Release date: September 1st 2013
Your own two feet are all you have when you've been left.
A naive Baylee loves Colt, her boyfriend of four years, more than she ever thought possible. After a little snooping, she's convinced she's well on her way toward hearing an once-in-a-lifetime proposal and starring in the wedding-of-the-year event. Instead, she's blindsided by a very public breakup and the crushing news that Colt is marrying someone else… someone more befitting him and the role his father expects him to take in his law firm.
Baylee may have spent years resenting Ariana, her mother, and her suicide, an intolerable show of weakness in Baylee's opinion, but after Colt leaves her just short of the altar, Baylee sees the world through her mother's eyes. She sympathizes with Ariana's actions and realizes that some things—soul-deep aches—can irreparably damage you and make moving on nearly impossible.
At least that's how she feels until she meets Ryker. With his help, Baylee discovers there is life after Colt, and she prepares to move on by pulling herself up by the bootstraps, holding her head high, and standing on her own two feet. Unfortunately, a new jealous and hateful Colt has his own plans for her, and they are plans no one—especially Baylee—ever saw coming.
Never expect – one of the hard lessons in life that we must remember. Baylee had been with Colt for four years, she had dropped everything for him, followed him, quit the job she loved to be with him. After a little snooping, she was relief to find out that he was about to propose to her (or at least she thought). But her dreams of a romantic proposal and grand wedding went into nothingness when Colt suddenly dumps her in a very public manner, leaving her humiliated and alone. He is marrying someone else, a girl that his father wanted for him. Four years went flying out the window. OUCH.
BUT not everyone is as lucky as Baylee to have met a prince charming when she needed him the most. Ryker came along and saved her from doing anything harsh. She was in pain, embarrassed and lost – she now understood why her mother, Ariana committed suicide. Some pains, are more than enough for people to bear. Ryker made her realize her worth and that there is more to her life than Colt. She was ready to move on and take some risks. But her ex-boyfriend has other plans of his own. Completely a stranger, filled with rage and jealousy, Colt will make sure that she will come back to him no matter what it takes.
I like Ryker – he’s really a life-saver and prince charming. He can be kind, thoughtful and really SEXY. When he speaks dirty, I can feel my heart pounding so fast I envy Baylee for having him. Argh! He is a self-made man who would do anything for his mother and for anyone he cares about. He is smart, down-to-earth and persuasive. His past had made him the man he is today. He knew what Baylee was going through, he had been there and witness it happened to someone he cared for. He would do anything to keep her safe.
Baylee is a strong girl with a good head on her shoulders. The good head wasn’t quite present when she was with Colt. She had completely immersed and lost herself in the process. She was working with people who were undermining her just because Colt’s father pulled in some strings for the job. But enough was enough. She decided to finally take some risks and do things she didn’t thought she was capable of doing.
Another thing I love most about the story is the thought of PAYING IT FORWARD. Ryker is where he is today because someone had helped him, with that, he made sure that when help is needed, he is ready to offer it. His mother does the same, after she had survived the ordeal, she made sure that she hands help to women and their children who are victims of domestic abuse.
More than your typical love story, Left deals with issues of domestic abuse/violence. The topic is almost a taboo. Most of us often ignore it since it happens within the four corners of the house. There is something about it that other people don’t want to interfere with something ‘personal or private’ problems that the couple have. Victims are ashamed of it, unable to report it to authorities until the unthinkable happens or until finally someone is brave enough to do so. T.R. Graves wrote an amazing story about a woman who had survived this ordeal, and a woman who is currently fighting it. This is a story about survival, love, fate and giving yourself a second chance.
I was engrossed reading this novel that I have finished this in one sitting. Yes, this is a series, and I understood that it COULD have a cliff-hanger ending but it was worth it. The ending just made me want to read the next one in the series immediately.
After he leaves, Ryker grabs one of the fluted glasses and fills it half way with the Cristal. He fills the rest of the glass with the orange juice. Since I assume he’s making the mimosa for himself, I’m a little shocked when he walks over and holds it out for me.
I shake my head and wave the glass away. “No thank you. I believe I’ve partaken enough to last me a lifetime.”
Ryker laughs but doesn’t move away from me. He’s as determined I’m going to drink his mimosa as I am determined that I won’t. I glare at him and don’t move a muscle.
He purses his lips, and on anyone else, it would have irritated me . On him, it just makes him more god-like. “Have you ever heard the expression hair of the dog that bit you?”
I squint my eyes suspiciously. “No Ryker. I haven’t”
He laughs a beautiful musical laugh. “It means that the best sure for what ails you is more of it. Trust me one this. You won’t feel better today unless you do this.”
He’s still standing in front of me, holding the glass out to me, and there’s no hint that he’s not going anywhere until I’ve followed the doctor’s orders. I knew last night that he was accustomed to getting everything he wanted. This just further proves my theory.
Like a petulant child, I take the glass. He steps back just enough for me to stand. When I do, we are face to face, and I say, “Just so you know, I’m a nurse, and I’m not sure there is any medical literature that will support your remedy. I actually suspect you just want to get me back in bed, but that will never happen again. I’m not sure what the hell happened last night, but I do know that I don’t do one-night-stands.”
Ryker looks hurt, and I immediately regret my words. Inches from my face, he stares at me long and hard enough to make my heart race. Everything about his beauty – the way his wounded ego transform him into a man who is all the more gorgeous – makes it nearly impossible for me not to reach out to him. With that longing, I’m acutely reminded of a moment the night before (drunk or not) when I thought about how much, I would like to sleep with him.
Well, you did!
With a chuckle that is now sardonic, Ryker says, “I can assure you, Baylee, when I fuck you, it won’t be something you’ll forget or wonder if it happened. You’ll know it, and you’ll want more.”
T. R. Graves, the author of The Warrior Series and The Secrets Series and The Underwater Series, is a 2012 NaNoWriMo Winner.
She lives along the Texas coast with her husband. Together, they raise T. R.'s beta reading daughter and their football-loving son. Besides being blessed with a supportive family, she counts her career as a registered nurse in not-for-profit hospitals high on her list of fulfilling accomplishments.