Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Blog Tour ~ The Shaken Series by Julie Bailes

Shattered and Shaken
**Book 1 in the Shaken Series**
Mature audience only

If someone asked me to describe myself using only one word, I'd tell them damaged. I'm completely broken, irreparable. On the outside, I appear beautiful and bright, but on the inside, my soul is black and empty. I haven't always been this fragile, scared, and heartbroken woman. Nope. I had the life my peers envied; happily married parents, captain of the volleyball team, and a dangerously sexy and loving boyfriend. Then, faster than I could blink, my life went to hell in a gasoline-soaked hand basket.
Cancer struck. The sting of death pierced my heart, and my so-called ‘loving’ boyfriend left me. Wyatt shattered my heart into a million pieces when he left, but little did he know, it wasn't just me he walked away from. Four years later, Blake changes everything. Unlike Wyatt, Blake treasures my heart. Blake claims I'm beautifully broken, and that he can fix me, but I know differently.
How can you put something together without all its pieces? You can't. When Wyatt left, he took most of my heart away with him. You see, hearts are like broken glass; you can put it back together again, but it will never be the same. While I'm undeserving of Blake's love, he deserves every bit of mine. My biggest fear is that I'll crush his heart, just as Wyatt did mine.


****4 ½ Gut-wrenching Stars****
~this review may contain minor spoilers~

Blake. You don't want me. I'm no good for you; I'm damaged goods.”
Yeah, babe, but your beautifully damaged; perfectly broken. Just give me the chance to repair you.”
He doesn't know what he's asking for.
I can't, not now.”

Well that was just....painful. This author sure knows how to reach down your throat and rip your heart clean out of your chest with her words alone. I'm talking big 'ol ugly cry reading this book....several times. It begs the question-how much heartbreak can one person take before they become unfixable? If nothing else, this story will drag a wide range of emotions outta you weather you like it or not. Even the characters-there is nothing simple about any of them, you will both love and hate them, there's no two ways about it. Just be sure to grab a box of tissues and a pillow to scream in-you will need them.

Sometimes bad things happen to good people; it'll make you stronger in the end...fuck, you're the strongest person I know.”
She has no idea how wrong she is. This smile, the laughter I let out; it's all a cover up. If my nerves were wires inside a house, I would've blown up already. I'm a ticking time bomb, ready to explode at any moment.

Allie went through one of the hardest things anyone can go through when she lost her father to cancer, the only thing that helped her through was the love of her life- Wyatt. Until he vanishes off the face of the earth when she needs him the most. Her brother enlists in the Marines and Wyatt disappears without a trace, no calls, no letters, no explanation-leaving her alone to make one of the hardest decisions of her life at a time when she's already falling apart at the seams.
Now it's four years and Allie is just a shell of the girl she once was when she receives another devastating blow. Fighting everyday just to go on, her best friends Sophie & Blake do all they can to pull her out of the black hole she has fallen into. But Blake also has other motives- he wants Allie, he has for quite sometime, but Allie is terrified of laying her heart on the line again. She loves Blake in her own way, but she can't give her heart over to him when it still belongs to the man who destroyed it, no matter how much she wishes it didn't. But Blake is a patient man, he knows what he wants and is willing to wait for it, though Allie fears she will never be able to love him like he needs and doesn't want to hurt him. Just when she feels like she may be able to piece her heart back together again, Wyatt comes storming back into her life like a hurricane leaving a path of destruction in his wake.

No. I won't give up, ever. Allie, don't let your love for me go to waste. And yes, I'm going to make you battle with your emotions. It's the only way you'll be able to choose between who you want and who you need; you need me just as much as I need you. And baby, when your fight overwhelms you, I'll be your soldier. I'll be here to catch you if you fall, and when you hurt, I'll carry your pain, always.”

This book really did tear me in several different directions and Allie was the main cause of it, this girl gives all new meaning to the word indecisive. Now I get that she has been dealt a crap-ton of hurt in her life and I really do feel terrible for her...with that said, all things considered, she makes some severely reckless mistakes by simply not using her head and allowing her hormones to overrule her. I get that that happens to people, but considering her past I just can't fathom her allowing things to go down the way they did.
Wyatt is a whole different monster all together. I want to believe his story, I really do, I'm just not convinced yet. That may be because we haven't had a chance to get in his head as this story is told entirely from Allie's POV, I just don't know. I do know that I feel bad for him too, now that he knows exactly what the results of his leaving are and he is feeling the full impact of his decision in the worst way.
Blake I'm still on the fence about. Yes he is sweet, caring, patient and kind, sexy and passionate, and he really does seem to care for Allie very much....but their whole situation just isn't sitting right with me.
And with that very explosive cliffhanger ending, I am extremely grateful that the rest of the series is already available to me greedy little self or I would go insane waiting to see what happens next. Thank You Ms. Bailes for bringing us such a fab drama-packed angst-fest sure to break the hearts of many.

