Review | Finding Anna by Katie Cross

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Finding Anna by Katie Cross

A Health and Happiness Society spinoff

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Published by THHS Publishing on 28 February 2019.

Scroll down for the review and giveaway!

Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

SYNOPSIS

6- Finding Anna_400x600.jpgAnna Buchanan is a freshman college student with one plan: travel abroad.

Except . . . college life isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. Her new roommate definitely has a quirky side. All those romantic comedies she watched growing up? Not happening. Money is harder to come by than she thought, and her first kiss is less-than-foot-popping.

Not to mention the fact that there aren’t enough hours in her day to sell blood plasma, work at the deli, and volunteer at her dream internship.

All of Anna’s hard-thought dreams tumble around her ankles when she buries herself too deep in dreams. Then the most terrifying news hits her like a slap in the face.

Can Anna salvage the time and money needed to fulfill her dreams? Or will she have to face the truth: that sometimes our greatest adventures never take us very far away.

Join Anna Buchanan in Finding Anna, a heartwarming novel about odd roommates, unattainable college boys, and the epic quest to find yourself.


I hated Anna Buchanan.

From the beginning, I already knew I wasn’t going to be her biggest fan. Why did I hate Anna? That’s because I used to be Anna, and I bet a lot of other readers would agree that they see part of themselves in her. She is a teenager, a very idealistic one at that, despite her parents calling her Sensible Anna, and she brings the metaphorical ‘the world is your oyster‘ phrase too true and dear to her heart. Once in my life, I was unapologetic of how I planned to do the things I want, I was brave crossing the thin line to stupidity, and I was very particular with how I want my life to pan out. Likewise, Anna, to the point of obsession, is so focused on earning the money for her travel plans, that she unintentionally disregards her age and inexperience, her family’s financial state, and the overall higher rate of impossibility of the things she wants to happen to her.

“Anna, you’ve never really been a reality person, you know? That’s why your father and I have planned things out for you. You’re too much of a dreamer. You need someone to keep you grounded. “

Now, I’m unsure if this is the message that the author wanted to put out, but to me, what was said was this: You are young, you don’t know everything, and that’s okay. Anna is introduced to us by way of her dreams and travel plans and it’s only when everything starts really falling apart that she finally admits there are things she can’t plan and that there are dreams she can’t schedule.

“Dreams don’t pay the bills. In the end, dreams are just that: dreams.”

Melanie and Anna’s friendship is interesting, because it seemed Melanie’s known so much of Anna’s, but Anna knows very little of Melanie. In fact, at first I even though T, the guy Melanie was with at the beginning, was a brother, a cousin, or a friend, following the First Girl Wins trope. Melanie’s mystery is implied across all throughout the book. One character talked about her as such: “She seems a little out of place in a small town like this, doesn’t she?” which is why I wondered if Melanie’s also a recurring character in one of the other books in The Health & Happiness Society (I planned to review the other books too, but unfortunately my exams got rescheduled).

A college-aged character’s life will not be complete without a little romance, and I liked Anna’s awkward behavior through it all. She isn’t portrayed as a ditz, or as someone completely blind to another’s affections towards her. This poor girl panics over how unrealistic movies and books show first kisses and flirting. To top it off, her dreamy perceptions and antics make an appearance, a little like Mia in The Princess Diariesas she wonders about butterflies in her stomach, wind in her hair, and music during a kiss.

It’s never just a kiss, I want to say, but I blow out a quick breath instead. It’s story. It’s romance. It’s passion. It’s supposed to be perfect. [But] it’s not. Like having a roommate. Like college in general. Like life and finances and parents and romance. I’m beginning to suspect nothing ever is. “Yeah, okay,” I say. “Just a kiss.”

A little further into the book is when, romantic-wise, things look up for Anna, before it’s snatched from her again. I like how the author paralleled one girl’s hopeful beginning of a relationship and the other’s nervousness of ending one, by putting both scenes next to each other.

