My Review: Low Over High by J. A. DeRouen

My Review:  Low Over High by J. A. DeRouenLow Over High by J.A. DeRouen
Series: The Over Duet #1
Publication Date: November 14, 2016
Genres: Coming-of-Age, Romance, Young Adult
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I fancy myself a purveyor of truth, a sifter of lies, a cutter of bullshit. It’s not a gift, but rather, all skill, honed to a razor’s edge after one too many trips down the rabbit hole.

Some may dismiss my talent as misplaced and misguided cynicism, but they’d be wrong. Cliches about hope and faith in mankind are concocted unicorn farts, an effort to keep the dreamers dreaming. Experiences don’t lie—people do.

While I’m not proud of the circumstances that led me to this way of thinking, I respect the journey. The road to enlightenment can be dark and foreboding, but the destination makes it all worthwhile.

But funny thing about the past—it’s a defiant child refusing to stay in time out. No matter how deeply buried, it can always pop up when least expected, and sink its fucking claws into the flesh of your heart. No, not my heart—I no longer have one. I foolishly gave it away years ago, but I still feel the ripping in my chest as I fist the crumpled note left on my porch.

I’ve avoided this day, ran from it, for the past eight years.

And still we meet again.

But to truly understand … to feel my dread and fear my future as I do, it’s important to know what happened in my past.
Or who…

My name is Marlo Rivers, and this is my story of corrupted love.

My Review

Low Over High is a new standalone by Author J. A. DeRouen. It is book one in the Over Duet.

…that’s the thing about the past – it’s a defiant child, refusing to stay in time out. No matter how deeply buried, it can always pop up when least expected.

In the past, Low took a chance that brought her to a place and people who became her own. One of these was a young man named Ever. There were no flashes of lightning or grand declarations of love when they first met, far from that. But, there was a spark and thin line that connected them, tethering their souls to one another.

“I’ve never been able to think more than a day or two into the future. Until you. Now you’re all I see. And I don’t see that changing.”

Oftentimes, a prologue with a bang will suck me into a book. While Low Over High definitely had an enticing prologue, it was Low’s sass, snark, and life-learned mini-lessons that snagged my attention.

“…an orchid is no more beautiful than a Texas bluebell catching wind in the side of the highway. They’re just different.”

Beauty came in so many forms in this novel. The connection between family members, the camaraderie of friends, the ease of humor that colored the pages, and the nice slow burn between Low and Ever allowed for my mind to dream for them, hope for them. This story was like watching the most beautiful edifice being constructed, all of the parts and pieces coming together at a perfect pace and timing.

Low Over High was a moving and emotion-filled story that brought me to the edge of despair and dropped me in the lap of hope. I loved it! One of my favorites of this year.

“We’d be magical, you and me.”

5 Stars


Kissing Ever is like breaking the surface of the ocean. Legs kicking, arms flailing, and then that precious moment when air rushes into your lungs, giving you the one thing you need the most. Yeah, kissing Ever is just like that.

When his teeth lightly tug on my bottom lip, he owns me. I swear, my shirt almost flies off of its own accord.

Of course, I keep my cool despite his lovely lips … sort of. His tongue slides gently against mine, and I inch closer to him. He pulls away to taste my upper lip, and I grip his shirt with both hands. Maybe my hands slide under the shirt to touch his hot skin, but only an inch or two. When he lets out a long sigh, and his fingers brush the sides of my cheeks just so, I slide my legs between his. I want to pull his ribs loose and burrow deep inside of him, and even then, I’m not sure if it’s close enough.

He slows the kiss, still tasting me, sucking my lips, teasing me with his tongue. When I open my eyes, he’s right there with me, hazy eyes and parted lips. I run a hesitant finger over the freckles on his nose, and he runs his thumb across my swollen mouth. I finger his hair, tugging playfully, and he kisses my dimple, poking me with his tongue.

We explore each other slowly, thoroughly, and my thumb runs over his stomach to the thin line of hair trailing below his belly button. He shivers, and I swear the bulge pushing into the back of my thigh isn’t a banana in his pocket. It makes me feel powerful—that I can turn him on that way. This is the first time I can remember wanting that power. Boy’s erections were always a nuisance to me in the past.

He doesn’t expect me to do something with that, does he? Nuh-uh.

Let me be clear, those are not the thoughts running through my mind as I bend my knee and push my thigh more firmly into Ever’s hard-on. Not even close.

His hips raise to my pressure, and he drops his forehead to mine with a long sigh.

“I knew kissing you would be good, Low, but that was … I don’t know what that was,” he says with a chuckle, stealing another kiss.

“We should try it again. You know, figure it out.”

And we do.

About J.A. DeRouen

J.A. Derouen lives in South Louisiana with her husband, son (aptly nicknamed “The Professor”), and her furry friend, Scout. She has earned bachelor’s degrees in psychology and nursing. When she’s not writing or inhaling romance novels by the stack, she works as a women’s health nurse. She’s been an avid reader and daydreamer since childhood, and she’s never stopped turning the page to get to the next happily ever after.

More from J.A. DeRouen

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