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SALES, NEW RELEASES, RECOMMENDATIONS, & PRE-ORDERS — Week of June 30, 2015

SALES, NEW RELEASES, RECOMMENDATIONS, & PRE-ORDERS — Week of June 30, 2015

NEW LIST IS LIVE EARLY!!! 😀

Holy wow guys!! This might be one of the biggest release weeks we’ve had this year!! There are a TON of awesome-sounding books and I’ve posted the list early so you can get a headstart on this week’s books. I’ll be updating this list over the next 24 hours with new books so do check back!! HAPPY READING!!

*** HIGHLIGHTS ***

 
*** RECENT RECOMMENDATIONS & REVIEWS ***

*** LATEST NEW RELEASES *** These are already live!!

*** NEW TOP RECOMMENDATION ***

 

Ride Steady by Kristen Ashley (My Review)

Bad boy biker alert!! I LOVED THIS BOOK!!! 5 STARS!! (Chaos series)

“Once upon a time, she believed in happy endings. Money, marriage, motherhood: everything came easy… Now a struggling, single mom and stranded by a flat tire pondering her mistakes, when a vaguely familiar knight rides to her rescue on a ton of horsepower… In high school, he was a bad boy loner who put her on a pedestal… Today, he’s a hard-bodied biker, and it’s clear she’s falling fast.”

HOLY FREAKING SQUEEEEE!!!! This is easily one of the best books Kristen Ashley has written! I loved every single word in every single scene. From the gorgeously heartfelt romance that made me swoon over and over again, to the thrilling cameos that will have any true KA fan jumping for joy, and the intensely badass showdowns, this was pure Alpha male romance perfection!! Be sure to grab a copy!

“I’m in love with your ex-wife,” he returned, no amusement in his voice… “I’ve loved her since high school, man. She means everything to me. You gotta drag her down, that’ll suck, but I’ll pick her back up. You gotta rip her apart, I’ll fuckin’ hate watchin’ it, but I’ll put her back together… But know this, in the end, it’s gonna be me and her.”

*** THIS WEEK’S NEW RELEASES ***

 

When You’re Back by Abbi GlinesNew Release!!

Rosemary Beach series fans! This is the sequel to When I’m Gone.

“She was where my home would always be. It was time I took the next step and proved to her I was all in. Forever… A chance meeting has turned into a fairy-tale romance as she prepares to move in with him on his family ranch… but as her past begins to unravel, illuminating shocking truths that will forever change the lives of the happy couple…”

 

Rush by Emma ScottNew Release!!

This sounds unique and can be read as a standalone! The story centers around the hero who was an extreme sport athlete who was blinded while cliff diving. He’s left bitter and angry and shut off the from the world until the heroine arrives to work for him as a live-in assistant. She’s been wounded by her own loss but she “begins to see that beneath his angry, brittle exterior is a young man in a pain. She is determined to show him that his life isn’t over… Together, they must face their fears and rediscover what it means to really live.”

 

Hard To Let Go by Laura KayeNew Release!!

Romantic suspense fans! This is the final standalone in the Hard Ink series.

Five dishonored soldiers. Former Special Forces. One last mission… Beckett Murda hates to dwell on the past. But his investigation into the ambush that killed half his Special Forces team and ended his Army career gives him little choice. Just when his team learns how powerful their enemies are, hard-ass Beckett encounters his biggest complication yet — a seductive, feisty Katherine Rixey.

 

Power Play by Tiffany SnowNew Release!!

Love triangle alert!! — She lives for her job. More precisely, she lives for her boss, Parker Andersen. She handles everything for Parker, even as she fantasizes about the one thing that isn’t in her job description: him… Detective Dean Ryker couldn’t be more different from Parker. While Parker wears expensive suits and drives a BMW, Ryker’s uniform is leather jackets and his ride of choice is a Harley. Now, she finds herself caught between two men: the one she’s always wanted — and the one who makes her feel wanted like never before…

 

About Last Night by Belle AuroraNew Release!!

