Monday, October 26, 2015

review || STILL WATER { book tour } by A.M. Johnson

Blue Tulip Publishing | October 13, 2015 | Contemporary Romance
Forever Still, book 2


After being rejected by his childhood best friend, Todd Dixon turns his back on love and all its false promises. Three years later, he's living in a new city, making a name for himself with his bar, record label, and one night stands.

Lily Spring knows nothing but the music that flows through her veins, but after one night of betrayal that ended in tragedy, her entire life falls from under her right along with her musical dreams. Now, she finds herself living in a new state with a sister she barely knows and a dream that she MUST fulfill.

He's everything she doesn't need.

Stubborn as hell, sexy as sin, with a reputation as wicked as his body. To make things worse, he's her new boss and the ticket to what she's always wanted.
When two fates collide and passions burn high, will the fire die or will it simmer into a slow burn becoming much more than either of them thought possible.
This isn't just a love story.

This is a story of hope, repentance and second chances.
Are you ready?

{ about a.m. johnson } .

Amanda Marie Johnson was born and raised in Valrico, Florida. She’s now surrounded by mountains with her husband and three children in Ogden, Utah. She attended Weber State University and graduated with her A.S.N. She is a full-time registered nurse and works on the mother/newborn unit. Reading and writing have always been something she is passionate about. She loves to write about the human experience, love and happily ever afters.

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{ review } .

One of the many notes I have littered across STILL LIFE was along the lines of Todd and Elizabeth. That man loved his best friend and it killed him, watching her fall for Sawyer -- another good friend. As much as I was thankful that book wasn't a friends-to-lovers story, as it had the ability to be, my heart broke for Todd and I wanted him to have his own happily ever after.

Well, here it is, friends.

But before he gets there, he watches as his best friend marries Sawyer, and that prologue, the angst and the sorrow this man has as he's watching the love of his life move on with hers, had me sad, sure, but also so excited to see where his life was going to go. And, ok, I was thankful that the author didn't bypass those feelings he harbored for Elizabeth.

The one thought that continuously resonates in Todd's mind is that he's not good enough. He wasn't good enough for his friend, and as things progress -- and fall away -- with Lilly, he thinks again and again, he's not good enough. He wasn't good enough for Liz, he wasn't good enough for Emma to talk to him, he wasn't good enough for Lilly to stay. This man, quite simply, broke my heart. He didn't have anything sorid in his past to make him think these things, just the fact that the one woman he wanted for so long, simply hadn't wanted him back.

Which is why when he first meets Lilly, first kisses her, is first with her, he's a bit shocked at how different his feelings are for her than they were for Liz.

Without a single doubt, I can tell you that this book was extremely well written. I absolutely loved Todd and Liz's journey. I loved how headstrong Liz was/could be. I loved the jealousy that raged through Todd when he didn't feel he had the right. I loved the way Todd beat himself up when things with Liz took an unexpected turn, the first time, and again when Jace touched her, when Seth hugged her, when his own brother (in a commited relationship, mind you), spoke to her. These feelings of jealousy weren't the product of unrequited possessiveness; they weren't scary possessive -- they were simply feelings from a man who found something he wanted, and wasn't entirely sure how to go about keeping.

I loved this story. I loved catching up with Sawyer and Liz, too -- this story was set 'three years later', so it was fun to see the growth in their relationship. At first, I got a kick out of playboy Jace and have a few notes saying how I want him to meet his match someday, some woman who will knock him down a peg or two or twenty, but by the middle of this book, I really just wanted to bury him deep. But Seth? And Tiff? Those two were extremely likeable characters, and I'm curious to see where Seth's book is going to go next.

While I enjoyed STILL LIFE, I absolutely, positively adored STILL WATER. This was a great contemporary with two people trying to find their way, find someone to help believe in them... The dialogue, the thoughts, the plot, the writing style... it all worked so well for me. The only thing that doesn't work? I honestly wish the covers were better representations of the story. Had I not read STILL LIFE, had I no clue of Johnson's writing style... this is not a series I would pick up. The covers do nothing for me.

But that's just me -- the judger of the cover

It's what's between the covers for this book, this series, that is a golden winner.

{ previous reviews in series } .

STILL LIFE 4★ { review }

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