Friday, July 3, 2015

Review: Just Parker by K.C. O'Neill

Just Parker 
(VA is for Lovers series)
K.C. O'Neill 
publication date: 1/15/2015
available on Amazon

They say hate is a strong word, but Eileen Parker is certainly no stranger to it. Parker hates her first name, hates her apartment, hates her life. Which, sure, sounds a bit cynical, but after the life that she’s led so far, you really can’t blame her. With her sophomore year of college overshadowed by circumstances that she never expected, Parker just wants to keep her head down, pass her classes, and take care of the responsibilities that are threatening to destroy her. And then she meets Ash. Ashton Carter is working to fix the messes that he’s made, but he’s still struggling with dark memories of a night that changed his life. He’s definitely not looking for someone to spend forever with, but when he meets Parker, his life changes once again. It doesn't bother him that Parker adamantly refuses to admit to the chemistry between them, or that she’s determined to keep him at arms length. Ash is convinced that Parker is everything he never knew he needed, and he’s not about to let her slip away. Fighting against overwhelming insecurities and secrets that feel too big to share, the two must make a choice. They can keep running from their pasts, or they can confront them and face their future together. ***This is the first book in a series of standalone novels. Due to adult language/situations and mild drug use, this book is recommended for readers 18+

My Rating and Review
I received a complimentary e-copy of Just Parker in exchange for an honest review!

Just Parker is about Parker, a college student who is struggling to deal with everything on her plate. Besides her classes, she's dealing with the fact that her mom is dying of cancer and the knowledge that her father walked away from her without a second glance when she was 5. Even before cancer struck, Parker and her mom did not have a good relationship. Her mom has spewed hateful things to her for years, making it well known that she holds Parker responsible for all the bad things that she's done with her life. In fact, she had been so hateful to Parker, that prior to the cancer diagnosis, they hadn't spoken to each other in over a year. Once the diagnosis was made, mom went into guilt mode, playing the wounded mother a la 'Parker, you know I'm dying. you should do all you can to make my last days comfortable.' To say that Parker has mixed feelings about the inevitable demise of her mom would be putting it lightly.

Imagine her surprise when she meets Ashton. He's gorgeous and surprisingly kind to her and is instantly intrigued by her. He is guarding his own secrets and continually tries to get through Parker's walls only to feel like he's knocking his head against the wall. For every step they take forward toward a relationship, they go back 3 more steps. Can Ash prove to Parker that she can trust him, that what they could have together could be amazing, could be just what they each didn't know they were looking for and that it doesn't have to be Just Parker against the world anymore?

I seriously loved this book. Parker's circumstances are absolutely heartbreaking. For her to have to deal with her obnoxious mom would be bad enough, but due to her dad's unexpected departure so many years ago, she is not very trusting and not receptive to becoming close to anyone. Ash was just the kind of person that she needed in her life. Even though he was keeping his own secrets, he tried so hard to not waver and to not push her too hard in their relationship even though it was killing him that she wouldn't let him in and help her carry her burdens. My heart ached as their relationship grew and stalled and blossomed more. They certainly weren't having an easy go at it. But I had to keep onto the hope that love would prevail at the end.

Just Parker may be K.C. O'Neill's debut novel, but based on how well written, and how well the story flowed and how much she made you care about the characters, you'd never know she hasn't been published for years!! I absolutely recommend this book!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

SNEAKPEAK: Briana Gaitan's coming of age romance To The Steadfast (release date 8/31/15)

To The Steadfast
by Briana Gaitan
Genre: Coming of Age Romance
Cover Artist: Romantic Book Affairs
Release Date: August 31st 2015

Resolute. Firm. Unwavering
That was my love for him.
Steadfast for as long as I can remember.

As my best friend's brother, he ignored me before noticing me. He protected me, bought me my first beer, but eventually became my undoing. 

There was a time I would have died to get him to notice me, now I'd do anything to forget him. 
I'm not the one who can tame him, and he's not the guy who will change for me.
This isn't a story about falling in love, this is a story about falling out of love.
Unrequited love. 
And finding the strength to stand up for myself.
Here's to the steadfast.

*This is an standalone story that crosses years from YA into NA genre, due to heavy subject matter this book is for ages 16 and up. This is not your typical love story.*