Posted in Music, Romance

Sound Bites: A Rock & Roll Love Story – Rachel K. Burke

13452847Synopsis

Renee Evans has a knack for trouble. After walking in on her best friend and boyfriend in bed together, twenty-five year-old Renee flees sunny Los Angeles and her dream job as a music journalist and returns to her hometown of Boston – only to meet Dylan Cavallari, the mysterious, aspiring musician who lives in her apartment building. Dylan’s piercing gaze and womanizing demeanor make him exactly the type of guy that Renee should steer clear of – which is most likely the reason she falls for him. But when Renee’s troublesome ex comes back and threatens to drive her and Dylan apart, Renee is forced to face her past and save her relationship with Dylan before it’s too late.

Sound Bites dramatizes what happens when Renee finds herself caught between a painful past and an uncertain future. Happiness turns out to be within her grasp, but it all depends on whether she can trust herself enough to make the right decisions. Sound Bites is a novel about love, friendship, betrayal, forgiveness, and the power of music to help you find your way

4 / 5 Stars

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My Review

*I’d like to thank Rachel K. Burke for sending me a review copy in return for an honest opinion*

After walking in on her best friend and boyfriend betraying her, Renee Evans flees LA and her dream job as a music journalist and returns back home to Boston.

Upon her return home and moving into her new flat, she meets her neighbour Dylan Cavallari. Dylan is mysterious, he’s gorgeous and an aspiring musician who lives in the flat above Renee. To Renee he is the typical womanizer and someone who she shouldn’t get involved with but she can’t help it. Despite a misunderstanding when they first meet, Renee and Dylan become friends fast, and over due course, they fall for each other.

But when all seems great for the pair, Renee’s ex comes back; begging for her back and his appearance threatens to drive her and Dylan apart. Can they figure it out or is it too late for them? In order to move on, Renee must face her past to save her relationship with Dylan.

Rachel K. Burke emailed me asking me if I would like a review copy of Sound Bites and after reading the synopsis, I emailed back, jumping at the chance. It sounded like a great book and one that I especially love reading. Hot musicians? Oh hells yes, give me some of that.

Ms. Burke’s writing style made the book flow from scene to scene. It was hard to put it down once I started, engrossed with every scene and every word on the page. She makes you care for the characters as they develop throughout the book, watching them grow up, go through their own problems and insecurities and watching them all care for one another throughout the different scenes that occurred.

As you all should know by now, my emotions tend to range when reading great books. It’s much the same with this one, I was smiling, frustration, panicky, laughing but I didn’t kindle throw as I was reading on my phone. I might have thrown my phone down though haha and shook my head over what was happening but that’s the sign that a book gets to me!

To briefly outline the book, 24 year old Renee went to LA with her best friend for college, but after walking in on her best friend Justine and her boyfriend, David getting down and dirty, she leaves sunny LA and heads back home to Boston to escape the pain of what she just saw.

Moving into a small building complex, one day she crashes into a hottie, quite literally crashes as she reverses into his car. Hes a bit of a douche with an attitude but she gets over it as she knows she probably won’t see him again. Oh uh, she does. Apparently he lives in the building complex.

As a diehard music fan, one night she hears someone playing an acoustic version of her favourite Jeff Buckley song so she goes out to investigate who the culprit is. What she doesn’t count on is the guy behind the door being the douche from outside.

Over time, the two of them become friends over their shared interest in music. Despite Dylan being confident and cocky, he sure is shy and nervous to play his music in front of people, preferring to confine his talent to his flat. But Renee knows awesomeness when she hears it and so she tries to persuade Dylan to join her friend’s band and after weeks of rehearsals, Dylan pushes through his nervousness and performs…in front of people…for the first time. This makes Renee so proud of him and her feelings for him become even stronger.

Throughout the weeks between hanging out and Dylan gigging, a big gig in New York arrives and Dylan asks Renee to go with him. Sharing a room, Renee tries to gauge a reaction from Dylan but nothing is working. She doesn’t know his feelings until she meets a guy and spends the night talking to him, which pisses Dylan off whom in turns storms off. When returning to the hotel, Dylan spills his guts about wanting to be with Renee, whom reciprocates the feelings, and they end up together.

Spending the days and nights together, their little love nest progresses to love and they decided to rent a house and have put a deposit down when Renee’s lease on her apartment is up but one night screws up everything they had going and their relationship is broken. It’s now up to Renee to face her past and look into her future before even attempting to try and win back Dylan’s heart. Can she do this or is it too late for them?

