Thursday, 19 October 2017

New Release Spotlight & Review: Most Of All You by Mia Sheridan

by Mia Sheridan
On sale: October 17, 2017 
Forever | Trade Paperback: $14.99 | eBook: $4.99

"Heartbreaking...inspiring, uplifting and raw..." ― RT Book Reviews, A 5-star Gold Pick

A broken woman . . .

Crystal learned long ago that love brings only pain. Feeling nothing at all is far better than being hurt again. She guards her wounded heart behind a hard exterior and carries within her a deep mistrust of men, who, in her experience, have only ever used and taken.

A man in need of help . . .

Then Gabriel Dalton walks into her life. Despite the terrible darkness of his past, there's an undeniable goodness in him. And even though she knows the cost, Crystal finds herself drawn to Gabriel. His quiet strength is wearing down her defenses and his gentle patience is causing her to question everything she thought she knew.

Only love can mend a shattered heart . . .

Crystal and Gabriel never imagined that the world, which had stolen everything from them, would bring them a deep love like this. Except fate will only take them so far, and now the choice is theirs: Harden their hearts once again or find the courage to shed their painful pasts.

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I swallowed heavily, my mouth going dry as I took in the masculine beauty of his practically naked body. He was…divine. That was the word that immediately came to mind. Divine. Angelic. Godly.
My gaze soaked in his strong, broad shoulders, the tight, lean muscles of his chest, the taut ripples of his stomach. As if my eyes were drawn to him like a magnet, they moved down his chest to his muscled thighs, his well-formed calves and then back up to his boxers, where the outline of his male anatomy was just barely visible against the thin material. 
My core clenched, wetness pooling between my thighs. I blinked, completely unaccustomed to this kind of reaction when it came to a man’s body. I wanted to simultaneously run away and step toward him, to reach out and trail a finger down his chest the way I’d just run a finger over the tiny stone bird.
My father made that.”
W-what?” God, my voice sounded too breathy, too stunned.
The sparrow.”
He crossed his arms over his chest, obviously self-conscious about his state of undress. He gave a quick nod downward. “Sorry, I didn’t know you’d be up.”
Again, my eyes moved to his bare chest. There was a sparse trail of hair under his belly button leading into the waistband of his boxers. My eyes leapt back up to his, and I practically gulped, sure he had heard it when his eyebrows twitched slightly. 
I turned my head, my heart beating so loudly in my own ears I was sure he could hear that, too, even from where he stood. “It’s only fair, I suppose,” I murmured.
What’s that?”
Now we’ve both seen each other half-naked.”
Gabriel tilted his head, assessing me in some mysterious way. He suddenly turned and walked back toward his room. I stood rooted to the spot, confused, when he returned just as quickly as he’d left, pulling a T-shirt over his head. He walked toward me, coming to stand directly in front of where I stood. His expression was slightly shy, slightly teasing. “I hope…that if we see each other naked again, it won’t be a job, or an accident. It will be because we both want it, and because it means something.”
Visions swirled through my mind, unbidden: tangled limbs and twisted sheets. Heat filled my veins, blood pumping between my legs. It was too much. It was…out of my control and it scared me. I didn’t want to think of Gabriel that way, couldn’t think of Gabriel that way. In truth, had never thought of any man that way. “Mean something?” My voice was a mere whisper.
He nodded, his expression going serious, his eyes filled with sudden gravity. His hand slowly moved up to my hair, and he brushed a piece back from my face. His hand lingered, his knuckle brushing
gently down my cheekbone. My breath hitched at the subtle touch. His full lips parted slightly, those angel eyes moving over my features as if he was memorizing me, memorizing the moment. I was spellbound, caught once again in his gaze. No one had ever looked at me the way Gabriel was right then, not in all my life. 
Yes.” It was all he said, leaving me to try to comprehend his meaning. But of course getting naked always meant something. A bribe, a paycheck, a coercion, a means to an end…only I knew very well Gabriel didn’t mean any of those things, and it was impossible to convince myself he could. I already knew better. And I didn’t want to think about what getting naked would mean to Gabriel because the very idea filled me with terror and an aching, needy want. But mostly terror.

In a practical sense, a Mia Sheridan novel means having your 'emotional reading care pack' ready and waiting to deal with any heartbreaking symptoms occurring whilst indulging in one of her books.

Gabriel Dalton needs help to mend the final part of his previously broken life to be whole again. He has a plan, knowing the path leads him along the one he's meant to follow. However, the subject prompting his actions changes as he meets a young woman who, he always knows will touch his heart.

Crystal's surprised when a handsome young man asks for her help. His request is unconventional, but she agrees all the same. However, she soon realises Gabriel is wrong to assume she can assist him to overcome a personal problem, when, she's the one that needs saving.

The pace is slow in this emotional narrative, but in this instance, it didn't work for me...or so I thought. The narrative peaks and troughs with enticing passages that draw me in, captivating me then, follows with passages that make me skim because my attention is lost. However, the overall impact of Gabriel and Ellie's (Crystal) story didn't hit me until the end. I'm now left thinking...pondering after engaging with the poignant words and metaphors. Bravo Ms Sheridan.

The chemistry between the protagonists is intense and palpable but the romance is slow to develop. It takes a while for them to be on the same page and even when they are, the time still isn't right for them to be together until unresolved issues and conditioning behaviour from the past are dealt with.

If you've read Archer's Voice, you'll adore Gabriel and his intuitive observations. You can't help but love him, as this broken young man begins a final step to become a whole person again. Then, there's Ellie, whose life has been all about acceptance until she realises she has to break the mould that has shaped her past, to start living a life she deserves.

Due to my personal reading preferences, a plot thread that runs intermittently through the duration of the book made me uncomfortable and antsy. The conclusion is satisfying for me, although I'm not sure the sub-plot is necessary. The narrative covers distressing issues with heartfelt compassion with defined character development, even if it's a little uneven and sometimes unrealistic. Yet, that's the beauty of fiction, where characters don't always act and behave as we think they should.

In some respects, this has been a difficult novel for me to read yet, somehow I've come out the other end appreciating the slow journey.

***arc generously received courtesy of Forever via NetGalley***

Mia Sheridan is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestselling author. Her passion is weaving true love stories about people destined to be together. Mia lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband. They have four children here on earth and one in heaven.

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Widget to win 1 of 10 paperbacks.