Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Blog Tour Review & Giveaway: LOST & FOUND by Lori Otto

Lost and Found (Emi Lost & Found #1)

Lost & Found (Book #1)

by: Lori Otto


This is the beginning of an atypical romance.
When artist Nate Wilson falls in love, he falls hard. The problem is, he’s only been in love once, and the girl of his affections is his best friend, Emi Hennigan. In high school, the two bonded over painful breakups, and swore off a relationship to save their friendship. Thirteen years later, Nate has had more than his share of emotionally-unfulfilling, sexual relationships with beautiful women to distract himself from his true romantic feelings.
When a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity takes Nate away from his friend and his comfortable lifestyle, he is forced to reflect on the distinct void that Emi’s absence leaves in his life. To Nate’s surprise, Emi has a similar experience; but as the friends embark upon their journey toward happiness together, destiny reveals other plans for Emi.


Star Rating: 3 out of 5 

Heat Rating:  SPICY 

Nate and Emi have been best friends for thirteen years, but is that all they are?  Lost & Found is a story of their friendship and how it changes when one of them decides they want to be more than just friends.   
I enjoyed Nate's character, he was interesting to read about during this journey and I found myself understanding him and his actions throughout the book.  Emi, however, I never felt the connection with and really didn't understand a lot of her actions/choices in regards to Nate.  It is always hard to enjoy a story when you aren't invested in both main characters, but the writing was good and the story held so much potential that I found myself reading it rather quickly.

I really wanted to love this story, it has one of my favorite plot lines (best friends turning into lovers) but something about this story fell flat for me.  It took me a while to get "into" the story at the beginning, there was a lot of stuff going on at once and it was taking too long to get to the actual story of Nate and Emi.  Sometimes when you think you know where a story is going and it doesn't go there it can either: blow your mind and take you on an unexpected journey or loose your attention and fizzle out.  Unfortunately, there were too many parts in Lost & Found that left me scratching my head or frustrated me and soon it was too hard to just "get lost" in the story.

There were so many places that I was ready to just walk away, but because I enjoyed the writing style I keep reading, hoping that the story I really wanted to read would unfold.  It never quite got to that point for me.  There was too much back and forth, drama and angst that was drawn out over too long of a period of time for me to love this story. 

The saying that "No two people read the same book" is very true and this might be something that appeals to many others, and definitely worth a read if you enjoy angst, drama filled relationships. Lori Otto has a great writing style (I enjoyed it enough to finish the book and not walk away) and I would be interested in reading more from her, just not this series (my heart can't take anymore).  

This is a trilogy (I didn't realize that when I started this book) so there was a cliffhanger, but luckily the other two book have already been released so you can have instant gratification and keep reading the Lost & Found series.

