Thursday, September 4, 2014

Blog Tour Stop & Giveaway ~ The Just Series by Riley J. Ford

Just Us

Author: Riley J. Ford
Genre: New Adult Romance

Publication Date: July 6, 2014
Cover by Sarah Hansen Okay Creations

Organized by Literati Author Services

~ Synopsis ~
Before I ever fell in love with Bryce, there was Hayden. Hayden was my first love, the kind of love that takes your breath away and you remember forever. My love story with Bryce came later. Much later, after everything had happened.
Avery Hill and Hayden Stuart are high school sweethearts and each other’s first true love. When Hayden is accepted to college in Los Angeles, Avery intends to follow him so they can build a life together. After a tragic chain of events ruins their plans forever, Avery is left to pick up the pieces. Will she survive all that was lost? And will she forgive the man who destroyed her and Hayden’s dreams forever?

~Buy the Book~

★✩★✩★ 5 -First Love & It's tragic demise- Stars ★✩★✩★
~this review may contain minor spoilers~

This was Hayden, the boy I knew better than myself. The one I wanted to give myself to.
I didn't need to be afraid.
He was right: This was us. Just us.

~Avery & Hayden were best friends in high school, they did everything together, shared everything, knew each other better than anyone; but they were just friends.... til one school dance changes everything.
Together they make the journey from friendship, to boyfriend/girlfriend, til they become each others first true love; the kind of love that leaves you breathless, safe and secure, confident in yourself and each other, forever young at heart. When Hayden earns himself a full scholarship to UCLA, Avery has every intention of following him there; they have their futures all planned out, with marriage and babies and everything you dream of when your young and in love with stars in your eyes. But life doesn't always work out the way you plan, and when tragedy strikes it takes away everything from them; leaving Avery alone and broken, unsure of where she goes from here or how to go on with so much pain and anger in her heart. The biggest question that haunts her is weather or not she will ever find it in her heart to forgive the person responsible for taking it all away and destroying her future or is she destined to live a life full of resentment.

I couldn't believe this was happening, that we were really kissing. This was Hayden, my friend, the guy I laughed and did homework with. The guy I worked with. Not this guy, this enticing stranger seducing me under the stars, reminding me of fantasies I'd only seen in my dreams.

I think the thing I loved most about this book was the way it transported me back to a time where innocence and hormones ruled our lives, the feelings of beauty and wonder when we first discover true love and the way it shapes us into the people we will become. Watching these two grow and fall together was breathtaking. They took the time to get to know each other as a couple, which was vastly different than when they were just friends, and didn't try to rush things. They knew they had to tread carefully if they didn't want to ruin the closeness they had already shared and wanted to do whatever was necessary to remain in each others lives. Regardless of anything trying to get between them, they remained true to themselves and their love, willing to fight anyone they needed to in order to stay together. The journey the author takes us on had me a mixed up mess of emotions; from the utter bliss of young love, to the excitement of discovering passion and exploring your desires for the first time, to the absolute heartbreak of having it all torn away. It was quite a ride, chock full of emotions and fantastic characters. The fact that this was a relatively short book and still managed to affect me so deeply says something about this author. I have to admit to being a bit nervous about moving on to the next book; she made me fall completely in love with Hayden so I don't know how to move on from here... However, I do want to see Avery happy; after all that she has been through, she needs some peace.

I had a future with Hayden. A beautiful future. We would go to college together, work, eventually get married. We would have kids one day. A family. It was our destiny. I felt it strongly, deep inside my heart. We were meant to be together forever.

Just You

Author: Riley J. Ford
Genre: New Adult Romance

Publish Date: July 6, 2014

Cover by Sarah Hansen Okay Creations

~ Synopsis ~
Before I ever fell in love with Bryce, there was Hayden. Hayden was my first love, the kind of love that takes your breath away and you remember forever. My love story with Bryce came later. Much later, after everything had happened.
Bryce Humphrey has never forgiven himself for his actions five years ago. Nor can he forget the two lives he ruined, or the girl he secretly loved. When he runs into Avery, the person who has haunted his dreams since that fateful night, his life is sent into a tailspin. As he gets to know her again after all these years, he realizes she has never gotten over the past. Will their shared pain bring them closer? And will they forge a new beginning built on healing, forgiveness, and love?

~Buy the Book~

★✩★✩★ 5 -Pain, Suffering & Healing- Stars ★✩★✩★
~this review may contain minor spoilers~

This is raw and feral and unfettered. This is adult love. We have time and experience. We have years of pain between us and within us. This is mature and deep and real. So deep and real it hurts...but the pain adds another dimension.

