Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Follow Me Back (Twisted Love #2) by A. Meredith Walters: Release Day Launch w/ Review & Excerpt


Blurb:

The sequel to Lead Me Not, this dangerously sexy second installment in the Twisted Love series continues Aubrey and Maxx’s love story, from New York Times bestselling author A. Meredith Walters—who “writes the most beautifully flawed characters that still have you swooning” (Sawyer Bennett, USA Today bestselling author of the Off series).

Aubrey Duncan has loved…and lost. Should she follow a heart that’s betrayed her or a head that tells her to let go?

Maxx Demelo’s addiction almost destroyed him. It ruined his life and, most importantly, his relationship with the only girl he ever loved.

He has vowed to become the man Aubrey Duncan deserves. Even if he has to tear himself apart to do it. So he enters rehab, trying to fix the parts of him that are shattered as he longs to be healthy and whole.

Aubrey lost everything because she chose to listen to her heart. Now she has sworn to put herself first, to heal in the only way that she can…far away from Maxx and his demons.

But just as Aubrey is starting over, Maxx is released from rehab and thrust back into her world, determined to prove how much they still need each other. And the chaos that had defined them threatens to unleash once again…

But a heart, no matter how broken, is impossible to ignore.

 
Click to Buy the Twisted Love Serieson Amazon:

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Excerpt:

I drove through town until I parked down the street from a particular brick building I knew all too well, though I had only been inside once. I made sure to position my car behind a tree so I wasn't immediately visible. It wasn't that late, but I noticed that the lights in the apartment on the third floor was out.

Feeling brave, I grabbed the chalk and walked down the street and stopped in front of the steps that led inside. Dropping to my knees I dumped out the chalk and grabbed the color I needed and started making long, harsh strokes. It was hard to see, not the best environment to draw. But I didn't need to see what I was doing. My hands didn't need light to know what they were creating.

I didn't know how long I was out there. It could have been hours or it could have been only minutes. People walked by, some stopped to watch me, others asking what I was doing. I ignored them.

When I was finished, I sat back on my haunches and squinted in the darkness at the final product. It was hard to see, but what I could make out, i was pleased with. My knees ached from kneeling on the hard concrete; my hands covered in chalk dust. It was caked under my nails. My jeans were streaked with it.

I gathered the chalk that i had left and put it back into the container. It wasn't my normal medium, but I had to admit that it was easier to work with. I just hoped it didn't rain before morning. I took on e final look up at the darkened apartment and wondered if she would understand what I was trying to say.

Who was I kidding? She had always understood me better than I understood myself.

The picture wasn't much. But in this crazy, fucked up world I found myself in, it was the only way I could get her to see me. And right now that was something.

About the Author:

The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Contemporary and Paranormal romance including The Find You in the Dark and Bad Rep series as well as the upcoming stand alone romance, Reclaiming the Sand, and a dark new adult series for Gallery Books.

A. Meredith spent ten years as a counselor for at risk teens and children. First working at a Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault program and then later a program for children with severe emotional and mental health issues. Her former clients and their stories continue to influence every aspect of her writing.

When not writing (or being tortured with all manner of beauty products at the hand of her very imaginative and extremely girly daughter), she is eating chocolate, watching reality television that could rot your brain and reading a smutty novel or two.

A. Meredith is represented by Michelle Johnson with the Inklings Literary Agency.

Social Media Links:

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Review by Michelle:

I had always heard such good things about A. Meredith Walters and unfortunately, until now, had not really had the chance to read one of her many works. Of course, when given the opportunity to read the Twisted Love series, I jumped at the chance. While I enjoyed Maxx and Aubrey's story in the first book, Lead Me Not, this book, Follow Me Back, was the book that I really fell for and connected with. Maxx's struggle and determination struck a chord and stayed with me throughout and long after reading his inspirational journey navigating the difficult and turbulent waters of addiction and recovery. Follow Me Back is an angsty and eye-opening glimpse into the constant war waged within an addict on an everyday basis once sobriety is embraced as well as a beautiful and inspiring love story.

Maxx is the ideal redeemable, broken hero. Far from flawless with actions in the past that were actually quite deplorable, yet he still managed to capture my heart in the first book. His turn around, his dedication, and his perseverance in this installment only helped to solidify what a genuinely good, caring, and well meaning character he really is despite the misguided haze that clouded his thoughts and actions in such dangerous and distasteful ways. A wonderfully complex character who is tragically damaged by life, circumstance, and bad decisions, but after a much needed wakeup call finds the will to overcome and turn things around.

This story truly is a smack in the face for those of us never personally affected by addiction, be it in our lives or the lives of our loved ones, illustrating vividly the harsh reality of addiction and the arduous road to sobriety. Through Maxx we experience a true to life depiction of the struggles of an addict's recovery and all of the complications of getting clean and sober as well as getting life back on track after being sucked into the black hole of addiction. Call me sheltered, lucky, or just straight laced, but it was really quite staggering to realize what a slippery slope casual and/or recreational drug use can be and how easy it is to be overtaken by addiction when the need for more with each high to feel the same relief mounts and there is the ever present illusion of being able to handle things, of being in control. Even more eye-opening is the constant, daily, minute by minute struggle once you make it out of the grip of addiction, how easy it would be to slip back under, how considerable and seductive the draw is every minute of the day and in every situation. An experience I would never want to for myself, but one that is real, fascinating, and deeply enlightening.

This story had me completely tied up in knots. Will Maxx give into to old vices, falling under the spell of the escape that they provide or will his love of Aubrey, his brother, and really himself, be enough motivation to continue the daily fight? I found myself speaking to Maxx on more than one occasion whether it was to talk him through a difficult situation or to berate him for yet another poor choice. I was so mixed up, I didn't know whether I was coming or going. I was rooting for Maxx from the get go so I would often become upset with Aubrey for not giving Maxx another shot, yet at the same time I completely understood why she didn't give in and respected her strength.

Above and beyond all the intricacies of addiction and recovery is an emotional and uplifting love story. In order to give the second time around a fighting chance Maxx and Aubrey must learn to cope and function separately as well as together. They must examine their co-dependency, face their own demons, and embrace healing. They must learn to trust each other as well as themselves and they must focus on creating happiness and satisfaction within themselves instead of looking for it from external sources. The journey these two each make to self discovery and the brand new, healthy relationship they forge the second time around is stirring and inspiring.

Follow Me Back is an honest portrayal of addiction and the destruction it can have on your life as well as the gumption and dedication you must have and be committed to in order to claw your way out from under your dependence. It is a tumultuous emotional ride, but also a beautiful and moving story of love, life, the most daunting of obstacles, and the most thrilling triumphs.

Rating: 4.5 Stars

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