27 August 2013

Maverick by Anna Cruise - Book Tour, Book Review, Giveaway

By-Anna Cruise
Publication Date- May 21, 2013
Published By- Mission Bay Publishing
Genre-New Adult

Kellen Handler is in deep. 
Ever since he can remember, he’s wanted to be a professional surfer. And he made it, rising to the top of the ranks, traveling the world and riding every break he’s ever dreamed of. His good looks and reputation for living on the edge—both in and out of the water—have made him an international superstar. But when his best friend dies in a tragic accident, Kellen wipes out big time, spiraling so badly that everything he’s worked for starts to disintegrate. 
Tour officials scramble to do damage control and demand he work with a public relations company to clean up his bad boy image. It doesn't help that the person assigned to him, Gina Bellori, has her own demons associated with the surfing world.  
Against her better judgement Gina accepts the job and concentrates on repairing Kellen's tattered reputation, despite his protests and despite the pain it causes her. With her past colliding with her present—and Kellen in the thick of it—she begins to realize that some secrets can't stay hidden.  
And suddenly, Kellen Handler is no longer worried about losing his career. 
He's more worried about losing his heart.

I fell in love with the waves, the cover and Kellan - in no particular order.

Maverick was something I looked forward in reading once I was done with two others (If I Fall & It Was You). I love the way she writes - not to mention the length of her novels: not too short, not too long and she never intends to drag her readers. 

Kellan knew what loss it - but he never did learn how to cope unless he's suited and riding the waves. In the water - he's focused, more in his element and somehow just enjoying himself. Out of the water - he's a lost boy, broken, unsure of himself, haunted, swallowed by guilt over the death of his best friend. He still knew how to surf, still one of the best, but becoming a professional surfer like he always wanted would warrant you to be good not only when you're at the waves, but when you're out of it as well. And Kellan is failing at the latter. Tour officials tries to damage control the situation that he was recently involved in, they called in public relations to have his image cleaned. 

Here comes Gina, the PR person who was assigned to him. She was pretty, smart, and is keeping secrets of her own. The prologue had me curious on what was going on with her. Why was demons from the past haunting her? What happened? Gina didn't want to work with Kellan, she reminds him too much of her past, but she had no choice when her boss demanded her to work with the bad boy surfer. So despite everything he reminds her of - all the painful memories long buried that began to resurface, she made sure that Kellan would do everything she tells him too. Kellan drives a hard bargain when he suddenly ask for something in return - he will do anything she ask, if she answers his questions. 

I like Kellan - he could be an a-hole sometimes, especially when he's not on the water. But on it - he was FOCUSED, some people may find it hard to do anything after grief runs through them. In the water, however, Kellan is able to be himself and not think of anything else but the waves. Anna Cruise did a great job in writing Kellan's character. The grief he was experiencing was radiating off the pages - sometimes its hard to imagine for guys to experience such emotions since they're pretty good in keeping it bottled up inside them. Kellan is also good in hiding his emotions, he does not share it with anyone and resorts to drowning himself in booze and sleeping around.

Gina, on the other hand, is good at her work. Especially how she handled the 'crisis' - it was really smooth of her. The lost she had was also something one could not really get over for a while, since it involved two person who is close to her. She tries, but its not that simple - so I understand why forgiveness was still a long way for her. It makes Grace more human and this novel more real. Because who can really forgive and forget that easily? AT LEAST, she's open to the possibility :)

Maverick is a beautiful story of loss, second chances and moving on. It's a story on how two broken people found and unconsciously helped each other to bury and let go the past that is haunting the both of them. I love how the two characters finally found peace within themselves. It was a relief because they have been castigating themselves over events that they don't have any control of. Kellan's change was just great, he did things he didn't know he was capable of: teaching kids, speaking to crowds and avoiding being 'hit-on' by a girl.

Reading Maverick is like riding the waves. Exhilarating. Frustrating at times. Total adrenaline rush. But in the end - you get to ride the perfect wave, it is so worth it!


I tried not to stare at her. The alcohol had loosened her up a little. Her cheeks were rosy, her eyes a little glassy, a smile permanently planted on her lips. Her hair had loosened, a sloppy mess of a bun, and she reached up to undo it. Within seconds, her hair fell to her shoulders and all I wanted to do was reach out and touch it, to see if it felt as soft as it looked.

“What?” she asked.

I looked away. “Nothing.”

“Bullshit. You were staring at me. Is my mascara running? Do I have sour cream on my chin?” She wiped at her mouth.

“No. You look fine.” Better than fine. I tried to think of something to say, something that wouldn't give away what I was thinking about. “So, did I earn another question?”

She raised an eyebrow. “Another question?”

I leaned back in my chair, rocking on its back legs. “You told me I had to earn them,” I said. “I did the speech. I behaved myself. That earn me another question?”

“I already answered questions,” she reminded me. “Remember? On the car ride down?”

“Yeah, but that was because I wore that ridiculous get-up you made me put on. Now I get more questions. You know, for not screwing up my speech. And for not hitting on girls.”

She made a face and I wondered if it was because I'd brought up girls or because she was still hell- bent on not telling me anything about herself.

“Come on,” I said. “What the hell are you afraid of?” I knew I was goading her but I didn't care.

The frown on her face grew. “I'm not afraid.”

“Then I get another question.”
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Anna Cruise has been writing -- and drooling over boys -- since middle school. Lots of years have passed but some things never change...

Her books include the best-seller IT WAS YOU (New Adult), IF I FALL (Mature YA) and MAVERICK (New Adult). Additional titles releasing in 2013 will include a follow-up to Abby and West's story from IT WAS YOU.

Anna loves to hear from readers and authors. Email her at authorannacruise@gmail.com. You can also like her Facebook page, find her on Twitter @AnnaCruiseBooks or friend her on Goodreads.

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