Title: Reaching Rachel
Series: Living Again #2
Author: L.L. Collins
Release Date: January 19, 2014
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Rachel has always been seen as a wild child, never committing or settling down. She wants it that way, so that no one ever finds out the truth. Deep down, she is crushed over something that happened years ago that resulted in losing the only man she ever loved. Then she meets someone who tries to convince her that she’s ready to commit again. But some things are not what they seem. Realizing too late that she’s in over her head, and with her life on the line, she comes face to face with her past in a way she never thought possible.
Devin was in love once, and it destroyed him, making him swear off love forever. After a promotion and subsequent move unexpectedly brings him into the middle of her dangerous situation, he must come face to face with his past and to the woman who broke him into pieces. But she needs help. Desperately. And maybe, just maybe, he didn’t know the real truth of their past. Can he help her survive the terrible ordeal she’s been through, and during it all, can he safeguard his heart from her? Or will the truth of the pain that has kept them apart show him that he can’t live without her after all?
Rachel lifted her face and pressed a kiss to her favorite arm her spot. “Devin, all of these years, I’ve been trying so hard to replace you, to make my mind forget by filling it with…men. But, every time, Dev. Every single time, I was disappointed. No one can ever be you because you are the only one for me. And to answer your question, yes. I’m more than okay. That wasn’t just sex, Devin. That was you, bringing me back to life. I want to do that over, and over and over again. And next time,” she rolled over to face him, a glint in her eye. “I want it like I know you wanted to do it this time. Hard, fast, and in whatever position you want it. We had some fabulous times together. Let’s do that again.”
“I want nothing more than to do it all,” Devin said, his voice low. “But don’t mistake what just happened for me just being gentle on you. I wanted to make love to you, to show you what you mean to me. I can tell you all day long, but I wanted you to feel it; feel me. My heart is beating only for you. My body is yours. I love you, Rachel.”
She climbed back on top of him, pressing her body against him. “Devin,” she said, her face even with his. Pressing kisses to his eyes, nose, then lips, her body started shaking. Why was this so hard for her? She knew it like she knew her own name, but saying it was so difficult for her. “I…” She dipped her head down and kissed his ear, running her tongue along it, then his neck. When goose bumps broke out on his body, she grinned against his neck. Going back to his lips, she put her hands against his face and looked at him in the eyes. “I love your eyes,” she whispered. “And your face. God help me, that body is to die for. But Devin?”
“What I really love?” Rachel paused, willing her body to stop quivering. “Is you. I always have.” There, that wasn’t so bad. “I have since the night I met you, and I’ve never stopped. All this time, all these years, it’s only been you for me, Dev. I know we have shit to work through. But, I love you. I do. I don’t think there will ever be a moment where I’m not completely and totally in love with you.”
OMG! Reaching Rachel was amazing! Lots of chemistry between Rachel and Devin!! I absolutely LOVE Devin but there were a couple times I wanted to smack him LOL!! Rachel has some issues and ended up with a bad guy; however if it weren’t for her relationship with Justin, she and Devin may not have found each other again…or would they have?
Make sure you have tissues because LL Collins takes readers on an emotional roller coaster!! This is a must read book…I really have no words for how awesome this book was! LL Collins did an AMAZING job!
***ARC received in exchange for an honest review***
INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR LL COLLINS
What are three things about you that might surprise your readers?
- I saw snow for the first time when I was 21 years old. What can I say, I live in shorts and flip flops
- I LOVED school when I was a kid, and was the teacher’s pet, always. My family jokes that’s why I became a teacher, since I loved school so much.
- I’m a type A, overachiever personality and never take failure for an option.
Where did the idea for the storyline come from?
Reaching Rachel came to me because in Living Again, she was a very closed off person, not even talking to her friends about anything meaningful. I knew her story had to be something that was pretty profound. Her story is a difficult one that many women deal with, but it isn’t a true story in this case.
What author(s) inspire you?
Wow, this is a hard question because I have so many that I look up to and aspire to be like. Gail McHugh for sure, because not only has she had wonderful success with her books, but she is still a down to earth person that personally writes you back, and she loves her readers and appreciates them. My favorite author before breaking into the indie world was Nicholas Sparks. I read every single book of his and wished to be successful like him someday. When I was a kid, Francine Pascal and Ann M. Martin were my inspirations and absolute favorites.
Tell us about yourself.
I’ve been an elementary school teacher for 10 years, and I love my job (most days). I have been married to my high school sweetheart, who I met at the young age of 16, for almost 15 years. We have two boys, almost 12 and almost 10. I live in the ‘eternal summer’ state, also known as Florida, and have for my entire life. I grew up with a single mom and a little sister, and they are two of the closest people to me in my life. It’s been my dream my entire life to publish a book, and now I’ve published TWO and am never going to stop.
