*** Upper New Adult Spinoff Standalone to the USA Today Bestselling Novel, Under the Influence***
“Shhhh, Cassandra, it’s our little secret.”
Secrets are stubborn things when they refuse to remain hidden. They tear through your soul, clawing and lashing until the pain becomes so unbearable, you’re left no choice but to silently scream your agony. No one hears you, of course. You smile on the outside and drift through life as though your mind is at peace, but all the while, you remain your own tortured prisoner. Sealed inside the darkened, soundproof room of your conscience, deafening cries echo as you plead for someone to unlock the door and release you from your nightmares. And eventually, when no one comes, you find ways to cope. To dull the suffering the only way you know how.
But what happens when you’ve become so numb, when everything around you has become so blurred, that you begin to lose focus on the saving grace standing directly in front of you? When you’ve anesthetized yourself to the point of losing consciousness, forced to watch as his once solid image fades away, lost to your reach in the haze as it smothers you?
What do you do then?
You fight. You heal. Then you bring him back.
Well, my name is Cassie Cooper, and it’s time.
No more secrets.
This is my story.
***WARNING - The subject matter of this novel centers around the psychological effects due to sexual abuse experienced during childhood. For this reason, as well as sexual situations, language, and adult themes, suggested reading age is 17+.***
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Mother of three little girls…wife of one loving man…writer of hopefully A LOT of romance novels.
I just finished my first book…Running on Empty. While promoting it, I will be writing Running in Place.
I started this blog to reach out to my readers on a personal basis. To provide updates for my writing, but also to write about life as it happens. The good, the bad, and the ugly. All of it.
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Review by Michelle:
Every time. Every time I read an L.B. Simmons book I am left stunned and speechless, in awe, and unable to move on. But when you take a beloved character from a previous book, the clever and feisty best friend who, to the outside world, merely seems lively, sassy, and a bit quirky and reveal all her deeply hidden demons, you are left with the mother of all book hangovers. Out of Focus will consume you. It will take over your mind and your heart. It will crush you. This heartbreaking story of a girl forced to suffer the unspeakable in silence will chew you up and spit you out. It will anger you. Knowing all too well that such atrocities have happened, and will happen, countless times to far too many others will claw at you and frustrate you and enrage you. Then, it will empower you as out of the ashes of a battered and broken little girl, a Phoenix will rise, better, stronger, and more powerful than ever before showing us all that we are never too damaged to heal, it is never too late, and no matter what the trial or tribulation, you are worth it.
Outwardly Cassie Cooper was the party girl you could always count on for a good time. Whether it was a shoulder to cry on and words of encouragement for a dear friend, a clever or outlandish quip, or even a good time between the sheets, Cassie seemed to be your go-to girl. Little did we know all of these things were merely walls built around a devastating and unforgivable secret that she was determined to guard fiercely and suffer alone. I absolutely loved Cassie from the moment we met her in Under the Influence. Her attitude, her charm, her quick wit, and her dedication drew me in, but the depth of her character, her selflessness, her loyalty , and the unconditional love we see even through the hardest of times in Out of Focus brings a whole new level of compassion, admiration, and respect.
L.B. Simmons is a master when it comes to healing and introspection. A master with tortured souls and broken pasts. A master at finding hope and inspiration and the way to love and happiness. With each and every L.B. Simmons read we are walloped with feels only to be uplifted along the long and winding road of self-discovery to find wisdom, confidence, acceptance, and ultimately, true bliss.
You simply cannot pick up an L.B. Simmons book and expect not to feel each word, each hardship, each and every high and low. Cassie's story is especially painful because of all that she has had to endure for years upon years, but as per usual, L.B. Simmons may devastate you, she may shatter your heart, but she never fails to put it right back together again in the most intensely stirring, beautifully moving way possible.
*complimentary copy provided by author in exchange for an honest review
Rating: 5 Stars