Titles included: Contessa, Olivia, Dear Jon, and Livvy
Author: Lori L. Otto
Released: Feb 2014
Find on Goodreads
The Choisie series is a Young Adult/New Adult story following a teenage girl as she struggles to find her footing under the scrutiny of local media and the cautious eye of her overprotective father.
Livvy Holland was adopted by a generous and wealthy couple as a child. Now sixteen, she is a burgeoning artist, encouraged by her mother and inspired by a man she was never able to meet. Feeling estranged from a loving father whose mind works much differently than her own, she questions whether or not she was paired with the right guardians. In her plight for independence, she reconnects with a fellow art student who grew up alongside Livvy.
Jon Scott has led anything but a privileged life. After his father passes away, he is left to care for his two half-brothers while his mother’s alcoholism threatens to tear his family apart. All he wants for himself and his brothers is a better life. His dreams for an Ivy League education are coming to fruition, thanks to a lifetime of hard work and ambition. This is not only important to Jon himself; he also knows that the man who will win Livvy’s heart has to be someone exceptional. Her father would accept nothing less–and Jon believes that Livvy deserves the best of everything, too.
That may be the only thing Jon and Livvy’s father agree upon.
Over the course of their courtship, these two teens will experience the bliss of true love, but their immaturity and differing lifestyles will also threaten to tear them apart. They both begin to question the other’s devotion and commitment; only time will tell if their first love is meant to last a lifetime.
This series, comprised in totality of four books, allows the reader to experience first love for a second time. The first three books–Contessa, Olivia, and Dear Jon–are available now, with the fourth book–Livvy–slated to be released December 9!
Contessa – Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes
Olivia – Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes
Dear Jon – Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes
“I want you to make love to me.” My voice cracks when I say it.
“Why?” he challenges me. Why? What kind of a question is that?
“Because I love you.”
“You wear my ring because you love me. You devote every Saturday night to me because you love me. You answer my calls every day because you love me. Why do you want me?”
“I don’t… I don’t think I understand.”
“Here’s what I want. I want to trail my fingers down the length of your naked body and feel the excitement they leave in their wake.”
I look around quickly, grateful that he’s not speaking too loudly.
“I want to smell the perfume you wear as I nip at your earlobe and whisper things to you I’m too afraid to say when I’m not inebriated by your very presence.”
I can’t believe he’s saying these things to me right here, in the light of day, as if he’s telling me about his classes or what color shoes he decided to wear today.
“I want to hear you pronounce my name with such desperation, supplicating me for more – deeper, slower – like you can’t get enough of me even though you’re holding me so tightly you leave marks on my skin that take days to disappear and underscore the words forever inscribed on my shoulder blade–”
“I’m sorry–” He interrupts my interruption with a surprising kiss, his hand supporting my neck as his mouth moves hard and fast against mine. I gasp when he pulls away, and my eyes are enraptured by the fervency of his gaze.
“I’m not,” he whispers, then shakes his head. “I want the taste of you…” He pauses and nods just so, making sure I fully understand what he’s implying. “…on my lips.”
“Jon!” I nearly shriek, taken aback by his brazenness and indelicate suggestion. Oddly enough, though, I’ve never been more attracted to him than I am in this moment. He laughs at my response.
“And I want to make you blush, just like that.” He touches his thumb to the warm skin of my face. “To see the glow of tamarisk in your cheeks when you’re coming down. There’s not a prettier color in nature.”
I can say nothing, do nothing, except stare at him with my mouth agape.
“And do you want to know why I want these things?”
It takes me a moment to realize he’s asked me a question, that he’s waiting for my answer. “Because you want me to be happy?”
“No.” Now both of his thumbs rub my temples as he stares lustfully at me, through me. My pulse is raging, and I can hear it in my ears and feel it coursing beneath my skin. “Because I’m a selfish man, and every one of those things rouses me and makes me want to take you in ways I never have — ways your virtuous mind has probably never even imagined. You engage me and provoke me and you drive me to the brink of insanity, and just when I think I’m gone, you save me, Olivia. A brush of your hand. A kiss. A whisper.”
