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Ever So Madly

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Love is for peasants, nobles marry for power. These are the rules Jocelynn has lived by. She is expected to be the poised and perfect vision of relentless power. Set to inherit the House of Akillies she was bred to rule. Men have never turned her head, until now

Madden achieved the impossible, the first in over a century to escape the life of hard labor and earn a place among the elite. With the chance for a fresh start, he has to stay focused, not damn himself by falling for the one girl forbidden to him.

Madden was an experiment in freedom, and she didn’t mean to fall. But now she can't live without him. Some choices are easier than others, while some aren’t choices at all. He’s worth running from everything she’s ever known.

Jocelynn turns to a formidable group of rebels to escape her fate. But with a war to be won, the rebels have their own agenda. Drowning in a game of power and politics, Madden and Jocelynn can’t trust anyone if they want make it out alive.

350 pages, Kindle Edition

First published August 21, 2016

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About the author

J.R. Gray

40 books855 followers
When not staying up all night writing, J.R. Gray can be found at the gym where it's half assumed he is a permanent resident to fulfill his self-inflicted masochism. A dominant and a pilot, Gray finds it hard to be in the passenger seat of any car. He frequently interrupts real life, including normal sleep patterns and conversations, to jot down notes or plot bunnies. Commas are the bane of his existence even though it's been fully acknowledged they are necessary, they continue to baffle and bewilder. If Gray wasn't writing…well, that's not possible. The buildup of untold stories would haunt Gray into an early grave, insanity or both. The idea of haunting has always appealed to him. J.R. Gray is genderqueer and prefers he/him pronouns.

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Displaying 1 - 17 of 17 reviews
Profile Image for 1-Click Addict Support Group.
3,749 reviews442 followers
August 29, 2016
The first thing you need to know is that I picked up this book based solely on that cover. That. Cover. I want it framed on my wall. I love it so freaking much.

I was a little unsure of the blurb. This was my first J.R. Gray book, and I approached it with some amount of hesitation. I was afraid it might be too dark or too much for my usually light and fluffy tastes. But I was also in a sort of epic book slump and needed something different, so I took a chance on it and it turned out to be exactly what I needed.

It took a little bit for the book to get going for me. That may be—in part—due to my slump. But also because, as with any books of this nature, it takes some time to do the world building and become familiar with the characters. Once I settled in, I completely enjoyed the ride.

Ever So Madly is sort of “science fiction lite” with the main focus on the relationship between Jocelynn and Mad—a relationship that sparked immediately and ramped up in intensity very quickly. I didn’t always feel the connection, but I loved the entire premise and each of them individually, and it didn’t take long for me to jump on board.

Jocelynn and Mad are star-crossed lovers, so their relationship is riddled with obstacles almost immediately, and those obstacles only got bigger and more intense as the book progressed. As the action picked up, so did my attachment to their relationship and my intrigue at how all the puzzle pieces fit together.

While the pacing sometimes felt a little uneven to me, by the time I turned the last pages I was completely greedy for more. Because there were some game changers in those last pages and holy crap, things just got interesting!

I’m so happy I took a chance on this book. I’m so thrilled with this world, and these characters and the sexy, passionate love story tucked into an action-packed, thrilling world of espionage and power plays among planets. I loved it and am beyond excited to see where it goes from here! ~ Shelly, 4 stars
Profile Image for Beneath The Covers Blog.
1,512 reviews493 followers
August 30, 2016
WOW!! This story blew me away. The entire set up, the storyline, the characters, everything was unique and fresh.

The heroine, Jocelynn, is no damsel in distress. She knows how to handle difficult situations and is capable of taking charge. I admire her passion and strength. We need more empowering characters like her.

Madden is just ahhhhh. He is broken, he is adorable and he is so hot. His character was so amazingly written. He knows his weakness but he finds the strength to fight and overcome them.

I am officially a J.R. Gray fan and will look forward to more books to come. ~Sonal
Profile Image for Kimberly Anne.
3,167 reviews179 followers
August 29, 2016
This is a gripping story about the divisions of society and how love knows no bounds and I really enjoyed this one! Madden is a labor worker mining ore on an unforgiving planet and each and every day is a waking nightmare for him. He is lucky enough to escape his rank when he scores high enough during testing and is sent to study in a special program with members from higher classes. Jocelynn is not only a member of an elite class, but is the direct descendent of one of the most powerful families in existence and is expected to marry well when the time comes. From the moment they meet, Madden and Jocelynn share an instant and off the charts intense connection and nothing can keep them apart from each other, even though it seems as if anything and everything is going to try. There were several times while reading this that I began to feel as if the entire situation was hopeless for these two and that they would never get the chance that they so deserve to be happy together. There are some pretty intricate things going on in the background in this one and an entire rebel force that is moving towards initiating their grand scheme in an effort to remove the power from those who are currently in control. There’s a surprise twist right at the very end that I did not expect and now I can’t wait for the next book so I can see what’s going to happen next! This is a great story that I highly recommend reading and I look forward to much more from this author in the future.
Profile Image for Becky Rendon.
3,438 reviews64 followers
March 10, 2018

Oh, you want more than Wow. Well, how about huh! Still more...

