Today’s our stop on The One Series Blog Tour! There are 2 reviews for both books and 2 giveaways. One of them is for an ebook set of the Series and the other is for signed set of the series and a $25 Amazn gift card. If you’d like to win a copy of the series just leave a comment and you’ll be entered. I’ll pick a winner on Saturday evening using random.org.
Title: The One Place
Author: Laurel Ulen Curtis
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Yes / Book 1 of 2
Rating: 3 out of 5
My Copy: Review Copy via Author
Synopsis: Natalie Dalton is a beautiful, witty, charismatic twenty-seven year old with an ugly past and one weakness-the people she loves. She’s been waiting for a way out of the dark cloud that’s suffocating her for a year when the perfect opportunity comes.
She finds herself settling in a small town based on a feeling of rightness, and as she learns about the people around her, they start to fill the holes she didn’t know there were in her heart.
Tucker Cody is a quick-witted, playful, and hard-loving twenty-nine year old, but for the past 5 years he’s set that all aside and focused on work as a way to escape. Abandoned by his whole family in one way or another, he’s kept people at a distance ever since. Until one girl.
Will they find a way to heal each other and move on from their pasts? Or will their pasts find a way to hold onto them?
The One Place is the first book in The One Series.
Warning: Some explicit language and sexual content.
Laurel Ulen Curtis’ The One Place is her debut novel and deals with the difficult subject matter of abusive. The overall theme of the book is present throughout, but not as heavily as it was in the beginning. I don’t want to put off readers because it’s a good book, but I do want to warn anyone before reading the rest of the review in case you are sensitive.
Natalie Dalton is a suffocating relationship and she questions if she has the ability to leave. When the opportunity arrives to leave her life behind, she jumps at the chance and with the little money she saved up, she makes her way away from New York City to Tennessee. There she’s able to reinvent herself and meets a good looking stranger, Tucker Cody. Suddenly she finds herself attracted to him and begins to rebuild her life. For Tucker, Natalie is the sunshine his life has been missing. He lost his parents in a questionable accident and hasn’t heard from his sister in years. Both Natalie and Tucker have secrets that threaten their happiness. Will they be able to trust each other and heal or will the secrets break them apart?
First of all, let me take a moment to gush over Tucker! He’s sexy, witty, and not to mention the man the town calls on for help. He’s clearly smitten with Natalie from the start, but Natalie is oblivious. It’s easy to criticize her and say, “how can you not know?” but to be fair Natalie was in an abusive relationship for over a year. Andrew pretty much messed with her head and getting into a new relationship wasn’t at the top of her list. She was concerned with keeping her head low and not bringing unwanted attention to herself. After all, she walked away from her life and went undercover to protect her life. That being said, Natalie does come off a bit naive and at no point does she question who helped set her apartment. For a woman on the run, I expected her to be more aware of her surroundings and not be so trusting.
The writing is engaging and The One Place is a fast paced read. It’s told from Natalie’s perspective and therefore we’re limited in terms of what other characters are thinking. It makes sense that it would be in Natalie’s point-of-view because it is Natalie’s story. We have some great secondary characters. Your heart breaks for Ruth and the fact that she’s basically living the nightmare Natalie did to some extent. This is where I wish Natalie had opened up a little more to Ruth about her past experience. We don’t get that, but then again a lot of abuse victims keep quiet for fear of being judged or because they are ashamed. I really liked the fact that Natalie did have a good support system especially after Ruth finds out about her past.
I debated with the rating heavily and in the end decided on a three based on the fact I couldn’t suspend disbelief regarding Natalie faking her own death and getting a job. I mean unless her family doesn’t file a certificate of death, I think using a dead person’s social security number would raise questions. Yes, it’s a work of fiction, but I couldn’t stop thinking that maybe that’s how Andrew would find her.
Overall, The One Place is an enjoyable read. You’ll want to read the second book in the series, The One Girl immediately because we’re left with a cliffhanger and you’ll want to know what happens next. Trust me, you’ll love The One Girl.
Title: The One Girl
Author: Laurel Ulen Curtis
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Yes / Book 2 of 2
Rating: 4 out of 5
My Copy: Review Copy via Author
Synopsis: Warning: The One Girl is the second book in The One Series, and picks up where the story of The One Place left off. If you have not read The One Place, the following description may contain SPOILERS.
Warning, #2: This book contains explicit language and sexual content.
Tucker Cody has just been dealt a surprising blow. His fiance, his love, his future–his Talie–has a twisted connection to his past.
When faced with the same man who’s responsible for the loss of his entire family, will he be able to protect his new one? Or will danger come from other directions?
All of the answers come down to one thing. One girl.
Laurel Ulen Curtis’s The One Girl picks up right where we left off in The One Place. This time it’s told in Tucker’s point of view and what a breath of fresh air! Kudos to Curtis for giving us a male perspective in a second book instead of having to wait for his point of view in a later book like some authors are prone to do (if they decide to so). If you haven’t read The One Place then I highly recommend doing so because you’ll be lost otherwise.
Tucker and Natalie have to deal with the fact that Andrew has found Natalie and is back in town. Tucker finally finds out how much of a monster Andrew really is. Natalie has to come to grips with her past catching up and finds out her best friend Jenny is actually Tucker’s sister. Natalie mentions to Tucker her suspicion regarding Andrew’s involvement in the accident involving Tucker’s parents. Suddenly secrets are unraveled and threaten their relationship. Will Andrew get a hold of Natalie and take her back to New York or will Natalie have the courage to break free from Andrew?
I really enjoyed reading The One Girl from Tucker’s perspective. His love for Natalie really can be seen. In terms of characterization, we don’t get in-depth characters. What you read in The One Place is pretty much the same type of characteristics you read in The One Girl. Although, we do get to see how much guilt Tucker has over Jenny’s disappearance and he’s the first to push Natalie to do the right thing regarding her family. It was nice to read how much he cared and the lengths he went to make things right. We’re also introduced to Natalie’s sister, Kayla. What a hoot she is! You’ll be smirking with her as she refers to Tucker as “hotman” and oh yeah you can just imagine his strut knowing he’s been nicknamed that.
The only one complaint I have is, I wish we could have had more of Andrew. We know he’s an abusive asshole from The One Place and we find out exactly what happens to Jenny in The One Girl, but I wanted more of him as a character. I wanted Tucker to confront him and make him pay for his crimes especially for what Andrew ends up doing to Tucker’s parents. We don’t get that and instead of a huge confrontation between Tucker and Andrew, it’s dealt with swiftly by an outsider. I won’t say who the outsider is, but it’s a nice twist I wasn’t expecting and I feel for Natalie having to go through what she did. I can’t even imagine the feelings she had when she realized she was the target for assassination by someone she cared about.
I debated with the rating and due to a few hiccups, I decided on a four instead of a five. I really liked The One Girl and even though I still have some unanswered questions, I enjoyed the book. There are some explicit sex scenes and language, but Curtis warns us in the synopsis.
Laurel Ulen Curtis is working on a standalone book for Coleman Cade, a friend of Tucker’s we meet briefly in The One Girl. I can’t wait to read his story and I’m looking forward to reading more of her work.
Laurel Ulen Curtis is a 26 year old mother of one. She lives with her husband and son (and cat and two fish!) 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! She has a passion for her family, laughing, and reading and writing Romance novels. And Coke. The drink, not the drug.
Remember there are 2 giveaways. If you’d like to win an ebook copy of the series just leave a comment and you’ll be entered. I’ll pick a winner on Saturday evening using random.org.
If you’d like to win a signed set and amazon gift card, enter Laurel’s giveaway:
a Rafflecopter giveaway