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A book blog dedicated to young adult and new adult novels

Blog Tour: This Is One Moment by Mila Gray {Review, Excerpt,+Giveaway}

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Welcome to my stop on the This Is One Moment blog tour!
Today I am excited to share my review, as well as an excerpt with you all!



This Is One Moment (Come Back to Me #2)
   by: Mila Gray

Publication Date: Sept. 10, 2015
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: New Adult
Source: e-ARC received via the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Page Count: 384 pages
Order Links: Amazon | TBD
My Rating: 4/5 stars

Didi Monroe’s waited her whole life for the type of romance you see in the movies, so when Hollywood heartthrob Zac Ridgemont sweeps her off her feet, Didi believes she might finally have met the one.

While Zac’s away filming for the summer, Didi begins her internship at a military hospital in California. There, she meets wounded Marine Noel Walker.

Frustrated on the outside and broken on the inside, Walker’s a pain-in-the-ass patient who refuses all help.

Yet Didi can’t help but be drawn to him, and though he’s strictly out of bounds it soon becomes impossible to ignore the sparks flying between them.

As the attraction simmers into dangerous territory, Didi finds herself falling hard for a man she knows is going to break her heart. Because Walker doesn’t believe in love or happy ever afters. So what possible future can there be?

Then tragedy hits, shattering both their worlds, and Didi is forced to choose between fighting for love or merely falling for the illusion of it.
  
 
 
Mila Gray sure knows how to pack an emotional punch. In This Is One Moment, we see firsthand what war has done to good men and how every day is a challenge for them, both mentally and physically. It is heartbreaking to witness and I commend Gray for writing such a raw, realistic, emotional story.
 
The story is told between Walker and Didi's alternating POVs and I found I enjoyed both of their characters. That's not to say they are not without their flaws. Both characters make mistakes and they will suffer the consequences because of them. Walker is a wounded Marine who, as a LT, was only able to save one of his men from death. He lives with that guilt day in and day out, as well as with an injury that has rendered him blind. I can't even imagine how frustrated Walker must feel, as he has lost so much because of that day. When he first meets Didi, he is not interested in talking to another head doctor. He is known around the center as a grumpy, miserable guy who just wants to shut the world out. Didi, as an intern, can't help but gravitate towards Walker and she slowly makes her way through those defenses, becoming someone that Walker looks forward to spending time with. Because of Didi's internship position, she knows she needs to keep things platonic between the two, so they do not cross a line. However, Walker is slowly starting to become less of a grump and he finds he really likes her and vice versa.
 
I really liked seeing Walker and Didi start something together. It's very slow burning and sweet to see, as they both truly see the other for who they are. Didi isn't a miracle cure for Walker though. She may help him in confronting the ghosts of his past, but Walker will never be the same person again. War changes you and these men have seen horrors that many of us can't even fathom. He constantly questions whether or not he has a future, let alone one with Didi. He doesn't feel he can be the one to give her that future she deserves and that plagues him.
 
I had a few things that drove me a little nuts, one of which was Didi's sort-of-boyfriend, Zac. I couldn't stand the guy and I hated that Didi didn't break ties with him sooner than she did. I also don't like his reemergence in her life late in the book, and I was angry at her for being so weak. This occurs because of a massive miscommunication between characters, which could have been avoided had Didi kept her calm long enough to let Walker explain the situation.
 
Thankfully, these two have some fantastic people in their corner that assist in showing them their stubborn ways. Sanchez, the Marine Walker saved, is also at the center as he is recovering from his injuries, having lost a leg. I love how jubilant and full of life Sanchez is. He's a jokester and I loved seeing him making bets about Didi and Walker. We don't get to see much of Jessa, Didi's best friend, but she does make a few appearances, helping Didi put her feelings for Walker into perspective. Dodds was another wounded soldier at the center and I saw where his storyline was going from the moment I met him, and it was especially hard to witness, but unfortunately what happens to him is not a rarity in this world.
 
I actually thought the ending of this book was quite fitting even though I longed for more. Gray took a more realistic approach to their love story and I really liked that. Walker doesn't make promises of forever, instead he offers her the here and now, which I liked much more.
 
Overall, I thought Gray did a really great job with this book and I loved seeing Didi and Walker transition from friends to more. She doesn't let his injury keep her from falling for him and I loved seeing the two experience such beautiful moments together.

 
Death is the one great certainty in life.  That’s what my dad used to say.
 
Nothing else is certain. Not Love. Not happiness. Not your health. If you’re lucky enough to be gifted these things, which isn’t a sure thing by any shot, they can all be taken from you in an instant, like toys snatched by a jealous child.
 
