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Side by Side (Side by Side Series Book 1) by [Louise, Wendy]
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Side by Side (Side by Side Series Book 1) Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Length: 347 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Language: English

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Product Description

What would you do if your childhood best friend, your soul mate, and the one person that means more than anyone else in the world was suddenly in front of you after disappearing from your life ten years ago?

Would you risk your stable life, to allow them back in to your heart, even after they had left you without any explanation?

Katy Lou Reynolds needs to make a choice. She can either ignore the fact that Elijah Trent is standing in the middle of the cage about to fight, or she can face him and demand answers as to why he left her.

Is it worth risking her heart for her one true love even though she knows it may get broken again, or is it better to let him walk away?

***

When Katy Lou tags along with her boyfriend to an Underground Cage fight, the last thing she expects to find in the ring is her childhood best friend, Elijah. Seeing him again brings back distant memories - a drunken mother, an absent father and relentless school bullies. Most of all, it re-awakens the feelings she had for him. Elijah has always held her heart; but after he left her when they were fourteen, without a word, can she risk everything to let him back in to her life again?

Elijah is a great fighter. He channels all the aggression he suffered at the hands of an abusive father in to every fight, every time. His success feeds his lifestyle of new cities and endless women, eager to spend time with him. His one regret has always been leaving behind his best friend, Katy Lou. There's nothing he wouldn't give to see her again, but if he does, would she forgive him for leaving her and risk her heart?

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1599 KB
  • Print Length: 347 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Wendy Louise; 1 edition (9 February 2015)
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00TEJDGBI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #299,193 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
What's not to like....
I loved it from start to finish, fabulous story of a never forgotten first love, endearing characters, drama and passion... and for me, knowing it's the first of a series I can't wait for the next book!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 3.6 out of 5 stars 10 reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars 14 March 2015
By Robyn Withers - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A Very enjoyable read and look forward to the next book.
4.0 out of 5 stars She’d always wondered what happened to the boy she loved, but eventually she moved on 17 June 2015
By Mignon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Received a review copy in exchange for an honest review; original tour posting can be found at:
http://mnonmklreviews.blogspot.com/2015/06/review-side-by-side-blog-tour.html

This new adult title was about two friends who hadn’t seen one another in nine years. Elijah and Katy were neighbors growing up as well as friends, but more than that, they were one another’s safe haven. Katy knew about Elijah’s father who beat on him and his mother, and Elijah was her knight in shining armor whenever the school bully’s picked on Katy, which they did often. They always had one another’s back, were always side by side.

One night after saying goodbye in their customary blown kiss, catch to cheek way, Katy could hear through her window Elijah’s loud rock music, signifying that his dad was hitting his mother.

…and that was the last she’d seen of him.

She’d always wondered what happened to the boy she loved, but eventually she moved on. She fell in love and moved in with Justin years later – which is where we begin. She’s no longer in love with Justin, and feels he likely feels the same. When he offers a date at a fight that is coming to town, she wants to say no but eventually says yes.

And it was a good thing she did, because for the first time in years, she saw Elijah.

After that last beating, Elijah’s mother packed him and her up and they left home; Elijah wanted to contact his Katy Lou, but his mother wouldn’t let him, afraid that his father would come find them. Now he’s a professional fighter who uses that same music to drown out his father’s fists to pump up for a fight.

When Katy mentions to her friend Mindy that she has found her old best friend, they find his next fight and have a girls-night. After the fight, they do the whole ring-bunny thing and try to wave down people to get in the back, to (almost) no avail. Caleb, Elijah’s friend and manager, eyes Mindy and tells them where they will be going after the fight.

The moment Elijah and Katy’s eyes meet, it’s like the heaven’s open, birds sing, Hallelujah they’re in love. Ok, maybe not quite like that, but the story took on a not so believable aspect at the point for me. After they see one another and pleasantries are exchanged, they end up at his hotel room – just to talk, mind you. Katy calls her boyfriend to tell him she won’t be coming home that night, and he gets (rightfully) upset.

While Elijah and Katy don’t go right into a relationship, they do pick up as if a single day hasn’t passed, which is where I roll me eyes. When these two left one another last, they were barely teenagers and now they are barely adults. Things are going to change, personalities are going to change, thought processes are going to change.

Or rather, they should.

It doesn’t always feel like that in this story. Their friendship and eventual relationship all feels very easy and falls into place. This story, to me, felt like it was written at a high school level – I didn’t personally feel that the thoughts and actions, as well as the dialogue, were written to a true twenty-something’s mindset. That and the Constant. Talk. Like. This.

Ok, I do that too, but it was almost too much. It made me really find Katy annoying.

However, the easy dialogue and thoughts made the story an ‘easy read’, one that was easy to flip the pages and continue on. There wasn’t anything so mindbending that I had to re-read it or felt that I was slightly lost – it was just easy.

The story was cute; life had a way of throwing curveballs at Elijah and Katy since they were children, and continues to do so as adults. Elijah will always have his protective streak where Katy’s concerned, and sometimes that comes to bite him in the hind end, but these two have had much worse things to overcome.

Equally, I enjoyed the Mindy/Caleb set up, and am curious how their story, ON MY SIDE, is going to happen. I’m excited to see that it overlaps with SIDE BY SIDE, so we’ll get a true look into their relationship, rather than the bystander’s view we had in SIDE BY SIDE.
4.0 out of 5 stars This book is the definition of true love! 2 July 2015
By Kimmy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
**I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.**

OMG. I felt all the feelings while reading this book. Ever wonder what true love is? Well this is true love at its best.

