I’m really enjoying these romances I’m finding that don’t stereotype the female characters as these passive, submissive, and demure characters who don’t know anything about their bodies or their sexuality. Now and Then is definitely on this list.
Title: Now and Then
Series: Now #1
Author: Brenda Rothert
Source: YA Bound Tours
From the Publisher: Now Emmaline Carson is a sharp, settled graphic designer who loves painting, cooking and girls’ night out with her older sister Layla. But then – in the years before she went to art school in Paris – she was a shy, awkward teenager with frizzy hair, a flat chest and a massive crush on the boy across the street, Cole Marlowe. Too bad her incredibly hot neighbor only had eyes for Layla.
Cole is now a confident, laid-back attorney who’s even hotter than he used to be. He’s planning to stay single while working his way up the corporate ladder – until he’s knocked off course by a chance run-in with Emma.
Everything is different between Cole and Emma now. He finally sees her in a way she only dreamed of, and their hot chemistry is fueled by a growing friendship. But Emma’s deception of her sister – who wants Cole for herself – and the secret Cole’s been keeping for more than a decade threaten to tear apart what’s only just begun. Because sometimes the only thing standing in the way of now is then.
I’ve really been hitting it out of the park lately with my choices in romance novels. It generally surprises me when I read anything that I give 5 stars to, but when that book is from the romance genre it really makes me do a double take.
But this book is well worth every one of those 5 stars.
As you probably guessed from the title, we get to see two different timelines in the book – Now and Then.
Cole and Emma lived across the street from one another when they were in high school (well, Emma was 12 when the 15 year old Cole moved in). Cole never saw her as anything more than the little girl across the street, even though he did take Emma’s older sister, Layla, to the prom. And of course, Emma had a huge crush on Cole for years.
Fast forward a decade when both have steady jobs in the city and happen to run into one-another. Cole doesn’t know what hit him, but he falls fast and hard for Emma. But when she sees him again, Layla has her sights set on Cole still, after all these years. Emma ends up stuck in the middle between the man she’s falling in love with and her sister, who she’s always been loyal to.
I’m sure you can guess what happens, but I won’t tell you because you need to experience it for yourself. Just know that you will feel all the feels. You’ll want to kick Emma (a lot) and hug Cole (a lot). But you’ll also understand. And root for them. Man, I rooted for them SO HARD. And I wanted to strangle Layla (a lot).
Brenda Rothert is an author who is now on my “instant to-read” list. And if you like romances that are emotional, swoon-worthy, contemporary, and empowering all at once? Go out and get this book. You’ll love it as much as I did.