Hey y'all! Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Brenda Rothert's Stripped. My stop includes all the important details for the book, my review, and a giveaway.
This blog tour was organized by YA Bound Book Tours. To check out all the participating blogs on the tour, click here.
by Brenda Rothert
Release Date: 05/27/13
New Adult Contemporary Romance
Abby Gillis is used to being called a promiscuous, uneducated whore. It’s all in a day’s work when you’re a stripper. Since her job allows her to support her siblings, 24-year-old Abby takes it all off in stride. She’s never had trouble keeping men at arm’s length – until she meets ER physician Chris Reneau, who is sexy, sweet and interested in more than what’s beneath her clothes. As their relationship unfolds, Abby becomes increasingly aware of the desire building in her for the first time, and of her yearning to be wanted by the one man who truly sees all of her.
Commitment-averse Chris finds himself in uncharted territory. He wants Abby, that’s clear, but he can’t accept not having all of her. As the distance between them erodes, he tries to convince Abby to give up stripping for a chance at something real.
As the two of them get closer, Abby realizes that truly baring it all has nothing to do with her body. Chris makes her feel more exposed than she ever has, and she has to grapple with what’s left when her notions about herself and those around her are stripped away, leaving only the naked truth.
I was drawn to Stripped by it's synopsis. I know a little something about having a lot of responsibility at a young age, so I figured I'd be able to identify with Abby. I liked the premise, obviously. And I liked the characters. I ended up liking Stripped, but I felt I could have liked it so much more.
Abby Gillis is a strong, determined young woman. She's had to give up a lot in her life to care and provide for her younger siblings due to their mother's drug abuse and chronic illness. It's quite admirable. In order to support her family, she works as a stripper. She's okay wither her lot, seemingly shrugging off criticism and disconnecting from things while at work. Until she meets Dr. Chris Reneau.
Chris Reneau is an ER doctor without the time or inclination for relationships. But then Abby Gillis walks into his life. Not only does Abby bring about feelings he's never had, she also pulls a piece of his past into the present...something that allows them to bond but something Chris would rather not remember.
When Abby and Chris meet, first at her club and later when she brings her mom into the ER, they have an immediate connection. But because Chris doesn't do relationships and Abby doesn't do normal, they settle on being friends. This allows them to get to know one another gradually and their relationship to grow organically. And I enjoyed this part of the book. I also liked getting to know Abby's siblings and bosses, as well as Chris' friends. I enjoyed watching the emotional growth of Abby and Chris as their relationship progresses. I particularly liked Abby's realizations where confidence versus self-worth were concerned.
But what I longed for was, more. I wanted more depth for Abby and Chris - particularly in regards to their pasts. I felt like I was only getting surface information and therefore couldn't feel all I should have felt for them. We are privy to a horrific incident that Abby endured - which explained some of the animosity between Abby her her mother but I felt like it was not explored enough considering it made such a significant impact on Abby's life. The same goes for Chris' past. I really wanted more explanation so I could feel the connection between Abby and Chris I was looking for. I would also have liked a bit more background on Abby's bosses, Marla and Mickey. She apparently feels a deep trust for them both, but we don't really understand why.
I'm sounding like I didn't like Stripped and I really did. Aside from feeling like the dialog was stilted in a few places and wanting more character development, I enjoyed the story overall. Abby is a character I genuinely admired for her ability to move beyond her past and her selflessness in providing for her family. If only I had that little more I could have loved this!
**I received an eARC of this book, as part of the tour, in exchange for an honest review.
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Brenda Rothert lives in Central Illinois with her husband and three sons. She was a daily print journalist for nine years, during which time she enjoyed writing a wide range of stories.
These days Brenda writes New Adult Romance in the Contemporary and Dystopian genres.