Everything for Us - M. Leighton

Friday, February 7, 2014

Everything For Us - M. Leighton
When it comes to passion this hot, it’s all or nothing. 

Olivia Townsend’s wealthy cousin Marissa had everything a girl could ask for—a great job, a privileged life, and all the friends she wanted. Or, at least, all the friends money could buy. But one case of mistaken identity has turned her privileged world upside down.

An abduction gone wrong lands her right in the lap of the sexiest, most dangerous man she’s ever met. To Marissa, he’s an enigma, but one to whom she’s irresistibly, inexplicably drawn.

With him comes a new world of freedom and passion, of dark shadows and dangerous secrets, a world where nothing is what it seems—except for the blind passion that Marissa can’t escape—or maybe even survive.

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My Thoughts:
"I guess it just shows what the love of a good woman can do for a man. It can fix all the broken pieces and heal all the old wounds. If she loves a man, scars and all, that is. And mine does."
-         Nash, Everything for Us

I read in a book that, “It's okay to be broken and sometimes we don't need saving, we just need to be healed.” In this case, Marissa and Nash also saved each other. The past already happened but they were trying to live the life that they knew at first wasn’t for them. But the thing is, maybe it really was for them. Life always throws curveballs and we don’t know what to do. In Marissa and Nash’s case, they had this expected and supposed life before. Nash was thrown into a life he never thought would be of his, as Marissa was in a simulated life created by her father. And this was what I thought:

Two people who were confronted
with a life that they needed to survive.
How their future altered as they found each other,
how both felt broken and unworthy of love,
and how they were just…

With a past that created such an impact,
a ruined future – that future that was taken from him.
He was exiled and the hope that was holding him wasn't enough.
He was the golden boy turned felon.
His hope extinguished,
replaced with an all too possessive fuel of anger.
He was consumed by a highly-combustible combination:
anger and a ruined future.

From high-society and shrouded with artificial people,
also once that fake, snide and controlling,
an event turned her world upside-down.
That little girl who wanted daddy’s approval,
learned all of the deception.
As she got to know what was really expected of her,
she wanted to get away from it.
To rebel from what was the norm,
to be different and be herself.
Standing up and walking away, it was time to break free.

As their path crossed,
the spark that was supposed to ebb out,
turned out to be a piece to ignite an all too intense fire.
‘To be unleashed of being held captive from what was expected,
and to be extricated from the shackles that held them back.’
A feral tension escaped,
that devoured them in passion, pleasure, lust
and love.

That stated, I must proclaim: I loved this series! And of course, my first thoughts about Nash: To save others to keep a secret. To be blood thirsty for the greed of revenge. And mostly, to trust no one. How Nash’s past was stolen and how his future (the one of the ship) turned to a life where his perception had gone to something twisted – there was nowhere safe and it would always be the survival of the fittest.

“Do you wanna be somebody else?
Are you sick of feeling so left out?
Are you desperate to find something more
Before your life is over?
Are you stuck inside a world you hate?
Are you sick of everyone around?
With their big fake smiles and stupid lies
While deep inside you're bleeding

No, you don't know what it's like
When nothing feels all right
You don't know what it's like
To be like me

To be hurt
To feel lost
To be left out in the dark
To be kicked when you're down
To feel like you've been pushed around
To be on the edge of breaking down
And no one's there to save you
No you don't know what it's like
Welcome to my life”
-                      Welcome To My Life by Simple Plan

He was fueled with rage. A riot intertwined with anger and hate and he has this gasoline of revenge. Then, his Dad wanted him to let it go. Just No. That was the breaking point, everything he had survived and endured and to hear that your Dad felt like he was giving up because he thought he deserved it? How about Nash and Cash’s mom? As a son or a child for that matter, it was normal to seek for justice. Taking into consideration that Nash was able to see who did it. That hurts. And I understood why he was always fuming, it was a natural reaction. Yet, he was still the old Nash. He was still a gentleman, he was just so realistic and he didn’t beat around the bush so he was so harsh with the truth. He knew what people were like – he knew that it was hard to trust because he was crowded with people who were deceiving and manipulative. Then when Dmitry found Duffy, instead of the pent up rage to kill Duffy, he did the right thing and the typical old Nash thing to do. He was clever enough to make a deal with Duffy, to fix the RICO case, to be able to send justice to his parents and mostly, even if he wasn’t that educated with Law, he knew some and sought help or gave the others the necessary information to create a criminal and more so, a civil case. Then there was the time when he was wrapped up with his conflicting emotions. He was enamored with Marissa and he didn’t know what to do. He didn’t want to admit it but he felt it. They both thought such fire just needed an explosion then it would be extinguished. But they were in deep. It just ignited the leftover sparks from before *coughs New Orleans coughs*.

