Welcome to my stop on the Tragically Flawed blog tour, hosted by Inkslinger PR. Check out my review, then read a gues post by A.M. Hargrove on how she chose the title, TRAGICALLY FLAWED. Don't forget about the amazing giveaway at the end! Then, check out the other tour stops.
Published September 19, 2013
Format: e-book, obtained from the author and Inkslinger PR in exchange for an honest review
Genre: new adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble
Rating: 3 STARS
(From Goodreads) Riviera Benson’s past has been nothing but horrific. It’s filled with secrets that she intends to keep tightly locked away...terrifying secrets that keep her awake at night...that prevent her from getting close to anyone...anyone that is, until her work as a muralist drives her into the arms of the hot and sexy Shan.
Benjamin Shandon, owner of Shandon Homes, works like a thousand demons are chasing him...because perhaps they are. His business has boomed, ever since the forest fire swept through the canyon and destroyed hundreds of million dollar homes. He demands excellence in everything...from his employees to his women. He slows down for nothing, keeping a schedule that no sane person would want. But Riviera interrupts everything, twisting his guts inside out, and wedging her way into his heart, destroying a promise he made to himself.
Will they let their pasts control their future, or will they decide to let go and allow their hearts to discover each other’s?
The premise of Tragically Flawed interested me - a muralist (what a unique and fun job, BTW!) and a home builder fall in love on the job. The muralist is meek and afraid due to her tragic past. The home builder is gruff and grumpy due to his tragic past. Together they find a way to heal.
I'll tell you what - Tragically Flawed started off with a bang. We meet Riviera as she is painting in a home. She witnesses something while there that shocks and amazes her. As the reader, it was a bit confusing for me, as I didn't think she knew who Shan was yet. Once I realized that we were joining their story already in progress, it made a bit more sense. Even moreso when the next chapter backs things up by six months so that we could see how Riviera came to be in Colorado in the first place.
I really liked Shan. He was everything I love in a hero - strong, independent, a family man and slightly flawed. I loved his super protective instinct and how he tried to take care of Riviera (once he got over himself, that is). The protective guys suck me in every single time.
Riviera - honestly I had a problem with her. The poor thing had a horrific life up to this point. And, I mean the worst of the worst. Abusive parents. Abusive boyfriend. I get that the author was trying to present us with a girl who needed to find some real love for the first time in her life. But, it was all a little bit over the top. Pretty much anything you can think of that could've happened to a tragic figure, happened to Riviera. Just one of those things would've been enough for me to believe her. But, all of it seems almost impossible.
One would think with all that stuff happening in her life that she would barely be functioning, let alone strong enough to uproot, move hundreds of miles away, and within weeks start a new relationship with a strange man. I'd love to think it was her strength of character and will that propelled her to this place in her life, but I just had a hard time believing her.
The pace of Tragically Flawed was a little off for me. Once the past caught up with the events in the first chapter, things stalled a bit. It seemed like Shan and Riviera were caught in a loop, doing the same thing and not really moving anywhere. the dialog was the same. I counted 35 times when the term (or a slight variation of it) "I'm scared" was used.
However, the ending was pretty explosive and exciting. I enjoyed seeing the resolution of the conflicts and seeing Shan and Riviera finally get their HEA.And, on the heat scale, I give Tragically Flawed high marks. The story might be between two young twenty-somethings, but it reads like an adult novel.
Over all, that were a lot of things I liked about Tragically Flawed. And some things I didn't. But, I got through this quickly, it held my interest and I was really rooting for these two to figure it all out in the end. And, that's definitely saying something.
Guest Post... by A.M. Hargrove
Choosing a Title
This is one of the things that cause me the most angst (other than writing the blurb). Choosing the title for a book can be so difficult and frustrating because I want it to speak to the characters and the plot and finding the exact wording can sometimes be next to impossible.
So for Tragically Flawed, I ran through several different options. Both Shan and Riviera have been through some difficult times and carry some pretty deep battle scars. I shied away from the word scar because to me it represented something physical and theirs were deeper than that. So lots of times I’ll just pull out the old thesaurus and start hunting words similar to scar, but I still wasn’t seeing what I liked. Nothing was speaking to me.
Then I thought of Beautiful Scars, but the word beautiful is used in so many titles now that I want to be more original than that. So I’m back to the drawing board and pull out the thesaurus again. Now I’m scratching my head and pulling my hair out, because nothing is calling to me.
This is the frustrating part. I like to have my books titles pretty close to when I start writing the book. I don’t want my frustration to turn into anger because then I’ll end up with a title that’ll be awful and won’t work at all. So at this point I have to walk away from it and just continue to write and pray the clouds will part and the light will suddenly shine through.
So one day, as I’m writing a scene, there’s dialogue taking place between Riviera and Shan. She’s telling him about her flaws. And then it happens… the clouds parting thing.
Words start pouring through my head and I’m instantly filled with several phrases. Now my thing about titles is short and sweet. I’d love to stick to single words and did that for my Guardians of Vesturon series. But sometimes that doesn’t always work out. And I’m not a fan of titles that go something like this: The Girl Who Had So Many Flaws She Didn’t Know What To Do So She Decided To Become A Muralist. I’m more of a two to three word title fan. I know Flawed isn’t enough so I’m back to my thesaurus and I land on tragic and voila.
But that’s only the beginning. I won’t use a title that’s already been used. I run it through Amazon, right until the final cover is completed. I want the title of my book to be the only one with that title. Now after it’s published, there’s not a damn thing I can do about it. But beforehand, I do all my homework to make sure there are no other books with that same title.
I do have a funny story about that though. When I titled my book, Kissing Fire, I did the same search on Amazon that I always do and nothing showed up. I searched it repeatedly right until the cover was made. Then about a month after it was published, I met my now good friend, Rebecca Ethington, who is the amazing author of the Imdalind series, of which Kiss of Fire is book one in that series. We laugh about it but I learned after that about searching all word derivatives too.
So, I came up with Tragically Flawed, found there were no titles by that name and here I am. And that’s how I title my books. By the way, if you think you have some good title suggestions, send them my way. I’m always looking for new ideas.
About the Author
So began A. M. Hargrove's career as a YA/NA and Adult Romance writer. Her books include the following: Edge of Disaster, Shattered Edge and Kissing Fire (The Edge Series); The Guardians of Vesturon series (Survival, Resurrection, Determinant, reEmergent and Beginnings); Dark Waltz and Tragically Flawed.
Other than being in love with writing about being in love, she loves chocolate, ice cream and coffee and is positive they should be added as part of the USDA food groups.
Learn more about A.M. Hargrove --> Website / Facebook / Twitter
One lucky winner will walk away with an iPad Mini and a necklace that was designed by Kim at Nair & Bjorn after the one that Shan gave Riviera in Tragically Flawed. The necklace is open for US and Canada residents only. In the event the winner is from outside the US, an Amazon Gift Card of comparable value to the iPad will be given and the 2nd place winner will receive the necklace.
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