Valentine's Read: The Dividing Line (The Space Between #2) + Heart & Seoul (The Space Between #2.5) by Victoria Smith

Friday, February 14, 2014

The Dividing Line (The Space Between, #2) - Victoria Smith
The Dividing Line
(The Space Between #2)
Cover designed by Okay Creations
New Adult Contemporary

A new love and a new life.

Drake left Chicago with little more than the clothes on his back to be with his girlfriend Lacey. Though he has no regrets, he sometimes wonders if his time spent in Paris has put his life on hold. He’s overworked and underpaid at his dead-end job, and his employer sees him as expendable. His bright light at the end of the day is Lacey, but he finds himself slowly falling into the shadow of her newly-acquired fame. The city of love has found their new starlet in Lacey, but Drake is simply the man by her side.

With all good things there comes a price.

Lacey has been living the dream. She arrived in Paris with nothing but heartache and loss. Now, she’s the rising star of the city’s newest opera and dating the man of her dreams. When her performance contract is extended, she must decide if her new life of glitz and glam is what’s best for a future with the man she loves—or if it’s just what’s best for her.

Paris brought Drake and Lacey together. But when their hopes for the future begin taking them in different directions, they must a find common ground or risk a line dividing them that may prove to be insurmountable.

The Dividing Line is the sequel to the new adult multicultural romance The Space Between.

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Book Trailer:

My Thoughts:
How could I splurge my thoughts without spoiling the story? The story was interconnected with the events that were happening so I would try to limit speaking about those parts – some of which had been favorites, to be honest.

"The song wasn't magic, but something it did hold was love, and love had a way of mending the most severe pain."
-          The Dividing Line by Victoria Smith

First and foremost, if I didn't love Truman Drake before, fortunately, he already did, this made me love him more! The sequel just made me swoon to the nth power!

Breather, the story picked up where it last left but with a fast-forward to several months (almost a year) in France. Lacey was an up-coming opera singer that French people came to love, she was becoming successful in her career while Drake was working sort of a blue-collared job. Both characters had depicted character-growth and as for their relationship, it was still strong. Unfortunately, where Drake was working prioritized seniority on the job, he was cut-off. Though he still had his savings, he needed to work soon; Lacey’s production would end soon (though still able to manage until the next season). Financial problems arose and a greater opportunity (compared to France) was offered to Drake that kept him to consider going back to Chicago. This led to have a discussion of what their lives would be, how their relationship would work and what the future will hold. Drake decided to go back to the US and Lacey accompanied him then went back to France.
How would they overcome the seas between them,
the time zone, the longing,
the long distance relationship?
Will the distance tackle down their relationship?
Or will the absence make the heart grow fonder?

As always, it was in dual POV. So as much as Lacey was in France and Drake was in the US, a reader would be able to know what was happening to the two beloved characters. Lacey was enjoying living her dream, to be an opera singer and being well-loved by the French. She was living the moment and it was her dream and for her Mom, she was savoring every moment. She deserved it and she was great at it. Meanwhile, Drake had a better life than the one in France, even though his job was still manual and as tedious, he lived above Derrick’s house and it was easier because he knew someone. Drake was always on the sidelines in France; he respected Lacey's decisions and made his life on the shadows there. Drake was just so considerate and really sacrificed for Lacey. I know it was also hard for Lacey and she grew sort of dependent from Drake. This would be the time to say kudos to Drake for being such a sport, he left everything and he was creating a new sturdy persona for himself. Drake literally held back his life to support (not financially) Lacey on her dream. He was always there. Lacey, on the other hand, as much as she was thriving to be the best while loving what she did, everything started to seem different. The passion was becoming work. It was different because back then, even if she was exhausted Drake would always be there. Something was lingering at the back of her mind; it would take time to reach a toll on her. And when she decided what she would do, it was worth it.

