet." Phoebe grinned from ear to ear. "This way you can share in my good fortune of being the lucky single lady to catch the bridal bouquet."
"Good fortune? Not on your life." Even as Carrie said the words, her gaze zeroed in on the dark blond with incredible blue eyes, her handsome rescuer, sitting at a table against the wall. And he was looking right at her. She flushed as he flashed her a confident smile that made her bones weaken. Her first instinct was to glance away, but she fought it. She was making changes in her life, big ones. Jumping back into the dating scene was just one of them. Slowly, she reminded herself. Perhaps not jumping, but dabbling. Toes first. One at a time. Remembering who she used to be.
Another waiter was back; this time placing plates of perfectly sliced wedding cake in front of them. She took a bite of the creamy raspberry filling and closed her eyes as the sugary sliver of heaven hit her tongue. The fact that this piece of perfection came from a wedding cake wouldn't spoil the moment. Just because her marriage had crashed and burned didn't mean other people couldn't find happiness in the antiquated tradition.
"Much as you want to fight it, you and I are next." Phoebe's large brown eyes gleamed with mischief as she played with the bridal bouquet she'd practically knocked down three other women to catch. "Naomi's already found her honey."
"Yes, and that's why we're here. To gather wedding ideas for Naomi." Carrie leaned toward her two partners in crime. "That's why we were supposed to sneak in quietly and blend into the background, not rush to the front of a gaggle of screaming women and grab the bouquet right out of their grasp."
Phoebe's smile turned wicked. "I know, it was awesome, wasn't it? I snatched that puppy right out of thin air. It's an indication of good things to come. Naomi is going to have the best wedding this town has ever seen, and we're going to get tons of ideas to make sure that happens. I love these party favors," she said, picking up the little lace flowers off the center of the table. "You can take them with you and pin them to your collar. You're the artist, what do you think?"
Carrie's lips twisted in a frown. "Cute. But my artistic muse has been all but dead lately. The past two years in New York suffocated all the creativity out of her."
"So about New York," Naomi prompted. "You haven't said much. Was there anyone special?"
"You mean in between high-pressure meetings and whirlwind business trips? No, I haven't had a date in over a year." New York was supposed to help her rebuild her life after her failed marriage, but she'd only drowned herself in work, and she'd missed her friends too terribly to keep paying the cost.
Naomi's eyes widened with shock. "A year? Woman, you're going to age prematurely!"
"Tell me about it." Yep, she needed to get laid. And bad. Her gaze once more sought her handsome rescuer.
"A little heat in the sheets will fix you right up," Naomi said, looking around her.
Carrie grinned. Heat in the sheets was exactly what she needed, but she was no longer sure she knew how to go about making that happen. She didn't want the headache of a relationship. Not right now, not for a long time. Not after the divorce. But she wasn't a one-night-stand kind of girl, either. She sighed.
"So now that you're back in San Francisco, are you going to go back to your old job at Steinhem?" Phoebe asked, one perfectly arched brow lifted in question.
Carrie almost choked on her champagne. "Are you kidding?"
"Why not? You helped create the company, didn't you?" Phoebe asked.
"I need to relax, take some time off to find myself. So hell no, I'm not going back to Steinhem. There is no bliss in Stu Steinhem's world. There are only lies, selfishness, and me giving him all I have until there's nothing left."
"Ain't that the truth," Naomi added.
Carrie shifted in her seat. She didn't belong in New York, and she didn't belong in her old job. Sometimes it felt like she'd completely lost who she was. "I just need to make a change, find my bliss," she said, looking once more for the handsome man who'd saved her. It didn't take long for her gaze to find its prize. He'd moved a few steps closer, chatting with an older man in a suit. As if he could feel her watching him, he glanced over. His gaze held hers. Instead of turning away, she smiled. "And I'm ready to play."
"I'll drink to that." Naomi raised her glass.
"Wait," Phoebe said. "So that's what you, advertising executive extraordinaire, are going to do with your time? Find your bliss?"
"Yep," Carrie answered. "And it will be absolute heaven. I've moved back into my half of the duplex by Golden Gate Park. I'm going to take walks every day, smell the flowers, take pictures, and wrestle my painting muse back into shape. No more board meetings, no more high-pressure contracts and presentations. No more people taking advantage of my need to do the best job I can until there's nothing left. I need to refill the well, so to speak."
"Forget the park. She's going to hook up with some sexy guy and find her bliss in bed," Naomi insisted.
Carrie grinned, her eyes once more meeting the stranger's. Boy, it had been a long time since she'd looked at someone and felt that flutter. She held up her glass. "That, too. To finding our bliss." Not to dating. Not to relationships. To something fun, something just for herself, for once in her life.
"In bed." Naomi and Phoebe chimed in as they clinked glasses. A little too loudly.
The father of the bride was staring at them again. With her luck, he was going to barge right over and throw them out. "Perhaps we should call it a night. I think we've gotten all the great ideas we can from this one."
"But I'm not done with my cake," Naomi said. "Besides, you still haven't told how you, workaholic, make-it-happen Carrie, are going to go about finding this bliss."
Carrie pulled her gaze away from her mysterious rescuer. She knew what she wanted to do right then — dance. It had been too long since she'd relaxed enough to have fun. She shrugged her shoulders. Before she could answer, the groom and dear old dad stopped in front of their table. She looked up into their hardened gazes. Busted. She swallowed. "Yes?"
"Can you tell me who you're here for?" the groom asked.
"She's here with me," her handsome rescuer said, suddenly appearing behind her. His hand dropped on her shoulder and he leaned down to kiss her cheek. "Sorry I took so long, darling."
Carrie swallowed her tongue. His warm touch, his manly scent, and the gentle touch of his lips combined with the slight scratch of stubble set her body on fire. All she could do was nod dumbly with what she was sure was a dazed expression on her face.
"Ryan, yes. Good to see you here," the groom said. He bowed to the women awkwardly then gave an embarrassed smile. "Sorry for the misunderstanding." With a hand on the old man's shoulder, the groom led him away.
"Thank you so much," Phoebe said, flashing her brown eyes at him.
Were her eyelashes actually fluttering? Carrie glared at her friend and opened her mouth to call dibs on the man, but that felt too much like high school.
"My pleasure." Her savior looked down at her — he'd saved her twice in one night. "Would you like to dance?" he asked.
Carrie flashed Phoebe a victorious smile, and placed her hands in his. "Yes. I'd love to."
Phoebe, grinning hugely, tapped her wrist reminding Carrie of the blue ribbon tied to her own. Carrie scowled. Phoebe winked. And just as she and Mr. Hottie reached the floor, the music shifted into a slow song.
He stepped toward her, his arms slipping to her waist and drawing her to him as couples surrounded them. "You crashed this wedding, didn't you?" he asked softly.
"Of course not," she sputtered, mortified.
A devilish glint of humor danced in his eyes. "Yes, you did. You're a wedding crasher. Scandalous. Wildly irresponsible."
Embarrassment warmed her cheeks. Hoping to distract him, she slid her hands up his chest to rest on his shoulders as they swayed to the music. His hands dropped down to the curve of her hips. He felt nice. He smelled nice. Too nice. She took a deep steadying breath, an influx of oxygen to help keep her wits about her.
The bride and her father floated by them. Carrie nestled closer to her handsome rescuer, burying her face in his chest. She felt a deep chuckle, and glanced up.
"You can confess your secret to me." His voice was low and close to her ear, bringing sweet tremors to her skin.
"You don't know anything." But even as she said the words, her skin flamed.
His lips were almost touching her overheated skin. "Don't worry. I'll keep your secret."
His nearness, his hot breath sent tingles lighting through her. Her breath quickened as his lips brushed against her ear. He was stirring embers she'd thought had burned out a long time ago. Apparently they just needed a little stoking. At least from the right guy. From this guy.
