Title: Playing Patience
Author: Tabatha Vargo
Series: Blow Hole Boys #1
Sometimes all you need is Patience.
Life’s been hard for Zeke. Being a punching bag for his alcoholic father has turned him into stone. Not even the dodgy trailer park he lives in can scare him. Fighting is his release and sex, drugs, and his guitar bring him peace, but deep down Zeke isn’t quite as hard as he makes himself out to be. When he meets Patience, she finds all his broken pieces and puts him back together, but she’s a ray of light in his shadowed life and the last thing he wants to do is bring her into his dark world. Playing careless is easy, playing the bad guy can be fun, but playing Patience is impossible, especially when she can see right through him.
Zeke isn’t the only one who’s broken, and for the first time, in a long time, Patience feels alive. Her black and white world gets a shot of color when she meets Zeke. He’s unlike anyone she’s ever met with his tattoos, piercings, and blunt honesty. She wants nothing more than to let go and ride the wild side with him, but some wounds never heal and the broken pieces of Patience aren’t so easy to find.
Tabatha Vargo chronicles a heartbreaking journey in this emotionally charged novel of secrets, lies, and self-destruction. Playing Patience is the story of two broken souls desperate to escape the living nightmares they call home. Zeke and Patience couldn’t come from more different worlds but the pain they harbor is all too similar. From the moment they met to the very last page this couple shares an unparalleled connection that was as unexpected as it was so incredibly right. Tabatha Vargo quickly ignites a fire between Zeke and Patience that cannot be dampened by even the most horrific of events and I found myself unable to resist the heady and haunting pull of their story. Not only is there a very real and deep connection between these characters, but they also shared an explosive chemistry that sent sparks flying across the pages. The ensuing tension, heated exchanges, flirtatious banter, and unconquerable love not only completely captivated me, but left me utterly addicted to their unique dynamic.
“Outsiders would never know that behind closed doors my life was hell. I was well liked and a soccer star, but I was a broken porcelain doll, cracked beyond repair and tossed in the back of a closet.”
Zeke was a mess of contradictions. Despite the darkness he lived in, he had a light inside of him that only showed itself with Patience. His jagged edges and harsh self-perception masked a sensitive soul that I quickly grew to love. Tabatha Vargo did a great job with this character, slowly unraveling him in a way that was equal parts frustrating as hell and undeniably genuine. I’ll admit there were moments when I wanted to shake him, punch him, scream at him to understand that he was being a self-destructive douchebag, but then I’d think about the hand life had dealt him and the way it had shaped his sense of self-worth and I just wanted to hold him and tell him that he deserved so much more. The intense emotions that Tabatha Vargo evoked from me with this character left me reeling – a true testament to her incredible development of Zeke and his complete infiltration of my heart. My love/hate/love relationship with Zeke not only kept me riveted to the pages but it had me wholly invested in his happily ever after.
“I bet I could find your pieces.”
If ever there was a character to leave you feeling emotionally devastated, Patience would be at the top of the list. This beautiful girl broke my heart in so many ways. Her personal hell and the gut-wrenching journey to escape it tore at me. Tabatha Vargo wrote this character to be a beautiful dichotomy, a fragile, perfect thing and a fierce, brave fighter. She was innocent and yet tainted, hopeful and haunted. I loved exploring both sides of Patience, mesmerized by the warrior within and discovering a kindred spirit in the vulnerable girl. Her relationship with Zeke brought out her insecurities, giving Patience an authenticity that was easy to appreciate. It also stoked the flames that eventually allowed her to burn down the walls of her prison, setting her free in more ways than one. Her relationship with her mother and sister endeared her to me even more, demonstrating the extent of her selfless heart and inherently protective nature. I knew when the book ended that she would still have a long road ahead of her, but her transformation since the beginning left me optimistic that she would indeed overcome her demons.
“Who knew hurting someone I cared about would kill the tiny, living pieces inside? Who knew caring about someone would make me so angry?”
I must applaud Tabatha Vargo for her handling of such sensitive subject matter. While she fully embraced the emotional devastation of both Zeke and Patience’s situations, she told their story with grace and great respect. The pacing and plot development was spot-on, keeping me utterly captivated. I not only lost myself so easily in Playing Patience, but I felt this story all the way through. Each emotion tugged on my heart leaving me feeling gutted, breathless, and eventually on the mend right alongside Zeke and Patience. This book was very much a New Adult novel. Not only did it highlight the horrors of our couple’s individual lives but it explored the aches and pains of finding your place in the world. I loved seeing Zeke with his band, trying to make something of himself through his music and watching Patience step outside of her comfort zone and experience life alongside her best friend stirred up plenty of familiar feelings. Tabatha Vargo writes with compassion, purpose, and plenty of emotion in Playing Patience, delivering heartache and hope with this unforgettable story.
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Don’t miss the rest of the Blow Hole Boys series:
Perfecting Patience (Blow Hole Boys #1.5)
Finding Faith (Blow Hole Boys #2)
Convincing Constance (Blow Hole Boys #3)
Having Hope (Blow Hole Boys #4)