REVIEW: Naughty or Nice by Lauren K McKellar

 

Published: 12th October 2019

Publisher: Escape Publishing

Pages: 70

Format: Ebook (courtesy of the publisher and Netgalley)

RRP: $1.99

3/5 Stars

One promotion, two dedicated employees, one very inconvenient attraction…

Claire Roberts wants one thing this Christmas: to land the big promotion at work and finally shake free of the office gossip that haunts her. What she doesn’t need is more competition, especially from a man who is nothing but trouble.

Hamish Christianson’s Christmas wish is to get that same promotion so he can support those he loves. What he doesn’t need is for his ‘nice guy’ personality to get in the way, or even worse, to fall for his biggest rival.

With everything on the line, will Hamish and Claire discover what it truly means to win? Or will their naughty games ruin everything?

A delightful holiday novella from our favourite Australian storyteller Lauren K McKellar.

I’m a long time fan and reader of Lauren K. Mckellar’s work, so when I stumbled across this title accidentally on Netgalley, I thought Christmas had come early.

Naughty or Nice is a short and sweet Christmas novella that is the perfect quick read this busy holiday season. The narrative itself is a mix of feel-good-vibes and drama-angsty, making it a little bit fun, a little bit sexy, and a little bit too dramatic for the length. All in all, it’s a fun, and mostly light read that is sure to get you in the Christmas mood this festive season.

The main story revolves around two colleagues who have instant chemistry and feelings for the other, but due to personal reasons, are having trouble acting on them. When the pair are thrown into the chaos of office politics, Christmas work parties, Secret Santas and the intense pressure of vying for the same promotion, their worlds are irrevocably turned upside down.  Amid all the pressures of everyday life and work, can Hamish and Claire find their happy ever after? You’ll have to read the book to see 🙂

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Waiting On Wednesday: ‘All The Little Pieces’ by Lauren K. McKellar

 

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted at Breaking the Spine. The purpose is to spotlight upcoming releases that we are excited for.

Lauren K. McKellar announced this book yesterday and it sounds AMAZING! It’s being released sometime next month, which is even more exciting because that means virtually no wait! Lauren K. McKellar has been a one-click author for me for a long time now and I can’t wait for this book to be released.

Published by: Self Published

Expected Publication: July 2019

Casey
Have you ever wanted something so much it hurts? 
I ache for a family. I crave it like oxygen, like water, like life. But I’m broken, damaged—a million little pieces that just don’t seem to fit.

Kai
She’s a beautiful flower, scorched by the hot summer sun. I want to carry her, hold her, love her—but how can you save someone who doesn’t want your help? 

*All the Little Pieces contains themes of loss. Reader discretion is advised.

REVIEW: Honest Love by Lauren K Mckellar (Twisted Hearts Duo, Book 1)

Published: 8th March 2018

Publisher: Self Published

Pages: 202

Format: Paperback (purchased)

RRP: $1.27 (AU for the ebook); $15 for paperback

4/5 Stars

When you’ve got nothing left to live for you’ve got nothing left to lose.

In one tragic moment, Cameron Lewis lost everything. His fiance. His unborn child. His perfect life.

Now, he does what needs to be done in order to get by. Work hard. Play it safe. They’re his mottos, and he’s not going to break them.

Until a beautiful woman with the ocean in her eyes and freedom in her soul comes to his rescue. She’s never known the kind of tragedy he has–and that’s what makes her so damn appealing.

But can Cameron finally let go and risk that last piece of himself? Will honest love be enough?

Having read almost all of Lauren K McKellar’s books before, I thought I knew what I was getting myself into with Honest Love. I knew there would be superb writing, gut wrenching stories, characters that feel like your very own family, and a story that will haunt you long after you turn the last page… and yet I still was not ready for this book.

Honest Love is an aftermath book, and thus one of my favourite kinds of books to read, as we get to see characters reacting to events that would floor the best of us and leave us a heaping mess.

