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Worn Me Down by T.E. Sivec
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Where do I start? I absolutely loved this book! I am having a hard time finding the words to say why this series is one of the best you will ever read!

Brady... the badass Navy SEAL. He lives and breathes his job. Nothing can stop him from taking the next mission. His team is all of the family and life he needs.

But then comes Gwen. One of his best friend's sister. She is sassy. She is strong-willed. She is a single mom running or hiding from something.

These two embark on a journey of a love-hate relationship. They get off to a rocky start... I would love to say that things smooth out... But I will not confirm or deny it.

Trust. That's one thing that doesn't come easy for either of them. Their lives have taught them that trust is something that is earned by loyalty.

When things start to go awry, neither of them know who they can trust, including one another. Even though they both want to trust the other, they find it harder than you would think.

I really love how well Tara is able to cause her readers to not know what instincts to trust in this book. Just when you think you have everything figured out, another wrench comes flying at you. My head was spinning around and around. I felt like I was a dog chasing my own tail!

I think this book is, hands down, is the best in the series so far. I can't wait for the fourth and final book!! ( )
  UANBookAddict | Dec 3, 2015 |
ARC received in exchange for an honest review.

It’s always easy to judge other people when you have no idea what kind of life they live behind closed doors, when you’ve never walked one footstep in their shoes or when you’ve never given your heart to a man you believed when he told you it would never happen again.

So I absolutely adored A Beautiful Lie. I was completely engrossed with Because of You. When I found out there would be a third book and that we would get to know over the top Austin, I was over the flipping moon! When I saw the cover filled with purple? Love at first sight! From the few snippets we get of Gwen in the last book, I knew that this would be a hard read; an emotional read. It would be frustrating and heartbreaking and infuriating and fantastically phenomenal. I knew there was other choice for it NOT to be, because that is the level of expertise I have come to expect from Tara Sivec. Once again, I was treated to an emotional fuck-fest of a rollercoaster, a ride in which I never wanted to get off. My only disappointment is that since I read all three books back to back, I now have to wait for the next one. But thus is the plight of a book lover. One thing’s for sure; these books and characters are permanently engrained in my soul, and I’ll never evict them.

Gwen’s mouth is the sweetest thing I’ve ever tasted and I want more.

Worn Me Down is the story of Gwen, Austin, and Emma. Gwen is the sister of Brady and Austin is one of Brady’s SEAL team members. Emma is Gwen’s daughter from her estranged marriage. Fleeing an abusive marriage, one in which no choices she made in life were her own, she is trying to start over in Nashville. Staying with her brother has given her the first semblance of security she’s felt in over ten years. Brady leaves to go out on tour with Layla, and not wanting to leave his sister alone while she is going through a nasty divorce, he asks his buddy Austin to come keep an eye on her and her daughter. That’s all the details you get folks. The rest is up to you to experience. Here is how I felt.

I knew from the first moment she called me an ass that kissing her would be like a fiery explosion, neither one of us surviving without getting burned.

From the first few pages, in which we are foreshadowed in what is to come at the end, I knew that Sivec was going to rip my heart out and do a little happy dance on it. Here was a woman, who when you really think about it, never even stood a chance in life. Living under her parent’s thumbs for her entire youth and then going straight into a house ruled by her husband’s literal iron fist. Add a child to that volatile equation, and Gwen saw no way out. Let me say right now: I absolutely despise when others look upon people in this situation, judgment oozing from their pores, and ask the one question that they think would be obvious; why didn’t you just leave? What they don’t seem to realize, is that it isn’t as easy as it seems to an outsider. More often than not, the abuser apologizes after the fact, and is immensely remorseful. Not to mention the emotional torture that the victim is put through. They are beaten and belittled, many times within an inch of their life, to a point where they simply cannot see a way out. It becomes second nature to expect this treatment. So basically what I am trying to get across is that until you are IN that situation, don’t you dare say what you would and wouldn’t do. Everyone’s situation is completely different, and when you have no outside support system, not to mention children to think about, many factors come into play.

Despite all this, Gwen still has this fire within her. She has a will to survive, a drive to do better and be better for her daughter. Her strength and intensity drives this book and I absolutely adored her. She is snarky, and even though life has given her a raw deal, she hasn’t given up. She’s a fighter, and one of the strongest characters I’ve ever read.

Austin was an enigma wrapped in a delicious package, sealed with a steel bow. A former foster kid, he didn’t know how to love. He was never given a chance to be a child, so what would he be able to give one in return? Even though we got glimpses into who he was, I wish we had gotten more. I am logical enough to realize though that more story would have meant more drama and strife for the characters though, so I am happy with how and where it ended. Try as he may, when love comes knocking at your door, or rather when you go knocking at it, it will knock you on your ass! The chemistry between these two, though they tried with everything in them to deny it, was off the charts. Finally on her own, Gwen grew a backbone and wasn’t going to take crap from any one any longer. Oh how I loved their fighting. I know that sounds ridiculous to say, but when you fight fair, it’s hilarious! These two pushed and prodded at boundaries within each other, bringing them to the edge. Bringing them so close to insanity there was just never a chance that they wouldn’t eventually collide. And when they did…. Whew. Claws came out, in the best possible way, and walls were dropped. The intensity that Austin displays when he truly believes in something is a wonder to behold. This man protects with everything he has, and he will literally make you swoon out loud. I don’t know if that’s possible, but this man can accomplish it.

Sometimes even when you’re so quiet you could disappear, that’s when they hurt you the most.

One of my favorite parts of this book was getting to watch a grown man crumble at the hands of a six year old. The scenes between Austin and Emma were my absolute favorite. There is nothing hotter that watching a grown man fall in love, in a fatherly way, with a child that isn’t biologically his. Add in the fact that Austin thinks he is unqualified for the position; the fact that he just naturally does it will make your heart burst. Their interactions were so completely innocent, as if they BOTH were children, learning life together. Sivec seriously will make your ovaries burst. You’ve been forewarned!

For the first time in years, I don’t feel the need to cover myself, hide my scars or look away in embarrassment – I feel beautiful with Austin.

Honestly, I could gush about this book all day, but to do that, you will have to read it first. Just know that the emotions coursing through my veins were endless, as were the tears. Panty melting, tremor induced scenes were bountiful, but in the meat of the book was pure heart. There were raw characters that I have come to realize are so completely unique in the way Sivec writes. These characters appear in your world and you wonder how they weren’t there all along. I look forward to the conclusion of the series but at the same time I am willing to wait. For if I prolong it, they won’t truly ever go away, right? If you need me, I'll be over here sipping on my Sivec Kool-aid.
( )
  BooksToBreathe | Jul 2, 2014 |
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