Title: Used (Unlovable #1)
Author: Lynetta Halat
Genre: New Adult Romance
Release Date: January 19, 2014
Hosted by: Love Between the Sheets Promotions
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After a few minutes, Greer stretches out beside me and searches for my hand. Only his hand touches mine, but my whole being tingles. He threads his fingers through mine and runs his thumb over my palm. Something in me twists and splinters, shooting chills all through my body. My breath hitches in my throat because I can’t breathe around the knot that has formed there.
“You feel it too,” he says simply.
I close my eyes tighter, suddenly embarrassed by the fact that I’m not slick. “Yes,” I admit in a whisper.
“Look at me, Denver.”
Turning my head to the side, I open my eyes to find his blue-eyed gaze roaming over me. His eyes find mine, and we just take each other in. I want to say something, but I can’t think of one darn thing that sounds intelligent or even … sexy. Do I even want to be sexy for him? Yes. Yes, I do. I see stupid girls flirt with him all the time. I don’t want to be that girl, but I do want him to see me as a girl and not just his friend. Ironic, since I’ve spent my whole life telling him not to treat me like a girl.
“I want to kiss you so bad … but if I kiss you, it will change everything,” he says in that gravelly voice.
“Change is good,” I whisper.
Rolling to his side, his mouth is centimeters from mine. I can’t make myself move although I’m aching with want. But I haven’t been kissed—ever. And I haven’t kissed anyone since that time on the monkey bars in seventh grade when I stuck my tongue in Brian Thomas’s mouth on a bet. I shocked the shit out of him, and he didn’t even kiss me back. When the bell rang, he jerked back and hit his head hard, sending him to the nurse for the rest of the afternoon. Not my finest moment.
“I don’t want to lose my best friend,” he tells me.
I bring up my other hand and run it over his jaw. “You’re not going to lose me. No matter what. We’ll still be friends.”
“Relationships ruin friendships. We’ve seen enough of that.”
I shiver with that truth. “True. But we’re different. We’ve been together since before we were born. I can’t live without you, so I won’t hurt our friendship.”
Bringing our entwined hands up, he kisses my knuckles. “Me either. We’ll take it slow, all right?”
“All right, my golden boy,” I whisper.
The effect of my words is instantaneous; the blue in his eyes intensifies to boiling. He leans in, his lips brushing mine softly. “Denver,” he whispers against me. “I’ve always wanted to make you mine. Ever since I understood what that meant. I’ve never seen anyone but you.” And even though his eyes burn with passion, I hear a little tremor in his voice. Now, him always putting off those girls makes a whole lot more sense.
“I thought we were taking it slow,” I chastise, but I delight in knowing that he feels something more for me.
“I just want you to know that I don’t take this lightly. You’re the most important person in my universe. And I’ll do anything to protect us.”
His declaration unleashes a torrent of need in me, and I no longer want him to kiss me—I need him to kiss me. “Greer, will you shut up and kiss me, please?”
*I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review*
This is why I LOVE—Love triangles! Honestly you can’t get much better than Used if you want a true to its meaning good old-fashioned tear your heart out triangle! Throw in a girl who’s all kinds of messed up, with two hot Cowboy’s, and a rodeo/country theme and I’m hooked.
Denver Dempsey is one complex girl, full of self doubt and issues that have obviously plagued her judgment in life. Her Mother made her go through some crap that honestly would make anyone a little crazy. This is where her “Golden Boy” Greer comes in. Greer is the one that is so easy to love in this story. He and Denver have basically been connected at the hip since they were in the womb. The sweet story between these two is what initially grabbed my attention. They have the kind of friendship/relationship that every girl dreams of growing up. Greer is always there for his “Chicken” which is his affectionate term for her, even the way he describes chickens in relation to Denver is just the sweetest thing! He’s so quirky and sweet and loveable, which made me even more excited to read on, since I knew there would soon be another Dude coming in the picture to throw a wrench right through the sweetness that is Greer & Denver. I know…I’m sick!
Enter Ransom… He’s HOT, He’s a bull rider, He’s edgy, and He’s basically everything Greer is not. And Of course the troubled bad girl side of Denver is instantly attracted to him. Not that she is unaware of who he is. He’s been pretty well known throughout the Rodeo Circle’s over the years, and has chalked up quite the bad boy reputation himself. Sounds like a match made in heaven right? Or maybe a gasoline soaked rag just waiting for a torch is more like it. That’s exactly what these two have together, and the fiery chemistry between these two is off the charts hot!
So whose team did I choose, Greer or Ransom? Let me start off by saying this… I thought when I started reading this book that I would love Greer, which I did, which I still do! But there is no denying Ransom’s pull to his character, he’s flawed and dirty and sexy and gritty! Which are all of the things that would normally pull me to the bad boy side of the fence right? That is the way I normally would go, but Lynetta has a way with her writing that definitely pulls you back and forth between your emotions so much that you, yourself don’t even know what you want, and in true Love Triangle fashion! I honestly loved every part of it. Even the part where Greer pissed me off! I obviously have issues myself, but I can’t help it!
This is the very first time I’ve ever read a Lynetta Halat book, and I can firmly say that it will most definitely not be the last! One of the things I loved the most was that the character development was so strong that I actually really felt deeply for all of them. Especially Denver, normally when a female character is so flawed and seems to have a tortured soul she ends up looking whiney or complacent. This was not the case with Denver. I really felt like she was constantly searching for something more during the whole book. And even though she has these two strong male characters in her life, that something was still missing. And in the end, I believe she’s still searching for answers.
I would definitely consider this book a mild cliffhanger, but nothing I can’t handle since I obviously love those too! I am REALLY looking forward to reading FREED, which is the second book in the series.
"Don't you remember me telling you once that you're the only one I see? If I let you go, I'll go blind. I'll see nothing, want nothing, be nothing."
*I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.*
Denver hopes to make a new start in a new town, away from her reputation. One that's no quite true but it's easier for people to believe the rumours rather than the person. But Denver can't shed who she truly is for long as her best friend and former friend with benefits, Greer turns up to declare what they have is far from over. Throw in a sexy bull rider called Ransom and you have yourself a love triangle.
I loved the background of each of the characters, the cattle roping, bull riding and barrel racing (I had to Google that one) was interesting and unique as I clearly hadn't heard of it before. I loved the setting to the story and thought it added a new dimension to the usual New Adult read. And picturing sexy cowboys wasn't too bad either ;-)
Denver was one tough cookie to crack. And I think readers will either get her or not. I've read about tough girls before, and they can seem cold and aloof but as long as you can see a chink in their armour or grasp their vulnerability then they have the reader on side. Denver didn't have me quite convinced, her self-depreciation was a bit of a downer, especially as I knew it not to be true so it did get a little repetitive at times and I wanted to give her a good shake. That's just how I felt, like I said you're either going to be for her or against her.
The bulk of the story focused on Denver and Greer's relationship, some of it was told via flashbacks and that allowed me to experience how their relationship began. This part worked well as it strengthened their characters. I did find it odd that Ransom's POV was mixed in at this part, he felt like an extra at that point and I felt we would have gained more if Greer had his say. It wasn't until 65% when Ransom's character came in to play, up until then he was aloof and brooding and it was only when his caring side came out that my interest was piqued, so I wish this was shown sooner. I think it would have made for a more interesting story if we got all three point of views, as this was one messed up triangle and everyone had secrets and agendas.
I struggled to feel a connection between Denver and either of her love interests, but she didn't love herself therefore how could she love anyone else. Her relationship with Greer started off pure until the lines were blurred and then it was a big ol' mess of feelings and heartache. And her relationship with Ransom was halted due to the circumstances. The situation that transpired between Greer and Denver was a huge ball of angst and left my mind boggling. My feelings and opinions were all over the place, this wasn't a bad thing, it was definitely thought provoking. I had one little niggle, Ransom being as smart as he was didn't put two and two together and question why Denver went to living in Greer's pocket to not speaking to him at all. I expected him to question this.
Lynetta Halat's writing pulls you in, no matter that I wasn't 100% in love with the characters, I still needed to know their story and there was so much drama and angst going on, it was like a train wreck I couldn't look away from. I have no doubt fans of gritty love triangles will devour this book and be held captive by Lynetta's words, it is a crazy ride like no other.
Used definitely had a lot going on for sure, Denver was trying to discover who she was, with and without Greer. Ransom stirred up feelings she felt she had no right to want and then at the end Ransom dropped at bombshell that could lead Denver down a very interesting path. I actually felt this revelation seemed out of place, as that part of Ransom's character wasn't hinted at and I hope it doesn't turn the series from something different into 'one of those books'. I'm hoping the author can continue to put her own flair on it. Also if this avenue is explored properly and in depth, it then comes away from the New Adult genre therefore, I'm not sure which direction the next book will take.
If you like your romances messed up, mind boggling and plain angsty then you will love Used. It will take you on a nail biting journey and leave you feeling well and truly used by the end and unsure of who you are rooting for.
Since the dawn of time, Lynetta Halat has lived to read and has written innumerable stories and plays. A lover of good books, bad boys, and kickass tunes, she'd always dreamt of penning books that people could connect with and remember. She also has a secret penchant for wringing the emotions out of unsuspecting readers, and she collects reader's tears in much the same way that wine connoisseurs collect their favorite vintage. Her first novel, Every Rose, was the perfect catalyst to launch her into the world of publishing, effectively burrowing her way into the hearts and minds of readers throughout the world. Everything I've Never Had was her follow-up adult romance novel. Now, she has penned Used, a New Adult Romance that she hopes sinks its teeth into you and doesn't let go. Her love of the English language prompted her to pursue a Master's degree in English from Old Dominion University in Virginia, where she also minored in snark and interpretive dance. She lives somewhere along the Mississippi Gulf Coast with her adorable husband, two amazing sons, and two loveable dogs. When she's not writing riveting stories, she likes to focus on her macramé art and her scouring of eBay, where she buys locks of hair from her favorite rock stars, most especially Bret Michaels and Dave Grohl.