October 12, 2014

REVIEW: All In (Cedar Mountain University #2) By, Ann Garner

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For Grace Marsh there had never been a doubt that she was meant to be with Grant Michaels. From the moment she had met her brothers’ best friend she had known he was the one for her, and after two years together it seemed that he felt the same. 

Until the night he knocks on her door and sends her entire world into a tailspin when he breaks her heart. 

Jacob Ross was the American dream. The son of a football legend who was well on his way to a place by his father’s side in the NFL hall of fame. Until the day he walked away from it all without looking back. 

A chance meeting between them finally puts Grace on the path toward putting her heart back together. But can she make a future with Jacob when she keeps getting pulled back into the past? Can she prove to him that she’s All In, or will she lose it all before it even really begins?

You know those books were you read the first book and it was so good and you loved it so much when the second one comes out you are so anxious because there is no way that it can be as good as the first one? Well that was this book for me. Ann Garner wrote such a heartbreakingly beautiful story that I didn’t think it could get any better. Well this one wasn’t better but I think it was just as good. (There is nothing like the first couple of a series anyways.)

“If one more person gives me a sympathetic look, or asks me how I am doing, I am going to fucking punch them in the face.”

Grace Marsh has just been dumped. She has been in a relationship with her brother’s best friend for two years. They have known each other even longer than that. Grant has practically lived at her house since she was thirteen. Now he decides he wants to throw that all away and check out other options. She devastated. How can she move on when Grant has been such a huge part of her world? But she is doing it one day at a time. Now she is at a frat part contemplating having a one night stand when the former Quarterback of the university comes to her rescue and lets her crash in his room.

“You’re slightly addicting, Grace. I don’t think I’m going to get enough of you any time soon.”

Jacob Ross had everything. He was the college quarterback and the son of a NFL legend. Then one day he walked away from it all without a care in the world. Jacob has been going through the motions at school trying not to think about the things he has let go. When he sees Grace sitting on the couch he saves her from making a mistake. Now he can’t seem to leave her alone. Jacob knows that she is getting over a break-up but he is hoping that enough time has pasted so that she can go all in.

“I miss him. With Grant, I missed being in a relationship, being part of a pair and never worrying about being alone. I just miss Jacob. He told me it was over and he walked away, and I still miss him.”

At the end of Pieces of Me I really wasn’t sure if I could read this one with the way she treated Delany about keeping her secrets. But I was wrong. I loved Grace. She knew that the way she treated Delany was wrong and she was willing to admit it. Grace was such a real character. Her emotions about the break-up were genuine and her reservation with Jacob was believable. Even though she did think so she was a great friend to Delany. She was there for her at her worst moment and didn’t even think twice about it.

“That’s life, Pixie. And it sucks sometimes, and it’s hard every damn day, but despite all that hurt and disappointment, and anger? I’ll still be there. Standing next to you. And that’s what matters.”

I loved Cole but I felt like we got to know more about Jacob in this book. He has a past and a particularly hard one. He was being weighed down by guilt that he shouldn’t have felt but he was still able to go on with his life. For the most part he was very understanding with the way Grant is in Grace’s life. He took it in stride whenever she left to help him. I think he even handled the last time the right way. Jacob was forgiving a swoon-worthy. He was definitely a favorite of mine.

“Do you know when I missed you the most?....There’s a moment in the morning, just as dawn breaks, and when you were with me I would roll over and I would see you lying there with the sunrise spreading across your face, and this warmth would slide through my chest. Every fucking morning since you’ve been gone, Grace, I’ve looked over for you. But you weren’t there.”

I really like this tight group of characters. They are all so in each other’s business but you can tell they really care about each other. I am also really glad the author gave us more about Cole and Delany. I feel like we got to connect with Cole more in this book then we did in his book. We got to see how the break-up of Grace and Grant was effecting everyone. Which made me happy because I read all of these books about people falling in love with family member’s best friends and you never get to know what happens when it falls apart. We got to see the end of a romance and the build of a stronger one.

“I want to share my forever with you, Grace.” He says softly. “I can’t imagine there ever being someone else I want by my side more than you.”

I really love this Cedar Mountain University series. The writing is done well and the characters are amazing. The series has so much going for it. Love, friendship, humor, and college life. I can’t wait to see if we will get more and who it will be!

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