Sunday, 25 May 2014

BLOG TOUR! Love Always, Kate by d Nichole King

Welcome to my Blog Tour Stop for

Love Always, Kate

By d. Nichole King

Thank you to d. Nichole King and the Book Junky Girls for providing me with a copy

KATE BROWDY is a survivor. Seven years of battling leukemia earns her the title. Now, she’s out of remission for the third time, and sinks into her diary for emotional support. In it, she can be honest. Herself. Free. 
This time, though, instead of just her disease, she writes about DAMIAN LOWELL. Damian with his blond hair and ocean-blue eyes. Damian with his dimples flashing her at every opportunity. Damian with his own pain he can’t seem to deal with. Damian—her doctor’s son. 
Warned by her nurse to stay away from him because he’s falling apart, Kate sees him differently. Just how differently, she’s not sure, until he pulls her into a hospital bathroom and shaves off all her hair to save her pain of it falling out little by little. It’s then she begins to realize she may be falling for Damian Lowell. 
When she finds him in the hospital drunk and screaming at his father, she learns more about his past and why he is the way he is. She learns about his brother, his mother, and the father who’s still grieving. And so is Damian—with alcohol and some girl whose bra Kate finds in his bedroom. 
Now Kate doesn’t know where she stands. Is she being played? But how can he kiss her like that, look at her like that, and not feel what she did? 
After texts and flowers and an invitation to his house, Kate begins see him—really see him. 
And that’s when she gets sick, and the headaches begin. Thanks to the high doses of chemo, her immune system is worthless. With Damian by her side, she begins to fade into blackness. 
Kate awakes in the middle of the night eight days later. Damian’s asleep, his head resting on her stomach. She moves, and he wakes up, telling her she’s in the hospital. The virus has run its course, and soon she can go home. 
But the headaches don’t stop. That side effect continues to linger. 
After Kate loses a bet, Damian treats her to a romantic Christmas dinner. There’s dinner and dancing, and Kate suddenly realizes she loves him. As the snow begins to fall outside, blanketing the city, Damian takes her to his room. She doesn’t know if she’s ready to lose her virginity to him, but he moves slow. In the end, Damian can’t do it, something holds him back. 
The next morning, he gives Kate his journal, the one he’s been keeping since she showed him her diary—not the contents, of course, that’s too personal. Reluctantly, she takes his journal and tells herself she won’t read it. 
She wants him to just tell her what’s wrong, what’s inside, but he can’t. He says she needs to read it. Their argument heats up, and Damian leaves her to cry by herself. He avoids her in the next days, and she knows it’s over. When she sees him at the hospital, it hurts. 
Damian calls that evening, and Kate sounds off. Headache. He races over to hold her as the pain overtakes her. 
The next morning, Kate watches the sunrise with Damian. Yes, she still loves him. They spend Christmas together baking cookies, watching movies, and making out on the sofa. In the mirror, Kate notices how her clothes are hanging off her, and her ribs are showing more than usual. More chemo side effects. 
After Christmas, her doctor does a full work-up. Kate already knows, but when the results come back confirming her suspicions that the chemo isn’t working, and the cancer has made its way into her organs, she can’t bring herself to tell Damian. At least, not right away.
*********************************

I have for you  lots of different things first of my review, I also have an excerpt of the book and a character interview with Kate!  

Let's start with the review first!

Now first of all let me once more shout at D! Well I have actually already done it via the magic of Twitter, earlier this year I read her other book The Spirit, it scared me, and now this book Love Always, Kate had me in floods of tears!!

Anyway get ready for me to gush! OMG I read this book in one sitting and it just grabbed me right from the start, I'm not usually one to read books like this, if I know something sad's going to happen, this is why I haven't read The Fault in our Stars yet, but I loved D's storytelling in The Sprit so I was happy to read this.

The story centres around two characters, we have Kate, a 17 year old who is struggling to battle leukaemia, in and out of hospital all the time to receive chemotherapy, she is an inspiration girl, she just gets on with it.

During one of her hospital visits she meets Damian, a troubled young man, also 17 and carrying many demons, he lost his mother and brother in a car crash, his father is the oncologist responsible for caring for Kate and he also has a bit of a drink and anger problem, definitely damaged goods.

But when he meets Kate, he talks to her normally, no false hope, no saying that the worst won't happen, they strike up a friendship and Kate starts to look forward to her sessions, her nurse warns her against Damian saying that he is vulnerable and a lot of trouble.

So much happens in this book, it really gets at your emotions and it should come with a complimetary box of Kleenex, the relationship between Kate and Damian really starts to pick up, she has a lot of things she still wants to do with her life and he helps her achieve them such as going to Prom.

