My rating: 2.5/3 of 5 stars
GENRE: New Adult
THEME: Contemporary Romance
This book carries a lot of emotion; I for one was having quite an argument with it for the first half of the book. My main argument was with the lead Graham, it was hard for me to like him and I always find that I care most about the lead character. But this time around it was the second lead that I was rooting for. Bartel does a wonderful job creating an emotional impact between each very broken character introduced. It sucked me in as the reader and also made me angry at a fictional character… obviously meaning the writing was spot on for this type of story.
No Apologies follows Graham Allen, who doesn’t like to apologies and doesn’t ever love anyone… those are his rules. But this rocker is about to get a wake up call from an innocent bartender, Carly, who seems to be letting her shields down for him. Both of these broken adults have no idea what to do about their connection, will they move forward from their horrible past to find a brighter future together? Or will Graham’s past come barreling in to ruin everything.
Carly is a sweet girl, as well as a writer and someone who has been scarred from her past. But she is also someone who doesn’t want to be broken and she sees that Graham, her crush, is someone who is broken too. I loved her bold and no nonsense attitude, she handles Grahams rude and over the top persona with stride and I applaud her for it. I thought she was a brave woman for giving this guy the benefit of the doubt even at his worst, howver she does put some space between them, but she also knew he was going through some tough times. Carly is definitely a character many people can connect too, her innocents and sad past make her vulnerable but also someone who the readers will root for and hope that she can get past it all.
Graham is a tough one, I had a bit of trouble connecting too him and not wanting to scream at him. He makes a lot of bad choices out of anger and in the heat of the moment. His past is so sad and I really felt for him, but he just kept shoving people away and thought drinking and sleeping with girls was the only way to get through it. It made me feel sorry for him mostly but also made me angry that he treated Carly and his friends like dirt. I give his friends a lot of credit for being able to let his rudeness slide. Carly was the one to finally get through and near the middle of the book I saw a major change in him and saw the potential. His past comes back like a raging bull but it brings along something positive that I just adored.
Overall I had mixed feeling about this story until I got a few chapters past the middle of the book. The writing was wonderfully done and made me feel so much for some of the characters, but I just couldn’t connect or root for Graham as much as I wanted too. I can ramble on for days and argue with myself but I know I might be the only one feeling this way. There are plenty of twist and surprises, which I felt boosted up the storyline and really got me excited to see how everything was going to come together. I look forward to reading more from Bartel and recommend giving this contemporary romance a try, even with my love hate feelings with the lead character.
This is an adult novel meant for mature readers over the age of 18, for its sexual content. Fans of Christina Lauren’s Beautiful Bastard series and Love, In English by Karina Halle will want to get their hands of Desired by Stacey Kennedy.
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I grew up in Northern California with my head in a book and my feet in the sand. I dreamt of becoming a painter but the heady scent of libraries with their shelves full of books drew me into the world of storytelling. I love the New Adult genre, but really, any story about a love so desperately wrong and impossibly beautiful makes me swoon.
I now live in Southern Florida and while I don’t get to read as much as I like, I still bury my toes in the sand. If I’m not writing or fighting to contain the banana plantation in my backyard, you can find me spending time with my handsomely tattooed husband, my brilliantly practical son and a mischievous miniature boxer…
Here are ten things you really want to know about me.
I grew up a faculty brat. I can swear like a sailor. I love men in uniform. I hate being told what to do. I can do your taxes (but don’t ask). The Bird Market in Hong Kong freaks me out. My favorite word is desperate…or dirty, or both—I can’t decide. I have a thing for muscle cars. But never reply on me for driving directions, ever. And I have a new book boyfriend every week—don’t tell my husband.