Monday, April 15, 2013

Blog Tour: The One Series By Laurel Ulen Curtis {Review + Giveaway}

Adult Contemporary Romance
Kindle/Mobi format given by author for Tour

Natalie Dalton is a beautiful, witty, charismatic twenty-seven year old with an ugly past and one weakness-the people she loves. She’s been waiting for a way out of the dark cloud that’s suffocating her for a year when the perfect opportunity comes. She finds herself settling in a small town based on a feeling of rightness, and as she learns about the people around her they start to fill the holes she didn’t know there were in her heart. Tucker Cody is a quick-witted, playful, and hard-loving twenty-nine year old, but for the past 5 years he’s set that all aside and focused on work as a way to escape. Abandoned by his whole family in one way or another, he’s kept people at a distance ever since. Until one girl. Will they find a way to heal each other and move on from their pasts? Or will their pasts find a way to hold onto them? The One Place is the first book in The One Series. Warning: Some explicit language and sexual content.

My Take:
Upon first glance at the cover you wouldn't think to read this one, it doesn't really grab your attention. After reading the synopsis I was more intrigued with the story and wanted to know more. It begins with Natalie (or Talie for short)  Dalton in a very abusive relationship with some shady elements to it. Her fiance Andrew beats her daily and basically rapes her. I hate abuse so naturally I wasn't excited about this aspect but I was still into the story regardless at this point. As Natalie goes through her days with this abusive man we find out that she is hatching an escape plan having stashed a getaway bag at a local coffee shop until the opportunity arises. She is grieving the loss of her best friend Jenny and thinks she sees her out of the coffee shop window. When the chase turns up a dead end she is on her way back to the coffee shop when it blows the fuck up. Seriously, the whole damn thing went boom!

She has nowhere to go because she doesn't want to put her family in danger from Andrew if he finds out she's alive. With no belongings left and her opportunity never more perfect she takes what money she has and flees on a bus and ends up in Joplin Tennessee with a gut feeling that it's the place she needs to be. New to the area she makes fast friends who help her get a job and a new place to stay when she meets the sexy country boy Tucker Cody. I was excited about this guy being that I love a good country boy and Tuck was pretty hot...until he started speaking. 

Tucker Cody was every bit the country boy and it was never MORE apparent than when he SPOKE! Every damn thing he said was written in his lazy country drawl and basically distracted me from the story. That is one of my biggest pet peeves in a book. I am one of those readers that if you tell me the guy spoke with a "Lazy Southern Drawl" I can use my imagination without every spoken word written out like it sounds. I really liked Tucker at first. He was sweet, charming and funny plus he is a motorcycle riding country boy with a sexy smile. Win! We find out that Tucker has somewhat of a secret in that his sister ran off with her boyfriend after her fight with Tucker about the way this guy treated her and Tucker hasn't seen her in years. Not knowing what happened to her has killed him all this time and being with Talie sort of helps him heal. 

As Natalie and Tucker spend more time together they develop feelings for each other which didn't surprise me but what did was how Tucker became sort of domineering towards Talie. There was one scene where they had just started being intimate and he basically tells her she is going to move in with him and expected no argument from her. It blew my mind because Talie has just come from an abusive situation and being the spitfire she has discovered in herself since she left Andrew, she basically just says "OK let's get my stuff". That really caught me off guard because I expected more of a fight from Talie but anyway. Talie and Tucker eventually fall for each other and their relationship is solidified until a surprise guest in the form of an angry Andrew sheds light on both Tucker's story and Talie's before the story ends in To Be Continued fashion.

I had hoped from reading the synopsis that the book would switch character perspectives between Talie and Tucker but it was told from only Talie's pov. Which I didn't mind because if I had to dive into Tucker's mind the way he talked I think I would have lost my shit honestly. I just couldn't handle the lazy way he spoke, it was almost like the guy from Sling Blade "MmHmm" "Taters". 

