Let's have a quickie . . . with audio . . . MINUTE REVIEWS {2}

Contractual | True Love Way | Low

They told me I’d be an escort; they made it sound so easy.

Really I’m just a high priced call girl.

Desperation brought me to this and it led me to him, my one and only client.

Hating him is easy, he reminds me of my shame.

Wanting him is wrong it fills me with guilt.

Loving him is a losing battle yet it’s become everything.

A gift and a curse, he consumes my every thought and I’d rather play my part in his bed than to spend one day without him.

This was a very sexy, fast paced read. Decent writing, but the plot was too contrived. The story slowly inclined, but just fell flat for most of the way through. I found it really difficult to connect or care about either of the main characters.

Jackson’s character carried that alpha, a**hole personality, but no redeeming or charming qualities. I didn’t feel anything for him, and he came off as being too desperate. He was very smart and a successful businessman, so his lack of self assurance didn’t connect.

The character of Sage was quite meek and somewhat pitiful to be honest. Her naivety showed with her situation at the start of the book. Her consistency in low self esteem was really maddening, and all she became was a poor, little good girl battling her conscience.

Again, the majority of the book was okay, and I liked it well enough. There just wasn’t enough background on the characters, which made for lack of intensity and empathy. There seemed to be too much happening for the length of the book. It didn’t allow for story to naturally progress so the finale ended up falling flat. Sadly the bad overshadowed the good for me.

Alice Tribue is a bestselling author of contemporary romance novels. She is currently living in New Jersey with her two children and spends as much of her free time as she can by the beach. She enjoys reading, writing, and an unhealthy addiction to coffee.

Some days are brighter than others, but Penelope Finnel has been taught she can be invisible behind the colored lenses of her heart-shaped sunglasses. 

Her mind is her worst enemy, and simply waking up in the morning is risky. For a kid like her, staying in bed is easier, especially when the day has come to start school in a new town with new kids who don’t understand that the clouds are not the only reason everything is so gloomy. 

Dillon Decker is a typical boy from a typical small town who radiates light and happiness. Under the hovering glare from her father, Dillon leads Penelope around on his bicycle’s handlebars, hoping he is the cure to her madness. 

But when friend turns to lover, and lover turns to caretaker, how much can either of them tolerate before they’re swallowed whole? 

A story about moving trucks and rollerblades, candy for smiles, and notes across lawns. 

First loves and the struggle to keep it sane. 

The true love way.

The title gives the impression that you’re about to read an adorable story about sweet, first loves. Although, there’s some sweetness, there’s also a whole bunch of reality thrown in. It tells a story of love with the good and the bad. 

Dillon and Penelope had an instant connection. Part curiosity and part childish crush. Penelope was really quirky and odd. She always wore sunglasses which is soon revealed as a coping mechanism. A way to hide from the world. The subject of mental illness was the center of the story, as well. 

I get what the author’s intention was with this story and if the reviews and high ratings are any indication, she accomplished it. For me though, there was a case of “it’s me, not you” with this novel. While I appreciated the story and saw the beauty shine through at certain moments, I couldn’t get the full effect. I couldn’t connect to the characters and their story on a deeper level. 

What bothered me the most was the emotional abuse that Dillon endured at the hands of Penelope and her illness. It was very difficult to read through their interactions when it wasn’t all sunshine and roses (which seemed like only 5% of their relationship). Their relationship was not healthy at all and the codependency didn’t send out a positive message.

I wanted to know more about just Penelope and just Dillon. Yet all I got was Penelope and Dillon. Never independent of each other. The two characters I felt most connected to were Dillon and the father of Penelope, but most of what I was feeling was sympathy and pity for them. 
Both the plot and character development was very staccato. I didn’t feel like it really had a steadily increasing tempo, which caused the overall story to fall flat.

The quirks within the story itself, however, did manage to brighten it all up. There was a high amount of angst, and the writing flowed.

Yet again, the ending was especially unsettling. It tied up too neatly with a HEA, and that was just not realistic. Penelope’s illness was clearly not an easy one to manage and their situation in the end was highly implausible in my eyes. Also, I saw the 5 different epilogues unnecessary when they could’ve just been regular chapters. 

It's hard living on the wrong side of the tracks.

Lowen Seely has a criminal record to prove it. Determined not to follow in his father's footsteps, he fights instinct and tries honesty. But hunger becomes painful, and bills are due. Forced to choose between what is right and wrong, the boy from the hood learns abiding by the rules is nearly impossible when corruption is in your blood.

Falling for an outlaw has changed everything.

Poesy Ashby is the definition of ride or die, even when it means turning her back on freedom. The girl from the suburbs gives conformity the middle finger. Bonnie and Clyde have nothing on her love story.

On the run with consequences in the rearview mirror, Lowen and Poesy accept the truth: they are the bad guys.

But can they get away with their crimes?

The narrator had a really nice voice and enjoyed the narration despite the mispronunciation of a few words.

I liked the the idea and vibe of a modern Bonnie & Clyde, but comparing them will do this book harm.
I’m all for anti-heroes, but these two were a stretch. I just didn’t see or feel the chemistry and connection that Low and Poesy were supposed to have. I was really bothered by her constant use of the “nickname” for Low (i.e. inmate). I couldn’t connect with the characters, especially Poesy. She said extremely immature and lacked personality.

Towards the end, there’s a bit of a feeling as though they should be or are being painted as good samaritans that are giving back to the people in need. I wish the author would’ve run with this idea a bit more throughout the novel or just simply taken it out altogether. It sort of came out of left field at the end. As though she was trying one last time to make the reader feel bad for the two lovebird thieves.

Overall, I didn’t find this a great read, but entertaining enough with the descriptive prose.

Mary Elizabeth is an up and coming author who finds words in chaos, writing stories about the skeletons hanging in your closets. 

Known as The Realist, Mary was born and raised in Southern California. She is a wife, mother of four beautiful children, and dog tamer to one enthusiastic Pit Bull and a prissy Chihuahua. She's a hairstylist by day but contemporary fiction, new adult author by night. Mary can often be found finger twirling her hair and chewing on a stick of licorice while writing and rewriting a sentence over and over until it's perfect. She discovered her talent for tale-telling accidentally, but literature is in her chokehold. And she's not letting go until every story is told. 

*These audiobooks were provided to me via Audiobook Boom at no charge by the author/narrator in exchange for an honest review.

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