Bree Murphy is stuck.
Forced to grow up too fast after the tragic death of her mother, she has little time for any sort of life for herself. Now in her early twenties, she is coming to the realization that she deserves to put herself first.
Drew Dougherty is also stuck, in a state of merely existing. Memories and secrets of the day he lost both of his parents haunt him, forcing him to cope the only way he knows how…by fighting.
When these two worlds collide, hidden truths are revealed and relationships are put to the ultimate test. At a crossroad in their lives, they must decide if taking a risk is worth everything.
Or will their love be…
Totaled is a full length, new adult contemporary romance novel. Due to mature content, profane language, and sexual situations, this book is recommended for ages 18 and up.
Wow, this was an intense read that kept my heart racing. I will warn you now the book ends in a HUGE cliff hanger, but I can hardly wait for the next book. It was the kind of ending that had me almost in tears because I felt for
all involved and wanted to find a way into the story to make it better for the characters.
Bree had experienced loss at in a huge way, her mother died due to a drunk driver, leaving her to be the primary caregiver to her twin brother who has a learning disability. Her father throws himself into this gym that he owns and
trains fighters to become professional. While she mourned the loss of her mother, she never really had a chance to live her life after that, everything she did was for Liam’s benefit.
Drew had his own form of baggage that he is trying to escape from and ends up at the gym willing to do whatever he needs to do to become the best MMA fighter ever. From there he and Bree develop a love relationship and Drew is
taken into her family as one of their own. Drew’s feelings for Bree and her family went much farther than one would expect, he would fight and die for any of them not because of his love for Bree but for his love of Pat and Liam.
When Drew reaches one of his dreams and is expecting to enjoy the pride Pat and the others at the gym are going to have for him. This will help bring the needed attention to Pat’s business and he will be able to replay him for all he has
done for Drew, but instead of being able to celebrate, his world comes crashing down on him. Bree is not able to be at the fight but she sees it on television and is beginning to realize their life is going to take some drastic turns now and she isn’t sure what the future holds. Neither of them is ready for what really happens.
When the threat of them losing someone they care about is forced upon them, the media decides to hover over them, not giving them room to breathe. While trying to navigate their way through this mess Drew’s past comes out and he is forced to tell Bree who he really is.
I was so in love with Drew and Bree and her brother Liam that I was finding myself more emotional than I expected to feel. I wasn’t a huge fan of her father’s till the end when he let down his wall and really exposed how he felt about himself, and then my heart went out to him. If there was anything that I would have changed about this book it would have been the first half. While it was good and had a few unique plot themes, I felt it was predictable and routine and slower than I would have liked, but by no means was it such a downfall that I would not recommend this book. The last half more than made up with the intensity and life changing moments that left me forgetting to breathe.
My heart raced, my palms grew sweaty, my skin felt flushed, and my breathing sped up. I let my tongue graze over my lips to wet them, and apparently that was invitation enough. His eyes immediately dropped to my mouth. Drew started to slowly lean in towards me, closing the distance between us, never releasing my face from his hold. Everything moved in slow motion and I knew this was the moment of our first kiss.
Suddenly, out of nowhere, the sky opened up and it started raining. Not raining, pouring! Everyone around us (of whom I’d been unaware for the last hour) scattered like ants and we stood to run for cover with the rest of the crowd. People were frantic and crazy, squealing and sprinting for cover, bumping into us left and right. Drew grabbed my hand and pulled me with him, jogging away from the chaos in the rain. We were running in the street along the inter-coastal, in the direction of the gym a few blocks away. Already drenched, we laughed at each other, stepping in puddles and pulling each other back and forth to dodge others in our path. It felt like we were children, being playful and having fun with it, because what else could you do at that point?
When the rain picked up, we were still a good four blocks from the gym. Drew suddenly stopped jogging in front of me and turned around to face me, a look of intensity and determination in his expression. I almost couldn’t stop in time and nearly crashed into his chest. He grabbed my face with both of his strong, masculine hands and looked at me like I was a giant piece of chocolate cake and he was starving. For two seconds he stared at me. Four seconds. Six seconds. All the while standing in the middle of the street in the pouring rain. And then his lips crashed into mine. His lips were firm at first but immediately softened. He licked my lower lip, tasting me, enticing me to open for him and I couldn’t dream of doing anything in that moment but exactly whatever he wanted me to do. I opened my lips slowly to invite him in and our tongues touched each other, playfully at first and then with purpose. They danced together in perfect synchronized harmony like a beautiful Viennese waltz. The waltz turned into an angry paso doble, full of passion and angst. He kissed me with urgency, like he couldn’t get enough, but not with haste. He was savoring me, cherishing me. My hair stuck to my face, slick with wetness from the rain, my dress clinging to my body, soaked all the way to my underwear, but I didn’t want to move. Our hands were all over the place, grabbing each other anywhere, everywhere. He held my face with one hand and reached around to the small of my back to pull me in closer to him. The substantial, hard bulge between us confirmed how much I was affecting him. I felt my core twitch and throb with a need that I’d never felt before. My romance novels were finally right about something—this aching and throbbing stuff was legit. I didn’t want to stop feeling it. I didn’t ever want to stop.
Our mouths separated and I tried to take a deep breath, but he moved his mouth down to my throat and neck, kissing and licking, lapping up the raindrops from my skin, and I couldn’t possibly catch my breath with him doing that. I suddenly realized where we were still outside, still in the wide open, still in the rain. He must’ve felt me stiffen, because he brought his eyes up to mine and smiled.
“Let’s get you out of the rain,” he said, and we started jogging towards the gym again.
I am a mother to a beautiful five year old daughter and a wife to my best friend. Being a labor and delivery nurse three nights a week pays the bills but I have recently decided to take my hobby of writing to the next level. Living in Florida where I was born and raised allows me to hear the waves and stick my toes in the sand whenever I want, which is vital to my emotional well-being. Completely and absolutely obsessed with good music, the lifeline to my creativity, I cannot and will not write without it. Some things that I appreciate are honesty but not cruelty, an unapologetic sense of humor, being able to make any situation fun, often dancing like no one is watching, and a good cup of coffee with enough creamer to make it blonde.
Being an astute people watcher with a judgmental mind gives me constant inspiration for my stories. My characters,
like many authors, are conceived from a hodgepodge of actual people in my life, unique personality traits, real world encounters, and conversations that I have directly taken part in. Totaled is my debut novel with many more to come.