No Apologies by Sybil Bartel
Published by: Carina Press (HQN)
Publication date: June 23rd 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Hard-edged rocker Graham Allen has it all. He’s flush with cash from playing bass in a band by night and restoring classic cars by day. And there are plenty of women willing to share his bed for a night, complication-free. Perfect, because if there’s anything he learned from his past, it was to never get attached—to anything. So when bartender Carly Sullivan flashes her innocent smile, Graham isn’t prepared for what happens next.
Never fall in love
Two rules, that’s all Graham has—never apologize and never fall in love. He knows Carly is everything he should avoid. Cheerful and sweet, she has “relationship” written all over her. But Graham can’t stay away from her probing questions and concerned blue eyes.
When Graham discovers Carly is hiding a crushing secret, he’s prepared to risk it all. Until in one single moment, everything changes and Graham’s past threatens to collide with his future. His life is crumbling down around him, and soon no apology in the world can save him.
He should’ve known to walk away.
Fastening my helmet, my fingers fumbled and suddenly Carly was there.
“Graham, please don’t drive.” Big, fake, sad doe eyes, she looked at me like she gave a shit but I knew better.
“What the fuck do you care?” I was sick of women pretending they cared. They didn’t. They wanted a piece of me because I was in a band or because I had fucking money.
“Please, get off the bike,” she begged.
I ripped the helmet off and turned on her. “You want me off the bike?” I threatened.
She jerked back a foot.
“Off the fucking bike, huh?” I swung my leg over and grabbed her arm. “Why?” I barked.
She stumbled back and I followed.
“You wanna finish what you started?” Seething mad, I took another step toward her.
“Stop.” She quivered.
“I’m not the one doing anything. I didn’t crawl in your bed half naked and tell you not to touch me. I’m not the one who smiles like I won the fucking lottery every time I see you. So what exactly am I supposed to stop doing, Carly?”
My Favorite Thing To Write by Sybil Bartel
You would think this was an easy question, right? But really, I equate it to walking into a candy store and having to choose one thing. Who wants that? Well, okay, I’d so go for the chocolate covered cherries. But I’d be tempted, really tempted, by a lot of other candy.
Writing is like candy. I crave it. But mostly, I crave the damaged, desperate parts. If the love scenes are the chocolate covered cherries, I want to write the broken bits and pieces that fall apart. I love the drama. But more? I love a broken character. I love the desperation of wanting something so badly but knowing that getting it will break you. And the bad boy character that takes all that angst and turns it into the prefect alpha storm? Oh man. Swoon.
For me, Graham Allen in NO APOLOGIES is that character. He’s gritty and raw and desperate. He wants his heroine, Carly, so badly but he knows she will break him. With each sentence I wrote, the layers of Graham’s story built up and took me by surprise. I am totally a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of writer. It’s all character driven for me. I love to watch the hero’s story unfold, occasionally helping out with an adjective here or there (wink). But ultimately, it’s the hero’s story, and all the grit in between the priceless moments. That is what keeps me going.
Is it hard to write the heartbreaking parts? Does it make me want to crawl into bed and cry? Do I wish my characters wouldn’t make such horrible decisions? I so do. But. Without those broken bits and pieces that make up the in between, we wouldn’t have the really spectacular chocolate covered cherry scenes. And I live for those scenes.
So, if you ask me, it’s the grit I love to write. It makes the whole candy store come together. Maybe tomorrow I will change my mind. Maybe I will be writing one of those really spectacular scenes for Graham’s best friend, Myles. And maybe I will say—Hey! Those! Those hot and heavy, clothes flying, hands skimming, breaths faltering, scenes—those are my favorite. But deep down, I’ll know. There’s no reward without the work. There’s no dessert without dinner and there’s no story without the angst. I love the angst—desperately, obsessively, adoringly—love the angst.
Prize: Open INTL – Ends June 30th
*25$ Amazon gift card*
Sybil grew up in Northern California with her head in a book and her feet in the sand. She used to dream of becoming a painter but the heady scent of libraries with their shelves full of books about wistful summer days and first loves drew her into the world of storytelling. Her true literary love is the New Adult genre but really, any story about a love so desperately wrong and impossibly beautiful, makes her swoon.
Sybil now resides in Southern Florida and while she doesn’t get to read as much as she likes, she still buries her toes in the sand. If she’s not writing or fighting to contain the banana plantation in her backyard, you can find her spending time with her handsomely tattooed husband, her brilliantly practical son and a mischievous miniature boxer who stole her heart.
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