Example: "First time you've kissed me Talie. Like it." 
I reeeeally wish he would have added an I onto the begining of his sentences. He sounded stupid the majority of the time, but anyway moving on.

I had a love hate thing going for Tuck. He had really great moments where he was sweet and sexy but then a few times he was kind of an overbearing prick. I will say that he stole a small piece of my heart when he stood up for Talie's friend Ruthie when her man was abusing her. He didn't want to get involved because he feared messing things up for Ruth the way he did for his sister and the guilt of running her off stopped him. I did feel bad for Tucker though. His parents were killed and his sister ran off so he didn't have any family until Talie came into his life. He was a good guy who helped everyone in town when they needed something fixed or help doing something. He was sort of the town go-to guy. He even helps Andrews parents out, knowing that their son disappeared with his sister and hasn't been seen in years.

As far as Talie goes she was probably one of the things I liked most about this book. She was tough to be so kind and loving especially when you find out the details of her abuse. I love how she made several good friends while in Joplin and seemed to come out of her beaten down shell after a while. It was nice being able to witness her grow especially in her relationship with Tucker, even if I didn't like a few decisions she made. Throughout the story Talie struggles with memories of her dead friend Jenny and the reason she ends up with Andrew, (who was married to Jenny) becomes clear. She witnessed something pretty sad that ties into the ending plot twist that threw me for a loop. I wasn't on board with this story almost throughout the entire thing until the end brought about this twist. It has me curious enough to want to read book 2 so I can find out what happens! 

"That's ok, I'm a sufferer too. I'm prone to night horniness. Just pin me down and stroke me and I'll be ok. I'm sure there's a similar solution to your problem." Kindle format 13% 

"But I can promise you that nothin' like that is ever gonna happen to you again. Nothin' is ever gonna touch you. Nothin'" Kindle format 44%

{Click The Banner To Follow The Tour}

Warning: The One Girl is the second book in The One Series, and picks up where the story of The One Place left off. If you have not read The One Place, the following description may contain SPOILERS. Warning, #2: This book contains explicit language and sexual content. Tucker Cody has just been dealt a surprising blow. His fiance, his love, his future--his Talie--has a twisted connection to his past. When faced with the same man who’s responsible for the loss of his entire family, will he be able to protect his new one? Or will danger come from other directions? All of the answers come down to one thing. One girl.

I enjoyed this one a whole lot better than book one and that was odd to me because this one was told from Tucker's perspective. Which, if you read my review above you would be shaking your head at me right now. Surprisingly though reading this from Tucker's pov wasn't as bad as his scenes in book 1. His grammar was way better in this one and I actually fell in love with him by the end.

This one picks up right where book one left off with Andrew showing up at the diner Talie works at in Joplin and Tucker confronting him about his sister...Jenny. YES! Imagine my surprise when I found out that the Jenny that Talie has been grieving is Tucker's missing sister. Talk about chaos. Tucker then confronts Andrew about where his sister is and makes it very clear that Talie is his now. Tucker informs the entire town including his friends Jace and Ruthie to be on the lookout for Andrew and don't let him out of their sights. Tucker sets a plan in place to protect Talie and goes with her almost everywhere to ensure her safety with Andrew in town. 

Talie is terrified that Andrew will go after her fmaily and Tucker makes her call her sister to bring everyone to Joplin so they can keep an eye on them. She finds out her sister already suspected something was up and flies to Joplin ASAP. When she arrives Tucker finds out that Kayla is more spunky than Talie and he might have his hands full with them both. Once her parents are safe in Europe on vacation everyone bands together to figure out how to get rid of Andrew. They discover a safe deposit box Jenny left in both hers and Talie's names upon her death. Kayla goes to retrieve the contents but there is nothing there once she arrives. All the missing information and drama with Andrew is causing Tucker to have nightmares about his sister. He feels like he is being watched everywhere he goes and starts to chalk it up to simple paranoia.

