Quinn Salisbury doesn’t think she’s cut out for this whole living thing. Even as a young girl she struggled. Just when she thinks she’s found a way to leave her violent past behind her, the only thing that’s kept her going is ripped away, leaving her damaged and heartbroken.
Four years later, she is slowly rebuilding her life and lands a job as an assistant band manager to Jamieson, the hot new Australian act climbing their way to the top of the charts. There she meets Travis Valentine, the charismatic older brother of her boss, Mac.
From his commanding charm to his confidence and passion, Travis is everything Quinn believes is too good for her, and despite her apprehension, she finds their attraction undeniable and intense.
When her past resurfaces, it complicates their relationship. Instead of reaching out for help, Quinn pushes Travis away, until a staggering secret is revealed that leaves her fighting for her very life.
Torn between running and opening her heart to the man determined to have her, can Quinn find the strength within herself to fight for her future?
Mmmm mmm! I do like me a bit of the Aussie badass brigade. This lady is the nuts at writing sexy badass men!
4.5 stars for Travis & Quinn!
This is the second book in the Give Me series. The series follows new, upcoming rock band, Jamieson, crime fighting ‘badass brigade’ Jamieson and Valentine, their friends, families and the crazy, mind-blogging sagas, baddies, shootings, kidnaps and general madness that comes with them!
In the first book, Give Me Love, we met Jamieson vocalist and front woman, Evie, and the swoonworthy Jared Valentine!
See my review for Give Me Love (Give Me, #1) here:https://smittensbookblog.wordpress.com…
Give Me Strength gives us Travis Valentine, Jared’s sexy, long haired older brother, and Quinn Salisbury. Quinn has just landed the job working for Jamieson. She is assitant to Mac, Jamieson’s manager and the youngest and only female Valentine.
A chance meeting with Travis in a bar, on the first night out Quinn has had in three years, turns out to be much steamier than she’d ever imagined it would be. When she sneaks out before Travis wakes, she doesn’t expect to see him again. Until she realises he is the older brother of her new employer. Insert awkward moment here!
But Quinn has secrets in her past that have left her incapable of giving or receiving love. It’s as much as she can do to get through each day without social faux pas, panic attacks and mental break downs, so holding down a relationship is a definite no-no!
“I’m really sorry,” I whispered. “I can’t do this.”
“Can’t do what?”
“Life,” I muttered under my breath. “It wasn’t meant for me.”
But Travis isn’t so easily swayed. And as he shows that he is determined not to let Quinn go so readily, her past catches up with her, just to complicate things further.
But oooobviously, Travis is part of the ‘badass brigade’ (Cue A-Team music) so who else better qualified to clear Quinn’s little mess up than Travis and his badass buddies and brothers?!
“If you haven’t yet noticed, my brothers all have a knight in shining armour complex.”
“So what happens when they rescue their fair maiden, Mac? The knight complex doesn’t just disappear.”
Mac snorted. “You’ve met Evie, haven’t you? She’s a full time trouble magnet. Jared chose well.” she turned her eyes on me. “I’m starting to think Travis has too.”
Ok, so Quinn’s mess is anything but little. This book involves kidnappings, shootings, threats, scary criminals, blackmail, deadbeat parents, violence, lies, secrets, death and unfortunately, multiple chairs were harmed in the making of this story. If you like your romance with a double side of action and drama, you’re in luck!
“Don’t you all get escorted everywhere you go by hot badass guys when shit’s going down?”
“Shit’s not going fown,” Lucy informed him. “Shit is currently contained.”
I have to say, I didn’t enjoy this book quite as much as I adored Jared and Evie’s story. I felt like the edges were a little rougher and some of the scenes were a little rushed and unclear. I don’t know why that is, because this is the third book I’ve read from Kate McCarthy, and in both other instances, her writing has been flawless. I’ll chalk it up as a one-off.
However, I still did really enjoy this. My feelings for Quinn went back and forth. Sometimes she annoyed me a bit. Now, Quinn has had a really shitty upbringing and then when she thinks she’s getting her life on track, it gets even shittier… so I get that she was defensive and closed off… but her reluctance to get with Travis frustrated me. I think it was because one minute she’s falling into bed with him and the next minute she’s all like ‘Ohhh no, can’t possibly be with a man.’ Make your mind up, honey! Don’t wanna give a man like Travis a bad case of blue balls!!