Written from the perspective of Cameron Lewis, a man struggling with his new found fatherhood and a Airbus of emotional baggage, McKellar is able to take the reader through 202 pages of emotional trauma, uplifting hope and the scandalous of revelations. As the name suggests, Honest Love is a raw and emotional read that packs a truckload of heavy punches and leaves no room for the reader to question the characters antics. It’s a narrative that is so real and honest, it could have happened to anyone of us, which makes it all that more powerful and earth shatteringly devastating. It’s a book that tore me to shreds, and offered a glimmer of hope while doing so.

I struggled to find my feet in the opening of this novel, so I implore anyone struggling with the same thing to bear with it and keep reading; it all makes sense in hindsight!

Honest Love is set in Newcastle and the Central Coast of Australia. It was both a weirdly exhilarating and bewildering experience to read a story set in amongst your own backyards. I am so used to reading American collage stories, and fantasy universes, that it both delighted me and took me by surprise. There is just something refreshing about reading books set in areas you know and love, with places you recognise not just from books and TV Shows, but from your own personal experiences and memories.

Honest Love is the first book in a duology, so make sure you have Bitter Truths on hand as soon as you finish Honest Love. Because, boy are you going to need it!

 

To learn more about Lauren K McKellar, visit the following social media pages:

Lauren’s Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads |

 

To purchase a copy of Honest Love, visit the following online retailers:

Amazon AUS | AMAZON CA | Amazon uk | Amazon US |

 

Last Chance Reminder: Heart Of The Town Signing is Happening Today!

To celeberate the release of their new rural bindup collection, S.E. Gilchrist, Lauren K. McKellar and Lee Christine are having a local book signing and they would love for you to come!


WHO: S.E. Gilchrist, Lauren K. McKellar and Lee Christine

WHERE: Big W Charlestown

WHAT: Book Signing

WHEN: Saturday 28th July at 10 am

 

Come along on Saturday 28th July at 10 am and say hello to S.E. Gilchrist, Lauren K. McKellar and Lee Christine and get your book signed.

 

Local Book Signing: S.E. Gilchrist, Lauren K. McKellar and Lee Christine

To celeberate the release of their new rural bindup collection, S.E. Gilchrist, Lauren K. McKellar and Lee Christine are having a local book signing and they would love for you to come!


WHO: S.E. Gilchrist, Lauren K. McKellar and Lee Christine

WHERE: Big W Charlestown

WHAT: Book Signing

WHEN: Saturday 28th July at 10 am

 

Come along on Saturday 28th July at 10 am and say hello to S.E. Gilchrist, Lauren K. McKellar and Lee Christine and get your book signed.

 

Waiting On Wednesday: Heart Of The Town (Mindalby Outback Romance Series) by S.E. Gilchrist, Susanne Bellamy, Lauren K. McKellar and Lee Christine

Weekly Meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking The Spine

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted at Breaking the Spine. The purpose is to spotlight upcoming releases that we are excited for.

 

Published by: Harlequin Australia

Expected Publication: 23rd July 2018

 

Can its determined inhabitants save a dying country town? Four different writers tell the story of Mindalby, a beautiful country town threatened with extinction when its cotton mill closes.

Cotton Field Dreams by S.E. Gilchrist

Sasha comes to the small town of Mindalby to recover from a traumatic event with vengeance on her mind – the last thing she wants is a relationship. Local single dad, Cole, is drawn to this smart determined nurse, but could Sasha’ secrets destroy the relationship before it has begun?

Starting Over by Susanne Bellamy

When fashion designer Serena Quinlan arrives in Mindalby for the annual cotton festival she meets local leather worker Paul Carey and commissions him to create accessories for her designs. Their mutual attraction is powerful, but hampered by Serena’s search for her father and the arrival of her ex–fiance. When Serena uncovers the truth of her birth, will it blow their budding relationship apart?

More than a Promise by Lauren K McKellar

Asher is struggling to keep her head above water. With her job at the real estate agent, her father’s addiction to the bottle, her absentee mother’s increasingly pushy text messages and trying to be a good mum to daughter Dakota, she has no time for relationships…even if Flynn Carmichael is the most beautiful man she’s ever seen.

