August 20, 2013

Blog Tour: IF YOU LEAVE by Courtney Cole {Review & Giveaway}


Author: Courtney Cole

Source: ebook from author for review


26-year old Gabriel Vincent is a badass hero. Or he used to be, anyway. As an ex-Army Ranger, Gabe never thought he needed anyone. But after one horrible night in Afghanistan scars him in a way that he can't get past, he needs someone who can help him heal...even if he doesn't realize it.

25-year old Madison Hill doesn't need anybody...or so she thinks. She grew up watching her parents' messed-up abusive relationship and she knows there's no way in hell that she's ever letting that happen to her.

They don't know it in the beginning, but Gabriel and Madison will soon develop a weakness: Each other.

But Gabriel's got a secret, a hidden monster that he's afraid Maddy could never overcome... And Maddy's got issues that she's afraid Gabe will never understand. They quickly realize that they need each other to be whole, but at the same time they know that they've got demons to fight.

And the problem with demons is that they never die quietly.

My take...
Madison has no interest in relationships, but one night of fun couldn’t hurt, right? So Madison takes off to the city with her best friend Jacey in hopes of a one night stand. It is about time that she has a little fun. That is where she finds Gabriel; hanging outside by the club. Sparks instantly fly between the two and before you know it, they are headed back to his apartment to do what she set out to do. But on the way they get into a wreck and Gabe’s past rears its ugly head and he flips out. Madison is not sure if he got a concussion or if he is just all around crazy. Either way, she makes sure he gets home safely before heading home herself.
Fortunately for her, fate steps in and brings them back together again. Unfortunate for her, Gabriel doesn’t act like he remembers what all went on after the wreck. Obviously, she doesn’t need to get mixed up with a guy like that. So why can’t she stop thinking about all the delicious things he did to her in the back seat of that taxi? But even early on, Madison knows there is something more to them than a little romp in a back seat. And so begins their story…
“Is everyone in the world broken, Gabriel?” Even to my own ears, my whisper itself sounds broken in the velvety night. I can feel the weight of Gabriel’s gaze as he stares down at me in the dark.
“I think so,” he finally answers, “In their own way.”
I was intrigued with Gabriel from the very start and wanted to know his most hidden secrets. I hurt for him. I had an incessant need to hug him and tell him it would be ok, even though I had no idea it would be or how deep his demons lie. He built walls that even his own sister couldn't break down. All it took was Madison to seep in and the walls started chipping away. But even that wasn’t enough. She just opened his eyes to the fact that he needed help. Getting the help was something that he had to do on his own. But Gabe is so adamant that no one can help him. Will he be able to overcome his past? Or will he end up fleeing and leaving Madison behind?
At times I wasn’t sure about Madison and her choices to forgive and forget so easily when it came to Gabriel. But I think deep down she saw the real him and knew that he would make it. She saw the guy that was hiding behind his demons. So once I understood where she was coming from, I liked her a lot better. She wasn’t someone that was repeating the cycle of abuse that very well could have been passed down to her by her mother. She was looking past that. And I commend her for doing that.
I want to drown in him. I want him to drown in me. My body and his body and nothing in between.
I was taken with IF YOU STAY, so when I heard about IF YOU LEAVE I knew I had to read it. I thought that the first book was pretty dark and heavy at times, but I believe that Gabe proved to be darker and more messed up than Pax. And that is saying something because Pax was pretty far gone. But the minute you read the first chapter you know it is going to blow IF YOU STAY out of the water with the grittiness and the overwhelming scenes that Cole lays out before us. This story proves to be an emotional and powerful one. And it is one you won’t want to pass up.
“The good news is that fear is a choice. You can stand in front of it, punch it in the face and get on with life.”
I stare at him sharply. “You mean like you have? No offense, Gabe. But you shouldn’t really be preaching at me about dealing with my shit. Not when you haven’t dealt with your own."
I just hate that it took me so long to read this book. Because it has nothing to do with Cole as a writer. Nope, just the fact that real life stepped in the way and moving/unpacking took priority. Hey, these boxes ain't gonna unpack themselves. Am I right? So, by the time I laid down at night, ready to read, I was exhausted and only made it a few pages before I crashed. But I can tell you this...if I wasn't so stinking tired at night I would have flew through this book. When I was actually given a reprieve from all the unpacking, I started reading and couldn’t put the thing down. I had tears flowing by the time I finished the story. Yes, it was that good.


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