Review: Tearing Down Walls by Deanndra Hall

tearing down wallsReviewed by Shelly

I liked this installment in the series a lot more than I liked Laying a Foundation. Going into that first story, I think I set my expectations too high and I was sorely disappointed, but I wanted to give the series and the author another go and adjusted my expectations. I’m glad I did. The character development here worked much better for me, as I actually got to see change and growth. The pacing was good and the shenanigans, subterfuge and suspense were enough to keep me interested; I must say that this Walters family seem to have a tremendous amount of violence targeted towards them. Picking up directly after Laying a Foundation, this story tells the tale of Tony Walters cousin Vic Cabrizzi and his paramour Laura Butler. If you’ve not read either the introductory novella or the first novel in the series, I will most likely reveal spoilers.

The thing that Tony and his cousin, Vic, seem to have in common is being lonely; that applied for Tony until Nikki came along. Vic doesn’t know what to do with himself now that Nikki is in Tony’s life – at least not until a chance at something more crosses his path. The Walters attorney Steve McCoy has a club in a building whose owner has decided to sell. Steve knows he doesn’t want to buy the building but he’s also not ready to move his club, so the next best thing is to ask his construction client/friend if he’s interesting in buy. Vic goes to scope out the building and see what kind of club Steve’s running. To his pleasant surprise, Steve’s club is something that Vic is very familiar with – fetish/BDSM. If you remember from Laying a Foundation, Vic has a real problem with his self-control in the bedroom and he’s been in more than one relationship where he unintentionally hurt the woman he’s with. In the hopes of controlling himself, both Steve and Vic agree that becoming a Dom might help him regulate his desires when it comes to the actual act of having sex. I actually thought that was a pretty good idea and made the transition for Vic from being just another guy who’s using the excuse ‘saying’ he’s a Dom to actually being a Dom with a rational reason for getting into the lifestyle.

Laura Butler is one of my favorite characters so far, and trust me folks there are a lot of people in these books. She’s been through a lot and to her credit she’s still her trying to do the right thing and waking up every day fighting the good fight. She’s what I would call emotionally stagnant. She doesn’t see a future for herself with a husband or family and instead of trying to get past that, she decides the only way to cope is to basically be rude and mean to the people around her. She’s a mean person – no ands ifs about it, and even though I didn’t agree with that conscious choice of expression, I understood where she was coming from. I didn’t feel sorry for her at all, but I understood where she was coming from. I would have liked to know a bit more about her childhood, but I got enough of it to realize that she was from a good family where she clearly had parents who not only loved and supported her, but they were human like the rest of us and only wanted to understand what was going on with Laura. But as Laura was so eaten with the shame and guilt of her past – her communication happened in the form of rude comebacks. She had to find out for herself that it’s amazing how people can be supportive, helpful and understanding if you tell them your story. There were a few things in her timeline that didn’t ring true for me but her ‘now’ was good enough where I didn’t question it too much. I enjoyed her story tremendously and as am I big fan of the physically scarred heroine I liked her external scars and the way that she eventual accept of them.

Now all that sounds great right? What I didn’t like about this story was that the Vic and Laura story didn’t start until about 55% into the story line. This ePub version was about 324 pages and that’s a lot of story to read about other people involved in both Laura and Vic’s life before getting to the romance storyline. To Hall’s credit, once it started, it was good. I appreciate that this couple didn’t immediately jump into having full-blown wild monkey sex considering Laura’s history and the fears that she still had. Vic was a good guy for recognizing and asking about Laura’s needs and not pushing or blackmailing her into doing something that would clearly have been out of character for her. Even the club scene worked with Laura. Well done there!

If you’re a fan of the series you’ll be happy to know that everyone is back and not just cameos either, they’re as much as part of the storyline here as Vic was in the prior book. I’m hoping that Steve and Kelly’s story will impress me as much as Vic and Laura’s.

Happy Reading Folks!

Rating: B

*Book provided by author for review

Click to purchase: Amazon

Tearing Down Walls
by Deanndra Hall
Release Date: October 31, 2014

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