Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Blog Tour: Review & Excerpt of These Battered Hands by Laurel Ulen Curtis

Author:Laurel Ulen Curtis
Publisher: Self
Date of publication: September 29, 2015


Blood, sweat, hard work, and a disconcerting lack of tears—my entire life—was meant to culminate in a flourish of glory and significance.
I’d thought I’d always known exactly what that meant.
But I’d had the timing wrong by about three minutes.
I knew now.
This moment wasn’t everything. The one person I found myself wanting more than anything during it was.


One preconceived notion can haunt you for the entirety of your life.
I thought I owed it to myself and to everyone who’d ever backed me to do what was expected. What was right. What I was supposed to do.
But nothing is forbidden in love. Not circumstances or propriety or the denial of the object of said affection.
I knew now.
This was it.
If I wanted it, I had to take it.

This gymnastics love story is more than grips, rips, and battered hands.

For Calia Nickleson and Nikolai Bagrov, it was everything.

My thoughts:

These Battered Hands is a story about finding a balance in your life and figuring out what comes next.  Callie is a two time Olympic gymnast who at age 26 is considered old.  That isn't preventing her from trying one last time to score a gold medal. The question that she can't answer is who is she doing it for, her or her father? Nik has been hired by her father to coach her and help her improve before the trials begin.   I'll be honest, I have mixed feelings about this book.  I did like the romance and the parts about gymnastics, it was the story line with Callie's dad that just didn't ring true for me.
The thing I loved about the book was Nik.  He was just what Callie needed to see that there was more to the world than gymnastics.  She needed to learn that having more that her sport would make her a better athlete.  This is something that her father never taught her.  Their attraction was instant and I loved them together. What I didn't get about the story was why anyone would care if Callie was dating her coach. They are both well over the age of consent.  As long as he is helping her improve her skills, what did it matter?  Also I didn't get why the Olympics committee would care.  It's not like Nik would be coaching her in the games anyway since the team had its own coach. This made me question why they took her father's threat seriously.  That was the one thing that bothered me about the story. I felt like it was unnecessary conflict and the story would have been better without it.

This is the first book I have read by this author.  I did like that way she wrote the end and beginning of each chapter.  That was a neat technique that I haven't seen before.  I will be checking out this author again in the future!


His eyes were like actual pools of watermoving, flowing, and changing color along with depth. Each time his focus shifted, so did mine, zeroing in on a new fleck of deep blue and trying to help it float through the much more abundant aqua. Their magnetism made it hard to focus on his words, but I wouldnt have traded those moments spent studying their nuances for all of the words in the dictionary.
Sure, looks were shallow and words could mean everything, but in those split seconds when his eyes changed before my own, I would have sworn on my every Olympic medal it was the opposite.
And right now, I needed the comfort of that feeling. I needed it to swaddle me in its warmth and make everything feel right again.
The word wrong had never been a concept worthy of my focus, but as I tried to make sense of what was happening, denying its existence was no longer an option.
Up felt like down and left very nearly tricked me into believing it was right.
Voices called out to me constantly and on repeat, but none of them were the one I wanted. Like they were speaking through water, every pronunciation of my name seemed foreign and unwelcome, and my brain did nothing but scream another.
I tried valiantly to talk my uncooperative body into bending to my will, but for the first time in my life it wouldnt.
Digging deep down into my gut, I found the last vestiges of my energy and willed them into one single action.
Into one single word.
Priorities shifted and silence mocked me.
My entire life had been a series of events all specifically driven toward this very moment. Id known all of my work was meant to culminate in a flourish of glory and significance. Id known thered be a second in time when I knew why each part of my life had played out the way it had. Why Id worked, why Id sweat, why Id fought to keep going well after most peoples journeys were done.
Id even known it would probably happen nowon this stage, in front of all of these people.
Id just had the timing wrong by about three minutes.
But I knew now.
This was it.
The thing I found myself wanting most during this momentthat was everything.
He was everything.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the author:

Laurel Ulen Curtis is a 28 year old mother of one. She lives with her husband and son (and cat!) in New Jersey, but grew up all over the United States. She graduated from Rutgers University in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science in Meteorology, and puts that to almost no use other than forecasting for her friends and writing a storm chasing heroine! She has a passion for her family, laughing, and reading and writing Romance novels. She’s also addicted to Coke. The drink, not the drug.


Buy Links:

No comments: