Early Review: Never Let Me Go by Monica Murphy

Never Let You Go by Monica Murphy

Never Let Me Go by Monica Murphy
Series: Never Tear Us Apart #2 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: May 3rd 2016
Links: EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

The second novel in this darkly sexy contemporary series from bestselling author Monica Murphy wraps up an emotionally powerful two-part tale of forbidden love.
 
The truth hurts, they say—and my pain cuts deep. While I was falling for Ethan, he was deceiving me the entire time. He held a huge secret, protected by his lies. When I discovered what he was hiding, the truth shook my world, threatening to ruin us forever. Ruin me. But I soon realized that what we share can’t be destroyed.

The connection between us is too strong. It always has been. I can’t deny him any longer. And I can’t deny my truth: I’m in love with Ethan.

I don’t want to let him go.

While we’re trying our best to make this relationship work, other forces are fighting against us. My family, who wants to keep me safe. The media obsessed with my tragic past. The public that feeds off of it. Even Ethan’s father—the man who nearly destroyed me all those years ago. He’s doing his best to finish the job.

Despite my love for Ethan, the doubts creep in, clouding my mind. Is he worth the pain? Will our love survive, or will we have no choice but to end it—end us—once and for all?

Never Let You Go was a highly anticipated release of mine – I was dying to read this book after the cliffhanger in Never Tear Us Apart!! Never Tear Us Apart (my review here) was a heart-pounding, intense, unique read, so I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the sequel. Unfortunately, I didn’t love it as much as the first book. I liked seeing how Katie and Ethan ended up, but overall, Never Let You Go was just an okay read. Monica Murphy’s writing is wonderful as usual, but the story just didn’t grip me like the first book did.

Katie finally knows the truth of who Ethan is – and with this betrayal of trust, she wants nothing to do with him. Ethan, on the other hand, only wants Katie to be happy, and though he’d rather her be happy with him, he’s backed off to give her time to herself. There’s a lot of this back-and-forth for Katie – one moment, she needs him, the next she’s pushing him away. I was amazed at the patience in Ethan, but I did get a little frustrated at this because the story didn’t move forward fast enough. Still, whenever Ethan and Katie are together, they’re so sweet and wonderful. If this book had nothing but their romance, I would’ve loved it so much more!

Being with Katie makes me feel complete. Whole. Comfortable in my own skin, when I’ve moved through my life uncomfortable as hell with just about everything I’ve ever done.

Tragic events put these two characters together at a young age, but it seems like the present is trying to tear them apart. The media won’t stop hounding Katie and Ethan, and they’re even accusing Ethan of being a part of Katie’s kidnapping, rather than being her savior. This part of book was a little too dramatic for my taste. The media is overwhelming at times, and it seemed to overshadow the main characters and their relationship. I wanted a little less of it, but I understand how the author wanted to use the media in conjunction with Ethan and Katie overcoming their past.

Still, even with my annoyances with the book, I really did enjoy seeing how Katie and Ethan’s relationship turned out. I was rooting for them from the very first book, so I was happy with the events in this conclusion. If you liked Never Tear Us Apart, hopefully you’ll enjoy this sequel! The romance is slow and sweet, but everything else is just a little mediocre compared to the first book.

The boy of my past. The man of my future. The one I can never, ever let go.

3 hearts
lacey

Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.


Reading Order: Never Tear Us Apart series

Never Tear Us Apart by Monica Murphy Never Let You Go by Monica Murphy

#1 ~ Never Year Us Apart: My Review • EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Never Let Me Go: EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads (May 3, 2016)


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Release Day Review: Never Tear Us Apart by Monica Murphy

Never Tear Us Apart by Monica Murphy

Never Tear Us Apart by Monica Murphy
Series: Never Tear Us Apart #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: January 5th 2016
Links: EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Perfect for readers of Colleen Hoover, Jay Crownover, and K. A. Tucker, the first novel in this darkly sexy contemporary series from bestselling author Monica Murphy kicks off an emotionally powerful two-part tale of forbidden love.

