Friday, October 16

***Blog Tour, Review, Excerpt & Giveaway ***Beyond What is Given by Rebecca Yarros


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Flight & Glory #3
Rebecca Yarros
Releasing Sept 28th, 2015
Entangled Embrace

Lt. Grayson Masters is focused on graduating the Apache helicopter course, and the last thing he needs is his gorgeous new roommate Samantha Fitzgerald distracting him. While her smart mouth and free spirit are irresistibly irritating, he can’t deny their off-the-charts chemistry, no matter how hard he tries.

Having just been expelled from college, Sam has no business digging for Grayson’s secrets while she’s hiding her own, but that doesn’t stop her from trying to tear down his walls. Each barrier she busts through drops one of her own, though, and she’s not prepared for the truth: another woman laid claim to Grayson’s heart long ago.

Falling in love is something neither Grayson nor Sam can afford, and when that line is crossed and secrets are exposed, they’ll learn that sometimes it’s the answered prayers that will put you through hell.

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Grayson’s choices were so calculated, so deliberate, I doubted he’d ever so much as been late for a class.
“Samantha?” His eyes softened, revealing the give in him, and it cracked my own defenses.
“Have you ever made a mistake, Grayson? And I don’t mean the kind that costs you an apology. I mean one that destroys you? Where you lie awake at night, unable to sleep, because you’re terrified of what’s going to happen the next day, and the one after that? Where you’d give anything, and I do mean anything to go back and make a different choice? Where you’re sick all the time at the thought of what you’ve done? Because I have. I’ve crumbled my entire future, shredded any hope of finishing college, and killed off who I used to be. And I don’t...I don’t know how to come back from something like that.”
“You don’t.”
I jerked back, but he held me immobile against him. “Stop, and listen to me. I’m not going to belittle you by
saying nothing is that bad, because some things are. Things happen that change who we are, and what we’re capable of. So you’re not going to ‘come back’ from that any more than you’re going to erase whatever you did. You have to decide if you’re going to try to keep patching yourself up or if you’re going to tear down and rebuild.”
“I don’t know how to do that.”
“You wade through the pain, and the guilt, and the excuses you make to yourself. Stop drowning in alcohol to numb the fear, and suck up the bitter taste of accountability.
You move on with who you are now. It’s not easy. If you think you screwed up that badly, then maybe you did, but you also have to leave room for the chance that you didn’t. Have you talked about it?”
I shook my head. There were two of us who knew the whole truth, and that circle was big enough. “I’m not sure I’m ready to let go of everyone’s vision of who I am. It’s so much prettier than the truth.”
“Not even Ember?”
“Definitely not think-through-everything-twice Ember. She wouldn’t understand, and I’m not sure I could handle her reaction.”
He swallowed and broke our stare like it had become too much because we both knew the truth—it had. “That’s the hardest part, letting someone see who you really are— scars and all. I’m...” He cleared his throat. “You need to trust someone enough to tell them the truth. Make peace with it before it eats you alive. I listen really well if you don’t have anyone else.”

I scrambled to throw up a wall between us. It was safer when he was hurling snotty comments at me. That, I knew how to handle. But this Grayson? The one holding me carefully, keeping me warm while the storm raged outside, offering to help carry the crippling weight destroying me? I didn’t know what the hell to do with that one.

My Review

Intense. Heartbreaking. Loved. 

By far, this is one of my favorites of 2015. The whole brilliantly written story held my attention from the first word and never let go. Grayson and Samantha's story was all consuming. From their first meeting, they had an energy that was palpable. Both are broken and fighting their pasts, but together they find the strength to let go, move forward and find peace. 

Grayson is focused on graduating the Apache helicopter course at the top of his class. While he lives with Josh and Jaggar, he really straddles two worlds that he keeps separate: his life in the military and his life back home in North Carolina with his family. He's so worried about keeping his two lives separate, that he lets no one in until Samantha shows up. 

Samantha left college in Colorado after a terrible mistake cost her her college career. As a college drop out, finding another school to take her in hasn't been easy. But when her best friend Ember arranges for her to live with her boyfriend Josh and his friends, Samantha grabs hold of the idea of starting over. Meeting and falling for her mysterious and broody roommate wasn't in her plans, but her plans have never really panned out before so why start now. 

Grayson, for all his broody intensity, is everything a book boyfriend should be. Absolutely dedicated even when his heart is torn in multiple directions. I loved getting his point of view because I was able to really understand what he was thinking and how split down the middle he was. Samantha was a strong and sassy character who really struggled with the direction her life had taken. I felt for her. I wanted her to grab hold of Grayson and never let go but totally understood all her actions and reactions. Mine would have been the same. 

My heart absolutely broke for these two time and again. Just when I thought it was starting to mend, my poor heart was shredded again right along with Grayson and Samantha. They had to slog through so many terrible circumstances, but I never once didn't like or understand the these two or their choices. They lived a hard story but their fight was well worth it. 

While Grayson and Samantha were fighting their own battles as well as battling for each other's hearts, the side stories that involved these two were absolutely tragic, soul scarring and hard to read. While the angst was high throughout most of the book, it didn't feel overdone. With the craziness surrounding these characters, all the distractions and hurt feeling and terrible decisions really made sense as hard as it was to accept. 

Of course I wished Grayson and Samantha didn't have to fight so hard but their story was better for it in the end. All the pain and suffering was worth it when everything was revealed. And that epilogue. Sigh. Pure bliss. 

Reviewed by Paige

★★☆5 "First Choice" Stars ☆★★

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Rebecca Yarros is a hopeless romantic and lover of all things chocolate, coffee, and Paleo. In addition to being a mom, military wife, and blogger, she can never choose between Young Adult and New Adult fiction, so she writes both. She's a graduate of Troy University, where she studied European history and English, but still holds out hope for an acceptance letter to Hogwarts. Her blog, The Only Girl Among Boys, has been voted the Top Military Mom Blog the last two years, and celebrates the complex issues surrounding the military life she adores.

When she's not writing, she's tying on hockey skates for her kids, or sneaking in some guitar time. She is madly in love with her army-aviator husband of eleven years, and they're currently stationed in Upstate NY with their gaggle of rambunctious kiddos and snoring English Bulldog, but she would always rather be home in Colorado.

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