Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Book Tour for Once Loved by Cecy Robson (Review & GIVEAWAY)

As a fan of romances full of angst and as someone who read the first installment in the Shattered Past series, I'm thrilled to give you a glimpse today of the next installment in the series.... Once Loved by Cecy Robson.  Keep reading to learn my impressions of this story and learn even more about this book by visiting the other logs hosting this tour.  Make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win a $25 bookstore GC, a Loveswept mug, and nail polish too!

He’s the campus golden boy. She’s picking up the pieces of her broken past. But in Cecy Robson’s scorching novel of second chances—perfect for readers of Monica Murphy and J. Lynn—their differences only make their connection more explosive.
Every memory Lety Tres Santos has from her childhood comes with a scar—some emotional, some physical. Her father is an abusive drug addict, and her mother enables his destructive behavior. College offers Lety a fresh start . . . until her father finds a way to ruin that, too. Now, after losing her scholarship to kick off junior year, Lety must somehow stay in school, pay tuition, and turn a deaf ear to the whispers that follow her. And she intends to do it all without Brody Quaid’s help.
Brody is a lacrosse star, a 4.0 student—and as a freshman, he fell hard for the beautiful and spirited Lety. But their relationship crashed and burned because he couldn’t break through the walls she’s put up around her heart. With Letyhurting more than ever, Brody strives to win her back and make her believe in real love and true partnership. That will mean opening up secrets locked away in his own past—and trusting someone more than he’s ever dared.
Lety knows how painful it can be to depend on the wrong man. She also knows how much Brody wants to do this the right way. But it takes more than sizzling desire to move on and build a future together.


“Rough day?”
I sighed. “You could say that.”
Brody played with the wavy strands of my hair, his deep voice lowering. “Why didn’t you call me last night, or text me back today?”
“Didn’t really feel like talking.”
“Even to me? We used to talk about everything, remember?” He let out a breath when I wouldn’t answer. “Letz, I thought we were starting to get somewhere.”
His other nickname for me shouldn’t have tugged on my heart the way it did, but everything “Brody” had that effect on me. “I thought so, too.”
“What changed?”
I motioned to where his teammates disappeared. “Isn’t it obvious? My batshit crazy father showed up, reminding me why you’re better off without me.”
Brody dragged his fingers through his chin-length blond hair. “I can’t believe you’re doing this to us again.”
My hands fell to my side. “Brody, I’m not trying to hurt you. Why can’t you just accept that I’m not the best person for you?”
“Why can’t you accept what you mean to me?”
My head lowered. I wasn’t the type of girl who cried much. But when it came to him, it was impossible to fight back the tears. Someone like Brody was never supposed to fall for someone like me. I was a minority from the wrong side of town. He was the popular athlete who came from wealth and who all the pretty, drama-free girls swarmed, waiting for their chance to pounce.
“Because we don’t belong together,” I answered truthfully.
“That doesn’t make sense. We spent our first year attached at the hip, having fun, raising hell.” His tone deepened. “And when you finally wised up and realized how bad I wanted you, no one could pry us apart.”
I covered my eyes. “Brody, dont. I can’t think about us that way.”
“And I can’t stop.” His large hands enclosed my wrists and slowly lowered them. “I meant what I said at camp. You fucking broke my heart.”

BUY LINKS:  Amazon  |  BN  |  iTunes  |  Kobo


Overcoming pain from the past is the main theme of this story and is what binds two apparent opposites together in making a future.  Lety and Brody have both been put through the emotional wringer courtesy of her drunken and abusive father's continuing cruelty ending their burgeoning relationship before it barely started.  Wanting to keep Brody safe had Lety pushing him away but a year later has both of them miserable and him charming his way back into her life.  Their shared pain, and the masks of frivolity they hide behind, has them forming an unbroken bond based on unconditional support and understanding that was immensely heartwarming to see.  This story has them continuing to work through their pasts, and Brody finally revealing his own dark secret, in a story that pulls readers into their emotionally intense journey to HEA that has you crying one moment and cheering the next.

After just touching the surface of both Lety and Brody's lives in the previous book, this time around has us digging even deeper and seeing their internal struggles more profoundly.  Lety has seen her mother beaten time and again, living on the whim of a man, and desperately wants something different for herself.  Though she can't help supporting her mother monetarily, she's resentful of it and determined to make her own way to not end up like her mother.  She's a very strong-willed woman and a hard worker who's precariously balancing studies and nursing a disabled man and his son, who have an intriguing connection to Brody.  She's someone you admire and look up to and I ached for her having to live in fear of her father's cruelty as she so valiantly pushed forward to better herself.  Her and her siblings have a strong bond too and I enjoyed seeing more of Mateo from the previous book while getting to know more about Sophia and what lies ahead for her love life.

Brody seems to have it all with his wealth and good looks.  He's drawn to Lety though she comes from a different world.  He senses her pain as it calls to his and his charm leads to friendship and ultimately more before her father destroys their tenuous bond.  Being without her broke him once again and he's determined to get her back.  I adored Brody as he's sweet, caring, supportive, and never rushes her when it comes to sex.  He wants her on whatever terms she'll allow and his understanding her fears made him even more endearing.  He's carrying some pretty heavy burdens himself, along with the visible and mental scars to prove it, and only when he finally opens up to Lety do you sense that that is the defining moment in their relationship.  From there they're a formidable match who won't let the past define who they are and what they want anymore.  Brody is the quintessential, charming, willing to sacrifice all for Lety's love, and with a heart of gold he wears on his sleeve.  I'm still dreaming about him and it will take another special guy to supplant him in my heart.

This was an emotionally intense story that was ultimately an uplifting one.  It didn't shy away from the hard truths of life, it dealt with them head-on and showed the true power of love.  It was a sensual read where the emotional connection was more integral to the romance than the sex.  It made for a richer connection between Brody and Lety as they took things slowly which has me hopeful for their future.  Brody and Lety were memorable and strong-willed characters surrounded by an equally strong cast of supportive secondary characters who acted and talked in believable ways.  The stress, chaos, and fun of college was also believably interpreted to immerse you in the story even more.  From start to finish this was a compelling read that put me through the emotional wringer just as much as the characters and I loved every minute of it!  Ms. Robson continues to impress with her engaging characters and gut-wrenching writing and I'm left greatly anticipating the next book in this series.

My rating for this is an A-

*I bought this book for my own personal library and my opinions are my own.


CECY ROBSON is the New Adult and Contemporary author of the Shattered Past series, and the award winning author of the Weird Girls Urban Fantasy Romance series. A self-proclaimed professional napper, Cecy counts among her talents a jaw-dropping knowledge of useless trivia, the ability to make her hair big, and a knack for breaking into song, despite her family’s vehement protests. A full-time writer, registered nurse, wife, and mother living in the South, Cecy enjoys spending time with her family and silencing the yappy characters in her head by telling their stories.

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  1. Thank you for taking the time to read and review Once Loved and for your kind words of praise. I so appreciate the wonderful feature and for your willingness to take part in my tour. :-D

    1. Thank YOU for stopping by and for your kind words! I find this series an amazing read full of everything I'm looking for in a romance and I can't wait for the next installment!

      The Scarf Princess