From USA TODAY bestselling author Renée Carlino (Before We Were Strangers), a warm and witty novel about a struggling writer who must come to grips with her past, present, and future after she discovers that she’s the inspiration for a pseudonymously published bestselling novel.
When a bestselling debut novel from mysterious author J. Colby becomes the literary event of the year, Emiline reads it reluctantly. As an adjunct writing instructor at UC San Diego with her own stalled literary career and a bumpy long-term relationship, Emiline isn’t thrilled to celebrate the accomplishments of a young and gifted writer.
Yet from the very first page, Emiline is entranced by the story of Emerson and Jackson, two childhood best friends who fall in love and dream of a better life beyond the long dirt road that winds through their impoverished town in rural Ohio.
That’s because the novel is patterned on Emiline’s own dark and desperate childhood, which means that “J. Colby” must be Jase: the best friend and first love she hasn’t seen in over a decade. Far from being flattered that he wrote the novel from her perspective, Emiline is furious that he co-opted her painful past and took some dramatic creative liberties with the ending.
The only way she can put her mind at ease is to find and confront “J. Colby,” but is she prepared to learn the truth behind the fiction?
Read an EXCERPT here!!
“… I guess it’s like reading a good book. The kind where you don’t want to skip pages to see what happens at the end. Each moment is a story in itself.”
Swear on This Life is one of THE best second-chance romances I’ve ever read. This book is perfection!!!
I really can’t do justice to this beautiful and heart-wrenching story. This is one of those books that absolutely must be experienced by reading the author’s own perfectly-crafted words. Swear on This Life is incredibly imaginative, creative and heart-stopping, and is one of my favorite books this year.
I finished this book months ago and have been thinking about it ever since. It is a book I have been telling all my non-bookish co-workers and friends to read. I completely tuned out the world when I read this book and wanted to spend every waking minute reading it. The past and present blend together seamlessly in this book and there are flashbacks within flashbacks. This could be confusing BUT Renee Carlino does it brilliantly here. There are really 4 main characters in this book: “real-life” Emiline and Jace, and “fictional” Emerson and Jackson. The early days of the real main characters and the fictional characters are absolutely harrowing. Emiline has now escaped her past and grown up to make a perfectly nice life for herself. She struggles, however, to find her voice as a writer. She has tried her best to put her painful past behind her, but reading the popular best-selling book featuring Emerson and Jackson has brought her childhood crashing into her present-day self in a way she is not quite ready to face.
“Most of the time people who are lost don’t ever find their way back.”
I like to be challenged as a reader and Swear on This Life did just that. It is a fascinating and unique second-chance romance like none other. At times excruciatingly painful and brutally honest, the book is also romance and women’s fiction at it’s very best. There is actually some humor to lighten up the overall heavy tone of the book along with an intensely sweet first love story. Emotional and satisfying, Swear on This Life is a must-read.
“Some of us will look back on our lives and recall events that were a bit too perfect, but until you know the whole story, it’s impossible to see the universe at work, or even admit that there is something bigger than us, making sure everything that should happen does happen.”
(ARC provided by the publisher in return for an honest review.)