Under the Influence
Published on May 11, 2015 Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
I loved you once. A love I thought irrevocable. A love I mistakenly believed could transcend both time and circumstance. Under the influence of my dimwitted, naïve, traitorous heart, I became intoxicated with what I now know was simply a figment of my self-indulgent imagination. So drunk on the feeling, I couldn’t see what was right in front of my face. So foolishly enamored, I blindly followed my heart into the depths of an emotion that would ravage me.
Years later, I know now what I wish I knew then. I am stronger. Smarter. Tougher. I will not allow myself to be broken again.
I loved you.
I raged for you.
I wept for you.
And now, I’m letting you go.
Author’s Note: Under the Influence is the journey of two childhood friends that spans the course of five pivotal years in their lives. It is a story about their discovery of true friendship as it blossoms into first love, their experience of crucial sacrifice and ultimate betrayal, and their endurance of agonizing heartbreak on the way to finding lasting redemption.
I’ve read this author before, and this book is a different read from her…and while it’s not my favorite, I highly enjoyed it. I really liked getting to know these two characters and the paths their lives took them on.
Years ago, Dalton and Spencer meet and the connection is instant, but friendship is all that they allow themselves to have. Dalton is the older, bad-boy with the heart of gold who pines for Spencer, protecting her for afar. He allows just so much connection in the form of friendship, but Spencer is drawn to him, there’s chemistry and she finds herself totally captivated by him. I am an angst whore and I wanted more build up, more angst, more pining. I do love the secondary characters, especially Cassie who helps Spencer make Dalton confront his emotions and true feelings.
Once these two admit their feelings, their connection is hard to deny. I loved them together. I loved their interactions; Dalton’s feelings were so real, I felt his sincerity through the pages. Spencer’s anticipation and desire only strengthen my bond to her and to her feelings for Dalton.
When loyalties are tested and danger becomes a daily reality, Dalton must make a harsh and heart-breaking choice that affects so many, and sends Spencer on a downward spiral. This is where I wanted more…more angst that tears my soul apart… what this author did was give a good, heartfelt summary of their time apart. I felt sad for these two, when I wanted to feel as if my world feel apart and there was no one left. I just wanted a little bit more angst, more depth, more heartbreak. I’m a lover of the tortured soul and while I got some of my fill, I ached for more.
I do love the end. I love full circle moments and these two deserved theirs. I highly enjoyed reading this book and getting to know Dalton and Spencer. Their journey is one I’ll remember for sure! Now go one-click while this bad boy is one SALE!
Cassie maintains her wide smile. “You go on a date and I guarantee what you find regarding Dalton and his feelings will surprise you.”
“Cassie. No one wants to go out on a date with me. Trust me.”
She shakes her head before she busts out laughing. The ridiculous sound of it reverberates around my room. “You really have no idea, do you? Every guy at school has a hard-on for you, you fool. They’re fucking scared to come within even ten feet of you because of Dalton. He let it be known that if they did, he would deal with them.”
“Oh my God! You have no idea what you’re talking about!” I’m laughing outright now. She really has lost her mind.
She shakes her head, the severity of her statement tightening her features. “I’m totally serious, Spence. I swear on my Kindle.”
At this, I take a sharp breath and sober immediately. To Cassie, her Kindle is sacred as the Bible.
She nods slowly, dramatically, as she watches me grasp the meaning of her statement. Right hand raised, she states, “On the over-abundance of trashy romance novels within my possession, I solemnly swear that before Dalton graduated, he straight-up took out a vendetta against any male in our school who dares approach you.”
“He did what?!” I screech, pressing myself off the bed and catapulting into upright position.
Anger ignites and my face heats wildly as realization dawns.
This whole year, in fact, the entire four years of high school, no one has looked at me. No one has asked me to come to parties, to go on dates, to go to prom. Not that I would go, but it would be nice to be asked, you know? Okay, I probably would go. I mean, it’s a rite of passage, right?
Two black painted fingernails make their appearance as they snap directly in front of my face, jolting me out of my inner thoughts.
“Hooker! Pay attention!”
I shake my head and refocus. Still seething, I whisper, “This whole time, I thought it was me. That I wasn’t dating material or pretty enough. Four years, Cass. Four years of feeling like I wasn’t good enough.” My molars grind together. “It all makes sense now.”
She waves her hand dismissively. “We’re getting off track here.”
My eyes bulge as she continues, “I have found someone who, luckily for you, seems to have recently acquired a death wish.”