Or maybe that’s not true. Maybe sometimes the signs are there and you just miss them. Maybe it’s actually your fault if things are taken from you. Maybe love slipped through your fingers because you didn’t seize it with both hands when you had the chance. Maybe happiness was stolen from you because you thought you didn’t deserve it so you pushed it away. Maybe you lost your health because you ignored the glint of sunlight on a windshield.
 
The hallway echoes with my footsteps – a hollow sound that matches my heartbeat. The ward is dark but for the emergency exit lights on the far door and the soft glow of a reading lamp at the empty nurse’s station.
 
I walk past his room and my step falters. The door is ajar. The bed stripped bare. I stop and stare at it. The ground tips beneath me, and the world upends briefly before righting itself once again. I lean against the wall, breathing hard, staring at the plastic-covered mattress. How can he be dead?
My brain can’t compute. Everything hurts so much, as if my ribs have been ripped open and my insides are being torn out and shredded in front of me. I can’t stop screaming. Though no noise makes it past my lips.
 
He’s dead. And it’s my fault.
 
A noise startles me just then and I spin around. The hallway is empty. But then I hear it again: a slow sobbing noise, like someone is crying and trying to muffle the sound.
 
I take a few steps down the hall and notice a light seeping out from beneath a door. I draw in a breath.  I had thought the ward was deserted. For one delirious, exquisite moment the thought crosses my mind that it’s him. And my heart lifts, swells, almost bursts at the idea but then reason kicks in, tells me it can’t possibly be, that he’s gone, that he won’t ever be coming back. Still, I reach for the handle and push open the door.
 
What I see is this: skin, a solid wall of muscle, a familiar tattoo on the shoulder blade. Then I see her; her head thrown back in abandon, her lips parted and her eyes squeezed shut as though in pain. His hands are on her hips, gripping them tight, possessively, and she’s straddling him, her arms around his neck, hands knotted in his hair.
 
For a moment I can’t reconcile what it is I’m seeing, and then, when the pieces finally fit together, I stumble backwards in shock, banging into the door.
 
They startle at the noise and her eyes flash open. She sees me. He turns to look over his shoulder. I stare at him, mouth open. He stares back at me, his expression as horrified as mine.
 
I turn and run.
 
Nothing is certain.
 
Everything can change in a heartbeat. 
 
 
Mila Gray is the pen name for young adult author Sarah Alderson.
 
Having spent most of her life in London, Sarah quit her job in the non profit sector in 2009 and took off on a round the world trip with her husband and tutu-wearing daughter on a mission to find a new place to call home.
 
After almost a year spent wandering around India, Singapore, Australia and the US, they settled in Bali where Sarah now spends her days writing and trying to machete open coconuts without severing a limb. She finished her first novel Hunting Lila just before they left the UK, wrote the sequel, Losing Lila, on the beach in India, and had signed a two book deal with Simon & Schuster by the time they reached Bali. Since then she has published a further four novels and several short stories.
 
The contemporary thriller The Sound, was published in the US in May 2014, while Out of Control, a thriller with a focus on human trafficking, was released in May ’14 in the UK and May ’15 in the US. Her first adult novel Come Back To Me was released in the summer 2014 by Pan Macmillan in the UK and became an instant bestseller. It will be released in the US in December 2015 by Simon & Schuster. Foreign rights have been sold to Brazil, Australia, US, Canada, Italy and Portugal.
 
Sarah is also a screenwriter. She adapted her first novel Hunting Lila for the screen (currently in pre-production) and is working on several other screenplays (multi-tasking is one of her favorite things).
Her first adult novel, Come Back To Me, was published in June 2014. The second, This One Moment, will be out in August 2015.
 
Sarah has co-written the Hunting Lila screenplay, which is currently in the early stages of production, and continues to blog about her life and travels.
 

 
 
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3 comments

  1. I really liked the romance in this one until I was super confused by those events I was telling you about. I think it could have been written a little bit clearer. Still though, the romance was so swoony and the PTSD was well explored!
    Great review, Jess!

    ReplyDelete
  2. This one sounds like it packs a punch! I'm sure the miscommunication will drive me nuts but I still wanna give this one a go. Great review.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I was really looking forward to this book but I ended up DNFing it! I didn't like the other boyfriend story line at all, and I thought Didi was just incredibly difficult to sympathize with. :/ I loved Come Back To Me so this was a major bummer!
    Glad you enjoyed overall! Lovely review!

    ReplyDelete

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