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An online marketing consultant, an avid reader of  400 + books a year. Professional reader, reviewer, and blogger.  Enjoy ARCs and new releases. 




Swear on This Life

Swear on This Life: A Novel - Renée Carlino
ISBN: 9781501105791
Publisher: Atria
Publication Date: 8/9/2016
Format: Paperback
My Rating: 5 Stars +
A special thank you to Atria and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. 5 Stars +

Hauntingly Beautiful. Soul-Wrenching. A tender, and moving love story! The complexities of human relationships gracefully portrayed.

Talented and prolific author and screenwriter, Renee Carlinoreturns following Before We Were Strangers (2015-highly recommend), with her latest emotional bittersweet hit,SWEAR ON THIS LIFE — when a struggling writer sees her past before her very eyes, in a published bestselling novel.

“When you read a story or a scene where exactly what you think should happen, does happen. When the events are too perfect or precise. But in real life we have a hard time recognizing serendipitous moments because we’re not making the story up as we go along.  It’s not a lie—it’s really happening, and we have no idea how it will end.”

Emiline is a writing instructor at UC San Diego with a stalled literary career. She is having a hard time with her writing and does not want to be in her current career forever.

Trevor the guy she has been dating since their senior year at Berkeley seven years earlier, has put her short story aside and recommends a book for her to read. He says Emiline is not writing what she knows. Their relationship is strained.

J. Colby, a new writer everyone is talking about. A Columbia grad. A new book: All The Roads Between. Cara, her friend is in love with this book. She gives it to Em to escape her own flawed love story.

From the moment she begins reading the second line in the first paragraph, her heart rate tripled. Instantly, she was sweating. By the end of the first page she was almost hysterical.

Flashing back and forth from a "book within a book", readers hear tidbits of the past, from the emotional book, All the Roads Between. She had examined the book jacket and copyright page carefully with no photo or bio.

Emiline knew exactly who had written this book. The only mystery to her was where the author had been for the last twelve years. Jason. Her first love. The chapters alternate between Em’s current life and her childhood, with the most compelling parts of the book being the retelling of her youth.A complicated history.

From the first line she saw herself in J. Colby’s story, because she was in his story. The long dirt road, the hour and a half long bus ride to school, the alcoholic dad, the mom who vanished, the secret lunches and meals in the shed.

These were the intimate personal details of her own life. Emerson was none other than her. And Jax, he was definitely Jason Colbertson, the boy next door who had once been her everything. Her first. The same person she had not talked to in over a decade.

Even though some girls might be flattered to be the source of inspiration for the protagonist of a bestselling novel, she was too busy planning out his murder in detail. A million questions:

Why did he write this book? Why is he telling it from her perspective? Was he hoping she would read it, or did he just want to use her story for his own bestseller? She needed answers. She demanded answers. These wounds won't seem to heal. This pain is just too real. There's just too much that time cannot erase.

Of course, he would write a book before her. He was brilliant at the age of ten, so why wouldn’t he be at age twenty-seven? He even quotes that even though the book was a work of fiction, he credits his childhood in rural Ohio for his biggest inspiration.

He was benefiting from her pain and horror. She will send an email via his website, tell him what she really thinks and then drink more wine, write more, and delete it. He wrote just one book. The book about her. Them.

"She thought about Jase and their history, and wondered if it would always be there, lingering like a creaking wood slat in the floor, to remind us of what we had endured.”

J & E Forever. She thought loving someone meant fighting for them. Was it too late? It was him, her old friend, her protector, the love of her life. Will they ever be able to make their own stories together? Will fate step in for a reunion? “There once was a boy and a girl . . . ”

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

I was fortunate to have been introduced to this extraordinary author with her last book, and was delighted for an opportunity for an advanced reading copy of SWEAR ON THIS LIFE. Both 5 star+ winners! Carlino has proven she most definitely knows how to tug at your heartstrings.

Not typically a chick-lit romance fan; however, there are certain women’s fiction contemporary authors which are on the top of my list, being Renee Carlino, Colleen Hoover, Sarah Pekkanen, Jennifer Weiner, Nicholas Sparks, and Emily Giffin.

Bridging the past and present, from childhood joys and pain to adult complications— a poignant tale of young love, a painful past, torn apart by life and circumstances, united once again by fate.

The pacing was perfect, the unraveling of the precious moments was beautifully told and revealed. A voice lends it a surreal, magical quality, and the prose- poetic. A couple separated by years and experience.

Yet their lives will converge with unexpected poignancy, reminding us all that even the most difficult decisions can yield extraordinary journeys to the farthest reaches of the human heart. First love is always powerful, and for some people, that love really does last forever.

For fans of Colleen Hoovers’ It Ends with Us. Both, are on my Top Books of 2016.

Absorbing! A book you will want to savor like sweet dark chocolate, from sadness and beauty--and at the same time you will be hooked, glued to the pages, addictive-while driven to read in one single sitting.

Movie worthy—move over Nicholas Sparks!


Before We Were Strangers


By: Renee Carlino

ISBN:  9781501105777

Publisher:  Atria Books 

Publication Date:  8/18/2015

Format: Other

My Rating:  5 Stars 


From the USA TODAY bestselling author of Sweet Thing and Nowhere But Here comes a love story about a Craigslist “missed connection” post that gives two people a second chance at love fifteen years after they were separated in New York City.


To the Green-eyed Lovebird: Read More


Source: http://www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/#!Swear-on-This-Life/cmoa/570724920cf2ecf50ee7b3e6