Yay!! It's here! The wait is finally over, and
A TALE OF TWO CENTURIES is available today!!
MY SUPER SWEET SIXTEENTH CENTURY by Rachel Harris is one of my favorite books. I love Cat and Less and their friendship that crosses lifetimes. And as you know, I've been anxiously waiting for the sequel, A TALE OF TWO CENTURIES. (I was one of the lucky few who didn't have to wait quite as long. I managed to talk Rachel's fabulous publicity team into letting me read an advance copy, so that I could post this review today!!)
If you haven't read MY SUPER SWEET SIXTEENTH CENTURY yet, go do that now. I'll wait. You don't want to spoil it with advance knowledge of the future, would you?
Okay, now, wasn't that AMAZING??? I knew you'd love it. And aren't you glad you can jump right into A TALE OF TWO CENTURIES now?? Me too!!
The official blurb:
Alessandra D’Angeli is in need of an adventure. Tired of her sixteenth-century life in Italy and homesick for her time-traveling cousin, Cat, who visited her for a magical week and dazzled her with tales of the future, Alessandra is lost. Until the stars hear her plea.
One mystical spell later, Alessandra appears on Cat’s Beverly Hills doorstep five hundred years in the future. Surrounded by confusing gadgets, scary transportation, and scandalous clothing, Less is hesitant to live the life of a twenty-first century teen…until she meets the infuriating—and infuriatingly handsome—surfer Austin Michaels. Austin challenges everything she believes in…and introduces her to a world filled with possibility.With the clock ticking, Less knows she must live every moment of her modern life while she still can. But how will she return to the drab life of her past when the future is what holds everything she’s come to love?
I didn't think it was possible, but I seriously love this book even more than I did the first one! Less was adorable and fun in the sixteenth century, and I didn't want to let go of her when Cat came back to modern times. (I was so terribly excited when I saw that Less was going to come visit for the second adventure!!) Who knew that she would be freaking amazing in the "future?" This girl was totally born in the wrong century, guys! I wanted her to come hang out with me for a few days.
As for the romance, I thought Lorenzo was a swoon-worthy love interest in MY SUPER SWEET SIXTEENTH CENTURY, but Austin, the boy who steals Less' heart and teaches her how to be her best self in A TALE OF TWO CENTURIES, totally blew him out of the water!! This boy has layer upon layer of awesomeness, all wrapped up in a beautiful package and sealed with a smirk. I'm not usually a fan of the "bad boy," but Austin had so much depth to his character that I could immediately see the diamond shining beneath his rough exterior. And the way he pushes Less to follow her dreams and to be more than what she dreamed she was capable of becoming? Yep, he totally captured my heart. Hook, line and sinker.
The best part about this book? Even though it's totally Less' story, Cat is very much there, and we get to see the continuation of her story as well, in the aftermath of her trip to the sixteenth century. I have to admit, in reading book one, I wasn't sure how I felt about Lucas. On the one hand, I knew Cat couldn't stay in the sixteenth century with Lorenzo for the rest of her life, and I didn't want her to be forever heartbroken and alone, but on the other hand, the whole "finding a true soul mate in the descendant of the love left behind" is a total time-travel cliche, and I wasn't sure if I liked it. But he totally won me over in book two, and I can't wait to see more of Cat and Lucas in the next book!!
“Anything with you is exciting, Princess.” He moves his hand beneath my thick hair and plays with the wisps at the nape of my neck. Brushing his lips against mine, just a tease, he then lifts his head and grins. “And, it just so happens I like pizza”—another light brush—“and movies.” His mouth presses more firmly this time for a prolonged, lingering touch, and then he shrugs. “And I guess the company is decent enough.”
“Oh, is that right?” I ask, trying to feign insult, but mostly succeeding in sounding breathless. “Only decent?”
He glides the tip of his nose against mine. “Mmm hmm.”
