Monday, September 9, 2013

BLOG TOUR +REVIEW: STRIVING FOR NORMAL BY BL MOONEY



Synopsis:
The most intimate relationship Drew Clayborn had with a man in the last four years has been with her therapist. With a past that has left her broken and scarred, she tries to piece herself back together enough to make it through each day. Whether she’s ready or not, life brings her back among the living, and Drew needs to learn quickly how to deal with her troubled past. When the perfect opportunity presents itself to pursue her dream career, it also provides Drew her first encounter with a compelling man since her devastating breakup with the last one.

Carl Williamson is rich, powerful, and gorgeous. The desire she feels when he’s near makes it impossible not to melt into his arms. He wants Drew and will stop at nothing to have her. Carl promises to be her protector, but he brings familiar concerns to the surface.

Dennis Brooks is a nice guy her best friend thinks would be her perfect match. He’s strong, honest, and sexy as hell, and he makes her smile in a way no one else can. Drew feels safe and secure with him, but she isn’t certain he is strong enough to handle Drew and give her what she thinks she needs in a relationship.

When Drew’s demanding, controlling ex comes back to stake his claim on her, the carefully crafted world she built for herself is turned upside down. Does she need a powerful man like Carl to help her? Will Dennis step up and be the man she needs? Or does she finally become strong enough to deal with her past on her own? Who is the true hero in her quest of striving for normal?


Buy Links:   Amazon | Barnes & Nobles | Kobo

Goodreads Book Link:  here

Our Review:

As I was reading this I kept thinking that many women would've been so judgmental and scornful of Drew; they'd just have a hard time believing anyone could get caught up in something like she did. Unfortunately, many women do get manipulated and feel trapped, just like she did and some aren't lucky enough to have friends like she does to help survive it.

Uh, are you forgetting about Deb in this book? Gah...I have lots of not nice things to say about her, but she definitely drives your point home. She was this way to Drew and that was right in front of her brother Dennis, whom Drew is dating. I think all of that is true, but the alternative of trying to run away from someone like Craig with help or not and the constant fear that he will find you wouldn't have been easier...

Are you freaked out yet...? Yeah. I was too. But IT WAS SOOOOO GOOOD! 

Drew is recovering from an especially horrific ex-boyfriend and as she begins to make a new life for herself two men begin to fight for her attention. Good problem to have, right? Not for Drew. She's feeling overwhelmed and confused and uncertain about how to go forward and if either of these men are who should she go forward with.

I don't necessarily understand her hangups in the "which guy do I pick" parts because, well I've been with my one guy for a very long time...but underneath that where the issues are really with herself is what made me wish that it was easier for her to get to the place she needed to be to love herself and give love to others. That stuff is heartbreaking, and her flashbacks are sometimes hard to take...be ready.

As the novel progresses we watch Drew find success in a great job,  begin to accept that she 'deserves' goodness and love, learns how to see manipulators for what they are, and navigate a "normal" relationship. She also sees that she must decide if passion and normalcy can co-exist in a relationship and if either of these men have the capacity to offer both.

This is a love triangle with an obvious favorite, and I wanted her to realize she loved him as much as we did. I loved the moments with Joseph, her therapist, and how he would help her figure things out on her own with the right tiny push in the right direction. That pissed her off, of course, but he and Terrie and Mark helped her immensely. The best friends in this book are my heroes. I have to say that I loved this book because it made me so angry...at multiple characters...in a good way. I felt so many different emotions that I am still processing! 

With the help of a therapist, her best friends, her co-workers, her new men and her ex, Drew begins to find a path for herself that is steady, healthy, and 'normal'. Normal is so overrated right? Yeah, Drew has a very tumultuous life, and I loved how real it was. It isn't always sunshine and rainbows in this one, but it was a very great story for me! 

Shelley: 3 Stars
Courtney: 5 Stars


Author Bio:
B.L. Mooney started writing when the voices and storylines in her head ran out of room. They were getting too cramped and neither B.L. nor the characters could take it anymore, so she did the only thing she could do—she made room. She always knew she wanted to write, but vowed to make time for it later. Now that she’s made time for writing, most everything else falls to the wayside. That seems to suit the characters that keep popping up just fine.

B.L. lives in the Midwest and her other talents include in-demand cookies, a very dry sense of humor, and stealth eavesdropping. Some mannerisms, attitudes, or twists come from random sentences picked up while passing by strangers. So speak up the next time you have something to gossip about. You never know, it may just end up on the pages of the next book you read.

Social Links:     Facebook Page | Twitter | Goodreads Author

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