Austin Conrad has never taken his personal life seriously. As a Navy SEAL, he spends all of his time in dangerous, life-threatening situations. The only way to leave behind the horrors he’s seen throughout his career, is to turn it all off when he gets home.
He’s too much of a playboy to settle down; even if he did find a woman he could stand to be around for more than one night, he would never taint her life with the demons of his past.
When his best friend and SEAL team member, Brady Marshall asks him to keep an eye on his baby sister, Gwen, Austin figures it will be a walk in the park. The only thing Austin likes more than flirting his way under a beautiful woman’s skin, is walking away with a smile on his face. Austin never expects that the single mom and her little girl will be the ones getting under his skin.
Gwen Stratford knows all too well about living in a nightmare. After taking her daughter and fleeing from her abusive husband in the middle of the night several months ago, she’s worked hard to get her life back on track and forget about the man who tried to break her. Growing up under the iron thumb of her parents and then moving right on with a man who ruled their marriage with his fists, Gwen is finally able to breathe and live her life the way she wants.
When scary, mysterious things begin to happen to Gwen and her daughter, she realizes you can never outrun your past; it always has a way of catching up with you.
As she struggles with the desire to keep her newfound independence, she knows she won’t be able to protect herself and her child alone. She’ll need to lean on the one man who drives her crazy.
Can Gwen really put her trust in a man who thinks life is one big joke, or will he be just another man in her life who tries to wear her down?
We all know Tara Sivec can do comedy. She’s a g-d genius when it comes to it. If I had to list my top 10 favorite books of all time, you can be your ass cheeks that the Chocolate Lovers series would take up 3 and a half spots. Honest to God. I loved them. Anyway, this isn’t about chocolate or messed up comedic relationships. This is serious Tara. While I’ve read all the books in the Playing with Fire series, I can say without a doubt thatWorn Me Down is by far my absolute favorite.
Worn Me Down features a slightly screwy cast of characters. We learned a little about Gwen in Because of You, Brady and Layla’s story. I love Gwen – love as in L.O.V.E. She’s sassy, feisty and a little crass. She has a heart of gold and the mouth of a trucker. After experiencing 10 years of hell with her shit-bag soon to be ex-husband, the woman deserves a little break – don’t ya think? Doesn’t seem like she’s gonna get one, though. Brady has gone away on tour with Layla, but before leaving he arranged for a “replacement”. Welcome back Austin! Remember him? He was around briefly in both of the first two books in the series.
Austin doesn’t do family. No kids. No wife. No nothing. He’s a SEAL. That’s it. When he finds himself “stuck” with Gwen and Emma, he’s not exactly sure what to do. The man is loyal to a fault and he made a promise to his SEAL brother, Brady. He would stick around to ensure Gwen and Emma are safe. This is more than a make-sure-the-business-runs-
Remember that Crazy husband? Maybe he’s not as keen on fading quietly into the background as everyone had hoped. Things start to get a little crazy around the office as well as Brady’s apartment. It’s not clear exactly who is behind the behavior, but if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s probably a duck – or a really pissed off abusive ex. During this time two other characters arrive on scene – Ellie, Gwen’s best friend and Dylan Callahan. Remember him from the last book? He was the one playing body guard for Layla before Brady got his shit together and went back to get his girl. He almost kissed Layla… Remember him yet? Well, he’s makes an appearance or two.
Ellie. Oh, Ellie. I didn’t like her from the moment Tara described her as she walked into the restaurant to meet Gwen for dinner. Something rubbed me the wrong way about her. She went from being a sweet friend to “mini Gwen”. Something stuck and it wasn’t the food. As the story went on my heart thawed towards her a little; I still felt a little…uncomfortable with her, but I figured it was residual bad juju or something. She just didn’t seem to be the type of person Gwen would choose as her bestie. The more I learned about her, the less I liked her.
Austin and Gwen together is a force to be reckoned with. They’re both strong, bullheaded, feisty people. Their banter reminded me a lot of my relationship with my husband. Austin needs a tough woman, and Gwen fits the bill to a T. I loved them each individually and smacking them together as a couple only made them better. What woman wouldn’t melt for a guy who teaches a little girl how to save her Barbie’s from insurgents or how to do proper push-ups to be the perfect soldier? Ha. Priceless. Now if only he could see the family man potential in himself.
Closing my eyes, I don’t say anything in return. I’m afraid if I open my mouth now, I’ll cry like a fucking baby.
Love. Love. Love Tara. The woman could write on a shoe box and I’d read it. Sad but true. You won’t be disappointed when it comes to Worn Me Down. I think I highlighted half of the damn book! It’s suspenseful, funny, heartbreaking, and gut twisting. Just when you think you have everything figured out…you don’t. The worst part about the book is that we’re one step closer to the close of an excellent series.
TWO TRUTHS & A LIE:
If you share this post & make your guess as to what the lie is, come back here and share the link to where you commented. Those who are correct will be added into a giveaway–Madison Says will be gifting TWO copies at the end of the week! So share and guess!
I put salt on watermelon.
I don’t like chocolate.
I refuse to eat at Arby’s.
ABOUT TARA SIVEC:
Tara Sivec is a USA Today best-selling author, wife, mother, chauffeur, maid, short- order cook, baby-sitter, and sarcasm expert. She lives in Ohio with her husband and two children and looks forward to the day when they all three of them become adults and move out.
After working in the brokerage business for fourteen years, Tara decided to pick up a pen and write instead of shoving it in her eye out of boredom. She is the author of the Playing with Fire series and the Chocolate Lovers series. Her novel Seduction and Snacks won first place in the Indie Romance Convention Reader’s Choice Awards 2013 for Best Indie First Book.
In her spare time, Tara loves to dream about all of the baking she’ll do and naps she’ll take when she ever gets spare time.
Tara also writes under the pen name T.E. Sivec.