Monday 19 September 2016

Release Day Blitz, Review & Excerpt ~ Epic Love (Epic Fail #3) by Trudy Stiles

Title: Epic Love
Series: Epic Fail #3
Author: Trudy Stiles
Release Date: Sept 19, 2016

Book Description:

HEATH STRICKLAND, the son of a prominent district attorney, lived his life surrounded by violence and crime. He was an unwilling witness to the corrupt lives his father swore to prosecute and keep behind bars. His escape was his music, which eventually led him to replace the iconic singer of the world famous band, Epic Fail.

NOELLE DURAND lived in luxury, growing up on a sprawling estate, with everything she could ever want or need. Her life, to everyone else, seemed perfect. Perfect house. Perfect things. Perfect family. But nothing at all was perfect. She lived in hell. A hell that nobody on the outside could see.

As a neighbor and childhood friend, Heath would have done anything for Noelle. He would have given up the world to protect her and keep her safe. Their friendship grew into something that neither of them expected. But then she suddenly disappeared, vanishing from his life as if she never existed. He never stopped hoping that one day she would resurface, alive and well. But as time went by, and her family gave up hope, he surrendered his heart to his lost love.

Twelve years later, one phone call changes everything.

EPIC LOVE is the third book in the EPIC FAIL series and can be read as a STANDALONE novel. 

This series is a spinoff from the FOREVER FAMILY series.

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Our Review:

Reviewed by Donna ~ 3.5 stars
***ARC received for an honest review***

“She was beautiful, but doomed…She was the first girl I ever loved.”

Epic Love is one emotional book and I love those emotional reads. From the very beginning I knew that this was going to be a doozy and Trudy Stiles succeeded in many tear induced moments, a lot of tissues were used while reading Noelle and Heath’s story. This is a second chance love story of epic proportions, a story that will captivate the hardest of hearts and leave you a sobbing, snot induced mess. A story whereby Heath will grab a hold of your heart strings and never let go, keeping you firmly planted in this story, through childhood, through first love, through grief, through love once again.

Noelle had it tough growing up, her mother was diagnosed with cancer while she was in the womb and sacrificed her own life to give Noelle hers. Her father was her one constant, a man who loved her with his entire being. These two were a solid, unbreakable unit, until two became three. Noelle’s dad remarried and herein lies a character who I personally wanted to exterminate, a character I hated with a passion and a character who I wanted to experience a gruesome death. Noelle’s step mother battered her and I mean battered her. Noelle’s father was away on business a lot and here her reign of terror begins, I only wish that Noelle found her voice.

“Daddy, I need you. Please come home.”

When the family relocates Noelle befriends the boy next door, Heath. Heath and Noelle became best friends, inseparable through games of Wiffle ball and this part of the story melted my heart. Through dual POV’s Trudy Stiles captured their childhood perfectly and as they grew up we were treated to all those emotions when lines become blurred, when a friendship of years and years suddenly becomes more, when best friends become lovers. These two were inseparable and though this was their first love, it was a true love, a soul mate love. Their paths crossed for a reason, fate put them together, but fate would ultimately rip them apart.

Heath knows Noelle inside out, he knows that she is hiding something, he has his theories, but is powerless to intervene until Noelle lets him in. I felt Heath’s pain and anguish as he battles his conscience with regards to Noelle, he wants to save her, he loves he, adores her, cherishes every moment they spend together, but sometimes life is out of our hands.

“When the moon is asleep I will rescue you.”

This book is told in past and present and dual point of views, while this may sound confusing it actually made a lot of sense. Those not fond of time jumps will be pleased that this flows effortlessly and each jump is with merit and enhances the story developing through the pages. There were a lot of twists and turns, some I saw coming, some I didn’t and while at times this story seemed a little far-fetched it did work.

For me, this was a book of two halves, the first half I loved with a passion and then the second half I liked but didn’t love, hence the rating. Heath was an amazing character, despite twelve years without Noelle she still dictated his life. His propensity to love was gone because she still owned his heart, now a successful musician, singer and songwriter, even his music is fuelled by the love he has for Noelle, note present tense. Through song lyrics his grief is captured for all to see and he bares his heart and soul on his sleeve and through his music. One phone call changes everything.

“I’m in love with a dead girl.”

As I said above, this was an emotional read, both characters were adorable and you couldn’t help but love them. Their story is what films are made of and while some of the twists were an eye roll moment it didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the story. Some parts were a little cliché but with an Epic Love such as this they didn’t really bother me as much as they would have done somewhere else. This was a good read, one I enjoyed.


“I’m sorry, Noelle. I’m really sorry.” I don’t know what I’m apologizing for. The fact that I don’t believe her weak lie or because I kissed her. No. I’m not sorry for either.

“It’s okay. Really. Thanks for caring. And thank you for my birthday gift.” She pauses and brushes her pinkie finger against mine. “You made my birthday really special, and I’ll never forget it.” 

Without thinking, I loop my pinkie finger around hers, linking them together. Linking us together. We walk to her window like this and I break our connection reluctantly, bringing my hand up to her bruised cheek. “Please be careful,” I beg, and I’m not sure what I’m even begging her to be careful of. I’m just so worried about her.

“I will,” she whispers. “Catch a couple fireflies on the way home.”

“I’d catch a million for you.” Her eyes light up, a smile on her lips. I want to kiss her again. So bad. But all I do is stare into her eyes and back away. I push the window open as quietly as I can and slide out onto the grass.

“Happy Birthday, Noelle.” 

She smiles as we both slide the window gently along the track, closing it.

She leaves her hand pressed against the window and I immediately do the same, covering hers, only the glass pane separating us.

Her smile is weak and full of pain.

A pain that I would take away from her in an instant if I could.

About the Author:

Trudy Stiles is a New Adult Romance author, mom to two beautiful children, and married to the love of her life. She’s the author of the bestselling Forever Family series including “Dear Emily,” “Dear Tabitha,” and “Dear Juliet.” “Epic Sins” is the first book in the Epic Fail series and will continue with at least three more standalone novels. “Epic Lies” is scheduled to release in the Spring of 2016 with “Epic Love” and “Epic Holiday” to follow in the Fall and Winter of 2016. She plans to write many more stories about some of the characters you’ve already met, and maybe a few new ones.

Trudy is a music junkie and you’ll know that she’s writing when you see her plugged into her laptop with her earbuds in. Her playlist is unique and is a must for her writing sprints.

When she’s not writing, she’s carting her children to their various activities while avoiding any kind of laundry or housework. She also loves to run along the boardwalk of the beautiful New Jersey shore.

She celebrates Wine Wednesday almost every day.

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