December 9, 2014


Welcome to my stop on the PLAY OF LIGHT blog tour, organized by Xpresso Book Tours. Read on for my review, then enter the awesome tour-wide giveaway at the bottom. And, don't forget to check out the other stops on the tour for more information about Debra Doxer and this incredible book!

Play of Light, by Debra Doxer
Published December 8, 2014
Publisher: self-published
Format: e-ARC, provided by the author
Genre: new adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon

Rating: 4.5 STARS

(From Goodreads) I lived in paradise, and I loved Spencer Pierce.

At fourteen, my life was perfect. The beach was my playground, and the boy who stole my heart lived just around the corner. But perfect never lasts. In one horrifying moment, I lost it all. My family was destroyed, and the boy I believed in turned his back on me. Paradise became a nightmare.

That was five years ago. Everything changed when we moved from our home by the sea. I’ve changed, and I don’t like who I’ve become. I miss the smiling, carefree beach girl who disappeared that terrible night. I want to find her again. I want to face the people we ran from so long ago. Most of all, I have to face Spencer. So I can prove that when he broke my heart, he didn’t break me.

But when I see him again, Spencer Pierce is no longer the boy from my memories. He’s now a man who could devastate me if I let him. He watches me when he thinks I’m not looking. There’s regret written on his face when he’s near. Each time I see him, my heart aches for what might have been, and I think his does too. How can I convince myself I’m over him when I suspect he never got over me? 

Can I get a HELL YEAH for a new adult novel with cool characters that I love and an intriguing storyline that is encapsulated in a SINGLE BOOK? Don't get me wrong. I love series. I love seeing characters' stories continue on through three, four and five books. But, sometimes you really would like to see things begin and end in 350 pages. You know? Debra Doxer game me just what I needed in Play of Light.

Sarah was only 12 when she fell in love with 14-year-old Spencer. Over the next two years, their friendship grew through a sharing of intense experiences, mostly on his part, as he was growing up in his abusive uncle's home. And then, tragedy strikes and Spencer lets her down. Sarah and her family move away and she spends the next five years living, but not really living. Enough is enough. Before starting class in the fall, she takes a few weeks to go back to the old neighborhood to try and find some closure. She finds that some things never change. Some things do. And, some things she had absolutely no idea about. 

Play of Light was an emotional book on so many levels. First there was Spencer's situation. He was just a young, impressionable and creative teen who got dumped on his aunt and uncle after the death of his parents. His uncle is a horrible human being. He is angry, ruthless and verbally and physically abusive. Spencer found a friend in young Sarah, and their times together were bittersweet. Gah - I just wanted to give that boy a cookie and a hug. 

Sarah was amazing, even as a little kid. She was always so patient and understanding with Spencer. He wasn't always the easiest kid to be friends with. He brooded a lot and didn't share much. But, when he did share things with Sarah, you got the impression that that was monumental, and she treated those moments with care and love. Because even at 12, she loved him in the sweet, platonic way, and she wanted only what was best for him. 

And, sure as they both got older, the type of love shifted and changed for both of them. Then, when everything came to a head one night, Sarah's only concern was helping Spencer. Unfortunately, the results of her efforts meet with devastating results, and when she wants comfort from Spencer, he deals with his guilt and sadness badly. And she leaves. For five years. 

Play of Light started in present day, and through Sarah's flashbacks, we revisit what happened between Sarah and Spencer - how they met, became friends, an weathered each of their horrible situations - before returning to the story in the present. Although the story in the past was contextually important, I found myself reading that part as fast as possible so that I could get back to the present. I couldn't wait for that first meeting between Spencer and Sarah. I knew it would be good. And it was. 

I didn't know where Spencer's head was. Did he have a girlfriend? Would he be happy to see Sarah? That first meeting was so good, and the subsequent meetings were even better. Sarah was, understandably, distant with Spencer at first, but he worked hard at rebuilding their connection, and goodness, was he good. This man was super sexy, sensitive, complicated, and completely dedicated to making things right. I loved him when he was 14. I adored him when he was 21. And, Sarah didn't make it too easy for him, which I also loved. He had to work hard to get back in her good graces. 

Play of Light was told entirely from Sarah's POV, and while I was okay with that, I would've loved SO MUCH to read that first meeting in the bar from Spencer's POV. I would've loved to know what was going through his head. 

I've read several of Debra Doxer's books, and Play of Light was the most emotional and the most sexy of them all so far. I freaking loved it. 

About the Author

Debra Doxer was born in Boston, and other than a few lost years in the California sunshine, she has always resided in the Boston area. She writes fiction, technical software documents, illegible scribbles on sticky notes, and texts that get mangled by AutoCorrect. She writes for a living, and she writes for fun. When her daughter asks when she’ll run out of words, her response always is, “When I run out of time.”

Connect with Debra. She loves hearing from readers.

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1 comment:

Giselle said...

Haha it's so refreshing to have stand-alone novels and they're actually becoming more common now. They're realizing we actually LIKE them! Especially in this genre I tend to prefer stand alones. But anyways this book sounds SO good and full of great characters. I also love past-present storytellings it can make for such an intense read! Great review, Krista!