Title: Now or Never
Author: Jamie Canosa
Received by: Author
I’ll admit it makes my day when I check my email and see Jamie has yet another book coming out. It’s like Christmas morning when I see my advance copy has been sent to me, and when I reach the end of her original eye opening story I read a message to her fans explaining she has another book locked and loaded. Jamie Canosa is a machine that puts out book after book and every one is a home run. In her newest release Now or Never the second in her Fight or Flight series readers will read about Jay and Em and what happens in detail after the happy ending.
But wait it isn’t exactly perfect, it is happy but very real with the backgrounds theses two characters have come from. Now or Never goes far and beyond all those other books where the guy gets the girl and everything is tied up so perfectly you just know the couple will be okay. Jamie Canosa tells a story about the rocky beginnings of two people who have found a safe place but have not yet faced their demons. Canosa achieved something quite wonderful by showing in detail how people with unfortunate pasts like Jay and Em’s can infect a relationship, if they allow it. Just because someone can walk away from a situation doesn’t mean the bruises and pain go away soon after.
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AND WHY I CHOSE IT.
To move on,Leave the past behind,And build a new life with Jay. That’s all Em wanted. After everything they’d been through together, they were both overdue their ‘happily ever after’. Too bad the world doesn’t work that way. Memories last longer than dreams and Em’s fears continue to plague her both day and night, interfering with that new life she so desperately craves. To start over,Secure a future,And give Em the life she deserves. That was Jay’s plan, but the past isn’t done with them, yet. While Em still struggles to overcome the ghosts of her past, Jay is forced to come face to face with his. When the skeletons in his closet step back into the light, Jay must decide what he will do—and what he will sacrifice—to protect Em from them.
Against all odds, Em and Jay are on the verge of having everything they’ve ever wanted. They’ve fought for it before, but is their love strong enough to endure any more heartache? The time has come for each of them to choose for themselves whether or not they will allow the past to continue to corrupt their future. And, together, they must decide, will it be . . . NOW OR NEVER?
Even though she won’t agree with you, Em is an extremely strong person. Because of what her Uncle did to her as a child, Em is someone who now has to learn to live at peace in her world with Jay. But the memories still plague her in her dreams, or when she simply touches or has a conversation with a friend. She always wonders in her head if someone else in her life will cross that wall she’s created. What’s most heartbreaking is that she struggles with those awful memories of her past while being close with Jay. Em offers readers the truest look into someone who has gone through sexual abuse. Her thought process while living through an average day associating with people and friends, and her boyfriend with those awful memories is what people like Em really go through. There is a constant battle in her head on who to trust, who’s getting too close, most important dealing with intimacy with her boyfriend and learning to kick the demons out and take control of her happiness.
Jay is still Jay and is still trying to keep Em safe. He was able to get her out of a bad situation and protect her but now his past threatens the safe place he’s made for him and Em. It was amazing to see someone who has been portrayed as having no fear cower the second he sees his abusive father at his doorstep and be believable most importantly. I wasn’t used to seeing Jay as submissive but when it’s Em who is threatened it’s the only reaction Jay should have. It was agony when Jay thinks his only option is to push Em away. But I crossed that line too with him when he realizes exactly what he took from Em in doing so. It was a great revelation on his part and I hope readers will see how they matter in their own relationships. Jay is a good example of how a person’s strength can be taken away from one single person in a blink of an eye. Jay’s dad is a bully, and whether it’s in the halls of school, at work, or at home they exist to invoke fear. Jay is a glowing example of how someone has to face the one thing they are afraid of and stand up to it.
Even though Now or Never has a dark subject that the two lead characters have to deal with, the love that Jay and Em have always takes center stage. This is what Canosa is most talented at. I always manage to finish her books with a smile because her writing enables her readers to latch onto her characters. At the end of Now or Never I remembered the sweet moments like when Jay talks about coming home to Em, or when Em and Jay rush to help each other even though they are apart. These two are NEVER corny, always real. Two new characters are also introduced; Ashlyn and Mason are friends of Jay and Em and offer many laughs. I enjoyed their chemistry a lot and am pleased to say there is already another book in the works about these two entitled Win or Lose.
If you are anxious to read something that you can connect with far and beyond what is on the book shelves today, I recommend Now or Never, or any of Jamie Canosa’s books. I can say honestly that I love all of her books, hands down. I think that I’ve said in the past that if you enjoy Sarah Dessen you are guaranteed to like Canosa’s books. I do feel Canosa is a bit grittier though because she really “goes there” as a writer. So be sure to add and download Now or Never to your reading list and let her awaken your heart and mind to something that is going on right now.
READ AN EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT FROM NOW OR NEVER
"She sifted through several bills and junk mail addressed to Ashlyn, c/o Andrew Mills—her father, Em assumed—and wondered why her friend bothered to work at all, until a small package caught her attention. The metallic green paper glinted in the morning light as she examined the tag.
Em. That was all it said. No mailing address. No return address. No stamp. Whoever delivered this had done so in person. She could only think of one person who would do that.
Why he hadn’t just spoken to her at work didn’t matter. All that mattered was that he was reaching out to her. Yesterday was a mistake. A terrible mistake. He’d gone home, thought about it, and this gift was his way of apologizing. It was completely unnecessary, but Em was practically giddy with excitement when Ash came into the living room to find her tearing into the package like a two-year-old on Christmas morning.
“I don’t know. It’s from J—” The package fell open and a small, sleek black cellphone stared back at her. Her heart sank. Jay couldn’t afford something like that.
Some song Em didn’t recognize began pouring from the box and she nearly fumbled it in surprise.
“It’s ringing!” Ashlyn squealed. This was some kind of exciting mystery to her, whereas it had Em’s stomach in a tangle of knots.
“What do I do?” She lifted the phone carefully out of the box to examine it closer as though it were some kind of alien technology beyond her understanding.
“Try answering it, Em.”
“How do I do that?” She hadn’t used cell phones very often and the one she remembered her uncle having had a little green phone to answer and a red one to hang up. This one had no phones. It didn’t have any buttons at all. It was just a screen with a number flashing on it that she didn’t recognize.
“The bar! Slide the bar down!”
“The . . . Give it to me! They’re going to hang up.” Ashlyn snatched the phone from her hands and finagled it until they both heard a voice coming through loud and clear. She’d somehow managed to turn on the speaker phone in the process. By accident, Em was sure.
“Hello?” The voice was familiar and Em stifled a groan as a wide grin broke out on Ashlyn’s face."
SONG PICK FOR NOW OR NEVER
I chose this song because of my most favorite part in the book when Jay explains the first time he saw Em in the decrepit home they once lived in while struggling on the streets. It brought a new meaning to home and what Jay continuously does for Em and what they mean to each other. Thank you Jamie for writing about these two amazing people I personally identify with and will always hold close to my heart.