Published by World Literary Press on November 9th, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: Contemporary Romance
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I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
He wore the skin of a killer, and bore the heart of a lover...
There's nothing Truman Gritt won't do to protect his family--Including spending years in jail for a crime he didn't commit. When he's finally released, the life he knew is turned upside down by his mother's overdose, and Truman steps in to raise the children she's left behind. Truman's hard, he's secretive, and he's trying to save a brother who's even more broken than he is. He's never needed help in his life, and when beautiful Gemma Wright tries to step in, he's less than accepting. But Gemma has a way of slithering into people's lives and eventually she pierces through his ironclad heart. When Truman's dark past collides with his future, his loyalties will be tested, and he'll be faced with his toughest decision yet.
Imagine falling in love with a man, then finding out he was a killer…TRU BLUE is a sexy, dark stand-alone novel written in the same loving, raw, and emotional voice romance readers have come to love, and the deeply emotional literary prose women’s fiction readers have come to expect, from New York Times & USA Today bestselling, award-winning author Melissa Foster.
Ovaries Decimated! Gosh, I have never said that about a book before. Sure I’ve had mad love for some characters, but Truman Gritt is the embodiment of the type of man that made me feel the warm fuzzies in a manner I haven’t experienced in a long time (sorry husband o’ mine). Initially I was attracted to the cover of the book, and for good reason because it portrays Tru exactly as I see him. So, what does he do to elevate himself to this level of adoration?
For starters, Tru is an honorable man that has sacrificed years of his life, his freedom, for his family. It’s a wonder he feels so compelled to step in and help once again. But this “last time” will change everything about his life in the most beautiful way. Melissa Foster created a spectacular story line with characters that completely captivated me. From the moment Tru meets his new siblings he’s got a new life plan.
The story kicks into gear as Tru sets out to protect his toddler sister Kennedy and baby brother Lincoln. Through this process, getting them fed and clothed, he meets his god-send in Gemma Wright. Gemma has her own unique type of family dysfunction so they have this in common. Both are damaged but they are also two very hopeful people. Gemma is a wonderfully sympathetic character, but make no mistake, she’s strong willed and such a great match for Tru. She connects with him on a cellular level, almost like fate brought them together. The physical chemistry is very sensual and so easily felt by the reader. The lengths that they will go to for each other, from pretty much the start are really inspiring. There is some drama and it completely makes sense with the story line. I always appreciate when it’s not manufactured or driven by two people not communicating. In fact, it’s Tru’s desire to be honest with Gemma that causes hesitation on her part.
The characters that surround Tru and Gemma are simply wonderful. The Whiskey family and Gemma’s best friend Crystal provide humor and much needed support as Tru and Gemma are faced with both of their families trying to muck things up for them. If “Tooman’s” gallant nature wasn’t enough to melt me, Foster gives us the SWEETEST little girl in Kennedy. Every scene she is in made me smile and warmed me up, inside out. While the story is derived from a sad situation, this isn’t an angsty, gut churning read. It’s truly a story about love and hope and forgiveness because that’s just what Tru brings. Foster does a fabulous job closing out the story and now I’m anxious for the release of Wild Whiskey Nights. I detected some serious sparks be between Bear and Crystal. 5++ stars, #MustRead recommendation and 2016 favorite.
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TRUMAN GRITT LOCKED the door to Whiskey Automotive and stepped into the stormy September night. Sheets of rain blurred his vision, instantly drenching his jeans and T-shirt. A slow smile crept across his face as he tipped his chin up, soaking in the shower of freedom. He made his way around the dark building and climbed the wooden stairs to the deck outside his apartment. He could have used the interior door, but after being behind bars for six long years, Truman took advantage of the small pleasures heÔÇÖd missed out on, like determining his own schedule, deciding when to eat and drink, and standing in the fucking rain if he wanted to. He leaned on the rough wooden railing, ignoring the splinters of wood piercing his tattooed forearms, squinted against the wetness, and scanned the cars in the junkyard they used for partsÔÇöand he used to rid himself of frustrations. He rested his leather boot on the metal box where he kept his painting supplies. Truman didnÔÇÖt have muchÔÇöhis old extended-cab truck, which his friend Bear Whiskey had held on to for him while he was in prison, this apartment, and a solid job, both of which were compliments of the Whiskey family. The only family he had anymore.
