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Hard-edged rocker Graham Allen has it all. He's flush with cash from playing bass in a band by night and restoring classic cars by day. And there are plenty of women willing to share his bed for a night, complication-free. Perfect, because if there's anything he learned from his past, it was to never get attached—to anything. So when bartender Carly Sullivan flashes her innocent smile, Graham isn't prepared for what happens next.
Never fall in love
Two rules, that's all Graham has—never apologize and never fall in love. He knows Carly is everything he should avoid. Cheerful and sweet, she has "relationship" written all over her. But Graham can't stay away from her probing questions and concerned blue eyes.
When Graham discovers Carly is hiding a crushing secret, he's prepared to risk it all. Until in one single moment, everything changes and Graham's past threatens to collide with his future. His life is crumbling down around him, and soon no apology in the world can save him.
He should've known to walk away.
*I received a free ARC of No Apologies from Xpresso Booktours in exchange of an honest review*
Welcome to my stop on the No Apologies Blogtour! I have my review to share with you, as well as an international giveaway for a $25 Amazon GC. This story is raw, tense, tender and a pretty rough read! It is very seldom that I give five stars to a book I’m reviewing for a blogtour, however, No Apologies really, really deserve my five stars, it is well written and I was completely and utterly mesmerized both by the story and the two main characters.
Graham is one of those hard-ass heroes, you know the one, you either love them or hate them, and sometimes, it can be both – but not at the same time. He is tough, and he is a complete womanizer, and he never makes excuses. No Apologies actually has to do with one of his two rules: Never apologize. The other rule is: Never fall in love.
Only, that sweet, shy bartender at his neighborhood dive, Carly, she makes him feel a strange want he has never felt before. Only, she is broken, too. And he certainly doesn’t think he’s the person who can fix anyone, especially because he can’t even fix himself.
I don’t know what it is about broken characters, but when they’re done in a certain way, I just love them. No Apologies managed to make me love both Graham and Carly, for completely different reasons, and I also enjoyed that there was not a lot of thinking about ‘saving’ the other. It was rather the opposite in a way, especially Graham thought about this quite a lot, and he decided that nobody had the power to save someone else, but they could help other people feel better about their past, and learn to live with their own.
No Apologies is quite gritty, and I have a trigger warning here because Carly was raped when she was younger, by someone she completely and utterly trusted, and she never reported it. I thought the way both Carly and Graham dealt with this was awesome. Graham was very in tune with Carly’s reactions, and he was very good at giving he reassurance and space when she needed it.
Written in first person point of view, past tense, I got to know Graham really well, and I think this was a really good idea. I am not sure I would have loved him as much if I had gotten to know him from another character’s point of view, because he hid so much on the inside, and he acted like a total jerk at times. Coping mechanisms can be both very scary and quite awesome for the one using them – at least as long as they are working.
The past two months I’d memorized Carly’s schedule so I could do exactly what I was doing right now. End my day catching a piece of her smile.
I glanced around the living room. The place was crammed full of hundreds of books in three large bookcases. Two couches, a desk with a laptop under a window, and older stereo, and an even older TV filled the room. I glanced at the few CDs on the shelf by the stereo. Jazz, classical, and some old-school funk. I smiled.
I was up before the sun. It was a curse I’d had since childhood. I liked to get up before my mother because the house would be peacful. No yelling, no bitching, no hitting.
Sybil grew up in Northern California with her head in a book and her feet in the sand. She used to dream of becoming a painter but the heady scent of libraries with their shelves full of books about wistful summer days and first loves drew her into the world of storytelling. Her true literary love is the New Adult genre but really, any story about a love so desperately wrong and impossibly beautiful, makes her swoon.
Sybil now resides in Southern Florida and while she doesn’t get to read as much as she likes, she still buries her toes in the sand. If she’s not writing or fighting to contain the banana plantation in her backyard, you can find her spending time with her handsomely tattooed husband, her brilliantly practical son and a mischievous miniature boxer who stole her heart.
Thanks for stopping by today. Good luck in the giveaway.