Deep breaths folks, we are entering the last week of January. I don't know about you all, but I am always happy when January is in the rear view mirror. That means that Spring isn't too far off and brighter, sunnier days are on the horizon. Still we do have a few more winter weeks to get through, so let's curl up with a good book. I do have a good one to share with you all today. As many of you know, I am not the biggest fan of NA books. I get tired of all the drama and angst. That being said, I was thrilled with Cecy Robson's Once Loved. I fell in love with Brody, adored Lety's courage and determination and in the end, I thought it was a fantastic read. I am delighted to have the privilege to once again host Cecy on my blog. If you haven't met Cecy before, she is the not only the author of the Shattered Past Series, but she also writes one of my favorite Urban Fantasy Series: The Weird Girl Series
Let me introduce you all to Cecy once again:
Cecy Robson is the New Adult author of Once Perfect, Once Loved, and Once Pure and the award-winning author of the Weird Girls urban fantasy romance series. A self-proclaimed professional napper, Cecy counts among her talents a jaw-dropping knowledge of useless trivia, the ability to make her hair big, and a knack for breaking into song despite her family’s vehement protests. A full-time writer, registered nurse, wife, and mother living in the Great Northwest, Cecy enjoys spending time with her family and silencing the yappy characters in her head by telling their stories. Find Cecy:
Facebook | Twitter | Website | TSU | Google+
Here is Cecy discussing her thoughts on what she would do differently if she could time travel:
If I could travel in a Time Machine with regard to my Publishing Past or Future
Hi. Thank you for joining me on my Once Loved blog tour. You may have already read the first book in my Shattered Past new adult series titled Once Perfect, or perhaps one of the novels in my Weird Girls urban fantasy romance series. But whether you’re familiar with my work or not, here’s a little about me, and what I would change in my publishing career if I could travel through time.
I’m one of those authors who goes back and reads her own books. Some things I’ve written still make me laugh, cry, and cheer in all the right places. Other things make me swear out loud―wishing my character would have said this, instead of that―or make me groan. Why didn’t I add one more fight scene? Or ugh, that would have sounded stronger without that last line. So to be honest, there are a few lines I wouldn’t mind changing. But I wouldn’t stop there.
If I want to go back, WAY back before I scored my wonderful agent, I’d ditch the bitter writers I interacted with sooner. In general, I try to give others the benefit of the doubt. Some people simply aren’t worth it. The publishing world whether through independent or traditional means isn’t perfect. Some writers have had real negative and horrid experiences. But when their negativity is being forced down your throat, or their poison begins to infect you, run, don’t walk away. Looking back, I would have run away screaming from certain experiences instead of hoping the bitterness would pass.
My other to-do item on my trip back in time would be to develop a thicker skin. There’s a lot of misdirected rage out there and sometimes an author’s work is devoured, spit out, and set aflame. Hey, been there. But the harsh words don’t hurt as much as they did, mostly because I realize I don’t stand alone. Every author no matter how popular or beloved has received a bad review. No one is spared from often brutal criticism.
All the hating aside, I also would have embraced the love sooner. There. I said it. I focused so much on the bad that people had to say, I didn’t embrace the good―even though it was downright excellent. I’ve been fortunate that the vast majority of readers have enjoyed my work. I often say I have the greatest fans ever, because I do! Readers reach out to me from all over the globe, expressing how much they’ve laughed, cried, and suffered right along with my characters. Fans have touched me with their kindness, and brightened days that could have been riddled with darkness.
The last I would change is those moments I gave up spending with my family to get that one scene right. For as much as I work, I should be able to play. My characters for the most part can wait. My family and our time together can’t. Life’s too short, you know?
I suppose I should say something about the future. About whether I would travel full speed ahead to see where I end up. Truth is, I don’t want to know. I hope it’s good―no, I hope it’s great―best selling status, legions of fans, fun conferences with my amazing author buddies, and maybe a little more. In the end though, it’s all part of the journey. So far, it’s been one hell of a ride.
Thank you having me!
A powerful post, Cecy. I truly agree. There is so much negativity in the world, and too often we get caught up in drama and forget to embrace the positive. I hope that you will continue to revel in the love, and have all the success you deserve!
As part of the Once Loved Blog Tour, I am able to offer you all a chance to win a fantastic prize. Up for grabs is: a $25.00 eGift Card Your Choice Book Seller & a Loveswept Mug with Romance at Random Nail Polish.
To enter please fill out the Rafflecopter. Please note: This giveaway is not hosted by Rainy Day Ramblings. The prize will be awarded and sent out by Tasty Book Tours.
For more chances to enter follow the entire tour see the schedule here.
Here is my review:
Once Loved(Shattered Past #2) by Cecy Robson
He’s the campus golden boy. She’s picking up the pieces of her broken past. But in Cecy Robson’s scorching novel of second chances—perfect for readers of Monica Murphy and J. Lynn—their differences only make their connection more explosive.
Every memory Lety Tres Santos has from her childhood comes with a scar—some emotional, some physical. Her father is an abusive drug addict, and her mother enables his destructive behavior. College offers Lety a fresh start . . . until her father finds a way to ruin that, too. Now, after losing her scholarship to kick off junior year, Lety must somehow stay in school, pay tuition, and turn a deaf ear to the whispers that follow her. And she intends to do it all without Brody Quaid’s help.
Brody is a lacrosse star, a 4.0 student—and as a freshman, he fell hard for the beautiful and spirited Lety. But their relationship crashed and burned because he couldn’t break through the walls she’s put up around her heart. With Lety hurting more than ever, Brody strives to win her back and make her believe in real love and true partnership. That will mean opening up secrets locked away in his own past—and trusting someone more than he’s ever dared.
Lety knows how painful it can be to depend on the wrong man. She also knows how much Brody wants to do this the right way. But it takes more than sizzling desire to move on and build a future together.
ebook, 252 pages
Published: January 20th 2015 by Loveswept
Four and a half stars: A heart felt, emotional and beautiful story.
Lety is considering getting back together with Brody. Last year nearly destroyed her after they broke up. The two are returning to school after a week long school retreat. Upon returning to campus, Lety finds her father, Carlos, fighting with the security guards. No matter what Lety does, Carlos always hunts her down and tries to destroy her happiness. Seeing Carlos, reinforces what Lety has known in her heart, Brody would never want to be with her. Her past, and her messed up family are not for a golden boy like Brody. Brody has other ideas. He refuses to give up on Lety. Can love heal a shattered past?
What I Liked:
- Wow! This story had all kinds of feels. I loved it. This was a New Adult read with just the right amount of drama and emotion. While it does touch upon some difficult topics, such as child abuse and domestic violence, it doesn't go over the top. I thought this struck just the right balance. It ended up being a beautiful story about overcoming the past with love.
- Brody's and Lety's romance is tremendous. The book picks up a year after they break up at the end of the Once Perfect. Neither has gotten over the other. I loved seeing them work through their difficulties and come together. Granted, it isn't easy, and there are plenty of stumbles, but after it all, it ends up being a relationship built on a strong friendship and trust. It is beautiful, and it has a lot of heat and sizzle as well.
- Brody and Lety are amazing characters, and I adored both of them. Lety's determination and courage are tremendous. I love no matter how tough her circumstances are that she continues to fight to achieve her dreams. She refuses to accept handouts from anyone, and she does what it takes to make sure she completes school. She is hardworking and fierce, and I loved her spirit. I also appreciated that when things got nasty with Carlos, she is the only one in the family who stands up to him. Love this girl. Brody is all kinds of adorable. On the surface, he appears to be the wealthy, golden boy who has it all, but once his past is revealed and his truth is out, I loved him even more. He is also hardworking and steadfast on reaching his goals, and he isn't one to take his wealth for granted. Above all, I love his humor. Brody is always cracking jokes and providing comedic relief. Together these two are unforgettable.
- One of the highlights of the book for me was watching Lety interact and help heal the Moore family. Lety takes a job working for a wealthy family. The father, Mr. Moore is paralyzed after a devastating car crash, and their eight year old son, Thomas, is brain damaged. I liked seeing Lety work with family, and through her care they start to heal. I was especially surprised by the twist regarding the family. I thought the scenes with Lety and Mr. Moore were funny and so touching.
- I liked catching up with Evie and Mateo from book one, Once Perfect. It was exciting to see how they had fared and watch their new life unfold.
- The ending is explosive with its action. It was gut wrenching. After everything settled, I was pleased with how things concluded, even though I was left wanting more. I couldn't let go. At least there wasn't a cliffhanger.
- I appreciate that this is a companion novel series. You can jump in and read the books in any order as they are all their own story. Still it was nice to know the back story from the first book going into this one. I am hopeful that in the next book, I will catch up again with Lety, Brody and the Moores.
- I liked that Ms. Robson includes information in her author's note at the end of the book that provides resources and contact details for those who are enduring abuse.
And The Not So Much:
- Even though I liked the conclusion, I felt like it moved a bit too quickly and ended too abruptly. I wanted to see more of Lety and Brody working through that last big hurdle in their relationship. I also wanted additional time with the Moore family, and to see more of their healing. I am hopeful that the next book will revisit this story, even though it features Lety's sister, Sofia.
- The whole situation with Carlos is frustrating. I struggled a bit with the fact that he continued to get into violent confrontations, and he always seemed to get away without being punished. Are our laws that lenient that someone can do what he does and remain free? The subject matter of domestic abuse and child abuse is hard to read about. This is definitely a read for mature readers.
- Speaking of mature readers, there are plenty of rather explicit sex scenes, again best suited for older readers.
Once Loved is a beautiful, emotional and painful story about overcoming the past and healing with love. I was hooked to this story. The characters are tremendous, the storytelling amazing and the romance is outstanding. If you are in need of a terrific New Adult read, I highly recommend picking up Once Loved.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.
Be sure to check out the entire Shattered Past Series:(Click on covers)
A huge thanks to Tasty Book Tours for allowing me to participate in this tour. Be sure to head over to their site and check out all their upcoming tour opportunities.