Blog Tour and Giveaway: Worn Me Down: T.E. Sivec

WORN ME DOWN (Playing With Fire #3)
T.E. Sivec
Release date: Jan. 21. 2014
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“Worn me down like a road. I did everything you told. Worn me down to my knees.
I did everything to please.”

Austin Conrad has never taken his personal life seriously. As a Navy SEAL, he spends all of his time in dangerous, life-threatening situations. The only way to leave behind the horrors he’s seen throughout his career, is to turn it all off when he gets home. He’s too much of a playboy to settle down; even if he did find a woman he could stand to be around for more than one night, he would never taint her life with the demons of his past.

When his best friend and SEAL team member, Brady Marshall asks him to keep an eye on his baby sister, Gwen, Austin figures it will be a walk in the park. The only thing Austin likes more than flirting his way under a beautiful woman’s skin, is walking away with a smile on his face. Austin never expects that the single mom and her little girl will be the ones getting under his skin.

Gwen Stratford knows all too well about living in a nightmare. After taking her daughter and fleeing from her abusive husband in the middle of the night several months ago, she’s worked hard to get her life back on track and forget about the man who tried to break her. Growing up under the iron thumb of her parents and then moving right on with a man who ruled their marriage with his fists, Gwen is finally able to breathe and live her life the way she wants.

When scary, mysterious things begin to happen to Gwen and her daughter, she realizes you can never outrun your past; it always has a way of catching up with you. As she struggles with the desire to keep her newfound independence, she knows she won’t be able to protect herself and her child alone. She’ll need to lean on the one man who drives her crazy.

Can Gwen really put her trust in a man who thinks life is one big joke, or will he be just another man in her life who tries to wear her down?

Gwen and Austin's story began in Because of You. Gwen is starting over with help of her brother Brady. She is breaking free from the perfect facade she was forced to represent for her affluent parents and from an abusive husband. Her main focus is to keep her daughter Emma safe and move on with her own life.

Austin is Brady's friend and fellow SEAL. He knows Gwen will not be happy to have him helping her at Brady's PI agency while Brady is out on tour with his new love, Layla. But he will do anything for his friend including facing the wrath of Gwen. 

Austin and Gwen have an antagonistic relationship. In the short amount of time they spent together previously working on a case, they did not get along. They taunt, pick, tease, and repel each other. As it becomes obvious that Gwen and Emma may be in danger, Austin begins to be more and more protective. And they begin to realize that they are burrowing under the other's skin, but in a more positive and attracted way. 

Austin has always been  flirty, charming, easy going, and not into attachments. He did not have a good basis for love and attachment in his own past. He does not think he is settling down kind of family man due to his dangerous nomadic lifestyle as a SEAL. And Gwen has been reliant on and controlled by a strong man and parents. She now strongly values her independence, control,  and freedom. But the more they spend time together, the more attached they all get. 

There is danger brewing from various possible sources. Austin is determined to keep the girls safe. But he knows it is only a matter of time before he is called away again. And once this job is done, will he be gone from their lives for good?

I really liked Austin and Gwen. They were snarky, flirty, feisty, sexy, and sweet. They had a witty rapport and good chemistry. Her daughter Emma was so cute and funny. I loved Austin's interactions with her. A big strong man playing barbies just has to melt your heart. I enjoyed both of their points of view especially when they were fighting. We got some updates from Brady and Layla, Cole and Olivia, and Garrett and Parker from the other books. And we also got a bit with Dylan who we met in the last book as well.

This book had a complicated romance overlaid on a suspenseful story with intrigue, secrets, surprises, and plot twists. Just like with the other books in this series, the author likes to keep you guessing and trying to figure out the secrets and who the villain really is. And it all comes down to a nail biting conclusion. This is one of those enjoyable reads that just flows easily, sucks you in, and keeps you turning pages to see how it all works out.

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

This series just keeps getting better and better with each book. 

Austin doesn't have any desire to do anything except jump from mission to mission with his SEAL team. He's all about having fun and taking what he wants with little thought to the future. When Brady needs him to spend leave watching after his sister, Gwen, Austin decided to spend his leave in Nashville doing just that. I loved his sense of humor and watching him interact with Gwen's daughter, Emma. Playing Navy SEAL with Barbies and duct tape? Priceless. 

Gwen has been hiding from her abusive husband with their daughter. She has a job she loves, her daughter is thriving and life is settling in to a new normal. When Brady sends Austin to watch over her, she is pissed, but changes her mind when strange things start happening. And even though she's tried so hard to distance himself from her life in New York, fear comes back in to her life. We had glimpses of what was going on with Gwen in Because of You, but seeing her with her feet underneath her again was great. I love the changes she made to her life to move past the fear of her husband, so when things start happening that look like he's coming after her again I was crushed. But Gwen is a fighter, and she certainly proves it time and time again. 

What starts as a hostile relationship quickly changes to interest as the two actually spend time together. Austin isn't so sure he's husband and father material though and so continued to try and hold himself back from Gwen. But somehow those two girls start slipping under his skin. 

I liked so much about this book that I'm having a hard time putting it all in to words. Their banter back and forth when Austin first starts working with Gwen, the way Emma attaches herself to Austin, and that was just the first few chapters. 

It seems that Sivec has found her legs with this series. There was plenty of suspense along the way with several possibilities behind the threats to Gwen. I found myself second guessing my predictions as the story unfolded. I enjoyed using the clues throughout to predict who was behind the threats.

A Beautiful Lie (Playing with Fire #1)
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See  Kim's review  of A Beautiful Lie
See Tammy's review of A Beautiful Lie

He saw her first, but his friend made the move.

She settled for the safer choice, but her heart knew the truth.

They love, they crave, they lie.

Garrett McCarthy, Annabelle Parker, and Milo Roberts were as close as friends could get. They shared in each other's joy during graduations, promotions, and engagements. They consoled one another through heartache and loss.

When one of the friend's life is tragically cut short, it's up to the two left behind to pick up the pieces and find out the truth - no matter the cost.  As they slowly start to uncover the nature of his deception, and the very powerful people behind it, they begin to question everyone and everything, even themselves.

Everyone has secrets - some do it for love while others do it for power. Those secrets can change perceptions, alter reality and sometimes destroy lives.

What do you do when you find out your whole life has been a lie?

Because of You (Playing with Fire #2)
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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.

Tara Sivec
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Tara Sivec is a USA Today best-selling author, wife, mother, chauffeur, maid, short-order cook, baby-sitter, and sarcasm expert. She lives in Ohio with her husband and two children and looks forward to the day when they all three of them become adults and move out.
After working in the brokerage business for fourteen years, Tara decided to pick up a pen and write instead of shoving it in her eye out of boredom. She is the author of the Playing with Fire series and the Chocolate Lovers series. Her novel Seduction and Snacks won first place in the Indie Romance Convention Reader’s Choice Awards 2013 for Best Indie First Book.
In her spare time, Tara loves to dream about all of the baking she’ll do and naps she’ll take when she ever gets spare time.
Tara also writes under the pen name T.E. Sivec.

Tara is giving away lots of fun things.
1st Place – One engraved iPod Nano and a $50 iTunes gift card so you can load it up with the playlist she created while writing this story.

2nd Place – One autographed set of the entire Playing With Fire series

3rd Place – 10 people will win a Worn Me Down swag pack filled with dog tags, bookmarks and other goodies

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  1. I love all the characters in this series but I would have to say that Gavin is my favorite! Thanks for the giveaway!


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