Release Date: April 27th
Publisher: SL Hutchinson Publishing
Genre: New Adult Romance
April Landau thinks she has everything she’s ever wanted. Her high school sweetheart, a house she can’t afford, her bipolar tabby cat, and she’s all set to begin her Junior year of college. Just when she least expects it, her life gets thrown for a loop. When things between her and her long time boyfriend unravel, she becomes stuck in a downward spiral of emotion. Finally, opening her eyes to the fact that she may have given up more than she ever could have imagined in this relationship. She finds herself struggling to keep her head above water.
Enter April’s next door neighbor— Jared Hoffman. He’s her complete opposite. A high school drop out who was forced to take over his parent’s business after their untimely death. It’s no surprise this tragedy affected him greatly, causing him to recede almost completely from society.
But he has one secret. A secret he’s been carrying around for years.
What happens when their worlds collide? Can an old friendship be the one thing that brings these two back to life?
A new adult love story filled with drama, sex, death and the complications of all of the above.
***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review.
April Landau is my spirit animal-my soul sister. For anyone who has been through a breakup that has ripped you to shreds, made you feel lost and empty, like half of you is missing, Discovering April is the best kind of therapy.
- Discovering April is a heady mixture of heartache, lessons learned, and epiphany. That devastating moment when you realize that in your efforts to maintain the peace and keep someone else happy, you’ve sacrificed a part of your soul, is out in full force and it’s brutal. I just got out of a relationship of 3.5 years and 2.5 before that of solid friendship-he was my best friend. Six years of thinking I was happy and everything was perfect. Watching April go through the motions, participating in activities she didn’t want to to appease Hunter, hanging with people she hated, and jilting traditional things like dates for frat parties, from the outside, it’s hard to understand how she could be so blind. Hunter is a total tool and treats her like crap yet she stays. Sheena Hutchinson gets it. When your life is so invested in someone else’s, when it’s over it’s a slap in the face when you recognized how much you’ve lost and how little you know about yourself, who you used to be. You became an “us” instead of an “I”. I don’t think I’ve ever read a more honest portrayal of a relationship.
- April is a mess after Hunter. She doesn’t know how to function; she doesn’t know how to live again after. April kind of stumbles through life, wasting away in a toxic cloud of nostalgia. It’s a nightmare of anguish, hyperventilation, and agony that’s borderline Bella Swan in New Moon. April goes through her heartbreak in stages and comes to shocking realizations about herself. Rekindling her friendship with Jared awakens something in April that she’d buried for her life with Hunter-her fire and passion. Underneath the broken, robotic girl is an adventurer who’s kind of BA. She’s not afraid to knock a guy out or put people in their place. April is fun, magnetic, she goes with the flow and as the story progressed she finds out who she is and what she wants out of life.
- Jared and April are playful, hilarious, they flirt and tease like nobody’s business. They’re absolutely adorable together and so right, everything just flows smoothly. Jared gets April to venture outside of her comfort zone and April helps Jared open his heart.
- Jared is gorgeous and hyper masculine. He works with his hands and it’s sexy, well that and the motorcycle. Jared is thoughtful, sometimes awkward, but he knows April and goes out of his way to comfort and make her happy. Jared is mature, he’s had a lot to deal with but he knows what he wants and has the patience of a saint. Totally romantic. Swoon.
- It was a nice change to have a male as the antagonist in a non-romantic way. Typically there’s some girl on girl carnage and jealousy, it was refreshing to see the negativity come from a guy friend. However, this plot point got lost and was sort of bizarre. There are times in the story when April feels paranoid, in danger, and when the antagonist’s threats are very physical but April is passive and doesn’t say anything. It was off that a girl who is so punch-happy and resorts to violence pretty often didn’t stand up for herself. Eric’s creep factor fizzles out and leaves the reader questioning whether April was just overreacting or if someone else was being a creeper.
- The subplot with Jack and Sera. WHAT WAS THAT ABOUT? For a second I though the story was going to take a paranormal turn. All the descriptive signs about Sera pointed to siren or vampire, and the way Jack was withering away and retreating, the appearance of odd bodyguards…it detracted from the main plot and felt like two very separate stories.
- One of the biggest critiques of New Adult books in the tendency to shirk plot for sex; towards the end of the story, sex became every other scene. April and Jared’s relationship was developing strongly and growing into something beautiful, soul-deep, and while the sex was steamy, provocative, and wonderful to read, I found myself thirsting for more of their non-carnal interactions. I loved them together, their laughter, their happiness; I wanted more talking, more getting reacquainted with each other.
My head is still pounding when my eyes flutter open the next day. My brain is throbbing inside my skull and I punch the pillow underneath me, scaring Jinx out of his slumber. He meows in protest before hopping off the bed. Looking around, I’m in my bed. How did I get here? I groan in pain as I prop my pillows up and lean my head back against them. It’s then that I feel the eyes on me. Tilting my head straight again, I glance out my window. My eyes lock with those big brown eyes of Jared’s across the way. He looks down to his phone and back up again. My phone chimes with an incoming text.
“UGHHH!” I moan, blindly reaching for it. It slips a few times before I grasp it between my fingers and look down to read.
How are you feeling?
Closing one eye, I text back, Like someone ran over me with a truck, then backed up and ran me over again.
