Low Over High (The Over Duet #1)

Cover Design: DCP Designs

Release Date: November 14, 2016


ABOUT THE BOOK: I fancy myself a purveyor of truth, a sifter of lies, a cutter of bullshit. It’s not a gift, but rather, all skill, honed to a razor’s edge after one too many trips down the rabbit hole.

Some may dismiss my talent as misplaced and misguided cynicism, but they’d be wrong. Cliches about hope and faith in mankind are concocted unicorn farts, an effort to keep the dreamers dreaming. Experiences don’t lie—people do.

While I’m not proud of the circumstances that led me to this way of thinking, I respect the journey. The road to enlightenment can be dark and foreboding, but the destination makes it all worthwhile.

But funny thing about the past—it’s a defiant child refusing to stay in time out. No matter how deeply buried, it can always pop up when least expected, and sink its fucking claws into the flesh of your heart. No, not my heart—I no longer have one. I foolishly gave it away years ago, but I still feel the ripping in my chest as I fist the crumpled note left on my porch.

I’ve avoided this day, ran from it, for the past eight years. And still we meet again.

But to truly understand … to feel my dread and fear my future as I do, it’s important to know what happened in my past.

Or who… My name is Marlo Rivers, and this is my story of corrupted love.

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“You’re right, I did what I thought was best. It came from my heart, but it may not have been what she needed, and that’s on me,” she says, solemnly, almost apologetic. “Same goes for your boy. He’s going through something heavy right now. Grief and pain are fickle things—three people can experience the same slight and have three different reactions to it. It’s the bitch and the beauty of the human condition, isn’t it? I obviously don’t know him, so I don’t have the insight you need. But you’ve got to trust him, Low. Trust him to tell you what he needs. Can you do that?”

REVIEW: The life that you live, the memories that you hold onto become the foundations of your past. The past that you remember can haunt you throughout your future—if you let it. There are always choices that can be made with the hand that you’ve been given. Granted—some choices are made for you, but you have the ultimate choice to make of how you handle the good, the bad and the downright ugly. DeRouen has a very powerful novel, a first in her new series called The Over Duet. This author delves into the life of Marlo Rivers, a snarky and highly motivated woman who is by far, the most outspoken in the group of characters that this author has presented in her previous books. Marlo is a continuation character from previous books, but Low Over High is primarily focused on her—her youth.

Marlo Rivers decides to take her newly reacquainted mother up on her offer of paying for her schooling at Orleans Academy. Leaving a distraught father and Nana behind, she is sad to leave them, but excited to begin a new chapter in her life. Settling down in New Orleans, she begins that life with two roommates and an egotistical, cupcake destroyer of a neighbor. After several quips and various jabs later, Marlo finds herself constantly running into Ever. He makes her blood boil, but is that a good thing or a bad thing? Evelyn, her mother, helps Marlo get a job in the local market, baking cupcakes for a man named Etienne. Little does she know that Ever, the same jerk who she has been seething over works there as well. Also meeting a boy named Remy, who looks like he smokes pot and sells drugs, Marlo becomes friends with both Remy and Ever. Her friendship with both boys seems careless and easy at first, but then confusing and dangerous. Drugs, alcohol and secrets crowd their existence, bringing nothing but sadness. After learning that Marlo can technically graduate early, this may be just what she needs to run it all. Can Marlo escape with her heart, soul and body intact or will her trust become compromised?

DeRouen knows her characters well, to the point where this world is difficult to escape from. This author does a superb job with character development and realism, voicing topics that young men and women are faced with in the world today. The pace is very fluid and quick, making it easy to read. As this story progresses, it becomes more of a struggle for Ever and Marlo, as if everything is against them. This is the first installment of the series; however, this character and her personality is introduced previously in other works by this author. If you are a reader of new adult & college fiction, this may be an entertaining read for you.

I was provided an advanced reader copy of this book by the author, but this in no way affects my honest opinion of the book or the review that has been written.



EXCERPT: Kissing Ever is like breaking the surface of the ocean. Legs kicking, arms flailing, and then that precious moment when air rushes into your lungs, giving you the one thing you need the most. Yeah, kissing Ever is just like that.

When his teeth lightly tug on my bottom lip, he owns me. I swear, my shirt almost flies off of its own accord.

Of course, I keep my cool despite his lovely lips … sort of. His tongue slides gently against mine, and I inch closer to him. He pulls away to taste my upper lip, and I grip his shirt with both hands. Maybe my hands slide under the shirt to touch his hot skin, but only an inch or two. When he lets out a long sigh, and his fingers brush the sides of my cheeks just so, I slide my legs between his. I want to pull his ribs loose and burrow deep inside of him, and even then, I’m not sure if it’s close enough.

He slows the kiss, still tasting me, sucking my lips, teasing me with his tongue. When I open my eyes, he’s right there with me, hazy eyes and parted lips. I run a hesitant finger over the freckles on his nose, and he runs his thumb across my swollen mouth. I finger his hair, tugging playfully, and he kisses my dimple, poking me with his tongue.

We explore each other slowly, thoroughly, and my thumb runs over his stomach to the thin line of hair trailing below his belly button. He shivers, and I swear the bulge pushing into the back of my thigh isn’t a banana in his pocket. It makes me feel powerful—that I can turn him on that way. This is the first time I can remember wanting that power. Boy’s erections were always a nuisance to me in the past.

He doesn’t expect me to do something with that, does he? Nuh-uh.

Let me be clear, those are not the thoughts running through my mind as I bend my knee and push my thigh more firmly into Ever’s hard-on. Not even close.

His hips raise to my pressure, and he drops his forehead to mine with a long sigh.

“I knew kissing you would be good, Low, but that was … I don’t know what that was,” he says with a chuckle, stealing another kiss.

“We should try it again. You know, figure it out.”

And we do.


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8184871ABOUT THE AUTHOR: J.A. DeRouen lives in South Louisiana with her husband, son (aptly named “The Professor), and her furry friend, Scout. She holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and nursing.

When she’s not writing or inhaling romance novels by the stack, she works as a women’s health nurse. She’s been an avid reader and daydreamer since childhood, and she’s never stopped turning the page to get to the next happily ever after.


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