Monday, July 18, 2011

Review: Love Story by Jennifer Echols & Giveaway

Erin Blackwell left behind a life of comfort in Kentucky for a life of dreams in New York City. Unfortunately, that decision meant that her inheritance went to her grandmother's stable boy, Hunter Allen. But the past is the past, and Erin's just trying to move on -- or so she thought. For her first creative writing assignment, Erin writes the love story she wishes she'd had with Hunter, before everything fell apart -- never imagining in her wildest dreams that he would see it. When an unfortunate twist of fate makes Hunter the newest student in Erin's class, it sets off a story of longing, heartbreak and betrayal that will change Erin's future and show her the past in a devastating new light.

In Love Story, Jennifer Echols crafts a sexy tale of star-crossed love and forbidden romance. The class assignments sprinkled throughout the text are an innovative and enjoyable way of recounting Erin and Hunter's shared history, showing readers how they arrived at this complicated juncture. Though the salacious elements in the initial assignments seem a little gratuitous for an intro level college course, the stories improve drastically over the course of the novel. The most powerful stories are the truest ones, showing the tragedy and loss that made them who they are today and revealing insightful parallels between Erin's own story and that of her mother. The Kentucky horse racing lifestyle also comes alive through these stories, though most of the novel is set in New York City, and is crucial to understanding the complex dynamic between the former heiress and her stable boy.

Still, at times it was difficult to connect with Erin. She began the novel seeming proud and judgmental, then digressed into insecurity about her relationship with Hunter and the future of her writing career. Her tendency to jump to the worst conclusion and then act impulsively on that assumption quickly became exasperating. However, her willingness to strike out on her own was admirable, and her relationship with her grandmother will hit home for anyone who's fought their family for control of their own life. Hunter, on the other hand, is a much more compelling character. He possesses that classic southern charm which is so hard to resist, though he can sometimes be a little too controlling in his drive to rescue the damsel in distress -- coming off more macho than gentlemanly. Nonetheless, the mystery of his true nature and motivations will intrigue readers as they puzzle out how the smitten little boy became the aloof young man.

Unfortunately, the stories -- while steamy -- are an immature way to work out deep-rooted problems. Things begin to look promising when Erin and Hunter finally assess their relationship, rather than toying with each other, but an unfortunate twist sends them spiraling off course again. They refuse to confront or even acknowledge the issue, and their failure to communicate and willingness to manipulate one another feels more like lust than love, making it difficult to believe in a happy ending. Despite the magnitude of the situation, Erin fails to have a believable emotional response, instead making self-destructive and irrational decisions that are never acknowledged by her or the novel itself -- ultimately leaving me uncomfortable about their entire relationship.


Disclosure: I received an advance copy of this novel from the publicist. This did not affect my review in any way.

This novel hits shelves tomorrow! Click here to purchase Love Story by Jennifer Echols.


Thanks to Simon & Schuster, TWO (2) readers will win a copy of Love Story by Jennifer Echols!

To Enter:
  • You MUST leave a comment on this post (with your email address!) answering the following question:
What is your all-time favorite love story?
  • +1 for sharing this giveaway (via Twitter, Facebook, etc -- must leave a direct link in your comment)
  • Following is not required, but greatly appreciated
  • US Only -- prize will be shipped from the publisher
  • Ends 7/25/11 at 11:59 pm EST
  • Two winners will be chosen via
  • Please review my giveaway policy
Good luck!


Harley said...

Great review, heard some good things about this book.

My favorite love story is by far The Time Traveler's Wife!

thanks for the giveaway,

ComaCalm said...

I've just read a positive review of this and now a negative one! Haha, I can't decide whether to get it or not!

Vickie from ComaCalm's Corner

Let's Evaluate said...

Off the top of my head, my favorite love story would have to be Allie and Noah's story reationship in 'The Notebook.' To me, that is just the ultimate love story of being with who your heart wants. [:

Erin @ Let's Evaluate

Jessy said...

Even though it's not a 5 star review, I'm still really looking forward to this one. I would read anything Jennifer wrote.


Findjessyhere at gmail dot com

Cara said...

Great review, as always. I'm curious about this one because I've seen glowing reviews and also ones that were more rant than review. Glad to see your take on it!

My favorite love story at the moment is probably Paper Towns by John Green. Mostly because it's like the anti-love story, love story.

Thanks for the giveaway! :)


Vidisha said...

Umm love story...not sure...notebook was good...A Walk to rememeber

gfc follower

Tiffany said...

