Series: Beneath #2
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Contemporary Women, Romance
Published by Self Published on February 24, 2015
Reviewed by: GinnyPurchase Links: Amazon ✦ Barnes & Noble
Book Links: Goodreads
Four words continue to haunt me . . .
You. Have. Breast. Cancer.
I associate them with the upheaval of my life to this point. The last few months have been a test of my strength . . . mentally, emotionally, and physically. Cancer is a monster. It preys on your mind and it consumes you, consistently reminding you of how your life used to be. Life before cancer. I was a successful business woman, running my own design firm, and was happily married to my college sweetheart. My life seemed perfect. Until it suddenly came crashing down all around me.
So, here I am, in the midst of treatment, incinerating the remnants of my shattered marriage and attempting to piece the rest of my life back together. With three amazing friends pushing me forward, the ‘post-chemo’ finish line is coming into view.
And then . . . there’s him. The man I never anticipated. The one who breathes hope and meaning back into my life. A man who kisses my scars and shows me that I’m beautiful. I never expected him. Hell, I never expected cancer. I’m finally ready to write my future, a future I never planned on, but one that is sure to exceed anything I ever imagined.
“Project Fake Nips was now commencing.”
If you have not read book one, “Beneath It All” — STOP READING THIS AND GO READ THAT!!!
This review will contain spoilers for book one, and you desperately need to read book one first!!!
— Did you read book one? Yes? Good! OK!!! On to the Review! —
If it were possible to give a book (or a series) more than five stars… this would be it. Similar to Spinal Tap’s amp that goes up to 11, this book would go up to a 12.
I am incredibly grateful that a friend asked me if I’d like to review this book by an author that I’ve never heard of… At first I was a bit wary as a lot of review books have been letting me down lately. I asked her if I could read book two as a standalone or if I should read book one first, and she emphatically said that I needed to read book one. So I did… in about 24 hours.
I TORE through that book, and then I devoured book two (metaphorically).
As reviewers, we’re supposed to give honest opinions and here’s mine: I am in love with Tori Madison and all that she writes. I literally got 30% of the way through “Beneath It All” and wrote to most of the women in my family and demanded that they read it.
Book two begins with Victoria calling Dr Blake Forrester back — after he’s transferred her to another doctor and asked her out for coffee… after her marriage fell apart due to her husband Noah being a lying, cheating scumbag… I was actually writing out my thoughts as they came to the aforementioned friend and informed her, “I want to attempt to kill Noah in a slow, mangled process that leaves him horribly disfigured, impotent and in pain for the rest of his life because as he begs for death I’ll deny it to him.”
She found this hilarious and passed it along to Ms. Madison. A good laugh was had by all…. but seriously… Have you seen or read “The Princess Bride”? In the end, when Westley claims they will fight “to the pain”? Look up that quote. That’s what Noah deserves.
These books aren’t just about triumph over a disease that is prevalent in 1-in-8 women… it’s not just about loss and pain.. it’s about sisterhood, best friends, rebirth, strength, the ability to know when you need to be left alone… and the ability to know you need to be held and not be strong for a little while… Just when Victoria thinks she’s about to be free… cancer finds its way back into her life.
This book made me cry — and that’s a very rare thing for me. I’m not a crier. This book made me literally laugh out loud. I have so many quotes highlighted it looks like a coloring book. Her use of music in the book is perfect, and she has my undying love for including the song “Falling Slowly” — arguably one of the best and most underrated love songs ever.
This book is wise, and innocent; it’s painful and free; it’s dark and filled with light; and it’s sexy (Yeah… some pretty awesome sex)… It’s everything that an amazing, memorable book should be. Tori Madison has that skill, rarely seen these days, of using a simple turn of phrase with dialogue and making it just click with something inside of you. Victoria is speaking to her friend, Bobbie Jo, saying she knows she will feel beautiful again “… someday” and Bobbie Jo responds with, “You’re beautiful every day…” — Where one would say “you’re always beautiful”, Tori Madison switches it up just enough to have it stick with you. It is reminiscent of moments of dialogue by Nora Roberts’ — which is one of the highest compliments I can give.
I can only hope that Tori Madison writes more — I know I’ll read pretty much anything she puts out. If my ranting and raving hasn’t driven you away yet — good. Know that you need to read these books, and share them with the special women in your lives. Be aware of your body and spend time with those you love. Don’t ever block out love. Let it come to you. And never settle for less than you deserve.
Read these books. Find her on FB or Goodreads and let her know how they’ve touched your life.
“I’m bald, I don’t have boobs, and my skin is dry and pasty. Let’s be honest, I look like the goddamn female version of Gollum from The Lord of the Rings.”
“You know what? I’m done hearing Noah’s name. I don’t want to hear it anymore.” “You mean, fuck-nuts?” “What? Did you just call him ‘fuck-nuts’?” “I sure did. Isn’t it fitting?”
“Because let’s be honest, breakfast without bacon was a crime.”