March 18, 2015

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Pocketful of Sand

It's here, and OMG you guys - POCKETFUL OF SAND is incredible! Check out my review, and then enter the equally incredible giveaway from M. Leighton!

Pocketful of Sand, by M. Leighton
Publish Date: March 15, 2015
Publisher: self-published
Genre: new adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

(From Goodreads) “She’s beauty for my ashes. And I’m hope for her heartache.”—Cole Danzer.

I don’t know what makes a great love story. Is it that instant attraction when boy meets girl? The passionate kisses and the fairy-tale ending? Or is it a lifetime of tragedy, paid in advance, for a few stolen moments of pure bliss? The pain and the suffering that, in the end, you can say are worth it for having found the missing piece of your soul?

The answer is: I don’t know. I don’t know what makes a great love story. I only know what makes my love story. I only know that finding Cole when I did, when Emmy and I were running from a nightmare, was the only thing that saved me. That saved us. He was more broken than I was, but somehow we took each other’s shattered pieces and made a whole. If that is what makes a great love story, if that is what makes an epic romance, then mine…ours is the greatest of them all.

Michelle Leighton does it again with POCKETFUL OF SAND. This story... holy cow. It was absolutely heartbreaking. But, there was this thread of hope wound tightly through every page and every interaction between the characters. I caught that thread and followed it through all the hard stuff to the end.

Cole is a loner in a small town in Maine. He doesn't interact with anyone in the town, and his rugged good looks combined with the mystique make him a popular topic of conversation and a target of single women. Eden and her 6-year-old daughter Emmy come to town with just as many secrets and an equally strong aversion to strangers. Despite their desire to remain separate and single, neither Cole nor Eden can stay away from each other. The weight of their secrets can be crushing though, and it's up to them to decide to whether sharing them is worth it. 

It's apparent from the very beginning that the secrets that Eden and Cole each have are not your typical, run-of-the-mill new adult book secrets. The nature of them is not known immediately, but you catch glimpses here and there that slowly shed light on their situations. I guessed Cole's secret pretty early on. And, it absolutely broke my heart. He's been suffering from a severe and crushing loss for a long time, and he just can't get past it. The ways in which he honors that loss are poignant and sweet and so, so sad. It also explains a lot about why he's so anti-social.

Eden's secret, however, was mind-blowing. And absolutely infuriating. I wanted some justice for her and her little girl in the worst way. Through little clues throughout the beginning of the book, you can guess at some of what happened to her, but I promise you, when the whole story is revealed, you will need a friend to rage and rant and scream to. Because, her reality is so much worse that what my mind had conjured up. 

Eden and Cole were so amazing together. It wasn't easy for them to come together since they were both still recovering from the demons from their pasts. And, Eden had Emmy to think about too. Starting a new relationship with a daughter adds a whole additional layer of complication. I loved how both Cole and Eden were with Emmy, though. 

The ending of their story was incredibly satisfying as we saw both Eden and Cole reveal their secrets to one another and then beat the crap out of them for good. It was a hard battle, but their love for one another gave them strength. 

I have to give big props to Michelle Leighton for thinking outside the box with Pocketful of Sand. She puts a completely different and unique twist on the ending so that a door is opened for a second book. I can't tell you too much more without giving it all away, but rest assured, you will be surprised and intrigued. I'm very much looking forward to the second book so that I can find out more. 

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