Friday, November 2, 2018

New Release-Review & Giveaway: WHO WE WERE by Melissa Collins

Who We Were 
by Melissa Collins
A M/M contemporary romance


*If you read with Apple, Nook, Kobo, or Google Play - this title will be removed from these retailers and going into KU on Sunday, so grab your copy today!

Who We Were...
Two awkward teenagers - the loner and the nerd, trying to find our place in the world. Paired in wood shop, we knew nothing of each other, except that we wanted to know everything. Then one life altering moment changed it all and we were left with shattered dreams and broken hearts.

Who We Are...
Two grown men - braver and smarter than we used to be, trying to heal the damage from that irrevocable moment. Even though the past was behind us, dead and buried long ago, we found it impossible to move on without ripping open the scars of our deep wounds.

With twelve years of unanswered questions fueling our desperate need for the truth, we must figure out if who we were will destroy who we are.

Add to your TBR on Goodreads here.

Carra's Review

One thing this author does really well is present characters that have depth and can trigger an emotional response for me, either positive or negative.  This time around with Who We Were is no different when it came to character depth for both Ryan and Quinn, though this time around my responses included irritation.  The angst level was also pretty high through most of the story which for me became a bit frustrating after a while.  

I liked the setup during the first part of the story when they were in high school, and that they were able to form a friendship first.  I was disturbed by the relationship between Ryan and his family with the discrepancy of treatment between him and his brother being so glaringly obvious, and the outright bullying from his brother.  The first part gives readers a kind of in-story mini cliffhanger since we don’t know the real reason behind Ryan leaving.

It was gratifying to see how successful both Ryan and Quinn became as adults in their careers.  But it was as adults where my frustration and irritation started to really seep in since though we’re told he and his family have worked through things to a point it didn’t lower the angst level at all, plus Ryan reverts to running away again after an encounter with his brother and then Quinn…a scene that is too reminiscent of what happened the first time Ryan left.

This is the first time I’ve read a book from this author that had a disjointed feel to it; to add to that, once the big reason behind Ryan’s behavior is revealed (after much to-do and blustering about it), it felt like much ado about…well, not nothing but definitely not as dire as it was made to seem.  The fact that he didn’t want to share the information with Quinn left lingering doubts considering his apparent feelings for Quinn.

The epilogue was an angst-free zone, and does show how happy Ryan and Quinn are in the end, though for me it didn’t quite balance out the overwhelmingly high angst level of the rest of the story and the levels of irritation and frustration that had built up during the rest of the book.

Who We Were is getting 3.5 stars from me, it’s one of those stories that had me sitting on the fence for the majority of the read and feeling not quite whole once I was done reading (I really can’t elaborate more without spoilers).  It’s definitely for readers 18+ for adult language and sexual content.

Melissa is having a giveaway on Facebook for 2 - $25 Amazon gift cards! Check it out here.


Melissa Collins has always been a book worm. Studying Literature in college ensured that her nose was always stuck in a book. She followed her passion for reading to the most logical career choice: English teacher. Her hope was to share her passion for reading and the escapism of books to her students. Having spent more than a decade in front of a classroom, she can easily say that it’s been a dream.

Her passion for writing didn’t start until more recently. When she was home on maternity leave in early 2012, she read her first romance novel and her head filled with the passion, angst and laughter of the characters who she read about it. It wasn’t long before characters of her own took shape in her mind. Their lives took over Melissa’s brain and The Love Series was born.

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