Bree Murphy is stuck. Forced to grow up too fast after the tragic death of her mother, she has little time for any sort of life for herself. Now in her early twenties, she is coming to the realization that she deserves to put herself first.
Drew Dougherty is also stuck, in a state of merely existing. Memories and secrets of the day he lost both of his parents haunt him, forcing him to cope the only way he knows how…by fighting.
When these two worlds collide, hidden truths are revealed and relationships are put to the ultimate test. At a crossroad in their lives, they must decide if taking a risk is worth everything.
Or will their love be…
Totaled is a full length, new adult contemporary romance novel.
Due to mature content, profane language, and sexual situations, this book is recommended for ages 18 and up.
Bree took on such a big role in life at way too young of an age. She became an instant caregiver the moment her mother’s life was taken away. It was not her responsibility to look after her dad, brother, their home and the world. But now, at the age of 22, she has come to a big realization. This is not the life she has wanted, it was the life she received. She has never complained about it, but she knows in her heart there is something out there that is greater than her and she wants that more than ever. What Bree doesn’t count on is Drew.
Drew is on a mission to escape his past. To move on to his future and not look back. His past wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t easy and it is the hardest thing he has ever faced. But the simple kindness of a stranger has completely changed his course. Drew only knew one thing, to move beyond his past, he had to move somewhere to clear his head, to feel free. But on that journey an unexpected event will change all of that. When the pull to head to water is pushed to a different shore, he will instantly discover that this is where he was meant to be.
On his first day in town he walks into the gym and proceeds to get his ass kicked…by a girl… On the second day, she is mean to him and rude and actually quite a bitch. The first day can be explained but even she has no excuse for the second. Finally giving in to temptation, she lets her guard down a bit to discover that Drew isn’t half bad and the attraction she felt for him is powerful. Bree knows that she can’t get involved with him. He is going to be training at the family gym. Drew knows that mixing business and pleasure is a bad idea. The force of attraction will lead them some place neither bargained for.
When the scars of the past float to the surface, is it possible for them to move on and have a real go of it? Or is the past just to haunting to let love shine on them?
I will say this, please do not let the three stars fool you. I did enjoy the book and it was a great read. I just felt like it was a slow start. That’s not to say I didn’t appreciate the extensive background on both of the characters, I just felt like there were minor things that were glossed over, while others just seemed a bit to drawn out. I am not going to elaborate and of course, I encourage you to form your own opinion. I was shocked when I looked down to see how far I was in the book, only to discover it was around 30-percent before the main characters actually meet.
Now, the characters… I liked Bree’s character. She didn’t have really any huge flaws or a tragic background, except for the early demise of her mother. She seemed to be the strong one. She was the one that everyone seemed to rely on. She was the caregiver, the cook, the mom, the housekeeping, the student and with all of that she helped to run the family business. She took on a lot and it actually surprised me that she didn’t seem to give herself a lot of credit for all of those things. One thing she has is a best friend that I would have so much fun with.
Sue is a unique character. She is witty but never gets the words right. She is sassy and loves sex. Infact, I think in every conversation she has with Bree, that is something is always comes up, so to speak. But this character just made me smile over and over. I also loved the code word for emergency between these two friends. Sue is sassy and fun.
This book is charming and witting and it flirts on the edge of danger at the end. I thought it was well written and being from two perspectives is a difficult concept for many authors to grasp and make it work. Stacey Grice definatley made the duel character first person format work in this book.
My heart raced, my palms grew sweaty, my skin felt flushed, and my breathing sped up. I let my tongue graze over my lips to wet them, and apparently that was invitation enough. His eyes immediately dropped to my mouth. Drew started to slowly lean in towards me, closing the distance between us, never releasing my face from his hold. Everything moved in slow motion and I knew this was the moment of our first kiss. Suddenly, out of nowhere, the sky opened up and it started raining. Not raining, pouring! Everyone around us (of whom I’d been unaware for the last hour) scattered like ants and we stood to run for cover with the rest of the crowd. People were frantic and crazy, squealing and sprinting for cover, bumping into us left and right. Drew grabbed my hand and pulled me with him, jogging away from the chaos in the rain. We were running in the street along the inter-coastal, in the direction of the gym a few blocks away. Already drenched, we laughed at each other, stepping in puddles and pulling each other back and forth to dodge others in our path. It felt like we were children, being playful and having fun with it, because what else could you do at that point?
When the rain picked up, we were still a good four blocks from the gym. Drew suddenly stopped jogging in front of me and turned around to face me, a look of intensity and determination in his expression. I almost couldn’t stop in time and nearly crashed into his chest. He grabbed my face with both of his strong, masculine hands and looked at me like I was a giant piece of chocolate cake and he was starving. For two seconds he stared at me. Four seconds. Six seconds. All the while standing in the middle of the street in the pouring rain. And then his lips crashed into mine. His lips were firm at first but immediately softened. He licked my lower lip, tasting me, enticing me to open for him and I couldn’t dream of doing anything in that moment but exactly whatever he wanted me to do. I opened my lips slowly to invite him in and our tongues touched each other, playfully at first and then with purpose. They danced together in perfect synchronized harmony like a beautiful Viennese waltz. The waltz turned into an angry paso doble, full of passion and angst. He kissed me with urgency, like he couldn’t get enough, but not with haste. He was savoring me, cherishing me. My hair stuck to my face, slick with wetness from the rain, my dress clinging to my body, soaked all the way to my underwear, but I didn’t want to move. Our hands were all over the place, grabbing each other anywhere, everywhere. He held my face with one hand and reached around to the small of my back to pull me in closer to him. The substantial, hard bulge between us confirmed how much I was affecting him. I felt my core twitch and throb with a need that I’d never felt before. My romance novels were finally right about something—this aching and throbbing stuff was legit. I didn’t want to stop feeling it. I didn’t ever want to stop.
Our mouths separated and I tried to take a deep breath, but he moved his mouth down to my throat and neck, kissing and licking, lapping up the raindrops from my skin, and I couldn’t possibly catch my breath with him doing that. I suddenly realized where we were still outside, still in the wide open, still in the rain. He must’ve felt me stiffen, because he brought his eyes up to mine and smiled.
“Let’s get you out of the rain,” he said, and we started jogging towards the gym again.
I am a mother to a beautiful five year old daughter and a wife to my best friend. Being a labor and delivery nurse three nights a week pays the bills but I have recently decided to take my hobby of writing to the next level. Living in Florida where I was born and raised allows me to hear the waves and stick my toes in the sand whenever I want, which is vital to my emotional well-being. Completely and absolutely obsessed with good music, the lifeline to my creativity, I cannot and will not write without it. Some things that I appreciate are honesty but not cruelty, an unapologetic sense of humor, being able to make any situation fun, often dancing like no one is watching, and a good cup of coffee with enough creamer to make it blonde.
Being an astute people watcher with a judgmental mind gives me constant inspiration for my stories. My characters, like many authors, are conceived from a hodgepodge of actual people in my life, unique personality traits, real world encounters, and conversations that I have directly taken part in. Totaled is my debut novel with many more to come.