I’m not one who shops based on book covers (it’s usually never paid off in the past) but I will admit that this particular photo did catch my eye and pulled me in enough to read the synopsis. Now, there is where I found my true tether…even in the short blurb that accompanied it, a nerve of mine was struck and I felt compelled to read it. And my ever-true “gut” told me I’d like it…
In this story we meet Katie. A bright woman living a good life with the love of a devoted, supportive husband and a promising career where she finds pure joy on a daily basis as a successful midwife. Part of Katie’s character is that she is adopted and was blessed with a loving adoptive family, which she has never questioned. Until now. Although she has never openly sought the answers to her biological identity, she has always wondered about it and through this story those pesky little questions churn quietly in the background as she grows further into her adult life. It’s that urge for a biological connection that fuels Katie’s desires to have a family of her own. However, the path she must take is not easy and it tests hers and her marriage’s limits. As a midwife Katie finds that experiencing countless births is bittersweet as she struggles quietly with her own fertility speed bumps and she finds herself even facing pregnancies that are unwanted or disappointingly unplanned. What started as a career full of joy and wonder begins to turn into a daily reminder of how “unfair” she feels her life has been. As a reader and mother I felt sorry for her but knew that her vision of her life may not be what her life was meant to be. My heart ached for her from time to time and I wanted to rush to the end to see if she was ever blessed with the joys of motherhood.
Title: The Upside of Letting Go
Author: Nacole Stayton
Genre: New Adult
Release Date: April 20, 2013
Cover Design by: Brett Farizio
Random Facts about Nacole Stayton
- I change my hair color with the seasons.
- I started writing The Upside of Letting Go on my Android.
- I truly believe every best friend duo should consist of a blonde and a brunette, hence the reason behind Haley being dark haired and Lucy being a blonde.
- I’m addicted to tattoos and iced coffee.
- The Upside of Letting Go takes place in Alabama because my husband loves their football team and shouts “Roll Tide” nonstop!
- I am extremely OCD.
- I am a horrible driver. I admit it and own it, what can I say?!
- I have a passion for helping homeless people. If you see me on the side of the road with someone don’t be alarmed. I just believe people get the shit end of the stick sometimes and need a reminder that not everyone in the world is a stuck up asshole and there are still people who care about others!
- I bleed blue. Aka I am a huge Kentucky Wildcat fan!
- My favorite kinds of movies are all dance movies. The Step Up series being at the top of the list. Channing Tatum is yummy!
Title: The Upside of Letting Go
Author: Nacole Stayton
Genre: New Adult
Release Date: April 20, 2013
Cover Design by: Brett Farizio
As Kyler and Haley’s physical attraction becomes deeper, the secrets of the past threaten to surface. When Haley’s past collides with the present, will her secrets prove too big of an obstacle hindering their happily ever after, or will letting go be the key that locks their bond forever?
~ Review ~
If you liked Thoughtless and The Edge of Never (two of my favorite reads), I have no doubt that you will like this book too!
The Upside of Letting Go is one of those books which truly exceeded my expectations more than I could have ever imagined. The book, deemed New Adult, had a cover photo of a young man pushing young woman on a swing, and it just didn’t draw me in or “intrigue” me. However, since the time this book originally showed up on Goodreads, the cover photo was updated.
After reading the book, I still don’t feel that the cover does the book justice, but I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to read this book. Otherwise, I think, NO, I KNOW, I would have easily overlooked it and would have missed a well-written storyline with relatable and developed characters who took me on one heck of a ride filled with a mix of emotions.
With a duffel bag hung over her shoulder, Haley Martin boarded a Greyhound bus in New Jersey, leaving behind a past filled with heartbreak and misery, in hopes of starting a new life in a new college town over 500 miles away. It is in Alabama where she meets Kyler King, a beautiful young man with a tragic past as well, who has no interest in settling down with anyone.
“I’m standing face to face with the blue-eyed God from the admin office I saw earlier today. Once again I’m speechless. Our eyes lock, and I feel something I haven’t felt in a very long time: lust.”
Haley and Kyler start spending more and more time together since their respective roommates are dating. But they reach a mutual agreement that they are just going to be friends with some occasional benefits. Neither one of them is ready for the honesty and commitment of a relationship nor are they ready to talk about the defining moments in their lives…the moments which are responsible for building the retaining walls that have protected their hearts…the moments which led to Kyler permanently sleeping with the light on. (Oh, and let me tell you, when you read those “benefit” scenes, you won’t be disappointed!)
“I feel his eyes gaze over my towel-covered body in a hungry way that should make me feel violated but only turns me on. In this moment I don’t care about anything else except filling this void in my heart, and with Kyler looking at me like he wants to accomplish the same goal, I know what’s about to happen.”
With an understanding and strong connection due to those defining moments, their friendship blossoms into true love. Sometimes we can’t understand what another person has been through unless we have lived it ourselves. Haley and Kyler have that understanding.
“Two can play this game, and I don’t think he knows he is playing with fire. I’ve gotten pretty good at loving and leaving, so if this is what his cold shoulder is about, then tonight I’d be more than happy to give him a whirl and send him on his merry way. I know I’m supposed to steer clear of him, and Lord knows I do not need a relationship of any kind, but sex is just sex, right? He is gorgeous, and it’s hard not to appreciate beauty when you keep running into it head on.”
Unfortunately, an integral piece of Haley’s past shows up in her present and threatens to change her new life, the new Haley, and the relationship which she and Kyler have fought so hard to hang onto.
And it was at the end of this book that I truly felt that cover did not do the book justice. In my mind (and before I knew who the inspirations were behind the characters), I knew Haley was absolutely beautiful. Although the cover of the book shows a broken girl, a motorcycle, and darkness, there is also so much light in this book.
Yes, drama and some angst take place, which would explain why I literally went through an entire bag of Hershey Kisses with Almonds. At one point, I wanted to stop reading. I didn’t want my bubble to burst. I smiled, I gasped, I cried, and I screamed “what the hell?” on more than one occasion. Yes, I literally had emotional whiplash from the characters as well as the storyline that completely sucked me in and made me feel like these people were my personal friends.
Without a doubt, The Upside of Letting Go was a 5 star read for me, and I am so thankful that this book literally landed in my lap! Great job Nacole Stayton, and I eagerly await your next book with anticipation! You should be very proud of your debut novel.
About the Author
Nacole Stayton was born and raised Christian “Nacole” Stayton. She is twenty-three years young and currently resides in the Bluegrass state, Kentucky. She spends her days working at the local hospital and nights writing vigorously on her current novel. She has a passion for helping others and wears her University of Kentucky gear proudly. While her husband loves all things outdoors Nacole enjoys the finer things in life like getting pedicures while reading on her Kindle Fire. Her hair color changes with the seasons and she has a weakness for tattoos and iced coffee.
Read our interview with Nacole!
It’s COMING!! Starlight, the anticipated debut novel by Alexandra Richland is being released Wed, May 1, 2013!
Book Description: October 1952 finds eighteen-year-old Marie Bates relocating from her rainy hometown in the Pacific Northwest to the sun-soaked streets of Los Angeles, California. Marie’s plans for a teaching career take an unexpected turn when she’s asked to take a screen test at a major motion picture studio.
Renamed Elizabeth Sutton by the studio heads, she lands her first role as an extra. On set, Elizabeth spies Aidan Evans, a rebellious, twenty-three-year-old Method actor from New York. Branded as a stuck-up troublemaker by his famous Hollywood peers, Elizabeth suspects a tragic secret lurks behind Aidan’s steely facade.
As their careers hit the fast track and friendship evolves into romance, the expectations of Hollywood stardom threaten to shine a spotlight on Aidan’s dark past before he can make peace with it. Elizabeth must help Aidan confront the painful event that shattered his life and conquer a terrifying truth before it destroys him and their future together.
The first book in the Starlight Trilogy, Starlight is a story of love & redemption set against the backdrop of the final years of Hollywood’s Golden Age.
Connect with Alexandra!
ONCE SHE REACHES 200 LIKES ON FB,
Alex will release an exclusive teaser from Starlight!
This recipes can be altered in many ways depending on taste and preference. I have prepared this dish with mushrooms, without bacon, with extra cheese and so on. Find out which way best suits your family! I hope you enjoy! – J.L. Mac
1 bag Simply Potatoes shredded hashbrowns. Typically found in the refrigerated section of your local supermarket.
