Saturday, July 2, 2016

BLOG TOUR & 3 1/2 STAR REVIEW: Into the Nothing (Broken Outlaw #1) by BT Urruela

Title: Into the Nothing
Series: Broken Outlaw #1
Author: BT Urruela
Release Date: June 21, 2016

Xander Evans has been on the road for many years. Never settling. Always moving from one place to another, unable to let go of his past. He lived a tragic childhood, spending most of those years in foster care. He's never felt like he's had a home. That is until he stops in the small town of Truman Valley, Missouri, where he meets a woman who will change everything he's ever known.

Paige Watson has it all. A loving family, beautiful home, and a great career. The only thing she's love. After escaping an abusive relationship, she opens her heart up to a stranger. He is unlike any man she's ever met. He came into her life and turned it completely upside down. Everything is perfect. That is, until one fateful night. 

A night that would tear the Watson family apart, never to be put back together again. 

A night that would send Xander away to prison for life.

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My Review

I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The story opens in the present. Xander is serving a life sentence and we get a quick glimpse into his life on the inside. It's been three years and he is still thinking about Paige and her family. The very end of the prologue gives us the information I know I had been curious to find out since I first read the synopsis: What did Xander do to end up in prison? 

The book then goes back three years to see where everything began. Xander is a wanderer and never settles into a place for very long. He goes to a random bar one night where he encounters Paige Watson and her father. He makes quite the impression on both of them and gets invited to their house for dinner the next night. Dinner goes so well that Xander is offered a job at the family winery. He accepts and he finds himself settling into his job and his place in the Watson family. And while it is clear that Xander and Paige are attracted to each other, it takes them a while to actually do anything about it. 

Once we get to the point where the event occurs that sends Xander to prison, we are brought back to the present. For me, this is where it got interesting, which unfortunately was 75% in. It took me a few days to get through the first part of the book, but once I hit the 75% mark, I finished it in no time. I have been trying to put my finger on why I struggled so much and there was something about the writing style that made it hard for me. A lot of the interactions between the characters came across as awkward and I didn't really connect with any of them. I found myself trying to find redeeming characteristics in some of them and it was kind of hard to do. 

This is not your mother's romance novel. I had seen a few things online about how this wasn't a traditional romance so I was ready for whatever that meant. I didn't exactly hate this book, but I didn't love it either. I thought the premise was good and there were parts that I enjoyed, but overall the book didn't grab me like I hoped it would. But despite that, this was the first book in a new series and I am still curious to see what will happen next. 

"How about twenty questions?" I ask.

"I hate twenty questions."

"How about five questions, then?"

He cracks a smile and lifts an eyebrow. "How about three?"


"So, have I mentioned how much I fucking hate Tuesdays?" Brandi's voice cuts right between us. Xander looks relieved.

Me? Not so much. "Damn it, Brandi!"


"Oh nothing. Can you grab me Fireball though? Pretty please. Two of them." I look at Xander. "You're taking one."

"Three. I am too, bitch! Fuck Tuesdays!" Brandi calls out from across the bar as she begins filling the shot glasses from the Fireball chiller.

"Question one. You said you’ve been traveling for a while now, right? Do you ever get tired of it? Ever feel like settling?”

"Damn. Starting out with the heavy hitters, huh?" He eyes the shot glasses as if hoping it will somehow make them fill faster.

"Need me to go easier on you? Maybe a finger or two first before I go in with the whole fist?"

He looks at me in disbelief. "Did you really just say that?"

"Just answer the question, two fingers or three?"

BT Urruela was an infantryman in the US Army from August 2004 until February 2011. At the end of a year long tour to Baghdad, Iraq, his vehicle was hit by two roadside bombs, which took his right leg below the knee and the life of his commander. He was awarded a Purple Heart for his wounds, an Army Commendation Medal, and Combat Infantryman's Badge. He medically retired from the Army in 2011 and moved to Tampa, FL where he currently works as a Director and Brand Ambassador for VETSports, a veteran community sports nonprofit he co-founded in 2012. He also conducts motivational speeches, works as a cover and fitness model and he's a personal performance trainer. He co-wrote the military romance novel A Lover's Lament and will be releasing his debut solo novel, Into the Nothing, on June 21st, 2016.

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