A Daughter’s Choice by Lee Christine

Lynsey Carter’s relationship with her father is fraught, so when she hears that the cotton mill that is her birthright has closed down (and her father is lying low), she returns to Mindalby to support her mother and seek out answers. Torn between family loyalty and duty to the community and an old passion for Julian Stone, her high school sweetheart, Lynsey has a lot to deal with. More than that, she has built a life for herself away from Mindalby. How can she stay there now?

 

LOCAL AUTHOR SIGNING:

WHO: S.E. Gilchrist, Lauren K. McKellar and Lee Christine

WHERE: Big W Charlestown

WHAT: Book Signing

WHEN: Saturday 28th July at 10 am

COVER REVEAL: Honest Love by Lauren K Mckellar

Title: Honest Love

Series: Twisted Duet #1

Author: Lauren K. McKellar

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release: March 8, 2018

 

Cover design: BE Designs (www.be-designs.com.au)
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38496190-honest-love

Blurb:

When you’ve got nothing left to live for, you’ve got nothing left to lose.

In one tragic moment, Cameron Lewis lost everything. His fiancée. His unborn child. His perfect life.

Now, he does what needs to be done in order to get by. Work hard. Play it safe. They’re his mottos, and he’s not going to break them.

Until a beautiful woman with the ocean in her eyes and freedom in her soul comes to his rescue. She’s never known the kind of tragedy he has—and that’s what makes her so damn appealing.

But can Cameron finally let go and risk that last piece of himself? Will honest love be enough?

 

 

Author Bio:

Lauren K. McKellar is a writer of contemporary romance reads that make you feel. This hybrid-published USA Today best-selling author loves writing books with stunning settings, heart-throb heroes, and leading ladies who overcome great hardships in their lives.

  In addition to writing, Lauren loves to read, and you can often find her up at all hours of the night with a glass of wine, some chocolate, and a good book. She lives by the beach in New South Wales, Australia, with her husband, infant son, and their two dogs. Most of the time, all four of them are well behaved.

 

Social Media Links:

Website: www.LaurenKMcKellar.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LaurenKateMcKellar

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/LaurenKMcKellar

Instagram: www.instagram.com/LaurenKMcKellar

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7231799.Lauren_K_McKellar

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Lauren-K.-McKellar/e/B00FJRC0KC

 

Excerpt:

I staggered onto the street, the chill of the late autumn air creeping into my bones. The yellow glow of speeding vehicles blurred into a long never-ending light.

“I’ll never let you go.”

I rubbed my thumb against the ring on my finger. Today was the day. The day he would have been born. The day our baby …

And then I saw her.

Red hair curling down her back.

A white dress, billowing in the breeze.

She was about ten feet ahead in a group of three. Two other women I didn’t know.

My chest tightened. My throat constricted.

I grabbed at the wall of the building next to me, but my hand couldn’t make purchase. It slammed against the ground, my body weight behind it, but I didn’t feel the sting, didn’t feel the pain.

Bea.

“Wait!” I pushed to my feet, darting between shadows of people, my eyes on the red hair moving so far in front. “Please!”

I ran, my breath coming shorter. Too much whiskey. Too much love—both were the culprits and I didn’t give a damn. Because I didn’t know how, and I didn’t know why, but she was here. My Bea. She’d come back.

My feet pounded against the pavement, my soles slapping on the concrete. People turned to look, but for once, I didn’t care. Let them look. I wanted to laugh, a crazy, maniacal laugh. Let them look all they want.

Bea.

It was her.

I was sure of it.

It was her—

And then she turned around.

And for one glorious second, it was her. The woman I loved.

The woman I saw every time I closed my eyes, and sometimes when they were open, too.

The woman who’d own my heart forever.

“Hey,” she said.

But her voice—it wasn’t right.

I shook my head. No.

“Hey.” She tried again, but her smile was big. Too big.

Bea never smiled like that.

Nausea churned in my gut.

“Aren’t you that guy from the—”

Bile raced up my throat. I doubled over, clutching at my waist, and emptied the contents of my stomach into the gutter. Acid burnt the back of my tongue, and I coughed and spluttered, wiping at my mouth.

It wasn’t Bea.

