Lots of potential in this story, but the reality didn't live up to expectations. The whole mafia vs. MC bit had me really feeling like this story wasLots of potential in this story, but the reality didn't live up to expectations. The whole mafia vs. MC bit had me really feeling like this story was going somewhere - maybe even with a Romeo and Juliet undertone, but I couldn't have been more wrong.
I really wanted to like Maya, but she just came across as too dim-witted and a complete doormat much of the time to her abusive father and her cocky (not in a good way) 1-night stand turned future baby-daddy. Both of these guys have major control issues and piggish tendencies towards the opposite sex. Who would want someone like that? Well I kept reading despite my reservations to see if at least Johnny would turn this around. Whether he did or didn't is subject to each reader's opinion naturally, but this reader couldn't find the silver lining to a guy who is insulting, creepy, controlling, and laugh's at you not with you. At times, the sex felt demeaning and there was no real intimacy between Maya and Johnny to create a connection. To me, all Maya accomplished was to jump from one abusive relationship with her father with very little freedom to one with Johnny with the same restrictions and an on command/demand sex life.
Also when the central conflict came to a boiling point, it fell flat with a very rushed aftermath and botched recovery. While this is the second story in the series, it can be read as a standalone.
Nothing about this story helped to answer any questions from the first and it seems it's true purpose was to give me more. NCuriouser and curiouser...
Nothing about this story helped to answer any questions from the first and it seems it's true purpose was to give me more. Not that I'm complaining - I'm totally having fun with it and absolutely loving the off-the-charts HOT sex that Dair and Iris are having. They explored a couple of kinks that they each wanted to try, so the spice is not at all lacking in that department. Not to worry if you're not a fan of BDSM or any other hardcore sexual acts. They're simply enjoying going to the edge and trying something new without any extra fuss (if that makes any sense). I like that Iris is breaking Dair out of his shell and making him feel and act younger. He's not old and shouldn't be acting like his life has ended because of one bad marriage, but Iris is definitely the elixir to that problem.
I will say that the story doesn't move a whole lot and before you know it ends with a letter that should've explained alot, but only served to frustrate. Which is why it's handy to have the next story downloaded and ready to go.
Now I'm off to figure out what secrets is Iris protecting......more
This book had me scratching and shaking my head, but in a good way! I just couldn't figure Iris out and that was obviously the point, but unlike mostThis book had me scratching and shaking my head, but in a good way! I just couldn't figure Iris out and that was obviously the point, but unlike most other stories where the plotline is known almost from the beginning, this one is different. And I really enjoyed that it was from a male POV. Instead of the male lead being the enigmatic one who not only pursues, but also leaves without a trace after a great night of sex, the female is instead in charge and takes what she wants. Really enjoyed how one uptight, routine driven, Dair loses his inhibitions little by little and steps away from the norm for the unknown with Iris. I for one went right along with him and couldn't wait to find out what happened next.
A fast read this one and definitely not one you want to start without having the second story close by....more
What a wreck this one made me!?! I thought the first 2 were heart-breaking, but this one opens up all of the old wounds from the first 2 books and shoWhat a wreck this one made me!?! I thought the first 2 were heart-breaking, but this one opens up all of the old wounds from the first 2 books and shows the baddest of the scars in a way that's supposed to be healing, but hard to read at first. Don't get me wrong, I really took the time to savor this one knowing that it would come to an eventual, bittersweet end, but I wasn't prepared for how much time would've passed from where the last book left things. I found the time passing more realistic that way though, but it does prove that not all wounds can be healed with just the passage of time alone. Sometimes it takes facing the person who put them there.
Danika is back and stronger than ever. She's used the tragedies in life to fuel her and made some real progress on her goals. However, in her personal life, both socially and in relationships, she struggles. Normal just isn't going to cut it no matter how much she wishes it would. She might've been hiding from some real painful emotions and memories, but I can't say that I would've been any different if it were me.
Tristan is heard alot more in this story with his POV showing the extent of his thoughts and frustrations alot more than in the first 2 books. He's been dealing with his lot in life and turned the pain into something kind of expected, but no less successful and just where he should be. I LOVED that he gave chase to Dankia when the opportunity presented itself. Several times. He's not the type to give up and he's no different and probably more aggressive in his pursuit in this story. Definitely one of my top book-boyfriend's of all time, but wow does he know how to press buttons (and I don't just mean the good kind)! He's definitely a pusher and much like he did in the beginning of this series, but pushing his way into Danika's life and heart, he tries again in this one with intense results.