I've seen mixed reviews on this but I'm still excited to read it myself and see what I think. Thanks for the giveaway :)

My favorite love story would probably have to be Ash and Meghan's from the Iron Fey series.


dani_nguyen said...

Wow, really hard to pick a favorite love story. Recently I really liked Anna & the French Kiss and The DUFF. Neither are traditional love stories, but they were each great in their own way.

Thanks for the giveaway!

lyan said...

along for the ride

Kate said...

I've loved every book that I've read by Echols! Great review, I'm really interested to read this book and I'm interested about how this book is going to be for me now. I hope I like it but your review has really given me something to think about! Thanks so much for the giveaway!

Kate said...

Oh, my favorite love story. That's a super tough question. I think one of my all time favorite books and love story is Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles. I also love Forget You and Going to Far, of course by Jennifer Echols!

kristina shields said...

I really love The Truth About Forever by sarah dessen.

tetewa said...

The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks is my favorite!

The Lovely Getaway said...

A Walk to Remember :) most def. one of my favs! Thanks for the giveaway.


jeanette8042 said...

My favorite love story is Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols. Thanks for the giveaway!


Tricia said...

Well, I'm stuck between two choices.

Either the Forbidden Game Series, by L J Smith,


The Sailor Moon Series, which is both an anime and a manga series.

my email is

Tiffany Drew said...

My favorite love story is, of course, Romeo and Juliet. *Love* it! Thank you for this excellent giveaway, I'm looking forward to this book :)


GFC follower Tiffany Drew


Shannon said...

My favorite love story would be:
The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen! Wes is my all time crush on a character from a book; I so wish he was real!
(scroll all the way down to the bottom if you are looking for the mention of your giveaway)

my email is scribblingquill(at)yahoo(dot)com

Laura Ashlee said...

I also had some issues connecting with the characters in the book. They never felt grounded to me. Great review.

TheGirlOnFire said...

My favorite love story is The Notebook!

thegirlonfire27 at gmail dot com

Maidenveil said...

My favorite love story of all time would be Lily + Snape. Romeo and Juliet got nothing on these two.


thanks! been following you via GFC. :)


Pearl said...

My favorite love story is the one between Rose and Dimitri from Vampire Academy. <3

Tara said...

My favorite love story has to be The Notebook! hmmmm or The Princess Bride....

TaraTagli at gmail dot com

Kandee Kane said...

Great review! I've heard good things about this book, so I'd love to win it!
My favorite love story would have to be Romeo and Juliet, the timeless love story, or Spencer and Toby on Pretty Little Liars. Love them !

Small Review said...

Very nice review. I agree, their relationship made me uncomfortable, felt more like lust not love, and just didn't work for me at all. I didn't like either of them and I don't see their relationship lasting. Shame. Guess I'll have to reread Going Too Far to get my fix :)

dark_romance_luvr said...

Can't wait to read this! Hmmmm, favorite love story???? I'm going to have to go with Cindarella. But anything that makes my heart flutter (which is most YA these days!) is a favorite of mine :) Thanks for the giveaway!

dark_romance_luvr said...

OH! and I tweeted about the contest :)!/dark_romance22

meganribinsky said...

My all-time favorite love story so far is The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks. There is so much real emotion in that book that it makes it almost lifelike..not to mention there are definite swoon factors.

Thanks so much for this awesome giveaway!

melannie (: said...

haha someone said Toby AND Spencer from Pretty Little Liars! I vote them too! <3


Sarah said...

My favorite love story has got to be Pride and Prejudice (and practically any retelling of it!).!/clearxxeyes

My email is

Aydrea said...

Hmm my all time favorite love story, man that is hard! Pride & Prejudice is definitely a favorite of mine!

I am a GFC follower

+1 Tweeted it -!/arick01/status/95672269912813568

Thanks for the giveaway!

abookandashortlatte1 said...

My all-time favorite love story is definitely Jane and Rochester's. Jane Eyre is the greatest book I've ever read (again and again and again).

Audrey said...

Um, favorite love stories are The Time Traveler's Wife and The Notebook.

Mariz Denver said...

This is a book I would highly recommend, along with any other of Jennifer Echols's titles. With page one you will be caught up in Erin's stories, and will scarcely want to put it down. With this story finished, I will begin my impatient countdown to the release of Jennifer Echols next book, which I am sure will be just as brilliant.


You Might Also Like:

Related Posts with Thumbnails