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The summer I graduated from high school, I raced out of my small Virginian town to seek my culinary dreams in the big city. I couldn’t afford New York City, though, so I settled in Philadelphia. The City of Brotherly Love wasn’t The Big Apple, but it had its charms and pockets of culinary splendor. I hadn’t minded because it was only temporary. After culinary school, I planned to do as I’d been dying to do since I was a little girl and roam the earth and splurge on its fruits.
More than five years later, I was still in Philly, living with the same roommate I’d had when I had first moved, working as a pastry chef in a bakery across the bridge in New Jersey, and I had Cade. Caden was my on and off again boyfriend of four years. I loved him, even when I hated him.
Our relationship was hot and cold, hard and fast, sexy and heartbreaking. It wasn’t until I was with Caden that I understood that passion could be just as terrible as it was beautiful. I didn’t know until him that passion could make you burn as well as burn you. Being with Caden was like being addicted to thrill-seeking adventures. You know there is a danger in it, and it makes your heart race and adrenaline pump into your body. Sometimes you nail it and the rush is breathtaking and amazing. Sometimes you miss, and there is fear and regret in your heart as you fall to the unforgiving ground.
After one particularly hard fall, I went home to Virginia for a long weekend. That was where I became reacquainted with my brother’s old college friend Connor. That’s when I learned that passion could be a slow, sweet burn.
And it could incinerate me and turn me to ashes.
When you binge read a book that ultimately leaves you with a huge book hangover at the end of it, you know that you’ve had a damn good day. That’s exactly what I did and what I’m still feeling after finishing L.D. Davis’ latest release, Sift. This was a second coming, a revival to one of my all-time favorite reads, Accidentally On Purpose. A book that just did it for me in ways that I cannot fully explain. A series that ultimately put this author on a pedestal all on her own. Sift had my emotions in a riot. It retaliated against any semblance of sensibility I had to begin with. It’s so easy for me to remember the exact moment I fell in love with this book… It was instant. BOOM. 2 paragraphs into this thing and I knew. I knew the effect Darla’s story would have on me and even then, the after effects was so much more than I had anticipated. In my opinion, Sift is L.D. Davis’ best work to date. Her writing was concise, effective. She hit her trajectory right in the bulls eye.
The synopsis of this book alone tells you so I don’t think it’s much of a spoiler to know that a love triangle would be brewing. Love triangles can bring out such varied intense emotions—excitement, spite, heartbreak. It’s why these sorts of story lines could either make it or break it for readers. However, I can wholeheartedly and genuinely say that if it’s written by L.D. Davis, it’s a surefire five star. This story line is what this author does best. A champion for angst and heartache, she will bring you to tears. She writes such amazing sets of characters that as a reader you find yourself so immersed in their story it’s almost like you’re living through them.
In Sift, the protagonist are all so incredibly well developed. Take for instance, Caden. Hero #1 with a bad boy exterior (we’re talking tattoos, piercings, and a no care attitude) who lives through his passion for his craft and most especially his hunger for Darla. But too much passion can be explosive and the explosion between Darla and Cade could blast through continents, leaving them no more than a pile of dust. They both love each other with so much fervor. So much that it becomes too much. There wasn’t ever a middle ground between them. It was either a beautiful high or a horrid low. As a reader you get to experience both of this with them and I quaked during each moment with Darla and Cade. My heart beats were erratic; they fueled my every sensation. I was as lost and addicted in their chaos as much as Darla and Cade were. There is no greater feeling for a literary masochist like me.
And then you have Connor… Hero #2 who had all the right moves. A good guy through and through, you can’t help but be swept away by him. An instant connection that eventually triggers the collapse of everything that Darla thought she knew, an end to the life she thought she was meant to live. He jars her and makes her realize that passion can exist without it becoming toxic. The chemistry between Darla and Connor had me feeling so high, I swear it was like my head was stuck in the clouds. It’s what falling in love should feel like—unadulterated. It’s finding the best version of yourself when you’re with them without losing “you” along the way. Connor was the swoon factor, he was the rainbow after the rain. An honest to goodness version of every woman’s dream man. It should be so simple right? Yeah… tell Darla that.
The eventual breakdown that ensues in Sift will have you reeling. Many times, too many to count, my breath hitched and I found my heart stuck in my throat the whole way through. L.D. Davis is so unbelievably good because she presents you with male protagonists like Cade and Connor. Two very different men—the devil and the angel who both somehow win you over just the same because at the very core, both are innately good. How do you choose between the two when at the very center of it all is the love that they hold for the heroine—a heroine whose shoes you’ve suddenly filled. This… THIS is what L.D. Davis does so well. She transcends you into someone you most relate to in her books. And in Sift, I was Darla. I dreamed of traveling and tasting my way through the world, I loved deeply a man who loved me too deeply that it became poison in my veins. I fell suddenly and unexpectedly in love with another who offered me my dreams without a second thought to how it may benefit him. I was Darla. I was confused and torn apart. I didn’t know which way to go until I did. Until Darla knew the direction she would take her life in. Whoa, right? Huge breath, I found myself having to take in many of those too. A way to survive until the author had said everything worth telling and there was so much of it. I loved it. Each one left an impression which could never be washed away.
Sift is indisputably a book shelf worthy book. It belongs amongst all my other best read books. It is full of emotions, so much that it spills infinitely from its pages. L.D. Davis needs to become that author for everyone. She is deserving of it and her stories and the characters that live in them deserve it. If you’re looking to be moved – to tears, to love, to insanity… To the very pages of the book itself then I implore you to get yourself a copy of Sift because I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
We Like It Big Tunes:
i love you, i hate you by gnash (feat. olivia)
About the author:
L.D. Davis is a New York Times bestselling author. A 30 something mother, wife, friend, writer, with a half cup of awesome. Just a half cup, though. Her debut novel Accidentally on Purpose was an Amazon best selling novel that landed on the New York Times 3 months after its release.
L.D. Davis is Author of: Accidentally on Purpose, Worthy of Redemption, Worth the Fight, Pieces Of Rhys, Tethered, Girl Code, Friction and Things Remembered. Visit her at www.lddaviswrites.com,Facebook.com/LDDavisWrites and on Twitter @LDDAVIS478