Also, I loved that Nash had Dmitry. Dmitry was really like a second father to him and took care of him, not really that present but the mere help that Dmitry was there all the time and when Nash called him. Then Dmitry already got Duffy? I saw how Dmitry really looked-out for Nash. Plus, how he called Nash, Nikolai; they already have that bond connecting them to each other. Aside from that, I also ached more for Nash and his experiences with Yusuf. It wasn’t really as detailed but he really gained a friend there. It was just heart-breaking that Yusuf was murdered in from of him and Yusuf’s wife and daughter. And to think, Nash said that it was one of the pleasant memories he had in the ship. As he shared that story, I loved how Marissa’s character reacted. She didn’t judge
 Nash or anything but she empathized with him for his lost. And she showered kisses and cried for him. That was just real, the Marissa there. And I loved Marissa there. They were in that unlabeled bubble of theirs and the emotions were just there – acknowledged or not.

“But I'm only human
And I bleed when I fall down
I'm only human
And I crash and I break down
Your words in my head, knives in my heart
You build me up and then I fall apart
'Cause I'm only human”
-          Human by Christina Perri

Marissa was the spoiled, bitchy, typical rich and snotty girl. But when she was accidentally kidnapped, it turned her world in the opposite direction. She wasn’t that confident anymore and the people she surrounded herself with were just a means to an end, they were all using each other and as much as they store legal information in their heads, emotionally and morally they can be shallow. Even though I don’t wish for anyone to experience what happened to Marissa, that terrifying event led Marissa to be open-minded about her life. I admired her change in personality even though Cash was very adamant about it. It was understandable to doubt but in everything couldn’t Cash gave Marissa the benefit of the doubt? That aside, I also acknowledged her bravery. She was a strong woman to face all the obstacles after what happened to her. She might have still live in that dread of having people lurking in the shadow but the thing was she never admitted to others what happened to her yet she still fought it every day. By merely residing at her house, it was a defiant gesture that she was sturdy enough to face the upcoming struggles. When she knew what her father was planning and grooming her for, I pitied her, why would her father do such thing? He degraded Marissa. After Marissa proved in every step her worth, it was the typical discrimination and stereotype Marissa’s father still lived with – that women are just a trophy wife. Marissa would never prove herself because her father was just as stubborn. But it helped her way to be strong and I was happy for her that she stood her ground from her father and even if she didn’t know what to do next, she knew that she needed to get away from there. Maybe not a pragmatic choice for a lawyer to not think ahead but Marissa made it work. She still had that spark in her what she needed to do and that was to help Nash.

“Your love is bright as ever (ever, ever, ever)
Even in the shadows (shadows, shadows, shadows)
Baby kiss me (kiss me, kiss me, kiss me)
Before they turn the lights out (lights out, lights out, lights out)
Your heart is glowing (glowing, glowing, glowing)
And I'm crashing into you (into you, into you, into you)
Baby kiss me (kiss me, kiss me, kiss me)
Before they turn the lights out (the lights out)
Before they turn the lights out (the lights out)
Baby love me lights out

In the darkest night hour (In the darkest night hour)
I'll search through the crowd (I'll search through the crowd)
Your face is all that I see
I'll give you everything
Baby love me lights out
Baby love me lights out
You can turn my lights out”
-          XO by Beyonce

There were really sparks within Nash and Marissa. It was just undeniable. They made it like the “with benefits” kind but (un)fortunately their emotions rivaled the passion. It wasn’t enough physically. Their bodies hunger each other and they were famished with the needed love they both lack with. Yes, they were both broken and what bothered me with was that – do they know love? Of course they do but I took into consideration that they were consumed by another set of emotions – sadness, anger, and so on. And I was thinking that maybe they found the affection they were ravenous about that they mistook it as love. But then as the story progress, they really had a fire brewing. To be honest, it already was brewed, from that moment in New Orleans. It was passionate, yes. Pleasurable, yep. But it wasn’t just lust-filled, the emotions were already there. It was already trigged. It was so different from the experiences they had and was so powerful that it was impossible to doubt that it was love. It resonated within the both of them. It consumed them. They tried to distance themselves but because it was all too real, it also led them back to each other. As every feeling and emotions were so intense, the love and even the pain they felt were just so insurmountable. As they tried to defy their invisible yet persistent pull, they took what they could – the pleasure of being with each other even if it was purely physical.

“I am a fire, you're gasoline,
Come pour yourself all over me
We'll let this place go down in flames
Only one more time

You kill the lights, I'll draw the blinds
Don't dull the sparkle in your eyes
I know that we were made to break
So what? I don't mind

Are you gonna stay the night?
Are you gonna stay the night?
Oh oh oh, are you gonna stay the night?"
-          Stay The Night by Zedd ft. Hayley Williams of Paramore

The hope that Marissa still had was vanishing. When the case was over, her connection to Nash would be over. I felt her. I felt the depression building up, the pessimistic nagging that Nash would not come back. That everything would be over. It hurt worse than when Nash left and the case was in progress. I could imagine the pain she was feeling – emotionally and physically. The emotional pain would be the most excruciating yet her body also was seeking the comfort only Nash could give.

