Once again, I am delighted to be included on the latest tour from Cecy Robson. I have become a big fan of Cecy's over the last two years, and I have read everything she has written and published to date. Today's book was supposed to be the third and final book in her popular Shattered Past Series, but I have recently learned there are more coming! Yeah! Anyway, today as part of the tour, I have a review featured for you as well as a chance to win a fantastic prize in the tour wide giveaway. So let's get started by meeting Cecy:
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:
Here is my review:
Once Pure (Shattered Past #3) by Cecy Robson
She bears the scars of the past. He blames himself for things he can’t control. Their defenses are up, but in Cecy Robson’s latest Shattered Past novel—perfect for fans of Monica Murphy and J. Lynn—true love lands a knockout punch.
Sofia Tres Santos remembers a time before her life went sour, before her innocence was ripped away, before she began punishing herself with risky behaviors and unworthy men. Now, at twenty, she just hopes she’s ready to rebuild some of what she lost. One way or another, it always comes back to her childhood friend and longtime crush, Killian O’Brien.
As strong as Killian is, Sofia has always been his one weakness. He knows Sofia has suffered and wants to ensure she’s never hurt again—not like before, and definitely not under his watch. When Sofia agrees to work at his mixed martial arts gym, Killian seizes the opportunity to help and protect the sweet girl he’s always cared for. And yet, as he trains Sofia to defend herself using his hard-hitting MMA techniques, he’s drawn to the vulnerable beauty in ways he never expected.
As Sofia grows stronger, she also grows brave enough to open herself up to love. And along the way, she challenges everything Killian believes to be true, showing him that no matter how much he dominates in the ring, the real battle is fought in the heart.
ebook, 270 pages
Published: May 19th 2015 by Loveswept
Three and a half stars: Another powerful romance centered around overcoming a difficult past.
Sofia steals a cursory glance at Killian's ripped abs. She takes another deep breath and reminds herself that she is here at Killian's gym to do a job. Killian hired Sofia for the summer to help him build a website for his gym and to help him organize is finances. What neither one of them wants to admit is that they still have intense and unrequited feelings for one another that blossomed during childhood. Unfortunately, one dark incident changed everything and shattered their friendship. Can Killian and Sofia find their way back to each other?
What I Liked:
- This was what I thought was going to be the third and final installment of the Shattered Past Series, however, I have since learned there are going to be more books in this series. Yeah!This is another heartbreaking story centered around two damaged individuals, both marred by one event in the past that changed everything. Over time, the two learn to forgive and move forward, but it isn't an easy journey, but well worth the time invested.
- The romance is a bit different in this one. Killian and Sofia have been smitten with one another since they were small children, playing with matchbox cars on the sidewalk. Unfortunately, the two year age difference made it difficult when they hit their teenage years. When Sofia's innocence was ripped away, Killian blamed himself, causing the two once best friends to go their separate ways. When they finally come together again, it takes some time, but soon a romance blossoms. I liked that this one was a relationship not only built on a long term friendship but also of trust and respect. There are lots of big obstacles to overcome, but in the end, it was sweet and satisfying as well as sizzling hot.
- The cast of secondary characters, as always with Ms. Robson's books, excels. There are some brief appearances from Mateo and Evie from the first book as well as a from Lety and Brody (I adore these two and their scene stole the show for me). We also meet Killian's large family and get to know his boisterous siblings. His younger sister, Wren, is especially memorable with her tough exterior and sharp, unapologetic tongue, not to mention she can seriously kick some ass. All in all, I loved this cast, and I am curious to see who the next books will feature. I am hoping that Wren and Finn get their own stories.
- The heart of the story centers around two damaged people healing and coming together, while not original, Ms. Robson knows how to write engaging characters, emotional story lines and wonderful romances, so I was quickly invested in the story. Sofia's past is painful and difficult to absorb, especially once it is revealed what happened to her, and just how far she sank before she got help. Her trust is shattered, and it takes a friend and lover as well as family to help her find her way again. In the end, it was a beautiful story, different from the other two. I was especially glad that this book didn't revolve around the drama of Sofia's father. The book with its intense story and well written characters completely drew me in.
- Even though this is the third book in the series, it can be read as a stand alone since it is a companion novel. However, I would recommend reading the other two books so you can understand Sofia's background and her siblings. Besides, book two, Once Loved, is amazing and so worth the read.
And The Not So Much:
- I feel like a broken record, but this is another NA book that follows the same worn out recipe. It features two damaged individuals overcoming their difficult pasts, and they do it by falling in love and learning to love and trust again. If you are looking for originality in your NA, this one is not it.
- This one takes on some troubling and dark topics such as rape, domestic abuse as well as sexual abuse. It is tough to read, but I appreciate that Ms. Robson doesn't shy from these difficult issues. This is definitely a read for mature readers due to the content.
- I was a tiny bit disappointed in the romance, I always love when childhood friends fall in love, but this one lacked a bit of the sweet charm and chemistry I love, mainly because of Sofia's history. It frustrated me because it would take a nice step forward and then in the next chapter, take two steps back. I felt like that at one point it was all about sex, sex, sex, and I felt the sex scenes started to overtake the story.
- The ending felt too abrupt and a bit rushed. I wanted a bit more, and I would have loved to see a bit more of the happy parts drawn out and less drama and angst as well as the sex scenes in exchange, just my opinion, but it felt like it just stopped just when I was wanting to soaking up the sweetness.
- This one is a bit more violent, and I was a bothered by Killian's revelation regarding his younger brother and how it was handled. I also felt that it was a bit unrealistic the number of times that Sofia was cornered and attacked.
Once Pure is the most troubling of The Shattered Past books. This one takes on several tough issues that weren't easy to read about. The romance also undergoes plenty of stumbles as the two learn to overcome the burdens of the past. What makes this book shine are the strong characters and the writing. I still remain a big fan of Ms. Robson, and I am eagerly looking forward to what she will do next.
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.
Now for the best part... the giveaway. As part of the Once Pure Tour, I am able to offer you a chance to win. Loveswept is hosting a Month Long Giveaway including Loveswept Mug, Flirt Mug and Ebook Bundle to enter please fill out the Rafflecotper. Please note this giveaway is sponsored by Tasty Tours. They will be responisble for selecting the winner's and distributing the prize. For information on the contest policies and for upcoming tours, visit Tasty Tours. A big thanks to Tasty Tours for allowing me to participate.
For the full tour click here.
Don't forget to check out the other two books in The Shattered Past Series: