Blog Tour Review: Abruption by Riley Mackenzie

I'm so excited to talk about this book today! Abruption was my first read from author duo Riley Mackenzie, and it was such an emotional, but beautifully crafted rollercoaster! 5 STARS!

*Review copy provided in exchange for honest opinion*
Everyone has a plan.

Dr. Guy Hunter secures his dream fellowship with a beautiful free spirit by his side. Two unexpected blue lines don’t even shake his resolve—he is on his way to having it all. Until he isn’t.

Abruption: a sudden breaking off

Jules Chiappetti loves her boisterous over-involved Italian family but is determined to pave her own way. An MBA and boardroom job is her ticket out. Until it isn’t.

Abruption: an unexpected event

Four years later, Guy is consumed by the challenges of being a single father, still struggling with the aftermath that derailed his life and left his son with special needs. He doesn’t realize his world went dark the same day his wife’s did, until Jules, his son’s new nurse, shows him the light.


I finished this book late at night, with my heart feeling so full, and when I woke up the next day, my mind was still abuzz, thinking about these characters. The parent in me was immediately drawn to this story and became completely invested. Caring for a child--the sacrifices we make, the lengths we push ourselves to--is often something others can only understand if you, as the expression goes, "walk in my shoes." These authors did an amazing job making me walk a difficult path with their characters. Making me feel and experience. The prologue alone had that instant pull! If you enjoy medical dramas (especially House, one of my favorites), this book needs to be added to your reading list. I appreciated the authenticity in the storytelling, the detail and the terminology, but I also admired the depth of emotion that was shown. The whirlwind of unpredictability. This was such gorgeous writing!
"You wouldn't be human if you didn't feel the weight on your heart."
Guy Hunter is a doctor and single father, still living in the shadow of his wife's death and still holding onto that inextinguishable pain. Guy's three-year-old son, though, has been constantly in and out of the hospital, and his special needs have to be top priority. It was a rollercoaster ride of emotions while watching this man care for his little boy. You come to understand what they've had to endure and what they've had to struggle with.
I saw through his exterior, or maybe I needed to believe that. He wasn't angry or hateful. He was hurt. The silent kind. The kind that slowly singes everything you ever thought was good and burns so raw that you question if there would ever be anything powerful enough to douse the flames.
But the person to finally bring light, hope, and possibility into Guy's world? His son's new nurse, Jules Chiappetti. Jules is one of my favorite heroines of the year so far! A strong-but-gentle force. Kindhearted. Selfless. It becomes clear that she has a painful past of her own to overcome (and I was anxiously waiting for that to finally be revealed), but she tries so hard to keep everything together. She was determined and dedicated. I loved Nurse JuJu!
There wasn't a stitch strong enough to piece my heart back together. I was okay with that. But looking at Guy and feeling his warmth, I contemplated whether my steel armor could carry a little more--enough to help him begin to heal. I wasn't going to give up. Not yet.
I fell in love with them even more as they got to know each other, as they grew closer. (The way he calls her 'doll'!!! *squee*) Even though I felt like their relationship escalated a bit quickly in the beginning, and I had hoped for more of a teasing buildup between them, there was just something about them that was so real and so easy to read. I enjoyed their time together anyway, so ultimately, I didn't mind things just moving along the way they did. And I simply can't repeat it enough: the writing was beautiful. I was engrossed, non-stop.
Minutes passed or maybe only seconds, it didn't matter. Guy tipped my chin up, connecting our eyes. His lips brushed against mine for only a moment, yet tiny bursts of determination and courage exploded around his tenderness. A devastating vulnerability seeped out, but it was equal parts love and heartache he so freely let me feel that was my undoing.
The love story and the theme of family were very closely entwined in this book. We get a raw and profound view into the growing connection between Guy, Jules, and Guy's two young children. I loved that the book not only focused on Guy and Jules' relationship, but also the bond she built with each of his kids. I adored  his daughter Maxine and son Finn. Although a bit cold and rude toward Jules at first, Guy was utterly heart-melting when it came to his kids. Finny completely captured my heart! This sweet, sweet boy! I was so weak in the knees for their whole family dynamic!

