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FIELD-TRIPPED (Ad Agency Series #3) by NICOLE ARCHER

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Standalone in a series – funny, sweet, second chance romance

SYNOPSIS

I was done with games. But playing with her is so much fun.

Ten years ago, I was all set to compete in the winter Olympics. Then I lost everything—my career, my best friend, and my girlfriend.

After that, I stopped playing games for good. I swore never to go back to Colorado. Too many bad memories. Plus, she’s still there.

Now I live a simple life as a creative director at Shimura Advertising in New York. All is good, until my boss cons me and my coworkers into spending two weeks in Colorado at Proton Sports’ sleep-away camp for adults, pitching their business. Turns out Proton’s idea of a pitch is making the agencies battle each other in a bunch of ridiculous winter games.

Guess who owns the rival company? Her. And she’s out to get me.

I might just let her win.

*Field-Tripped is a standalone romance and the third book in the Ad Agency Series.

FIELD TRIPPED is available to purchase below

          


‘That’s what love’s really about. We’re all flawed. We’re all messy. We all have baggage. But when someone dives in and happily swims around in our sea of weird, and you want nothing more than to float around in that person’s pool of imperfections – that’s love. And that’s how I felt about him.’

And so it went….We needed more Nicole Archer fabulousness, and dove straight into Field Tripped after finishing the previous Ad Agency books, Road-Tripped and Head-Tripped. Besides the stellar writing, the characters we’ve come to know and love and the warmth and happiness these books bring us, the Ad Agency Series gave us those excited book feelings. You know, the ones where every second you put the book down is a second too long, when all you want to do is shut out the world and immerse yourself in the story.

Field Tripped is a true second chance romance and tells the story of 31 year old, Elliott (Eli) St James, a designer at the Shemura Ad Agency whom we’ve met in previous books, and he’s a character we instantly warmed to and completely lost our minds over him in this book! TALK ABOUT HOT and sweet and witty and…yummmm. Eli is unexpectedly set to match wits with his childhood sweetheart, Charlotte (Charlie) Sullivan, when Shemura, and Charlies rival Ad Agency are pitted against each other in a madcap pitch for a client at a Camp in Colorado. The last thing either of them expected, or wanted was to once again be reunited after their bitter split and shocking heartbreak years earlier.

“I’ve missed you, Elliott…..I’ve missed you forever.”
‘My chest traps my breath. I lower my hand and don’t tell her what I’m thinking. I miss you, too.’

There is so much animosity and unresolved issues between Charlie and Eli who haven’t seen each other since Eli left Colorado for New York ten years previously. A lot of water has passed under the bridge, a lot of bitter resentment is exposed between the two of them, together with a load of misplaced guilt over a past tragedy. One things for sure though, there are a LOT of feelings between the two, both emotionally and physically.

‘That voice. It belongs to the same woman who sliced out my heart ten years ago.’

We bear witness to Charlie and Eli working through their emotions albeit in a very humorous way as only Nicole Archer can. Think of those rom-com movies we all love, how they stay with us, and give us a glow whenever we think about them or discuss them, and that’s how we feel about the Ad Agency series.  They’re a sexy, sweet, swoony funny and fabulous indulgence!

‘I thought he’d be there for me, not matter what. That was back when I believed in love.’

Nicole Archer once again charmed us with all the elements that drew us into the preceding books (each can be read as a standalone but we loved reading them all), yet she created something different for each story, so much so, that even after reading the three books on the trot we never once found anything to be regurgitated or overused. Again, the humour, the steam, the romance…it all flowed so naturally, with the musical aspect bringing a sense of familiarity to the mix.

‘The deadly St James smirk – breaking hearts for decades.’

We loved Field Tripped. We loved Eli and Charlie, their little dogs, the grouchy Burt and the irreverent Skip, in fact ALL the characters, once again entertained and won us over with their unique personalities.

If you love second chances romances, then you’re most definitely going to fall head over heels for Field Tripped. We’re going to miss Charlie and the Bearded Clam. We’re going to be on this Ad Agency ride right through to the end because we are dying for more of these quirky, fun and loving characters!


