Forgive my extended absence. It's been a rough couple of months. Before I begin...
Can you believe it's March already? I can't. I'm not looking forward to Spring and the return of heat and insects. Most of you know I have Reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder, and I'll be on the downward spiral from here until Fall arrives once again. But I am excited to be here today!
I'm here today not to give updates about my life, but to share about one of my favourite indie authors, Kira Adams. It's a privilege to be part of her Infinite Love Series Blog Tour!
The Infinite Love Series Box Set consists of four books. It is free on Amazon through March 5th, 2015. You can have a dekko at it/purchase it here. These books are not only in a series, but they can be purchased separately.
Before I begin, I need to share some trigger warnings. This series does deal with real issues, such as death and dying, sex, cheating, self-harm, and the characters use profanity (but it's not every other word like in some books, I won't say whose, but it's not an indie author). Proceed with caution.
Because I have OCD, I'm going to go in order. (Some bloggers on this tour may highlight their favourite story first, but I have to go in order, and it just so happens that the first story is my favourite!)
The first book in the Infinite Love Series is Learning to Live. For those of you who know me, you're probably gobsmacked, because I am so not into romance reads. (Yes, I read The Fault in Our Stars, but it wasn't heavy on the romance.) I'm just not interested in love stories. That's not who I am. This story exceeded my expectations, and it is my favourite romance novel ever!!!! I never thought I'd say that in a million years, but here I am!
The main characters in the story are Topher and Ciera.
Topher is part of the popular crowd, or the A-Team as Ciera and her best friend call them. He's one of those popular, spoiled rich kids who is used to having everything handed to him. Having everything handed to you simply sets you up for failure, and Topher was headed in that direction. His priorities are out of order in the beginning of the story. Despite the fact that he's popular, lives in a huge, luxurious home, and has women who are willing to be at his beck and call, his life isn't all sunshine and rainbows.
Ciera is an outcast who simply wants to fade into the background. She doesn't want to be noticed. She just wants to get through the school day and go to her after school job. She's being raised by a single mother in a small apartment, where she and her two siblings don't even have their own rooms. She's bullied by Topher's ephemeral girlfriend, whose name I don't remember because I cared so little about her, and one of the other A-Team girls. (I just wanted to see the evil girl's demise to be honest.) Despite being an outcast, Ciera is intelligent. She has her goals laid out and her priorities in order, but she also has limited time to accomplish these goals.
After another bullying session from the evil A-Team girls, Ciera finds herself with gum in her hair. Enter another one of the A-Team girls, Maddalynne, who uses her popularity for good. She takes Ciera under her wing. She sends her to a stylist friend in order to get the gum out of Ciera's hair, and has a general interest in getting to know Ciera.
After Ciera's transformation via Maddalynne, Ciera fails to fade into the background. People begin to notice her, including Topher, and he is intrigued by what he sees. I wish I could say that the bullying from the two evil A-Team harpies stopped, but it didn't.
Topher and Ciera really begin to get to know one another, and they both realize they're falling in love, but Ciera tries to hold Topher at arm's length, because she knows their relationship will destroy both of them. I want to just tell all! I just want to scream every spoiler in this story because I loved it so much!!!! But I won't. I will say this: Woe to those who do not have tissues!
This story has been compared to A Walk To Remember and The Fault in Our Stars, but believe me when I say it is in a category of its own. (I hated A Walk To Remember. I loved TFIOS, but Hazel and Augustus reminded me so much of my characters Paul and Tallullah, and the book wasn't extremely heavy on the romance.) Learning To Live is five star material. Again, I'm not into romance novels. I'm just not. But I couldn't put my Kindle down! I had to see what happened next!
That's exactly what Learning To Live did to me!
This is exactly how I looked after reading Learning To Live...
I want to cross out The Fault In Our Stars and insert Learning to Live!
I did not cry nearly as much at the end of TFIOS!
WHAT DO YOU MEAN IT'S NOT REAL?!?
Kira, thank you for writing Learning To Live and giving me a new appreciation for romance novels!
The next book in the box set was My Forever. It was not one of my favourites, but that is not Kira's fault. The main characters in this story were highlighted in Learning To Live, Maddalynne and Parker.
I LOVED Maddalynne in Learning To Live, but I could not stand her in My Forever. I felt like she was flighty, self-destructive, and selfish. Sure, I understand that grief makes people do foolish things, but I felt like Maddalynne was taking advantage of it.
I'm sure my face was like this as I read Maddalynne's side in My Forever.
Her side of the story went something like this:
Maddalynne: I love you.
Maddalynne: I don't love you.
Maddalynne: I don't know if I love you.
Maddalynne: I love you?
Maddalynne: I love someone else.
Maddalynne: Maybe I love someone else?
Maddalynne: I love you!
