Title: Release
A Symbols of Love Novel
Author: Dylan Allen
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: February 28, 2018

I’m here for pleasure.

And in paradise, I don’t have a past. I don’t have pain, my secrets don’t haunt me and I can be anyone I want

He’s here for business.

Harry’s intoxicatingly handsome, rich, and also the biggest jerk I’ve ever met. So, it’s inconvenient that sparks fly every time our eyes meet.

Indulging in an affair wasn’t on my agenda.

But fate isn’t a mistress to our intentions; And what starts as strike of lightening on a moonlit beach ignites a fire between us that will span continents.

Meeting again in the unlikeliest of circumstances feels written in the heavens.

And I’ll need the courage of the gods to tell him the truth.

They say the truth will set you free… but what if it destroys you first?

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In continuing with my goal to read new-to-me authors, I chose Dylan Allen’s Release to be my next read. I had heard wonderful things about her books and her writing, so I was excited to begin Lilly and Harry’s story. I can usually tell a lot about how I will enjoy/connect to a book based on its beginning and my reaction to it, and I have to say, I was blown away by Release’s raw and heartbreaking prologue, and I knew I was in for one heck of a bumpy journey because coming back from a situation like the one that occurs in the prologue isn’t easy and its impact can categorically change every aspect of someone’s life, which is exactly what happens to Release’s heroine, Lilly.

For the longest time, I didn’t quite know what to make of Lilly. On the outside, she wears this strong, independent mask. One that tells everyone who sees her that she has her life handled and no one can hurt her because she refuses to allow them the opportunity. But just beneath the surface is a lost woman – one searching for a way out of the darkness and the despair that constantly consumes her. She could have never imagined that a Holiday Fling would come to mean everything to her, but even that connection is strained because there are truths Lilly needs to tell and she’s not quite ready to lay herself bare, which just might cost her, her happiness if she can find a way to release her burdens, freely love herself, and take a chance on a prickly man who seems to want to give her everything.

Harry comes off as this calm and collected Brit, and while he definitely has some inner Zen, he also is stubborn and domineering and he goes after what he wants regardless of trails that potentially await him. He never expected someone like Lilly to come into his life like a maelstrom, and even though their initial interactions are violatile than anything else; soon, what develops between them is something that releases them in a multitude of ways.

I have to admit that Lilly and Harry frustrated me quite a bit as I read their story, but I think they were supposed to do that…the demons that they have to contend with as well as the family drama and own insecurities and doubts would make any person second guess themselves and make decisions that were probably not the best. Their lives are messy and overwhelming and there are so many variables that must be considered, which makes everything that much more complicated when love enters the equation. I think Lilly and Harry’s actions and reactions to life and to each other are realistic and they illustrate just how non-linear life’s journey can be. Lilly and Harry are constantly challenging one another, which is the only way they seem to know how to face issues and concerns that are out of their control, so for better or for worse, that’s how they must proceed even if it ends up destroying them in the process.

I’m always one who loves to identify/understand the symbolic nature of the story’s title as well as its significance when it comes to the name of the series. Both Lilly and Harry struggle to release their painful pasts and trust the people in their lives. But they’re also perfectly aware of the need to find a way to let go of everything that happened because it will be freeing in ways they never imagined possible.

Even though this is only my first read by Dylan Allen, I can clearly see that she’s an emotional storyteller, which works perfectly for the type of characters she creates and the amount of baggage that her heroes and heroines seem to carry until they finally feel like they can release their pasts and settle into a present and hopefully a future that is nothing like what they’ve endured. I’m in awe of the many layers that Allen created in Lilly and Harry’s story. Not only does the plot cross continents, but it also focuses on several relatable issues and each one is taken with care as the characters attempt to mend fences and experience life in the present, holding on with everything they have in order to stay focused on how to feel more alive than ever before.

4.5 Poison Apples

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Author Bio

Dylan Allen is a Texas girl with a serious case of wanderlust.

A self-proclaimed happily ever junkie, she loves creating stories where her characters chase their own happy endings.

When she isn’t writing or reading, eating or cooking, she and her family are planning their next adventure.

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