Blog Tour and Giveaway: Because of you: T.E. Sivec

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Brady Marshall has made a career of playing it safe. When he decides to do something rash and becomes a Navy SEAL, he thinks he's finally escaped the rigid structure of the high society life his parents forced down his throat. All he does is trade in one set of rules for another. He follows military protocol to a T, but it still results in the death of an entire team of Navy SEALS and puts his best friends directly in harm's way. He’s struggled to stay afloat and not drown in grief, guilt, and booze, but he's losing that battle quickly. When his baby sister flees her abusive husband and shows up on his doorstep with his young niece in tow, he has no choice but to clean up his act. He will stop at nothing to protect them and never let them down again, even if it means taking a job that goes against everything he believes in. If protecting a pop star princess who thinks she's better than everyone means he can keep a roof over their head, what other choice does he have? 

Layla Carlysle has lived a life of luxury. She's been a star since the young age of fifteen, and every record she releases shoots straight to the top of the charts. She has people surrounding her every single day telling her how amazing she is, how beautiful she is, and how lucky she is, but she’s never felt more alone in her entire life. She wants nothing more than to break free and do what she really wants to do: write her own music, sing her own songs, and find a way to finally be happy with her life. The only thing standing in her way is her mother, Eve Carlysle. Eve has controlled every single aspect of her daughter’s life and will stop at nothing to achieve fame and fortune, even if that means using her daughter to get there. When an overly-amorous fan’s letters become increasingly more sinister, Brady will have to suck up his opinion of how the other half lives to take the job seriously. The pair will need to learn to trust each other and put aside their differences before the letters become a reality and someone’s life is in jeopardy. 

Brady has been to hell and back, and he refuses to let anyone else get close to him again. Layla has never lived her life for herself, and the emptiness is threatening to break her for good. 

Sometimes our lives are already planned for us, but because of you, all of that could change in an instant.

Book one in the Playing With Fire series: 
A Beautiful Lie: Goodreads/Amazon/B&N

See  Kim's review  of A Beautiful Lie
See Tammy's review of A Beautiful Lie

This book can be read as a stand alone

"I don't care if we come from two different worlds or two different planets."

Because of You follows Brady who we met in A Beautiful Lie. He is a friend of Garrett's and was on his team in the first book. Brady has had some past traumatic situations that have left him scarred, insecure, and fearful of loss. He frequently questions his judgment and decisions. He has been  a SEAL, a cop, a drunk and now owns a struggling PI business. He has to find a way to pay the bills and take care of his sister Gwen and his niece so he is forced to take on a job that does not appeal to him...dealing with a stalker for a famous Pop Princess, Layla Page Carlysle. He has no use for a spoiled Diva with loads of money. But he soon discovers that money and fame do not make a perfect life and things are not always what they seem.
As Brady works to find out the truth and keep Layla safe, they find themselves drawn to one another. But both are scared to admit it. And there are threats, lies, and secrets that are making it dangerous for both of them. Brady's insecurities and fear of failing may be the biggest detriment to her safety and their chance at a relationship. 

I really liked Layla. On the one hand she was the picture perfect Pop Diva, but in reality she was an unhappy, scared, traumatized young woman looking for love and acceptance. She is likable and sweet. She is feisty in some situations, and meek in others. She was dealt a bad hand with her family situation and was forced to live her life in the public eye and live up to expectations placed on her. She was miserable and afraid to stand up for herself, at least until Brady helped her open up. 

"You don't want to know why. You just want to fix what's broken. You can't fix me, Brady. What you see is what you get."

Brady carried a world of responsibility on his shoulders both from past events and current situations with his sister and Layla. He takes things very seriously since he feels like he is at fault for things that have gone wrong in the past. He is a smart, sexy, protective alpha with a damaged vulnerable side. He knows what he wants, but does not feel he serves it and feels the need to do the right thing for everyone all the time. 

"...I know I'm done for when it comes to this woman. She's gotten under my skin, and I'm not sure if I'll ever be ready to remove her. I can't walk away and I sure as shit can't ignore whatever this is between us."

There will be no coming back from Layla Carlysle.

