Tuesday, July 12, 2016

~*★Blog Tour with Review★*~ Underwater by Maayan Nahmani

Title: Underwater

Author: Maayan Nahmani

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: June 26, 2016

In an instant, my world turned upside down
Because of one incident, my life will never be the same
Every day I struggled to breathe
Every day I went through the motions
I felt too much
I was numb
I was drowning
I was lost inside the black
So they made me go there
I was already there, watching from the dark
And then I met him
And then I saw her
He scared me to death
She took my breath away
He was darkness
She was my light
They whispered he can't be touched
She was the only one I could touch
I couldn't be with him, they needed me
I fucking needed her
So I told him I would be his friend
I told her I would be her friend. For now.
But I couldn't resist him for long
She finally realized that she'll always be mine
We were a hot mess
We were the perfect kind of mess
Then reality dawned on me
Then my demons broke loose
I was underwater, trying to break through to the surface
I reached out my hand, trying to pull her to shore
Could he really help me?
Would she accept me, scars and all?
This was us
This was our story

Author's Note:
"This book is based on true events and contains sensitive subjects that may be a trigger to some readers, such as violence, abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder. It also contains a parent with cancer. It is recommended for ages 18 and up." Safe. No cheating/OW.


My body tensed, as I watched the motherfucker who’d touched her coming our way.

“Oh, hey Brian.”

His tall frame loomed over her while he stood with his hands inside his front pockets. He was built, and if I were a chick, I would probably think he looked decent. He had curly blond hair, blue eyes and tan skin. He looked like a freaking copy of a Ken-doll. Fucking cliché. I hated him already.

“We’re all going to have a drink at a nearby bar. You wanna come?”

I didn’t want her to go anywhere with him, but if she decided to go there was nothing I could do about it. All I could do was bite my tongue and pray she would say no.

“That’s sweet of you, Brian, but I can’t today. I’m sorry.”

“Oh, yeah… sure. Maybe some other time?”

He looked disappointed, yet hopeful she would say yes.

Did I mention I hated this fucker?

“Yeah, maybe,” she mumbled.

He smiled, nodded, and turned around, leaving with the rest of the group waiting for him.

“Fucker,” I said under my breath.


Shit. “Um... nothing.”

She looked at me with questioning eyes. ”What’s going on?”

I sighed. “Don’t date him.” The words tumbled out of my mouth without permission. I winced, knowing I sounded like a fucking mental case.

“Whoa... who said I was going to date him? He was just being friendly.”

I laughed humorlessly. “That guy doesn’t have one friendly thought about you. I can promise you that.”

I didn’t have friendly thoughts about her either. But right now, the thought of her with him – or anyone else for that matter – made my blood boil.

She shook her head. “You’re overreacting, but alright, I won’t date him. Geez… happy?”

“No,” I growled.

“What?” She sounded annoyed.

I didn’t care. I was on a roll. My hands settled on either side of her chair, caging her in. “I don’t want you to date anyone else.”

“Excuse me?”

Fuck. This was not going well.

“I need you to promise me that you won’t date someone else. I said I would be your friend, and I will. But you need to know…” My head inched closer until I was in her face. “I want more. I want you. I promise I’ll wait for you until you’re ready for me. But please…” I pleaded. I fucking begged, “Don’t date other people. I couldn’t bear it.”

Title: Underwater
Author: Maayan Nahmani
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series or Standalone: Standalone
Rating: ★★★★
Reviewer: Melyssa
Normally when it comes to reviews, especially when they pertain to emotional reads (which this one was), I will finish the story and take time (hours, sometimes even days) before reviewing. I’m trying something a little different with this one. I’m going to close the door on this book (or rather turn the final page) and jump straight in, emotional bucket full.

It would be unfair of me to do it any other way.

This story hits on a topic that is very close to home for me personally. One that for that reason alone, I don’t often take on books featuring. Not because I don’t think they’ll be done well, but because I know they will. I know that at any given point when I’m reading, I’ll be staring my own mortality in the face through the eyes of another, and to be quite honest, that scares the shit out of me. So I don’t normally do it.

But take this one on I did and well, here I am after it.

I survived the emotional onslaught that takes place within these pages, and with that being said, I think I came out stronger because of it.

Such is the power of this author’s voice. Of her character voices.

At its most basic this is a love story. Going deeper (which I always do), it’s a story of healing. A story of facing demons, both emotional and physical and not letting them win. Relying on one another (sometimes even relying on the last one you’d expect) and letting them strengthen you, while you do the same for them. It’s a story about the true bonds of family, familial love and the long lasting impact it has on you, even when the unthinkable happens. It’s about finding the courage to move on, to love (or love again) and paint a better picture for you and those you love than the one you previously had. And all of this is able to happen because of the characters, Aria and Dorian.

Aria was a unique heroine for me. I’ve said it in reviews in the past and I’ll say it again, but finding heroines that are equal parts strong yet unafraid to be weak in moments that call for it, are incredibly hard to come by. A perfect balance of what I feel a lot of women are. Often times, they’re either too soft and allow themselves to be walked on and over, or they’re too strong and the walls are so thick you can’t break through, much less the hero of the tale.

Aria wasn’t like that. She was the balance of both. Strong for her family (the binding holding them together quite frankly), Dorian and her friends, and unafraid to show a softer side. One less strong. She read very real, very human to me and as far as my books go, especially in this genre, I don’t believe it could have been done better.

Now, a lot of people have already heard that this story is heavily based in reality, so I won’t speak on that again. What I will say is that for this reader, there is no doubt where the strength, heart and feelings of Aria come from and to be a part of that, seeing it unfold in the story the way it did, was beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.

Now, I couldn’t review this book without talking about the other half in Dorian.

An alpha male to be sure, but not in an obnoxious overstated way. Again, we’re back to the perfect type of balance as it works for me personally as the reader. For every tough guy, caveman style moment he had, he had equal that in emotionally impactful, sweet moments. Ones where his heart silenced his mind and let it guide him. He was a young man riddled with pain, but also the ability to ease said pain in others. He wasn’t a man without faults and I think that’s what bonded me to him even more than his moments with Aria did. He didn’t excuse his behavior, in fact, he often owned it, which just like Aria before him, made his character a refreshing change of pace for me.

To bring these two unique beings together and have them navigate not only their past and present together (dramatic and impactful emotionally to be sure), but also have them find something in one another, and fall in love, was incredible. It was emotionally brutalizing while at the same time, refreshingly light and even funny. It was romantic and soul tugging. Basically it was what I imagine a real life relationship being even though it was fictional. Life isn’t easy, it damn sure isn’t pretty (cancer and PTSD even more so), but it was worth every second of the ride. The reader able to feel, to grow and change along with the characters. At least that’s how it was for this particular reader.

With the book being so heavily based in music and its healing effects, one line from a song sticks out most as I now prepare my heart to step away from Aria and Dorian’s (and essentially the authors) story and its meaning is simple for both the author and Aria.

“I bleed my heart out on this paper, so you can see what I can't say.”

I see what you’re saying author lady and more than that, I feel it. So thank you for making me feel.

My thanks to the author and all others that were involved in letting me read this beautiful story, their journey to happily ever after, before its official release into the world. I will carry it and them with me always.
I am twenty-six years old and I live in a small town in Israel.

My family and I were going through some difficult times not too long ago and one day I was confiding in my best-friend about everything. I didn’t know how to deal with it all. Then she suggested I should write a book about it. I looked at her as if she had grown another head and dismissed the idea on the spot. But the seed had been planted, and day after day, little by little, without realizing it – I started writing.

That’s how Underwater was born.

I found writing to be cathartic, healing.  Something that helped my mind unwind and put things in perspective. I discovered a magical world where I traveled between imagination and reality. Writing became my home and I never wanted to leave.

I love to read, write, listen to music, edit videos, and play the guitar. I am always looking for the next creative thing. I also like a good movie and a glass of wine.

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