Jun 28, 2013

Every Rose *Spotlight*

What do you do when you realize you were foolish enough to throw away true, unconditional love?
Lorraina Dabney turns her back on her creativity and tumultuous upbringing to embark on a college career that will lead her to law school and to becoming what she values most in life—a controlled, powerful, respected woman. When she stumbles upon her childhood friend's artwork, she feels inspired to reconnect with him and her former self.  This onslaught of emotion will send Lorraina into a tale-spin to figure out exactly why she abandoned all that she was, all that she could've been.

Coming from his own chaotic upbringing, Michael falls quickly and deeply in love with Lorraina at a tender age. Even her rejection can't stand in the way of his obsession. When she starts to date other boys, however, Michael finally relents, causing him to spiral further into a world filled with violence, drugs, alcohol, and women. Realizing his lifestyle will only lead to his further estrangement from Lorraina, Michael sets about to turn himself around before going to get his girl.
Michael Bang will have Lorraina questioning everything.

Every Rose has been updated to include an epilogue and bonus material. Of course, readers who already own a copy can update their version on Amazon and Smashwords. Anyone who is unable to do this will be able to read on my web pagewww.lynettahalat.com. 

Michael shakes his head and grins at me. I fight the sudden urge to run my hands through that silky midnight hair of his. “Always so quick to label and categorize.  I guess that’s what will make you an excellent attorney. Assess. Label. Categorize. Add up the W’s. ” He leans in a little and whispers, “How about we just go with the flow? See where it leads us. Label later?” He raises his brows, offering my type-A dominant personality a direct challenge.

Caution to the wind, very atypical for me, I reply, “OK. I’m up for it.” Challenge accepted. “You?” Challenge returned.

“You bet, Lorraina,” he rasps softly.

He leans into my door and places his hands on top of mine. I’m suddenly quite anxious and ever so grateful for the door between us. My hands get clammy and my heart races. Blood races and pounds in my ears, making me feel very much awake now. One hand moves up to brush my hair from my forehead and moves down feather light until his knuckles brush across my cheekbone and lips. He pulls his thumb slowly across my lips. It’s excruciating. It’s exquisite.

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My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There are those books that exist to teach you something about life and for me this book is one of them....

My heart is having a hard time right now. I literally finished Every Rose moments ago. Go buy the book, grab a box of tissues, and cuddle up because Lynetta is going to take you on a roller coaster. Enjoy the review and book while I go drown in cookie dough ice cream, kiss my husband, and remember that life is too short to take people for granted!

The book is not smutty and it isn't about battling love even though that does happen while Lorraina writes the journal. While alcohol, drugs, and fighting are mentioned in the story it does not revolve around them.

I'm going to use a lot of quotes because this book had some amazing ones.

The story:
Lynetta writes the story from Lorraina's POV. She uses memories Lorraina writes to help piece the story of Michael and Lorraina together while also presenting the story in the present tense. She gives enough of the past to make you fall in love in the present.

My review of Every Rose:

“No, Lorraina,” he replies thoughtfully. “You should call me Michael.” Confused, I ask, “Why’s that?”
“Because you’re not everyone.”

Meet Lorraina:

...a girl once in denial

Lorraina is a beautiful girl with blonde hair to her waist and deep emerald green eyes. She is from a poor family in town. Her father is a drunk and ultimately someone to despise. Lorraina loves Michael being her best friend. Her fear of more leads her to tumble into the numbness she calls life. Lorraina's life isn't perfect and she has thorns. It is her journey of awakening and self discovery that Every Rose will follow.

Meet Michael:

...a boy who everyone considers a lost cause.

Michael is the bad boy with really black hair, dark skin, and deep brown eyes. His heritage includes American Indian-Choctaw. He gets in fights, doesn't study in school, and drinks. He is considered trash having an abusive and alcoholic father, but that isn't who he truly is. Michael is poetic and artistic. He is a talented singer and guitarist. Michael loves Lorraina deeply from a young age and tells her that he is going to marry her.

The journey of love:

“I will never… You will never… We will NEVER be anything other than friends.” ~Lorraina

“I can’t stand by and watch him use and discard you.” ~Michael
“Well, you’re in luck!” I snap. “You don’t have to. We aren’t even a part of each other’s lives anymore. We just need to wish each other well and forget about each other.” ~Lorraina

I had been more loved and cherished than probably any other person had ever been. Instead of wrapping myself in all of this and reveling in those feelings, I had taken his love and acceptance and affection, balled them up with both hands, and tossed them aside as I had all of declarations. I’d been such a fool. ~Lorraina

I’ve dreamt of nothing but you and having you and making you mine.” ~Michael

“My plan has always been to find my way back to you. I never gave up on you, ya know? I guess the old adage is true…‘ If you love someone, set her free. If she returns, it was meant to be.'" ~Michael

"I’ve realized that I have to be with you and only you." ~Lorraina

The gazebo on the lake.... Perfection!

