Romance Books

Book Review – Overflow and Beautiful Life by Brynne Asher

Overflow:  Gabrielle Carpino has forced herself to move through the motions of life over the past few years since tragedy touched her family. Closing herself off from living her life and refusing to look in the future has become her norm…that is until one day at a clients home where she’s thrown into a tailspin of craziness!
Gabby’s awakening begins as she is cuffed and patted down by Special Agent Jude Ortiz, with his dark chocolate eyes and a commanding bossy way that Gabby just can’t resist. When Jude’s protective instincts kick in, he finds himself wrestling feelings he hasn’t allowed in years and he moves in to watch over Gabrielle. Between battling criminals, flooded basements, fantasy football drafts and Gabby’s crazy family, Jude finds himself unable to resist her beauty and quirkiness.
What begins to look like a chance at happiness for Gabby and sexy Jude Ortiz, it could all be ripped away when past demons are forced into the light. Jude fights off the demons around them creating a safe place for Gabby to allow herself to overflow and live again.

Beautiful Life: Webster’s defines to heal as “to make healthy, whole or sound; restore to health, free from ailment.” But Webster’s also defines to heal as “to free from evil; cleanse; purify: to heal the soul.” My soul is shattered.
I’m one hell of a mess because I need both and I don’t know how both can possibly happen. Sure, I know my body will heal. I understand the science of healing, it’s my profession. But I sense the ache in my heart and fear in my head will never heal. Can I ever recover from losing an unborn child at the hands of my abusive husband? Will I ever learn to think for myself again? No, I’ve been trained to fear those who are supposed to love me, conditioned to watch my every move and word so as to not suffer the consequences. I don’t think being healed will ever be a possibility for me.
Or I didn’t until Tony Carpino fixated himself in my life.
Tony is patient. Determined. He knows exactly what I need even before I do. He’s wants to give me everything, make my life beautiful when my life has always been ugly. But as perfectly determined and patient as he is, I don’t know if I can ever be whole again. It doesn’t matter how long I’ve wanted him…and I’ve wanted Tony Carpino for a long time.
This is a story of heartache and broken souls. A story of being exactly what the one you love needs when they need it, even if it goes against every being of your nature. Because love isn’t love unless it’s selfless. Can Tony love Leigh enough to heal the demons that haunt her broken soul and have the woman he missed out on years ago?

Overflow:  4 out of 5 stars; Beautiful Life:  3 1/2 out of 5 stars

My review of both:  Overflow and Beautiful Life follow the Carpino family.  You hear Carpino and you think “mob” in New York or Boston.  These Carpino’s are from Omaha, Nebraska.  And they are definitely not mobsters.

Overflow is the story of Gabby Carpino.  Gabby lost her parents in a car accident four years earlier and has not opened herself up to anyone.  She was working as an interior designer at the home of one of her friends when the FBI storms into the house and she is pressed against the wall and frisked.  She is frisked by agent Jude Ortiz.  Jude is instantly drawn to Gabby.  And Jude is the ultimate alpha male.

I freaking loved Jude.  Gabby was a little annoying with her insecurities and trust issues in the beginning, but I liked her much more as I read on.  This story had some great suspense and the bedroom scenes were very steamy.  Really liked this book.

Beautiful Life is the story of Tony Carpino.  Tony is Gabby’s cousin, who is really more like her brother.  The book starts with Gabby’s best friend Leigh being beaten by her husband, then divorcing him.  Tony has had a thing for Leigh for years, and now sees his opportunity to make her his.  Tony is also an alpha male, not as much as Jude.

Tony was incredibly sweet with Leigh, taking things really slow with her while she healed from her years of abuse at the hands of her husband.  He gets her a dog, moves her into his house and takes care of her.  He was so sweet.  This book didn’t have the “suspense” that the first book did, but it was still as good.

I would recommend both books and I’m looking forward to the third.

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