Cover by: Marisa Shor of Cover Me, Darling
Release Date: February 29, 2016
Pre-order from Amazon for only 99 Pennies: http://amzn.to/1Poe8ud
Blurb:For as long as he could remember, Sebastian had been cursed. It began with the tragic death of his parents when he inherited the modern art gallery. It continued every day when he looked in the mirror and saw a monster where a man should be. He’d tried everything without success. Then he happened upon her, his cure, the one who could give him a second chance at life, love and happiness. After years of repairing what her father destroyed during his drunken rampages, opening a shop for repurposed and redesigned furniture seemed a natural progression for Marisa. When Sebastian hired her, she finally had a chance to get paid to do what she’d done for years for free. It seemed like a win, until he proposed. The moment they met, Sebastian was drawn to her. Of course, losing everything in thirty days if he didn’t marry was a huge incentive. So he asked and she refused. An experienced negotiator, he never gave up when he had his heart set on something. For Marisa, marriage wasn’t on the table and love wasn’t negotiable. Still, always quick to see the best in others, she looked at him and saw a project, her ultimate redesign. Maybe even Sebastian deserved a second chance.
Finally, I opened my eyes, lifted my fork and started to pick at the pancakes again. “Marisa, this is…” I held up a finger. “Shh! Stop interrupting.” “You’re not saying anything!” Sebastian beamed even as he tried to sound exasperated. Shifting in my chair, I turned to face him. “I’m thinking.” Leaning forward, he murmured, “While you’re thinking, can we talk about you?” I stiffened then shook my head. “I never talk about myself.” From the corner of my eye, I watched for a reaction. Apparently, he had decided to ignore me, since he continued to speak. “Your father says you’re talented. You can fix anything. Is this true?” Licking my lips, my head tilted as I studied him. “I’m opening a shop called Second Chances. What do you think?” “Good.” He nodded then started to tug on his lower lip. Fascinated, I watched for a moment before interrupting. “What are you thinking?” “The insurance company will probably cut me a check today to get started on repairs and replacing things around here. I want to hire you to fix as much of what’s broken as possible.” With a hesitant smile, he asked, “What do you think?” Silently, with narrowed eyes, I considered his offer. “I have to get ready to open my store.” “I understand that, but you must also need money.” I watched as his jaw tightened. This was a man who didn’t like being refused. “Yes, I do, but I also need time and there’s only so much of that.” I was determined to stick to my plan. “I still have to go find more pieces to work on…” Sebastian leaned on the arm of the chair. “What do you need?” With a slight grin, I responded. “I’ll know it when I see it.” “Do I have the field trip for you.” He crossed his arms over his chest for a moment as if deep in thought. “So, if I can find you more pieces, and pay you to repair stuff around here, will you do it?” My lips pursed as prepared to blurt out what troubled me most. “Why would you do this for me?” Determined to get an answer, I pushed my chair back from the table. “My father destroyed your gallery. You could’ve thrown him in jail, but you’re obviously paying for a program at a treatment facility instead. As if that wasn’t enough, you want to hire me to do work and supply me with pieces for my shop.” Shifting to face him, I leaned forward and balanced my arms on my thighs. “What do you want, Sebastian? People don’t just do all this and expect to get nothing in return. You could buy all new furniture. You don’t really need me. Talk to me. And don’t bother lying to me because I’ll know.” Now it was all out in the open. I felt better, but the longer he made me wait in silence, the more my stomach twisted in turmoil. Apparently, I wasn’t suffering alone. Staring at him, I could see the sweat breaking out in tiny droplets over his brow. He tried to act all cool, but Sebastian was drying his hands on his pants and probably trying to decide what to say. My eyes honed in on his little tells. It had been a guess, but I knew I was right. He wanted something. Judging by his reaction, it had to be big. “Well.” Sebastian swallowed hard. He started to talk once more, but instead hesitated and took an enormous swig of his hot chocolate. He wiped his mouth and dabbed at his brow. Through it all, I waited. Finally he sighed and his shoulders sank. “I…I want you to marry me.”
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*
This Book Nerd Says:
Let's jump right into it shall we?
When I first started reading the prologue I was pretty wary I'm not going to lie. I began to wonder if this was going to be a bit predictable or a bit too typical... Sebastian's predicament (which will not be explicitly said so as to not be a spoiler of any sort) was different but I worried about the course of action he was going to take to resolve it.
My interest was peaked when I realized the true demons that Sebastian was facing. His insecurities warped into real fears that were true barriers for his character. In a very unique and touching way it made him more humane. It was a rare glimpse at a tenderly flawed alpha male character that stands out in my mind. It dissolved any preconceived of what his character truly was and allowed me to see him from a much better place.
I loved that place.
The best thing about this story are the characters. I loved both Sebastian and Marisa and the balance and complimentary aspects they brought to each other. Marisa is probably the easiest to relate to throughout the story hands down. While some aspects of the story I saw coming, the one moment that I didn't expect was peeling back the spunky layers of her personality and getting a glimpse of the real pain she had fought to get through... pain that lingered under the surface still.
Sebastian is a broken man and he finds the salvation to his cursed life in a young woman who finds her passion is to take the things others deemed broken and restore them.
Marisa is a fixer...
They completed each other so well in some instances that I didn't have a hard time understanding that they truly did become everything to each other. YET... Marisa's talent and passion for her work holds true from beginning to end, proving she didn't have to lose her own self even as she allowed herself to grow in her relationship with Sebastian.
It was a read that pulled me within the first couple of chapters and didn't let me go until I put the book down. There's a love story, a bunch of chuckles and a surprising bit of thrill that's waiting for you in this one.
I definitely recommend it with a full 4 STARS!