Friday, February 8, 2013

Heavy Issues (Bowen Brothers #2) by Elle Aycart

For Adult 18+ readers
Steering clear of relationships has never been difficult for demolitions expert Cole Bowen, but now, with his brother's engagement sending the female population into full-blown hysterics and the town of Alden's month-long festivities helping along, he finds himself in hell. When he discovers Alden's new resident and the object of all his wet dreams, Christine Sheridan, has sworn off relationships and is going to hire a gigolo to get professionally laid, he decides to kill two birds with one stone.

Christy is so not drinking again. Thanks to José Cuervo she has her friends signing her up for stud conventions and Cole frigging Bowen offering sex in exchange of fake dates, which is so out of the question it isn't even funny. She knows the domineering man will push her boundaries, and after battling all her life with self-esteem issues, she isn't ready for that. Too bad he won't take no for an answer.

Cole is determined to strip away all of her defenses but refuses to lower his ever-present walls, so when Christy realizes she wants more, she's left with only two options; walk away or crack his shield and risk her heart in the process.

After a colorful array of jobs all over Europe ranging from translator to chocolatier to travel agent to sushi chef to flight dispatcher, Elle Aycart is certain of one thing and one thing only: aside from writing romances, she has abso-frigging-lutely no clue what she wants to do when she grows up. Not that it stops her from trying all sorts of crazy stuff. While she is probably now thinking of a new profession, her head never stops churning new plots for her romances. She lives currently in Barcelona, Spain, with her husband and two daughters, although who knows, in no time she could be living at the Arctic Circle in Finland, breeding reindeer.

Holy Mother of... boy do I love me some Bowen Brothers. I absolutely fell for James AND Tate. Their story was fun, romantic, and full of chaos.
But Cole and Christy??? Wow. Where James was romantic and supportive, Cole was well, cold and distant, and very matter of fact. No warm fuzzies here.
And while that may have been a turn off for some- ok, most- I myself love a man with a firm *cough* hand. Someone that forces me to really look at myself, take me out of my comfort zone. Because honestly, that's the last only way I'm going to change and grow...
But wait- didn't I say he was cold and distant? Well he is. Especially in the beginning. COLE HAS ISSUES. He doesn't do girlfriends and relationships. I won't get in to the why, but he just doesn't allow himself that kind of connection with women. Emotional, that is. For him it's sex. Plain and simple. Ok... what I mean to say is it's more like wham -bam-thank you ma'am and move on. There's nothing plain about sex with Cole. He's hardcore, and he's anything but simple. And when he and Christy collide? Well, she quickly wonders just what she's gotten herself into. How can a man like that be good for your self esteem, much less your heart? But it's just sex, right?! Right.Okaaay...
So about Christy...Yes, CHRISTY HAS ISSUES too. But she was so relatable and I just loved her. I connected with her right away. Though my story is very different, I could completely understand her attitude and many of her actions- and reactions to Cole's special brand of um... love. Where she wrestled with her heavy past and the scars that remained, she had such a skewed view of herself. She was smart and confident, but when it came to her body, she couldn't let go of that "fat" girl she used to be. It's not a comfortable place. You see yourself differently than other people do. Harshly. It's self loathing and it can be dangerous. And the challenge is to not let that change who you are inside or ruin you. Luckily Christy only allows it to affect her private life. She's an ace in all other aspects. Successful and well liked.
While Christy may struggle with body image, she's no pushover. From the get-go she gives Cole a run for his money. She ignites in Cole a need he can't control like he does everything else in his life. She also sets the town on fire with jealousy as the women of Alden attempt to "scare" her away from Cole and their little community. So the sparks fly, and we head onto a roll coaster overflowing with emotional, physical and mental turmoil, anguish and fear mixed with undeniable heat and passion.
These two go through a LOT- together and apart. What I loved about this tale- besides all the once again HOT sexual encounters, was watching Cole and Christy evolve into the amazing people you know they could be. And the way Elle let's Cole show Christy and the reader, how men really look at women. They don't see scars and imperfections. Sure they see outward beauty, but it's how a woman behaves and what's inside that wins a man (a good man), over. So many lessons in this well written story.
The final lesson? Anything worth having is worth fighting for.
Yes, for me, Heavy Issues was so much more than a hot love story. It was full of lessons on life, love, self-worth, knowing when to let go- and when to hang on.
Heavy Issues get 5 absolutely BLAZING flames!
Now I can't wait to see what brother Max has in store for us in the third tale. One thing's for sure- it's gonna be steamy. He's a  gorgeous Bowen after all. And Elle Aycart knows how to write HOT.

So, after reading More Than Meets the Ink, book 1 of the Bowen Brothers series, I knew that continuing on was necessary. Elle Aycart captured me with her fabulous writing style and made me a true fan for life.
I will say, Heavy Issues is very different than More Than Meets the Ink.  Both are stellar of course, but the connection to each book varied greatly for me.
What do I mean by that?
Well, Heavy Issues is exactly what it's title says....there are some HEAVY ISSUES being dealt with within this book.  We meet the oldest Bowen brother, Cole and find out just how withdrawn he is when it comes to relationships with women.  Then, we meet Christy, a sweet, insecure woman that can't see the beauty in her physique; which is a main topic all the way through this story.  Self-esteem issues is something everyone deals with some time in their life.  We each have some form of scars to show what we have dealt with.  Christy is a young woman that struggled with her weight for so long until she finally realized it was an addiction for her.  
I was totally amazed at how much I connected with her...on so many levels. Only difference is that I haven't lost my weight yet.  But seeing what Christy went through and ultimately coming out on the other side with self control that she needed is a major inspiration for me.  
But, enough about that...let's get to the good stuff...
What do you do when you meet someone that you are immediately attracted to and just can't stop thinking about?  Well, you ultimately meet up with them and make an offer to give them great sex if they will go on fake dates with you.  No attachments, just two people connecting to meet each others needs. 
I bet you are wondering...WHAT???
Yep, Christy had given up on finding "THE MAN" and figured, hey, I just want to find someone to give me mind-blowing sex...(in walks delicious sex candy)...Cole has been dying over the new girl in town, Christy...and get this....he is soooo surprised by how much she is affecting him.  A star-crossed chance meeting put these two in each others path and BAM....we have explosive, HOT, sexy, interludes yet all the while, the fake dates are setting things up for some heavy issues to be addressed.
So much happens in this tale that reading it is the only way to truly experience the emotional roller coaster you are put on.  You ache for two people who struggle to accept things that the other can give. Does their convenient pact work out?  Do they ultimately fall for each other?  Well, I won't answer these questions. As I already mentioned...READ this book....heck, if you haven't read the first book...READ the series...LOL!!

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