Friday, October 25, 2013

Blog Tour - Beyond EIGHTEEN by Grectchen De La O

(Wilson Mooney #3)


Max Goldstein has been confronted by death, betrayal, and unwanted expectations. He must work to find the delicate balance of a love that has been tested and a family that has been broken. Returning to the warmth of Wilson’s arms, he finds the only place he can be truly healed. Unfortunately, teetering on the edge of losing everything he’s ever wanted, Max must make decisions that pull at his sense of responsibility and push at his desire to protect the life he’s found with Wilson. When Wilson Mooney is thrust into adulthood, she never expects her childhood demons to come knocking. Struggling to balance the delicate nature of her relationship with Max and the burning sting of betrayal; Wilson realizes she must dig deep within her soul to find forgiveness. Will she allow circumstances out of her control to shape her future? Or will she find the strength and maturity to go beyond eighteen and have the life she desires with the man she loves? Will Wilson and Max ever get to have their happily ever after?


Beyond Eighteen picks up right outside in the cold where Eighteen at Last left off. While I was really hoping for Cindy to find her way tumbling quickly down the stairs that sadly didn’t happen. What does unfold is a coming together of forces to move ahead hopefully leaving behind past mistakes and regrets. We see Max emerge as an Alpha who is willing to fight for what he wants. He’s still the compassionate and caring guy we met early in the series but he’s had a taste of perfection and he knows without a doubt that he doesn’t want to live without Wilson. Wilson too is coming to terms with the consequences of her actions and learning to face her fears, both past and present, with strength. Joanie was eye opening to me and her actions revealed a lot about their deep friendship and just being there for someone without judgment. I was happy that Joanie pursued the relationship she did. I thought it was only fair and moved the story away from any sort of triangle. I loved seeing things come to a head and be resolved. My only wish was that as we see Wilson spread her wings and face her future I wish we got more of the details on how Max came to be where we leave him. I know this was the Wilson Mooney Series so I understand that some things might just have to be accepted but I was really enjoying seeing this different side to Max outside of teaching. Perhaps in the future we will get to see more of the Goldstein’s moving ahead as a family. They definitely have more stories to tell and I find them all very intriguing.

The bottom line for me on this series was it built, it shattered and then it became as it was always meant to be. This is a fantastic series about friendship, love, family, choices and coming into your own with a little help along the way. Gretchen has a way with words and really pulls you into the moments. I would highly recommend reading this series. It is tasteful, witty and a great mix of innocence and intense heat.


Wilson Mooney Almost Eighteen
(Wilson Mooney #1)


Abandoned by her mother at the vulnerable age of eight; only to be shipped off to a boarding school in Northern California by her grandparents, Wilson Mooney, is one girl who knows what it’s like to have to grow up way too fast. Now, a month away from turning eighteen and orphaned by the death of her grandparents; she knows exactly what she wants. All it takes is a spontaneous ski trip with her narcissistic roommate to Colorado to make it a reality. When "he" happens to show up at a party in Aspen, Wilson becomes tangled in the powerful emotions of first love, sexual inexperience, and society’s principles. She lives a whirlwind weekend filled with newly discovered boundaries, calloused aches for a family she never had, and all the pressures of keeping their weekend together a secret.

When I started this series I was excited to relive some of the special moments that seem to be long forgotten due to my age. Yep I’ve hit the 40 plus mark so eighteen was a bit ago for me.

Almost Eighteen: My introduction to Wilson Mooney wasn’t exactly what I expected. A person really has to wonder what’s to come when among other things the heroine introduces her self, as “I was the product of a one night stand by two under-aged, pimple-faced ninth graders.” Wilson was witty, funny and yes a bit melodramatic at times. Isn’t that a right of passage at that age? I certainly felt for her right away and wanted to see her spread her wings and soar with happiness. We are introduced to Max Goldstein ~ or should I say Mr. Goldstein otherwise known as Wilson’s high school Government teacher. He’s a 22-year-old student teacher and Wilson would like to do much more than clean his black boards. He’s got the hotness going on in a reserved and laid back way. The cast of secondary characters is a splendid mismatch of everything you’d find in a best friend, frenemies and family. Life is never boring when you’re eighteen and a chance meeting outside of the classroom in snowy Aspen at a party is the physical beginning of the highs and lows that become The Wilson and Max experience. Almost eighteen is all about new discoveries, forbidden situations, keeping their attraction under wraps and being there for each other.

Wilson Mooney Eighteen at Last
(Wilson Mooney #2)


Chained by unfortunate timing and restricted by society’s expectations, every choice Wilson and Max make becomes pivotal to their future together. Eager to take their relationship to the next level, Wilson returns to Aspen with Max to celebrate her eighteenth birthday. When an uncontrollable situation leads to a split-second decision, both will be tested like never before. Butterflies will soar, hearts will clash, and Wilson’s relationship with Max will spin into a silken cocoon with choices that seem too impossible to overcome. Could it be…uncovering the deep ache that lays dormant in their hearts will become the real threat to their forbidden love? Or will the pressures of keeping their relationship a secret be too much to bear?



Eighteen at Last Going into Eighteen at Last we are all on pins and needles wondering if Wilson and Max will be able to survive the coming months keeping their relationship under wraps. Will Cindy spill their secrets? And will Wilson share another first with Max? I loved that this one had the Prologue and Epilogue in Max’s POV. Listening to him chanting Margaret Thatcher was hilarious. For me this book revealed a lot about Max that was essential to me really feeling his pain and understanding why he wanted Wilson. They felt like equals and I have to say that I didn’t feel the age gap in this one at all. Things get more complicated in this book. The deeper Wilson and Max fall for each other the more they realize what they have to lose. Their interactions both verbally and physically heat up and we see glimpses of a more confident Wilson. However in the face of tragedy and secrets revealed the heat boils over and everything is up in the air.

These reviews were prepared by a guest reviewer, CA Borgford.

About the Author:

By day Gretchen teaches computers, by night she dawns the cloak of motherhood, wifehood, and authorship. She is making her way through self-publishing and is truly learning to let go with every curve and bump in the creative process. She enjoys writing about first loves and first times, in the first person. She is a firm believer that anything is possible if you set your mind to it; and what you

expect out of life, always finds a way of showing up. Gretchen happily lives in Northern California with her amazing husband, their three terrific boys, her talented mother, one goofy black lab, one crazy kitty, and eight happy chickens. Even though it sounds like it, she doesn't live on a farm.



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