November 9, 2015

Review - Untamed by SC Stephens

My 5 Star Review 

I am not sure I have ever been so conflicted over a book. First, I love this series so much and I actually always loved Griffin, but this book really tested my love.

First, in the beginning Griffin made me want to pull my hair out and scream at my Kindle. He was so self-absorbed and really just a complete D-Bag. I won’t lie in the beginning I laughed at his antics, as a person who usually surrounds herself with male friends I can handle crude. It just started to be too much after awhile.

HOWEVER, I actually think his behavior was necessary for the story and accurate to that of a rockstar. This is why I am conflicted, how can I hold his character against him when it is an accurate protrayal and completely necessary for the stories development. I don’t usually harp on any one thing about a story, but I feel it is necessary here because I want readers who are easily aggitated with Griffin’s behavior to push through. He is worth it!

In the end, I absolutely loved Griffin! Yes, loved him so hard and was cheering for him. I was completely behind him and wanted his success so much that I stayed up reading late into the early morning. I loved how Stephens gave us a new story line that was unique to Griffin and Anna. I loved the concept and was completely engaged.

Griffin with his family and the time with Anna and his girls was priceless, swoon worthy and real. I loved how Griffin learned to appreciate the people and opportunities he has been given, but he still remained true to his character. He was still highly sexual, vulgar and hilarious. I also loved that Anna was his absolute perfect match. She understood Griffin and wanted the same things. She loved Griffin for who he was, not what he did or what he could give her.

This story felt more real to me than most stories I read. Like I said it wasn’t always pretty, at times it was ugly and made me angry, but the realness and emotional growth sold me. I loved this story and highly recommend it. I will warn you that Griffin will test your patience, but he is worth loving and believing in.

ARC kindly provided in exchange for an honest review. 

“What was all that about? And what did you mean at the end there? You are a part of this band, Griffin. You always have been, and you always will be.”
Pushing him back a step, I snapped, “It’s a little late for the pep talk, bro. If you think I’m so valuable, you could have stood up for me in there.” I lifted my arms for emphasis. “It gave me the warm and fuzzies how you let him walk all over me.”
Kellan sighed. “It’s complicated, Griff. Matt’s a genius on guitar…he’s…it’s his instrument, the one he’s born to play. But us saying that isn’t an insult to you. You’re amazing on bass, gifted even. It’s just…we each have our part, you know? And we have to do them the best we can.” He put a hand on my shoulder. “For the sake of the band, I’m asking you to let this go and just…forget about lead. Please?”
I could only stare at him. I felt numb inside. Was this what giving up your dream felt like? For as long as I could remember, I’d wanted all eyes on me—I’d wanted to be the center of attention. Matt had never wanted that. But he was given the instrument that shone while I was given the one that everyone forgot about. My part was designed to blend, designed to go unnoticed. It was everything I wasn’t, and I was sick of being stuck with it. I wanted more, but they wouldn’t give me more.
Without answering him, I turned and walked away, toward the house. What could I say to that anyway? Matt had just permanently rejected my chances at ever being lead guitar. Forgetting was the only thing left that I could do. Forget, or stew, and right now, I wanted to stew.
When I got back to the living room, Jenny and Rachel were there working. “Need something, Griffin?” Jenny asked, her pale eyes practically sparkling with happiness.
Ignoring both her good mood and her question, I called out for Anna. “She’s upstairs with Kiera,” Rachel quietly replied.
Harrumphing some sort of thank-you, I began plodding my way to the stairs. Fucking stairs. I stomped up them, cursing my bandmates with each step. I imagined that the carpet treads under my feet were their squishy faces. I felt a little better by the time I reached the top. “Yo, Anna! Where are you?”
Both Anna and Kiera instantly appeared in a bedroom door frame. Simultaneously, they both put fingers to their lips. “Shhhhhhh,” they both scolded.
I was tired of being reprimanded today, so I didn’t lower my voice any. “Wake up Gibson. We’re leaving.”
Anna instantly edged around Kiera to step into the hallway. “What’s wrong?” she asked me, while Kiera stepped out of the room behind her. The two sisters were pretty similar, but Anna definitely had a lot more curves than her slimmer and straighter sister. Generally I appreciated those curves, but at the moment, I just wanted to shove them into the car and get out of here.
“There’s no point being here right now, so we’re leaving. Actually, there’s no point in ever coming back here, so we’re leaving.” I opened the door closest to me, hoping I’d find my sleeping daughter behind it. Nope. Empty.
I moved to try another door, but Anna stepped in front of me. “Let’s go outside, get some fresh air.”
Dramatically tossing my hands in the air, I gave up. “Fine.” What did it matter, since nothing was working for me today anyway?
I headed back to those goddamn stairs while Anna told Kiera she’d be right back. Not waiting for my very pregnant wife, I sped down the steps and out the door. The fresh air on my face helped calm me down a little, but I was still riled up. I paced the front porch while I waited for Anna. Those sanctimonious assholes.
“Griff?” A soft touch on my shoulder spooked me, and I jumped. Turning, I saw Anna behind me, her green eyes worried. “What’s going on?” She indicated the front step, and I grudgingly sat down.
Once I was seated, my mood dropped. I’d started the day so positively, knowing without a shadow of a doubt that this tour was going to be the one. But not anymore. It was going to be the same old crap. Dropping my head, I slumped over. Anna sat beside me, and her fingers lightly caressed my back in a soothing pattern. It helped my residual anger, but not my rising disappointment.
“One song. I asked for one fucking song…and they wouldn’t even give that to me…” I studied my fingers in my lap while my dreams dissolved in my hands. “Matt just told me that he’s not ever going to give me a chance to play lead, and the rest of the guys agreed with him. I’m done…forever stuck on bass…forever in the shadows. I just wanted one song, one moment in the spotlight.” With a sigh, I looked up at her. “Four minutes? Is that so much?”
Anna’s eyes were heavy with sympathy. Reaching up, she threaded her fingers through my hair. “No…that’s not much at all.”
I nodded and dropped my vision to my lap again. “Yeah, I didn’t think so either. But they can’t even give that to me.” The anger resurfaced, wrapping disappointment around it like a blanket. “Between me and you, babe, sometimes…I really don’t like those guys.”
Anna kissed the back of my neck and wrapped an arm around my shoulder in sympathy. “I’m sorry, Griffin.”
Closing my eyes, I let her comfort wash over me. At least there was one person on earth who gave a shit about me.

 S.C. Stephens Q&A
1. What do you think readers will be surprised to see from Griffin in UNTAMED?
I think readers will be surprised to see how much he grows in this book. He’s evolved a lot since Thoughtless, but that growth is nothing compared to Untamed.

2. What’s your favorite quote or scene from UNTAMED?
Oh man…there are so many! But my ultimate favorite scene is at the end. I don’t want to spoil it, so I can’t really talk about it, but he lets his guard down and is completely open and vulnerable. It’s such a shocking difference from how he normally is that it really gets to me. I choke up every time.

3. What are three things we’d find on your writing desk?
My iPod, my laptop, and my Ned Stark figurine. He helps keep me focused, because… Winter is coming.

4. If UNTAMED was being made into a movie, who would you want to play Griffin?
Chris Hemsworth. And I would need to be on set every day.

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