Ever had one of those days? Alina Lyons is having one. Everything keeps falling apart and going wrong. Just when she thinks it couldn't get worse, it does. After a case of mistaken identity and a broken heart, she finds herself questioning the things she thought she knew. She wonders who she can turn to or trust anymore.An unlikely bond with her former best friend's ex, Ryan Wilcox, sends her life in a new direction. He offers her a place to stay while she gets her life back on track. His friendship is exactly what she's been missing—what she's been needing. Alina's never felt this alive. As time goes by, the dynamic of their relationship becomes more than either of them expected. A few innocent kisses could lead them in a new direction, but are they prepared for what's on the other side?Only one way to find out.
This book took me by surprise! At first, I was kind of thinking this was your typical new adult trope: girl has a terrible day, loses job, finds boyfriend cheating with her best friend/roommate. And while it might start that way, it really did get much more interesting! So, why did I love it?
1. Alina and Ryan become friends first. This is so overlooked in many new adult books now. Often they start as hook ups then later realize they have stuff in common and become friends. I love that this book took the sweet route! Not only were they friends first, they built a strong friendship!
2. The relationship progressed in a very realistic way! Alina is obviously a little gun shy about relationships so even when they begin to admit their feelings, they proceed slowly and it was really wonderful to read (again, see #1)
3. The tension in this story comes from a bit of the will they/won’t they but more from the WHEN will they. Because their relationship builds so slowly you are dying to figure out if they are going to take the leap or not. Its not overly angsty which is nice too!
The only thing about this book that left me wanting more was the end. It didn’t end badly, but it was so rushed. The entire book is a slow build of this relationship and then bam its over!
I was able to ask Lilly Avalon some questions so y’all can get to know her better!
1. How do you come up with your characters? Based on someone, dreams, famous people?
It’s a mix of everything. A lot of my female protagonists end up having pieces of me in them, which is inescapable as a writer. Sometimes I’ll piece together some qualities in friends of mine, and even some people I’m not really friends with. Ha!
2. What genre of books do you love to read? Favorites?
Almost any contemporary romance ranging from new adult to erotica. I eat up the ones with tropes like fake relationship or enemies to lovers. I’ve been really getting into the stepbrother romances that have been all over the place.
3. How do you choose a title? How do you choose character names?
Titles sometimes just hit me as I’m brainstorming the story idea. Certain words, phrases, and sentences come to mind and something just fits and sticks. I try my best to have a title before I write the story, but once in awhile nothing is working and I have to write until it hits me. More Than Words was like that–I didn’t know the title until I was almost finished with the first draft. Drove me nuts!
Most of the time it’s just names I love! Sometimes there are specific reasons, like with Devlin from the Resist series. I promised my best friend that I’d name one of my heroes Devlin after we saw so many others named Devlin. Sometimes I’ll slip in other inside jokes with names, like naming one of Alina’s ex-boyfriends after one of my own.
4. Do you map out the story before writing or do you just ‘go with it’?
Both. Haha! Sometimes I try to have a nice outline in place to keep everything together, but there are some books that just happen (like More Than Words). I’ve gotten to the point where I do a mix of both where I have a pretty good idea of the majority of the story, kinda write a mini outline of what I know, but when I start writing, a decent part of it comes to me on the spot.
5. What kind of rituals do you have when you are writing (music, a special chair, etc)
It varies depending on what I’m writing and my mood. Sometimes music, sometimes not… especially when I’m having trouble with a sentence and the music is distracting me. I usually write late at night–like midnight or later. That’s when my inspiration seems to be flowing best.
6. What do you have coming up that we should be looking for?
I’m working on a couple projects (although there’s a third trying to weasel its way in). One is a sexy story featuring a dirty talking hero. The second one is a contemporary romance with a girl who comes home again after getting out of a bad relationship. It’s all about second chances and takes place in a small town.
7. If you could collaborate with another author, who would it be and why?
Oh wow! I’d love to collaborate with an author on a story. It’s on my list of writing goals. One I would love to write with would be Roni Loren. She has such great romantic stories that hold no punches. Which is what I’d like to do with my own writing more.
8. Favorites! Tell us your favorite of each of these things:
TV show: How I Met Your Mother
Actor: Nick Bateman
Actress: Jennifer Lawrence
Place to vacation: Anyplace warm
Book: Escorted by Claire Kent (one of my favorites *wink*)
Author: Roni Loren
Song/Band/Artist: Ellie Goulding
9. What is one thing your readers would be surprised to know about you?
I’m really Batman. (pauses for suspense) Kidding. One thing is that Lilly isn’t my real name. It used to be in my bio about it being a pseudonym, but ended up getting cut when I updated it, so some might not know that! I still answer to Lilly, even IRL with the few people who know.