Thursday, May 23, 2013

Reviews: Pieces of You and Relentless by Cassia Leo

Relentless Blurb:

Claire Nixon is a twenty-year-old college dropout with a secret.

To Claire, Adam Parker is just another flirty customer at the cafe, until a chance encounter and seemingly innocent comment spurs a bet between them. The bet is simple: If Adam can get Claire to reveal the secret that made her drop out of college, she has to re-enroll. If he doesn't succeed, she gets to keep her secret and he has to stop stalking her at the cafe.

Claire thinks she has this one in the bag. She's perfected the art of forgetting her past. But she isn't prepared for Adam's relentless pursuit or for him to share his own secrets. And she's definitely not prepared for her rockstar ex and her secret to come banging down her door one year later. 

New Adult Contemporary Romance: Due to strong language and sexual content, not intended for readers under the age of 18.

Julie's Review:

This is a wonderfully written story about losing love and finding it again.  Claire Nixon has fled from her home in Raleigh NC to Wrightsville Beach. She has left her past and secrets behind to start a new life.

She survived being tossed from one foster home to another after the death of her mother.  In her 9th foster home, at age 15, she meets Chris Knight, and his mom, Jackie.  She is scared and is unable to trust, and then Chris and she became the best of friends, wanting more in the process.
They soon find out they are meant to be together.  As Chris’ career as a musician soars, Claire does the one thing she feels she needs to do.

After moving to Wrightsville Beach, and working in a café, she meets Adam Parker.  Then, fate throws them together again, as he literally runs into her in the street.  This, in turn, brings feelings out in Claire she thought she had put behind her.  Soon, she finds out that Adam is not only a customer in the café, but also her upstairs neighbor who recently moved in.

Adam is the all American dream.  He has a great sense of humor, even though some of it can be a little corny at times with his knock-knock jokes. He is strong and caring, even helping Claire take care of Cora, their landlord. He loves to surf and, boy is he hot!  But, soon, you find out, he has his secrets too.

They start spending more time together finding out they have more in common than they think. He finds himself falling for Claire telling her: 

“I want to leave you dazed and confused with nothing but my name on your lips.”  Whew!!

After being together and going out with friends, she finds herself face to face with Chris again, who soon finds out why Claire left.  Knowing Claire is confused, Adam tells her that “she has his whole heart, so please be gentle with it”.

Claire knows she must decide if she wants to continue with Adam and move forward or try and begin anew with Chris.  She decides to return to college and Adam begins his surfing competitions again. 

You can feel the pull she has with Chris but also the undeniable love she has for Adam. You find out their secrets and will they be able to help each other heal in order to move on?  Only time will tell.

This is one of the most touching stories and it is a true love triangle.  Cassia does a wonderful job in expressing their emotions, making you laugh, and leaving you wanting more.  I would give this a 5 star rating, and encourage you to keep reading more of their story in Book 2:  Pieces of You.

Pieces of You Blurb:

In Relentless, college student Claire Nixon and surfer Adam Parker each had a painful past too heavy to carry alone. Claire tried to push Adam away, but Adam's relentless pursuit of her heart and her secrets made her walls come crumbling down.

Though their hearts will never be whole again, Claire and Adam now know they are stronger together than they are apart.

But now Claire's attending college a hundred miles away from Adam. With their relationship already hanging by a thread, Adam is sent to Hawaii on business.

And rock star Chris Knight is back in Claire's life.

Chris wants his ex-girlfriend back and he knows just how to get her: only he has the power to mend the final missing piece of Claire's broken heart. Now Claire must choose between a long-distance relationship with Adam and a second chance at love, family, and home.

Julie's Review:

This is the second book in the Shattered Hearts series.  It picks up right where Relentless, Book One, left off.  I really enjoyed this book and Cassia really impressed me by having Chris’, Claire’s, and Adam’s point of views.

Pieces of You begins with Adam in Florida at a surfing competition while Claire is at The University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Then, Adam is forced by his father, through blackmail, to go to Hawaii for business.  He feels the strain on their relationship knowing he is so far away and that Claire is getting closer with Chris.

Claire tries to reassure Adam by telling him:  “I was drowning when I met you.  I was barely breathing until you saved me.”  His jealousy rears its ugly head and his anger issues seem to resurface. 

At the same time, knowing Adam is away, Chris keeps trying to pull Claire back to him.  He says:  “I need you Claire.  And I know you need me too.”  Their attraction is undeniable but will they succumb to it?  If only I could tell you.  Their connection deepens as they try and face their past together.

While in Hawaii, Adam is confronted by his past and learns how his future can be affected.  He also meets Sam, a beautiful coworker, who enjoys surfing as well.  You can feel him struggling with what he needs to do, and whether he wants to return to his old ways or continue to move forward with Claire.

The triangle deepens as Chris, Claire, and Adam are forced to deal with their emotions and find out what directions each of them need to take.

As Claire is pulled by Chris saying: “You’re my everything.” And “You’re my missing piece.”  Adam has already told her “You wreck me”. 

I have never been more pulled in by the feelings of Claire, Adam, and Chris.  With Claire and Chris, I feel the connection they have of being each other’s first love.  Then, with Claire and Adam, I feel the new Claire and the excitement of starting over that she has with Adam.

I didn’t think the story could get any better than this but Cassia delivers a great story again.  I also give this a 5 star rating.  Cassia has become one of my favorite authors and I look forward to getting more of this story.

Be prepared for Book Three, Bring Me Home, coming out by the end of the summer.  I can hardly wait to read more!!!!  Thanks, Cassia!!  You haven’t disappointed me yet!!!

Watch for Book Three, Bring Me Home

Author Links:

Author Bio:

USA Today bestselling author Cassia Leo loves her coffee, chocolate, and margaritas with salt. When she's not writing, she spends way too much time watching old reruns of Friends and Sex and the City. When she's not watching reruns, she's usually enjoying the California sunshine or reading--sometimes both.

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