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Overview Park Reed is a bastard in every sense of the word. He hasn't always been this way. But after his heart was broken by the only girl he ever loved, being heartless gets him through the day and allows him to fill his nights with the nameless girls he has no intentions of seeing again. He now lives his life following his ever-growing list of â€œlife lessons.â€?
Lucy Braden is everything Park is not. Sheâ€™s sweet, caring, and an all-around nice person. She tries to follow Lucy's Rules to Live By everyday.
When Park moves in with Jessie, which happens to be the floor below Lucy, Jessie's one stipulation: Lucy is off limits to Park. The problem with that is Lucy is determined to be a good friend to Park and see past the drinking and random girls to find the man beneath it all. The other problem: Park follows his own rules.
*This is a New Adult novel. Recommended for 17+ due to sexual situations, harsh language, and drug and alcohol use.
Before Now is a companion novel to Sometimes Never, and many of its characters are in Parkâ€™s story. However, it can be read as a stand-alone book.
Reviews It takes something special to make you fall in love with a character you previously dis-liked, and Cheryl McIntyre and Before Now are proof of that. When I read Sometimes Never I was Team Mason from beginning to end and I thought Park was an ass!! But after just a few pages of Before Now I was thinking "Mason who?"
It's one of those moments I have often. I know I should pause. I should stop, take a breath, walk away. But I can't. All these emotions attack me at once, overwhelming any good sense I may have had. When I get like this - I can't fucking take it.
Park Reed is gorgeous. Tall, with dark messy hair, and warm brown eyes framed by long, dark lashes. He's also incredibly smart and talented. But he's broken. Tortured by his past he uses Alcohol and sex to forget his demons. As the lead singer of his band he has women falling at his feet, which works perfectly for Park because when it comes to the opposite sex, his rule is "hit it and quit it". He lives by a set of 'Life Lessons' which made my heart hurt for him because he thinks he needs them to keep himself from getting hurt again when in reality he's keeping himself from getting to experience what it's like to be truly happy and feel loved.
Life Lesson 3: Life is shitty. Fucking deal with it. You want something? Take it. Take it and fuck everything and everyone else.
Life Lesson 4: Do not - under any circumstances - fall in love.
Lucy Braden is beautiful. Heart shaped face, big gray eyes and golden hair that falls to her waste. She's had her fair share of pain in her past but she refuses to let it define her. She's strong, care free, giving and loving and it shows in her list of 'Lucy's Rules To Live By'. She believes in making people feel special, and makes it her goal to make someone smile every day. She is an old soul with a beautiful heart.
Lucy's Rule - 4: Love whole-heartedly.
Lucy's Rule - 7: No matter how many times you're let down, continue believing in the goodness of others.
When Park moves in with his friend Jessie and comes face to face (or should I say water-gun to face) with Lucy who lives in the apartment above, the attraction is instant. After trying and failing to fight the chemistry, things get steamy! But Park goes in to self-destruct mode and does something which leaves them both hurting and Lucy questioning and rewriting her 'Rules'.
Lucy's Rule 4: Love whole-heartedly. (Unless in the presence of Park Reed - in which case, guard your heart at all costs.)
Lucy's Rule 7: No matter how many times you're let down, continue believing in the goodness of others. (?)
My heart really did break for Park with everything he was trying to deal with on his own. Yeah he hurt Lucy bad but he was suffering right along with her. He made some stupid choices but he paid for every one of them and was still paying for some long after they happened. But thankfully he figured some things out. He learned forgiveness of both himself, and of others who caused him pain in his past and was able to see things clearly.
Life Lesson 13: Focus on what is - not what could have been.
"I thought I was in love with Hope. All those years I really thought she was who I wanted. But that was...Hope just wasn't The One. Lucy is - everything. She's everything I want and everything I need. I didn't think I'd ever find this."
Although 'Lucy's Rules' and 'Park's Life Lessons' weren't mentioned a huge amount in the book, I think they played a pretty big part and I loved the focus on them. If there was a message in this story I think it would be summed up perfectly by Park's 'Life Lesson 12'...
Life Lesson 12: As your life changes, change your rules accordingly. Nothing is set in stone when it comes to living.
I seriously went through the motions with this book. I was frustrated when things were keeping Lucy and Park apart, I was happy when things started looking up for them, pissed off when Park screwed up, happy again (and pretty damn hot ;) ), scared, relieved, and then the perfect ending just made my heart swell, and in the words of Lucy, it was blissful. If you loved Sometimes Never and Blackbird you will love Before Now even more!
We merge like two flames, fast and out of control. Because sometimes that's just how love works. We may smolder, we may blaze, we may rage without reason. But it's always beautiful. - Lucy. So I loved everything about this. I enjoyed Hope and Mason's story but I have always been pulled more towards Park Reed. maybe its the bad boy image he puts
off or just how heartbroken he was at the conclusion of Sometimes Never. this book picks up with Park trying to move on by moving in with his friend Jessie whose girlfriend Bree and roomie Lucy are fixtures around the apt. Knowing Park is a true bad boy, Jessie warns him off the sweet and single Lucy. well..."you want something? take it and f*** everybody and everything else!" Yes Park Reed you are damaged yet perfect!
That being said, I have to admit I liked Lucy equally as well. I'm usually irritated by the "good girl" everyone likes, but honestly, she was cool and just what Park needed. I loved the friend dynamics throughout with each character. I'm feeling like Chase needs his own story ;) overall, great story that Cheryl McIntyre has written so well. I like her style, I like her stories and Iike all of her characters to date! Even better than Sometimes Never.
Don't get me wrong, I loved all of the issues that were in Sometimes Never, but in that book and its novella, I just couldn't connect with the characters. Before Now I was drawn into immediately.
I was unsure, at first, on whether or not I wanted to read this book, but when I decided to read it, I fell for the characters. In Sometimes Never, I couldn't stand Park because it made him out to be an unfeeling, selfish-bastard that cared for nothing and no one but himself. (Also because I loved Mason and Park was standing in the way) In Before Now, he broke my fucking heart. All of his pain I could feel like it were my own. And yes he could be an ass, but that was a cover for his sweetness, so that he wouldn't get hurt. I liked being able to see him grow up in this novel. Similarly, Lucy was great to see change throughout the novel. I liked being able to see how her view of the world changed via the "Lucy's rules to life by" list. I also like that even though Park's insecurities were supposed to be the primary issue that we were able to see Lucy's as well.
What I didn't like: How Hope was portrayed, and I know she had to be portrayed in a negative manor because it was Park's story and he "hated" her (I mostly
didn't like it because it made me despise her as well). I am glad that they made up at the end.
What I wish: I wish that we got to meet Park's half-sister. There were some underlying issues there that I hoped we got to see hashed out, but unfortunately didn't. Maybe next time. Her name was awesome though.
Rating: Five stars, I couldn't put this down. I love tortured souls so much and Park was so easy to fall in love with. I had a really hard time figuring out something that I didn't like about this book so I could have some dynamic in my review. I felt sorry for Park in sometimes never but in this book my heart broke in tiny little pieces for him in this book
Park is totally different to Mason... I loved Mason but Park was it for me... Yes his a selfish asshole at times but its only to cover up the real him.... And when u see the real him u fall hard for him.... I know I did
And Lucy she was awesome!!!! She was soooo sweet but not in a icky way.... She was a breath of fresh air for Park.... No matter how much he tried to push away she would not and could not give up on him... Their chemistry was undeniably hotttt!!!! And they are seriously made for each other... What is it they say about opposites attract lol
A perfect book with an even more perfect ending....
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