I Surrender

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*****5 Unbelievably Amazing, Beautiful, Cerulean, Emotional, Heart-Wrenching, Passionate, Sexy, Frustrating, Singaporelicious and Sweet Loving Jasper Stars

“If you love something, set it free. If it comes back, it’s yours. If it does not, it was not meant to be.” ~ Jasper

First of all, let me tell you how long I’ve been wanting to read this book. Since July 31st when I read the book description “Singapore has stolen a piece of Ava Thompson”. I contacted Monica and voila! On September 17th, I received a copy of I Surrender from Monica in exchange for my honest review. At that time, I was already committed to review a few books and have deadlines to meet, therefore I couldn’t get to it sooner but when I did, it only took 1 day for me to finish (Started at 7pm, stopped at 4am, finished it at 6pm, had to work if not I would have finished it sooner). I fucking devoured it!

This being Monica’s debut novel, I was awed and it absolutely blew my mind. Since I was born and raised in Singapore (sole reason why I wanted to read it, but now I would read it because Monica James is amazing), some of the not American terms, I totally get. There were a few typos here and there but not too bad that would take away my reading pleasure. I LOVED the cover.

Ava Thompson, 22 years old, gave up her life in the States and goals for her boyfriend Harper so he could pursue his dream of becoming a corporate hotshot at a multimillion dollar globally recognized company located in Singapore. After being there for over a year and dating for 4 years, this sonofabitch Harper broke up with her in a karaoke bar. A freaking karaoke bar! Are men such cowards nowadays that they don’t even have some form of decency to break up a relationship in private like umm…at home? This SOB couldn’t even call her a cab, he just left her there, heart broken into a million tiny pieces and he just walked away, oh so casually, like she’s some kind of worthless trash. “Go home and forget we ever existed.” These were his knife through her already shattered heart parting words. 4 fucking years, Harper!! That’s 1460 fucking days!!!!! Urghhh!! I hate this asshole, big time! I need to calm down, he’s so not worth it.

With a broken heart from a devastating break up, Ava caught the next flight home back to Los Angeles. After seventeen hours and twenty minutes of hell, she’s home where she shouldn’t have left in the first place. Veronica, her BFF was at the airport to welcome her, she along with Ava’s parents hated Harper. I love and adore Veronica. She’s a little firecracker and an amazing best friend to Ava. She may be slender but she’s far from fragile. She definitely did not hide her dislike for Harper. When she found out he broke Ava’s heart, the wrath and string of profanities was endless.

“That motherfucker! I always hated his ass, but now…now I want him skinned and barbecued filet mignon style!” ~ Veronica

“No honey, he was always a jackass, you were just too blinded by love. Well, you are better off without him…He is a good for nothing, sonofabitch dog!” ~ Veronica

After such an emotional mess, all Ava wanted was to go home, collapse and hibernate for a week. Veronica on the other hand hadn’t seen her BFF for over a year had other ideas. What Ava didn’t know is that from this night on, her life was going to change. That night, she was going to meet the sinfully good looking and cerulean eyed, Jasper White.

Jasper is simply amazing, caring, smart, passionate, charming and perfect. He has the most beautiful soul one could ever have considering the shitty family he grew up with. He’s not only extremely good looking, he’s also very talented. He’s the lead singer of the band Passengers of Ego. Jasper has his own ugly past and with that he shut out all emotional feelings and never wanted to have a real relationship with anyone. Until…one faithful night…

“Never apologize for being you, Ava. True feelings that are raw, no matter how messy they may be, I will gladly take over superficial, insincere actions. You told me so much about yourself; about your vulnerability and your heartache and you didn’t even utter a single word. Your tears told me everything. Sometimes those cheesy metaphors hold some truth.” ~ Jasper

“Ava, no one is sure of anything. Life throws us challenges and we have to either embrace them or turn our backs in fear. In my personal experience, what doesn’t break you, send you crazy or homicidal are experiences to be learnt from. I’m not pretending to know what Harper did to you, or how you feel. But judging by the way you are now, he broke you. Don’t let someone who doesn’t give a shit dictate how you plan your future. Because babe, it’s just that, it’s yours to plan. You can’t live your life for someone else; you will fade and become a shadow of your former self.” ~ Jasper

When Ava and Jasper first meet each other, their attraction and chemistry is instant. Since Ava was trying to nurse a very shattered heart, she can only offer him her friendship and nothing more. Jasper may not like it, but if that’s how he’s going to be able to spend time and hang out with her, he’ll take whatever he can get, even if they are only friends.

“Ava, I know you don’t know me, but when I want something, I get it. I feel like there is something between us. I know you’ve gone through a messy breakup and I’m well complicated, but I really don’t want to pass up this opportunity of getting to know you better. Whatever that leads, no one knows. but if we don’t pursue it, I think we will both look back with regrets.” ~ Jasper
“Yes, you’re right, but I can’t offer you anything more than friendship, you get that right?” ~ Ava

As their friendship progressed, Jasper managed to slowly help Ava put her heart back together again. The ache in her chest slowly started to fade. Because of the insecurities Ava has from the break up, she refused to express her love for Jasper. She’s afraid to have her heart broken again. She over thinks and over analyzes situations or problems that are not complicated. Too many what ifs. This is where I wanted to crawl into the book, grip Ava’s shoulders and shake her silly. Ava, life is about taking risk. We grow stronger if we fail. You’re only 22, ok 23 by the end of the book, so just live your life, make mistakes and through that you will come out a stronger, better and smarter person. Life’s too short not to take chances. Spread your wings, trust your instincts, have faith. If you fail, you fail, start over, your world is not going to end. But if you don’t give it shot, you will never know.

