Blog Tour and Giveaway: Until We Fly: Courtney Cole

Until We FlyUntil We Fly (Beautifully Broken #4)
Courtney Cole
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Ex-Army Ranger, Brand Killien, has always been good. 

A good friend, a good soldier, a good everything. .

The problem is, good hasn’t gotten him anything but a crushed heart. 

So after licking his wounds, he decides to move on. And moving on doesn’t include being good anymore. 

Bad sounds so much better. 

Jaded and detached, Brand is determined to never open himself up to anyone again. It’s not worth the pain. Instead, he becomes closed, hardened, aloof. 

But then he’s called back home for a family emergency… a family that he is estranged from. A family that he put out of his mind a long time ago for very good reasons…reasons that involve secrets and pain. Reasons he tried hard to forget. 

But home is where the heart is, and it just might be where Brand finds his again. 

Why? Because home is where Nora Greene is. A fiery, red-headed spitfire, Nora is a thing from his past. A beautiful, feisty thing. When Brand left, she was away at boarding school. 

But she’s back now. 

And she wants Brand, scars and all.


"Branden, the best things in life are worth the greatest risk. Sometimes before we fall, we fly." (Gran)

I have been waiting for Brand's story for so long. We met him in If You Leave as he is Gabe's best friend, fellow soldier, and business partner. We have also seen the huge train wreck that was Brand's feelings for Gabe's younger sister, Jacey that led him to heartbreak.

When making a trip home to a place he has avoided for a long time, Brand is involved in an explosive situation that changes the course of his life for at least the near future. And it puts him in close contact with Nora Greene. A former Country Club Princess just out of law school and also home for the summer before starting her career.  Also the same girl who had a crush on Brand years ago and never quite got over it. 

But now he is reluctantly in need of help and she is adamant about being the one to help him. They both have broken parts, family issues, and painful pasts. She has significant fears and trust issues. He has been burned by love and has insecurities from his past as well. So they are both a damaged mess in need of someone, but scared of really hoping for it. 

Brand...sweet, broken, protective, loving Brand who is scared of getting hurt again and always being the one left behind.  Nora...she tries to be strong and do what is asked of her, but she feels trapped in a life she hates and feels tarnished. They each see the good in each other but have a hard time seeing it in themselves. 

"I've been through the bloody hills of Afghanistan, but there's nothing scarier than opening yourself up to someone else, only to get shattered."

Nora knows what she wants, and with Brand she is willing to take a stand for herself and go after it. Brand wants it too, but he knows it can only lead to trouble. So it is a game of resistance and engagement. She is tempting. He is strong, but maybe not that strong. 

Brand can take away the ugliness and make me feel good again, even if it's only an illusion...a temporary illusion.

They are on borrowed time. They have secrets,  issues to face, and both have significant fears and feelings of unworthiness that have scarred them and shape their choices. And there are forces influencing them that are beyond their control. They cannot stay in their little isolated bubble for long before the real, harsh world comes knocking on the door. 

Will their summer retreat end up making them or breaking them?

I was pulled in from the prologue and sucked right into the story. It was told in both Brand and Nora's points of views giving us full access to their fears, insecurities, and hopes. Their pasts and pain slowly unraveled making it interesting and intriguing along the way. And in typical form, along with the secrets, there are also plot twists and surprises.

Courtney Cole and this series never fails to shock me, surprise me, pull out various feelings, and leave me emotionally spent. Just when you think things are going one way, there is always a twist that makes you gasp again. 

This was a sometimes twisted story of good, bad, worthlessness, pain, but also hope, forgiveness, redemption, and love. Each of the characters had to find their own inner strength to conquer their own demons in order to be able to even begin to heal or move on. But their battles were hard and full of painful events that had the potential to set them free or break them completely. 

"You stand on a wall to protect what is yours."

"Being brave doesn't mean not being afraid, Nora...It means being afraid and doing it anyway."

Some of the characters from the previous books make appearances: Gabe, Maddy, Jacey, Dominic, Maria, and Gran. These people have such strong connections that they truly are a  family...stronger than many that share blood. They have all had their challenges, but also stand beside each other when needed. This is another gripping, raw, heart wrenching story in this series. I felt for the characters and was totally invested in their outcome. 

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.

“...the best things in life are worth the greatest risk. Sometimes, before we fall, we fly.”

This turned in to such a beautiful story of love and healing. The characters, the story line, the connections throughout left me feeling such comfort by the time I reached the end, but boy was there some ugliness to get through first. 

Brand is such a great character. He is sweet, protective, strong and brave. But he is also haunted by a guilt he can’t outrun no matter how long he stays away from home. 

Nora knows what she doesn’t want, but finds herself continuing to follow her father’s plan for her life anyway. She doesn’t want to join the family business in the legal department, but she doesn’t know how to change the plan at this point. But beyond feeling stuck in her career choice, she is also running from something -- something has her quaking with fear whenever her phone rings. 

Together they just fit; they make each other stronger and support each other in a perfect way. They both have family horrors they try to hide, but with each other they find a support and understanding they haven’t found before. 

As much as I loved Nora and Brand together, there were certainly plenty of moments throughout the book where I felt a full-body cringe. I couldn’t help it. The villains were written so perfectly that it was truly horrific to read some of those scenes. 

Because of his connection with Jacey and Gabe, they do make appearances in Brand’s story. I love interconnected stories like this -- a whole new story with a new set of characters and situations, but those familiar threads weave their way through, reminding us that family comes in many forms. 

This was by turns a smooth romance and a chance for two people to heal the pain of their pasts, both choices they had made and those of the people around them. For Nora, it was her last chance to feel free with the boy she had a crush on as a child. For Brand, it was realizing what was important and the lengths he would go to keep those he loved safe. It had me feeling a great range of emotion, from sweetness to fear, from sorrow to joy. And that ending? Perfect. Absolutely perfect.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review. 

And don’t miss the other Beautifully Broken, now available:

Praise for the Beautifully Broken Series:

"I loved If You Stay. Like, really really loved it. The kind of love that kept me reading until 2:40 am and left me crying, smiling, devastated, and elated. The best kind of book love." --- Andrea, The Bookish Babe

"Beautiful, raw, gritty, emotional and breath-taking are just a few of the words I can find to describe this book...reading this book was one of the best experiences I have had." ---Amanda, Globug and Hootie Need a Book

"In If You Leave, we continue the wild ride Courtney Cole started us on in If You Stay. This raw story of heartbreak and hope solidifies Cole's standing as a rising star in hot contemporary romance." --- New York Times Bestselling author of Down to You, M. Leighton

"Another raw, gritty masterpiece with a sexy-as-hell Army Ranger to swoon over." --- K.A. Tucker, author of Ten Tiny Breaths

Courtney Cole is a novelist who would eat mythology for breakfast if she could. She has a degree in Business, but has since discovered that corporate America is not nearly as fun to live in as fictional worlds. She loves chocolate and roller coasters and hates waiting and rude people.

Courtney lives in quiet suburbia, close to Lake Michigan, with her real-life Prince Charming, her ornery kids (there is a small chance that they get their orneriness from their mother) and a small domestic zoo.

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1 comment:

  1. Healing, redemption, forgiveness
    Thanks for the giveaway :)


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