Thursday, 22 October 2015

SWELTER by Nina G. Jones

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Title: Swelter
Author: Nina G. Jones
Genre: Erotic Romance
Release Date: October 1, 2015


I married the right brother.
At least that's what I tell myself at night, when I stare at the ceiling and listen to the rhythm of the grandfather clock down the hall. It never feels like the mere passage of time, but a countdown towards something inevitable. Bobby Lightly is selfish, irresponsible, and careless. I haven't seen him since the day I married his brother. He slipped out during the wedding reception without a word. A year later, I heard Bobby was drafted to Korea. He never said goodbye to anyone. Never sent a letter. We had all come to terms with the fact that he was probably dead somewhere, either a victim of the war or its aftermath. That is, until in the midst of an unrelenting heatwave, he showed up at the doorstep of the house I lived in with his brother. Everyone thinks I'm cruel. Everyone thinks I should be easy on him. They think I don't understand him. They all think I hate him. But what no one understands is that it was Bobby who broke my heart. And I think he’s back to do it again.  
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I snickered to myself. "He never had a chance. Rory never had a chance." I shook my head in pity for the man I had grown to begrudge. "From the first day of our marriage, he couldn't win because he wasn't you." I spun around, looking to the black forest for a way out, an exit from my tragic dilemma. "I don't know how to fix this. He'll never be you. It's not his fault or our fault. It just is. And for years I resented him for that. I loved you. I loved hating you. I loved loving you. And when you left, I blamed him. It's not fair. None of it is fair. For him. For us." My shouts vanished into the dark night. Just like all my efforts, they meant nothing. "We tried so hard to do the right thing. We sacrificed us for him. And I think it just made things worse. Look at him." "Stop," Bobby said firmly. "I was so cold to him. I pushed him away so much. I created that man you see today. Do you think that was the right thing?" "Stop," Bobby repeated. My emotions erupted out of me, explosive from years of being crammed into a secret space. Years of secrets I couldn't tell. Of unrequited love. Of a life unfulfilled. Of dreams demolished. I pounded my fist to my chest. "It hurts. It physically hurts to see you every day. You are the first person I think about when I wake up. When I thought you died, I died. Rory was with a corpse." Bobby stepped closer to me. "Stop it, Lil." "And you keeping being you and I am trying so hard not to love you." I didn't care anymore about pretending. The threads were ripped and I felt as raw as the festering wound I had dealt with for the past seven years. "And then you take me dancing and you tell me how you wrote me letters that you never sent and you bring me here. You make it impossible not to love you, dammit.” I thrust a finger in his direction and scowled. “And I hate you for that."  
About The Author
Nina G. Jones is the author of the bestselling novel DEBT, the Strapped Series and the erotic romance, Gorgeous Rotten Scoundrel. Her next novel, Swelter, releases on October 1st, 2015. Nina LOVES connecting with readers. You can connect with her via Facebook, Twitter, or through this site.

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5 Amazing Stars

Do what your husband wants. Make HIM happy. Be the good wife. Make babies. Make food. You're not allowed to want more than that.

From the onset of Swelter, I was hit with strong emotions that had me teetering on the edge.  Anger, frustration,  concern, ignorance, avoidance. Our heroine is trapped within a gilded cage. Barely hanging on, as each night passes her by, in blistering heat. With a marriage on the verge of shambles, and a controlling and alcoholic husband. Lily never noticed the slow and perpetual changes to her husband's demeanour as the years of marriage went by.

The story is mainly told in Lily's POV, with intermittent changes from the present to the past. A time frame that spans seven years and takes place in the year of 1957. A time of controversial War in American history. Lily Lightly has been living a lie since the eve of her marriage seven years prior, to the wrong Lightly brother. On the eve of her marriage, Lily and her soon to be brother -in- law, Bobby, had a night of intense passion. A night where Lily recognized that she was in love with Bobby Lightly.

Seven years of marriage; five years since Lily has last seen Bobby. He enlisted into the War and years of no communication from him, he was thought dead. Until one day. The ding of the doorbell, brings Bobby Lightly to her door. Shocked...isn't even the right emotion to describe Lily's feelings. Her husband, Rory, is elated and overjoyed, that his little brother is alive and kicking.

”Bobby and Rory were like two ends of a seesaw, and I spent my time with them standing in the middle, teetering.”

With the re-entry of Bobby into her life, Lily once again becomes the lively young girl both her and Bobby once knew. Their illicit affair is re-kindled, and they each know and understand the gravity of the situation once revealed. Yet, they can't keep their emotions at bay.  Especially, Bobby. After living through a war camp, while his best friend was murdered before his eyes. Bobby is suffering from survivor's guilt. And with this new found bravery, he has returned for the woman that kept him alive all those years.

This was why we had so much difficultly navigating our relationship in our newfound adulthood. Because the space between immature teasing and detached adult politeness was this unthinkable act, this forbidden desire.

Swelter is one of those stories that takes you completely by surprise. Unique, perfectly portrayed, Nina's writing is immaculate and easy to understand. She draws the reader in, sets us up, and takes us for one hell of 1957 ride.

I loved the setting this book. And the fact that it was written in a time, where women were simply put on pedestals. Our mission to stay 'barefoot and pregnant', while catering to our husband's needs and wishes. Lily was a hero for me. She understood her place, she refused to accept it, even though she made her own sacrifices. She fought every step of the way. And after years of living within a broken marriage, Lily takes her life into her own hands. Surging into the unknown, full of life and love.

*ARC provided by LBTSP on behalf of the author for an honest review* Thanks!!

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