ARC Review: Come Back to Me by Mila Gray

Come Back to MeGenres: Contemporary, Romance, Military, New Adult
Release Date: June 19th, 2014
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Source:  Author
Check out on GOODREADS

Home on leave in sunny California, Marine and local lothario Kit Ryan finds himself dangerously drawn to his best friend’s sister, Jessa – the one girl he can’t have.

But Kit’s not about to let a few obstacles stand in his way and soon Jessa’s falling for his irresistible charms.

What starts out as a summer romance of secret hook-ups and magical first times quickly develops into a passionate love affair that turns both their worlds upside down.

When summer’s over and it’s time for Kit to redeploy, neither Kit nor Jessa are ready to say goodbye. Jessa’s finally following her dreams and Kit’s discovered there’s someone he’d sacrifice everything for.

Jessa’s prepared to wait for Kit no matter what. But when something more than distance and time rips them apart they’re forced to decide whether what they have is really worth fighting for.

A breathtaking, scorchingly hot story about love, friendship, family and finding your way back from the edge of heartbreak.

REVIEW

I have absolutely no idea where to start reviewing this book. I have only 7 sentences worth of notes because I was too busy inhaling the book in one go to take any. So I’ll start by saying this: if you’re a fan and you’re reading this book because you love everything Sarah has written (kind of like me), don’t go in expecting it to be like her other works. It won’t be. I mean we all know Sarah is talented when it comes to writing hot romances, but aside from that, this book is definitely different compared to her other works and not only because it’s an NA. I’d definitely say it’s a lot more intense and oh! does it play with your emotions.

Sarah lets you know right off the bat something awful is going to happen. She gives you a warning that she is going to tear your heart out and even though I spent a whole day prepping myself for the event (I mean I knew what was going to happen because I am psychic so it was worse for me in some ways), I couldn’t have prepared myself for that blow. So my number one advice for anyone planning on reading this book is to have something chocolatey on hand and a nice chick flick to watch afterwards. In fact, the day I finished this book,  watched 4 chick flicks one after another because I really needed something to help me get out of the funk. I guess it was worse in my case because I had just finished another sad book, but my best advice is to do all that you possibly can to cushion the blow.

Advice from the fabulous Rashika (talking about myself in 3rd person is fun) aside, this book was fantastic and while I really, really wish that event hadn’t occurred, I wouldn’t take back this reading experience. Sarah really nailed NA, not that I ever had any doubts, but she did. She met my expectations and went beyond in some ways. She gave us a heart-felt romance and tons of steamy scenes.

Jessa, I’ll admit is not the best or the most unique female lead out there, but she works – in a way you wouldn’t expect at times. She has dreams and aspirations which all get trampled down by her father who is most likely suffering from PTSD and she seems to be leading this life of pretense where she is not free to be who she wants to be. With Kit though, she has that freedom.

Kit wins the show. He is just so swoon-worthy and it doesn’t even surprise me anymore. Sarah seems to be very good at writing extremely swoon-worthy males. I don’t even know where to begin talking about him, though. For starters, he cooks. HE COOKS. HE BAKES, TOO! I mean, that would have been enough for me, but he is also the sweetest. He is understanding of Jessa and never pushes her to do something she wouldn’t be comfortable doing. He also takes it upon himself to give Jessa the breathing room she desperately needs and provides an escape from her tensed household. He takes her on adventures and gives her freedom to be herself.

Their romance is just the sweetest; it’s the right balance of steam and moments that put a smile on your face. They have their ups and downs (and believe me when I say the downs get bad), but they find their way back to each other and it’s worth it in the end. It’s worth it to see them stand up for their relationship because no relationship will be perfect and theirs isn’t, either.

I have no idea how to even start talking about the moment. The moment when everything changed. I guess one of the reasons I was so heartbroken was because I was completely unprepared for it. I was looking forward to reading a happy summer romance book… and it wasn’t that. It isn’t just a summer romance, there is so much more to it than that. The ability this book has to rip your heart out, I cannot even put it into words. Sarah writes some of the scenes so well that you feel like you’re right in there with the characters, in that shell shocked situation not wanting to believe that it’s true, but it is and you all know it is.

There is also an interesting dynamic between Jessa and Kit’s families, and while I am not sure how I feel about the said dynamic, I was glad to see the resolution.

Although far from perfect, Come Back to Me is definitely a New Adult novel to watch out for, and I desperately hope that Sarah Alderson (aka Mila Gray) will write another NA, albeit one that won’t rip out my heart to shreds like this one did.

