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Release Launch/Reviews: Pocketful of Sand: M. Leighton

Pocketful of Sand M. Leighton
Pocketful-of-Sand600px
Pocketful of Sand
M. Leighton
Release Date March 15, 2015

“She was beauty for my ashes and I was hope for her heartache.”—Cole Danzer.

I don’t know what makes a great love story. Is it that instant attraction when boy meets girl? The passionate kisses and the fairy-tale ending? Or is it a lifetime of tragedy, paid in advance, for a few stolen moments of pure bliss? The pain and the suffering that, in the end, you can say are worth it for having found the missing piece of your soul? 

The answer is: I don’t know. I don’t know what makes a great love story. I only know what makes MY love story. I only know that finding Cole when I did, when my world had dissolved into nothing, when I couldn’t separate nightmare from reality, was the only thing that saved me. He was more broken than I was, but somehow we took each other’s shattered pieces and made a whole. Without him, I wouldn’t have made it. If THAT is what makes a great love story, if THAT is what makes an epic romance, then mine…OURS is the greatest of them all.



I was immediately pulled into this story and became enthralled. It was intriguing,  beautifully written, and brought out many emotions. It had me wondering and guessing and just feeling and anticipating. 

This is the story of two damaged people. One quick meeting was all it took to trigger extreme awareness between Eden and Cole. But he is broody, distant, closed off and isolated. He is broken and does not want to feel anything at all. But Eden and her daughter Emmy seem to pull him in.

It's as though the world has abandoned him. Or maybe that he's abandoned the world.

Cole refuses to let himself even think of being happy due to his past pain and guilt. But he also can't stop thinking about Eden. He is so intense and he resists and hides. But once he decides to do something, he is determined.

Part of me is wondering what I might find in the cottage up ahead, but another part of me is remembering why I never wanted to feel again. If I feel anything, I have to feel everything. The good and the bad. The peaceful and the painful.

Eden has trust issues and secrets. She is raising her daughter Emmy on her own and she is fiercely protective of who she lets in their lives. But she is completely entranced by the loner, Cole despite her better judgment.

...something about him speaks to me. Calls to me almost. And I can't shake it.


They both are so drawn to each other that it consumes them despite their personal reservations. I could literally feel the intensity and connection that they could not resist or deny. It just built at a slow boil until I just knew eventually it would boil over.

"I can't think. I can't eat. I can't even grieve anymore. It's all about you. Everything is about you."

For two broken people coming together can be a beautiful thing, but it can also be challenging and painful. There were secrets and fears. There were demons pulling at them and unknown threats. It was a powerful journey of passion, love, healing, heartbreak, and hope. There was history that was slowly revealed that broke my heart. I felt sadness, anger, hopelessness, and even the fear that Eden did. Both of their situations were so different, but equally traumatic.

Sometimes I think broken people gravitate toward one another, like our shattered pieces connect on a level that unscarred people never know...Maybe that's why I'm so irrefutably drawn to him. He may be the most broken one of all. 

And it was not just a story of a couple, but also that of a little girl needing love, stability, and safety. And a  man who at times did not feel like he had the capacity to offer it to either of them, when in fact he might be the only one who could. But he was torn between  holding on versus letting go and remembering. Emmy was a scene stealer, even when quiet she could light up the interactions with her sweet innocence and loving gestures.But she was also wise beyond her years.

I was enjoying the beach location and very interesting side characters.  I was completely immersed in Cole and Eden's growing feelings, connection, and how they were tying to break free from their pasts and move forward. Then wham! My heart is in my chest. I am totally breathless in anticipation and I was scared it was going to end and leave me hanging. But I really love how she chose to end this book. I don't want to say too much, but know you will be satisfied and it will leave you with a complete story. I do know that I am an instant gratification kind of girl so that is important to me, but then I am usually intrigued by more from characters I love too. 

M. Leighton totally nailed these complex characters and brought their emotions, fears, and personalities to life. It was told in dual points of view and even when Cole's sections were shorter, they still held such impact. She wrote an engaging, emotional, thought provoking story with secrets and mysteries that were heart wrenching once revealed. I was totally invested in these characters and their story. This was a different type of story for M. Leighton and I think it might be her best yet.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.


I have to give it up to M. Leighton; she really knows how to drag your senses and emotions over the coals. Pocketful of Sand had me hanging on the edge of an emotional slide, from start to finish. Eden, Emmy, and Cole clawed their way into my heart and planted themselves there. These complex characters were unpredictable and downright gripping. Oh my gosh, “the feels”—those feels took route and went bone deep, leaving me breathless. The chemistry and connection between each intricate person intermingled with the intrigue of the plot was a true treasure, a perfect mix of flawless pieces coming together, consuming your every thought. 