I even loved Jules' large Italian family. As a Filipino who grew up in a just as huge, loud, and tight-knit bunch, I related to the group scenes perfectly! These were all just the right, lighthearted bright spots that the book needed! Moments that made me laugh and smile! Throughout the novel, you see how much family means to both Guy and Jules. My heartstrings were pulled all over the place, and there was even a point when I could barely read my Kindle through my tear-blurred vision!
They said you must work through the stages of grief to achieve acceptance. What they never said was that, even years later, when you though you'd finally come to terms with the loss and patched together a semblance of a life, triggers could set you back. Send you spiraling...blatant reminders that you'd conditioned yourself to avoid at all cost, unpredictable subtleties like simple words or phrases, the faint smell of shampoo, or the first notes of a familiar melody. Subtleties that kicked the wind out of you and decimated the progress you'd made, forcing you to regroup and start over. Grief was not a process;it was a vicious cycle.
Eventually, Guy and Jules show each other how to let go of the past and to lean on each other. You see love grow. You see how love can help heal. Love between Guy and Jules. Love between parent and child. The events and emotions in this story are so powerful. It can be devastatingly raw and poignant in its best moments. I felt that tight squeeze in my chest almost the entire time I was reading!

Throughout the different health problems in this book, we see what it means to support and to be strong for your loved ones, but also how life can sometimes be terribly unfair and unpredictable. These characters overcome so much tragedy and hardship together, showing us how...No matter the fallout, you just have to keep fighting to move on and to heal. Fight hard and hold on to each other.
This time she leaned forward and cupped my cheeks, kissing me gently and inhaling deeply. "I forgot what it felt like. To breathe. I forgot, and it feels so good. Thank you."
It's one of the best feelings, when you finish a book and can't stop saying to yourself, "I loved this." After I was done reading, I wanted to call every single friend and relative to tell them how much they mean to me. I felt this story, that much. I loved the characters. I loved the journey I was taken on. And I loved the stunning writing that brought everything to life. Abruption was a beautifully crafted, heartrending story about a family coming together. About loss, love, and healing. I was so incredibly moved by all of it, from beginning to end. This was my first read from Riley Mackenzie, but I am definitely looking forward to more!


There are two of us!

We’re East coast girls separated by Long Island Sound who met in Physician Assistant School and have been besties ever since. We can safely say that thirteen miles of water does not get in the way because we talk or text, no exaggeration, at least 150 times a day. No, really, we do—about everything and nothing. Shockingly, we never (we mean never) run out of things to say.  Umm, ever. We definitely laugh A LOT and we’re a tad sarcastic. And if we’re being totally honest, one or two people might have, on occasion, used our names and ‘dramatic’ in the same sentence. But it’s hard to trust the sources since they married us.

It only took twelve years, two husbands, five kids, two dogs, and a two-week vacation in Cape Cod later to decide the romance world needed a splash of medicine. Write what you know.

So you can easily find us at 4 o'clock on Bank Street beach with a glass of cold Prosecco brainstorming. And guaranteed if we bump into you, literally, it’s only because our iPhones are glued to our hands (totally out of our control) either writing or editing our next novel (and yes, it is possible to do from your iPhone, we mastered it … damn those straight quotations).

When we are not working on our book or reading the latest angsty romance on our kindles, you basically name it and we have it going on. Soccer, lacrosse, golf, swimming, dance, gymnastics, football, chess, baseball, basketball, skiing, ice skating, school, homework, and more school. 

Oh yeah, did we forget to mention our careers in medicine?

Needless to say, we realized fast that something had to go, so we opted for sleep. It’s completely overrated (yet so AMAZING) and delirium makes everything funnier. Good thing we share a brain and can pretty much complete each other’s sentences (definitely weird, we know).

So that’s our story, who we are … just add AUTHORS to the list!