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The Path of Love: A Dual Review of Neeny Boucher’s “Complicated Love” Books 1 and 2

I know you were looking for A Center Stage Moment, but life happened and the author was unable to participate. But I have a treat for you, a dual review! Recently I had the pleasure of discovering the author Neeny Boucher. She’s a talented writer with a great series, The Complicated Love series. Sit back and enjoy the review and then add it to your TBR! If you’ve read either book, be sure to leave a review on Amazon.

 

About the Author

Neeny Boucher is a nom de plume because my real name sounds like a 19th Century suffragette. Originally, I’m from New Zealand and am a long-time supporter of the All Blacks. Currently, I am living in Europe and a trailing spouse, following my husband all over the world for his work. This not only gives me the opportunity to write, but also, experience the world and indulge in one of my favourite past-times: people watching.
My own employment history is varied and ranges from the sublime to the ridiculous. All of those experiences and encounters, however, have allowed me to collect amazing stories, which now form the basis of my writings.

I have always loved the weird, the outcast and those on the margins of society because they see the world in a different way. These are the people my characters are based around.

I have a BA Hons (English and Pacific Studies) and a PhD in Sociology/Indigenous Studies.

Find Neeny online at:

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Neeny-Boucher/e/B00J478RG4

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorneeny.boucher

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7303953.Neeny_Boucher

 

I received an ARC of both books in exchange for an honest review.

Both of books are recommended for mature readers due to language and sexual situations.

 

My Review of Back of Beyond

 

Goodreads.com Description: “Dina Martin and Nicholas Riley are total opposites. She’s the good girl with the perfect grades and he’s the bad boy with a reputation. Growing up together with close family ties, they have been at war as long as they can remember. When the unthinkable happens, neither of them wants it. Set in a small town at the turn of the millennium, this story is about family and friendship, the love of music and how sometimes who you don’t want, is exactly who you need.”

Do you remember that quirky couple from high school? The one people wondered why ‘they’ got together? Well, Neeny Boucher introduces us to one such couple, Dina and Riley, in Back of Beyond.

Boucher’s novel, a first read for me, is a poignant tale of truth, love, and friendship. It’s a modern rendition of “Romeo and Juliet” crossed with S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders. There’s plenty of drama and even some laugh out loud moments.

Back of Beyond is well-written with complex characters. Dina and Riley are two teens who march to their own drumbeat. Their friends and siblings belong to a group known as The Outcast Crew. They are hated by two sets of rivals—the Anys (the It girls) and the jocks (the football team). Think of the Socs and the Greasers from “The Outsiders”. In Boucher’s tale, it’s money and social ranking which drives their rivals.

Boucher handles some relevant teenage issues with finesse. Dina and Riley’s story includes problems with bullies, jealousy, betrayal, and lying. The kids live in a Podunk town somewhere in America with little opportunity according to them. For a long time, Dina was the source of everyone’s entertainment. Make fun of the misfit girl. Toss things at her. Humiliate her. Make her life worthless. One day, life turns and the girl who lived on the outside sparks interest in the town’s bad boy. This blip on the radar starts a chain of events like an infamous house of cards, destined to fall.

No matter what their struggles may be (self-confidence, self-acceptance, self-empowerment) there’s an underlying theme: Be true to yourself and face your fears. When you stand up to adversity, good things can and will happen.

Back of Beyond was a refreshing love story about a couple who defied the norms. They managed to find each other despite the numerous obstacles in their way. I highly recommend reading this wonderful novel.

My Review of Lost in Flight

Goodreads.com Description: “If you like your characters quirky, socially awkward and badly behaved, this is the book for you. What if you got another chance with the love of your life even when you didn’t want one? Would you grab the opportunity or run as fast as you could in the opposite direction?

Christina Martin, lawyer, ex high school grunge queen, teenage bride, divorcee and once a suspected
killer, is confronted by a past that she has spent the last eight years carefully avoiding. Drawn back to her hated hometown with her family under the worst of circumstances, matters are complicated when she finds the love of her life, ex husband and nemesis, Nicholas Riley, also in residence.

Riley, a man with secrets, who has a penchant for psychological games, made wary by life and with one weakness, his ex wife. Christina is the woman that brings out all his protective instincts and others less noble. All it takes is one fateful night, where these two collide, opening a door both thought slammed shut and locked forever.

From the past to the present, Christina and Riley show that true love doesn’t always run smoothly, it might not conquer all and most importantly, love is complicated.

 

Neeny Boucher’s Lost in Flight is a laugh out loud, cringe-worthy read with a little heartbeat and joy.

A lot has happened with Dina and Riley (Back of Beyond). They became adults but managed to bypass maturity. Their story is realistic. Their path to happiness isn’t straight nor narrow. There are boulders and potholes paving the way.

Back of Beyond was about truth, love, and friendship. Lost in Flight gives us a glimpse of how sins of omission, grief, and immaturity can affect love and friendship. Our actions can, and will, compound poor decisions when we fear facing our mistakes. Deep.

Dina has embraced her given name, Christina, and a real career as a lawyer. Riley is… well, Riley. He’s had a lot of varied career paths, but it’s worked for him. Remember, they didn’t have a great love story. They had a real story. Boucher reminds readers that sometimes love goes sideways. It takes bravery to put the wheels back on the car (love) and restore it (like Riley’s grandfather’s truck).

I still love the characters Boucher created, but I LOVE Riley so much more. He’s not blameless in this debacle of a relationship. He just responded the only way he knew how. When you learn how he’s coped, it will touch your heart. Christina is still the same girl who lived in her head and jumps to conclusions. As a lawyer she uses rational thought processes. In reality, she can’t think her way to the front door when it comes to Riley. She also has problems seeing clearly with her family.

The surprise character turns out to be Gabby, Dina’s little sister. She’s a spitfire and the fountain of strength and maturity in the Martin clan.

Don’t believe that this is a heavy hitting tome that will leave you drained. Boucher’s raw, snarky humor rings throughout the story. She has a way with words that leave you blushing along with the characters. Priceless.

I can’t say enough good things about Lost in Flight, a story about soul searching and facing hard truths. I highly recommend it.

Rating for Each Book: 5-hands-up5-hands-up5-hands-up5-hands-up5-hands-up (5 Hands=Excellent, 4 Hands=Pretty Good, 3 Hands=Good)

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