More than once this is a frustrating read since the details to what's transpired since Tristan and Danika last saw each other come out somewhat slowly and each dealt with jealousy, denial, anger, regret, and always a longing for a do-over, but not knowing if they're too far gone to come back. I will say Tristan's not the only one who frustrated me. Danika's sassy mouth makes her say things she shouldn't, which is how she copes, but the word-vomit can turn any tender moment into one of apology really quickly. And Tristan can be the king of tender moments without even really trying!
I was a bit disappointed by the ending, which I can't really explain without spoilers, so I'll just say that it left me with mixed feelings on one hand and blissfully happy on the other. One of the main points of the conflict to healing their relationship didn't come out until further towards the end and it just seemed to me like that that part wasn't given it's due like some of the other revelations. I didn't like Tristan's reaction no matter how painful it was for him, my mind was constantly on how Danika should've been treated more like a queen for having dealt with a great many painful things on her own, but this one truly affected her future self. Aside from that, this trilogy was more of an experience than just reading. Very unique in showing how self-destructive addiction and love can be and what it takes to turn things around. Tristan and Danika were fast in their destruction, but the rebuild was nothing short of admirable in many ways. This trilogy is definitely one for the books - literally!
Completely crushed and devastated are the two terms that come to mind when I finished reading this story. As much as I missed Tristan and Danika as aCompletely crushed and devastated are the two terms that come to mind when I finished reading this story. As much as I missed Tristan and Danika as a somewhat carefree couple in the first story, this book is where the heart of the truth is - where the breakpoint lives and breathes until there is nothing left but raw emotion and damage to repair.
Danika is a survivor to the truest sense of the word and this is full circle moment where she must decide when enough is enough. I couldn't help but feel for her and with her throughout the entire story. Not knowing when that moment will come, but knowing it was on the horizon, when she'd have to decide when she needed to stop fighting for them and start fighting for herself. When that moment came it nearly broke me from finishing the story, but I knew there was no way I was going to stop.
There were sweet, bittersweet, and torturous moments throughout that just completely swept me into their story and had me wanting to throw my ereader. By the end, I was wrung-out and left with nothing but the need to dive into the next story. Rock Bottom is a fitting title to this part of their love story for sure. ...more
As much as the story was long with it's constant up and down roller-coaster of a ride, it still didn’t seem long enough by the end. I had that sense fAs much as the story was long with it's constant up and down roller-coaster of a ride, it still didn’t seem long enough by the end. I had that sense from the beginning that this was going to be one of those stories that would stick with me for a long time and now I can officially say that that is most definitely the case and I'm not even done with Tristan and Danika's story yet, which is exciting and scary at the same time since that can only mean more sweetness and tragedy await them.
My only true complaint is that I really would've like to read more from Tristan's POV - there are a few chapters of him at some very poignant moments, but not nearly enough to feed my addiction of him. Mad respect for Danika and all she'd gone through to become the person that she is. Tristan pulled the story of her past out of her, but I couldn't help but feel he was a bit of hypocrite for not doing the same sharing with her. Still he made her slightly better person than she already was by making her open up and release some of those skeletons she'd been hiding in her closet for too long. Now if only Tristan would let her help him face his own demons...
Just a warning to readers who may take exception to reading stories that include rape and substance abuse. Although neither is very graphic in detail, the backstory and mention of both (past and present) is still there....more
What can I say? This story blew me away! Getting read more of what the future holds for Rush and Blaire as their journey to happily-ever-after continuWhat can I say? This story blew me away! Getting read more of what the future holds for Rush and Blaire as their journey to happily-ever-after continues was an incredible experience! As the Calgon sloagan goes... "Take Me Away!", but specifically take me away to Rosemary Beach:)
Drama, drama, drama, and believe me when I say the soap opera continues for all of the outstanding characters we meet along the way in the series. At the heart and center of it all is Rush and Blaire, as their trip back to Rosemary is a coming home of sorts as they reunite with friends who've become family. There are a couple of new storylines already in progress as Woods and Grant get what's coming to them. However, looming in the back of everyone's mind is Nan and what brand of crazy will she stir up next. This go round, Rush is the man and stands up for his family and might I just say it's about damn time! Blaire as well is coming into her own in a new way as she transitions from girl lost to woman found.