Katy Lou and Elijah were neighbors and the best of friends. Elijah lived in a house with an abusive father and Katy Lou's mother had a drinking problem. One night Elijah disappeared and Katy Lou never saw him again. She was devastated by the loss, but moved on with her life. Fast forward ten years and fate intervenes. Katy Lou goes to an underground cage fight with her boyfriend and in the ring is the boy who disappeared...Elijah. She is beyond surprised to see him, but leaves the fight without making her presence known.

After the fight Katy Lou can't stop thinking about Elijah She tells her best friend Mindy about seeing him and Mindy convinces her that she can't let this opportunity pass. The two travel to LA to see Elijah fight and it is there where the Elijah and Katy Lou are reunited.

Elijah is absolutely ecstatic to see Katy Lou and asks her to spend some time with him. Much to the chagrin of her boyfriend, she agrees. They manage to keep things very platonic at first, but it was inevitable that things would eventually turn physical. As they get reacquainted with each other, it is clear that whatever feelings they had for each other when they were only 14, have grown over the years.

Katy Lou and Elijah may may have been apart for almost 10 years, but you would never know it. While they both had unhappy childhoods, the only bright spot for both of them was each other. It was so easy for them to fall back into their friendship, which blossomed into love. I got emotional many times while reading this book. They both overcame so much in their life to get to where they are today, and they not only deserve to be happy, but they deserve each other. And while things aren't all sunshine and rainbows, I never doubted that their love for each other. You could feel how much they loved each other, even before they spoke the words. It's an epic love story and I thank the author for writing it!
3.0 out of 5 stars Review-Side By Side 28 June 2015
By Carra at Making it Happen blog - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
So, I'm always excited to read a good reconnection/second chance story, and this one combines that with a sort of friends-t0-lovers vibe as well (since the first time around our couple was only fourteen years old). The circumstances under which Katy and Elijah are together as children and teens are extremely difficult, with both of them having troubled home lives (especially Elijah). This fuels an intensely close friendship between them from a very early age. But then they're torn apart without notice, causing both of them anger, sadness and broken hearts.

Once they find each other again about a decade later, it's almost as if they pick up right where they left off-that's how powerful their connection was then and is now. But now you have to throw in the fact that Katy has a boyfriend...which causes some stress and complications.

Katy is sweet and empathetic to others, and has become successful at a very young age. For the most part, I enjoyed her character-with the one exception of an indiscretion on her part when she and Elijah reconnect. Elijah is 100% dominating alpha male-protective of Katy since she was a child, hot and sexy (how could he not be as a ripped cage fighter?), though at some times can jump to conclusions when it comes to Katy. The two of them together just feel right.

The story basis is a good one, and the first half was pretty spot on. The second half for me was more of a mixed bag--it felt like there were too many complications being introduced and too much going on (the one that was brought up when Elijah's father visits the gym seems a bit too much for me, and not really needed with the rest of the things going on in the story). I did enjoy the scenes that specifically concentrated on Katy and Elijah, and the difficulties his father's reappearances cause (minus that first one at the gym) because they demonstrate the intense feelings of love and protectiveness they both have for each other...and have had since they were young children.

One thing I did have some issues with was the fact that the story takes place in the US, with distinctly American characters and settings, but used non-US spellings, words and phrases. It just didn't match with the setting of the story and so was a bit distracting. Also, at times the pace slowed a bit for me, mostly during the second half of the book.

If you're a fan of reconnection stories, this will definitely be a story for you. Recommended for 18+ due to difficult situations, infidelity, childhood abuse, and adult sexual scenes.
4.0 out of 5 stars Elijah and Katy Lou!! 23 June 2015
By Joann - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
What's better than a story of love, that begins as children? Not much. Two people that grow up together, learning all there is to know about the other person, all of their good, their bad, and most importantly- their ugly. For Elijah and Katy Lou, there is a whole lot of ugly. These two, childhood friends, who were ripped apart at the tender age of fourteen, waited for years to be able to be back together.
Elijah, who grew up in an extremely abusive home, was whisked away in the middle of the night with his mother, all to escape his abusive dad. However, as they had to keep their location a secret, he was never able to let his best friend, Katy Lou, know where he was. However, Katy Lou was always more than Elijah's best friend- she was the only good in his otherwise horrific life.
Years passed them by, and they were both forced to move on with their lives. Katy Lou ended up in a relationship with another man, one whom she seemed to love more as a bestie than a lover, but never forgot about Elijah. She dreamed of him, always wondering what had happened to the boy that owned her heart. Elijah, on the other hand, became an underground fighter, and began touring the country in order to become the best of the best. This is the way that he decided to channel all of the rage and anger from his childhood.
So, by chance one night, while accompanying her boyfriend to a fight, Katy Lou discovers Elijah, and it immediately turns her world upside down. They reconnect soon after, and both realize that they have always been in love with each other, and are unwilling to let the other go. Now, as there is an instance of cheating on Katy Lou's part in the book, this is one of the reasons that I couldn't give the book 5 stars. I have a problem with characters that cheat- it's just a personal pet peeve, nothing against the author.
The other reason for my 4 star rating, comes with the fact that these two sometimes seemed to forget that they were now adults, and acted as though they were the teenagers they used to be. There were several instances of intense jealousy, and misunderstandings that occurred- that I felt could have all been avoided, had they actually talked to one another. Instead, they seemed to pout like children and run away. Those were my only faults with the book, otherwise, it was a great story, with a wonderful supporting cast of friends, who will have their own story own soon. Again, 4 stars for Side by Side!!

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