Crazy how eight years can disappear in an instant. One look at Katie Watts, and I’m a fifteen-year-old again–the one who risked everything to save a terrified girl from her twisted kidnapper. She’s grown-up now–beautiful, quiet, composed–and telling her story to the world. A story that involves me in more ways than you can imagine. She used to call me her guardian angel. Sure, I risked my life, but she was worth dying for.

I need to make contact with her. Just to ensure that she’s safe.

Somehow we reconnect. We become friends . . . but I want more. I want to make her mine. And she wants me too. Does she know who I am? Has she figured me out? Not yet. But she will. In the meantime, I need to make sure that whatever hold that animal had on her is gone.

So, yeah, I’m stealing these moments with her. Savoring them. Knowing, dreading, that she’ll soon find out who I really am. And everything will fall apart. All because of that twisted, perverted monster sitting on death row. Her kidnapper. A convicted serial killer.

My father.

Oh. My. God. What an emotional read! This story is one of the most intriguing I’ve ever read, and it’s nothing like what Monica Murphy has previously written. It’s intense. Gritty. Raw. Captivating. Heartbreaking. It’s a story of innocence lost and hearts reconnecting. I’m pretty stunned at what Monica Murphy has created in Katie and Ethan’s story – this might be my favorite book of hers yet.

But I’m none of those things. Confident. Strong. Carefree. Those words belong to the old me. Once innocence is lost, you can never get it back. That’s my problem. I lost my innocence at the age of twelve, far too early. And the man who stole it from me will haunt me forever.

Eight years ago, when Katie Watts was twelve, she was kidnapped and raped by a serial killer. She’s a survivor, but for the past eight years, she’s lived in silence, a shell of herself, but no longer. Now, hoping to free herself of her past, she’s ready to tell her story of her abduction, and of the boy who saved her – her hero, her guardian angel… her kidnapper/rapist’s son.

Will Monroe, now Ethan Williams, has never forgotten the girl he saved. She haunts his dreams as his father haunts his nightmares, and now that Ethan has found Katie again, he can’t walk away from her a second time. The powerful connection that existed when they met all those years ago has never truly gone away, and Ethan is now compelled to be there for Katie, to be her hero and savior once more. The only problem is that when Ethan enters Katie’s life again, he doesn’t tell her the truth of who he is and hides behind his Ethan persona. So what happens when past is dying to be free and Ethan can’t hide who he is anymore?

I wanted her, body and soul, as much a part of me as breathing.

If you’re worried about how Monica Murphy portrays Katie’s kidnapping and rape, don’t be. The author does not romanticize what happens to Katie. She doesn’t write it in some gentler light, but neither does she go into all the details, all of which I appreciated.

Never Tear Us Apart is brilliantly written, told in Katie and Ethan’s past and present POVs. Monica Murphy had me feeling like I was experiencing every heart-wrenching feeling right alongside these characters. What was interesting to me was that the past wasn’t told in a consecutive timeline, and instead jumped around a bit, which threw me off sometimes. Ethan did weird me out in the beginning when he got a little too intense with his feelings for Katie, but otherwise, I was hooked onto this unputdownable story. It wasn’t perfect, but it’s different, and if you’re looking for something intriguing and unique, I highly recommend this book. Be forewarned though, this is a two-book series, so Never Tear Us Apart does end in a cliffhanger, but the cliffie is definitely worth the read.

4 hearts
lacey

Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.


Reading Order: Never Tear Us Apart series

Never Tear Us Apart by Monica Murphy Never Let You Go by Monica Murphy

#1 ~ Never Year Us Apart: EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Never Let Me Go: My Review • EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads


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Review Tour: Slow Play by Monica Murphy

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Welcome to today’s stop on the blog tour for Slow Play by Monica Murphy!

