Yesterday was the celebration of the release of Because of Lucy by Lisa Swallow. A New Adult contemporary romance title that was originally published as a novella in 2013. This is a new edition that has been fully revised and expanded into a full-length novel! Because of Lucy is the first book in the Butterfly Days series. Read the first chapter here. Go grab your own copy today (check the end of this article for the purchase links).
Because of Lucy by Lisa Swallow
Series: Butterfly Days, #1
Published: February 25, 2016
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Also by this author: Blue Phoenix series, The Same Deep Water
Other books in the series: Finding Evan
Hosted by InkSlinger PR
*** Disclaimer: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review. However, this doesn’t affect my opinion of this book and the words in this review. ***
Reading the summary and seeing the cover of Because of Lucy, I wanted to start the book immediately. I was intrigued by Evan and Ness, without even really knowing them. I was also very curious to who Lucy was. Was she an ex from Evan for example? I really wanted to know how Evan and Ness’ relationship developed and in which way Lucy would affect their bond.
What? “Um. Yes. No. Not really.”
“Is that a multiple choice quiz? Do I have to tick a box?”
“I’m a bit tired after last night.”
“You do look a bit-” He bites his lip. “Tired.”
“You couldn’t look crap, Ness. You look better when you smile, though.”
He rests against the bench. “No.”
“That’s your answer. No, you’re not busy tonight, and you’d love to see the smooth Evan Hyde who nobly braves inclement weather to bring you coffee.”
Ness and Evan both want to escape control of other people. Escape from their past. Ness is tired of her parents controlling her. That’s why she made the decision to work full-time at a call centre, instead of accepting a place at medical school, provided by her parents. They planned her whole life for her already. She’s going to med school, just like them. But with her decision, she tries to take back control over her own life. (“Freedom from the stress of being what I don’t want to be. For not being what someone else wants me to be.”) Although, the decision also makes her unhappy, because working at a call centre isn’t exactly her dream job. Evan has major problems of his own. He’s trying to escape his past in Lancaster. A past I’m not going to tell too much about, because it’s for you to find out while reading Because of Lucy. It has to do something with Lucy, that’s all I can tell you.
The first time Ness meets the arrogant and cocky Evan, lets just say she isn’t his biggest fan. She’s living with her best friend, Abby, who has a relationship with Evan’s best friend, Matt. Abby tends to host a lot of parties at Ness and Abby’s house, without Ness’ consent. Ness has seen Evan around a couple of times. Him always being drunk or in the company of some girl. One night, Evan actually speaks to her. The introduction is a huge disaster. He’s stupidly drunk and knows how to offend her without even trying. Worse part, the next day he has no recollection at all of their irritating encounter. Still, Ness is intrigued by him. She finds him incredibly sexy and secretly hopes that there are underlying reasons for his immature behavior. (“Some guys just exude sexuality, engulfing you when you’re around them, even when you don’t like them. Exactly like Evan.”) That the drinking and the girls are coping mechanisms. She is correct. Evan puts up one hell of a facade to cover the real him. He might seem arrogant and cocky, but he’s actually very insecure. He can also be very chivalrous, a good friend and helpful. And he’s drawn in by the green-eyed, brown-haired and witty Ness.
After breaking down some high built walls, Evan and Ness grow close. (“I don’t think forgetting about Ness is a possibility anymore. She’s a risk I’m willing to take.”) But never too close, as Evan’s keeping something from Ness. Lucy. Who is slowly breaking them apart. Matters get worse when Lucy actually comes back into his life. With these new problems, Ness makes an important life decision that will influence her relationship with Evan in a devastating way. Both have problems with communicating their fears and hopes to each other. They also have defense mechanisms and concrete walls built so high they can’t see their way out. Which really creates some stellar problems. Can Evan and Ness let their fears go, confide in each other, to survive and become a solid couple?
I loved how Because of Lucy started. Without too much explanations and just in the middle of something happening. Almost like you jump into Evan and Ness’ story, just before it really begins. For me, that’s the best way to start a book. While reading, details about the character’s lives reveal themselves to you. You get to know the characters bit by bit and you grow close to them. That’s exactly what happened with Ness and Evan. And even with Lucy. Evan reads books. Oh my my, I really loved that. A boy who loves reading. Oh and the boy has some serious abandonment issues and that is my weakness: boys who are afraid everyone leaves them, because that’s what every person has done in their lives.
Something I didn’t like though, was the fact I couldn’t really connect with Abby and Matt. The story is just entirely focused on building Evan and Ness’ characters, resulting in them being the perfect characters and getting a lot of attention, but the persona’s of the side characters aren’t described to the extent needed to become accustomed to them. That is too bad, because the book could have had so much more depth if these characters had a bigger spotlight. By the way, I loved the twist with Lucy. Lucy added some layers to the story. I enjoyed the writing, but I didn’t absolutely love it. Of course, that isn’t essential for liking a book. So that’s okay. The writing was sufficient enough to keep me reading and thoroughly enjoying the book. Not exactly prose, but descriptive enough to lose myself in the admirable story of Evan and Ness. And the heartbreaking story of Evan.
Abby stands towards me. “Like the stars would go out if you weren’t there anymore.”
Because of Lucy is a terrific story about finding love in a person and at a moment you least expect. About learning to make your own choices. Two people finding solace and calm within each other. This was my first Lisa Swallow’s novel, but it certainly won’t be my last. I read a sample of the continuation of Evan and Ness’ story, Finding Evan. I’m already sad to know there will be more problems for this couple, but I can’t wait to read it of course. If you are looking for a book to keep you warm at night, Because of Lucy is an absolute must read!
4.5 OUT OF FOCUS STARS (★★★★★)
ABOUT LISA SWALLOW
PURCHASE LINKS FOR BECAUSE OF LUCY