Title – Until Now
Author – Laura Ward
Publication Date – May 23, 2016
Series – Not Yet, #2
Dean Goldsmith is Indiana University’s star quarterback, and his dreams are about to come true. His undefeated season means he has a legitimate shot at the NFL. If he stays focused. Football comes first.
College senior, Grace Yeates, is determined to defy the odds. She is months away from graduating with a business degree, something no one thought she would be able to pull off. All she has to do is focus on her number one priority. Family comes first.
Dean has no time for distractions, but when a gorgeous, snarky, redheaded waitress refuses to tell him her name, he can’t seem to focus on anything else.
Grace knows she can’t let herself get caught up in a guy, particularly a man-whore like Dean, no matter how charming or sexy. She has two hearts to look out for now and no room for a Dean-sized distraction.
Everyone in Dean’s life agrees that Grace is the kind of complication his career doesn’t need.
Grace knows that Dean is the kind of risk her heart shouldn’t want.
But what if the last person you think you need, the one you shouldn’t want, becomes the one you can’t live without? Can their biggest distraction actually be the focus they were missing all along?
I’ve made it no secret that Laura Ward is easily one of my favorite writers. Her novels are filled with storylines that have you believing in the power of love again, making them magical in their own right. Until Now took such a different approach from the previous book in the series, but still powerful and breathtaking all the same. These characters are not ones that will easily leave my mind or heart in the foreseeable future.
“I listened to your pain, and your struggle, and your love. And what I needed to do was take care of you and you alone. Nothing for me. Just for you. ‘Cause, Red? Nobody’s done that for you in your whole life.”
Grace is one of those heroines that you immediately sympathize for, even if you haven’t walked in her shoes. She was such a strong, bold personality who cared for those around her with everything she had. I admired her for the journey she went through, but also for thriving despite it all. We’ve all had hardships, and we deal with them in different ways, but she let those things drive her rather than used them as excuses to fail. There were so many moments I wanted to hug her, but they also made me realize how Dean fell for her so easily. He had been focused on football and that big moment of going pro all his life. When he met Grace, it was like a freight train hit him and that journey to truly discovering who he was felt special to me. That realization of his dream morphed into something much bigger and hit me in so many different feelers. They complemented each other so well that even though they fell fast, there was never an insta-love feel. As a reader, I could understand the process and how it all happened – and I ended up really appreciating that.
“I had never known a love that could bring me to my knees, but also fill me with peace. Until him. Until now.”
Laura Ward is one of those hidden gems that I want the world to experience. Her stories, and this particular one, have real world issues that we’ve all been touched by in some sixth degree type of way. They teach you about life and love, and end up leaving your heart lighter just for having read them. I can never pinpoint what it is that I adore so much about Ward, so I will just say that it must be an innate talent that proves she was born to do what she does. Her writing is eloquent, beautifully strung together, and will definitely leave you with a smile on your face. Until Now had a little bit of everything that I want in a novel; it contained romance, friendship, hard times, and good moments. It had characters fighting for what they believed in, in more ways than I can describe. This author continues to leave an impression on me with each release, and Until Now is definitely my favorite to date. I can’t wait to see how she tops it with the next guy in this group of friends!
My heart hammered in my chest. “Why do you ask me my favorites all the time?”
Dean grinned and then bent to kiss my lips. “I’ve never wanted to get to know a girl. I want to know every part of you and every favorite you have. Everything that makes you happy so that I can be the person who never lets you down and always brings you your favorites.”
“Well, I want to know your favorites too. Let me think…” I tapped my finger on my chin. “Where’s your favorite place for me to kiss you?” As soon as the question escaped from my mouth, the meaning hit my brain. Dean had a wicked gleam in his eyes, and I hid my face in his chest. “Oh, Lord. Did I just ask that?”
His chuckle rumbled beneath me. “You did. And I love your dirty little mind, Red. If I’m being honest, I can’t answer that. Cause you haven’t kissed me everywhere… yet.”
Mortified. I was absolutely mortified. I had a choice. I could be shy and feel awkward, or I could own it.
Two seconds later I decided. I was owning it.
I raised my head and pressed a kiss on his chest. Then I lifted onto my elbows and shimmied a bit down his body.
“Let’s rectify that, shall we?”
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Don’t Miss the First Book in the Series!
Not Yet (Not Yet #1)
Someday Soon (Not Yet #3)
Laura Ward lives in Maryland with her loud and very loving three children and husband. She married her college sweetheart and is endlessly grateful for the support he has given her through all their years together, and especially toward her goal of writing books. When not changing diapers, driving to lacrosse practice, or checking spelling homework, Laura is writing or reading romance novels.
Laura has written three novels so far, the new-adult novel Not Yet and the contemporary romance novel Past Heaven. Her third novel, co-written with author Christine Manzari, The Pledge, was released July 25, 2015.