Doing Something a little different today and review two books in a series together. The reason being I loved both these books and read them back to back. They are sweet, southern romance novels that are written with an innocence, and unpretentious nature, that to me were a breath of fresh air. These are self published Indie books that I think were well worth the cost. I got kind of upset reading some reviews on Amazon. (I guess Amazon's review in general irk me lately.) Being an author and a beta reader it's easy for me to pick out typos and grammar issues. Some reviews complaints that there were a lot of typos were off base, sometimes these are formatting issues when we convert to Kindle and have nothing to do with the author. I have read numerous self published works, and some were ones I couldn't even finish. But these I couldn't put down. Also yes there was a lot of profanity. But, I felt it was in context and was how these characters would speak in real life. It just added to the style of writing that Elliott was searching for. All that being said , here are my reviews for Wanted and Saved. Two books definitely worth your time.
Verbally abused by her mother for years, 18-year-old Ellie Johnson always believed she would never be loved or wanted by anyone. She focused all of her attention on her grades and getting into the University of Texas to start a new life away from her mother.
The last thing Ellie expected was to fall in love with Gunner Mathews, a starting linebacker for the University of Texas football team and not to mention, her brother's best friend.
Gunner only has two passions in life, football and his grandfather’s ranch, until he falls for his best friends little sister. He will stop at nothing to show Ellie how much he wants her, even if it means he has to move faster than she would like.
Gunner knows they are meant to be together forever, but Ellie keeps denying her feelings out of fear of being hurt again. Every time he gets close to winning her love, something pushes her away again. Will Ellie ever be able to let go of the past and let him into her heart, and will Gunner be patient enough to wait for her?
What will it take for them to realize they are all each other have ever WANTED?
Bottomline I loved this book. It was a quick read with characters I was able to get behind. The story was sweet, albeit with a lot of roadblocks thrown in front of them. I was unsure at times if Ellie and Gunner would ever find happiness. The group of friends it centers on certainly has some dysfunctions, and if they let some issues go things would be smoother. But then we wouldn't have a story would we?
I can relate in a lot of ways to Ellie, maybe that's why I loved the book so much. And Gunner is certainly a romance book lead. If men in real life were like Gunner, all us girls would be swept off our feet and never have a worry again. Really ladies, that's why we read romance books in the first place anyway.
I have to point out I was glad the second book was already out because the cliffhanger ending would have frustrated me. So....
Arianna and Jefferson’s love is true but will it be enough?
Ari who comes from a loving home with a family who has had more than their share of difficulties, is faced with possibly losing the love of her life. All she dreams of is growing old and having children with Jeff, but a family history and a conniving Rebecca could shatter that dream. Trying to support Jeff and cope with all the truths and possibilities of her own destiny may prove to be more than one person can handle.
Jeff’s dream is to raise horses on his ranch in Mason with the only women who has ever filled his heart and soul. But he’s running the risk of losing her by trying to be the man he knows he should be by taking on his responsibilities. He’s completely bewitched by the passionate and ever outspoken Ari, but needs to do right for the child that could possibly be his.
Despite all the odds stacked against them can their relationship be…..SAVED?
In the second installment Elliott ups the stakes and adds some more drama. I loved the look into Ari and Jeff's life, but felt like they deserved more of their own book. Not the jumping around that took place. As much as I love Ellie and Gunner, we could have gotten deeper into Ari and Jeff's story if the focus was on them.
Don't get me wrong, I still loved the book. There just was lot going on here. One of the things I love about Kelly Elliott is that she's true to herself and her characters. Sometimes when I read a book I am not looking for perfection. There was enough quality and great storytelling in here that I was able to overlook the things that were off.
One of the thing I like about her characters is their honesty and their demons. While some can criticize Ari for staying with Jeff when all hell was breaking loose around them, I would have done the same thing. She made her feelings known, but was trying to give him the benefit of the doubt.
One thing that did drive me crazy were Josh and Heather. I'm not really sure those two need to be together. They are probably the most dysfunctional of all the friends. They really need to get their acts together. Worth mentioning is the Grandfather, Garrett. He adds such little moments of comic relief that it would be easy to overlook him. But man, one scene in particular made me laugh out loud.
Bottom line on both these books, I really liked them and applaud Kelly Elliott for following her dream. I know how hard it is. And I really can't wait for the last book in the series, Faithful, coming out later this year.