Release Date ~ April 25th
Author: L.B. Simmons
☆✮ Synopsis ✮☆
For some, it’s simply one of life’s certainties, nothing more. For others, it’s merely a fleeting thought, one often overshadowed by the reckless delusion that they have been blessed with the gift of immortality.
For Aubrey Miller, death is the definition of her very existence. Overcome with the guilt resulting from the loss of her beloved family, she alters her appearance from the once beautiful, blonde-haired, blue-eyed little girl to that of one shrouded in complete darkness, enveloping herself in her own unbreakable fortress of solitude as a form of protection for others.
As she enters her first year of college, her goal is simple: Earn a degree with the least amount of social interaction as possible. What she never anticipates is the formation of very unlikely relationships with two people who will change her life in ways she never believed possible: Quinn Matthews, the boisterous former pageant queen, and Kaeleb McMadden, a childhood friend from her past who never really let her go.
Over the years, as their connections intertwine and grow, a seemingly indestructible bond is formed between the three…
But when death painfully reemerges, Aubrey is lost once again, burying herself deeper than ever before inside the familiar fortification of her fears.
Will the refuge of friendship, the solidarity of life-long bonds, and the power of unconditional love be enough to do the impossible?
Will they be enough to finally bring about…
The Resurrection of Aubrey Miller?
“Thank you so much, Quinn. This day has been…unbelievable. And I owe it all to you. You have no idea.” My voice trembles a bit with the admission, because she really has no idea what she’s done for me today.
I feel normal.
A normal girl, about to have a normal birthday celebration with her friends, in a normal (albeit spectacular) dress, with normal hair and make-up.
The only thing that’s missing is a pair of normal shoes.
“Shoes! I need shoes!” I exclaim.
“No, you don’t.” Quinn giggles and reaches for the knob of my bedroom door.
“What? Why wouldn’t I need shoes?”
That makes no sense.
She’s drunker than I thought.
That’s it, I’m officially hiding the champagne.
“You’ll see,” she says just as there’s a knock at the front door.
She winks. “Trust me. Just, stay in here. Don’t come out until someone comes to get you.”
After Quinn quietly shuts the door behind her, I remain seated. As the sounds of Kaeleb’s murmur filters into my room, a nervous excitement flitters through my belly and spreads into my chest. My joy takes flight and I breathe in deeply, contentment pumping enthusiastically with each thrumming heartbeat.
Damn, it feels good to be alive.
I don’t have to wait for long. After a very loud squeal from Quinn in the other room, there’s a knock at my door. My pulse kicks up and I rise from the bed, smoothing out my dress. With a glance in the mirror, I pluck a couple of sections of my new hair with my fingers and set them back into place. “Come in,” I remark, turning in the direction of the door.
The handle turns and as Kaeleb pokes his head around the corner, his eyes find mine. His eyebrows rise as his mouth falls slightly open, and he breaks my gaze as his focus shifts to take in my hair, my exposed neck and the line of my dress. He holds his stare briefly at the crystalline sash lining my waist, and then slowly drifts down to my smoothly-shaven legs and perfectly painted toenails. The left side of his mouth quirks up as he clears his throat, frozen in place. He tears his scrutiny away from my feet to fully step into the room, then turns away from me to shut the door.
I take advantage of the 1.5 seconds his back is turned, and survey him from head to toe. His light-blue button-up is folded to his elbows, displaying the prominence of the flexed muscles along his forearms. As he places both palms on the door and leans into them, his shirt rides up enough for me to see the designs on the back pockets of his dark jeans. They hug his ass perfectly, and for the first time in my life, I want to slide my hands right into those pockets just to feel the hardness of his toned body.
My fingers itch with the need to touch him, but I maintain control while Kaeleb braces against the door, inhaling and exhaling deeply. He stays planted there for a few more seconds until I suddenly begin to feel self-conscious. I run my hands over my hair and dress to make sure everything is as it should be.
Just as I start to ask him if he’s all right, he whips around with a full smile on his face. A few long strides later, and he’s standing right in front of me. Raising both hands, he traces the tips of his fingers along the sides of my cheeks, leaving a scorching trail as they run down my neck and thread themselves into the hair at my nape. With his thumbs underneath my chin, he tilts my head back and looks me directly in the eyes.
“You look amazing, Sunshine. Truly breathtaking.” His head dips slightly and he runs his lips tentatively along mine, the movement so sensual I can’t keep my hands off of him any longer. Fisting his shirt in my hands, I pull him into me and press my mouth hard against his, the need to taste him overriding my caution. A whimper rises in my throat and escapes into his mouth as his tongue slides in between my lips, slowly and deliberately, taking his time to stroke and caress mine. His hold tightens as his fingers curl deeper into my hair, the tinge of pain sending shockwaves of pleasure coursing through my body until they land right in between my legs, the throbbing sensation growing with each strike.