Comparison of the character and myself aside, though, Anna really is not my favorite character. She feels very two-dimensional to me, and although I keep reading “I want this, I want that” throughout, I also didn’t quite get her desperation to pursue her dream to travel the world. At one point, Anna even agrees to be an unpaid intern to a company that promised the perks of travelling as part of the job, and because she wants to see the world outside of her small town, she even ends up volunteering for a managerial position that she, frankly, is not even ready to do. However, even that wasn’t enough to convince me. The book is written from her perspective but I still needed more of Anna. In my notes, I wrote this about her from the first few chapters: poor unlucky girl is surrounded by nice rich people. Unfortunately, somewhat to the end this is a little true. While I have no doubt about people’s graciousness and willingness to help, I’m not really a fan of how these are portrayed in books and movies because it’s like things just fall into place for the main character largely because of the helpful people around her. Kind of defeats the purpose of the journey for me.

Overall, I like how this is very YA and innocent. It captures the idealism of a teen well; the inconsistency, the indecisiveness, the occasional thick-skinned personality. Now that I’m older, I’ve come to realize that these are things that annoyed me about teenagers, truth be told, but that’s the thing. When you’re young, a part of you really has that belief that you can do and achieve absolutely anything you put your mind to. But the thing is, life works in different ways for different people, and that’s what one’s journey from teenagehood to adulthood will teach you.


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Thank you, Silver Dagger Tours for letting me be part of Katie Cross’ The Health & Happiness Society series tour and giveaway. This lasts from 29 October to 29 November. You can check out the tour participants’ posts here.


AUTHOR INFORMATION

Katie Cross_400x400.jpgMy world revolves around my husband (who is a major hottie), my precious kids, my Vizsla’s who act like children, and the mountains.

I wear hiking boots instead of heels when I need to feel powerful, and on a bad day, I love a weightlifting workout. Actually, I love it on a good day.

I don’t eat bread because my thyroid doesn’t like it, although there are days I miss it. Especially ciabatta. Sweet potatoes are kind of my thing. Cookies too.

I write because I never stopped.

Author of The Network Series, The Dragonmaster Trilogy, and The Health and Happiness Society.

Author Website | Bookbub | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Amazon | Pinterest

GIVEAWAY

Follow the tour HERE for special content and giveaway of 25$ Amazon gift card.

Reveal | The Event by Whitney Dineen

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The Event

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Published on 1 November 2019. Genres: Adult, Contemporary

Scroll down for the excerpt and giveaway!

Disclaimer: This is a promotional post. I have not read the book. As such, its contents may not necessarily reflect my views.

SYNPOSIS

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There’s a reason Emmeline Frothingham left her hometown of Creek Water, Missouri as soon as humanly possible. That reason is small-minded, judgmental people who wouldn’t know the truth if it was coughed up on them like an errant furball.
 
After graduating from college, Emmie gets her dream job in New York City. As the head buyer at Silver Spoons–a high-end boutique, and single girl about town, her  life is ideal. That is, until the night of The Event, her company’s annual award’s ball at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Nerves plus too much tequila leave Emmie dealing with a wicked hangover, the unemployment line, and a surprise to end all surprises.
 
Facing the repercussions of her wild night, Emmie is forced to go home to work in her family’s business. But her return puts her dead in the sights of the gossipy country club harpies who drove her away in the first place.
 
Will Emmie make peace with her past and embrace the love of her family? Will she discover that the man who seems to be judging her most has a secret of his own? Find out in this deliciously fun romantic comedy, sure to put a smile on your face!


EXCERPT

In my esteemed, but obviously biased opinion, Creek Water, Missouri, population 14,012, is the armpit of the world. Scratch that, it’s a ripe pustulant boil on the butt of the Northern Hemisphere. If it weren’t my hometown, and I weren’t desperate for employment, I’d have never considered moving back. Ever.

I just got off the phone with my Uncle Jed—the Beverly Hillbillies reference is not lost on me—and he’s offered to make me manager of a new commercial venture he and my other uncle Jesse (yes, like Full House) are starting up in the old warehouse district. The revitalization of Creek Water continues as my former peers have discovered that it’s cheaper to live at home and not go out into the real world like I did. Problem is, I got myself into a tiny bit of trouble in the real world.

I was driven in my formative years to prove that I could make something of myself without any backing from the illustrious Frothingham family, of which I am one. I was sick to death of people thinking everything was handed to me on a silver platter just because of my last name. So, I worked hard to get excellent grades in school, and I earned myself a scholarship to college. After graduation, I moved to New York City, determined to leave my small-town, small-minded roots behind. Things were going great too, until The Event.

I worked as head buyer for Silver Spoons Enterprises in Manhattan, an exclusive gourmet/kitchenware boutique chain on the Eastern Seaboard. I was stationed at our flagship location on East Seventy-Third Street.

