Tuesday, August 9, 2016

5 stars for Swear on This Life by Renee Carlino @renayz


From USA TODAY bestselling author Renée Carlino (Before We Were Strangers), a warm and witty novel about a struggling writer who must come to grips with her past, present, and future after she discovers that she’s the inspiration for a pseudonymously published bestselling novel.

When a bestselling debut novel from mysterious author J. Colby becomes the literary event of the year, Emiline reads it reluctantly. As an adjunct writing instructor at UC San Diego with her own stalled literary career and a bumpy long-term relationship, Emiline isn’t thrilled to celebrate the accomplishments of a young and gifted writer.

Yet from the very first page, Emiline is entranced by the story of Emerson and Jackson, two childhood best friends who fall in love and dream of a better life beyond the long dirt road that winds through their impoverished town in rural Ohio.

That’s because the novel is patterned on Emiline’s own dark and desperate childhood, which means that “J. Colby” must be Jase: the best friend and first love she hasn’t seen in over a decade. Far from being flattered that he wrote the novel from her perspective, Emiline is furious that he co-opted her painful past and took some dramatic creative liberties with the ending.

The only way she can put her mind at ease is to find and confront “J. Colby,” but is she prepared to learn the truth behind the fiction?


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I’ve read all of Renee Carlino’s books, and Swear on This Life is by far the best one. This author always has a way with words, but she truly outdid herself with this story. I am not always a fan of second chance romances. There always seems to be something that doesn’t work for me, but this one was written perfectly. There is nothing I would change. I loved every word!

Emiline picks up a debut novel by J. Colby and her life is forever altered. This story takes us through Em’s childhood and present in the most unique way. Every time I was in the present I needed to get back in the past and read about Em and Jase. Every time I was in the past, I had to know what was going to happen in the present. I couldn’t stop reading this book!

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Reading the events of Emiline’s childhood wasn’t always easy. In a lot of ways, her childhood was pretty awful. She didn’t have a lot of love, a lot of money, or a lot of much of anything. What she did have is a best friend that meant the world to her. He was everything. And he made her life bearable. Together, they each had a person to lean on. Someone there for them and always in their corner.

"We can't always control our circumstances, who our parents are, where we live, or how much money we make, but in those rare moments when we can shape our fate, when we do have the power to make our own happiness, we can't be scared to do it."

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I can’t explain to you how reading Em and Jase’s past affected me. It broke my heart and moved me to tears so many times. Their story was heartbreakingly beautiful and reminded me that when you have someone who truly loves you the way they loved each other, you really do have it all.

Leading up to Em and Jase seeing each other again for the first time, I was a nervous wreck. I didn’t know how this was going to go. Emiline is such a different person than she was as a child. Her past shaped her and changed her. I was sure it would be the same way with Jase. I couldn’t wait to see how they connected.

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Jase and Emiline were both characters I completely adored. They shared a connection and unbreakable bond. I rooted for these two to be together so hard. I loved Em’s strength and Jase’s beautiful heart. They were both such wonderful characters.

I especially love the way this story was told. I can’t imagine a better way to tell Em’s past than through this novel. It was a brilliant way to let us see it through her eyes as well as Jase’s. I think Renee writes so beautifully and it really shone through with this story. It was such a special book to me. It’s one of those stories that will stay with you and imprint on your heart.

Swear on This Life is one of the best second chance romances I’ve ever read. It’s a captivating read that will suck you in. I couldn’t wait to see how this story would unfold. If you’re looking for a beautiful, emotional and stunning story about first loves and second chances, I highly recommend this! A 5-star favorite!

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Renée Carlino
 is the author of Sweet Thing, Nowhere But Here, After the Rain, and Before We Were Strangers. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two sons, and their sweet dog, June. When she's not at the beach with her boys or working on her next book, she likes to spend her time reading, going to concerts, and eating dark chocolate.

Instagram: @reneecarlino1


5 signed copies of SWEAR ON THIS LIFE

·         Amazon
·         Barnes & Noble
·         Books-a-Million
·         IndieBound

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