They swayed in silence for a moment, their bodies moving against each other, causing sweet friction. Suddenly, he released her, took a step back and held out his hand. "I'm Ryan Burton. It's a pleasure to meet you." His smile was irresistible. She took his hand and he pulled her back into his arms. "A real pleasure."
She lost herself for a long moment in his blue gaze. Staring into their depths, she thought she could lose herself forever. Her heart clobbered her chest with a quick beat. Why was her body acting like she was still in high school?
"Now if you tell me your name, we could be friends." His sexy voice promised so much more than that. Just the thought excited and scared her at the same time. Was she ready?
"We'll see if you get to know who I am," she said, and she didn't even recognize the confidence in her voice.
If he didn't know who she was, he couldn't pin her down. Couldn't call her in the morning. Couldn't make her face what she was feeling, and how far she might be willing to go. This one time.
"Ah, so I'm dancing with a mystery woman." He raked his hands slowly up her back, starting a shiver thrumming through her. The music was winding down, but she didn't want the song to end. Didn't want to stop this dance. He pulled her closer, pressing her up against his chest. Her breasts tingled with the pressure. He dropped his head, waiting, bringing his lips close to hers as her hands circled his neck. He was going to kiss her, right here in the middle of this crush of people. Would she let him? Did she want him to?
He hesitated for a pulse-pounding second longer, his blue eyes asking the question — do you want to take this ride? Are you ready have a little fun?
Was she? It had been so long since she'd kissed a man, danced or even been on a date. She felt romantically starved, and yet she also felt an icy edge of fear. Was she making a mistake, giving a part of herself she wasn't ready to give?
He doesn't even know your name, a voice reasoned. You're the one in control here. Was she?
Yes. She leaned toward him and met him halfway. His lips touched hers. Gently. Softly. Then harder. His tongue slipped into her mouth, lighting her on fire. It wasn't as if she'd never been kissed. She'd been married, for chrissakes, but this could have been the first time from the way her body was responding. And she didn't want to stop it.
He broke the kiss, and slid his lips to her ear. "You taste good."
She grinned. "I don't usually kiss men I've just met on the dance floor."
"Why me?" he asked. "Is it because we're being watched like hawks?"
She followed his gaze and noticed the father of the bride staring at them. "You don't think he bought your story?"
"Maybe. But the fact that he's talking to one of the guys I came here with is a good indication that jig might be up."
"Oh no." She looked over at Phoebe and Naomi, who had their heads together over the wedding cake.
"We can go somewhere without a crowd," he mumbled against her skin. "Without so many watchful eyes."
"Where did you have in mind?" she clung tighter to his shoulders and he slowly danced her toward the edge of the floor. The father of the bride was still watching them, and then he was moving toward them. "Oh, no."
Ryan slid his hand lightly down her arm, each sensation magnified as his fingers ignited her skin. Her hand was in his. He was pulling. "Let's go."
Excerpted from Going All the Way by Cynthia Cooke, Kate Brauning. Copyright © 2016 Cynthia Cooke. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
good romance read of finding your Happy This was a good but slightly odd romance story about how one woman decides to give up her high powered career and has decided to find what makes her happy. In doing so, she ends up moving back into a duplex she owns with her ex-husband –now she and her ex aren’t getting back together but she needs a place to live while she finds her bliss. She doesn’t want to even think about men but find what it is to make her happy again. She starts off crashing a wedding with her friends and ends up being saved by this sexy and handsome man whom she later finds out works with her ex-hubby. There was some moments where it felt like the relationship between the two was somewhat forced but overall the time it took Carrie to realize that she had found her “happy” and that Ryan was part of it and the new life she had made . The chemistry between the two was electric at times- I could do less with the back and forth of “does he love me” and “can it really work” but overall love the ending. My rating: 4.0 stars **** *A gifted copy was provided the publisher for my honest review*
Light and breezy easy, this new eBook offers up a fun experience overall. A little bit of drama, a hot steamy guy, a sweetheart of a dog you just fall for. We meet the hard working ad exec who's trying to get away from it all until she meets her next door neighbor and then sparks fly. The author gives us wonderful story with some complications that the characters need to work through and although it wasn't overly hot and heavy, the storyline is lighthearted with little bit of steam and plenty of soul searching involved. You can only hope that these two work it out to give us the wonderful HEA we love to experience. The author created a perfect read for an easy afternoon and evening, curled up in the couch that helps to take us away from it all. One to check out.