The Event was the corporate dinner dance at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where all the bigwigs gathered to pat each other on the back and recognize top-performing employees. I thought I was a shoo-in for the Demitasse Award, honoring the most creative contribution to the company during that fiscal year. I was personally responsible for the whole “Linens for Dinner” campaign, which promoted the idea that both urban and suburban millennials only use cloth napkins to dine, thus not only cutting back our carbon footprint by lessening paper waste, but also adding a touch of elegance to our lives. We sold more linens that year than in the previous ten years combined. It was that successful.

So there I sat in my way too expensive dress—I splurged because I knew how important it was to make a good impression on the executives and because it was the perfect little number to accept my honor in—when Jameson Diamante announced the nominees for the Demitasse.

There were only three of us—me with my linen campaign, Juliet Smithers from the Southampton store for her “Drink More Wine!” crusade, and Allison Conrad from Atlanta for her “Pretty Please, Y’all” call to reinstate formal invitations on engraved card stock.

Why don’t we just kill the planet, Allison, with all the trees we’re going to murder for your cause?

I was poised on the edge of my seat ready to throw my hands across my heart and gasp something along the lines of, “What? Me? My word, I’m so surprised!” I’d imagined how I’d get up and show off my six-hundred-dollar understated elegance to the whole room.

Jameson announced, “This year’s decision was not an easy one to make, with all three ladies greatly contributing to our brand, but in the end, we chose the contender who was responsible for the most innovative campaign.”

Here’s where the chain of events gets a wee bit cloudy. I could have sworn he’d called my name, so I stood up as planned, but my good friend and table-mate Lexi says that isn’t what happened at all. Apparently, old Jameson had called out Allison’s name, and she and I both went up to accept the award. How deforesting the planet is innovative, I do not know. I did hear through the corporate grapevine that Allison had gone to Jameson’s hotel room with him before the ceremony like a Kardashian auditioning her new sugar daddy. But I digress. Back to The Event.

I grabbed the silver spoon out my fellow nominee’s hand and proceeded to give my speech. All of it. Which for some reason I was allowed to do. It was a beautiful speech. I thanked my mother for her graciousness and manners, and I thanked my grandmother for teaching me how to fold dinner napkins into swans. I was about to thank Silver Spoons for having the wisdom to hire me, when Allison grabbed the Demitasse out of my hand. I may have chosen that moment to snatch it back and hit her over the head with it—obviously not very hard as she never pressed assault charges, thank God. 

It’s all conjecture really. All I can say for certain is that I hastily fled the ceremony, trotting down all eight hundred thousand stairs of the Met in four-inch heels, in a cloud of disgrace and disappointment. I took a cab to a nearby bar, where I proceeded to drink my body weight in tequila before waking up in an unknown apartment in Brooklyn.


Thank you, Xpresso Book Tours for letting me be a part of The Event blitz! Don’t forget to check out the other amazing posts by my fellow blitz participants.

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AUTHOR INFORMATION

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Whitney loves to laugh, play with her kids, bake, and eat french fries — not always in that order.

Whitney is a multi-award-winning author of romcoms, non-fiction humor, and middle reader fiction. Basically, she writes whatever the voices in her head tell her to.

She lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her husband, Jimmy, where they raise children, chickens, and organic vegetables.

Awards: Gold Medal winner at the International Readers’ Favorite Awards, 2017. Silver medal winner at the International Readers’ Favorite Awards, 2015, 2016. Finalist RONE Awards, 2016. Finalist at the IRFA 2016, 2017. Finalist at the Book Excellence Awards, 2017. Finalist Top Shelf Indie Book Awards, 2017.

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Blitz | Princes of the Lower East Side by Meredith Allison

Princes of the Lower East Side

A Scalisi Family Novel #2

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Published on 28 October 2019. Genres: Adult, Historical, Thriller

Scroll down for the excerpt and giveaway!

Disclaimer: This is a promotional post. I have not read the book. As such, its contents may not necessarily reflect my views.

SYNPOSIS

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Mia Scalisi returns in this highly anticipated follow-up to Blood & Whiskey!

Sicily is a paradise on earth Mia Angela Scalisi doesn’t want to leave, but after over a year of peace, obligations—like being Hyman Goldberg’s It Girl at his new nightclub—call her back to New York City.

But everything she’s known in New York has changed…and that might even include the men she once thought were her friends.

When a new, ambitious gangster threatens to take over the old neighborhood, bringing devastation to the poor families who live there, Mia can’t ignore the bonds that tie her to the underworld way of life that killed her brother and set her upon a merciless, bloody path of revenge.

With her brother’s widow, her niece, and a mysterious, devoted bodyguard at her side, Mia must reclaim her position as head of her dead brother’s business, establish herself as the reigning queen among the princes of the Lower East Side, and make the ultimate decision: who lives, and who must die.


EXCERPT

It was nearly four in the morning. The sky was still black, heavy clouds puffing up high and concealing the stars, threatening another April storm. The ground was wet and shiny from a rainstorm that had passed over the city a few hours ago. The air smelled clean, fresh, promising new beginnings with the rising sun.

The old neighborhood was oddly silent. It had nothing to offer young whoopee-seekers. No speakeasies, no jazz clubs. No brothels or card halls. There might be the occasional get-together hosted in a home, but most people knew where to find the liveliest places to have fun. A family-based community was not it. Therefore, silence at this hour was common.

And yet, there was an ominous quality to the silence, one that reeked of death. An echo of stillness that seemed to bounce off the corners of her mind, over and over.

Paolo turned a corner onto Mulberry Street, where so many hardworking, family-operated businesses lined the street on either side. It was one of the hearts of the neighborhood, where people came to do their shopping, to socialize, to fix things, to make a life. The tailor’s shop had been burned here, because of the degradation that had poisoned the community. Other shops suffered from theft, vandalism. Others still paid exorbitant protection fees to a man who cared nothing for them, a man who employed other men to peddle that poison, to commit atrocities that would destroy mothers and families for generations.

Paolo rolled to a stop.

Mia opened the car door and stepped out. Her heeled evening shoes slid a little on the slippery ground. The edges of her gauzy dress trailed in a pool of water before she stood up. The only sounds in her ears were the click of her heels with each step forward, the jingle of her long, bejeweled earrings as they swayed, brushing the tops of her shoulders.

She paused, her soft breaths in and out now the only sounds in the still, still night. She surveyed the fruit of her plan.

A small, cold smile pulled at one side of her mouth.

Lying side-by-side along the block, in the middle of the street, were bodies. Eighteen of them.


Thank you, Xpresso Book Tours for letting me be a part of Princes of the Lower East Side blitz! Don’t forget to check out the other amazing posts by my fellow blitz participants.

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AUTHOR INFORMATION

Meredith.jpgMeredith Allison has embraced her nerdiness from youth, with minor jaunts of attempting to be “cool” during high school and college. Spoiler alert: she was unsuccessful at fooling anyone. After this dark period, she returned to the light, embracing her bookish nature and penchant for action and horror films, bloody survivalist video games (she’s looking at you, Resident Evil and Call of Duty) interspersed with the occasional sweeping fantasy adventure RPG (Final Fantasy, anyone?). Along the way, she developed her knack for storytelling, which began when she was a mere child-person many moons ago.

Meredith is a writer (and reader) of many kinds of fiction, but in particular spy thrillers, military-esque suspense, and historical crime. A native of Lincoln, Nebraska, she is by proxy a Huskers fan (GO BIG RED!), as UNL is her undergraduate alma mater, and moonlights as an obligatory Blue Jays fan due to completing her graduate MFA studies at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.

When she emerges from her writing cave, blinking in dismay at having to be exposed to the cruel light of day yet again, she can be found romping with her two Pomeranians, serving her overlord cat, hanging with her husband, battling it out with the undead or practicing a new kind of magery on her PlayStation, or simply huddled in a dark corner somewhere with just enough light to read a favorite book. Other interests include baking, cooking, and blogging about new restaurants.

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Blitz | The Merkabah Series by LZ Marie

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The Merkabah Series by LZ Marie

AmazonGoodreads

Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance

Scroll down for the excerpt and giveaway!

Disclaimer: This is a promotional post. I did not receive a copy of these books, nor have I scanned parts of or read its entirety. As such, the contents of the books do not necessarily reflect my views.

SYNPOSES

 

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The Merkabah Recruit (Book 1)

A mystical shape. Three gruesome murders. One reluctant hero. And the only person able to prevent the next murder is an anxiety-prone recruit. Divorced and depressed, Daphne Sites is stunned to learn that a unique empathic ability allows her to identify otherworldly life. So when a secret organization asks for her help, it’s difficult to refuse.

Serik Jalani is the man who must convince the reluctant recruit to assume a chilling mantle of responsibility. There’s only one way to do this. Reel her in slowly. Except Daphne suspects Serik is not being entirely truthful. About the organization. The mission. And even his true identity.

As Daphne attempts to keep her new job secret from two sassy sisters, one jealous ex-husband, and a bimbo Barbie neighbor, she struggles to embrace the mysteries of a cosmic technology and realize her own self-worth.

If Daphne hopes to stop the next murder and stay alive, she must first confront her biggest problem. Herself.

The first in the Merkabah Series about a forbidden love that destroys an ancient legacy.

The Merkabah Deception (Book 2)

An insidious evil threatens to escape into our world and only an empathic professor can stop it. Psychotic episodes spread through a prestigious prep school and the headmistress seeks help from an occult society. Daphne Sites, the newest member, must determine if the mass hysteria has unearthly origins. She’s a bit anxious—this is only her second assignment.

Daphne soon discovers she’s in way over her head after a terrifying encounter with a possessed student. Attacks by thugs and nonhuman enemies don’t bolster her courage or confidence either!

The search for answers sends Daphne to the Amazon jungle, Ecuador’s majestic cathedrals, a creepy hacienda, and a ghoul-infested catacomb. If Daphne hopes to live, she’ll have to figure out the truth from the lies.

Legends, lies, and lust thwart an empathic woman’s attempts to stop a supernatural evil in the second book of the Merkabah Series, where a forbidden love destroys an ancient legacy. 

The Merkabah Temptation (Book 3)

A dating website leaves a trail of shriveled bodies and Daphne Sites is on case. But following the string of clues to solve this mystery requires working with the man who broke her heart. 

As if that wasn’t difficult enough, a shady magician, a vicious hellhound, a devious predator, and SJ’s ancient enemy are determined to see her fail. Not to mention the other misguided beings—human and otherworldly—that keep Daphne on her empathic toes.

From the city morgue to San Francisco’s Chinatown to a Napa Valley winery, Daphne struggles to find the murderer and learn the truth about SJ and The Watchers. 

Legends, lies, and lust thwart an empathic woman’s attempts to stop a supernatural evil in the third book of the Merkabah Series, where a forbidden love destroys an ancient legacy. 


EXCERPT

SJ’s fingers wrapped around my hand.

An energy pulse surged up my arm. I yanked my hand away, but the rolling wave of warmth went right to my heart and blossomed outward. I rubbed my hand, his touch still lingering on my skin like the faintest tickle.

“You felt it. Good.” He nodded, satisfied, as though I had passed a test. “Relax, Daphne. Look at the people. What do you see?” He pushed my Long Island Iced Tea towards me.

There were drunk people and desperate men and women laughing too loud and trying too hard to have fun. “What am I supposed to see?” I sipped the drink.

SJ’s lips twitched and his brow lifted. “You tell me.”

“I see people,” I shrugged. 

“You see more than that.” His brown eyes twinkled from over the rim of his extra dirty martini.

“I see drunk people.”

SJ leaned close, his shoulder touching mine. “I know you sense the feelings and thoughts of others.”

My stomach flip-flopped. “Who are you?”

SJ tapped his chest, flashed his thousand-watt grin. “I’m your guide.”

“For what?” I sucked on the straw, tried to cool the embers burning in my belly. “Am I taking a trip?”

His forefinger made a little circle in the air. “You see a person’s true form.” SJ withdrew his accusing finger, speared his martini olive with the tiny plastic fork, and popped the olive in his mouth.

This conversation took a sharp left onto Creepy Town Road.

SJ was right about one thing though. I did need this drink. Maybe two.

“What do you mean?” I lifted the glass, drank down the sweet nectar as though it could help me deal with this. With him. With his knowing.

“You’re an empath with special skills.” SJ’s eyes seared like laser beams.

“An empath?” I pondered the ice cubes floating in my Long Island Iced Tea. Was he referring to my over-sensibilities about people? Referring to the bizarre impressions I get about someone? I never told anybody about that. People would think I was crazy. Once in while I let something slip to my sisters, who laughed and said I was weird. When I was a child, Mom accused me of having a fanciful imagination.