Slow Play by Monica Murphy

Slow Play by Monica Murphy
Series: The Rules #3 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: October 13th 2015
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Newly broke girl Alexandria Asher just wants to live a normal life. After her parents are sent to prison on embezzlement charges, she enrolls in college under her mother’s maiden name and tries her best to pretend she’s someone else.

Tristan Prescott is everything Alex is trying to avoid. A seemingly egotistical, lazy, rich jerk, she dumps her beer on his head when he comes on to her one night at a party. This only spurs Tristan into action. He loves nothing more than a challenge. And the beautiful Alex is exactly the type of challenge that intrigues him.

Despite her reluctance, Alex finds herself quickly involved with Tristan. Underneath that playboy exterior is a good guy, a sweet and sexy guy who she is undoubtedly falling for. What they both don’t realize is the actions of Alex’s parents are the reason for so much tragedy in Tristan’s family. And when Tristan discovers who Alex and her family really is, can he forgive and forget?

Buy Links:
Amazon • Amazon UK • Barnes & Noble • iTunes • Kobo

Slow Play is the third and final book in Monica Murphy’s The Rules series (which I have really enjoyed), and it is Tristan’s story! I had high hopes for Tristan’s book because I love a good manwhore redemption story. And while I liked this book well enough, it’s not my favorite of the series. Slow Play is mostly okay – I adored the heroine, but Tristan was pretty hard to like. It’s a slow, sexy read that fans of the series might want to try, but I have mixed feelings about it.

Ever since his two best friends have fallen for their girls, Tristan Prescott is making up for Shep and Gabe’s losses by hooking up with one girl after another. Tristan firmly believes that he will NEVER fall in love – it’s just not for him. But when he meets Alexandria Asher, she’s the first girl to ever hold his intrigue for more than a night. And yes, he’s pretty much an asshole the first time he meets her… and for a majority of the book. But he’s relentless in his determination to have Alex – first just in his bed, but eventually, as he gets to know her more, he wants her in his life.

From the moment I’ve met Alexandria, nothing’s been normal. It’s like I’m in a different realm, especially tonight.

Alex has enrolled at college under a different last name to distance herself from the mess that was her past life. All she wants is to be normal, but the second she meets Tristan Prescott, her life is anything but normal. Despite the crazy intense chemistry between them, she manages to dodge nearly all of his moves. But it’s when Tristan shows his vulnerable, sincere side that Alex can’t help but gravitate toward him. I LOVED Alex. I loved how headstrong she was, how she was able to deflect and stand up against Tristan so well. The two of them are definitely well-matched, and I really enjoyed getting to know both the steamy parts of their relationship, and the more heartfelt parts of it.

“You feel it,” he whispers. “I touch you and it’s like electricity sparks between us. I look into your eyes and I feel like I’m fucking drowning. And when I kiss you, I never want to stop.”

Slow Play is… well, slow. Incredibly slow. Alex wants to truly know if Tristan’s intentions are, maybe not honorable, but real. She wants more than just one night with him, and Tristan sets out to prove that he wants both Alex and her heart. And it takes a long while for their relationship to progress. Alex lets Tristan in, but not by much. She still keeps parts of her life a secret from him. And sadly, the plot with Alex’s family being involved with Tristan’s wasn’t as fleshed-out as I expected. It’s not until nearly the end that secrets are finally revealed.

I wish I could say I loved it, but Tristan just didn’t click for me, and that brought the book down a bit. I didn’t feel like he was truly redeemed from his asshole reputation, but I did appreciate that he was completely faithful to Alex since the moment he meets her. Still, I wholeheartedly loved Alex, and Monica Murphy’s writing is so easy and fun to read, so maybe fans of the series will love this book more than I did. It’s a good book, but again, just not my favorite of the series.

3 hearts
lacey

Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.

