BLOG TOUR ~ PRETTY RECKLESS by L. J. Shen


NOW A BESTSELLER!

We kid you not! Pretty Reckless, the first standalone in the highly anticipated All Saints High series from USA Today bestselling author L.J. Shen is one of the best YA reads this year and available to download now!

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LJSPrettyRecklessBookCover6x9_MEDIUM.jpgWe were supposed to be best friends

But turned out to be worst enemies…

Penn

They say revenge is a dish best served cold.

I’d had four years to stew on what Daria Followhill did to me, and now my heart is completely iced.

I took her first kiss.

She took the only thing I loved.

I was poor.

She was rich.

The good thing about circumstances? They can change. Fast.

Now, I’m her parents’ latest shiny project.

Her housemate. Her tormentor. The captain of the rival football team she hates so much.

Yeah, baby girl, say it—I’m your foster brother.

There’s a price to pay for ruining the only good thing in my life, and she’s about to shell out some serious tears.

Daria Followhill thinks she is THE queen. I’m about to prove to her that she’s nothing but a spoiled princess.

Daria

Everyone loves a good-old, unapologetic punk.

But being a bitch? Oh, you get slammed for every snarky comment, cynical eye roll, and foot you put in your adversaries’ way.

The thing about stiletto heels is that they make a hell of a dent when you walk all over the people who try to hurt you.

In Penn Scully’s case, I pierced his heart until he bled out, then left it in a trash can on a bright summer day.

Four years ago, he asked me to save all of my firsts for him.

Now he lives across the hall, and there’s nothing I want more than to be his last everything.

His parting words when he gave me his heart were that nothing in this world is free.

Now? Now he is making me pay.

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REVIEWED BY SHARON THÉRÈSE AT KFF

Shen literally caught me with my pants down in Pretty Reckless. I never, ever expected such an intense read which would make me keep questioning her. ‘Why, why, why’, I reiterated to myself! She forced me to take a hard look at family dynamics and much more besides. She had me swearing, teary-eyed, made me feel elated and desperate all in the same breath. Paragraphs beyond brilliant, hurtful and oh-so damn compelling, had me backtracking what I’d read. Shen’s writing is addictive. And even though I didn’t like what I’d read inasmuch as I couldn’t come to terms with what was evolving in front of my very own eyes, I couldn’t pull myself away. Hooked, I wanted more.

Secrets. If there hadn’t been so many of them, I wouldn’t have had the feeling that the something was going to hit the fan at any moment. But like the brilliant storyteller that Shen is, she not only held back, she also raised my hopes…and quite cannily so, I might add. Then matters complicated even more than I could have imagined and I didn’t know which way to turn, but hope for relief I clung to. My question was what would be divulged first and more importantly, how would it affect an already stressful home environment. The best recipe for disaster was being concocted and I felt like I had the best seat in the theatre. When cat number two was let out of the bag, I groaned why yet again! It was such a cleverly construed work of trickery, or so I thought at the time. Fooled, I couldn’t turn the pages quick enough to see what else was in store, what else could go possibly go wrong.

Everything changes for the worst when guest number one is invited to stay for reasons I’d rather not disclose. And I won’t even start on guest number two, but supposed friends become arch-enemies, misunderstandings flourish, causing heartache, guilt and jealousy. The green-eyed monster had reared its ugly head earlier on, now it was like waiting to see if there was going to be any damage control. It got to a point in the story when I wondered if certain individuals involved would ever see sense. It’s a fast-paced read, there’s not let up and room to breathe is scarce.

What happened left me seething and I didn’t just want to throttle two of the characters, but three! My level of patience with each and every one of them was beginning to wear thin by now. Wrapped up in their own problems which seemed to be of their own making, escalated by the minute. There’s a huge lack of communication between Daria and her mother, Melody. Not that surprising for a teenager since many of us have been there at one time or another. And despite dual points of view, a lot of emphasis was given to Melody’s role as a mother. Rewind back to Defy: Sinners of Saint, and you’ll have met her and Jaime. A gorgeous couple who still can’t keep their hands off each other, but this parenting business has got them a tad stumped. Jaime, bless him, is a rock. A father who adores his eldest daughter lays down reasonable house rules for what they’re worth.

