Sway by Melanie Stanford

I find it hard to believe that one character could surround herself with so many selfish people. True, half of them were her family members that she couldn’t exactly choose to be related to, but still!

What’s it About? 


Ava Elliot never thought she’d become a couch surfer. But with a freshly minted—and worthless—degree from Julliard, and her dad squandering the family fortune, what choice does she have? Living with her old high school friends, though, has its own drawbacks. Especially when her ex-fiancé Eric Wentworth drops back into her life. Eight years ago, she was too young, too scared of being poor, and too scared of her dad’s disapproval. Dumping him was a big mistake.

In the most ironic of role reversals, Eric is rolling in musical success, and Ava’s starting at the bottom to build her career. Worse, every song Eric sings is an arrow aimed straight for her regrets. One encounter, one song too many, and Ava can’t go on like this. It’s time to tell Eric the truth, and make a choice. Finally let go of the past, or risk her heart for a second chance with her first love. If he can forgive her…and she can forgive herself.

First Impressions

I really enjoyed the premise of this book. I mean, who doesn’t like a story about two lovers finding each other again years later to rekindle an old romance? Unfortunately my interest quickly turned to frustration. Ava’s family and friends are so unbelievably spoiled, immature and selfish I could barely stand it! The fact that Ava never really stood up to any of them, or said anything when they were being downright rude and out of line is beyond me. And she willingly spent time with these people!


What do you Expect? 

Sadly, Ava’s acquaintances weren’t the only frustrating characters; Ava certainly made me want to rip my hair out a few times as well. After accepting Eric’s proposal of marriage when they were teenagers, Ava’s father threatens to cut her off if she follows through with it. When Eric asks if she thinks money is more important than their relationship, she hesitates. Consider that the death knoll of their relationship.


When they meet again after so many years Eric basically ignores her, and Ava can’t believe how much he has changed by giving her the cold shoulder. What the f*ck did you expect?! You basically chose money over the love of your life! Did you think he would just fall at your feet because of your glowing awesomeness? No! You gotta put in a little effort to win him back. The fact that she also never opened her mouth to tell Eric about her changed feelings made me feel as though I was reading about dramatic teenagers instead of grown ass adults.


Oh Come On Now

Everyone in Ava’s life believes she has gotten over the heartbreak of her relationship with Eric 8 years ago. Mainly because she keeps telling them she has. But these people still have no concept of boundaries or proper social decorum. Case in point: one of Ava’s acquaintances starts dating Eric, and after only one month of dating she asks Ava why he hasn’t said he loves her yet. I mean, Ava and Eric used to be so close, surely Ava must know why he hasn’t uttered those three little words. Seriously?! Who asks for relationship advice from the ex? Have you no intelligence whatsoever?

not ok

Eric and Ava obviously still have some unresolved sexual tension issues to deal with. However, they don’t really have a meaningful, one-on-one conversation until about 70% of the way through the book. Ava pretty much just stares at him longingly, and thinks back on the start of their relationship for most of the novel. This made it difficult to really connect with or root for them as a couple seeing as they spent so much of the story apart from one another.

*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*

Series: Stand-alone

Should you read it? This book actually has an adorably sweet ending, but I personally had difficulty sympathizing with any of the main characters.

Smut Level: Sorry, no sex. Some interesting make-out sessions though.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $4.24 Kindle Price. Samhain Publishing, Ltd. 312 Pages.

Music in Books

I’m the type of person who usually has to have music playing when I read a book. It’s not so much that my mind can’t focus on just one thing at a time, but rather if I’m snuggled up in my chaise lounge with a cup of hot cocoa, a good book, and absolute silence there’s a really good chance I’ll fall asleep in about 5 minutes. Therefore, I firmly believe that music can be a good accompaniment to books. But what about when music is actually featured in books.


Honestly, nine times out of ten, whenever a book mentions the title and artist of a particular song I have absolutely no idea what it is, and I just brush over it completely. Remembering song names is not my forte. At all. Some authors try to help the issue by providing a playlist of all the songs referenced in their book. There’s just one BIG problem. This playlist is always featured at the end of the book! At that point, I’m not gonna take the time to look up every song on YouTube when I probably won’t even remember which scene in the novel it corresponds to. Consider this a tip to all the authors out there who want to feature a playlist: put it at the beginning of the novel. I might actually take the time to look them up beforehand, so that when I get around to the eventual scene in which it’s mentioned I have an actual chance of remembering the tune.

I assume I’m not the only one out there who has the issue of not remembering song titles, so you have to ask yourself why authors even bother mentioning music at all when we might not understand the reference point. It’s a question I’ve asked myself a time or two, and I think I know the answer. Because when you do know the song, it can completely transform the scene into something that goes beyond the written word, and have a lasting impression. Take my word for it, when that happens, it can really be something special.


Last year I read a book by Jessica Sorensen called The Secret of Ella and Micha. There is one scene in this book which I will always remember, and it’s because of music. Ella and Micha were childhood friends, but are now at odds after years of separation. It isn’t until they are both at a house party when their unresolved mutual attraction for each other comes to a head. The scene describes how Ella is in the living room, surrounded by people dancing, when the song Sail by Awolnation starts to play. She closes her eyes, and slowly starts swaying to the beat of the music when she suddenly feels Micha’s eyes on her. He stalks her movements as he crosses the room to dance with her, and can’t help but eye her body with smoldering passion. Somebody open a window!


Unbelievable sexual tension to be sure, but I think the fact that I was already very familiar with this song, and could hear that sensual beat playing in my mind, made me feel as though I too was in that living room watching the scene unfold before me. Believe it or not, now whenever I hear that song I remember how Micha placed his hands on Ella’s hips as they danced to the song, and I need to fan myself from all the steaminess. If you aren’t familiar with Sail, just click here to listen, and you might understand a little bit of what I’m talking about. It’s also a really awesome song.


Now that I’m done ranting about music I’d just like to reiterate to all the authors out there the benefit of including a playlist at the beginning of a book which features a lot of music. It can help bring your words to life. And what about all of you? Is there a song out there that you associate with a particular book? Feel free to share in the comment section!