The story was so frustrating! It was like pure torture! Maddalynne really made me understand the meaning behind the song, La Donna E Mobile! (Woman is flighty, what a feather in the wind...) Again, it was not Kira's fault that I could not relate to Maddalynne. I couldn't relate to Maddalynne because I'm not flighty. (I can't say I'm not selfish.) I know what I want. I make a decision and I stick with it.
I LOVED Parker. I had so much respect for him. He loved Maddalynne unconditionally. Maddalynne did not deserve that! I felt badly for Parker as he had to watch her self-destruct in the midst of her grief. Again, I understand that grief makes a person do stupid things, but she was taking advantage of it. When Parker was battling with his own grief after his brother committed suicide, he did push Maddalynne away, but he also reached out for help, something that Maddalynne never did, and made a new friend in Jacqueline. The story never shares the possible list of Parker's foolish acts during his grief, aside from pushing Maddalynne away, so perhaps he didn't go overboard the way Maddalynne did.
Parker and Maddalynne went through Hell and back during their long, tumultuous relationship. They both endured grief, unanswered questions, family issues, and friendship issues. Do they end up together? I'm not going to spill the beans.
While this story was frustrating to me and not one of my favourites, I still gave it five stars. It was well written. It really did depict a fair portrait of grieving. Just because I couldn't relate to Maddalynne doesn't mean that other readers won't be able to relate to her.
Book three is entitled Beautifully Broken. I LOVED this book!
Beautifully Broken gives us a look at Parker's friend, Jacqueline the girl he reached out to for help during his grief over his brother's suicide, and Maddalynne's friend, Lee.
Jacqueline met Parker on a suicide chat room. She shared some of her horrible upbringing with him, but not all of it. Jacqueline was abandoned by her father and left with her drug addicted mother. Her mother was only concerned about her drugs and her men, leaving Jacqueline to fend for herself. After her mother was arrested She was placed into foster care. She eventually became emancipated and got her GED.
Lee and Maddalynne met in Hawaii during My Forever. Lee was a player. I imagined he was a lot like Topher during his time in high school, a popular player who was spoiled out of his mind and used to having girls at his beck and call. He could still snap his fingers and girls would come running. Lee had a serious fear of commitment, but as he watched his cousin Austyn and her boyfriend, Avery, he began to want what they had.
Maddalynne and Jacqueline became friends, and Maddalynne decided to play matchmaker. She and Parker convince Lee to add Jacqueline on Facebook. The two develop a relationship, but when Jacqueline reveals that she has a disorder, Lee freaks out and runs off. This happens frequently in the story, Lee freaking out because he doesn't want to deal with the drama.
I think I yelled this aloud a few times!
My favourite part was Jacqueline's first plane ride! I could relate! It reminded me of my first plane ride with my husband a few years ago! I sprained both of our hands, I was gripping his hand so hard! I couldn't stop laughing!
The ending of this story will surprise you. I didn't see it coming. And once again, Kira Adams has made me love romance stories. I never thought I'd see the day. Beautifully Broken lives up to its title. Aren't we all a little beautifully broken? I know I am.
Unfortunately, I did not get the chance to read Against All Odds, but I already love the characters, Austyn and Avery, as I got acquainted with them in Beautifully Broken. I am a workaholic who can barely stop long enough to relax. Plus we just passed the one year anniversary of my father-in-law's death, and I couldn't focus on anything that week, so I took the week off and revelled in the memories of him.
I am 100% sure that Against All Odds is going to be another five star read. I'll share the teasers and let them speak for themselves, but when I do read the story, I'm going to share my review in a blog post, so stay tuned for that.
Overall, despite the fact that My Forever was not my favourite, I still give the series five stars. I adored two of the three stories I read, and I can't wait to read Against All Odds! I know it's going to be amazing!
I just want to thank Kira Adams once again for allowing me to be a part of The Infinite Love Series Box Set Tour! It has been such a pleasure and a privilege to get to read her work and promote her!
I can't just leave without highlighting my absolute favourite book by Kira Adams. It's not part of The Infinite Love Series, but I want to share it for those readers who may not be into romance reads or may be unwilling to give The Infinite Love Series a chance. Kira is not just a romance writer. She has something to offer every reader!
This was the first book I've ever read from Kira Adams, and I read it straight through in just two hours!
Into The Darkness was a nonstop thrill ride! I could not put my Kindle down! I won't go into a full review since this isn't a story on the tour, but I couldn't end this blog without mentioning my favourite book ever by this author!
Try books ending with cliffhangers!
I can't wait to read Emerging From The Darkness!
Have a dekko at The Infinite Love Series Box Set. It's FREE on Amazon today through March 5th. You can purchase it by clicking here. You can also have a dekko at her other books on Amazon, like Pieces Of Me, The Fighter, and Into The Darkness. (I plan to read Pieces of me and The Fighter in the near future.) Kira Adams also has an author page on Facebook, and I'm fairly sure she has a blog.
Thank you, Kira, for working your magic.
And always remember to support your favourite indie authors.