Monday, June 15, 2015

review || SIDE BY SIDE { blog tour }

Side by Side by Wendy Louise 

Publisher: Wendy Louise (2/9/2015) 

Series: Side by Side, book 1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: InkSlinger PR
Purchase links || amazon us | amazon australia | ibooks us | ibooks australia | kobo | bn || add to goodreads


What would you do if your childhood best friend, your soul mate, and the one person that means more than anyone else in the world was suddenly in front of you after disappearing from your life ten years ago?

Would you risk your stable life, to allow them back in to your heart, even after they had left you without any explanation?

Katy Lou Reynolds needs to make a choice. She can either ignore the fact that Elijah Trent is standing in the middle of the cage about to fight, or she can face him and demand answers as to why he left her.

Is it worth risking her heart for her one true love even though she knows it may get broken again, or is it better to let him walk away?

When Katy Lou tags along with her boyfriend to an Underground Cage fight, the last thing she expects to find in the ring is her childhood best friend, Elijah. Seeing him again brings back distant memories - a drunken mother, an absent father and relentless school bullies. Most of all, it re-awakens the feelings she had for him. Elijah has always held her heart; but after he left her when they were fourteen, without a word, can she risk everything to let him back in to her life again?

Elijah is a great fighter. He channels all the aggression he suffered at the hands of an abusive father in to every fight, every time. His success feeds his lifestyle of new cities and endless women, eager to spend time with him. His one regret has always been leaving behind his best friend, Katy Lou. There's nothing he wouldn't give to see her again, but if he does, would she forgive him for leaving her and risk her heart?

about Wendy || Hi, I’m Wendy Louise. I’m a wife and mum living in Melbourne, Australia. I love to read and write, and I somehow managed to fit writing this book in between my regular day time duties, which include a full-time job and life in general with two busy children.

Two years ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer. After many surgeries and treatments, I learnt that life is short and you need to grab it while you can. I always wanted to write, and I realised that it was now or never.

You can usually find me with a few books on the go at once – whether that be reading them, or writing them. I love chocolate and trashy reality TV. It’s not unusual for me to combine all these and attempt to write, while watching an episode of the Kardashians or The Bachelor, and devouring a block of Cadbury Dairy Milk…..

I am so excited to bring ‘Side by Side’ to you all. It has been such a labour of love for me. I presently have four other novels nearing completion, so I am excited to follow this up with many more.

I hope you enjoy reading Elijah and Katy’s story as much as I enjoyed writing it.

{ review } .
This new adult title was about two friends who hadn’t seen one another in nine years. Elijah and Katy were neighbors growing up as well as friends, but more than that, they were one another’s safe haven. Katy knew about Elijah’s father who beat on him and his mother, and Elijah was her knight in shining armor whenever the school bully’s picked on Katy, which they did often. They always had one another’s back, were always side by side.

One night after saying goodbye in their customary blown kiss, catch to cheek way, Katy could hear through her window Elijah’s loud rock music, signifying that his dad was hitting his mother. 

…and that was the last she’d seen of him.

She’d always wondered what happened to the boy she loved, but eventually she moved on. She fell in love and moved in with Justin years later – which is where we begin. She’s no longer in love with Justin, and feels he likely feels the same. When he offers a date at a fight that is coming to town, she wants to say no but eventually says yes.

And it was a good thing she did, because for the first time in years, she saw Elijah.

After that last beating, Elijah’s mother packed him and her up and they left home; Elijah wanted to contact his Katy Lou, but his mother wouldn’t let him, afraid that his father would come find them. Now he’s a professional fighter who uses that same music to drown out his father’s fists to pump up for a fight.

When Katy mentions to her friend Mindy that she has found her old best friend, they find his next fight and have a girls-night. After the fight, they do the whole ring-bunny thing and try to wave down people to get in the back, to (almost) no avail. Caleb, Elijah’s friend and manager, eyes Mindy and tells them where they will be going after the fight.

The moment Elijah and Katy’s eyes meet, it’s like the heaven’s open, birds sing, Hallelujah they’re in love. Ok, maybe not quite like that, but the story took on a not so believable aspect at the point for me. After they see one another and pleasantries are exchanged, they end up at his hotel room – just to talk, mind you. Katy calls her boyfriend to tell him she won’t be coming home that night, and he gets (rightfully) upset. 

While Elijah and Katy don’t go right into a relationship, they do pick up as if a single day hasn’t passed, which is where I roll me eyes. When these two left one another last, they were barely teenagers and now they are barely adults. Things are going to change, personalities are going to change, thought processes are going to change. 

Or rather, they should.

It doesn’t always feel like that in this story. Their friendship and eventual relationship all feels very easy and falls into place. This story, to me, felt like it was written at a high school level – I didn’t personally feel that the thoughts and actions, as well as the dialogue, were written to a true twenty-something’s mindset. That and the Constant. Talk. Like. This.

Ok, I do that too, but it was almost too much. It made me really find Katy annoying.

However, the easy dialogue and thoughts made the story an ‘easy read’, one that was easy to flip the pages and continue on. There wasn’t anything so mindbending that I had to re-read it or felt that I was slightly lost – it was just easy.

The story was cute; life had a way of throwing curveballs at Elijah and Katy since they were children, and continues to do so as adults. Elijah will always have his protective streak where Katy’s concerned, and sometimes that comes to bite him in the hind end, but these two have had much worse things to overcome. 

Equally, I enjoyed the Mindy/Caleb set up, and am curious how their story, ON MY SIDE, is going to happen. I’m excited to see that it overlaps with SIDE BY SIDE, so we’ll get a true look into their relationship, rather than the bystander’s view we had in SIDE BY SIDE.

{ giveaway } .

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