RELEASE DAY REVIEW – Saved by Hazel James

Title – Saved
Author – Hazel James
Publication Date – June 21, 2018
Series – Battles #2

Leilani Moretti

Life is out to get me.
Humvee accident that took my right hand? Strike one.
Cancer three years later that stole my breasts and hair? Strike two.
An overbearing mother who seems to think I’m twelve, not twenty-seven?
Yeah, I’m out of there.

I thought moving to Oklahoma would give me a fresh start. I hoped life would finally cut me some damn slack. But between the inept people at the VA hospital and a boss who’s hell-bent on fixing me, I just want to be left alone. Haven’t I been through enough already

Clay Prescott

Joining the Army and deploying to Afghanistan? Hard.
Kicking an alcohol addiction and starting a business combining fitness and mental health
Harder.
Worth it? Hell yes.

Battles, my gym, has been so successful that I hired a new employee—a veteran herself—to help me open a second location. And that’s when it all goes to hell. Everything I’ve ever stood for is called into question, and the one person I thought I could count on disappears. I’ve spent the last ten years helping everyone else. What happens when I can’t even save myself?

How can I help others when I can’t even save myself? 

Every once in a while, a book comes along that makes you stop and think, taking it deeper than at face value. The words aren’t just words; they are a reflection of thoughts and feelings you’ve buried so far deep down in your heart. They are words of strength that you need to hear on repeat until you believe them. Saved by Hazel James is one of these incredibly well-designed novels. Not only is it a romance that will have you giggling and yearning for more, but it will give you butterflies in your stomach and a whole new outlook on self-perception.

Leilani had anything but a simple life; she wasn’t just a survivor, but the very definition of the term warrior. From the moment we are introduced to her, I wanted to take her in my arms and beg her to be my friend. She was always looking for a way to be more and overcome, and that journey is unforgettable. If you’re a fan of unwavering heroines, I have no doubt that you’ll absolutely adore Leilani and all that she has been through. However, she isn’t the only badass quality to Saved. The hero, Clay, is a force to be reckoned with all on his own. I loved his mentality, his belief in second chances, and the positive outlook he forced on those around him. He went through his own ups and downs in Saved that left me sympathizing for him, while still admiring and rooting for him. Together, these two were complete opposites in a lot of ways, yet perfectly compatible in all the right ones. Their relationship and the trials they went through constantly put a smile on my face, especially the way that they pushed each other to be better human beings.

There is a quality Hazel James has when putting pen to the paper that breathes life into her characters. The personalities and the situations that they go through come across so genuinely that you can not help but become utterly invested. Saved is one of those stories that makes you take a long look at yourself, especially when saying “I can’t”, and re-evaluate your thoughts (or at least it did for me). There were multiple times when reading that I had to stop, breathe the words in, and really appreciate the weight of what James was saying. I certainly can’t recommend this book enough, but really I think that readers will quickly fall for anything that Hazel James produces. I’ve yet to be disappointed in a story that I’ve encountered from her, but Saved captivated me in a whole new way. I can’t wait for the world to fall in love with Leilani and Clay, just like I did!


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Don’t Miss the First Standalone!

Chased (Battles #1)

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Hazel lives in Tampa Bay, Florida. She’s a proud Army veteran, and her greatest loves include her family, lip gloss, Diet Coke, and the beach. For a list of events, go to www.authorhazeljames.com.

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A RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

REVIEW – Saved by Kelly Elliott

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Title: Saved
Series: Wanted #2
Author: Kelly Elliott
Release Date: April 1, 2013

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Synopsis

Arianna and Jefferson’s love is true but will it be enough?

Ari who comes from a loving home with a family who has had more than their share of difficulties, is faced with possibly losing the love of her life. All she dreams of is growing old and having children with Jeff, but a family history and a conniving Rebecca could shatter that dream. Trying to support Jeff and cope with all the truths and possibilities of her own destiny may prove to be more than one person can handle.

Jeff’s dream is to raise horses on his ranch in Mason with the only women who has ever filled his heart and soul. But he’s running the risk of losing her by trying to be the man he knows he should be by taking on his responsibilities. He’s completely bewitched by the passionate and always outspoken Ari, but needs to do right for the child that could possibly be his.

Despite all the odds stacked against them can their relationship be…..SAVED?

Review

Wow. That’s the first thing that comes to mind when I think of this book. Kelly Elliott made me a fan with Gunner and Ellie’s story in Wanted. With Saved she has managed to earn the no-questions-asked one-click from me. This book is absolutely stunning in it’s inimitable depth and emotional weight. I swear I felt every single page of this book. I adored Saved for not only being Ari and Jeff’s story, but for being everyone’s story. Every member of the Wanted family has won my heart in some way and I loved getting to hear this story told from each different point of view. This story felt whole somehow, despite everything that was tearing Ari and Jeff apart. Ellie and Gunner continued to make me believe in romance, while Ari and Jeff proved to me over and over the power of unconditional love. Heather and Josh were right there as well, reminding me that you just can’t fight fate.

“I’ve only ever wanted to be with him, to wake up next to him every morning, and to go to sleep next to him every night.”

Ari and Jeff have always been a force of nature. They clashed as strongly as they are connected. Kelly Elliott did a fantastic job digging deep into these characters. Ari’s bold and independent nature was pulled away to reveal the girl who is just as scared, insecure, and flawed as the rest of us. She never felt like a character I could emotionally connect with before, but this book did just that. Jeff on the other hand was repeatedly put to the test and he falls down. A lot. But watching him fight for what he wanted had me falling hard for him. The chemistry Kelly Elliott has ignited between these two has never burned hotter and both their love and lust for one another flooded the pages of this book. Their stubborn attitudes and colorful language also made for some hysterical dialogue that made me laugh and roll my eyes. Their love and spunk is infectious and Kelly Elliott definitely had me feeling every bit of it in Saved.

 “I wouldn’t be able to breathe without her. I wouldn’t want to breathe without her.”

This story is not all rainbows and butterflies. It hurts. It crushes you until you’re certain love can’t possibly survive. My heart felt like it was repeatedly being broken, but every time that Kelly Elliott put it back together was more breathtaking than the last. We get to see more of Gunner and Ellie in this story, which I LOVED, but we also get our first real look at Heather and Josh. I can only imagine how heartbreaking their book will be, because my heart was already aching for them. I’m so glad we got to watch this fantastic family grow, evolve, and strengthen. I’m more invested now in these characters than I’ve ever been. I swear sometimes I felt like I was out on the ranch with all of them. Kelly Elliott has such a gift for writing heart wrenching and intricate stories that keep you riding that emotional rollercoaster. I laughed at Ari’s ridiculous antics, ugly cried at Heather and Josh’s pain, and found perfect contentment in seeing all of these characters take on the next part of their journeys. I can’t wait to see what Kelly has in store for the Wanted crew next!

Rating
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Check out the other books in the Wanted series:

Wanted (Wanted #1)

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Read our review HERE
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Faithful (Wanted #3)

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Believe (Wanted #3.5)

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Cherished (Wanted #4)

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A Forever Love (Wanted #5)

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Desired (Wanted #6)

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All They Wanted (Wanted #7)

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The Wanted Short Stories (Wanted #8)

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