Thursday, July 27, 2017

Blog Tour ~ Lover's Journey Series by Alina Popescu (Reviews)

Blog Tour ~ Lover's Journey Series by Alina Popescu

Lover’s Journey Series Bundle by Alina Popescu

"Intense. Touching. Fabulous. Haunting. Riveting."
"A roller coaster of emotions"

Two coming of age, friends to lovers stories complementing each other. Decades of love, friendship, growth, and surpassing hardships.

Live, learn, love, and persevere on Edi and Seba's lover's journeys.

Dawn to Dusk - Book One

Edi's life is made up of precious moments.

That first encounter with Robert in rural Romania at eleven. A summer spent together in the same setting a year later. Their first text exchange in high school. The first sexual experience. The first heartbreak--the second and third and fourth chance. The point of total breakdown and the despair of failing. More love than anyone could have warned him about.

No matter how much time passes, no matter how different their paths, every meeting brings Edi and Robert closer together. Those stolen moments shine brighter than any. Yet loving Robert is not easy, not when Edi wants to be true to himself and is met with dishonesty. Or when Robert keeps parading new conquests and ignores Edi more often than not.

Edi has always loved Robert, but he must decide if his journey leads to or away from his childhood friend. Is it true love or is Edi just unable to let go?

"You'll feel like you've run an emotional gauntlet by the end, and you'll be glad you did!"

Dusk to Dawn - Book Two

Since he was thirteen, Sebastian's every precious moment was connected to his first crush, Edi. His protector through his toughest school years, Edi has always guided Sebastian's choices. Love, lust, the realization he was gay, his passion for sports and karate, his studies and career of choice, everything in Seba's life is somehow linked to Edi.

Sebastian's love never faltered over the years, not as he challenged himself to catch up to Edi. Nor when Edi's on and off boyfriend, Robert, showed up to wreak havoc in their lives.

Sebastian has shaped his life to revolve around Edi--his friend, roommate, and occasional lover. But is that the right path for him, or should he start a new journey, one that takes him away from Edi all the way to another country? And will running away solve anything in the end?

"Love the characters! Love the storyline! Definitely two must read books!"

Buy Links
Gay contemporary romance series Lover’s Journey is exclusive to Amazon. It’s free to read with a Kindle Unlimited subscription

Dawn to Dusk 

4 Stars

Edi meets Robert while visiting his grandma over summer vacation. Robert is also visiting family from his home in, Bucharest, the Capital City of Romania. Edi, 11, and Robert, 15, spend the summer playing in the forest and taking long walks to the near by creek. Then Robert suddenly disappears one morning, without so much as a goodbye, but they sporadically continue to see one another over the summers as they grow up and into college and adulthood.

I thought this would be a sweet story. Two kids who grow up spending their summers together and falling in love, but I hated Robert. He was a complete asshole!! He was so mean, spoiled and selfish. I loved Edi, but I couldn't decide between feeling bad for the way he was treated or being angry at him for continually putting himself back in this situation over and over. I understand loving someone, but making yourself their doormat is a completely different story. In the end, I'm not sure either character has redeemed themselves.

This was a well-written book, but the time periods are very jumpy. It would have worked better if the author had made it clearer as to how much time was between each time change. Either a year at the top of the next scene/chapter or the number of months/years it had actually been.

I loved the secondary characters. The kids from Edi's grandma's small village, as well as his friends from back home. I hope to see more of them, especially Sebastian in the future. I wasn't sure what to make of the ending, but I'm looking forward to seeing where this series goes and hoping everything will get resolved. This was a great, but honestly frustrating read, as they tend to be when you want to kill a MC or two, but still, highly recommended!!

Dusk to Dawn

5 Stars

We met Edi's best friend and roomate, Sebastian in Dawn to Dusk. This is the story of how they met and how Seba fell in love with Edi, as well as the multiple heartaches he faces at watching Edi continually run back into Robert's arms no matter how badly Robert hurts him. Their story begins in their home town where they meet when Seba is 13 and Edi 17 and takes place over the next 13 years. Seba is small and skinny and while he's smart and really loves school, the bullies he has to face everyday drain the joy out of his learning experience. Spending his free time between classes admiring Edi helps ease the sting a bit and gives him something to look forward to and although Edi has a girlfriend, or what Seba assumes is his girlfriend, he can still drool over him from afar. After Edi saves Seba from an altercation with a bully, the admiration turns into a friendship, and eventually love on Seba's part, but Robert is always around, lurking or dropping back into Edi's life, and although the lines of the friendship between Seba and Edi are eventually blurred, much to the disappointment of Sebastian they remain firmly in the friends zone .

I absolutely hated Robert in book one and my disdain and hatred only managed to grow throughout this story. We don't even really see him on page, but just his name or the mention of something he's done made me want to punch him in the face, I'm not normally a violent person, I swear. He's one of those characters that I'm not sure can ever be redeemed. Okay, enough about that twatwaffle, he isn't worth my energy.

