Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Tour Stop: STRIVING FOR NORMAL by B.L. Mooney ~ Review/Giveaway

Book: Striving For Normal
Author: B.L. Mooney
Release date:  August 23, 2013

The most intimate relationship Drew Clayborn had with a man in the last four years has been with her therapist. With a past that has left her broken and scarred, she tries to piece herself back together enough to make it through each day. Whether she’s ready or not, life brings her back among the living, and Drew needs to learn quickly how to deal with her troubled past. When the perfect opportunity presents itself to pursue her dream career, it also provides Drew her first encounter with a compelling man since her devastating breakup with the last one. Carl Williamson is rich, powerful, and gorgeous. The desire she feels when he’s near makes it impossible not to melt into his arms. He wants Drew and will stop at nothing to have her. Carl promises to be her protector, but he brings familiar concerns to the surface. Dennis Brooks is a nice guy her best friend thinks would be her perfect match. He’s strong, honest, and sexy as hell, and he makes her smile in a way no one else can. Drew feels safe and secure with him, but she isn’t certain he is strong enough to handle Drew and give her what she thinks she needs in a relationship. When Drew’s demanding, controlling ex comes back to stake his claim on her, the carefully crafted world she built for herself is turned upside down. Does she need a powerful man like Carl to help her? Will Dennis step up and be the man she needs? Or does she finally become strong enough to deal with her past on her own? Who is the true hero in her quest of striving for normal?


I opened the door, and it sounded as if they were watching television. It wasn’t good if she had gotten comfortable. I sighed what I promised would be my last sigh as I headed for the living room and stopped in the doorway when I heard Craig’s voice. I inched in further to see what was going on, and there he was on the television. “What the fuck is that?”

“Drew.” Dennis fumbled for the remote and paused Craig while he was in midsentence. He sheepishly smiled as he walked over to me. “Drew, I didn’t hear you come in.” He tried to kiss my cheek, but I backed away.

“I guess not. I’ll ask again.” I pointed to the television. “What the fuck is that?”

Deb’s smirk had me wanting to cross the room and smack it off her face. “I was just showing my brother the full story that the station didn’t run four years ago.”

I turned to Dennis not wanting to address Deb in any way. “Why are you watching that?”

“I promised I would watch it. It isn’t going to change anything.”

“How can you say it doesn’t change anything?” Deb was on her feet and smirk free. “I got this disc for you to open your eyes. It’s the full story of what happened.”

“I’m sorry. Full story?” I wrenched my arm from Dennis and stormed over to Deb. “Ask me if you want to know something. I know the full story. I was there!”

Deb didn’t back down and yelled an inch from my face. “But he wasn’t! I want him to know what kind of woman you are before he gets too involved.”

Everyone has it. That skeleton in your closet that you don't want to let out, even to yourself. No matter how big or small, it will haunt you. You can never move on until you let go of your past. This is easier said than done, especially if you have been through a traumatic event.

This story is about Drew, who has had way more than her fair share of traumas in her life. She was completely controlled by her ex-boyfriend to the point that she was in danger. It doesn't start with that, it tells the tale of her trying to heal herself, which is a long and painful journey.

The characters really touched me throughout the book. The friendship that Drew and Terri have is absolutely amazing, and even Terri's husband Mark is a rock for Drew. They end up introducing her to Mark's friend Dennis and he and Drew hit it off, but she is constantly doubting that she deserves to be happy or be loved. Dennis is the perfect, sweet, loving gentleman in the story, but it's not all a fairy tale. Between her flashbacks, the other man vying for her attention, and family drama, there always seems to be something getting in the way.

I won't give away the story, but I was very happy how the story ended, and I would recommend it to anyone struggling to work past their own inner demons, no matter the size. I give this book 4.5 Stars!!


                                                     About the author...
  B.L. Mooney started writing when the voices and storylines in her head ran out of room. They were getting too cramped and neither B.L. nor the characters could take it anymore, so she did the only thing she could do—she made room. She always knew she wanted to write, but vowed to make time for it later. Now that she’s made time for writing, most everything else falls to the wayside. That seems to suit the characters that keep popping up just fine. B.L. lives in the Midwest and her other talents include in-demand cookies, a very dry sense of humor, and stealth eavesdropping. Some mannerisms, attitudes, or twists come from random sentences picked up while passing by strangers. So speak up the next time you have something to gossip about. You never know, it may just end up on the pages of the next book you read. 

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