Chapter One reveal and review of F*ck Love (Tarryn Fisher)



Goodreads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25828204-f-ck-love
Synopsis:
Helena Conway has fallen in love.

Unwillingly.

Unwittingly.

But not unprovoked. Kit Isley is everything she’s not—unstructured, untethered, and not even a little bit careful.

It could all be so beautiful…if he wasn’t dating her best friend. Helena must defy her heart, do the right thing, and think of others.

Until she doesn’t.

Chapter One

#wtf

“You are supposed to be with me.”

What words are these? They startle me, and at first I think I’ve heard him wrong. He’s leaning across the table while our significant others are twenty feet behind away, waiting in line for our food.

“You and me,” he says. “Not us and them.”

I blink at him before I realize he’s making a joke. I laugh and go back to looking at my magazine. Actually, it’s not really a magazine. It’s a math journal, because I’m super cool like that.

“Helena…” I don’t look up right away. I’m afraid to. If I look up and see that he’s not joking everything will change.

“Helena,” he reaches out and touches my hand. I jump, pull back. My chair makes a horrid scraping sound and Neil looks over. I pretend that I dropped something and reach under the table. Under the table are our shoes and legs. There is a blue crayon lying at my feet- I pick it up and resurface.

Neil is at the front of the line ordering our food, and my best friend’s boyfriend is waiting for my response, his eyes heavy with burden.

“Are you drunk?” I hiss. “What the fuck?”

“No,” he says. Though he doesn’t look so sure. For the first time I notice the scruff on his face. The skin around his eyes is sallow. He’s going through something, maybe? Life is being bullshit.

“If this is a joke you’re making me really uncomfortable,” I tell him. “Della is right there. What the hell is wrong with you?”

“I only have ten minutes, Helena.” His eyes move to the blue crayon which is resting between our hands.

“Ten minutes for what? You’re sweating,” I say. “Did you take something, are you on the crack?” What type of drugs make you sweat like that? Crack? Heroine?

I want Neil and Della to come back. I want everything to go back to normal. I spin around to see where they are.

“Helena…”

“Stop saying my name like that.” My voice shakes. I make to stand up, but he grabs the crayon, then my hand.

“I don’t have much time. Let me show you.”

He’s sitting very still, but his eyes remind me of of a cornered animal; frightened, panicked, bright. I’ve never seen that look on his face, but since Della’s only been dating him for a few months it’s a moot point. I don’t really know this guy. He could be a druggie for all I know. He turns my hand over so it’s palm up, and I let him. I don’t know why, but I do.

He places the crayon in my palm and closes my fist around it.

“You have to say it out loud,” he says. “Show me, Kit.”

“Say it, Helena. Please. I’m afraid of what will happen if you don’t.”

Because he looks so afraid I say it.

“Show me, Kit.” And then- “Should I know what this is?”

“No one should,” he says. And then everything goes black.


 I don’t know how to start this. Or how to word this review. Tarryn makes my heart hurt and makes me question a lot of my feelings. She puts all of herself in her writing and books. But this one…hmm.

Helena has a vivid dream one day. She dreams of Kit and a home and children. She obsesses with this dream every day thereafter, even though there are a lot of obstacles in the way. Friends. Partners. Children.

Let me start with the first half of the book. I didn’t connect to Helena. I didn’t connect to Kit. I felt like some of the thoughts from Helena were bland and the humor was forced. But maybe that’s because I didn’t comprehend how Helena was wired? Or how Kit was wired? I didn’t highlight a lot in the first part. Nothing STUCK. It just didn’t stick with me. Never the less, the second part of the book turned everything around. Helena was a runner. She was unfair to Kit. I didn’t have any forced desires for Kit and Helena to end up together. Kit was was a hard character for me to grasp and cling onto.

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The second part I got the hurt. I got the pain. And I got the reasonings. Well, some of them. I got the Tarryn writing I was wanting and begging for in the first part. I still don’t understand the thought process of some of the characters but by the end I was content.

Tarryn has this way with words that make you want to fill a bath tub with them and roll around in it and soak them in. Regardless of how much I liked her story, her words always resonate with me. They are always peaceful and truthful.

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This book is no Mud Vein. This book didn’t hit me in the heart and it almost felt forced. The humor. The quirks. The plot. I did laugh. And I did hurt. But my thoughts on this book are nothing like I had hoped.

Dear Juliet (Trudy Stiles)


I lost her.
I thought she was the love of my life.
She was everything I needed. Everything I wanted.
She made me forget about my past. My family.
She made me feel real.
How do I move on from her?
Will I find someone like her?
It’s time to pick up the pieces.
But can I?
I’m Seth Tyson and this is my story.

I deserve a happily ever after, don’t I?


This book I know will be hard for me to review. So much happened and so much was learned that I just feel like Seth’s redemption was phenomenal and well deserved. I was browsing some reviews (now that I had all of the series read) and I was shocked to find that 97% of people were not a huge fan of Seth. WHAT? I was a fan of Seth throughout the other books but knowing his past, knowing what made him, made him that much more enjoyable.

