Monday, November 16, 2015

Blog Tour ~ Untamed by S.C. Stephens @SC_Stephens_

The spotlight doesn’t only shine. Sometimes, it burns.
Being the bad-boy bassist for the world’s hottest band has earned Griffin Hancock some perks: a big house, a fast car, and most importantly his incredible wife Anna. The one thing it hasn’t brought him is the spotlight. Anna tells him to be patient, that his talent will win out. But Griffin is through waiting for permission to shine.

Without warning, Griffin makes a shocking decision and takes the gamble of a lifetime. Suddenly he’s caught up in a new level of lights, cameras, and chaos—one that pushes his relationship with Anna to its limits. Anna has always found his unpredictable behavior sexy, but lately he’s seen an ache in her eyes, and it has his soul in knots. Just as the recognition Griffin seeks is finally within reach, the thing he loves most in life could be slipping through his fingers…

4 Stars

Finding out Griffin “The Hulk” Hancock was getting his own book…

I was overjoyed and could not wait to crawl inside Griffin’s crazy mind. Throughout the Thoughtless Series, his character came across as the comic relief to an otherwise serious, angst filled story.  In Untamed, we get all of Griffin – His lunacy, his outlook on life and seeing the world through his eyes. The experience was interesting, to say the least. I can unequivocally say that Griffin is the most delusional, self-centered character I have ever come across, yet I adored him. This bad boy bassist has the largest ego – ever. His world and everything he touches is… Awesome.

Beyond his clueless idiocy, lays the heart of a man who learns life’s lessons the hardest of ways. In losing it all, Griffin struggled and learned not to take life, family and friends for granted. And in his struggle, he worked hard to regain the adoration of those who love him. I have to say he drove me nuts with all his misguided views and poor decisions.  But, I cherished how he matured and sought redemption.

For most of the story Griffin, in his uniquely comical way, exasperated me with his stubbornness, jealousy and selfishness. The mistakes and circumstances he got involved in had me both giggling at his hijinks and wanting to smack some sense into him.

Poor Anna, I felt terrible for all her frustrations. Her husband was a handful, driving her (and me) to the point of vexation at times. 

By hitting rock bottom - losing fame, fortune and his family, reality FINALLY sank into his thick skull. Griffin was smacked silly with a huge wake up call, forced into maturity and took responsibility for his actions. This is where I’ve come to adore him even more – the clueless Hulk grew up. 

This story was a great departure in style and tone from the previous installments of this series. It was a refreshing change to see Stephens penning a tale mostly filled with levity in comparison to the emotional angst fill heaviness that draped Kiera and Kellan’s romance. Yes, there were serious moments, but for the most part, Untamed was a lighthearted read. As much as I love Kellan, I am a hulk fan girl too. I liked Griffin jumping into Untamed and walked away cherishing his character. I always appreciate a good story involving a character’s redemption and Griffin certainly proved himself to me despite his stupid, ridiculous mistakes.  He grew and learned to treasure the important things in life…his wife, his family and friends. I loved seeing more of Kellan…*sigh*…and the rest of the D-bags. For a fan of the series, this is a must read and I do hope Stephens continues the series by giving Evan and Matt their own romances. I don’t want to let these characters go.

Arc kindly received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.

When Anna came back into the room, I was my usual self—just a half chub was trying to poke through my jeans. But even that faded when I saw the little miracle in my wife’s arms. “Daddy!” Gibson tossed her hands my way and leaned so hard in my direction that Anna had to struggle to hold on to her. Gibson’s little face scrunched with annoyed concentration while she fought against her mom. Then, with a pout that only a little kid could make adorable, she turned and scowled at Anna. “Want Daddy.” She said it as a command, not a request. Gibson was only around a year and a half, but she already knew what she wanted, and she fully expected to get her way. She was so much like me, it was scary.
Anna rolled her eyes but stepped closer so Gibson could reach me. When her little hands touched my skin, they suddenly became razor-like talons. Like an eagle securing a fish from the sea, Gibson clamped onto my forearm with a surprising amount of freakish strength. “Ow, shit! Relax, Gibs. I’m right here.”
Grunting, I pulled her into my side and examined what was left of my arm. I half expected to see a mutilated flap of skin hanging off the bone. Instead, all I saw were bright red streaks where she’d raked me. Anna winced. “Guess I need to cut her nails. Sorry.”
I shrugged. “The day isn’t truly awesome until a gorgeous girl has scratched me up. I wear my war wounds with pride.” Looking at the design she’d left behind, I added, “I might actually get this one tattooed on me. How cool would permanent shred marks be?”
Anna smiled, then shook her head. “No, if you want claw marks to tattoo, I’ll give you some good ones. Then every time you look at them, you can remember how you got them.”
“Damn…yeah, that’s a much better plan. Fuck, you have the best ideas.”
Gibson grabbed my nose and pulled my attention her way, where she liked it. Girl had a jealous streak a mile wide. Looking at her was like looking at a miniature version of me, if I were a girl. She had the same light blue eyes, same blond hair, although hers was a pristine platinum color while mine was a little dirtier. As it should be. She gave me a smile full of shiny white teeth, then spouted, “Fuck.”
Anna crossed her arms over her chest, but her expression was more amused than annoyed. “I think we’re at the point where we need to start watching our language.”
I looked past Gibson to Anna. “Watch my language? You might as well ask me to hop on one foot while reciting the alphabet backwards. I can’t police myself like that twenty-four-seven. I’m exhausted just thinking about it.”
Anna swished her hands at Gibson. “Well, she’s starting to copy you, and if we don’t put a stop to it now, she’s going to start calling people cocksuckers soon.”
I started laughing. “That…would be so awesome.”
Anna put her hands on her hips; true irritation was starting to edge out her amusement now. “No, it wouldn’t be.” She smiled. “Well, yeah, it kind of would be, but as parents, we have to put a stop to that kind of stuff.” She sighed. “Well, we should try anyway.”
Looking back at Gibson, I frowned. “I suppose I could try.” Even though I was sure she didn’t have a clue what we were talking about, Gibson laid her head on my shoulder, wrapped her arms around my neck, and patted my back like she was encouraging me. Yeah, if it would help Gibson, I would try to control my mouth. There wasn’t much I wouldn’t do for that little girl.

 Q&A with SC....
1. Which of the D-Bags do you think you’re most like?

I would definitely be Matt—sitting in the back and letting everyone else take the spotlight because I really don’t like being the center of attention. I’m not nearly as organized as he is though. Or as anal.


2. What is your secret to staying in love with a series over several books, and what makes you keep coming back to the Thoughtless series in particular?

I think I fall more and more in love with them with each book, so the more I write about the characters, the more I want to write! But I also want to do them justice, so I’ll be waiting until I have the perfect story for each character before I even think about doing more.


3. If you could trade places with anyone for just one day, who would you want to be?

That’s a hard one! I’m really not sure who I would want to be for a day. Hmmm…it might be fun to be Bob Iger for a day. As the CEO of Disney, he can probably ride all the rides without waiting in line, and that would be seriously amazing!


4. Finish this sentence: Griffin will always…

be arrogant and inappropriate. And I love him all the more for it.

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