As Kate's health starts to deteriorate, so does Damian's mental state, it tears at the heart strings when she  starts to go downhill quickly, there is so much more in this book I could tell you about but I really want you to read it for yourself, it is a beautiful book, Damian may be bent out of shape but he has a heart, a big heart and he wants to make sure Kate is okay every step of the way.

There aren't too many supporting characters but we do have Kate's parents and obviously Damian's Dad, Dr Lowell, I really felt for Kate's parents, it is the one thing every parent fears and that is outliving their children.

D had done a fantastic job, you really feel as you are with them every step of the way plus you also get an insight in to Kate's diary too to see her secrets and fears.

I loved this book, at the end I was bawling my eyes out, sitting in the dark with just the glow of my kindle at 1am crying like a baby!!

Love Always, Kate gets 5 out of 5


An Exclusive Excerpt

Damian sighed and adjusted his nametag. “I’m the son of Jackson Lowell, Doctor Extraordinaire. That means I have a lot of time to myself. I play the guitar. Write music. I’ve beaten every Assassin’s Creed game. And I don’t live up to my father’s expectations. Hell, I don’t know if I live up to anyone’s expectations.”
I’m sure your dad just wants you to be happy.”
Damian grunted. “Whose definition of happy? His? Mine?” His eyebrows rose. “Yours?”
I shrugged. “Doesn’t happy only have one definition?”
Does it? Are you happy?”
I thought about it for a few moments. I had beaten my disease twice before, and I was determined to do it again. More than anything, I was happy just to be alive. “Yeah, I am.”
His eyes narrowed. “Having a tube sticking out of your chest, being hooked up to toxic drugs, getting sick—that makes you happy?”
Oh, well, no. But…”
Not that easy, is it?” The edge in his voice pricked at me. I couldn’t tell if he was talking about me or himself.
The outcome of—”
You don’t know the outcome.” He sounded angry, his eyes blazing. “You only hope it will make you happy. When it might kill you. That’s reality.”
I pulled my lips tight. “True, but it makes my parents happy to see me fight.”
Bullshit. They’re not happy having a daughter who has to battle cancer. And if you die, well, how can they be happy about that?”
If—”
Damian cut me off. “Yeah. If. So much is based on that word, and there are no fucking guarantees attached to it. What makes you happy now may be what destroys you later. Or those you love. Then what? Sometimes, being happy isn’t worth the risk.”
And sometimes it is,” I said quietly.
Damian brightened again, offering a slight smile. “See what I mean? Nothing in this shithole life is easy.”
Just because it’s not easy, doesn’t mean it’s not worth it.”
So tell me then, is it worth it?” His blue eyes searched mine. “Worth all the time in this place?”

Interview with Kate!

Thanks for joining me today, Kate.
You’re welcome!
You are so young, yet you’ve already been through so much. How do you cope with it all?
First of all I have amazing parents. They did their research, they went to support groups, they found Dr. Lowell and moved us to Iowa so I could be under his care. He’s one of the best.

Then I have my diary. During my first treatment, when I was eleven, someone told Mom how much keeping one helped other patients. When she gave it to me, I eagerly began to write in it. It became my safe place, my hiding place.

Have you ever let anyone read it?
No, never. It’s too personal. Everything I’ve ever felt, my fears, my dreams, everything is in there.
This is your third relapse. Is this time any different?
In terms of the leukemia, not really. I’m on a more potent chemotherapy drug, but other than that, it’s the same process as before. The biggest difference this time is that I feel like I’ve missed out on so much of life. Like, unintentionally, I’ve let the disease control me instead of the other way around.
Is that where Damian comes in?
(Smiles) Yeah, I guess. The first thing you notice about him is how gorgeous he is. Oh, and the dimples. Then you look into his eyes, and realize that there’s something dark behind them. Life hasn’t been kind to him either, and he lets it get to him. At first, I thought I could fix him, but in reality, he fixed me.

Oh that’s so romantic!
He is, especially when he’s not trying. And when he is, I know it’s because he wants everything to be perfect for me. We never know how long we have with the people we love. That’s something Damian understands well.

He’s your doctors’ son. Is that weird at all?
Sort of. At first it was, anyway. I mean, he snuck into his dad’s office and checked out my medical file! He’s got ways of finding stuff out. I’ve always known Dr. Lowell as Dr. Lowell, the doctor. It never dawned on me that he was also Jackson Lowell, the father. They’re different people.

What has this whole experience taught you?
That life is short. Short and beautiful. And even though it might hurt sometimes, that doesn’t make life any less special.

Thanks for sharing your story with us.
My pleasure.






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