Of course, there were twists in the story unexpected and expected ones. I wouldn’t divulge the unexpected, as for the expected ones, I’d just point out an obvious – the supposed ‘other person’ that would come barging in their lives that would complicate and somehow crack their relationship. Lacey would be partnered with an internationally-known guy whom she would be partnered with and Drake would meet a certain lady that helped him what he wanted to do in life and discover the things he had given enough thoughts about. Worry not there would be no cheating (I personally despise those, so yeah, it was a great deal for me to point-out). For Lacey, it was just work but because she lived far-away and it was hard to explain with persistent evidence, it was difficult to clarify it. Back to Drake, the thing was, I saw a part of myself at him (not the male-thingy because I am a girl all the way), the ‘going with the flow’. I could finish something but don’t let me consider another thing – I finished college but I’m taking my gap year since I still don’t know what to do. There would be options but it’s hard to decide, so you just do what’s suggested or what you should do. But it doesn’t mean you like what you do. It’ll be work and what I seek is passion about something. Okay, Drake. Sorry for the interlude. Drake was able to figure out what he wanted. He had a sort of life-decision right there, as helped by ‘lady’ and of course pursued by Lacey. They regained their trust with each other, it made them believe and wholly-trust their partners more. They had been through a lot and those they had encountered where just obstacles in their jealousy side (like that moment where Lacey unleashed her claws: You go, girl!).

Additionally, I would mention my favorite parts:
#1 Page 90 - Derrick and Drake *profusely blushing*
#2 (person) Whitney
#3 Drake (subconsciously) calling someone on the laundry room and the other part where he cried on that person (while he hugged that person)

Lastly, this book tackled several issues without boring me. It was still fluid as the story progressed, it was not forced. It was so jammed-pack. Lacey’s closure for her Mama and a new beginning for Drake, and the unfortunate event that happened to them. Then, another chance for both their pasts: Lacey, for her dad and Drake, for his mom and biological mother. Moreover, Lacey and Drake’s relationship with each other – how they kept on overcoming the curveballs ‘together’. How they were able to fix their relationship with their families. Another thing to take note, I loved the portrayal of “Y” and how the ‘lady’ there had made Drake had life-altering decisions to make him know the person who gave him life. So throughout the story, I loved how heartfelt the writing was. I understood the reluctance, the doubt, the anger and everything on the character's behalf but mostly, the forgiveness and to seek a new life with things almost-fixed. The story gave light for Drake and Lacey as a couple and what people in relationship faced (especially those in an interracial relationship). For any person (or couple) in search of having a wonderfully romantic with ‘real’-feelings in it, a must read.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Can’t get enough of Lacey and Drake? Well there’s a FREE novella on Smashwords entitled, Heart and Seoul. After reading, The Dividing Line, I still didn’t want it to end! I’m happy that Victoria Smith, the author, had written a special novella about Drake’s biological Mom!

Heart & Seoul (The Space Between, #2.5) - Victoria Smith
**Note to the reader: HEART & SEOUL is a bonus novella included in The Dividing Line**

The time was 7:04 a.m. Seoul time, and he was almost home...

Drake has been through a lot with his fiancée Lacey, but the biggest obstacle has yet to come.

His journey into adulthood has been one constant struggle due to doors left open from his past. By definition, Drake was adopted into a good home, one of opulence and opportunity. But he wonders about his former life, and the country he was forced to leave behind.

In search of closure, Drake heads to his home country of South Korea with Lacey by his side. He hopes seeking out his birth mother will give him peace, help him on his way to healing, before he begins his new life with his fiancée.

Told from the voice of Lacey, Heart & Seoul is the story of one man's search for identity as seen through the eyes of the woman who loves him.

Heart & Seoul is book 2.5 in The Space Between series. It is not a standalone and is a novella at 21,000 words.

My Thoughts: 
Heart and Seoul was a novella told in Lacey’s POV. It made me an observer yet again of what was happening and Lacey’s reaction on what would happen to Drake – will the past make him whole or will it leave him hollow? As much as I wanted to delve into Drake’s mind because I knew how the things would have been shocking to him, I was still grateful that it was Lacey, the person who loves Drake the most was the one telling it for us. Boy was I glad it wasn’t a third person POV!