Rating Report
Characters
Writing
Romance
Impact
Overall: 4
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Rashika

Rashika is a mysterious creature who likes to hide in the shadows. It's impossible to get to know her but if you must know, she is a huge bookworm. She also happens to have a huge sweet tooth so you can always lure her over the dark side by offering her something sweet (or bribing her with books).

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  1. says

    Eeeeep, gimme this!!! Eeveryone is loving it. Can’t wait to read it already :) chocolatey haha, will do :D gimme alllllllll the smexy, pls! “HE COOKS. HE BAKES, TOO!” YASSS!! Heh, I’m scared for the change lol. I hope I’ll like this as much as you did and hopefully even more :) Gorgeous review, my lovely!
    Siiri recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday #16My Profile

    • Rashika says

      YOU BETTER LOVE IT SIIRI *shakes fist at you* OR ELSE…..
      You’ll survive it. Most people dealt better with it than I did… I just tend to be more sensitive to those kind of things if you know what I mean :P

      Thanks hon!! :)

    • Rashika says

      Hey Rashika has 4 starred an NA before.. she is very picky with NA which is why she has more 3-4 star reads in NA than she has 1 (all the 1s come from a time when she didn’t know better). Kit would be more than happy to feed you ;)

      And you will.. you will.. and I’ll be here too :P

  2. says

    If Hooter is giving it four stars, then count me in. It sounds pretty good actually, and that’s a sexy cover (apart from the fact that they’re couples dressing. Was there a two for one deal on blue tops?) It sounds like we need more Kit’s in our NA books. A last! A NA that sounds worthy of reading! Not about damaged people having wild sex all over the place. HOORAY! Fab review!
    Kelly recently posted…I’m Disturbed: Breaking Butterflies by M. AnjelaisMy Profile

    • Rashika says

      YAY! :D (perhaps.. 2 for 1 is a great deal seeing that they don’t look that bad either). We do need more Kit. We don’t need assholes who are practically abusive and also have their behavior romanticized… so not healthy :P

      Thanks Kelly bear! :D

    • Rashika says

      If you weren’t prepared, you cannot imagine how under prepared I was. I read the prologue and freaked out and had to wait a whole day before reading it so I could mentally prepare myself for the twist to come and shatter me.

      Thanks Nereyda!! :)

  3. says

    Very happy to hear you loved this one, evil event that ripped your heart to shreds included, Rashika!
    Right now I’m not in the right emotional state to read a book that will break my heart, so I’ll be pushing this one aside for a lil while…
    Thank you for a great and still spoiler free review, Rashika!
    Pili recently posted…Waiting On Wednesday #47!!My Profile

    • Rashika says

      EVIL EVENTS *shakes fist at it*

      I don’t think it’ll break your heart as much as I make it sound because it is a tolerable level of saddness but you might want to read it when you’re ‘ready’ for it! :)

      Thanks Pili!! :)

  4. says

    New Adult isn’t really my thing, but I think I might decide to give this a try. Even though it wasn’t perfect, I’m glad you enjoyed it nonetheless. The romance sounds absolutely swoon-worthy! I’m always in for an emotional read, so this sounds perfect! Thanks for sharing Rashika, and, as always, BRILLIANT review! <3
    Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf recently posted…The Half Life of Molly PierceMy Profile

    • Rashika says

      New Adult isn’t always my thing either but there are so many coming out this year and I just want to read ’em all! :D

      The romance IS swoon worthy and I am SURE you’ll enjoy it (or at least I hope you will!)

      Thanks Zoe!! :D

  5. says

    Thanks Rashika! So glad you liked it and sorry for ripping your hear to shreds. I will most definitely be writing more New Adult. If only because I’m sick of reading ‘about damaged people having wild sex all over the place’ too. :)

    • Rashika says

      I think at this point, a lot of us are! NA has so much potential but for the most part it’s been left unexplored and I was just so glad to read your book :)

      Thank YOU for writing this wonderful book! :)

    • Rashika says

      I really really hope you love it too, Ella!! :D

      And it’s okay.. I feel you :P I cannot spoil though because it’s not a very good thing to do :P

    • Rashika says

      Have you heard of Sarah Alderson? This is her pen name for NA :)
      I know what you mean, NAs are generally formulaic and while this one could be considered somewhat formulaic there is so much more to it than that! :)

      I hope you do, Aimee! :D I HOPE YOU DO! Get back to me soon :P

  6. says

    I haven’t heard of this author before yet…but.ohhhh, my heart could always handle being torn up to shreds because, feels? Pft. Who need ’em. Life is better when your feels are in tatters. But if Kit cooks then this book wins buckets of trophies for me.
    Cait @ Notebook Sisters recently posted…How I Write 2nd DraftsMy Profile

    • Rashika says

      How do you even live through your heart being torn into shreds? It’s so hard to recover from .-.

