Title: Into the Nothing
Series: Broken Outlaw #1
Author: BT Urruela
Release Date: June 21, 2016
Xander Evans has been on the road for many years. Never settling. Always moving from one place to another, unable to let go of his past. He lived a tragic childhood, spending most of those years in foster care. He’s never felt like he’s had a home. That is until he stops in the small town of Truman Valley, Missouri, where he meets a woman who will change everything he’s ever known.
Paige Watson has it all. A loving family, beautiful home, and a great career. The only thing she’s missing….is love. After escaping an abusive relationship, she opens her heart up to a stranger. He is unlike any man she’s ever met. He came into her life and turned it completely upside down. Everything is perfect. That is, until one fateful night.
A night that would tear the Watson family apart, never to be put back together again.
A night that would send Xander away to prison for life.
“How about twenty questions?” I ask.
“I hate twenty questions.”
“How about five questions, then?”
He cracks a smile and lifts an eyebrow. “How about three?”
“So, have I mentioned how much I fucking hate Tuesdays?” Brandi’s voice cuts right between us. Xander looks relieved.
Me? Not so much. “Damn it, Brandi!”
“Oh nothing. Can you grab me Fireball though? Pretty please. Two of them.” I look at Xander. “You’re taking one.”
“Three. I am too, bitch! Fuck Tuesdays!” Brandi calls out from across the bar as she begins filling the shot glasses from the Fireball chiller.
“Question one. You said you’ve been traveling for a while now, right? Do you ever get tired of it? Ever feel like settling?”
“Damn. Starting out with the heavy hitters, huh?” He eyes the shot glasses as if hoping it will somehow make them fill faster.
“Need me to go easier on you? Maybe a finger or two first before I go in with the whole fist?”
He looks at me in disbelief. “Did you really just say that?”
“Just answer the question, two fingers or three?”
BT Urruela was an infantryman in the US Army from August 2004 until February 2011. At the end of a year long tour to Baghdad, Iraq, his vehicle was hit by two roadside bombs, which took his right leg below the knee and the life of his commander. He was awarded a Purple Heart for his wounds, an Army Commendation Medal, and Combat Infantryman’s Badge. He medically retired from the Army in 2011 and moved to Tampa, FL where he currently works as a Director and Brand Ambassador for VETSports, a veteran community sports nonprofit he co-founded in 2012. He also conducts motivational speeches, works as a cover and fitness model and he’s a personal performance trainer. He co-wrote the military romance novel A Lover’s Lament and will be releasing his debut solo novel, Into the Nothing, on June 21st, 2016.
Into The Nothing was a book emotionally charged with mix of suspense and mystery. It started very strongly with this intense prologue, and I was expecting to get immediately sucker punched. And I wasn’t. The pace of the story slowed down too much, contrasting with this idea I had in my mind. How Xander got to this point? When did his world turn upside down?
I was surprised. After the prologue, back to the start, when Paige and Xander met. Sweet with a witty banter, they had a great chemistry. I can’t deny that. Of course, everything was not as “sweet” as it seemed.
Paige and Xander were two wounded souls. Their story was a mix of sweetness and at the same time darkness, due to the characters’ background. Their relationship took time to grow, to build this intense connexion and love. I liked it. I enjoyed their flaws, how they were exposed to their fears, uncertainties. It was written with realism.
The plot was driving me too slowly to the inevitable. It took too much time get into the story. I don’t know if the author was kind of preparing the reader for the rush of adrenaline and rollercoaster of emotions of the last 20% of the book, but I really wish that we got this part sooner.
As you might guess, the last 20% part of the book were my favorite. When everything was going to this speed pace, the characters lost into this tragedy. The feelings were overwhelming, gut wrenching and raw. The author truly nailed this part the most, describing their pain, sorrows with such intensity.
I was just conflicted, there were some moments that I really appreciated and sometimes I didn’t. There was a level offset in the story, I was expecting something more darker. I think the author could push the issue harder. I wanted more pressure and tension. But for this first solo, it was really good. I will definitely read more from this author!