Tug by K.J Bell
Aidan Hunter lost the only girl he ever loved to his older brother. To numb his pain, he drinks in excess, parties too hard, and sleeps with countless women. When his family expresses concern, he does what he's been taught to do—fake it and pretend his life is perfect. Pretend he loves his new girl and pretend his heart isn’t broken.
Maria Santiago is simply trying to survive each day until she finishes college. As a single mother, life is a constant struggle. Add running from a dangerous past and working in the oldest profession, and all she has is hope for a better life. Hope one day she will no longer feel shame and hope her past never catches up with her.
After Aidan pays to spend one wild night with Maria, pretending to be unaffected by her is impossible. Their night comes to an explosive end and Maria hopes she never sees him again, but Aidan refuses to give up. As Maria begins to accept that Aidan’s feelings for her are genuine, someone from her past threatens her life. Aidan’s not intimidated and takes a huge risk to protect her.
Will the risk pay off and allow Aidan the opportunity to provide Maria with the better life she’s been hoping for?
Emma- 4 Crowns
This is my 1st read from K.J Bell, and I certainly enjoyed it. Tug is a spin off from her irreparable series of 2 books; Irreparably Broken and Irreversible Damage.
This is Tug/Aiden's story. A business man based in San Diego, he also spends a lot of his time in Tijuana, Mexico where both his brother and sister live. Tug is a ladies man, your typical love them and kick them to the curb type. He loves to party and as a result of being in the spotlight has begun to feel the pressure from his board; who are concerned about his ability to hold the position of CEO of the family business.
We begin the story as Tug prepares himself for the wedding of his brother Brady to the love of HIS life Tori. Struggling with Tori's choice to choose his brother over him; he continues to dull the pain with other women and alcohol. The biggest test though is trying to maintain any kind of civil relationship with Tori, for the sake of his brother. His life is spiralling out of control and his heart is breaking.
When out to buy cigars for Brady's bachelors party, he meets a young women called Maria. She is the opposite of everything he usually goes for and after being incredibly rude to her, insists she take his number. When he later bumps into her she is with an older man and a young boy, coming to her rescue he again asks her to contact him... Cocky much!!
Can Maria be the woman to heal his broken heart and help him move on from Tori?
Maria is a 22 year single mother to Javier and main carer for her Grandfather who suffers with Alzheimer's. Life is a daily challenge, she struggles to provide for her family and has found herself selling the only thing she has left; herself. Whilst working at the strip club one night, she is shocked to come face to face with the arrogant yet gorgeous man she keeps running into. Life is about to change for Maria, but her past might just come back to haunt her.
How does Tug react to Maria's profession? Can they build something out of there physical attraction? What secrets is Maria hiding? And what exactly is Maria's connection to Brady?
Oh how I loved this book. It has a whole bunch of fantastic characters and in the centre are our two main protagonists, both damaged, lonely and desperate to find happiness.
I will add at this point that as I started reading, I could tell there was this whole backstory that I didn't know about. I initially found it a little confusing and after doing a little research found that there wasn't just one book but two! This isn't part of that series, BUT the plotline from that book plays an integral part to this.
It left me feeling a little bereft in the frist few chapters if I'm being honest. The back story is explained and WOW it really is amazing and for that reason I feel that although you could read this is a standalone, I honestly think the reading experience would be further enhanced if the Irreparable series is read first.
Back to Tug though... This story is a real rollercoaster of emotions. You have a bit of everything: Love, lies, Loyalty, friendship and family. K.J Bell has thrown it into one big pot and served up a bloody marvellous feast of a book.
It blindsides you too with the twists, turns and events that happen come completely unexpected. I will warn you that it ends on a damn fine cliffy. It was surprising as well as shocking and it has made me eager to know where Ms Bell will take these characters next. They both really deserve a HEA; I just hope we don't have to wait too long.
I highly recommend this book, but do yourself a favour and read both Irreparably Broken and irreversible Damage before starting it. I'm off to 1-Click them now :)