I wish I could break his heart, crush him to pieces like he did to me, but I don't have it in me. I hate that I love him more than I hate him, but what can I do? The heart wants what the heart wants, right? Wrong! My heart has no fucking clue what it wants. It's deceitful! He has no idea how difficult he's just made my life.

All for Allie
**READ after Shattered and Shaken (book 1), and prior to Shattered & Mended (book 2)**
Mature audience only

Walking away from her was the hardest decision I ever made. Leaving her without an explanation broke us both. Our hearts have been left shattered. I could make excuses. I could lay the blame on others, but still I made the decision. I had to. It was the only way to protect the both of them.
After all of Allie's loss, my thought was only on her and her happiness. On her love and need for her big brother. I was replaceable, Kyle wasn't. I wouldn't allow him to crush her heart with his death. I knew I had follow him. I would throw myself on top of bombs, in front of bullets, whatever it took to get him home to her, alive. There are two sides to every story, and you've only heard one. Don't be so quick to judge; I hate myself for what I've done. But all that I did, it was all for Allie.


*****5 -there are two sides to every story- Stars*****
~this review contains spoilers from book one~

All I need is you. You're all I need in this life.”
I kiss the top of her head as she nods. She's all I need, yet I'm losing her in less than a day. What the fuck did I do to myself? How can I do this to her? To us? Fuck.

I was torn about my feelings for Wyatt after book one, unsure of weather or not I believed his excuses. Well, there are two sides to every story and this just proves how true that statement is. We know what Wyatt's leaving the way he did did to Allie, now we learn how it affected him. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine how hard it was for Wyatt to make the choices that he made, and even though we may not agree with him, there is no denying that he was only doing what he though was best for Allie. Everything he does is for Allie and I see that now. We also got some insight into Kyle as a person, and I can honestly say I wasn't impressed. I just do not get where he was coming from and he just seemed so.... I don't know- impassive? to the situation he was creating. But Wyatt...his turmoil over his decision was just devastating.

The future is my enemy, yet still my best friend. My departure is coming faster than I'd like. I don't like it at all, actually. Yet, the future is the only thing I have to look forward to, a future of coming home to her, if she'll take me back. She's going to feel betrayed, abandoned. But time heals all wounds, right?

I fell head over heels in love with Wyatt after this book and it is just going to make everything that much harder to handle when we pick back up where book one left off. It is clear that his road back into Allie's heart is going to be long, hard, and painful and I have no doubt that Allie will make it as difficult as possible. And watching her start a family with Blake after giving away Wyatt's daughter is just enough to break anyone. It is killing me already and I haven't even gotten to the next book yet. I am terrified of what this series may have in store for us yet, but after spending some time in Wyatt's head all I can hope for is that he is able so find some well deserved happiness of his own and that Allie can find it in her heart to forgive him. After all, everything he did was because of how very much he loves her.

I will not give up on Allie.
I don't give a fuck if she's moved on by the time I get back or not. I will fight for her until my heart stops beating.
I will never give up.

Shattered and Mended
**READ Shattered & Shaken and All for Allie prior to Shattered & Mended, as this is the last in the series**
Mature Audience

My mind was made up and my decision had been made, but fate felt the need to rear her ugly head and demand control.
Fate is guaranteed, not to be reckoned with, and she won't be defeated. You see, she's the author to our stories that have already been written; there's no editing them. Try as you might, but all you'll do is piss her off.
When you fuck with fate's masterpiece, tragedy strikes, death occurs, and hearts get shattered. I've never been one to follow the rules. So instead, I stood with arms wide open and I challenged her. I knew the possibilities of her kicking my ass were high, but I refused to back down. I invited all the heat she packed, and quickly learned my lesson…
You don't fuck with her.

