(Crystal Gulf, #1)
Published by: Swoon Romance
Publication date: March 8th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
DESTROY ME is book one in the New Adult romance Crystal Gulf Series.
Bach lives his life with honesty and without restraints, happy to be known as a sexy as all hell, unapologetic asshole.
When he drinks, he drinks hard.
When he wants a woman, he makes sure she knows it.
When he opens his mouth, it’s either to piss someone off or to turn someone on.
You can normally find him with one hand on a bottle and one hand on a woman, trying to forget his past.
Harley Evans is ta wenty-one-year-old year old college student. She’s a good girl who fell hard for Dylan, who’d promised her forever. But Dylan, Bach’s best buddy, lied.
He enlisted in the Army, crushing Harley with equal parts anger and sadness. She’d already lost her father to that choice. Heartbroken, she falls back into depression.
Stuck in Crystal Gulf all summer with little to do, Harley needs a distraction. Enter Bach, sexy as f*#ck distraction, ready and willing.
Dylan’s not all bad though. Before he left, he asked Bach to watch out for Harley, knowing she’d never go for a guy like Bach. She’s too good for him. Too good for anyone.
But Dylan was wrong. He never should have left them together. Bach is there to pick up the pieces Dylan left behind. Soon pieces aren’t enough. He wants more, needs more Harley.
DESTROY ME is dark, sexy, heartbreaking, and intoxicating.
“I do.” Her smile is sad and hopeful. “Ever since I watched one of the social workers at school help this kid that was getting bullied. The look on his face knowing there was someone out there fighting for him always stuck with me. I want to help people. Imagine being that one person, that one ray of hope that gives someone the strength to keep going. Think of all of those kids who don’t have the support I was lucky to have growing up? I can’t give it to them, but I can show them how to give it to themselves. I know it sounds altruistic. I just always felt like it was important. Is that silly?”I once woke up in the middle of a hurricane. My arm was in a sling that Dylan’s grandma made out of old shoestrings and my face hurt like hell. Dad kicked my ass for dislocating my shoulder jumping out of Mr. Greer’s almond tree. The weather outside was making me shake. It was scary. No one cared that I was scared but Dylan, but Dylan couldn’t come out to play because he was in trouble for jumping with me. The old creaky house shook and the windows rattled. I just wanted it to stop. I crawled under the table in the kitchen, kneeling on top of old cigarette butts and beer stains and I prayed for it to stop. Over and over again, whispering it until my lips chapped. And just like that it did. I opened my eyes and looked out of the kitchen window. The sun was peeking through the clouds. The clouds were still gray, but I could see it. The most beautiful colors shone down. Orange, pink, yellow, and gold; it was shining right on my house. I got up and pressed my little face to the dirty window in awe. I knew right then and there that I would probably never see anything that beautiful ever again.
I don’t deserve to sit across from her. To share a bottle of wine with her. To see her smile nervously after saying something like that to me.
“It isn’t silly,” I promise her, my voice gruff. “It’s, you’re, it’s … Do it. I really hope you do it. I wish I had someone like you around when I was kid.”
She has no idea how much I want her good right now. She smiles as if we’re talking about grocery shopping. Not like she just took my favorite memory and shattered it.
“What did you want to be?” she wonders just as the waiter sets down two brightly colored salads.
“Did you want to order?” he asks.
“I want the spaghetti with marinara and chicken parmesan,” Harley says, licking her lips excitedly.
I want to eat off her plate. When it’s my turn I fumble with my menu. Since when do I fumble? “The clams. I’ll take the clams.”
“Excellent choice,” he congratulates before he leaves. I get the feeling he isn’t talking about the food, in which case I agree.
I watch her slice the tomato with her fork, pair it with a bite of fresh mozzarella and a basil leaf, and then dunk it into her balsamic dressing. “Mmm,” she moans, closing her eyes in bliss. “This is so good.”
Why did Dylan leave her with me? Me!
“Did you hear me? What did you want to be when you were a kid?”
She cracks up. “That’s either really cute, or really indicative.”
“Indicative of what?” I take a bite. I want to taste what she tastes.
She points her fork at me and waves it around. “All of this.”
“Oh. You mean all of this sexy panty ripping fantastic-ness?” I smile crookedly. We both know we both think that.
Shana Vanterpool has really given readers a true bad boy in Bach Bachmen. Alcoholic, check. Drug addict, check. Womanizer, check. Manwhore, check. Total Asshole, double check. I usually love the bad boy, because most of the bad boys I read about are really good guys underneath. But Bach is the real deal. I had a hard time liking Bach, and didn't grow to love Bach until I found out the reason for his bad boy ways. And then the boy broke my heart and it all became clear as to why Bach carries this bad boy persona. Bach's self-destructiveness was definitely taking him toward a serious meltdown if he didn't find help. With Dylan being Bach's childhood best friend, who also went through his own childhood abuse, Bach and Dylan only had each other and both were on a self-destructive path, until Dylan had a wakeup call that changed his life. When Dylan tells Bach he has enlisted and he's being shipped out to Afghanistan, Bach starts a fast downward spiral into parties, drugs, and women that's out of his control. Dylan was the one holding Bach together when the night terrors of his childhood abuse would revisit him and without Dylan, Bach is completely lost. That is until Bach agrees to watch over Dylan's girlfriend, Harley Evans.
Dylan was Harley’s forever, her true love, until Dylan did the unforgivable in Harley's eyes, she had vowed to never be with any man who is in the service. Harley is brokenhearted over Dylan's deceit and breaks up with him without giving Dylan a chance to explain why he had to enlist. Dylan still loves Harley and asks Bach to watch over his girl till he can return from Afghanistan and try to win her back. But the more time Bach spends with Harley, he starts having feelings he’s never felt for another person and realizes he's falling in love with his best friend’s girl.
Harley was really a love/hate character for me. I could understand why she had her rule about not being with any guy in the service. Even if I didn't agree with her in Dylan's situation. And I could also see why Dylan was afraid of telling her. I will leave my thoughts at that about Harley and Dylan's relationship. I will except that Harley was meant to be with Bach. Harley is good for Bach and without Harley's love, Bach would have definitely destroyed himself. I just hope Dylan will get his happily ever after in the next book in this series, because I love Dylan and he deserves a woman to love him.
I have one problem, and I don't want to sound like a prude, but with a lifestyle like Bach's, where he has unsafe sex with multiple partners, and when he just had a threesome the night before…I would have liked to have seen some safe sex practice and responsibility taken with Harley and Bach when they had their first time together. Not that Bach didn't try to tell Harley to wait and let him be tested first, or at least buy some condoms, because he did. So, I at least have to give it to Bach for trying to be the smart one. But Harley couldn't wait and seduced Bach. I say this because there is a lot of young readers who will read Bach and Harley's story, and in this day and time, with the number of diseases out there, I just would have liked it more had they practice safe sex in this scene.
I did enjoy Destroy Me and I do recommend it as a heartbreaking and heart-touching love story of finding the one you are meant for, the true love of your life.
4 Hearts for Bach & Harley
When I walk into a book store I feel at home. When I smell the pages of a brand new book things make sense. When I read I am who I always wanted to be. I read to escape and I write so others can as well. My family, my actress dog Bella, coffee, and a steamy love story are a few of my most precious things. My Sweet Demise is my debut new-adult contemporary romance novel. Keep up to date with future releases by following on Twitter: @shanavauthor
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