THE AD AGENCY SERIES

Purchase Road Tripped Book One

           

Head Tripped Book Two

          

Field Tripped Book Three

          

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, Nicole Archer, Pick an Author

HEARTS ON AIR (Hearts Series #6) by L H COSWAY : REVIEW & SNEAK PEEK


WE HAVE A HEARTS OF AIR GIVEAWAY COMING UP ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGE
KEEP YOUR YES PEELED – DON’T MISS IT!


Standalone friends to lovers, second chance romance

 

SYNOPSIS

3 weeks. 5 cities. 15 impossible stunts. One reality show.

Trevor Cross came into Reya Cabrera’s world with a bang and faded out with a whimper. They vowed to make it work, but life had other plans. After chasing his TV dreams for years, Trev finally became the UK’s next big reality star, but he alienated his family and friends in the process. Now he finally has everything he ever wanted. Women. Money. Fame. But none of it means anything when he doesn’t have the one thing that matters most: love.

Money leaves a gaping hole. Fame surrounds him with loneliness. And no woman makes him feel like Reya used to before the whirlwind of success pulled them apart.

He has a plan to get her back. However, with a hectic filming schedule looming, the only way to do that is to convince her to come on the road with him. Reya has been stuck in a rut for a while, and the opportunity to travel across Europe and play her music for new audiences seems like heaven. The only catch? She has to do it with the one boy who ever got close enough to break her heart. But he’s not a boy anymore, and as she gets to know him again she can’t deny her respect for the man he’s become.

Every time she’s around him her heart feels full of air, like a balloon about to pop. Little does she know, Trev’s feelings are just as tumultuous as hers. One thing’s for sure, these three weeks on the road together will either make them whole again or break them irrevocably.

HEARTS ON AIR is available to purchase below

          


Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

“We’re making memories tonight, Reya Cabrera, isn’t it exciting?”

It’s hard to believe it’s been three years since we first fell in love with this series, and still, our hearts beat with excited anticipation with each new release. We’ve absolutely loved meeting new characters along the way, becoming completely enamoured with every one of them, experiencing their stories that always find that special place in our hearts.

In Hearts On Air, L.H. Cosway again delivers a story delivered with heart, together with the witty and engaging dialogue this author is known and loved for. And again, she’s had us delighting over a mischievous, cheeky hero with that little boy charm she does so brilliantly. Though, Trevor did test our resolve once or twice!

“No one’s ever told you to act right because they’re too dazzled by how good-looking you are. They’re too busy feeling blessed that you deign to grace them with your presence. “

Trevor and Reya’s story is a friends to lovers, second chance romance that had its ups and downs and follows two years on from the free prequel Novella, One Epic Night.  We fill in the gaps from Trevor and Reya’s intense night, and even more intense feelings, as their relationship shifted from friends to lovers’ status, leaving us hanging for the conclusion to those unfolding events.

Now, two years later Trevor is committed to righting his wrongs, and by hook or by crook, he plans to once again win the trust and heart of Reya Cabrera. But can he make her forget the hurt and win her over? Time will tell!

“Because you’re the best friend I ever had, and losing you is my biggest regret, the worst thing that ever happened to me.”

Told from Reya’s POV we learn Reya also has issues from her past that haunt her, to which Trevor isn’t a party to. Trevor too is dealing with a disorder he needs to keep in check.

We loved the start of Hearts on Air and the last part of the story won us over completely. We did struggle a little with the pacing of the middle which at times felt a little repetitive and tended to drag somewhat as Trevor and Reya attempt to rebuild their friendship and relationship.

“No, I know you care about me. You just don’t care enough. I’m not asking for the world, Trev. I’m not asking for much at all.”

In saying that, there was much we loved about this story, most of all the unique and beautiful voice of L.H. Cosway, trusting her to bring it home and boy…she certainly did that.

There was an element in this story that had our hearts positively soaring and tears streaming down our faces as we once again caught up with the characters we’ve loved implicitly. In fact, it had us wanting to go back and re-read some of them to once again experience those tangible emotions we remember all too well.

L.H. Cosway is an absolute gem of a storyteller. There is a warmth and humour to her stories that ensures we will keep coming back time and time again. Her ability to bring such realness to her characters, as though we know them personally, is something we particularly enjoy. Whilst we’re sad to be saying goodbye to this series, we’ll be waiting with baited breath and anticipated hearts for her next fabulous story and some brand new characters to fall in love with!

“We spend so much time striving for status that we don’t realise it’s the people in our lives that bring us real happiness.”


SNEAK PEEK AT HEARTS ON AIR


The train started to move and a fizzle of excitement ran through me. This was it. We were on our way. I hadn’t travelled much in my life, just back and forth to Spain a few times when I was a kid to visit family. My parents emigrated from Madrid when they were in their late teens to make a life for themselves in London. I was looking forward to visiting Barcelona because I’d never been there, but Madrid not so much. There were too many memories there, and memories made me hear my mother’s voice in my head.

¿Por qué nunca dices la verdad? Estás tratando de arruinarnos con tus mentiras.

Why do you never tell the truth? You are trying to ruin us with your lies.

My thoughts had me feeling unsteady. Trev’s breathing deepened and I suspected he’d nodded off. I pulled my notebook from my small handbag and began to write.

Close your eyes and pick a word.

Describe the person you see in your head.

Not the one in theirs.

Take your time.

Take your time.

Tómate tu tiempo

Don’t be scared. Don’t overthink.

Strong, good.

Proud, better.

Flawed, yes.

Truthful, always.

We are all a work in the making.

Even when we end we are unfinished we’re never really finished.

I was scribbling for a couple more minutes when Trev’s voice startled me. “Can I see?”

I froze, goosebumps claiming my skin, then turned to him. “You know I don’t like that.”

“But I’m gonna hear you sing them eventually. Why can’t I read the lyrics?”

I worried my lip, thinking on it as I shut my notebook. “Because words without music are far too revealing. The music massages their starkness. Most people are too busy listening to the melody to realise you’re baring your soul.”

Trev stared at me for a long, long moment. “So, if I read your lyrics it’s like discovering a secret, but if I watch you play I’m too dazzled by the music to hear the truth?”

I shrugged and looked away, feeling self-conscious now. “Something like that.”

“It’s not just the music that dazzles people, you know. It’s you.”

I glanced back at him and he reached out to tuck a strand of hair behind my ear. I inhaled and shifted away slightly. “What do you mean?”

“I was always fascinated when I watched you perform,” he confessed and my breath caught. “You’d start out all prim and proper, so dignified in those long, flowy dresses you wear on stage, your back straight, chest forward. Then you’d start to play and you’d slowly unravel. By the end of one song your hair would fall from its clip, by then end of the next, the straps of your dress would be loose at your shoulders. You were so real. You fucking slayed me. You mesmerised everyone and that’s because you were so unaware.”

I had no words, no idea how to respond. I never expected him to say something like that, not with the low rumble of the engine and the chatter of other passengers surrounding us.

“Are you trying to butter me up? Am I going to be sleeping in the broom closet instead of sharing with Leanne when we arrive in Brussels?” I asked, needing to break the intensity of the moment, the honesty of it. He was making me feel too many things.

He smiled, seeming to guess I was embarrassed, and shot back, “Nah, but I might need you to wash my underwear as part of your PA duties.”

I cocked a brow. “Only your underwear? How very specific.”

“I’ll get Neil to do my clothes, but I thought I’d save the honour of my dirty jocks for you,” he said and winked.

“Delightful,” I chuckled.

“How about this, if you do mine I’ll do yours.”

“Oh, romantic.”

“Only for you, Reyrey,” he said, using my old pet name. It was the first time he’d used it in over two years and I felt . . . conflicted. Although, it was going to happen eventually the more time we spent together.