How about the newest book (hopefully series) by J.R. Gray has me wishing on a star for my own Madden and a comm. The Madden is self explanatory- really...Ok, I'll spell it out. H-O-T guy, little edgy, very smart, and has the bad boy vibe... The comm would be for lengthy discussions about the sequel I want to force J.R. to write.

It is a love story. Star crossed lovers at that. It's a story of people demanding change wanting an end to the tyranny. It's trouble. Secret meetings, questionable acquaintances, and acting the part of a mistress all add a little spice to Jocelynn's life. But her frivolity is coming to an end as responsibility looms, where does that leave her?

I had a lot of fun reading this book. I love the banter, the attitude, but most of all I love how consistently badass Jocelynn is. I love strong females. I like being able to respect the heroine. Jocelynn does not disappoint. She is tough, smart, and trying to deal with significant changes. The addition of the distracting Mad is something she never bargained for. If she values their relationship, she's going to need to be more...

I laughed. I smirked. I fell for Madden. My heart broke. My tears fell freely. I lost hope while clinging to wishes. But worst of all, I want more!!!!!!!

Reviewed on behalf of New Chicks on the Blog
Profile Image for Cheri.
92 reviews1 follower
August 28, 2016
Wow. If you are a Gray fan, this is very different from his usual book. I went into it knowing nothing except having seen the cover, so I already knew it was different from most of the books I'd already read by him.

This book is a mf romance in a SF setting.

I love the main characters, particularly Jocelynn. She's smart, funny, powerful, dedicated, strong. Madden is smart and driven. The secondary characters are also very well developed. (I hope that Jacob gets his own book in this universe.)

The universe for this SF romance was very well developed, but yet not always explained. While at first I found this distracting, because I didn't always know what was happening, in the end I liked that about the story. With things not always explained, the reader needs to figure them out on their own, which I think added to my connection with the story. In general, I felt the technology that was there expanded the story and moved it forward, while leaving anything that wasn't important to the story was brushed over so as not to drag things down or be distracting.

The story starts very quickly, with Madden finding out he has passed the test that will get him off the mining planet he is living on, and then meeting Jocelynn, who just so happens to be the daughter and heir to the Baron, head of one of the major families in the universe.

This is one of those rich girl falls in love with a poor boy stories, but done really well. I like the way it developed and moved, and the way the characters grew and changed as events pushed at them. I hope there are more books in this universe.

**I received an advanced reader copy of this book for free in exchange for my honest review.**
Profile Image for Lauren Lascola-Lesczynski.
993 reviews32 followers
August 30, 2016
Eeekkkkkkk this book!!!!! I don't even know if I can put into words how this book was......I mean siggghhhhhh.....the feels with this story are outta control. It was like a modern day Romeo and Juliet that was set in an alternate planet if that makes any sense. Well if it does't that is because you NEED to read it yourself!!!! I was really blown away by the writing and imagination that J.R. had with this story line....it was AMAZING! Science fiction is one of my favorite things to watch and read about and then J.R. threw this love story in the middle of all this craziness and turmoil and it just worked.
Madden and Jocelynn are like two star crosses lovers who are fighting a hundred battles just to be together. If you only read one book this year.....this has got to be it!!!! I mean I can not even explain how great this book is, I am having trouble putting it in to words because I don't want to give any spoilers away.
Every time I go to type something I have to delete it because it will ruin the story....LOL
I FLOVE this book so hard. All I can say is that this was a great read, awesome story line and I want more.....like a whole other book so I can find out the rest of Mad and J's story :)
501 reviews37 followers
November 1, 2016
it was so damn

pardon me, I need to bleach my mind to get rid of this shit!!
Profile Image for Annie.
1,703 reviews24 followers
February 7, 2017
Different genre that captured my full attention

Ever So Madly is a sci-fi romance, something I wouldn’t normally read, and yet I was completely caught up in the story. I think I would classify this romance with a touch of sci-fi. It takes place on other planets and thus incorporates advanced technology and alternate governments, but those elements are mainly a device to propel the story. The concept was unique and really showcased the author’s creativity, particularly some of the technologies used by the characters. I liked how though it was sci-fi, Mr. Gray kept the devices the characters used close enough to ones used currently. It allowed me to easily picture the scenes and immerse myself in the story. The writing puzzled me a little. It felt a bit stilted and the pacing would meander and I found myself easily distracted at the start. Around the halfway mark, things picked up and the main conflict of the two opposing factions becomes focused. The characters are forced to find ways to be together despite their different stations in life. I loved the action scenes, the emotional turmoil the characters grappled with, and the way that all tied into the government and outside conflicts. I was fully engaged at this point, and intrigued how all the loose ends would tie together. I found the characters themselves likable. The book is written in alternating first person point of view, which allowed the reader to fully understand how the different upbringings affected the characters’ views of life and relationships. The secondary characters were equally interesting, developed almost as though the author has intentions of having a second book with the same cast. The interactions between friends, family, and lovers flowed naturally, with some fun twists I hadn’t expected. While the romance features an instant connection and Madden and Jocelynn’s feelings deepen quickly, the insta-love factor made sense for the plot progression and didn’t devalue the relationship. The book ends with a satisfying, yet slightly open-ended conclusion and I wouldn’t hesitate picking up a second book set in this world. Despite the jagged pacing and inconsistent writing style, the storyline, characters, and world JR Gray built had my full attention. If you’re looking for something different plot-wise, this is a great read.

