Friday, May 15, 2015

Blog Tour & Review: Under the Influence by L.B. Simmons



I loved you once. A love I thought irrevocable. A love I mistakenly believed could transcend both time and circumstance. Under the influence of my dimwitted, na├»ve, traitorous heart, I became intoxicated with what I now know was simply a figment of my self-indulgent imagination. So drunk on the feeling, I couldn’t see what was right in front of my face. So foolishly enamored, I blindly followed my heart into the depths of an emotion that would ravage me. 

Years later, I know now what I wish I knew then. I am stronger. Smarter. Tougher. I will not allow myself to be broken again. 

I loved you.

I raged for you.

I wept for you.

And now, I’m letting you go.

Author’s Note:  Under the Influence is the journey of two childhood friends that spans the course of five pivotal years in their lives. It is a story about their discovery of true friendship as it blossoms into first love, their experience of crucial sacrifice and ultimate betrayal, and their endurance of agonizing heartbreak on the way to finding lasting redemption.


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Spencer POV:

Cassie maintains her wide smile. “You go on a date and I guarantee what you find regarding Dalton and his feelings will surprise you.”

“Cassie. No one wants to go out on a date with me. Trust me.”

She shakes her head before she busts out laughing. The ridiculous sound of it reverberates around my room. “You really have no idea, do you? Every guy at school has a hard-on for you, you fool. They’re fucking scared to come within even ten feet of you because of Dalton. He let it be known that if they did, he would deal with them.”

“Oh my God! You have no idea what you’re talking about!” I’m laughing outright now. She really has lost her mind.

She shakes her head, the severity of her statement tightening her features. “I’m totally serious, Spence. I swear on my Kindle.”

At this, I take a sharp breath and sober immediately. To Cassie, her Kindle is sacred as the Bible.

She nods slowly, dramatically, as she watches me grasp the meaning of her statement. Right hand raised, she states, “On the over-abundance of trashy romance novels within my possession, I solemnly swear that before Dalton graduated, he straight-up took out a vendetta against any male in our school who dares approach you.”

“He did what?!” I screech, pressing myself off the bed and catapulting into upright position.

Anger ignites and my face heats wildly as realization dawns.

This whole year, in fact, the entire four years of high school, no one has looked at me. No one has asked me to come to parties, to go on dates, to go to prom. Not that I would go, but it would be nice to be asked, you know? Okay, I probably would go. I mean, it’s a rite of passage, right?

Two black painted fingernails make their appearance as they snap directly in front of my face, jolting me out of my inner thoughts.

“Hooker! Pay attention!”

I shake my head and refocus. Still seething, I whisper, “This whole time, I thought it was me. That I wasn’t dating material or pretty enough. Four years, Cass. Four years of feeling like I wasn’t good enough.” My molars grind together. “It all makes sense now.”

She waves her hand dismissively. “We’re getting off track here.”

My eyes bulge as she continues, “I have found someone who, luckily for you, seems to have recently acquired a death wish.”

LB Simmons is just one of the authors that are automatic for me.  When she announces she is releasing a new novel, I’m like a kid at Christmas counting down the days until it’s released.  Counting the days until I can be immersed in the world she creates.  She is such a talented and gifted author that her works pull you from your own reality and drop you into the world she has created.  She does it time after time and Under the Influence was no different! I was captivated and intrigued by their story and wanted them to find their happy place. They both come from broken pasts and together find the inner peace and calm.  But with great love comes great tragedy and at what price does happiness come at? This is definitely a must read and one story you will devour!

Dalton and Spenser have been best friends since he was placed in her home as a foster child when he was twelve. Dalton’s story truly broke my heart as he is so broken and to view a child who has lived through hell and back just pulls at every heart string and emotion.  You want them to have their happy ending and to get the best out of life.  But getting wrapped up with the wrong people can lead you down a life that you never expected. Dalton knew he had to keep his two lives separate. That if one part found out about the other, his whole life would come crashing down.

And then there is Spenser (I love different girl names!)… There are hints of a troubled past but you forget about them as she is forever the optimistic and wants to find good in all situations.  She may have a hard beginning but she does not let that define her and determine her future. She knows life is what you make of it and she lives every day to the fullest.

Together they are each other’s ying and yang, they are like peanut butter and jelly, they are whole when they are together until one faithful night changes everything.  Lives are changed and Dalton is forced to make the hardest decision of his life but to save Spenser, he knows what he must do.  Days to weeks, weeks to month, and months to years.  Will Dalton’s love for Spenser last through time?  Or will his quest to right the wrongs be too little to late? You will just need to read to find out!!! 5 HUGE STARS!!!


L.B. Simmons is a graduate of Texas A&M University and holds a degree in Biomedical Science.  She has been a practicing Chemist for the last 11 years.  She lives with her husband and three daughters in Texas and writes every chance she gets.