Follow the stories of Wilmington, NC residents as they fall in and out of love, mend and break hearts, grow, change, lose, win, and experience what it means to truly live in this small coastal community.
This is a Standalone read
Arrive at work at 7:58 A.M. sharp. Check. Count forty-seven steps to cubicle. Check. Arrange pens in their red-blue-black-green-purple order of importance. Check. Apply hand sanitizer before opening email. Double check.
And that’s just the first few minutes of her work day.
Thirty-one-year-old proofreader Bailey Mitchell is a slave to her tics. She inherited Obsessive Compulsive Disorder from her father, and it’s done nothing but inhibit her love life. She’s run the gamut of boyfriends—none of them willing or able to cope with her condition.
Enter 32-year-old Reece Powell, her new coworker at Beach Elite Marketing Firm. He’s more than willing to cope. He finds her habits cute and quirky . . . for now. Reece wins her over, and life coasts along for them until Bailey experiences a devastating blow. Tragedy exacerbates her OCD, and Reece realizes her tics aren’t so cute and quirky anymore. Just like all the others, he has the choice to leave.
But Reece isn’t like all the others.
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Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte
J&G: 4.5 Bebopping beautiful stars!
“You never gave me the choice. I wanted you. Always. And you wouldn’t let me choose you.”
Gitte: LoveLines was a sweet, heart-breaking, hilarious and sexy read and I enjoyed every minute I spent with Reece and Bailey. There was no unnecessary or over the top drama in LoveLines, it felt real and it also dealt with the stigmatized issue of actual OCD. Not the kind we fling around haphazardly in daily conversations in regard to how clean we like our house or how our shoes are lined up by the front door. This is the real deal OCD, the kind that dictates your life magnified by stress and severe emotions.
It was heart-breaking and having lived with someone who was diagnosed OCD, I know how destructive this illness can be for the person in question and those around them. It really can be a debilitating condition. I thought S. Walden handled OCD as the crux of the storyline as well as she could considering this is romantic fiction, though the good times aren’t necessarily that good. However, the emotional aspect was perfectly executed and the consequential behaviour and actions spot on in regards to Bailey and those around her.
“Beboppin’ Bailey. Better Than All the Rest Bailey. Best decision I Ever Made Bailey. Bet on That Girl Bailey. Beat the Odds Bailey…Bait Me with a Kiss Bailey…..Because I Love Her Bailey…..Because I love her….” – Reece
This is my first book by this Author and I loved the wicked sense of humour, the well written in-depth characters and I fell in complete love with Reece and Bailey. Their love is what romance dreams are made of. All conquering love that weathers the fiercest storm.
“You’re too easy to love. That’s your real problem. You know how I know that? Because I can’t stay away from you. I just wanna be with you all the time. You’re my favorite person, Bailey. That’s not hard. That’s a cakewalk.” – Reece
Bailey was a lovely and sweet heroine with a potty mouth to boot. Poor girl, suffering with her OCD hampering her love life; preventing her from achieving what she truly desires. This girl has some great coping strategies but is so afraid of what will inevitably come and what she might miss out on. That is until Reece.
“I find it uncomfortably sexy.” – Reece
“You’re seeing it from a distance. Imagine dating it. Living with it. Fucking it. Totally different ballgame.” – Camden
I did struggle with the style of writing at times and had to re-read to figure out who was talking. Also, it swapped from first person to third which threw me a few times. I’m not sure I enjoyed this style of writing really, however, the story had me hooked so I just had to get used to that. What did you think Jenny?
Jenny: I absolutely LOVED it! There were times I laughed out loud through this book and I had to keep checking myself when I was reading in my lunchbreak because I know I had this big cheesy grin plastered on my face. But this wasn’t all laughs and fun and at one point I had to put LoveLines down because I was in a flood of tears. The beauty, the heartbreak and sheer emotion was certainly experienced in this story yet it never felt too heavy as S Walden brought tender, funny, sexy and swoony to Lovelines in equal, heartwarming measures.
‘He’d never seen someone walk happy. Yes, she walked happy, like she’d just ingested Coke and Pop Rocks.’
I was completely gone. I adored Reece and Bailey both individually and as a couple and found myself fighting the voices in Bailey’s head right along with her as she fought to control the voices that demanded she surrender to her compulsions. Bailey was an absolute sweetheart with a sharp and witty sense of humour yet her life is a constant struggle and the author brought all the emotion, anguish, frustration and fear of this disorder to her story, yet it was all handled so beautifully and the romance between Bailey and Reece stole my heart.
