Author: Jay McLean

Princess Emma Reviews: Lucas by Jay McLean

Princess Emma Reviews: Lucas by Jay McLeanLucas (Preston Brothers, #1) by Jay McLean
on November 1st 2016
Pages: 354
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4.5 Stars

In a sprint, every millisecond counts.  When you’re waiting for love, those milliseconds can feel like eons. 
High school senior Lucas Preston has it all: star of the track team, a scholarship waiting for him, an apartment to himself and a revolving door of girlfriends. He also has an older sister, five younger brothers and a father who relies on him to make sure those brothers don’t kill each other.  His saving grace? Lois “Laney” Sanders, a girl he started to fall in like with when he was just eleven. A girl who became his best friend, his confidant, his courage. 
It took only sixteen clicks and eight seconds for Lucas to realize that his like for Laney had turned into love.   Eight life-changing seconds.  It’s also the exact length of time it took to lose her.

Series: A Preston Brothers Novel #1
Also by this author: Kick, Push, Kick, Push (Kick Push #1)

4.5 Crowns

Book 1 in A Preston Brothers Novel series. This book is a spin-off from the brilliant More Than series, however you do not need to have read that series to enjoy Lucas.

Lucas Preston is the typical all American High Schooler. Star of the track team and super popular with the girls, he is also the oldest of 5 Brothers who look up to him. Following the death of his mother and the departure of his older sister Lucy to College, Lucas really had to step up to the plate to support his Dad and of course his younger brothers. Always by his side though is Lois Sanders; or as she is known to the Preston’s, Laney. They have been best friends since they were 11, and whilst Lucas has become Mr Popular, Lois has always been happy to sit in the background harbouring a secret crush that she has had on Lucas since the first minute she laid eyes on him.

As they mature feelings between them grow and shift. The friendship that has been so important to them both becomes something so much more. Will they be able to grow with the changes? Or will the friendship that has been everything to them be ruined forever?

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So I, along with many others, first met Lucas in the More Than series, which features his sister Lucy. But actually we got to know the whole Preston family and their story in More than Forever. I seriously loved the Preston’s. They were this huge family of 6 kids who had to deal with the death of the mother they adored and a father who grieved so deeply. This left Lucy and her boyfriend Cameron, alongside Lucas having to step in to the void to care for the younger kids. So when I found out that each of the brothers would be getting their stories I was super excited. I really enjoyed the original series, and couldn’t wait for what Jay had in store for 5 very different brothers. Lucas as the oldest gets to kick it off and it is a brilliant start to what looks to be an equally brilliant and addictive series.

One thing I have come to learn about Jay McLean is that she loves messing with our emotions. But that is what makes her books such a joy to read. I was laughing one minute, swooning the next, onto wanting to throw my kindle, before wiping the tears from my eyes. This story has everything. It is a love story that deals with the pressures of family, friendship as well as some tougher issues that sadly effect many people daily.

You will adore Lucas. He has a heart of gold, but as with everyone he isn’t perfect. He makes mistakes along the way and the person most effected by his mistakes is Lois. Lois adores Lucas and has watched from his side as he goes form girl to girl never fully confidant in herself to let her true feelings for him show. When eventually their feelings are out in the open they both make mistakes and the communication that has never been a problem for them suddenly becomes their biggest obstacle; but not the only one. I loved their connection and rooted for them even if the odds were stacked against them. Of course though, this isn’t a book just about them, it incorporates the whole family, and we get a glimpse at each brothers’ character and it just left me wanting more.

 

So as I said right at the start, reading the More Than series isn’t essential. But if you want to be immersed in this world as much as I was, I recommend you do. It was like falling in with old friends that you haven’t seen for ages. I loved this book and can’t wait to read the next 5 brothers stories.

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Princess Kelly Reviews: Kick Push by Jay McLean

Princess Kelly Reviews: Kick Push by Jay McLeanKick, Push (Kick Push #1) by Jay McLean
on January 1st 1970
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3.5 Stars

There’s a single defining moment within every skater. It lasts only a second. Two if you're good. Three if you’re really good. It’s the moment you’re in the air, your board somewhere beneath you, and nothing but wind surrounds you. It’s the feeling of being airborne.
The sixteen-year-old version of me would’ve said it was the greatest feeling in the world. Then at seventeen, I had my son. And every single second became a defining moment. Even the ones that consisted of heartbreak when his mother left us.
Seventeen. Single. Dad. That’s what my life became. Yet, every day, I managed to find that feeling of being airborne. Or at least I convinced myself I did. But I lied—to myself and to everyone around me. Until she showed up; Tanned skin, raven dark hair, and eyes the color of emeralds.
You know what sucks about being in the air? Coming down from the high. Sometimes you land on the board and nail the trick. Then kick, push, and coast away. Other times you fall. You fall hard. And those are the times when it’s not as easy to get back up, dust off your pads and try again. Especially when the girl with the emerald eyes becomes your drug... And you become her poison.

Also by this author: Kick, Push, Lucas (Preston Brothers, #1)

Kick Push is an enjoyable young adult romance that tackles some very real issues. A love story thwart with challenges.

I loved how this story gave the heroic parental reigns to a 17 year old Dad who sacrificed the thing he loved the most to be the best parent to his son, Tommy. It is so often in contemporary romance that the man is painted as the bad guy, but in this story it is the Mother, Natalie that decides being a parent isn’t quite as glamorous as she expected, leaving her 2 month old son in the arms of his Father, closing the door never looking back.

With no family support, no money and practically homeless Josh and Tommy are destitute until a kind older lady witnesses the struggle and takes them into her home.

