Because of You (Playing With Fire, #2) - Tara Sivec image
"I knew not to let anything distract me from a mission. "

"Don’t you ever forget that, hummingbird. You can go anywhere you want to go, be anything you want to be. Play because you love it and for no other reason. The day you stop loving it is the day it becomes a job. Making music should never be a job."

The story of Layla and Brady sucked me in from the very first page.
The book starts off with a bang, and doesn't let up until the very last page.

Brady is struggling with his demons; guilt from a mission gone wrong and a job that had a gruesome conclusion. All his focus is concentrated on taking care of his sister Gwen and her young daughter. The last thing he wants to do is to play bodyguard to some spoiled rcokstar that was born with a silver spoon in her mouth.

Forced to take on the job in order to stay afloat in his business, Brady comes face to face with Layla.

"If I didn’t know what kind of person this chick was, I’d have to say that she had been hand-picked for me with the concert t-shirt, the long legs, the natural face without all that gunk on it, and the blonde hair that isn't a fire hazard from all the hairspray…in other words, perfect."

When Brady and Layla first meet, sparks fly, but not in a romantic fashion. Brady acts like an asshole since his impression of Layla is from what he assumes to be the truth. Layla, of course, is not at all what he thinks.

I love the hate/lust at first sight scenario. So this hit all my happy spots. The progression of their relationship was filled with enough sexual tension to keep me turning the pages late into the night.

Brady was an asshole at first, but when he finally does see Layla for the girl that is truly underneath, sparks fly.

I loved Layla's character. She was dealing with her own demons, one of which was in the form of her mother. I kid you not, but the woman puts Mommy Dearest to shame, she was such a bitch.

Brady and Layla together were incredible.
"What we had wasn't just a thing. What we had was everything"

Layla hides her true self behind her public persona, but Brady is determined to break through to the real woman underneath.
"Please...don't," I whisper, my voice chocked with tears I don't even realize are pooling in my eyes.
He either doesn't hear me or doesn't care. His need to get inside my soul is too great."

Brady of course is holding back secrets of his own. The progression of their relationship was extremely realistic. I really liked that it wasn't a case of insta-love. They are both dealing with trust issues due to traumatic experiences, and are weary to get involved. Of course, they simply cannot deny the pull towards each other.

I was with him because I wanted to be. I wanted him. I wanted to feel alive and desired, and I needed him to be the one to do it. Only Brady, with his piercing eyes that could see everything"


"Don't ever say this was a mistake, and don't think for one minute I can't read you like a book and see exactly what you're trying to do: push me away first so you don't get hurt. I'm not going anywhere, especially now that I've felt you come around my fingers and heard you cry out my name"

"We are absolutely going to pick up where we left off, and the next time you scream my name, it's going to be when I've sunk myself inside of you as deep as I can get"

Absolutely every little thing that I disliked in the first book was fixed in this one. I loved that we go back to first person perspective, seeing both Brady and Layla's. The scene transitions were smooth, the characterization was phenomenal.

I loved this book so much, I was even able to see past the fact that I figured out who the villain was about 40% in. There were so many twists and turns, suspense, action, and steam that I stayed up all night to finish this. The ending, even though I though I had an idea about the identity of the villain, still caught me by complete surprise.

We even get a little preview of Austin and Gwen's book that is coming out.