Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Blog Tour: Amber reviews Thou Shalt Not by JJ Rossum.

Luke Harper was finally starting to settle into his life - a life that had previously been full of more heartbreak and pain than most people ever experienced. He had a job he loved, and was blissfully content in his on-again, off-again relationship with the striking, and highly sexual, Holly. But, life throws Luke another curveball with the arrival of the alluring April, a woman stuck in a tumultuous, violent marriage to a famous athlete. Luke soon finds himself torn between what is safe, familiar, and right, and what is dangerous, unknown, and forbidden.

Review by Amber Presley Boyd

4 Soul Searching Stars

I must say this book gave me quite the book hangover. I received an arc of this one and was intrigued when I found it was told from the guy’s point of view, which is something that is always a positive for me. This was no exception. The story is about Luke Harper, a high school English teacher that lost his wife at a very young age to cancer. Since that time it seems he has been floating thru life, not connecting to many people and surviving in a friends with benefits relationship with Holly. It’s not until his dear friend and teaching partner becomes ill and a substitute arrives that Luke begins to wake up. However this awakening brings many other obstacles and questions of belief to him. When Luke sees April for the first time he is mesmerized and feels that she is “making me rethink everything about fate, about life, and about love”. On the flip side of this pull Luke seems to have to April, is Holly. Holly has been his “friend with benefits” off and on for the past couple of years and the only girl he’s been with since his wife died. I have to say that initially I wasn’t sure about Holly any more than I was about April. Holly seemed a bit superficial at first but then you begin to get the sense that she is into Luke more than maybe he’s willing to see. April is an enigma of a character to me. In the beginning she just seemed really guarded, so you knew there was more to her; and Luke finds pretty early that she is married to this pro baseball player. He even admits that fact that her being married scared him because the feelings he was having for her scared him. He’s drawn to her like a moth to a light and it’s like he can’t stop himself, especially as April begins to share the misery in her marriage and what an ass her husband is really. Initially the relationship between Luke and April is friendly, flirty maybe, but still just friends. Everything begins to shift when Luke’s friend unexpectedly dies and April becomes the replacement teacher, she gets into a fight with her husband that results in him hitting her and makes Luke want to save her. What transpires next was easy to see coming as April and Luke get more involved and Luke is torn a bit between her and Holly. He feels bad for lying to Holly, who has been there for him and he really does feel bad for not being honest with her. Luke begins struggling more when Holly discovers his betrayal of her and its not until he sees how April treats Holly that he really begins to wake up and see what’s in front of him. This is a story about awakening, grief, sadness and figuring out what we want as well as dealing with the consequences of our actions. I will reveal that there is a cliffhanger, which left me with a bundle of emotions but I think I’m happy that Luke’s story will continue and look forward to see what JJ has in store. This book had its frustrations for me for sure but there were many more really good things that kept me turning the page. Hope it will for you too! Happy reading! Good Job JJ Rossum!!


A couple of my favorite lines:

“Happiness is always attainable, no matter how old or young a person is. They just have to be willing to stand up and fight for it. To say – “I’ve put up with this shit long enough, but not anymore. Now, I am living for myself, and my own happiness.”

“I don’t think real love tries to change you. The movies were part of me. When a person tries to strip you of the things that make you you – only to make you more like them – it starts to make you bitter.”


About the author:

JJ Rossum traveled the world as a child, and called many places "home". Currently, home is Portland, Oregon, where he is at work on other novels that were hatched while people watching during many airport layovers.

Author Links: