Monday, 27 June 2016

New Release & Review by BT Urruela

Title: Into the Nothing
Series: Broken Outlaw #1
Author: BT Urruela
Release Date: June 21, 2016

Xander Evans has been on the road for many years. Never settling. Always moving from one place to another, unable to let go of his past. He lived a tragic childhood, spending most of those years in foster care. He's never felt like he's had a home. That is until he stops in the small town of Truman Valley, Missouri, where he meets a woman who will change everything he's ever known.

Paige Watson has it all. A loving family, beautiful home, and a great career. The only thing she's love. After escaping an abusive relationship, she opens her heart up to a stranger. He is unlike any man she's ever met. He came into her life and turned it completely upside down. Everything is perfect. That is, until one fateful night. 

A night that would tear the Watson family apart, never to be put back together again. 

A night that would send Xander away to prison for life.

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I'm a fan of reading romance novels written by men and after reading A Lover's Lament, BT's collaboration with K. L. Grayson I was more than interested on reading his first solo project.

Xander Evans is constantly moving. Having spent the latter part of his childhood in foster care, he's on a journey to find his sister who he hasn't seen since she was two years old. He's a drifter, only spending a short amount of time in each place he stops. He finds himself in Truman Valley, Missouri where he meets Paige Watson. He's offered work at her family's winery with accommodation. It's an opportunity he grabs knowing he'll only be there for a few months. Only his life is about to get a whole lot more complicated.

Paige Watson has a charmed life, mostly. She had a fabulous education, great career whilst surrounded by a close-knit loving family. She escaped an abusive relationship, but her ex is a constant black cloud on her horizon. He's the one thing stopping her from finding love, until a new stranger rolls into town…

The prologue instantly drags you in, but then the pace of the subsequent third of the book is slow as we are introduced to the characters and the setting. From there the pace picks up and gains momentum as the story heads towards the pinnacle, with clues to the identity of the perpetrator woven in. I always like it when I'm kept guessing right until the end and feel rewarded when I correctly identify the right person.

"You calm me. You make me feel carefree."
The relationship between Xander and Paige is slow-burning and fits perfectly within the mood of the story.

The writing is great yet I didn't identify with the protagonists, in a way I'm sure my American readers friends will. The cultural difference too great for me to really understand their psyche. However, the plot was much more manageable and refreshingly original, littered with raw and gritty dialogue. I'm not a fan of HEA's wrapped in a bow so a high point for me was the epilogue. I like to finish books feeling my brain has been fully engaged and this thought provoking ending did that 100%.

Overall a commendable read revealing lots of potential for the author.

***arc generously received courtesy of the author via Southern Belle PR***

"How about twenty questions?" I ask.

"I hate twenty questions."

"How about five questions, then?"

He cracks a smile and lifts an eyebrow. "How about three?"


"So, have I mentioned how much I fucking hate Tuesdays?" Brandi's voice cuts right between us. Xander looks relieved.

Me? Not so much. "Damn it, Brandi!"


"Oh nothing. Can you grab me Fireball though? Pretty please. Two of them." I look at Xander. "You're taking one."

"Three. I am too, bitch! Fuck Tuesdays!" Brandi calls out from across the bar as she begins filling the shot glasses from the Fireball chiller.

"Question one. You said you’ve been traveling for a while now, right? Do you ever get tired of it? Ever feel like settling?”

"Damn. Starting out with the heavy hitters, huh?" He eyes the shot glasses as if hoping it will somehow make them fill faster.

"Need me to go easier on you? Maybe a finger or two first before I go in with the whole fist?"

He looks at me in disbelief. "Did you really just say that?"

"Just answer the question, two fingers or three?"

BT Urruela was an infantryman in the US Army from August 2004 until February 2011. At the end of a year long tour to Baghdad, Iraq, his vehicle was hit by two roadside bombs, which took his right leg below the knee and the life of his commander. He was awarded a Purple Heart for his wounds, an Army Commendation Medal, and Combat Infantryman's Badge. He medically retired from the Army in 2011 and moved to Tampa, FL where he currently works as a Director and Brand Ambassador for VETSports, a veteran community sports nonprofit he co-founded in 2012. He also conducts motivational speeches, works as a cover and fitness model and he's a personal performance trainer. He co-wrote the military romance novel A Lover's Lament and will be releasing his debut solo novel, Into the Nothing, on June 21st, 2016.

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