 


THE HEARTS SERIES by L.H. COSWAY


Standalone/Series

SIX OF HEARTS – BOOK ONE

Step right up and meet Jay Fields: Illusionist. Mentalist. Trickster.
I think in triangles. You think in straight lines.
I show you a table and make you believe it’s a chair.
Smoke and mirrors, sleight of hand, misdirection. I trick and deceive.
But most of all, I put on a good show.
The world thinks I killed a man, but I didn’t. Bear with me. It’s all a part of the plan.
Revenge is what I want. I want it for me and I want it for her.
I want it for all six of us.
She doesn’t remember me, but she’s the reason for everything. She’ll be my prize at the end of all this–if I can hold onto my willpower, that is. Maybe I’ll slip up a little, have a taste, just a small one.
So go ahead and pick a card. Come inside and see the show. Look at my hands, look so closely that you can’t see what’s happening while you’re so focused on looking. I’ll be destroying your world from right here in the spotlight.
You’ll never see me coming until it’s too late.
I’ve only got one heart, and after I’ve pulled off my grand deception I’ll hand it right to her.
So, sit back, relax, and let my girl tell you our story. You’re in for one hell of a ride.

Available for freeee below!

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Hearts Of Fire (Six Of Hearts #) by L H Cosway - Can be Standalone : TB 5 Star Read

HEARTS OF FIRE BOOK TWO

The Circus Spektakulär is proud to present Jack McCabe: Fire-breather, knife-thrower, risk-taker.
My house burned down when I was just a boy, robbing me of both my parents.
Now I breathe fire, eat the poison that almost killed me.
Crowds come to see me night after night. Men for the spectacle, women for the thrill. I’m an oddity to be stared at and desired. With each flame I spit, I risk my life.
I wear scars on my body that will never go away, but the scars inside my head are far more difficult to overlook.
My brother doesn’t know me, and if I have it my way he never will.
Life was going exactly the way I’d planned until Lille came along. She wanted to run away with the circus, have an adventure, but this world was never meant for her.
I try to keep her safe, because she doesn’t know the dangers that are out here on the road. She doesn’t know the monsters that lurk behind the bright lights of the ring. In truth, I could be considered one of them.
We were fashioned from different cloths, never intended to mix. So I watch her. I try not to touch, even when her eyes invite me.
Join us in the Spiegeltent and let us give you a show. Allow my Lille to draw a picture for you in paint and sweat and skin.
The truest love is always the hardest to let in.This is a standalone romance that tells the story of Jack McCabe, Jay Fields’ long lost, presumed dead brother. It is not necessary to have read Six of Hearts in order to enjoy Hearts of Fire.

Our 5+ Star Review and purchase links below:

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king of hearts 3

KING OF HEARTS BOOK THREE

Welcome to the City, London’s most prestigious square mile, where finance reigns and Oliver King is a rising prince.
I used to rule the world.

There might be wolves on Wall Street, but there were crocodiles in Canary Wharf. Some of us craved money. Some of us craved power.
I liked money, and power had its advantages, but what I really wanted was to excel, to surpass the men who came before me. I never cared much for love and romance until I met Alexis.
I could feel it the very moment she walked into the interview, with her outspoken charm and vivacious personality. She cast all the others in shadow, made me laugh when life held no humour. Our friendship should have remained professional, but it wasn’t long before the lines started to blur.
You know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men? Well, I never foresaw where my plans would lead, and only in my darkest hour did I finally see the light…
You can have all the money and prestige in the world and still be the poorest man alive. And love, well, I hate to use a tired old cliché, but love can be the thing that truly sets you free.

Our 5+ Star Review and purchase links below:

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hearts of blue

HEARTS OF BLUE BOOK FOUR

She upholds the law. He breaks it.
Two blue hearts, both alike in bravery

In not-so-fair London, where we lay our scene
From gun crime to petty theft
Where family is blood and survival makes hands unclean
In this place, we find two hearts who should be foes
And yet, amidst the turmoil their love still grows
Misadventure abounds and the divide will bring them strife
But with luck, death doesn’t always mean an end to life.
Hearts of Blue is a standalone contemporary romance that tells the story of star-crossed lovers Karla Sheehan and Lee Cross, a police constable and the thief who steals her heart.