I totally loved the rollercoater and can't wait to do it again with new characters, but Rush and Blaire will always be my favorite ride. To Abbi Glines, I say thank you for the experience! Re-reads are a must!...more
This is where the Rush and Blaire saga takes a much more serious turn. Lots of things were said and still some unsaid, but damage was inevitably doneThis is where the Rush and Blaire saga takes a much more serious turn. Lots of things were said and still some unsaid, but damage was inevitably done in the first story and here in the second we see the fallout. This is where even the strongest of characters such as Blaire are weakened by the truth she never saw coming. For that matter, I hadn't seen it coming either, but wow did I feel for both her and Rush. He had fallen too far and now he was dealing with the consequences. Blaire too is dealing, but in a much more profound way that takes the reader back to where she's from and watch as she struggles to figure out where she's going. Meanwhile we get Rush's POV and witness his struggle with the realization of what he'd had and ultimately lost.
Heart-wrenching and heartfelt, the full gamut of emotions is present and at the forefront of each page. There are moments when I wanted to slap Rush and give Blaire the strength she'd need to make him beg for it, but he wouldn't have to beg for long because boy does Rush step it up in the alpha/caveman department on this one. Since he's finally decided to accept his fate and future with Blaire, Rush finally starts taking the stand that he needs to to make sure Blaire knows she's priority. But is it too little too late? ...more
It's hard for me to put a review on this book specifically since I couldn't help but devour the entire Rush & Blaire love saga back-to-back-to-bacIt's hard for me to put a review on this book specifically since I couldn't help but devour the entire Rush & Blaire love saga back-to-back-to-back. I've been in a Rush coma ever since and I seriously don't want to wake up :)
In this first book, Blaire is the storyteller as we learn what life is like for her before and especially after her mother's death. It's not been an easy one and because of her grace, maturity, and spirit, Blaire's been able to continue on regardless of the hand in life she's been dealt. She's admirable from the moment you meet her when she pulls a gun on an unsuspecting nice guy. From that point on, Blaire establishes herself as someone to watch and read what happens next. It's impossible not to fall too far for this country girl.
Rush, Rush, Rush... how many ways can this guy invade the page and dominate it every single time? There are so many, many ways. From his infuriating treatment of Blaire upon meeting her to his all-consuming need to just be around her, you see the layers to this man and can't wait to peel them back one at a time. He's intelligent, caring, possessive, and completely addictive. He's taken the top spot on my book boyfriend list.
Abbi Glines - I'm a fan for life now and all it took was for me to catch a little Rush Crush fever. Thanks for that!...more
One of the most unconventional romances that I've read in a long time. Even as I thought I had it figured out, there was another layer the author forcOne of the most unconventional romances that I've read in a long time. Even as I thought I had it figured out, there was another layer the author forces you to discover and even more emotions to work through. I'm happy to report that this is story is in fact a full-bodied romance where from the first meet-cute moment of the characters, we get to watch them grow on each other and in turn we get attached to their individual struggles and unique stories that inspire. I will say that although reader's will be happy to know there is an epilogue, I was a bit disappointed by it. After drawing out so many emotions and several revelations, I was prepared for a much more drawn out ending.
As for the characters, well they are the best part! There are several reasons why Vivian and Oliver shouldn't be together and maybe it's because of (or in some respects in spite of) those reasons why they should be together. They are a great yin-yang blend that makes their relationship perfect in spite of all the hurdles they face to becoming and remaining a couple. Vivian is definitely a heroine not to miss. I loved her spunkiness, wittiness, and selflessness. She brought these qualities to Oliver and he added his own sexiness, cleverness, and surprising explosiveness. It might sound cliche, but it's no less true - they really do complete each other. And while I at some points during the story really disliked how poorly Oliver handled some situations, I will say that that's when Vivian shined the brightest. No matter what, she always showed grace under fire and a perseverance that really is awe-inspiring. She only ever wanted the best for Oliver and that much was made clear right from the beginning - even if that meant sacrificing her own wants and needs. Oliver had a lot to work through and you don't even realize how much until the truth is outed and wow is it gutting! Like any good love story, emotions are ripped straight from the heart and the content of the story is thought-provoking in a way that's meant to stay with you for a long time to come.
So what are we left with with this one? A uniquely beautiful tale of loss, love, and the power of being reborn from tragedy. My first read by this author and absolutely not the last. ...more