Reading Order: The Rules series

Fair Game by Monica Murphy In the Dark by Monica Murphy Slow Play by Monica Murphy

#1 ~ Fair Game: My Review • Ebook • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#2 ~ In the Dark: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Slow Play: Ebook • Goodreads (Oct. 13, 2015)

about the author button

Karen EricksonNew York Times, USA Today and international bestselling author Monica Murphy is a native Californian who lives in the foothills below Yosemite with her husband and three children. She’s a workaholic who loves her job. When she’s not busy writing, she also loves to read and travel with her family. She writes new adult and contemporary romance and is published with Bantam and Avon. She also writes romance as USA Today bestselling author Karen Erickson.

Website • Blog • Twitter • Facebook • Goodreads • Amazon Page

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Top Ten Tuesday {19}: Books on My Fall TBR

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It’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! This week’s theme is…

Top Ten Books on My Fall TBR

  1. Ms. Manwhore (Manwhore #2.5) by Katy Evans (Oct 6) ~ This is Malcolm and Rachel’s final book! I’m going to be so sad when their story is over, because I absolutely LOVED them!
  2. Rock Redemption (Rock Kiss #3) by Nalini Singh (Oct 6) ~ I love Nalini Singh, and I adore her rock star series! I have a feeling Rock Redemption is going to be a heavily emotional read – my favorite kind 😉
  3. The House by Christina Lauren (Oct 6) ~ If you know me, then you know how much I love Christina Lauren. I will honestly read anything and everything by them, and can’t wait to read this YA book of theirs! It sounds fascinating!
  4. Nuts (Hudson Valley #1) by Alice Clayton (Oct 20) ~ Alice Clayton writes the FUNNIEST books ever. Wallbanger will forever remain a top favorite, but I’m very excited for this new series to come out.
  5. Surviving Ice (Burying Water #4) by K.A. Tucker (Oct 27) ~ K.A. Tucker writes some awesome romantic suspense – I’ve really enjoyed her Burying Water series, so I’m excited for this 4th book!
  6. Slow Play (The Rules #3) by Monica Murphy (Nov 3) ~ I have a thing for bad boys, and I have a feeling Tristan is going to be my favorite bad boy of the Rules series.
  7. November 9 by Colleen Hoover (Nov 10) ~ COHO. It’s been too long since her latest release, and I’ve been dying to get another fix of her books! CoHo is probably my all-time favorite author, so of course November 9 is at the top of my anticipated releases!
  8. Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #4) by Marissa Meyer (Nov 10) ~ I don’t have much time for YA these days, but of course there are exceptions, and Marissa Meyer is one of them. I’ve loved the Lunar Chronicles from the very start, and cannot wait for this final book.
  9. Reap (Scarred Souls #2) by Tillie Cole (Nov 10) ~ I totally LOVED Raze! Tillie Cole writes the best dark romances – so, of course, I have high hopes for Reap!
  10. Corrupt by Penelope Douglas (Nov 17) ~ Corrupt is probably my MOST anticipated release of the year. I’ve been DYING for it ever since Penelope announced it. It’s supposed to be a little dark and twisted, and the teasers have been KILLING ME!

Click on the covers below to preorder!

Ms. Manwhore by Katy Evans Rock Redemption by Nalini Singh The House by Christina Lauren Nuts by Alice Clayton Surviving Ice by K.A. Tucker
Slow Play by Monica Murphy November Nine by Colleen Hoover Winter by Marissa Meyer Reap by Tillie Cole Corrupt by Penelope Douglas

What books are you excited for this fall?

lacey


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Review Tour + Giveaway: In the Dark by Monica Murphy

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Welcome to today’s stop on the blog tour for In the Dark by Monica Murphy!