Our 4 Star Review and purchase links below:

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4th

THIEF OF HEARTS BOOK FIVE

Seduce the teacher.
Meet the cousin.
Make a deal.
Steal the painting.
Andrea Anderson has no clue of the thoughts churning around in the dark and dangerous ex-con’s head as he enters her classroom. In fact, she’s momentarily lost for words. Not in her entire teaching career has she had a student who looked quite like Stu Cross.
A widow at just twenty-eight, love is something Andie hasn’t considered a part of her life for a very long time. However, when lingering touches turn to whispered words and hot, searching stares, she begins to wonder if maybe she should take a leap of faith.
But Stu is in her class for a reason, and it has nothing to do with love. He’s there to burrow his way into her life and repay a debt, otherwise his family will suffer. Andie is the first person to show him true kindness since he left prison, and though he doesn’t want to mislead her, he doesn’t have another choice.
Before long, Stu can’t tell whether or not he’s acting anymore, and his feelings for Andie could throw all of his carefully crafted plans into complete and utter disarray.

Our 4.5 Star Review and purchase links below:

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WAR POPPY by NICOLE LYNNE

Standalone tragic and heartbreaking second chance love story

6th

SYNOPSIS

Poppy
Love and war. Two words that should have little association, but to me the two go hand in hand. Both are a tragedy. They rip you open and spit you out. The war killed my husband, Connor, shattered my will to live, and took my best friend. Brandon may not have physically died in that war, but his soul did. And now we’re left to pick up the wreckage. Expected to move on when all that is left is the ruins of a life we once had.
Brandon
War. It took everything from me, even myself. When you’re only able to exist, death seems like a blessing. Pain…a welcome distraction. I ran from everything associated with my past, and then she found me, fighting, drowning myself in whisky, trying to forget. She reminds me of Connor, of what I’ve lost—what we’ve lost. In the midst of destruction, she’s a salvation I don’t deserve.
I shouldn’t love him.
I shouldn’t love her.
Love is a war we never should have fought.

WAR POPPY is available to purchase below

          


Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

4 Hearbreaking stars

‘It’s as though he wraps himself around my lonely soul and nurses it back to life with the splintered remnants of his own.’

If you’re looking for a sweet hearts and flowers romance, War Poppy by Nicole Lynne, is anything but. In fact, it’s a tortured, honest, brutal love story which carried a sense of foreboding throughout.  As we read, we had that nervous, gut wrenching feeling of waiting for the other shoe to drop. It was a feeling that felt inevitable rather than probable. Such was the tone of the story.

‘As much as we pretend we aren’t alone, we are never more alone than when we are tripped in our own mind. And Brandon – the place he’s trapped, it’s a place I could never begin to understand.’

The flourishing partnership of Stevie J Cole & L.P. Lovell has shown to be a formidable collaboration, delivering some dark and downright uncomfortably gritty stories, but this time, in War Poppy, they’ve written a story that is tragically heartbreaking and they did it in their own inimitable style.

Connor Blaine, Poppy Turner and Brandon O’Kieffe were the three musketeers growing up.  A trio of misfits that gelled together perfectly. They shared an adventurous childhood, leaning on one another, sharing adolescence and adulthood.  Brandon would be Poppy’s first crush, first kiss, first love, though it would be Connor who would ultimately marry their childhood sweetheart.

War Poppy begins with the loss of Connor during his time in Afghanistan with Brandon. Connor was more than a mate, he was his brother in every sense of the word. Riddled with guilt and despair, Brandon goes AWOL, turning to the bottle and underground boxing bouts in an attempt to exorcise the demons living within. Brandon is only functioning physically following Connor’s tragic death.  Poppy’s re-emergence into Brandon’s life gave us the hope that he can overcome his demons. Is love enough?

‘Two lost souls trying to save each other from unsalvageable events. She may be my hope, but I’m surely her destruction.’