Pocketful of Sand is a journey focusing on the effects of tragedy and the battle of not only finding salvation, but also accepting it. Both, Eden and Cole, were jaded by life altering experiences, the wake of the aftermath changing everything from their personalities to their means of survival. I have never seen two protagonists run harder or farther to escape their brokenness then these two did. Normally, I would find this absolutely annoying, but not this time. This time, I found the push and pull quite endearing. For me, it meant their souls were on the road to redemption. I won't lie, this was not an easy task watching them struggle between wanting one another one minute and running for the hills the next. Sometimes it could become quite overwhelming. There is nothing easy about watching three people (you have grown utterly invested in) who are collapsing inside stumble their way slowly towards a healing path. And you'll soon realize, it was no wonder trust or deep attachment never came with any form of ease.  

Eden, Cole, and Emmy were beyond emotionally scarred and fractured, what they have endured would have completely shattered even the strongest of strong. I found myself enchanted by the endurance and strength within this story. I found myself enthralled with the coping mechanisms used to survive another day. I found myself enraptured with the way love can transcend, sooth, and mend even the toughest of souls. If there were ever any characters in need of serenity and happiness, it would have to be Cole, Eden, and Emmy. These three have gone through enough pain and adversity to last them this lifetime and next. 

For me, there were many times the silence of their scars felt foreboding, and at other times, those scars spoke a thousand words. I don’t want to give away the plot of the story; however, I feel I need to warn you to prepare yourself. The devastation you are about to discovery will pack a punch. If you are anything like me, your heart will ache with sadness, and your eyes will overflow with tears from so much agony. I will not nor can I promise you will walk away whole after you finish reading. In my case, I left pieces of me within the pages of this book. 

I have only read Cash & Nash Davenport’s books by this author. Compared to the Bad Boys series, this is definitely much different, but in the most beautiful and heartrending way possible. I am in love with her writing style; Ms. Leighton got absolutely everything right. I have no doubt Pocketful of Sand will be with me for many years to come. This is a book I would classify as unforgettable; in fact, I am still thinking about Cole, Eden, and Emmy days later. 

And that ending, what a neat approach to tying up a book. I have to admit, I was pretty damn impressed with what she did. I have no doubt it will satisfy a variety of readers.

Would I classify this as a cliff hanger? Hmm...I guess that would really depend on you. 

Thank you, M. Leighton, for the complimentary copy of Pocketful of Sand. 

“You can have what little I have left to give.”

Pocketful of Sand was so full of rolling emotions. The brokenness of the characters both compliments the other and makes things between them so much harder. And boy do they each have a doozy of a backstory.

Eden is new to the small town of Miller’s Pond, Maine with her daughter, Emma. They are running, hiding from a nightmare, and Eden hopes that in Miller’s Pond they can find some stability and maybe a safehaven. Her entire focus is on her daughter. She doesn’t work, she doesn’t seek out people in town. She is all about keeping a low profile and Emma at the center of her world.

Cole Danzer lives in grief. Called crazy by his community, all he wants is to be left alone and to remember. While the town gossips spin stories about him, he keeps his rituals regardless of what is being said.

These two had me hurting for them at every emotional turn. From those early moments when they watched each other without words, to the very emotional resolution there was a certain sadness that permeated through this whole story. There were several moments that left me with tears falling down my cheeks and a heavy feeling in my heart. Neither has had an easy time of it. Eden’s pain came from losing trust of people who were supposed to protect her, while Cole’s came from self-disgust and regret. But both carried a ton of baggage into this story.

This book ends with a very unique concept for the resolution. I loved the choices and the possibilities and both left me with tears, though for different reasons. I’ve often wondered what would happen if a book was written this way, and I have to say I loved it!

This turned in to so much more than I anticipated going into it, and may be my favorite of this author’s works to date. I was immediately pulled in to Eden and Emma’s story, and then Cole’s as we got to know him as well. And from those first few moments, I didn’t want to put this down. It hurt when I did have to step away because I just wanted to know what happened next, if Cole found a way to shake his immense grief, if Eden found a way to shake her fear, and if Emma would open up to Cole.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Michelle Leighton Blog | Facebook | Twitter Goodreads

M. Leighton is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Wild Ones and The Bad Boys romance trilogies. She is a native of Ohio, relocated to the warmer climates of the South, where she lets her mind wander to romantic settings with sexy Southern guys much like the one she married and the ones you'll find in her latest books. When her thoughts aren't roaming in that direction, she'll be riding horses, swimming in ponds and experiencing life on a ranch, all without leaving the cozy comfort of her office.  

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