THE STORY OF US by Tara Sivec (June 11, 2017; Forever Yours eBook; $3.99)
How much can a man take before he breaks?
1,843 days. That’s how long I survived in that hellhole. They tried to break me, but I resisted. And I owe it all to the memory of warm summer nights, the scent of peaches, and the one woman who loved me more than I ever deserved to be loved. Now, I’ll do anything to get back to her.
Only Shelby Eubanks isn’t the girl I left behind all those years ago. She’s someone else, a stranger. My Shelby-my little green-eyed firecracker-would never give up her dreams, would never disappear into her mother’s ambitions. But I won’t give up on her. On us. I may be broken, and scarred, and not the man I used to be, but I will do whatever it takes to remind her of the story of us.
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Rating : 5 out of 5 Stars
I love books that make me feel, the soul-crushing, heart-wrenching kind of books, with characters you can attach yourself to. Right from the start, I was fully invested in Shelby and Eli’s beautiful story. I’m such a sucker for a second chance at love story, with two people finding their way back to each other. I devoured this emotionally intense tale of true love, redemption and forgiveness, I just couldn’t stop reading!
My heart went out to Eli, he is a shadow of the man he used to be, physically and mentally scarred after spending 5 years in captivity in Afghanistan. He went through hell and back. He can never forget the horrors he has seen and endured, but he is ready to fight for his relationship with Shelby. He lied to her and spent years wishing he could go back and make everything right. Earning her trust again will be his path to redemption.
He walked away from her, to join the Military, and his unit was sent to Afghanistan. Shortly before the end of his deployment, he was taken hostage. For five years, he was presumed dead. Shelby could never move on, even if Eli hurt her deeply when he left. He broke her heart, but she doesn’t care, he is back and that is all that matters to her. I felt for her, she experiences feelings of intense despair and she is so lonely. Shelby may be socially privileged but nothing is what it seems in her life. She is overwhelmed by feelings of guilt, and she shouldn’t be because she is the victim of a twisted scheme. But Eli gives her the strength to grow beyond her past and fight to earn their second chance at happiness.
This story was partly told in flashbacks, with different point of views, giving more insight into each character’s personality. Tara Sivec’s writing is flawless, from the amazing character development to the riveting and heart melting storyline. This book has become an instant favorite read of mine and I definitely recommend it.
An ARC was generously provided by the publisher, via NetGalley.
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I just need a moment alone, to remember how to breathe and to remember how to push the hurt away so I can go back out there and do my job. Hold my head high with a smile on my face and pretend like dancing with Eli, being close to Eli, and letting him rain insults down on me, didn’t cut me in half.
As soon as I turn the handle and push open the office door, I feel something solid slam into me from behind, moving me faster into the dark room. I trip over my feet and an arm slides around my waist to steady me before whirling me around. I smell his soap and recognize his firm hold on me before the moonlight shining in the floor-to-ceiling windows behind me illuminates the shadow of his face, but that doesn’t stop the rapid thumping of my heart as the door is kicked shut with a slam and my body is turned and pushed roughly against the wall next to it. With the first touch of his hands, the first feel of the heat from his skin against me, I’m lost. I’m drowning in a pool of desire I’ve only ever felt with him, and I never want to come up for air. Every inch of my body is on fire, begging for more, needing everything I’ve been missing, but knowing everything about this moment is wrong. This can’t happen. I can’t want this and I certainly can’t act on what I’m feeling.
Before I can shove him away, shout at him, and tell him to let me go, his mouth is on mine. His chest pins my arms between us and I clutch a fistful of his dress shirt in my hands when my lips automatically part for him. His tongue quickly pushes into my mouth and I feel tears prickling behind my eyelids when I taste him, so familiar and so beautiful it breaks off yet another piece of my heart. One of his hands moves from around my waist and I feel the heat from his palm as it slides against the side of my neck to the back, his fingers gripping tightly to the hair at the base of my skull to hold my head in place. His kiss is punishing and hard and I can do nothing but hold tightly to the front of his shirt as our tongues battle together and I try to remember how to breathe.
About the Author
Tara Sivec is a USA Today best-selling author, wife, mother, chauffeur, maid, short-order cook, baby-sitter, and sarcasm expert. She lives in Ohio with her husband and two children and looks forward to the day when they all three of them become adults and move out.
After working in the brokerage business for fourteen years, Tara decided to pick up a pen and write instead of shoving it in her eye out of boredom. Her novel Seduction and Snacks won first place in the Indie Romance Convention Reader’s Choice Awards 2013 for Best Indie First Book and she was voted as Best Author in the Indie Romance Convention Reader’s Choice Awards for 2014.
In her spare time, Tara loves to dream about all of the baking she’ll do and naps she’ll take when she ever gets spare time.
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