When Olivia Mason catches her fiancé cheating, her life gets turned upside down. With no family and no real place to call home, she heads south for a fresh start in Charleston, South Carolina. Determined to gain her own independence and protect her heart, the last thing she needs is a sexy, tattoo-covered guy to cross her path and test her resolve. Just as she’s beginning to put her life back together, she uncovers a piece of her past that shakes up everything.
Dex Porter has his own demons. A former Marine, he’s haunted by the past and uses whiskey, women and fighting to drown the pain and guilt that consume him. When Olivia arrives in town, he finds himself drawn to her immediately and is surprised by his desire to get to know her. She’s unlike anyone he’s ever met but he knows he can’t get close to her without exposing the part of himself that he keeps hidden.
As Dex and Olivia strike up a friendship and fight their attraction to one another, they begin to chip away each other’s walls and help each other heal. However, the past is never far behind and they soon learn that no matter how fast they run, it will always catch up with them.
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While I felt kinda eh about This Time Around, Break Away went way beyond my expectations.
I love a bad boy. It’s probably engrained in womanly DNA somewhere. There is just something about a bad ass, alpha male that does it for me – at least in the world of fiction. Tattoos, a military back ground, and male whore behavior – until he meets his heroine, of course– yes please! Dex Porter is all that and more. For god sake, he even has a kick ass name! A veteran forced into early retirement, Dex has his fair share of baggage. He’s obviously suffering from PTSD, but in true manly fashion, he’d rather suffer in silence, put on a brave face, and do whatever is necessary to keep his demons at bay. Most of the time he’s busy sticking little Dex into anything that walks. But only once. Never more than once. No relationships. Ever. He does take out his rage in illegal underground fights from time to time and so far it’s been working well for him.
Until Olivia moves to town.
Olivia Mason walked in on her P.O.S. boyfriend of 4 years screwing another woman. Ew. So she packed up what little she wanted to take with her and moved from NYC to South Carolina. There seems to be something drawing her to that area. It’s a little strange seeing as her father left when she was 3 and her mother passed away in a car accident. Essentially Olivia is alone. Maybe South Carolina is the fresh start she needs.
Dex and Olivia’s first encounter is classic. Dex is his normal every day cocky self and Olivia won’t give him the time of day. That little move sealed the deal for me. From then on I KNEW Olivia was going to be a winner. She’s feisty and has self-respect. Praise Jesus. Dex was used to women dropping their panties as soon as he flashed them a smile. Imagine his surprise when the same girl who snubbed him on the beach, is his sister’s new tenant. Perfection.
It was the perfect reminder or why I’d sworn off men.
The two agree to be friends. Only friends. Of course in time, friends becomes more. Both Dex and Olivia have a LOT to work through. Dex blames himself for his best friend’s death, while Olivia suffers from abandonment issues. Put them together and it’s easy to see how any number or problems could easily develop.
“Maybe not, but the Dex Porter I know doesn’t back down when things get tough… he fights for what he wants.” “Not anymore.”
“Maybe not, but the Dex Porter I know doesn’t back down when things get tough… he fights for what he wants.”
There was one definite moment that made me cringe. Let’s just say that Dex made a pretty stupid choice. We’re talking STUPID. Especially given Olivia’s past. But in time the man redeems himself and shows what a truly amazing person he is.
Beyond the love story, sex scenes and new friendships lies and even deeper message about family. Sometimes we feel alone in the world, but family is NOT determined by DNA. It doesn’t have anything to do with the blood that runs through your veins. Family are the people who stand by you when things get rough. The ones who pull you up when you can’t stand on your own. That was something Olivia had the privilege of realizing. We CAN choose our families. It’s a beautiful thing.
I whipped through this book in record time. I couldn’t put it down. The characters just seemed to pop off the page. If this is any indication of what Ellie can produce, sign me up for her next book. Really. I loved the character development, plot, writing… It was all on point. Oh, and did I mention that this could be read as a standalone? Nora and Jake are mentioned a few times during the story, but for the most part Break Away focuses solely on Dex and Olivia and a few other new characters.
Steamy sexy scenes, a brooding, broken man, and feisty young woman determined to start over. What more could you want?
Ellie Grace is an avid reader, chocolate lover and caffeine addict. When a story popped into her head that she couldn’t seem to shake, she decided to pursue her childhood dream of becoming a writer. When she’s not writing, she’s usually curled up with a book by one of her many, many favorite authors.