Stella’s future was set, and it was a bright one. She was engaged to a man she adored, and was headed to law school in the fall. Tragically, her perfectly planned future ends just as it was beginning.
With no ties to family or friends, Stella finds herself alone in a new city, spiraling out of control. Her typical day comes to a close with her passed out on the floor; sometimes clothed.
Luckily, her new roommate, essentially a stranger, is dead set on getting Stella past her grief and back to functioning within society. Putting one foot in front of the other, she climbs up from the bottom of a bottle. Even with all her progress, Stella walks through life unfeeling, numb. Defiant, she sends out warning signals for the world to keep away. But, is that what she really wants?
With the steadfast help of a few tight knit friends, she gradually begins to feel again. She starts to savor the flavor of food again; lets herself notice how the handsome bartender glances at her. Still, after allowing herself a fling, she wonders if she will ever be able to let go of her shattered past, fully enjoy the present, or get over what she thought would be her perfect future and with the man who destroyed her heart.
When I got a recommendation from my friend Michelle, saying I had to read this book, that’s exactly what I did. I trust her so I went in blind (no blurb read, I like a surprise), and I owe her for introducing me to this amazing new author, big time! Let me tell you, I was blown away.
It’s not your run of the mill romance novel; it has so much more… More pain, sadness, heartbreak, intensity, love and questions. Simply put, it just has M.O.R.E!! I loved the pace of the writing, it continually made me want to read more, each chapter ending called for another to follow, I couldn’t leave this book down.
Stella, what can I say but she is one tough cookie, a white chocolate chip with macadamia nut cookie drizzled in melted peanut butter to be exact. Her life seemed perfect and in an instant it became a deep black hole of misery, pain and sorrow. It’s in that horrible dark place that she wants to stay; isolated, numb and alone. I have to say I don’t blame her either!
Reading this book, she easily became one of my favourite female heroines or in her case “the hero of this story”. Though she wallows in the sadness of her grieving process (which I applaud Patrick for dragging her kicking and screaming from), she is a strong, determined, smart, sassy woman with a don’t-give-a-shit attitude, at least about the smaller things like drunken nudity! There were so many times I laughed at her smart-assed comments; a few I’m holding on to for future use I felt what she felt, good bad or indifferent and that is a testament to RL Griffin’s great writing skill.
Not only did I connect with El, I also did with the external characters; Patrick, Billy, Millie, George and the ever faithful canine companion Cooper. It’s not too often that you come across a book and like all the key characters, well for me at least! I wanted to go to Finnegan’s with the gang for drinks and lay out in the park with Cooper. I loved the way Patrick was a constant support for El, regardless of the situation she found herself in and that he and Billy were always there for her, like family. Millie is the perfect balance to El and then there’s George, oh George… What a guy! I’m not saying anymore because you really need to meet these people for yourself! When you do, I hope they’ll feel as real to you as they did for me. As I’m Irish I loved nod given to this Emerald Isle of ours; Finnegan’s Bar, the Guinness and Harp on tap and I’m sure if you go back far enough that El has some Irish roots somewhere, no one can drink like her and not have some Irish in her!
I had my suspicions about where the plot was going and I wasswayed this way and that over and back to the point where I felt I could have been in “The X-Files” because I was trusting no one and telling El that the truth was out there! RL Griffin does an amazing job of keeping you on your toes and now even still I have a list of questions that need answers to, good thing is Tension (BaT #2) is available now!
“I want to tell you that you are beautiful, you know that? Inside and out.” He kissed her left shoulder blade, “but you are broken. I plan on fixing you.”
“Oh really, how do you plan on doing that?” she asked without moving.
He leaned down and kissed her lovingly on the back of her neck, up slowly behind her ear. A shutter went through her entire body. “Very slowly, and one piece at a time, love.”
A compelling, emotional, intense read for sure, a story of struggle, acceptance, rediscovery, strength, friendship and love.
And with an ending and prologue like that be damn sure you’re going to want to read Tension (#2) immediately after (which you can, links below) and then Seamless (#3) to come early 2014! Oh and not forgetting to grab my #TeamStella “Oh My Shit” tshirt too! Check them out here.
My song dedication to El and George~
Get your copy of BY A THREAD for:
Check out RL Griffin’s stunning Playlist for By A Thread~
Get your copy of Tension (#2) for:
About the Author:
R.L. Griffin lives in the Atlanta area and is surrounded by awesome dudes: her husband, son and two dogs. She went to law school at American University, Washington College of Law, but only after she fell in love with D.C. R.L. worked in the Senate during the impeachment trial and wanted to stay. After law school, she worked for a bit in the area, then moved to Atlanta.
If you ask anyone who knows R.L., they know she loves reading and reads all sorts of books. Any free time she has she’s either reading, writing or drinking with friends.