No matter how many times I thought I’d seen her during the last six months, it was never Bea.

And as I stared at my own vomit, wanting her to be there, needing her to be there, I wished that just once I could pretend she was. That for one night, I could hold her in my arms again, stroke her long, red hair, and tell her everything would be all right.

“You guys go ahead,” the redhead told her friends. She placed a cool hand on my back, bending to my level. “Are you okay?”

“No,” I croaked. “I was s’posed to be a father. Today.” My baby. I would have met my baby today. Our baby.

She gave a smaller smile this time, and damn, she looked like her. “My name’s Giselle.”

“I’m Cam.” I straightened, the world sliding as I overbalanced, then corrected myself. “I have to go …”

“No.” She linked her hand in mine. “Let me take care of you.”

And I shouldn’t have. But I was so tired of fighting, of blocking out the past, that I let her lead me to her hotel room, let her pour me another drink, let her take off my clothes.

“We’re so incredibly lucky, babe.” I pressed a kiss to the soft skin of Bea’s neck.

“The luckiest.” She smiled up at me, tossing her hair out of her eyes. “The luckiest people in the world.”

Only, it turned out that we weren’t.

Because seven weeks after that positive pregnancy test, Bea died.

And I’d never let her go after that.

 

Release Blitz: The Novel Handbook by Lauren Clarke

RELEASE BLITZ
Title: The Novel Handbook
Author: Lauren Clarke
Genre: Non-Fiction
Release Date: September 20, 2017

BLURB

Do you want to make writing your novels easier?

The Novel Handbook is a complete 168-page guide to help you plan your novel, for experienced and beginner writers alike. Keep all your notes on character, plot, setting and more in one handy place, allowing you to access everything you need to know about your work-in-progress with ease.

Features include:

  • Character biographies: Pages for minor and major characters, complete with prompts so you can keep track of their features and personality traits (no more wondering what colour your hero’s mother’s eyes are, searching your Word document for the word “blue”—simply look to the relevant page in the book, and off you go!).
  • Timeline assistance: Avoid one of the most common author mistakes and create a sound timeline with the calendars in this book, designed to ensure you know where your characters are at all times.
  • World building: A place for you to make notes on the place where your novel is set, including prompts on featured rooms, settings and more.
  • Research: Notes you must collaborate before starting your project.
  • Loose ends: Avoid losing the flow of your writing by making notes here on things you need to fix in your manuscript once the first draft is complete.
  • Goal setting: Project trackers and booking forms for your manuscript’s dream team, including a pre-edit checklist—essential for any writer.
And much, much more. The Novel Handbook is particularly useful for series writing, so you can keep all your reference notes in one place.

Whether you’re an experienced writer or a beginner, someone who loves plotting or a writer of the fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants variety, this is the handbook for you.

GOODREADS LINK: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36264205-the-novel-handbook

PURCHASE LINKS

US: http://1click.bz/NovelHandbookUS
UK: http://1click.bz/NovelHandbookUK
CA: http://1click.bz/NovelHandbookCA
AU: http://1click.bz/NovelHandbookAU
Lauren Clarke Editing: http://bit.ly/2ykwwTL

AUTHOR BIO

Lauren Clarke is an editor of fact and fiction, specialising in the romance genre. With more than fifteen years experience in the publishing industry, she is passionate about helping writers to create their perfect story.

Lauren works in development, line and copy editing, helping you to finesse your story arc by eliminating plot holes, strengthening your characters and ensuring your pacing keeps readers turning the page.

AUTHOR LINKS

Website: http://www.laurenclarkeediting.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/laurenclarkeediting

GIVEAWAY

Click here to enter to win a  $25 Amazon gift card

I personally own TWO of these books and Lauren’s Author Diary for 2018 thanks to the recent Fictionally Yours Melbourne event, and all I can say is, anyone who is a writer looking for a fantastic resource, look no futher than The Novel Handbook. It has everything you need, kept in one place.

Books By The Bridge Event Wrap Up

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Bright and early on Saturday morning, 90+ authors, their assistants and a truck load of volunteers, VIPs and fans descended on Luna Park Sydney for the first ever Books By The Bridge Signing.

