Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Blog Tour: Under the Influence by LB Simmons


I loved you once. A love I thought irrevocable. A love I mistakenly believed could transcend both time and circumstance. Under the influence of my dimwitted, na├»ve, traitorous heart, I became intoxicated with what I now know was simply a figment of my self-indulgent imagination. So drunk on the feeling, I couldn’t see what was right in front of my face. So foolishly enamored, I blindly followed my heart into the depths of an emotion that would ravage me. 
Years later, I know now what I wish I knew then. I am stronger. Smarter. Tougher. I will not allow myself to be broken again. 
I loved you.
I raged for you.
I wept for you.
And now, I’m letting you go.

Author’s Note:  Under the Influence is the journey of two childhood friends that spans the course of five pivotal years in their lives. It is a story about their discovery of true friendship as it blossoms into first love, their experience of crucial sacrifice and ultimate betrayal, and their endurance of agonizing heartbreak on the way to finding lasting redemption.

5 Amazing Stars!

Review by Allison East

Whenever I read a LB Simmons book, I immediately know a  variety of things. One, that it will be an emotional  journey- one that reduces me to tears, probably several  times- and brings me to the brink of insanity- and then back  again. Two, that I will fall in love with the characters-  main and secondary, and in different ways each time. And  three, that it will teach me something. Something I that I  may have known, but was lying dormant. Or something totally  new and it always humbles me. 

And while Under the Influence is no Aubrey Miller- I  didn't expect it to be. I didn't want it to be.  I wanted to like it for different reasons than I liked Aubrey's  story and I did. Because where would we be if every story  expected from an author was the same? 

I don't lie when I read, I don't like to suck up and brown nose authors whom I like or are friends with, because  everyone deserves the truth, whether or not they choose to  listen to it- is up to them. Did this book grab me up and  swallow me whole like Aubrey- no. But it was written in such  a way that made me FEEL- everything. I was laughing, crying,  and clutching my chest because I couldn't breathe  (which LB reminded me it was important to do). Will I remember this  book forever? ABSOFREAKINGLUTELY. 

"Listen to your heart Spence. Because mine is beating  wildly inside your chest. I am with you. Always."

The main characters are Spencer and Dalton. And what a wild  ride their lives have been. The story is told in dual POV,  with a little POV from the devil himself included- you'll  get it, just read it. The book was divided into three parts-  and while I love part one, because you got to know the main  characters- like really know their inner workings, and  thoughts- parts two and three amazed me. Everything about  those parts were ethereal, guttural and just damn  overwhelming, but in the very best way. 

Dalton Greer has been passed from home to home, and it has  made him just so angry. All he ever wanted was to be loved,  and get love in return. And he has had it rough- to say the  least. 

"And just as the chameleon changes color to blend for protection, I've learned to evolve into the person I need to be in order to survive the situation at hand, all while keeping people at arm's length."

And just when he thinks it can't get any worse, it  does- when he meets Silas Kincaid. He is the devil incarnate- and while I have hated many characters in books before, his character is the worst kind. Manipulative and calculating,  and it was easy for Dalton to fall under his spell,  especially since he was going hungry all the time and Silas  made him plenty of promises. And then, he meets Spencer Locke. 

Spencer Locke- is like an angel. Seriously, I had this gut feeling when the book was over LB was going to say everything was a dream and Spencer wasn't real, because she was just that unearthly. People like her don't exist anymore! And her female character was not whiny, or shy, or bossy- it was perfection. She was kind, trustworthy, and most of all- strong when it mattered most. 

"I know we will never be more than friends, by my heart is relentless. And a traitor. It abandoned me that day on the porch leaving me to suffer in silence with my unrequited

And Spencer to Dalton- was life, and vice versa. It perfectly evident from the way they met, to their daily 
interactions that they were meant to be together. Even if they didn't realize it- it was always her for him and him for her. 

"Yes Spencer Locke is indeed my air. I just hope the immorality I've chosen to bury deep within my soul doesn't one day pollute her very essence." 

I La-la-loved that this book spanned five years, it follows the journey that both characters take on from their teens into their early 20's and how the experiences they have taken from what has happened to each of them molds the person they have turned into. And I loved every single moment of the ride. 

"My life didn't begin until the day I met you."

And more than anything, character development is very important to me. I feel like, not just in books- but real life too. I am the main character of the story My Life. I need to make sure I have special supporting 
characters around me, Dalton and Spence sure do have those in spades. 

While Silas is very much the devil's son- Kirk Lawson is the antithesis. He is all that is good and right in the world. He is like the angel on Dalton's left shoulder-and Silas is the devil on the right. Kirk is a police officer, and he is always helping Dalton out, like he knows he is a good kid, he means well- and he does know right from wrong. 

Deborah is a modern day Joan of Arc, swooping in to take care of all the children who have been abused, and abandoned- and becoming an emergency mom to so many. She is also Spencer's mom and a great character to look up. 

Cassie is the bestie. I love her times two. Really I do. She is a great addition, positive, strong- and level headed (for the most part.) 

And Rat- what an unfortunate name, for such a cool character. He is Dalton's best friend, his ride or die 
friend- who has gone to hell and back with him. He is a great character in this book for sure. 

And two quotes- just because her writing slays me. 

"You claimed my heart years ago Dalton, but now I want you to have all over me. Every single piece, together body and soul, I offer freely because they already belong to you.  All you have to do is accept them as you take me." 

"My life has been one that I would wish on anyone. But you, God, Spencer. I would live this s**tty life ten times over just to be guaranteed I would have you in it. You are the reason I keep living. And to see you lying her in front of me, asking me to take you. It should be the other way around. I should be begging you to take me, for you to accept me, but I don't have to because you do so without hesitation." 


Another hit out of the part from LB again. She is amazing, and I wouldn't wait to get this book- I would get your one clicky finger ready. So ready, that you have finger cramps (if that's possible). You should read this book- take the day. Read it in one sitting; devour it, like I have. Because you will be under the influence of LB's words (see what I did there?) Trust me. 


Dalton POV:

And thats when I see it. The faded bruising high on the little girls cheek and the red welts that line it. A slap mark.
I force a deep breath through my nose and crack my neck, my natural response when stricken with memories from my own past. The rage I feed upon, the anger that fuels me to perform on a regular basis, skims dangerously close to the surface as my fingers tighten around the crayon in my hand.
Her blue eyes remain locked with mine. She watches closely for a moment, studying me intently, then rises and leans her tiny body across the table to place her palm on my cheek.
Normally I would strongly object to anyone I dont know putting their hands on me, but I remain frozen as the warmth from her hand seeps into my skin. Huge tears sprout, coating her eyes before she finally speaks.
Youre one of us. I can tell.
She removes her hand and places it on my chest, the burning beneath my ribcage strangely anesthetized by the contact.  I know. She nods as she focuses on her touch. It hurts here. Where they break your heart.
When Im barely able to nod my response, she offers me a defeated smile. My throat clogs with emotion I havent felt in years, and Im forced to swallow it deeply. Her eyes fall to my throat and then rise once again to meet mine.

Yeah, I feel it too.

Author Bio:
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.

NEWSLETTER: http://eepurl.com/beZAsj

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