Annette K. Larsen, Five Stars, Low Language, Low Romance, Low Violence

Broken Storms Yield Light

Grief is a tricky thing. Everyone copes and responds to it differently. Most people have experienced it, yet none of us really know how to respond to it. My husband’s brother died in a car accident as a teenager and the ripple affect of that painful experience are much smaller 20 years later, but still there. In Annette K. Larsen’s novella “All Our Broken Pieces”, she addresses some of the more intense complexities of grief with discernment and tenderness.

All Our Broken Pieces by [Larsen, Annette K.]

“Ginny and Devin have been best friends for most of their lives. They’ve relied on each other, laughed with each other, kept each other sane.
But now Devin is dead, and Ginny is floundering to find a way to cope with the loss and continue living when the one person she’s always relied on is gone. So she does what she’s always done. She pours her frustrations into texts to Devin, or at least to Devin’s useless phone number. She sends her pain and anger out into the void of cellular data with no hope of response.
Until the day when someone does respond. Ginny knows that this person—this Not-Devin—won’t ever replace her best friend, but maybe he can help her heal, or at least give her a reason to smile again.”

The first person narrative made the grief seem raw and personal. Annette Larsen’s characters are always genuine and well developed. Her portrayal of Ginny was unapologetic in her irrational responses making her feel authentic.

What she did with Alex’s character was just as impressive to me. He “didn’t have rock-hard muscles”, and he got “a little winded” carrying her, but he was empathetic and steady; the best kind of prince charming.

The way she wrote the romance, showcasing the differing connection between her friendship with Devin and her chemistry and connection with Alex, created a love story that felt more real, and more magical because of their flaws and experiences.

I was so invested in the characters and the plot that I wasn’t prepared when I swiped the page and saw, “the end”. I wanted more Ginny and Alex, yet I also loved where she left the story, with so much hope, potential and honesty.

Annette K. Larsen, Five Stars, Low Language, Low Religion, Low Romance, Low Violence

Bring Pie

Happy 1/2 Birthday to Us! 

Six months ago TODAY we started this crazy adventure. Our very first book review was of an adorable book called Keeping Kinley (you can read that review here). We thought it was only fitting that six months later we do another Annette K Larsen review. Her most recent book was quite different from any of her others, not only was it not part of the Books of Dalthia series, it was contemporary. And we loved it!

If I Could Stay by [Larsen, Annette K.]

“They killed her mother, and if they find her, Leila could be next. Being pursued from one state to another, she has learned to constantly look over her shoulder, and when necessary, to become someone new. She’s burned through four cities and four identities, always managing to stay one step ahead. 
Now Leila is left with nothing. No car, no money, and no choice but to trust the man who finds her, half frozen, wandering the back roads of Missouri.
Despite the fact that Jack seems to genuinely care about her, Leila knows all too well the danger she poses to anyone brave enough to get close to her. Her growing feelings for Jack force her to make a choice. She could risk staying and hope she’s not found, or she could do what she’s always done, and disappear.” 

If I Could Stay has all the love and laughter and suspense of her other books with a contemporary setting. Annette writes with such heart and emotion that you instantly connect to the characters. She is an expert at romance and knows how to build a relationship that grows over time keeping you invested in the outcome from start to finish.

All of her Dalthia books have a little scheming and intrigue in the plot, and this one was no different. I kept trying to out guess her, and failed miserably, which is just the way I like it. This quickly became one of my favorite books of the last six months a stay up late, make you sigh and make you smile kind of book.

We’re celebrating! We’re giving away two electronic copies of “If I Could Stay”. To win comment on this review, facebook, twitter, and/or instagram. Tell us the best book you’ve read in the last six months. Then tag a friend. The winner will get one copy for themselves and one copy for the friend they tagged. You may enter on multiple platforms for multiple entries. Giveaway ends at 2:00 MST on March 10th 2018. Winners will be notified by 5:00 that day and will have 48 hours to contact us to receive their prize. This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with any of these platforms.
Annette K. Larsen, Five Stars, Low Language, Low Romance, Low Violence

12 Days of Clean Romance Day 10 (December 14th) – Annette K. Larsen

Just Ella by Annette K. Larsen

Ariella was only looking for a distraction, something to break up the monotony of palace life. What she found was a young man willing to overlook her title and show her a new and vibrant way of life. But when her growing feelings for Gavin spiral out of control and clash with the expectations of her station, she will discover that the consequences of her curiosity are far more severe than she’d imagined.