**this book was given to me in exchange for an honest review**


“Let’s go back to the wine bar,” Chris’s girlfriend suggests.  “Do you like the wine bar down the street?” she asks me.
“Um, not really,” I hesitate, putting the breaks on their celebratory plans.  Already I’m afraid to tell Kiersten about this meeting.  She will be incredibly hurt to know I went to Emi first with this news.  Or that I went to her at all.  
“He doesn’t really drink,” Emi explains.
“We can go somewhere else,” Anna suggests again.
“Oh, I, uh, can’t,” I tell her.  “I’m leaving for LA.”
“When?  Now?” Emi asks, her expression confused.
“Like, sometime soon, I think.  I’ve got a ton of things to clear up here before I go.”  I hate being so vague, and lying to her physically hurts me.
“How long will you be gone?” she asks with a slight whine, like she doesn’t want me to go.
“A couple months, maybe.  I go there, and then to Vegas.”
“Seriously?  You can’t hang out for just a little while?  Let me buy you dinner or something, Nate,” Emi pleads.  “If I’m not going to see you for months...”  Her voice is sad.
“Emi,” I say quietly, my heart breaking.  I glance at Anna who has gotten the hint that we need a little privacy.    She concentrates hard on something on Emi’s computer screen.  “Can we talk for a minute?  Maybe in the hallway?”  Lord knows there’s nowhere to be alone in her apartment.
“Yeah, sure.  Anna, we’ll be right back.”  She stands up slowly, removing herself from the couch.  
“What is it?” she asks once we’re in the hall.
“Emi, I’m seeing someone,” I tell her slowly.
“Of course you are,” she says as if the wind has been knocked out of her.  Her shoulders slump, her body deflates.  She swallows before continuing.  She tries to smile.  “Who is she?”
“She, uh...”  I laugh, although nothing I’m about to tell her is funny.  “She’s a lawyer I met in the park last month.  Her name is Kiersten.”
“Well, good for you.”  She pats my arm awkwardly.  “I’m happy for you.”
“She has asked me to not see you.”
“You’re kidding, right?”
I smile sheepishly.  The hurt in Emi’s eyes forces my gaze away from hers.  “I wish I was... but just for awhile.”  As if that makes it any better, any easier for either of us.
“You’re not going to though, right?  I mean, who is she to ask that of you?”
“I need to,” I say apologetically.  “I like her.  I really need to give this a chance.  She’s just insecure... she’s been hurt, a lot.  She has some trust issues.”
“Well I guess if you’re leaving soon, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to see much of you anyway.  I mean, as long as we can talk, I’ll get over it.”  She shrugs casually.  “We have so much to talk about.  But I want to figure this out.”  
“That’s just it, Emi.  She’s asked me to... I guess... distance myself from you.”
“But we’re just friends,” she searches my eyes for agreement, nodding her head.  “Is she going to make you stay away from Chris, and Eric and Jason, too?”
“You know it’s not the same.”
“Why is it not?” she asks, but knows the answer before I have to say it aloud.
“You’re a woman.  She doesn’t believe that men and women can be friends.”  And I can’t really argue that point.  I don’t believe that you and I can really be friends anymore.
“Prove her wrong!” she says angrily.
“Believe me, Em, I tried to do that, I did.  But she needs this right now.  I need to do this for her.  And you’re right, I’ll be really busy anyway, so there will already be that natural distance.”
“No,” she cries in disbelief.  “That’s not fair, no.  Don’t I get a say?”
“No, Emi,” I answer through the lump in my throat.  “Not this time.”
“I can’t believe she’s making you choose!”
“I know,” I whisper, looking down at my hands, afraid to look into her eyes any longer.
“But even worse, I can’t believe you’re doing it.  I can’t believe you’re choosing her!”
“Emi, be fair...”
“Fair?” she chokes out.  “What is fair at all about this?  You’re my best friend.  I would never, ever consider any boyfriend more important than you.”
“You don’t know that, Emi.  When the right one comes along–”
“The right one wouldn’t ask such a thing of me.”
I have no comeback for this.
“Don’t do this,” she whispers.  “Please, don’t, Nate.”
“It’s just temporary,” I remind her, hoping that it’s true.
“You’re leaving when?” 
“In a few weeks.”
“Maybe she doesn’t have to know,” she suggests.
“Emi,” I plead.  “I don’t want to lie to her.  Please don’t ask me to do that.”
“I don’t know that I can do this.  I mean, we just went nearly three months without talking!  Don’t you want to work this out?  I mean, what did you come over here for?”
“Of course I want to work it out, Em, but now’s not the time...”
“What, I’m too late?  Because I needed space, you wrote me off entirely?”
“Not at all.  But I want to respect her wishes.  I need to give her this.  Now that I know how you feel, I think things will be okay with us.”
“No, they won’t!” she argues.  “This is not okay.  I will not be okay with this, ever!”
“Please, Emi.  Please try.  Please do this for me.  I have to try to make this work with Kiersten.  She makes me happy.”
“And I just make you miserable,” she mumbles.
“No, Emi.  It’s not like that at all.”
“How can she make you happy if she’s making you do this?”
“God, Emi, just try to understand this from her side.”
“I don’t want to.”  She doesn’t want to, but I can tell from her heavy sigh, her slouched posture, that she knows she has to.
“Thank you,” I whisper in her ear as she holds on tightly to me.  “I need to run, Emi.”  I can’t bear to do this any longer.  I can’t bear to see her so unhappy.  Am I sure this is the right thing to do?  And who am I doing this for?  If this is supposed to make me happy, why do I feel like absolute shit?  “I need to tell Mom the news... and Kiersten...”

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Author Info:

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.

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