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ARC Review & Excerpt….Drowning by Rachel Firasek

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Amazon  ~  Barnes & Noble  ~  Goodreads

Synopsis:

*Drowning is a New Adult Contemporary Romance suited for 18+ due to some violence, language, and sexual content*

“I dare you.”

Those words would change adrenaline junkie, Alice Harrison’s life forever. She’s a party girl that doesn’t believe in love until she meets a man that only writes about it.

Seth James escaped his overbearing father and moved into one of the James family’s vacant condos, hoping to create the music he loves in peace. But the fragile calm he’s envisioned shatters when a tiny woman with a world full of energy bounces out of the elevator and nearly takes him out.

With the patience of a saint, Seth seeks the dark that keeps Alice from enjoying life. He challenges her to exorcise the demons in her past in order to discover the true meaning of love. But when the walls fall down, the hidden deceptions will bare the ugly truth about a woman drowning in sorrow and a man who may not know how to be her hero.

 

My review:

Drowning is the newest work from author Rachel Firasek.  I have read most of Rachel’s’ earlier works, and really enjoyed them, but nothing comes close to what she has done with Drowning.  This book was remarkable.

To say that Alice Harrison has had a pretty heavy cross to bear would be a huge understatement.  Feeling responsible for the recent accident that happened to her older sister is just the latest scar left on her emotions.  Those emotional scars add another layer to the physical scars left by a person who was supposed to love and care for her.  That combo has left her hardened and swearing off love and emotions for good.  It was the only way she knew how to survive.  That all changed when she meets her new neighbor, Seth.  He refuses to let something like a slammed door to the face turn him away.  The scariest part is, Alice knows he may be the one that can crumble her resolve and lead her to believe there may be some good left in the world.  Will he have what it takes to love someone as scarred as she is?

Seth James hasn’t really had the best childhood.  One of the things that has helped him through it, besides his brother, was his love for music.  Now that’s his main focus.  Well, it was until he sees Alice, the new neighbor.  Funny that just a little conversation in the elevator can have him dying to know more about her.  She’s going to be a tough nut to crack, but he’s up for the challenge.  Seth soon finds out that there’s more to the challenge than just a tough exterior when he finds her crying in the stairwell and realizes she needs more than just a hot boy toy….she needs a knight in shining armor and damn if he wants to be that for her.

Seth and Alice have so much from their pasts that needs to be healed.  Working on their own really hasn’t gone so well for them.  Will working together finally be the balm they need to heal the wounds they both have?

Talk about an emotional story.  We are given a peek into Alice’s story in the beginning and ever so slowly, the pieces are revealed and the puzzle that starts to take shape is so utterly heartbreaking. From the day she was born, she never stood a chance at happiness in the life she was brought into.  Alice is truly a survivor though.  She is finally free from the hell she called home and is now out on her own and is doing her best to live and be normal.  Then she meets Seth and she gains be a sliver of hope that she could be loved….scars and all.  Seth is amazing.  He’s a man’s man with a huge heart and the love he has for his brother is evident from the first chapter.  That made me love him even more and I knew if anyone can save Alice, he was it.  Regardless of his own personal and family issues, he has a good head on his shoulders and is a delicious balance between hard and soft.  The delicate dance between Alice and Seth was fabulous to read.  There was a slow build of trust and caring between them.  The attraction was instant but the progress into a relationship was done really well.  Especially as we learn about Alice’s past and what she has endured.  I can’t give anything away, but have some tissues handy.

Another fantastic addition to the story were the band members….besides brothers Seth and Gabe we meet Deacon and Evan.  Those two boys are a terrific addition to the entire dynamic and make the whole gang have a real family feel.  Albeit a slightly dysfunctional one, a family nonetheless, with all the teasing, bickering and caring that comes with it.

Rachel takes the reader on an emotional voyage with love, loss, angst, tenderness, anger, lust and so much more.  Thank you, Rachel, for Alice and Seth and for all of the rest of these memorable characters.  I can’t wait to see what you have planned form them all next!

4LovesRLBFour Loves

Excerpt:

He laughs that loud laugh that cuts down into my stomach and vibrates my breakfast to the surface. “Of course. I haven’t seen you in quite some time and thought I’d pay my baby daughter a visit. Did you get my letter?”

I can’t help the tremble that takes root in my chin and bleeds up into my tear ducts. I fight the well of salt water. Seth was right. They were a weakness to him, and he’d feed on them. “You need to go.”

“I’ll go when I’m ready. I think you should remember whose roof you’re living under and be more gracious.”

The door across the hall opens, and I meet Seth James’ bold stare over my father’s shoulder. God no. Please, don’t watch this.

He leaves the door open and steps closer. “Everything okay?”

My father lurches back and clears his throat. “Everything’s fine.” He spins and thrust out his hand, all politician’s smiles and his kissing baby’s grin on his face. “E. Harrison, and you are?”

“Neighbor. Seth James.”

I grip my towel tighter, but Seth’s eyes never stray from Dad’s. He was so wrong about being a hero. He’d just saved me from pure evil. The two men stand taller. My father is forbidding in his expensive threads. He has years of cut muscles beneath that have kept him from sagging like most men his age. Seth, on the other hand, has youth on his side. He’s all hard ridges and full of territorial male dominance.

With a deep sigh that relaxes all those tightened nerves, I ask, “Father, did you need something?”

“I came by to speak to you about something, but, perhaps another time would be better suited.” He glances back at me and sneers, but returns to sleazy smiles before he gives a nod to Seth. “Mr. James, a pleasure. I’ll be on my way.”

Seth puts a hand out and catches my father’s shoulder. “Mr. Harrison, as the owner of this condo, I feel that I should warn you against making my tenants uncomfortable.” Seth steps across the hall and drops an arm around my scarred shoulder. His thumb soothes away the shiver chasing over my collar bone. “I’m not sure of your welcome here, so please correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t want to see either of these girls come to harm.”

I gasp. He spoke so eloquently. Bold and rich. I’d have never thought he had it in him if I hadn’t just witnessed it. And no one has ever come to my defense. Never. Seth James was ten feet tall and made of blue bubble gum right now. I’d chew him, blow him, and make him pop. Vulgar, I know, but there it is.

My father straightens his jacket. “Do you know who I am?”

“I do, but obviously you do not know who I am or what I’m capable of.” Seth tucks me even closer. If he’s noticed the scars stretching across my shoulders, he’s too polite to even give them a second glance, and for that, I’ll forever be indebted to him. “Don’t fuck with Alice again.”

He knows my name. And he just cussed my dad.

Harrison squints at us, and turns, clicking his heels together before stalking to the elevator. As much as I love seeing someone put him in his place, Seth James had just built me a coffin.

Fucking great. As soon as the sliding doors close on Dad, I shove Seth away from me. He’s too much right now. Everything is too much.

His brow wrinkles. “What?”

“What the fuck do you think you’re doing?”

He steps back and glances at the floor before smirking up at me. “Being your hero.”

 

 

About the author:

Rachel Firasek spends her days daydreaming of stories and her nights putting the ideas to ink. She has spent a dull life following the rules, meeting deadlines, and toeing the line, but in her made up worlds, she can let the wild side loose. Her wonderful husband and three children support her love of the written word and only ask for the occasional American Idol or Swamp People quality hour.

She has a philosophy about love. It must devastate or it isn’t truly worth loving. She hopes that you all find your devastating love and cling to it with all your heart!

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