Moving forward, the time when Marissa asked if he'll leave when she wakes up the next morning. OMG, I just become a wreck. I don't know why but I pause reading it. I was like feeling Marissa's pain and the thought that Nash was ditching her. I wanted to reach out to her then after a breather, I read it and I was suuuuuuper ecstatic! It took them long enough but they were meant to be. It just proved me how strong love was. The way Nash practically mauled her right there and then? Woah. THAT IS INTENSE PASSION. I was coveting that part, not just the ravaging her like a starved animal but the way he just took her in his arms and kissed her? Just wow. I felt the tension all the way from the book consuming my room. It was real, it was still raw and it just exploded! It took them long enough but at least they found each other. Then the suave proposal, it was so beautiful! I mean, Nash was smooth. I love the ‘sort of’. Haha, nice one, Nash!

Lastly, the story was just so brilliant! Especially on how the sequence was made and how natural the flow was. How the plot never wavered and it was still focused on Nash and Cash’s parents, Nash and of course, Nash and Marissa. And another thing that I loved the most was that every character was worth it. From the mistakes to whatever, because those mistakes had lead them to who they are now, how far they had gone and those past that will redefine the amazing future ahead of them. From Marissa’s decisions, to Cash and Nash’s perseverance to fight for the right, to Olivia’s support, to Cash and Nash’s Dad and his decision to let it go because he felt that he needed to serve his sentence in a way that he deserves, to Gavin and Ginger’s humor throughout the series and of course, Jensen’s help. I think even Marissa’s Dad was also a character that made Marissa strong, he was building Marissa in the wrong way but it was still helpful enough for Marissa to overcome her new life.

“This could be perfect (yeah)
But we won't know unless we try (try)
I know you're nervous
So just sit back and let me drive

Tonight we'll just get drunk
Disturb the peace
Find your hands all over me
And then you bite your lip
Whisper and say, "We're going all the way."

Take me to the other side
Sparks fly like the Fourth of July
Just take me to the other side
I see that sexy look in your eyes
And I know we ain't friends anymore
If we walk down this road
We'll be lovers for sure
So tonight kiss me like it's do or die
And take me to the other side”
-          The Other Side by Jason Derulo

Overall, this book was something different from the series. The humor wasn’t like Cash’s and Liv’s friends – Ginger or Gavin, who cracked me up. Yet the humor was replaced with innuendos and much more complicated characters. It never ceased to amaze me how spot-on the guy’s perspective was. Whenever there was a shift in POV, it really was written and the utterance of words and the thinking were very male. Though it was the continuation of ‘The Bad Boys Series’, this one was more action-packed, maybe not as visually but by the recounting of some moments for both Marissa and Nash, it showed a lot about the characters. Nash was notably a criminal there, so his experiences were downright distinct. At first, I was thinking that the conclusion would still be with Cash and Liv. I didn’t think that with presenting the conclusion with Nash and Marissa, the ending made more sense. As for Cash and Liv’s love story, it was time that their spotlight was given to another couple. The author, Michelle, gave a detour and as a reader the only plausible thing to do was to buckle up, reverse and go on reading this story about Nash and Marissa. As much as it was still Cash and Nash’s story and to bring justice for their parents, the inclusion of Marissa created a more promising and stable plot. Because of Marissa’s connections, it made the process of the book faster – in the sense of the case. Then the well-deserved life for Nash was there. He lived years in a life that was not he wanted, he had the bright future ahead of him but he was robbed by it. He has another future wherein it was not the one he expected but the one that worked for him. He created a new future that still was him. The him that was molded from the past that he was eager to survive. The complications on the book were definitely making the story more complex, deeper and have more about the story. The only thing I was possibly be correct was that they would fix the case and to whom and that they would end up together. I thought that maybe Nash would still pursue a career on Law but as he saw the synthetic and cynical people, it also made him steer back from that old dream. Or that Marissa would be a court lawyer. There was a point when I closed the book that what will happen to them. Just sailing or chartering their boat? I had those, I need more information. But as I reread it, maybe sailing would make them work or at one point or another, they would have that place where they will stay and have a more stable future but being with each other and sailing would always be a priority. The book held the closure, where the finality of everything will reside and where all ends but it sent a justifiable and fulfilling ending. My expression when it ended was: smiling like a nutcase as I feel sated with it. After all those months, all those despair, all those heartbreak and Megaton OMG, it was the perfect happily-ever-after!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Author Bio:
M. Leighton is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Wild Ones and The Bad Boys romance trilogies.  She is a native of Ohio, relocated to the warmer climates of the South, where she lets her mind wander to romantic settings with sexy Southern guys much like the one she married and the ones you'll find in her latest books.  When her thoughts aren't roaming in that direction, she'll be riding horses, swimming in ponds and experiencing life on a ranch, all without leaving the cozy comfort of her office.  

For more about M. Leighton, visit her:
Website      |     Twitter     |     Facebook     |     Goodreads

-     Jassie

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