RELEASE REVIEW: First and Forever by Jay McLean



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Heartache and Hope

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Ava Diaz needs saving.

She just doesn’t know it yet.

Just like she doesn’t know a thing about the boy she sits next to on the first day of senior year.

He thinks she’s a brat.

She thinks he’s entitled.

Maybe first impressions don’t always last…

Because Connor Ledger’s about to save her.

He just doesn’t know why.

  First and Forever

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My Review


Connor Ledger & Ava Diaz know this feeling well, so much so, that throughout their duet, it becomes its own character, a living and breathing being in its own right, and unfortunately, it makes itself comfortable in both of their lives, demanding to be seen and heard more than either Connor or Ava deserve or can handle. And, as much as their hearts beat solely for each other, the ache remains because their outside circumstances dictate their lives in ways that most would never understand, and as long as those obstacles seem overwhelmingly insurmountable, their hearts, while still beating, will continue to be fractured until they find a way to combine their hearts and their lives in every way possible.


The hope in this duet ebbs and flows, and it’s not just Connor and Ava’s that is on the line; it’s Connor’s dad’s, it’s Ava’s mom’s, and it’s Trevor’s, and all of them deserve for their dreams to come true, for their perseverance and determination to mean something, and for their sacrifices to matter.

What I admire most about these characters is that even when they’re at their lowest, when there are far more negative days than zero or positive ones, they never stop fighting, they never stop believing in magic, which is why, ultimately hope will overcome the heartache, no matter how long it takes for them to pull themselves out of the darkness and into the light. 


It’s clear from the beginning of the duet what Connor and Ava’s priorities are. For Connor, it’s always been about his endgame – about his basketball skills and where they can and will take him, and even though Ava entering his life and becoming someone important to him, basketball still has to remain is #1 for very understandable reasons, but that doesn’t mean that Ava isn’t equally important, it’s just that balancing love and basketball is a difficult challenge, but I feel like it’s one that Connor can surmount.

Since her mother returned home from war, Ava’s life became secondary to her mother’s needs, and while it most definitely hasn’t been easy, Ava’s taken up that charge and worked every day to ensure that her mom is taken care of, forgoing her own wants and needs, putting her mom first, regardless of how much she struggles with that decision, especially when Connor becomes a part of her life and her love for him consumes her, to the point where she wants to share in his firsts, hopefully leading to forever.

But the first part of Connor and Ava’s friendship/relationship was a struggle – it was so full of heartache and so full of hope that it threatened to consume them, when, at this point, they couldn’t give one another everything that they were because too many other people were counting on them.


This is what Connor and Ava want to have with each other…what they deserve, but there was work to be done and it needed to happen on their own terms, meaning that in order to get their forever, they needed to fight, for themselves, for each other, and for those who gave them a fighting chance, and while the path to their endgame was extremely difficult, heartbreaking, overwhelming, and, at times, hopeless, they endured, they pushed through, they did what needed to be done so they could have their hearts’ desires.

Connor & Ava’s duet is one that will stay with me, not only because of Jay McLean’s seamless and mesmerizing writing and character development, but because these two characters are magic – the way they love, the way they fight for what they want, the way they keep their hope even when their heartbreak threatens to crush them. Jay tells Connor and Ava’s story in a way that will resonate with readers…that will offer life lessons that remind us how we should live and what we should live for…that will have us cheering through our tears for these two incredibly dynamic main characters to grab on to their forevers and never let them go.

And the biggest truth that Jay McLean allows readers to take away from her Heartache Duet is the fact that love is a verb, and it’s one that is constantly changing to fit people’s circumstances, requiring action to be taken in order to not become complacent with the most previous gift that anyone can give to another person.

5+ Poison Apples 

About the Author

Jay McLean is an international best-selling author and full-time reader, writer of New Adult and Young Adult romance, and skilled procrastinator. When she’s not doing any of those things, she can be found running after her three little boys, investing way too much time on True Crime Documentaries and binge-watching reality TV.

She writes what she loves to read, which are books that can make her laugh, make her hurt and make her feel.

Jay lives in the suburbs of Melbourne, Australia, in her dream home where music is loud and laughter is louder.

For publishing rights (Foreign & Domestic) Film or television, please contact her agent Erica Spellman-Silverman, at Trident Media Group.

Writer • Reader • Mom • Wife • Master of Awkward Sarcasm.

Contact Jay

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One response to “RELEASE REVIEW: First and Forever by Jay McLean

  1. Pingback: The Fairest of All Book Reviews’ Year in Review and 2019 Top 22 | Fairest Of All Book Reviews

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