Trudy’s coincidences in this book were perfect. Jaw dropping even. I didn’t see them coming. Isn’t that the best part of reading? My mind was blown. Utterly. Watching Seth and Juliet become childhood friends that blossomed from a pen pal friendship and then watching them transition into adults broke my heart but when they had victories my heart SOARED for them. Just right out the window.

“I don’t want to be alone with my grief anymore, and I want to absorb all of hers.”

My most favorite thing about this book was watching Seth open up and grow. Adjust. Change. Love. It was hard understanding his motives in the other books but when you finally read about his past it all becomes so clear. The second part of the book is so damn solid. SO. GOOD. Trudy did so well tying up any and all loose ends and bringing the characters together like she did.

I think there is a huge difference between just simply writing a story and writing a POWERFUL story that will leave you in a trance. Trudy created a series that sticks with you long after you are done. That makes you question “what do I do with my life now?!” I will think about Juliet, Seth, Tabby, and Alex about like I do Tania and Shura from The Bronze Horseman. These characters will always be a huge part of my Forever Family.

OLIVE JUICE, TRUDY!

Dear Tabitha (Trudy Stiles)


You know me. You know who I am. What I am. 

Damaged. Confused. Alone.

You feel sorry for me. You pity me.

You know what I’ve done. What I’ve given up. Who I’ve given up.

You try to understand what I’ve been through and how I can possibly go on with my life. But you can’t possibly understand.

I’ve lost too much. Sacrificed too much. Given up everything so that I can find myself.

Well I’m done.

I’m done walking away from everything that matters.

It’s time for me to heal.

It’s MY TURN to earn…

Redemption.

Love. 

Family. 


Let me start off by saying this: I don’t cry in books. I can count on three fingers the amount of times I’ve cried because of a book. It just doesn’t happen. But this one. This one I was on the brink of it. My throat was getting heavy. My eyes just barely started leaking. I was feeling it coming. But I got a grip quick.

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Dear Tabitha picks up about two years after Dear Emily. Tabitha is finally settled in with her life and has progressed so much. She is managing the bookstore, and learning how to survive on her own. Then Alex comes back into Tabby’s life and things get complicated all at once. Go figure. If any one deserves happiness it’s this couple. Truly.

Dear Tabitha was so much YES. I think I loved it more than Dear Emily. Why? Let me count the ways…

ALEX. His POV was everything to me. For someone who I didn’t care for in Dear Emily, Trudy wrote him a damn good redemption story. He climbed and clawed his way back into not only Tabitha’s heart but mine. The past/present POV’s are so damn brilliant.

SARA. Oh my god Sara. My heart was ripping apart at its seams and I could feel it. Every bit of it. What a beautiful addition to this story.

KIRSTEN. Oh girl. My cold heart was melted so many times from you. Now, what do I have to do to get a book about her and Tristan? I’ll do just about anything. For real.

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This is a book that’s hard to write about without writing spoilers. Please just know that Trudy went WAY above what I had expected. This book has twist and turns that I never expected. Trudy is an author that has completely stolen my heart and her characters are ones that will forever live with me. Like, I feel like they’re MY forever family.

Dear Emily (Trudy Stiles)

Adoption. Is it a choice you could make? 

For yourself? 

For your unborn child?

Two women. Carly and Tabitha. They each have suffered life-altering events that have left them both traumatically damaged.

Carly Sloan’s life was perfect until her security and innocence was torn from her. The vast repercussions from these events threaten to destroy her stability and her chances for a happily ever after. Kyle Finnegan comes into Carly’s life at the height of her turmoil. Can he help her find what she desires most?
Tabitha Fletcher has constantly suffered from a very young age. She has been hiding from her past, which was full of sadness, loss and abuse. She has been so brutally damaged that she has very little hope for redemption. The revolving door of men only leads her deeper into misery. 

What circumstance brings these two women together and can they help each other heal? And will they each find what they need? 
Redemption.

Love. 

Family.


I told you guys I was going to binge read Trudy’s books after I blogged Epic Sins. And here I am, on the second book now. DEAR TRUDY. Your writing completes me and engulfs me. Your heart is amazing. So if you’re out there reading this: Thank you.

Dear Emily is about two women and how their lives cross each other and how everything changes for them. In this book I was SO engrossed in the way both Carly and Tabitha’s past and present POV’s took me through this book. It was great. Loved it.

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The emotions in this book were raw, real, and intense. It provoked so many feelings from me. But this story was about so much more than the trials and tribulations of the adoption processes that most people don’t know about. It was about life’s realities: the good and the bad and the ugly, the highs and lows, the dark and the light. It was a story of friendship, survival, loss, hope, and strength. But most of all, it was about love.