Contessa 5 STAR Review
It’s not often that I identify with a character in the books I read. That suits me just fine. In not identifying with the characters, I am able to successfully escape to that happy place that reading so often takes me. But this story really hit home for me. It was unique that I found myself not only identifying with Emi, as a mother, but I also found myself identifying with Livvy, the bratty teenager on a rebellious streak. This story was an experience like no other for me and I enjoyed every emotional and frustrating moment of Livvy’s journey.
At times, I wanted to smack some sense into Livvy for her rude and obnoxious behavior. I don’t doubt that her struggles with acceptance and feeling misunderstood were mostly attributable to her teenage mindset. After all, teenagers generally reach that point where they believe they know everything. But her rebellion ran so much deeper than just being a teenager. Her fascination with all things Nate was so intense that it bordered on obsession and blinded her to the pure and unwavering love that Jack showered her with daily.
My teenage self was cheering Livvy on as she began to experience some of what life had to offer. She had been fairly sheltered from the world under the loving care of Emi and Jack and it was fun to read about some of her experiences. Granted, she made some poor choices, but part of growing up involves making choices and living with the consequences of those choices. Watching her experience how a crush became so much more was beautiful and warmed my heart. Young love is so naïve and unassuming and I adored watching Livvy and Jon’s relationship develop.
The mother in me was torn much like Emi was at times. It’s difficult to find a balance between being a friend and being a mother to a teenage daughter. You want to give motherly advice but you want it to come across friendly in the hopes that they will heed your suggestions. You want to give them wings to fly but still keep them safe at home. It’s a difficult thing to let your daughter grow up and the older they get, the more challenging it becomes. Boundaries are often muddled and chaos sometimes ensues, much like what transpired with Livvy and Emi. As I read, I found myself wondering how I would have handled the situation had it been me and my teenage daughter. I admired Emi for her gentle and caring ways even when Livvy was being difficult and deceitful.
My heart hurt for Jack. He was so patient and kind with Livvy in spite of her hateful words and atrocious behavior. I loved Jack before, but I am infinitely more in love with him now for all that he endured and how he dealt with all things Livvy. His love was absolute and evident in all he did even though she was too blinded by her own notions to see what was right in front of her.
Woven into Livvy’s story was the rich history of Emi, Jack & Nate. I found myself teary eyed at times when the story would elude to or mention events from the Lost and Found Series. I especially loved getting to spend time with Emi and Jack as parents. This story was frustrating at times much like my own relationship with my daughter. But it was worth every frustrating moment when I wanted to reach into the book and slap some sense into Livvy or those moments when I wanted to be there to laugh with her and hug her.
Olivia 5 STAR Review
Olivia “Livvy” Holland is growing up, making some rather grown up choices all while learning lessons about life, family, friendship, love and herself. While her high profile life may be full of perks, Livvy would like nothing more than to live under the radar in her comfortable world with her doting boyfriend, Jon Scott. When events outside her control threaten her world, Livvy is forced to stop and evaluate what she wants for herself, independent of all the influences looming over her.
I loved watching Livvy grow up and seeing her turn into a young woman. I was frustrated with her at times, but that’s the mom in me. I cheered for Livvy much like I cheer for my own daughter and that heightened my connection to this story and these characters. I want so many things for Livvy but above all I want her to find herself and become accomplished in whatever will make her happy…truly happy.
I positively adore Jon, even if I was a little upset with his behavior a few times…again the mom in me. I also loved watching him grow into such a beautiful and thoughtful young man. His love for Livvy is unwavering even when things are uncertain in their worlds. Jon is absolutely the kind of boy I hope falls in love with my daughter one day.
This story gave me warm fuzzy feelings and tugged on my heart for reasons that hit close to home. The mom in me tried to sit back and take Livvy’s choices in stride, but I found myself chiding her more than once. The teenager in me remembered what it was like to be young, in love and seeing things through rose colored teenage eyes. I found myself cheering her on and raising my eyebrows at her simultaneously…if that is even possible. This is such a beautiful story about coming of age and I am excited to see what is next for Olivia Holland.
After graduating from the University of Texas at Arlington in 1997 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications, Lori Otto worked in the billboard industry for ten years. Frustrated with trying to communicate entire messages in “seven seconds or less,” she decided to leave outdoor advertising and return to her love of creative writing.