Monday, March 24, 2014

Release Day Blitz: Lovelines (Wilmington Saga #1) by S. Walden {Review + Giveaway + Excerpt}

The Wilmington Saga:
Follow the stories of Wilmington, NC residents as they fall in and out of love, mend and break hearts, grow, change, lose, win, and experience what it means to truly live in this small coastal community.

Title: LoveLines
Author: S. Walden
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 25th, 2014

Arrive to work at 7:58 A.M. sharp. Check. Count forty-seven steps to cubicle. Check. Arrange pens in their red-blue-black-green-purple order of importance. Check. Apply hand sanitizer before opening email. Double check. And that’s just the first few minutes of her work day. Thirty-one-year-old proofreader Bailey Mitchell is a slave to her tics. She inherited Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder from her father, and it’s done nothing but inhibit her love life. She’s run the gamut of boyfriends—none of them willing or able to cope with her condition. Enter 32-year-old Reece Powell, her new coworker at Beach Elite Marketing Firm. He’s more than willing to cope. He finds her habits cute and quirky . . . for now. Reece wins her over, and life coasts along for them until Bailey experiences a devastating blow. Tragedy exacerbates her OCD, and Reece realizes her tics aren’t so cute and quirky anymore. Just like all the others, he has the choice to leave. But Reece isn't like all the others.

My Review:

I was equal parts reluctant and excited to read Lovelines. A story about a woman with a severe OCD disorder didn't sound like it would be that romantic or something that would pull you in. As I've learned with S. Walden books this story was both unique, heartfelt and very romantic and sweet.

I always joke that I have OCD about washing my hands or having even numbered things but Lovelines gave me a whole new understanding of this disorder. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is nothing to laugh about especially once you get to know Bailey. She's a young and ambitious woman with certain quirks about her daily routine. Specifically not going into the office until exactly 7:58 am or lining up her pens by color neatly on her desk. Her OCD both helps and hinders her. Helping with her job at an ad agency where she works as a proofreader and hinders her in relationships when the guys she dates can't handle her quirks. It's clear that from a young age Bailey was diagnosed with OCD inheriting it from her father. She's had a strained relationship with her mother and sister because of her disorder and shares a closer bond with her father. When Reece gets a job at the agency the two begin to build a relationship against company policy and against the warning of fellow friends and co-workers the two get serious.

I loved both characters but Reece was my favorite hands down. I knew he was a great guy all around just from the basics I first learned about him. He was funny, upbeat, charming and honest. He said exactly what was on his mind even if it shocked Bailey. Reece had a tough upbringing being raised in the foster care system and never having a family made him feel unworthy of love. He never had roots or a place to call his own but he was still a well rounded guy to be tossed around so much. What really captured my heart and endeared me to him was how great he was about Bailey's issues. He treated her so good and you really feel his connection to her was genuine. Plus it was nice to see he had his own quirks to match Bailey's. I think that's why they worked so well. Reece liked to get a little freaky behind closed doors that really seemed to open Bailey up in a new way that made me smile. She's so used to having control of her life so watching Reece take that away from her briefly was intoxicating.

Getting inside Bailey's head was chaotic at times but I really ended up loving her. By the time I was finished I really felt like I understood her quirks or "Tics" as she calls them. Driven mostly by anxiety her tics had a tendency to get in the way of her living a normal life. I was glad she had friends in her life to help her cope with her disorder and made her feel loved and accepted. Though I didn't connect with Bailey on a personal level I did sympathize with her. She wanted to be happy and have a normal relationship but often used her OCD as a crutch. I was happy to see her realize that and rectify it the more she learned about herself. Her feelings of low self worth due to the OCD is what I connected with. Most women struggle with these feelings so it wasn't hard to gravitate to that with Bailey.

The relationship between Bailey and Reece was the best part of the book. Duh! Right? They were amazing together and it was a pleasant surprise to see it give something positive for Bailey to focus on. It's not easy by any means as they navigate new waters together. Reece has never belonged to anyone growing up in foster homes and Bailey has never had a strong relationship like this before. Once the newness wears off Bailey begins to struggle again causing problems between them. When they seem to work through one problem another one arises and when a family tragedy throws Bailey deeper into her tics the relationship with Reece faces bigger challenges for them. My heart hurt so bad for these two because they had such a strong bond and a deeply sweet romance going when things get tough. Reece tried so hard to be what Bailey needed but she was so deeply set in her ways it was hard for her to come out of it.

The supporting characters were such a great mix into the story to offset the quirkiness Bailey brought to the table. Her friends Erica and Noah with their little family added some humor and drama. Reece and his friends Cameron and Chris were fun and I loved seeing them bond with Bailey. I loved that while they didn't understand her tics they still embraced her as a friend. I found myself really disliking Bailey's mother and sister. Once her sister gets engaged it was apparent they only used Bailey and her OCD to plan the wedding. I hated watching Bailey feel so isolated by her family. She shared a special bond with her dad that was very tender and at times emotional. He was always there to help her see that even though her mother and sister were sometimes hard to tolerate that they meant well. Her mother and Sister came across as callous and cold but it was nice to see them all work through their family issues together. I didn't want to like them especially after all they put Bailey through but Walden redeemed them by the time the story wrapped up.