Top 5 favorite scenes from Reaching Rachel.
1. The scene when Devin sees Rachel for the first time in 5 years (though a difficult scene, very emotional)
2. The scene when Devin ‘visits’ Justin (I can’t say any more for fear of spoilers).
3. When he takes her back to the bar where they met
4. When he sits by the bed and talks to her, telling her stories about their life together
5. The last scene of the book
Please tell us about your characters.
In this book, the main characters are Rachel, Justin, Devin, Kayley, and her friend Jessica. Rachel, of course, is the main part of this story. She’s a headstrong, independent woman that swears that she doesn’t need anyone. She stays in control, the way she likes it. But she wasn’t always this way. Losing Devin at the age of 21 changed her, and she refuses to get close to anyone ever again. Justin is a guy that Rachel meets at a bar the night she’s wallowing in her own pity about the life she never got to have with Devin. What starts out as a fling turns into more…but he’s not what he seems. Kayley is Rachel’s best friend and the main character from Living Again. Her, her husband Ben, and her children are part of the story as a support system for Rachel. Jessica is a new friend, a therapist at her work, and is there to help her when she needs it. Then of course there’s Devin. Swoon-worthy, amazing man Devin, the love of her life. He’s a cop turned SWAT team member who has pushed all relationships away as well after losing the love of his life to what he thought was a horrible act on her part. After he moves and comes face to face with her again, he realizes that he should’ve never let her go, and they both have to heal from the blows life has handed them.
5 best things about being a writer?
The best things about being a writer? Everything! Okay, okay I’ll do 5
1. I love being a writer because I get the freedom to tell my own stories, my way. It’s such a creative release for me.
2. I also love creating the characters, and really getting involved in their lives. It really is true that they ‘speak’ to you. I’ve changed my plot many times because of it!
3. I love messages from readers saying that they loved my book, or that it touched them in some way.
4. It’s always been my dream job, and I made it happen!
5. Becoming friends with other writer friends, and you all just ‘get’ each other.
What are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on Living Again #3, which has a title but I’m not sharing it yet. This will be Ellis’ story! And wow what a story it will be!
What other releases do you have planned for 2014?
I was actually going to write Kayley and Alex’s Novella next, called Always and Forever, but Ellis’s story is screaming louder. I’m hoping to have that book out in the Spring, and then will end the series with two novellas, Always and Forever and Princess, Alexis’ story. After that I will move on to a different series. I hope to release another four books this year!
20 Fun Facts about LL Collins
1. I wrote a series when I was a kid called “Camp Sticks”.
2. I have always wanted to own a bridal shop with my best friend (I worked at one in college).
3. I met my husband when I was 16 and he was 18. We’ve been together ever since (15 years married this year).
4. I got ‘penalized’ when I was in college in my Writing Workshop classes for always tying my stories into “little bows” (otherwise known as HEA’s) at the end. I don’t like to write cliffhangers, and who wants a sad ending?
5. I was going to be an occupational therapist, but changed my junior year to go with my passion.
6. I’ve been an elementary teacher for over 10 years.
7. I live in the sunny state of Florida, and have my entire life.
8. I have two boys (that are my world) and am completely outnumbered in my house.
9. Two of my closest friends I’ve had since I was in elementary school.
10. I have a love of all things Starbucks after hating coffee most of my life.
11. I’m a very sarcastic person.
12. I’m the oldest child in my family, and that’s why I’m always the boss.
13. I’m a control freak (see #12).
14. I’ve always wanted to travel overseas but haven’t gotten to yet (maybe soon!).
15. I’m completely addicted to my iPhone. If it dies I feel like a limb has been cut off.
16. I’m a procrastinator because I work better under pressure.
17. I’m actually pretty shy, even though I can fake it well.
18. I’m a die-hard Florida State Seminoles fan (and alumni).
19. I secretly wish I could have a cook and a maid.
20. People think I’m a tough cookie, but I actually am quite sensitive.
About the Author
LL Collins is a teacher who loves spending her days in the Florida sun with her husband and boys, reading, and writing. Her love of writing has found a home in the self-publishing world. Living Again and Reaching Rachel are available on Amazon Barnes & Noble, Kobo and iBooks, in both eBook and paperback. LL has been writing since she was old enough to write. Always a story in her head, she finally decided to let the characters out and start writing and try to make her lifelong dreams of becoming an author come true. She has been a teacher for over ten years, a wife for 14, and a mom to two boys, 11 and 9.
Purchase Living Again (Living Again Series #1) on sale for $1.99!
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