Thursday, April 12, 2018

Sever (Closer, Book Two) by Mary Elizabeth: Book Tour + Review

Title: SEVER
Series: Closer Duet, Book Two
Author: Mary Elizabeth
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release: April 5th
Cover Designer: Sofie at Hart and Bailey Designs
Review Source: InkSlinger PR

Misery overstayed its welcome. But fate will not be so easily swayed. Gabriella Mason and Teller Reddy have walked a thin line between affection and hostility for years. The intensity that once set them on fire has ended their engagement and separated them by more than just miles.

Forced together by circumstances they never saw coming, Gabriella and Teller have no choice but to face the past that brought them together and ultimately severed them apart. Wrecked and Damaged have collided. This is what happens when they try to pick up the pieces.

I have yet to read a book by Mary Elizabeth that has not rocked me to the core. Sever was no exception. We had that fictitious carrot dangling in front of us for the entire length of the book and she did not let us catch it until the very end.

Teller and Ella are exactly the kind of messed up that I need in my life. Real, raw and hateful, yet compassionate. They can’t live without each other and they definitely can’t live with each other, either. There are parts where I want to yell “get the hell over yourself Ella, he’s paid enough!” And then a couple of chapters later, I’m yelling at Teller.

These two are easy to love and dig themselves right into your heart. You can’t help but root for them and hope for a happily-ever-after. One thing I do know is that I need Mary’s books, like I need air to survive. I crave her characters and long for her stories. If you haven’t had the pleasure of reading anything from Mary, do yourself a favor and pick up one today. Any of them. Don’t cheat yourself out of one of the best things you’ll ever buy. Do it!

I wish I were more surprised to see him. When Teller said I’m coming for you, I didn’t think he meant literally, but here he is, playing out a scene we’ve repeated many times before.

With my bare feet on the biting, splinted wooden porch, I stand over his sleeping form, smiling because he thought far enough ahead to bring a blanket just in case I didn’t let him in. The truth is, if he did knock when he arrived, I didn’t hear it. But he assumed right; I wouldn’t have opened the door.

Leaving a thermos of coffee beside his head, I shake my intruder awake and slip on my sandals resting on the steps before heading down to the walkway that leads to the street. “Get off my lawn, Teller.”

He isn’t coherent enough to reply in the time it takes for me to get in my rental car and drive away. And it isn’t until I’ve turned the corner that I allow his presence to crash down on me, bringing tears to my eyes.

You knew he’d show up eventually, I remind myself.

I told him I wasn’t ready for this, but since when has any Reddy taken someone else’s wishes into consideration, especially Teller?

 If he did give two fucks about my feelings, he would’ve told me about Kristi and Joe’s affair right away, and he wouldn’t have lied when I asked who Melanie was.  He would have told me right away she was the woman he cheated on Kristi with, when she confronted us at the hospital after we made our relationship official. His failure to do these things took me back to the days when our relationship was chaos, and I can’t do that again. I need more. I deserve more.

After I park my car at the home improvement store, I pull down the sun visor and wipe the tears from my face. Not a single day in the three weeks since I left him has been tearless, but these tears are particularly painful—these tears make the day I left him feel like it was only yesterday.

Taking my time to gather the supplies I need to paint the rooms in my childhood home, I walk up and down every aisle, like this is the most interesting store I’ve ever been to and my heart isn’t broken into a dozen pieces.

By the time I make it to the register to check out, my cart is filled with things I don’t need, and I’ve killed my painting budget.
“Looks like you have a big project on your hands,” the cashier says, scanning the buckets of paint, a tin flamingo statue, and a brownie maker.

I’m an emotional eater.

“Yeah,” I say, ashamed of my purchases. “I’m ambitious.”

In spite of my impulse buys, I didn’t burn more than an hour in there, and I don’t trust it was enough time for Teller to get a clue and off my porch. So, I go to Bed Bath & Beyond where I buy a crème brûlée torch, a neck pillow, wall art of the Golden Gate Bridge, and onion goggles.

Which is ironic considering I haven’t cooked a single meal since my return to St. Helena. I carry a few extra pounds around these days as substantial evidence.

Retail therapy takes the edge off, but the chili cheese fries and strawberry shake I order from a drive-thru almost make me feel normal. True to my word, I ambitiously shove a forkful of fries into my mouth as I pull curbside at my house. The empty porch leaves a sinking sensation in the pit of my stomach, but it’s what I want. I want time.

I’m walking up the small pathway with my food and shake, deciding to unload the car once I wake from the food coma I hope to succumb to after I finish my feast of carbs and high fructose corn syrup when Teller motherfucking Reddy emerges from the side of my house like a cat burglar.

“Dammit!” I scream. My heart stops, and I drop my lunch. The shake splatters everywhere, and my fries land upside down. “Look what you’ve done now. Why are you still here?”

The sight of my perfectly blended indulgence—made with real strawberries, not that fake shit—breaks me, and I tilt my face to the sky and cry out like the madwoman I am. The only thing he’s here to burglarize is what’s left of my sanity, and what I’ve picked up in weight, I’ve lost in mental wellness as it is.

“Your fries should be okay,” Teller says, picking up the container. 

He tries to give them to me, but I smack them out of his hands. 

This time the Styrofoam breaks open, and I kick my almost-meal across the lawn. “What the fuck did you do that for?” he asks.

White-hot anger fills me all the way up, turning into a firestorm when I notice he’s made himself comfortable. Dressed in a plain white T-shirt with the sleeves rolled up, his jeans are caked with mud, and he’s cleaning dirt from his hands with a rag I remember leaving on the back patio.

“Because you’re not supposed to be here,” I shriek, shoving my hands onto his chest. He takes three steps back as I yell, “Put my rag back where you got it.”

He holds his hands up in surrender, dropping the rag to the ground with the food. “I was pulling weeds while you were gone.

 Curb appeal helps to sell a house.” Teller’s eyes shift to the For Sale sign perched at the edge of the lawn.

“No,” I say, reaching down for the rag, the empty cup, and what’s left of my chili fries container. “You don’t get to help me now. Go back to L.A., Tell.”


Walking away from him feels impossible, like my feet are stuck in cinder blocks, but I do it with my chin held high. It falls as soon as I shut the door and lock the deadbolt. I stand with my back against it for one, two, three breaths before I continue forward to the kitchen and dump everything into the trash.

With my hands braced on the counter, I drop my head between my shoulders and squeeze my eyes shut and remind myself, He’s a lying sack of shit. He’s a lying sack of shit. He’s a lying sack of shit.

Get SEVER Now on #KindleUnlimited

Read Volume 1 in the Closer Duet, CLOSER:

Mary Elizabeth is an up and coming author who finds words in chaos, writing stories about the skeletons hanging in your closets. Mary was born and raised in Southern California. She is a wife, mother of four beautiful children, and dog tamer to one enthusiastic Pit Bull and a prissy Chihuahua. She’s a hairstylist by day but contemporary fiction, new adult author by night. Mary can often be found finger twirling her hair and chewing on a stick of licorice while writing and rewriting a sentence over and over until it’s perfect. She discovered her talent for tale-telling accidentally, but literature is in her chokehold. And she’s not letting go until every story is told.

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