Thou Shalt Not [NOOK Book]

Overview

Luke Harper was finally starting to settle into his life - a life that had previously been full of more heartbreak and pain than most people ever experienced. He had a job he loved, and was blissfully content in his on-again, off-again relationship with the striking, and highly sexual, Holly. But, life throws Luke another curveball with the arrival of the alluring April, a woman stuck in a tumultuous, violent marriage to a famous athlete. Luke soon finds himself torn between what is safe, familiar, and right, and...
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Thou Shalt Not

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Overview

Luke Harper was finally starting to settle into his life - a life that had previously been full of more heartbreak and pain than most people ever experienced. He had a job he loved, and was blissfully content in his on-again, off-again relationship with the striking, and highly sexual, Holly. But, life throws Luke another curveball with the arrival of the alluring April, a woman stuck in a tumultuous, violent marriage to a famous athlete. Luke soon finds himself torn between what is safe, familiar, and right, and what is dangerous, unknown, and forbidden.
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940149061075
  • Publisher: JJ Rossum
  • Publication date: 12/9/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 359
  • Sales rank: 79
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

JJ Rossum traveled the world as a child, and called many places "home". Currently, home is Portland, Oregon, where he is at work on other novels that were hatched while people watching during many airport layovers.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 30, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    A Review from Reading Books Like a Boss Thou Shalt Not was a ref

    A Review from Reading Books Like a Boss
    Thou Shalt Not was a refreshing and mind-boggling read. I couldn’t put it down. I didn’t want to put it down. It left me wanting more of Luke Harper’s story and J.J. Rossum’s impeccable writing. As J.J. Rossum’s debut novel, Thou Shalt Not is a solid and memorable novel, definitely a favorite of 2013. Rossum’s smart and witty writing style held my attention and made me an instant Rossum fan. Each character had depth and their own voice. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I love reading books in the male point-of-view and this book did not disappoint. Being a dude himself, Rossum nailed it. Keep writing, Rossum, and I’ll keep reading.

    I went through so many emotions just in the first third in the book. I was not emotionally prepared for the rather poignant and touching scenes that unfolded. Luke Harper has seen a lot of death and tragedy in his twenties. After losing someone very dear to him, he swears off relationships and commitment and runs off to into land of friends with benefits. Luke fills the hole in his life with Holly, his on and off again lady friend of convenience but has always kept Holly at a distance, never discussing his past with her.

    “Occasionally I felt guilt over our situation, especially when she was seeing someone. The whole friends with benefits thing wasn’t even something I would have ever seen myself doing. I grew up believing in not having sex before marriage and not straying outside of the boundaries of marriage or relationships with anyone. And so I had waited until I was married to have sex. And now look where I am eight years later. Alone, and part time [effing] a girl who can’t stay in a relationship for more than a few months. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.”

    Luke Harper is this nerdy, intelligent and charming guy. I loved him from the very beginning. Luke teaches English at Lakefront Christian School. His long-time best friend and co-worker, Robin, taught English in the classroom next door until she fell ill. During her leave of absence, the school hires a substitute, Mrs. Batista, to fill in. Suspecting the missus to be a middle-aged Hispanic woman, Luke is taken aback when he meets her. April Batista is not anything like he’d imagined. When Luke sees April for the first time, he notices everything about her all at once, down to the smallest detail. The color of her dress. The fullness of her lips. The way she does her hair. Her complexion. Everything. Guys are supposedly very visual people, and Luke most certainly fits that stereotype.

    “She was very fair skinned, incredibly so, like a porcelain doll that had been given another coat of white before being boxed up and shipped out. Her eyes were very large, and inquisitive, and brown like almonds. Her lips were plump, especially her bottom lip. It was a delectable work of art, and I had to resist the urge to immediately suck on it. Nothing says “Welcome” quite like a stranger moving in and sucking on your lip. She smiled a warm, friendly smile when she saw me, revealing perfect white teeth.”

    April Batista is married with two kids. When I read that I thought, “Oh dear. How in the world is this going to play out?” The more I learned about April’s husband and home life, the less I liked Mr. Batista and the more I rooted for Luke Harper to be her knight in shining armor. Is that wrong? Maybe? But I don’t care! April is a seemingly bold and fiery woman at first glance. She doesn’t hold anything back. These qualities reeled Luke in more.

