Monday, July 4, 2016

review || DAMAGE ME { blog tour } by Shana Vanterpool

Swoon Romance | July 5, 2016 | New Adult Romance
Crystal Gulf, book 2


*** AUTHOR’S NOTE and CONTENT WARNING: This story contains triggers for rape victims and soldiers. I did my best to remain respectful to the healing process for both. Hillary’s feelings are hers alone and ONLY represent how she feels about her attack. Dylan’s emotions about his time at war are his ALONE. You are all strong and beautiful, and you will soar again! ***

A broken soldier …

Dylan Meyer lived his life fast and hard, doing anything to keep his emotions masked. In Crystal Gulf, Texas, women, drugs, and alcohol are in abundance. After all, it’s a college town. But eventually, his lifestyle caught up to him. The birth of his daughter, Aubrey, forced him to grow up and take responsibility for his actions. He let his vices go, cleaned up his act, and allowed himself to fall for Harley Evans.

But Dylan is a liar.

He lied to himself. To Harley. To his best friend, Bach. And then he lied himself right into a U.S. Army uniform. When he went to war, he left Harley with his best friend in hopes that he’d look out for her while he was deployed. Not in his darkest nightmares did he think Bach and Harley would fall in love.

A fallen angel …

Hillary Hayes is an eighteen-year-old sophomore in college who understands the importance of rules. She’s followed them her entire life. She gets perfect grades, avoids dating, and won’t stray from the future her mother mapped out. On the outside, she’s perfect. Inside, she’s drowning.

That carefully crafted future disappears when she downs a beer at a party. What’s left of that night is the wreckage of the girl she used to be.

Until she meets Dylan. Her brother’s best friend.

When Dylan returns from war, he can’t move past the betrayal. His daughter’s growing up without him. Flashbacks and PTSD from his time in Afghanistan consume him. He loses himself in a dark depression. There is no light in his darkness …until he meets Hillary. His best friend’s little sister is the only good thing among all the bad.

He’s her safe place.

She’s his light.

Can two damaged souls ever find peace, or is the damage too much to overcome?

{ about shana vanterpool } .

When I walk into a book store I feel at home. When I smell the pages of a brand new book things make sense. When I read I am who I always wanted to be. I read to escape and I write so others can as well. My family, my actress dog Bella, coffee, and a steamy love story are a few of my most precious things. My Sweet Demise is my debut new-adult contemporary romance novel. Keep up to date with future releases by following on : 

{ excerpt } .

He turned his cold eyes on me. “I take it back. Rules be damned. There’s no way in hell I’m going to allow another man to look at you like that.”

“Like what?” I breathed.

“Like he knew how good you tasted.” He pressed his forehead to mine. “I’m the only one who gets to taste this good girl, isn’t that right, baby?”

I nodded senselessly, struck by how dark his eyes were, how much the anger in them looked like emotion, want—he wanted me.

“Isn’t that right?” he repeated darkly.

“Yes.” I closed the gap and pressed my lips to his.

{ review } .

We met Dylan in the previous Crystal Gulf book. We saw his sweet side, but then we saw when all his lies came out and quite frankly, we saw the mean man he had the ability to be -- something that Harley didn't realize he had, something she scoffed at Bach for telling her.

Bach was redeemed when Harley fell for him. It's Dylan's turn.

Pairing Dylan with equally broken Hillary, the half-sister Bach only learned about in the last book, made for some tense moments. Both were incredibly broken but found solace in one another. It takes more than a hug and a kiss from a nightmare for Dylan to learn that he's worth love again, though. While both go through some mental changes, watching as Dylan goes from bitter because he literally has lost everything to learning that he's worth the love and everything else Hillary is willing to give him...

There were some tears moments in this book for me, but more than that, I spent the majority of the book rooting for Dylan and Hillary. Their road is less than easy, and as hard as Dylan pushes her away at every turn -- throughout the book, mind you -- his desire to be wanted by her, needed by her, and needing to protect her... made him a stand-out alpha male in my opinion. Dylan has many roads to mend on this journey, and I wanted to see "his people" welcome him back into their arms.

...and the end had me cracking up a time or two, too. So that's always a plus. It was a great epilogue for this couple.

{ giveaway } .

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