The Boyfriend Bookmark: ★★★★★
Forever Love Series
Including: Forever Dark and Forever Light
Authors: Chelsea Landon and Megan Smith
Release Date: Oct 16, 2014
From the lights of the field, to the curve in the road, one shattered breath leaves friendships forever altered.
The Forever Love Series will submerge you into two novels intertwined together where love and loss can break you down, tear you apart, and even last forever, if you’re willing to let it.
After a celebratory night for six friends on the cusp of adulthood ends tragically, they’re left learning how to carry on. Years later, through their own struggles and accomplishments, each is left suspended by fears that encase them with such an intense blinding light, and a horrific soul-stealing darkness. Can they find their way out of the intricate web of guilt and deceit? Can they grasp the light amongst the shadows of what they used to be… and manage to be who they should become?
Sometimes the only way to heal is to face the fear of forever.
Forever Dark by Chelsea Landon
In Forever Dark, a novel by Chelsea Landon, you’ll spiral through life’s twists and turns of Cash Bryant, humbled quarterback, living his dream on the brink of fame, and Madison Thomas, a girl who shares the burden of the accident and destined for failure. Two people torn apart by tragedy; fearing that letting go will sever their remaining connection.
Forever Light by Megan Smith
In Forever Light, a new novel by USA Today Bestselling Author Megan Smith, you’ll meet Landon Hayes, an all-star wide receiver who is spiraling out of control after that one fateful night, and Macy Thomas, a college sweetheart who is shy and afraid to come out of her shell since the accident. When the heart-breaking reality sets in, can they find their light or is the past too dark to find their way?
Stephanie’s review: ★★★★★
This series just completely broke me. I knew it was going to be a rough ride, but I am not sure I was prepared to fully live through it several times. What these two authors did separately and together was amazing. It was heartwarming and touching and it was completely heartbreaking. I haven’t quite recovered from it yet. Somehow these two authors took one truly tragic event and told two completely separate stories so completely entangled, it is hard to tell who wrote which story. But together they have written one of the most beautiful series that has touched my hearts and passed through my hands in a while.
The first story, Forever Dark, begins this set of events that just gripped my heart. I was crying time and time again in this story. But with all the sadness, you just wanted the characters to see the light. Six friends, one night and events that cannot be erased. Events that would forever change each moment for them. It will test them, watch them struggle, and leave them to deal with everything in the only way they know how. This is the story of Cash and Madison. These two were everything to one another. They had their best friends, they had one another, they had it all. Then in the blink of an eye, everything has changed.
Now struggling to get through the day to day that they have given themselves, they are just trying. Cash is hanging on for their story to begin. He wants their love to be given a chance to struggle and survive when it . Madison, Just wants to forget. She was part of the reason the events of the night happened the way they did and she has never dealt with it. Instead turning to the one place she knows she can escape from it all. It is a gripping story of Cash hanging on to a love he knows can last forever and Madison holding on to an escape from it all.
This book takes a hard look at what drugs can do to someone. They may seem to help with the pain, but when they take over your life and cause so much pain for everyone involved, you just hope she finds her way out of the darkness that has consumed her. It is heartbreaking and moving, but more than that, it was a tough look at the long road back to “normal.” It was admitting that Madison had a problem, it was helping her find her way out.
My heart hurt over and over again for Madison, for Cash and for the love that was slipping by them. Is it possible for them to find their way out of this and let a new life begin? Or have they lost Madison forever?
When I hit the second book in the series, I thought I had it held together. OF course, that was false hope. There is no way you can come back from a tragedy that just shook everything up in these character’s lives. Even after the three years that they have all been struggling, there is one thing, or person, that none of them will forget.
This is Landon and Macy’s story. Though all of the characters are interwoven so tightly from their small hometown and the tragedy of that one night, they have all dealt with it so completely differently. Landon turned to Madison. He wasn’t looking for comfort, but he understood what she was going through. To feel the force of guilt is hard to face alone, but that guilt is felt from Landon stronger than any other. But instead of turning to the woman he loves, Macy, he finds himself connecting with Madison.
Macy is trying to find the strength to be everything to Landon but finds it so hard when he is looking to any thing or any one other than her. She is breaking inside but the force of guilt is all consuming and has taken over Landon’s life. He has never forgiven himself for the events of that night and he has never asked for forgiveness from those that were most affected.
As I said at the beginning of this review, this book broke me. It tore my heart to pieces over and over again. And the one that lost his life that night is also the only one that can bring them back together. But is it too late?
My heart hurt for a good portion of both of these books, but together these books were so incredibly powerful A harsh look at reality in the eyes of those effected the most. I loved this series.
