Because Of You, by Tara Sivec (review)

Brady Marshall has made a career of playing it safe. When he decides to do something rash and becomes a Navy SEAL, he thinks he’s finally escaped the rigid structure of the high society life his parents forced down his throat. All he does is trade in one set of rules for another. He follows military protocol to a T, but it still results in the death of an entire team of Navy SEALS and puts his best friends directly in harm’s way. He’s struggled to stay afloat and not drown in grief, guilt, and booze, but he’s losing that battle quickly. When his baby sister flees her abusive husband and shows up on his doorstep with his young niece in tow, he has no choice but to clean up his act. He will stop at nothing to protect them and never let them down again, even if it means taking a job that goes against everything he believes in. If protecting a pop star princess who thinks she’s better than everyone means he can keep a roof over their head, what other choice does he have?

Layla Carlysle has lived a life of luxury. She’s been a star since the young age of fifteen, and every record she releases shoots straight to the top of the charts. She has people surrounding her every single day telling her how amazing she is, how beautiful she is, and how lucky she is, but she’s never felt more alone in her entire life. She wants nothing more than to break free and do what she really wants to do: write her own music, sing her own songs, and find a way to finally be happy with her life. The only thing standing in her way is her mother, Eve Carlysle. Eve has controlled every single aspect of her daughter’s life and will stop at nothing to achieve fame and fortune, even if that means using her daughter to get there. When an overly­amorous fan’s letters become increasingly more sinister, Brady will have to suck up his opinion of how the other half lives to take the job seriously. The pair will need to learn to trust each other and put aside their differences before the letters become a reality and someone’s life is in jeopardy.

Brady has been to hell and back, and he refuses to let anyone else get close to him again. Layla has never lived her life for herself, and the emptiness is threatening to break her for good.

Sometimes our lives are already planned for us, but because of you, all of that could change in an instant.

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When I read the first of these series ‘Playing with Fire’ I absolutely categorically LOVED it (I know maybe a bit of an overkill, but I thought it was FAB!)  Tara Sivec’s style of writing not only carries the story fantastically, but it’s gripping and holds out hope all through the twist and turns of the story that it WILL have a happy ending even if it doesn’t!  (See what I did there?!)

Brady, is the most chauvinistic pig of an ass who thinks he knows it all (he snorts alot!) and I think when I first started to learn about his character in the previous ‘PWF’ book I thought he could be another Zack Mayo *sigh* (Richard Gere in ‘Officer and a Gentleman’) and imagined his large torso with square jaw taking over the…..anyway ahem.  Needless to say I was kept in the dark about his soft side!

Layla, however I thought was a pushover and generally a weak girl (ok she’s a lady but at first the way she’s goes around like a teenager was like my niece when she was 14 (Sorry Molz x).  As the story unfolds, I start to route for her knowing that at some point in the book she’ll stand up to those around her that push her around and hopefully start to sing her own music, rather than the pop music that she thinks the fans prefer.

Eve, the evil twisted mum wow, Tara Sivec portrayed this character so well (but didn’t describe what she looked like too much, which was good because obviously she wasn’t the main character!) and I enjoyed imagining her to be a bit like Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep in ‘The Devil Wears Prada’) but with fake nails and platinum fake hair.

My attention also was sidetracked (which is a good thing for me!) by Bradys younger sister Gwen, considering the fact that she had an abusive husband, little girl Emma to look after and her chauvinistic (I had to say it again!) elder brother (who is protecting his niece and little sister no matter what it takes) she is a rock and if I had a younger sister, I would love her to be just like Gwen.  Fun loving and always thinking forward to a life beyond what she’s been through, way to go Gwen and I see that as an inspiration and I think on some levels so does Brady.

A lovely romantic story with a twist of action and drama, and I enjoyed every moment of it which is why I read it so quickly!  Way too hard to put down, and I’m now looking forward to ‘Playing with Fire #3’ (Had a sneak peak at the end of this one, such a tease and can’t wait!)

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