In the Dark by Monica Murphy

In the Dark by Monica Murphy
Series: The Rules #2 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: August 25th 2015
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The girl next door isn’t what she seems…

Stuck spending the summer with his screwed up family, Gabriel Walker is bored out of his mind and looking for an adventure. And he seems to find it with the hot girl who lives next door. The attraction between them is instant. Electric. Soon they’re spending every stolen minute together. Talk about the perfect summer fling…

Lucy isn’t what she seems. She doesn’t live next door—she’s the girl who’s been hired to house sit for the summer while the family goes on a worldwide vacation. If Gabe wants to believe she’s a spoiled rich girl looking for some fun, she can go along with that. After the summer, she’ll never see him again.

They don’t count on running into each other at college. Now Lucy must keep up the pretense of being a rich girl—and it’s exhausting. She knows she’s falling in love with Gabe and she’s scared he feels the same. Will he still care about her when he discovers the truth?

Buy Links:
Amazon • Amazon UK • Amazon CA • iTunes

I am seriously enjoying Monica Murphy’s The Rules series! I really liked the first book, Fair Game, and I’m glad to say I had a fun time reading In the Dark as well. This is Gabe’s book – the rich, pretty-boy player of the trio of heroes this series is about. Seeing him fall hard for a girl was as sweet as it was sexy. Fans of the first book won’t want to miss this sequel!

Gabe is spending the summer with his family at their vacation house, and he’d rather be anywhere but there. Luckily, there’s a cute neighbor he can’t help but admire every time she comes into view. Gabe is the love-em-and-leave-em type of guy, but he’d give anything for a chance with the girl next door.

I’m not that girl. I’m cautious. Careful. I plot and plan and do what I’m supposed to. I don’t make waves and I don’t cause trouble. One look form Gabe and I want to cause all sorts of trouble.
But only with him.

Lucy has totally noticed the hot, rich boy next door, but she’s not the type of girl to be with any guy. Her mother had her when she was young and instilled the fear of god – aka teenage pregnancy – into Lucy. But when Gabe finally introduces himself, Lucy can’t ignore the serious chemistry between them. But he thinks she has money like him, when in fact she’s not so rich and only house-sitting for a rich couple. She can’t help but go along that ruse, especially since they both agree to have a summer-only fling. And things get seriously HOT between them once their fling begins. Monica Murphy knows how to heat up the pages and I loved how intensely she brought out the sexy and dirty in Gabe and Lucy.

“I get too caught up in you. Every single time we’re together.” He shifts away from me so he can stare down into my eyes. “It’s like you’re the only thing I focus on when I’m with you, Luce. Hell, even when I’m not with you, you consume my thoughts. It’s… wild.”

As Lucy and Gabe spend the rest of summer together, they form a connection. They don’t want to leave each other by the time summer ends but they have no choice. Except, they never expected to see each other again when school starts up. Gabe now wants more between them, but Lucy is still keeping secrets from him. What happens when she wants him but her secrets come out?

I loved seeing Gabe change his manwhoring ways. Lucy was a great heroine who I thought matched well with his character. They’re both charming and relatable characters, so it was easy to enjoy their story. Plus, it’s a hot read – Monica Murphy can’t not write a sexy book! The only complaint I have is that the story sometimes felt too slow. I wanted the book to pick up the pace sometimes, to get to when Gabe finally finds out the truth about Lucy. Other than that, this is another fantastic read from an author I adore! I’m incredibly excited for Tristan’s story now!

4 hearts
lacey

Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.

Reading Order: The Rules series

Fair Game by Monica Murphy In the Dark by Monica Murphy Slow Play by Monica Murphy

#1 ~ Fair Game: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ In the Dark: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Slow Play: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads

about the author button

Karen EricksonNew York Times, USA Today and international bestselling author Monica Murphy is a native Californian who lives in the foothills below Yosemite with her husband and three children. She’s a workaholic who loves her job. When she’s not busy writing, she also loves to read and travel with her family. She writes new adult and contemporary romance and is published with Bantam and Avon. She also writes romance as USA Today bestselling author Karen Erickson.

Website • Blog • Twitter • Facebook • Goodreads • Amazon Page

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Print copy of Fair Game and In the Dark

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