I loved this book can't wait for the rest in the series loved this whole story line between Carrie and Ryan totally cute and fun loved the Irish Setter too totally cute dog too love this Thank you for an amazing book
I thought this was a cute read..... the story had some really funny moments & I adored Riley, the dog. I read this book in just a few hours & I liked that is was a quick read but I did feel a bit unconnected with Carrie & Ryan, never felt like I got to know who they really are. I felt like there were moments that were repeated, the back & forth of whether or not they wanted to be together. All in all a good read. If nothing else check it out for Riley's actions- he is a crazy pup. ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
3.5 stars I enjoyed Going All The Way. The storyline was entertaining, I liked watching the relationship develop between Carrie & Ryan. They had great chemistry and together they made a lovely couple. What I loved most from this fun & entertaining read? Riley the dog, loved him & his antics. He helped round this book to 4 stars =)
An absolutely cute story! Carrie struggled to find who she really was and what she truly wanted out of life. She was a fighter, creative, funny and a sucker for people who needed help. Along comes Ryan. And he is too hard to resist. I loved their instant connection and how they ended up so at ease with one another. But Riley totally stole the show. He was so freaking cute and funny. I want my own Riley. I liked the ending and the way Carrie managed herself and her carrier. The ending is my absolute favorite type of ending and the epilogue is a great glimpse into the future and a funny scene with Carrie's friends. I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher through Netgalley.
A divorcee, Carrie Steinhem, moved in next-door to sexy ad exec, Ryan Burton, and it just so happens that Ryan works for Carrie's ex-husband. It wasn't until about halfway through the book that Carrie finally started showing some emotion. Even for Ryan, one minute she was everything the next she was just a complication. I totally understand his issues with Stu. Carrie divorced him. She didn't want anything to do with him but she still couldn't tell him "no". The story started out exciting with the girls crashing wedding but quickly lost that upbeat element. The only amazing part of this story is Riley, the dog. This author captured the most fantastic K-9 EVER! We all need a little Riley in our lives. In my opinion, this book needed more emotion and a little bit more detail. Received a copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinion expressed is my own.
There are three elements I can’t resist in a romance novel. A wedding, showing up an ex, and a dog! Going All the Way has all three. Carrie is ready to find her bliss after two years of insurmountable stress in the professional and private arena of her life. Ryan is floating from town to town as a new assignment comes up for the family consulting business. These two have no business beginning a relationship, yet their instant chemistry can’t keep them away from each other. Carrie is a wedding crasher and Ryan is her knight in shinning armor when the father of the bride questions her. Their heat leads to a hot make out session in a broom closet! Wow-wee! The fun times don’t stop there, but business and Carrie’s ex get in the way. Thank God for the dog, Riley! He’s a a feisty furball ready to help his out of practice people find romance. I love how both Ryan and Carrie make a journey to the versions of themselves they are needing to be without the story getting too emotional. The flow was consistent, keeping me happy and hoping throughout the entire read. Going All the Way is a fun, energetic love story with the right amount twists and turns I needed to keep me engaged. I can’t wait to read more from Cynthia Cooke and the Kiss the Bride series soon! I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Ryan and Carrie meet and hook up at a wedding that she crashes. The attraction is so strong and immediate. Then it turns out he is her neighbor and working for her ex-husband. Carrie is not sure how to react when he asks her to watch his dog. She does not want to see him again. This way she can avoid temptation. Or can she? Ryan wants to change her mind. He is hoping to have something more with a woman who is the first to interest him in some time. They have a lot in common and clearly want each other physically. Can they make it work? A nice quick jaunt into steamy romance. I loved the fun and the heat this book has. These characters are simply meant for one another and it shows. ***This ARC copy was given by Netgalley.com and its publisher, in exchange for review purposes.