I think at some point in our life we can all relate to Renee’s character. She’s been heartbroken, had to give up her dream job, had to move back to her home town and then end up in a job she doesn’t want to be in. Renee could be deemed as stuck-up, strong, a music whore and although she was heartbroken, she just got up and dealt with it which takes courage to not let it stew in your mind. Despite her hot-headedness, she was a great character apart from when she began to get insecurities about her relationship with Dylan. I felt so sad for her to go from this strong woman to this woman who was questioning everything.

Dylan even picked up on that, and it tore me about how she was feeling as he did nothing to make her feel this way. But I suppose there is a point in ones relationship where it all gets to you and the love you feel for that person is so consuming that you wonder if it’s just you? Even though it’s obvious they love you too.

She could be immature and childish in parts and I got frustrated but then I thought about it and to be completely honest with you, I would be acting this way too if it was me. I got frustrated because she was pushing Dylan too far but in the end, I reckon that would be me too. Pushing him to succeed in something that he obviously loves and pushing him to get over his fear and become something amazing. She does grow up, she faces so much in this book from finding love to finding forgiveness and its all thanks to the power of music.

When we are first introduced to Dylan, he is a bit of a douche – but to be fair to him, you would be giving attitude if someone reversed into your van. But there is something about Dylan that you just cant help but love. It’s the mystery about him, the way he loves music (much like Renee) but doesn’t show anyone due to his intense bout of stage fright. He is confidence and cocky and attidtudy in his ‘real life’ but throw him on stage in front of people and make him sing? No way, he would pass out before he played the first chord.

I loved his growth of confidence throughout the book. Thanks to a massive push from Renee, he grow as a character comfortable enough to stand on stage and sing; relish in the audiences reaction to his songs and voice. I was so proud of him for building up the courage to do this as I knew that it took a lot for him to broadcast his talent. He finally got over his stage fright and began to love singing to the audiences, even if he still was petrified each time the crowd got bigger, he carried on. I think Renee was his rock, that he kind of needed her there at the beginning to push him into singing and calm him down, make him know she was proud of him.

Despite the mystery, we get to see a loveable side to Dylan, a side which is cute and sweet. You really do see the connection between the two of them and you can see just how much they love each other. When Renee suggests going back to her own flat to sleep, Dylan is having none of it and after Renee hints at moving in together, Dylan asks her and its all flowers and hearts for them. The perfect couple. I loved this side of Dylan. The confident, in love guy who would do anything for Renee.

When the shit hits the fan and there is a massive misunderstanding, we never really see Dylan’s side but we know he is hurting. He’s been betrayed – or so he thinks – by the one person he loved and trusted the most and he doesn’t know what to do. Music is now his therapy while he heals.

Music is basically what brings Renee and Dylan and will it bring them back together? You will have to wait and see what happens. Renee needs to forgive before getting to her present and when a surprise happens, she now needs to see Dylan and let him know exactly what is going on.

I reallllly loved the ending; it was a great way to end Sound Bites. You see both characters grow-up and go through a journey, together and alone. You see the characters forgive, characters love, characters bond, and characters get their happily ever after.

My favourite scene has to be when they tell each other their feelings. I’m a sucker for a sappy love spillage and you could see just how much Dylan was hurting over Renee going out with that guy after his show. You could see that he felt the same way and it hurt him to think of Renee with anyone other than him. The way he acted just tore my heart open and it was so great to see him – someone who is closed up – express himself and tell her his feelings. I loved it!

All in all thank you for sending me your book Rachel, I really enjoyed every second of it and hello Dylan, you can be a new book boyfriend for me. Everyone grab your copy of Sound Bites and be like me in turning the pages at lightning speed because you cannot put it down!

Posted in J.A Redmerski, New Adult

The Edge Of Never – J.A. Redmerski

16081272Synopsis

Twenty-year-old Camryn Bennett had always been one to think out-of-the-box, who knew she wanted something more in life than following the same repetitive patterns and growing old with the same repetitive life story. And she thought that her life was going in the right direction until everything fell apart.

Determined not to dwell on the negative and push forward, Camryn is set to move in with her best friend and plans to start a new job. But after an unexpected night at the hottest club in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina, she makes the ultimate decision to leave the only life she’s ever known, far behind.

With a purse, a cell phone and a small bag with a few necessities, Camryn, with absolutely no direction or purpose boards a Greyhound bus alone and sets out to find herself. What she finds is a guy named Andrew Parrish, someone not so very different from her and who harbors his own dark secrets. But Camryn swore never to let down her walls again. And she vowed never to fall in love.

