Posted in Book Reviews

Love Them & Leave Them Review: Sue Shepherd


Disclaimer: I received a free ebook copy of this book in exchange for a review but my review is my complete honest opinion!

Only a few pages in and I am already horrified when the first character we are introduced to, Ed is threatening to hit a rabbit since I don’t like animal cruelty but giving the basis of the story this isn’t reason to turn around as this isn’t what its about. I am struggling at first to see what significance this brings to the story. It isn’t until I progress through the book that I discover what the purpose of this moment actually was since it displays like a kind of highlighter to what will happen later on in the book.

When the book reverts to the present day to start to show Jessie’s side of the story, I can already find reason to relate with Jessie in the sense that I also find myself getting lost in music. I find myself having an emotional connection with music and certain songs do reduce me to tears like what is happening to Jessie here.

I immediately find myself sympathising with Jessie in relation to her loosing someone she was close to. Even though I have never been through something like this myself, I understand how painful it must be. I’ve just recently been reading Fire in Frost by Alicia Rades whom which the main character has lost her father in a car accident but she had a dream about it happening before it did. In this sense I can relate the two books but only loosely.

I can also find myself relating to Tom in some senses in the fact that I am good with computers and I am always the person my gran will ask if she has any issues with her computer.

I felt emotional when life changes drastically for Jessie when she looses the person previously mentioned as I can relate to these feelings. I lost a close family member when I was a child due to cancer and we were supposed to visit him a couple of days after he died but ended up going to his funeral instead so I didn’t even get to say bye.

One negative thing I would say about the book is its difficult to tell the change between Jessie’s life with Chris and next her life with Nick and there isn’t much that tells the difference between when this changes. So it is quite difficult to understand what timing this is happening at.

It feels that the book keeps switching between alternate realities which makes it difficult to keep up with what is happening as it is happening. Until chapter four I thought that Jessica had first met Coco at her job as a waitress but then in chapter four it shows her being introduced to her in a different job as a law official so I am confused.

The further I read, the more confused I become. In an earlier chapter I thought Coco was the one who told the police she was with her partner on a night he was accused of robbery but then in chapter five its shown that Chris, Jessie’s partner is the one with Daniels as a surname. I really struggled to understand the change in lives and it did take me a long while to adjust to this.

In chapter six it shows Jessie going by her full name “Jessica” which now gives me the clear indication that Nick is in fact a partner she was with before meeting Coco since I remember her saying Coco gave her the nickname Jessie. I feel if this would of been presented earlier on then it would of been clear from the start that this was the case.

I admire the way in which Jessie refused to be scared of what Chris would say and told the police the truth about where she was the night that he got pulled up for by the police. It shows that women can be something on their own without being controlled by men.

I feel for Jessie in the sense that she seems to have bad luck at relationships first with Nick not wanting to commit then secondly with Chris who doesn’t treat her in the way she deserves.

In chapter twenty five I find myself thinking of Count Olaf from A Series of Unfortunate Events when it describes how dirty/messy Garry’s house was. I find myself respecting Nick for not backing down and continuing to stick up for the girls.

I wasn’t expecting the unexpected twist when it turns out Nick knew Chris but by a different name. I also wasn’t expecting at what scale people would find out about Jessie’s affair in what I’d describe as the parallel universe. I like the fact there are plot twists in order to keep the story fresh and give the reader a sense of not knowing what is to come.

When Tracy secures Jessie a job in a receptionist and starts to think that its strange how things work out, I can feel myself relating to this well. When I was in my last year of school I wanted nothing more than to become a nursery teacher. One teacher demanded I didn’t apply for childcare while another told me she didn’t think I was suited to it but it was my choice.

I originally was offered a place on a childcare course but then they withdrew it because of the teacher who demanded I didn’t apply who gave me an awful reference despite never seeing me work around children. At the time I was devastated and cried for at least half an hour when I found out but now I could never dream of being a nursery teacher. I chose to study media instead which I now absolutely love. So it just goes to show that often, things do happen for a reason and its best to get up and continue fighting.

Overall I felt the book was difficult to understand what was happening and hard to keep track of what seemed like alternate realities but there was a good story line and I liked the ending in the sense that it ended happy again. I also struggle to see where the comedy moments are which are suggested on the cover but felt there was a gripping story even if it took a while to adjust to the different worlds/lives of Jessie.

For the chance to win an ebook of Love Them & Leave Them, click here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author:

Sue Shepherd writes contemporary romance and enjoys creating novels with heart, laughs and naughtiness. She doesn’t pull any punches when choosing her subjects, but manages to handle her characters’ challenging situations with sensitivity and humour. Her debut novel, Doesn’t Everyone Have a Secret? was published by Corazon Books in March 2015. It reached the top 10 UK Kindle chart, and also topped the romantic comedy, contemporary romance and humour charts. It became available in paperback on Amazon in November 2015.

Sue’s second novel, Love Them and Leave Them, was published in September 2016.

Sue lives on the picturesque Isle of Wight with her husband, two sons and a standard poodle. Her passions in life are: her family, writing, the sea-side and all the beautiful purple things her sons have bought her over the years. Ask Sue to plan too far in advance and you’ll give her the heebie-jeebies.


3 thoughts on “Love Them & Leave Them Review: Sue Shepherd

  1. Thanks, Emma. I’m sorry that personally you found the parallel lives theme confusing. Think of Jessie and Jessica as two different people from the point of Ed’s decision onwards. The good news is – in one story line the rabbit is fine. 🙂


    1. Yeah Sue, I did find it really confusing the split between the Jessie side and the Jessica side. It started to make a little more sense with more explanation from Emma & you, so thanks! And yeah, it upset me when the rabbit got hit & it did take me a while to understand the significance of the rabbit being right at the start but obviously when things with Ed progress, it becomes clear why that was at the start!


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