A male escort/brother’s best friend romance!
“He’s been an escort for most of his adult life. He’s so good at his job that he’s booked months in advance. An enquiring email from a potential client finds him intrigued about the shy, awkward woman. A back and forth is started and before he knows it, a friendship is formed. Time passes and he’s smitten. There’s only one problem… The client is his best friend’s little sister… She’s off limits. He knows better. Staying away from one another is easier said than done.”

 

Sweet Sinful Nights by Lauren BlakelyNew Release!!

This is the first standalone in a new “passionate, suspenseful and sexy” new series!
Ten years ago, he let the love of his life slip through his fingers. It’s his greatest regret. But when the gorgeous and captivating woman walks into his life unexpectedly, he’s determined to win her back. Whatever it takes, he won’t make the same mistake twice… But if these two fiery lovers are going to have a real second chance at this kind of intense, passionate, bone-deep love, he’ll have to give her his whole heart, and she’ll have to give up all the secrets from her messy past…

 

Protector For Hire by Tawna FenskeNew Release!!

Haunted by his time in Iraq, former soldier Patton goes off the grid, retreating deep into Montana’s untamed wilderness. Now, ten years into his self-imposed solitude, his brother tracks him down and asks for a favor. A woman is in danger, and she needs help…and he’s the only one who can protect her… Designer-loving city girls like her don’t belong in the wilderness. Unless, of course, they’re witnesses to a murder by their psycho drug-trafficking ex-husbands. Still, Janelle can’t help the immediate physical response she has to her sexy-as-sin protector…

 

Right Next Door by AJ PryorNew Release!!

Her soon-to-be husband leaves, with nothing but a promise that one day he’ll return… Now, five years later, he’s kept that promise, but he’s already married. Crushed twice by the same man, she needs a distraction. As luck would have it, Damian Walker has just moved in next door. He’s rebuilt his own life after a drunk driver stole his career and his heart and he knows what it’s going to take to get her life back on track. But he’s not going to be anyone’s rebound. Until Addison knows what she’s looking for, neighbors are all they’ll ever be.

 

All It Takes by Sadie MunroeNew Release!!

A small-town girl with a painful past falls for a man who just got out of prison!
All he wants is a chance to start over. He screwed up and he knows it, he’s going to have to live with the guilt for the rest of his life. But he’s stuck in this town until his parole ends, and no one wants anything to do with him. So he takes the only job he can, helping her haul stuff out of her mother’s house. Neither of them expects anything to happen between them…. But sometimes meeting the right person is all it takes.

 

Insider by Olivia CunningNew Release!!

Rock star romance fans!!
She’s finally ready to rock… She’s on tour with the rock band to immerse herself in their world… He’s always ready to roll… Adrenaline junkie Logan Schmidt lives for the rush of playing his bass guitar before thousands of screaming fans. When he’s not performing onstage or in the bedroom, he’s looking for his next thrill in extreme sports. So why does a sweet, innocent journalist get his heart pumping and capture his full attention?

 

Searching For Always by Jennifer ProbstNew Release!!

This is the latest standalone in the Searching For series!

She’s an expert in helping others de-stress, but when police officer Stone Petty — radiating masculinity and bad-boy attitude — is sent to her for mandatory lessons in cooling off when the job gets too hot, she vows to ignore his seductive glances and sexy grin. But there’s no halting their sizzling flirtation—a red-hot, high-speed chase that’s breaking all the limits…

 

Violent Things by Callie HartNew Release!!

This is the first book in a sister series to the Blood & Roses series.

You’re never really out until you’re dead. That’s what the mob bosses, gunrunners and car thieves of Seattle will tell you, anyway… Mason Reeves is just looking for a way to take care of his sick sister. If he wants to give Millie the life she deserves, he’s going to have to earn it with his fists. And who better to teach him how to fight than the guy who took down the biggest gangster in Seattle?

 

Miss Match by Laurelin McGeeNew Release!!

Laurelin Paige fans, this is written by her under the pen name Laurelin McGee!

