Tuesday, February 25, 2014

All Of Me by Gina Sorelle

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One year after undergoing a unilateral mastectomy, twenty-eight year old ER nurse Stella Ciaramitaro is working on healing all wounds, visible and invisible. And it’s going pretty well. Sure, she has four pain-in-the-butt sisters, an occasionally suicidal dad, and some serious trust issues. And, yes, all dreams of soul mates, mind-blowing sex, and everlasting love have gone the way of her left breast. But overall, she’s hanging in there. Doing just fine, actually.
Or at least she was until HE showed up. Nathan Drazek is a hot mess and he knows it. The laundry list of things contributing to his dysfunction includes, but is not limited to: a childhood full of mental and physical abuse, four tours in Afghanistan, and ten years policing one of the toughest beats in East Cleveland. Adding insult to injury, he’s ridiculously straight-laced, beyond aloof, and nearly incapable of interpersonal relationships. But that’s okay, because Nathan isn’t interested in anything more than just getting by. Or at least he wasn’t until SHE showed up. From the moment Nathan nearly arrests Stella on, sparks fly, limits are tested, and boundaries are shattered. A tenuous, tender friendship quickly evolves into something powerful and passionate they cannot wish away or control. But as they grow closer, new issues arise and old hurts resurface, threatening to destroy their fragile new beginning. With everything at stake, Nathan and Stella must ultimately decide which runs deeper: their scars or their love.

Meet the Author

I like nice guys...I always have and I always will. I married one and now I write about them. :)
When I'm not torturing my stoic, stalwart heroes with strong, witty heroines, I enjoy reading, drinking way too much coffee, trying to be the best wife and mom I can be, and procrastinating (especially when it comes to cleaning the house). I am also a part-time student, a lover of history, and hopelessly addicted to Lifetime movies. Do not judge me. :) I also like smiley faces. A lot. :)

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First let me say, I am personally in LOVE with the setting of this amazing story. It is set in Cleveland, my home town! As a result, I had to giggle at times reading the story as I know the settings and it was like going home to me.

Stella isn't your typical female lead of a romance story. She is recovering from a terrible illness that disfigured her and caused her to have issues with her body. She is one of four girls in her family. "It had never been wise to mess with a Ciaramitaro girl, because when you messed with one, you messed with all."
Stella is working hard to help her sisters, protect them as needed, and work as an ER nurse all at the same time.

Nathan is a cop in Cleveland. He hasn't had an easy life in any way, shape, or form. He lost his mother way too young. "Nathan and his brothers hadn't been able to save her from her death at the hands of their father or all that had come before it. They hadn't been able to save themselves either."

When these two first meet, it isn't all sunshine and roses. They meet when Nathan and his partner are called out to assist "A man is reporting his girlfriend's sister is threatening him." When Nathan has to restrain Stella, there really is no threat to him "Nathan was 6'4," 225 lbs and the female was 5'4," 125 lbs soaking-wet."

These two don't have an easy road ahead of them. What will the future hold for these two amazing people?

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Top 10 Movies for Gina Sorelle (in no particular order)

1.  "Emma," with Gwyneth Paltrow/Jeremy Northam. 

I'm a sucker for a nice, sensible guy and Mr. Knightley fits the bill perfectly.  Plus, I tend to love any movie featuring period costumes and British accents. :)  Great story about falling in love with a friend.

2.  "Pride & Prejudice," with Keira Knightley and Matthew MacFadyen.

I've already mentioned I'm a sucker for a nice, sensible guy, but if he's quiet, uptight, and brooding, too?  Well, that's just icing on the cake.  Love, love, love the costumes, accents, and scenery, too.

3.  "When Harry Met Sally"

The friends-into-lovers theme is one of my favorites and this movie rocks it.  I've seen this hundreds of times, but the New Year's Eve emotional outburst gets me every single time.

4.  "The Birdcage," with Robin Williams and Nathan Lane

It's about so much more than two gay dudes running a nightclub.  This movie makes a lot of powerful statements on equality, love, acceptance, and not judging a book by its cover...all while being ridiculously hilarious and heart-rending.

5.  "The Mirror Has Two Faces," with Barbra Streisand and Jeff Bridges.

"I believe in love and lust and sex and romance. I don’t want everything to add up to some perfect equation. I want mess and chaos. I want someone to go crazy out of his mind for me. I want to feel passion and heat and sweat and madness. I want valentines and Cupids and all the rest of that crap. I want it all." - Rose Morgan. 

Enough said. :)

6.  "Bridget Jones' Diary"

Again, love the uptight, serious, quiet dude ("Mark Darcy," played by the awesome Colin Firth).  But, even more than that, I love watching that kind of man become undone by feelings he can't control.  The fight scene in the Greek restaurant is a particular favorite of mine. :)

7.  "The Big Lebowski"

This one is atypical for me:  very little romance (if any), with lots of Coen brothers weirdness thrown in.  But watching Jeff Bridges play "The Dude" is priceless, as is John Goodman's character, "Walter Sobchak."  I don't know exactly what it is about this movie, but I love it.

8.  "Mulan"

I have many animated faves, but this one tops the list.  Mulan is a strong, smart woman who defies society's (and her family's) dictates to do what she knows is right.  Add in another serious, by-the-book dude ("Chang") and you've got me hooked.  It also has a lot of great music and funny dialogue. 

9.  "The Godfather II"

This doesn't really need explaining, does it?  Amazing film and I get sucked in every time.

10.  "My Big Fat Greek Wedding"

I love everything about this movie:  the actors, the dialogue, and the overall theme.  Even though they are Greek-American and I'm Italian-American, so much of it resonated with me.  And just witnessing "Aunt Toula's" shenanigans is worth the price of admission. :)


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