As the story progresses Talie and Tucker solidify their relationship, both knowing they are it for each other and celebrate their happiness. It doesn't last long when Talie is kidnapped on her break at work and sends Tucker into a panic trying to find her. When he searches the most obvious choice he finds out that things are way more confusing than he could have imagined as the story wraps up with murder, mayhem and a sweet epilogue.

From the way the first one ended I figured we were in for some serious shit once Andrew came back to town. But sadly nothing really happened with him. He wasn't really a part of the story except in a small way. I was a little disappointed about that because I felt that him being in town could have been a more juicy plot point. This one just mainly followed Tucker's daily struggle to figure out what happened to his family. The mystery surrounding Jenny's death haunts him in his dreams and with the added bonus of feeling someone watching him constantly he is extremely paranoid. He does everything he can to protect Talie.

 I have to say I liked Tucker a whole lot more in this book. He wasn't as much of a jerk as I found him to be in book 1. He was more settled and less overbearing and being able to get into his shoes and know what he was going through really helped me understand him better. I enjoyed this being from his perspective and I was very glad his lazy southern drawl wasn't overly played up in his book. That was another surprise as to why the author wrote him so country in book one from Talie's pov but in his own his accent was hardly noticeable. 

Probably the best  part of the story was the addition of Talie's sister Kayla! I adored her character and to me she added so much depth and comic relief especially when shit got real which it did a few times. Anyway Kayla was fiesty and lovable with her outspoken peronsality and flirtatious charm. When she arrives she gives her sister hell for being shacked up with such a "Hot" guy and pouts that she has been holding out on her. It's so funny watching her make Tucker uncomfortable because Tucker was such a Ladie's man before he met Talie. When they agree to send her to New York to find out what Jenny left in the safe deposit box Kayla gives Tucker the nickname Hotman as a play on words to Batman. I loved their playful banter with each other despite the serious situation they were facing. 

The mystery element to the story was a little anti climactic for me because I expected some drama to go down with Andrew but like i said he wasn't really in the story other than just a shadow always lingering on a what if scenario. "What if Andrew does this?" "What is Andrew does that?" How about What if Andrew was just sitting in his drawers the whole time eating pizza laughing at you scared assholes LOL! That's what I would do! Anyway when everything comes out in the open it's kind of a surprise-ish who the actual mastermind behind everything is. I mean I saw it coming but you might not be as Ninja as I am when it comes to plot points.

Overall it was a good story and everything wrapped up really sweet and actually made me glad I finished reading the series. I didn't fall in love with them but it was a sweet, semi suspenseful story about forgiveness and starting over. I would suggest you not let my pet peeves keep you from giving this series a shot though because I feel like the end was worth it. 

Favorite Quotes:
"I know this is huge for you. It's huge for fuckin' both of us. But you aren't goin' anywhere. You are gonna stay here with me, and we are gonna fuckin' work this out together. I am gonna protect you, baby. He isn't gonna hurt you. I promise." Kindle Format 3%

"You gotta let him sleep sometimes, sis. I mean I get it, but go with a little more sleeping, a little less fucking." Kindle Format 41%

It seemed like she had been working hard for it, trying to get me to finish in record speed. Maybe she was hiding a stop watch somewhere. Practicing for the head Olympics or something. Though, who knows how long she had been at me in my sleep. Kindle Format 62%

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Laurel Ulen Curtis is a 26 year old mother of one. She lives with her husband and son (and cat and two fish!) in New Jersey, but grew up all over the United States. She graduated from Rutgers University in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science in Meteorology, and puts that to almost no use other than forecasting for her friends! She has a passion for her family, laughing, and reading and writing Romance novels. And Coke. The drink, not the drug.



  1. This series seems interesting and I enjoyed the review, thanks :)

  2. I'm not sure about this series. I know you struggled with parts of it, but I'm glad you liked the second book a bit more.

  3. This is actually the first time I've heard about the book. I love adult contemp romances and would love to read it!

  4. Reading what the book is about, I feel like the cover could have been a bit more engaging. That said, I DO love black and white covers :)


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