Author: L.L. Collins
Series: Jaded Regret #1
Release Date: November 2, 2015
THE BAD BOY: I’m Johnny. An ex-con with a bad attitude and a controlling demeanor that somehow made the women flock to my bed but never my heart. It was unavailable for possession.
THE TEMPTATION: She was just supposed to be a two day hookup. But one taste of her and I knew I was in danger of never getting enough. She has her own demons to contend with, and dealing with my own was hard enough. I won’t allow temptation to take control of me.
THE SENTENCE: I’d given myself a life sentence a long time ago, and she made me want things I wouldn’t allow myself to have. Giving into it just might destroy us both.
Sentenced is a bit different from L.L. Collins’ usual style. There’s an edge to Johnny’s story that was both surprising and yet absolutely necessary to his character. Sentenced is rough, angsty, and filled with dark emotions and genuine hurt. This book tugged on my heartstrings from start to finish, drowning me in Johnny’s all-consuming presence. Together, Johnny and Bex define damaged and yet there is something so natural and beautiful between them that L.L. Collins has cultivated in the way in which only she can. In true L.L. Collins fashion, there are several surprises in store for readers as well as some familiar faces. I absolutely loved how much of Julia and Carter we got to see in this story, their happily ever after continuing to play out in parallel to Johnny and Bex’s heart-wrenching journey. I’m also totally intrigued by the new friends we got to meet along the way, namely Bex’s bandmates and Johnny’s friend, Cal. Johnny and Bex are truly one-of-a-kind and their story was just as unique and breathtaking.
“I had no idea who I was anymore, or where my life was going. I was physically free but still locked up in my own head. I didn’t think I’d ever be free from the bars around my heart, but at least I could now make my own decisions on what I did.”
These characters… just… gah! L.L. Collins has a true gift for creating characters that are lovable and relatable while maintaining the flaws and sometimes frustrating personality traits that make them feel so incredibly genuine. Bex is a dichotomy in and of herself. This no bullshit, unapologetic, badass rocker chick proved to harbor a broken, scared, and surprisingly vulnerable woman. The war being waged inside Bex between these two distinct sides of her was mesmerizing. I got lost in the pain, heartache, and fierce determination of this character until I found myself irrevocably connected to her. Where Bex was explosive with her emotions, Johnny was a steel trap. He frustrated me and pissed me off only to reveal a piece of himself that struck me hard. My heart hurt for him in ways I couldn’t have imagined as we learned everything that he had been through before and during his incarceration. Both of these damaged souls had a lot of room to grow and L.L. Collins took full advantage. Johnny and Bex both underwent significant emotional transformations during Sentenced that absolutely blew me away, keeping me invested in their journey until the end.
“I’m not looking to label us or be something we aren’t. Fuck, I’m a laundry list of issues I wouldn’t wish on anyone. There’s something more about you than just the most fantastic lay of my life. I think you know that, too. I’m not asking you to tell me your life story, Bex. Just be real.”
Johnny and Bex are a match made in hell, both repeatedly broken by their past demons and left with jagged edges that somehow fit together perfectly. As their personal stories came to light, this book dealt with some incredibly harsh realities and devastating emotions that I felt deep within me. L.L. Collins wrote these gut-wrenching situations with sensitivity and respect, capturing the darkness with an unparalleled poignancy. Together, Johnny and Bex created a lightness that balanced the raw emotional honesty powering their journey. Their attempts to keep each other at arm’s length resulted in a friction that was hot and often times hilarious. Their banter had me smirking while their shared stubbornness put them in some seriously heated situations. Sentenced was scorching in a way we have yet to see from L.L. Collins. She created a chemistry between these two that was utterly explosive and completely addictive. This book was worth every bit of angst and second of heartache and then some. L.L. Collins has outdone herself once again with this book. Sentenced is an absolute must read!
“I’m going to have her before they leave,” I said presumptuously.
I felt Cal looking at me. “Oh, boy.”
“You haven’t read much about her, have you?”
That caught my attention. “What does that mean? Is she a lesbian or something?” That would abso-fucking-lutely kill me.
He cackled. “No, bro. She’s a ball buster, man. No one gives that woman shit. She has quite a reputation. She’s respected as hell, but no one crosses her.”
I scoffed. “We’ll see about that.” After all, she was a hot woman. She had to be used to being hit on. And she’d want to be hit on by me. Plus, I didn’t want anything from her other than her body. The nice part was, she was traveling after this. Maybe she’d end up in the Denver area or back here in Florida, and we could hook up again.
Cal whistled. “I want to be around when she cuts off your balls and shoves them in your mouth.”
I rolled my eyes. “She can’t be that bad. Look at her. She’s probably a hundred and twenty pounds soaking wet.”
“Don’t say I didn’t warn you,” Cal said. “I’m going to grab some more beer from the back.”
“Need help?” I didn’t say it convincingly, and he knew it.
“Nope. You stay here and daydream. That’s about all you’re going to get.”
“You watch and see,” I said. “She’ll come to me.”
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Don’t miss the rest of the Jaded Regret series:
Snared (Jaded Regret #2)
Hartstrings (Jaded Regret #3)
Exposed (Jaded Regret #4)
L.L. Collins loves spending her days in the Florida sun with her husband and two boys, reading, and writing. LL has been writing since she was old enough to write. Always a story in her head, she finally decided to let the characters out made her lifelong dream of becoming an author come true in the self-publishing world. She’s the author of the Living Again Series and the Twisted Series, plus a new standalone, Back to the Drawing Board. Visit LL on her website, http://www.llcollinsauthor.com and on all social media. Look for more of her emotionally charged novels soon!