Smash Into You by Shelly Crane – Release Day Launch

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*SYNOPSIS*

Jude has spent the whole twenty one years of his life running. From what, he wasn’t quite sure. His mother tried to keep him safe; a low profile, a constant move on the horizon, a week’s pay always stashed away. She tried to instill in him that he was special somehow, though would never elaborate. He never felt different. He was so completely normal and vanilla that he wondered if it had all been in her head. But then she was murdered and all he saw was a running silhouette of a man as his mother said three final words to him. Three words that changed his whole being.

Never stop running…

Now he’s semi-settled into a big town. The college is huge and easy to blend into. It’s been three months since he had to move because ‘Biloxi’, as he calls the man who killed his mother, found him once more.

Then Marley, an eighteen year old girl who is as infuriating as she is blissfully ignorant of her gorgeousness, smashes into his car with hers. Then smashes into his life as he realizes that whatever it is he has that Biloxi wants, she has it, too. And now, they’re after them both.

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Holly’s 5 Star Review

********ARC received in exchange for an honest review********

Shelly Crane has done it again! Another fantastic YA novel that I have absolutely fallen in love with. Sucked in from the first to last page, I was hit with a barrel load of emotions as I learned about the pasts of our main characters Jude and Marley, the journey they took together, the whopping great secrets they unearthed, the relationship they created along the way and the ending that couldn’t be perfect for our young couple.

Jude has spent his life running. From what? He doesn’t even know. But when his mom gets murdered right in front of his eyes and her lasts words tell him to not stop running, 14 year old Jude takes off into the night with nothing but the underwear he had on, and the image in his mind of the man who had forever changed his life. Never wanting to get close to anyone in case they see the same fate as his mother, Jude is a love ’em and leave ’em kind of guy. That is, until Marley literally crashes into his life (and his truck) and there marks the start of what will be a series of encounters that leads to both Jude and Marley fighting for not only their lives, but the lives of others, and the memories of their mothers.

I. Freaking. LOVED this book!! The first half we got to meet our characters and find out about their pasts which were both heartbreaking but more so for Marley than Jude. That girl has been through so much but (although she had a few little quirks because of it) she was so strong and wasn’t whiney or after sympathy in the slightest. She just got on with the shitty life that she had been dealt. There was only one thing that bugged me about her and that was the fact that she apologised to Jude way too quickly, way too often. I wouldn’t have apologised for half of what she did but maybe that just means that I don’t say sorry as much as I should . . .

Jude. *sigh* Oh Jude. He’s a troubled boy. He’s a bit of an ass but I really did feel for him. He had his reasons for the way he acted and it pulled on my heartstrings and made me want to take care of him, but when Marley comes along he starts to change and I was doing a little happy dance inside (yes, I know, I’m a dork). It was so great seeing him develop feelings for Marley. It was just so cute!!! Through all the crazy drama and suspense of book, we have a beautiful love story that had me smiling and swooning no end. And talking of the crazy drama and suspense . . . Holy heck! The amount of times I gasped at things that happened, I’m surprised I didn’t choke! When Jude and Marley finally find out what they’ve been running from it was . . . Crazy! Seriously. Amazing. But, crazy.

I couldn’t put this book down. Shelly Crane is such a talented writer I was hooked and though I was desperate to find out what was going on, I knew that I would be that much closer to finishing the book and I did not want that to happen. There were moments I laughed, cried – sad tears first but then very, very happy tears at that oh so perfect ending, and moments “please tell she didn’t!” But she did. And it made one hell of a story. So much so, that if it wasn’t for the pile of ARCs currently occupying my kindle that’s so big it makes my eyes water, I would absolutely be reading this book again right now. Another 5 Stars well deserved for Shelly Crane.

