How much can a man take before he breaks?
1,843 days. That’s how long I survived in that hellhole. They tried to break me, but I resisted. And I owe it all to the memory of warm summer nights, the scent of peaches, and the one woman who loved me more than I ever deserved to be loved. Now, I’ll do anything to get back to her.
Only Shelby Eubanks isn’t the girl I left behind all those years ago. She’s someone else, a stranger. My Shelby-my little green-eyed firecracker-would never give up her dreams, would never disappear into her mother’s ambitions. But I won’t give up on her. On us. I may be broken, and scarred, and not the man I used to be, but I will do whatever it takes to remind her of the story of us.
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“How much can a man take before he breaks? Is it measured by how many minutes, hours, days or years he lives in hell? Is it one too many punches, kicks, or broken bones because he refuses to give in?”
“I’m broken and scarred and half the man I used to be, but if she’ll let me explain, I hope to God she can put me back together again.”
“I’m standing here in this room, alive and breathing and fighting because of YOU! Because in between the torture and the beatings and the fucking hell, year after year, I couldn’t get you out of my head. Your smell, your smile, your laugh, your taste, your touch…it’s the only fucking thing that made me want to wake up every damn day and go through that shit again and again. Thinking about you and fighting to get back to you is the only way I could fucking survive, so don’t stand here and tell me to move on! Don’t fall apart in my arms and then lie to me!”
“For five years, you’ve saved me, and you didn’t even know it. Now it’s my turn to save you.”
What an extraordinary and beautiful read. Captivating. Beautifully written and down right captivating. This book grabbed a hold of my heart and took it for such an amazing ride.
The Story of Us follows the story of Shelby and Eli. Eli has only one regret in his life…Walking away from the woman he loved. He tried to fight and thought that he was doing the right thing. For the past five years, the only thing that has gotten Eli through the hell that had become his reality, was knowing that Shelby was living her dream. Little did he know that fate sometimes can be a cruel bitch….What would you do for someone you loved? Is there a price that is too high? When you are in love, is there any question to the lengths that you would go to protect that person?? When Eli left town, he left Shelby with a hole in her heart. She tried to forget him. She tried to move on. But, she could never let him go. She’s not proud of what her life has become, but in her eyes, there is nothing she wouldn’t do for Eli. Now, many years later, fate has brought these two lovers together once again. Only time hasn’t been kind to either one of them. They are both broken. They are both scared. They are both shells of their former selves. Can Eli and Shelby heal each other and move on from the past? There is only one way to find out….
The Story of Us is incredibly beautiful and extremely well written. I was a goner from the moment I picked up this book. From the second I finished the prologue I thought to myself, “this book is going to destroy me.”. And boy was I right. This book took a hold of my heart and took my emotions on a wild and incredible journey. As I got to know Shelby and Eli, my heart broke little by little for all that they endured. I felt so easily connected to them and wanted nothing more than for them to find their way back to each other. Both beautifully broken and dealt some pretty tough cards. I knew their journey was not going to be an easy one and I think that made their fight all that much sweeter.
The Story of Us is not an easy tale. It deals with some tough and at times serious subject matter. But, I can definitely say, the author handled it with extreme care and compassion. I felt instantly connected with the characters and felt as though I was right there with them as their story was being told.
The Story of Us is a beautiful and unforgettable love story. It shows the lengths that someone will go for love. It shows just how powerful true love is and how a love like Shelby and Eli’s would never, ever die. The Story of Us was an amazing read from beginning to end. I devoured it easily in just one day. This story hit all the marks with some exciting twists and turns along the way.
*I was provided an ARC copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review*
I just need a moment alone, to remember how to breathe and to remember how to push the hurt away so I can go back out there and do my job. Hold my head high with a smile on my face and pretend like dancing with Eli, being close to Eli, and letting him rain insults down on me, didn’t cut me in half.
As soon as I turn the handle and push open the office door, I feel something solid slam into me from behind, moving me faster into the dark room. I trip over my feet and an arm slides around my waist to steady me before whirling me around. I smell his soap and recognize his firm hold on me before the moonlight shining in the floor-to-ceiling windows behind me illuminates the shadow of his face, but that doesn’t stop the rapid thumping of my heart as the door is kicked shut with a slam and my body is turned and pushed roughly against the wall next to it. With the first touch of his hands, the first feel of the heat from his skin against me, I’m lost. I’m drowning in a pool of desire I’ve only ever felt with him, and I never want to come up for air. Every inch of my body is on fire, begging for more, needing everything I’ve been missing, but knowing everything about this moment is wrong. This can’t happen. I can’t want this and I certainly can’t act on what I’m feeling.
Before I can shove him away, shout at him, and tell him to let me go, his mouth is on mine. His chest pins my arms between us and I clutch a fistful of his dress shirt in my hands when my lips automatically part for him. His tongue quickly pushes into my mouth and I feel tears prickling behind my eyelids when I taste him, so familiar and so beautiful it breaks off yet another piece of my heart. One of his hands moves from around my waist and I feel the heat from his palm as it slides against the side of my neck to the back, his fingers gripping tightly to the hair at the base of my skull to hold my head in place. His kiss is punishing and hard and I can do nothing but hold tightly to the front of his shirt as our tongues battle together and I try to remember how to breathe.
About the Author
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. Her novel Seduction and Snacks won first place in the Indie Romance Convention Reader’s Choice Awards 2013 for Best Indie First Book and she was voted as Best Author in the Indie Romance Convention Reader’s Choice Awards for 2014.
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.
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