Review & Giveaway: No Apologies by Sybil Bartel

Never apologize

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.

*I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review*

No Apologies started off as a slow read to me. For the first half of the book, I was wondering if I was liking this story or not. Graham is a difficult character to connect with, though luckily there was this major plot twist about halfway through that tipped the scale. It definitely showed Graham's softer side.

As the synopsis says, Graham actually has a pretty good life right now. He owns his own shop, plays in a band, has his own house and all the women a man could want. You'd think the guy would be grateful for that, but his past still has such a hold on him that most of the time he's a jerk, moody, sullen and has some anger issues. Graham likes to keep people at a certain distance, so this cute little waiter Carly doesn't fit in his world.

Carly is a pretty great gall. She has been through some stuff as well, but doesn't let that bring her down. Actually she's a very optimistic person all things considering. I also like how she has no illusions when it comes to Graham. She knows the way he is and knows she shouldn't expect more than what he's willing to give. Though the way that boy changes his mind would give anyone a whiplash. Graham just doesn't want to hurt her, but you know he's going to make mistakes.

Another part that I liked a lot, was that Graham wasn't changing himself because of Carly. There were all these other factors influencing that decision to become a better person. To me it felt like Graham held on so hard to his past, that he wasn't giving his future an honest chance. There was all this anger and resentment eating at him and he needs to let go of that.

This story is told from Graham's point of view and often it's a very bleak one, so it takes some time to get used to. His view of the world is interesting, even though I mostly don't agree with it. It was also fascinating to see how certain factors can influence a person, forcing Graham to make certain decisions about himself and his life. There are definitely some heartbreaking moments and Graham isn't always very likeable, but overall I very much liked it. I wouldn't call this an easy read, though well worth your time.  


The Author
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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