Sunday, October 12, 2014

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Lily has spent a lifetime putting everyone else’s needs before her own.

Ethan is struggling to find a place in the home he left behind.

When the two meet by chance in an empty apartment, everything changes. Drawn together by an inexplicable desire, Lily and Ethan discover a passion neither knew existed. And so, they make a pact: 

Nothing from their outside lives will enter the apartment—not even their names.

But what will happen when the apartment’s walls inevitably come down?

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Publication: October 1st 2014 
Full Fathom Five Digital
  Amazon | BN | Kobo | iBooks

Well there was just no way I wasn't going to devour this story as soon as I got my hands on it. One of my all time favorites, as well as a favorite author of mine.  

Amanda Black's debut was just perfect!! Personally, I expected nothing less. This was an author I have been following since 2009 with her FF Blood and Lust. The originality of her FF stories just wowed me. The story lines, the writing, development of her characters, the flow, and characterizations. I was immediately hooked and a complete and forever fangirl of her's.

The announcement of the publication of The Apartment set me off in to a stalking tailspin. I needed this story. I needed to know what was done to a story I utterly loved. Thankfully, Amanda Black does not scare easily and I was put on the list to receive the ARC.

The story line of The Apartment is simplistic in that it is simply the story of two people coming together in spite of their self induced obstacles. Simple yet packed to the brim with emotion, angst, hurt, betrayal, yearning, passion, discovery, and love.

Ethan is a brilliant and successful artist. Lost in the spiraling emotional whirlwind of self doubt, hurt, pain,  and betrayal. Self estranged from his family, he has come home to heal and find himself once again. 

Lily is the typical "always tries to do the right thing" type of woman. Self sacrificing to the extent of putting her own dreams and heart aside so as not to hurt someone. 

At first I wasn't sure I would be able to connect with her, usually Lily's type of character is a doormat, and I am not a fan of the doormat. But as I read on, I realized that wasn't the case. Lily is kind and nurturing. The problem is with the people who love her, taking advantage of that nature. Lily does allow it to extent because this is her family and no one wants to hurt their family. But underneath the kindness was a woman full of life and passion trying to somehow break free.

Ethan initially seemed to be your typical self serving, self rocking agenda kind of guy. Betrayed by the woman he thought he loved and trusted. The same woman who kept him from his family for 10 years, left him with barely the ability to breath. Ethan as it turns out is a trusting man who wants nothing more than to be loved and loved in return. His walls and rough exterior are there to protect him from the pain.

Ethan and Lily's meeting is by chance. They both end up looking at an apartment for rent, each with their own personal reasons. The meeting was hot and lustful. Yep, they had sex after knowing each other a minute but it was written so realistically, with so much passion that you believed it was possible.

That encounter sparked such an intensity and desire in both of them that they decide to keep meeting. The only catch, their meetings would remain anonymous. They wouldn't even tell each other their names. That was Ethan's idea. An idea fraught with the belief of keeping the reality out and just their lack of inhibitions and passion they would share in their own little created world.

With every encounter, yes there is a ton of sex in the story, something that normally does not appeal to me. But Amanda Black's writing just draws you in with each and every meeting because you learn so much about Ethan and Lily. There characters build with every encounter, they start to open up and learn about each other.

I found that to be a very intriguing concept. Normally steamy sex scenes are just that, scenes. Sometimes filler, sometimes a segue. In this case, it was the actual character development. I loved it. 

Regardless of the anonymity and mystery, you got a clear picture of who these two are as well as their hopes, dreams, disappointments, and fears.

The story line was interwoven with so much happening in their realities, their paths constantly crossing that the feeling of trepidation was building. 

You just knew something was going to happen to their little self created utopia.

And it did!!! 

The story ends in a cliffhanger. Yes, I normally hate that too,  BUT if the sneak peek at the first chapter of the sequel, "The Blank Canvas", is a hint of what's waiting for readers upon its release, the wait will be so worth it!!

Congratulations Amanda Black on a wonderful debut! Even though I have been your fangirl/stalker for years, The Apartment was beautifully written and I am thrilled for your success and know there will more amazing stories to come!

The Apartment (The Apartment Novels, Book 1) is why I love to read and 
why it is one of my 2014 favorite reads.

About the Author:

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Amanda Black was born and raised in the Midwest, where she still lives with her husband and spoiled-rotten dogs. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Studio Art before deciding that she actually needed to pay some bills, which is when she took a position as an ophthalmic technician.

For the past few years she’s been a closet romance writer in her spare time and would love nothing more than to make it a full-time career. 

When she’s not writing her next steamy love scene, her interests include reading, sketching, and annihilating her friends and family in movie trivia.

COMING 11/5/2014

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Ethan is gone, but Lily will never be the same.

She’s done living her life for other people. She moves out of her father’s house. She starts saying yes to drinks with friends.

But there’s one thing she won’t give up: the apartment, where her and Ethan spent countless passion-filled hours. They never exchanged names, but their relationship was more real than anything they had ever experienced in their lives.

Ethan left to give Lily a chance to be happy. But consumed with thoughts of her, he can’t help wondering if he made a huge mistake.

Ethan’s looking for a second chance, and this time, all his cards are on the table. Can their love survive the real world?

The Blank Canvas is the passionate climax to Amanda Black’s The Apartment.

This book is intended for mature audiences.

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