This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
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"If you love well-written, beautifully conflicted chic-lit, you're gonna love Liz Madrid's book. I read it serially on the fabulous Wattpad where I discovered this lovely, warm-hearted writer. She brings to this adorable, yet serious, yet light-hearted romance a deep humanity that defines the novel and its author. Discover Ashe and fall in love with him the way I did and then see how hard it is to find that love, trust it and fall in love again." - Mary L. Tabor, author of The Woman Who Never Cooked
"This book had echoes of a modern-day "Cinderella" tale, but edgier." - Abby Vegas, Author of Clean Break
From the Author
Loving Ashe started out as a short story prompt on my blog about what happens in an elevator. I expanded it a year and a half later for NaNoWriMo 2014 and serialized it on Wattpad, where it was chosen as one of the featured stories for Sour Patch Kids' Sour Then Sweet campaign. It's a sweet contemporary romance with a dash of mystery. It's about falling in love again, letting go of the past in order to move on, and it's set in one of my favorite cities, New York.
Book 2: Loving Riley is scheduled for release on July 2016
Visit LizMadrid.com for the latest updates on Liz's novels and stories, and receive a free book!
I didn't expect to be reading today, but on a lonely Christmas without my son I decided to dive into a different world rather than mope around in mine. I'm glad I did. I'll try to avoid spoilers.
Plot: Quite engaging. The twists worked well and weren't added for dramatic effect (as books of this genre tend to do) so I appreciated that aspect. It's also good to see how life can be when it comes to actors and the acting world in general. The romance aspect made it that much more well-rounded and I enjoyed it.
Characters: When I first read this story I remember the FMC Riley really grated but this time around I didn't find that at all. I can relate to wanting to be accepted and wanting to get answers even if those answers will only cause more problems. Of course I always loved Ashe (and not just because of his accent though it helps). No one's perfect and even the minor characters weren't just there for decoration. I should get some tips on doing that.
Everything else: If you see the word "Loving" and expect a sex fest right away, it won't happen. I tend to lean more towards slow building relationships where the characters get to know each other. So the way the relationship played out worked for me and I found it to be sweet with hints toward something deeper (whew, almost put a spoiler there...) As for the setting I've never been to New York and would've liked a little more detail about that aspect but realize it wasn't the focus. I whipped through it in a matter of hours which is rare since my attention span usually doesn't allow me. Color me surprised that I'm leaving a review.
If you want an engaging story about realistic characters trying to learn more about themselves or each other (complete with a HFN ending) then definitely give Loving Ashe a look. You'll be glad you did and this is from a person who's not huge on romance.
Loving Ashe by Liz Durano is Book 1 of The Celebrity Series and a Celebrity Romance
Riley is an insecure and immature young woman who almost died from a drug overdose when her ex-boyfriend Gareth dumped her to become an actor in Hollywood. Three years later, when Gareth contacts Riley to meet up at a hotel, she agrees but chickens out at the last minute and gets stuck in an elevator with the gorgeous and charming Ashe. Riley and Ashe fall into an easy conversation while they're waiting to be rescued and Ashe invites himself to dinner with Riley after they leave the elevator. When Ashe asks Riley for her phone number after dinner, Riley refuses because Ashe is an actor, and she thinks he'd just be another Gareth. But Ashe is a man who goes after what he wants, and has flowers delivered to Riley the next day, after he dropped her off at home. Ashe eventually charms Riley into dating him, despite opposition from Riley's sister Paige, who had to pick up the pieces of Riley's life after she went off the rails post breakup. Even though Riley stood Gareth up at the hotel, he finds her at work and tells her he's missed her, then kisses her. However, Riley isn't falling for Gareth's tricks. But what happens when Riley finds out things didn't happen as she thought? What if Gareth hadn't dumped her? What if someone had been pulling strings in the background? When Riley finds out the truth, will she be able to handle the betrayal, or will she revert back to old habits and seek comfort in drugs again?
Loving Ashe is a captivating story that's funny, sweet and full of shocking twists and turns. Liz Durano drew me in with a beautiful and heartbreaking story full of vulnerable and lovable characters. I highly recommend this book.
Learning to trust herself and her judgments. Not relying on other people to tell her what to think and how to think. Learn to forgive The story was funny and sad at times and shows one that child abuse stays with a person for many years. It is important to seek help in unraveling the mess that the child was subjected to. Abusive words stay with a person longer than black and blue marks. Neither one feels good at the time. It was nice how Ashe put things in perspective for Reily and explained many things to her. She always thought she depended on everyone else when it was explained to her that it was truly the other way around. Two things annoyed me with the writing. One was that things were repeated 3 to 4 times. Totally unnecessary. The other was with a few well placed adjectives in the love scenes, without being graphic, would have helped the reader feel their emotions. The book well written but somehow left me with an empty feeling. I liked the story a lot but didn't love it. It still deserved 5 stars.
A tragic story with a triumphant ending, Loving Ashe was almost painful to read but it was so well written that the reader is drawn into the plot. I loved the original meeting between Riley and Ashe and the immediate connection between them as well as the natural build up of the romance. I felt for Riley and her insecurities. Regardless of how things are covered over, a person always subconsciously knows when they are being lied to, and Riley was lied to and betrayed by the people who she loved most. It is only when she recognises that she has to take the reins of her life in in her own hands, and to start living by her terms, does she begin to experience true freedom. This is a heartbreaking story but as Riley begins to learn to trust the well-grounded and gentle Ashe, she experiences healing and understanding that sets her free. I closed the book with a smile on my face.