REVIEW: STONE by Max Monroe


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First, hate. Then, want. But in the end? Heartbreak.

My celebrity life was supposed to be easy, and this movie was the biggest break of my career. But from the moment Officer Levi Fox gave me a speeding ticket on my way into town, he’s been nothing but a thorn in my side.

Dominant. Cocky. Callous.

Midnight blue eyes, a bad attitude, and muscles for days, he’s exactly the kind of man I should avoid.

But as the Cold, Montana Police Department’s official movie liaison, he’s taken up a permanent place in my life that I can’t shake.

We fight. A lot.

Then, we kiss—and my carefully crafted hate toward him no longer feels so much like hate.

I’m falling



But how often do alpha-jerks cushion the landing?

Note: Levi and Ivy’s story will continue in Book Two—Cold.



I’ve always felt that if an author has the ability to diversify his/her writing style, trope, genre, etc., still embodying what s/he is known for but also enticing old/new readers with a new perspective, a new storyline and/or a new layer of writing that illustrates other aspects of his/her writing prowess that that was a true measure of an incredible writer, and with Max Monroe’s newest release, STONE, they’ve wholeheartedly proven my assessment, allowing readers to see a whole different side to the comedic duo – a more dramatic side, and it’s one that I can’t get enough of, especially with where they left readers at the end of book one in Ivy Stone and Levi Fox’s story.

I enjoyed everything about Cold, Montana: its townspeople, its history, and the small town togetherness, and while that may seem a bit odd given the fact that the setting is where a serial killer took the lives of several young women, the way that Max Monroe tells the story of those tragic events, providing real-life insights as well as an outlet for the story to be told in typical Hollywood fashion makes it extremely intriguing.

But there’s definitely one member of Cold, Montana, who wants nothing to do with the Cold-Hearted Killer film, partly because Levi Fox’s past is completely wrapped up in what happened six years ago, and while he may somewhat understand why Grace Murphy’s family wants her story to be told, he still hasn’t worked through everything that occurred back then, and while it’s clear who killed Grace and why, there are details that Levi doesn’t want revealed…ones view people are privy to, and what he especially doesn’t want is to feel any kind of connection to the ‘entitled actress’ chosen to play Grace in the movie, even if he’s drawn to Ivy Stone and feels things for her he refuses to acknowledge.

Ivy Stone is not the woman Levi thinks or perhaps needs her to be, which is why after their less than stellar introduction to each other, it’s clear that the way they affect one another is both nerve wracking and unexplainable; their outward actions towards each other, especially on Levi’s end, are volatile and problematic, even if there’s something below the surface that proves just how much neither of them dislike the other regardless of what they say and how they act.

It’s the fact that Ivy and Levi affect one another so much that makes Levi act out because he’s spent the past six years going through the motions, doing everything he can to feel numb because he still hasn’t figured out how to let go of Grace and the events that ended her life.

But that’s where Max Monroe makes things even more intriguing – there are truths about Levi’s relationship with Grace that no one knows about and while the producers of the film take some poetic license when it comes to the events that happened in Cold, Montana, they are more insightful than they know, which complicates Levi’s life because as the police’s official movie liaison, he has no choice but to sit by and watch his life played out on film, reliving the darker moments of his life and forcing him to confront, not only the reality of his feelings for Grace but the real effect Ivy has on him, and while he’s done everything he can to sabotage any connection between him and Ivy, by the time book one ends, it’s clear that Levi needs to reevaluate what he wants and what needs from himself, from the Cold community, and from the beautiful redhead he can’t seem to forget.

I’m so glad that Max Monroe ventured into new book territory. The whole storyline is well thought out and it’s laid out in a way that takes readers through the complicated and layered lives of the main characters as well as providing their honest perspectives despite how they outwardly represent their feelings for one another. The secondary characters also play pivotal roles in not only Levi and Ivy’s ‘non-relationship’ but in offering an outsider’s look into the tragedy as well as a different outlook on the movie and what it will do, not only for their town but also for Grace’s memory.

I definitely NEED book two, Cold, ASAP because with what transpires at the end of STONE, it’s not only the Montana weather that needs to be unthawed!

4.5 Poison Apples

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