Let me just spill this before anything else, “Memaw” and “Hyo”. These were two people a reader would have a glimpse at this novella. I enjoyed those parts! Still trying not to spoil yet at this part, the novella, all were almost well – between Drake and Lacey and their families and all of the troubles that hindered their relationship ‘together’ and between their own families.  So delving with the story, the story picked up after Drake had already talked with his Mom regarding his intentions on meeting his real Mom (or parents). A little part back in the US was shown then their flight to Seoul wherein Lacey was video-recording important events during their stay there. I loved how it really focused on Drake yet the story was able to connive it with Lacey and Drake’s relationship. As much as it was all Drake, the presence and the POV of Lacey really helped. Since it was Lacey’s view, I was able to see how Drake got anxious, excited, disappointed, confused and mostly, lost. Another thing, I personally think, Victoria Smith, the author, had this knack on visualizing ‘racism’. Why did I say such? It was because of the fact that: Even Drake was a Korean, when he went to Seoul just by his way of enunciating words, it created a barrier. The people knew he wasn’t born there and such – just like their interracial relationship was not accepted by both communities: black and white (since Drake was raised by white people). That aside, Lacey also found that unfair, not really accepted by the people whom should have welcomed you. But as the story progressed, it already focused on their trip to Drake’s past. Things were trying to sink it? Drake had gathered information about his adoption and the lack thereof. Drake got distant at some point yet like what he did at Lacey at The Dividing Line that was what Lacey did. Lacey tried Drake to be back as normal. Then of course, when hope almost fades that would be the perfect moment to give a sparkle of hope, well with the help of Lacey, of course! Drake was able to meet his biological mother and other additions. To be honest, Lacey’s expression in that moment was what I also felt. Drake deserved to know his Mom, the place wherein he should have been accepted. Then, yes, I haven’t forgotten, as always, the author’s writing of ‘physicality’ (sex) never ceases to amaze me, it was always spontaneous yet the ‘love’ was still there. Drake could be rough or gentle but bottom line, his desire at Lacey was almost worshiping (well, really it was already at that point).

Overall, it still ache me how this story was the ending. I did enjoy the love story of Drake and Lacey all throughout the series. This was the first book wherein I read about interracial relationship but was able to open-up more issues along the way – the society’s acceptance and disapproval, all these things. But mostly, I must acknowledge Lacey and Drake, for their perseverance. That perseverance to stay together, to fight everything together, to reach their dreams, to be supported by each other and to achieve it with knowing each would be cheering for them. I already mentioned the issues yet I couldn’t help but not utter it again, the whole series really dealt with so much issues. I would say my personal favorite on the books was ‘The Dividing Line’ (second book), the first book introduced the characters for us and the fight for the relationship was hard since it was starting but the second book showed how life was between them – another country, a family still glaring at their choice, Drake’s without his resources. The third was to make Drake learn about his biological family and so. But, ‘The Dividing Line’ really depicted ‘more’ on their relationship and their lives. There was so much about them and how they were surviving and how Drake was just so supportive and Drake’s return to the US (Lacey’s too) and how their families, little by little, were trying to fix things. It really was such fully-loaded read! To end this ranting, the whole series really was such a good read and there would be another story but not about Lacey and Drake yet I can’t wait for it, would it be about Derrick? That was such a wishful thinking!

Rating for Heart and Seoul: 4 out of 5.

You can check 'My Thoughts' about The Space Between,
the first book in the series!
'The Space Between - Victoria Smith'

Rating for the overall series: 4 - 4.5 out of 5.

Author Bio:
Victoria H. Smith has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. She puts it to good use writing romance all day. She resides in the Midwest with her Macbook on her lap and a cornfield to her right. She often draws inspiration for her stories from her own life experiences, and the twenty-something characters she writes give her an earful about it.

In her free time, she enjoys extreme couponing, blogging, reading, and sending off a few tweets on Twitter when she can. She writes new adult fiction romance in the sub-genres of science fiction, urban fantasy, and contemporary, but really, anywhere her pen takes her she goes. She's also the co-founder of NA Alley, a group fiction blog dedicated toward the spread of the 'new adult' fiction genre.

Author Links:

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-     Jassie

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I wouldn't mind any sprinkled sunshines :)
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