[ It’s a gorgeous pearl. I never even knew I liked pearls until I saw this one. The band is made of silver or white gold. I’m not exactly sure. As the band sweeps up to join the pearl, it’s divided into three little rows of tiny diamonds. It’s simple. It’s exquisite. It’s him. It’s me. It’s perfect. (hide spoiler)]

I love the journal entries as a way to get to know the events that happened in the past. They help show all of those details without having a book that is long and drawn out. I also appreciated them because they showed Lorraina as the writer she is and is meant to be.

The Christmas present... Hands down the best I have heard of. They understand each other so well.

*~*~* I had a moment of screamin'... WAIT, WHAT??!!? *~*~

But then I went on and rode the rest of the ride....

Carved on the little tree are our initials. I run my finger over the design. The raised oak makes up a combination of our initials. In the middle is an M. On one side is a backwards L conjoined with the M and on the other side of the M is a forward facing L. He had made our initials mirror images of one another. I marvel at them until I can barely see them.

......*Michael*...... ......*Lorraina*......

He will be with me in almost every way possible— forever.

Will Michael and Lorraina embrace their thorns? Will their love be enough to overcome them? There will be love, loss, abuse, alcohol, and an overall emotional story that I guarantee has its surprises.

Michael's swoon worthy moments:

*I glance out and see my name spray painted on the road in front of the bus with hearts all around it.*

*“I’ll never forget this moment here with you, ya know?” ~Lorraina
“I’ve never forgotten any moment I’ve spent with you. A couple of them I tried to forget because of my stupidity but couldn’t quite manage it because, however stupid I was, you had starred in that memory.” ~Michael*

*"Don’t give up on me.”
“Never,” he promises.*

He turns and takes two long strides back to me. This time when he grasps my head it’s anything but gentle. He pulls my lip in and nudges my lips open with his. All rational thought escapes me. I mirror his grasp and enjoy the fullness I feel with him in my mouth. I give as good as I get. This kiss is nothing like our two before. I savor it.
When he turns to walk away, I release a long pent up breath. If he would’ve looked back, he would’ve seen that I was the one on my knees now.

The title:

He was too cute talking about getting what your heart desires only to realize that it doesn’t come without a price. “Even the most beautiful flower, the rose,” he argued, “has the thorn that makes it imperfect.” I argued that the thorns were what made the rose so beautiful. Without the thorn, the rose wouldn’t be as magnificent as it was.

[ Without Michael bringing Lorraina back to life and her reliving her past and dealing with it to then lose Michael again(the thorns), this story wouldn't have been the same and it wouldn't have been "as magnificent as it was" (hide spoiler)]
I LOVED the prologue too. Some prologues make absolutely no sense with a story. Not only did this one draw me in, but in hindsight it was very fitting.

Final thoughts:

My heart... My heart was rooting for this couple. I normally love the alpha male, but Michael's sweet sincerity and love for Lorraina attracted me to him and made me feel connected. I loved them reconnecting and everything being right with the world, but then again nothing ever is truly perfect. I literally read some pages towards the end thinking "Wait...what?" I even said, "No, no, no" and had my toddler thinking he was in trouble.

I took this story to heart. I met my husband when I was 16 and he was 19. I knew him for 3 days when he told me he was going to marry me. I thought he was crazy... and still do truthfully... but I wasted a lot of time running from him and dating others determined to keep him in the "friend zone" so relating to Lorraina and Michael was easy. I'm going to hug him and tell him I love him for everything he adds to my life. All of it far outweighs the irritation I felt this morning when he once again failed to put his cereal spoon in the silverware strainer. Just as Lorraina assessed her life for its importance I also plan to look closer at what I want from life.

Lynetta wrote a fabulous first book. Congratulations on this great novel that I'm sure readers will thoroughly enjoy.

For as long as she can remember, Lynetta Halat has lived to read and has written countless stories and plays since she was a young girl. A teacher by day and an avid reader and closet writer by night, she has always dreamt of penning books that people could connect with and remember; and her first novel, Every Rose, is the perfect catalyst to launch her into the world of publishing. Her love of the English language prompted her to pursue a master's degree in English from Old Dominion University in Virginia. A self-proclaimed "Coast Girl," she lives in Mississippi with her adorable husband, two amazing sons, and two loveable dogs. She is currently at work on her second book.

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