Release Day Launch: Who I Am: Shanora Williams

WHO I AM EcoverWho I am (FireNine#3)
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Some stories aren’t easy to tell.
Some situations aren’t easy to relive.
But I was raised to be strong—to hold my own. Because of it, I was hurt, torn down, beaten and even had my heart snatched right out of my chest.
But I’m ready now. It’s time for me to speak up. You want to know what really goes on inside my head, well I’m right here.
Real. Raw. Intense.

This is all me. Roy Sykes. This is my story, and trust me… its far from pretty.

(Kelsey's POV)

A smile smothers my lips as I spot Roy standing in front of some fancy restaurant. He’s dressed in all black (as usual), but 

his hair is wavy, proving he most likely took a shower before reaching his destination. He’s looking around, and there are 

moments when he checks his phone. My smile continues as I start to walk toward him, but in no time, my smile evaporates. 

A girl rushes up to him, and I stop in my tracks, staring like a deer stuck in headlights. I’m… confused. The girl stands on 

her toes and wraps her arms around his neck, and somehow, a part of me shrivels away. I swallow to block the dryness in 

my throat. I can feel my bottom lip trembling… my palms getting sweaty. I don’t even realize I’ve dropped the bag in my 

hand or the cup holder containing the coffee until I’m storming towards him. My eyebrows are furrowed, fists clenched tight 

around my keys. The sharp metal of my keys is digging into my hand, but I don’t even realize it. I can’t seem to focus on 

anything but my boyfriend walking into some restaurant with this blonde beauty.

Character Casting

I've been through some shit, yeah. I've been through heartache, pain, and even suffering. I've been forced to do things I never wanted to do. I've been knocked around and pushed down. I've been hurt over so many things that I forgot what it was like to be alive. My band was all I lived for...it was all I stood for. I had no one to fight for, no one to hold on to. No one to lean on ...all I had was me.

Well, after reading the angsty first two books of this series and already being familiar with the quiet, brooding, mysterious, stand offish (and sometimes a**holish) Roy Sykes, I have to say that his book took me totally by surprise. We knew that he had a troubled past that made him shut down and turn off his emotions. I was expecting a dark, depressing book that made me sad and angry. But this book was actually less angsty, and more positive than the other books. Sure there was pain, heartbreak, loneliness, but there was also a lightness about it. Why? Well, Roy Sykes is a big sweet heart! Yes, in this one we also got to see him happy and even talkative. We know he can be a bit odd, moody, and clueless, but he is also caring, protective, devoted, and respectful. 

This book begins in the present as he has agreed to do an interview and tell the story of his past. His new relationship with Kelsey that began in the last book, has made him feel confidant enough to open up more to the public about his life. 

Finally we are able to peel back the layers of Roy Sykes. We are taken back eight years to the band's early years, what he had to do to support his ill mom, dangerous partners, and to his first love Rosemarie...the girl who broke him. Roy was already facing a lot of issues at that time of his life, and holding it together was hard for a guy with limited choices, bills, and  responsibilities. His life was not easy. He had significant challenges, pain, and felt trapped by his life. But Rosemarie was like a light in his darkness. She gave him something to look forward to and care about. But he gave his all to this one girl with a family that had the potential to ruin his life. Their relationship was complicated and had the power to destroy him.

Love is what f***ed me up. Love is what literally twisted me up, tossed me around, spat me out and destroyed me. I got so caught up with her that I didn't even see the darkness at the end of our tunnel. She was my everything, but sometimes we weren't everything the other wanted. Sometimes we weren't enough. 

I adored Roy! I always was intrigued by him, and enjoyed seeing him begin to lighten up in Who We Are. But in this one, he was so different and much more open. He treated women like Queens. He was romantic, loving, committed, and not afraid to show his emotions. We got to see his vulnerability and my heart broke for him at times. 

I had mixed feelings about Rose. Initially I liked her okay since through Roy's eyes she was so wonderful and perfect.  But there were other times I did not trust her and hated her treatment of Roy. She could be sweet, but could also be selfish and manipulative. There were definitely times I wanted to wring her neck or make her disappear.

This installment had danger, intrigue, desperation, heartbreak, and pain that were all a part of Roy's past. There were some situations and plot twists that totally took me by surprise. And in the present, just as Roy was moving on and happy, the past comes back to haunt him and try to ruin his new found happiness.
I really liked Kelsey as she was truly a nice person who had Roy's best interest at heart. She was genuine, honest, nurturing, and unselfish. Their relationship was good for both of them since they were both moving on from trust issues and heartbreak.

"I told you, you're my world now. And if you're my world, that means I need you like air. I need you like water. I need you more than I need anything else... more than music. That's a whole lot of needing."

 But will Kelsey be able to deal with the truth of his past and Rose? Or will Roy lose at love all over again?

Crazy Sh** in life happens for a reason. My life is what made me into who I am today. Life is what tore me down, but it's also what brought me right back up again. Life is a funny thing, and you'll get a whole lot out of it if you just...live.

I loved getting to know more about Roy and what made him the man he turned out to be. This book gives us a resolved ending. But the author is still planning another potential novella for Roy. And Montana's story titled Who I'm Becoming will be the next full book in this series . I love the fun, flirty, Montana and cannot wait for this story. 

Thanks to Shanora Williams for providing me with an arc in exchange for an honest review. 

AUTHOR BIO PICS. Q. Williams was born and raised in Matthews, North Carolina. She's the author of the New Adult series, OBTAINED and the Best Selling New Adult novel, Hard to Resist. Her upcoming mature New-Adult/Adult novel, Who He Is, will be released in July of 2013.
When she's not writing, she's happily reading or watching cartoons like the big kid she is. She has a wonderful family that you will hear her brag and talk about all of the time. Whenever she just wants to get away from the words for a while, she'll spend some time with her loved ones, eat gummy bears, or drown in Coca-Cola and anything else caffeinated.

Who He Is Cover
Book 1

Who We Are-SQ Williams COVER FRONT
Book 2

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