Wednesday, August 21, 2013


I am very excited to be one of today's stops on the If You Leave Blog Tour.
The tour is being hosted by InkSlingr PR. My stop includes a review and the tour giveaway. Follow the entire tour by visiting the homepage.
If You Leave (Beautifully Broken, #2)Series: Beautifully Broken #1
Category/Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Forever Romance
Publication Date: 8/6/13
Format: eARC
Pages: 384
Source: Received from publisher for review
Rating:  5 stars

26-year old Gabriel Vincent is a badass hero. Or he used to be, anyway. As an ex-Army Ranger, Gabe never thought he needed anyone. But after one horrible night in Afghanistan scars him in a way that he can't get past, he needs someone who can help him heal...even if he doesn't realize it.

25-year old Madison Hill doesn't need anybody...or so she thinks. She grew up watching her parents' messed-up abusive relationship and she knows there's no way in hell that she's ever letting that happen to her.

They don't know it in the beginning, but Gabriel and Madison will soon develop a weakness: Each other.

But Gabriel's got a secret, a hidden monster that he's afraid Maddy could never overcome... And Maddy's got issues that she's afraid Gabe will never understand. They quickly realize that they need each other to be whole, but at the same time they know that they've got demons to fight.

And the problem with demons is that they never die quietly.

WOW. After loving If You Stay, I had high hopes for If You Leave. Madison was a terrific character in that novel, and was definitely worthy of a story of her own. What I didn't count on was Gabriel Vincent. This man, his story... blew this book wide open. I won't continue to draw comparisons between the two, but for as much as I loved If You Stay, I loved If You Leave even more.

If You Leave is a fairly heavy story. First there's Madison, who hinted at having some issues in If You Stay, but since that was Mila's story, we never got the full picture. Madison's issue is her parents' relationship and deaths. Not only did her parents die and leave her responsible for their business and younger sister Mila, but she also had a lot of unresolved feelings toward her abusive father and accepting mother. Madison's answer was to lock it all away. Keep her feelings to herself, and just keep living. Eventually, something's got to give, and a push comes in the form of her best friend's brother, Gabriel.

"Fear is a choice, Maddy. But so is being happy."

Then you have Gabriel Vincent. Gabriel is a former Army Ranger, and it is obvious from the first page that he is in a bad way. Gabriel is drowning in guilt, so much so that he's barely hanging on. I'm not going to endlessly analyze Gabriel, because I couldn't possibly do him justice. I can say that Cole did an excellent job in the characterization of a man who may have left the battlefield, but the fight is far from over. I truly feel that she did a beautiful, thorough, and realistic job with Gabriel's story. She does justice and honor those who have and continue to serve. She is also bringing awareness to the mental trauma sustained in war. This, in my opinion, is what makes If You Leave shine.

I know that I haven't touched on the romance aspect yet, but I did love it. Gabriel and Madison get off to an intense start, and it seems like a hot and heavy, fast-moving romance is headed our way, but Cole does take time to develop the relationship. And, as much as Gabriel and Madison feel for one another, the physical aspect to their relationship does not outweigh the emotional, and for that I am happy.

In case you haven't picked up on it yet, If You Leave is a beautiful and emotional story. I embraced these characters and I was invested in their individual stories, and their relationship. I was happy that Pax and Mila played quite a large part in the story as well. If You Leave is another fantastic book from Courtney Cole. Her best yet.

Favorite Quotes:

  I raise my eyebrows. "He can't handle me?"
  Pax quickly backtracks. "That's not exactly what I meant. You're...shall we say...a little fierce. You need a guy with balls. You don't need a guy whose balls are in your purse. Just sayin'."
  "Ha, so says the guy whose balls are in Mila's handbag as we speak."  ~eARC, 15%

  Gabriel has been trained to protect people at all costs, even if the cost is his own life. He's not a violent bully. He's a protector.
  For some reason, even though I should've seen it before, this knowledge slams into my chest and leaves me dumbfounded. The idea that I need a protector makes me feel weak. But the idea that I just had a protector makes me feel strong.
  Invincible.   ~eARC, 35%

 "It's good to be home."
  I look up at him, struggling to keep my eyes open after this hellishly long day. "Do you really consider Angel Bay home now?"
  He brushes the hair away from my face with his strong fingers as he stares down at me.
 "Maddy, I consider wherever you are home."

The Beautifully Broken Series
If You Stay (Beautifully Broken, #1) If You Leave (Beautifully Broken, #2)Before We Fall (Beautifully Broken, #3)
(click on cover for GoodReads page)
Purchase If You Leave
About the author:

Courtney Cole is a novelist who would eat mythology for breakfast if she could. She has a degree in Business, but has since discovered that corporate America is not nearly as fun to live in as fictional worlds. She loves chocolate and roller coasters and hates waiting and rude people.

 Courtney lives in quiet suburbia, close to Lake Michigan, with her real-life Prince Charming, her ornery kids (there is a small chance that they get their orneriness from their mother) and a small domestic zoo.

Connect with Courtney
Website  |   Blog  |  Facebook   |  Twitter  |  GoodReads  |  Amazon

Connect with Grand Central Publishing
 Website  |   Twitter  |  Facebook


  1. I kind of love you. :) Thank you for hosting!!

  2. I loved Madison in if you stay and cant wait to read this one! Great review babe!

  3. I'm reading it now and I thoroughly liked the beginning, but as the novel progresses, it kind of takes the route of every other New Adult book with its damaged hero and heroine. I'm moved by Gabriel's story and Maddy is a great girl, plus I like the side characters, but I don't feel like I get anything special from this story. I'm glad you enjoyed it though and you're right. The fight is far from over for Gabe and even though I'm not entirely done with this read, I know that even if he faces his demons and overcomes them in many ways, he'll never be rid of them no matter what. Gorgeous review hon!

  4. I have heard of this author and seen the first book in this series but haven't got to read it. I'm so happy to see that you enjoyed it. Great review :)

  5. I really want to start this series but can't find the time. Nice review. Thanks for the giveaway :)

  6. Wonderful review! This book is definitely on my TBR. I really liked If You Stay and will be getting this one soon for sure! :-)

  7. I am looking forward to learning about the issues that may keep them apart and how they over come them.

  8. She did a great job with Madison and Gabe. Courtney is such versatile writer. She really gives each character their own story. Great review lover.

  9. Wow, I guess I need to pick up this like a series stat! Madison and Gabe sound like a wonderful couple with an emotionally moving story. Wonderful review, Andrea and thanks for the giveaway! :)

  10. I'm glad that you loved this one, Andrea. I liked it too, but not as much as you did. The thing is I read Something Like Normal by Trish Doller last year and it deals with a soldier dealing with PTSD as well. And I loved that one because of the emotional impact it had on me. I felt like this one really didn't have the kind of impact I was looking for. Regardless, it was a good book and I thought the author handled the PTSD part really well.
    Lovely review.

  11. Yay!! Andrea, I'm so happy to hear you loved this! And totally not surprised. ;) I only skimmed your review because I hope to get my hands on a copy very soon. :)

  12. Great review Andrea. I just loved this book so much to. I can't wait for Jacey's story.

  13. I have If You Stay on my kindle, I really need to read it!

  14. I love Courtney's writing and she does have an ability to create believable and entertaining romances. I seriously need to read this one soon, I loved the 1st book. Def wanna know more about Gabe! Great review!

    Confessions of a Vi3tBabe
    Deity Island

  15. I'm itching to read some contemporary novel but I cant decide on what. I will add this to the choices. Thanks for hosting the giveaway!


  16. Oh, you know the guy's about to get in trouble when he has to start backpedaling like that! Fun excerpt, thanks for sharing it, Andrea. :)

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

  17. Really want to get to this one!

  18. I'm looking forward to finding out how these two flawed souls find their way to each other.

  19. OMG I need to read this book. I loved the first book and have been dying to read Madison's story. I have this on my kindle (I pre-ordered it because I knew I needed it!) I just need to find time to get to it.

  20. I HAVE to check out this series, Andrea! Thanks for sharing it - and for possibly tipping over my TBR! ;)

  21. Wow, I loved your review. I think it's great that the author addresses the after effects of war. I loved all of the quotes you chose!

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

  22. Wow, Andrea. Your review just blew me away. Especially this "I can say that Cole did an excellent job in the characterization of a man who may have left the battlefield, but the fight is far from over." That seriously gave me chills girl. CHILLS. I have this one and am doing a feature with Courtney and I'm so nervous about starting it, because my best friend was in the Army, and like you said about Gabe- my friend's issues are far from over also. So I'm a little worried about my emotional state in this one. I am excited to see more of Pax and Mila too!

  23. I can't wait to start this series! I have heard nothing but fabulous things about it. I love the sound of Gabriel and Madison individually but I love them even more as a couple! And you know how much I LOVE my emotional reads, and this one is going to break my heart and I am looking forward to that! I'm really glad you enjoyed this Andrea! Fabulous review! :D

    ~ Maida
    Literary Love Affair 


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