*****5 -fate is a fickle bitch- Stars*****
~this review contains spoilers from books one & two~

I made a mistake. I left her, but my intentions were good. And yes, I'm paying for it. Life has grabbed me by the balls, twisted them in a complete fucking circle, and made me aware of the pain I caused this beautiful woman. Hell, I've felt the pain every second of every day that I've been away from her. In fact, the pain continues to consume me.

What an explosive finale to an epiclly heartbreaking series. If you don't shed a single tear at some point in this series, I will be wildly surprised. I have never been forced through such a range of emotions before- you will feel them all. Pain, sorrow, frustration, anger, pity, lust, and did I mention anger?! Allie had me damn near homicidal...more than once. I have never met a more stubborn, indecisive, and just mean woman with the capacity to bury her head so far up her own ass before...yet she has the ability to be strong when she wants to be, caring on occasion, and the ability to be forgiving-even if it takes her for-freakin-ever to follow through with it. GAH she just drove me insane! But I digress...we will get back to her later. Oh & Hey-BONUS!! this story is told from BOTH Allie & Wyatt's POV, so YAYYY US!!

I don't know what else I have to do to prove to you that I love you, and that I'll do everything in my power to win you back. You giving away our daughter, carrying another man's babies... none of it's enough to turn me away from you.

S&M picks up right where S&S leaves off-with Allie in the hospital after witnessing the events that lead to her major tumble down the stairs. Everything is out in the open now-her current pregnancy with Blake, giving Wyatt's daughter up for adoption four years ago, and the real reason behind why Wyatt left her the way he did in the first place. Now we're left with Wyatt trying to pick up the pieces of his destroyed relationship, he is determined to get his Allie back and refuses to back down....even if watching her start a family with someone else after so easily giving away his daughter is slowly killing him. He loves Allie with all he is worth, has literally fought death to return to her, and will not live his life without her. He also wants to do whatever he has to to get his daughter back in his life, though that looks like a losing battle-he wants the chance to be a father to his little princess, something that was taken away from him without his knowledge. Blake is determined to keep Wyatt as far from Allie as possible, he recognizes the threat to his new family and will do whatever it takes to keep Allie with him. But fate has plans of her own, plans that will destroy lives and shatter hearts, before slowly putting it all back together just the way it should be. But who will survive the aftermath?

She wants me just as much as I want her. No, she needs me. We both know how precious time is. We both know better than to take something as small as a nanosecond for granted. Our being together is inevitable, and she knows it. All she's doing is wasting time, irreplaceable moments.

This book really had me in a jumbled up mess of emotions. Besides my obvious anger towards Allie, I was torn about the pregnancy. It just hurt to watch, knowing Wyatt's daughter is out there-why should Blake get to be with his children when Wyatt's right to do the same was stripped from him. And Allie was completely insensitive to his feelings where his daughter was concerned. She now knows why he left, knows he did it for her and her brother, yet she still refuses to see his pain over the loss of his daughter for what it really is. Blake spends all his time just trying to keep Allie as far away from Wyatt as possible, while Wyatt refuses to give up the fight- even when most people would. The way Allie treats him is heartbreaking and there were so many times I wish he would just walk away...but he doesn't. No matter what she throws at him, no matter how she treats him, no matter how hurtful or selfish or indecisive she is-he is always there for her when she needs him- always. This man goes above and beyond to prove his love for her, but will she see it? And Sophie was a complete surprise to me. I LOVED her sass and crassness in book one, but she took a turn down a road I never saw coming. And even though the author swears that the ending was not a still left me uneasy. I am very curious to see what she comes up with next-I will be One-Clicking that shit like crazy. Phenomenal series, insta-love for Ms. Julie Bailes and a sore heart has me screaming my recommendations long and loud.

I've always believed that life's too short to be anything but happy, and we should live it to the fullest. Don't get upset over petty things, forgive and forget, and love with all that's within you. Moments pass by faster than we can blink, and well, past moments can't be replaced. 

Born and raised in Nashville, TN, wife of one, mother of three, and chocolate fanatic! Author of Shattered and Shaken, due to release mid September. I attend nursing school full time, but in my spare time I love spending time with my family watching movies, eating junk food, and every once in a while a girls night out on the town. I enjoy reading, even though I haven’t read much since I’ve began my journey as author. I live by the motto “Live life as if you’re dying, Laugh until your stomach hurts, Love until your heart stops beating, and never judge.” Simple rules to follow. We never know what someone else is going through or what they have been through. Life is too short to be angry, unforgiving, or depressed. Each day is a gift from God that can be taken at any given moment- embrace the gift of life….