Sunday, December 22, 2013

REVIEW: TENSION AND SEAMLESS BY R.L. GRIFFIN

You absolutely must read these books. If you haven't read book one--our review is here and you need to start with that one first. Trust me, though, these books are well worth the time and money you will spend on them. And, good news!!! The final book in the series is out and George and Stella (aka El) get a finished story--so no waiting to see what happens.


The Stella who emerges from the rubble of the bombing in Montana is a woman full of conflict. She knows she should be grateful that she lived when others didn't, but after waking in the hospital as a celebrity, complete with a new moniker, she's bitter and distrustful, questioning everything in her life. She's unsure of her friends, her new boyfriend, and her job. In addition, a face from the past reappears and threatens to take the one good thing in her life.

Stella attempts to deal with the new scrutiny of her life with her usual sense of humor, but she's filled with a new emotion that she tries desperately to hide: HATE. Her recovery is hastened by her determination to find the man who turned her into a walking scar. She's going to kill him; she needs to kill him. 

Stella isn't alone. She has her close friends and her dog, Cooper. Will their support be enough to help Stella accomplish her plan, or will this endeavor be her undoing?

This book is intended for mature audiences due to strong language and sexual content.


Kindle Edition280 pages
Published June 26th 2013
Source: Purchased

Tension Review:

This novel starts immediately where the first book left off.  Poor Stella is waking up to a world of hurt--physically, emotionally, psychologically--because she's been a victim of a horrible terrorist attack and the person who hurt her is someone she thought was dead. She is literally and figuratively scarred and is having an incredibly hard time trying to overcome the strong emotions that come with such a horrific event.

I would have cracked immediately, but not Stella. She has the rage inside of her that makes her want to get back to her normal life as quickly as possible...but plot vengeance at the same time. I was very intrigued with the start of the novel and how we got some present details, but went back to right after the accident so we knew how she reacted afterward. I still cannot even fathom looking into someone's eyes as they shoot you in the chest and wake up to find they've left you for dead. Cannot even fathom it. It is insane. 

With cadre of support--her parents, Millie, Jessie, Greg, Patrick, Billy, and George--El begins to try to recover from the bombing but with the media following her every mood she cannot get a moment to herself. Thankfully George is taking his boyfriend duties very seriously and does everything in his power to love her and help her. He reads her moods and expressions very well and while he definitely takes care to show her how much he loves her, he also doesn't allow her to bullshit him; he calls her on her crap. I'm Team George all of the way! 

Hhhhmmmmm...you will definitely have some conflict to being on Team George. Maybe that was just me. I couldn't help it. I can't tell you who or how or why but I think my mind was as all over the place as Stella's. I do love George, no doubt about it. But I also couldn't help but be as scared as Stella that he would eventually leave. Scared to death! Because her life is absolutely insane! 

El's anger at Patrick and the boiling hatred at Jamie is eating away at her and becomes a focal point of her recovery...especially the hating Jamie part. It creates a hardness in her that no one quite knows how to handle. Millie is hurt and confused about the Patrick situation and Patrick is constantly begging for her forgiveness. While El has to navigate that issue, she also is actively trying to plan how to eliminate her main problem, Jamie. It's complicated. No doubt. Complicated should be her middle name! Lol. I felt so bad for Millie because of government level clearance and risk of treason no one could tell her anything...and that was very hard. And just more crap for Stella to deal with is us wondering if any of her friendships will survive this.

Meanwhile, Jesse, George's and El's families, and El's job troubles all become woven into this narrative. I loved all of these additions; they enhanced the story and kept me actively engaged in all aspects of the plot. Gah, George's family made me a little crazy. I could not take his family. But I did love the addition of Jesse that I was not suspecting after everything she went through in book 1. I find it funny that she gets along so much better with guys than girls, and I think that is a theme too here...can this woman and these men just be friends? Hhhmmmm. 

The last 15-20% of the novel was nuts. Just when you thought the crazy shit was over something else would happen and then the ENDING...well...thank goodness the third book is out. I shoved all of my other reading out of the way and immediately started it; you'll want to too. I loved my badass El and I hope you do too! It was an insane rollercoaster! I had to process for a while, but had to hit the third book with a vengeance as soon as possible!!! It is that good. You have to know how this story ends! 

Shelley: 5 Stars
Courtney: 5 Stars


Professional, successful, survivor Stella has mastered the art of appearances and conquering what life throws at her. Time after time, she chooses to fight even though she's consistently poised to break. It's that fight to get her life back, to make things right, to survive that defines who she is. She's been loved, left, lost, blown up, shot, and exploited. Physically, she's almost completely put back together. Mentally, Stella's one step from a vindictive retaliation that may or may not be her best choice. 

In Seamless, Stella has no choice but to step into the ring with someone who she once loved. It's a dirty fight that will take all she has. Will she do what it takes to win? Will she make it out alive? 

