#SMUTBookFridays | Review & Book Chat [Until I Break] by M. Leighton




Book Title: Until I Break


Reviewer: Heather E. & Nic


 *This title is no longer available to purchase

Reading a book is so much more fun when you can read it with a friend! Heather and Nic read Until I Break together and instead of a typical review, they’ve done more of a book chat to fill you in on what you need to know and why you should read this book!

Until I Break – 4 stars from both Heather & Nic

Heather: Nic, you know that my TBR (to-be-read) list is like a gazillion books long and I add to it almost daily, right?

Nic: Same here, only difference is you get A LOT more off your TBR than I.

Heather: That’s because I read way more than I should.  :-)  But I don’t just have my typical TBR list on goodreads, I keep a separate list of sequels and new releases from my favorite authors to look out for so I don’t miss out. But my list of favorite authors is growing making it harder and harder to keep up with them all and somehow Until I Break by M. Leighton slipped through the cracks. I was a huge fan of Cash & Nash in Up to Me and Down to You and The Wild Ones is ranked pretty high on my TBR but when I got an interesting text message regarding Until I Break, I couldn’t help but one-click it right away.

Nic: My first book that I read of Michelle’s was The Wild Ones, and I loved it.  Next up were the Cash & Nash books and I think I loved them even more than Trick.  I knew when Until I Break was released I was going to 1-click it but I wasn’t sure when I would get to reading it.  This too changed for me upon hearing the news.

Heather: Word was out via M. Leighton’s blog that she would removing the book for sale the next day and the Twitter world blew up wondering whether this was a publicity stunt to get people to buy the book or whether or not there were some serious dislike. Either way, I bought the book and began reading it right away. When I found out the fabulous Nic had a copy of the book, we decided to read it together so we could try to figure out what all the talk was together.

Nic: Awe..you think I am fabulous?!?  Right back at ya babe.  😉  Ok, so let’s get this book chat underway already.  Heather, please do us the honor and give everyone a little summary of the story.

Heather: So, the book starts off and we meet Laura Drake, a bestselling author of paranormal romance novels. Only Samantha Jensen is really Laura Drake.  We find out pretty quickly that Samantha hides behind her Laura Drake persona because of a past that haunts her.  She is damaged.

Laura meets Alec Brand at one of her signings but it isn’t until Samantha meets him and escorts him to her mother’s fundraiser that we really get to meet one of the most Alpha Male Characters I’ve ever read about. Seriously! I’ve never highlighted so many passages in a book!

Nic: I agree.  This man is Alpha all the way.  The things that he says and the vibe that you can feel through the power of words…just WOW.

Heather: Yes, I pretty much combusted the moment he started flirting with Samantha. And that horse ride? Sigh…

Nic: Oh my, that horse ride on the beach!  HOLY SHIT!  I wanted to answer for Samantha!  YES, LET’S DO THIS?!?  LOL.  There were SO many freakin’ HOT moments in this book and there wasn’t truly sex, as in peen-a-tration, until like 70% in.  Whoa Nelly, I think I was even getting blue balls with Alec.

Ok, so back to the story.  Even with all the steamy sexiness, the underlying stories of what caused both Alec and Samantha to be damaged was captivating.  I have to say that I was not that surprised by hers…I mean it was a little shocking what her mom did to her, but she kind of hinted along the way. (Did you see how I did that…kind of gave you details without really giving you details…me no likey spoilers!)  As for Alec’s story, I would’ve never guessed in a million years.  I loved that twist.  And I loved what Samantha did to help him.   As Heather and I discussed, neither of us would’ve ever been so brave. 

Heather: She was a much bigger woman than I; I could have never done that for him! And the twist was awesome! I love a book that thinks outside the box – maybe that’s why she got so much flack for it? Who knows!

Nic: All in all, I think the book was very well written and the story was great.  However, with that said, neither of us understood why things seemed so rushed at the end.  It just seemed with as damaged as these two were that there would be more of a road to recovery with more drama.  I think we were both kind of surprised with how quickly Alec changed.  Please don’t misunderstand this with us not being happy with the ending as we both were.

Heather: What she said! But seriously – given the background of both of the main characters I think it was beautifully written. It’s not an easy topic to write about but does everything always need to be neat and pretty to be good? A lot of healing needed to take place for both of these characters and like Nic said, even though the ending felt rushed, I did like how it wrapped up.

In regards to the criticism and why I don’t understand it, let me say this first, I know not everyone will love the same books. There are some very popular books out there now that everyone raves about that I just didn’t feel and vice versa. But regardless of how you feel about a book, you shouldn’t bash the author, or the writing, to the point that they feel they should remove their work for others to enjoy. A lot of people are going to miss out on a truly wonderful story! As a huge fan of her work though, I will respect the decision she has made!