They have hot chemistry and both have a need to feel truly loved. But they have so much going against them in their personal lives, trust issues, fears, and are dealing with constant dangerous situations. I really loved them together and wanted them to get past all of the problems bearing down on them so they could get their chance. 

"Because of you I am stronger than I've ever been. Because of you, I can finally live my own life and make my own choices...You gave my life back to me."

"You're wrong you know. About what you said before. I'm not the one who make you stronger. You always had it inside of you. It was always because of you."

The supporting characters added more drama and some humor to the story. Brady's sister Gwen is a tough cookie with a  good sense of humor, but she has her own set of issues and problems in the past. Austin is a flirty, cocky, computer genius that we met in the first book when he helped Garrett on their mission. He is back in this one working with Brady and Gwen.  They are like oil and water and cracked me up. Finn is Layla's bodyguard and best friend. He and Brady do not see eye to eye an anything, least of which is how to take care of Layla. 

This book is told in both Brady and Layla's points of view and has present day intermixed with flashbacks from both of them. I figured out some of the secrets on my own, but not quite all of them. There was all kinds of danger lurking under the surface, mystery, and life risking situations. It was suspenseful, intriguing, sexy, and romantic. Another great installment in this romantic suspense series from TE Sivec. And it opens it right up to the third book about Austin, Gwen and Dylan and I am looking forward to it. I already love the characters from their interactions in this book. 

Thanks to TE Sivec for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

Tara Sivec proved once again that she can write anything and it will be a hit! Because of You was a fun read for me, it didn't hold the same suspense and action as A Beautiful Lie did, but I still really enjoyed getting to know Brady, Gwen, Layla, and Austin (who by the way I cannot wait to get my grubby hands on!)

"No amount of money is enough for me to follow around some pop star diva princess who has more money than she knows what to do with and probably invent this little stalker because her name hasn't been in the tabloids in at least three point two days. Sorry no."

I am a HUGE Brady fan, loved him from the very beginning in fact I wasn't that far in when I told Kim I have a feeling I am going to fall in love with Brady. That is exactly what happened, I hung on to his every word, devoured his every scene. I loved watching our cocky hero eat his words and fall, and I mean fall hard for our pop star heroine, who on the inside was nothing like what she led people to believe. Our girl was living a lie and the more Brady saw past that lie, the more he couldn't stay away. He wanted Layla and he wanted to unravel all of her secrets and find the girl he was beginning to fall in love with. They had great chemistry and character interaction. Although once in a while they got on my nerves and made me want to smack the hell out of them. Layla kind of grew on me. At first I wasn't so sure about her and Brady as a couple, but by the time I reached the last chapter I was totally sold. They were good for each other, two lonely damaged souls from two completely different worlds not even looking for love that ended up being perfect together. 

"Because of you, I am stronger than I've ever been. Because of you, I can finally live my own life and make my own choices."

Because of You held a few twists and turns that were easily figured out but I didn't think it took away from the story at all. However, not too far from the end Tara played some freaking mind games with me and had me holding my breath, flipping the pages as fast as I could get them read. All I could think was oh hell no; there is no way in hell Brady will be able to move on from that. The last couple of chapters are what sealed my four star rating!

I am really looking forward to Austin and Gwen in book 3. Gwen was my favorite female in this story. She had a great sense of humor, she was damaged from her past, but you would never know it. Gwen has sass and spunk, which just drew you to her character. I loved the interaction we saw from her and Austin at the end when Tara gave us a quick glance at their story. That tease drew me in enough to know I will be buying book 3 as soon as it hits the shelves!

Enjoy Brady and Layla. Definite read recommendation from me! Thanks to TE Sivec for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

T.E. Sivec Website/Facebook/Twitter/Goodreads
T.E. Sivec is the pen name for Tara Sivec. Under T.E. Sivec, she delves into a more serious genre that is her absolute favorite to read - romantic suspense.  She loves reading a book and feeling her heart speed up with anticipation and wanted to be able to give that feeling to her fans.
T.E. lives in Ohio with her husband and two children, living the dream of being a full-time writer.

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