Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Blog Tour - ALL OF ME by Gina Sorelle

All of Me Blog Tour Banner

(All Of Me #1)
by Gina Sorelle
Published: December 8, 2013

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One year after undergoing a unilateral mastectomy, twenty-eight year old ER nurse Stella Ciaramitaro is working on healing all wounds, visible and invisible. And it’s going pretty well. Sure, she has four pain-in-the-butt sisters, an occasionally suicidal dad, and some serious trust issues. And, yes, all dreams of soul mates, mind-blowing sex, and everlasting love have gone the way of her left breast. But overall, she’s hanging in there. Doing just fine, actually.

Or at least she was until HE showed up.

Nathan Drazek is a hot mess and he knows it. The laundry list of things contributing to his dysfunction includes, but is not limited to: a childhood full of mental and physical abuse, four tours in Afghanistan, and ten years policing one of the toughest beats in East Cleveland. Adding insult to injury, he’s ridiculously straight-laced, beyond aloof, and nearly incapable of interpersonal relationships. But that’s okay, because Nathan isn’t interested in anything more than just getting by.

Or at least he wasn’t until SHE showed up.

From the moment Nathan nearly arrests Stella on, sparks fly, limits are tested, and boundaries are shattered. A tenuous, tender friendship quickly evolves into something powerful and passionate they cannot wish away or control. But as they grow closer, new issues arise and old hurts resurface, threatening to destroy their fragile new beginning.

With everything at stake, Nathan and Stella must ultimately decide which runs deeper: their scars or their love. 

(All Of Me #1)
by Gina Sorelle
ARC review 
Published: December 8, 2013

My rating: 5 of 5 ⭐️

ER nurse, Stella Ciaramitaro has just recovered from losing a breast to breast cancer and the subsequent treatments to battle the disease. Part of a loud and boisterous italian family, her father and sisters have been a great support, but her boyfriend took one look at her lopsided chest
and bailed. She was gonna be alright though, her energy, her hair and her spunk were coming back. And when she finds out her sister's no-good boyfriend once again put his hands on her, she doesn't hesitate to go over and would've kicked his arse, if it weren't for that big luscious hunk of a police officer holding her back.

Stoic and controlled, police officer Nathan Drazek doesn't hesitate to grab the small beautiful woman spitting fire on the front lawn of the domestic disturbance call. Holding her while she struggles, all control so carefully gathered over years of childhood horrors, evaporates as all his senses come alive. Ever since he was able to make decisions for himself, he has made sure that his life was defined by structure, rule and devoid of the chaos and potential pain the influence of relationships could have on his life. Clean, organized and by the book, that was the way to get through life, according to Nathan. 

When Stella sees him again, she notices that the taciturn policeman is not what she initially assumed, but instead is hiding a world of pain behind his eyes and his rather abrupt and stilted behaviour. Forward and outspoken as she is, Stella doesn't let a tiny thing like social ineptness deter her and pursues a connection with him, relying on physical responses rather than his verbal ones. But Nathan is a tough nut to crack and despite the world of potential Stella is starting to discover in him, it takes all of her patience, conviction and heart not to give up.

Stella terrifies Nathan. He could sense right from the start the effect she could have on his carefully constructed and relatively safe life. And yet he is not able to resist her, since for the first time in his conscious memory, he knows what it feels like to have joy and to feel peace. But with that comes the almost certain knowledge that it will not last, since nothing that feels good does. So he fights to resist, every step of the way. And still Stella gains on him. Until it all becomes too much for him to contain and he loses all control......


This book pulled emotion from every nook and cranny of my being!! Exceptional!!

Gina Sorelle is an incredible writer.....what an introduction this is!!! ALL OF ME is written with emotional wisdom, great insight in the human psyche and a fantastic sense of humour. OH....and....I should probably mention that Ms. Sorelle can write a damn hot sex scene or two or three....HOLY COW! Extremely yummy.