“I watched in helpless horror as two guards hauled Gavin to his feet and dragged him from the room. My voice was frozen, unable to protest as another guard took hold of my arm, leading me upstairs. From the confines of my room, I stared into the darkness beyond my window, hoping to catch one more glimpse of Gavin. He was gone, and I wondered if he would have been better off if he had never met me.”

 

(The whole series is available on KindleUnlimited!)

***You know how some books leave you feeling warm and happy, and you’re think to yourself, that was such a good book. Then, there are some books that reach in deeper and they move your heart and connect with your soul. (Maybe I’m getting a little poetic and cheesy, but I speak truth). That’s what Annette Larsen has done with her Dalthia series. These books are warm and happy, but they’re also moving and beautiful. As in I’ve read then multiple times and am currently pondering reading them again just cause, but maybe I’ll wait till after Christmas craziness. –N.C.

You can check out our full review of Keeping Kinley Here.

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Author Annette K. Larsen

I was born in Utah, but migrated to Arizona, Missouri, and Virginia before settling in Idaho.

Though I dabbled in writing throughout school, being an author seemed like an unattainable dream. It took me seven years to write my first book, Just Ella. During that time, I taught myself how to write a novel. Not the most time effective method, but it gave me an education I wouldn’t have received from a class or a how-to book. Something about the struggle of writing without a formula or rules worked for me.

I write clean romance because I love it. Jane Eyre is the hero of my youth and taught me that clinging to your convictions will be hard, but will bring you more genuine happiness than giving in ever can.

I love chocolate, Into the Woods, ocean waves, my husband, and my five littles. And I love books that leave me with a sigh of contentment.

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Also by Annette K. Larsen

Keeping Kinley is on Sale for just 99 cents!

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Giveaway Details

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway

Ends 12/28/17

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Annette K. Larsen, Five Stars, Low Language, Low Romance, Low Violence

Keeping Kinley: a Sweet Read

Confession: I love sweet books, I love sweet books that surprise me. Keeping Kinley is the fifth in the Books of Dalthia series written by author Annette K. Larsen. Every book in the series has been well written, with flushed out characters and unique plots. The books are more than just fluff, without being too heavy. I felt like you could possibly read this as a stand alone, but there are certain plot points that make more sense if you’ve read the whole series. Just Ella especially.

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“Kinley is content tending her apple orchard, until a chance meeting with a childhood friend changes her priorities. Spending time with nobility is not socially acceptable, but Rylan rejects the norm. When Kinley’s livelihood is threatened, any thoughts of a relationship are set aside as she’s thrust into Rylan’s world, where commoners and nobility don’t mix

The romance starts as a sweet honest friendship, which was refreshing. With scenes of throwing apples, dancing in an orchard, and just enough conflict to make it interesting. Too often relationships are based on attraction and emotion with no foundation but desire. I loved how Rylan was content to let their friendship develop and be there for her as her friend, regardless of the romance.

Though not based on any fairy tale it has elements of a rags to riches story, and a scene where Jayden, the village bully, grabs Kinley’s book and all you can picture is Gaston’s, “How can you read this? There’s no pictures!” as he tosses the book in the mud. Though the elements are there, I wouldn’t classify this as a rags to riches story.  Kinley is comfortable in her own skin, she finds no shame in being a servant, “being a servant in a perfectly respectable occupation”. Kinley finds joy in the lot she’s been given in life, and is willing to work for her dreams making her a strong female character.

A confession for the author: I loved the scenes with Bram and was intrigued at his desire to be believed and possibly redeemed. That would be a good book! –M.V.

Five Stars!

*No religious themes