I absolutely loved Sebastian. He was so sweet, kind and caring. He gave his all to the people he cared for and loved. Throughout his relationship with Edi, he'd do anything that was asked of him. He hung around even while he thought Edi had a girlfriend and later he stuck by Edi's side throughout all the ups and downs with Robert. He was there to put the pieces back together every time Edi was left broken by Roberts betrayal. My heart absolutely broke for him, though. You could feel the love he had for Edi and it broke me that Edi didn't return those feelings. I wanted to cuddle and protect Seba.

I adored Edi in book one, but he became frustrating and I was tired of seeing him be Robert's doormat and this book was no different. I wanted so bad for him to open his eyes and see the love that was staring him in the face, but I knew it wouldn't happen. He couldn't see beyond Robert's nose, and I wanted to shake him.

I really loved this story. I love that Alina shares the culture of her country with the readers. The story is well-written and flows well through the years. I loved seeing Edi through Seba's eyes and finally getting to know Seba. When I finished Dawn to Dusk I was so angry and frustrated, and I'll be honest, I spent a lot of this book in the same state. I was beyond frustrated with Edi, even though I knew just how many times he takes Robert back it still had my stomach in knots. But the ending made up for all the frustration and torture. I loved Edi and Seba together. They had an amazing chemistry and were beyond hot together. This story had amazing secondary characters as well. I loved Elena and Evelina. They were awesome support systems for Edi and Sebastian. Even Damien Sebastian's boyfriend was amazing and I'd love to see him get a Hea. *hint, hint, nudge, nudge*

All in all, this was an amazing book that I couldn't put down. Alina wove a story of friendship, family and love and I adored every word. Very recommendable!!

*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn't a requirement.

Dawn to Dusk

5 Stars!

I did something a little different this time by putting my rating first. That's because this was such a hard review to write and in fear of not being able to truly express what my feelings on this particular book are, I wanted to make it clear that I think this book was fantastically written. Alina Popescu deserves that five stars rating for her ability to make me feel so strongly for a story and characters that I truly wish I could somehow magically change how they reacted and how things turned out as if these were actual people I know. 

What I mean by that is, I hated this story. I hated what happened, how everything unfolded. I hated Robert with the strength of a thousand suns. I hated Edi's weakness, his lack of self-preservation when it came to Robert. I truly felt that this was an abusive relationship. No, Robert didn't hit Edi, he didn't scream at him and call him names, but his treatment of Edi was cruel. Unfortunately, like so many others who are in abusive relationships, Robert messes up and Edi takes him back, again and again and again. He was addicted to Robert and he couldn't find a way to get better. 

There were times when I was so disgusted with these characters that I would swear I was going to put this on my DNF list. I'd put my Kindle down, walk away and 15 minutes later, I'm back reading about Robert and Edi and their horribly dysfunctional relationship. I wanted to jump into my Kindle, grab Edi and just shake some sense into him followed by beating the ever loving crap out of Robert. Yes, this story made me want to resort to bodily harm. The fact that it's only the first installment of their "love" story makes me crazy, because as much as I absolutely want to wash my hands of the whole thing, I know I will have to read book 2. I will have to know how they turn out. 

So did I enjoy this story? No! Did I like the characters? No! Would I recommend this book to a friend? Only with a very detailed warning! Was it well written? Yes! Will I read another book by this author? DEFINITELY!

Dusk to Dawn

4 Stars!

This is the second book in the Lovers Journey series and this time we get Seba's point of view. I was actually relieved that this time we got to see more of Sebastian and hear things from his perspective because, truthfully, I was apprehensive to listening to Edi anymore after the previous book. However, as I stated before with Dawn to Dusk, I needed to find out how it all ended up. I needed to know that Edi would finally grow a pair and leave Robert behind once and for all.

We are introduced to a young Sebastian as in the beginning of the book and see how he's bullied and how he eventually becomes friends with Edi. I had moments of heartbreak for him and what he goes through. Watching him as he grows up and has to sit by watching the man he loves repeatedly getting his heart broken by Robert (Ugh, Robert). I'm glad that he finally had enough and decided he needed to live his life, even if it hurt to do so. Edi had to be in a place where he could truly see what was there in front of his eyes and appreciate it.

I loved Sebastian, he's so sweet and he just captured my heart right away. I really wanted for him to find his Happily Ever After, however or whoever that it was with. While I'm not going to pretend I was Edi's biggest fan, I loved that together he and Sebastian really worked.

Above all, I just want to say Alina is a wonderful author and has incredible talent. Her books are well written and completely pull me into the story. Even as I find myself getting angry or frustrated, I'm unable to put it down and walk away. I'm definitely planning on reading more from her in the future.

***Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by the author/publisher for my reading pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement.***

About the author
Writer, traveler, and coffee addict, Alina Popescu has been in love with books all her life. She started writing when she was ten and she has always been drawn to sci-fi, fantasy, and the supernatural realm. Born and raised in Romania, she finds her inspiration in books of all genres, in movies, and the occasional manga comic book. She is a proud geek who needs her fast Internet and gadgets more than she needs air.

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