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Trudy Stiles has created an exceptional piece of work portraying a story of love, loss, heartbreak and hope. The emotional roller coaster ride that you take while reading Dear Emily will rip you apart and put you back together again and I couldn’t have loved it more.

*please be advised that there is one hell of a cliff hanger at the end of this book. Like WOAH

Epic Sins (Trudy Stiles)

 Garrett Armstrong, the lead guitarist of Epic Fail, womanizer and not so nice guy, leaves a trail of women in his wake. A recent one-night stand wreaks havoc, and turns his present completely upside down. He’s faced with a reality that he never expected. Never wanted.

Samantha Weston can’t escape the black cloud that follows her. She suffered an unspeakable loss as a teenager and has been climbing uphill ever since. As soon as her life starts to become manageable she’s slammed with another tragic event, forcing her to abandon the only thing in life that she cherishes.

A heartbreaking situation throws this unlikely pair together. They’re forced to face things that seem impossible. Can Sam get past the demons that haunt her? Can Garrett accept a fate he swore to avoid at all costs?

Can they conquer the sins that are poised to destroy them or will they become an Epic Fail?


TRUDY HAS DONE IT GUYS. She got me out of my slump. She did it. I love her. I loved this book. Insert mushy sigh. Ugh, YES.

When a one night stand shows back up in Garrett’s life, she completely turns his whole world upside down. Samantha, who has also suffered a lot, is thrust into the middle of Garrett’s life and from there the two of them try to navigate their way through their new realities.

Along the way…love forms. And it’s beautiful. And slow building. And magical. And I loved it. It was great.

“You’ve made me want to erase all of the sins of my past and be worthy of you.”

I liked the slow build up, I can’t express that enough. And there was no lulls along the way. Zilch. I liked how Garrett changed through out the whole book. It wasn’t a fast change, it was just right. The story is well written and their past and present are perfectly intertwined to gradually reveal the whole story and all of it just comes together so well in the end. And God, I loved it. (Did I already say that? I did didn’t I? Oh well)

Epic Sins is a beautiful, emotional and lovely story, with one additional little character that will steal your heart. Guaranteed.  Now, if you need me I’m going to be binge reading all of Trudy’s books. THANKS, GIRL!

Pulled (A. L. Jackson) 


For nine years, they drift through life, unable to forget the one who holds the strings to their hearts. In an attempt to escape the pain of her past, Melanie finds herself trapped in a loveless marriage, while Daniel loses himself in a career that means nothing without Melanie by his side. Now, when their lives intersect, neither can deny the connection they felt so long ago. But will the power that drew them together be enough to heal the wounds from their past, and do they have the courage to overcome the insecurities and fears that threaten to keep them apart? Pulled is a story of attraction and separation, of destiny and duty, of a love so strong it refuses to give up even when all others have. 


I love second chance stories. But the way this one was wrote really irked me. For me personally, there were a few aspects of the story that I struggled with. I found it difficult to get into the story and stay with it. There was so much focus on the past and how unhappy Melanie/Daniel were that I found myself wanting the story to end.

Nine years after losing her child and Daniel, Melanie is broken, unable to move on, and clinging desperately to the past (I mean desperately). She’s trapped in a loveless marriage, and is to be at her husband’s beck and call while appearing to be the perfect wife in public.

I skimmed. A LOT. I won’t lie one bit. And I never skim books. I was angry at how a lot of the scenarios played out. One thing I wasn’t a fan of was the constant flashbacks during the first half of the book. The story was consistently flashing from past to present over and over and over again I couldn’t even keep up. It became entirely too repetitive for my taste.

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I have all of AL Jackson’s books on my kindle. It won’t be my last but this was for sure a solid three star read for me. I have got to get out of this funk, and fast

What Happens After (Portia Moore)

It was never supposed to happen. ‘We’ never should have happened.
He and I… Our constantly crossing paths changed the unthinkable to the inevitable. 
It was magical, exhilarating, and life defining… despicable, and it ruined everything.

It destroyed me.
It destroyed us.

He and I is what happened before.

And everything else is what happened after…


Let me just say right now I LOVED the If I Break series. I’m actually border line obsessed with it. I have recommended these books and pimped it to so many people I’ve lost count. The messages I receive after people read them make me so happy. This book wasn’t a “disappointment” to me per say but it just was meh.

I love indies. They are my forte. And Portia Moore is a fantastic author who can certainly craft a well written story but I think it’s time to branch out more. No more Scott’s. The If I Break series was so good because there were so many twists and GASPS but with this book we already know the story. We got it in the last book.

There were a couple of things I had issues with in this book (I do have ONE hard limit for books) but of course I can’t explain as they are major major spoilers. I was hooked though. I read straight through. Portia has a talent and that talent is writing. She’s so different from any one I have read lately and that’s always refreshing.

I hope Portia continues writing but I hope she is ready to start over with a fresh plot. Fresh characters. I’ll be here. Waiting.