‘When a man talks to you like that, you pay attention. You believe him. And in that moment, I believed Reece. I believed everything he’d ever say to me.’
LoveLines was sweet, sexy, funny and heartbreaking and there were many highlights for me in this book. I felt it all. From Bailey’s despondency through to her hope. From her feelings of being unworthy and unlovable to feeling loved, wanted and treasured and through her struggles to be ‘normal’ in her world. I felt it all.
‘That’s the great thing about hope – no matter your past, no matter your mistakes – hope is the constant force in your heart driving you forward……..Hope is my one healthy compulsion. ‘
Lovelines had some of the most engaging, witty and wonderful supporting characters. They were stellar friends who cared about Bailey and Reece, who were never afraid to give them the hard truths and the banter between them all was such fun. Yep, “chickchat” will forever be in my dictionary.
This was a real winner for me too Gitte. I adored this book. I do agree that the switch to third person POV for Reece was a bit confusing at first and I had to flick back and forth a couple of times to work out who was speaking at a specific time and that’s the only reason this isn’t a 5 star for me. Other than that, this book delivered everything I could have asked for.
Gitte: Now, Let’s talk about Reece Jenny!! What a beautiful, beautiful man. He has a huge heart and a personality that would light up the darkest sky and have you in tears of laughter.
‘…a genuine nature is too transparent. It has nothing to hide. Only the sinister ones are sneaky. And nothing about Reece Powell was sneaky. He was genuine. Through and through.
Reece is extremely easy-going, he’s funny, sweet, vulnerable, clumsy AND so bloody gorgeous and sexy. Reese is LUSH and such a breath of fresh air!! I think I laughed, swooned and cried for him throughout this story. He loves with his whole heart, his childhood having left a huge mark on his beautiful soul. He sees the real Bailey and rather than being put off by her condition he wants to be there for her no matter how rough that ride might be. The man is perfection!
“Everyone’s pain is different,” Reece went on. “I don’t like when people compare. I don’t like when people marginalize their feelings because they think they’re not allowed to have them…”
Oh and he made me reach for the freezer a few times too, he’s a dirty dirty filthy walking talking contradiction, our Reece’s pieces…right J?!
Jenny: Right G! Yes Gitte, let’s talk about Reece. Who wouldn’t want a piece of Reece? He most certainly was a contradiction and I bloody loved him! Reece was self-assured yet vulnerable, sexy yet goofy and he was a perfect balance for Bailey. Together they were an absolute delight! Reece being a breath of fresh air is spot on Gitte. Reece was so different to a lot of characters and getting to the crux of his story had me clutching my heart. This was Reece’s battle as much as it was Bailey’s, both from his past and his want for a future with Bailey, and he handled it all with such aplomb. He faced Bailey’s problems head on and gave her hope when she needed it.
“I fell in love with you because of you. I like your quirky ways. You know how many times I got myself off thinking about your ‘just so’ ponytail? You know how fucking weird that is?”
Ummm his dirty mouth! He was so naughty. Oh my goodness, much of it was unexpected and yeah…freezer time was a requirement! Reece brought joy to my heart that’s for sure!
Gitte & Jenny: So, we absolutely loved LoveLines. Not just the characters of Reece and Bailey but also the secondary characters. They all had a role to play that had a real impact and came across integral to the story. The friendships and loyalties were brilliant as was the banter and emotional ties. As we mentioned, our only gripe was the confusion over who was talking in the POV changes as well as the interspersed third person. We wholeheartedly applaud S. Walden for weaving a beautiful, sweet and funny story through such a heart-breaking condition as OCD, skating close to the reality of this incapacitating condition.
“But we’re a team,” he whispered. His heart broke then. He felt the ripping. No cracking. It was ripping, like his heart was made out of construction paper….
We also want to thank this Author for Reece, he was a beautiful, funny and loving man who was such a breath of fresh air, we fell in love……..
“You’re as freaking weird as I am,” I noted.
“I know, right?! Bailey, if you think I wanna fix you, you’re dead wrong. I don’t even wanna help you manage this thing you’ve got going on. I’m only doing it because I know it’s the right thing to do, but I’d much rather you go tic-ing all over my heart and brain.”
So don’t let the cover fool you. Whilst LoveLines provided us with many smiles and many laughs and whilst it could be a really sweet and cute read, there was also depth to this story and depth to the characters. There were moments of heart-breaking sadness, moments of pure joy and some very sexy times. Yep, this one delivered and had us phantastically spellbound.
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