Welcome to the sexy, crazy, wildly unpredictable world of modern matchmaking, where fixing up strangers is part of the job… He’s tall, handsome, rich, and successful. He knows exactly the kind of woman he’s looking for–and it’s the total opposite of her. Though smart and undeniably sexy, she is simply too headstrong for a man who’s used to being in charge…

 

Second Chance Summer by Jill ShalvisNew Release!!

This is the first standalone (second chance romance) in a new standalone series!
Cedar Ridge, Colorado is the last place she wants to be. What has her concerned is Aidan Kincaid — firefighter, rescue worker, and heartbreaker. The Kincaid brothers are as rough and rugged [but] never has he regretted anything more than letting her walk out of his life ten years ago. What she needs more than anything are long hikes, slow dances, and sizzling kisses. But that can only happen if he can get her to give Cedar Ridge–and this bad boy–a second chance.

 

Breaking Stars by J. SterlingNew Release!!

A new Hollywood romance! She’s an actress, he’s a handsome small-town guy!
An actress since she was fourteen, Paige Lockwood finds herself craving normalcy after a scandal rocks her world. So she leaves town without so much as a destination. But car trouble forces her to settle down in a small Southern town as she waits for repairs. There she meets the handsome, albeit standoffish, Tatum Montgomery, and both of their lives are forever altered as they learn that sometimes when you aren’t looking for love, it finds you anyway…

 

Red Nights by Shari RyanRecent Release!!

I missed this romantic suspense the other week but it sounds intriguing!

“I didn’t do it. Why would they think I did? Why would I want my twin brother dead? Why is everyone looking at me like I’m a criminal? Well, everyone except him… The charmingly beautiful stranger I met in the park at midnight—a totally legitimate place to meet the man of my dreams. Plus, he knows I’m innocent. Believing him is easy. So very easy. Maybe too easy?”

 

Between Us And The Moon by Rebecca MaizelNew Release!!

A “romantic and heartfelt coming-of-age novel”. — After a traumatic end to the school year, Sarah goes to Cape Cod for the summer with her family. It’s there that she meets gorgeous, older college boy Andrew. He sees her as the girl she wants to be. A girl like Scarlett. He thinks she’s older, too—and she doesn’t correct him… For Sarah, it’s a summer of firsts. Before she knows what’s happened, one little lie has transformed into something real. And by the end of August, she might have to choose between falling in love, and finding herself.

 

Once Upon A Cowboy by Maggie McGinnisNew Release!!

Cowboy alert!! This can be read as a standalone.

“She’s got dark secrets she can’t share, but when she travels to a ranch for a friend’s wedding, she’s enchanted by a cowboy whose deep blue eyes, dimpled smile, and rock-hard body make it tough to remember why she keeps running scared… His future might be uncertain, but he’s sure of one thing: He wants her by his side…”

 

Sins of the Innocent by Jamie McGuireNew Release!!

This is a YA paranormal romance novella spin-off/continuation of the Providence Series This story is about Eden, the daughter of the couple from that original series and she falls for the son of Lucifer. — Levi, the overconfident and charming half-human son of Lucifer takes nothing seriously. Not even when he finally meets the young woman who is destined to end his existence. A common bond is formed under the pressures they face from both sides, but their respective religious texts predict opposite outcomes. Either way, they must choose: war, death, or love.

 

On The Ropes by Cari QuinnNew Release!!

Fighter alert!! This is a standalone within a series (interconnected)
He’s the newest hotshot fighter in New York City’s underground MMA scene. From the outside, he’s on top of the world. Winning all his matches, getting all the women he could ever want. The truth isn’t nearly so bright. The more he fights, the closer he gets to the people who ripped away the most precious thing in his life… She’s living a double life. A culinary student by day and a dancer by dark. Flirting with danger is the only thing that dulls the pain from her past. When she catches the eye of the wrong men, it’ll take the right one to save her…

*** NEW REVIEW & RECOMMENDATION ***

 

The Man I Love by Suanne Laqueur (Read my Review)

WOW WOW WOW!!! I recently read this and LOVED it!! The WRITING was truly exquisite! It was a very slow-building, detailed story, but one where EVERY detail matters. Everything was connected and had DEPTH. It was vivid and powerful and completely UNIQUE. It told a love story that spanned 10-15 years, but didn’t follow ANY rules. Normally that would be scary to me but the way that everything was portrayed made me really *get* where these characters came from. And I was honestly blown away by how much I FELT and how BEAUTIFULLY it was written. It’s like I lived the story with them. It just felt REAL. Highly recommended!

The story is about a college freshman who falls in love with a beautiful dancer. But “when a disturbed friend brings a gun into the theater, six lives are lost and she is left seriously injured, her professional dreams shattered. Traumatized by the experience, the lovers spiral into depression and drug use until a shocking act of betrayal destroys their relationship. To survive, he must leave school and disconnect from all he loves. He buries his heartbreak and puts the past behind. Or so he believes…

As he moves into adulthood, he comes to grips with his role in the shooting, and slowly heals the most wounded parts of his soul. But the unresolved grief for her continues to shape his dreams at night. Once those dreams were haunted by blood and gunfire. Now they are haunted by the refrain of a song and a single question: is leaving always the end of loving?

Spanning fifteen years, The Man I Love explores themes of love and sexuality, trauma and its long-lasting effects, the burden of unfinished business and the power of reconciliation. Through his experience we reflect on what it means to be a man, a son and a leader. A soul mate, a partner and a lover. What it means to live the truth of who you are and what you feel. What it means to fight for what you love.”

Note: this can be read as a standalone, but there’s also a second book available for readers who want more (it’s the girl’s POV) and it’s new. Here are both: #1 The Man I Love, #2 Give Me Your Answer True.

*** 3 NEW RECOMMENDATIONS ***

 

Never Let You Go by Katy Regnery (Read my Review)

HOLY HELL!!! I read reading this in one non-stop sitting because I could NOT put it down. I mean seriously… THE ANGST!!!!! Gah. *clutches heart* It’ll be a while before my heart rate to go back to normal, but WOW, it was unputdownable!!! It felt like I barely blinked or stopped to breathe because I was flipping the pages so fast…… It was sweet and romantic, heart-breaking and painful, angsty as all freaking hell, and really just a gorgeous story of UNDYING LOVE!!! The story was unique and it’s a complete standalone so if you’re looking for a new read, try this!

“I missed you like crazy. I love you forever.”

This is a modern retelling of Hansel & Gretel — “Thirteen-year-old foster children Griselda and Holden escape from their abductor after three years of brutal captivity. Tragically, one of them makes it to safety, but the other is left behind. Ten years later, Griselda’s boyfriend drags her to a fight club grudge match, and her world is turned upside down when she watches Holden step into the ring…”

 

King by T.M. Frazier (Read my Review)

Holy wow, I totally LOVED this book!! Dark and gritty, sweet and sexy, raw and shocking, and utterly addictive, with an unapologetic, badass Alpha male hero and unexpected twists that I never saw coming!! I highly recommend it!!

Homeless. Hungry. Desperate.
Doe has no memories of who she is or where she comes from.

A notorious career criminal just released from prison, King is someone you don’t want to cross unless you’re prepared to pay him back in blood, sweat, sex or a combination of all three.

King’s future hangs in the balance. Doe’s is written in her past. When they come crashing together, they will have to learn that sometimes in order to hold on, you have to first let go.

