Silver Lining by E.J. Shortall
Amber Merchant had it all. Living with and engaged to her teenage sweetheart, nice house and the job of her dreams. Not anymore. Following a devastating revelation from her Fiancé, Amber finds herself single once again and vows to never entrust her heart and soul to another.
After a bad experience on a rare night out to celebrate her newly single life, a chance encounter with a tall, dark and handsome stranger leaves Amber’s head reeling. Intrigued by her draw to him but scared for her heart she flees.
Twenty nine year old Craig Silver has been fighting demons of his own. Intent on a life of meaningless affairs and one night stands, he isn’t prepared for the overwhelming and immediate attraction, and desire to protect the striking blonde on the dance floor.
At first it seems the attraction is mutual… until she runs. Bewildered and frustrated Craig wonders if he will ever see her again.
Sometimes the roads to our future are paved with many trials. Will Amber take the right path and find the silver lining to the happiness she deserves?
Silver Lining is my debut novel, and is the first in the Silver Series. It can be read as a standalone, with no cliff-hanger endings.
Silver Lining draws you in and has you hooked before the end of the first chapter, with the raw emotions, secrets, heartbreak you want to know more and fast. The story begins with Amber a smart beautiful school teacher who just got out of a long relationship that has yet to have any closers. She moves into a new house and is ready to start fresh and a new relationship is the last thing on her mind. Going out with her friends, she meets Craig, a gorgeous guy that has no problem showing how much he wants to get to know her, but she’s not so sure. After meeting Craig a chain of events leads to them on a course that will change things forever.
The characters in this novel are written with such eye for detail that they feel real and true to themselves. Each choices they make leads them and you to understand them more. Making you care for each character and want what’s best for them. I short terms the authenticity of the characters was one of my favorite parts. Amber is a character that you want to root for, after her hearts been broken because she is sweet, smart and a little naive, but understandable. Craig is a totally book boyfriend with his alpha tendencies and protective nature. He is also a little bit of a bad boy and has some secret you’re not sure what it is, but you know it’s going to come out, good or bad. The whole book I was I willed Craig to tell Amber what he was hiding before something happen, but in the end the twisted and turns made an amazing novel. I can’t wait for the next book in this series, even if I am happy with the ending and could be a standalone.
I have to say that E.J. created a book that I read twice so far and may read again before long, the plot, characters and romance makes this book on that I adore. 5 out of 5 Stars (if I could give more stars I would)
“Are you alright, Pingu? You have a strange look on your face.” We are walking along the seafront towards the pier. It is a beautiful late May afternoon, and the sun is shining and glittering off the ripples cascading across the water. Gentle waves ebb and flow along the shoreline where children sit with their families building fortresses, and other unrecognisable structures, out of damp sand.
I stop walking and move around to stand in front of Craig, reaching my arms around his waist and snuggling into his chest. I take a deep breath in, inhaling his now familiar earthy scent mixed with the fresh smells of the sea air. “I’m perfect. This is perfect. Thank you.”
“You are perfect. I’m glad you recognise that.” He smiles as he looks down into my eyes and wraps his own arms around me. He places a kiss on my forehead, leaving his lips attached to my skin. Why did I spend so many years wasting my life on a man that basically thought he owned me but had no interest in really being with me? I have missed out on so many days like this.
Becki was right with what she said. I’m starting to see that everything does happen for a reason. Maybe I was meant to stay with David until now so that I could be right here, right now, with Craig. He really is my Silver Lining. He gives me hope and optimism for a brighter future, despite whatever issues he has going on at the moment.
We spend the next few hours strolling around town, looking in shops, chatting about anything and everything, and just enjoying being together. When my stomach suddenly growls rather loudly, letting me – and probably everyone else in Paignton – know that it’s time to eat, we grab some Fish and Chips and sit on the pier eating them.
With our stomachs full, we kick our shoes off and take a stroll along the sand. The beach is quieter now, the falling early evening temperatures driving families back to their hotels or wherever it is they came from.
“You’re a bit of a snob, do you know that?” I say to Craig as we walk along an almost deserted area of the beach. I’m walking backward, facing him and laughing.
“Oh yeah?” Craig quirks an eyebrow. “How’s that?”
“Only snobs would be snobbish about eating fish and chips and candy floss when they come to the seaside. These are staple Seaside requirements, Mr Silver, along with making sandcastles and… this...” I flick my foot in the shallow water and splash him.
“Oh, you’re in for it now,” he growls, staring into my eyes.
Shit, this isn’t good. He has a devilish look in his eyes that makes me want to jump on him and flee at the same time. I gulp when he flinches and as quickly as I can, turn on my heels and run away from him, squealing in laughter, running as fast as I can through the soft sand.
I’m laughing and trying to catch my breath while evading Craig’s attempts to catch me. When I hit a large ditch in the sand, I stumble, giving Craig the perfect opportunity to lunge forward and grab me around the waist. The momentum from his attack causes me to lose my balance and we both crash down onto the sand.
Turning over quickly onto my back so I can swipe the sand away from my face, I look up to see Craig leaning over me. He is breathing heavy, his chest rising and falling sharply with each laboured inhale and exhale. We are both laughing uncontrollably, trying to catch our breath. My heart skips a beat looking up at him. He looks so young and carefree; a stark contrast to his usual cool, calm and controlled demeanour.
Our eyes lock onto each other and the laughter immediately ceases. We simply remain frozen in time, lost in each other’s gaze. I vaguely hear music in the distance, the song being carried along by the gentle sea breeze. The words from “What About Now” by Daughtry filter into my emotion filled haze.
“Craig, I...” I’m cut off by a pair of soft, warm lips pressing down on mine. He doesn’t try and deepen the kiss, just remains hovering over me with our lips locked.
EJ Shortall was born and raised in London, England where she currently still lives with her long suffering partner and their son.
Having worked in education for the better part of 12 years, EJ decided a change was needed and, following a moment of inspiration one morning, she decided to put pen to paper and start writing her first novel, Silver Lining.
She has always enjoyed reading, but found it was mostly just a holiday extravagance. Then she discovered a certain worldwide best seller, and that was it she was hooked. Reading quickly became an obsession and she couldn’t devour books fast enough. The books on her shelves and reading device range from sweet, Young Adult romances, to smoldering erotic encounters.
Aside from reading and writing, EJ also enjoys amateur photography and cake decorating.
“I am on one amazing roller coaster ride at the moment, meeting new and wonderful people, discovering new music gems to integrate into my stories, and learning so many new skills. I can’t wait to see where this journey takes me.”
If you would like to join E.J. on her journey, please follow or contact her. She would love to hear from you!
SILVER LINING PLAYLIST:
Music provided a huge amount of inspiration in bringing together Craig and Amber’s story. I would like to acknowledge these artists and their songs. Some are mentioned in the book, others were used to set certain scenes.
Something In The Air Tonight – DJ Antoine and Mad Mark
Turn Me On – David Guetta feat. Nicki Minaj
Night Of Your Life – David Guetta feat. Jennifer Hudson
I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For – U2
If You’re Not The One – Daniel Bedingfield
Ready For You – Hoobastank
You Before Me - Hoobastank
Penguin – Christina Perri
Start Of Something Good – Daughtry
What About Now - Daughtry
Falling In - Lifehouse
If I Were A Boy – Beyonce
Since U Been Gone – Kelly Clarkson
Survivor – Destiny’s Child
Wings – Little Mix
Man! I Feel Like A Woman – Shania Twain
Hit The Road Jack – Casey Abrams
Suddenly I See – K T Tunstall
My Fault – Imagine Dragons
I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing – Aerosmith
How Long Will I Love You – Ellie Goulding
Marry Me – Jason Derulo
Silver Lining Purchase Links:
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/silver-lining-e-j-shortall/1118704192?ean=9781495443480
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