Blog Tours, Book Reviews, Guest Posts, Past Giveaways, Reviews by Sarika

Blog Tour Review, Guest Post and Giveaway: Drowning In You by Rebecca Berto

This Tour Is brought To You By: Xpress Book Tours
You Can Find The Entire Tour Schedule HERE



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Welcome to Mother/Gamer/Writer for the Drowning In You Blog Tour. For today’s tour stop, please enjoy our review of this enthralling love story with an entertaining plot that romance-novel lovers will enjoy, and enter the giveaway to win a copy.






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Drowning in You
Title: Drowning In You
Author: Rebecca Berto
Series: Finding Forever In Us #1
Publication Date: April 12, 2013
Genres: Contemporary RomanceNew Adult
Pages: 314
Source: Blog Tour
Grab It: Amazon
Add It: Goodreads

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Secretly crushing


Crushed by a tragedy


Charlee May’s been crushing on Dexter Hollingworth since she was fifteen. Five years later, a horrific skiing disaster at Mason’s Ski Lift Resort leaves her millionaire dad critically injured and her mom dead at the hands of Dexter operating the lifts. Charlee is suddenly the sole caretaker for her little brother while their world falls apart.

Dexter couldn’t be more different from Charlee. He’s tattooed, avoids exclusive relationships and his Dad has a fair share of illegal dealings. With Dexter’s reputation, almost everyone believes he planned the Mason’s skiing disaster.

And after all these years he’s still crushing on Charlee May, the girl who’s too good for him.

When this cruel twist of fate ties Charlee’s family and Dexter’s reputation together, Charlee and Dexter wonder if their feelings are reciprocated, while Dexter discovers his dad is trying to steal the May’s millionaire fortune.

But like an addiction, one look, one touch, one taste—they’re hooked no matter the consequences. [/note]






The Review Banner


Drowning In You follows a story of two broken individuals who find solace in the arms of each other. Where Charlee is a good-girl, kind, honorable, Dexter is anything but. A harrowing event tied together their history, ruining Dexter’s image and further complicating the attraction that exists between the couple. I don’t want to give away too many details, but needless to say Drowning In You will provide a full, entertaining plot that romance-novel lovers will enjoy.


The idea of this story was absolutely enthralling. I believe the concept of a girl being irrevocably in love with some she should despise is both intelligent and risky, although I believe the author pulled of this concept sufficiently well. I thought the relationship between Charlee and Dexter was representative to many modern ones today: relationships where your own sense of rationale disappears because of your own feelings for the significant other. One of the hidden undertones in the story was that love, indeed, does triumph all: and when you do love someone, all the lines between right and wrong disappear. However, this idea could have been strengthened by a heavier emphasis on the character development of the protagonists, which was seemingly absent throughout the book.


I also consistently enjoyed the writing style in this novel. The dialogue was relatable, funny, and fast-paced, and her descriptions were very visually stimulating at times. However, often I found that the transitions between paragraphs or sentences were choppy, which deeply impacted the overall effect of the book as it severely interrupted the consistency of the text.


Moreover, I found quite a few plot holes in this novel, including the involvement of Dexter’s ‘best friend’ Eliot in the book. The love triangle that followed seemed a bit too forced, and hindered the development of a significant theme: the dysfunctional nature of love and heartbreak. Also, the crude language towards the end seemed rather unnecessary and also quite out of place.


However, the book was equipped with witty exchanges and the cliffhanger ending certainly left me dazed and excited. I would recommend this one to romance novel fans looking for a slow-paced read.




My Rating



3 out of 5 Controllers



rate - 3

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“Bringing Characters to Life, how to write characters with flaws and raw emotion”


Every person has either heard that their characters are flat, one-dimensional or has read characters of the ilk (you were pushing yourself to finish this novel/manuscript, weren’t you?).


Here is a layout of how characters should develop. It’s called the “Character Arc” and if your character doesn’t learn and change (for better or worse, isn’t the issue here, just that they do develop), then you have a story that is destined to be unloved.


This is the exterior of your character. How other characters and readers see and relate to them. The first dimension involves looks as well as actions. By showing the characters’ actions, it may appear to delve deep into a character, but this is just the beginning.


An example to clarify:

Jenny ties her hair in a ponytail for the office. On weekends, she likes to straighten her hair, leaving it hanging over her shoulders. She noticed Jim gives her more attention when it’s straight, down.


Once the reader, and the other characters, see the reason behind a character’s actions, this is the second dimension. The author shows meaning to backstory, agenda and the first-dimension character traits. But remember, assigning meaning doesn’t make a character three-dimensional. Yet.


A continuing example to clarify:

Ten years ago, Jenny was charged with several drug and alcohol offences. Since seeking counselling, she’s been clean for nine years. She doesn’t take painkillers unless she has a migraine. She takes special care on how she wears her hair because she loves having hair, full stop. Her nails were brittle when she used drugs, but she could hide them. However, she always felt people would watch her when she wore hats indoors to hide her hair loss.

Perfect hair and clothes means people respect her now.

This is the second dimension of Jenny’s character because we have insight into her backstory and motivations. We’re beginning to root for her, right? But, still, she doesn’t have anything umph about her that makes her stand out as a strong character.


The final layer. We’ve shaped a person, Jenny. Then we showed why she has those traits. Now we execute her character development by revealing who she really is when things are at stake—when her personal tests come to a climax.


The character’s reactions to what they stand to lose/change/etc is what truly reveals them.


A completed example to clarify:

Jenny’s partner, Jim, says he wants out of their relationship. He can’t handle this strange, detached girlfriend. Doesn’t know her any more. Jim leaves to get away so she can have time to think.

Problem is, Jenny will be consumed by work. She has back-to-back meetings she’s planned to precision. She’s almost certain she has the “signature” for some contracts she drew up. Even if the clients sign the contracts, she still wants several weeks of intense meetings and planning before she will feel comfortable stepping back to let project staff handle the process. By that time, she knows that Jim will have left her. In fact, she might have lost him already.

Here’s the moment of three-dimension:

Jenny strips off her business shirt, skirt and her heels, and throws on her jeans and T-shirt from her office closet—it’s the closest thing she can find so she can run to him at the airport if she has to. She finds some old cotton tie-ups instead of her heels. Then Jenny races her car to the airport to lay out her feelings to Jim before it’s too late.

What we see are her true motives.


She didn’t have that new, strict routine to please herself. No. It’s for Jim. To prove she’s accomplished. She never wanted him to want out. Everything has kicked back up in her face. Now she’s choking on the mess of her self-imposed strict rules.


So at the end of the novel, Jenny decides to run after his plane (cliché, I know, but I never promised a bestselling idea) because she realises none of per “perfect” life is worth it if she doesn’t have him. Jim is whom she wants in her life, and stuff everything else. She has just realised (moment when the character arc is complete: she has developed, overcoming the conflict) she was putting up an act to make things overly perfect.


She realises life isn’t perfect but her boyfriend’s love is close enough.


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Thanks for having me!

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Drowning in You by Rebecca Berto
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About The Author:

Rebecca Berto is the author or the dark contemporary/literary novella, PRECISE and the upcoming new adult contemporary romance novel, DROWNING IN YOU. She is also a freelance editor.

She writes stories that are a bit sexy, and straddle the line between Literary and Tear Your Heart Out. She gets a thrill when her readers  are emotional reading her stories, and gets even more of a kick when they tell her so. She’s strangely imaginative, spends too much time on her computer, and is certifiably crazy when she works on her fiction.

Rebecca Berto lives in Melbourne, Australia with her boyfriend and their doggy.


Author Links:

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter