Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Blog Tour: Excerpt, Review & Giveaway- Inside Out by Lia Riley!

Title: Inside Out
Series: Off the Map #3
Author: Lia Riley
Release date: 12/02/14
Publisher: Grand Central/Forever

Book Description via Goodreads:

Lia Riley made New Adult readers fall in love with her breakout debut, Upside Down. Sideswiped, the second of her series, made readers clamor for more. Now, with INSIDE OUT, Lia Riley brings her evocative Off the Map series to a stunning conclusion.

When Talia first moved from California to Australia to study abroad, she never dreamed she'd find the love of her life. Bran understands her like no one ever has before. And despite the numerous challenges they've faced, they've always managed to figure out how to stay together. But this time they'll face their toughest hurdle yet. Is their love strong enough to keep them together?


Talia's POV

Who was I when I first fell in love with Bran?

A person who had courage to stare down an unfeasible situation and say, Sure, I’m up for the challenge.

Who was I when Bran threw himself at me like a wounded animal, all claws, abandonment fear, spit, and fang?

A person who accepted that the moon has two sides, light and dark.

Who am I now?

I feel like a lost soul rocking in the corner, fresh out of ideas.

Bran pushes me through the long line until it’s our turn at the passport desk.

“How long do you plan to stay in the United States?” The customs official glances from Bran’s face to his passport photo and back again.

My stomach squirms like a writhing snake. We’ve avoided any discussion about future plans, focused instead on the short term. I had to accept the reality that I couldn’t return to the Peace Corps, even with the medical separation. I was too sick, too shattered. Our discussions about the logistics of leaving Africa were easier to concentrate on than the looming issue of what we were going to do with each other. I treated the topic like an abandoned lot, filled with weeds and rusting cars, a subject to walk past and pretend to ignore.
Now a stranger is forcing the issue.

“Until this one gets better.” Bran cocks his head in my direction.

The woman scoots forward, peers at me with a faint frown. “May I see proof of a return ticket, sir?”

Bran digs out the photocopy of his itinerary. When we bought the tickets, he had to borrow money from his dad. He hasn’t said much, but I know the fact must eat at him. Add another bitter drop to my guilt bucket—soon it’s going to overflow.

“You’re on a temporary tourist visa.” The customs agent flips the passport to a blank page and stamps with obvious relish. “You have three months, starting now.”

Here we go again.

Visa issues.

Ticking clocks.

People imagine international romance is excitement, hot accents, and adventure. They don’t want to hear about the bureaucratic drudgery that threatens to harden the arteries of even the most passionate hearts.

I thought I was going somewhere.


I am an idiot Icarus who flew too close to the sun.

Bran leans forward, his lips hover an inch from my ear, his breath a hot caress on my cool skin. “You okay, Captain?”


“What are you thinking, thinker?”

“I’m just sitting here, a sitter.”

We roll past an American flag overhanging a framed photo of the president. His smile seems smug, as if to say, You really thought you’d get away?

Yes, sir. I kind of did.

“We’re up next.” Bran hands a final customs form to yet another officer who waves us toward big silver doors that open and shut like gnashing teeth. On the other side is California. I can’t shake the disorienting sense we’re heading in the wrong direction.



Bran crossed an ocean for me. I have to find the way out of this black swamp, but I’m manacled to an island of self-doubt, and the tide is rising.

About the Author
After studying at the University of Montana-Missoula, Lia Riley scoured the world armed only with a backpack, overconfidence and a terrible sense of direction. When not torturing heroes (because c'mon, who doesn't love a good tortured hero?), Lia herds unruly chickens, camps, beach combs, daydreams about as-of-yet unwritten books, wades through a mile-high TBR pile and schemes yet another trip. She and her family live mostly in Northern California.
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Five stars.


Alas, the best trilogy I have read this year comes to a close. I am so glad that I stuck it through beside Talia and Bran as they navigated their way off the map (ha, get it? 'Cause it's the name of the series. I'll go now.) into uncharted waters to figure themselves out and if they can make it in a world that seems to want nothing more than for them to be apart. This final book* is just the ending that this couple deserves. And yes, I am aware that they're fictional, but Riley writes with such conviction that I can't help but to feel like they are really in my life somehow.

*This is supposed to be the last book in a trilogy. However, I sincerely hope this is not the end of my mentally rooting Bran enjoyment of this couple's relationship.

As mentioned, this is book three of the Off the Map series. While Riley does a good job of sprinkling in each character's back story, I'd definitely read books one and two before giving this one a go. It'll help you get more attached to this story.

Like both its predecessors, Inside Out made me feel ALL of the things! It was happy and then it was really dark and then it got kinda scary but then it was happy and then CRYING. I'm pretty sure that I got weird looks on my train as I read this book and reacted to it but, there you go. It's well paced and dramatic without being melodramatic, which I think is an important difference. All of the characters are well written and distinct, and even if you don't like them they're developed, so you have a good reason to dislike them. I also continued to appreciate how Talia's OCD was explored and explained and tested in their relationship. My girlfriend has OCD and I have to say that as the "Bran" of our couple (I think that makes me the sexy one. I win.), it's startlingly accurate. You want to help and you're afraid to watch them tear themselves up but there's f*ck all you can do about it. It's awful, and that essence is well captured.

Bran continues to prove that he's amazing and sexy and so damn Aussie and I agree with Talia, he's a damn super hero and let's get him a cape. He may just be my new favorite fictional man. I never thought a certain "Mad Dog" would be replaced but, here we are.

My one complaint about this book (which obviously didn't bother me too much since it's still a perfect rating) is that the happy ending seemed a bit rushed. I have absolutely no problem with happy endings, but it seemed a bit off pace with the rest of the book.

Thanks so much to Lia Riley for putting up with my spam of tweets in her direction and for Grand Central/Forever & Netgalley for providing me with this trilogy in exchange for my honest opinions. You've made a true Lia Riley fan out of me and I will sit here and wait most impatiently for these books to be in print, which they tell me will happen in Summer 2015.

I recommend this book, and the trilogy as a whole, to anyone who loves sexy Australian man candy, New Adult romance, happy ever afters, and true love.


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  1. As if I needed more reasons to want this series! I know I'll be looking for two copies of each book when they come out in print, regardless of if I win the giveaway or not. These need to be owned and held and caressed and displayed on a shelf. Awesome review babe, I love it.

    1. They're soooooooooooooooooooooooooooo goooooooooood