Friday, January 27, 2017

Blog Tour: Charlie's Whiskey by Harlow Brown ~ (Review + Giveaway)

Title: Charlie's Whiskey
Series: A Chosen Series Novel
Author: Harlow Brown
Genre: MC Romance Standalone
Release Date: January 13, 2017

“What a fabulous debut into the world of writing Harlow Brown has made with this terrific book!” - 5 Star Goodreads Review by Robyn
“Charlie's Whiskey gave me some good feels.” - 4 Star Goodreads Review by Shannon
“Amazing debut book by Harlow Brown.” - 5 Star Goodreads Review by Belinda
Charlie Winstead pushes aside the pain and anguish she suffers daily and puts all her energy into her women's softball team, the Regulators. If only temporarily, the abuse bestowed upon her by her boyfriend halts for the time that she is behind the plate. Hensley has been her boyfriend for three years and  the relationship progressed into a domestic nightmare. Realizing this, Charlie does what she needs to do to protect herself.
Whiskey Williams is a patched member of the Chosen Legion motorcycle club. He finds himself running from a dark and dirty past, looking for a new start. He relies on his brothers from the mother charter to help him. Once he arrives in Rudy, he sees Charlie and knows something has to be done to help her. However, seeing as she is fresh out of her abusive relationship, she wants nothing to do with men.
Will the attraction between the two be enough to make Charlie give the troubled biker a chance? Or will he strike out?
The game of love is not as easy as three up, three down.

My cell phone started ringing. I didn’t want to wake up Jazz and Briar, so I answered it hurriedly without even looking at the caller ID. “Hello?” I whispered.

“Did you miss me last night?” Hensley said with a cocky chuckle.
My heart stopped and my breath caught in my throat. He continued. “I think the shoulder will be just fine, but you are going to pay for it, you worthless bitch.”
All that was going through my mind at that point was the memories of what I had been through and the promises I had just made myself. Suddenly, all the fear left me, only to be replaced with hatred and loathing for the monster on the other end of the line. Being quiet so I didn’t wake the sleeping couple down the hall was low on my priority list at that very moment.
“Listen to me, you sorry sack of horseshit. I have more than paid for that little shoulder graze. You put me through hell, you broke my spirit and soul, and you’ve scarred my body so that I’ll never be able to forget you. Every time I see my goddamned ankles, I’ll be reminded of you and the sick ways you got your rocks off. I told you last night that I was done, and I fucking meant it. I won't be the weak, scared person you turned me into for another minute. Charlie is back, the Charlie I thought you loved, the one I assumed you wanted. I am back and taking no shit from anyone, especially you. I am bringing me back, the funny, witty, happy Charlie. If you think you’ll get another day of my happiness, you are sadly mistaken.”
Rage fueled the comments that followed as I kept going. “How’d it feel, huh? How’d it feel to hold down a little woman who physically couldn’t fight you off and beat her like a dog? Do you feel more like a man because you took down a person who is a foot shorter than you and a hundred and twenty-five pounds lighter? I hope you got what you needed from it because you won't get a chance to do it again. You are nothing to me anymore. I’m better than you, and I can't believe I let you use me for three years.”
My chest was heaving. I had to catch my breath and gather my wits. Unfortunately, that gave the bastard a chance to speak.
“Charlie, you are damaged goods. No man will ever want you now. You’re all scarred up and that screams you’re a pushover, nothing more than a weak girl.”
“Listen here, you son of a bitch. I don’t need a man, so I don't care if anyone wants me. I’d rather be alone than with somebody like you ever again. The scars you gave me serve as a reminder that I am not that girl anymore. I don’t need to have a man to survive and be happy. I’m done talking to you. Don’t ev—”
“You listen here, Char. You are mine. You know it, and I know it. Come home and we will work it out. I'll never lay another unwanted hand on you, baby, I swear.”
I started screaming at him. “You dumb bastard. I fell for that shit for three years. You couldn’t tell the truth if you tried. Just answer this. Did you ever love me? Was it ever anything more than a conquest for you? How could you? Why did you break my heart?”
I had woken Jazz and Briar at that point. Sadly, I didn’t care. "I loved you. Still do. Why can't you see that?”

His answer kind of shocked me. “Mainly because you hit me and raped me. Or was that why you loved me? You didn’t think another woman would put up with you and your perverted antics. I was the stupid girl who stayed out of fear. Fear of not ever finding anyone else, fear that if I tried you would beat me worse, or go after my friends. Or being held down and fucked with no say so, only to get my ass whipped for crying about it, or crying when the punches or the lashes from the belt bit into my skin and blood seeped down my torso. Let's not forget the times that you ended up cutting me with God knows what. Fuck you, Hensley. Find yourself another girl. We are done. I am not coming back, and I am most certainly not yours. It’s just you and your hand, darlin’. Do yourself a favor and don’t be as rough with yourself as you were with me, because I'm telling you from experience that it fucking hurts. That is the last thing I have to say to you.”

3 Stars!

I find myself once again feeling as if I missed something while reading this book. I had such high expectations for Charlie's Whiskey, hoping that it would be a highly emotional read. One of my favorite things about books that center around or involve MCs is the fact that they generally have dark and or gritty storylines that show characters who are given strength or redemption and family, love and acceptance. I think this story was shooting for some of that but it just fell short of hitting its mark.

For me, the problem lays in the heroine, Charlie. I am all for a strong female character, a true badass that has a good heart and at the same time is vulnerable. I also have a soft spot for the woman who's been beaten down so much she has no idea how strong she really is until she is forced into a corner. Charlie, however, didn't really fit into either of these categories comfortably. Instead, her character tried to be both at the same time which just did not work. Instead of coming off tough, she seemed fake to me. She was like a giant mishmash of cliches typical to this particular theme.

Luckily, I connected more to Whiskey and thought his character possessed much more potential. While he had his baggage and at first glimpse it was obviously a little too instalove for me, I still liked his character. He was protective and determined and I liked that.

Overall, I truly believe the story had great potential and I can see where there is opportunity for more books to follow. Hopefully as the author gets into the club aspect more, the stories will grow and the characters will balance out more.

***Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by the author/publisher for my reading pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement.***

I am a debut author, but most importantly, I am a mother of two beautiful kids. I am a wife to my soul mate and my better half, whom I was lucky enough to find when I was a child. Since the age of 15, we have been together, and there isn't a moment that I regret. They say everyone has their person; I was lucky enough to find mine when I was just a kid. He and my children are my everything. They are my reason for existence. I love to read, write, play softball, watch baseball, and help coach my daughter's softball team, and watch my son play his sports. We are always on the go, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I realize that one day there won't be anyone to take to practice and games. I embrace the utter chaos that is our lives right now because it will be over before we know it. I appreciate every single one of you that are reading this right now. There is one motto that I live by. It just sucks that it took losing someone really close to me to realize the truth about it. Don't Look Back.


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