Book Reviews, Release Blitz

Release Blitz, Review, & Giveaway: Drowning, by Hope Jones

 

Title: Drowning
Author: Hope Jones
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 2, 2020

 

Blurb 
Imagine orchestrating your divorce under false pretenses.
That’s precisely what Cecilia Topps did. After receiving a disturbing diagnosis, Cecilia felt like she was drowning, unable to take a breath. She didn’t want to bring her
husband down with her, so she created a damaging lie.
Cameron Topps had been going through the motions for seven years. The betrayal he felt from his wife left him numb and unable to love again. His indifference led to hatred when he walked into his bar, seeing his wife again after unknowingly hiring
her.
Secrets are exposed, lines are crossed, and Cameron finally learns the truth about his divorce. Is he willing to drown with Cecilia all over again, or will he move on
for good?

 

**My Review**
Welcome to my stop on the release blitz tour for Hope Jones’ latest novel, Drowning. I will warn you ahead of time that I’m a bit all over the place on my thoughts about this book, but I wasn’t able to put it down as soon as I had read the first page. 
The book begins with a very tense prologue between husband and wife, Cameron and Cecilia, and appears to be the end of the marriage. The novel then moves forward about 7 years where Cameron is opening his own night club and Cecilia is a sought-after mixologist. Unknowingly, Cameron’s manager books an appointment with Cecilia, so the exes are thrown together after years of not seeing or communicating with one another – and it doesn’t go well. But soon, curiosity and desire get the best of Cameron and he decides to move forward with their working relationship. Although they quickly realize that all of the old feelings and chemistry is still there between them. 
I loved Cameron and think he should win book husband/ex-husband of the year award. This man is hurt terribly and has been dealing with that hurt and anger for years when Cecilia suddenly re-enters his life. Moreover, I like how he handled things after learning the truth about their divorce. As other secrets came out, he probably could have handled those a little better, but overall, that man was devoted, committed, patient, kind, and every other positive adjective I can think of.
Now here’s the part where I predict my thoughts are in the minority based on some other reviews that I have read. And I am doing everything in my power not to give anything away. But as a person that has spent most of their adult life working with children, adolescents, and adults with Celilia’s illness, I found her actions a bit over the top. Based on the blurb, you know she lies to Cameron to make him walk away, thinking that she’s sparing him this miserable and difficult life with her. Then her later actions were even more mind-blowing to me. According to a January 2020 fact sheet on WHO’s website, more than 264 million people worldwide of all ages suffer from the same illness as Cecilia and I just started to imagine, what if everyone had her same reaction to a problem? I am in no way diminishing the seriousness because again, in some capacity or another, I have worked with people suffering from this disease in varying degrees of severity since I was in college (many years ago, lol).
Anyway, moving on and remembering that this is, in fact, a fiction novel, I will get back to what I loved about Drowning. This book is full of emotion, chemistry, and of course – love. The connection between Cameron and Cecilia is evident very early on and you will be rooting for them from the beginning to the end. Secondly, I love the creativity that went into this book. The plot, the characters, the storyline – even Cecilia’s job. I love it when I read something fresh and different that doesn’t feel like a different version of a story I’ve heard a million times. But one of the most remarkable things about Drowning is Hope Jones’ writing style. This is her 3rd novel, but her writing reads like someone that has been doing this for years. Her language, dialogue, and descriptors read like a very well-oiled machine, with a perfect balance of characterization to truly bring them all to life. This book is emotional but romantic. It’s suspenseful but comes with a very satisfying conclusion. I definitely recommend this to contemporary/second-chance romance fans that want a bit more substance. This isn’t a quick and easy read, but you will enjoy it. 
**Don’t forget the Kleenex with this one!
Purchase Links
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Free in Kindle Unlimited
Excerpt
Prologue
“I’m sorry.” My words were muffled by the hiccup of tears
and snot running down my face. I tilted my eyes down. I couldn’t look at him.
My poor, sweet Cam. He would never forgive me. I knew this. It was what I
wanted. 
I wanted—no, needed him to walk out our
front door and not look back. I needed him to hate me. 
“You’re sorry? That’s what you have to say?” He was calm, so
damn calm it physically made me sick. I knew it was because he was hurting. I
knew that hurt was eating him alive. 
I couldn’t say anything past the lump in my throat, so I
nodded instead.
Cam looked at me, looked through me and for
a moment, I was worried he would see that I was lying and try to demand the
truth from me. I would deny it. I didn’t want him to know the truth. I wanted
him to think I had done the unthinkable, done something he’d never be able to
get over. 
My beautiful, broken husband stared into my eyes for two
solid minutes without flinching. He said absolutely nothing. His gaze flitted
between both of my eyes, then down to my nose, my lips, lingering there, then
finally back to my eyes. I bit my lip nervously, waiting for him to say “Ah-ha”
and catch me in my lie. 
Cam never did, though. I wasn’t going to deny it made me a
little upset that he didn’t know me well enough to know I was lying. I wanted
to take back the words that had left my mouth five minutes ago. I wanted to
take back the entire day, but it wasn’t possible, and I needed to accept what
my new life was going to look like. 
“I can’t even look at you,” Cam muttered, turning away from
me. I caught the curled lip and glare on his face before his back was facing
me. Hurt so strong filled my chest and made it feel like it would explode and
not in a good way. 
God, the pain was so bad. 
I had to rub my chest, right above my heart, but it didn’t
ease the ache I had put there. 
Cameron, the man I had married two years ago, grabbed his
coat off the hook in the foyer and opened the front door. He turned around,
glancing at me one last time. That last time was enough to make a sob escape my
throat. He had a single tear running down his face then splashing on his broad
shoulders. 
I had never seen him cry before. Not when his mother died,
not when we had to put down our first dog, and not when we had gotten married.
Never. That lonely tear trekking down his cheek broke me and I knew, down in
my bones, I would never be the same after putting that tear
there. 
I didn’t speak a word and Cam walked out, slamming the door
behind him, making me jump. I finally crumpled, falling into the fetal position
on the couch and crying until I couldn’t breathe. I had done this to myself. I
knew it had to be done, but that didn’t make it easier. 
Two hours later, he hadn’t come back and I knew he wasn’t
going to. He wouldn’t come back until he knew I was gone. I had packed the
majority of my stuff, placing the few boxes in my small car. I only took my
clothes. I didn’t feel right taking anything we had gotten together when we
moved into this house. 
Glancing around the place I had shared with my husband for
the last year, I felt a level of sadness that I didn’t know I would continue to
feel for six months. It settled over my shoulder like a blanket, except it was
cold—a cold blanket of nastiness. 
At least that blanket wouldn’t be wrapped around Cameron. He
didn’t deserve that. 
I fired off a text to him, locked our front door and left
the key on the porch, then backed my car out of our driveway for the last
time. 
Me: I’m so sorry, I never meant to hurt you. I
love you and always will. 
I didn’t speak to Cameron again until two months later after
a stranger showed up on my doorstep serving me with divorce papers. I could
have let those papers kill me, but I knew it was Cameron’s best chance at a
decent life, so I went to the court dates. I didn’t fight him. He petitioned
for everything except my car. I gave him everything. That’s what he
deserved. 
Author Bio
Hope Jones is the wife of her very own alpha male and the mother of four
beautiful daughters. She lives in a small town in South Carolina, but was born
in Brunswick, GA. She’s always had a love for reading, even at a young age
thrillers always interested her. As she got older, romance mixed with some
thriller/suspense became her obsession.
If you can’t find Hope glued to her Kindle, you’ll usually find her
chasing her girls around, running her hectic household, and plotting stories
for the alpha men that have taken over her mind.

 

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**Giveaway**
  • $30 Amazon Gift Card

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