October 29, 2013

Braine Reviews: His Ever After by Jessica Ingro + Giveaway

Series: Love Square 2
Release Date: October 29, 2013
Format: PDF
Source: Author
Publisher: Self-published
Genre: Adult Contemporary
Cover Designer: Cover It! Designs
All is fair in love and war.

Jacob Matthews learned that lesson the hard way when he discovered just how far some people will go to win someone’s heart.

When fate brought Samantha Monroe back into Jacob’s life, he finally started to believe that his world was going to be complete. He loves Sam with the kind of intensity that burns deep and scalds your very soul. But fate had other ideas in mind, forcing him into a life filled with cold touches, long silences and complete misery.

Brooke Dugan had to have Jacob Matthews. It didn’t matter that he was in love with someone else, she always got what she wanted. And what she wanted was Jacob. Brooke vowed that she would stop at nothing until Jacob was tied to her forever… in both life and death.

Find out what happens when lies are revealed and the bitter truth comes out. Hearts will be broken and bonds will be tested.

Everyone is worthy of love -- even Jacob, but can he find his happily ever after?

Prepare yourself for the emotional follow up to Love Square…

I've been rooting for Jacob since I read Love Square two months ago. I felt that he was played and got caught in the middle of a marital war and became collateral damage. He sure got the short end of the stick and even after he managed to walk away from that relationship, he didn't fare any better with Brooke but at least she wasn't married. HIS EVER AFTER is Jacob's POV and the events that happened here are side by side with Love Square, during the unraveling of his affair with Sam until Jacob, thanks to Jessica Ingro, finally has HIS EVER AFTER.

I'm an opportunistic bastard and am going to capitalize on that as best I can.
Let me start with the women. Sam. I disliked Sam in Love Square, I found her foolish and capricious and that rock bottom she found herself in was her own doing, nobody else's. I also felt that she still got lucky because her husband loved her too much, enough to fight for her tooth and nail. I'm happy that they were able to move forward with their marriage despite Jacob being in the middle but at the same time, I felt Sam got off almost Scott-free from the mess she made. That said, I must say the Sam made me proud here in HIS EVER AFTER, Jacob pulled a hail mary pass to get her back but Sam stood her ground. She's finally redeemed in my eyes!

Brooke is a piece of work. 'Nuff said.
I feel trapped in this relationship. I'm not going to pretend that we're making love.
As for the meat of the story, Jacob. This dude is a man whore who irritated, frustrated and annoyed me to kingdom come! He self medicates with sex which explains why his love life is a frickin' mess and why he finds himself with these dysfunctional females! It took him a looong time to be in the same place as Sam: self-possessed, self-aware and has self-love. Jacob's road to contentment was paved with nails, barbs and trip wires. He made so many douche-bag moves that made me upset but in the end, he pulled through and did the right thing. He just needs to exorcise some of his demons and when he finally did, Jacob did well and beautifully. 

HIS EVER AFTER is an awesome sequel. JIngro allowed her characters to tell their story and it's their grayness that I find so compelling. We get sucked in to their moral dilemmas and see them peel themselves off the floor when they make bad choices. Her characters are real and normal, going with their feelings with no guarantees of a good future. Like most of us. I may not have been the biggest fan of Love Square because of its theme but HIS EVER AFTER is a great redemption story. Everyone deserves a second chance and Jacob and Sam sure took theirs and ran with it.

Purchase Love Square

BRAINE: Hi Jessica! Thanks for giving us an interview.

Jessica Ingro: Thanks for having me!

BRAINE: So my burning question since LOVE SQUARE is why take on a cheating theme?

Jessica Ingro: I’ve always had stories playing out in my head, and Sam’s was one of them. I found her intriguing and wanted to explore what happens when you are so unhappy with yourself and your circumstances, that you just can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. I think more people than we care to admit make morally questionable and irrational decisions like cheating. It is a fact of life that isn’t going anywhere. And until we are in that person’s shoes, we really can’t know how or why they make those choices. From the outside looking in, Sam had the perfect life. But on the inside, it was full of loneliness and heartache. I think my favorite line was, “What we grow up thinking of as black and white is anything but. Gray areas are everywhere.” And I really believe that is true. I may have grown up with a distaste for adultery, but until I’m put in a position of weakness with temptation sitting in front of me and a chance to rewrite my story, I’m not sure how I’d react.

