Thursday, December 7, 2017

Book Blitz ~ Rock Me Series: Jaded Ivory #1 by Rebecca Brooke (Excerpt)

 Book Blitz ~ Rock Me Series: Jaded Ivory #1 by Rebecca Brooke (Excerpt)

Title: Rock Me
Series: Jaded Ivory #1
Author: Rebecca Brooke
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: September 21, 2017


I am not a victim.

At least that’s what I wanted to believe. What I wanted the world to see. Five years of trying to find the girl I hid from the world.

I wouldn’t let the bullies win. I couldn’t.

What was I supposed to do when he walked into the building? He’d made my high school years a living hell.

But, he doesn’t recognize me.

How do I prove he didn’t break me? Simple, take him home for a one-night stand.

At least it sounded like a good idea at the time.

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It couldn’t be. There was no way in hell the Cosmos could be so cruel as to let me have the performance of my life, only to be faced with one of the people I hoped to never see again.
But there was no denying it.
Cole Wallace was here.
The room that only hours ago seemed small now seemed minuscule, like the walls were closing in on me.
Five years.
Five years I’d spent trying to push every memory of him out of my head. To reinvent myself. To become a woman I was proud of. And the night that everything could change—the night things could finally go my way—Cole had to step into the same bar.
A light knock rapped against the door. I pulled my legs tighter against me, pushing myself closer to the wall, hoping whoever it was would go away. The knock grew louder, until the person was pounding on the door. Each thud sent a tremor through my body.
“Mari, open the goddamn door. I know you’re in there.”
I buried my face in the protective embrace of my arms, ignoring Sawyer, memories of the worst years of my life assaulting my brain even as I tried to keep them at bay.
I glanced at my phone. Shit, I was going to be late to class if I didn’t hurry. Turning down a side hallway, I picked up my pace. It was the long way around, but it meant I didn’t have to take the main hallway, past where the cheerleaders and football players hung out between classes.
The bell rang.
“Damn it.”
“Aww, late for class?”
The hairs on the back of my neck rose. These hallways were normally empty.
My stomach dropped, but I ignored the voice and moved even faster. A hand wrapped around my arm, pulling me to a stop.
“You’re already late. Stay. Have some fun.”
With a shove, I was pushed up against the lockers behind me. My heart raced in my chest. I tried to control the shaking of my hands as I lifted my eyes to see which one of the jocks had decided to torture me today.
Sam Horton.
He lifted a hand to brush the hair from my face. I flinched at the contact.
“Look at that, Cole, she doesn’t look happy to see us.”
Over Sam’s shoulder, I could see Cole leaning against the lockers on the other side of the hallway.
Sam leaned in and I pressed my cheek to the locker, the metal cool against my heated skin. I closed my eyes, afraid he was going to try and kiss me. There was a long pause before he laughed, cruelly.
“Did you actually think I would kiss you?” He sneered. “Why in the hell would I let these lips touch a freak like you? No guy in this school wants to put any part of their body near you, Mariloon.”
Cole burst out laughing. Sam stepped back, tilting his head down the hall. “Let’s go. I don’t need a detention.”
They started to move away and I felt my shoulders sag. They weren’t out of earshot, though. Still close enough for me to hear Cole say, “Just tell them Mariloon tried to kiss you and you had to stop her before you could get to class.”
My knees buckled and I slid down the lockers to the floor, tears racing down my cheeks. The sound of footsteps forced me to my feet and into the nearest bathroom. I raced inside the stall, slamming the lock across and sitting on the seat, my head in my hands, sobs racking my whole body. How could I go to class now? There was no doubt everyone would know what happened by now, and exactly like Cole said, it would be all my fault. They probably told everyone that I came on to Sam, hoping to sleep my way to the popular group. It was just the same as always.

5 Stars

Bullied throughout her high school years when Mari gets to college she meets Sawyer, a fellow music student, who befriends her and helps her rebuild her confidence and reinvent herself. When Sawyer's lead singer in his band, Jaded Ivory, can't make a performance, due to an illness, he asks Mari to fill in for the lead singer and their lives will never be the same. Now a popular local band, Mari and her bandmates travel the local club circuit performing. Everything seems to be falling into place, until Mari comes face to face with Cole, one of her tormentors from High School.

Cole's chances at an NFL career fell apart due to an injury in college. He's now a teacher and a football coach at a local high school. He's changed, and he wants to prove to Mari that he's not the same guy he was back in high school, but will she give him, someone who made her life a living hell, a chance to prove himself?

This was not only an enjoyable story, it felt sort of like coming home. Rebecca's writing has branched out over the last few books, and while I've enjoyed those stories, this book had the vibe and feel about it that I originally fell in love with so many years ago, when I first discovered her.

I really loved Mari. She's a strong and likable character, yet she still remains somewhat vulnerable at the same time. I loved her relationship with her bandmates and I enjoyed the interactions between them. They were not only great friends, but also a wonderful support system for her.

It took me longer to warm up to Cole, especially after witnessing some of the things he and his football buddies did to Mari back in high school, but throughout the book he really proved himself as a changed man. I loved his interactions with his students, especially his handling of the situation with his football players and their bullying.

This was a well-written and well paced story. I loved that the author managed to show what happened in the past between Mari and Cole, while not diverting us from what was happening in the present. Mari and Cole had wonderful chemistry and they shared some steamy and tender moments throughout the story. I really liked the progression of their relationship it seemed natural and organic.

This was a great start to a new series and I'm looking forward to much more in the future, I especially can't wait to read Sawyer's story! <3

Enjoyable and very recommendable!!

*copy provided by author in exchange for an honest review*

Author Bio

Rebecca Brooke grew up in the shore towns of South Jersey. She loves to hit the beach, but always with her Kindle on hand. She is married to the most wonderful man who puts up with all her craziness. Together they have two beautiful children who keep her on her toes. When she isn’t writing or reading (which is very rarely) she loves to bake and binge watch Netflix.

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