Titans at loggerheads; two perfectly imperfect teenagers, two lost souls. One lacking attention, the other trying to steer well clear from it. A wrongdoing done without thought for the consequences is the tip of the iceberg. I really don’t want to let on too much as you just have to read this book; however, it’s been a long while since I have loathed a book character so much. I had absolutely no sympathy for her. You’ll see who she is. She stands out in the before and in the after.

Penn. Ooh my, what a lovely guy he is. Since finishing the book he’s haunted my dreams because for someone so inexperienced in life, his moral compass impressed me. Even though he wants the best for the folk around him and I mean this at home and in sports, it’s not easy to please when your feelings and loyalties are torn in two. Not in the slightest bit ungrateful for an opportunity to better his situation, everything seems to snowball into an even messier state of affairs than it is.

Daria. Hmm…she has one big chip on her shoulder. To begin with, I didn’t care much for her but as I read on and saw what was happening, I warmed up her. Shen’s written a very character driven novel but with Daria’s, she’s gone to town. Haughty, beautiful and dreadfully thoughtless, she treats most of those who care for her with utmost disdain. Will she change and if so, who will be the one to break down her emotional walls without coming out of it unscathed?

I can’t put into words how much I loved the last few chapters. Thank you so much, Shen, for letting two wonderful people have their say. I cried buckets, too. Written faultlessly, the banter was where this reader needed it the most, angst-ridden scenes were where I least expected them to pop up. A love story that’s not just unforgettable, it’s tremendous. I have to say that this is the very best of from an author whose storytelling I have always admired. Bravo no. Bravissimo!

EXCERPT

© 2019 L.J. Shen
 All rights reserved.

“I don’t want you transferring into my school,” I hiss out. Melody would gladly file a transfer request, and Principal Prichard would salivate over the chance to snatch him up for our football team. “That won’t be a problem. You guys suck so much ass, you have shit-breath.” “Still smells better than poverty. You’re poor, right? Your sister was just bullshitting about being rich.”

When someone hits me with a stick, I run over them with a tank. I’m so mean to him I want to throw up. I hate this part of being me. The striking harder at all costs part.

“Just to make things clear.” I put the brush down, batting my lashes. “You’re not my step-sibling, foster brother, or a part of the family. You’re a stray dog. Last of the litter, most unlikely to be adopted, and a charity case.”

Penn takes a step toward me, and my heart is fighting its way out of my ribcage. The closer he gets, the more I realize that my heart might succeed. Penn’s eyes remind me of a snake’s. Mesmerizing, but inhuman altogether. They weren’t like that before.

His scent messes with my head. I want to reach out and caress his face. Kiss his wounds better. Beg for forgiveness. Curse him. Push him away. Cry on his shoulder for what we’ve done. For how it ended. For what we became afterwards, because I’m full of crap and he is totally empty.

We ruined ourselves the day of our first kiss.

Penn looks down at me. Time stops. It feels like the world is losing gravity, falling into a bottomless depth in space when he clasps my chin with his thumb and finger, lifting my head up. I can’t breathe. I’m not sure I want to, either. My towel drops to the floor with a thud, even though I secured it over my chest. I realize that he tugged at it intentionally. I’m naked. My body, my soul, my heart. All my walls are down. Somewhere in my head, a red alarm blasts and my inhibitions are getting armed, ready to fight back. I’m trying to decode his expression. He is amused, irritated, and…playful? The mixture of emotions doesn’t make any sense.

“Mess with me, Followhill, and I will ruin you.”

“Not if I ruin you first.”

 

MEET L.J. SHEN

LJShen.jpgL.J. Shen is an International #1 best-selling author of Contemporary Romance and New Adult novels. She lives in Northern California with her husband, young son and chubby cat.

Before she’d settled down, L.J. (who thinks referring to herself in the third person is really silly, by the way) traveled the world, and collected friends from all across the globe. Friends who’d be happy to report that she is a rubbish companion, always forgets peoples’ birthdays and never sends Christmas cards.

She enjoys the simple things in life, like spending time with her family and friends, reading, HBO, Netflix and internet-stalking Stephen James. She reads between three to five books a week and firmly believes Crocs shoes and mullets should be outlawed.

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