Blog Tour: Double Review: War Poppy by L P Lovell & Stevie J. Cole writing as Nicole Lynne

February 11, 2017


War Poppy by Nicole Lynne is LIVE!



PoppyLove and war. Two words that should have little association, but to me the two go hand in hand. Both are a tragedy. They rip you open and spit you out. The war killed my husband, Connor, shattered my will to live, and took my best friend. Brandon may not have physically died in that war, but his soul did. And now we're left to pick up the wreckage. Expected to move on when all that is left is the ruins of a life we once had. Brandon War. It took everything from me, even myself. When you're only able to exist, death seems like a blessing. Pain...a welcome distraction. I ran from everything associated with my past, and then she found me, fighting, drowning myself in whisky, trying to forget. She reminds me of Connor, of what I've lost—what we've lost. In the midst of destruction, she's a salvation I don't deserve. I shouldn't love him. I shouldn't love her. Love is a war we never should have fought.



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“You bring me peace when all I know is war.” 

You know that feeling you get when you know you’re about to be ruined? That gut instinct that kicks in your fight or flight instinct? You know the one that you should NEVER ignore because if you do, your ass is grass? Yea… I ignored the crap out of that feeling. And what did it get me? Me sobbing at 1:45am in the morning and messaging my blog partner that she’s royally fucked with this book. I might have laughed at her because let’s be real, I’m an evil bitch and you know what they say about misery: We love company. 

So now here I am, trying to limit the amount of cuss words in this review so I can be all professional and shit, but here’s the thing: I’m NOT a professional. All I want to do right now is cuss like a sailor and drink like it’s the new year because what I just witnessed? Needs a personal day off with some damn chocolate. Chocolate makes everything better and whoever tells you differently, has obviously never had the good stuff and you don’t need that kind of negativity in your life. 

Poppy, Brandon, and Conner were the three musketeers growing up. They did everything together and with a bond like theirs, nothing could’ve broken it or so they thought. War and death obliterated that bond and the only person that was left somewhat normal was Poppy. Still grieving the death of her husband Conner, Poppy has now made it her mission to find her other best friend Brandon who’s gone missing. But what she finds isn’t the same guy who she once knew and in his place is a broken, angry shell of a man. 

“They say the people who are left behind are the ones who suffer the most when it comes to death and ain’t that the truth? 

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They say War takes a lot out of a person and when it’s all over, the person you once knew is forever gone and in it’s place is a complete stranger. For Brandon O’ Kieffe, that has never been more true and when you add the death of his best friend into the mix, he’s beyond ruined. No one knows what he went through fighting the war over seas that took a piece of him every time he geared up and felt the cold rifle in his hands. His mind was no longer his own, giving his heart no choice but to become this hardened organ that bled more pain and anguish than blood. But the one thing he never forgot was the one woman that made him remember who he was before and her love for him was going to be his saving grace in his own personal hell.

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“She and I, were all that’s left of something so fucking vital to my survival. I need her. 

Now let me just say that this book is not for everyone. If you cannot handle reading about what goes on through the mind of someone with severe PTSD and their daily struggle, this is not for you. Heartbreak is a word you’re going to be all too familiar with when you read this book and if you think this is a fluffy love story that will have a few bumps in the road and all will be rosy, please message me the name of the liquor you’ve obviously been drinking because I would like to try that. In other words, this story will MESS you up! 

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I will be honest and say that not everything worked for me. I wanted to find out more about Conner and that defining moment that made him and Poppy’s friendship turn into something more. But I really do have to applaud these authors one giving us an insight on how much it takes to care for someone with PTSD and the sacrifices you make for them. Brandon and Poppy were two broken people that came together because of their mutual grief and I was in awe of their connection and their love for each other.

Am I devastated right now? ABSOLUTELY 100%. Throughout reading this book, I kept holding my breath because I knew this wasn’t going to end well for my heart but like I said, I ignored the major warning signs and now I’m paying the price for it. If you think you’re brave enough to read this, then go ahead but you’ve been warned.
Public Service Announcement: Your heart may be aggressively removed from your chest upon completion of this novel.

I buddy read this book with my lovely blog sister, Sonya. She told me to tell you guys that she will be going on a long trip. So, if you don’t hear from her for a while, do not be alarmed. "Sign up for War Poppy.” she said. “We can buddy read! It will be fun!” she said. Fast forward to 12:50 a.m. this morning when I got an email from her that started like this…"OMFG!! *SOBS I’m fucking crying right now!!! Why the fuck did I read this book?"..and ended like this...”Jess, you’re so fucked!” So, I did what any good blog sister/friend would do. I cursed her out in response, and grabbed my book to finish reading it.

