Sunday, April 19, 2015

Review: Behind the Scandal (Reluctance #2) by M A Stacie

Book coverBehind the Scandal (Reluctance #2) by M A Stacie
Purchase link: Amazon

My rating: star star star starstar

Heat rating: Flame  Flame  Flame  Flame

Sent to the family ranch to overcome his addiction, Taylor Reese is angry and hurt. Feeling rejected by his father and brother, Taylor throws himself into ranch life to help him forget. He struggles with his addiction, though he refuses help. But it isn’t long before it hits him hard how much his life has spiraled out of control. He begins to question every aspect of his life, and the confusion leaves him floundering and looking for something, or someone, to cling to.

Libby Karlin is cautious, wary of Taylor’s presence. His brutal honesty and lack of respect claw at her composure. Her dark past makes her reluctant to let anyone near her family, but when Taylor strikes up a friendship with her son, Libby finds herself drawn to the sadness within him. His experiences are no secret to her. She sees where his world turned upside down and offers him a helping hand. But her own secrets stay buried, locked away until a knock on her door has her gasping for breath.

Libby’s fear paralyzes her as she comes face to face with her demons and, determined to stay strong, she battles for a way out.

Could dealing with their pasts really give them a future?

When I picked up this book to start it, I did so with trepidation. I read "Beneath the Surface" and I was not a fan of it. This book, however, is brilliant.

Taylor is a recovering drug addict and he's sent to the family ranch to recover. Libby is a battered wife running from an abusive ex. With this combination, you'd think this would be a drama laden mess but instead it's a beautiful story of one person's personal battle to overcome problems he's caused, taking ownership and responsibility, and another person's ability to come out of hiding, trust and accept the help needed to move on with their life.

Taylor is a mess when we first meet him. There are moments of darkness but they are never overwhelming. His transformation is a beautiful thing to see as he takes control and becomes the man that he is deep inside rather than the reaction that his life and actions have caused him to be.

Libby is strong and vibrant, and even through her fear, she doesn't collapse completely into a heap. Her strength and determination really shines through when her past catches up with her. I love that she didn't give up and that she rescued herself.

It was wonderful seeing Taylor and Libby come together, becoming a couple, becoming a family, becoming stronger and better together instead of scared and broken on their own.

This was an intense, emotional ride through dealing with Taylor's addiction and straightening his life out, and Libby's past and how it haunted her. At times, I felt like I was choking on the emotion and needed to put the book down just to take a breath. To me, that's the sign of a good book.

On top of that, this book is so adult it makes me want to sing. When there are problems, they talk about it, they deal with it head on. They discuss it. There's communication!!! It just makes my heart glad. It drives me crazy when authors use miscommunication or lack of communication as a conflict tool. There are much better ways to create conflict than the poor excuse of your characters not talking to each other.

If you've read book 1, or read my review of book 1, don't let it put you off this book. This book is worth reading. You don't need book 1 to read book 2, but it helps because it gives you the backstory to why Taylor is where he is and to truly appreciate the journey that he is on.

So, go on. Read the book. It's worth it.

* This book was sent to me for an honest review. All opinions in this review are my own. I received no compensation for reading and reviewing this story.

View all my reviews

Other books in the series:


About the author
auM. A. Stacie is never without a book or her eReader. A voracious reader, with a love of sexy, yet angst ridden novels, she adores getting lost in new worlds. Her need to write did not grip her until after her second son was born, when her previous rambles became fully fledged stories.

She describes herself as one huge contradiction, and though not the most conventional of hobbies, she counts getting new tattoos as one of hers. Running keeps her sane, along with knitting and listening to loud music.

M. A. Stacie lives in the UK with her husband and three sons.

Author links: Website - Facebook - Twitter

Find me around SOCIAL MEDIA: Deanna's World - Daz in the Kitchen - Facebook - Twitter - Instagram - Youtube - Pinterest


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