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A book blog dedicated to young adult and new adult novels

Blog Tour: Inside Out by Lia Riley {Review, Excerpt,+Giveaway}

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Welcome to my stop on the Inside Out blog tour hosted by Forever!
Today I am excited to share my review, an excerpt from the book, as well as a giveaway with you all!



Inside Out (Off the Map #3)
   by: Lia Riley

Publication Date: Dec. 2, 2014
Publisher: Forever
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: New Adult
Source: e-ARC provided via the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Page Count: 244 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N | iBooks | GooglePlay | Kobo
My Rating: 4/5 stars

Lia Riley made New Adult readers fall in love with her breakout debut, Upside Down. Sideswiped, the second of her series, made readers clamor for more. Now, with INSIDE OUT, Lia Riley brings her evocative Off the Map series to a stunning conclusion.

When Talia first moved from California to Australia to study abroad, she never dreamed she'd find the love of her life. Bran understands her like no one ever has before. And despite the numerous challenges they've faced, they've always managed to figure out how to stay together. But this time they'll face their toughest hurdle yet. Is their love strong enough to keep them together?
 
 
 
 
There is always a bit of nervous anticipation when it comes to the final book in the series. Will the author do the characters justice? Will all previous storylines be resolved? Will we get the ending that we so desperately crave? I am very pleased to report that I can say yes to all three questions when it comes to Lia Riley's Inside Out. Talia and Bran have come a long way from when we first met them back in the first book, Upside Down. They have shown growth, maturity, and have truly come full circle in this series. They are working through their issues, insecurities, and working to conquer their own fears.
 
"You can run and run but you'll never escape you."
 
It's been a rough road for the two, and it's easy to get frustrated every time one them starts backsliding. Talia and Bran are not easy characters to love, but their unwillingness to give up on one another really endeared them to me and I was rooting for them to find their happiness every step of the way.
 
Talia has been through so much in her life. After having lost her older sister in a tragic accident, she has had to deal with a mother who made her feel she was the one to blame for the event, as well as worked to control her obsessive-compulsive disorder. Talia is at a crossroads in her life, trying to decide what she wants to do, how to be happy... she just has so much on her plate and she really struggles with her feelings of inadequacy. Bran is her rock and I am really thankful for him. He's far from perfect, having his own set of issues, but he absolutely loves Talia and will not give up on her. He refuses to let her push him away and I loved his resilience.
 
This book is definitely a steamy one. I think it might be the hottest of the series! The sexy scenes are so infused with love and pure, raw need that I get chills thinking back on them! There is so much passion between them and even when Talia was having problems connecting with him, he still manages to show her how much he craves and loves her. (Yeah, that shower scene? OMG.)
 
Life is not a script. There are so many unplanned events along the way and Talia and Bran have been witness to many of those during their time together. Heck, they've had quite a few in this final book alone. I am happy with the way Riley concluded their story. The drama is kept to a minimum and it's really more a book of self-discovery. Talia has to come to a point where she accepts herself for who she is and is okay with that. She has so much to offer and instead of doubting herself, it's time for her to find her strength and be the woman she wants to be. Most of all, I am happy as a clam that Talia and Bran are standing strong throughout the novel, facing down the challenges and obstacles that come... together.
 
"You'll never believe such beauty exists- not really- not unless you have the guts to brave life, go off the map, and find your own way there."

 
“See how I want you.” His agonized whisper is barely audible over the water lashing the tiles. His hips lose their slow, lazy tempo. He pounds himself deeper, harder.

An intense ache spreads from my belly through my breasts. I’ve forgotten what it feels like to be turned on. Muscles tighten within my sex. I’m fast remembering.

“Want. You. So. Bloody. Much.” He always sounds like this right before he comes, as if it hurts, like I’m pressing on a wound that’s too much to bear. “Damn it, Talia.”

I can’t look away as he loses himself in a blaze. I’m a prism, refracting his light. His features spin through a kaleidoscope of emotions starting at brutal need and ending with an unexpected vulnerability. My fear about the future disperses so quickly it’s hard to believe only minutes ago it felt inescapable. Bran isn’t some scary what-if. He’s a fact, a truth to hold on to against all life’s uncertainty. Why have I been so afraid he’ll see me as a walking disaster? He knows what it’s like to mess up, to feel like a failure. I need to reframe my question. Rather than asking what if Bran gets sick of me, maybe I should ask, what if we’ve worked our asses off, and finally have a shot at a real forever?

He falls to his knees and grabs me before I can take a breath or do anything but throw my arms around his lean shoulders. Water soaks through the white cotton of my pajama pants until I might as well be naked too.

“Show me the way back to you.” He buries his face in my neck, drags his lips to the place behind my ear, the headwaters for all delicious shivers.

“I want that so much.”

“I’ll do whatever it takes, go off the map.”

“You will?”

“We’re already there.”

He’s right. We’ve been explorers for some time. During the last little while it’s as if a blizzard descended, we were stuck in a whiteout, so close, but the snow made everything indistinguishable. At last, the storm’s abating and he’s right there, and I’m over here. Suddenly, we can see each other.

Within us is the way forward. We each possess half of the compass and must join together to find the right direction.“You’ve got to know how much I need you.”

A lock of his wet hair twists in a boyish curl.I go to smooth it down, but my fingers tangle in the thick waves, and instead draw him closer.He bows his head, still panting a little.

“You can’t check out on me like that again. I can’t live this bloody life devoid of you—”

I brush my mouth over his lower lip, that reddening mark where his teeth left imprints. “I won’t. I’m so sorry. I-I’m ready to try. Thank you for believing in me.”

“I’ll never stop.”

We rest our foreheads together, holding one another upright. Droplets fall from his hairline onto my cheeks, joining fresh tears. He’s water, I’m water, and our flotsam and jetsam fit in a way that’s strange, yet familiar. I have no idea where we’re going, only that the way out is lined with broken feathers, bloodstains, marrow ash, and the serrated teeth of sharks.

This journey will take all I’ve got, a small price to have everything.

And that’s exactly what this guy in my arms is.


 
After studying at the University of Montana-Missoula, Lia Riley scoured the world armed only with a backpack, overconfidence and a terrible sense of direction. When not torturing heroes (because c'mon, who doesn't love a good tortured hero?), Lia herds unruly chickens, camps, beach combs, daydreams about as-of-yet unwritten books, wades through a mile-high TBR pile and schemes yet another trip. She and her family live mostly in Northern California.

 
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2 comments

  1. *sigh* so many books so little time. So glad to hear you enjoyed the conclusion to this series! Awesome review as always Jessica.

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  2. I'm so happy you enjoyed this series too! I totally agree that Bran & Talia were difficult to love sometimes, but I strangely loved how imperfect they were. I think the hilarious back and forth dialogue between them was my favourite part about the books. And OMG YES I will never forget THAT SHOWER SCENE!

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