“There is a vulnerability there, hovering just below the surface. And I want to pick at it until I expose it. Then I want to kiss it."
Two years ago, Emily Burnham, had an epiphany about the shallowness of her life. And she made it her mission to become a different person…a better woman. Out from under the controlling thumb of her mother, Emily is tasting the real world for the first time. And she likes it.
Nixon Caldwell has served his time in the Marine Corps, surviving two brutal tours in Afghanistan. He is back home, surrounded by what he likes best…isolation. It's certainly the easiest way to avoid confrontation of the consuming guilt that is weighing him down.
When an accident brings Emily and Nix together, he soon learns he is not the master of his own fate. Struggling with his own pain, Nix tries to guard himself against Emily’s charms. He wants her in his bed, but he doesn’t want her in his heart.
Having grabbed life by the horns, Emily wants it all. But is she willing to accept just the small part of himself that Nix is offering? Can she reach the part of his soul that he has deemed to be Off Limits?
This book is the follow up novel to Off Sides by Sawyer Bennett. It can be read as a stand-alone.
Title: Off Limits
Author: Sawyer Bennett
Release date: April 16, 2013
Publisher: Big Dog Books, LLC
Age Group: New Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
About the author:
Sawyer Bennett is the pen name for a snarky southern woman and reformed trial lawyer who decided to finally start putting on paper all of the stories that were floating in her head. She is married to a mobster (well, a market researcher) and they have two big, furry dogs who hog the bed. Sawyer would like to report she doesn't have many weaknesses but can be bribed with a nominal amount of milk chocolate.
2. Nix. I love the name--short for Nixon. Nix is very closed off and protective of his head, heart...well of everything. He's an observer; he sits back and watches everything but doesn't volunteer much to anyone, except his brother and dad. Additionally, in his very first scene he establishes that he's a 'no strings attached' kind of guy and happy to be that way. He doesn't hesitate to call it like he sees it and isn't keen on sparing people's feelings. Enter Emily. She very quickly gets under his skin; he cannot seem to control his interest and desire to know her more. He slowly allows himself to be more open and vulnerable to her. As they learn more about each other, we discover more about Nix's military experiences and how those have a direct impact on why he's so quick to shut people out.
3. The military story. Sawyer Bennett handled the military aspect of this story with care. The writing is so respectful of PTSD and TBI injuries and all of the emotions that are attached with surviving war. I also appreciated the inclusion of a therapist and showing how a big, tough military guy like Nix could learn from and use therapy to begin to heal.
4. The loose ends. Not only do we get the story of Emily and Nix, we also get a continuation of Ryan and Danny's story, and the opportunity to see Emily and Ryan's mom redeem her vile before. And, while I wish the ending of Emily and Nix (and his yummy tattoo) had more of a conclusion, I am hopeful that in the next installment we will see that they are still living happily ever after.
This was one of just a handful of novels that I've read that deal with a war veteran and the issues that war can bring to a relationship; it was a refreshing change of pace from some of my current reads.
1) Emily. She was a total b-word in Off Sides, and a product of her mothers making. While I didn't care much for her then, she did semi redeem herself and I am very glad we got to skip the whole year and summer of her finding who she was going to be before Off Limits started. While that could be an entire novel in itself, I just don't think it would have fit in this story. Also, not to say that I wanted a happy heroine because they can't all be that happy, but I don't think I would've liked Emily that much if she hasn't made a little bit of progress already. (Reference Mrs. Burnham in either story and you'll possibly agree.) I loved her in this one, with taking responsibility for herself and her choices and how she treats people that are different than her in background, experiences, and beliefs (I.E Fil, and Nixon.)
2) Nix. I too love this name & ironically this is the second book in a week with the hero with this name for me. Nixon Caldwell is a man of many, many layers. I had a wonderful time uncovering those, and his reasons for being the way he is now is heartbreaking. I was very proud of SB's sensitivity to the PTSD/military side of the story, and while I'm not an expert, I thought it was an accurate portrayal of the emotions that go along with it all. I heart Nix for taking a chance with Emily even though they had many ups and downs, and considering that they started off with a literal bang, and how even with his problems he was 100% loyal to his dad and brother. Perfect book boyfriend for me-biker, tattoos, military = swoon-worthy!
3)The military. These are some of my favorite stories, because the military and everything that goes with it is a big deal to me (big patriot, right over here!) The fact that I'm a nurse also makes me pay attention when horrific injuries are involved in a book. I like to see the inner working of a story when a character has to overcome something big like that, and how they and their families deal with it. Nixon's family is awesome at the point of the story we see, but I think a prequel of sooner after the incident would be cray cray when he was really having serious problems.
4) The loose ends + the other stuff! I too loved seeing what Ryan and Danny were up too these days. I also enjoyed how all the people were more interconnected than I thought they would be, and cannot wait for the next book. The steamy scenes were most definitely steamy (they'll teach you a new way to paint a living room!) and while they had ups and downs there was so much more story than the first book. I really liked Off Sides, but I wanted more (eh, don't we always!) and the writing in this book was blow my mind incredible! The pacing was fantastic, and I felt every aspect was very well developed. I was 100% pleased and hope you'll decide to jump in on this series too!
Sawyer Bennett is also offering a giveaway: