Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Title: Gutted
Series: Torn #5
Author: A.F. Crowell
Publisher: Boroughs Publishing Group
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Release Date: January 31, 2017



Barb and Viper had an explosive relationship from the moment they met. She looked past his MC affiliation and saw through his rough and possessive exterior. Then she fell. Hard. Just as she let down the wall around her heart, he was gone. It's taken her nearly two years to feel human again, and she's barely recovered.

Cole Ellett, road name Viper, is back. But his lies remain. Never a member of an outlaw MC. Never murdered. Undercover for the Department of Homeland Security, his job forced him to disappear. But now he's back for Barb, who is everything he’s ever desired. No matter that his life is still in danger and that their relationship was like a house built on sand. No matter that she’s locked her heart away for good. He will reignite her spark and bring back the fire that burns only for him. Theirs is a love that will never die.

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“Right. Remind me to ask about that later. I’m gonna go try to talk to Barb,” I said as I practically leaped from the chair and bounded up the first and second flight of wooden stairs.

“Good luck,” Jaxon muttered on my way out.

I was going to need all the luck I could get.

Once I reached the master bedroom on the third floor, I looked across the room at the closed white door leading to the bathroom. My heavy boots betrayed my attempt at being quiet. As I stilled, I could hear a low, deep growl coming from the other side of the door.

Fuck. He was in there with her.

“Who’s out there?” She asked through the wooden door.

“Babe, it’s me,” I replied and the growling got a little louder.

“I told Lei I didn’t want to see you. Leave. Me. Alone.”

“You know I’m not gonna do that. I’ve waited almost two years to see you. Hold you. Feel your hair between my fingers. I need you to at least let me try to explain. Please, baby.” Yeah, I was groveling. I would have gotten down on my knees and kissed her feet if that’s what it took. Anything for a chance.

“Leave Cole. There’s nothing you could say to me right now that’ll make me change my mind,” she sobbed and the rift in my chest widened a little more.

“Please, Barbara. I’ll stay out here and explain. You don’t have to see me, just give me a chance. I didn’t have a choice. I was under orders.”

“No, you’re not listening. You don’t get a chance to explain why you left me, or a chance to explain why you allowed me to think that you were dead. You don’t get a fucking chance to tell me why you let me grieve you for a year and eight months. Fuck you, Cole. You don’t get a chance. Now leave me the fuck alone or so help me God, I’ll open this damn door and let the dog out.” The fire in her voice shot straight to my cock. Fuck me, she was hot when she was pissed.

I was quiet for minute and waited for her anger to fade. My girl would get mad fast then soften a little. I knew she was trying to cover.

Even though I couldn’t see the hurt, I could hear it. Her cries and gasps for air damn near killed me. Maybe she did need more time than I was willing to give her.

“I know you’re still there, Cole. Please,” she sniffled as her breath hitched, “please just leave. I can’t deal with you right now.”

Her words were like a sharpened Ka-Bar to the heart. They opened me up and drained every drop of blood coursing through my veins.

In all of my preparation for this day, I never imagined it would be this awful.

She fucking hated me.

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Author Bio

A.F. Crowell lives in Charleston, SC with her husband and two sons. They have two dogs, Diesel, a German Shepherd rescue and Dez, a black Labrador Retriever. She shares her love of books with her children, who have a head start on becoming life-long readers.

Romance fiction hit her radar when her husband forced her to watch Twilight one weekend when they were snowed in. That was it! From there her love grew; Contemporary Romance, Paranormal, YA and Dystopian are her preferred reads.

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Call off Viper Security, we have located our suspect. Whew! We got quite the cliffy at the end of His Redemption and left our mouth hanging open with the ghost of Christmas past you can say. You don't know if you should be shocked, happy or want to shake AF for putting us through the ringer on this one. AF continues to deliver an outstanding story with mystery that you never see coming in any of her books. She Pushed you to the edge of your seats, she has Pulled you in, she continues to tear us apart (Torn), she redeems you (His Redemption-now called Ripped) after being lost, and she Gutted you while being happy and sad with the resurrection of Viper. Oh, don't you worry you get all these in this story and so much more as well. 
Barb, who I have loved from the beginning with her smart and sassy mouth gets her story finally told. We see the devastating story of how she portrays herself as OK to the outside world, but inside she is a hot mess and I don't think that is even the right word to describe what she went through.  
Cole AKA Viper, whom we loved from the beginning as well. He lives his life on lies to protect his job you can say. While we know that only Barb and Jax (mostly Barb though) see a different side to Viper than what is portrayed, we learn why he had to die when he did. Wow, I don't know if I could ever do his job and go through what families have to with being undercover. 
Just when Barb feels like she is finally getting to a point where she is moving on the best way she knows how, she is granted a gift for Christmas that would have me fainting. You don't know if you should feel happy or torn and wonder what will transpire with her friend, Damon. Damon is a true friend, with the added bonus in their relationship you can say. 
Viper will stop at nothing to finally get back on track with Barb, even if that means coming out of cover and putting his life and others in danger. Holy batman did we get many twists in here, that you never saw coming and I don't think he did either! But, will Barb's secret destroy their chance at a second chance is the question?! 
I love that we continued to see the secondary characters as well in this story. I hope that the triple D's get their own story though. Who are the triple D's you say? That would be Drew, Damon and Drake. 
From beginning to end you are kept on the edge of your seats with this intense mystery that we are waiting to see revealed as well as going through the emotions of what Barb/Cole go through to get the closure they need from each other. You will definitely be Gutted in this book and will be looking to close up your scar at the end. AF has once again given her all in this book and left us emotionally healed you can say for now until she does it again. We will continue coming back for more though because we can't get enough of the venom obviously that AF delivers to us. You do not have to read her other books to read this book, but I highly recommend reading all her books. 

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