Wednesday, 29 June 2016

BLOG TOUR: Into the Nothing by BT Urruela

Title: Into the Nothing
Series: Broken Outlaw #1
Author: BT Urruela
Release Date: June 21, 2016

Xander Evans has been on the road for many years. Never settling. Always moving from one place to another, unable to let go of his past. He lived a tragic childhood, spending most of those years in foster care. He's never felt like he's had a home. That is until he stops in the small town of Truman Valley, Missouri, where he meets a woman who will change everything he's ever known.
Paige Watson has it all. A loving family, beautiful home, and a great career. The only thing she's love. After escaping an abusive relationship, she opens her heart up to a stranger. He is unlike any man she's ever met. He came into her life and turned it completely upside down. Everything is perfect. That is, until one fateful night. 
A night that would tear the Watson family apart, never to be put back together again. 
A night that would send Xander away to prison for life.

"How about twenty questions?" I ask.
"I hate twenty questions."
"How about five questions, then?"
He cracks a smile and lifts an eyebrow. "How about three?"
"So, have I mentioned how much I f*cking hate Tuesdays?" Brandi's voice cuts right between us. Xander looks relieved.
Me? Not so much. "Damn it, Brandi!"
"Oh nothing. Can you grab me Fireball though? Pretty please. Two of them." I look at Xander. "You're taking one."
"Three. I am too, b!tch! F*ck Tuesdays!" Brandi calls out from across the bar as she begins filling the shot glasses from the Fireball chiller.
"Question one. You said you’ve been traveling for a while now, right? Do you ever get tired of it? Ever feel like settling?”
"Damn. Starting out with the heavy hitters, huh?" He eyes the shot glasses as if hoping it will somehow make them fill faster.
"Need me to go easier on you? Maybe a finger or two first before I go in with the whole fist?"
He looks at me in disbelief. "Did you really just say that?"
"Just answer the question, two fingers or three?"



Well, well, well… Not sure what I was expecting, but this wasn't it... that's a good thing, I swear... just bear with me...

Before anything else, this may not have anything to do with the book, but I do want to give a shout out to BT. I’ve been stalking, I mean following him, on various social media platform and I couldn’t be more impressed at the things he’s accomplished, never mind his looks. What?! Have you seen him?? *g* He’s very engaging and I always enjoy perusing his SM accounts, just saying…

Even though I own a copy, I haven’t had the opportunity to read A Lover’s Lament, which he co-wrote with another author, but this one is his first solo attempt. For his first solo write, I say not bad… The opening of the story grabs you immediately; that’s for sure.

Xander has quite the past, tragic at that. He was full of secrets, a transient at heart, and Paige’s town just happened to be one of the ones he was passing thru. He met Paige and her dad by fluke, and what was meant to be temporary ended up not being so. Paige and her family took him in, feelings starting to grow until that fateful night, that is. 

I really really wanted to love this. It’s got the elements I usually enjoy in my romance reads. Just hear me out... I'll talk about the things that didn't quite work for me BUT there are definitely things that worked for me...

Where I may have had some issue is the pacing. While I appreciated all the details, which allowed for relationship building, it felt like it made the pace quite sluggish. It made me wonder if the way the timeline was laid out got me impatient, especially with such a captivating start. And because I couldn’t quite match the pace, I admit it did affect how I felt about the characters. As well-fleshed out the MCs were, there was a bit of detachment that I couldn’t help but feel. Consequently, I questioned some of their actions and the maturity of some of their decisions, and as much as I’m one for lots of dialogues, some felt superfluous. 

Then, on the other hand, it felt like too many things were crammed at the end. Things that I felt could’ve been expounded on more to make for a more dramatic impact. Mind you, the ending has quite an impact as it is.

BUT, BUT, BUT... Having said all that, while the execution was not necessarily on point in my mind, the story itself is quite unique and definitely not predictable. I had no idea where BT was taking these characters. There was foreshadowing that was handled deftly. There were really heavy issues tackled, issues that BT did not appear to shy away from and that’s quite gutsy. And while I did not quite warm up to the female characters including Paige, the male characters were fascinating and engaging, which included Irish and Twitch in addition to Xander. Xander really was the highlight of this book. He’s flawed, made bad decisions, and has quite a bit of issues but in the end, he’s as stand-up as stand-up get. BT also didn’t give me a traditional ending, which left room for some contemplation and speculation, which I appreciated. 

I think BT could have even taken this onto the darker side, but I understand a more contemporary approach will widen his market. That's just me... And I sincerely believe that in time, BT will only get better as he hones his craft. 

So like I said, for his first solo write, not bad, not bad at all…

BT Urruela was an infantryman in the US Army from August 2004 until February 2011. At the end of a year long tour to Baghdad, Iraq, his vehicle was hit by two roadside bombs, which took his right leg below the knee and the life of his commander. He was awarded a Purple Heart for his wounds, an Army Commendation Medal, and Combat Infantryman's Badge. He medically retired from the Army in 2011 and moved to Tampa, FL where he currently works as a Director and Brand Ambassador for VETSports, a veteran community sports nonprofit he co-founded in 2012. He also conducts motivational speeches, works as a cover and fitness model and he's a personal performance trainer. He co-wrote the military romance novel A Lover's Lament and will be releasing his debut solo novel, Into the Nothing, on June 21st, 2016.

Thanks for dropping by!


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