The writing with Lovelines seemed to jump all over the place at times and that was probably my only issue with this book. During the scenes involving Bailey it was obvious it was being told from a first person narrative. During Reece's POV it went to third person but what was really jarring was during Bailey's POV the writing jumped to Reece's third person dialogue. It didn't hinder my enjoyment but it was a little confusing. I've read other books by this author that weren't as scattered so this surprised me a little bit.

Lovelines was everything I look for and come to expect from an S. Walden book. Unique story, quirky characters full of life and depth and amazing love that gets under your skin and gives you something to cheer for. I never feel like I'm reading the same old story when I read once of her books because she has a way with adding her own flare to each story. I'm looking forward to the next book in the Wilmington Saga given that the ending was so juicy it has potential to be a big dramatic ordeal only Walden can make me love! If you have yet to read anything by this author then grab a copy of Lovelines and jump in. You can't go wrong with any of her work and I can't say enough wonderful things or recommend them enough.


Yes, these are the thoughts that occupy my brain on a daily basis: How many steps to take. How many hairbrush strokes. Making sure I line up my proofreading pens just so. Making sure my makeup is just so. Sitting in my fucking desk chair just so. It's exhausting living a "just so" life. And I don't want to do it, but the idea of not counting, not arranging, not tic-ing sends my heart reeling with anxiety. ARC 2%

Relax bro. You're cool. She can't see your...oh, wait a minute. There it goes. It's going down. Phew! Thank God. How embarrassing would that have been, right? For her to see how much she turns me on? How much I can't stop thinking about the kind of panties she wears under those cigarette pants. The way her tits look in her button-up tops. Man, I love how she buttons them all the way up... wait a minute. Hold Up. I mean DOWN! GO down! Stupid dick! ARC 20%

She reached behind her back and unclasped her bra, pulling it away from her body. She folded it and placed it on the bed, catching sight of his smile. "I'm nervous," she explained. "Will you fold your pants, too?" he asked. "I may. Would that be weird?" she replied. He shook his head. "I'll fold your pants. I'll fold your pants and eat you out at the same time." ARC 41%

"I'll always be faithful to you. Just you. The things we do here? These secret things between us? They're special to us. They're expressions of our love for one another. I don't ever want you to think they're wrong or dirty. ARC 64%

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Noah dropped me home sometime around nine. I’d stayed for dinner, thought I’d sobered up sufficiently to drive, but was told to keep my car right where it was—on the curb in front of Erica’s house. She’d drive it over tomorrow.

I live in a cul-de-sac in an old neighborhood filled with one-story brick homes. They’re small—no bigger than 1500 square feet—but the perfect size for a single woman tired of paying rent. I bought my house two years ago. I’d started saving for a down payment eight years before that. I thought my mother would be so proud of me for purchasing my first home—on my own—but she was more concerned about the people to fill it.

“Just me, Mom,” I had said during my housewarming party. It included my dad, younger sister, some coworkers, a few friends from college, and Erica’s crew.

“Not even a roommate, Bailey? At least get a roommate. I mean, what’s the point of two bedrooms if it’s just you?”
“Office space,” I replied.

“Office space for what? What do you need an office for? Do you take work home with you? Do they make you work nights and weekends at that place? Honey, let’s talk about the sales job. Remember that sales job I told you about?”

“Mom, I’d be working more in sales. Do you understand? We’ve been over this. Days. Nights. Weekends. Holidays. Vacations. That’s a sales job!”

“Honey, this job is different. Now I gave Archie your number. He said he’ll call you—”

“Oh my God! I just bought a house, Mom! Can we focus on the house?!”

Yeah. So that’s how most of the conversations went with my mother.


S. Walden used to teach English before making the best decision of her life by becoming a full-time writer. She lives in Georgia with her very supportive husband, who prefers physics textbooks over fiction and has a difficult time understanding why her characters must have personality flaws. She is wary of small children, so she has a Westie instead. She is the USA Today bestselling author of Going Under. When she's not writing, she's thinking about it.

She loves her fans and loves to hear from them. Email her at and follow her twitter feed at @swaldenauthor.
Twitter: @swaldenauthor


  1. this cover is adorable, and I would have never guessed it was about a girl with OCD. Did you ever see that true life on Mtv that followed those three people with it. The one guy would huff into his hand all the time. That shit was funny. I still laugh, just thinking about it. Maybe I should read this book and gain some real sympathy for people with that disorder.

    ehhh, who am I kidding. I'll always find it funny because I'm a horrible person. #truestory.

  2. I'm looking forward to reading this one. I loved your comments while reading it. LOL


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