I loved you once. A love I thought irrevocable. A love I mistakenly believed could transcend both time and circumstance. Under the influence of my dimwitted, naïve, traitorous heart, I became intoxicated with what I now know was simply a figment of my self-indulgent imagination. So drunk on the feeling, I couldn’t see what was right in front of my face. So foolishly enamored, I blindly followed my heart into the depths of an emotion that would ravage me.
Years later, I know now what I wish I knew then. I am stronger. Smarter. Tougher. I will not allow myself to be broken again.
I loved you.
I raged for you.
I wept for you.
And now, I’m letting you go.
Author’s Note: Under the Influence is the journey of two childhood friends that spans the course of five pivotal years in their lives. It is a story about their discovery of true friendship as it blossoms into first love, their experience of crucial sacrifice and ultimate betrayal, and their endurance of agonizing heartbreak on the way to finding lasting redemption.
Again, the amazing and talented author L.B. Simmons has wowed me again. The story of Dalton and Spencer is one that will stay with me for a long time. Under the Influence is a story that spans the time of years about two best friends who have always loved each other and finally act on it. Under the Influence is their story of coming around and growing together.
Like all L.B. Simmons books, it wouldn't be the same without twists, turns, heart break and love.
This book blew me away. It literaly broke my heart, put me back together, left me speechless, and
made me smile. It was the first book in a long time that completely stole my heart.
I related to Spencer in more ways than one. She was strong, funny and not afraid to say and do exactly
what she was thinking. I loved her feistiness and I loved her relationship with Dalton.
Dalton was great too. He fell into the wrong crowd at an early age and because of his choices, he was
led down a path that he felt like he couldn;t get out of.
The dynamic and feelings between these two was so beautiful and touching. I loved that Dalton loved
Spencer with his whole heart. Their love wasn't one that was temporary but one that lasted through
tough times, time apart and everything else that was sent their way.
L.B. Simmons writing was flawless again. She wrote a story that had the words flowing effortlessly
and beautifully on the pages and made me remember why she is one of my favorite authors of all
time. Her books work their way into your heart and just never let go. I love that when finishing a book
from her I always feel like take away something with me.
I couldn't have loved this book more. It was so well written and so phenomenal that I know it will be
staying with me for a long time.
5 BEAUTIFUL STARS!
And that’s when I see it. The faded bruising high on the little girl’s cheek and the red welts that line it. A slap mark.
I force a deep breath through my nose and crack my neck, my natural response when stricken with memories from my own past. The rage I feed upon, the anger that fuels me to perform on a regular basis, skims dangerously close to the surface as my fingers tighten around the crayon in my hand.
Her blue eyes remain locked with mine. She watches closely for a moment, studying me intently, then rises and leans her tiny body across the table to place her palm on my cheek.
Normally I would strongly object to anyone I don’t know putting their hands on me, but I remain frozen as the warmth from her hand seeps into my skin. Huge tears sprout, coating her eyes before she finally speaks.
“You’re one of us. I can tell.”
She removes her hand and places it on my chest, the burning beneath my ribcage strangely anesthetized by the contact. “I know. “ She nods as she focuses on her touch. “It hurts here. Where they break your heart.”
When I’m barely able to nod my response, she offers me a defeated smile. My throat clogs with emotion I haven’t felt in years, and I’m forced to swallow it deeply. Her eyes fall to my throat and then rise once again to meet mine.
"Yeah, I feel it too."
L.B. Simmons is a graduate of Texas A&M University and holds a degree in Biomedical Science. She has been a practicing Chemist for the last 11 years. She lives with her husband and three daughters in Texas and writes every chance she gets.