Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Saturday, December 28, 2013

ARC Review: If You Leave by Courtney Cole

If You Leave is the second book in the Beautifully Broken series by Courtney Cole. I have not read the first book, If you Stay, but after this I definitely will be. These books can be read as standalones, but they do have interconnected characters. I really enjoyed this story and I am excited to read about more of the characters in this series. I thought that Courtney Cole has a great writing style, and she was able to pull me in right from the start with this one. I am looking forward to seeing what she has in store for the rest of this series.

Madison gave up the life she wanted after her parents were suddenly killed. She came home and now lives in their house while she runs their restaurant. Her best friend Jacey has been trying to get her to meet her brother for awhile and finally convinces her to take a night off and have some fun. Madison loses Jacey though, and she ends up meeting a hot guy named Gabriel on her way out of the club. She decides to have some fun and ends up going home with him, only for their taxi to get in an accident on the way. Gabe freaks out and Madison ends up making sure he gets home safely but ends up going home alone. They both think that is it, but when Gabe goes to visit his sister they run into each other at Maddy's restaurant. Gabe is Jacey's brother and the person she had been trying to fix Madison up with. Gabe and Madison keep running into each other and before long their attraction is too much to fight. But Gabe is still suffering from PTSD after a horrible thing happened to him while he was an Army Ranger, and believes that he isn't good enough for more than a hook-up with Madison. Madison grew up with a bad family situation and isn't looking for volatile and possibly violent. However once Gabe and Madison start to develop feelings for one another, can they figure out a way to put their pasts behind them and move forward together? Or will their pasts keep them from having a future together?

I liked Gabe. He was strong and sexy but also really vulnerable. He was understandably damaged and you could tell just how much guilt he felt for things that weren't his fault. He was loyal and a good friend as well as a good brother. He looked out for those he loved and it was clear that he would sacrifice himself for them. I loved that he was a bit cocky and that he wasn't afraid to go after Madison. At first I wasn't sure I was going to like Madison. She seemed to start off kind of bitchy and rude, but it quickly became easy to see that it was just her way of trying to protect herself. She was caring and would do anything for her friends and family. I really liked how she was so protective of her sister and Jacey. Even though she tried to fight her feelings for Gabe, I liked that once she had let him in she was all in. Gabe and Madison had a ton of chemistry and they were hot and steamy together. I liked how they were able to open up to each other and that it helped them heal and grow. They made a great couple and I thought that they each brought something to the relationship that the other had never had but needed. It was nice to see how well they fit together and were stronger because of their relationship.

I had a few things with this one that I didn't care for, and they are the reason that I dropped my rating down a bit. I thought that Jacey was incredibly immature and she annoyed me pretty much the entire book. I couldn't believe how ridiculous she was being on more than one occasion. She seemed selfish and spoiled, and it was really hard for me to care about her at all. Towards the end of the story she did seem to kind of see that she was having an effect on those around her and I just hope that it wakes her up. Her book is the next in the series and I will check it out despite how I felt about her in this one. I just hope that she redeems herself and turns out to be a better person than in this book. I also had a problem with some things that happened with Gabe. I don't want to spoil anything, but there are some things he does when he is trying to protect Madison from himself that really bothered me. Frankly those things alone were pretty much the reason this one lost a star for me. I couldn't believe what he did and it didn't make sense to me at all. After Madison finds out about it, she just seems to move on and put it right in the past too. I know for a fact that if it were me, I wouldn't be able to do that as easily as she did. It just didn't seem to fit with the strong feelings and love that these two proclaimed that they had for each other. I also had a problem with Pax and Mila. I haven't read their story yet, and I am looking forward to it. I really liked them both and I loved how Pax and Madison were really close. Their interactions were some of my favorites and you could see that they really cared about each other and not just because they were in-laws. But I felt like they sort of took over this book with their story. I understand that since Mila and Madison are sisters and really close that it would really affect Madison with what was going on. But I also felt like Pax and Mila had already had their book and though its always nice to get glimpses of characters in a series, they should pretty much remain in the background from that point on unless they get another book of their own.

Despite those problems though, I really did enjoy this book. I liked that these characters were real and that they were a little broken. I was really able to see how they were affected by everything that they had been through, and yet they were able to overcome the really awful things that had happened to them. I also really liked most of the other characters from this book, especially Brand. I really hope that he gets his own story because I found him really interesting. He seemed like a great guy and he really deserves his own HEA. This story is filled with ups and downs and was an emotional roller coaster for me. There were parts that were light and funny and had me laughing. But there were also really heart wrenching scenes that had me reaching for some tissues. I think that this is a really great romance, but that it also is a great story about growth and healing. I feel that this is one of those books that everyone can find something to connect with, and I really think that if you haven't read this one you should give it a shot. I can't wait to read more from Courtney Cole, and I look forward to reading more in this series.

**ARC provided by NetGalley**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository |


Post a Comment