Category Archives: L B Simmons

RECOVERY (Mending Hearts #1.5) by L.B. SIMMONS – REVIEW

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SYNOPSIS

I have the perfect life.
I’ve finally found my happy ending.
I fought through the loss of one husband, lucky enough to be given a second chance at a lifetime of happiness. Settling into our new lives, however, may not be as easy as it seems.
What really happens after the fairytale ending? What happens after the prince rescues the princess? After he sweeps her off her feet and carries her off into the sunset? Do they truly live happily ever after?
Well…
This is our story

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Review by Jenny & Gitte

Jenny:  Gitte, I have to say I was ecstatic when I heard L.B. Simmons was going to extend ROE and give us more of Blake and Alex’s story because I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to them and those adorable little munchkins of theirs just yet.  I felt I needed some sort of conclusion to ROE, you know….. I needed know how they fared going forward and this Novella most certainly delivered.  It is a perfect companion to Running On Empty and takes place about a month after ROE finishes and really does give us the closure we needed with Alex, Blake and the girls.

“Because as sure as my heart beats, you have given me life again…in more ways than one.”

The same heart-warming, funny, beautiful characters are back…I defy anyone not to fall head over heels in love with them all; every single one of them is like a ray of sunshine.

This time we are privy to Blake and Alex facing challenges in their marriage, challenges that married couples face every day and in this respect Recovery had such a feeling of reality about it. How does this family cope going forward and become a cohesive family unit?

“You NEVER ask me for help!”

You really could relate to Blake and Alex’s situation because their issues and struggles felt so real and raw. It was almost as if you were there and privy to their problems first hand. It’s all handled in such a sensitive, beautiful and moving way, presented to us in wonderful prose laced with the trademark LB Simmons, humor, heart, warmth and love.  I really do adore this authors writing style.

“What happened to our life, Alex?”

LB Simmons really has created a little world in a book and the addition of Blake POV’s……well, I ask you Gitte, could we LOVE this man anymore?  His voice was so moving, so real and he reduced me to tears and gave me goosebumps on more than one occasion.  Just perfection!

Gitte: I love him so much. Blake is so amazing and I devoured this novella. I just couldn’t put it down. The writing is once again absolutely beautiful and emotionally stunning. It sure did give me the closure I needed Jenny because as you said we truly fell in love with every character.  I was CRYING when I read Blake’s speech to Alex…This man truly, there are no words.

“…It’s always been you….Every single part of you has been and always will be my reason for living….You are mine. Without you I am nothing.”

Yes, I loved the honesty and realism that once again was threaded through this story. The struggle which Alex and Blake went through felt real and believable.  Start as you mean to go on, yet how easy is it to stay in a role that plays out as if still in the same situation, acting out of habit. Does change come naturally and do we adapt immediately to it?

“Where exactly did Blake and I get off Loving Couple Road and turn on to Distant Marriage Avenue.”

I have to say I really felt for Blake in Recovery. Don’t get me wrong I understood where Alex was coming from, but….her voice did at times seem different to me as opposed to ‘Running on Empty’. Not sure why this was the case. She seemed to have changed slightly and I’m not sure my connection was as strong with her this time round unfortunately.

Overall though, I loved this novella; L.B Simmons sure knows how to write with passion and beauty. Once again she elicited every emotion from me as I was swept away with her words. I love this Author and there is no doubt she is a sure one-click for me!

Jenny:  Me too Gitte.  I’ll always 1click this Author’s books that’s for sure! Something I absolutely loved about ROE were the feelings elicited between Blake and Alex. It was all there. The love, the pain, the passion and the chemistry. You could feel it all. The chemistry and passion was off the charts and yet not a detailed sex scene in sight. It was all  “felt” completely despite it not being spelled out and was always handled in way which endeared me to that book.

Which brings to my one and only “blimp” with Recovery.  Those same feelings are there in Recovery, but I have to say the detail and terminology used in one scene felt a little out of place. It didn’t seem in keeping with the way it was presented in Running On Empty which maintained a beautiful innocence yet still allowed the reader to absolutely feel the passion experienced between Alex and Blake. I personally didn’t need the details because the experience was more in what wasn’t said as opposed to what was said.  However, this was a very minor blimp on what was a beautiful read which I devoured and loved.

This story and the characters completely captivated me and LB Simmons once AGAIN managed to reduce me to tears!

“I know you wil. I love you, Blake. Thank you.”

This author has a way of presenting her characters with so much warmth, charm, love and real emotion that a reader can’t help but be sucked into the story and spending time in an LB Simmons book really does leave me feeling all warm inside with tears in my eyes and a big smile on my face. Recovery is a must read for fans of this series.   All I can say is…sigh….just beautiful.

Jenny: 4 stars
Gitte: 4 stars

Arc provided by author for an honest review

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Purchase the Mending Hearts Series here

Running on Empty (Mending Hearts, #1)

Recovery

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Filed under 4 Stars, L B Simmons, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny

Running on Empty (Mending Hearts #1) by L.B. Simmons

running on emptyJenny: 4.5
Gitte:4.5

Jenny: What an absolutely delightful read this was Gitte! I enjoyed every minute of this book.

After reading a gut-wrenching book and then not connecting with a couple of others I had previously picked up, this book was just what the doctor ordered! It was such a beautiful heart-warming story and really did give me the reading experience I was looking for at the time. There were so many things I loved about this book. It was moving, it made me laugh, I had a bit of a cry and I just an overall feeling of happiness reading it. The writing was flawless. What more could you want!

Gitte:  Oh I absolutely loved this story.  I was hooked from page one. What an absolute treat; so beautifully written so flawless and so very poignant. This story is an extremely emotional read about love, loss of a loved one, forgiveness and realising that finding love again after losing your heart is okay.

Jenny: This book about second chances, letting go, moving on, friendships, loyalty and family introduces us to Alex who is a young, once vibrant woman, bringing up three adorable girls following the death of her husband.

Somewhere along the way Alex lost sight of herself. She is so devoted to her children and trying to cope with the loss of her husband 3 years earlier that she doesn’t think for one minute she will ever get a chance at love again. She has accepted that her place in life is to care and bring up her daughters.

Derek was the love of her life and the thought of having kind of love again is something Alex doesn’t consider is in her future.

Gitte: Alex was an amazing character. She had one of the worst life experiences happen to her and she was left to pick up the broken pieces of her 3 daughters hearts as well as her own, mine broke for her too reading this story.

Alex was strong, courageous, sweet, funny and vulnerable. Her relationship with her daughters was admirable and I have to say those three little girls had me in stitches at times. I completely fell in love with them.

“I love you infinity.” “I love you infinity times infinity”

I loved that Alex had a friend like Harlow. The support, the love, the tough talking, Harlow gave it all. She gave Alex strength and the guidance she needed when her head and heart was out of sync.

Alex needed to know and accept that it is okay to continue life and really live and love again after losing the man you love. Not loved as that love can never be replaced. That will live forever in your heart.

Jenny:  I adored Alex. I loved her inner dialogue, her little notes to herself.  She warmed me and she really did give me a laugh at time

“I stare at him with the best mommy death stare I can conjure up, and he holds it with no fear. Shit…this stuff always works on the girls”.

The interaction with her daughters was nothing short of delightful. What a great mother Alex was and how lucky they all were to have one another.

I have to say these little girls stole the show!  They were feisty, funny, cute as buttons and I simply adored them!

Alex and her best friend Harlow run their own company together “so we could smoke in our office all day long, consume adult beverages during work hours, and do nothing but giggle and gossip all day” and what a close bond these two share.

They’ve been through so much together and Harlow is Alex’s rock and I was so happy Alex had someone like Harlow by her side in those tough times. Any lesser friend would have bailed but Harlow was her lifeline and the bond they share is rock solid. They had a great balance and you really did describe Harlow perfectly Gitte.

Gitte: Now, Blake. Oh wow….I have to say his story touched me so much making me cry, truly. I can’t even put into words how much this amazing, gorgeous, generous and completely perfect man affected me.

Blake has never had the love of his life, experienced it or even lived it. He has watched it from afar. His heart lost without return, patiently waiting for a possible chance, not wishing for it, but there waiting should it ever be able to find its true home. A love stemming from a friendship which went through the years and stayed put. A true love, the honest and pure kind.

“I love you, Alex. I loved you when we were just kids…and I’ve continued to love you every day since.

“I’ve always wanted this future. I was just waiting on you to catch up.”

Jenny:  Oh yes, and then we have Blake! Well, what can I say about Blake. I think you pretty much said it all GG!

What a guy!  He really was really special and I loved Blake with all my heart!

Alex knew Blake growing up and he has just moved back to her home town. He’s been living in Colorado but returns for family reasons. He sends Alex for a loop as she starts recalling their childhood and teenage years – he unsettles her because he makes her “feel”.

He brings something alive in Alex that she thought had died along with Derek. He brings out feelings she doesn’t want to acknowledge. Blake was just what she needed even though Alex herself didn’t realize he was exactly what she needed.

“I don’t think I have felt anything in years”

Gitte:  The relationship between Alex and Blake from their childhood was beautiful. The fact that he has harbored this love for her, felt the pain of rejection, albeit unintentional and unbeknownst to Alex when she fell in love with Derek and completely left her best friend at the wayside.

I can’t even say how much this affected me. I actually think at times this became Blake’s story for me. I wanted HIS happy ending more so as he had missed out on one of the most beautiful things in life; love in return.

“….It just really hurt. You meant a lot to me. You were my best friend.” – Blake

“All I could do was watch it happen and hate myself for never saying anything. I should have fought harder for you…” – Blake

Jenny:   The story, told through Alex’s eyes and the flashback glimpses we had of her life the 3 years prior really do allow us to connect with her and experience the devastating loss she went through.

The scene with her husband’s death so moved me and it was heartbreaking. You really did garner the strength of Alex during this time. Even though it crushed her and nearly destroyed her, you really do connect with her and admire the fact she got through it at all.

Watching Alex put up her walls to protect her heart from Blake and see Blake trying to break down her defenses was handled so well.

At times I did get a bit frustrated with Alex, but in her shoes, I’m not sure how I would have coped. I think I just loved Blake so much and saw how perfect he was for her that I immediately wanted Alex to feel the same. I wanted them to be happy together. I truly wanted it with all my heart because these two, along with those beautiful little girls utterly and completely stole my heart.

Gitte:  Truly a beautiful story that has left my heart in a puddle on the floor. Alex worked her way into my heart but Blake truly took a piece of it.

“I feel safe. I feel protected. I feel relief. I feel scared. I feel vulnerable. I feel sure. I feel…. Everything.”

Jenny:   Absolutely agree with you Gitte. Such a beautiful story and one I thought about for days after. It really did capture my heart.

“But you’ll never have your happy ending unless you’re brave enough to open the book and start your story”

Initially I was a bit surprised that there was no epilogue, but I was satisfied in the knowledge that there will be another book in this series and I’m looking forward to catching up with my new friends Alex, Blake, Harlow, Trace and the Meyer family because there’s no way I’m not ready to say goodbye to them just yet! .

On a side note I would like to add that this book so beautifully edited, it was flawless and a pleasure to read.

 

 

Purchase Running on Empty here:

Running on Empty (Mending Hearts, #1)

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, L B Simmons, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny