Review – SWEAR ON THIS LIFE by Renee Carlino

One of the very, very best books of 2016.

swear on this life

imageWhen a bestselling debut novel from mysterious author J.Colby becomes the literary event of the year, Emiline reads it reluctantly. As an adjunct writing instructor at UC San Diego with her own stalled literary career and a bumpy long-term relationship, Emiline isn’t thrilled to celebrate the accomplishments of a young and gifted writer.

Yet from the very first page, Emiline is entranced by the story of Emerson and Jackson, two childhood best friends who fall in love and dream of a better life beyond the long dirt road that winds through their impoverished town in rural Ohio.

That’s because the novel is patterned on Emiline’s own dark and desperate childhood, which means that “J. Colby” must be Jase: the best friend and first love she hasn’t seen in over a decade. Far from being flattered that he wrote the novel from her perspective, Emiline is furious that he co-opted her painful past and took some dramatic creative liberties with the ending.

The only way she can put her mind at ease is to find and confront “J. Colby,” but is she prepared to learn the truth behind the fiction?

imageIf you think letting even a minute go by without reading this book, then you are making a very bad decision. What an incredible book. I can’t even believe it took me so long to read this author, but I am so glad I have finally seen for myself what a talented writer and storyteller Renee Carlino truly is, and I picked one heck of a book in Swear On This Life.

Second chance love stories are one of my favourites, as are friends to lovers, and Swear On This Life is both!! I absolutely loved everything about Emiline, Jase, and their moving story. Everything was so well fleshed out and I was more captivated than I have been in a long time. I started the book one evening and I didn’t put it down again until I finished it in the early hours of the following morning.

It’s so hard to find the right words to say which can convey how special this book is. It’s not just one of the very, very best books of 2016, but it’s one of the very, very best books of all time. A serious favourite! It was that good!! It was so good, in fact, that it’s been a few weeks since I finished Swear On This Life, and I’m still not over it. I still think about it daily, and I know it’s going to be a book I’ll never forget.

If you have a heart which beats that bit faster for the perfect romance, then you must read Swear On This Life.



*ARC received in exchange for an honest review*

Goodreads | UK eBook | UK Paperback | US eBook | US Paperback


Renée Carlino is a screenwriter and bestselling author of romantic women’s novels and new adult fiction. She lives in Southern California with her husband and two sons. When she’s not at the beach with her boys or working on her next project, she likes to spend her time reading, going to concerts, and eating dark chocolate.

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