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Author: BT Urruela
Publication Date: 21 June 2016
Series: Broken Outlaw, book 1
Genre: Contemporary (with a side of romance)
Age Recommendation: 18 and up
Rating: 3 Stars
~ I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review ~
Xander Evans has been on the road for many years. Never settling. Always moving from one place to another, unable to let go of his past. He lived a tragic childhood, spending most of those years in foster care. He's never felt like he's had a home. That is until he stops in the small town of Truman Valley, Missouri, where he meets a woman who will change everything he's ever known.
Paige Watson has it all. A loving family, beautiful home, and a great career. The only thing she's missing....is love. After escaping an abusive relationship, she opens her heart up to a stranger. He is unlike any man she's ever met. He came into her life and turned it completely upside down. Everything is perfect. That is, until one fateful night.
A night that would tear the Watson family apart, never to be put back together again.
A night that would send Xander away to prison for life.
So this is one of those books you go into expecting a certain thing and you get something completely different. With that said when you get to the end and you settle not the fact that this wasn't the story you expected you suddenly become aware that it's better than you first thought as you were reading it. What makes it something you aren't expecting? It's that this isn't a Contemporary Romance. I would call this (as I did above) a Contemporary novel with a side of romance.
Into the Nothing is a story about a family with demons they fail to recognize, a family that is with deep love and faith in one another. The story of a man who has become a drifter while running from his past. It's the story of love, friendship, growth, courage, and most especially trust.
Xander stumbles into the lives of the Watson family by chance but soon finds himself working for John Watson, living in their guest house, and desiring the Watson's daughter Paige. Throw in to all that an angry teenage boy, a abusive ex-boyfriend, a lot of drinking and pot smoking and you have a recipe that ultimately leads us down a winding twisted path landing Xander behind bars for murder and a family falling apart.
I have to say I sat on this book for a long time. I started to read it than I put it down and went through a few other books, I read it and had to put it down and let it simmer in my mind for a while...this book is a book that is on the verge of greatness but just doesn't quite reach it and you want it to, you want it to so badly. The story is all there....but the execution doesn't pull it off. It's a bit hard to explain because yes it kept me totally interested once I got going with it, but it was a slow (until the last few chapters where it seemed to go way to fast) pace. It sat on the edge of dark and would have only taken a small push to put it there and I wonder if BT had taken it there if it would have been stronger. It's a book that has all the makings of a romance of a lifetime but the characters are never fully connected. It's a book where you got everything and not quite enough of anything. For instance there were times where I was reading along content in the knowledge of what everyone was feeling, where everything was going, and then I felt like I missed a part and would flip back through the pages looking for where I missed that emotion or that bit of information and then at the end you are given everything but it's in the last few chapters so it's all thrown at you at once.
I almost felt like BT could have made this story into a series, I would have loved to see him go deeper into the characters histories, into their connections, into the dark angle, and into their future. On that note I know that this is part of a series and I have faith that we will be seeing these two main characters again. I have say I fell in love with Twitch, I can not wait for his story. I also loved Irish...but I am not entirely sure how his story will come about. I have to remind myself that Into the Nothing is not a (in my opinion) contemporary romance so the other two books will also not likely be ones. I need to stop looking to these books for a story of a relationship and look at them as stories of (almost) coming of age stories.
When it comes down to it I did enjoy this story, it is a great start, it's a wonderful first solo novel. I think it needs to stop being advertised as a romance. Yes you get steamy moments, yes there is a relationship but (as I have mentioned) in the end that is not what this book is about and I will warn you know although it is an HEA it is not the HEA you expect. Again...this book is just not what you expect so throw away all your preconceived ideas, open your heart and mind to a story you aren't expecting, sit back with a big glass of wine and enjoy a slow build with a crazy twist and a pleasant end.
I will definitely be picking up the other books in the series as they come out. BT has an amazing story happening here and with each book I can only see them coming together better and better. One thing I can say is when you put this book down you won't walk away and forget about it. This is a book that is going to stick in your mind for quite a while and it won't be out of frustrated or disappointment it will be because you keep playing all the pieces over and over looking for how you didn't see that twist coming and wondering what BT is going to give you next.
~ HAPPY READING ~
"He was over here for like five hours last night drinking and talking with Dad. You think I like him? My dad's in love. And the way he didn’t hesitate to put Benji in his place, I just think Dad’s got a good feeling about him."
"Shit, I've got a good feeling about him too... and it's in my panties." She laughs and motions toward her crotch. "If I had been working and saw him do that to Benji's fat ass, I would've let him fuck me right on top of the bar…and I would’ve let everyone watch."
"I'm serious. Fuck it!”
"Paige, don't tell me you didn't notice that anaconda stuffed into his jeans?"
"What?! What the fuck are you talking about? Anaconda? I wasn't looking at his damn jeans." I laugh, finding it hard to not to love this girl who has become like a sister to me. She's the craziest bitch I know, but she's got my back no matter what. She's had it since day one.
"Why wouldn’t you look at his jeans? That’s where his dick is!”
BT Urruela was an infantryman in the US Army from August 2004 until February 2011. At the end of a year long tour to Baghdad, Iraq, his vehicle was hit by two roadside bombs, which took his right leg below the knee and the life of his commander. He was awarded a Purple Heart for his wounds, an Army Commendation Medal, and Combat Infantryman's Badge. He medically retired from the Army in 2011 and moved to Tampa, FL where he currently works as a Director and Brand Ambassador for VETSports, a veteran community sports nonprofit he co-founded in 2012. He also conducts motivational speeches, works as a cover and fitness model and he's a personal performance trainer. He co-wrote the military romance novel A Lover's Lament and will be releasing his debut solo novel, Into the Nothing, on June 21st, 2016.