Summary: Returning to Madison hurts. I thought I’d left my past behind, but the past goes on living. I carry it inside of me, it’s a piece of me. People have marked me in indelible ways and I drag the shreds of my soul behind me, trying to put my pieces back together. I’m not the Amber I used to be. I fly under the radar, try to be invisible.
It doesn't always work. Drawing attention scares me. It always spells trouble. Returning to my home town is a last ditch effort to lay my demons to rest and start anew, for good this time.
Meeting Jesse Lee wasn’t in the plan. Yet here he is with his heart-stopping, sexy grin, handsome like a god, shining bright. He’s full of life, full of heat, packing the energy of a thousand suns in his gaze and muscular body. Jesse burns, and the pain of being near him is sweet.
But he’s foiling my plans. It’s hard to remain a ghost when he’s around. Hard to avoid his attention, to remain invisible. He sees me, really sees me, and behind his bright radiance, I can see shadows from his own past crowding in. He’s swimming hard to stay afloat even as he reaches for me.
What is he afraid of? And how can he save me from drowning when he can’t even save himself?
Standalone novel. No cliffhanger.
*Warning: this book contains graphic language, sex, and violence. Mature readers only. Not intended for young readers.*
Series: Damage Control #2
Author: Jo Raven
Publisher: self published
Released: 20th July 2015
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Source: Author for an honest review.
This is my first encounter reading a Jo Raven novel, but I must say, HOLY MOLY. The Damage Control series is a spin-off from Inked Brotherhood and can all be read as stand-alone with the characters inter-connecting throughout. This is a wonderful concept as it allows the reader to pick up one of the books whenever, without having to read the first or in any particular order. So, I read Jesse and Amber’s story, a dual point of view that was just fantastic. Ms Raven is a master at disguising emotion and kindness in alpha males that appear dangerous and unapproachable.
Nineteen year old Amber Walsh has just moved back to Madison after living in Chicago for the past three years. Her parents decided to move away and allow Amber to regain her confidence and grow in strength. But as is life, sometimes the only way to move forward is to face your past and your demons. What she didn’t realise was that her past would also create a future she didn’t realise she wanted or needed until he almost knocked her over.
Amber has moved in with her best friend’s friend, Kayla. Her best friend, Ev, has moved out and into a place with her boyfriend, so a party is being held as a farewell. This party takes place the first night Amber is in the apartment and it certainly isn’t what she expected.
Amber is not a sociable person, she cannot handle crowds and struggles with normal social dialect. There’s no filter between her brain and her mouth sometimes and it’s another embarrassing trait.
She’s introduced to Ev’s friends, the Damage Boyz and the Inked Brotherhood. She is astounded by all the picture perfect people surrounding her and feels inadequate. Running again, Amber heads to her room, but is interrupted by a half dressed guy coming out the bathroom. She can’t speak, frozen from his dangerously beautiful looks and it only gets worse when a girl comes out after him.
"He's a dick. The most beautiful man I've ever set eyes on, and he's an arrogant douche."
"The shinier the package, the dirtier the soul, it seems."
He’s introduced as Jesse Lee and the longer she sees him at the party, the more Amber is drawn to him. But it is clear he’s a womaniser. This dangerous hottie has a black past that nobody really knows the full story to and the more time Amber spends with him, the more curious she is about HIS demons.
Jesse Lee believes he doesn’t deserve to be happy. Doesn’t deserve to have a girl like Amber. He tries with all his might to stay away from her, but she is his light and they can’t deny their desire for long.
What happened in Amber and Jesse’s past? Will Amber ever trust Jesse considering his past lifestyle? Will Jesse be able to stay faithful to Amber? Is Jesse ever going to believe he isn’t living on borrowed time?
AMAZING! This was a beautifully intense love story that has some very real issues inside. The horrors of Jesse’s life and the anxiety that changed Amber forever were powerful and so detailed that I couldn’t help but be drawn into their story. Kayla was a fabulous character also, I loved her quirky tea leaf reading and fun antics. This is a definite favourite and I cannot wait to pick up others from the fabulous author.
OTHER BOOKS IN THIS SERIES:
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About the Author
Jo Raven writes New Adult contemporary romance. She loves sexy bad boys and strong-willed heroines, and divides her time between writing and reading. When not cooking up plots, she putters in her cluttered kitchen and dreams of travelling.