An intense story of first love and second chances.
‘My name is Marlo Rivers, and this is my story of corrupted love.’
‘My name is Ever Montgomery, and this is my story of love resurrected.’
LOW OVER HIGH BOOK ONE
EVER OVER AFTER BOOK TWO
Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte
‘Love changes over time. The edges may dull, the butterflies hibernate… but sometimes, the best things sharpen and flourish as years pass.’
The Over Duet is our first foray into the work of J.A. DeRouen and it’s safe to say, we’ll be checking out more of her work in the future because we both loved this story. The drama element was intense though not prolonged for unnecessary reasons, the wit between the characters lightened the load when needed, J.A. DeRouen’s prose ensured we instantly connected with her writing and fell in love with her characters, all playing a part to tell the story of Low and Ever, and what a story!
This is a spoiler free review for the complete Duet and it’s imperative you read Low Over High first as the story in Ever Over After continues on, eight years down the track from the events that unfolded in book one, with Low (Marlo) and Ever (Everett’s) story concluding in book two.
“Time passes, memories fade, but feelings are forever.”
Low Over High begins with a gripping prologue set in the present when a very disillusioned and bitter Low tells us how she is sworn off relationships, has a cynical outlook on love and is, in general, quite disgruntled and not at all interested in seeking a relationship. The prologue ensured we voraciously turned the pages to find out what transpired all those years ago to make Low resentful.
The story then flicks back to eight years when a then 17 year old Low is about to leave her loving Dad, Nana and brother, Declan in Texas to attend her Senior year in New Orleans in order to reconnect with her mother, who had left Low and Declan when they were very small children.
It is at Orleans Academy Low meets Ever, the quintessential sullen ‘lost boy’, and the nephew of the Dean of the school. Ever is a 17 year old boy fighting many demons and heartache.
An accidental meeting has them taking an instant dislike to one another, though over a four month period, we lay witness to the growth of their relationship, their first love and the tragic incidents that would see Low disappear one day, never to return. This part of the story was heartbreakingly sad on both accounts and presented tough and tragic time for both Low and Ever individually.
“Please stay…even if my heart is scarred and my soul is dirty. Please stay….”
The build of the relationship was beautifully executed, and although the time span was relatively short, these two had dealt with a lot in their young years, and so we felt their love at first was very innocent, very real and beautiful. Those four month would shape their lives in many different ways, essentially determining who they are when we meet them again eight years later in book two.
‘He’s the creation and the rapture. Every good and bad thing all wrapped up into one. And now, after all these years, he may just be my resurrection.’
During their time apart we felt the characters had developed, matured and grown individually and felt the infinite pull that lead them back to one another. However, hidden secrets, unspoken words, and memories unearthed from the past lay beneath their hearts. What consequences will bringing them to the surface ultimately be and could Low and Ever rediscover the love they had?
“I’m a better man when I’m loving you. I don’t think I can stop, even you beg me to.”
J.A. DeRouen delivered a heartfelt, believable and beautifully moving story and she did so without the melancholy that could have so easily brought it down. Yes, she deals with some very heavy subject matter in this duet, and yes we felt the emotional and mental fallout from this, but it was handled sensitively. We met a bunch of friendly, outgoing and wonderful characters who burrowed into our hearts, who, together with Low and Ever, ensured we thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this first love, love second chance story with friendships, family and loyalty at its heart. Grab this one!