Source: Received an eBook from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.
“There is a
vulnerability there, hovering just below the surface. And I want to pick
at it until I expose it. Then I want to kiss it."
ago, Emily Burnham, had an epiphany about the shallowness of her life.
And she made it her mission to become a different person…a better woman.
Out from under the controlling thumb of her mother, Emily is tasting
the real world for the first time. And she likes it.
Caldwell has served his time in the Marine Corps, surviving two brutal
tours in Afghanistan. He is back home, surrounded by what he likes
best…isolation. It's certainly the best way to avoid confrontation of
the consuming guilt that is weighing him down.
When an accident
brings Emily and Nix together, he soon learns he is not the master of
his own fate. Struggling with his own pain, Nix tries to guard himself
against Emily’s charms. He wants her in his bed, but he doesn’t want
her in his heart.
Having grabbed life by the horns, Emily wants
it all. But is she willing to accept just the small part of himself
that Nix is offering? Can she reach the part of his soul that he has
deemed to be Off Limits?
4 stars - Nix and his secrets had me staying up late and falling hard for him.
I loved book one, Off Sides, but this one was better. In book one, I wasn't a huge Emily fan. She was Ryan's sister and she wasn't very nice. Apparently, she figured that out because in her book she has made some changes. I was impressed that she realized some things about herself and then acted on it. I remember a pivotal point for me about the same age where I realized that some of the problems I was having were my own creation. It's a time in a young adults life when they can make those kind of changes. It's not an easy thing to do and Emily's mom sure makes it hard for her. I wanted to shake her mom a few times - oh excuse me, her mother! Well, I may have decided her mom was okay by the end but I so didn't like her in book one or most of book two. I did love Emily, the new Emily. She was willing to make her choices and deal with the consequences.
One of the consequences leads to her working for Nix. Do I ever love Nix. He keeps his distance from everyone except his brother and dad. Because he can't open up to people, he comes off as an ass a lot. But spending time in his head, it was clear who he really was. His pain from the past, from the time spent as a Marine, has isolated him. But he's an incredible man. As his secrets were made know, I found that I was even more impressed with him. He lived his life as best he could after serving his country. He works hard and is that quiet, watchful type. He's a keeper.
Gorgeous and broken, he tries to keep Emily at arms reach. But Em gets him in a way others don't. She respects his silence. She responds to his moods. She respects his pain. I loved how she slowly made her way inside the tiny cracks in his armor. This relationship takes time. Even after they gave into their incredible chemistry, it still took time. That make this story so real.
Supporting cast in this one was great. Ryan and Danny are there from book one and I was super excited to see them and know what's up for them. I LOVED Fil, Emily's roommate. I loved that she was always threatening to cut off balls for the guys that were hurting Em. Found myself threatening that to some jerk hurting a friend of mine. I may need to stop channeling Fil, but I do love her. Oh and we meet Linc. He's Nix's brother and his book is Off the Record. Yes, I need some Linc time for sure.
I was reading this book and had to put it down to read a tour book. That usually just irritates me and I should really avoid letting it happen. I had the hardest time not thinking about Nix and Em. When I finally got to pick it back up, I just read. I don't remember getting up or checking the clock. I just read. When I finished it was 2AM. And I want to read book three, Off the Record, now with the hope of a glimpse of Nix and Em.
If you have read Off Sides, then this is a must read. If you haven't started this series, then get on it. It's new adult and definitely over 18 for this one but check it out.
Check out these yummy teasers too.