I pinch the taut skin at his waist and he chuckles. The sound does glorious things to my insides. Then, finally, Austin strengthens his hold around me, crushing me to his chest, and tilts his head, capturing my lips in a long, searing kiss that has me clinging to his shoulders.
“Oh yuck,” a disgusted voice says a little later. “No offense, Alessandra, but I really don’t want to see my brother doing that.”
With an abrupt laugh of embarrassment, I pull away and bury my head in the crook between Austin’s neck and shoulder.
He sighs. “Jamie, your timing is excellent as always.”
“Hey, it’s a gift.” At the spirited tone in her voice, I look up. Jamie scrunches her nose. “But seriously, it should be illegal for big brothers to make out in public. It’s traumatizing.”
A ghost of a smile plays on Austin’s slightly kiss-swollen lips. “Well, you know, next time you could just walk away and not interrupt.”
“But where’s the fun in that?” she asks with a mock-frown. Then she grabs my hand and tugs me away from Austin’s arms and into her own—the enthusiasm of her hug nearly knocking me over. “And dude, why didn’t you tell me the two of you were hooking up? You do realize we’re practically sisters now. Sisters spill the deets.”
“Uh,” I say intelligently, more than a little confused on how to proceed. I lean back and look at Austin. “Well—”
“Because maybe some people have class?” Austin softens his words by rubbing the top of his sister’s head. Jamie rolls her eyes and slaps his hand away, but the apparent affection between them makes me smile despite my previous mortification.
“Whatever,” she says. “For real, I’m just glad you finally wised up. You’re lucky my girl put up with you until you did. Are you done with rehearsal?” This last part she directs at me, swinging her eyes back to me as swiftly as the topic change.
“Just finished,” I confirm. Though my head still spins from her chaotic way of speaking, I can’t help feeling proud of my ability to keep up. If I can navigate the muddy waters of Jamie’s conversation with ease, there’s no doubt I’ve become fully acclimated to this world. “And my driver is waiting outside, or else I’d stay for yours. I am sure you’ll be wonderful.”
She licks her finger and makes a sizzling noise as she touches her shoulder. “You know it.” She laughs again and gently shoves my shoulder toward Austin. “I’m gonna let you two say your mushy good-byes in private, ’cause seeing that once in a lifetime is more than enough.” Wiggling her fingers in a wave she says, “Laters, bro.”
I watch Jamie walk away and turn to find Austin doing the same with a tender smile on his face. Something in my chest squeezes and I fall for him all the more.
When the stage door closes shut behind her, he turns and locks his hands around my waist. “My sister’s nuts, but she was right about one thing.”
“And what is that?”
His forehead dips down to mine. “I am lucky you hung around until I wised up.”
“Well, it certainly took you long enough.”
I loop my arms around his neck with a grin, and Austin laughs. “What can I say? Guys aren’t exactly known for being quick on the uptake.” On the stage behind us, the shuffling sounds of the crew laying out another scene hints at the busyness to come and I exhale a frustrated breath, knowing it’s time to go. Austin rubs his hands up and down my arms, almost as if he’s hesitant to let me. “I have to stay and bring Jamie home after her scene, but I’ll come by your house after.” His eyes grow serious. “And you better save me some pizza, woman.”
I shrug. “I shall try. But I am feeling awfully hungry. Rehearsals take a lot out of a girl.”
He gives me one of his devilish grins and kisses me again, and a minute later I walk away with my own wide smile, backside tingling from the playful swat he gave it for daring to tease him about something as important as food. As my driver closes the door behind me and takes off for home, I watch the theatre grow smaller through my back window and decide that Jamie was wrong. I am the one who is lucky. Thanks to Signore and a little gypsy magic, I’m experiencing an opportunity of a lifetime. I have a cousin who is more like a sister to share it with, a handful of caring friends, and a boy who makes me feel more special and loved than I ever have before.
Regardless of what the future holds for me, Fate has been unbelievably kind.