“I know what Travis was like before you, and i know what he’s like since you, and I like the latter.” Casey’s voice was firm as his eyes held mine. “He smiles like he means it, even after a long shitty day like he’s dealing with today.” Casey tapped a finger to his temple. “Up here, there’s you at the back of all that, making his day not so shit because at the end of it, he gets you.”
Travis I liked. Blonde hair pulled back in a ponytail, rippling muscles, crime fighting ninja skills, trained in hostage negotiation… what’s not to like, right? He’s pretty sweet on Quinn from the get-go, too, which I liked. He sees her, he wants her, he goes after her. No bullshit from his end. Brilliant.
“Every day I get up, tired from not sleeping, and I go to work and do what I do. Late at night I come home and go to bed for another sleepless night, and the whole time there’s a weight on my chest that’s so fucking heavy it leaves me feeling like I can’t breathe. When I’ve got hold of you, somehow it doesn’t feel so heavy anymore.”
So when you find out a little plot twist at the end, I was like ‘Aaah man. Travis, you goon!!’ But, that’s when things went from good, to really good…
I couldn’t put the book down for the last part. We’d had a couple of incidences before this point, but nothing too epic. Well, there’s a turning point when shit suddenly gets real and all hell breaks loose. But of course, you’ll have to read the book to find out more about all that.
“Some of us have to learn how to save ourselves.”
I didn’t feel that the sex scenes were as frequent or as steamy in this book. What there was great, and well written and pretty damn hot. But I’m not looking back on this book thinking ‘well that was scorching!’ There’s a bit of sexy-time, but not tonnes. This book is more about Quinn finding herself, learning to trust, discovering her innerstrength (as the title suggests) and all the drama surrounding her.
“When you’re shown every day you’re not worth being loved, you tend to believe it.”
I mentioned it in my previous review, but I have to mention it again… the surrounding cast in this book is absolute genius. There are so many supporting characters and all of them play huge parts in making this series what it is. It could easily get very confusing, with so many names being banded about, but it doesn’t. Kate writes it so well that you feel like don’t only know each person by name, but their personality also. And feeling that you know them all so well, feeling a fondness for each of them individually, means that reader’s will be keen to read each of their own books. Well played, Ms. McCarthy! I applaud you.
“We’re your friends now, Quinn. Granted, we might not know you that well yet, but I know enough. We all know enough to see the sweetness in your smile and the shadows in your eyes. If you need courage, Quinn, know that we’re standing behind you.”
I believe the next book is Give Me Grace is Casey and, you guessed it, Grace’s book. Casey is Travis’s best friend, fellow badass and Jenson Ackles lookalike. Yes, ladies, there’s reason enough to read book #3! And Grace, we get introduced to, very fleetingly, in the epilogue of Give me Strength. So that should be fun and games. I reeeeally want to read Henry’s book! Also, what I assume with be Mac and Jake’s book. In fact, I want to read them all. That will be one hell of an extended family once we’ve seen them all settled and married with kids! Imagine the BBQs!
Anyway… I’m rambling now… chatting and about BBQs and such. So I’ll leave this there. If you’re into Kristen Ashley books, romantic suspense, action/drama kind of books, with men fighting crime and their ladies causing them crime related headaches, you’ll love these books!
Have you read it? Comment below and tell us what you thought?
Give Me Strength Statistics
• Steam Rating (out of 5): ♥♥♥
• Ending: Happy ending
• Narrative: Mostly Quinn’s POV. A couple of chapter’s from Travis’s POV. First person. Past tense.
• Series: Yes
• Reading Order:
– Book #1 – Give Me Love (Give Me, #1)
– Book #2 – Give Me Strength (Give Me #2)
– Book #3 – Give Me Grace (Give Me #3) Release date: Early 2014
• Can this be read as a standalone? Yes (recommended to read in order)
Crime fighting men
• WARNING. This book includes…
Sexual content. Violence.
• Writing: Good
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