Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Story of Us by Tara Sivec

Title: The Story of Us
Author: Tara Sivec
My Rating: A+

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Main Characters: Shelby and Eli
Release Date: June 2017
Publisher: Forever Yours
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
From USA Today bestselling author Tara Sivec comes an emotional, breathtakingly romantic new book about the power of first love and the promise of second chances.

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.

My Review:
When I started this book, I told my husband that this book would make me cry and his response was..."Well, you like books like that, don't you?" And I do. I really do. But even going into it with that knowledge, I had no idea how much this book would spit me up and chew me out. I'm talking ugly, sobbing, crying mess. There's a single moment just took me by surprise and it took me several hours to recover from it (although I will admit that I cried off and on throughout the entire story). 

So, yeah...this book is AMAZING, but be prepared. You're going to need a box of tissues close at hand.

It's been six years since Eli left Shelby. There were so many twists and turns of what happened to cause all that and I don't want to post any spoilers, but they were in love...completely and totally. She was headed to NYC and he was headed into the Marines...and right before they both left everything imploded...through no real fault of their own. See, Shelby was the daughter of the plantation owners/powerful senator. Eli was their stable boy. Their's was a forbidden romance, but neither of them really cared. They'd get out, escape, and then they could be free to be who they wanted to be. 

But that didn't happen, because Eli died. At least that's what they all thought, until a SEAL team recovered him and his team five years later. Five years where they were beaten daily and tortured. And now he's home. He's messed up, but so is Shelby. She's a husk of the woman he left and slowly the story unfolds of how they both got to this place where they are both so, so broken. 

It's a difficult book just because there is so much heartache for these characters. They've both suffered horribly and the book is told through a series of flashbacks and letters to explain how they got here. It's heartbreaking and it isn't simply a matter of him being alive, now they can be happy together. They have six years apart to untangle and all the emotional mess that they are both in now. 

But the book is beautiful. The love is pure. The romance is gorgeous. I loved them both so, so much. My heart almost shattered at one point for Eli when he proves just how much he loves Shelby and accepts that things may not be exactly how he wishes, but he realizes she moved on. OMG, so many tears.

Then there are the friendships. Eli and Rylan...again sobbing. They went through so much together. My heart simply BROKE for them. Then the thing that Meredith does at the beginning to get Eli to open his eyes...such a fantastic scene. 

This story is brilliantly written. I, so much. But that was simply because Tara Sivec brought these characters to life. I lived and loved and lost through them and I thank her for that gift. I highly, highly, highly recommend this book! It will live a long, long life of rereads from my keeper shelf.

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