Review: A Beautiful Distraction by Kelsie Leverich

Posted May 14, 2014 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 11 Comments

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: A Beautiful Distraction by Kelsie Leverich
A Beautiful Distraction

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Series: #3 Hard Feelings
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Military Romance
Published by NAL
Released on May 6, 2014
Pages: 384
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher

Get it at: add to goodreads

With each new book, I fall more in love with this series. These tough, but vulnerable military guys and the women they love just get inside my heart so quickly. Each story is different with new sets of characters and new situations, but my enjoyment just grows. In this latest story, a minor character, Rafe Murano, from the last book gets his own story. This could definitely be read as a standalone since this series of books are only loosely tied together.

Rafe Murano was the guy who picked the wrong woman to give his heart to and now he has to find a way to pick up the pieces. He needs a distraction. One night he walks into a classy burlesque club and locks eyes with just the woman to do the job. Normally, he is the one who cuts and runs with no backward glance when it comes to women these days, but Fallon takes barricading her feelings and shoving people away to a whole new level and he decides that she is worth the effort to crack through her hard icy shell to the vulnerable passionate woman he knows is there.

Fallon has come a long ways from the night her parents through her out of her home and their rich, pretentious lives. She went from a penniless, homeless teenager to now owning her own place and making her own rules. She still dances, but for her own gratification and she kept her taste for elegance about her even in her club. It’s all about control and keeping people at arm’s length for her until the night the stranger locked eyes with her when she is up on the stage. He makes her feel and he makes her want.

But she admitted it and accepted it. The way he held her captive with his eyes felt like he was truly touching her, containing her- holding her. And if he looked away, she was afraid she would beg him to look back. pp. 74-75 Fallon from A Beautiful Distraction

Rafe doesn’t know what this is between them, but he’s not giving it up easily. He does the unprecedented thing and brings Fallon to his army buddy’s barbeque to hang with his friends and then he invites her to come for Sunday dinner with the Muranos when he escorts her to NYC. He is falling hard and it’s his wise dad that gives him the push he needs to allow it to happen.

“There are women, women like your momma that give their heart freely…But then there are women who guard their heart, women like Tilly. They make a man fight for it, want to make sure he deserves it, can keep it safe. Those women hide their love, protect it themselves. But if she lets you hold her for everyone to see, she’s giving you the chance to earn her love, to protect her heart. You get that son, she’ll love you in the small moments.” pp. 255-256 Pop from A Beautiful Distraction

Fallon is so far outside her comfort zone that she is terrified. She acknowledges that Rafe has broken through and has her heart, but she knows that she doesn’t deserve his after meeting his wonderful family and feeling just in a short time what it is like to be loved and cherished by such a man. She has no idea how to love and how to love him so she feels she only has one course of action and his distaste to see her dance for the crowds gives her the excuse she needs to push him away.

“His love runs strong and deep, Fallon. So does his anger. But they go hand in hand. The only thing that triggers his hatred is love. He’s a passionate man. He’s a loyal man. A protective man. He doesn’t give his love out easily. But when he does, its intense.” p.274 Tilly from A Beautiful Distraction

The plot on this one is character and relationship-driven. The two main characters have their pasts to overcome and the catalyst for this to happen is what they come to mean to each other. The story winds gently through their initial attraction and passion to a tentative relationship. Their feelings are the easy part, but its getting past Fallon’s hang-ups that came about because of her heartbreaking past that add the tension in things. Rafe has his troubles, but once he meets Fallon, he can get past them. Her issues aren’t the most horrific out there, but they aren’t things that can be dismissed either. There is some tug o’ war going on in the romance, but it wasn’t frustrating because it wasn’t over the top and it fit the characters’ circumstances. I loved these two together and felt they were worth it even if in spite of the difficulties, it wasn’t that hard to read their story.

I really admired Fallon. She was a compassionate and understanding soul and it is a result of her past heartbreaks that put her through the fires and remake her into someone stronger and yet more tender. She can be merciful and loyal to a friend who slipped up with drugs. She can hear about Rafe’s past exploits with women and one big screw up with a married woman and be so understanding. She can take the vitriol of a small-minded woman who throws what she does for a living in her face. Did I like seeing her pushing Rafe away? No, but it made sense that she would be a tough sell on love.

Rafe was a delight to read about too. He screwed up and gave his heart where he shouldn’t and he lets it eat him up so that he hits bottom with the flings and the booze, but then he gets up, dusts off and goes for it all again with Fallon. This guy’s heart was huge and there isn’t an ounce of insecurity in him. He’s a fighter and a protector even if he has to fight and protect Fallon from herself. I loved that he just kept coming back and he never really threw her issues up in her face. It didn’t hurt that he could make her writhe with passion in his bed and make her happy because for the first time someone put Fallon first.

I do have to also mention Rafe’s family. The Muranos particularly his dad were just salt of the earth. These guys and Tilly just made a scene sparkle when they were in it. I laughed so hard when Rafe’s dad handed him his butt and chuckled over Marco and his cakes working his wiles with the women. Such a beautiful family that, like Fallon, I envy and would love to hang out with.

All in all, another fabulous installment in the series that I can heartily recommend to military and contemporary romance fans who like a bit of challenge to the characters and a lot of spice and heat to the romance.

My thanks to Penguin Group for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.

Delighted Reader Giveaway

Up for grabs is one paperback copy of A Beautiful Distraction by Kelsie Leverich. To enter, leave a comment below.

US only. Giveaway ends May 21, 2014 at 11:59 pm EDT.

About Kelsie Leverich

Kelsie Leverich lives with her husband, two children, and their three pets. She loves stories that can sweep you off your feet, make you fall in love, break your heart, and heal your soul.

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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Daniel MBraine TSSophia RoseMelanie JAnna@herding cats&burning soup Recent comment authors
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Anna@herding cats&burning soup
Guest

Ahhh yeah Sophia I am there with you. I’ve been falling for the series hard too. I need to go back and read book one still though.So glad to see you enjoyed it! And oh yes the Muranos *swoons* lol

Sophia Rose
Guest

I’m not one who is usually for books where the characters have to work so hard for their relationships, but there is something in the way the author writes these including the gentler touching moments to make them so enjoyable. I liked the first one, but the heroine is a really tough gal who makes Fallon seem like a sweet little tabby cat so be ready. Haha!

Anna@herding cats&burning soup
Guest

Whoa dang. Okay I’ll be prepared. Fallon was a tough one. I liked her but dang okay I’m ready for the first heroine. lol

Sophia Rose
Guest

Yep! Forewarned is forearmed and all that. 😉

Sophia Rose
Guest

I’m not one who is usually for books where the characters have to work so hard for their relationships, but there is something in the way the author writes these including the gentler touching moments to make them so enjoyable. I liked the first one, but the heroine is a really tough gal who makes Fallon seem like a sweet little tabby cat so be ready. Haha!

Melanie J
Guest
Melanie J

Thanks for the giveaway! This book sounds fantastic!

Sophia Rose
Guest

Thanks for dropping by Melanie. Good luck!

Melanie J
Guest
Melanie J

Thanks for the giveaway! This book sounds fantastic!

Braine TS
Guest

I’m unfamiliar with this series but I do enjoy the occasional military romance and this sounds like it’ll give me the feels.

Sophia Rose
Guest

Oh it will, Braine! There’s a reason it’s called ‘Hard Feelings’.

Daniel M
Guest
Daniel M

sounds very interesting thanks for the giveaway!