Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Our Book Reviews... Beauty from Surrender

We came across this author and the series thanks to Inkslinger PR, so first things first we thank you Inkslinger PR for this and allowing us a copy of the trilogy to read in exchange for an honest review.

*/* Barb’s Review */*

Holy Shit! That about sums this one up. In a good way. But my opinion of Jack Henry went up and down a few times. (laughs) He may have been called a twat a few times and then he kinda got on the right track before he messed up.. but then again, he didn’t mess up. Well not really.

So, we all know Laurelyn left Australia without Jack knowing anything about her. Personal wise. Like her damn name. So after a week he was drunk, lonely, heartbroken and willing to do anything to try and get her off of his mind. That includes picking up some tramp in a hotel. And I know y’alls reaction matched mine. I was pissed. I get entirely too into what I am reading. If this had been in paperback it would have gone sailing across my apartment but since I love my Kindle I just grumbled a bit. But the ass redeems himself somewhat when he isn’t able to do it. The chicks all but impaled her nasty snatch down on him when he shoves her away. He calls his brother Evan at an ungodly hour to come and get him to take him home. He needs to talk to him about what;s going on. Tell his dirty little secrets. With his brothers help he decides to hunt for Laurelyn. He calls his PI and sends him to the States.

The separation from Jack is eating away at Laurelyn. She has spent the last two weeks in bed, crying and not eating. The whole time thinking Jack doesn't love her, isn’t looking for her. She thinks she is now alone. Laurelyn makes time to see her agent, and go to the studio to talk to the suits about her contract. Well Blake is there, of course, and the asswipe doesn't play fair. Though I’d expect nothing more from him. He follows Laurelyn out to her car and grabs her. Telling her unless she comes back to him her career is over. Well she fights back and kicks him nuts into his gut, where they belong. (laughs) So her career is over. But what could she do? She didn't love him.And she is better than that. When Addison comes back from her parents she tells Laurelyn that she is going back to Wagga Wagga to be with Zac. But before she goes she has already been set up for an audition but want’s Laurelyn to go in her place. Since the whole Blake thing this is her chance to get her career off the ground. Well after a little back and forth she joins the band Southern Ophelia.

It’s 3 very long months before Jack is able to track Laurelyn down. She is singing with her band and at the end of the night he tries to get into see her. When he walks back he sees her band mate kiss her. So he leaves her Martin guitar with another bandmate and leaves, thinking she has moved on from him. When the band mate delivers the guitar and a rose she knows who its from and literally chases him down. In the pouring rain she kneels in the road, watching his cab take off. Her heart breaking all over again. But he stops and comes back for her. (le sigh) So like a romance movie. They reconnect that night. And things progress quickly. Then the unthinkable happens.

Blake shows up at a show they are doing and he along with the bands current manager talk about getting the band into the studio to record a new song. Well Laurelyn isn’t having it. She wants nothing to do with Blake. She goes back to her room to wait on Jack to come up when she is grabbed and pushed into the room. She screams and he backhands her. Then Blake confesses his love and that he has asked for a divorce. Laurelyn tells him she loves someone else and he goes nuts and attacks her. Asswipe tries to rape her but thankfully Jack comes in at the right time and beats his ass. Then they call the cops. The bands given the rest of the week off since Laurelyn looks like she’s been three rounds with Tyson. Jack helps her to forget him. He takes her to Vegas, yeah he tries to pop the question but is shitfaced and she thinks he’s just fooling around. Another failed attempt is made to pop the question and Laurelyn thinks its never gonna happen. Finally it does in a halfass attempt but the love is there. He waits until he is minutes from boarding a flight back to Australia to put a ring on her finger. And tells her to not answer him now. When she is ready and comes to him after she has lived out her dreams he will ask her properly.

