Friday, January 6, 2017

Review: Wait For It by Molly O'Keefe

Title: Wait For It
Series: Everything I Left Unsaid #4
Author: Molly O'Keefe
Release date: February 28, 2017
Cliffhanger: No
Rating: 2 stars


Tiffany : After fighting for a new life, I don’t want to play the victim anymore. However, with three kids to raise, I’m getting desperate enough to make a deal with the devil. My estranged brother-in-law, Blake, says he just wants to help, but he’s been trouble since I met him. I don’t know if I can believe this kinder, gentler Blake, and there’s a friction between us that has turned into the sweetest chemistry. He could be my salvation . . . or my downfall.

Blake : I haven’t always had Tiffany’s best interests at heart but I’m ready to make up for my sins. Besides, I can’t help admiring her: The girl’s a genuine survivor, tough and lean, with eyes of steel. But the more I get to know Tiffany, the more I want her. Every inch of her. Which means I’m about to make a bad situation a hell of a lot worse.

These characters...they are a land mine of many varied ways people can be thoroughly effed up, people. You will read about two characters who were so demoralized and damaged by life that they've started clawing at anyone in their path, in an attempt to stop the hits from raining down on them. Both wounded animals, yet dealing with it in their own unhealthy ways.

Blake is cold and callus. He viciously removes anyone from his path that may cause a threat to his family. He searches for a glimpse of weakness and rips into it until it bleeds. I felt like I understood him in the beginning, almost sympathized with him. It all came down to one person, spreading his poison and polluting any hope of a normal life: his brother Phil. He's eviscerated any sense of normalcy from Blake's life, their mother's, their sister's...and the list goes on.

Burning. Always burning. How had I not seen that before? His careful distance, his calm chill was nothing but a barely banked fire.

Imagine growing up with a person, someone you once loved, but now they're nothing but a never ending drain leaking out your happiness. Now you're empty and just trying to survive until the next round comes. That is Blake's life. So, yes. I could actually understand where he was coming from in the beginning. I was just lulled into a false sense of hope that he would shed his defense mechanisms. He seemed to genuinely want to come to the rescue and help dig Tiffany out of the hole that his brother had dumped her and her children into.

You can’t make this right. Tiffany’s words were true. But I still felt compelled to try. To change some of the shit Phil had left her dealing with.

Maybe he did genuinely want to help her, maybe she found a way past his hardened heart-until she threatened to get too close.

Tiffany is the woman who has been emotionally and physically abused by Phil for years, right along with their children. The years haven't been good to her, in fact she's hit rock bottom so many times, this latest plummet is something she's come to expect. When you first meet her, she seems as if she's finally met her limit and she's fighting back with everything she has. She doesn't back down to Blake's intimidation, even punches him at one point to put him in his place. But that tough exterior is simply a brittle shell quickly cracking. She's struggling to remove her husband from her life, and even though she knows she shouldn't trust Blake, she has no other direction to turn.

It takes a while, but Tiffany slowly grows and attachment and attraction to Blake. Hope is a lost commodity, but he's awakening something in her that she thought had been killed long ago. This is where the story lost me. It becomes glaringly obvious that these two damaged people are becoming tangled up and forming a knot of bad decisions. I wasn't sure how it could all unravel, they were both lacking the knowledge of how to do so. Their sexual relationship was an outlet for them to hide their demons. At this point, it became crystal clear to me that Tiffany isn't on the road to empowerment. Those years of being mistreated, abandoned by her family, and tucked away in that trailer park are still controlling her. As in reality, they would have to be.

The point of no return:

Once they start a sexual relationship, Blake's defensive coldness slams back in place in the fear that she will actually make him feel something. He's a man who uses any tool in his power to get what he wants and that's usually money. So when she seems hesitant to sleep with him, what does he do? He offers her money, and she accepts. Sex for them is a transaction, something that needs to be labeled and compartmentalized in order for them to protect themselves. She convinces herself that it's harmless, and that in itself is a clue to her damage.

Fast-forward to the end, the moment of reckoning with Phil. Tiffany shows real growth and finally comes to understand her diseased behaviors and how she needs to put a stop to them. At her breaking point, I felt a surge of pride, it was nothing short of a hallelujah moment. And as screwed up as these characters were, I concede that they were genuine and realistic in their imperfections. From the moment I picked up this book, I couldn't look away, or set it down. Maybe in a train wreck sort of way, but it was gripping nonetheless.

I decided on two stars because this book was "okay" for me. I can't say that I liked it, or enjoyed the dynamic between the two of them. But the character development, and the skill the author had in drawing me into this story was exceptional. I think a lot of people will love this one, it's very erotic with that gritty tone that the author is known for. So if you enjoy these types of books, this could be the perfect fit for you.


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