      Kit cooks all right ;) He makes dinner AND he bakes :D

    • Rashika says

      I hope so too! :D I am always happy to come across wonderful books to share with the rest of the world.

  7. says

    “I was too busy inhaling the book in one go to take any” – Ermergerd, I have to check this out now if you devoured it! :D

    This guy sounds so swoon worthy! :D Have I mentioned before that I have always been facinated by guys from the Military? I don’t read a lot of it, but I love watching movies :D. This Kit sounds like a dreamboat :D I hope he could bake me a chocolate cake. I love chocolate cake. :)
    Jules recently posted…Book Review: The Destiny of Violet and Luke by Jessica SorensenMy Profile

    • Rashika says

      I also devoured it for another reason. I wanted to read it in one sitting so that I could watch tons of chick flicks afterward to get over the pain. .-.

      YOU HAVE?? I am always vary about military romances. It’s too difficult for me to imagine the kind of fear one of the characters must live in. Ex-military is fine for me, those men are HAWT but yeah..

      Kit IS a dream boat and I am sure he’d bake you a chocolate cake although his baking is a little more elaborate ;)

  8. says

    Rashika this review is freaking amazing, you seriously nailed all the feels that this book brings out in your review, I was definitely heartbroken with the turn of events too. But Sarah dealed with the story and characters wonderfully! And YES I lovd Kit too! I can’t wait to read more NA books or any books by Sarah soon! Gorgeous review!
    Jasprit recently posted…Review: Attachments by Rainbow RowellMy Profile

    • Rashika says

      Awwww shucks. Thanks Jasprit! :)

      She did. She always works her magic. I do hope she’ll write more NA books for us to devor :)

  9. says

    I don’t think I’ve ever read anything from this author but if you’re a fan I would really have to check her books out. I feel like NA is evolving into something more now than pornish scenes and unbelievably broken characters. I mean, I can see from your review that this book will just pull at your emotions but in a different way.

    And Kit does sound swoony! I don’t cook so any guy who does is great on my book! I bake though and that is another plus cause baking rocks! I will def check this out, plus the author’s other books. Awesome review, Rashika!
    Amir recently posted…Gushing and Ravings: The Lizzie Bennet DiariesMy Profile

    • Rashika says

      I agree with you. There have been so many NA coming out lately that have more substance in them. I think soon enough I won’t have to be vary of NA anymore and will be able to enjoy it :)

      I know right? If you can cook, I AM BAGGING you and taking you home :DDD Baking rocks but if the dude can bake AND cook.. JACKPOT! :P

      Thanks Amir! :)

  10. says

    So. Basically I nee this book IMMEDIATELY Rashika! I adore Sarah Alderson, and I only recently learned this was one of her pen names, so I can’t wait to see what she does with this NA romance. Clearly it’s epic and powerful and I couldn’t be more excited to pick it up. I’m already in love with Kit. He bakes? *falls down dead* Off to Amazon I go!
    Jenny @ Supernatural Snark recently posted…Review: DrownedMy Profile

    • Rashika says

      *high five* for loving SA :D She is super awesome. I really do hope you won’t be let down by this one ;) Although we both know it’s unlikely :P

  11. says

    Who I had no idea Mila Gray was Sarah Alderson. I was like WHO IS SARAH in the first few paragraphs of your review haha. But whoa this sounds like such a compelling read! I love that feeling where you know it will be heartbreaking and you’re just waiting for the nail to hit you hard you know. It’s kind of masochistic but whatever. Kit sounds like a great and swoon worthy love interest! I have read a lot of NA books that feel similar to thins though so I’m hoping this one is not just a rehash of the many similar NA plots I’ve seen. Still, if I’m emotionally invested it makes all the difference.

    Also props for you for actually taking notes while reading. I could never get into the habit of that it annoys me to stop to write notes lol. I bet it makes reviewing much easier though.
    Giselle recently posted…Review: Sinner by Maggie StiefvaterMy Profile

    • Rashika says

      OMG YOU’RE A MASOCHIST. It makes the pain even worse. But then again.. I read spoilers and still read books so I am not one to talk.

      I am not going to lie, it is formulaic in some sense but I just think that SA makes it her own instead of going down that route.

      I always take notes now because it makes my reviews more coherent.. .-. Most of my earlier reviews were written without me taking notes and they are not all that great :P It does make reviewing easier because it refreshes my memory.. aside from that though, since I let things pour out of my head, they aren’t much help .-.

  12. says

    A man that bakes? Count me in.

    I have been seeing this around in hauls lately but this is definitely the first review I have seen for it and I am glad it is so positive.