 

A Pound of Flesh by Sophie Jackson (Read my Review)

SQUEEEEEEE!!!!! I absolutely LOOOOOOOVED this book!!! If you love SEXY BAD BOY heroes and unique love stories, then you have to try this!!!! The thrill of their forbidden romance kept my heart RACING the whole way through. I swooned over their love for each other, and really appreciated the way there was no ‘stupid’ drama. And now I just can’t stop smiling because the story was just so freaking GOOD!!!! I adored it!!! It’s about a “strong-minded prison tutor who discovers that her sexy bad-boy student is far more than he appears to be…”

Haunted by nightmares of her father’s murder 15 years ago, she decides to face her fears by teaching inmates at a prison. There she meets an arrogant inmate who’s as handsome as he is dangerous… As teacher and student, they’re forced to leave their animosities at the door and learn that one should never judge a book by its cover…. and she realizes there’s much more to her angry student than she thought, leaving them to face a new, perilous obstacle: their undeniable attraction to one another.

*** DUET RECOMMENDATION ***

 

Consolation & Conviction by Corinne Michaels

SQUEEEEEE!!!!! I recently read Consolation & Conviction back-to-back and LOVED them!!! I couldn’t put either of them down even for a minute!!! They were addictive, thrilling, emotional, romantic, sexy, and had ALL THE FEELS!!! If you love big, strong Alpha male heroes, heroines with kids, and military romances, then these are must-read!! Definitely a new favorite for me!!! (Read my Reviews)

“He wasn’t supposed to be my happily ever after. He wasn’t even on my radar. He was my husband’s best friend — forbidden. But my husband is dead and I’m alone… One night with him changed everything. Now I have to decide if I truly love him or if he’s just the consolation prize.”

*** TRILOGY RECOMMENDATION ***

 

Virtuous (Quantum Trilogy #1) by MS Force (Read my Review)
Valorous (Quantum Trilogy #2) by MS Force (Read my Review)
Victorious (Quantum Trilogy #3) by MS Force (Read my Review)

SQUEEEEE!!! I read this trilogy back-to-back and LOOOVED every word!!! My heart was RACING from the first chapter — the CHEMISTRY was off-the-charts!!! — and I literally could not put it down!! — The hero is a world famous movie star who is also a sexual Dominant… and he falls in love with a young teacher he runs into at a park who has sworn off sex. They’re total opposites but they’re trying to make a relationship work. I loved EVERYTHING about the entire series so far!!! Pure BOOK HEAVEN!!! (Erotic BDSM romance. Recommended for fans of Fifty Shades/Crossfire)

*** 6-STAR RECOMMENDATION ***

 

The Life Intended by Kristin Harmel (Read my Review)

OMG. OMG. OH. MY. GOD!!! I can honestly say with full certainty that it was probably one of THE best books I have EVER read in my whole life. I am UGLY CRYING right now. Tears POURING down my face. Crying with noise. But, don’t be scared of it. This isn’t a tragic story and it’s not depressing (I’ll come right out and say it’s a happy ending ‘cuz I don’t want to scare you away). It’s just POWERFUL beyond words. One of the most profoundly BEAUTIFUL stories I’ve ever read. As I read through the book I’d get these full body CHILLS (and then tears right after) over and over and over again. The EMOTIONS it evoked were totally overpowering. I absolutely LOVED it. For the first time this year, I’m giving a book 6 STARS!!!

About the book…. After her beloved husband’s sudden death over ten years ago, the heroine never expected to find love again. But now she’s planning her second walk down the aisle. So why isn’t she more excited? … When she starts seeing her late husband in her dreams, she begins to wonder if he’s trying to tell her something? Attempting to navigate between dreams and reality, she must uncover her husband’s hidden message… where she finds rewards greater than she could have imagined.

*** CURRENT SALES & PRICE DROPS ***

Note: Sales are updated daily! And are limited time only!
Sale pricing may not be consistent internationally and may change at any time.
Books with a star (★) are ones I’ve read and loved.
The newest additions to the list are near the top.


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*** AUDIOBOOK UPGRADES!! ***

 
For fans of AUDIOBOOKS (or if you want to try them out), Amazon has a great program that searches YOUR Kindle library and finds you discounted audio upgrades for the books you already own. This means you’ll be able to switch seamlessly between reading and listening. If you’re curious, just click the link below… Everyone will see something different because it’s custom-tailored to YOUR personal books!

