Review & Giveaway: STOP! Alison G. Bailey
Alison G. Bailey
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Every life has a different path full of sharp turns, smooth curves, and steep drop offs.
Hollis Murphy has a plan—college, career, boyfriend, love, marriage, family. A predictable, normal life. She’s on track until an outside force causes her to crash and burn. They call it an accident, because that’s the only word they know to explain what happens to her. It helps everyone move on with their lives, except for Hollis. She holds on to the belief that she’s been targeted for a reason.
Risher Stevenson is intelligent, caring, sweet, and the hottest boy Hollis has ever laid eyes on. He fits perfectly into her original plan for a normal life. Everyone loves him.
Benton Daniels is intelligent, caring, sweet, and the bravest boy Hollis has ever met. He doesn’t fit into her life but gives it purpose and makes it extraordinary. Everyone hates him.
One is bullied. One is tormented. All are judged. How will it STOP?
“Name?” she said, impatiently.
I was so flustered that for a second I’d forgotten who I was. “Hollis Murphy.”
She scribbled something on a spreadsheet and handed me a packet with my name and the number two hundred ten typed out on the front sticker, which I assumed was my room number.
In a flat bored voice, she said, “Everything you need to know is in the packet. Should you have any additional questions or needs after reading the information, please ask your RA. Have a productive semester. Next!”
Clutching the envelope to my chest, my gaze shifted back down, and I walked quickly out of the office.
As I turned the corner, a loud deep woot! jerked my attention down the hall. I took one step before crashing full force into something solid and warm. Stumbling back, I dropped the envelope. Once my balance returned, my eyes focused on a gray T-shirt with cut off sleeves, stretched across broad shoulders. When I glanced down in search of my envelope, I couldn’t help but spot the narrow hips and round ass covered in black basketball shorts. As I squatted to pick up the envelope, a tanned forearm came into view. My gaze roamed up to find the arm was covered in bulging muscles.
“Oh god, I’m so . . . sor…ry,” I stammered, my cheeks heating with embarrassment.
“Here ya go,” a deep voice said.
Reaching for the envelope, my gaze inadvertently shot up to the warmest green eyes ever created. His dark brown hair was cut short on the sides, longer on top, and tousled. The perfect amount of scuff peppered his strong jawline, with deep dimples framing a sexy lopsided smile. The air was immediately sucked from my lungs. He wasn’t just hot, he was boy band hot.
A deep chuckle drifted down before I realized he had stood up and was extending his hand to me.
Oh boy! I get to touch him.
I slipped my hand into his and felt an immediate jolt of electricity. The muscles in his arm twitched. He felt it too.
“Thank you,” I said, as he helped me up.
“I’m Risher Stevenson.”
He was actually introducing himself to me.
It had become a habit not to look directly at anyone, especially a stranger. I automatically angled my head down and to the left, to hide the messed-up side of my face. But those green eyes locked me in place.
“Nice to meet you Hollis Murphy.”
“Sorry again about running into you. I need to do a better job at watching where I’m going.”
The tip of his tongue slipped between his lips before they formed into a slight smirk. Just as he was about to speak, his name came barreling down the hallway.
“Rish! Get your ass down here. We’ve got a ton of boxes to haul in.” A blond-haired guy was standing at the end of the hall.
“I gotta go finish helping my friends move in.”
Risher took three steps before turning back toward me. “Don’t do too good of a job.”
My eyebrows squished together in confusion.
“At watching where you’re going. I hate to think I won’t get rump bumped again.”
He winked before jogging away.
I Sasquatched those shoulders, those hips, and that ass all the way down the hall.
As my first read by this author, I was absolutely blown away by Alison G. Bailey and STOP!. There was just so much to love. Definitely one of my all-time favorite reads this year. Risher, Hollis, and Benton simply possessed me, holding my heart in the palm of their hands. Get ready for one hell of an emotional coaster ride. The heart-rending journey these three characters took spoke to me on such a level that I will be passing their story along to my three boys to read as well.
I applaud Ms. Bailey for taking a courageous stand and writing about what others find uncomfortable and taboo. What a phenomenal novel; I have never been ready to give a book six stars by 40%, and with STOP! that is exactly what happened. Risher, Hollis, and Benton will own you; seriously, STOP! moves you in ways I cannot even begin to explain.
Want to know what I loved best about STOP!? The definite poignant and gripping messages Ms. Bailey leaves us to think about on a deeper level. Stop! was a pure testament to how beauty should not be and is not only skin deep. Underneath the outer surface of the characters laid the true beauty or even the pure ugliness they held within them. Everything about Risher, Hollis, Benton, Leah, and Shaffer showed that beauty does go beyond skin deep, and each person's perception of beauty is within the eye of the beholder. Allison G. Baily takes us to a whole other level in STOP!, past all the superficial, showing us that no matter what our outer shell may look like, it is the personality and heart within that determines whether we are truly beautiful or just plain ugly. Ms. Baily exhibited to us, through the actions of these main characters, in passionate and vivid detail that outer beauty fades and your true nature and inner colors shine through.
Another thing I loved most about Ms. Bailey’s writing was that she wrote the main couple to be so easy going without much angst. With everything else going on, I felt they needed to be more neutral, the counterbalance between good vs. evil. Hollis and Risher were the ideal protagonists. The witty banter and hilarious innuendos between them rocked my socks. It totally added to their allure and chemistry. The repartee, friendships, love, and appeal mixed with the intensity of the topics taking place made for the perfect balance of contrast between humor and agony.
Risher was a breath of fresh air. His character was so atypical of the normal hot, arrogant heroes we meet. I think, if Bailey had made Risher a d**k it would have been way to over the top. I loved that he had his own flaws under all that male sexiness, and instead of causing more drama, he stepped back giving Hollis only love and support. By doing this, Risher provided the essential ingredients Hollis needed to regain her self-worth and confidence.
Ms. Bailey’s vision of STOP! was unique! The execution was pure genius. STOP! does not fail to elicit a powerful and compelling impact. I felt each and every moment in my soul as the scenes played out. There were moments I couldn’t breathe, ones where my heart stopped beating, and countless moments of tears rushing down my face. If you walked away not feeling anything after reading STOP! then you need to check your chest to make sure your heart still lies within.
The overall significance and reality painted within this novel was absolutely bitter sweet. The author offered us a combination of happily ever after, as well as a not so happily ever after. A true balance of what real life entails.
Risher, Benton, and Hollis were genuine inspirations. These remarkable characters will forever reside in my heart.
Alison was born and raised in Charleston, SC. She attended Winthrop University and graduated with a major in Theater. While at school Alison began writing one-act plays, which she later produced. Her debut novel, Present Perfect, landed on Amazon's Best Seller List and appeared on many "Best Reads of 2013" Book Blogs. The novel won Best Book at the 2014 Indie Romance Convention Awards. Her second novel, Past Imperfect, was published in February of 2014 and appeared on several best books of 2014 lists as well. Presently Perfect, the third and final book in The “Perfect” series was released in Dec 2014 to rave reviews. In March 2015 all the love, swoon, heat, and angst were combined into the Perfect Series Box Set.
(2) Digital Copies of Stop! Alison G. Bailey (INT)
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