Possession (Avenues Ink Series Book 1) by A.M. Johnson
Publishing Date: January 31, 2017
Publisher: A.M. Johnson
Audiobook Duration: 9 hrs and 18 mins
Narrated by: Tracy Marks, Aaron Shedlock
The Premise from the Author: "Paige Simon was the only girl Declan ever loved. The only one capable of silencing his voices, the only person to ever have faith in who he was, until the day her faith turned to doubt and destroyed everything they’d made together. Declan O ’Connell was the only person Paige could be herself with. The only one she could rely on, until the day she was forced to make a choice that would condemn them both. They’ve had years apart, and second chances don’t belong to the damned. But when you come face to face with your savior, it’s almost impossible to walk away. In order to move beyond the sins of their past, and forever silence the demons in his head, they’ll have to risk it all. But with love, there are real reasons to be afraid and, sometimes… your salvation is your damnation" (AMJ).
My overall thoughts and review: Before I begin, I just want to say that this was my first romance read in audiobook form. I wasn't sure if it was going to be for me, but I LOVED this book so much. Tracy Marks and Aaron Shedlock did an amazing job of bringing Declan and Paige to life for me. So kudos to the both of them! I didn't have any idea what to expect going into this book besides the premise but the story follows two perspectives: Declan and Paige. It switches narratives between them, and also flip flops back and forth between the past and present time. You learn that they were highschool sweethearts and had such an intense love. Declan suffers from psychosis and depression, and I really liked how mental health was represented in the text. Every time one of Declan's inner voices came out, it tugged at my heart strings, and Aaron did such a good job narrating those parts. I really empathized with those moments in the text because it's similar to some anxiety that I sometimes feel in certain situations. Paige on the other hand, comes from the other side of town, with very strict parents who begin working with the church. Her parents don't entirely approve of Declan, but things are forever changed between the two of them when they are forced to make a difficult decision. Fast forward to nine years later, Paige has left her cheating husband who she never loved, and Declan is trying to stay afloat still. They both bonded previously over art and painting, and it is through Paige's new job at an art gallery that brings them together again. I really liked how Johnson was sure to indicate that they couldn't go back in time and recreate what they once had. They had grown up and they had changed, and if it were to work again, they had to love each other for who they were now. It was a great second chance romance, but it also felt like falling in love for the first time story. I loved how both were able to overcome their own battles and come together stronger. I love books that have a big emphasis on art (this reminded me of Brooke Cumberland's Pushing The Limits). I think the parts that I loved most though were where Paige's family wasn't a great support system, you saw Declan's brothers: Liam and Kieran, being there 100% for their brother. They also slowly warmed up to Paige again. I think it's good that Johnson acknowledged that sometimes you don't need to make up with your family and things are all shiny and great again. The reality is that a lot of people don't get along with their families, and sometimes their life is much better off without that toxicity. This was such a beautiful book. Although there were swoony and sexy moments, this book was so much more than that. It focused on mental health, religion/faith, and family. I really enjoyed this book. I am already listening to the second book in the Avenues Ink series! Also, I barely mentioned the tattoo shop where the brothers worked, but one of my favorite moments of the text was Paige getting her tattoo of a Sylvia Plath quote <3
My rating of the book: ✮✮✮✮✮ (5/5 stars)
Available for purchase at:
Audible, Amazon, and Kindle
Disclaimer: I received an audiobook version of the book from Foreword PR & Marketing in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.