Published by Self-Published on May 14th 2014
Buy on Amazon US • Buy on Amazon UK
Every summer, Gray Barnes and his eighteen-year-old daughter, Evie, open up their farm in the foothills of South Carolina to Kip Kierkin's Carnival of Wonder. The carnival attracts hordes of locals and out-of-towners, and it brings in the extra cash that Gray and his daughter need to keep the family estate running.
Evie decided long ago that she wants nothing to do with the carnival or the farm that her dad so desperately works to keep afloat. She doesn't understand her father's appreciation for the land or the work that it takes to maintain it, but that's all about to change when she meets Finch Mills.
Finch is a lifer – a carny since birth. He's spent all of his twenty-two years on the circuit and longs for a different path. He's never paid much attention to Evie, not until this eventful summer of 1978
Reviewed by Shannon
*An E-ARC was supplied to me in exchange for an honest review*
“How far is that star?” Evie pointed to the sky.
“Don’t know but it shines so bright you’d think it was close by,” he said and intertwined his fingers with her. He rubbed the surface of her hand with his thumb.
“The sun is a star,” she said. She rarely paid attention in science class, but that was the one thing she remembered.
“You’re like the sun,” he said.
“You brighten my day and give it life.”
LOVE LOVE LOVE this book!!! Who knew a book that takes place on a farm and in the 70s would interest me so much?!? I never would have believed it, but given that it was written by Shannon McCrimmon I knew I would love it. Every time I read her books they just keep getting better and better. Kiss Me Hard Before You Go is no exception.
Let me start by saying that I seriously love the cover! It completely captured my attention and is just seriously beautiful. I just love how different and whimsical it is. Once I got my copy, obviously, the big question was whether the beautiful packaging matched the story inside. Now, I will say I took my time reading this story…mainly to savor it. However, once I got to a certain point, I just devoured that puppy. The story is a pretty simple boy and girl fall in love story except for the circus and time period. With the simple story though, Shannon managed to make it completely interesting and beautiful. Plus I learned way more about cow farming then I probably want to know. The fact that it takes place in the 70s was never an issue with me, which was surprising because I’m not a fan of stories taking place in the past. I honestly didn’t even realize it was the 70s most of the time except for a few cultural references and clothing choices. It did take me aback at how much cheaper things were back then as well. With that said I can’t imagine this story taking place in any other time period. It just wouldn’t have the same feel to it.
Katie was the only person Evie knew who cried at the end of Star Wars’ cheesy, happy over-the-top ending where Luke, Han and the rest of the bunch stood on stage facing the audience after receiving medals from Leia.
“They’re all together, and the Death Star was destroyed,” she had said to Evie.
Plus who doesn’t love a good Star Wars reference ;). I had to remind myself that only the first one was out in 1978. And yes I do know when they were released…no judgment please :p.
Now, Evie and Finch…sigh. I just loved them. The love hate relationship in the beginning was great especially since Evie could never come up with good comebacks. I loved all their talks and how they really seemed to get to know each other. It was just an adorable love story to see unfold. The secondary characters were amazing as well. They were all great, especially Mouse, Doris, Friederich, and Stoney. Love them circus freaks!
The pacing of the story was great. It never felt rushed or too slow, well, except for the ending. The end just begs for an epilogue. With that said though it’s not a bad ending. I just would have loved a little extra to see how things played out after the last page. But I could just be greedy and want more Evie and Finch :).
Seriously though, read this book! It is just simply amazing!! You’ll fall in love with the circus and its wonderful cast of characters…and be grateful that the smell of cow doesn’t seep through the pages.
They rode in silence for several minutes as she drove toward her home, and the music from the radio was the only sound heard. Evie looked out of the corner of her eye and caught Finch studying her.
She felt self-conscious, feeling the weight of his gaze on her. “What are you looking at?” she asked. Irritation filled her to the core.
“You shouldn’t do that.” He gestured with his head to the tip of the fingernail she had in her mouth.
She quit chewing on it. Her nails were down to the quick, blood crept underneath most of them.
“Why do you care?” she hissed, hating herself for asking him that question but she was dying to know.
“I don’t. It’s just…” he said, searching for the right word, “gross.”
That wasn’t what she was expecting him to say. “Well, so is smoking,” she replied, feeling triumphant for being quick with her cut down.
“It is,” he agreed. “Good thing I don’t do it,” he said with a smirk.
Evie’s confidence quickly faltered.
“You gnaw on your nails like that on a date, and no guy will ever kiss that mouth of yours.” He sat back against the seat and folded his arms behind his head.
She gasped and then gritted her teeth. Her hands gripped onto the steering wheel. “You’re just, just…” she couldn’t find the right words. She was too incensed. “Rude! You’re rude,” she said with more certainty. “The rudest person I’ve ever met!”
He laughed, which made her even angrier. “I’ve been called worse. Much worse. I’ll take being called rude by you as a compliment,” he said, making sure that he exaggerated his smirk, knowing how much it irked her.
She slammed on her brakes. Doris, Friedrich and Mouse crashed against the back of the cab and hollered, and Finch flew forward, his palms were pressed on the dash board.
“What the?” he said, pushing himself back against the truck seat.
“You alright, hon?” Doris shouted from outside.
“I’m perfectly fine,” Evie said in a cool tone. She turned to face Finch, glaring at him, and said, “Out!”
“You’re kidding, right?” he scoffed.
She motioned to the door. “You can walk back to the farm.”
He mumbled under his breath. “Just like I thought. A real princess.”
“What’s going on in there?” Doris shouted.
“Nothing. Your friend has decided he wants to walk the rest of the way,” she said and stared at him, waiting for him to open the door.
He shook his head in disbelief and opened the door, closing it gently behind him. He stood in front of the rolled down window and said with a sardonic grin, “Try not to gnaw those nails off.”