Thursday, July 14, 2016

Blog Tour with Christie's Review: Underwater by Maayan Nahmani

Title: Underwater
Author: Maayan Nahmani
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: June 26, 2016

In an instant, my world turned upside down
Because of one incident, my life will never be the same
Every day I struggled to breathe
Every day I went through the motions
I felt too much
I was numb
I was drowning
I was lost inside the black
So they made me go there
I was already there, watching from the dark
And then I met him
And then I saw her
He scared me to death
She took my breath away
He was darkness
She was my light
They whispered he can't be touched
She was the only one I could touch
I couldn't be with him, they needed me
I fucking needed her
So I told him I would be his friend
I told her I would be her friend. For now.
But I couldn't resist him for long
She finally realized that she'll always be mine
We were a hot mess
We were the perfect kind of mess
Then reality dawned on me
Then my demons broke loose
I was underwater, trying to break through to the surface
I reached out my hand, trying to pull her to shore
Could he really help me?
Would she accept me, scars and all?
This was us
This was our story

Author's Note:
"This book is based on true events and contains sensitive subjects that may be a trigger to some readers, such as violence, abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder. It also contains a parent with cancer. It is recommended for ages 18 and up." Safe. No cheating/OW.

My body tensed, as I watched the motherfucker who’d touched her coming our way.
“Oh, hey Brian.”
His tall frame loomed over her while he stood with his hands inside his front pockets. He was built, and if I were a chick, I would probably think he looked decent. He had curly blond hair, blue eyes and tan skin. He looked like a freaking copy of a Ken-doll. Fucking cliché. I hated him already.
“We’re all going to have a drink at a nearby bar. You wanna come?”
I didn’t want her to go anywhere with him, but if she decided to go there was nothing I could do about it. All I could do was bite my tongue and pray she would say no.
“That’s sweet of you, Brian, but I can’t today. I’m sorry.”
“Oh, yeah… sure. Maybe some other time?”
He looked disappointed, yet hopeful she would say yes.
Did I mention I hated this fucker?
“Yeah, maybe,” she mumbled.
He smiled, nodded, and turned around, leaving with the rest of the group waiting for him.
“Fucker,” I said under my breath.
Shit. “Um... nothing.”
She looked at me with questioning eyes. ”What’s going on?”
I sighed. “Don’t date him.” The words tumbled out of my mouth without permission. I winced, knowing I sounded like a fucking mental case.
“Whoa... who said I was going to date him? He was just being friendly.”
I laughed humorlessly. “That guy doesn’t have one friendly thought about you. I can promise you that.”
I didn’t have friendly thoughts about her either. But right now, the thought of her with him – or anyone else for that matter – made my blood boil.
She shook her head. “You’re overreacting, but alright, I won’t date him. Geez… happy?”
“No,” I growled.
“What?” She sounded annoyed.
I didn’t care. I was on a roll. My hands settled on either side of her chair, caging her in. “I don’t want you to date anyone else.”
“Excuse me?”
Fuck. This was not going well.
“I need you to promise me that you won’t date someone else. I said I would be your friend, and I will. But you need to know…” My head inched closer until I was in her face. “I want more. I want you. I promise I’ll wait for you until you’re ready for me. But please…” I pleaded. I fucking begged, “Don’t date other people. I couldn’t bear it.”

I am twenty-six years old and I live in a small town in Israel.

My family and I were going through some difficult times not too long ago and one day I was confiding in my best-friend about everything. I didn’t know how to deal with it all. Then she suggested I should write a book about it. I looked at her as if she had grown another head and dismissed the idea on the spot. But the seed had been planted, and day after day, little by little, without realizing it – I started writing.

That’s how Underwater was born.

I found writing to be cathartic, healing. Something that helped my mind unwind and put things in perspective. I discovered a magical world where I traveled between imagination and reality. Writing became my home and I never wanted to leave.

I love to read, write, listen to music, edit videos, and play the guitar. I am always looking for the next creative thing. I also like a good movie and a glass of wine.

When I started reading Underwater, I had plenty of preconceived notions about what I was in store for. Just knowing the subject matter involved losing a parent to cancer, I'd steeled myself for plenty of sorrow and tears. I knew that this story grew and nourished from the most painful time in the author's life as a way to get through her toughest days. The ring of truth to what the heroine experiences emotionally isn't something that can be manufactured. That was something that I was prepared for.

What I didn't realize was that while this book had a heavy undertone to it, it was laced with enough humor and romance to keep it from making the story unbearably sad. The light and the dark pieces of the story balanced themselves out and made this book such a smooth reading experience. I never felt like I was burdened with too much hurt for what the characters were dealing with, it was addressed honestly but gently.

Aria has been handed the kind of news that no one ever expects to hear: her father has a deadly disease and this new reality that she lives in has become a nightmare. She struggles with denial, fear, anger, despair, and helplessness. So many times she feels like she's on the precipice of falling, of crumbling when she has no choice but to be strong and solid. For her father. For her family. She has to be the foundation that holds everyone up one day at a time. Only this becomes more of a struggle than she was prepared for which leads her to a local support group. And one very silent and withdrawn man named Dorian.

Dorian has his own nightmares to battle every day. He's scarred, inside and out with memories that haunt him from his time in the military. He deals with Post-traumatic stress disorder. Like wounded animal, he lashes out and won't allow anyone close to him.

I couldn't make the nightmares go away. They clung to my consciousness, pulling me back to the black days that changed my entire life forever. I was fighting a raging war within. A war where the enemy lived inside of me...fed by my fears and constant anger, and eating me up from the inside.

When they met, there was an immediate recognition. Pain seeing pain. There was an understanding and a lack of fear between them that caused a peace to settle over Dorian. She soothed his battered heart and brought out a protective and instincts a mile wide. This hero had the feel of the Aurora Rose Reynolds type of Alphas from her classics. If you like jealous and possessive tortured heroes this will be the perfect fit for you. You know the kind I'm talking about. They growl "mine", and you can picture them pissing a circle of ownership around the heroine to scare off all potential males sniffing around. That was Dorian, he had me laughing at his lack of restraint when it came to her.

What I loved about Aria was her strong sense of determination and strong will. She was a survivor-not a damsel in distress. She may have been wrapped in a tiny package, but her spirit was a warrior daring anyone to try to beat her down. She was the perfect fit for Dorian, a partner to lend comfort and understanding that he needed.

Underwater was a beautiful story. It was about loss and the tenacity of the human spirit to weather the storms that are beyond our control. Maayan took on some sensitive topics and handled them with surprising competence for a debut author. I'm already sold on reading her next book in the series, the tease at the end has me very intrigued.


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