Friday, November 11, 2016

Book Review: Low Over High by J.A. DeRouen

Low Over High (The Over Duet #1)
Cover Design: DCP Designs
Release Date: November 14, 2016
I fancy myself a purveyor of truth, a sifter of lies, a cutter of bullshit. It’s not a gift, but rather, all skill, honed to a razor’s edge after one too many trips down the rabbit hole. Some may dismiss my talent as misplaced and misguided cynicism, but they’d be wrong. Cliches about hope and faith in mankind are concocted unicorn farts, an effort to keep the dreamers dreaming. Experiences don’t lie—people do. While I’m not proud of the circumstances that led me to this way of thinking, I respect the journey. The road to enlightenment can be dark and foreboding, but the destination makes it all worthwhile. But funny thing about the past—it’s a defiant child refusing to stay in time out. No matter how deeply buried, it can always pop up when least expected, and sink its fucking claws into the flesh of your heart. No, not my heart—I no longer have one. I foolishly gave it away years ago, but I still feel the ripping in my chest as I fist the crumpled note left on my porch. I’ve avoided this day, ran from it, for the past eight years. And still we meet again. But to truly understand … to feel my dread and fear my future as I do, it’s important to know what happened in my past. Or who… My name is Marlo Rivers, and this is my story of corrupted love.    
Low Over High is a story about Marlo "Low" and Everett "Ever." We have seen Marlo in past Over installments, but she gets to shine in her own book. This book is actually set primarily in her high school days. She grew up on a farm in Texas with her dad and brother. Her mother ran away when she is younger, but is trying to repair the relationship with Marlo. She asks Marlo to move to New Orleans to attend a private school for her last year of high school. Her mother and stepfather agree to pay for the expense and build on that relationship. Marlo is one of the happiest people you will ever meet and always sees the glass as half full. She meets a great group of friends at her school and has a not-so-nice run-in with Ever. They can't tolerate each other in the beginning and have a love/hate relationship. That eventually grows into more as they coincidentally work at the same place together. They realize that they have something special, but Ever has is own demons that he is dealing with. Ever's worst nightmare affects Marlo in return. Something happens that makes Marlo not as happy or as positive about love and life in general. Their lives are forever changed and in a very gut-wrenching way. The book ends on a bit of a cliffhanger that has us to the current lives of both of these characters. 

I absolutely loved this book. I have enjoyed all of the Over books, but this one just got to me. I loved Ever and Low and how their relationship evolved. The events near the end just gutted me and I can't believe we have to wait until January 2017 to see how their lives move forward. I think they may be my favorite Over couple and they aren't even together. I can't wait to see what happens next! 
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Kissing Ever is like breaking the surface of the ocean. Legs kicking, arms flailing, and then that precious moment when air rushes into your lungs, giving you the one thing you need the most. Yeah, kissing Ever is just like that.   When his teeth lightly tug on my bottom lip, he owns me. I swear, my shirt almost flies off of its own accord.   Of course, I keep my cool despite his lovely lips … sort of. His tongue slides gently against mine, and I inch closer to him. He pulls away to taste my upper lip, and I grip his shirt with both hands. Maybe my hands slide under the shirt to touch his hot skin, but only an inch or two. When he lets out a long sigh, and his fingers brush the sides of my cheeks just so, I slide my legs between his. I want to pull his ribs loose and burrow deep inside of him, and even then, I’m not sure if it’s close enough.   He slows the kiss, still tasting me, sucking my lips, teasing me with his tongue. When I open my eyes, he’s right there with me, hazy eyes and parted lips. I run a hesitant finger over the freckles on his nose, and he runs his thumb across my swollen mouth. I finger his hair, tugging playfully, and he kisses my dimple, poking me with his tongue.   We explore each other slowly, thoroughly, and my thumb runs over his stomach to the thin line of hair trailing below his belly button. He shivers, and I swear the bulge pushing into the back of my thigh isn’t a banana in his pocket. It makes me feel powerful—that I can turn him on that way. This is the first time I can remember wanting that power. Boy’s erections were always a nuisance to me in the past.   He doesn’t expect me to do something with that, does he? Nuh-uh.   Let me be clear, those are not the thoughts running through my mind as I bend my knee and push my thigh more firmly into Ever’s hard-on. Not even close.   His hips raise to my pressure, and he drops his forehead to mine with a long sigh.   “I knew kissing you would be good, Low, but that was … I don’t know what that was,” he says with a chuckle, stealing another kiss.   “We should try it again. You know, figure it out.”   And we do.    

About the Author
J.A. DeRouen lives in South Louisiana with her husband, son (aptly named "The Professor), and her furry friend, Scout. She holds bachelor's degrees in psychology and nursing.
When she's not writing or inhaling romance novels by the stack, she works as a women's health nurse. She's been an avid reader and daydreamer since childhood, and she's never stopped turning the page to get to the next happily ever after.
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