Series: No Apologies, Book 1
Author: Sybil Bartel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Rating: 5 Notes, 4 Flames
Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided to me by Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.
Glimpse My Thoughts: OMG, there are no words for how touching this book is! Praise to Sybil Bartel! A new author but already a master at writing beautifully broken characthers!
Hard-edged rocker Graham Allen has it all. He's flush with cash from playing bass in a band by night and restoring classic cars by day. And there are plenty of women willing to share his bed for a night, complication-free. Perfect, because if there's anything he learned from his past, it was to never get attached—to anything. So when bartender Carly Sullivan flashes her innocent smile, Graham isn't prepared for what happens next.
Never fall in love
Two rules, that's all Graham has—never apologize and never fall in love. He knows Carly is everything he should avoid. Cheerful and sweet, she has "relationship" written all over her. But Graham can't stay away from her probing questions and concerned blue eyes.
When Graham discovers Carly is hiding a crushing secret, he's prepared to risk it all. Until in one single moment, everything changes and Graham's past threatens to collide with his future. His life is crumbling down around him, and soon no apology in the world can save him.
He should've known to walk away.
I had no idea, when I selected No Apologies on Net Galley as a new read, that I had found a Diamond in the Roth! Going in with absolutely no expectations, I was pleasantly surprised by how easily Sybil Bartel pulled me in and made me love the beautifully broken Graham Allen! No Apologies is one of those books that will emotionally drain you, spin you upside down, and spit you out with a slither of hope that sometimes bad things happen to really good people as preparation to make them stronger!
Having been traumatized from a very early age, by the person who is responsible for protecting you the most, Graham has developed a hatred for women that spans his lifetime. Never apologize and never fall in love becomes his mantra and boy does he go about living it to it's fullest extreme. Graham's character is the epitome of an asshole who doesn't care about anything but himself. At least that's what he tells himself.......until he starts stopping by his local bar nightly just to see Carly smile.
As a heroine who is broken herself, Carly inspires a sense of hope that people who have gone through tragedy can still become authentic, caring, and kind. I was touched by her loyalty and her ability to forgive Graham even when he goes tooo far and hurts her. At times I wanted to yell and scream at her that she deserved better, however she keeps going back because she has done the one thing many folks on the outside have failed to do....see Graham for who he really is.
In addition to loving the two main characters, the supporting character of Myles kicked but. Myles was there for Graham even when Graham was being destructive. Myles was patient, understanding and not afraid to knock some sense into Graham when he went to far. Loved loved loved these two as friends and can't to read Myles's story in the next book. Having his own tragedy, Myles is bound to reveal more when his story gets explored.
I absolutely loved the complexity of this story and Bartel's ability to portray the tragedy in all of it's ugliness. I felt emotionally spent at the end of this book but in a very good way. Seeing both Graham and Carly emerge from the ashes of their separate tragedies was nothing short of a miracle and awe inspiring. I won't give away more details on the overall storyline but will leave you with a quote that rocked me to the core!
I broke once. Twelve years ago. I almost didn't come back. I wasn't going to break again. No woman would ever have that power over me again.
If you are looking to for a little inspiration from a new kid on the block, give Sybil Bartel a shot. No Apologies is worth every damn minute and every tear you will shed. I can't wait to get my hands on the next book which will feature her supporting characters from this story, Myles and Sam. I'm giving this one 5 Notes and 4 Flames.