Wednesday, September 11, 2013

***Striving for Normal by B.L. Mooney Blog Tour Stop and Giveaway***


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?

Sandy B's Review

Those of you that read my reviews know that I usually pick a line from each lead character.  Except that in Striving for Normal there is a girl (Drew), a guy (the ex Craig), another guy (Carl) and a third guy (Dennis).  So I decided to take a different approach this time because a few lines won’t prepare you for Striving for Normal.  You just have to buckle your seat belt and dive in.  
This book made me emotional – like when you’re watching one of those women in peril movies on Lifetime and you know what’s going to happen to the “heroine”. Then it happens and you wanna kick the bad guys a** – yea like that kind of emotional. Craig consumes Drew.  So much so that she finds herself doing things that she never imagined. I personally want to introduce him to my Louisville Slugger. In case you haven’t gotten my point yet – he’s NOT a nice guy. 

Drew has spent four years trying to put distance between her and her past.  Trying to put herself back together again. Hating herself for the choices she made that haunt her still.

SfN starts with a therapy session.  Drew’s story is told in flashbacks but not in way that makes it confusing.  As more is revealed you understand why Drew is such a wreck.  Why she feels worthless and thinks she deserves nothing good in her life.  Each event makes my disgust and anger towards Craig deeper and deeper still.  Her therapist, Joseph, patiently calls her out when he senses she’s not being honest.  Her BFFs Mark and Terri try to convince her daily that she’s entitled to be happy. 

Carl reminds me of Craig – that makes me uncomfortable. Yet like many abused women Drew is drawn to the flame that already burned her once before.  Dennis is sweet, funny, the boy next door type.  You would think “Hey! Easy choice here!” but that’s not the case for Drew. She doesn’t trust her own judgment and with good reason. 

Finally she starts to find herself and would you believe that Craig comes back into the picture?! 

There are bumps in the road.  There are some twists in the plot that will keep you turning the pages.  Does Drew choose Carl or Dennis?  Does she go back to Craig?  Or does Drew finally and completely break the bonds that have held her in suspended animation for so long?  Is there an HEA there?  I’M NOT TELLING YOU!   

B.L. Mooney gets points from me for writing Drew so that she feels real.  The inner struggle was tangible. This is not a happy go lucky read but it is certainly worthy of your time and money.  Honestly, there is no higher compliment that I can pay an author than to pledge my money and my time.  B.L. Mooney you have both! 

Meet 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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