“When all is forgotten, you find new ways to rescue me.”
** ARC REVIEW
I’m not the kind of reader who relies on elaborate plot twists to be satisfied in a story. Give me a good storyline, with superb writing and relatable characters – it won’t hurt if you can make me weepy too – and you have me.
SIDENOTE: The moment I saw “POETRY BY J.R. ROGUE” on the Copyright Page, I got giddy. I am a fan of both women and to read a work they both touched is sure to be magic. (Anyway, do not ask why I also read the copyright page, I just do)
I have loved all of Trudy’s stories and characters – her MCs in the Forever Family series as well as the first two books in the Epic Fail series really got to me. There’s a certain level of emotional investment that you will just give her and her stories. I believe that Trudy’s main power is to create relatable and genuine characters and situations. I am aware that it’s fiction but sometimes, the writing and character formation is just brilliant that you feel like you’re reading about the life and adventures of long lost friends.
Now this story.
I do not know much about Heath since he was not originally a member of the band. He came in later to fill in Alex’s role (please refer to the Dear Emily and Dear Tabitha books) when he left to focus on more important matters (of course I’m not going to spill. You have to read the previous books to find out).When I read the first two stories, I felt like I was revisiting old friends since it was about Garrett and Dax. Now with Heath, I didn’t know what to expect.
Heath is good. He is goodness and calm and stability. Unlike some of the other guys, he grew up in a positive household and the very nature of his life was that it was filled with love and warmth.
Heath experienced a great love at a young age but an even greater heartache. From that point forward, his life was full of questions, doubts, blame and regrets. He lost the woman he gave his whole heart to and never seemed to let her go. He was never able to make peace with the fact that she was gone.
But Heath was in for a surprise when he received a call that will change his life. This is a story of fireflies and protection, of love and second chances, of being lost and finding your way back home.
Trudy has created a heartwarming roadtrip that spanned years. It’s a love story that has seen childhood, friendship, innocence, growth and loss. It has witnessed pain, redemption and grabbing that second chance.
Please do not judge this prematurely as just another “rockstar romance” because this is anything but. Yes, Heath is most definitely in the band but it does not focus on him being his rockstar self and doing God knows what. It shows real people who feel real emotions who deal with real pain. You will juggle all kinds of emotions as you take this journey with them. It IS a journey, literally and figuratively. It’s so easy for me to get lost in a story and after that prologue alone, I knew I wasn’t going to be getting any sleep for the next few hours.
Told in dual POV it switches back and forth from past to present. Seeing the events that took place in the past is crucial to how the story developed. It’s important to understand why the characters did what they did and find out what prompted them to make certain decisions.
TRIVIA: For the FOREVER FAMILY fans – try and see if you can make a connection between one character from Dear Emily/Dear Tabitha and one character from this book (aside of course from the band members.)
One of the scary things about a new release from an author whose previous works you just devoured is that you’re always anxious how it can be at par with the previous ones. But it’s safe to say ladies and gentlemen that“Oops, Trudy did it again.”
HEATH STRICKLAND, the son of a prominent district attorney, lived his life surrounded by violence and crime. He was an unwilling witness to the corrupt lives his father swore to prosecute and keep behind bars. His escape was his music, which eventually led him to replace the iconic singer of the world famous band, Epic Fail.
NOELLE DURAND lived in luxury, growing up on a sprawling estate, with everything she could ever want or need. Her life, to everyone else, seemed perfect. Perfect house. Perfect things. Perfect family. But nothing at all was perfect. She lived in hell. A hell that nobody on the outside could see.
As a neighbor and childhood friend, Heath would have done anything for Noelle. He would have given up the world to protect her and keep her safe. Their friendship grew into something that neither of them expected. But then she suddenly disappeared, vanishing from his life as if she never existed. He never stopped hoping that one day she would resurface, alive and well. But as time went by, and her family gave up hope, he surrendered his heart to his lost love.
Twelve years later, one phone call changes everything.
* EPIC LOVE is the third book in the EPIC FAIL series and can be read as a STANDALONE novel.
** This series is a spinoff from the FOREVER FAMILY series.
~ ALSO AVAILABLE IN THE EPIC FAIL SERIES ~
#1 Epic Sins (review)
#2 Epic Lies (review)
Follow Trudy Stiles on her official website
Trudy Stiles is a USA Today Bestselling Author, writer of New Adult Romance, mom to two beautiful children, and married to the love of her life. She’s the author of the bestselling Forever Family series including Dear Emily, Dear Tabitha, and Dear Juliet. Epic Sins and Epic Lies are the first books in the Epic Fail series and will continue with at least two more standalone novels, Epic Love and Epic Holiday. She plans to write many more stories about some of the characters you’ve already met, and maybe a few new ones. Emily will get her own story, Sincerely, Emily, to be released in 2017.
She’s also a contributing author to the USA Today Bestselling anthology, F*cking Awkward, a hilarious group of short stories sure to make you cringe, laugh and everything in between. All proceeds from this project benefited The Bookworm Box and its charities.
Trudy is a music junkie and you’ll know that she’s writing when you see her plugged into her laptop with her earbuds in. Her playlist is unique and is a must for her writing sprints.
When she’s not writing, she’s carting her children to their various activities while avoiding any kind of laundry or housework. She also loves to run along the boardwalk of the beautiful New Jersey shore.
She celebrates Wine Wednesday almost every day.