Well she of course gets mad at him for that but it doesn’t take her long to know she wants to marry him. She talks to her band mate and agrees to run out the rest of the upcoming tour. 3 months. She will keep him waiting until then before she shows up and makes him propose and agree to marry him. And that is what she does. SHe packs her stuff, moves to Australia and surprises him. When Jack comes home one day from the vineyard she is waiting for him, laying on the bed. The fun then begins. He takes her to his parents a few days later and the wedding plans begin. With only a few weeks ago something from the past comes back to bite them in the ass. The skank Jack tried to pick up after Laurelyn left corners Laurelyn in the bathroom of a restaurant and tells her what he did to her at the hotel’ of course leaving out the important stuff. Well Laurelyn hits the roof. I didn’t know she could be that pissed. She thinks Jack lied to her but he didn’t. With the help of Addison she re evaluates the situation and a few days later goes back to Avalon to Jack.

Time passes, plans are made and it’s wedding day. The day they have all been waiting on for so many weeks now is here and with the ‘I Do” they become Mr. and Mrs. Henry Jack McLachlan. They fly to Hawaii and well lets just say the honeymoon starts a little early. Not called the mile high club for nothing. (snickers)

*/* Emmys Review */*

This book literally picks up right where the first one left off, and it’s a good thing it did, I don’t think my sanity could have taken too big of  a gap there.  Laurelyn boards the plane, pops a Xanax,  and cries in her sleep all the way back to America.  Once she reaches the states Addison redeems herself a  decent friend in my eyes by being concerned for her.  Eventually she goes back home to Nashville and her empty apartment, as Addison is staying with her family out in California for the next few weeks.  

While Laurelyn is Bella Swan-ing it out in Nashville, Jack McLachlan is doing the male version of the same thing in Australia.  He swallows his pride and goes to Ben (Addison’s brother) and asks him for help finding Laurelyn.  Ben takes great pleasure in turning him down cold, and won’t give him any information at all.    He hires a private investigator to try to find Laurelyn, or Addison, or anybody, but without Laurelyn’s last name it is going to take a while.  She said she would not try to contact him, and it’s like she just went up in smoke - completely disappeared.  He gets drunk, and tries to get it on with some girl in a hotel bar - to screw Laurelyn out of his system - and can’t do it.  I got pissed at him for that, but I guess I should have expected it.  I know that’s going to come back and bite him square in the ass---and probably when he least expects it.

Meanwhile back in the States Laurelyn has gone to see her ex-agent and ex-lover Blake, who was the reason she went to Australia in the first place.  When she found out that he was married and had children and she was unintentionally the other woman, she dropped her recording contract, and all contact with him.  Now she has to see him to try to salvage the remains of her career.  Blake is a dick, and holds all her songs she wrote during the contract hostage, which was about what I expected of him.  Then he follows her out to the parking lot and assaults her, telling her she could have her career back if she would get back with him.  Laurelyn leaves him rolling on the asphalt with his broken balls.  

Now she is really in dire straits - the man she loves wants nothing to do with her (she thinks) and she has just flushed what scraps of a career she had left down the toilet.  And her mom is on her case about wanting her to meet her famous dad.  She doesn’t really care to have anything to do with him.  Her mom makes me want to reach into the book and strangle her to death.  I can’t STAND her.  You find out in the first book that Laurelyn pretty much had to raise herself, because her mom was an addict for the better part of her childhood.  She is STILL mooning after Laurelyn’s father, who didn’t even have the common decency to acknowledge and care for the child he fathered.  Ugh, I am DONE with her parents already!    Now, Addison truly redeems herself.  She tells Laurelyn that she is moving back to Australia, to be with Zac.  But her agent set her up with an audition, and she wants Laurelyn to go in her place.  They go, and despite the rocky start, Laurelyn winds up joining a band called Southern Ophelia.  I wonder if this author is a fan of Lady Antebellum, cause that was the first band I thought of when it was described.

There is a three month jump, and Jack has landed in the States, thinking he has found her. He attends one of her shows, and gets back stage to give her a rose and her Martin guitar that he bought her while she was in Australia.  (I damn sure wouldn’t have left it there!!  WHAT!! LMAO)  He walks up on her dressing room about the time her bandmate makes a move on her, and turns away before he can hear her tell him that she is still in love with Jack.  Tense moment there, but when the roadie hands her the guitar she knows he was there.  She chases him out into the street, running down his cab.  He stops and gets out  - and there’s your big reunion, just like a movie.  Jack can only stay for a month, but he is bound and determined to leave with her.  He was so terrified that she had moved on from him, and makes a big deal of asking her if she has been with anybody else while they were apart.  This put my back up a bit, considering what he almost did right after she left.   She hadn’t been with anyone else though, and he tells himself that he will tell her about almost-number-fourteen later, after they have properly reunited.  (Cue the ominous music HERE…..)

They spend a LOT of time in bed - which is only to be expected, and a LOT of time wondering separately what will happen at the end of the month.  Laurelyn knows that it’s not feasible for him to offer to move to the States to be with her, considering all of the vineyards he owns in Australia - his whole business is there.  But she also knows that her chances of musical success, especially in country music, are much better here in the States.  I’m pretty sure that here in the real world that’s changing - look at Keith Urban.  And I know for a fact that if Luke Bryan ever makes it Australia there’s at least a few people that won’t want to let him leave!  Australia is a fast growing country music market, and we as musical enthusiasts would be criminally stupid to ignore it.  Sorry, music nerd moment.

There is more drama - Laurelyn is attacked by her whacko ex agent, whose ass was roundly beaten bloody by Jack, and her father Jake Beckett reappears. He has left his wife and gotten back with Laurelyn’s mother, which hasn’t improved my opinion of her.  Right about the time Jack has made up his mind to go ahead and propose to Laurelyn it comes out to the public that Jake Beckett is Laurelyn’s father.  Her mom is giving Laurelyn trouble, and is actively trying to run Jack off.  Her mother says it’s to keep Laurelyn from throwing away her career, but I can’t help but call her a miserable bitch in my head and hope she gets hit by a bus.  She even goes so far to tell Laurelyn that if she moves to Australia that she (her mother) will never come visit her, that she would be giving up her “family” totally.  Not much of a loss, I thought.  

 Before you know it Jack and Laurelyn’s time is up and they are standing in the airport, neither sure what the other is thinking.  I was ready to choke the life out of both of them.  Jack kind of/sort of proposes, right there in the airport, and tells her that he will be waiting when she decides if she wants to come to Australia to be with him permanently.  I wanted to get pissy that he didn’t even offer to try to make things work to come to be with her in the States, but even I couldn’t deny it - it would make more sense for her to come to him.  Laurelyn finally makes up her own mind and decides to leave the band after the three month tour they are scheduled to do is over.  She doesn’t tell  him about her quitting the band, she wants to surprise him at the end of the tour by coming to see him (which she was planning to do anyway) and staying.   Needless to say, he is overjoyed to come home one afternoon and find her laying in his bed, never to leave again.  

The rest is a whirlwind of his overjoyed family, wedding plans and arrangements, everything goes on high speed for the last third of this novel.  Then just shortly before the wedding (Ominous music again) the almost-fourteen returns!  I can’t really hold it against the girl - she says she was trying to warn Laurelyn about him.  I doubt her sincerity, but Jack deserved to have his ass kicked for not telling her about it right off, or at LEAST before the wedding.  Laurelyn flips out, and wonders if she made the right decision after all.  After a best friend hash out of the situation with Addison, Laurelyn realizes that Jack is the man he is now because of her, and she won’t let this come between them.  After all, he couldn’t bring himself to touch the girl, even though it came really close.  I’m sensing that more of this will happen, though, so Laurelyn needs to be prepared.  The wedding goes off without a hitch, and for the moment all is well.  They are on their way to Maui for their honeymoon, and I am diving into the next book without even a break!

Up next, Book 2 “Beauty from Love"


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