Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Blog Tour: Because Of You (Playing With Fire #2) by T.E. Sivec {Review + Giveaway}

Madison Says Blog Tour
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Contemporary Romantic Suspense
BETA/ARC given by author for review

Brady Marshall has made a career of playing it safe. When he decides to do something rash and becomes a Navy SEAL, he thinks he's finally escaped the rigid structure of the high society life his parents forced down his throat. All he does is trade in one set of rules for another. He follows military protocol to a T, but it still results in the death of an entire team of Navy SEALS and puts his best friends directly in harm's way. He’s struggled to stay afloat and not drown in grief, guilt, and booze, but he's losing that battle quickly. When his baby sister flees her abusive husband and shows up on his doorstep with his young niece in tow, he has no choice but to clean up his act. He will stop at nothing to protect them and never let them down again, even if it means taking a job that goes against everything he believes in. If protecting a pop star princess who thinks she's better than everyone means he can keep a roof over their head, what other choice does he have? Layla Carlysle has lived a life of luxury. She's been a star since the young age of fifteen, and every record she releases shoots straight to the top of the charts. She has people surrounding her every single day telling her how amazing she is, how beautiful she is, and how lucky she is, but she’s never felt more alone in her entire life. She wants nothing more than to break free and do what she really wants to do: write her own music, sing her own songs, and find a way to finally be happy with her life. The only thing standing in her way is her mother, Eve Carlysle. Eve has controlled every single aspect of her daughter’s life and will stop at nothing to achieve fame and fortune, even if that means using her daughter to get there. When an overly-amorous fan’s letters become increasingly more sinister, Brady will have to suck up his opinion of how the other half lives to take the job seriously. The pair will need to learn to trust each other and put aside their differences before the letters become a reality and someone’s life is in jeopardy. Brady has been to hell and back, and he refuses to let anyone else get close to him again. Layla has never lived her life for herself, and the emptiness is threatening to break her for good. Sometimes our lives are already planned for us, but because of you, all of that could change in an instant. 

My Take:
Remember how I said there was something about Brady Marshall that I fell in love with while reading A Beautiful Lie? If you don't remember my gushing review you can catch it HERE. Anyway I loved Brady even though he didn't have much of a front burner story in ABL, well hold onto your butts because this book was intense, sexy, heartbreaking and dramatic! It was everything I wanted and expected from the sexy damaged ex Navy Seal! 

Brady is coming off the worst time in his life. After the deaths of his friends during a mission to take down a drug lord, he joined the local police force. During a domestic violence call he ended up on with a woman he was trying to help out of her bad situation, he watches yet another person he cares about die. Taking it extremely hard Brady spends months wallowing in his grief with nothing but booze and strippers to occupy his time. When he nearly kills himself with alcohol his baby sister Gwen helps him snap out of his funk and he ends up starting his own P.I. firm. He is doing his level best to keep the business going but unfortunately his reputation for being a drunk has hurt his chances of finding real investigative work. With an offer on the table to protect a famous singer Brady refuses to guard a stuck up diva but with Gwen and her daughter counting on him and the lights getting cut off he is left with no choice.

Layla is being threatened with letters from a crazy fan and her protection is the utmost importance for her slave driving mother who sees her as nothing but a cash cow. Brady is brought in the help guard her  and when he first meets Layla there is instant attraction for the blond beauty but Brady brushes her off as just another spoiled musician. He quickly finds out that there is way more to Layla's story when he sneaks into her rehearsal and catches a vicious rant from her mother that makes him wonder why she puts up with such abuse. The more time Brady spends with her he starts to see there is so much more to her than what the public sees.  The attraction between them builds until neither can stand it and they both give in to their fierce passion. Blinded by their attraction, the threat to Layla's life becomes the center of the story as Brady races to figure out who is behind the threats before it's too late for Layla.