Emotions he didnÔÇÖt want to deal with burned in his gut, causing his chest to constrict. He turned to go inside, hoping to outrun thoughts of his own fucked-up family, whom heÔÇÖd triedÔÇöand failedÔÇöto save. His cell phone rang with his brotherÔÇÖs ringtone, ÔÇ£A Beautiful LieÔÇØ by 30 Seconds to Mars.
ÔÇ£Fuck,ÔÇØ he muttered, debating letting the call go to voicemail, but six months of silence from his brother was a long time. Rain pelleted his back as he pressed his palm to the door to steady himself. The ringing stopped, and he blew out a breath he hadnÔÇÖt realized heÔÇÖd trapped inside. The phone rang again, and he froze.
HeÔÇÖd just freed himself from the dredges of hell that heÔÇÖd been thrown into in an effort to save his brother. He didnÔÇÖt need to get wrapped up in whatever mess the drug-addicted fool had gotten himself into. The call went to voicemail, and Truman eyed the metal box containing his painting supplies. Breathing like heÔÇÖd been in a fight, he wished he could paint the frustration out of his head. When the phone rang for the third time in as many minutes, the third time since he was released from prison six months ago, he reluctantly answered.
ÔÇ£Quincy.ÔÇØ He hated the way his brotherÔÇÖs name came out sounding like the enemy. Quincy had been just a kid when Truman went to prison. Heavy breathing filled the airwaves. The hairs on TrumanÔÇÖs forearms and neck stood on end. He knew fear when he heard it. He could practically taste it as he ground his teeth together.
ÔÇ£I need you,ÔÇØ his brotherÔÇÖs tortured voice implored.
Need me? Truman had hunted down his brother after he was released from prison, and when heÔÇÖd finally found him, Quincy was so high on crack he was nearly incoherentÔÇöbut it didnÔÇÖt take much for fuck off to come through loud and clear. What Quincy needed was rehab, but Truman knew from his tone that wasnÔÇÖt the point of the call.
Before he could respond, his brother croaked out, ÔÇ£ItÔÇÖs Mom. SheÔÇÖs really bad.ÔÇØ
Fuck. He hadnÔÇÖt had a mother since she turned her back on him more than six years ago, and he wasnÔÇÖt about to throw away the stability heÔÇÖd finally found for the woman whoÔÇÖd sent him to prison and never looked back.
He scrubbed a hand down his rain-soaked face. ÔÇ£Take her to the hospital.ÔÇØ
ÔÇ£No cops. No hospitals. Please, man.ÔÇØ
A painful, high-pitched wail sounded through the phone.
ÔÇ£What have you done?ÔÇØ Truman growled, the pit of his stomach plummeting as memories of another dark night years earlier came rushing in. He paced the deck as thunder rumbled overhead like a warning. ÔÇ£Where are you?ÔÇØ
Quincy rattled off the address of a seedy area about thirty minutes outside of Peaceful Harbor, and then the line went dead.
TrumanÔÇÖs thumb hovered over the cell phone screen. Three little numbersÔÇö9-1-1ÔÇö would extricate him from whatever mess Quincy and their mother had gotten into. Images of his mother spewing lies that would send him away and of Quincy, a frightened boy of thirteen, looking devastated and childlike despite his near six-foot stature, assailed him.
Push the buttons.
Push the fucking buttons.
He remembered QuincyÔÇÖs wide blue eyes screaming silent apologies as TrumanÔÇÖs sentence was revealed. It was those pleading eyes he saw now, fucked up or not, that had him trudging through the rain to his truck and driving over the bridge, leaving Peaceful Harbor and his safe, stable world behind.