*** UPDATED LIST: BEST BOOKS OF 2015 ***

 
I’ve recently posted my list of Top 10 Best Books of 2015 so far. If you’re looking for a great new recommendation, be sure to check them out!! All of those books are favorites! Just click here!

Here are a few of my most recent favorite books and recommendations:

*** UPCOMING BOOKS: PRE-ORDER NOW ***

Note: You are NOT charged for pre-orders until the book is released.


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HUGE SIGNED GIVEAWAY — “STAGE DIVE” SERIES by Kylie Scott

HUGE SIGNED GIVEAWAY — “STAGE DIVE” SERIES by Kylie Scott

Rock star fans, check out this HUGE GIVEAWAY!!! 😀

Just because she’s totally awesome, author Kylie Scott has offered to gift a signed set of the entire Stage Dive series (all 4 books: Lick, Play, Lead, & Deep) to one lucky winner from this giveaway!! It’s open internationally so everyone can enter too!! Super exciting and nice of her!

If you haven’t read these yet and you’re a fan of sexy, well-written rock star romances, then be sure to check out the eBooks too! I’ll link them all below …. and then scroll down to enter the GIVEAWAY!

Click covers for more info on each book.
They’re interconnected standalones (different couples).

*** SIGNED GIVEAWAY ***

Open Internationally. Void where prohibited by law. Must be over 18 to enter.
1 winner will a signed set of the Stage Dive series.

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Book Review — The Man I Love by Suanne Laqueur

Book Review — The Man I Love by Suanne Laqueur

“She had my heart. I gave her my soul.”

WOW. WOW. WOW!

I was blown away by this book! It was a refreshingly unique story and the writing was exquisite. Vivid, powerful, and enthralling. The story was very slow-building, and meticulously detailed, but every single detail mattered. Everything was connected and had depth, but it didn’t follow any rules. Normally that would honestly be scary for me, but with the way that everything was portrayed, I felt like I understood where the characters were coming from. Their highs and lows, flaws and strengths, mistakes and triumphs all felt believable. The story felt real. It felt like I was living the story with them. I absolutely loved it!

Ever come across a book that you feel you just have to read? Where, from the moment you hear about it, it just calls to you? Well, that’s how I felt about this one. I had other reading plans in place and three books lined up to try next, but then I stumbled across this one and it just completely took over my mind. I couldn’t stop thinking about it, wondering about it. I had to read it. And I’m so incredibly glad I did.

The story is about a Erik, a college freshman, who falls in love with a beautiful dancer named Daisy. But “when a disturbed friend brings a gun into the theater, six lives are lost and she is left seriously injured, her professional dreams shattered. Traumatized by the experience, the lovers spiral into depression and drug use until a shocking act of betrayal destroys their relationship. To survive, he must leave school and disconnect from all he loves. He buries his heartbreak and puts the past behind. Or so he believes…

As he moves into adulthood, he comes to grips with his role in the shooting, and slowly heals the most wounded parts of his soul. But the unresolved grief for her continues to shape his dreams at night. Once those dreams were haunted by blood and gunfire. Now they are haunted by the refrain of a song and a single question: is leaving always the end of loving?

Spanning fifteen years, The Man I Love explores themes of love and sexuality, trauma and its long-lasting effects, the burden of unfinished business and the power of reconciliation. Through his experience we reflect on what it means to be a man, a son and a leader. A soul mate, a partner and a lover. What it means to live the truth of who you are and what you feel. What it means to fight for what you love.”

That blurb just grabbed my attention. I love stories that span several years (especially ones that are over the space of more than a decade) and in this story, we follow the characters from about 18-19 years old up until their 30’s. It’s quite an incredible journey.

But now… THE WRITING. Holy shit, guys. THE WRITING.