“You are your own worst enemy. Stop over thinking Ava, and let life happen. You start dissecting everything and life becomes pretty boring. So stop over thinking and start living.” ~ Jasper

“In your lifetime, there are a small handful of people you’ll meet and have an instant connection with. You may read about it or watch it play out on TV, but actually experiencing it, that’s a whole different story. No movie or book can prepare you for that feeling of completeness with another. I was never a believer in kismet, but meeting Jasper White has altered that belief. Suffering the loss of Harper is something I will never fully recover from, but what if it was my destiny to experience that defeat to become victorious? What if Jasper is my victory prize?” ~ Ava

But how long can this friendship bullshit last before they start to realize they are indeed falling for each other? Hmm…I wonder (tapping my chin with my right index finger)…duh…not long of course. When all the sexual tension they have for each other finally ignited, it was fuck-tas-tic!!! For someone who’s closed up most his life, Jasper definitely did not lack in being forth coming with his feelings department. God! I love this man!

“Ava, I’m falling for you. I don’t normally do that. It’s not something that has happened to me before. I distance myself from people, I always have. But then you came into my life and it was like you opened my eyes to everything. I know you don’t want a relationship because you are still trying to find your feet, and I am trying so hard to respect your decision but these feelings you evoke in me, they leave me breathless. I can’t stop myself; I have no control when I am around you.” ~ Jasper

“Jasper, I’ve wanted to kiss you for a long time too. I’ve just been afraid and I still am. But I’m more afraid of not living, than living in fear. I can’t promise you anything but I’d like to give it a go. With you. If you want to.” ~ Ava

“I mean it, Ava. There’s no competition. You are and will always be the only contender for my heart. I love you with everything I am, no one compares to you…I have loved you from the first moment I saw you.” ~ Jasper

“What we shared wasn’t just sex, it was epic. You make me feel like a better man. I want to better myself so I am good enough for you.” ~ Jasper

When life is all good and peachy, what happens? You get hit by a giant curveball. I went “What the fuck?” O_O??? I won’t tell you what happened cause what fun would that be if I fed you the story, so get your ass out of here and go get this book and find out yourself. I stayed up past 4am but had to stop because unless there’s a HEA, I’m so going to bed, so I Facebooked Monica. Her advice was “go to bed”. WTF??? A bloody CLIFFHANGER?? Honestly, I can’t say it’s a cliffhanger per se, more like hmm…anticipation for what the future holds for Jasper and Ava.

“I love you so much. I surrender everything I am to you, Ava Thompson. All the good, all the bad I give to you. I surrender myself to you. Do what you wish with me, I submit to you, I am yours. Whatever choice you make, I accept it, I support and I will love you forever and a day.” ~ Jasper

“You are a good man. I have never met a more honest, extraordinary, amazing person as you. You saved me, Jasper. You saved me when I was drowning. You were my life raft; you pulled me out of my misery. Without you, I would be dead inside. So don’t you dare think you are not good enough for me. If anything, I am not good enough for you.” ~ Ava

I cried, I cried for Jasper and Ava but they were happy tears. I enjoyed observing their friendship which slowly became a relationship. Being in a relationship with your best friend is the best one could ask for because you understand each other and learn about each other as friends first. You know the good and the bad about each other and learn to accept each other for who you are including your flaws and any imperfections.

This book is absolutely amazing. Monica did an excellent job creating all the characters. My favorite of course is Jasper White. He has become my top 10 book boyfriend. The writing is beautiful and flows smoothly from sentence to sentence. I highly recommend it. Make sure you mark your calendar for book two of the series Surrender to Me that will be released on Oct 21, 2013. **Lady H

Here are some interesting Singapore facts:

Singapore is a Southeast Asian island city-state (and the only city-state in the world that is also an island) off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, 85 miles north of the equator.

Singapore has a tropical rainforest climate with no distinctive seasons, uniform temperature and pressure, high humidity, and abundant rainfall. Temperature usually range from 72 °F to 95 °F. Relative humidity averages around 79% in the morning and 73% in the afternoon. April and May are the hottest months, with the wetter monsoon season from November to January. From July to October, there is often haze caused by bush fires in neighboring Indonesia.

Singapore has the world’s highest percentage of millionaires, with one out of every six households having at least one million US dollars in disposable wealth. Acute poverty is rare in Singapore; the government has rejected the idea of a generous welfare system, stating that each generation must earn and save enough for its entire life cycle.

As of 2012, the population of Singapore is 5.312 million people, of whom 3.285 million (62%) are citizens while the rest (38%) are permanent residents or foreign workers/students. Twenty-three percent of Singaporean citizens were born outside Singapore (i.e. foreign born citizens). There are half a million permanent residents in Singapore in 2012. The resident population does not take into account the 11 million transient visitors who visit Singapore annually.

Singapore has four official languages: English, Malay, Mandarin, and Tamil. English is the common language of the nation and is the language of business, government, and the medium of instruction in schools. However, English is the native tongue for only one-third of all Singaporeans, with roughly a third of all Singaporean Chinese, a quarter of all Singaporean Malays and half of all Singaporean Indians speaking it as their native tongue. Twenty percent of Singaporeans, or one out of every five, cannot read or write in English.

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