But with Andrew, Camryn finds herself doing a lot of things she never thought she’d do. He shows her what it’s really like to live out-of-the-box and to give in to her deepest, darkest desires. On their sporadic road-trip he becomes the center of her exciting and daring new life, pulling love and lust and emotion out of her in ways she never imagined possible. But will Andrew’s dark secret push them inseparably together, or tear them completely apart?

Due to sexual content and language, this book is recommended for 17+ – Adult Contemporary Women’s – New Adult Fiction

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My Review

“For the first time in my life, I’ve felt whole, alive, free. You were the missing piece of my soul, the breath in my lungs, the blood in my veins. I think that if past lives are real then we have been lovers in every single one of them. I’ve known you for a short time, but I feel like I’ve known you forever.”

Twenty year old Camryn Bennett has always been different to her friends. She’s been one to over think her life and she knew that she wanted more; more than just a repetitive lifestyle. She had her life planned out with her boyfriend Ian, until an accident took him away from her. Since then, she hasn’t been herself and a black cloud has overtaken her.

One day she just decides to pack a few essentials in a bag and get on a bus. She’s fed up of everything happening in her life, from her brother in prison, her parents’ divorce, and her best friend accusing her of being a lying bitch. She decides to start living for her, hence setting out on a road trip to Idaho, even though nothing is really there for her. You’ll see why she picks that place when you read this book.

When she steps upon the bus, little does she know everything is going to change and her life will turn upside down for the better.

Andrew Parrish is 25 and on a trip from Texas to see his dying father in Wyoming. It could have been easier to get on a plane but he decides to get the bus instead. He’s in the same mindset as Camryn where he needs time to think about everything that is happening in his life and what he’s going to do. You will definitely fall in love with Andrew. I want him to take me on this road trip and show me everything that I am missing in my life!

When they both meet, its obvious Camryn doesn’t want to speak to anyone. She’s there for herself, to travel alone and when she gets to her destination, she’ll turn around and go home. She only wanted this trip to discover herself and sort out her thoughts and feelings. Little does she know, but Andrew’s protective instinct takes over when a man is constantly checking out Camryn, not to her knowledge, and he does everything to make sure the man stays away, which leads to small talk and then they slowly build a friendship spending the trip together and even beyond that when they decide to just drive anywhere, to really live on the wild side without any planning or thinking about where they are going.

They were both characters who were amazing together. They both pushed each other to be themselves, especially Andrew, who makes Camryn come out of her depression and her shell and admit things she wouldn’t even dream of to Ian. He makes her push past her past, makes her be fearless and to own her own sexuality. In turn, they fall in love and it was like they were truly meant to be and truly be on the same bus together. The banter and flirting made their friendship all the more important to me, and with the alternative POVs from both characters, you begin to see them falling for each other but because of their own personal trauma’s they just didn’t want to admit it, thinking it was easier to keep at arms lengths. But love concurs all in the end.

This book and their journey really made me think about my life. If I could, I would pack my stuff up in my duffle bag, go to the airport and get the first flight out of Wales and just live my life to the fullest. You see the pain from both of them, but together they manage to make each other come alive and slowly the pain simmers away until love overtakes and they both feel alive being together. Meeting one another on the bus was definitely fate; to bring them back to life with the help of each other.

I have to say, when I finished this book, I was walking around my house like a zombie. I didn’t know what to feel because so many different emotions were pulsing though me. I was happy, sad, and distraught and all these feeling were swished about together that I was going “I don’t know how to feel.”

I had seen so many people raving about this book and I just had to download it right away. Sweet baby Jesus, this book did not disappoint at all. I was captivated by the synopsis, then every single scene that occurred throughout the book. I do have to say; I’ve never cried so hard or so much reading a book as I did with The Edge Of Never.  My mother even asked me who had made me cry and I had to tell her it was this book, which made her laugh. My heart was breaking at what I was reading and I kept throwing my Kindle down and taking deep breathes throughout one particular event because I couldn’t handle it. When books turn me into an emotional wreck, you definitely know it’s a great book to read!

Seriously, you HAVE to give this book a read. I know I say it about many books I read but when you feel so passionate about a book, you really need to make other people read it and see why you love it.

“Have you ever wondered what it would be like to backpack across the world? Just you and a backpack with a few necessities. No bills. No getting up at the same time every morning to go to a job you hate. Just you and the world out ahead of you. You never know what the next day is going to bring, who you’ll meet, what you’ll have for lunch or where you might sleep.”