Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Blog tour: Remembering Joy by Jenni Moen

We are one of the tour stops for today on the Remembering Joy Blog Tour hosted by CBL Book Tours. For our stop we are highlighting this New Adult novel by Jenni Moen and offering our review. We hope you like it. Have a great day!

Remembering Joy by Jenni Moen
New Adult contemporary romance
Paperback/eBook, 364 pages
Published June 7th 2013 by Jenni Moen (first published June 5th 2013)

Alexis doesn’t believe in fairytales. She knows first hand that life can turn on a dime – that one stupid mistake can shatter dreams and irrevocably shape the future. Even though her memory of that day is hazy, she has spent the last ten years trying to put it behind her and focus on the future. 

Armed with the knowledge that her career will be her only legacy, Alexis works night and day to prove that she is more than just her last name. It’s not only that she doesn’t have time for love – she doesn’t have the heart for it. After all, there’s no point in starting something that you can’t finish. 

However, when she meets Adam, she’s drawn to him in a way even she can’t deny. He is dark and brooding and strangely charming. He’s the perfect distraction from the mundane life she’s created for herself. And, as if fate is pushing them together, he seems to be around every corner. It’s enough to almost make her entirely forget about her past and take a chance.

Unfortunately, Adam’s memory isn’t hazy . . . not in the least. And, what she doesn’t remember, he can’t forget. 

About the author:
Jenni Moen lives in her hometown in Oklahoma with her husband and three crazy, exuberant kids that have the potential to burn the house down at any moment.
When she’s not chauffeuring kids around town, performing her mom duties as a short order cook and maid, or vacuuming for her fastidious husband, she hammers away at her keyboard at her big girl job as a patent attorney. While vodka and exercise have provided some relief from the daily grind, it is reading … and now writing … that are her true escapes.

Our reading experiences can be so varied. Our opinions are subjective, our emotions dependent upon variables. We may reach for a book or ereader to fall into a particular type of book for a specific reason: bad day at work, break-up, looking for spice or humor, whatever. What still amazes about reading are those little gems I find, sometimes by word of mouth or a recommendation. Since I became a book blogger, I have found many a gem in the titles I accept for review.

Remembering Joy by Jenni Moen is one of those little gems. 

"Adam was hot. It was ridiculous, really. As I watched him do pull-ups, I could feel my cheeks flush. What the hell was happening to me? I was turning into a simpering girl, like the ones that I always made fun of for chasing Ethan."
I didn't remember the synopsis which worked in my favor. I sat down to read while the video games were being played and my kids made sure I knew they were home. But by the end of the first chapter, I was taken in by Adam and Alexis' story. Totally taken in. I read it for the rest of the evening.

"That was the thing about Allie. She didn't push. She was content to bide her time. And, even when she should, she never asked anything of me. If I didn't know better, I would say that we were absolutely perfect together."
Remembering Joy simply touched me. Both main characters were damaged. Adam by a terrible accident, Alexis by a terrible injury which left irreparable harm on both her psyche and body. The opening scene drew my curiosity as it was told from Adam's POV. Immediately, I wondered, what was he up to? This game he decided to play was dangerous. Yes, it was, but things have a way of backfiring when least expected.

"For the second time in one day, I found myself running away from him. While I was quite adept at walking away from men, running away was an entirely different animal."
I certainly do not want to spoil anything about this novel. Two damaged people meet, one dislikes the other who finds the other mysterious and disturbing. Sounds like a recipe for disaster. It isn't. Not with author Jenni Moen's storytelling chops. These two fall for each other. Remembering Joy is their story. Now Adam and Alexis, or as he calls her, Allie, could have suffered from too much angst, too much sex, too much inner turmoil and conflict. I can happily report this book was well-balanced, featured two characters I grew to love, a story I could believe, a love I desperately wanted to see succeed. The physical relationship didn't take away from the beauty of watching two lost souls fall in love.

"I'd come to the unlikely conclusion that no touch by Allie was a bad touch even when it hurt a little."
The one scene where Allie cries in bed, confused, tore at me. The author nailed everything perfectly. Just the right amount of tension, feeling, anxiety, physicality. I do mention the problems I see in New Adult novels and here is an example of doing this market right. I understand some like their love scenes steamy--there is a place for that--but I also like when an author gives us a sampling and leaves the rest to our imagination. I never felt taken out the book, never rolled my eyes, never closed a chapter because I needed a break. I was fully absorbed in Remembering Joy, totally taken with two people never in a true loving relationship before and trying to handle these new feelings while dealing with other things going on in their lives (work, school, family, friends, obligations). 

"The problem was that there were consequences for my new feelings."
I could wax poetic all day and express my feelings for this book. I won't. Reading and reviewing books is something I do out out of sheer love for my passion for reading and discovering the new voices of authors. I am not compnesated for anything. All I do is read and review. Jenni Moen is a new author I have added to my list of favorites. From the very capable cast of secondary characters to a poignant conflict handed with grace and honesty, to a couple joined together by a fate I could only describe as first hurtful then crazy and finally perfect, I loved Remembering Joy. This one is a keeper and will remain in my mind for a long time.

Rating: 5

Cover comment:
My feelings over this cover teeter back and forth like a seesaw. I kind of like it, kind of don't like it. 

Book source:
I received a promotional copy in return for my honest review during a blog tour.

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