If you are looking for a new indie author to try, but are hesitant because you are worried about writing quality, "Hurts Just Like Love" by M. Thomas is the one to pick up. I am always excited to discover a new to me author and when Thomas reached out to me to see if I would be interested in reading her debut novel I was happy to check her out. When I read the excerpt, I wanted to know what the heck happened to land Myles in the situation he found himself. I'm going put a link to the excerpt below. I'll admit that the cover of 'Hurts Just Like Love" helped sell me on giving this story a try. I'm a sucker for a good book cover! This indie writer clearly takes her craft seriously and has put in a lot of effort to make sure that her writing is taken seriously as well. Thomas' writing is clear and well formed. This story has everything a contemporary fiction/sorta romance needs to have to be engaging with enough twists that made me shake my head at the shenanigans. Realistic, relatable, and yes-frustrating characters kept me involved straight through to the end.
We are introduced to Myles' and Mia's love story at a low point; not when they are in the first throws of romance and passion. They are what looks to be from the outside a perfect match for each other. Successful careers which only seem to be getting better, two young children, a supportive extended family, and a relationship that should be solid enough to sustain a bit of strain and challenges. None of this is true and we know that from the very first paragraph of their story. I love that Thomas starts off at what could be the end.
"Hurts Just Like Love" explores both romantic relationships and friendships that are depicted so realistically that I chose sides almost instantly, and I have to say that I didn't waiver once through the course of the book. I can forgive selfishness until it harms the well being of children and then all bets are off. Yes, take care of yourself and make sure that you can be a stable and whole person, but do it in a way that won't leave your children confused and hurt. (Yeah, I'm holding a grudge!) There is also a character who in my mind crossed so far over the line that they are completely irredeemable.
"Hurts Just Like Love" would make a fantastic book club book pick. It would spark plenty of good conversations. If you have read this please let me know, I'd love to discuss it. If you enjoy Eric Jerome Dickey, Terry McMillan, or Kiki Swinson I would say pick up a copy of this book! There are sex scenes that are fairly descriptive, but they are short and do not really go into the realm of erotica. They are there and they are not joke, but that is not a negative for me at all!
Two things that you should know though:
1) There's a graphic and hard to read rape scene. When I say hard to read I mean it is extremely difficult to experience and is written in graphic detail. Be aware that it's toward the end of the book and you could technically skip over the scene when you get to it and still know what you need for context.
2) This ends with a true cliffhanger which guts me. Y'all know cliffhangers do me in!!! The closer I got to the end I knew what was being set up, but I couldn't help but hold out hope all the way up to the last few pages, but alas my hopes were dashed. I now have to wait for the next book which hopefully won't be too long of a wait.
"Hurts Just Like Love" is exactly why I continue to show love for indie authors!
**I received a review copy via the author in exchange for an honest review.**
Excerpt Link via Hurts Just Like Love website.
Myles and Mia are a young wealthy couple with two beautiful children and thriving careers. Six months before their tenth year anniversary, his world unravels when he arrives home to find everything gone, including his wife and children. Frantic, he searches for answers only to discover horrifying truths about the people he trusted. As his world spirals out of control, Myles' desperate search for answers only leads to more questions and eventually an ending neither of them could have ever imagined.