Slurp, swallow, repeat. The alcohol took the edge off my rising panic. I stared at my drink, the condensation on the glass as cold as the back of my neck.

SJ’s voice was low, its warmth encouraging and seducing. “An empath feels others’ emotions, but you do more than that. You detect people in their true form. The time has come to perfect this ability.”

I sensed his stare. Determined. Serious. Like a hot poker to my soul. I pretended fascination with the cocktail napkin. Confusion, curiosity, anxiety, and attraction swirled like a tornado around me. I didn’t dare make eye contact.

“We know you perceive strange creatures in human form.”

My heart jumped in my throat.


Thank you, Xpresso Book Tours for letting me be a part of The Merkabah Series blitz! Don’t forget to check out the other amazing posts by my fellow blitz participants.

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AUTHOR INFORMATION

LZ.jpgLZ Marie writes paranormal romance with mystical sass. She uses another pen name for her historical fiction.

LZ lives in southern California and wishes she could get to the beach more often. She adores lattes, swimming, vacations, a great book, and hanging out with her very large family. A intriguing mystery-thriller, action-adventure, historical fiction, or urban fantasy will have her reading into the wee hours of the night.


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Review | The Love Trap by Nicole French

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The Love Trap by Nicole French

(Purchase NowGoodreads)

Genres: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary

Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


“You watch, kid. One day, you’re going to find a girl you can’t stop kissing either. It gets worse, too. Soon you’ll do anything to make her smile. Make a complete fool of yourself just for an extra glance.”

Eric and Jane both bear the loss of the untimely death of their fathers and their complicated relationship with their mothers. Neither of them have siblings, but have cousins and friends they can count on. The love of family, however, is something not easily replaced. Perhaps that’s what fueled them both to fight tooth-and-nail for a better future, one that wasn’t plagued by an obsessive, power-hungry psychopath, rendering them paranoid and uneasy even when flanked by a gorilla squad the best that a shipping heir can afford.

The book started twenty-three years into the past, in 1996 where a young Eric inwardly marveled at his small, beautiful family. Now, while this wasn’t a book-end type of conclusion, it certainly attempted to lead to that. From the beginning, Eric and Jane’s relationship was never implied to be easy. Even when it became clear Jane would eventually win over the affections of the De Vries matriarch, there was the matter of a certain psycho who was so bitter he got friendzoned decades ago that he just couldn’t let it go. Then again, maybe being spiteful for years runs in the family. After all, the 2009 flashbacks plus the on again, off again thing pre-Quicksilver between E/J should be substantial proof, that yes, she can harbor negative feelings for a very long time.

I normally don’t like frequent time jumps (in fact, in my TKP review, I mentioned how it sometimes ruined the mood for me), but for some reason, I really loved the time jumps from 2009 to the Present. Maybe because I finally got the answer to that one question I’ve had since starting the two series. Ever since Spitfire, Eric and Jane’s relationship has always been a big question mark, because even Skylar herself claimed she had absolutely no idea what happened— if my memory hasn’t failed me, Skylar mentioned in Legally Yours that the two started in a series of “one night stands”. In TLP, clearly it wasn’t just the sexual attraction for these two, though it may have started that way. 

“Spoken like a true bullshit artist. Tossing hypotheticals around like confetti instead of speaking with basic clarity. Tricking women into thinking it’s the real thing while maintaining plausible deniability. Well, you know what? That shit doesn’t work with me. I told you. I don’t play these games.”

This book also touches on certain sensitive topics, perhaps even more than it did in Spitfire— abuse, depression, abortion, gun control. Regardless if I agree with the characters’ choices, I’ve always appreciated books that go beyond the unspoken limitations of sensitive press. My heart broke when Skylar confronted Eric, speaking about her own loss and encouraging him to be more supportive of the healing process, no matter how long it would take. Brandon, ever the best man, took it upon himself to help Eric out of his guilt and helplessness. There was also relatively realistic depiction of loss, abuse, PTSD, and depression. At one point, too, the main characters went to confront ghosts of their past and present, I guess to wrap up E/J’s story. In fact, this book was so emotional, I had to put it down for a few minutes every now and then.

“I knew he wouldn’t call. He couldn’t even meet my eye as he walked out of the building. I was something of an expert in brushoffs— giving and receiving them— and this had supreme ghosting all over it. The biggest difference was that this one was really, really going to hurt.”

