Just Ella by Annette K. Larsen
A Proper Romance
Ariella was only looking for a distraction, something to break up the monotony of palace life. What she found was a young man willing to overlook her title and show her a new and vibrant way of life. But when her growing feelings for Gavin spiral out of control and clash with the expectations of her station, she will discover that the consequences of her curiosity are far more severe than she’d imagined.
I watched in helpless horror as two guards hauled Gavin to his feet and dragged him from the room. My voice was frozen, unable to protest as another guard took hold of my arm, leading me upstairs. From the confines of my room, I stared into the darkness beyond my window, hoping to catch one more glimpse of Gavin. He was gone, and I wondered if he would have been better off if he had never met me.
I write clean romance. Why? Because that’s what I love to read, but over the years I’ve discovered it’s quite a challenge to find good clean romance. I believe it’s a genre that many people are looking for and too few authors are writing. My first novel, Just Ella, took me many years to write because I wanted it to be more than just a cutesy love story. I wanted it to have depth, to feel genuine. Hopefully I succeeded, but you’ll have to be the judge.
Praise for Just Ella
“I fell in love with this book. Treat yourself to something wonderful. You can’t go wrong with Just Ella!” ~Inspired Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer
“By far one of the best romance novels I’ve ever read. Pulls you in with great, likable characters and keeps you going with a sweet and exciting love story–plus a good plot to give it even more substance. Full of those tender moments you want to go back and read again, plus exciting moments, clever humor, and some suspense as well.” ~Jana Miller
“Annette Larsen writes a love story that takes time, is complicated, and yet still sweeps you up in the romance (without the cheese, thank you). It’s compelling and emotional and sweet and you will love every page.” ~Kimi
Book Blast/Blog Tour Special
Grab your copy of Just Ella for just $4.99!
I was born in Utah, but grew up in Flagstaff Arizona and St. Louis Missouri, the fifth of seven children. I attended college at Southern Virginia University and Brigham Young University where I studied English and Theater. I now live in Idaho with my husband and four children.
I have Charlotte Bronte to thank for the courage to write novels. After being bombarded with assigned reading about women who justified abandoning either their families or their principles in the name of love, I had the great fortune of reading Jane Eyre. And that was it: finally a heroine who understood that being moral and making the right choice was hard, and sometimes it hurt, but it was still worth it. After rereading it several years later, I realized that if I wanted more books to exist with the kinds of heroines I admired, then I might as well write a few myself. My books are about women who face hard choices, who face pain and rejection and often have to sacrifice what they want for what is right. The consequences are often difficult or unpleasant, but it the end, doing what’s right will always be worth it.
I believe there is no substitute for good writing or good chocolate. Fortunately, one often leads to the other.
Just Ella by Annette K. Larsen is a delightfully beautiful yet painfully aching story of a love never meant to be and a girl who discovers what life is really all about. It is a stunning and haunting coming of age story that grabbed me at the very beginning and never let go. I felt, suffered, and grew right along with Ella as she walked her sometimes breathtaking and sometimes heart wrenching journey to becoming the woman she was always meant to be. While she may have taken brief lapses to care for her wounded heart and try to nurture her spirit back to life, she never gave up on her quest to find her place and her purpose. Amidst devastating hardships and endless trials, she kept pushing forward in the hopes that she would find her heart at the end.
I was overwhelmed by the pure love and enchanting chivalry found throughout this story. You don’t see this in many books today especially in the YA genre. We need to be teaching our young men and women that they need to respect each other and through that respect is where the most pure and selfless love is found. It is so incredibly worth the effort to take the time to get to know each other before pushing things too fast and too far. Your intimacy will grow by leaps and bounds if you will just take the time to talk with each other in order to learn of the other’s heart. Spend time genuinely getting to know the other’s family and friends, and in so doing, you will find yourself in a place of honor and respect in your love’s eyes. Your relationship will become something far greater and longer lasting then if your sole purpose is just to explore and push your physical boundaries.
The other aspect of this story that I was extremely satisfied with is the strong sense of the importance family. Your family binds you, shelters you, and protects you. We start our path to find our true identity from within the confines of our family. While there are times that family can be overly harsh, cruelly demanding, and closed minded, they still love and care for you deeply. Most hardships brought on by your family can usually be traced back to a misunderstanding, or a stubborn belief, or a misconception of who you are verses how they see you. Through time, love, and gentleness, one can usually steer these problems into a place where a constructive and honest dialogue can take place where the issue can be satisfactorily resolved. Above all, we need to stick with our family and love them through these times. They will eventually come around if they truly and honestly love you and only want the best for you.
Annette K. Larsen has truly enchanted me with her deeply touching and absolutely freeing story of true love conquering all. The characters held such a depth of emotion and were in possession of such strong three dimensional personalities that I felt like I was walking next to them the entire time and only needed to reach out to touch them. I am completely in love with this story and wish that it would continue on in order to find out the fate of the rest of this amazing family. I would highly recommend this story to any and all who want to lose themselves in a magnificent tale of love, inspiration, and hope.
“When have we ever seen anyone else out here?”
“Just because we haven’t doesn’t mean we couldn’t.”
“Well, I’m sorry you regret confiding in me, but I’m not going to stop coming here.”
“I don’t want you to stop coming here. I love that you come here. But you have to let me come with you.”
“Because you can protect me from the wicked world?” My voice was mocking, mean.
His eyes narrowed. “I can hold my own,” he said in absolute seriousness. For the first time I considered his build in relation to something other than his striking looks. The years of hard physical work had resulted in toned muscle and rough, strong hands. He would be good in a fight. The thought made me swallow. “Can you say the same for yourself?”
I looked down at the book I’d been reading, rubbing one hand over the cover in agitation while my face burned. The guilt I felt at his reprimand surprised me. “All right,” I conceded. “You can come from now on.”
He moved close to me, then brush a curl behind my ear. “I’m sorry,” he said softly.
I had to keep myself from closing my eyes as the warmth of his touch rippled down my spine. “I’m fine.”
“I’m still sorry.”
I rested my chin on my knees, staring at the water for a minute. “How old are you?” My quiet question broke the silence.
“Eighteen,” he answered, close to my ear. “How old are you?”
I turned to glare at him but was momentarily distracted to find him leaning toward me, smiling. I had the oddest urge to kiss the smirk off his face.
Forcing myself to look at his eyes, I resumed my glaring. He knew my age. Everyone knew, because everyone prepared for it. “I’ll be sixteen in five days,” I said caustically.
He just kept smiling. “Happy Birthday.”
Blog Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.