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Despite the early hour, the crowd were buzzing with excitement and I felt buoyed up just being there. You see in the lead up to this event, I’d been having a pretty rough couple of weeks, and almost considered not attending at one stage. Boy, am I glad that I changed my mind on that decision, for Saturday was pretty much divine.

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Set right on the harbour, with an up and close shot of the iconic Harbour Bridge, Books By The Bridge had one of the most beautiful settings I’ve ever seen. With the sun’s rays glistening of the water, and the picturesque ballrooms inside the venue, combined with a few hundred smiling faces, it’s not wonder it felt like magic happened that day.

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View from the upstairs mezzanine near the bookseller.

The first thing I noted about this event was the atmosphere. Although a large scale event – equipped with security guards too! – the entire event ran smoothly and rather calmly. The line – or at least the VIP line that I saw– was orderly and the attending fans all courteous of each other. Something I haven’t seen before. Usually, there’s a lot of pushing and wedging your way through. But with the organisers, volunteers and those manning the front door being so calm and collected, the effects appeared to have gone down the line to the fans as well. What’s more, the event ran with out a hitch; even with poor Annie yelling into the quiet megaphone all day. Kat T Mason, you should be so proud of yourself and the team behind you because you pulled off one hell of an event.

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Alice Clayton hard at work

Having a VIP ticket I knew I had all day to explore the event, so I budded up with a fellow Kell’s Bookmark Clique Retreat Alumni Sara, and we cruised our way around the room trying to remember who we pre-ordered from and chatting with authors as we went. I don’t think either of us expected to have made such good progress with the room in the first session, but by the end of the sessions we’d seen most of the authors, collected our books and we able to even spend some valuable down time outside in the sun relaxing and resting our poor tired feet and overworked arms (book bags are not light people, those things hurt no matter how well you think you’ve got the system covered!).

Bronwyn Parry and Pamela Cook

Bronwyn Parry and Pamela Cook

After some much needed R&R we maundered back inside for the author and VIP lunch. Lunch consisted of some of the most scrumptious, and I suspect fancy, finger food you could think of. There were mini fish and chip pails, mini hamburgers, an extremely tasty nacho bowl, some fish and chicken cocktails, party pies and an endless supply of drinks both at the bar and walking around by the venue’s eagle eyed staff.

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Right to left: Event organiser KAt T Mason and NYT Best selling author Alice Clayton

Having completed most of our ‘must do’ requirements of the day in the first session, Sara and I joined forces with a bunch of book friends and spent the afternoon once again walking the room and chatting at length with a wide mix of authors. This was perhaps one of the most surprising aspects of the event , for not only was the entire thing not rushed in any shape or form, but you got quality time with the authors to discuss various aspects of their writing, their books and even their publishing journey. I for one had a very lovely chat with Michelle Irwin, Bronwyn Parry and Pamela Hart and Lauren K McKeller. It was rather exciting being able to support some good friends – JA Low and Lauren Firminger – at their first every book signing; you girls both rocked that event and are natural pros!

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Left to right: Fiona Archer, JA Low and Lauren Firminger

With a theme park right at the doors, I was surprised to find myself not even tempted in the slightest to slink outside and explore Luna Park, a destination I’ve never been. Instead I was content to spend all day cocooned within the book world, chatting to authors new and old, and speaking at length about books with various fans.

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By late afternoon I was more than ready to start the long train journey home with two books bags filled to the brim, and a thousand new books added to me already enormous TBR list.

All in all I really enjoyed the event and can not speak more highly of those involved in any shape or form; you guys hit that signing out of the park and I really hope there’s another sometime in the not so distant future.

 

 

 

RELEASE BLITZ & SERIES REVIEW: The Surfers Way Series by Jennifer Ryder & Lauren McKeller

 

 

 

Title: Losing Faith
Series: Surfers Way
Author: Jennifer Ryder
Genre: NA Contemporary Romance
 Release Date: May 19, 2016
Blurb
The inseparable are well and truly split.
Mack, Faith and Lacey, joined at the hip since primary school, are about to graduate high school. You might think this sounds like a book about coming-of-age and taking that leap into adulthood.

