Book Reviews

Book Review: Losing London by Joey Jones

Good afternoon, Arrowheads! Several months back, my cousin-in-law (pretty sure that’s a made up word, but anyway 😋) told me about a new author who is similar to Nicholas Sparks in that he writes romance books based in North Carolina. So of course, being the hopeless romantic North Carolinian that I am, I was completely down for trying one of his books. And. I. Am. So. Glad. I. Did. Get ready to hear me rave about the heartbreaking love story that is Losing London by Joey Jones!

LosingLondon

Okay, so now that I’m emotionally stable (since this book is quite honestly the saddest story I’ve ever encountered), I can at last write a review.

At first, I was a bit wary. I mean, what if the book ended up reading like a cheap imitation of Sparks? Well, I’m ecstatic to inform everyone that Joey Jones is a brilliant, talented author who wholeheartedly deserves to be ranked in high esteem on his own merit.

In comparison to Sparks, Jones chose a setting in eastern North Carolina, in the town of Emerald Isle and wrote a romance; however, the author’s description of the more heated romance scenes aren’t described in detail as much as some of Sparks’s novels, and he uses much cleaner language. I don’t recall seeing a cuss word in the entire book, which is rare for romance geared at a general audience.

One aspect I liked most about the book was its subtle message of Christianity. Although Losing London is not marketed as Christian fiction, the characters’ relationship with and thoughts on God are inspiring. I also loved the fact that while the couple stumbles into sin, the characters later realize the error of their ways and make efforts to do what’s right in the sight of God. It was endearing to see a romance novel address this topic!

Now that I’ve rambled on for a few paragraphs about vague components of the novel, let’s get to the real review!

What I Loved:

The Characters:  Even when Mitch was struggling spiritually at the beginning of the book, I fell head-over-heels for his characterization. Mitch Quinn is the epitome of a gentleman (minus one scene, but he redeems himself later). His selflessness and love for his adopted daughter, Hannah, made him a stand-out male lead that I won’t soon forget. Although Harper made me ill because she chose to withhold information from him, I could understand why she chose to do so. The secondary characters also brought life to the novel.

The Plot:  This author knows how to formulate a brilliant plot and execute it in a way that leaves the reader both emotionally ruined yet begging for more. About halfway through I thought I had figured out the ending… nope. Nope. Not at all. I wasn’t prepared for all that one bit. 😭 And even though the plot shattered my heart, it was still amazing.

Literally Everything:  I apologize for being so vague in writing this review, but there are so many aspects I feel need to be kept quiet as to not spoil anything for other readers. But truly, to me, this is one of those books that are difficult to pinpoint just why you love it so much. There’s no real specific thing… just everything. ❤️ Although I did ADORE the mentions of bowling, Snoopy, and teddy bears. Those are my life. 😂

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 stars (An entire galaxy of stars)


Thanks for stopping by, Arrowheads! Be sure to check back here on Mondays for special character interviews this month with characters from my soon-to-be released middle grade novel, Speak Your Mind!

Later Arrowheads,

-Allyson 😀

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Flash Fiction

Flash Fiction Friday: Step One

Hey there, Arrowheads! Today I’ve got another Flash Fiction Friday story for you! This one actually came about back in May, and I’ve been meaning to post it for awhile. I hope you enjoy this sweet tale of a couple daydreaming about a future together! ❤

StepOne

He wanted to buy a house. He was skimming online realty sites, showing her pictures of potential houses. As he chatted on about how much potential he saw in the weathered barn behind one particular house, her mind swam with visions of them playing Chip and Joanna Gaines, working together to fix up the place. Of course, all of this was time away, plans for years to come.

His eyes twinkled as he watched her scroll through the pictures the realty website offered. He could see the wheels turning in her mind: how the house could be decorated; imagining kids running about in the backyard, a puppy at their heels. Cheeks flushing, he wondered if she wanted all that with him.

Catching him out of the corner of her eye, she suppressed a smile, handing his phone back to him. Could he tell how excited she was? Did he know how often their possible future together crossed her mind? After a dozen months together, she knew she loved him. After two dozen, she never wanted to let him go. He was a rarity among the young men she had met in her twenty something years, a diamond in the rough. For months on end she’d daydreamed of all the possible sweet moments to come: getting engaged, their wedding, even waking up at 3:00 a.m. to change their first child’s diapers. All the little things, she wanted to do with him. She wanted to stand beside him at the wedding altar, and beside him at church every Sunday morning after. She wanted to hold his hand in the car every day, even into their seventies. But, she was uncertain about how he felt. He was shy, tentative about talking about the future.

It wasn’t that he was wary of commitment; as long as he had known her, he knew he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her. But, he was a planner, a quiet conspirator who didn’t like to speak ideas into action until he was wholeheartedly sure. Concern etched his mind as he saw her brow furrow, her tell-tale sign of a worried thought.

Maybe it’s time to ease her mind, he thought.

Linking his fingers through hers, he gave her a coy smile, catching her off guard. Clearing his throat, surpassing his nerves, he spoke the promises to come to life.

“You know how your momma never let you and your sister make mud pies?”

She nodded slowly, amused.

“Well,” he said, allowing himself to sink into the depths of her eyes, “when we get married and have kids, promise me there’ll be a lot of mud pies, okay?”

Her eyes lit up, her pent-up smile relinquishing at last. “I promise.”

Filled with joy, he brought her hand to his lips, kissing her knuckles. It was a small inch forward, just a tiptoe on the path God was leading them on, but nevertheless, there was still something amazing about step one.

© Copyright 2018, Allyson Kennedy. All rights reserved.


Thanks for reading, lovely Arrowheads! If you’re in the mood for more Flash Fiction, check out my past posts here!

-Allyson 😀

 

Poems

Poem: Sweet Nothings

Would you rather be with someone who showers you with compliments and sweet sayings, or someone who shows you how much they love you through their everyday actions? Sometimes those sweet sayings turn out to be sweet nothings in the end. Check out a poem I wrote in 2016 inspired by the concept of sweet nothings!

Sweet Nothings

SweetNothings

For two years I was showered with sweet nothings,

Pre-orchestrated lines meant to

Charm the depths of my soul.

I dwelled among the shallow ends

Long enough to prove

A deceived smile will always be cold.

I spent years recovering,

Scrapping a heart back together

While wrangling bits and pieces

From nomads who were willing to kill

For the sake of a good time.

Sweet nothing lines abound

In the undertones of a small town.

I silently waited on my own

After I grew weary of being hunted down,

Secretly hoping to never be found again.

Then I heard the voice of a man of little words,

Enormous heart, truly beating.

For the first time in my life

The sweet nothings of yesteryear began fleeting.

No longer am I haunted by past regrets and destruction.

For the first time I am admired

Without the lies of sweet nothings.

© Copyright 2018, Allyson Kennedy. All rights reserved.

 

Thanks for reading! If you enjoy poetry, be sure to check out my debut novel, Can’t Beat the Heart of a Carolina Girl, which includes a poetry loving main character and four original poems!

-Allyson 😀

Poems

Poem: Revived

Hello again! 🙂 Today I’d like to share a poem with y’all that was inspired by the transition from the single season to falling in love with a guy who finally made me realize love isn’t so hard! So, without further ado, here’s “Revived”:

Revived

Revived

The melody repeated in the background for three years.
Hope. Dreams.
Try. Defeat.
Rejection. Desolation.
Back to square one.

The melody never swayed, always staying the same.
Love. Fall.
They never knew at all.
Isolation. Desperation.
Forever her downfall.

Then the radio dial clicked over. An old familiar song revived.
Fear. Vanquished.
Love at first sight.

© Copyright 2017, Allyson Kennedy. All rights reserved.

Thanks for reading! Y’all come on back, ya hear!

-Allyson 😀