Lowering my phone, I watch as he smiles from my text and disappears from view. I’m trying to piece last night back together; it’s like a fragmented mirror that has shattered all over the corners of my mind. I remember laughing with Ro about her sexual conquests and then I remember red and blue lights and… Jared. Starting to feel hot, I throw the covers off of me and lay like a starfish, trying to get my mind to focus. Glancing down, I notice I’m wearing my pajamas. Before I can process any further, the door to my room creaks open. Jared walks in with a cup of water and a closed fist.
“How did you get in?!” I yelp, trying to sit up in bed, and pulling the covers back over my braless tank top.
“I left the back door open when I left last night,” he informs me as he opens his fist to show me he brought a hand full of Advil.
“You brought me home last night?” I rub my head before reaching for the pills and water.
“Yup, after you called me to pick you up from the police station.”
“I WAS WHERE?!” I scream as water comes spraying out of my mouth.
“Police station. Apparently, you popped a guy in the face.” He smirks.
I squint my eyes, vaguely remembering the heavyset guy that tried grabbing my ass in front of the bar.
“Whoa!” I have to lean my head back against my pillows when the information begins to become too much for me. “If you took me home, how did I get into pajamas?!”
The smile that crosses Jared’s face is a mixture of a blush and a sly smirk that makes my insides twist with anticipation and excitement. “Jared…”
“That… you did on your own. I had nothing to do with that!” He holds his hands up in surrender.
“What? I just stripped in front of you!”
“Well, once you got your shirt off, there was really no stopping you…” he teases and my eyes widen in embarrassment.
“Oh my God!” I slump down, pulling the covers back up to my face. “Did we… ya know…” I mutter, completely mortified now.
“Uh, that would be a no.”
“Oh, thank God!” I sigh.
“Thanks a lot!” He comes to his feet now, turning to look out the window.
“Not like that, it’s just … I don’t like to do things I’m not conscious for.”
“Yea, completely plastered girls that get arrested and throw up in bushes are really sexy!” His voice drips with sarcasm.
“I threw up?!” This just gets better and better.
“Twice?” I’m mortified, staring at his amused face.
“Well, after the first time I thought maybe you needed something to eat.”
“Yeah… I’ve never seen someone eat a Big Mac that fast before…” He stares at the wall as if remembering my weak moment.
“Oh my God!” I groan, throwing the covers over my entire body. I curl up in a fetal position, planning to never come out again. The room grows silent. It’s starting to get hard to breathe under the sheets when I feel the mattress by my feet cave slightly.
“Come on, it’s not that bad. We all have our moments.” He pats my feet through the sheets.
“Just when I think I’ve reached rock bottom, things just seem to drops out from under me and I’m at an all new low!” I roll over, trying to pull the covers with me, but Jared’s weight prevents it. My head comes peeking out as I roll over, facing away from him.
“April, I think I just determined your major.”
“What?” I curiously twist to look at him again.
“Drama. You’re such an actress. Now, put your big girl panties on and get up!”
I stare at him for a second; did he just say what I think he said? He waits about two seconds before getting up and opening a drawer to my dresser. “Are they in here? Nope!” He closes it and opens another.
“STOP!” I scream, stumbling out of bed, horrified.
“How ‘bout this one?”
“Okay! Okay! I’m up!” I slam the drawer closed just in time to save myself further embarrassment when Jared eyes my plain old undergarments. I sigh when the pounding in my head launches my stomach into action and I collapse onto the corner of the bed.
“I refuse to puke again!” I respond, taking another deep breath. “Jared…”
“I could use some donuts.”
“Okay.” He pauses for a few seconds, looking down at his feet before adding, “I’ll be outside then.”
And he leaves me alone in my room.
Short Steamy Excerpt:
“Why, Jared Hoffman, do you not want this?” I tease, slowly unbuttoning his shirt.
He smiles, his hands bracing themselves on the bed at either side of my head. “I didn’t say that… it’s just I don’t want to rush anything.”
Jared’s shirt falls open when I finally reach the last button. His perfect abs are shadowed and defined by the moonlight. My eyes start up his chest. “Rush?” I whisper softly as my hands graze their way up his biceps that frame my face. “Jare… this has been seven long years in the making. I think we’ve waited long enough.”
He pauses for a second. I hear his breath hitch in his throat as his dark eyes study my face. For some reason, I’m surprised when I feel Jared’s lips on mine. The passion between us is renewed at my admission. It’s my turn to moan against his lips. My legs automatically slide up and down his, causing my dress to hike up slightly before my legs wrap themselves around his waist. His hands make their way up my side slowly as if ingraining into memory the curve of my body. My hands have automatically found their way to his belt. I slip my fingers through it and release the hook, swinging it open. Before I know it, I’m unbuttoning his jeans. That’s when I feel his hands squeeze me tight. His lips leave mine for the first time since I spoke, and I feel them slowly trace their way down my neck. My fists clench against the skin on his waist.
“Oh, Jared,” I groan.
His body freezes above me for a fraction of a second. His head lifts out of the crook of my neck to meet my eyes again.
“Do you know how long I’ve waited to hear you call my name like that?” he whispers.
My hands find their way to his face and mingle with his hair. “There’s more where that came from.” I shoot him a sexy smirk before pulling his lips back to mine.
She constantly strives to be a positive role model and writes stories that empower and inspire. Sheena always roots for the underdog, believes in love at first sight, and that everyone should have their happily ever after.
While God is currently still writing her love story, she continues to put all her effort into her writing as she is constantly getting new inspiration.
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