{these are my choices for Brady & Layla}

I knew this was going to be a nail biter but I wasn't prepared for the twist the story presented. The suspects in the story change with every chapter and you never really know who is behind all the threats until it's revealed close to the end. I felt like I was in a Scooby-Doo episode the entire time trying to guess who it was. I was like "It's old man Withers from the haunted amusement park!" (See Wayne's World) I absolutely loved this book and I think that hands down it's the star of the series. Maybe that's because I have a hard on for Brady but...

Speaking of Brady how about we discuss this sexy bastard shall we? He's wounded (obviously) and he's in pain over the deaths of his friends and a woman he was developing feelings for when her life was cut short in front of him. That alone can fuck a guy up for life but throw in his parents being complete fuck nuts and you have a cake batter don't nobody want to eat raw. (I don't know what I'm saying just go with it) So Brady takes on his baby sister and her kid after she flees her abusive husband. He tries his best to resist Layla knowing he could lose this job if he can't keep his dick in his pants but Layla proves to be too much for him to handle. Once he sees her truly open herself up and sing with her heart and not just what her mother forces her to sing, he is a goner. My affection for Brady only grew the more I read. I felt so bad for him and hated watching him be so tormented throughout. He comes across as a dick sometimes but we get to see a much softer side to him in this book. 

Layla's character was tough and stubborn but when you peeled back the layers you saw a vulnerability I think was perfect for Brady. He needed to feel needed by someone and be able to make a difference for once. Layla lost her dad when she was young. He was the only person she felt truly loved her. Since his death her mother has held her captive to her will never letting Layla be who she wants. She's had some troubles of her own and her mother never lets her forget her mistakes. After she discovered her fiance Sam cheated on her and was paid by her mother to propose she can't trust anyone except her best friend Finn. When Brady comes along the attraction is immediate but she fights against it so hard not wanting to trust him but ultimately unable to stay away. I was so happy with this couple and I think it was more emotional for me because I was so invested in their happiness that by the end I could hardly function seeing what they both went through. Layla goes through some tough shit and I am still unclear about one particular incident in the basement that crushed me. 

I am obsessed with the band The Pretty Reckless. Their music is gritty and raw which reminds me of how Layla sings when she's allowed to be herself. This song is so perfect to describe the feel of the book and the issues Layla is facing. I suggest you take a listen to get a feel for the emotional depth of the story because it's a deep song for a deep story.  

The suspense aspects of this story will literally shock the shit out of you! Everyone is a suspect and when the truth comes out you will have to pick your jaw up off the floor once the smoke clears. All I will say in order not to spoil anything is: TRUST. NO. ONE.

Being the second book in this series, Because of You just added more depth and intrigue to the set and I can't wait to see what else is in store for us. There is a small sneak peek into book 3 at the end of B.O.Y that will leave you beyond excited for the next one. If there is one thing to take away from this book, after having read the Chocolate Lovers series, is that Tara Sivec can write in any genre. She proved herself with A Beautiful Lie and Because Of You cements it! It's intense, highly emotional and erotic as hell! The heat and passion between Brady and Layla will have you panting and needy by the time they finally get together. If you are a fan of Tara's other series then  you really must read this one. She proves herself with every book written and I am so glad I got sucked into this world of intrigue and sex! 

Favorite Quotes:

“Sweetheart, that guy is one argument away from blowing someone’s head off with his side arm. Sue me if I think it’s a riot that you’ve put all your trust in someone like that and think I’m the bad guy.” Beta/ARC 24%

“This wasn’t a mistake. Not by a long shot. I’ve wanted to bury myself inside of you since the first moment you and your attitude walked into the room.” Beta/ARC 47%

“I don’t care if we come from two different worlds or two different planets. I love you, Layla." Beta/ARC 98%


T.E. Sivec is the pen name for Tara Sivec. Under T.E. Sivec, she delves into a more serious genre that is her absolute favorite to read romantic suspense. She loves reading a book and feeling her heart speed up with anticipation and wanted to be able to give that feeling to her fans. T.E. lives in Ohio with her husband and two children, living the dream of being a fulltime



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  1. I had the first two quotes highlighted too! Glad you loved this one!

  2. This sounds like such a great series. I can't believe I haven't read any of Sivec's books. Great review, chickadee!


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