BRAINE: When you were writing the characters, did you want us to feel empathetic, sympathetic or even love them at some point? I guess I'd like to know what was the rationale behind these controversial people?

Jessica Ingro: To tell you the truth, I didn’t really think about it. I was actually quite surprised when everyone started talking about how much they hated Sam. Na├»ve I know. As the author, there were times the characters made me mad, or made me cry, or made me laugh. But I never really thought about how the outside world would perceive them. I just told their story as it happened. They had to go through the paces that they did. I didn’t manipulate them at all in an attempt to persuade the reader one way or another. They just are who they are.

BRAINE: Ha! I'm one of those people but I do see that "Sam" took control of the story. I'm sure there are some people who like me wasn't enamored by the theme of LOVE SQUARE but truly loved your style and admire your boldness in writing about a touchy subject. What was the most outrageous feedback you got, where were you when you read this and how did you handle it?

Jessica Ingro: Thank you for the compliment. I never really considered myself gutsy or bold to take it on, so I appreciate it when people say that. Nothing in particular sticks out, but I think the most outrageous feedback I’ve gotten is how much people despise Sam and her decisions. It took a lot of getting used to hearing her getting bashed. It’s like having your child get picked on at school. I know everyone is entitled to their own opinions, so I left it alone. And for every two Sam haters, there was someone who identified with her.

BRAINE: LOL I'm sorry, I'm one of those! I'm not Sam's biggest fan but she got redeemed in my eyes in HIS EVER AFTER. 

Jessica Ingro: I’ve never been one to try and force my thoughts or beliefs on another, and fortunately for me, nothing has been too harmful like other friends of mine in this industry. I don’t expect everyone to like the story. I just think there are helpful and constructive ways to get your point across, as opposed to straight up negativity.

BRAINE: After HIS EVER AFTER, what direction is the series going? 

Jessica Ingro: I never expected LOVE SQUARE to be a series, so it still boggles my mind that there is a book 2 releasing. At the beginning of book 2, I insisted that this would be it. However, as the story developed so did scenes for a holiday novella and a third book. My plan is to the end the series there, but never say never!

BRAINE: Good to hear! I liked how HIS EVER AFTER ended. Looks like everyone's got closure? What's next for you? Any new projects you're working on?

Jessica Ingro: Up next is the holiday novella, Their Merry Little Christmas, followed by a standalone titled, Love, Your Concierge. It will be the story of a personal concierge that falls in love with one of her clients. I’m really excited about it and can’t wait to really dig into their story. After that, the plan is to work on Bound in Blue, book 3 in the Love Square series, which will focus on Jacob’s partner Mack.

Jessica grew up in Central New York. She spends her days as a Security Analyst at an IT consulting company. She spends her free time reading books and developing ideas for her own stories. Writing is her secret passion that she’s been fostering since elementary school, when she wrote her first book about a puppy. Writing has always been one of her secret dreams and she can't wait to share her stories with the world.

She currently lives in New York with her husband and three dogs.

Follow Jessica

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  1. Agree with everything! Great review, luv!

  2. Glad it ended up being a good sequel

  3. I'm glad the sequel was worth the wait! I remember your review of Love Square and I think it's just one of those books that is a bit difficult to read but you can't help but love it despite its difficult subject. Great review and interview!

  4. Oh! I've heard a lot about Love Square. It's pretty great that the guy left behind gets his story. I don't really dislike cheating books, so I'm thinking I'll enjoy this series!

  5. I like this cover, how there's an image in the title.
    I don't know that I've read many cheating books (can't think of any) but this sounds interesting to me. I agree there are gray areas, that everyone has their own side of a story.

  6. Jacobsounds messy but they often make the most interesting characters. Awesome review my friend.

  7. Sounds like a great story, I haven't heard about these ones but I'm glad the guy redeemed himself. Great review!

  8. I confess that I wouldn't have read it because I have a problem with the cover but the way you wrote your review makes me want to know more. And it seems like this second is better than the first, so it's great!

  9. I definitely think every character deserves an HEA! :)


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