The sense of hopelessness in this story is overwhelming, and we did experience that aspect through Brandon’s character who struck our hearts painfully and deeply. However, we felt we didn’t get to fully experience the level of anguish and sadness we would have expected from this story and feel this stems from being denied the bonding experience of Poppy and Connor’s relationship. This was such an important part of the story, yet we felt we knew very little about the man at the centre of all the pain and whose death was the catalyst for unfolding events. We couldn’t conceive how Poppy came to marry Connor, what their life was like…in fact, we knew nothing of this background, other than the snippets from childhood. Every reader is different and for us, this was something we desperately needed to experience to completely grasp the full extent of Poppy’s devastating grief and her profound love for Brandon.

 “Everything in life is a risk, you just have to decide which risks are worth taking, and to me, and you are a risk worth taking because without you, without what we have, I will be existing. And I want to live, Brandon.”

War Poppy is told in dual pov between Poppy and Brandon, as well as flashbacks to their childhood and Brandon’s time at war and we can tell you, being inside Brandon’s head during those times was chaotic and unbearably heartbreaking. Witnessing him trying to claw his way out of the darkness and living those devastating moments with him broke us.

‘I’m left standing in the middle of destruction, staring at the violence that must constantly be swimming inside of his head. And when I’m finally able to draw in a good breath, I collapse to the floor, head in hands wondering when love turned into war.’

It’s clear to see these authors poured their soul into this story and it must have been an agonising love story to bring to fruition, because as a reader it was difficult reading. We applaud their courage in telling this story their way as in doing so they made Brandon and Poppy’s story feel authentic and believable. War Poppy is a gut-wrenching story of friendship, loss, courage, grief and love with the hearts of these two authors clearly visible on every page.  And whilst it most certainly moved us, we just fell short of experiencing the complete decimation of our hearts we had anticipated.


For more STEVIE J COLE  and L.P. LOVELL TBB Recommendations, click below

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Filed under 4 Stars, L P Lovell, Nicole Lynne, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny, Stevie J Cole

THE OVER DUET by J.A. DeROUEN :: LOW OVER HIGH (#1) and EVER OVER AFTER (#2) :: REVIEW

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 

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EVER OVER AFTER BOOK TWO 

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LOW OVER HIGH BOOK ONE
SYNOPSIS

I fancy myself a purveyor of truth, a sifter of lies, a cutter of bullshit. It’s not a gift, but rather, all skill, honed to a razor’s edge after one too many trips down the rabbit hole.

Some may dismiss my talent as misplaced and misguided cynicism, but they’d be wrong. Cliches about hope and faith in mankind are concocted unicorn farts, an effort to keep the dreamers dreaming. Experiences don’t lie—people do.

While I’m not proud of the circumstances that led me to this way of thinking, I respect the journey. The road to enlightenment can be dark and foreboding, but the destination makes it all worthwhile.

But funny thing about the past—it’s a defiant child refusing to stay in time out. No matter how deeply buried, it can always pop up when least expected, and sink its fucking claws into the flesh of your heart. No, not my heart—I no longer have one. I foolishly gave it away years ago, but I still feel the ripping in my chest as I fist the crumpled note left on my porch.

I’ve avoided this day, ran from it, for the past eight years.
And still we meet again.

But to truly understand … to feel my dread and fear my future as I do, it’s important to know what happened in my past.

Or who…

My name is Marlo Rivers, and this is my story of corrupted love.

MATURE AUDIENCES ONLY 18+
Warning: This book contains graphic content which may not be suitable for sensitive readers.


EVER OVER AFTER BOOK TWO
SYNOPSIS

Marlo … wild-eyed, untamed, and every single thing I’ve ever wanted from this life. I wasn’t ready for her back then. I was a stupid boy with adult feelings and no idea what to do with them. I squandered away every chance she gave me.

Yes, love like ours either burns white hot or crumbles under the pressure.
And now I’m back to sift through the rubble.

Questions and excuses are two things I have in spades. What I need now are answers.
Answers and Low.
Always Low.

My name is Ever Montgomery, and this is my story of love resurrected.


the-over-duet

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!

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, J A DeRouen, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny