Monday, January 27, 2014

**Hot Pick** Because of Ellison by M. S. Willis

When I was nineteen years old, I lived for sex, drugs and a good party. I had it all - good looks, a fast car and a hot girlfriend. Nothing in life was more important.

That was, until I met Ellison James….

Since the moment I first saw her she was a raging bull; tackling me in the mud and throwing out insults as fast as her tongue could form the sound.

She was snarky
She was rude
And she pissed me off like no other woman could.

I lived beside her for a summer and in the three months that I walked by her side...

She opened my eyes
She changed my life
And she made me a better man.

5 Fantastic Stars
Review by Jen Hagen
I wish I was fluent in enough adjectives to describe this book, but I am speechless other than to say it is beautiful, soul-searching, emotional, and life-changing.  It brought me to tears on several occasions not only because of the content, but because of the emotions that the author can draw along with it.  I’m usually a very quick reader, but in this particular case I savored every word and let the author place me directly into the story and experience it in real time.   I was with the characters on every mile of their journey that they took together, and even apart.   

Hunter is enjoying the summer before he begins college as he has lived his life for the last couple years,

 --full of sex, drugs and partying hard.  His parents are wealthy and have paid no attention to Hunter except for making certain that he lives up to their expectations and puts on the proper fa├žade in front of their peers.  Hunter is a genius and has been accepted on a full scholarship to Harvard.  Hunter has no interests in life other than going to parties and snorting lines.  After one particularly bad night, his parents finally come to the realization that Hunter is taking his life and amenities for granted.  They are sending him off to live with his uncle in the boonies of Florida where they expect him to live in “poverty” conditions and have no access to his money.

Hunter and Ellison butt heads the first time they meet.  She is a spitfire and will not back down from any challenge.  Nobody stands in Ellison’s way, and nobody gets the best of her.   If you think you’ve got the upper hand with Ellison, think again.  It’s best to heed the advice of those who know Ellison up close and personal.  

“I’d let her do what she’s going to do so that you can get it over with as quickly as possible.  It’s kind of like ripping a Band-Aid.  Just let her do what she’s going to do and eventually the sting will go away.”

Ellison is a simple girl who has a great outlook on life.  She basks in the glory of nature and silence and heeds others to do the same.  She expects people to find the better in themselves and to make their life worth living.  Sadly, Ellison has grown up without a mother and knows all too well that life is not a given, and to embrace the joys found in every single day.   

Hunter gets caught up in the aura surrounding Ellison and is transfixed by the way she can take a situation and make you find the reason for being alive.   Hunter wants to be a better person because of Ellison.  She has made him realize that he can’t always think about himself in life, he needs to put others before him and to find what matters in his life.


Nothing was important to me – but me.  And now, Ellison was as well.  I couldn’t ignore that annoying fact, but the epiphany was still the same.  I was wasting my life.  I was filling it up with pointless distractions and I was partying to cover up the boredom and pain I was suffering. 


Although Hunter has this realization, it’s hard to continue to fight when temptation is thrust in your face.  Hunter may think he has changed and can stay away from his indiscretions, but when given the choice to make can he stand on his own to fight the demons away or will the past euphoric feelings overpower him?  Hunter‘s one moment of relapse could threaten all the progress he has made forming a bond with Ellison.


Ellison was the type of girl who gave you one chance – and if you f*cked it up, you might as well pack your sh*t and move along.  And I’d f*cked it up.  Big time.   

I always enjoy hearing a male POV and the majority of this story is told from Hunter’s POV.  He is raw with his thinking, pain evident, and humor plentiful.  He is a stubborn person and he can stand his own against Ellison.  Words can’t break her down, but actions can and he is persistent in his pursuit for forgiveness; and of the greatest gifts that Ellison has given him, it is the art of patience.  Unfortunately time is running short as the summer is almost over.  It’s time for Hunter to head north to Harvard.  Even if Hunter wanted to, Ellison would never let him give up his dreams for her.


“Why can’t I just stay here and love you?” A single tear broke free of my eye.  I felt it make its path down my cheek.  It grew cold against the heat of my skin and my body trembled from the strength it took for me to keep the rest of the tears to follow in its path.  I was pleading with her with that one sentence.


This is the emotion that I love to feel when I read…one tear running down a guy’s face…the epitome of a broken heart made evident by the author’s words and eliciting an equal emotional response from the reader. There are so many tears that you will encounter in their journey.  Some will be Hunter’s, some Ellison’s, and I expect some will be yours.  The epilogue will likely leave you in tears.  It is one of the most beautiful epilogues I have ever read, and I am difficult to please when it comes to epilogues!



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