Now… here was my big (minor) issue with the second book (and it is really small)… I know it happens, but I struggled each time a secondary character’s name was mentioned. It actually made me cringe a little each time Declan Collins name was brought up. It was a hard point for me to get beyond because Declan Collins in my world is a tatted singer in one of my favorite series, by a different author. Not a football player. It is a little thing, but because it was in one of my all time favorite books, I did find myself struggling a bit. Did it ruin the book for me? No. There was so much more going on and such bigger issues to deal with that I didn’t factor it into my rating at all. It was just a sticking point for me. But everything else that happened, quickly made it easy to get over. It is a small thing in the events of such tragedy and heartache, but it did catch me off guard.
Overall I absolutely love these books. This is a unique way to write a series and it worked very well for these authors. I cried a lot and I felt a lot deep down for all of these characters. It is a hard series to read because the content is powerful. But it is told in such an amazing way, that you just can’t stop reading because you have to know what happens to these characters. Five tearful and touching stars!
Excerpt from Forever Dark
She turns around and wraps her arms around my neck, her hips grinding against mine. I do the same and smile slightly when I feel her body curve around mine.
“What are you doing to me?” I whisper in her ear. She could stab me in the heart at this point and it wouldn’t hurt as much as it does to see her control me like this. I want to walk away but in reality, in my fucked up sense of reality, a world without her in it isn’t worth living.
Her eyes water and I hold her closer, I want to fucking kiss her in front of everyone. I want to fuck her against the wall in front of this room just to let them know she’s mine. My face is close enough that I smell her sweetness, the coconut of her shampoo but she smells like me too. She smells like my sweat. My scent is all over her and I like that.
“What?” she asks, her breath hitting my skin. It sends shivers through my chest.
“You.” Pulling back, I watch her reaction feeling her chest heaving against mine. I can feel the beat in hers thumping wildly against mine. “What are you doing to me?”
She hesitates to answer.
I curve an eyebrow at her, she stops moving.
She gives nothing.
Excerpt from Forever Light
I roll onto my back and stare up to the sky. It’s a clear cold night with the stars shining brightly. “I didn’t treat you right, Macy, not the way I should have.” She’s quiet. “I took your love for granted. When you gave me your virginity our sophomore year I didn’t realize then what you were sharing with me.” I huff. “I should have loved you more but I didn’t take the time. I didn’t realize what was right in front of me.”
Macy crawls over and lies against my side and holds my hand.
“See,” I try to smile but it fails. “I should have done that. I feel like I’m not good enough for you.” My throat feels tight.
“Landon, you are. This is you and I love you with your flaws and all. If I didn’t I wouldn’t be here.” Macy squeezes my hand. “I’m been holding on hoping that one day you’d see me again. You’d come back to me.”
“My light. You’re my light in the darkness.”
Macy’s eyes glass over. “Landon, I’m all out of tears. I’m crumbling and for once I need you. I. Need. You.”
I roll over and kiss her with no hesitation. “I’m here, baby.”
I rest my forehead on hers. “I love you, Landon.”
All the fight leaves me, I am no longer angry. I am nothing without Macy in my life and it’s taken passing through the gates of hell to get to this point. “I love you too.”
I lie back and Macy lays her head on my chest. We’re quiet for some time.
“Are we okay?” I ask.
She sighs, “We’re always okay.”
“Well, that’s a problem.”
“I’m just thankful I have you. All the other shit can be worked out.”
That night Macy and I slept out in the hammock. We never did find out if we still have it but I know we do. That night wasn’t about that. It was about us finding our way back to each other. It was about finding my forever light.
About the Authors
A stay-at-home mom, Chelsea spends her days drinking entirely too much caffeine, baking sugar-sweet treats she never eats, playing on Pinterest, and jotting down notes for her novels. A dreamer at heart, she’s been creating happily-ever-afters. She’s a lover, a writer, a dreamer, would rather type than speak, wants to remember everything, loves lots of ice in her drinks, and is slightly introverted.
USA TODAY bestselling author Megan Smith is a New Jersey native managing purchasing for an award-winning business IT and software development firm – and by night creating the memorable characters her fans have grown to adore. Smith’s The Love Series introduces readers to MacKenzie Cahill – a hopeful young woman who experiences adversity, challenges and the bittersweet triumph of true, authentic love.
Smith is a wife and mother, who makes time for her family, professional life and the creation of the Cahill’s world. Fans of The Love Series – Trying Not To Love You, Easy To Love You, Hard To Love You – are captivated by relationships, special bonds and family ties pervasive in Smith’s emotional, energized and engaging work. Smith is also the author of the 2014 releases, Let Me Love You – continuations of The Love Series, Finding Us (Finding Series) and a few top secret projects.