Title: Level Up
Author: Hadley Quinn
Genre: Romantic Suspense (Standalone)
~ SYNOPSIS ~
Warning: Not suitable for an audience under the age of 18 due to sex and language. Military flashbacks may be disturbing to sensitive readers.
He was like nothing I’d ever known: tall, muscular, tattooed, rough in every way…except with me. He’d never had softness in his life; never experienced a woman that loved him like I could. After one meeting, I couldn’t get him out of my head. There wasn’t even an explanation I found for myself as to why I was so drawn to him. We were from two entirely different worlds and I couldn’t offer him anything but…me.
She found a way to chip away years of harsh living. I’m not sure what it was that kept her coming back, but I couldn’t deny that I needed that from her. She begged me to give her a chance, but my reluctance had nothing to do with her. It was me. I was the one that she’d regret. I was the one that would shake her peaceful, innocent world until there were no tears left. But for some reason…she wouldn't leave my side.
A romantic summer turns into a life-or-death mission while first love attempts to heal a troubled soldier. Can Gabe escape the demons from his past before he loses the only good thing to enter his life?
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This book was such a great and EASY read. I really enjoyed Gabe and Ava's story!!! Hadley Quinn is one of my favorite authors, so I will say this: She can write an intriguing story. I don't normally read romantic suspense, but this book was really good! She knows how to weave scenarios and make the storyline very believable. It was very action packed and very romantic. *sigh* I loved the relationship that Ava and Gabe had....it was so comforting and affectionate, but also very intense.
Ava was such a sweet young lady that had a very lovable and nurturing side to her. She was a natural caretaker with a zest for life and she didn't care what anyone else thought. She had a good head on her shoulders and was very solid in her beliefs. Her character was SO likable. I got a kick out of her smart wit (one of HQ's best abilities as a writer) and her tenacity. Ava was such a well rounded character that was perfect for the likes of Gabe.
Gabe was closed off from the world. He had seen enough in his lifetime to scar anyone.....and he was definitely suffering because of it. Gabe had a work ethic to be envious of; he did his work effortlessly and efficiently, and he did it right. Always.
Gabe was taking some time "off" from his other job and came to work on Ava's family vacation home. Ava saw him and was immediately drawn to him....and it was a very 'whaaa....?' meeting, too. Gabe is always working and getting things done around the home, but he doesn't talk very much. Ava had tried talking to him on a few occasions, but that apparently didn't go over very well. It left her wondering if he was angry at her, or if he was mad....but, the vision she received when she did spot him working around the yard and taking some time to talk to him....yummy!!!
~God, what did he do all day besides wrestle bears?~
He definitely was a sight.....very disciplined and very fit. Between Ava trying to talk to Gabe and Gabe trying to avoid Ava while she vacationed with her friends, there was some push and pull. It was fun to watch them try to work around each other. She knew that Gabe was a good guy from some of the glimpses he would give her, but he refused to allow her to get too close. She tried....oh boy, did she ever. There was something about him that just drew her in even though she knew that he was very closed off. Watching Ava break him down, little by little, was very entertaining. She had such an ease about her when she talked to him that he couldn't help giving in a little here and there. Their exchanges were very spirited and usually made me laugh. Like, c'mon Gabe!! Give in a little!!! She was continually trying to find reasons to talk to him. She would make food for him and bring it over and make excuses to get him to talk. I loved it!
~"Take a sandwich then," she tried, holding out the plate that was still with her. "If you don't, I'll know its my cooking and sandwich making skills that turn you off." He started at her. Like, really stared at her.
Finally, in a voice that was a little huskier than usual, he said, "I assure you that I'm not turned off in the least bit." And then he grabbed a sandwich from the plate and walked away with it....~
Okay?!? He would give just a little and then pull away.....I loved this!! Their relationship was so fun to watch and grow, but man-o-man!!! Gabe was in over his head....he didn't want to give in, but he found it harder to resist her than anything else. And if he didn't have his own demons to battle with, he would realize that Ava was good for him. She was very good for him. He needed to quit fighting it!!
~She was way too classy to be drawn to the likes of him~
And then, the action came to his front door....literally, and that is when the story got super intense. It was a very nail-biting time for ME, so I can only imagine what was going on for Ava....ha! It wasn't angsty, but it was very action-packed and very fast paced. The action in this book was very intense and I found myself skimming some of it because it was super detailed on everything happening around them (remember, I don't read suspense/action type books), but then found myself going back to read it because I realized that there was stuff happening in there that was integral to the story and Ava and Gabe's relationship. It really was written really exceptionally well.
Overall, very good book. This was written with such detail and the story was well thought out. I really enjoyed this book and would truly recommend it to anyone!
~Our pasts are there to learn from, but it doesn't mean it has to own us~
Check out this BOOK TRAILER for the book. I loved this trailer!!
Besides books, I love music, dance, sports, and sunshine. I love live music and love going to concerts. Doesn't tell you much, but you'll learn way more about me from social media or my blog site!
My writing: I don't write short stories. I'd rather have one full story instead of turning it into two. I believe in order to build a relationship with a book, it takes time to get to know it. I like my characters to be well-developed. I like the story to show rather than tell. I like my heroes to have integrity and my heroines to be strong. Just as importantly, I like them to have a sense of humor. I believe in adversity because it is a natural part of life, and I like my characters to learn that as well. And I definitely *prefer* happily ever afters!
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