Saturday 12 October 2013

Blog Tour - Rotten by JL Brooks - Review and Giveaway

Growing up on the outskirts of Las Vegas as the daughter of notorious strip club owner, Stephen Knox, and a mother who abandoned her at birth, life was less than kind to a young Antoinette.

After a failed teenage suicide attempt, Toni hit the road in search of a life free of undeserved cruelty and any resemblance to her past.

Years later, Toni is lost in a dead end marriage and makes a painful confession that sends her back to the one place she always wanted to escape. But can she really right the wrongs that haunt her? Toni soon finds that the only place where things stay the same is in your mind.

When her path crosses with David Stark, childhood playmate turned one night stand, she cannot deny the spike in temperature she feels every time he's near or the scorching dreams that flood her at night.

Digging through the years of heartache, Toni soon finds herself torn between the man she is committed to and the one who has always held her heart. As each layer unfolds before her, she discovers the root cause of her pain. Always believing the source was external, nothing could prepare her for the truth.

*This book contains sexual content and adult language. Intended for readers 17+.
 Review by Janeane - ARC Received for honest review

Don't let the title fool you.  Rotten is anything but Rotten. It had me drawn in right from the start, in fact I may have even done some
right from the get go!

Toni grew up on the outskirts of Vegas, the daughter of well a well known strip club owner.  She was bullied at school because of it, and let a pretty miserable and lonely existence growing up.  Except for David.
David was her best friend, and her unrequited love. One night he does something that hurts her so bad, it ruins their friendship, among other things.
A decade down the track, Toni is in a pretty miserable marriage to a man who I did not like at all!

When her father is taken seriously ill, she returns to Vegas for the first time since that night, and runs straight into David, the one that got away.  Tired of living the lie that she has for so long, she decides to let the real Toni out to play - and I like her!  This is a story of her redemption, mending bridges and above all, being the person she always wanted to be.

On the outside she is the perfect wife, good Christian girl.  On the inside she is still the messed up girl she was in her teens, and still a little drawn to the darkness.  She never really dealt with things that had happened, just always ran away.

Now running her father's business with David, the old attraction and feelings are still there - if they ever went away.

Leaving her old life, she soon realises how bad things really are with her husband Andrew, and how much she really has changed.  As much as she thinks she cannot leave him, after he visits she realises he is not what he seems.
 And don't even get me started on the so-called friend Erin!
I love how Toni begins to rebuild her relationship with her father Stephen.  There is so much she does not know about him and so many mistruths she has been told her whole life about him that she needs to figure out.
The new relationships Toni builds while in Vegas are not what she would ever have expected, but more real than anything she has ever had.  Her friendship with Jodie is unlike anything she has ever had with anyone, even David, and it is the kind of friendship that will last.  Jodie is raw, real, she tells it like it is.

I loved everything about Rotten, and JL Brooks' writing had me hooked from the start to the end. And there are a couple of things that we can all take away from it.

Firstly, never give up hope.  Whatever happens in life, the choices we make and their remifications, there is always hope.

And secondly - giving someone the chance to explain things can keep us from days, months or even years of hurt.

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