War Poppy is a story that will stay with you long after you read it, not only because it is fantastically written, but because it’s a story that makes you think about the reality behind the fiction. War is something that is a constant in this world. Lucky for people like me, it’s something I read about in history books and newspapers or watch on the news, but don’t actually have to experience myself. I get to sit in my house, and bitch about the price of gas or cable television while the members of our military go sit in the desert somewhere not knowing if they will ever see their loved ones again.

I come from a family with its fair share of war veterans, and it guts me to know what they must have went through during their tour and after coming home. I still remember the faraway look in my grandpa’s eye when I would ask him about what it was like when he was in the army. He fought in World War ll, and I find history endlessly fascinating, so I would wait patiently and absorb anything he was willing to give me. No matter how many times I asked, he always seemed to avoid talking about the serious stuff. He would say like maybe one serious thing, and then begin talking about stuff that was much more light-hearted, funny things that happened or how he never did get the care package my grandma sent him until he got back home and it was redelivered to their house. My grandfather was on the ground with a gun in his hand. It wasn’t that he didn’t have a story to tell. His brother was left behind, captured by enemy soldiers, and lived. There is so much he could have said to me, but he didn’t. I never understood why back then, but I think I do now. It’s not something he wanted to relive, because it was too painful, or that he didn’t want to burden me with the horror of it all.

This is a story of what war does to those left behind when their loved ones go off to war and don’t come back, and what it does to those that experience it firsthand. It is not everyone’s story. Many men and women come home and go on to live long happy lives. However, we have all seen, know personally, or have heard of those with severe PTSD, veterans that can’t ever leave the war fully, or ones that couldn’t bare living with what they experienced. It’s easy to think of those people when you read this book. It’s also what makes it so much more heartbreaking.

Brandon loses his best friend, Connor, while they are both serving in the same military unit. He dies right beside him. The guilt of surviving, when his friend that was like a brother to him didn’t, makes it difficult to function in any real capacity. Imagining Connor’s lifeless eyes, and the countless people killed by his own hand has him an absolute wreck. Brandon may have physically left the war, but the war rages on in his mind. It’s a hell he can’t escape even when, or should I say especially when, he lays his head down at night and drifts off to sleep.

Poppy is a widow at the age of 25. Not a stranger to heartbreak, most of the people she loves have passed on throughout her lifetime. Connor wasn’t supposed to be one of them. He was a constant in her life, and just like that, he was gone. There was also always another constant in her life, her best friend, Brandon. After she buries her husband, she uses all the insurance money she received from his death to search for him, one of the only people she has left in the world.

Brandon doesn’t want to be found. He went AWOL, and spends his nights fighting in an illegal fighting ring in London to try to get rid of some of his anger. The rest of his time is spent between some random woman’s legs or at the end of a bottle.

When Poppy shows up, he tries to push her away, but she won’t allow it. She is determined to help him if it kills her. Poppy needs him, and he needs her in the most desperate way. Soon, Brandon is not only no longer pushing her away, but he can’t let her go. Poppy would do anything to help him find happiness again. She has loved him since she was ten years old. This is a story of a second chance at love, but more importantly a story of when love, no matter how strong, just isn’t enough.

War Poppy is not the kind of book I normally read. I am a person that doesn’t like to read anything that is going to make me overall incredibly sad, and that’s what this one did. It tore my heart from my chest, and I am still trying like hell to get it back. If you decide to read this, get the tissues ready, because you are probably going to need them. I didn’t sob when it was over, but there were definitely tears. Mostly, I was left with a heavy feeling in my heart.

Would I recommend this book to others? Honestly, this isn’t a book that is easy to read, but it’s one that I think is worth it in the end if only to give you more of an appreciation for the men and women of the military and the ones they leave behind. Powerful, raw, gritty, and painfully realistic, this is a story you won’t soon forget.


Book 2, War Hope is releasing May 2, 2017

Stevie J. Cole
Stevie J. Cole lives deep in the woods of Alabama with her husband and two precious daughters. She studied Epidemiology concentrating on cancer research but has always had a passion for writing. Some of her stories will strip you bare, some will give you nightmares, but the one thing she can promise is that she will always give you stories that make you feel.Raw. Gritty. Love. Because sometimes characters need to be flawed.P.S. Stevie's greatest fear is the impending zombie apocalypse. Think about it: swarming armies of decaying, oozing corpses stumbling around with clicking teeth, trying to eat your face. Nothing about that is good. NOTHING!

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LP Lovell
Lauren Lovell is an indie author from England.She suffers from a total lack of brain to mouth filter and is the friend you have to explain before you introduce her to anyone, and apologise for afterwards.
She's a self-confessed shameless pervert, who may be suffering from slight peen envy.LP loves to hear from readers so please get in touch. 
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