Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Globug Reviews If You Leave by Courtney Cole {Reveiw, Giveaway & Guest Post}

Genre: Contemporary romance
Publisher: Hachette’s Grand Central Forever
  Published date: August 6, 2013
ARC provide by publisher for review


26-year old Gabriel Vincent is a badass hero. Or he used to be, anyway. As an ex-Army Ranger, Gabe never thought he needed anyone. But after one horrible night in Afghanistan scars him in a way that he can't get past, he needs someone who can help him heal...even if he doesn't realize it.

25-year old Madison Hill doesn't need anybody...or so she thinks. She grew up watching her parents' messed-up abusive relationship and she knows there's no way in hell that she's ever letting that happen to her.

They don't know it in the beginning, but Gabriel and Madison will soon develop a weakness: Each other.

But Gabriel's got a secret, a hidden monster that he's afraid Maddy could never overcome... And Maddy's got issues that she's afraid Gabe will never understand. They quickly realize that they need each other to be whole, but at the same time they know that they've got demons to fight.

And the problem with demons is that they never die quietly.


 Wow! Courtney Cole has perfected her intense dramatic entrance into a story. If you haven't read the first book in the series titled If You Stay, you MUST go read it first. You can find Hootie's review of it HERE.  If You Leave starts in the middle of a nightmare, literally. Gabriel Vincent is out of control and doesn't realize it until he wakes in the middle of crushing a prostitutes hand. He has apparently just beat the hell out of the poor girl in his sleep. Now she's not the only one scared. Gabe is scared of himself. He leaves Afghanistan and the Army Rangers.

Eight months later, when Madison is feeling the need to cut loose a little, she agrees to go out to a club with her friend Jacey. Madison has spent the last four years since her parents died being responsible and working hard to take care of their restaurant and her younger sister Mila. But Mila's life has found it's path to happiness and Maddy needs to find hers. So when she spots this gorgeous hunk of man at the club, she figures she's earned a night of being reckless. Gabe is happy to oblige a beautiful woman in need. With Gabe acting cocky and Maddy feeling a little forward, things get really hot up in the ally and then downright sinful in the cab on their way to Gabe's apartment. It's no wonder the cab driver wasn't watching the road with the show he could see in his rear-view mirror. Gabe may have left his old life behind, but when the cab crashes, so does everything around him. PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) rears it's ugly head and Maddy gets to witness the damage.

There's no way in Madison's mind that Gabe could be right for her. She wants nothing to do with a "bad ass alpha male" but that's exactly what she's attracted to. What chance does she have of avoiding him now that she knows her friend Jacey (Gabe's sister) and her sister Mila want to play match makers? Gabe can't remember what happened the night after the cab accident but he knows he's no good for Maddy. But what chance does he have of avoiding the one person who may be his path to happiness? He can't avoid his nightmares so he plans to avoid relationships.

"Do you want to play, yes or no?" This is the question Gabe and Maddy keep asking themselves. I love how the author has played this game of cat and mouse with the characters. Both characters come off as confident but both have real issues and waste time misjudging each other. I love how the author develops their story and also continues the story of Mia and Pax from book one. We get a lot of Madison and Mila's back story that helps explain why Madison is where she is in life.   When Gabe and Maddy finally get on the same page things get righteous. I mean, merciful heaven, some serious moisture control is needed, by the reader I mean. As cocky as Gabe could be at times, he still wins my heart. He truly is a tortured soul. Things get really rough, like gut wrenching, at times. I was wreck and so worried that Gabe was going to screw up big time. Thank God and the author for not making me wait long for the right outcome.

 Madison has to decide if she's happy with the life that she was forced to choose or if she's ready to find herself again and follow her own dreams. Gabe has to face his demons or he'll never be able to find and share happiness with someone else.  I don't stop to think enough about those that serve our country and the hardships they face for doing that job. Courtney Cole does a brilliant job of making  If You Leave feel like a true story about a soldier with PTSD.  It takes courage to recognize your demons and then find the strength to not only get help but to allow others to be that help you need. I love happy endings and I love that Cole also gives us a year into the future of her characters in the Epilogue.


Courtney Cole is a novelist who would eat mythology for breakfast if she could.

She has a degree in Business, but has since discovered that corporate America is not nearly as fun to live in as fictional worlds.

Every Last Kiss is her debut novel and she followed it with the rest of The Bloodstone Saga (Every Last Kiss, Fated, With My Last Breath and My Tattered Bonds).

Courtney lives in quiet suburbia, close to Lake Michigan, with her real-life Prince Charming, her ornery kids (there is a small chance that they get their orneriness from their mother) and a small domestic zoo.


Buy Links:

Amazon & Barnes & Noble


The Importance of Secondary Characters

Courtney Cole

Secondary characters are so important for lots of reasons.  I use them to lighten the mood of a heavy scene, or to give spark to a slow chapter… but the most important thing they do is revolve around the main character.

Yep.  Their main job is to better create the storyline of the main character.

Think about it.  It’s boring to simply be told a story in a narrative.  But if you add in some secondary characters who can interact with the main characters in dialogue where you are shown the story through the characters’ conversations, it’s much more interesting. 

An author can use secondary characters to enhance their main character, to reveal his backstory, to show his flaws, weaknesses and strengths, or to illustrate how much grows. 

Secondary characters are vital.  I think the most challenging book that I’ve written was IF YOU STAY because I wanted to limit the secondary characters that I brought in.  I felt that Pax and Mila were the kind of people who didn’t interact with many people (especially Pax) and I couldn’t just add characters to make my life easier if it didn’t work for my story. 

But just because secondary characters are there for the main characters, it doesn’t mean that their stories should be shallow or a sequence of one-liners throughout the book.  To me, a good secondary character is one that is developed to the point where readers would really love to know their story, too. 

That’s actually what I’m doing with my Beautifully Broken series.  Each book will revolve around different main characters—characters who I brought in in the previous book.  It’s actually really fun because instead of stringing one storyline out, I get to bring in fresh storylines in each book, but at the same time, I get to use characters that readers have already come to know and love.  It’s the best of both worlds.

But I digress.  The topic of this post was to tell you that secondary characters are important.  Vital. Necessary.  Ask any of my secondaries… like Brand (IF YOU LEAVE), Sara (Confessions of an Alli Cat), Mia (Dante’s Girl) or Gavin (Mia’s Heart).  They would all tell you that while they might be underrated and the spot light doesn’t shine on them much, they are essential in a great story. 

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  1. Love this book. Gabe and Maddy are such a great couple. Can't wait for Jacey's book!

  2. Oh man, this was such an awesome book. I loved Gabe and Maddy so hard. Great review!

  3. Is it bad that I can't wait to see some of Pax and Mila in this one? I'm sure the rest will be great too!


  4. Thanks for sharing your take and the giveaway. Sounds great. evamillien at gmail dot com

  5. My sister works in the VA and one time I asked her about people with PTSD. Her stories broke my heart and scared me a little. This book will break me I'm sure


  6. I can't wait to read this looks good Thanks for the great chance to win it.


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