~4.5 I love you better STARS!~
Laid Out is a fantastic fusion of second chances, loving yourself, finding forgiveness, and giving yourself the permission to be who you are meant to be. This is my first Sidney Halston read but it certainly will not be my last.
Violet is a military brat. Cain and Jeremy are her two best friends and all three do everything together. In true military fashion, Violet's father is a bit domineering. Because Violet is a little plus size, her dad is always giving her grief about loosing weight. Violet struggles with bullying from her peers. She has always found peace with Jeremy and Cain and it is Cain who gives her her first kiss (right before he and Jeremy deploy to Iraq). Although Violet has feelings for Cain, it is Jeremy who makes the move on Violet. Violet and Jeremy get engaged. Cain is left as a bystander and now "the third wheel". Then tragedy strikes and everything is turned upside down.
Fast forward to the future....
Violet is working as a nurse and is in a bit of a dating slump. Although she has amazing friends and a stunning personality she has a gaping vacancy in the love department. I love Violet's glowing personality. She isn't someone who wallows in her grief. Instead, she knows what she wants and she isn't afraid to go after it.
"I don't want a man to fix me, I want a man that loves me just as I am. I don't need to be fixed. I'm not broken."-Violet
Cain has been in and out of Violet's life. They share a volatile relationship because of the tragedy they have both lived through. Violet and Cain are friends and yet they both have unresolved feelings for each other. I truly adored the way that Cain was so protective of her. Deep down in his soul he knows that Violet is his.
"Excuse us. She's mine."-Cain
Even though his feelings for Violet are undeniable, he just doesn't think he is good enough. Cain decides that if he helps Violet meet someone else he will be able to move forward and forget her. Cain is able to talk Violet into spending a week with him exploring everything regarding matters of sex and the heart. She agrees. Once the deal is set, things between Cain and Violet get very interesting.
Overall, Laid Out was a read that I could not put down. I had to know what was going to happen with these amazing characters. The writing is in-depth and the characters are well developed. The pacing was a bit slow at the beginning of the read but as the plot unfolds the action increases the tempo tremendously. At first, I struggled with the back and forth between Violet and Cain. However, I began to understand the depth of each character's personality and it helped me understand the gravity of tension they both are feeling.
The first half of the book is stock full of tension as these two try to establish a common ground. In addition to the endearing friendship between the two, the sexual chemistry between Cain and Violet is off the charts! The journey that Cain and Violet make both individually and as a couple is a journey that I will not forgot. I highly recommend this read to anyone who loves a friends to lovers story. I simply cannot say enough about my love for this book! I applaud this author for tackling so many serious issues (such as body image, PTSD, and a love triangle (of sorts)) all in one beautiful package. Additionally, I cannot fail to mention the boxing element that kept my heart racing! Bravo Ms. Halston! I will end my review with a quote from Violet. After reading this book:
"Wow, my cup runneth over."
RELEASE DATE: AUGUST 16TH, 2015
PRE-ORDER LINK: http://www.amazon.com/Laid-Worth-Figh...
~ARC graciously given by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review!~