    Eventually, April becomes a more permanent fixture at Lakefront Christian. They get to know each other mostly through revealing and flirtatious text messages. I LOVED reading their conversations. Luke analyzed every word she said and agonized over every word and emotion he typed to her. It was really cute.

    April and Luke are at a standstill in their lives, both are unhappy. April is in an abusive and unsatisfying marriage. Luke wants to be done “friends with benefitting” with Holly. He realizes that he wants something more. The friendship between them starts slow and builds into something deeper. The more they got to know each other, they realized they could discuss things like their favorite literary classics and hold thought provoking conversations with each other, something that neither of them can do with their respective partners. And those discussions led to other things. Forbidden and passionate things.

    But what about Holly? Born to alcoholic parents, she was the responsible adult and raised her siblings on her own. She even gave up going to college in order to work odd jobs and financially care for them. Now at twenty-six she works as a bartender and has been in a string of failed relationships and in a FWB arrangement with Luke that’s going nowhere fast. Holly is a very likable character. There was nothing about her to hate. Though, I’m a bit ashamed to say that, like Luke, I was quick to dismiss Holly once April was in the picture.

    In addition to the fantastic main characters, Rossum’s cast of secondary characters were incredibly well-developed. You meet his coworker, Robin and her husband Walt, mostly through flashbacks. These two had a heart of gold, were incredibly caring and inherently good. Both were there for Luke when he went through hard times. I also really loved his next door neighbor, Al, even though his appearance was really short.

    The more I think about this book and let the plot sink in the more I fall in love with the way Rossum told this story. Luke is somewhat blind as to how his and April actions could affect others. As things with April start to get more serious, he is quick to discard Holly and lie to her repeatedly in order to spend time with April. Even as he was doing it, he felt guilty. Though ,the guilt he felt wasn’t enough to stop what he wanted. As a reader, I was completely on board with Luke and April as couple, despite the all the “Thou Shalt Not’s” and morality of the situation. I even felt it was somewhat justified given the fact that Marco Batista was a douche bag of epic proportions. How messed up is that? I wanted Luke to be April’s hero and save her and her kids from her unhappy marriage. This is a testament to Rossum’s storytelling. Despite the wrongness of what Luke and April were doing, I was there in Luke’s head going along with this twisted scenario. I rode the Thou Shalt Not morality rollercoaster with Luke with my blinders on. What an utterly unpredictable ride this novel was.

    This book is not your typical romance. It was different. The characters are far from perfect but they were real. I will neither confirm or deny a happy ever after. You’ll have to read for yourself. I loved how this book ended and the message it proclaimed. Read this book for the writing. Read this book for the characters. Read this book for the emotional journey. Just read it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 17, 2013

    What I liked about this book was it was from a males perspective

    What I liked about this book was it was from a males perspective, loved it. I agree with a couple of reviews that it took a minute for the book to take off. But I was ok with that because it was building on who Luke was... However, there was zero chemistry I felt between Holly and Luke and just because someone's been there for you does not equate to real love. You can love a person for being there for you and putting up with you, but chemistry you can't make happen it just is like how Luke felt with April. I felt Luke again was falling back into line with what was easy and comfortable and he was ok with settling. As for Holly her character wasn't likable and she ended up being mean girl along with Luke at the end and it was ugly. Luke couldn't look past his hurt to see that domestic violence is real and he needed to be a better friend to April versus wanting her to make a choice. Of course if April is even alive? After all this I would hope the author could develop their friendship more because he had the chemistry down. You could feel their pull to each other and it was sad because you knew as a reader nothing was going to come of it because April was married. I'm hoping the ending was a lead in to a book2? If not then it was a very odd ending... Needless to say can't stand Marco and he deserves everything bad coming his way! Unfortunately, there are many Marcos out there and women like April get sucked in and then trap themselves by marrying and having kids with a person like that. My heart went out to April, as she's created a fictional world for herself. Overall this book is worth the read. I would like to see how the author does on a book2.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 11, 2013

    Ok...so...I am terrible at writing reviews - but I can't not say

    Ok...so...I am terrible at writing reviews - but I can't not say something about this book. I love that JJ has decided to publish his books! He definitely has a way with words and tells an awesome...hot story.

    This story truly hits on some touchy subjects, and makes you question your perception of right and wrong due to circumstance. But reminds you that the best plan is to truly find yourself in the end.


    I can't wait to see where JJ goes with his writing career, and I look forward to reading everything he puts out

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2014

    Great, Great Book

    Amazing, unpredictable, straight forward. Loved it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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