Read on for my review and **2** AMAZING giveaways!!
AUTHOR: Cassia Leo
GENRE: New Adult Contemporary Romance
PUBLISHED: February 22nd 2013
SOURCE: Review copy received from author for blog tour
Claire Nixon is a twenty-year-old college dropout with a secret.
To Claire, Adam Parker is just another flirty customer at the cafe, until a chance encounter and seemingly innocent comment spurs a bet between them. The bet is simple: If Adam can get Claire to reveal the secret that made her drop out of college, she has to re-enroll. If he doesn’t succeed, she gets to keep her secret and he has to stop stalking her at the cafe.
Claire thinks she has this one in the bag. She’s perfected the art of forgetting her past. But she isn’t prepared for Adam’s relentless pursuit or for him to share his own secrets. And she’s definitely not prepared for her rock star ex, and her secret, to come banging down her door one year later.
The tires squeal, skidding across the asphalt as the truck plunges toward me. I’m frozen as I wait for the impact. I close my eyes and the first and only thought that crosses my mind is that this was inevitable. I’m finally being punished for my sins.
The squealing stops and my nose fills with the stench of burnt rubber. I open my eyes as I feel the heat of the engine against my arm. The grille of the truck is inches away from me and a cloud of smoke surrounds the front of the truck. I hear a car door opening, but I can’t see anyone approaching through the smoke until he’s right in front of me, Jack Dawson.
“Are you all right?” he asks. I’m shaking with adrenaline, but I don’t have a scratch on me. I nod and he grabs my arms. “You look like you’re in shock. I should take you to the hospital.”
“No!” I shout as I shrug my arms out of his grasp. “I’m fine. I just want to go home.”
“I’ll take you.”
“You almost killed me!”
He lets out a sheepish chuckle and it infuriates me. “Which is why you should let me take you home, so you don’t step in front of any more moving vehicles.”
“You think it’s funny that you almost murdered me?”
“It would have been manslaughter. And, hey, I saved you from that ‘roid junkie this morning. I guess this balances that out. Now everything is right with the universe.” I curl my lip in disgust and he smiles as he nods toward the cabin of the truck. “Come on. I’ve already tried to manslaughter you once tonight. I promise I won’t try again for at least another twelve hours. You’re safe for now.”
I roll my eyes as I walk toward the passenger door. He skips after me and opens the door for me to climb in. I step into the truck, using the handgrip to pull myself up, and bounce down into the seat. It smells like the coconut-scented sunblock I’ve had to purchase by the case since moving to Wrightsville Beach. He shuts the door and I flinch, still jumpy from nearly being mowed down by this monster.
He slides into the driver’s seat, but his hands make no move for the ignition. “Why were you running across the street in the middle of the night without looking both ways?”
“I was just walking home from a party. Can we go now?”
“A party? Are you drunk?”
“I don’t drink.”
He cocks an eyebrow as he studies me, as if his gaze is the equivalent of a Breathalyzer test.
“Hey, I’m not going to sue you, if that’s what you’re worried about.”
“I’m not worried.”
Ugh. This guy is annoyingly cocky.
“Let me take you to lunch today to make up for almost killing you.”
I turn to look through the rear window of the truck. Where are all the cars? Not that this street is exactly buzzing past midnight, but I’m beginning to think I’m never going to get home if someone doesn’t come along and force him out of this intersection.
“I’m sleeping in today.”
He tilts his head inquisitively. “What do you mean by sleeping in?”
“I mean curtains drawn, eye mask on, electronic devices switched off. Dead to the world sleeping in,” I say as I pull the house keys out of my purse and set the purse on the floor next to my feet.
“Sleep is serious.”
“What are you some kind of health nut?”
“I like getting my rest after a night of partying.”
“You just said you weren’t drinking.”
“Are you going to keep asking me questions or are you going to take me home? ‘Cause I can walk.”
He smiles as he turns the key in the ignition and pulls the truck forward. “Cora was right about you,” he says, then reaches across the console and shakes my knee.
I slap his hand away, accidentally jabbing him with the keys in my hand. “Hey, there’s this thing called personal space. And how do you know Cora?”
“I don’t believe in personal space. Separateness is an illusion. We are all connected.” He turns to me and flashes me a cunning smile as he pulls into my apartment complex. “Welcome home.”
There is only one way he would know where I live and also know Cora.
“You’re the new tenant?”
He continues to grin as he guides his truck into the parking space next to Senia’s empty space and kills the engine. A million sarcastic remarks about living underneath the person who nearly murdered me whiz through my brain, but I keep them to myself. If there’s one thing I hate it’s getting on bad terms with a neighbor. I never had neighbors growing up in the middle of nowhere with my mom. When I stayed with Senia for a few months after dropping out, I couldn’t believe how friendly her family was with their neighbors. They have parties almost every weekend together. Cora has practically become a surrogate grandmother to me. The least I can do is show her new tenant some courtesy.
“Well, then, welcome home to you, too,” I say, determined not to let our neighborly relationship get any more awkward.
He glances down at the steering wheel, unimpressed with my attempt at easing the tension. “Don’t you want to know what Cora said about you?”
I open the car door and slide out of the truck, letting out a small grunt as I land on the pavement. “Nope. I think I’ll let Cora tell me herself. Goodnight….”
“Adam,” he says. “I’ll tell you my last name at lunch.”
I LOVED this! Is it May yet so that I can read the follow up, Pieces of You?! Cassia Leo is definitely now on my list of favourite authors.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from Relentless. You get an idea from the blurb but definitely not the whole story. Instead, the details are revealed bit by bit until you’re desperate to know more and can’t put it down until you find out.
Claire’s story was an emotional one. Her early life with her mother was not conventional. How can it be when your mother is a heroin addict and you’re the one who finds her dead from an overdose? She’s then shipped around to different homes before eventually settling at one when she’s 16. Claire’s happiness is short lived though and at the age of 20 she finds herself as a college drop-out who’s moved to another town to hide a guilty secret.
Claire meets Adam at the coffee shop she works at. She’s instantly attracted to him but doesn’t expect to see him again. Then she finds out he’s taken the empty apartment above her and soon their paths cross again. Claire finds herself feeling things she didn’t expect to be feeling again, not after what happened a year ago and definitely not after what happened more recently – the guilty secret she’s terrified will come out.
Relentless was such a pleasure to read. It dealt with heavy topics, in particular one I haven’t read about before. and it dealt with them well. It was heart-wrenching to read about Claire’s early life, I wanted to cry for her, especially since her past experiences influenced her present decisions so much. As each piece of the jigsaw that was Claire’s life was pieced together I just felt more and more sympathy for her that her life had ended up the way it did.
Adam was a real good guy. He made his intentions towards Claire clear from the start. He didn’t play games. He had his own painful secret to hide so he knew not to push Claire. The deal he made with Claire for if she revealed her secret to him though was a genius one because it benefited Claire so much.
I didn’t like Chris! I didn’t like that he pretty much emotionally blackmailed Claire. He knew that by telling her what he did she would react the way he wanted her to. I’m actually worried about Pieces of You and what’s going to happen!
I can’t say more than that, I don’t want to spoil it!
All you need to know is that you should read Relentless. You’ll (maybe) cry for Claire. You’ll love Adam. You might dislike Chris like I do! Oh, and in true best-friend-of-main-character fashion, Claire’s best friend, Senia, is brilliant!
Well done to Cassia Leo.
Cassia Leo grew up in Florida and moved to California after graduating with a degree in journalism. She worked at two small newspapers before discovering her passion for writing romance. Her favorite color is lavender and her dream is to one day score a record deal based on her awesome shower singing skills.
Ten Fun Facts About Cassia Leo
- Favorite movies: The Jerk and Waking the Dead.
- I’m four degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon.
- Favorite books: The Book Thief, Nineteen Eighty-Four, and Perks of Being a Wallflower.
- I’m tri-lingual and I’ve lived in three different countries; most recently, I spent six months in Portugal last year.
- Favorite movie quotes: From The Jerk, “My mother gave up everything to put me through cosmetology school,” and, “What’s happening to my special purpose?!” If you’ve read Relentless you won’t be surprised to know that I wrote a techno remix consisting of my favorite lines from Titanic. The first line of the song is, “I see the iceberg and I see it in your eyes.” Maybe someday I’ll record it and post it on SoundCloud. 😉
- My favorite word is wanderlust.
- Favorite music artists: Adele, Florence + the Machine, Agnes Obel, The Beatles, Rage Against the Machine.
- I can do a one-handed cartwheel.
- Favorite TV shows: Sex and the City, Homeland, Revenge, So You Think You Can Dance.
- I drink my coffee black and with a pinch of salt.
Follow The Rest of The Tour …
Cassia Leo has an EPIC giveaway running for the length of the Relentless tour!!
To be in with a chance of winning an iPad Mini plus a $25 Amazon or iTunes gift card, or one of 5 signed copies of Relentless just go to the
Ends 16th March. Open Internationally.
BUT THAT’S NOT ALL!!!!
Followers of Have Book Will Read have their own chance to win a signed copy of Relentless!! Go to the
This too is open internationally. Ends 22nd March.
Good luck 🙂