There was something that used to bother me, though, and it was this push-and-pull, then I’m-doing-this-for-you thing that Jane and Eric had going on. Many times throughout the books, not just in TLT, I was so close to pulling my own hair in frustration over E/J. Honestly, their penchant for self-sacrifice knows no bounds, and that’s precisely part of the reason why they end up getting screwed over. A huge part of their personalities is that they both want to take matters into their own hands, often to the point of not revealing their plans to the other (Aelin Galathynius, anyone?). Clearly, this both became their downfall; first, in Hwaseong, second, in North End. I can’t even say that they perfectly, surpassed these, because sure, they eventually got their ending, but it was no walk in the park. While E/J’s main problems were because of Celeste, and later Carson, it’s also their difficulty in opening up that prevented them from healing and finding peace. There were wounds, real and invisible, that they carried with them for the rest of their days. But contrary to the pain they carried from the death of their family, now E/J had each other, so their healing process this time was assisted with this new reality that they weren’t alone, and that they needn’t to be so perfect or tough or strong.

With Eric, I had found I could imagine almost anything, and he would support me in any way. I had found the one man in the world unafraid of a woman like me. My strengths, my weaknesses, my ambitions, my fears. He embraced them all, and what’s more, he genuinely loved me for them.

And in case anyone needed reminding, let me repeat this one line that Jane said about herself way back in THV: When the sun went down and the courthouse was closed, I lived my life as God intended a young, sexually active woman to live: without fear or boundaries.” Lucky Jane is that she found someone so unafraid of her true self, and Eric to finally be with the love of his life (cool persona aside, he really is a soft boy!).

Now, moving on to my favorite part of reviews: identifying my top supporting characters featuring their best scenes and one-liners. One thing I absolutely love about French’s books would be the characters’ relationships to each other. A scene in particular (again, featuring Brandon, because of course the poor nerd has earned his place yet again), over breakfast at the Crosby-Sterling’s Brookline compound, involving Skylar’s dishwasher coffee, Jenny’s eggs, and Brandon’s cheeky dad humor. Although I have to say, this scene was also a bit emotional in Eric’s part, as he reminisced about life with his parents and the could-have-beens with Jane.

Speaking of parents, neither Heather nor Yu-na win awards for mother of the years, and truth be told, I have a list of words I’d like to call them for selfishly choosing to be silent over their respective histories with JC, even when they’ve seen and heard the things that happened to their children because of said man.

Jude Letour, of course, is still my favorite racist and sexist prick. I wish people like him didn’t exist in real life, but unfortunately, they do. However, we also don’t often get snarky villains, and it’s about time we do, especially if they come out just like this two-faced, Jack Sparrow caricature.

And, lastly in my admittedly already condensed list of special mentions. Though I shouldn’t be surprised, I noticed Zola’s frequent exposure towards the latter part of the book, which made me wonder if the author’s got an upcoming trilogy dedicated for him, too. He’s earned it for sure, given how he’s been unofficially named by the mother hen (cough, Skylar) of the group as their guardian angel, because of all his help from Spitfire to Quicksilver. Granted, the guy’s just doing his job, but really, it’s about time he gets something in return and engages in romance himself. Poor Zola. Always the bridesmaid, never the bride.”

It has been an incredibly emotional, action-packed journey with Eric and Jane. I still stand by my words from eight months ago in my Spitfire review, that E/J are such a thrill together. Their love is so overwhelming, and it’s easy to see that only people with their personalities can keep up with their partners’. I am absolutely in love with these two, how they both defy expectations and stereotypes. My fingers are crossed that we see more of them, or if not, more characters like them, in Nicole French’s future works.


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Book Details: Genre: Contemporary Romance | Release Date: October 10, 2019.

Author’s Note: The Quicksilver Trilogy is a companion series to the Spitfire Trilogy. Both can be read separately, but readers may enjoy meeting Eric and Jane for the first time in Legally Yours, available free. Read The Hate Vow here.


AUTHOR INFORMATION

AuthorPic.jpgNicole French is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance. She’s also a hopeless romantic, Springsteen fanatic, and total bookworm. When not writing, she is hanging out with her family, playing soccer with the rest of the thirty-plus crowd in Seattle, or going on dates with her husband. In her spare time, she likes to go running or practice the piano, but never seems to do either one of these things as much as she should.

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