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*EXCERPT*

I showed up to work with exactly thirty-seven seconds to spare. I blamed gorgeous-crash-into-me-girl. I swore my truck was acting funny and I had no cash to fix it.
                I nodded to Pepe, the owner, and winked at Mesha, the wife of the owner. She giggled behind her hand, and so our day began just like every other day. Pepe owned a feed store and the guy had muscles the size of tangerines. So, that was my job description. In fact, on occasion, he even called me that instead of-
                “Hey, we need muscle up here!”
                I shook my head. “Yep!”
                I trotted up front to help the dude in duds load thirteen bags of chicken feed. It wasn’t a glamorous job by any means, and the pay was caca, but it kept me fit and busy. That was what I needed. If I had to up and leave, I wouldn’t be leaving the guy in a jam because guys like me were a dime a dozen.
                The day wore on and at punch-out time, I felt a familiar hand reach across my back. Slither was more like it. “Hey, Jude.”
                “Mesha,” I mumbled back without turning and rolled my annoyed eyes. Were all women the same? They never wanted me for anything but a good time and then see ya later. Which was great for my life, but dang did it get old. Especially since the tune never changed.
                “Pepe’s playing cards tonight.” The insinuation hissed from her lips in what I’m sure she thought was a sexy whisper. It made my skin crawl.
                “That’s great for him.” I grabbed my metal lunchbox and turned the other way, the long way around the back, but it was worth it to evade her.
                “That’s it?” she practically yelled. “I thought you’d jump on it?”
                I stopped. Dang. She just caught me on a wrong day. I turned. “Why? Because of what you’ve got between your legs? Honey, there’s a hundred girls on speed dial. Sorry. I’m a busy guy.”
                And wait for it…”You’re such an ass, Jude! I was just testing you anyway!”
                I waved above my head and kept going. Women. Typical.
                I threw my lunchbox through the open truck window and prayed the truck would start as I climbed in. She sputtered, but held out, I’ll give her that. I tapped and rubbed the dash. “Come on, girl. Come on.”
                She cranked and I drove straight to the auto parts place. I popped the hood and waved away the heated smoke. I sighed and closed my eyes. Mother…this was going to cost a paycheck to fix, which I didn’t have to spare. I went inside and priced a radiator. I almost punched the man in his teeth when he told me the price. “Are they made with titanium now and I’m just out of the loop?”
                “Economy’s bad for everyone, son.”
                I held the counter with both hands and hung my head. “Well…dang.”
                “Look, uh, I might need a little help here tomorrow. If you come help me for the day, I’ll take half off the radiator, all right?”
                I looked up, unable to stop the incredulous look. People didn’t do good deeds for nothing. It just wasn’t the world we lived in any longer. But I looked up into the older man’s eyes and saw that he was serious. There was a story there. A son, maybe, a nephew, he was trying to make up for. I didn’t want to know. I didn’t want to get attached.
                “You serious?”
                “Dead,” he countered.
                I spoke slowly, “OK. I can be here at around two when I get off from my job. That all right?”
                “Yep. I need some help stocking the shelves, so that’s perfect. I’ll work you a full eight hours,” he warned.
                “It’s worth it.” I swallowed and hesitated. “Thank you.”
                “Sure thing, son.”
                I nodded and turned to head back to my busted truck, not real sure what to think. But for now, I’d take it.

*BUYING LINKS*

Amazon UK | Amazon US

*AUTHOR BIO*

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Shelly is a New York Times & USA Today Bestselling author from a small town in Georgia and loves everything about the south. She is wife to a fantastical husband and stay at home mom to two boisterous and mischievous boys who keep her on her toes. They currently reside in everywhere USA as they happily travel all over with her husband’s job. She loves to spend time with her family, binge on candy corn, go out to eat at new restaurants, buy paperbacks at little bookstores, site see in the new areas they travel to, listen to music everywhere and also LOVES to read.
Her own books happen by accident and she revels in the writing and imagination process. She doesn’t go anywhere without her notepad for fear of an idea creeping up and not being able to write it down immediately, even in the middle of the night, where her best ideas are born.

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