Saturday, May 30, 2015

Book #Review: Once Pure ( Shattered Pasts Book 3) by Cecy Robson .@cecyrobson .@readloveswept .@tastybooktours

Book Title: Once Pure ( A Shattered Pasts Novel)
Author:  Cecy Robson |WebsiteTwitterFacebook| Goodreads
Publisher: LoveSwept (Random House)
Genre:  New Adult Romance
Series/Standalone: Series
Format: ebook
Cost: $3.99
Pages: 270
How I got it: NetGalley
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Publisher | iBooks | Kobo
Publication Date: May 19, 2015
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She bears the scars of the past. He blames himself for things he can’t control. Their defenses are up, but in Cecy Robson’s latest Shattered Past novel—perfect for fans of Monica Murphy and J. Lynn—true love lands a knockout punch. Sofia Tres Santos remembers a time before her life went sour, before her innocence was ripped away, before she began punishing herself with risky behaviors and unworthy men. Now, at twenty, she just hopes she’s ready to rebuild some of what she lost. One way or another, it always comes back to her childhood friend and longtime crush, Killian O’Brien. As strong as Killian is, Sofia has always been his one weakness. He knows Sofia has suffered and wants to ensure she’s never hurt again—not like before, and definitely not under his watch. When Sofia agrees to work at his mixed martial arts gym, Killian seizes the opportunity to help and protect the sweet girl he’s always cared for. And yet, as he trains Sofia to defend herself using his hard-hitting MMA techniques, he’s drawn to the vulnerable beauty in ways he never expected. As Sofia grows stronger, she also grows brave enough to open herself up to love. And along the way, she challenges everything Killian believes to be true, showing him that no matter how much he dominates in the ring, the real battle is fought in the heart.
Reading Order Of The Series (so far) Each can be read as a stand alone.
  • Once Perfect
  • Once Loved
Trigger Warnings For Those who Need It

I went into this book blind, it had a MMA fighter and that's all I wanted to know.  It wasn't until I was half way into the book that I realized it was a third book in a series. It can certainly be read on it's own.  I wasn't ready for this story y'all. The story that unfold isn't your typical new adult, and yet it is. I personally enjoyed that this book had a bit of flair with the mixing of cultures, Sophie is Cuban & comes form a close knit family, meanwhile Killian is from a huge, loud and fun Irish family. Sophie could cook and she shared her love of food with us throughout the book, and this is the way her culture comes out the most.  Despite their cultural differences, their live were eerily similar growing up and as kids they were each other's safe havens.

You see these kids have known each other since they were young and have loved each other since then.  However life isn't easy and just because you met your soul mate at eight doesn't mean the road to your happily ever after is easy.  At  the beginning of the book you know something happened to Sophia that made her afraid of her own shadow, and extremely shy.  What unfolds is hurtful and make so you want to cry, but this story isn't about pain it's about the redemptive power of love.

I had big deep belly laughs with this book, because it's rare for books to talk about kids getting their butts whooped without it being a story of abuse. I totally could see my mothers reaction in Killian's mother's reaction to her young son. I loved every second of that scene, and I laughed so hard because what kid hasn't wanted to snapback at the their parent during their childhood?? Another storng reaction I had while reading was the urge to kick the reporter in the face after he went after Sophie at the press conference and personally as a bodyguard I would have let a few hits get in. But that's just me.

I really enjoyed the conversations, the growth of the characters and the blooming of their courtship and the unfolding of their relationship.  This book has time jumps in it to accommodate the growth of the characters and the relationships and of course to really make this book great.  The book had great secondary characters who helped to challenge the protagonist and push her when needed as well as to be her shoulder when she needed it as well. I loved that we got background on a few them and I have the feeling we're going to see a few of them in their own stories soon enough.

The world building was done great, while it's a contemporary it takes place in Philly, but it kinda makes it feel like it could take place anywhere in the US.  The sense of community was strong, as they were active members in their churches and shared the talk of their faith, even if at times they were laughing about not being good Catholics.  Even though they had grown up and moved away from their 'old' neighborhood the had a sense of home and even created their own home in their newer neighborhood.

I really enjoyed reading Sophie and Killian's story, I love their relationships with their families, their friends and their own relationship. I loved Killian from the start. I also loved Sophie's voice because she was so witty even if it was only in her head.  I loved that she sometimes had no filter (because I have totally done that before) and that she was totally over the moon with Killian.  As the story was shared and their secrets revealed you felt for each of them, Realizing that their secrets were burdens they each carried, sometimes they shared willingly and sometimes it was shared for them, and this helped to strengthen and show their weaknesses.  Their past both helped them and hindered them and it was wonderful to see that acknowledged.  I loved Sophie's growth especially because she was so painfully shy when she started, and even though she grew she didn't all of a sudden get a whole new personality transplant.  She simply became a more enhanced version of herself.

I am in awe of Killian and how he was with Sophie, I loved the way he was willing to do anything to make her feel better, safe and for her to trust him.  Their relationship was wonderful to read because he also pushed her boundaries when needed and he made Sophie feel daring, also while making her have a safe place to return to.  My favorite part was the end when we got Killian's short take on the story and how he saw everything.  The biggest time jump happens then and we really learn more form him and how on a day that should have been happy for a young man entering puberty, how it became a day that haunted him and Sophie.  I really enjoyed their story and how they came to be.

I'm getting the other books in the series, especially the first two. Because if Cecy writes all her characters this wonderfully, these books are going to be a breeze to read.  I ended up finishing this in a couple of hours when I got an unexpected break from work. I really didn't want to put it down when I got into it.

I recommend it if you love character growth, MMA fighters and the women who love them, strong familial relationships in books and of course the messiness and beauty of a love story.
Want more ?? Make sure to check out the first two books (which is what I'm about to do). As well as keep a look out for the next four ( yes I said four) books in the series.

Happy Reading

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