If I thought Genna Rulon’s writing was good after reading Only For You, which is book 1 in her For You series, I’m officially on Team Rulon with this story. It’s hard to be a good storyteller and Rulon keeps getting better. After reading Everleigh and Hunter’s story and knowing that Samantha’s story was next, I hoped for a good story and that’s exactly what I got. If you’ve not read Book 1 you don’t have to, but it’s good and I recommend it. Be warned – there are going to be spoilers. If you did read Book 1, this picks up immediately after, with Samantha already discharged from the hospital and in the aftercare program. This story does have mention of rape and physical violence, so if that’s something that you’re not prepared to read about, then stop right here.
Samantha Whitney is picking up the pieces after being beaten, raped and left for dead by her boyfriend’s frat buddy. She doesn’t really know how she’s going to be the person she used to be, but she’s doing the best she can with the resources she has – friends, family and counseling. Samantha’s best friend Everleigh is her rock and they’ve been together since they were kids, when Everleigh’s mother worked as a maid in Samantha’s home; then there’s FBI agent Hunter Charles who’s only been dating Everleigh for a short while. It’s a small group but they’re tightly knit. The other new light in Samantha’s life is Griffin Eversen, you’ll remember him as the crooning bartender in book 1 when he revealed his affection for Samantha to Everleigh. It’s too bad about that sniveling coward Robbie. Then there are Samantha’s parents who’ve been MIA – only visiting her once while she was still in the hospital and unconscious. That did catch my attention because unless your parent(s) strongly dislike or even hate you – who does that? But the worst of the worse is Heath, I relished in Griffin’s interaction with him.
When Samantha comes home from rehab, Griffin is there to help her. He stayed away when she was in the initial part of her healing because he was afraid of her reaction to him being a man after her trauma. I appreciated that he didn’t jump in to save the day for Samantha. I appreciated that he let her set the tone of their relationship – specifically about what she could tolerate. But what I really appreciated about Griffin was his quiet loving of Samantha. He’s a big lumberjack of a guy but he had enough gentleness and patience in his soul and hands that he was the ideal match for Samantha.
There are a few new characters – Cynthia ‘Thia’, Samantha’s counselor. Those were some of the best stare showdowns that I’ve read in a long time, complete comic relief moments. The only thing that I missed was I would have liked to know a little bit more about the physical side of what happened to Samantha. In Book 1, she’s got a lot of fractures and spends a couple of months in a wheelchair. In my need to know everything I would have liked to see some of the physical struggles that she suffered. There’s Meg, the barista who works at Everleigh’s coffee shop. Withstanding her niceness, she’s got some skeletons in her closet that I can’t wait to find out about. And my new favorite – Westly Black – just the name makes want to know all about him.
There are a couple of big differences between this story and the first that makes this a better story for me. The first is the dialogue – I thought Book 1’s dialogue didn’t have enough contractions and made the conversations too formal. I can’t say the same for this story. Going further, I enjoyed the references to movies and the links (ebook version) to the songs which made my reading experience all the more fun. The other big thing that I liked was that even though this is told primarily from Samantha’s POV, Griffin has enough that I got into his mind too and understand his motivation.
Even if you don’t read the first story, this would be perfectly fine reading as a standalone. The plot was smooth and fast, the characters were interesting and fun, the dialogue was smart, and the chemistry was sexy with just enough tawdriness. Well done Rulon. I’m looking forward to the next in the series – Meg and Westly’s story.
Happy Reading folks!
*Book provided by author for review
Click to purchase: Amazon
Pieces for You
by Genna Rulon
Release Date: December 17, 2013