Series Review, Giveaway: The Just Series by Riley J. Ford

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Title: Just Us
Author: Riley J. Ford
Genre: New Adult Romance
Publication Date: July 6, 2014
Cover by Sarah Hansen Okay Creations
Organized by Literati Author Services

~Synopsis ~

Before I ever fell in love with Bryce, there was Hayden. Hayden was my first love, the kind of love that takes your breath away and you remember forever. My love story with Bryce came later. Much later, after everything had happened.

Avery Hill and Hayden Stuart are high school sweethearts and each other’s first true love. When Hayden is accepted to college in Los Angeles, Avery intends to follow him so they can build a life together. After a tragic chain of events ruins their plans forever, Avery is left to pick up the pieces. Will she survive all that was lost? And will she forgive the man who destroyed her and Hayden’s dreams forever?
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My Rating

5 hearts

 

Favorite Quotes:

 

“The only time I’d ever seen a male penis was when Ava and I were freshmen buying candy at a liquor store, and she had picked up a Playgirl magazine.  She’d opened it to the centerfold, and what I’d seen had shocked me so badly that I’d run out of the liquor store, covering my eyes.  Ava had followed, doubled over in giggles.  The centerfold had been burned into my brain ever since: a grinning tanned man with a member the size of a small baseball bat.  It looked like “it” would hurt.”

“It was as if I was suddenly seeing him for the first time: his rough but chiseled face, strong jaw, the long lashes on his brown eyes, the utter vulnerability that he tried valiantly to hide behind a cocky and macho exterior.  It made my heart ache to see him like this, so destroyed.  For an instant, I wanted the jerk back, the guy I disliked…”

 

My Review:

Before picking up Just Us, my one and only experience with Riley Ford’s work was Carpe DiEmily – after stumbling into it as a free offering a few years ago.  I had enjoyed it and was expecting something similar.  I was totally unprepared for the depth of emotion in this book, so needless to say – I was caught off guard.  I rarely cry when reading books, even during those that others say required a full box of tissues… but found I was moved to tears more than once, and also had quite an ugly cry as well.   Ms. Ford’s writing was insightful, perceptive, and consuming.  It brought back many good and some random memories of how we think and feel when we are young and have so much to learn, fear, and await.  I felt like she had drilled a hole into my skull and tapped into my mental and emotional memory banks.  She vividly, and often ironically, detailed so many experiences of youth including self-consciousness, insecurity, impatience, confusion, self-doubt, as well as the thrills of self and sexual discoveries, it was all there – as if the events were shiny and new.  I felt a time warp.  But after flying so high, I fell just as hard, and had to search for that dusty box of tissues.  Yet, I am anxious to start the next book in the series – as even though she made me cry, I thirst for more of the same.  Yes, her writing is THAT good!

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Title: Just You
Author: Riley J. Ford
Genre: New Adult Romance
Publish Date: July 6, 2014
Cover by Sarah Hansen Okay Creations

~ Synopsis ~

Before I ever fell in love with Bryce, there was Hayden. Hayden was my first love, the kind of love that takes your breath away and you remember forever. My love story with Bryce came later. Much later, after everything had happened.

Bryce Humphrey has never forgiven himself for his actions five years ago. Nor can he forget the two lives he ruined, or the girl he secretly loved. When he runs into Avery, the person who has haunted his dreams since that fateful night, his life is sent into a tailspin. As he gets to know her again after all these years, he realizes she has never gotten over the past. Will their shared pain bring them closer? And will they forge a new beginning built on healing, forgiveness, and love?
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 My Rating

5 hearts

 

Favorite Quotes:

“I’m such a bachelor that I only have one spoon, one fork, and one knife in the kitchen drawer, if that tells you anything.  Plus one cup and one plate.  That’s all a guy needs.”

“When I took over this shop a year ago, I never thought I would be tattooing dude’s wieners.  But that’s what happened today when a thirty-year-old  guy came in and asked me to tattoo ‘I’m going to take you to…’ on his stomach, followed by ‘Paradise’ on his pecker… I would have to say it was my least-favorite job to date, hands down (no pun intended).”

“The familiar pinching feeling starts up again in my chest.  I used to think I was having a heart attack when I would get this chest pain, but now I know it’s just the heavy elephant foot of grief, or remorse.”

 

My Review:

Just You is considerably heavier and darker in tone than Just Us, as it should be since the characters are no longer naïve and innocent teenagers, but are now discontented adults who are continuing to struggle with their loss and grief.  Although there are still those welcome snippets of humor that I just adore.  The story continued to hold my attention, squeeze my heart, and sting my eyes.  I vastly enjoyed how Ms. Ford found unique and succinct ways of defining and putting feelings into words that most of us would never be able to fully express, yet instantly understand.  And the sensual scenes were breathtaking, they took mine anyway – oh happy day.  While both books could be read as stand-alone, I strongly encourage reading both – as why deny yourself the experience of good writing and an excellent story?

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About the Author

Riley J. Ford is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. She graduated UCLA graduate with a degree in English and taught at both the high school and college levels for a number of years before turning to writing full-time. Her non-fiction books are used in college classrooms around the country, and her essays have been featured on such websites as MSNBC.com. She is the author of seven fiction books, INTO YOU, a new adult mystery, CARPE DiEMILY, a romantic comedy caper, FIFTY SHADES OF FIFTY SHADES OF GREY, a satire, CIRCUS OF LOST SOULS, a thriller, SIMONE: ADVENTURES IN DATING, a romantic comedy series, JUST US, a contemporary romance, and JUST YOU, a new adult romance. When on vacation, she enjoys running with the bulls in Pamplona and downhill skiing.

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