After another gentle sweep of his tongue, he lessens the kiss and pulls back slightly. His lips brush against mine before they slide over to the corner of my mouth, up along my cheek, and then rest them against my ear as he breathes, “Happy birthday. The dress is phenomenal.”
The simplicity of living astounds me.
But it's the terror of death that devours me.
This story was a very emotional read and I sobbed multiple times in this story, it was gut wrenchingly sad in many parts. I have to say L.B. Simmons has quite the mind because this story blew me away... I would love to one day walk in the mind of many authors and L.B. would be one of those. This story is told in Aubrey's POV and was told beautifully. I would recommend this to just about anyone I come in contact with. Its a 5 outstanding stars!
Aubrey Miller AKA Raven is a deeply broken girl that fights her way through darkness that has engulfed her from a young age, she is determined to believe that she is the reason for so many deaths that have occurred around her, so she masks her pain with her image. She is starting college and is scared to death of what might happen, when she finally starts to bring some light back into her darkness it takes her under again, can she survive if another deaths happens around her or will she just block everyone out that cares about her? Can she fight the darkness and finally have the sunshine even though she feels she doesn't deserve this, can her friend Kaeleb and Quinn help her through or do they have to many demons of there own to live with?
I don't want to give away too much with my review.. but I will tell you this bring a box of tissues and even though its a dark story there is romance and swoon worthy men namely Kaeleb , so get ready to get your heart broken multiple times and mended in the end because yes my dear fans of SDBB there is most definitely and HEA!
Here are some little excerpts:
Kaeleb- "Some would say that I really haven't dealt with my anger. That I haven't forgiven myself for leaving her with them. Some might even say that I use women to help alleviate some of that guilt, to take some of that pain away and forget, even if it's only for the night. But regardless of what I do, It always remains."
"As long as you continue to travel through life in this darkness, you will never know how beautiful your light truly shines when you let yourself love and be loved. Trust me when I say, it's a breathtaking sight to see. You burn as bright as the sun." He dips his head and peers at me from under his lashes, " You see, I found the strength and courage to fight my demons because of how brightly you shined. I hope that one day you'll find that source of light and let it heal you, too. Because if you do, it will illuminate your path and eventually lead you home. To me."
Aubrey- Every being in this world makes and impact on at least one person they encounter during their lifetime. You can change the course of someone's life by just a kind word, a hateful one, or even by simply choosing not to say anything at all. Every choice you make has potential to create a ripple effect, trickling into and affecting the lives of others. Life, your existence in this world, is indeed a very powerful thing. Truly a gift that you can give to others.
Without heartache, there is no understanding of the true meaning of love. Without anger, passion cannot be comprehended. Without fear, there is nothing gained when over come. And without sorrow, happiness can never be realized.
First off this book was a 10 star read for me. Yes, a 10 star!! I fell in love with every single character in this story. Aubrey/Raven, Kaeleb, Linda, and Quinn. This book touched on many heartfelt topics. Depression, suicide, death, eating disorders, and loss and protection of one's self to protect others. This book hit home for me on so many levels, I know that is why I cried so many times reading it and why my family looked at me like I lost my mind while I was reading it and while writing this review. LOL But until you read this book, you won't fully understand.
Aubrey, at a young age experiences things that no child should have to witness or go through. Death of several loved ones. That is why she disappears within herself and creates "Raven." Changes her appearance, cuts herself off emotionally from anyone and everyone, even her guardian Linda. When we meet her in the book, it is her freshman year of college. Raven is forced into situations that cause her to slowly chip away at that part of her and "resurrect" Aubrey piece by piece.
"I look like a freak. Sometimes I wonder if I overdid the attempt to deter anyone and everyone from ever getting near me. Well, if the piercings don't work, the cat eyes should definitely get my point across." ~~~Raven
Kaeleb, a piece of Aubrey's past, is key to helping her find herself again. He refuses to lose Aubrey again. She is his "Sunshine."
"He leans into me and peers into my eyes as he states, 'I'll help you get lost any time, Sunshine. The only deal you have to promise to come back. I never want to lose you again."~~~Kaeleb.
Quinn. Well, Quinn is Aubrey's college roommate that has warmed her way into Aubrey's heart. Quinn is fighting her own demons and the three of them work together to fight them.
"Sometimes in life, there are these random moments when everything just clicks. When all the moments of your fractured past just fall together, merging in your mind to form a lucid image of your future. Each mistake made becomes a vital piece as it serves whatever purpose necessary to complete the picture as a whole and suddenly everything becomes so clear." ~~~Aubrey
This quote rings so true. I don't want to give too much more away. Just note that this is an emotional ride, but you will NOT be disappointed. L.b. Simmons is an amazing writer and the way she wrote it, amazing!! You as a reader, will not be disappointed with this book.
☆✮About L.B. Simmons ✮☆
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.