You'll cheer her on until you realize all is not what it seems. Appearances can be deceiving.



Kindle Edition275 pages
Published December 10th 2013
Source: eARC received from author in exchange for honest review.




Seamless Review:
OH MY SHIT. I thought I had ideas about this book but the last 20% of this book had me dropping more F bombs than I've dropped in a very long time. I definitely contemplated throwing something in a complete temper tantrum because it was THAT crazy...in the best way possible.

My original plan was to post screen shots of Shelley's reactions while she was reading this. But since my phone is a beotch, that is no longer possible. But I will say, we haven't had this kind of emotional response in texts in a while. We feel strongly about stuff sure, but to have the use of less than three words to convey a smorgasbord of emotion was seriously epic. I apologize that I cannot show you this. lol. 

This final book in the George/El story starts out exactly where book 2 ends, thank god! We get to follow their bumpy relationship, both of their new jobs, both of their families (still not loving George's), their friends, and the media circus that surrounds them. Jamie is out there somewhere and his ability to just pop up whenever/wherever made me a nervous wreck. Fucking Jamie. Gah!

Ditto, chica. There is always the under current of where is that muthaeffing SOB and what is he up to. Why has he done any of the things he has. Why won't he leave her alone. and I could go on and on and on. The fact that George takes care of his family and gets nothing in return...and the fact that his sister and mother think that they get to weigh in on his relationship at ALL was irritating. I wanted that plot line resolved much sooner than it was...so prepare to be irritated for a long while for George's sake. Gah. I sent Shel a lot of angsty messages about my thoughts on this. 

I'm still firmly in the Team George corner...despite his sisters and mom and Jessica--you'll see, just wait-- because he loves El so much. He continues to support her, call her on her bullshit, pushes her to seek out a healthier her, and is fiercely protective of her. I love that he can overcome his jealousy to befriend Jessie and even trusts him enough to confide in him as necessary. Everyone is banding together to figure out a way to eliminate the problem of Jamie. He's a sneaky, evil, awful bastard. 

I loved him the most here too. He is the ultimate of partners. He loves her, can't get enough of her, wants to be her person as much as Patrick is. That is the hardest thing I think for him. Because he seems to go all in every step of the way, but some part of Stella is held back. Why though? You will want to read to find out every single thought in her head. But THANK YOU BABY JESUS for R.L. Griffin giving us both her and George's points of view so we get some insight on what he is feeling too and aren't left guessing! 

With the various plot lines so cohesively intertwined, I cannot say which one I think captured my attention the most--Jamie and his effed up ways or George and El trying to move their relationship forward. Both stories were so interesting and demanding of my emotions that I think they both win! Up until the last 20-25%  I thought I had ideas about how things were going to go and while I had ideas that were close, none of them happened exactly as I thought they would--I absolutely loved the rollercoaster of it! And what a rollercoaster ride it was; I think I STILL have whiplash from the way my emotions were rising and falling every other page. 

No doubt. I am blown away by how intricate the plot is for this series. I loved every minute of it. I was trying to guess what would happen like you were, but you learn quick that nothing is as it seems, nor will you probably be able to figure out exactly how things are. Like these are real people with fluid thoughts and we have a sneak peek at a given moment...but that could change like the wind. I think that was the best part of the whole series. Who was going to be with who, who was going to die. Stella is worried about death a lot of the time and you will be too before it is through! 

Even with all of the seriously exhausting trouble that poor El and her friends have to endure, there are also some great funny scenes too. The voxer names and messages are some of my favorite scenes and are much needed to break up the tension....LOVED that addition. OMG I was dying over that. Hysterical. I've been "breaker-breaker, come in over" texting Shelley now. Just need to come up with her CB handle, and we're set! 

This book had a heart palpitating ending until the epilogue...and just when I thought all was well, I read the prologue of what I'm guessing is Patrick's book and HOLY HELL..OH.MY. SHIT. as El would say. I cannot believe I have to wait until summer to read this. GAH!!!!!! OMS, I know. My new favorite saying...and Patrick takes things in a whole new direction. I feel for him. We've been talking about his character for several days now trying to figure him out. I can't wait! 

This series is seriously flying under the radar and I hope that more people pick it up to read. They are fantastic reads!!!

Shelley 5 stars
Courtney: 5 stars

About the Author---
I live in the Atlanta area and I'm surrounded by awesome dudes: my husband, son and dog. I went to law school at American University, Washington College of Law, but only after I fell in love with D.C. I worked in the Senate during the impeachment trial and wanted to stay. After law school I worked for a bit in the area, then moved to Atlanta. 

If you ask anyone who knows me they know I love reading and read all sorts of books. Any free time I have I'm either reading, writing or drinking with friends.


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