LEARNING TO LIVE by R.D. Cole blog tour

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Being alive and living are not always the same.

Trudy Love is used to being on her own and has rarely been shown affection. Between growing up in foster care and her abusive boyfriend she has no idea what life can be. At 19 she goes through something no one should ever experience and is left alone once again. Six months later she moves to Mobile, Alabama where she meets someone whose eyes bring back memories of the one person she misses everyday. Too late she finds herself caught in a storm of emotions that are unwanted, but she’s determined to fight them off.

Jaxon Coleman has a good life, and for him to attend one of the finest Med schools in the country and follow in his dad’s foot steps is a dream come true. However, dreams can change in life and when he meets Trudy he knows his will never be the same. Jax knows she has secrets she is unwilling to share, but he’s never given up on something he wants and he wants Tru.

Can Trudy stop resisting her feelings and welcome the chance to live a different life than she pictured or will her defiance and haunted past eventually take her out of Jax’s reach?

After tragedy living is not easy, but with the right person it can be learned.

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Tbird’s review

This book is amazing.  I am not really a huge fan of books about college, but this one had a maturity to it that you couldn’t help but fall in love with Tru and Jax and Jazz and the rest of the characters.  Yes there are some hot scenes but this was not a book about love and romance alone, this was about surviving abuse, loss and overcoming the bad hand that life dealt you.

Trudy Love, AKA Tru to her friends (get it Tru Love) was abandoned by her parents at a young age.  Drugs tore this family apart and she was found alone and hungry.  A woman took her in as a foster child and treated her well till the lady was killed.  After that Tru just bounced from foster home to foster home enduring abuse till she was 18 and kicked out of the system.  The only other choice she had, was to move in with her boyfriend who was also a drug user and abuser until she could finish high school.

She found herself pregnant and decided she needed to break free and make a life for her son and herself.  Attending college was the best way to do so she earned scholarships and kept it a secret from him but her boyfriend found out and beat her to till she almost died. Knowing that he is in jail and she has hospital bills to pay, she takes a job at an adult club as a waitress and saves her money till she can get her bills paid and move to the dorms at her new college.  Months later she finally makes it to college and meets her roommate Jazz.  Never having had a friend before Jazz was a lot to adjust to but they soon become like sisters.

Jax is the brother to Jazz and their whole family is just a wonderful group to read about and love.  Jax is a dream man and he will melt your heart immediately.  He falls for Tru and devotes his life to protecting her and teaching her it is safe to trust again.  There are some stunning events that happen during the last half of the book that brought me to tears, yet another loss for Tru but Jax was there to wrap her in his arms and comfort her.  R.D.Cole is yet another author that gives you major twists at the end of the book.  I will admit I usually have the twist figured out but she surprised me with this one.  Just made the book even better if that was possible.

I will leave the rest of the story for you to read, but it has to be said that this book is more than a love story.  It is a story of the damage that drugs cause in families and with friends.  It is a story of violence and how the evil deeds of others can make even the youngest become victims.  It is a story of acceptance, not only of the person but of the baggage that they carry into relationships.  You will see the courage to rebuild a life after it has been destroyed.  Most of all you will find love, not only between Jax and Tru but the love Tru carries in her heart for others and how she slowly opens up to realize she has a family.  Jax and Jazz parents taught them that blood doesn’t make a family, love does.

The book can be intense at times, there are parts at the end that could be triggering to past victims of domestic violence, but it is very well written.  You can tell the author put a lot of thought into how she was going to present this story.  Sugar coated enough to not attempt to trigger the reader, but raw enough to keep it real.  It was easy to invest in the character and their stories and to wish you were part of Jax family and friends.  It was a wonderful moment to see how his circle of family kept growing  each time he found more people who needed love and acceptance.  I think we can all take a chapter out of this book and apply it to our daily life because although it was fiction, it is also real and the events are happening every day around us.

I will say the ending is one that I have never encountered before.  I am hoping this means that we will get a story for Jazz and that we are not left with her last sentence to torment us for eternity.  Jazz is another one I fell in love with and I hope we can see what she is going to do with her mess she has created.  She is just to cute not to love.  Well done R.D. Cole for giving us book that is entertaining and contains very important social messages that all need to see.

About the Author

7134270My name is Robin and I live in Grand Bay, Alabama. I grew up an army brat and traveled a lot until we finally settled down along the Gulf Coast when I was 4. My husband is 9 years younger so I guess that makes me a COUGAR.

I have a little girl who is 9 and is blind as well as autistic. My life is not boring with them two in it. Believe me. I have always loved creating and I would constantly draw on my walls. I love painting and reading. Writing is something I wanted to do but didn’t think I could, until I woke up at three a.m. a few months back and started writing. Life has a way of throwing rocks at you and putting cracks in your soul. Either you can duck and cover or you can make something beautiful from the cracks.

After that, the story took over. Even though some pieces of my life experience are within it, it is Tru and Jax’s story now. I have truly fell in love with this story and hope you all do too.
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