Title – Anyone But Him
Author – Cassie Graham
Publication Date – November 25, 2014
Whitley Hayes is an ordinary girl with a gypsy heart. College is the only constant in her life. She’s made a lot of mistakes and she intends on keeping them in the past.
Move on and forget.
That’s her motto.
Jennings Cohen is no ordinary man—not at all. He would have never imagined his life would turn into such a spectacle. The tabloids exploit him, fans stalk him and the paparazzi are relentless. It’s not always fun being Jennings.
It doesn’t help that he has a secret. One that comes at a price he’s not sure he can pay.
Relationships get complicated and hearts shatter.
It’s not easy living a lie, but it’s easier than telling the truth.
Have you ever looked at a book cover and thought, man that is just so gorgeous that I have to have it? Well, that’s what happened when I stumbled across Anyone But Him by Cassie Graham. It left me breathless and after reading the synopsis, I knew that the book was no longer a want, but a need. When I finally got the chance to sit down and read it, the love between Jennings and Whitley matched the incredibly gorgeous cover, and I’m so glad that it didn’t disappoint!
“My life has always been a sea of black and white. It was or it wasn’t. I was happy or sad. Never in between. I lived life in this colorless, miserable world for so long, I didn’t know the difference between living and existing.”
Both characters and their stories felt so genuine and honest, making it so easy to fall in love with them! I truly admired Whitley’s determination. Her default defense mechanism was to run away and start over when a problem arose. However, it didn’t feel like she was doing this to be childish or petty, just that she was truly searching for her path in life. It made the book morph into a journey of self-discovery where you ended up rooting for her to succeed and find her way. I also loved Jennings’ issues and his conflicting desires. He didn’t want to give up his career, but he also just wanted to do things the way a normal person does without the attention and fame. There was just something about him that made you sympathize for him and really endeared you to who he was, but also who he aspired to be. I did find myself wanting to slap him half the time because of the many things that could have been avoided by telling the truth, but it was his own journey in a way.
“I don’t want to fix you. I want to help. I want to hold your hand as you journey to find yourself.”
The two of them together was just unique and special. Where she grounded him and provided calmness in his life, he became her compass and provided her a safe haven. They complemented each other wonderfully and their romance was one where you felt yourself falling right along with them. It didn’t feel like the same story I’ve read countless times and provided for a very refreshing read. As for the secondary characters, there is definitely more to them! You weren’t left feeling bereft in the least, but you become quite intrigued to hear their voices.
“The problem with our world is we don’t believe in magic. We always want it to somehow solve our problems, but then we don’t actually trust in it. Maybe we need to start seeing the magic in all of the good things in our life and embrace its power.”
Cassie Graham just has a beautiful way with words and is able to create such stunning imagery with her language. There was almost a sort of lyricism to them. I often times felt myself swooning and aching right along with Jennings and Whitley. I could feel what they were experiencing, which breathed life into the book and these characters. As a reader, I could tell that the author poured her heart and soul into this book – which is always a plus in my eyes! There was an overall personal feel to Anyone But Him and it just hit me in a special way and left a mark on me. The cover also became so appropriate, which earns total bonus points in my eyes! I ran the gamut of emotions with this love story and was gripped from beginning to end. I definitely can’t wait to see what else will come from Cassie Graham, especially after that Epilogue!
I journey past the carved-by-hand eight-person table, and walk to the master bedroom. The white, canopy bed sits in the middle of the room. The barely see-through sheets that hang on the sides move and dance in the breeze. Whit walks quietly behind me, and I turn to look at her. Eyes wide, she takes in everything the house has to offer. Setting her soda down, she walks to the queen size bed and plops down.
“Would it be completely inappropriate if I jumped on the bed?” she prompts, looking reluctant.
I give a good belly laugh, and spread out my hands. “I’d be offended if you didn’t.”
She shoots up, takes her sandals off and, in one swift hop, she lands on the bed. Bending at the knees she bounces. I sit down in a white armchair across the room and watch her as she lets loose. This is another one of those moments that is so rare, that I feel the intense want to capture this moment forever. She jumps with glee, squeaking with happiness with each bounce. Every time her feet come off of the bed, her arms go into the air. Her long blonde hair bobs with each movement, and she pushes it out of her face, just like the way she did it that day I ran into her at the beach.
“Jump with me, Jennings.”
Any macho doucheface would tell her to keep jumping and have fun. That he would sit in the chair and watch. But, I want to keep her smile fully intact for as long as possible. So, I take off my slip-on, stitched loafers and approach the bed.
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The Truth of a Liar
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If you notice the cover, it has a lot of clues to what you’ll find in the story. Not only are there stars and rain, which are HUGE key points, but also if you look closely, you’ll see a person behind the couple taking a picture. A paparazzi.
The idea for Anyone But Him came to me in the shower as I was listening to one of my favorite bands, MKTO. The main singer is an actor and a singer and the idea just sort of blew up from there.
Jennings was originally named Bradley, but I saw one of my ‘likers’ last name was Jennings and had to have it. Bradley is still in the book as Jennings’ best friend.
Holli is loosely based off of a friend I have. She’s a spunky girl from Texas with a cute twang that I love. Holli helped me a lot when writing my first book and I promised her I’d write a character into my story using her name.
My husband and I have always had a fascination with stargazing, so I felt it was appropriate to incorporate it into the book.
When my husband was away with the Military, we would have moon dates. He would promise me he’d go outside and look at the moon and tell me he loved me. I promised to do the same. We moon dated for six months before he came home.
The ending was partly planned and partly unexpected. While I always promise a happily ever after, I’ve left it open ended so I can give you more of a story.
Chapter Ten was made specifically for one of my beta readers, Ashlei. We talked and joked about Whitley and Jennings date and I decided to give it life.
Cassie Graham is the author of Unable to Resist. She also hates talking about herself. It makes her nervous and somewhat sweaty. So, she’s going to make this short.
While writing is her true passion, her family is even more important. Her ultimate happy place is sitting in her house with her husband and daughter while writing stories about lovers who are meant to be together. She’d live in that world forever if she could.