Title: Love Abstract
Series: The Art of Falling Duet
Author: B.L. Berry
Published: May 2015
Things aren't always what they seem.
And in the light, Sleeping Shadows awaken and truths are exposed.
I love you.
Of all the lies he ever told me, that is my favorite.
Phoenix isn't who he thinks he is.
He is what he hides.
I know that now.
His lies became so real he started to believe them,
deceiving even himself.
His silence lies, too.
The truth won't set you free. It will destroy you.
Love is deceptive like that.
Amazon/Goodreads rating: 5/5
In Patti's Imagination rating: 10/10
When I finished Love Nouveau, I was in love with Ivy and Phoenix's story. I thought Phoenix was amazing, perfect.
And then I read the epilogue.
I wanted to swat BL. I love her, but I wanted to swat her. I knew that I would feel differently once I'd read the sequel, but in that moment, I was so angry. Well, I'm here to say that, in fact, she turned me around 180 as I knew she would.
At the start of this story, the reader knows things that Ivy does not. Nonetheless, she's not living in blissful ignorance. She's suspicious and worried, as you'd expect from a girl with her history. Yeah, that should tell you a ton in just the first chapter.
I think what I loved most about this story as a whole (the two-book series), it that focused on the imperfections of love. So many love stories get a happily ever after, but it's not always that easy. For Phoenix and Ivy, it was anything but. This story is about how to endure.
We've followed them to New York, where Ivy is working her way through to her dream job the hard way, by being the grunt at a gallery. Her big break comes with a sculptor named Brock. I'll let you meet him - oh, he's a fantastic secondary character, so full of life. In more ways than one, he represents the future and potential of this couple.
And then there's the past. No, all the characters we met in Love Nouveau have gone away. Some are back and for the worst. Others surprise us in amazing ways. Ups and downs and back and forth. Pain. Sorrow. Happiness. Joy. Anger. Resentment. Fear. Love. So much emotion in this story and the reader is right there for all of it.
Take the journey with Ivy and Phoenix. You'll be glad you did. When you're at the darkest moment, know that there is a light at the end. A gorgeous, amazing light that I wish I could have actually seen. Damn, I bet that would have been unforgettable. Read the book. You'll know what I mean.
I had some favorite quotes, but I loved this one at the end, which I think embodies the narrative. "Just because you paint over the canvas doesn't mean the original piece no longer exists. It's still there, you just can't see it."
It all started with a little white lie.
A lie of omission, if you want to be technical.
But somewhere along the way, that little white lie turned into a massive, gaping black hole, mercilessly sucking in every facet of my life bit by fucking bit.
I’ve done everything I can to protect Ivy, to keep her out of my screw up. But one day she’s going to find out. And I know I need to tell her before someone else does. I need her to understand. I need her forgiveness. I need her to hear the sincerity in my words, my apology.
I can only hope that Ivy is open-minded and understanding enough to accept my past transgressions as she’s accepted her own. She has to accept me as I accepted her, fuck ups and all, right?
Ivy knows I’m not myself. I haven’t been myself in what feels like years. She can see the guilt of an unnamed crime written all over my face, but for whatever reason, she chooses not to say anything. Maybe she’s terrified of what the truth will bring?
She should be.
And frankly, so am I.
The demons of my past haunt me every fucking day. I wish things had unfolded differently. I never imagined that one decision could ever bite me in the ass like it has. But I can’t turn back time and rewrite the past without changing the course of my present … my future. The choices I made ultimately led me to her. And she is all that is good in my life …
The one thing going right.
And I won’t give that up without a fight.
The streetlight streaming in through the cracks in the blinds is just enough to illuminate our bedroom. I’ve been awake for hours; my mind racing to all the dark places I hate visiting.
I sit up, careful not to stir Ivy. Her hair cascades across her pillow. She looks so beautiful when she’s asleep. There’s no worry in her face, and she is just at peace with the world. Everything about this woman was created specifically for me. I can watch her for a single moment and easily find one thousand new things I love about her.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve perfected the fine art of quietly escaping our bedroom. I stealthily make my way to the door and slowly turn the handle. I look back over my shoulder and watch her sigh in her sleep. She’s snoring softly, and I just know.
I know that this is it.
She is it.
Most guys would never admit the moment they knew they wanted to marry the love of their life.
Then again, I’m not most guys.
I’m just an asshole. Quite possibly the luckiest asshole in the history of assholes.
And who knows how long my luck will last.
Because today is going to be the day I come clean and tell her what happened.
And this time I mean it.