Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Release Day Blitz: The Destiny of Violet and Luke, by Jessica Sorensen


Luke Price's life has always been about order, control, and acting tough on the outside. For Luke, meaningless relationships are a distraction-a way to tune out the twisted memories of his childhood. He desperately wishes he could forget his past, but it haunts him no matter what he does.

Violet Hayes has had a rough life. When she was young, she was left with no family and the memory of her parents' unsolved murders. She grew up in foster homes, living with irresponsible parents, drugs, and neglect, and trying to fight the painful memories of the night her parents were taken from her. But it's hard to forget when she never got closure-and she can't stop dreaming about what happened that tragic night. To make it through life, she keeps her distance from everyone and never allows herself to feel anything.

Then Violet meets Luke. The two clash instantly, yet they can't seem to stay away from each other. Although they fight it, they both start to open up and feel things they've never felt before. They discover just how similar they are. But they also discover something else: The past always catches up with you . . .


She reaches for my fries with an undecided look on her face. “So I have a question.”
“About you.”
I slowly chew my food. “I’m not really sure I want to hear your question now.”
She picks a pickle off of her burger, pulling a repulsed face. “Well, I’m still going to ask it.”
I grab a handful of fries from the tray that’s on the table between us. “Go ahead and ask but it doesn’t mean I’ll answer.”
She props her elbows onto the table with her burger in her hand. “Why haven’t you ever talked to me before? I mean, we’ve walked past each other probably a hundred times, but never so much as acknowledged each other and then suddenly you’re stalking me.”
I pick up my soda and sip from the straw. “First off, I’m not stalking you. I just can’t seem to get rid of you.”
“You didn’t have to stop to pick me up.”
“Yeah, I did.”
“Why? You don’t know me—you’re in no way obligated to help me.”
“I know, but I wanted to.”
I shrug, setting my drink down. “Why not?”
She gives me a funny look, like I’m the most confusing person in the world, when really she should be looking at herself like that. “I don’t get it. Why would someone like you help someone like me?”
I open up the bun of my chicken sandwich to pick the tomato off. “What do you mean someone like me and someone like you?”
She points at me. “You as in a football player who has friends.” Then she points at herself. “And me as in the loner girl who could probably kick your ass.”
I choke on a laugh and my mouth full of food almost shoots out of my nose. “You could not kick my ass,” I cough, and then take a swallow of my drink.
She scans me over while scooping up some fries. “I beg to differ. I think you’re not as tough as you try to look.”
“Do you really?” If only she knew what really lay inside me. “Because most people think I am and for a good reason.”
“I think it’s all for show,” she replies nonchalantly and I can’t tell if she’s being serious or not. “I think that deep down you’re just a softy.”
“Are you trying to pick a fight with me right now?” I set my sandwich down on the tray and crack my knuckles. “Because I’m not going to fight a girl.”
“That’s such a typical guy answer.” She hurries and takes a drink, but I detect a hint of a smile before her lips wrap around the straw.
“You know what I think?” I cross my arms on the table and lean in, cocking my head to the side as I observe her closely. “I think you like arguing with me and that’s why you’re bringing this up.”
Her shoulders lift and descend as she takes a bite of her hamburger. “Maybe, but maybe I’m being serious.”
“You know that as a football player I have to tackle guys, right? It takes strength to do that.”
“Maybe you just run, though,” she counters. “Maybe you’re just good at running.”
The way she says it reminds me so much of my past and it’s like a kick to the stomach. “Maybe I’m not, though. Maybe I suck at running.” I sound choked and I decide it’s time to cut this conversation short, my brain seeking that potent taste of Jack and Tequila mixed with nicotine. I glance at my watch, pretending to check the time. “I just remembered that I have to meet Kayden somewhere in like a half an hour, so I’m going to have to take you back.”
She balls up the wrapper for her hamburger, acting nonchalant, but her shoulders are stiff. “Sounds good to me. I was done anyway.” She seems irritated and I have no idea why, other than she seems to be able to read through my bullshit and test me, which most people can’t and won’t even try. I’m supposed to be a closed book. A mystery. That way no one can see who I really am. It’s the way I’ve been living for years and it’s comfortable. Not ideal, but nothing is ideal.
We don’t talk as I collect our garbage and then walk next to her as she limps out to my truck. I try to offer her my arm and open the door for her, but she denies my offer, moving to the opposite door and pushing it open.
During the car ride, she barely says two words to me. I should be happy about it. That way there’s no room for sudden questions and statements that will set me off, however I find myself missing the bantering thing we had going and the way she pushed my buttons. By the time I drop her off, all I want to do is ask her to stay, talk some more, let me get to know her. But I don’t understand why. I’ve never wanted to get to know anyone before. I’ve never even been out on a date. Each woman I’ve been with, I’ve only been with once. Just sex. That’s all it’s ever about. And I’ve never wanted anything more.

Until now.

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4 out of 5 stars

When I heard Luke, Kayden's best friend from the Coincidence of Callie and Kayden series, was getting his own story I was intrigued.  I've always enjoyed Jessica Sorensen's stories and was excited when I received the arc of The Destiny of Violet and Luke.

Before beginning this book I didn't really know much about Luke, but the story wastes no time cluing readers into the harsh reality of his childhood.  A time when he felt weak, abandoned, forced into things he wanted no part of.  Now, as a college freshman Luke is still just as miserable, still hiding from his mother, using sex and alcohol as a means of escape.  He works hard to keep people at a distance, never allowing anyone close enough to discover his secrets to see who is really is.  I'm not even sure Luke knows himself or what he wants out of life.  He likes order and being able to control his situations and environments.  

Violet, is a tough chick with an equally hard childhood.  One tragic night changed the course of her entire life.  She bounced from foster home to foster home, always feeling scared and alone.  With no one to show her love, compassion or understanding she learned very quickly not to depend on anyone but herself.  Now as a college freshman, Callie's roommate in fact, she does her best to make a life for herself, to keep the demons of her past in the past and to live life the only way she knows how…alone with strong walls to keep others from getting too close.  I think it's a form of self-preservation because she isn't sure she can take any more loss.

Then one night Violet literally comes crashing into Luke's life.  These two are a match!  They are both strong-willed, stubborn individuals.  They want to resist one another but there seems to be this magnetic pull neither-one can figure out.  As much as they want to stay un-involved and distant it proves to be impossible.  So what will happen…will they allow themselves to open up to one another?  Will they begin to depend on one-another?  Or, will they figure out they are more alike than they every thought possible and if that happens how big will the fallout be?

I have to confess that I was able to predict what was going to happen even before the story revealed my hunch was correct.  However, that being said it didn't deter me from finishing.  I found myself enjoying watching their interactions, watching them slowly grow closer, watching the chemistry build and build. What I enjoyed most was their back and forth banter as well as their inner emotional turmoil.  Knowing all along that together they have the potential to save one another, while at the same time bring a seriously strong force of destruction to their lives.  I did enjoy the book, and I do recommend you reading it for yourself.  There isn't much interaction from Callie or Kayden, but Seth is around and he is as fabulous as ever!  All that being said, you can certainly expect a bit of a cliffhanger.  If I had any complaints it would be that I was sad the book ended when it did, I was really enjoying the pace and then bam (and no, knowing it's coming doesn't make it any less sad when it does).  Obviously, I will be counting down the days until I can get my hands on the conclusion to Violet and Luke's story!

About Author Jessica Sorensen
The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Jessica Sorensen, lives with her husband and three kids. When she's not writing, she spends her time reading and hanging out with her family.

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