It has now become my turn on the blog tour! You will get the book trailer and my review.
Although this book is part of a series, each one can be read as a standalone novel.
Hosted by: Brandee’s Book Endings
Some call me a party girl. People see me as happy, full of life, with absolutely no cares in the world. They see what I want them to see. But no one knows me – really knows me. Not even Noah Reese. Mr. Perfect is always watching me, most likely judging every single imperfect thing I do. But, if Noah wants to keep an eye on me, that’s just fine. I definitely don’t mind. I just hope he doesn’t have any plans to save me from my new-found life of self-destruction because in order to save me, he will have to see me…
And I’m never going to let that happen.
Perfect. That’s me. That’s the only acceptable way to be, according to my father. Perfect grades. Perfect manners. Perfect athlete. Perfect SAT scores. Perfect college. And recently, I was accepted into the perfect med school. My future has already been mapped out for me and there’s nothing that can change that. Not even Tatum O’Connell. That girl is out of control, yet for some reason, I can’t seem to keep my distance from her. I watch her closely, hoping that one day she’ll let me in, but watching her lead her life down the dangerous path she’s on right now isn’t easy…
I have a feeling I’m about to find myself swept away by the hurricane that is Tatum O’Connell.
“Two fleeting souls,
Too slowly drawn,
Impatient fate calls.
The jolting collide intertwines their lives
And splinters their walls.”
“Catalyst” – Noah Reese
Having read “Running On Empty” and “Recovery” by L. B. Simmons and having absolutely loved these books, I was eagerly awaiting the third installment in the Mending Hearts series. I am happy to say that I was not disappointed at all! I loved everything about the story and getting to know both Tatum and Noah’s thoughts was truly wonderful. It is a story about two damaged souls connecting with each other, overcoming their fears and heartache in order to find true happiness in their lives.
Tatum is a very complex person: when she is first introduced to us, she openly admits to staying in a bad relationship because at least then she will not be alone. It made such an impact on me because we all know how unhealthy that is for a person and I immediately wished that she would see it for herself fairly quickly.
“I’m lost. I’m alone. I’m going nowhere in my life, and I have no reason to. How fucking depressing.” (Tatum)
Tatum is so angry with the world, but she does not really have a healthy way of letting all her repressed feelings out. The only way she knows how to deal with her feelings is through drinking and partying hard – usually at her workplace which is owned by Blake, the husband to Alex – from “Running On Empty” – and where her brother, Trace, is the manager.
To say that brother and sister have a strained relationship would be an understatement. When their father died, Trace dealt with it the only way he knew how and left Tatum and their mother. He visited only twice and each time Tatum tried to tell him about their abusive mother, he brushed her off, not believing for a second that their mother could be so cruel. Needless to say, that has left Tatum with loads of anger towards not only her dead mother but also towards Trace.
As a reader, I was very taken with Tatum and I found myself teary-eyed on more than one occasion. On the outside, she appears to be so tough, but on the inside she is such a scared girl who is feeling lost and lonely. It takes a night of completely letting go and getting into serious trouble before she realizes that she has to change or she will never move forward in life.
Enter Noah…Oh, he is an amazing young man, equally damaged but in a somewhat different way than Tatum. His future is set in stone: he is to become a doctor just like his father, and even though he loathes him with a passion seldom seen, he is so afraid of defying him. Noah is drowning and does not know how to change his future. The way he sees the world around him – and Tatum as well – is expressed through poems or songs, if you will, and let me just say: WOW! You truly get a glimpse into his beautiful soul.
At first, Tatum actually cannot stand being around Noah, and Noah is completely confused by Tatum’s behavior.
“I know I’m supposed to be keeping my distance, but there’s just something about her that I’m drawn to, and I’m seemingly defenseless against it. There’s a part of me that’s just overcome with the need to protect her, mainly from her own masochistic tendencies.” (Noah)
As these damaged individuals are practically forced to spend time together, they start seeing each other in a different light. First, they become friends, but it does not take that long before more amorous feelings arise – but they cannot see where their relationship will take them because Noah is bound for medical school and Tatum has no clue of her future. It seems to be an impossible situation, but they cannot help themselves: they fall deeply, irrevocably in love with each other.
As always, I really do not want to say more about what happens further in the book. Please read it. I sincerely doubt that you will not be ensnared by this author’s story-telling. You will get the romance, the heartache, the angst, the journey these characters will take with and without each other in order to heal and find themselves.
Fans of alternate POV’s will not be disappointed as each chapter goes back and forth between Tatum and Noah; when you get Tatum’s POV, it opens with a letter to her deceased father. In Noah’s case, it is with a poem/song lyrics. What I really like about them is how you get to know these character through their own words: their fears, hopes and dreams for their future. Both Tatum’s letters to her father and Noah’s poems are a work of art: they are so beautiful! If I was not already a fan of this author, I would be one now – they are seriously amazing. While Tatum’s letter often brought tears to my eyes, Noah’s lyrics made me smile in their beauty.
On a final note, I will say that if you want a book where you both laugh and cry, a book with angst aplenty and a wonderful romantic story, I want you to read “Running In Place”. This book is now added to my growing list of favourite books of all time. Thank you, Miss Simmons, for giving us Tatum and Noah’s story.
“Eyes of clear blue,
Constantly haunting me,
Every time I shut my own,
Hers are all I see,
Cold and distant,
They beckon for reprieve,
As sorrow overtakes them,
I watch her as she silently grieves.”
“Cold Blue”. (Noah Reese)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
L.B. Simmons is a graduate of Texas A&M University and holds a degree in Biomedical Science. She has been a practicing Chemist for the last 11 years. She lives with her husband and three daughters in Texas and writes every chance she gets.
Connect with L.B.:
Watch the amazing book trailer for “Running In Place” now!
Want to read the first books in the series?
“Running on Empty” (Mending Hearts #1)
I had the perfect life.
Beautiful and loving husband.Three gorgeous little girls.
The only thing missing was the white picket fence. I really wanted that fence.
Three years ago, I lost that life. I lost my husband. And I lost myself. But, eventually, I found my way through the darkness. I’ve made peace with my new life. I have my girls, and that’s all that matters. They are my world. I have no illusions of ever falling in love again or getting whisked away on a white horse.
But then he came back into my life. On a freakin’ motorcycle.
There’s no way I’ll let him turn my life completely upside down. Absolutely no way.
The question is…
How long can I keep pretending that I’m happy with my life being right-side up?
“Recovery – a Novella” (Mending Hearts #1.5)
I have the perfect life.
I’ve finally found my happy ending.
I fought through the loss of one husband, lucky enough to be given a second chance at a lifetime of happiness. Settling into our new lives, however, may not be as easy as it seems.
What really happens after the fairytale ending? What happens after the prince rescues the princess? After he sweeps her off her feet and carries her off into the sunset? Do they truly live happily ever after?
This is our story.