~Avery Hill suffered a loss that nearly destroyed her five years when her high school sweetheart, her best friend and first love -Hayden, died right before her eyes...and then she miscarried his baby. Unable to remain surrounded by his memories, and determined to live the life he was supposed to live, she left her hometown, everything she had ever known, and headed off to live in LA to attend UCLA. She did what she set out to do, graduated collage, and by all appearances she is doing just fine; but no one knows about the pain she lives with every day, the need for emotional numbness that she chases with alcohol, or the fact that she is barely hanging on. She's not really living at all, just surviving; she's broken, angry, bitter and empty, and no one sees it... til the day HE crosses her path again; the one responsible for taking away all meaning in her life, the one she has spent the last five years blaming for ruining her life.

She isn't the person I'd remembered, the sweet girl who had dated Hayden. Or the broken spirit who had let me hold her after his funeral. No, this girl is a raging wildcat: a damaged, fucked-up, seething beast-from-hell. It's obvious the pain has twisted her heart and soul, made them hard and gnarled.
I would be a fool to stick around for her abuse.
But I'm not leaving. I'm not going anywhere.

~Bryce Humphrey lives every day haunted by the fact that he destroyed two peoples lives that fateful day five years ago. He holds himself solely responsible and would do anything for a redo; but life doesn't work that way. Instead, he lives with his guilt secure in the feelings that he deserves the hell he is living through. The night he lost his best friend and broke the girl he secretly loved changed him; he hasn't had a single cigarette or touched any booze since, he refuses to get close to anyone out of fear and seeks outer pain to numb the turmoil within. He is trying to live a life that would make Hayden proud, and has never been able to get Avery out of his mind. Then one night, he runs into the girl that rules his heart and mind; only she's not the same girl he used to know. It doesn't take long for him to see the pain she tries to hide, or the damage she inflicts on herself in an attempt to survive. Drawn to each other, they find the only other person in the world who knows exactly what they are going through. Will they be able to help each other heal? Will they finally be able to find some peace and maybe a bit of the happiness they lost so long ago-or are their wounds just too deep?

I know where the responsibility lies. Nothing anyone says can ever convince me otherwise. I'm going to spend the rest of my life in my own personal hell because of what I did. And I'm fine with that. It's what I deserve. Pure, torturous hell.

I wasn't sure how I would feel about these two coming together, all things considered; and though they may not be a conventional pairing, it actually did make sense. They suffered through the same heartbreak, just for different reasons, and they just understood each other. Never once did the author try to overshadow the love Avery had for Hayden, nor did she diminish the love Avery had for Bryce; she loved them both with just as much intensity, they were just different kinds of love. One was the innocence and wonder of her first true love-the other was the raw and overwhelming passion of adult love. The suffering they were both experiencing was devastating and all I wanted was for them to be able to move on, not forget, just find some peace and happiness. It was absolutely amazing the way the author was able to draw me so completely into these stories and immerse me so thoroughly into these characters with such relatively short books- I have read books with twice the amount of pages that have not drawn even a fraction of emotion out of me as these books. It just goes to show- it's not the size that matters, it's what you do with it ;)
In the end, she has made an incredible impression and most definitely earned her spot on my 'One-Click Addiction List' for a long time to come, I cannot wait to see what she brings us next. Though this series left me content in the end- I wouldn't mind seeing more of them in the future, even if it's just a glimpse. I love these characters immensely and want nothing but their happiness.

I love you,”
I repeat, and when he says it back, again and again, my heart balloons with joy. He's everything I've ever wanted. He's my present and my future.

Riley J. Ford is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. She graduated UCLA graduate with a degree in English and taught at both the high school and college levels for a number of years before turning to writing full-time. Her non-fiction books are used in college classrooms around the country, and her essays have been featured on such websites as She is the author of seven fiction books, INTO YOU, a new adult mystery, CARPE DiEMILY, a romantic comedy caper, FIFTY SHADES OF FIFTY SHADES OF GREY, a satire, CIRCUS OF LOST SOULS, a thriller, SIMONE: ADVENTURES IN DATING, a romantic comedy series, JUST US, a contemporary romance, and JUST YOU, a new adult romance. When on vacation, she enjoys running with the bulls in Pamplona and downhill skiing.
~Stalker Links~

Facebook | twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest ✩★