Today I'm excited to be hosting a blog tour for S.A. Rolls' beautiful contemporary romance book, A Brand New Ending. Continue reading for an excerpt, a review and a giveaway! Check out the purchase links below!
"I don't want to go anywhere, Braeden. Wherever you are is where I want to be."
I think my heart does a back flip. "You have no idea how happy that makes me, hearing you say that."
She gives me a sly smile, her fingers playing in and around mine.
"Can't describe how amazing this feels," she speaks. "I've never had anyone care for me like you do."
"That's a shame," I respond quickly. "You deserve so much more than that."
I lean over her so that our faces are close but I make sure to do it gently, afraid that she might retreat from my touch.
"Yes," I say softly as our eyes are locked on each other.
We hold our position and I can tell she is nervous, but I want her to make the first move. I made the mistake of pushing it on her the first time and I won't be doing that again. I can feel the heat of her breath on my face, its oddly intoxicating. But I hold still. I start to count the number of my heartbeats when I suddenly feel force against my lips. I hold back the smile, my hand coming up to cup her cheek. I start to move my lips against her, the waves of ecstasy flowing through my body. After a second, her lips start to move in unison with mine. I've kissed lots of women, but it's never felt quite like this. I don't know how long it lasts, but I refrain from sticking my tongue in her mouth, fearing that may be too much. I then swear I feel her moan in my mouth, and it's the most incredible fucking turn on I have ever heard in my life. She must have realized it too considering she pulled her lips off mine, her hands coming up to her mouth.
Phoenix Harper never imagined her life would come to this: A life not worth living anymore. After a failed suicide attempt, Phoenix is sent to be observed at a local psychiatric hospital. There she meets Braeden Harris, a hospital aide with his own haunting past. Not long after their first encounter, they feel an unexplainable pull towards one another. Will fate bring them together, or will outside forces tear them apart?
Debut author S.A. Rolls wrote a solid, if sometimes wordy, novel about an abused girl, a boy with past issues and a twist on a modern day love story. Phoenix Harper is in a bad way. She hates her life so much that the opening scene in this book is her suicide attempt. Phoenix is not a self-absorbed heroine, though. She truly could not continue to live in the conditions that were her reality. Phoenix has a long, abusive past, which was enabled by her "mother." She did not have the strength to continue, and once you hear the flashbacks of her life, I'm sure you would agree with me. Before she goes, she writes a letter which becomes very important down the line.
While in the hospital, and later mental facility, Phoenix meets some very interesting people. The most interesting being a medical student named Braeden Harris. When we meet Braeden, it is clear that he is not the happiest person - he has past issues of his own, and a strange relationship with his doctor father. When I say strange, it's only because I was uncomfortable in a lot of scenes between father and son. There's no abuse or awful story to pull them apart, but they do share a tragic past that has gnawed on both of them. Braeden doesn't like his roommate very much, and he seems to just be "going through the motions" of his life. Until he meets Phoenix.
When Breaden and Phoenix meet, it's like a light clicks on in both of their heads. They are immediately attracted to one another and their love story begins. They are faced with myriad challenges - for one, Phoenix is in a mental facility and Braeden is a medical student - but neither one can stop thinking of the other.
I took off a star for the rating of this book for a few different reasons. Although Phoenix's and Braeden's love story is sweet and sometimes poignant, I think it all happened a bit too quickly for me to be truly invested in them as a couple. Insta-love. I also thought the relationship between Phoenix and Braden's father was a bit weird. No matter how sweet, broken and down-on-her-luck and girl is, I don't think there are many doctors that would invite said girl to live with them. A lot of this logic didn't make sense to me. It was very fairy-tale like and it just didn't fit with my construction of reality. There were also some writing issues that I had problems with. Some of the dialogue was what I consider unrealistic, and there were parts of this book that didn't flow - choppy sentences and paragraphs abound.
Here's the big thing, though. There's a HUGE twist at the end of this book. I knew there was a funky ending, but I couldn't for the life of me figure out what was going on in this book. Kudos to S.A. Rolls for totally pulling the rug out from under me. I was shocked at the ending and I never saw it coming. Although I was immediately impressed with the ending, the longer I thought about it, the more I wasn't a fan of it. Everyone likes a twisty book - this just seemed too much for me. The entire book was based on this twist, and I'm still not sure if it was a good think or a bad thing. You'll have to judge for yourself.
As far as debut novels go, this is a pretty good one. Issues aside, I enjoyed the heck out of this book and the characters' journey from broken to mostly whole. I would definitely recommend this book to new adult fans who like a different type of story. This was a unique read and I look forward to reading more from this author in the future.
S.A. Rolls is a native of the Bay Area, where she attended culinary school and obtained a degree in baking and pastry. When she is not baking, she spends her time reading and writing. Stephanie reads anything – from biographies of her favorite president to the most popular YA series. Inspired by her surroundings, she has written her first novel, based in San Francisco, her favorite city. She currently lives
with her boyfriend and their five-year-old pug.