06 February 2014

Used Tour Stop!

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I am a slut. No worries. I've come to terms with it, and you will too. I’m not one of those girls who thinks she’s too plain, too fat, too skinny, too shy … no, I don’t have that kind of luck. I’m the girl who knows she’s just right for everyone. — Denver  
A reputation as a manwhore–with–a–heart–of–gold tends to precede me. But, I don’t do girls with issues, that is until this girl. It's this girl I want to fix. This girl I want to protect. And maybe … more. — Ransom  
Being in love with the same girl your entire life isn't all it's cracked up to be. She uses me in every way imaginable. How does she see me? I am her perpetual one-night stand. No strings, no attachments. Just mind-numbing sex ... for her anyway. — Greer  
Feeling like the life is being choked out of her in the small town of Anaconda, Montana, Denver Dempsey craves the escape that college offers … even if that means leaving her “best friend with benefits” and looking for a new way to forget. Thinking she's found the perfect hookup in Ransom, Denver's outlook on college is bright. That is, until Greer shows up looking for a second chance, and Ransom's interest turns to hatred.  
Love. Hate. Triangle.  
Who's using who?

The more books I read by Lynetta Halat, the more I am convinced that they lady is an unstoppable force.  I finish each book thinking “that was better than the last!” and start each new book thinking “this can’t be better than the previous one, no way!”  But it always is.  And “Used” is, in my opinion, her best work yet.
Denver is a fractured soul.  Living with her mother and her mother’s myriad of male suitors, she’s not been lead to believe that she’s not worth much.  Her own father basically calls her a whore when telling her that she’s just like her mother, who is a woman who uses men for personal gain.  Then there’s Greer, her best friend.  He would do anything for her, and for one perfect summer when they were in High School they shared a perfect love, then it all goes to hell.  Denver is accosted by her newish stepfather, and while he doesn’t succeed in assaulting her, he does more damage than anyone can know.  He makes her feel that she is the epitome of what everyone believes she is: a tease, a slut, a floozy.  She decides if that’s what people want to believe, then that’s what they’ll get.  The thing is she’s not a floozy.  There’s only ever been Greer for her, but she keeps him at arm’s length in order, she thinks, to protect him from her poisonous soul.  When she leaves for college she thinks she’s making a new start, but Greer follows her there.  Enter Ransom.  The big man on campus that every woman wants to be with and every man wants to be.  A tentative friendship builds between Denver and Ransom; and Greer convinces Denver to give their relationship a real shot.  But what will happen when ugly secrets are revealed and not all is what it appears, not just for Denver, but for Greer and Ransom too?
One of the many great things about this book was the setting for me.  I don’t know much about rodeo, or barrel racing or bull riding, but this book introduced me to that lifestyle and it was intriguing!  Plus, it’s romantic.  I think that kind of environment builds up men to be larger than life, and women to embody the power and grace of the beasts they control.  It added an element to this book that I hadn’t encountered before.   I mean sure, I’ve read westerns and cowboy stories, but this had a completely different feel to it.  It’s like a western sports romance in a way.  However, we are talking about a Lynetta Halat book here, so you know that like an onion, there are many layers to this story that get slowly peeled away.  The bucking broncos and rodeo princesses only comprise the surface to this absorbing and surprising read.
The best part of this author’s books for me in the characterization. There is just something about the characters in Used that are so real, so raw, so vulnerable and yet so human.  They are not romantic caricatures, they are real and they are strugglin’! What’s interesting about Denver is that for a female romantic lead, she is so deep into her own self-deprecation that she can’t see what really is in front of her.  I think it’s rare to have a female lead be this screwed up!  And man, is Denver ever screwed up. Denver is the definition of self-fulfilling prophecy, yet she’s not.  I’m telling you, it’s hard to peg to her down but complicated does not ever begin to describe her.
Greer…oh, Greer.  He is a good guy.  You will read this book and you may want to kill him at points, but he is absolutely to the bottom of his heart a good guy.  And he loves Denver with every inch of that heart.  Greer’s problem is that he is pulled so far into Denver’s solar system that he loses his own light, and gets sucked right into her darkness.  You see how this impacts him throughout the book.  Try as he may to fight against Denver’s gravity, in the end it smacks him right in the face.  It is heartbreaking.  Luckily, there’s more to tell about Greer in the next two books, and I can’t wait to read more.  He deserves retribution, and he deserves to make his own light again.
Now for Ransom.  He is the resident man of mystery here.  There’s so much we don’t know about Ransom. He’s got a deep story, that’s for sure and I have very little patience when thinking about waiting to find out more about the surprising and mysterious Ransom.  Suffice to say, you’ll like him…a lot.  Perhaps even in an unhealthy way.  Let me just say this: I have NOT, I repeat NOT, spent an unhealthy amount of time watching bull riders on YouTube since finishing this book.  No sir, not me.
I’ve heard a lot of people describe this book as a love triangle and while there are elements to the love triangle in this, it’s not your classic kind.  Actually, I’m not sure you can expect to expect anything out of this book.  It is surprising on many levels to say the least.  It’s unlike anything I’ve read, well, ever. 
 I have never finished a Lynetta Halat book with dry eyes, and I don’t consider myself much of a book crier.  But she just knows how to write a character that speaks to the reader’s soul.  This entire book is just one long, nearly-Greek tragedy. So many missteps, so much left unsaid, so many things assumed, so many doubts.  I can’t wait to see how it all comes together.  I have a feeling that this series will go down as one of the best of this genre.  5 Stars.
 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HXXE5Q2/ref=as_li_ss_il?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00HXXE5Q2&linkCode=as2&tag=crysmanrev-20     http://tinyurl.com/mxg9uq5
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author2 Since the dawn of time, Lynetta Halat has lived to read and has written innumerable stories and plays. A lover of good books, bad boys, and kickass tunes, she'd always dreamt of penning books that people could connect with and remember. She also has a secret penchant for wringing the emotions out of unsuspecting readers, and she collects reader's tears in much the same way that wine connoisseurs collect their favorite vintage. Her first novel, Every Rose, was the perfect catalyst to launch her into the world of publishing, effectively burrowing her way into the hearts and minds of readers throughout the world. Everything I've Never Had was her follow-up adult romance novel. Now, she has penned Used, a New Adult Romance that she hopes sinks its teeth into you and doesn't let go. Her love of the English language prompted her to pursue a Master's degree in English from Old Dominion University in Virginia, where she also minored in snark and interpretive dance. She lives somewhere along the Mississippi Gulf Coast with her adorable husband, two amazing sons, and two loveable dogs. When she's not writing riveting stories, she likes to focus on her macramé art and her scouring of eBay, where she buys locks of hair from her favorite rock stars, most especially Bret Michaels and Dave Grohl.

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