25 January 2015

Being Nobody by H. D'Agostino

Samantha Connelly has been on the run since she was seven years old. Forced into Witness Protection after her father saw something he shouldn’t has caused her to learn to blend in. She’s moved, changed her name, and her appearance more times than she can count over the last nineteen years all along wondering if it will ever end. Her handler, Kevin, along with her parents have assured her that it won’t be forever, but as the years tick by she’s slowly given up hope that she’ll ever be normal.

Now at 26, Sam has moved to Chicago and is working at the Rusty Nail as a bartender calling herself Mallory. Her father passed away two years before leaving her to finish what he started…put away the ‘bad guys’. Living on the run in hiding has been harder than she ever imagined, and finding love has always been out of the question. Who would want to be with someone they couldn’t be honest with? She’s resigned herself to being alone, until… Brian walks in.

Brian Sellers is everything Sam has been trying to avoid her entire life. He’s clad in leather and torn jeans, donning several tattoos… all-in-all a bad boy. When their eyes connect one evening, everything she’s ever told herself falls to the wayside as an indescribable draw pulls her to him. He’s sexy and domineering, and something about him reminds her of a boy she used to know.

The more time she spends with Brian, the more she wants him, but…Brian is not everything he seems to be. When Sam happens to see the tat on his wrist, the same tat that her father saw all those years ago, she realizes she’s flirting with the enemy. Brian has no idea that he’s hanging out with the one girl his boss wants dead.

Can Sam hide her identity from the first man she’s had real feelings for? What will Brian do when he finds out who she really is? Can love really conquer all?

Being Nobody is the first book in The Witness series.
Being Nobody started off great. Ms. D’Agostino does an excellent job of setting up Sam/Mallory’s story. I felt both sadness at the loss of her childhood and adolescence – so many friends lost, so many opportunities missed, and so much time gone – and awe for her strength as she continues to survive and live her life as best as the circumstances allow. And living on the run in the Witness Protection plan didn’t lend itself to the best of circumstances.

When we meet Sam she is living as Mallory. She is snarky, confident, a bit of a smarta$$ – everything I like in a heroine. Her interactions with her coworkers and the bar patrons felt real and I was sucked right into her story. I loved the dance she and Brian played on the first night they met – their banter was entertaining, yet she maintained the distance her WP identity required. The pace of the book was great and the storyline was moving fluidly … until they had sex. Mind you the sex was hot, but it supposedly so intense that her entire existence shifted on its axis and she found herself falling for Brian – not drawn to him, not infatuated, not lust, but falling in love with him after knowing him for only a couple of days. I so totally got that she was initially drawn to him because he reminded her of the only guy she ever loved, but to be so far gone after one night of sex made no sense. Add to that her getting mad at him for keeping secrets about his “job” after saying she understood and her constant back and forth on that subject made me dizzy especially as her WP status made her the Queen of Secrets (pot meet kettle). As for the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back, for me it was when she recognized Brian’s tattoo as belonging to the gang that was after her and her mom, yet she decided to stay with him and not only not report it to her handler, but willingly walked away from her mother forever because she wanted to see where things were going and if she could convince Brian to get out – at that point I couldn’t decide if she was stupid or delusional.

Even though I loved the beginning of Being Nobody and found Ms. D’Agostino’s writing style to be quite enjoyable, I just couldn’t get past Sam/Mallory’s seemingly never-ending bad choices. As the story progressed I found that connection I had with her character diminished until I was no longer invested in what happened to her and the book went from being a great read to just okay. Ultimately I didn’t like being in her head after the first sexual encounter because she just kept contradicting herself. Sadly I don’t think I can deal with Sam’s back and forth, so it is doubtful that I will read the next book in the series. As always, I recommend you check the book out for yourself because you may not find Sam as disconcerting as I did. Ms. D’Agostino’s talent is obvious, but this just wasn’t the book for me.

Amazon bestselling author of the Second Chances series and the Shattered Trilogy, Heather D’Agostino writes contemporary and new adult romance set in Boston, New York, and North Carolina. Heather has always enjoyed creative writing, but never pursued it as a career option. Born and raised in Harrisburg, NC she received a BA in Elementary Education from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. After teaching for six years, she decided to leave the profession to be a stay-at-home mom. After finding the world of Fan Fiction, Heather decided to “get her feet wet” in the literary world. With much encouragement and inspiration from the Fan Fiction world, she made the decision to publish her work. Heather prides herself in the fact that her books have real life situations with believable characters. These characters could be your best friend or your next door neighbor. Her first book, Unbreak Me, has been welcomed with open arms into the self-published community giving her the encouragement needed to continue to pursue this dream. Heather currently lives in Syracuse, NY with her husband, two children, two dogs, and three cats. She enjoys spending time with her family, watching sports, and playing chauffeur for all her children’s activities.
You can follow Heather at https://www.facebook.com/H.DAgostino.Author or http://hdagostinobooks.weeby.com.


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