Tuesday, November 19, 2013

RELEASE DAY: Review, Teaser, & Giveaway: Better by S. Walden

Their relationship has been exposed, and now their lives are changed forever.

For Cadence Miller, the fast track to adulthood proves intimidating and frustrating. She’s a little girl lost—abandoned by her parents and uncertain of her future. She doesn’t think she “fits” anywhere. She’s eighteen. She wants to be older. And the result is both comical and heartbreaking.

Mark Connelly will do anything to provide Cadence a stable, loving home—to be her protector. But he’s just as broken and lost, and his heart won’t let go of his past so easily. He knows he must share his secret with Cadence. And he hopes his revelation won't tear them apart. He hopes it will draw them closer, and make their love better.

Ahhh! I was ready and waiting for this one! Right off the bat, it is a lot different than Good. Mark and Cadence are at a very different point in life and their relationship than even where we left off in Good. Their problems are different.

I was pretty surprised that it seemed that Cadence was having a pretty open crisis of faith. It was something that really was impacting her and her relationship with Mark. I feel like Ms Walden took a very sensitive topic and really opened it up in a respectable way. It was very interesting for me to read about how their relationship handled it.

On the same hand, on top of this own personal crisis of faith, Cadence has so much else going on. Her relationship with her family is one. It was pretty heartbreaking. I cannot imagine trying to adjust to college life at the same time I’m adjusting to my parents disowning me. She’s got friendships that are all in turmoil – whether it is her fault or not, this relationship impacted everything in her life. And as much as we didn’t want to see an issue with Mark and Cadence, they show that they do have their own faults.

Ms Walden really had a lot of various issues going on throughout the story. Sometimes I wished she would focus solely on just a few, but she really handled them all with grace that made it possible to tackle all of the issues going on. From the very beginning, my attention was focused on this book. As usual, her writing flows without effort. Her characters are not only unique to this story, but unique from each other. It is truly unlike any other series that I have read.

Well done, S. Walden! Another fabulously told story! What a great way to wrap up Mark & Cadence’s story!


His heart dropped when he watched her walk into the room. He ignored the snickers and whispers and followed her with his eyes as she walked to one of two remaining seats in his class. Both up front. She had no choice. She’d have to be close to him.

When realization dawned that he was the guy from Highway 28, the fear on her face was unmistakable. He felt no such fear. He felt extreme disappointment. And hopelessness.

And then, there was the matter of her orange jumpsuit. He didn’t know how to address it or if he even should address it. A large part of him said to leave it alone. She was clearly being bullied, and she thought she would try to turn the tables.

But she looked ridiculous. She had to know it. He wasn’t sure if she’d actually won or just thought she did. He tried for a gentle, non-confrontational approach.

“Cadence, you might wanna go change,” he said softly.

Her eyes went wide. He wasn’t sure why. And then it hit him. He said her name! Yes, he remembered her name. How could he ever forget that name? Cadence. Rhythmic. His song. His life. He decided that afternoon on the side of the road. She was his cadence. It was an alarming moment of clarity now muddled by the realization that she was his student. He thought God was playing another cruel joke on him.

About the Author

S. Walden used to teach English before making the best decision of her life by becoming a full-time writer. She lives in Georgia with her very supportive husband who prefers physics textbooks over fiction and has a difficult time understanding why her characters must have personality flaws. She is wary of small children, so she has a Westie instead. Her dreams include raising chickens and owning and operating a beachside inn on the Gulf Coast (chickens included). When she's not writing, she's thinking about it.

She loves her fans and loves to hear from them. Email her at and follow her blog at where you can get up-to-date information on her current projects.

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