1 – 16oz bag of shredded cheddar cheese can be substituted for a cheese of your choice.
½ cup of diced green onion.
¾ cup diced, cooked bacon.
1 can of Campbell’s Cheddar Cheese soup.
1 pound lean ground beef or turkey.
Salt, pepper and any other seasonings you may prefer to taste.
Set oven to preheat to 350 degrees. Heat cooking oil in skillet over medium to high heat. Add hashbrowns to cook in skillet until deep golden brown and slightly crisp. Blot well with paper towels to remove any excess cooking oil.In the meantime, scramble ground meat over medium to high heat, with seasoning, and onion until thoroughly cooked. Mix in condensed soup.
In 13×9 inch casserole dish, spread meat and soup mixture evenly. Layer the prepared hashbrowns over meat. Sprinkle with prepared bacon bits, top with shredded cheese and bake until heated through and cheese melts. About 15-20 minutes.
Synopsis: Life can be cruel. People can be ruthless and evil. The world can be cold and uninviting. No one knows these things better than Josephine Geroux. By her own definition, she is a twenty-five year old “nobody with nothing,” and she is content to stay that way. Growing up an orphan has made her tough and indifferent to the people around her until she meets a strangely familiar man with a face that haunts her for reasons she can’t understand.
Despite the pain that will inevitably ensue, she makes it her mission to discover what parts of her tragic puzzle she is missing. On her journey to discovering why the she feels an alarming connection to an absolute stranger, her greatest fear is reawakening the demons and darkness from the past that will surely overtake her if she lets her guard down.
Little does Josephine know that the past should be the least of her worries. She is toying with a man who has already broken her heart once. She just doesn’t realize it.
Although she makes it a point to avoid interactions with others, Josephine’s life becomes entangled with the enigmatic stranger. Before she realizes it, she has given herself over to the one person who is close enough to wreck her.
J.L. Mac truly captured the essence of this girl that has lost her whole world at such a young age. Now, as an adult, Jo is trying to get on with living day by day and realizes she has everything she needs and more. That is until new memories resurface and she is forced to relive feelings she wants to keep buried for good.
Jo is the girl you want to see things happen for. You hope that things will turn around and change for the better because you feel for her tremendous loss. You can’t imagine losing your parents right in front of your eyes and then fight to survive and make them proud. Her flaw is that she’s too quick. Too quick to judge, too quick to say no, and too quick to notice or see what’s right in front of her.
Damon comes into her life at the perfect moment. He opens her eyes (and heart) to new emotions she never thought she’d feel for anyone. It also doesn’t hurt that she feels this unexplainable bond and similarity to him. He quickly becomes her light in this dark tunnel that she’s living in. He’s also the first one she turns to when she loses her second family tragically, so soon after she realizes she HAD a family all along. Sadly, once again, you wish that things will go great for Jo and then BAM, she’s disappointed again. However, this time she has Damon….that is until old secrets are revealed. Like the description reads, “she has given herself over to the one person who is close enough to wreck her.”
This was a very interesting read and like I said, you can definitely feel and hear the emotion of this girl that is bitter about losing the only people she’s ever cared for and known. I can’t wait to read what’s next in store for Jo’s future in Restore Me (Wrecked #2), out March 27th!
Be sure to try Josephine’s “Poor-man Cheeseburger Casserole” inspired by the book!
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Whip-smart, hardworking, and on her way to an MBA, Chloe Mills has only one problem: her boss, Bennett Ryan. He’s exacting, blunt, inconsiderate—and completely irresistible. A Beautiful Bastard.
Bennett has returned to Chicago from France to take a vital role in his family’s massive media business. He never expected that the assistant who’d been helping him from abroad was the gorgeous, innocently provocative—completely infuriating—creature he now has to see every day. Despite the rumors, he’s never been one for a workplace hookup. But Chloe’s so tempting he’s willing to bend the rules—or outright smash them—if it means he can have her. All over the office.
As their appetites for one another increase to a breaking point, Bennett and Chloe must decide exactly what they’re willing to lose in order to win each other.