Funny, quirky and very enjoyable book. I loved Carrie and Ryan. The starting was brilliant and overall story was quite interesting. Ryan helps businesses and moves from city to city because of his job. Carrie is taking a break from everything and trying to find her "bliss". They meet by chance and there is instant chemistry between the two. But before things get any more heated, Carrie chickens out. Now Ryan is her new neighbor and there is no way they can avoid each other. Ryan also happens to be working for her ex which makes things a little more complicated for them. The story flows smoothly and I like all the characters. It was a fun-romantic read.
Cynthia Cooke brings to the pages of her latest work, Going All the Way, a genuine story of wary hearts yearning for love. Thoughtful characters with a matchmaking dog fight the emotional bruises of past commitments on the road to their shared happiness. Likable in their imperfections the hero and heroine's vulnerability brought a winning charm to this story. Between Ms. Cooke's clear expression and fine writing she makes happily ever afters believable and her work a special treat. *I received this ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*
I enjoyed this fun quick read by Cynthia Cooke. I thought that there were times that it was slow for me but, it did pick back up towards the end and did not disappoint with its ending. The only slight problem I had with this story is that we learn a lot about Ryan and Carrie, but I sort of felt like there wasn't a connection between them like I am used to in most romance stories. Maybe it was just me. Carrie is a young lady that is newly divorced and is wanting to get away from her busy life that she leads now to a more stress-free one so she decides to move back to her hometown of San Francisco. Carrie wants to just be free and not have to worry about anything. She and her friend have taken up the hobby of going to wedding parties and trying to crash them. When they are at a certain wedding party and someone picks up on their little game, Ryan comes to Carrie's rescue claiming her as his date. Well, Ryan and Carrie end up making out in the janitor's closet, but Carrie had no idea that Ryan was her new neighbor. When the two of them run into each other soon after the wedding mishap, they are both surprised to find out that they are neighbors. When Ryan asks Carrie to watch his dog for him, things begin to get hectic for Carrie again and that was what she was trying to avoid by moving to San Francisco. Not only is Ryan her neighbor, he is representing Carrie's ex-husband, who is trying to win her back at all costs. This was a fun read that kept you wondering how things were going to turn out for Ryan and Carrie. Would Ryan's job and his representing Carrie's ex get in the way of a relationship for these two or will they be able to overcome that little obstacle and move on with a relationship? There is some steamy romance for us readers in this one as well. I loved the dog in the story too!! Thanks Cynthia Cooke for a good read!!
An Irish Setter. Beautiful to look at! Ah – just when you thought you were safe – you really should never own property with your ex-husband (Stu) – and when he owns the other half of your duplex – (semi-detached) then you are in trouble. And then there is the dog Carrie ends up getting asked to babysit- dogsit – by Ryan - the person renting her husband’s duplex -not a very well trained dog at that but then Irish Setters are: Lively, Playful, Energetic, Companionable, Affectionate, Independent and can be 32k in weight as a male and 27inches high. Not really giant but certainly large enough. They are a very active and alert dog, and enjoy long daily walks and runs. Due to their highly trainable nature, they are usually good off the lead, provided you have trained them with a reliable recall. This of course may vary according to the dogs personality as some Irish Setters are so playful they may develop selective hearing when called back to go home! This is a breed of dog which does not relish being alone for long periods of time and inactivity may lead to separation anxiety, boredom and destructive behaviour. ..... and Riley also howled... So we see all of this behaviour in the story - and of course, this is what causes the ‘problems’ with Riley – the dog- and Ryan who was asked by his sister to dogsit Riley, but fails to realise all of the above about Irish Setters, And then of course his neighbour Carrie who is the unexpected recipient of Riley’s boredom behaviours. Carrie who lives in the other half of the duplex and wants to get on with her painting in peace and quiet and not be bothered with her ex-husband's tenants. Or her ex-husband for that matter. Other than the above the story line is not unusual but it is good fun reading. Light, bubbly and well paced. And the dog is delightful. 4 stars mainly for the dog!