*Alpha Book Club received an ecopy of this title. The author and publisher had no influence over this review*
Profile Image for Nic Spears.
585 reviews40 followers
August 30, 2016
I have been sitting here, fingers poised at the ready while trying to figure out how to start writing this review, not because I don't know what to say, but because I have so many thoughts running through my head I can't string a coherent sentence together.

I had the absolute honour of beta-reading this book for JR many many months ago and I fell in love with it instantly. And now that I have read the final release copy I can say that my feelings have definitely not changed but grown.
JR delivers us a book which completely different to his previous releases but still just as addicting. A story about the divisions of class in society and how love knows no bounds.

Madden and Jocelynn will capture your heart from the very start to finish and even then you find yourself thinking about them time and time again after. The had a "once in a lifetime kind of love" that you just wish they could be together and have the ending in which they want and deserve...but in 'game of power, politics' and secrets it seems as though that's impossible.

I loved it. Absolutely loved it!!! From the characters, the plot just everything. The way JR have described everything gave perfect visualisations to the reader from the dust on Harden to the suns on Trenton. I could see everything in my mind. I could feel it. I could taste it. I could smell it.

The Epilogue, I think was a perfect addition. While it still leaves you wanting more and wanting to know what's next, it rounds off the book nicely and gives you a better understand of things and why things happened.

My mind and my heart has been left with Mad, Jocelynn, Jacob and everyone else. I want to be back on Harden with these characters and never leave.

When a book leaves me like that and leaves me constantly thinking about it, that's when I know I've got a wonderful book on my hands. And it is a wonderful book. It's unique, it's gripping and it's unforgettable.

It's a must read for everyone!!

Well done JR! Bloody well done!!!!
Profile Image for Laura Andreula.
15 reviews2 followers
August 29, 2016
Just when you think you have an author figured out, JR Gray throws the ultimate curve ball and delivers you into a whole new world. Ever So Madly is like nothing that I've read by him before - and I've read all of his published work.

We are introduced to a new world. A world of Emperors, Barons, and duty. Madden is a "scab" from Harden - a planet known for the mining of ore, who gets the golden ticket and is chosen to leave Harden and go off world to Trenton for classes and training. Jocelynn is the daughter of the Baron from the house of Akillie on Trenton. She is the perfect daughter, and the perfect baron-in-waiting. Jacob, her twin brother, is a rebel and while J (Jocelynn) does everything that is expected of her, Jacob does the opposite. Unlike his sister, Jacob knows he will not be the Baron's successor and is therefore free to be himself.

Two people who you would never expect to cross paths, let alone meet - do just that. With one look at J, Madden is hooked. Dare he lose focus from this once in a lifetime opportunity? No one has ever turned J's head before. "Love is for peasants. Nobles marry for power." That was the life J led. But Madden was different.

A modern day Romeo and Juliet - a love that was never meant to be, everyone and everything against them. Will Madden and J risk everything for a love that should and could never be?

You will need to pick up a copy of Ever So Madly to find out.

I will let you in on a little secret though - beware of the potential book crush on Jacob Jocelynn's brother.

I received an ARC from the author for my honest review.
9 reviews
August 26, 2016
After receiving this as an ARC I was so excited to dive in that I left the book I was reading hanging in the air.

For those who have Read Gray's other books "Ever So Madly" takes a very different direction.

Take a little bit of Dune, Star Trek , Hunger games and a few other science fiction themes and toss in some crazy romance shake and you have "Ever so Madly."

I pretty much adore J the main female character. Having no choice but to up hold her birth right She's a mix of it all. All business when she has to be but she can get down and dirty when it's called for. She's not afraid to Cut you if you stand in the way of what she's trying to get done. Watch the doubt play across her face as everything she has known takes a sharp left and heads on out toward the wild blue yonder.

Mad is nuts. His name fits him so well. The old saying don't judge a book by it's cover comes to mind. Mad will with out a doubt shock you by what he's willing to go through to be where he wants to be.
Jason J's Twin brother gets all the freedom for being born just a few minuets after she was. Later you find out just how deep his freedom has gone with out The Baron knowing.

If you like your books sprinkled with some suspense, some star crossed lovers with the weight of the galaxy on their heads, a crazy brother with some secrets of his own and a few curve balls Ever So Madly is absolutely worth the read. I don't know if Gray plans to continue the Saga. The ending leaves me to believe that there's hope of a continuation.
Profile Image for Stephanie.
54 reviews1 follower
August 31, 2016
Completely Different

Everyone loves a love story but this one has a lot to offer the reader. Go into it with an open mind because I promise you that you're mind will be blown.
Displaying 1 - 17 of 17 reviews

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