Sunny Shelly’s Review: The Other Side Of Blue, by Anna Bloom

Title: The Other Side of Blue
Series: The Other Side of Us #1
Author: Anna Bloom
Genre: New Adult Romance
Release Date: November 12, 2020
Once he was all she wanted, first kisses and forbidden desires. Once she was his only hope when the rest of the world had turned their back. 
For Lyra, the boy with cuts and bruises was everything she loved, everything she craved, a teenage fantasy in a bitter and cruel world. Until the night he left.
Now, heartbroken and unwilling to let go, she sets out to fulfill a promise she once made; to play her violin and become a star.
Jack Cross has spent four years escaping the events that forced him to leave his home and never go back. He has a new existence now, one filled with freedom from the destructive cycle he once called life, and one where he has long forgotten what it feels like to be her Blue. He’s changed, hardened and cruel he’s nothing like the boy who ran away.
Until Lyra appears. 
Things have changed.
Once he was her brother’s best friend.
Now she’s his secret.
Between them lies a web of secrets and regrets.
But some things never change… can they resist one another, or will the call of their twisted love story finally break them both?
Free in Kindle Unlimited
He hesitated, it rippled through the air. His fingers lifted, running through the length of one of my curls. “When I first saw you with Greene that day, I thought I’d hate you. When I first heard you couldn’t play, I thought I’d take pleasure in it. But if you go home, that means I won’t ever get to see you again. And I don’t like the way that makes me feel.” 
I frowned up into his face, my throat painfully tight. “What do you mean?”
“I can’t go home, Lyra. Ever.”
“Why?” He stared at me as he battled himself. “Jack?”
Could I stay and play violin here with Jack… is that what he was saying, that he didn’t want me to leave? But why?
“You’re my teacher, you’ve told me numerous times. You’ve made the way you feel about me perfectly clear. Since I’ve been here you’ve acted like you don’t know me. Why would you want me to stay?”
Jack dropped his head, a small huff of breath exhaling through his nostrils. “Because I always want what I can’t have. You should know that by now.”
It all made perfect sense. I’d always be a toy to Jack. Little Lyra Bird, too afraid to fly.
“And you can’t have me.”
“Don’t you see, Lyra. I. Can. Never. Have. You.”
It should have hurt. Even after everything that had changed, the stretch of time that had bridged from then to now. Strangely it didn’t.
“You don’t want me.” I nodded.
I turned to leave, but Jack caught my hand, reeling me back in.
His fingers cupped my face, his nose skimming along the edge of my cheekbone, trailing a pattern it used to know. Then slowly, he pressed a kiss against my cheek. A taste of a kiss. My stomach tightened three knots. I waited with baited breath, suspended in the moment, waiting to see what he would do next. “I’ll get you back to campus if you don’t want to stay here for the rest of your shift.
I pushed my palms flat against his chest, shoving him back. “No way. This is my job. If you don’t like me being here, you can leave. Go drink more bourbon, yeah? Don’t think I can’t smell it on you.” I stalked for the door. “You know what, Jack, I always thought you were nothing like your dad, but now I’m seeing it for what it is. Maybe you are just a controlling bastard too.”
It was a low blow, but in the moment it made me feel better, victorious, vanquished. Once he’d walked away from a little girl. She was long gone.
Releasing January 14

Sunny Shelly’s Review: 4 Stars

I’m a sucker for a brother’s best friend story, and The Other Side Of Blue was an incredible age-gap romance in my favorite trope.

Running into Jack again four years after he left New Orleans leaves Lyra shocked. She thought he was dead and has been mourning the boy she loved foe years. Seeing Lyra again shocks Jack as well, as the carefully crafted lie of a life he’s been living the past four years — and why he left and never came back home — begins to unravel.

Now they are forced to work closely together at Berklee, where he is her TA. The animosity he is for her is harsh and she doesn’t understand why; Jack hates that being around her again is dredging up old feelings that he wants to keep buried.

Flashbacks between Blue and Lyra as kids/teenagers are mixed in with their present-day reunion at Berklee. They never did anything wrong back then, as she was a minor, but Jack had such guilt over his feelings for Lyra, and that ultimately propelled him to leave and never look back. As the truth about that night comes out, there is not just one plot twist, but two that left me with my mouth hanging open!

It bothered me somewhat, as it always does with a foreign author setting a story in America, that the lingo isn’t right. It’s little things like “queue” instead of “line” down the street that disrupt the reading for me. Not that it takes away from the story, but I get out of the groove as I mentally translate. And while Jack’s reasons for hating his once best friend Luca became clear, I thought Jack had treated Lyra harshly for something that she really had no part in.

I also wish I’d known that this book was the first part of a duet and ends on a cliffhanger. It wouldn’t have made a difference in me wanting to read it; I just need that mindset going in to a cliffy! I can’t wait for The Other Side Of Green and the rest of Blue and Laura’s story!

I received an advanced copy and voluntarily left a review.

A book hoarder and coffee addict by heart Anna Bloom loves to write extraordinary stories about real love. Based south of London with her husband, three children and a dog with a beard, Anna likes to connect with readers, fan girl over her favourite authors and binge watch Supernatural and Superhero movies while drinking lots of wine.

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