After a failing marriage and stressful career push Carrie Steinhem to her limit, she decides it's time to walk away, and leave it all behind and set out on a trip of self discovery. She is ready to live life on her terms and not let those around her dictate what she should or shouldn't do, she's ready to have a little fun and just let loose and enjoy life for the first time in a really long time. With her best friends impending marriage approaching, Carrie and her friends decide to go on a little recon mission and crash a wedding to gather ideas for her friends impending nuptials. They go in with the plan of staying in the background and keeping things low key, but when her friend decides she wants to try and catch the brides bouquet she ends up drawing the attention of the father of the bride. Just as the father of the bride approaches ready to find out who they are a very handsome man comes to Carrie's rescue, and says they are with him. When her handsome hero in a suit asks for a dance Carrie figures one dance can't hurt, and thinks she does kind of owe him for coming to her rescue, so she accepts, but as soon as she finds herself wrapped in his arms, she feels the sparks radiating from his touch, and feels herself being drawn into a mind blowing kiss. A kiss that has her wanting more, and considering a spontaneous, no strings attached, night of fun...it's not like she'll ever see him again right?? Ryan Burton is on a mission to bring his new client out of the hole and help put his company back on the map, full well knowing that if he accomplishes this task a promotion will be in his very near future. He is certain that if this mission goes off without a hitch he will prove once and for all, to his father, that he can handle the challenge, and will be more than qualified to take over the reigns at their company. He is ready to give up his nomad lifestyle and finally put down some roots, and take over the family business. He has no intention of settling down in his personal life though, he and relationships just don't go hand in hand, mostly because he doesn't believe in them and also because of lingering childhood abandonment issues...none the less he wont be walking down the aisle any time in the near future..if not ever. Which all sounds great plan, that is until he meets his new next door neighbor, she is beautiful, and so unlike any other woman he has ever met, and she has him thinking about a future he never thought possible. Which definitely puts a kink in his little plan... This was my first time experience with Ms. Cooke's work, and I have to say that I really enjoyed it, and look forward to reading more from her in the very near future. This story captured my attention right from the start and had me flying right through the pages, it was so addictive!! Ryan stole my heart from the get go, and kept me swooning the whole way through...and left me thinking Carrie was definitely a lucky girl!! I highly recommend you give this read a try, it will have you laughing, smiling, blushing, and swooning from start to finish...and leave secretly wishing you had a neighbor like Ryan next door!! ARC requested through NetGalley, and kindly provided by Entangled Publishing, LLC in exchange for a honest and unbiased review.
Going All the Way by Cynthia Cooke is fun sweet book that leaves you feeling good. This is my first book by Cynthia and I really enjoyed it, I will be looking for more books by her. This book fulfilled my craving of the need for a fast sweet fun romance story. Carrie and Ryan are perfect together and have tons of chemistry and hotness together. My favorite character was Riley, I love a dog in books what a perfect addition in this story. I highly recommend this book, pick one up and sit back relax and enjoy a great book. I was given an ARC of this book by publisher in exchange for my honest review.
Favorite Quote: “She was making changes in her life, big ones. Jumping back into the dating scene was just one of them. Slowly, she reminded herself. Perhaps not jumping, but dabbling. Toes first. One at a time.” My Review: For a couple with instant chemistry and obvious attraction for each other, a connection should have been easier to achieve. Maybe the whole premise of the book was a bit lost on me and it was meant to be about the journey, but I found the back and forth to grow increasingly tedious after the fourth or fifth round of dithering. The characters were likable and each at a crossroads in their life, but also annoyingly indecisive and unwilling to speak up for what they wanted. The story progressed slowly, going in larger and larger circles that bruised and squeezed the heart, before they actually did – go all the way, in a delectably steamy scene. A quick and light read with a sweet dog as a bonus.
