Titles included: Contessa, Olivia, Dear Jon, and Livvy
Author: Lori L. Otto
Released: Feb 2014
Find on Goodreads
The Choisie series is a Young Adult/New Adult story following a teenage girl as she struggles to find her footing under the scrutiny of local media and the cautious eye of her overprotective father.
Livvy Holland was adopted by a generous and wealthy couple as a child. Now sixteen, she is a burgeoning artist, encouraged by her mother and inspired by a man she was never able to meet. Feeling estranged from a loving father whose mind works much differently than her own, she questions whether or not she was paired with the right guardians. In her plight for independence, she reconnects with a fellow art student who grew up alongside Livvy.
Jon Scott has led anything but a privileged life. After his father passes away, he is left to care for his two half-brothers while his mother’s alcoholism threatens to tear his family apart. All he wants for himself and his brothers is a better life. His dreams for an Ivy League education are coming to fruition, thanks to a lifetime of hard work and ambition. This is not only important to Jon himself; he also knows that the man who will win Livvy’s heart has to be someone exceptional. Her father would accept nothing less–and Jon believes that Livvy deserves the best of everything, too.
That may be the only thing Jon and Livvy’s father agree upon.
Over the course of their courtship, these two teens will experience the bliss of true love, but their immaturity and differing lifestyles will also threaten to tear them apart. They both begin to question the other’s devotion and commitment; only time will tell if their first love is meant to last a lifetime.
This series, comprised in totality of four books, allows the reader to experience first love for a second time. The first three books–Contessa, Olivia, and Dear Jon–are available now, with the fourth book–Livvy–slated to be released December 9!
I loved this story! First of all, although it’s not required, I recommend reading the Emi Lost & Found series before beginning Contessa, only because there are certain events that occur in those books that will make Contessa and the Choisie series more understandable. In Contessa, we have the story of Olivia, who is the adopted daughter of a wealthy New York family.
I really love this book. The author does an incredible job of writing about the angst that teenagers experience. Don’t shy away from the Young Adult/New Adult label, this is a richly written and emotionally full story with characters that feel incredibly real. The dialogue between the parents and the Olivia, and between Olivia and Jon, feel very authentic.
Without a doubt, Olivia is a little prickly and tough to love as a character. But she is very talented and seems to find love with Jon, despite the tough times and the rocky road she has with her parents. Contessa is also a beautiful story about first love.
I also must comment on the absolutely spectacular covers of the Choisie series! Bravo, Ms. Otto! I hate to say it but I do often judge a book by its cover and each of these are more beautiful than the next. Give Lori Otto a try. She is a very gifted and talented writer and her stories are beautiful.
“I want you to make love to me.” My voice cracks when I say it.
“Why?” he challenges me. Why? What kind of a question is that?
“Because I love you.”
“You wear my ring because you love me. You devote every Saturday night to me because you love me. You answer my calls every day because you love me. Why do you want me?”
“I don’t… I don’t think I understand.”
“Here’s what I want. I want to trail my fingers down the length of your naked body and feel the excitement they leave in their wake.”
I look around quickly, grateful that he’s not speaking too loudly.
“I want to smell the perfume you wear as I nip at your earlobe and whisper things to you I’m too afraid to say when I’m not inebriated by your very presence.”
I can’t believe he’s saying these things to me right here, in the light of day, as if he’s telling me about his classes or what color shoes he decided to wear today.
“I want to hear you pronounce my name with such desperation, supplicating me for more – deeper, slower – like you can’t get enough of me even though you’re holding me so tightly you leave marks on my skin that take days to disappear and underscore the words forever inscribed on my shoulder blade–”
“I’m sorry–” He interrupts my interruption with a surprising kiss, his hand supporting my neck as his mouth moves hard and fast against mine. I gasp when he pulls away, and my eyes are enraptured by the fervency of his gaze.
“I’m not,” he whispers, then shakes his head. “I want the taste of you…” He pauses and nods just so, making sure I fully understand what he’s implying. “…on my lips.”
“Jon!” I nearly shriek, taken aback by his brazenness and indelicate suggestion. Oddly enough, though, I’ve never been more attracted to him than I am in this moment. He laughs at my response.
“And I want to make you blush, just like that.” He touches his thumb to the warm skin of my face. “To see the glow of tamarisk in your cheeks when you’re coming down. There’s not a prettier color in nature.”
I can say nothing, do nothing, except stare at him with my mouth agape.
“And do you want to know why I want these things?”
It takes me a moment to realize he’s asked me a question, that he’s waiting for my answer. “Because you want me to be happy?”
“No.” Now both of his thumbs rub my temples as he stares lustfully at me, through me. My pulse is raging, and I can hear it in my ears and feel it coursing beneath my skin. “Because I’m a selfish man, and every one of those things rouses me and makes me want to take you in ways I never have — ways your virtuous mind has probably never even imagined. You engage me and provoke me and you drive me to the brink of insanity, and just when I think I’m gone, you save me, Olivia. A brush of your hand. A kiss. A whisper.”
After graduating from the University of Texas at Arlington in 1997 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications, Lori Otto worked in the billboard industry for ten years. Frustrated with trying to communicate entire messages in “seven seconds or less,” she decided to leave outdoor advertising and return to her love of creative writing.