Friday, October 18, 2013

Now & Then by Brenda Rothert

Now and Then (Now #1)
Release Date: August 4, 2013
Genre: New Adult, Contemoporary-Romance

Now Emmaline Carson has settled into her career as a graphic designer, though she’d rather be painting or shopping with her 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.

J&M's Book Diaries rating:

J&M's review:

Emma Carson helped her mom bake cookies for their new neighbors who has just moved in across the street. Once they arrived at their neighbors house Emma's gaze locked onto the teenage boy who approached her. Cole Marlowe was tall, long limbs, shaggy dark blonde hair with gray-blue eyes and he is 3 years older than Emma who was only 12 years old. He was the cutest boy she had ever seen.

Although Emma had the biggest crush on Cole growing up, he never looked at her the same way she did him. In his senior year of high school he had asked Emma's older sister Layla to prom in which she lied and told Emma that Cole had taken her virginity. Since then she always felt like Cole had belonged to Layla.

Emma always felt like she lived in her sisters shadows. Unlike Layla who was spunky, smart, gorgeous, & a confident cheerleader. Emma wasn't very social. She's very shy, a bit awkward, and nerdy.

It wasn't till she graduated high school and moved abroad to Paris for art school that she learned to live her life. She wanted to escape the stigma of being Layla's little sister. She grew up and became more confident and comfortable in her own skin. When she returned back to the states 5 years later to be closer to her family, Emma found a job that allowed her to use her creative talent as a graphic designer.

One morning while she was out for a coffee run for her boss she ran smacked into Cole spilling her coffee all over him. It's been 6 years since she last seen him and he is even better looking than before. He is still tall with a broad frame, short cropped hair, GQ style. Cole was breath-taking.

Luckily, for Cole his mom calls him to invite him to dinner at the Carson's house that Saturday. After their morning run-in he wanted to see her again. Cole felt a little guilty that he felt this way towards Emma though. He knew their parents still harbored a hope that he and Layla will get together. It would be awkward for him to show interest in Emma instead, she was off-limits.

After their family dinner Layla was very excited and still so attracted to Cole. She told Emma that it was in her future that Cole would be her husband. Cole was her new mission. So Emma never tells her sister that she had ran into Cole earlier in the week.

Cole ends up texting Emma the following Monday for lunch. While waiting for her arrival, all he thought about how stunningly beautiful she was. Her long, lithe body left a lasting impression on him. The air of confidence and sensuality she now possessed he was unable to stop thinking about her.

Since their lunch date, Emma and Cole kept in contact. They would text each other constantly, go out to lunch, until they were secretly dating. Emma was worried to tell her family. She didn't want her sister to be angry with her when they had finally come to a good place in their relationship as sisters. Cole and Emma continued to go to family gatherings and hiding their relationship status. It was hard on Cole and he hated that their family didn't know about them.

When Emma finally broke the news to her family. Her parents approved but Layla was livid with her. They both felt betrayed by the others lies. Fortunately, they are sister and even though it took quite some time Layla did come around and forgave Emma.

This was such a fun story to read. Almost like one of those good chick-flick , romance movies you can watch repetitively. Brenda Rothert is a talented writer and she does a fantastic job at catching her readers interest in her books. They have the perfect amount of drama, love, romance, and angst. We enjoyed reading about Emma and Cole. They shared a very sweet and romantic connection. Oh, let's not forget the juicy moments as well with Emma's paint sets. *fanning myself* We just received and ARC copy of the second book to the Now series and we are looking forward to see if Layla ends up with her soul-mate and future husband.

Meet Brenda Rothert

Brenda Rothert lives in Central Illinois with her husband and three sons. She was a daily print journalist for nine years, during which time she enjoyed writing a wide range of stories.

These days Brenda writes New Adult Romance in the Contemporary and Dystopian genres.

Follow Brenda at

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