This is a wonderfully sweet story that just left you feeling good. Carrie is back in San Francisco trying to put her divorce and the stressful job she left behind her, oh and have a little fun. Something her life has been lacking the last few years. When she crashes a wedding and is about to be busted, she runs into Ryan Burton. He saves her from certain humiliation and there is a definite spark between them. Imagine the surprise they both feel when they realize the are living right next door to each other. One big problem though, Carrie is the ex-wife of Ryan's new client!! Interesting situations abound. This is a fun easy read and I would definitely recommend it.
Going All the Way by Cynthia Cooke is a feel-good romance that can be quickly read in a couple of hours. It is the love story between Carrie Steinheim, a former advertising executive, and Ryan Burton, a business consultant on the cusp of taking over his family's consulting firm. Carrie dropped out of the rat race to have less stress and to focus on her creative talents as a artist. Ryan was hired by Carrie's ex-husband to land a much needed account. Carrie and Ryan share a duplex and they are brought together by Riley, Ryan's sister's Irish Setter. The cover is so pretty! Unfortunately the story was just mediocre, but it opened and closed with a bang. I liked both main characters and their time in the bedroom was hot. I especially liked the ending, because it wrapped up the story in a thoughtful blue ribbon. Complimentary copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley.
Going All the Way has irresistible written all over it. Carrie is a walking disaster. She ends up in the most interesting situations and her ex is a jerk but that is what makes her appealing. Ryan is the serious to Carrie's catastrophe. He stables her but I can't say she has the same effect on him. She disrupts his life of order. I received an ARC of Going All the Way in exchange for an honest review. Such a fun read that mixes hilarity with romance. I love that.
This is a sweet love story with just enough of a twist to make it feel fresh and engaging. I loved Carrie and Ryan's story and how Riley played an integral role in their lives. If you are looking for a feel good love story with a HEA, you will love this book. I found myself smiling while reading it and enjoying the characters' journeys. The author made me care about them and look forward to what they would do next. She even brought Carrie's art to life in a way that made me feel like I was actually viewing the art instead of reading about it. This is a must read for fans of the genre.
GOING ALL THE WAY is a charming, fresh, funny, and compelling story about finding happiness and love. As she was getting out getting out of her car to crash a wedding party, Carrie Steinhem turned her ankle, and a handsome stranger prevented her from falling on her face. Carrie, along with her friends Naomi and Phoebe, were supposed to look inconspicuous, but they have been having too much fun, and the groom and his father have started to look at them a bit too intently, and just then Carrie’s handsome stranger kisses her on the cheek and pretend they’re together to save their skins. He asks her to dance, and soon things are getting hot and heavy; they sneak into a closet, but they don’t have a condom and Ryan, that’s the gorgeous stranger’s name, tells Carrie to stay put and he’ll get one. But Carrie has a change of heart and flees. She never told him her name, and she’s somewhat relieved that she’ll never see him again, unfortunately. However, not long after, in front of her home she sees a big dog running away, and a man running after the dog; she helps him, but to her surprise and consternation, it’s her handsome stranger from the wedding: Ryan! Cynthia Cooke has crafted a very compelling story featuring two workaholics; Carrie is trying to “find her bliss”. Ryan still works too much, and his life is somewhat upended when his sister leaves her dog with him for a while. And this is a marvellously ingenious plot twist that leads to truly laugh out loud moments, and wonderful three-way bonding. The scenes with the dog, Riley, are absolutely fabulous, nothing like we’re used to see. Carrie’s ex-husband also plays a pretty big part in the story, and what I loved the most is that all the characters display good and bad sides. Carrie is too eager to please, sometimes, but she has a serious backbone, and Ryan is terribly prone to mess up. Stu, Carrie’s ex, is also a pretty complex character who surprises us more than once. There is some serious and entirely believable chemistry between the Carrie and Ryan. GOING ALL THE WAY is at the same time light and funny, but Ms. Cooke reveals much insight into what make relationships work, or fail. And you recognise great writing skills when an author can make a presentation for an advertising campaign positively enthralling. GOING ALL THE WAY is another excellent book by Cynthia Cooke! I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.