ARC-Review: SHAKEN by Dee Tenorio

Thirteen stories up. Two broken hearts. One last chance…

Surgeon Grant Sullivan’s once-perfect life lies in ruins. His daughter is gone—lost in a tragic accident he dare not allow himself to remember—and his beautiful wife now stares at him from across a legal table, insisting she wants nothing from him.

Julia Sullivan lost everything, especially her illusions about her marriage, after the accident. Her grief only seemed to drive Grant further into his emotional shell—except for the nights he turned to her in silent, furious passion. Unable to live like a ghost in her old life, she’s packed up what’s left of her broken heart and is ready to move on. Alone.

Determined to break their stalemate, Grant follows Julia onto the elevator just in time for an earthquake. Trapped for hours in a building pressure cooker of unspoken pain, he’ll do anything to remind her what she’s leaving behind, as deliciously as he can. But giving her what she needs to save their marriage is the one thing that could destroy his soul.

Title: Shaken
Author: Dee Tenorio
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Year of release: 2010, October 19
Format: eBook, short novella
Source: Received for review via author
First line: God, she’s beautiful.
Memorable Scenes:
-The first sexy times scene in the elevator > hot with a hint of emotional urgency
-The flashback to the accident scene > so heartbreaking and awfully sad I was sobbing while reading it

A car accident that cost them their daughter left Grant and Julia Sullivan devastated. When Julia doesn’t find the emotional support she needs from Grant she files for divorce as she can no longer live with a man who seems incapable of mourning his daughter and only interested in the sexual side of their relationship. Grant does mourn the loss, however he’s not one who expresses his feelings easily and prefers to use his desire for his wife and the solace he finds in their physical bond to push away the pain. Now at opposite ends of the negotiation table they seem further apart than ever, until an earthquake not only shakes up the building they’re in trapping them in an elevator but also they are forced to face their emotions and grief together.

Normally I always tell something about the main characters and though this story was centered on Grant and Julia, the real focus was on them working through their traumatic experience and trying to save their marriage and the feelings that bind them together. And while their personalities play a big part in that, they were not what caught my attention while reading this book, at least not as much as the effect of their emotions did.

My heart broke for Grant and his loss, not only the physical loss of his child but also the emotional loss of the woman he loves profoundly. It also broke for Julia, a woman alone in her pain and grief, desperately trying to find an emotional connection over their mutual loss with the man she loves deeply.

SHAKEN is an emotional powerful novella in which Dee Tenorio delves into feelings of loss, guilt and grief which such rawness and sincerity I was truly moved, not to say shaken, by this short story.
And next to the emotional punch this story also more than delivered in the erotic department with some hot and sexy love scenes.

From the very first page this book put a lump in my throat with its intensity, heartbreak and emotional need that spoke from every word, sentence and page. If you’re looking for a read that touches you in that deep, dark place in your heart where loss resides once you’ve suffered losing a loved one, this book is it and you should definitely read it, and make sure you keep the tissues close by.

Favorite Quotes:
She shook her head and looked away. “Why can’t you just let me go?” (…) Because he needed her, because his entire world failed without her. Because being with her was the only way he could keep the pain at bay, even if he didn’t deserve a single minute in her presence. He’d failed her when she’d needed him the most. He didn’t deserve to be in this room with her right now. But still, all he wanted was the chance to—if not make it right—make it better.

Her hands found purchase on his shoulders and their gazes locked. Everything locked. Neither of them moved but for their panting breaths. His need was raw in his eyes. More than sex. He needed her. To touch him back. To give as much as he was giving to her. To make this more than an act of desperation; two bodies meeting while their hearts took different paths. As if he had no idea that her heart beat in his chest.

“I need you, Jules. Every minute of every day, I need you.”
“No you don’t.” If he’d needed her, he wouldn’t have pushed her away when she tried to comfort him. Back when she’d thought his silences held secrets and pain instead of indifference.
“Yes, I do. I can’t even breathe anymore without you.” Down. She felt him drawing them both down to the floor. She went, her body flowing into his, over his. He lay back on the carpet, pulling her with him, fitting her mouth to his, not to kiss, but to breathe her in. “You’re air to me, Julia. You’re the f#cking air.”

Make sure you come back Friday (22nd) when I welcome Dee Tenorio as a guest here on Pearl’s World of Romance


8 thoughts on “ARC-Review: SHAKEN by Dee Tenorio

  1. Wow – what a different and interesting premise for a romance book… focusing on reigniting a lost love and moving past tragedy aren't new to the romance world, but this sounds like a unique way to frame a story. Thanks for the review.

  2. The things you describe in your review already create a lump in my throat Pearl! I love it when authors can pull on the heartstrings like that and let love be victorious in the end :)

  3. Ok, I skimmed because I'm reading this very soon and will be reviewing. But from what I gather you liked this very much. I really like Dee's voice and I can't wait to read this one.

  4. Wow! What a fantastic excerpt — and review. :) I saw this one on Samhain's site and I thought it sounded interesting. But, now after reading both your review and the little goodness, I definitely want!

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