Monday, July 07, 2014

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History brought them together. Circumstances may tear them apart. Alyson Blake’s past left her with scars. Scars that she tried to fix the only way she knew how—by helping others. But actions have consequences, and Alyson is about to find out that being na├»ve is no excuse.
Fighting is Jamison Weston’s passion. Alyson is his obsession. Despite the past and a few lingering concerns, their relationship is as solid as ever. Until a shocking lie is uncovered and all of his plans begin to unravel. Now, Jami is rushing to pick up the pieces, but as relationships are put to the test, will he be strong enough to keep it together, or will it all just fall apart?

“The longer she lay there, alone, the more disconnected she felt—with this place, this room, these people, this lifestyle.  She wondered if Jami was a part of it.  If the space inside of her that was quickly turning into a gulf between her life and his, if it were a metaphor for the current state of their relationship….She wasn’t having a good time, and that meant that, for the first time, Jami had broken a promise.”

They promised no secrets.  It’s an all or nothing kind of thing both know what will happen when that trust is broken…

Except it is.

Jami has kept something from Ally…until the very last minute.  Knowing she will be upset and hoping she will understand.

But that’s not the half of it…

Ally has something to tell Jami too.  But both find it difficult to share their personal woes at any time, finding excuses to keep things to themselves.  Only difference is, Ally is much more understanding.

“Their relationship was fresh, fragile.  It hadn’t occurred to her before, but she was coming to realize that the pressure she felt weighing on her wasn’t from her job, her friends, or even being displaced from her apartment, but from her unstable relationship with Jami.  She feared that, at any moment, the delicate balance they had struck would shatter.”

And she was correct.  Almost.

It’s funny how one person can keep a secret from the other in a relationship, and expect all to be okay when it finally comes out and then turns around and completely overreacts when something is kept from them.  Keeping in mind, Jami has a million other things on his plate right now…Ally felt she shouldn’t be one of them.  But alas, he finds out she has kept a secret from him in the worst possible way—from the one person who is hell-bent on destroying everything.

“Alyson was beginning to wonder if she should have just walked away in the beginning, never accepted that invitation.  If she had, she wouldn’t be feeling like her heart had been ripped from her chest now, but then she wouldn’t have experienced what it felt like to truly love someone.”

Fighting for fun or sport is very different than fighting for life.  I know this has seemed to take a huge turn but they go hand-in-hand…Jami is a fighter.  Alyson is definitely not, or at least not in the physical sense.  That woman will fight for what she believes in, problem is the decisions she makes directly affect not just her but Jami as well.  Now, he’s not all innocent.  His natural need to protect those he loves does that all on its own…but that can’t be what ultimately determines whether or not he and Ally can survive as a couple.

“Trust me, kid, one day you’ll realize that the only way to do this is to go it alone.  What we do, what I did, is nothing short of brutal.  It’s mankind at its most basic—cold, hard, and vicious.  Trust me when I tell you that there is no place for love in our world.”

But that delicate balance can be achieved…if you want it bad enough.

So, I did not read the first book in this series and I guess I didn’t really need to in order for me to immediately pick up on what happened to get to this point.  What I don’t understand is why the author felt the need to break this into two books.  While I enjoyed the story, I felt this was a little forced…there wasn’t a strong storyline to warrant an entire book from it, and could have easily worked its way into Knockout

Please don’t mistake this as a bad thing.  Valentine has a beautiful writing style and for me that is half the battle.  I just felt that there could’ve been more…or at least different.  Jamison is that hot alpha male we all love, Alyson is that sweet do-gooder that he falls for.  Both are far from perfect, but they work.  I would’ve liked to see what happened with Spencer after he was pretty much written off…and obviously Liv too.  I also want to know what comes of the debt, Marco, and of course, Tori and Miles.  There were some loose ends considering how little this book was needed and I have a feeling the first book isn’t much different.  Maybe I’ll check it out to see how Ally and Jami began but thanks to the detailed and smart writing of the author, I probably never will.

With all that being said, if you loved the first book, you may love this one as well.  For me it was not bad but not the best one I’ve ever read either (aside from grammar and style—that was pretty awesome) but I do look forward to more from this author.  Her style alone will have me coming back for more.

**3 Just One Book Stars**

Meet the Author

Best selling author J.C. Valentine is the alter-ego of Brandi Salazar, whose enjoyment of tales of romance spurred her to branch out and create her own.
She lives in the Northwest with her husband, their wild children, and far too many pets. As a university student, she studies literature, which goes well with her dream of becoming an editor. Brandi entertains a number of hobbies including reading and photography, but her first love is writing fiction-in all its forms.

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