Thursday, June 4, 2015

This Love by Anna Bloom - Review and Giveaway

Author: Anna Bloom
Publication Date:  June 2, 2015
Publisher:  Self Published  
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Age Recommendation: 17 and up
Rating: 4 Stars

Book Description:

Amber's always planned to leave her overbearing mother and their stifling small town behind as soon as she graduates. That is until her car breaks down outside Bale and Son's mechanics and she meets Freddy Bale. A boy who'd rather live in the moment than make a five-year-plan.

Ignoring her friends' warnings, Amber puts all dreams for her perfect future on hold, and dives into the romance heart first. On their last day of school, however, Freddy decides to call off their relationship, and Amber does the only thing she can think of: Run away and never look back. Just like she'd always planned.

Ten years pass before Amber sets foot in town again, only returning to look after her ailing mother. While Freddy wants to make amends, Amber is confronted with her own wrong choices from ten years ago. Choices that could change the lives of everyone she's ever loved.

When first love is given a second chance and the secrets of the past come hurtling into the present, will Amber and Freddy be able to lay their mistakes to rest and make this love the strongest one of all?

My Review:

I really enjoyed this truly sweet story about love, growing up, forgiveness, and redemption.  

Poor Amber and Freddy, they fell hard, they fell fast, and then they fell apart.  I loved Anna's storyline for Amber during her last year of high school.  She does an amazing job of putting down on paper what it is like to fall in love that young, how it pulls you and surrounds you in these amazing feelings and makes it hard to focus on anything else but the person you are with, especially for someone like Amber who is a challenging home life.  Now you know from the onset of this story that Amber and Freddy don't make it through their young romance, the book opens with Amber rushing back after a 10 year absence to her small town home village to help her ailing estranged mother, running in to her high school best friend, and then the heart wrenching appearance of Freddy at her door.  

I loved how we get the entire back story between these two, rather than just a flash back and then their current story.  It was almost like reading two books of the same series in one and I am so glad it was just the one because if we'd been left with what I know would have been the stopping point for 'book one' I may have just thrown my Kindle across the room, haha.  

Now I will say that there are a lot of choices made in the book, mainly by Amber, that make me want to shake the heck out of the characters.  Even with that, I loved this group of characters.  They were so real and refreshing.  Amber's relationship with her best friend made me flash back to my high school best friend.  I enjoyed how there wasn't this ugliness underneath their friendship that we seem to see in a lot of books.  Was there trouble, was there jealousy, yes...but that happens, what is important is that they stick together.  Even after years of separation  there is still friendship.  

Freddy and Amber fell into that insta-love that sometimes grates on my nerves, but in this instance it felt real, different, refreshing.  And can I tell you how much I adore Freddy?  I mean he just amazed me at every turn, seriously if I'd have been Amber I'd have been head over heels as well.  Although I do question what he's done for 10 years while Amber was away.  We basically know what happens with her romantically, but we don't get any of his romantic background for those 10 years.  Now my romantic heart just wants to believe that he simply pined over Amber, working in his garage and never looking at another woman, but 10 years is a long time.  It might have broken my heart to know it, but I think being able to see how he truly spent those years would have been nice, no matter if he did spend those years a hermit or a womanizer .  The thing I love about Freddy though is he's not perfect and is never made out to be, but he is perfect for Amber and he's just an incredibly kind and sweet guy.  

In the end the book is really about Ambers' redemption, about finding the love of her family and friends.  About knowing that she was never given up on.  They waited, everyone of them waited for her return and I love that.  I love that she didn't come back to a place full of hate and had to fight for acceptance.  I love that what she truly had to fight was herself and that everyone else was there loving her as they always had, except maybe Henry...and well just like everyone in the story we'll just ignore him *wink*. 

This is a beautiful read for any Contemporary Romance fan.  You'll want to snuggle up with this one, it's not overly emotional or painful read, just something you'll want to get comfy with and enjoy a wonderful HEA.  I will say for any American readers you might want to have google handy, I had to look up a number of UK English words, haha, but they won't detract from the story.  Last note, while I was writing this review a song came on my iPod that just fit so I am going to add it in here for you.  This song (not the video) reminded me of Freddy and how he must have felt.

Anna Bloom is a contemporary romance writer with the sole ambition of writing about life as it happens. Dedicated to real characters, real problems and real romance Anna writes tales to stir your heart and head. Combining a busy schedule of looking after two young children, working in a local school and writing swoon worthy romance for Mature Teen and Adult readers, she also spends a lot of time imagining kissing hot guys and talking to the voices in her head- all in the name of her art. 

  Links: Twitter | Facebook | Website | Author Goodreads 

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