Self Preservation

Today, author Jaime Samms offers us a review of Ethan Day’s Self Preservation. Jaime’s opinions are her own, but I pretty much concur here since I loved this book too! Please welcome Jaime to Lex’s World and Valentine Reviews!

A week or so ago, I was chatting with Lex, and she invited me over to chat about good books. Now chatting about books is something I’ve never had a problem doing, and since this book by Ethan Day, called Self Preservation is one of the better books I’ve read this past year, I was psyched to come over and talk about it,

What struck me about this book was the odd dichotomy of the characters and situations being so much larger than life, and yet, still ringing true and feeling inevitable. Davis seems just like a normal, almost dull kind of guy. Until he thinks about Jack, at which point normalcy flies out the window on the wings of Davis’ fantasies. Such complete and utter denial of facts and reality should make this character hard to believe in, hard to sympathize with, but Day has created a character who instead is funny, interesting and authentic. You can’t help but love the guy, even as you see how he’s slightly delusional. You root for him while knowing he can’t really have what he wants, and yet, still, you hope he gets it. I’m still trying to figure out how he did that!

At some point, like Davis, you start to believe he can do anything. It’s impossible not to want him to win out in the end, so the plot twists that get him deeper and deeper into his impossible dream seem completely reasonable and logical.

Enter Alex, another character who can’t possibly be real, but also can’t be other than he is, and Jack, that impossible dream Davis is chasing after, who seems too good to be real, and you’ve got the makings of a story that can be fantastically entertaining, or that can go horribly wrong.

It’s Ethan’s own voice, his unerring ability to see the humour in just about anything, and his willingness to let his characters live large and laugh at themselves that makes this story work. Taking risks, of course, means getting hurt, and it’s inevitable that the characters will face unpleasantness. Day doesn’t flinch from that any more than he holds back on his humour.

Now, I’m not a cryer. Movies, books, pretty much nothing in fiction is ever strong enough to make me tear up. Huh. This book is pretty much billed as a romantic comedy. Huh again. I found myself sniffling not once, not even twice, but on three separate occasions while reading this book. The honesty this book is written with touched me, and I can–literally– say I laughed, I cried, and yeah, it kinda became a part of me. At least, this book has become a part of the fabric of inspiration I turn to when I’m searching for ways to improve my own efforts. It isn’t often I come across a book that not only entertains me, satisfies my need for all the ends to be tied up in a pretty bow, but also teaches me. I most definitely will have to get me a hard copy of this puppy. Nothing like that dog-eared well-read look of a much-loved story.

I’d give this 4.5 Valentines. There’s grammer stuff going on, but nothing I couldn’t forgive. πŸ™‚

4.5 Valentines by Jaime Samms

Self Preservation

Loose Id




Davis always assumed they would wind up back together, until Jack calls and invites Davis to his wedding to Tadd Austin, a prominent architect in Chicago. Jack’s only known Tadd for two weeks, so whatever Jack feels for Tadd couldn’t possibly compare to what he shared with Davis. There’s no way in hell Davis can stand by and watch the life he always expected to get back slip away to some guy Jack barely knows. Tadd Austin, indeed…more like Toad Ass-ton, Davis thinks.

With his best friend, fashion designer Deseree Wildwood in tow, Davis has to shed his sweet, guy-next-door persona, and re-vamp his image into a self-confident, hot piece of eye candy. He’s going to the wedding with only one goal in mind: to do whatever it takes to win back Jack. The Toad is toast!

Once in Chicago, Davis discovers it isn’t going to be as easy as he thought. Not only is Tadd very un-Toad-like, but a mysterious British playboy named Alex Parker manages to interject himself into the mix. Only true love will survive as the tug of war ensues in this Bermuda love triangle from hell.

Publisher’s Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: Anal play/intercourse, male/male sexual practices.

LEX NOTE: Jaime is a fellow Pink Petal Books author and her current release there is Spinning, a book I made the cover for. πŸ™‚ You can visit Jaime at

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10 Responses to Self Preservation

  1. Jaime Samms says:

    Thanks, Cynthia. That's very sweet of you to say. πŸ™‚ You will love this book. So much fun.

    Kath, you are so right. Such a good book. I'm ashamed to see I didn't even mention the girl. She was good. Guess we know where my focus was…lol!

    I think every author brings a little bit of themselves and their unique voice to their work. The beauty is in discovering how all those different voices speak to us readers in different ways.

  2. Jaime Samms says:

    First off, Lex, I'm very sorry for the misunderstanding. It was never my intention to bring rancour to your blog.

    Veronica, I will second what Lex said. I have never and will never claim my reviews are objective, for the simple fact they are my opinion, and opinions cannot be objective. I would never presume to pass judgement on anyone's writing. I try to judge neither good nor bad. Just state what I liked, what I didn't, and why, if I can manage to put my finger on why.

    Yes, Ethan is my friend, and yes, I made a joke. As anyone who hangs out with me on any loop knows, I rely heavily on spell-check to catch my typos. When I don't, my friends are left scratching their heads trying to translate my abysmal spelling. I was being tongue-in-cheek, actually poking more fun at myself than either Ethan or the book. I guess it didn't translate well on the web.

    Thank you for coming by and reading the review. Since I review almost as much as I write, I'm always interested in how others view the process, as well as what works in my reviews, and what doesn't.


  3. Veronica – There is no such thing as an objective review. They are ALL subjective. ALL of them. They are just someone's opinion. All those review sites…subjective. Some sites think that it's okay to give reviewers books in a genre they dislike. I don't think that's fair. Lots of people don't think that's fair. Those reviewers are predisposed to not liking the book. How is that fair? Yet the sites claim that this how they further objectivity. The fact remains that there is no objectivity in a review. Sites slam perfectly wonderful books in order to get heavy traffic as fans of the book seek to defend it. Sites use snark on all reviews in order to be high profile on the internet and in the publishing industry. How is that objective? It's not. They are agenda driven. Anyone who has spent time looking at the reviews on review sites KNOWS there is no such thing as objectivity in reviews. Just a lot of opinions both good and bad.

    Here on my site, we give you only the good opinions. We tout only the books we loved reading whether they were written by an author we don't know or an author we talk to every day. If I Jaime didn't like Self Preservation she would not have written this. We don't kiss the asses of our friends, but we will praise them just as we do any other author who writes something that we thoroughly enjoyed.

  4. Veronica Long says:

    My apologies. I didn't realise it was friends reviewing the work of friends and that the 'grammer' remark was some kind of private joke. I thought it was an objective review of a book, obviously that is not so, again, my apologies. πŸ™‚

  5. Kathy K says:

    Jaime, FANTASTIC review! And all I can say is I'm so very glad that I've already read–and own–this book 'cause otherwise I'da been running all the way over to Loose Id to get me a copy. *whew*

    I love the points that you made about Davis and Alex; man those two are MADE for each other. But I also really loved Davis' best friend Deseree… she's really got his number!

    And you're so very right in saying that Ethan can pull off in his stories what so many others couldn't even begin to achieve… but then I love my Jaime Samms and Lex Valentine books too!

    Yeah, book slut that's me. πŸ˜€

  6. Veronica – Unfortunately, I don't think you understood the tongue in cheek tones of Jaime's remark. She and Ethan are friends for one and had she not loved his book she never would have written a review in the first place.

    The very nature of a Valentine Review is that neither I nor any of my author friends who guest review EVER post negative reviews or reviews with an agenda. I would direct you and any other readers who might not be familiar with me to my first Valentine Review post:

    At the top of that post I make it very clear to readers that I do not hold with the type of review that you are saying Jaime gave. Had I thought that Jaime's review of Ethan's book held any of those agendas and negativity I would not have posted it. Reviews on my site are solely about books we LOVED.

    In addition, as a rule I don't usually let stand a comment that takes anyone to task. I don't feel it's anyone's job to do that on a subjective review or a blog post that is someone's opinion. I don't subscribe to the notion that flame wars in comments make for good blog fodder and traffic. I don't care about traffic. I do care about my friends and I consider Jaime and Ethan good friends. I've worked with Jaime at Pink Petal Books and Ethan beta read Fire Season for me. I respect both of them tremendously as people and authors.

    I'm sorry if you misunderstood Jaime's tone and joking reference to "grammer." For the sake of anyone else who might not be aware of how things are done here, your comments and my explanation will be left standing so that further misunderstanding does not occur.

    Thank you for coming by and reading the reading the review and taking the time to comment. We all appreciate it.

  7. Veronica Long says:

    "There’s grammer stuff going on, but nothing I couldn’t forgive."

    Very gracious of you I’m sure πŸ™‚

    First of all, it's 'grammar' not 'grammer.'

    Secondly, for me that remark robbed your review of authenticity. Seems like you were actively seeking a negative to offset the positive, in which case just how much did the story REALLY engage you? If the grammar stuff was minimal and you were really into the story then it would probably have gone un-noticed and should certainly have gone un-mentioned because you don't elaborate, and seeing as you can't even correctly spell the word it makes me wonder just how qualified you are to pass judgment on the matter of grammar in the work of other authors anyway?

    Almost every book ever written has some grammatical flaws and it doesn't matter because, as you yourself suggest, they can be carried if the story in general is engaging and well written. Grammatically perfect can equal dreadfully dull. It doesn’t do to get too hung up on grammar.


  8. Cynthia Osborne says:

    Jaime – Very good insight into the book yes I have it just need to read it. I am sure he will hear all kinds of OMG from me. LOL

    Lex – thanks for having Jaime she herself is a mad author and very talented.

  9. Jaime Samms says:

    You won't be disappointed, carol. This was a fun and satisfying read. I loved it.

  10. Carol says:

    Enjoyed the review, Jaime! This book sounds delightful.

    I LOVE that point in stories where the impossible DOES happen and you DO try to figure out how it happened. That, to me, is the beauty of people and and the characters they bring to life!

    Looks like another book for my perpetual TBB list!