Blog Tour: THEN THERE WAS YOU by Melanie Dawn
Chris King never saw it coming…
In some ways, closing the book on my first love was the worst day of life. I was gutted, and yet I was completely at peace with my decision. I walked away knowing that I did what was best for her, unsure if I could ever recover. Little did I know that one concert would change the entire course of my life. There I stood, signing autographs and snapping pictures with fans when a familiar face in the crowd catapulted my mind back in time—Salem Honeycutt, once a balm to my pain and a calm in my storm. Yet again, her smiling face gave me hope. Only one question remained: did she still see me as a wayward teenage boy who was completely off limits, or could she see the man I’d become…focused and driven, yearning for another chance at love?
For Salem Honeycutt, postpartum bliss seemed like a lie…
No one told me that I’d hate my baby when I brought her home from the hospital. No one told me that I’d want to put a pillow over my husband’s head and smother him in his sleep. No one told me that I’d want to slap every person who gave me the ever-so-cliché advice to ‘cherish every moment.’ No one told me that I’d despise my life the minute I became a mother, but I did. Then I met Chris King, the kid who made me want to pull myself up from the dark recesses of my mind and face each day. This kid, whose passion for life and talent for music, touched my soul deeper than I could ever touch his. Chris gave me a reason to live. I was once affectionately known as Mrs. H., Chris’s juvenile detention counselor. This is our story.
Nicole’s Review 5 stars
**If you haven’t read So Much it Hurts, there may be spoilers here**
Months ago, when I finished reading So Much It Hurts, by Melanie Dawn, I was completely unaware that there would be a follow-on book. I was so satisfied with the ending and how the story played out that I never considered that there COULD be another book. I walked away from Kaitlyn and Chris with tears running down my face and a place in my heart for what Melanie Dawn had given me with her characters. Imagine my elation, jubilation and anticipation when I found out that one of my favorite book boyfriends was going to get his very own book!! Then There Was You is Chris King’s story. And what a story it is!
When Chris walked away from Kaitlyn, the only woman he had ever loved, he knew it was the right thing to do. It broke his heart, damaged his soul and left him wondering if he would ever know that kind of love again. Years later, at a backstage autograph signing with his band Fifth Wheel, Chris comes face to face with a part of his past that he never thought he would see again, Salem Honeycutt; his juvenile detention counselor. Through flashbacks, we witness what happened to Chris when he was sent to juvie for trying to protect Kaitlyn and how important Salem became to Chris during his time there. As a bonus, we get to see just how important Chris was to Salem during that time.
When Chris entered Juvenile Detention, Salem was in the throes of life with a newborn baby. She was tired, angry, conflicted and unsure of herself. Chris and the other boys she counseled gave Salem a much needed break from her “real” life. Salem was able to use her brain, measure progress and feel her worth with others. Even though she was madly in love with her baby girl and could not imagine life without her, she felt none of the mastery at home that she felt at work. Counselling Chris was a lifeline for Salem at a time where she felt the weight of the world on her shoulders. For Chris, Salem was the first person who saw him, the real him. Not a screw-up or lost cause, but someone with value and talent. When they reconnect all of those years later, both of them are able to admit to themselves and each other just what an impact they had had on each other’s lives. They find out that their connection is still very real and has evolved into something bigger and better than either could have imagined.
Then There Was You gave me something I didn’t know I needed. It gave me the enormity of Chris’ capacity for love, courage and strength. I fell a little harder for Chris this time because I was able to see the true depth of his character. I wept with Salem and him as they made breakthroughs and connections. I laughed because teenaged boys are goofy and funny. I felt butterflies as he and Salem fell for each other. I laughed. I cried. I swooned! That pretty much covers everything I love about a good love story!
I love this book as much as I loved So Much It Hurts. I give Then There Was You 5 stars. I have to. Days later, I am still marveling and thinking about it. I still find satisfaction in a story that I didn’t know I needed, but realize now that I absolutely had to have.
Dawn’s Review 4 Stars
**If you haven’t read So Much it Hurts, there may be spoilers here**
When I finished So Much it Hurts by Melanie Dawn, I was a freaking mess! My heart was ripped open and bleeding for Chris King. That was one of the few books I ugly cried for and I couldn’t let it go. Even now, I can still feel the ache in my chest for what I wished for Chris. Imagine my excitement and joy to know that Chris would be getting his own story!!! Commence fangirling!!
I did start this with some trepidation, wondering how in the world could Melanie Dawn possibly give Chris his happily ever after? Or would my heart be ripped from my chest AGAIN?! But she gave me just what I needed for Chris’s story. It filled in some gaps that were missing in his story and helped me fall in love with him just a bit more. Not only is this Chris’s story though, this is Salem’s. Oh lord, the things that Salem faced as a new mom and as a counselor in a juvenile detention center…wow. I wanted to cry with her. Melanie Dawn delved into Salem’s experiences and drew out pain, pride, and love for all that she faced. She addresses some very dark concepts with care, drawing out my empathy for the characters.
Melanie Dawn blended past and present beautifully to create Then There Was You. I found myself staying up late wanting to find out what was going to happen…would Chris eff things up in his typical fashion? Can Salem overcome her insecurities and accept the love of a man who is slightly younger than her? I love the lyrical moments throughout the book – whether in the form of Chris’s lyrics or simply in the midst of the story. Overall, a read that gave me more of what I wanted – Chris King!
“For weeks, my heart had been drifting down slowly like a feather in the wind, knowing all along that this day would come. But as the final hour approached, it suddenly took a nosedive and smashed itself against the unforgiving ground.”
Abby’s review 4 stars
Melanie Dawn is quickly proving that she is not a one trick pony. NOOOO! She delivered in So Much It Hurts and this was no exception either. Melanie Dawn has a talent of taking an emotion; inadequacy and really diving into all the depths of that feeling. In So Much it Hurt she felt inadequate in her marriage and in Then There Was You, Salem dealt with feelings of inadequacy as a parent.
What Mom at some point in early motherhood doesn’t think, “This is too much or too hard.” The talent from Melanie Dawn to talk about difficult feelings and make them resonate is outstanding.
Chris King! Oh how our heart hurt for you at the end of So Much It Hurts. In Then There Was You, we are transported into Chris’s past when he was in Juvie. We get to see what happened to the boy before he became a rock star.
Then there is Salem Honeycut, she has a teenage daughter, but we get to witness her struggles with Postpartum depression. I’m not sure if I have ever read a book that had this topic. It’s ballsy of Dawn to discuss, and I like ballsy!
I really enjoyed this book and it was a great follow-up. I did like So Much It Hurts a little more, however I think that this was a really nice read. It’s hard not to compare two books from an author, but I will say that I felt more emotionally connected in the first which is why 4 stars and not 5.
ARC provided for honest review
WHO AM I?
Hi! My name is Chris King. Born in North Carolina and I am a famous musician in the band, Fifth Wheel.
Let’s get to know you better
Tell us your favorite:
Song – As a musician I listen to a lot of different genres, but I’ve recently favored a trio called Il Volo. They are an Italian pop group. They aren’t really my typical genre of choice, but if you know anything about Salem and me, you’ll know why these guys are my new faves.
Movie/ TV Show: I’m a pretty big Clint Eastwood fan. I loved Gran Torino. I don’t watch much television, so I don’t really have a favorite show, but Salem makes me suffer through The Bachelor with her. She also makes me watch The Voice with her, but I don’t mind that as much.
Band: I’m a big fan of Chris Daughtry. I also love Eric Church and Scotty McCreery. I can get into a little Ben Folds, too. Gotta support my fellow North Carolinians.
Cartoon Character: Schroeder from Peanuts. I love a cartoon who appreciates Beethoven.
Sports: Football, I guess. But I just enjoy the music of the halftime show.
Hobbies: Playing guitar and writing songs
Vacation Spots: The beach
Let’s dig deep
Describe your fashion style: Fashion? I say whatever’s clean, I’ll wear.
Describe your daily routine: Wake up late, head to the recording studio, and work late into the night. Unless I’m on tour, then it’s wake up in whatever city I’m in, beer, work on our set for the night, beer, spend a lot of time in interviews and signing autographs, concert, beer, after-party, beer.
3 major things you can’t live without? My woman, my guitar, my notebook full of lyrics.
If there is one thing you could change about yourself, what would it be and why? My ability to ruin a good thing by making stupid choices.
What is your worst habit? Alcohol. But Salem would say it’s leaving my dirty laundry in a pile by the bed.
Greatest fear in life? Letting down the ones I love
Most likely to be arrested? Well, I’ve already been arrested before. It’s not fun.
If there is one person you could bring back from the dead, who would it be and why? My grandfather. My grandfather was a musician too. He played music with Doc Watson years ago. My grandfather taught my dad everything he knows. I’d love to sit down and chat with him.
One of your most embarrassing moment? Let’s see…would you want to hear about the time I tripped and fell on stage? I mean I face-planted right there in front of everyone. God, it was awful.
Greatest regret so far? I try not to think about stuff like that. It depresses me.
Greatest achievement in life? Learning from my mistakes. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it hadn’t been for the people in my life who have loved me and supported me through it all.
Let’s talk dirty
Lights on or lights off? Either. When it comes to getting frisky, it doesn’t matter the position of the light switch.
Sexiest part of your body? Hmmm, that’s hard to say. My abs, maybe? I work hard for this six-pack, so yeah I’m going with abs.
Sexiest part of Salem’s body? She’s beautiful from head to toe, but I especially love her sexy curves.
Kinkiest thing you’ve ever done? I’ll tell you like I tell Jeremy…I don’t kiss and tell.
Favorite place to get down and dirty? I’ll take it anywhere…in the shower, against the wall, on the kitchen table. Doesn’t matter. But my favorite place is in the bed because I can fall asleep holding her when it’s over.