It is— except one of them doesn’t make it …

 


Lacey Marone had two solid things on her agenda for her future — working in the Pepperoni Palace until she figured out what the hell to do with her life, and getting together with her bestie’s older brother, Quade, who she’s crushed on since she was a kid.

Then graduation night changed everything. Almost three years later, Lacey won’t rest until she discovers the truth surrounding Faith’s death. She’s outcast by those who want to move on from the tragedy, as if the town’s sweetheart never existed.

Years after losing Faith, Quade Kelly returns home to Runaway Beach, determined to mend ties with his parents and cement a future in his hometown teaching at the local primary school. Quade soon learns that his sister’s ghost lives on, thanks to Lacey, the girl who still owns a piece of his heart.

Lacey is hung up on her quest for answers. Quade wants to bury his failures of the past. The pull between them can’t be denied but can the past be forgotten?

Truths will be uncovered and hearts will be cracked open wide. After all, graduation was never meant to end like this.

 

Purchase Links

 

AMAZON US / UK / AU

 

Jennifer Ryder
Jennifer Ryder is a bestselling author with five novels in the Spark Series published to date. She loves to write about boys on dirt bikes, detectives and strong females who aren’t afraid to fight for what they want.
Living on a rural property in New South Wales, Australia, she enjoys the best of city and country. Her loving husband is ever willing to provide inspiration, and her two young cherubs, and sheep that don’t see fences as barriers, keep life more than interesting.
Series Trailer
Title: Seeking Faith
Series: Surfers Way
Author: Lauren K. McKellar
Genre: NA Contemporary Romance
 Release Date: May 19, 2016
Blurb
The inseparable are well and truly split.

Mack, Faith and Lacey, joined at the hip since they were kids, are about to graduate high school. You might think this sounds like a book about coming-of-age and taking that leap into adulthood.

It is—except one of them doesn’t make it …

Mackenzie Carter has one solid thing on the agenda for her future—get out of town and focus on her post-school studies. After all, she’s wanted to be a vet since she was a little girl, and nothing, not the thought of being apart from her two best mates or the idea that maybe she’s got more-than-friendly feelings for a sexy local surfer can alter that … can it?
Graduation changes everything.
Almost three years later, and Mack’s high school dreams are just that—figments of her imagination, thanks to the guilt that haunts her on a daily basis. Will a faux relationship with Byron Leckie be the thing she needs to get her life back on track? Or will it make everything worse?
One thing is for certain. When these two collide, the damage will be fierce. After all, graduation was never meant to end like this.

 

Purchase Links

 

AMAZON US / UK / AU

 

 

Lauren K. McKellar

Lauren K. McKellar is the author of contemporary reads that make you feel. With a passion for all books Young and New Adult, she is currently the author of five self-published books, all of which have held top 50 charting places digitally within Australia. Lauren loves to write about real-life issues, and is a passionate researcher when it comes to her work. She’s a big believer in creating works that make people feel.

Lauren lives by the beach in Australia with her husband and their two dogs. Most of the time, all three of them are well behaved.

 

Giveaway

Review of the Surfers Way Series by Jennifer Ryder & Lauren K. McKellar

5/5 Stars

The Surfers Way Series is a two book companion series by Australian authors Jennifer Ryder and Lauren K. McKellar. The series it self is composed of two books: Losing Faith by Jennifer Ryder and Seeking Faith by Lauren K. McKellar. Both books are full length contemporary romances  set in hustle and bustle of Sydney and sleepy coastal towns of the central Coast and Newcastle Australia. I know how cliche it is going to sound, but you really need to take my word for it when I say that you need to read these books yourselves to truly understand and experience their pure magic and heart each of the stories holds.

As a whole the Surfers Way Series is an original soul searching, heart breaking story of a group of friends whose lives are struck by disaster and turned upside down forever more. The two books in the series will have you smiling at the sweet romance, laughing along with the larger-than-life characters with big personalities and balling your eyes out alongside them, wishing you could hold the fictional characters in your arms and soothe their hurts. More importantly however, both books will see you slow waltz into the most perfect of romances without you really noticing at first just how rare and magical the moments you are witnessing are.

