Wednesday, July 31, 2013



The Stella who emerges from the rubble of the bombing in Montana is a woman full of conflict. She knows she should be grateful that she lived when others didn't, but after waking in the hospital as a celebrity, complete with a new moniker, she's bitter and distrustful, questioning everything in her life. She's unsure of her friends, her new boyfriend, and her job. In addition, a face from the past reappears and threatens to take the one good thing in her life.

Stella attempts to deal with the new scrutiny of her life with her usual sense of humor, but she's filled with a new emotion that she tries desperately to hide: HATE. Her recovery is hastened by her determination to find the man who turned her into a walking scar. She's going to kill him; she needs to kill him.

Stella isn't alone. She has her close friends and her dog, Cooper. Will their support be enough to help Stella accomplish her plan, or will this endeavor be her undoing?

This book is intended for mature audiences due to strong language and sexual content.

My Review: 

OH MY SHIT!!! Where do I even begin? This book was freaking amazing! I won’t deny that you will get your emotions all twisted up and wondering “what the fuck just happened”. Trust me, it happened to me constantly throughout this book, but I loved it. This gives you a completely different feeling than from By a Thread, but a good different. RL did an awesome job that I felt that I was a part of the story. Just brace yourself for the roller coaster of emotions you are about to ride.

Stella had her life going for her. She had a great job, great friends, amazing boyfriend who adored her, a dog she loved; overall a wonderful support system behind her.  It was all taken away from her when the explosion occurred. The explosion left her damaged. Not only did it leave her physical scars that she would see every day, it left her emotional scars that she would remember every second of her life. She was the only survivor of those working in the tent that day. Stella hated what she saw in the mirror. Her body was left permanently scarred with what happened that day. The bullet wound pierced perfectly through her tattoo making it seem naturally a part of it. She was afraid George would never see her the way he used to again; he wouldn’t love her body like he once did.

I love how the story shifts back and forth from current present time to going back and recalling how Stella was recovering in the hospital in Montana. As soon as George finds out what happens to Stella, he rushes on a plane to makes sure she is okay. He goes back a forth between her and the bar until she is better and can move back home. He just got her back and he will do everything he can to keep her.  You definitely see the love he has for Stella. He has seen her recover from the loss of Jamie, but this is completely different. Stella is completely broken and is questioning everyone in her life. Will he be able to help Stella pick up the pieces this time around? Will Stella be able to trust everyone around her?  Has everything in the past 4 years been a complete lie? Who can she believe if the one person, her person, she completely trusted lied to her all that time?

Since that incident, Stella has made a name for herself. She has been known as the “FBI beauty.” She was being talked about everywhere.  Everything about her life was now available for the public to see, and there was no stopping it. While trying to recover from her injuries, the FBI was trying to investigate what happened and needed Stella’s cooperation. Despite her parents protest, she chose to go back home with George when she was released from the hospital. However, even though she was released, her job didn’t allow her to return to work. They kept making excuses for her return.  She doubted she would ever return to work there again.

George knows Stella better than anyone, even herself. He knows that the smile she puts on every day is a fake one, one that just makes everyone think she’s okay, but deep down she is not. But he loves her so much that he won’t push her. He will wait for her to come to him when she is ready to talk about what she is really feeling. He has never pushed her. As much as it pains him to see that she is keeping her true feelings from him, he wants her to come around on her terms. All he can do is show her how much he loves her and that he is in it for the long haul. Stella just wants to go back to living a normal life and he will do anything to try and make that happen. Getting shot haunts her every thought and causes her nightmares. She can’t seem to escape it. Those blue eyes torment her. She will never forget those eyes looking at her when the trigger is pulled. Jamie has actually tried to contact her a few times. Hatred fills her body and she wants nothing more than to seek revenge. Jamie has taken her life from her and she wants to avenge that. How? She has no clue. But she knows one thing for sure. George will not be a part of it. Stella feels that George deserves someone better, someone not as broken as her and someone that can commit to forever. And not someone who plans to do what she has in mind. She can never taint George with that.

Stella’s relationships with her friends have pretty much diminished. She hates Patrick for what he did to her. He lied to her all those years, when he knew the entire truth about Jamie. How could she trust him now? Since Millie was with Patrick, it put her in a tough spot. Patrick and Stella never told Mille the entire truth of what really happened between the two of them, so she doesn’t quite understand why they can't just apologize to one another. Jesse is the only person Stella can trust. She confides in him, more so than George. Jesse is an NFL player who Stella had a thing with when she and George broke up the first time around. Jesse understands Stella and what she is going through. He has faced a similar situation and has recovered from it. He is helping Stella cope. George doesn’t approve of their relationship, but there isn’t much he can do about it. Stella reassures him it is strictly friendship between the two of them and that their sexual chemistry is a thing of the past. However, the media likes to say otherwise.

