One of the Best Releases of 2017 is Available Now!
I am going to start with my original review and add more here and there. I could not possibly ever say enough good things to truly bring the justice this book/series/trilogy deserves. “All the feels” is so overused, but is never as true as it is in the Just an Illusion trilogy.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Where to begin, oh where to begin? I have had several schools of thought on this while reading, knowing I would be reviewing as soon as I finished reading. But as I pulled up the page on GoodReads, something crossed my mind.
This book, this series…these are the reasons I blog. The books that touch your heart and soul when you read them…the books that break you until there is no avoiding the ugly cry, no matter how guarded you think your heart is….and then put it back together, if only to set you up to do it all over again. Books that affect you in ways you never thought possible. Books that let you soar to the highest heights and drag you through the depths of hell and every emotion in between. Books of epic romances you feel privileged to have a peek at. For me, it is always a bonus if music is involved, particularly rockstars, but music is a part of almost every part of my life, so, once I discovered the multitude of books that weave music and musicians into their storyline, why would I not include music in my literary choices. But, I digress, I wanted to focus on those rare, special unicorns….those books keep me going as a reader as well as as a blogger. I honestly have never had dreams of writing myself, but there is a special kind of joy I get as a blogger when I have the chance to introduce these mythical masterpieces to a new audience. My friends, please take note of the name D. Kelly.
I really should start with telling you
Just an Illusion – EPis not a standalone; you must read
Just an Illusion – Side A, followed by
Just an Illusion – The B Side first. This isn’t any kind of hardship – this trilogy is one of the best I have come across in ages, if ever. Okay, maybe I should have started with how honored I was to receive an ARC copy since this doesn’t actually release until June 21st, and I have been counting down the days since I finished The B Side. I am sure some of you would like to know that both Side A and Side B close on some pretty major cliffhangers and I will go ahead and mention that EP does close out this trilogy without that kind of angst. (So if you hate cliffhangers, you can get your closure on June 21st and not have to wait for closure.) I do know there is at least one more BAD/Weston book in the works, Just an Illusion – Unplugged, and I will hope, beg, bargain, plead and pray there will be many more than that. Only a very elite group of authors have ever touched me in the way Ms. Kelly has – as a reader first, but also as a book blogger, adding to that list is like a childhood Christmas morning. In most situations I am like the Grinch, and the every once in a great while a book/series/author comes along, sucking me into their fictional vortex and giving me all the feels, leaving me feeling like my heart grew 2 sizes that day.
One more warning (that, actually probably applies to the entire series) before we get down to business- check your stock, you may need to make a Sam’s Club or Costco run before you get started if you don’t have several boxes of tissues on hand. While you are there a couple of bottles of wine, and maybe a good bottle of whiskey or tequila might be needed as well. Just fair warning, and it comes from a non-crier. I can only think of one book that had me in tears quicker than EP, and I don’t think any have produced the infamous ugly cry to the extent this book does. However, if you are suffering from allergies, or happen to have a sinus infection, the ugly cry might clear your sinuses better than any over the counter or even prescription medications.
So it is time to focus more specifically on Just an Illusion – EP. I am a spoiler-free reviewer, and that gets trickier the deeper into a series you get. Add in the cliffhangers the previous 2 books end on, and, nope, sorry (not sorry), you won’t get a lot of specifics from me. The Weston Twins will both surprise you, in unexpected ways. I ran the gamut of emotions toward each of them as I read this tome. I will have to say the same is true of Mel. Sometimes you want to hug her, sometimes you want to shake her, or, as one member of the family actually does, you may have the urge to slap her (though perhaps not for the same reasons.) If you have read The B Side, you will know that it has a dramatic ending….I don’t think there is any way to prepare for how that will play out. Saying it is extremely emotional is like saying our 97°F temps with 80% humidity this week are a bit warm. The impact is massive, and the rest of the story is definitely colored by the aftermath. I truly can’t praise Ms. Kelly enough for her ability to make her characters come to life, all too human flaws and all. It takes true talent to bring such a realness to your creations that people have emotional responses to these fictional situations in black and white print in front of them. Ms. Kelly’s talent well must be overflowing.
Don’t get me wrong, it is not all angst and tearjerking. There is plenty of slightly snarky humor (my favorite kind) and some scorching hot sexy scenes. There are the strong family ties that we have seen throughout the series, including friends who have become a part of the family. Much like real life, there are lots of ups and downs, misunderstandings, and those rare relationships where people know you so well words aren’t always necessary. One factor that sets this series apart from others is the strength of the secondary characters. While they never overwhelm our MCs, several have left me wanting to know more about them – lots more. Eli and Darren probably top that list, but there is no shortage of potential spinoffs because the glimpses we get are so strongly defined as to make us curious to know more. Mac the bodyguard even plays enough of a role to make my curiosity and imagination run. Off the top of my head I can think of at least 6 more names to add to the list. It is rare for me to take notice of secondary, and almost unheard of for tertiary, characters, but this whole crew, or more aptly, my reaction to them, has taken me by surprise.