When I received my ARCS (Advanced Readers Copies) of both Losing Faith and Seeking Faith at the same time, I was confused as to which one I should read first. After scouring the internet and goodreads and finding nothing, I decided Jennifer Ryder’s name was mentioned first in everything I’d seen and thus her book would be read first. Although I still stand by that decision, I think you could read either of the two books first and still experience the genuine nature of each respective story and the world they speak of. However, if you wanted to read them in a more natural way, I believe Losing Faith is probably your best bet to start, as the very beginning of this book goes in to great detail of the event that shatters these characters.

Having read both Ryder and Mckellar’s books before, I though I knew what to expect going into this series … and I couldn’t have been more wrong. I don’t know how they did it, but both Ryder and McKellar have managed to not only up the bar on their previously published books, but totally wipe the floor with them too. And that’s saying something because I love their own individual series so much, that I really didn’t expect to like this series as much! But I loved every single word on every single page… so much so that I read BOTH books in a day and half and still could of easily kept going.

I loved the warmth and the humour in Losing Faith. And when the book opens at the party as the three girls celebrate the end of year 12 (and school), I was scared for them! I literally was reading it with the knowledge that one of them wouldn’t make it in my back of my mind and I was screaming with frustration, daring them all to make it through unharmed and okay. I loved the glimpses of the strength and friendship that Faith, Lacey and Mack shared. I loved their interactions and the way they saw life. It was refreshing and genuine and so easy to read. And then all hell breaks loose and one of them is gone and… oh the feels!

I fell in love with Lace and Q  so quickly in Losing Faith, that I was kind of afraid to start Seeking Faith on the sole basis that I didn’t think it could measure up. I was already wary of Mack so McKellar had her work cut out for her before I even opened the book! But you know what? I read it and I loved it. Once again I fell head over heels through the pages and into the hearts of Mack and Bryon’s epic story. As it stands now, I don’t think either of the books outdoes the other one, but rather they compliment each other nicely, sitting side by side and offering up their side of the sorry tale and events of that night that forever changed their lives for better or worse. In a way I guess the books are a nod to the old adage, that no one experiences the same events quite the same way, nor knows and acknowledges the same truths or experiences. Just like no one reads the same book the same way, these characters lives might have been extremely intertwined, and the stories based on the same starting event, but they are incredibly different and is astounding the way the stories were not only told, but the way it was all pulled together.

I should note here, that although the two books are part of the one series, neither is a sequel nor the first book in the series, but rather they are companion novels that co-exist peacefully side by side. Interestingly too, although each story is heavy with guilt over that devastating night and the secrets each character holds close to their chests, the writing and the narratives themselves never feel bogged down in angst or drowning in over the top emotion. The fact that both Ryder and McKellar were able to pull back the overwhelming nature of the story, and write two very similar and yet extremely different stories just goes to go show how talented and creatively inspiring these two authors are.

There’s so much I want to talk about in both of these books, but I fear A) this post will be way to long if I do, and B) that I risk revealing too many spoilers by doing so. I do wish to emphasise here the point from above though, that this series is one I believe everyone NEEDS to read at least once in their lifetime. For the issues in the books and the emotions felt are those we ALL deal with multiple times throughout out lives, and one we need to experience and to understand in order to move on and fully understand and live our lives. That sounds preachy I know, but seriously read the books and you’ll understand exactly where I’m coming from.

The Surfers Way series is so important and genuine that you need to read it to experience it’s emotion: the hurt and despair that leaches from every page (without feeling angsty or overwhelming) and the hope and the love that is crafted into her every sentence. Both Losing Faith and Seeking Faith are beautiful books both in terms of story and the way they were crafted proving just how talented (yet again!) that these two inspiring and amazing Australian authors are and I can not recommend this series more highly enough.

In many regards, I’m jealous of those who haven’t read the series yet and can dive head first into the books fresh and with eyes wide open. I’d love to experience the whole thing again.

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