Thrown Down by Tessa Bailey
Series: Made in Jersey, #2
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: April 4, 2016
Also by this author: Line of Duty series
Other books in the series: Chrashed Out, Worked Up
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5 THROWN DOWN STARS (★★★★★)
*** Disclaimer: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review. However, this doesn’t affect my opinion of this book and the words in this review. ***
I have a lot of books from Tessa Bailey on my ‘want to read’ list, but Thrown Down was the first one I actually read. I was really excited, because I heard a lot of good things about this writer. And all those good things were proven to be true. Thrown Down is an amazing emotional rollercoaster that has me yearning for more. Lucky for me, I’ve got a couple of Tessa Bailey’s books on my Kindle waiting for me.
Vaughn is back in town, after leaving River behind four years ago. They fell in love when River was still in high school. Vaughn left all those years ago, never to return again, but couldn’t stay away when he found out he has a daugther with River, called Marcy. Vaughn is back to fight for his family, to prove to them and himself he can be the man and father they need him to be. River is reluctant and wants him to leave. She lost all trust in him after he broke her into little pieces and she can’t and won’t expose their daughter to such a risk. The risk of him disappointing her, when he leaves again. Nevertheless, she can’t turn of the feelings she has for him. The sexual tension between the two will always be burning hot. And if she doesn’t know how to keep those cemented walls up to guard her’s and Marcy’s heart, Vaughn might be able to seduce her into trusting him again and letting him in completely. However, only if he knows how to change his ways….
To provide for her and her daughter, River has taken on two jobs, working at the factory and serving drinks in a bar at night. Her parents left Hook a while ago and she’s also been abandoned by her best friend Jasmine, who’s getting married to River’s brother Sarge. They both live in Los Angeles now. Which left River to fend for herself. It made her independent, strong, though and a very hard worker.
Vaughn is a broken guy, who was left by both his parents when he was little. He’s never thought much of himself and the wrong people know how to play into his insecurities. He’s intense, bossy, protective, jealous very quickly and he has a really dirthy mouth. A dirty mouth that can melt your panties right off of you. The demons that were created by his past make him insecure. He doesn’t believe he’s good enough for River, never has. He even things he has been holding her back of a great life outside of Hook, that she was destined for. No matter how much he loves River, he’s never been able to completely put his walls down and communicating has never been his strong suit.
The book starts off with a steamy prologue. There are more steamy scenes in the rest of the book. Those scenes are described in a very talented way, which makes you feel every touch and every kiss to the deepest part of your soul. Tessa Bailey knows how to engorge you into the story with her words. You get to feel every feeling along with the characters. A great example is when Vaughn told River he’s finally going to tell her everything. I was longing to hear every word, I even felt the anticipation. And when he was talking, I hung unto his lips. It had everything to do with the words Tessa Bailey picked and how she placed them into beautiful sentences, but that’s not all. Yes, the writing is exceptional, but the storyline is too. So, it’s a combination of Tessa’s writing and her ability to form a special story. Don’t even get me started on that extraordinary last part.
The characters seemed to come alive with every turned page. It was very addictive to keep reading about them and I didn’t know how to put the book away and leave River and Vaughn’s world. I didn’t need prodding to get hooked into the story, because that happened from the very first words that described Vaughn’s thoughts. River and Vaughn’s story started out very sad, but eventually turned into something very precious. They nestled their way into my heart and I know they won’t be leaving their place there soon. It doesn’t matter though, because I don’t want them to leave. Their story was a very emotional one to read about, but it was exceptional and showed that love can be enough to change a person for the better. It can make you grow and heal are your wounds.
Thrown Down is a pageturner about second chances and earning back trust. It’s about letting your guard down and breaking down your high walls to let people back in. It’s about letting the secrets and demons go and receiving everlasting love in return for your honesty. Thrown Down contains an intense, steamy and heart rending tale. I can’t wait to read the other books in the series. Crashed Out (Jasmine and Sarge’s story) is already waiting for me, though I don’t know if Jasmine and Sarge could ever make me feel the same way River and Vaughn just did.
Forty-nine months and three days.
That was how long it had been since he’d seen her.
Vaughn swayed to the right, his shoulder slamming up against the wall. Then he kind of just hung there, counting forward and backward from one to ten. Not helping. Not helping. His stomach pitched at the sight of River walking through the drunks, like a nurse walking among the wounded on a battlefield. She could still knock his lights out on sight. Not that he’d doubted it for a second. But God, if it were possible, she’d grown even more beautiful over the last forty-nine months. Her blond hair was tied up in a ponytail, a pencil stuck through the base, in a way he remembered well enough to make his throat go raw. In a short black skirt and fitted white T-shirt, River tried to look the part of indifferent barmaid, but didn’t pull it off.
Not by a stretch.
Eyes Vaughn knew were just a shade darker than cornflower blue flitted to each table, and her fingers tugged on the skirt’s hem self-consciously every time she approached a new one. When she fumbled with the notepad, recovering with a nervous laugh, a choked sound left Vaughn. “Riv,” he whispered.
She looked up so fast, he might as well have shouted. The sudden impact of having River’s focus on him after such an extended period of time without it released a rushing sound between his ears, blocking out the sad lounge act…and apparently someone asking if he needed a table. Because when Vaughn snapped back to reality, a man he towered over by at least a foot was in his face. Snapping his fingers.
“I wouldn’t…” Vaughn shook his head to clear it, experiencing a resurgence of anger, this time for having his attention diverted from where he needed it to be. On River.
“I wouldn’t advise snapping your fingers in my face again.”
“Why’s that, huh?”
A toss of blond hair snagged Vaughn’s gaze as his angelic ex-girlfriend zigzagged through the crowd, drawing more than just his notice. Ah no, quite the opposite. She was putting on an unwitting show for every man in the room, attracting lecherous looks by virtue of being her beautiful self, light in a dark tunnel, same way she’d always been.
Finger snapped in front of his face. Again. “This is my place and I asked you a question.”
“This is your place?” Vaughn asked. God, one hour back in Jersey and already his accent had thickened from water to oil. “You hired River Purcell to clean up tables?”
Vaughn plowed a fist into the underside of the man’s jaw, watching him fall backward onto the sticky concrete floor with detachment that slowly morphed into satisfaction. So much for calm, he thought, shaking out his right hand.
ABOUT TESSA BAILEY
Tessa Bailey is originally from Carlsbad, California. The day after high school graduation, she packed her yearbook, ripped jeans and laptop, driving cross-country to New York City in under four days.
Her most valuable life experiences were learned thereafter while waitressing at K-Dees, a Manhattan pub owned by her uncle. Inside those four walls, she met her husband, best friend and discovered the magic of classic rock, managing to put herself through Kingsborough Community College and the English program at Pace University at the same time. Several stunted attempts to enter the work force as a journalist followed, but romance writing continued to demand her attention.
She now lives in Long Island, New York with her husband of eight years and four-year-old daughter. Although she is severely sleep-deprived, she is incredibly happy to be living her dream of writing about people falling in love.