Tuesday, July 8, 2014

If You Leave by Courtney Cole: Paperback Launch Day Blitz with Excerpt, Giveaway, and Review

by Courtney Cole 
(July 8, 2014; Forever Trade Paperback; $12.00)

Ex-Army Ranger Gabriel Vincent is a badass hero. Or he used to be. Home from Afghanistan, Gabe can't stop thinking about that one horrible night on the battlefield, a night that changed his life forever. He knows he's messed up, but with the help of a little beer and a lot more women, he's keeping it together. Until he meets Madison Hill.

Madison is happily single—or so she thinks. After the tragic death of her parents, she took on the responsibility of running the family restaurant, and that's just about all she has time to worry about. Until she meets Gabriel Vincent.

Though they don't realize it at first, Gabe and Maddy will soon develop a weakness: each other. But Gabe has a secret, a hidden monster that he's afraid Maddy could never overcome. And Maddy is dealing with issues she fears Gabe won't understand. They quickly realize they need each other to be whole, but they have demons to fight—and the problem with demons is that they never die quietly. Can they find a way to heal the past . . . before they lose each other?

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It’s chilly outside, but he’s not wearing a jacket, only a snug black t-shirt and a pair of perfectly fitting jeans. There isn’t a trace of fat on him.  He’s lean and muscled, with short darkish hair.  From the side, his features are chiseled and from what I can tell, he’s got just the barest hint of stubble along his strong jaw.  That’s an instant turn on for me. It seems so rugged.
And this guy… he definitely seems rugged.  Everything about him screams strength and power.   That’s an instant turn on for me, too.   I decide that this is what intrigues me.  He’s like power personified.  He holds himself with purpose. 
As I watch, he lights up a cigarette and takes a drag, releasing the smoke out slowly into the night.   His lips are full and masculine and he’s got a cleft in his chin.  He’s undeniably sexy.  Normally, I would stay far away from someone like him, someone sinfully sexy but so… forceful.  A guy like that is trouble.  That’s for sure. 
But I didn’t come to the club tonight to run away.
I came here to hook up.  To blow off my responsibilities and be reckless for a night.  To act my age.  To be someone I’m not. 
I eye the guy again. 
Normally, I would run away from him.
But maybe…just tonight…I won’t.
I don’t have to be me tonight.  I can be anyone I want to be because he’ll never see me again.
Just for tonight.
I hesitate, trying to decide what to do. 
Then, almost as though my feet have a mind of their own, I take a step toward him.  And then another.  

My Thoughts:  I just love Courtney Cole's books and after reading Pax and Mila's story in If You Stay, I was dying to get my hands on Madison's story in If You Leave.  Madison is Mila's older sister.  Ever since her parents died tragically, Madison has taken on their role, running the business, living in the family home, leaving her modeling career behind.  Madison has always been rather unlucky in the love department, feeling that she has always chosen the wrong kind of guys, the kind that never stick around.  Then she meets Gabriel Vincent.   The attraction between them is magnetic.  Gabriel is a hot as they come, he's mysterious, cocky, and he is also very, very sexy.  He's never wanted a girl for more than sex, especially since he went to Afghanistan, that is until he meets Madison.  Gabriel is also an ex-Army Ranger.   They  never thought they would see each other again after their brief but memorable encounter, so when fate surprisingly brings them into each other's path again, they not only now have a "history," but with both of their scarred pasts, is there any hope for a future?

I loved this book.  It was so good.  It also was very emotionally raw and heartbreaking, causing you to experience the gamut of emotions from one end of the scale to another.  Gabriel's experience in Afghanistan has messed him up big time and left him totally screwed up.  He is such an awesome, stand-up, honorable guy whose dream has always been to be a soldier, but because of what happened he feels like a failure, is guilt ridden, and feels completely undeserving of ever experiencing love. Madison also has things in her past that we didn't know about, things she has stuffed down for years, things that have left her very emotionally scarred and feeling incapable of ever having a meaningful relationship.  They try to help each other heal, and Gabriel is a godsend for Madison, but then the past rares its ugly head and threatens to destroy them.  Gabriel has to decide if he is willing to let Madison in, and if he is willing to do what it takes to get the help he needs, but will it be too little too late?  The journey these two go on in If You Leave is one you will never forget.  There is also some drama that happens with Jacey that provides for some interesting twists and turns in the story.  Courtney Cole has again done an outstanding job in writing not only a magnificent contemporary romance that is filled with drama, angst, and passion, but sheds light on an important issue that so many of our soldiers deal with, PTSD and its effects, while also honoring all those individuals who give their all to protect us. This is one story you won't want to miss.  Oh, and the romance part is HOT!  This is one book you won't want to miss.

About the author:
Courtney Cole is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who lives near Lake Michigan with her family.  She's always working on her next project... or staring dreamily out her office window.  To learn more about her, please visit courtneycolewrites.com

Social Media Links:  Website  |  Facebook
Twitter  |  Goodreads


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  1. Sounds like a great read. Just a mention, you have over 140 characters in the tweet, I deleted some to tweet.

  2. I have been wanting to try this one for a really long time now. I am so glad it is as good as I was hoping it would be.

  3. Oh yay! I just loved this book so much. It's definitely my favorite in the series. Great review, Ellen!

  4. I can't wait to read this one! it sounds amazing, I enjoyed the excerpt.

    Thanks for sharing Ellen. Sharon – Obsession with Books


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