Enough about the controversy, let’s talk about the BOOK. Here’s a sneak peek into some of our text messages while we read as well as other popular questions:

Heather: Do you have ANY IDEA why the book was pulled?

Nic:  I don’t see why it was.  There was nothing crazily shocking in it.  The book was well written and I loved the story.  Not sure why haters have to hate.  I do respect Michelle’s decision however.

Heather: I feel the same way – nothing was crazy shocking and I’m curious to know what people misunderstood about the story. I would love to hear more from the author.

Heather: So what was your favorite scene with Alec “alpha male” Brand?

Nic: Oh goodness, how does a girl choose?!?  I would say either the horse ride or the sex scene at the party.  Or maybe even the scene when he is bathing her.  Damn it, that wasn’t just one was it?  LOL

Heather: It’s a little more than one but that’s OK, right? That just shows how much you enjoyed the book! I have to say I loved the horse scene as well as “the scene” at the end.  One was hot while the other showed the ultimate act of love. Sigh…

Nic: What was your favorite quote from the book (and not one where Alec is being his sexy Alpha self)?

Heather: Are you sure I can’t pick a quote from Alec because that’s basically all I highlighted – that man could really sweet talk and I would be DONE if he whispered those things into my ears? Can I pick a non-sexy Alec Alpha quote and then a sexy Alec Alpha quote?

Nic: Ok, I will allow it.  :-)

Heather: OK, so both of my quotes actually come right after the other. This is right at the beginning when Alec picks Sam up for the fundraiser. The first quote gives you such an image of the impact that Alec has on Sam right away. The second quote is what Alec whispers to her right after she thinks the thought below.

“But even with more space between us, I’m still breathless. I have a feeling I will always be this way in his presence. The question is: How long can I survive without air?”

“Tonight is your one free pass. Just know that the next time you look at me this way, I’ll feel compelled to do something about it.” And THAT my friends is how the rest of the book went, I literally melted…

Nic:  Oh that sexy beast that is Alec.  Great quotes Heather.  I actually found myself highlighting a lot of the quotes from Chris, Samantha’s sister. I loved when she walks in Samantha’s house and after hearing that Samantha had a sleepless night she says, “Please tell me you didn’t sleep because you were stuck between a mattress and a hard man.”

Heather: Chris was certainly entertaining! So who was your favorite character from the book? Chris?

Nic:  I have to say it was Samantha’s sister, Chris.  She was hilarious.  I loved her.  So much so, that I actually tweeted Michelle upon finishing the book to ask if we would get her story.  I really wasn’t sure since this book was pulled.  However, she did confirm that Chris would get her own HEA!!!  YAY!!!

Heather: I love that she’ll get her own story too! I’m actually becoming more of a fan of spin-offs than sequels lately and I think Chris’ story will be amazing!

Nic:  We are SO on the same page with that.  I was just thinking that today on my way home.  Companions are quickly becoming more exciting to me than having to wait out for a sequel to come out.

Nic: Do you think that the “special” clubs as depicted in this book truly exist? I mean, this isn’t the first book to mention them…

Heather: Absolutely! Finding them would probably be harder for the average Joe, but I have no doubt they exist – they’re probably your neighbors and you don’t even know it!

Nic:  HAHAHA, your response seriously had me laughing out loud…and maybe (just a little bit) attempting to figure out which of my neighbors could have such a club.  Neighborhood watch just took on a whole new meaning.  LOL

Heather: OK enough chitchat, let’s give people time to actually read the book and not our rambling on non-sense. What was your overall rating for the book and why?

Nic:  4 stars for me.  I really liked the book but I definitely thought things moved too quickly at the end.  It was hard for my mind to comprehend that Alec would so easily change.  I think I wanted more drama before the…end.  At the same time, I guess I can understand how that can’t be if this is to be a stand-alone and not a series.  I am definitely a huge fan of Michelle’s.  I think she cannot only write her ass off but she is just an amazing person.  Even with as much success she has had with writing she seems very down to earth and always tries to respond to her readers.  I think that is pretty amazing and I am in awe every time it happens (such a fan girl sometimes).

Heather: There’s nothing wrong with being a fan girl – you know I have my fan girl moments too! But I agree, 4 solid stars! It took me a bit to get pulled into the story from the beginning but once I met Mr. Alec Brand I was taken.  And not just because of his character, but the revelations and story line were really, really, really good. I was disappointed in the ending, it kind of just came together a bit too fast for my taste knowing what I knew about both Alec and Sam but overall I’m happy with the story as a whole and can’t wait to hear more about Chris.

Heather and Nic