The writing was absolutely breathtaking. Elegant in it’s simplicity. Flawless. Entrancing. I’m really serious here. Every. Single. Sentence. Was. Beautiful. It had this smooth-flowing, addictive quality that drew me right into the story and begged me to turn the page. But at the same time, it was the kind of book I wanted to take my time with. This wasn’t a book you could rush. The story was very slow-building but the writing itself almost begged you to slow down and just absorb it word by word. And not only was it beautifully written, but it was clearly very well-thought-out with a lot of foreshadowing. Words and phrasing from the beginning would be echoed back later in the story in ways that would make my heart skip a beat.

While I do think it’s possible that some readers will find it too slow building, I personally think it was perfect for this story. In order to full deliver the emotional punch that I promise you comes later, it needed to build that connection from the ground up. This story wasn’t just about Erik and Daisy, it was about this incredible core group of friends — the dynamics of which would forever be changed on the day of the fateful shooting. But that love and that comraderie needed to be built in a way where you, as the reader, didn’t only know about it, but also felt it. It needed to be powerful. And my God, was it ever.

There are so many moments in this story that had a such deep and profound impact on my heart… The dancing. Them falling in love. Re-reading the quote in the hotel. The tattoos. We fucking own this. I love us. Human valium. The Purple Heart. The shaved head. The alpha male. The standing ovation. The thousand-yard stare. The lint… Gah. I have this whole long list in my notes of these powerful moments.  I laughed, I cried, I was overjoyed, and devastated. I felt the tragedy and I felt the triumph. I felt everything.

“The man I love all right,” Daisy said…
“I love you,” Erik said, laughing. He caught her hand, holding onto the connection a few more precious seconds…
“I love us,” she said, and kissed him.
“Us.”

This really isn’t a fairytale. It’s quite a realistic story with very flawed characters. The author isn’t afraid to tackle extremely difficult subjects. But I really was impressed with the way everything was portrayed. This is a book that ignores all the rules and makes it’s own. It’s absolutely not a “normal” contemporary romance. But for me, it delivered exactly what I craved: a unique story with beautiful writing and a strong portrayal of the kind of love that doesn’t let go even after the worst violence, the deepest betrayal, and the longest separation. It’s soul mate love. The kind that never ends.

There’s actually a sentence in the story that, for me, resonated so deeply. It’s just a simple one, but it hit home so hard. She says, “I hated not knowing where you were.” When you’re someone’s soul mate, the hurt matters, but at the end of the day, you need that person in your life. And if you don’t have them, they never leave your heart, and that sentence says it all.  “I hated not knowing where you were.” God. *sobs*

“Do you miss her?”
“Yes.”
“What do you miss?”
“I cannot find the peace I had when I was with her. When I was with her, my cells were happy. I miss looking in her eyes and everything else just disappearing… She was my soul mate and I miss her.”

Gah. I love that!

Now, I want to address the cheating that takes place in this story and why I was ok with it. As many of you know, it’s very rare for me to even consider reading anything with any kind of cheating. It’s a hard limit for me and it’s rare for me to either forgive the characters for it, or even want to read about it. When I read the line in the blurb saying “until a shocking act of betrayal destroys their relationship”, I immediately guessed cheating and became wary. On one hand, I was incredibly drawn to the story. On the other hand, that put me right off. So I went straight to the source and messaged the author privately about it. At the end of the day, no one wants someone who might hate their story to read it, so I trusted that she’d give me the most honest answer she could. And it was her answer that convinced me to give the book a shot.

Aestas: Ok — brutally honest question for you… cheating is usually a hard limit for me. But there have occasionally been (very rare) exceptions to my rules. Do you think honestly that there’s a chance this could still be something I’d like even taking the way I feel about cheating into consideration?

She took 4 minutes before answering, clearly thinking about it. And then said this:

Suanne (author): I think it could, yes. Because the tragedy of the storyline lies not only in Daisy’s decision (however impaired) but also Erik’s choice in how to deal with it. And it’s his evolution to turn around and face the issue which drives the story. It’s not formulaic or clichéd.

It was an honest answer and in the end she was right. My issue with cheating lies in the fact that I feel it completely undermines the characters’ love for each other. The thing that made me open to the idea of being more understanding in this case was the severe trauma they had gone through with the school shooting. I understand that PTSD changes people, and I understand that being young and trying to deal with it without professional help can lead a person down destructive paths. For me, it was more a question of trusting that in the book the author would not only explain the situation in a way that made me understand the characters, but also that she would handle the consequent healing (however long that process took) in a realistic manner. And I have to say that she was absolutely right. It wasn’t formulaic or clichéd. It felt very real. And as such, it allowed me to love this story — even the most painful parts.

For those of you who want more details…

Spoiler Inside Show

“Leaving isn’t always the end of loving.”

Regarding the ending, you should know it’s happy. I’ll come right out and say it because the blurb can be a little scary. This isn’t a tragic story. It’s incredibly painful and heartbreaking at times and deals with many serious themes. But ultimately, it’s uplifiting. The point really is that these characters were able to come through it all stronger, and were able to find each other again. This is their journey to get there.

I personally loved this story because it was exactly what I was looking for right now. To me, it was amazing. Breathtaking and refreshing. Completely unique. If you’re looking for a light-hearted, fast-paced thrill-ride, this isn’t it. If you want the kind of story that’ll work it’s way into your heart, make you loose sleep while you stay up reading, and make you truly feel the journey, this is it. It’s a deep story. It’s multi-layered. It’s slow building. But I promise you that everything happens for a reason. And I personally am so glad I decided to read it because this is now without a doubt one of my favorite books!

However, I will say that I felt like it needed more to it at the end. There is actually a second book currently available that tells Daisy’s side of the story (because this book is Erik’s story). But personally I didn’t find that I needed to know more about what had already happened — I felt like I actually understood that part well enough to be completely satisfied with it — but I wanted more from the end. It’s happy, but open ended. I have heard though that she’s planning to write a third book though so maybe we’ll get more then. Regardless, this is a complete story with a resolved ending and it can be read as a standalone.

As for rating, this easily had 5 star writing and a 5 star story. But I’m going with a 4.5 star rating overall because even though it had a resolved ending, after experiencing a decade of heartache with these characters, I needed more time focused on the happiness at the end to balance the whole story out. I was euphorically relieved that they’d found their way back to each other, but I wanted to see more of their future. If this book had had three more chapters and an epilogue, it would have been 5 stars all the way!

But I truly did love it and I feel the need to mention yet again how utterly beautiful the writing was!

“All I know is twelve years later, you’re still in my head and I don’t stop thinking about you. I can’t stop thinking about you.”

And lastly, I want to share a note from the author that was actually the final thing that made me drop everything to read this book. I’ve heard that this book was her debut novel. That blows my mind. If this were someone’s tenth book, I’d have been impressed. But the fact that this was her first book (!!) is a true testament to her natural writing talent. And what she describes is exactly what I’m always searching for:

A good story absorbs you into another world, where you meet characters so believable, you’re pissed off you can’t call them to have coffee. Or take them to bed.

You don’t want just another “contemporary romance.” You don’t want a genre. You want a story that mirrors your longing. You want to see the unspoken words in your heart on the page. You want to be touched and validated. You want to be swept up in a love that erases the universe and sets you at the center of a new galaxy. But you’re no fool… You want it to be believable.

I want that, too. I want to write passionate but thoughtful love stories. I made up my own genre: I call it emotionally intelligent romance.

Now come over here. I have a story for you.

WOW, right? That’s why I read this book.  It was absolutely breathtaking!! With it’s unique plotline and utterly exquisite writing, this is the kind of story you feel deep in your heart and that’ll stay with you long after you finish reading. I highly recommend it!

Rating: 4.5 stars! Contemporary Adult “emotionally intelligent” romance.

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THE MAN I LOVE
(Erik’s side of the story. Can be read as a standalone)
Buy for Kindle | Buy in Paperback

GIVE ME YOUR ANSWER TRUE
(Daisy’s side of the story. Parallel companion novel to The Man I Love)
Buy for Kindle | Buy in Paperback

THE MAN I LOVE promo