Bree Murphy is stuck. Forced to grow up too fast after the tragic death of her mother, she has little time for any sort of life for herself. Now in her early twenties, she is coming to the realization that she deserves to put herself first.
Drew Dougherty is also stuck, in a state of merely existing. Memories and secrets of the day he lost both of his parents haunt him, forcing him to cope the only way he knows how…by fighting.
When these two worlds collide, hidden truths are revealed and relationships are put to the ultimate test. At a crossroad in their lives, they must decide if taking a risk is worth everything.
Or will their love be…
Totaled is a full length, new adult contemporary romance novel.
**Due to mature content, profane language, and sexual situations, this book is recommended for ages 18 and up**
My heart raced, my palms grew sweaty, my skin felt flushed, and my breathing sped up. I let my tongue graze over my lips to wet them, and apparently that was invitation enough. His eyes immediately dropped to my mouth. Drew started to slowly lean in towards me, closing the distance between us, never releasing my face from his hold. Everything moved in slow motion and I knew this was the moment of our first kiss.
Suddenly, out of nowhere, the sky opened up and it started raining. Not raining, pouring! Everyone around us (of whom I’d been unaware for the last hour) scattered like ants and we stood to run for cover with the rest of the crowd. People were frantic and crazy, squealing and sprinting for cover, bumping into us left and right. Drew grabbed my hand and pulled me with him, jogging away from the chaos in the rain. We were running in the street along the inter-coastal, in the direction of the gym a few blocks away. Already drenched, we laughed at each other, stepping in puddles and pulling each other back and forth to dodge others in our path. It felt like we were children, being playful and having fun with it, because what else could you do
at that point?
When the rain picked up, we were still a good four blocks from the gym. Drew suddenly stopped jogging in front of me and turned around to face me, a look of intensity and determination in his expression. I almost couldn’t stop in time and nearly crashed into his chest. He grabbed my face with both of his strong, masculine hands and looked at me like I was a giant piece of chocolate cake and he was starving. For two seconds he stared at me. Four seconds. Six seconds. All the while standing in the middle of the street in the pouring rain. And then his lips crashed into mine. His lips were firm at first but immediately softened. He licked my lower lip, tasting me, enticing me to open for him and I couldn’t dream of doing anything in that moment but exactly whatever he wanted me to do. I opened my lips slowly to invite him in and our tongues touched each other, playfully at first and then with purpose. They danced together in perfect synchronized harmony like a beautiful Viennese waltz. The waltz turned into an angry paso doble, full of passion and angst. He kissed me with urgency, like he couldn’t get enough, but not with haste. He was savoring me, cherishing me. My hair stuck to my face, slick with wetness from the rain, my dress clinging to my body, soaked all the way to my underwear, but I didn’t want to move. Our hands were all over the place, grabbing each other anywhere, everywhere. He held my face with one hand and reached around to the small of my back to pull me in closer to him. The substantial, hard bulge between us confirmed how much I was affecting him. I felt my core twitch and throb with a need that I’d never felt before. My romance novels were finally right about something—this aching and throbbing stuff was legit. I didn’t want to stop feeling it. I didn’t ever want to stop.
Our mouths separated and I tried to take a deep breath, but he moved his mouth down to my throat and neck, kissing and licking, lapping up the raindrops from my skin, and I couldn’t possibly catch my breath with him doing that. I suddenly realized where we were still outside, still in the wide open, still in the rain. He must’ve felt me stiffen, because he brought his eyes up to mine and smiled.
“Let’s get you out of the rain,” he said, and we started jogging towards the gym again.
**A complimentary copy was provided by the author for Blog Tour**
~~ 4 “Knockout” Stars ~~
Holy Moly!!!!! What an ending….I did not see that coming. Totaled is Stacey Grice’s debut novel and I have to say I think she did an excellent job. This book was both enjoyable and engaging. I thought the flow and the pace of the story was really good. There were some small parts I thought kind of dragged but nothing bad enough to take away from the enjoyment of the book. Stacey did tell this story in dual POV and I thought that was the best decision…I loved that we got to see both Drew and Bree’s thoughts. I was a little shocked to find out that this book is going to be part of a series. I thought it was a standalone, but I will warn you it has a cliffhanger ending!!!! This book truly is the starting point of Bree and Drew’s relationship. With how this ended you just know there is sooo much more story to tell for these 2 characters. I will be interested to see where the author takes this story from here. I don’t want to say anymore because I don’t want to ruin it for anyone.
I really liked Drew and Bree as characters. Bree was a 22 year old girl who was living with her father , Pat, and her twin brother, Liam. When Bree and Liam were around 13 their mother is in a fatal car accident, which in turn made Bree the female role of the family. She not only had to take care of her distraught father but she kind took on the mother role for Liam as well. (Liam severe learning disability) So Bree has pretty much put her life on hold over the years to take care of her family. Things are starting to stress her out and she realizes she wants more out of her life, so she is taking online college courses, while working in the family gym. Bree was an amazingly strong person. She handled her mother’s death really well. I mean any average teenage and young cult would’ve crumbled with everything she has had to overcome. While working at the gym she meets the newest member, Drew. Drew was a great character, but boy was he broken. What he suffered through as a child and then as he grew up and the tragic event that occurred forcing him to leave Arizona to start a new life…anyone would be broken. But he was also a strong person, he was so determined to make something out of himself, even if it was just to prove to his father he could be someone. I fell hard for Drew. I thought he was totally swoon worthy. I will say that my heart broke for him at the end of the book and also while reading about his past. I thought Bree and Drew made a great couple and I am totally rooting for them. I liked the pace the author took with these two. This wasn’t a case of that insta-love. She established a friendship and then a relationship, that I am hoping can overcome some serious obstacles.
As for the secondary characters….I loved Pat, Liam, Mick, Joan and Sue. Each of these characters created that supporting role for the main characters. They also helped with the comic relief of the story when things were getting a little to serious and you just needed a laugh.
I most definitely would recommend this book. This is the start of a wonderful love story, that I am hoping will be able to pull through in the end. If you are a fan of the MMA books, then you should read this book. I am truly hoping that it isn’t a long wait for the next book!!!!
I am a mother to a beautiful five year old daughter and a wife to my best friend. Being a labor and delivery nurse three nights a week pays the bills but I have recently decided to take my hobby of writing to the next level. Living in Florida where I was born and raised allows me to hear the waves and stick my toes in the sand whenever I want, which is vital to my emotional well-being. Completely and absolutely obsessed with good music, the lifeline to my creativity, I cannot and will not write without it. Some things that I appreciate are honesty but not cruelty, an unapologetic sense of humor, being able to make any situation fun, often dancing like no one is watching, and a good cup of coffee with enough creamer to make it blonde.
Being an astute people watcher with a judgmental mind gives me constant inspiration for my stories. My characters, like many authors, are conceived from a hodgepodge of actual people in my life, unique personality traits, real world encounters, and conversations that I have directly taken part in. Totaled is my debut novel with many more to come.