Even after months have passed, there is no escaping the media. They are still camped outside of their doorstep, following her everywhere, and she is still on the news and the internet. After spending an amazing holiday with George, Stella goes back to Georgia to spend time with her parents. What George doesn’t know is that she will be using this time in Georgia to train, strengthen and prepare herself for Jamie.  Jesse is helping her train. Seeing Jesse and Stella together sends the media into a frenzy, sending George into a semi panic/fury. George is afraid that he will lose Stella. Although he feels that he needs to let her go, he loves her too much that he can’t. He will not and cannot lose her again. He will fight to keep her. Stella reassures him that the media is blowing things out of proportion.  After almost losing George, Stella finally starts to open up to him, but not about everything. Stella has one more plan to complete before she can head back home. 
Stella plans to get her life back in control. But what happens when her plan does not go according to plan?

Will Stella be able to get out of her situation safely? Will George be able to forgive Stella for not being completely open and honest with him? Will Stella ever be able to settle down and have a future with George? Will this be the final straw for George?  Will Stella ever be able to be open about everything with George?  Will she try and be the woman George deserves? Will Jamie capture her heart again? Will Stella ever move on from the explosion in Montana?

Stella is the bomb (no pun intended). This book shows the true strength the Stella has to overcome just about anything. Just when you think she has a break, shit starts to happen again. But she’s a fighter and although she struggles, she gets through anything that life throws at her. Yes she hit the bottom again, but she had George there to help her and she pushed right thought it. My heart honestly broke for George though. From the first book, he has always stood by Stella, even if it was just waiting for her to come around. In this book, he stayed by her side when she needed him the most. But she shut him out. She held out her feelings, and kept things from him. Stella should have been completely open and honest with him, just like he deserved. George knew that she was keeping things from him and he still didn’t push her. He never pushed her. He truly loved her. He accepted everything and stood by her. He is truly amazing. And to be exploited by the media was heartbreaking. Because he loved her so much, he could never walk out on her. I absolutely loved this book. The only thing however that I did not like was the terrible cliffhanger at the end. It will definitely leave you with, “OMG! WTF would she do that! RL is horrible!” because those were my exact words when I ended. RL, great job. Hurry up and get to finishing Seamless!

I received an ARC for my honest review. 

This review was done by Jennelyn. 


She heaved in the toilet for the third time in a row, but it was only bile now.  The noise echoed through the empty bathroom.  Hunching over the bowl, she tried not to grasp the sides with her hands.  Because she was more aware of her body and its reactions to stress, she hadn't eaten or had any coffee this morning, thinking maybe she wouldn’t get sick.  Pushing herself off of the cold tile floor and flushing the toilet, she spit the remaining bile from her mouth into the toilet.  Fighting the urge to wipe the excess saliva on the sleeve of her expensive suit jacket, she pulled a few squares of toilet paper off the roll and patted her mouth.  Pushing the door of the stall open, she examined the image she saw in the mirror. 
What she saw gave her pause and she stopped just shy of the sink to take in her appearance.  Her new outer shell was almost unrecognizable.  She’d recently cut her long black waves into a straight, chin-length bob, currently tousled.  Her weight loss over the past several months made her cheeks look sunken; she’d attempted to hide her sallow skin with makeup, but she still looked just a little bit haunted. The new grey suit she was wearing was wrinkled.  Irritated, she smoothed down the length of the pencil skirt to where it hit just above her knees.  Her soft pink shell underneath was chosen to make her look more fragile.  As if it’s possible to look any more fragile.  Some of her scars were visible above the collar of the shell; all perfecting the image Millie said she needed to show the world. 
Washing her hands quickly, she dried them and pulled out a comb.  Breathe.  She pulled the comb through her hair.   Her stomach rolled again and she dug in her pewter handbag for her medication.  She’d finally gotten around to going to the doctor, who diagnosed her with some sort of stress-induced disorder that causes her to throw up.  No shit, I diagnosed myself years ago.  Throwing the pill in her mouth, she swallowed it dry.  Reaching into another pocket, she pulled out lip gloss and reapplied the pink color to her lips, trying to feel the least bit “normal.” 
She popped a peppermint into her mouth and closed her eyes, counting to ten slowly before she pushed open the door and walked to the bench just outside the courtroom.  As soon as she sat down, the door opened and the U.S. Marshal assigned to the courtroom called her name.  Her heels clicked and echoed against the marble floor.  The courtroom was full, but she had tunnel vision.  She didn’t allow any of her terrified thoughts to enter her brain; she could break down later. In private.

            Making her way to the witness stand, she concentrated on not tripping in the six-inch black pumps she always wore.  They were her lucky heels for court and she needed them more today than any other day.  She took a deep breath, sat down on the stand and took her first glance at the defense table. Her entire body shook with fear at the sight of the man sitting in an ill-fitting suit next to his attorney; she knew the entire case rested on her testimony.  No pressure.  Shoving the fear down inside her, she folded her hands in her lap and stared at them. Calm.

"Stella Murphy.”

"Ma'am, please state your name for the record."  

About R.L. Griffin

R.L. resides in the Atlanta area with some cool dudes: her husband, son and two dogs.  She was born and By A Thread is R.L.’s second book, but is the first in a series of books.raised in the South.  She attended Georgia Southern University and moved to Washington, D.C. to intern in the United States Senate during the impeachment trial.  Falling in love with the city, she went to law school at American University, Washington College of Law. 



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