    I am a huge fan of NA and to see that an author has hit the nail on the head so much when it comes to the genre is so positive! :)

    I have never read anything by this author so I am gonna havr to check her books out now! :)

    I am glad you enjoyed this one so much and great review! :)

    Thanks for sharing! :)

    Alex @ The Shelf Diaries
    Alex :) recently posted…Review: When She Woke by Hillary JordanMy Profile

    • Rashika says

      This is her debut with her pen name but you should def check out her YA books under the name Sarah Alderson :D They are really fun too! :)

  13. says

    LOL. Of course you love a boy who bakes! I’ve never read anything by this author, and actually I just went to add this to my wishlist, but it’s showing up as unavailable. BUT, I’m pretty sure I do have at least one other book already by Alderson, so I’ll just move that one up the list. You’re clearly a big fan. AND I’m not sure I’m feeling super sad stuff right now anyway. Maybe in a couple of weeks ;) Great review, DOLLFACE.
    Jessica @ Rabid Reads recently posted…Question – Immediate Re-Reads. Have You Ever Been Compelled To Do This?My Profile

    • Rashika says

      I know right? :P CUPCAKES.

      No one is ever feeling super sad stuff (or actually a lot of people do but whatever :P).. but.. I think this is a manageable sad because there is an HEA. :)

      I am going to go hide in my cave though… while I wait for you to read the book you have. Hopefully you’ll like it :)

      Thanks, Cupcake :DD

    • Rashika says

      LOL I totally know what you mean! :)

      I do hope you end up reading it eventually thoug!

      Thanks Janina! :)

    • Rashika says

      I knew I would like this for the sole reason that it was Sarah Alderson (albeit under a pen name) and if you love her already, I am sure you’ll love this too! :D

      Thanks Lauren!! :D

  14. says

    Oh I loved this Rashika! It is one of my favourite NA reads that I’ve read in awhile. Although I haven’t read may of Sarah’s works, I just started with The Sound so I can’t wait to read her others. She can write many novels of different genres and I admire an author who can do that! Oh and Kit, *swoon* Lovely review! :)
    Emma @ Never Judge a Book recently posted…ARC REVIEW – ON THE FENCE by Kasie WestMy Profile

    • Rashika says

      READ LILA!! You’ll LOVE Lila!

      She really can. She’s written adult, new adult and Young Adult and according to a recent confession post, she’s written erotica too ;)

      Thanks Emma!! :)

  15. says

    I can deal with sad books as long as the ending is happy. Is the ending happy, Rashika? Hopefully no one, as in the main characters in the romance, dies! I know Jasprit read this and enjoyed it, but somehow it didn’t register to me that this was a heartbreaking read. Hmm…I’d have to investigate further but this sounds like a fabulous read! Lovely review, Rashika! :)
    Rachel recently posted…Review: Attachments by Rainbow RowellMy Profile

    • Rashika says

      It is, Rachel! :D Don’t you worry. I’ll hold your hand if you need me to! :)

      I had no idea it was heartbreaking either until I read the prologue. Then I told Jasprit I couldn’t do it and she listened to me ramble on about how I didn’t like sad books and after rambling I decided to read it the following day. It was worth it in the end :)

      Thanks Rachel! :)

  16. says

    WHAATTTT? ZIS happened to you? FOUR CHICK FLICKS? Oh boy, I’m not going near this book. No matter how much anyone taunts me with the steamy scenes and the heartbreak(yes, it actually is an medium of temptation. emotional masochist yada yada) because even I can’t with this. But I iz proud of you. And this book. Four chick flicks in succession.
    Stuti recently posted…Summer of YesterdayMy Profile

    • Rashika says

      I felt like watching 4 chick flicks :P IDK sometimes when you get started, you just want more and more. :D I also watched one of them twice (I am including that count in the 4 chick flicks thing). :P

      AWW THANKS.
      I AM GLAD SOMEONE IS PROUD OF ME.

  17. says

    Oooh, I’ve never heard of this author because but someone that writes GOOD NA? Sign me up for a go! But I don’t want to read something sad so I think I’ll have to shelf this for one of those sad reading days. I don’t think I can handle it…but chocolate sounds like a good remedy! And chick flicks yay! Wonderful review Rashika, I’m so intrigued!
    Joy @ Thoughts By J recently posted…Book Review: Dead Ends by Erin LangeMy Profile

    • Rashika says

      I do hope you enjoy it. I am starting to feel all the pressure :P PLEASE LIKE IT. It does end with an HEA but it’s also a very bittersweet book so definitely shelf it for a sad reading day. :)

      CHICK FLICKS ARE AWESOME.