I am such an avid reader that I don’t often get attached to characters, but these have really gotten under my skin. I am about to do something I don’t think I have ever done, and reread this entire series , immediately. I have heard the term “book hangover” many times, and I have experienced them a time or two (and possibly it’s only because this is so fresh) but I feel like I have never had one to this extent. Obviously this series gets my highest recommendations.
After having had almost a week now to digest and ruminate on this masterpiece of a book, the final book in this trilogy (but not, thankfully, the end of what we will have the pleasure of reading about the boys of BAD and those nearest and dearest to them. Here’s an area where we need your help – the method in which the stories will continue after Unplugged will hinge on the success of the trilogy, and EP specifically. For some unexplainable reason this series has largely flown under the radar….we need to change this. What can you do? Read the series, review the series (don’t be intimidated about the thought of a review – if I recall correctly, Amazon only requires 20 words for a review) and talk about this series, especially to your reader friends. Trust me, after you read it you are going to want to talk. I will let you in on a little secret – at the end of Just an Illusion-EP, Ms. Kelly kindly includes a link for a secret Facebook group for discussion of the book. Think of it as a therapy/support group. Again, you may be rolling your eyes and thinking “could she be a bit more melodramatic?”….but seriously, everyone I know who has read the entire series has needed to work through the emotional rollercoaster we have been on with this. We are normally fairly sane,competent, fully functioning adult women and not a one hasn’t shed at least a few tears, not to mention laughter that shakes your whole body and levels of desire that just shouldn’t come from fictional characters. Beyond those, there are all these other relatable moments everyone experiences in their lifetime; love, loss, family – good and bad, friendship, worry, guilt, joy – I think that is part of the appeal of this series…there is at least one thing that every person can relate to – much more for most others. Combined with Ms. Kelly’s mad writing skills that make all these characters, and all the supporting characters, and all the settings and scenarios jump off the page to a level of “real” that you can see and feel all of them as if you are there.
It all starts with Just an Illusion-Side A. If you click on the book cover above, you can read my original review here on this blog. And now I am going to share some news from the author – some freebies, giveaways and special offers to go along with the release of Just an Illusion-EP. ***HINT – it includes links to get Side A FREE, and The B Side for a mere $0.99 Trust me when I say they will be some of your best spent book dollars this year.***
For some reason WP is not letting me paste the info. I will try to edit after I publish this, but if I can’t get it to play nice with me the details will be in the post after the share of this one at www.facebook.com/backstagebookreviews
✦.•°*°•.✦ NEW RELEASE & HUGE GIVEAWAY!! ✦.•°*°•.✦
Just an Illusion – EP is live!
The breathtaking conclusion to The Illusion Series is finally here.
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2tKsIIo
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2tKnIU5
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/2sT5Mdt
Amazon AU: http://amzn.to/2rAeWHE
If you haven’t read the 1st two books in the series I’ve got a release day surprise for you!
In honor of EP being my 10th book released I’m having a sale and a giveaway.
Just an Illusion – Side A is free and Just an Illusion – The B Side is only 99 cents. (You need to read these before EP)
Links for Side A
iBooks : http://apple.co/2cwMsfw
Links for The B Side –
Amazon – http://amzn.to/2obKqGc
Amazon UK- http://amzn.to/2mQjwTY
Amazon CA –http://amzn.to/2mQbryr
Amazon Au –http://amzn.to/2oyUVQ2
iBooks – http://apple.co/2nKKSuE
nook – http://bit.ly/2nK9gww
kobo – http://bit.ly/2nEIrty
Now for the giveaway!
One winner will win an autographed paperback set of The Illusion Series – all 3 books! (open internationally)
One winner will receive an autographed swag pack (open internationally)
And three winners will win a $10 Amazon GC
Plus there are 2 rafflecopter giveaways –
#1 – http://bit.ly/2rBNHwu
#2 – http://bit.ly/2rTYmBR
If you’re still reading this super long post ***NOTE: THIS REFERS TO THE AUTHOR’S POST ON HER OWN FACEBOOK PAGE, NOT THIS BLOG*** – this is how to enter.
Like, comment, and/or share this post.
Sharing is an extra entry.
Tag friends for an extra entry -after all sharing is caring.
RT my tweets about the release or sale on twitter. You can find me at https://twitter.com/dkellyauthor
Repost any release day and sale posts on IG. You can find me at https://www.instagram.com/d_kelly_author/
For RT’s and Reposts you need to put screen shots or links in the comments for it to count for extra entries.
That’s it! Good luck! Giveaway will be open until June 30th and you can enter daily. 🙂
Blogs are eligible and welcome to enter!
*FB is not liable for this giveaway all prizes will be fulfilled by me D. Kelly.”
***Though I could continue babbling on and on, obviously, from the amount I have spouted already, but I will leave you to use your one click finger and start reading. On that note, one of (many of) my favorite little touches in this series is the way two of the main characters often communicate by texting songs to each other – because this following meme is pretty much my motto – I will add my own contest to gift an e-copy of The B Side to a random commenter who sends me a link to a song this review makes them think of. Bonus entry if any of them match the song I heard in my head with my Babylon comment before June 26, 2017. I am solely responsible for this giveaway, and the ebook will be gifted by me through Amazon.***