Becca is a closed book. The Granddaughter of the great Samaritan, she comes to stay for the summer before college is due to start but instead of conversing with others and making friends she remains alone in her room, staring incessantly at the wallpaper, choosing to remain mute and completely untouched.

Josh is enamoured with the quiet beauty but it is his 3-yea- old son that finds a way in as he and Becca become fast friends. 

Skating is his passion, photography is hers, as their favourite pastimes collide they find solace and understanding in one another, but Josh is struggling to move forward with a girl who continues to hide herself, and Becca is scared of Josh finding out who she really is.

Kick Push is a love story but it’s not full on or fast yet nurtured incredibly well due to the nature of our heroine. Initially I thought she may be autistic but I was wrong, very wrong! 

Josh is a little diamond and as for Tommy, you will fall completely in love with him. He is a ray of sunshine in a story, that at times covers some deep and upsetting subject matters. Overall though this is an enjoyable read with a feel good ending and some angst along the way.

3.75 crowns

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Princess Emma Reviews: Kick Push (Kick Push #1) by Jay McLean

Princess Emma Reviews: Kick Push (Kick Push #1) by Jay McLeanKick, Push by Jay McLean
on January 1st 1970
Goodreads
Buy on Amazon
5 Stars

There’s a single defining moment within every skater. It lasts only a second. Two if you're good. Three if you’re really good. It’s the moment you’re in the air, your board somewhere beneath you, and nothing but wind surrounds you. It’s the feeling of being airborne.
The sixteen-year-old version of me would’ve said it was the greatest feeling in the world. Then at seventeen, I had my son. And every single second became a defining moment. Even the ones that consisted of heartbreak when his mother left us.
Seventeen. Single. Dad. That’s what my life became. Yet, every day, I managed to find that feeling of being airborne. Or at least I convinced myself I did. But I lied—to myself and to everyone around me. Until she showed up; Tanned skin, raven dark hair, and eyes the color of emeralds.
You know what sucks about being in the air? Coming down from the high. Sometimes you land on the board and nail the trick. Then kick, push, and coast away. Other times you fall. You fall hard. And those are the times when it’s not as easy to get back up, dust off your pads and try again. Especially when the girl with the emerald eyes becomes your drug... And you become her poison.

Series: Kick Push #1
Also in this series: Kick, Push (Kick Push #1)
Also by this author: Kick, Push (Kick Push #1), Lucas (Preston Brothers, #1)

5 Crowns

Book 1 in the Kick Push series. For fans of Jay McLean, this book follows Josh Warden, a character from her novel Where the Road Takes Me. This book doesn’t need to be read before Kick Push, but the characters do cross over. 

Josh’s life changes in the blink of an eye. At 17, he suddenly becomes a father and when his girlfriend does a runner he realises that he is now truly on his own. Without the help of his parents, who turn their back on him and with only the support of his best friend Hunter, he knows that he will need to make changes to give his little boy Tommy everything he needs. That means his dreams of becoming a professional skateboarder are out of the window, and to cement that when he is at his lowest he parts with something that was the most important thing to him before the arrival of his beloved son. But when you reach your lowest ebb the only way can be up, and the kindness of strangers can be a blessing. Little does his know that in one moment, a new beginning will give him the chance do things the right way for his son, and maybe eventually himself.

Becca arrives to live with a grandmother she doesn’t know, in a town that she has never visited before. Haunted by her past, she struggles to have normal relationships, not helped by the difficulty she has in communicating and the phobia she has of being touched. When she meets her grandmother’s lodger she falls in love with his 3 year old son and they instantly spark up a unique friendship. But it’s Josh that fascinates her. The love he has for his son and the respect he has for her grandmother draws her to him. So when he offers to teach her to skateboard she apprehensively accepts. Suddenly along with his son, Josh brings a light into her life that she thought had long been extinguished. They perfectly “coast” together, but are they both only damping down the problems that lurk under the surface? Or are they vanquishing them for good?

*

One word… EPIC!

This is one of those books that 5 Crowns doesn’t even begin to let you express how good this book is. I have waited to read this book for ages. If I’m being honest I may have been a little scared because of the rumours that surrounded it. Oh, I knew it would be good; so many 5 star ratings is usually a good indicator. No, for me it was that everyone who has read it say it is a gut wrenching, emotional journey, and I have to agree with that. BUT, this book is so much more than a snot fest read; it is a book that is expertly crafted. It’s not all about emotion and making the reader to go through a box of Kleenex, the author gives us enough light relief to balance the book perfectly. The connection between Josh, Becca and Tommy is heartbreakingly beautiful and she has managed to write a book and characters that transcend the pages and hit you in the centre of your heart.

The characters are so well developed. You fall in love with them very quickly and feel the joys and pain they carry. Josh, what can you say about a boy forced to be a man without the guidance of those who should be at his side in his time of need. His issues aren’t as apparent as the ones Becca suffers with, however they are there and they are painful. Becca becomes his addiction and in turn he becomes her guiding light. The hope of a life that she never thought possible. Becca is without doubt one of the strongest, yet most complicated characters I have read about. Her devastating history is just plain sad, but it has made her so much stronger than she believes herself to be. Lastly Tommy, he will have you giggling and for want of a better word, he lightens what could be a much heavier book if it wasn’t for his cuteness.

This is without doubt one of the best reads of the year for me, and one that will stay with me forever because of the unique storyline and amazing storytelling. It is my first Jay McLean book, but it won’t be my last. This is one talented writer. I now wait with baited breath and with mascara streaking my face for book 2. If you only take one of my recommendations this year, Kick Push must be it. An outstanding MUST READ! 

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