Monday, January 13, 2014

Blog Tour Review & Giveaway: Thou Shalt Not by JJ Rossum

Today, Waves of Fiction is excited to join Shh Moms Reading for the Blog Tour of Thou Shalt Not by JJ Rossum. For our stop, we have the book details, review, excerpts, playlist, and a GIVEAWAY!! Enjoy!!

Thou Shalt Not by JJ Rossum
Published December 9th 2013
Buy Links: Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Smashwords
Luke Harper was finally starting to settle into his life - a life that had previously been full of more heartbreak and pain than most people ever experienced. He had a job he loved, and was blissfully content in his on-again, off-again relationship with the striking, and highly sexual, Holly. But, life throws Luke another curveball with the arrival of the alluring April, a woman stuck in a tumultuous, violent marriage to a famous athlete. Luke soon finds himself torn between what is safe, familiar, and right, and what is dangerous, unknown, and forbidden.

My Thoughts
Okay, well that was full of surprises!

First off, I didn’t know that the author J.J. Rossum was a GUY! See, I’m not one to eagerly pick up male authored novels for some fully flawed biased reason that I can’t seem to pinpoint. When it comes to contemporary novels, I look to women authors for my fix. With the small exception of my three tried and true, including John Green, David Levithan and the occasional Nicholas Sparks when I’m in the mood for heartbreak, male authors simply don’t catch my attention. However, by the time I figured out that J.J. Rossum was a guy, I was well into the book and there was no grounding for my biased opinion to stand on.

I’ll admit that I picked up Thou Shalt Not because one of my favorite authors Tarryn Fisher recommended the novel. So, I jumped into it and was pleased to find myself in a guy’s head (now… now.. let’s not go there) and enjoying his story. Well done Rossum… well done!

Overall, this book did NOT disappoint! It was raw and gritty in all the best ways. Luke Harper was a flawed character, by choice, and I enjoyed sifting through his thoughts and mental tangents as he started to fall for a married woman. Now, any time I pick up a book that is targeted to challenge my moral compass, I’m willing to accept their tragic choices if I can first fall head over heels for character. So by the time Luke made that ultimate decision, which under normal circumstances would have me screaming FOUL PLAY, I just couldn’t. He had my loyalty and as much as I didn’t agree with his decision, I still loved him to pieces.

Now that’s not to say I didn’t have a few hang-ups with the story. For example, I think the alternating time frames offered a right perspective to help us understand Luke’s past, but all of a sudden the shift in time frames stopped at a point when I least expected it, so that felt a bit odd. Also, I was sad to see Walt vanish from the scene after his tragic loss. I was hoping Luke would continue to be there for the old man. Maybe that’s a story tangent for another time, but I was hoping we’d get one more visit with this loveable character. Lastly, there was a very, and I mean VERY sharp personality shift from one of the characters that completely caught me off guard. I never really felt comfortable around her, but HOLY BASEBALL BAT did she ever morph into something wicked! Those few flaws gave way for some turbulence through this journey, but it was far from being a hard landing. Thou Shalt Not was DAMN good!

Edgey writing, riveting momentum, and OHHHH WAIT !! Don’t let me forget to tell you about that sharp cliff hanger of a conclusion that also caught me off guard!!! I actually thought my eReader was broken when the ePages stopped turning!! Is this a series??? If not, who ends a story like that?? Like I said… well done Rossum! You messed with my head and… well… you win… Worthy story full of not so worthy choices that was captivating from beginning to end. I’ll definitely be adding J.J. Rossum to my list of guy authors I’m willing to read. :)
4 Suns
Book Excerpts

"My fingers are sticky," she said, holding them up near my face.
  "Well, if you weren't such a messy eater you wouldn't have that problem."
  She laughed as I grabbed her hand and put her fingers in my mouth. I tasted blackberry.
  "That just really turned me on,” she said.
  She jumped to her feet and started backing away from me.
  "Where are you going?" I asked, still sitting on the sand.
  "Away from you!" she laughed. "My mom always warned me about men who randomly sucked on your body parts."
  “What did she say about them?” I asked.
  “That they’d get you pregnant and ruin your life.”
  “Let’s test that theory.”
   I jumped up quickly, and she let out a startled scream. If someone had been watching from a distance, they probably would have thought something awful was going down.
  She took off running down the beach, her long legs propelling her smoothly through the sand. My initial impression of her having probably been an avid lifelong runner were being proven true.
  Thankfully, I was taller and had spent years running for baseball training. I began to make ground on her.
  She glanced behind herself as she ran and let out another startled scream when she realized I was much closer than she expected me to be.  She tried turning on the jets, but I was still gaining on her. I reached my arms out and grabbed hold of her shoulders.
  "Help" she yelled to no one in particular.
  We were both breathing heavily, and when she turned around to face me I pushed her down onto the sand.  
  I knelt down between her legs and put a hand on each one.
  "These things sure do move quickly."
  "That's not all they do."
  She leaned up and grabbed the neck of my shirt, pulling me down toward her.
  I hadn't kissed a girl on the beach like this since I was in high school. There was something sexy about it: laying in the sand, waves crashing at the shore, not a soul in sight.
  We rolled around in the sand for a while, kissing, touching, breathing heavily. A couple of people even walked by, but we took no notice.
  Finally, we stopped after I rolled her onto her back and sand fell off of my arms and onto her face.
  She playfully made spitting noises trying to get the sand out of her mouth, acting like she was drowning under a pile of it.
  I stood up, and then reached out my arm to help her up.
"Let's get out of here," I said.

About the Author
JJ Rossum traveled the world as a child, and called many places "home". Currently, home is Portland, Oregon, where he is at work on other novels that were hatched while people watching during many airport layovers.

Don't miss out on the Blog Tour Giveaway! JJ Rossum is giving away 10 eBooks of Thou Shalt Not!! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I saw it on Wags of Fiction.

  2. Seen on Waves of Fiction. Love this blog!
    Thank you for the giveaway.
    kimlrkim [at] aol [dot] com