The book deals with several very emotional and potentially painful matters, breast cancer and child abuse and neglect, that might have impact on the reader. However, do not let that turn you away, because this story may be one of hurt and struggle, but it is also one of a journey to a better place. One of possibilities and hope.

Stella is an absolute spark plug!! Fierce in her protection of those she loves and cares about and fearless in facing down any threats against her. What struck me most of all about her was her strength and her belief in herself, her trust in her instincts. So quick to roll with the punches and insist on finding the positive in everything and everyone. And she is delightfully abrasive....SO my kinda gal!!

Despite his massive issues and his perhaps appearance of vulnerability, Nathan still holds firm to the moniker of Alpha Male for me. Albeit a sweeter and more conflicted version, he is forceful and sure when it comes to the protection of his 'woman'. Nathan illustrates how invisible but crippling emotional damage can be. A man who for all appearances is a perfectly normal, quiet and law-abiding citizen, but what can't be seen is that he only seems that way because of the carefully structured and safeguarded environment he has built around him. And then came Stella......the perfect storm!!!

This book had me in tears or near tears from either laughter, sadness or any other emotion on the scale of possibilities in between..... I am still, a day after finishing it, walking around with the feeling of a bubble in my chest. 

The best news is? Gina Sorelle is coming out with a next book, featuring secondary characters from this book. I am booking a hotel room for myself to read that one. Just so I can laugh, cry, howl and react any other way I want, without the hubs raising an eyebrow or the dog whimpering at my feet.......

✨This story is so, so special.....don't miss it.✨

**ARC provided in return for an honest review.**

Nathan pulled Stella back into his arms.
She pushed at his chest, trying to put space between their bodies. “I have to show you…so you know…so you understand…” Stella was pushing, Nathan was pulling, and somehow, in the tangle of limbs and intentions, she grabbed his right hand and pressed it to the left side of her chest.
Stella went limp…her only movement the involuntary trembles racking her body.
Stella leaned into Nathan’s hand, pressing herself into his palm. “See, Nathan?” Her voice was low and strained.
All Nathan saw was her beautiful face and all he felt was concern.
He searched her eyes. “No, Little One. What are you trying to show me?”
Her laugh was hollow. Humorless. “Something missing, Nathan? Go ahead. Feel around. But you’re bound to be disappointed.”
Understanding dawned.
His palm was flat against her chest wall. There was no bump…no mound of flesh where there should be one.
She didn’t have a breast there.
But…what the…
Honing in on his moment of realization, Stella nodded slowly. And then gave him a tight smile he hoped he never saw again. “Bummer, huh?”
Stella standing there, clutching the top of her dress to her chest, her dark-brown eyes so full of fear…it would have killed her to know it, but she looked as vulnerable as a person could.
And it damn near broke his fucking heart.
“What…where…” Nathan shook his head. “I don’t understand.”
“I had breast cancer. Stage III invasive ductal carcinoma. Six months ago. I had a unilateral mastectomy. I have no left breast. As you just felt.”
Three thoughts popped up back to back: first, this woman was even more incredible than he’d imagined. Second, he thanked a God he wasn’t sure he believed in that Stella was alive. And third, he made a tenuous connection between what she’d just revealed to him and where this conversation had started.
“Your ex…the Shaker cop…” Stella’s fingers went white clutching her dress even tigher. “What does your cancer have to do with him?”
“Come on, Nathan. No guy is looking for a one-breasted woman, right? Not when there are so many girls with two. Of course, that’s not what Ryan said.” Stella exhaled a hard laugh. “Well, not to my face anyway.”

I like nice guys...I always have and I always will. I married one and now I write about them. :)

When I'm not torturing my stoic, stalwart heroes with strong, witty heroines, I enjoy reading, drinking way too much coffee, trying to be the best wife and mom I can be, and procrastinating (especially when it comes to cleaning the house). I am also a part-time student, a lover of history, and hopelessly addicted to Lifetime movies. Do not judge me. :)

I also like smiley faces. A lot. :)


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