Title: Objective Author: K. Larsen Series: Bloodlines #2 Published by Self-Published Release Date
April 1, 2014 Genres: Mystery/Suspense
, New Adult Romance More Info: Goodreads Purchase From: Amazon US Purchase From: Barnes & Noble Purchase From: Audible
My story started out cliche: good girl falls for bad boy. One wrong move changed all that; turns out the good girl doesn’t save the bad boy. My story goes from cliche to risque to mind blowing. My story is different from all the others because the events of my story led me to one thing...my objective.
Remembering him comes in dreams and flashbacks that I can't control. I tell myself it’s time to let go...but moving on from him is impossible when I still see our lives in my head.
When you kill your soul mate you don’t ever really recover.
A year of trying to forget, or rather move past it, has taught me that you can't. It's an impossibility to move on from that kind of horrific form of betrayal. If you’re too selfish or scared for suicide like me, you learn to wake up every morning and follow routine. One foot in front of the other, day after day.
Hollow. Lifeless. Haunted. Loving him was like the sun on a summer day. Living without him is like slowly burning to death. Torture.
A Bloodlines Novel.
*Note: While Tug of War is the 1st in the Bloodlines books, each book can be read as a standalone book.*
My soul is a hurricane, but everything is fine when you’re standing in the eye of it. I just can’t seem to find the eye and stay in it.
Back in the fall I was given the opportunity, while guest blogging on another site, to review an upcoming book for an author I hadn’t heard of. As I stated in that review, I wasn’t sure going into it, what to expect. At first glance, I wasn’t completely hooked by the blurb. But that, combined with the unique book cover, left me diving in head first. And let me tell you; when you let go and fall willingly down the rabbit hole, what a phenomenal ride it is! Tug of War BLEW me out of the water and squashed any doubts I had. Larsen had hooked me for life! Fast forward a few months and during one of my many daily parousings through Goodreads, I happened to notice that Tug of War was now part of a series. Say what?! <cut to me jumping (internally) for joy> I read the blurbs. I devoured each and every word, and I ran to Facebook to see what other information I could gather. Finally, the day arrived and Objective appeared on my Kindle. And thus the journey began again…
“Mags, there are two types of tragedies in life. One is not getting what you want, the other is getting it.”
Where as the first book was solely about the main character and her family dynamic, this book revolved around mystery and intrigue. There weren’t very many love scenes, but I found I was so entranced with the storyline that I didn’t even miss them. We begin the book with a flash forward prologue. Right out of the gate we know that someone is stalking our main character, Magnolia (Mags). So for the remainder of the book you are filled with a sense of dread and inevitability. As we are brought back to the present, we learn that Mags is running for her life. After experiencing something so traumatic that she has no other choice but to flee, Mags is looking for somewhere to lie low, all while constantly looking over her shoulder. Through circumstances beyond her control, she believes she took a life. Not only a life, but the love of HER life.
It’s now that I realize no one can be saved. This game is going to end badly for everyone, and I’m okay with that.
Through flashbacks, we are made privy to how Magnolia and Cane’s relationship began. On the surface it appeared as if the previously sheltered young girl fell in love with the quintessential bad boy. But the thing about preconceived notions is that they almost always are deceiving. This was never truer than in Objective. Cane was a victim of circumstance and desperately wanted better for his life. Once he met Mags, his road to redemption was never clearer. Experiencing the love between these two, though brief, made it that much harder when we were thrust back into present time.
In the present, Mags tries to numb her pain through avoidance and alcohol. Isolated from everyone, those who do try to break through her barriers are met with strong resistance. Every thought, every emotion, ever fall, I felt them all. As she sunk into a pit of despair, I was right alongside her. This story was so beautifully written, I simply didn’t want it to end. It was raw and gritty and full of angst; the perfect storm for my reign of bliss. I ate it all up and came back begging for more.
The way that Larsen wove this tale through flashbacks and present time flowed effortlessly until the two timelines finally merged. And when they meet, the shit really hits the fan! For the remainder of the book I bounced from hope, to fear, to hopelessness, to anger, to grief and back around the carousel again. I was on a rollercoaster of emotions, enjoying a ride I never wanted to end. I freefell into the depths of despair, dreading the outcome. When everything eventually comes to a head, as all stories must do at some point, the action is non-stop and I found myself flipping back pages more than once to read it again. Not because I was lost mind you, but because they story was SO good I immediately had to re-read a few parts. I literally lay in bed until three a.m. finishing this book, knowing I would have to get up for work in three hours. It didn’t matter; I HAD to know how it ended.
Regret is a nasty thing. It breeds and feeds on your soul, breaking you down like compost until you’re nothing but dirt.
Though Objective only barely correlates with Tug of War, it was clearly setting the stage for the next book. How that all ties in, well, you will just have to wait and see. One thing is for certain: Larsen gives good words. She opens up her chest and allows you into her soul. And for those perfect few hours, you are wrapped in a cocoon of another world, one in which you know you’ll emerge from changed.
Impulsive, YES. Irresponsible, SURE. Necessary, PROBABLY. Going to end badly, most likely. Does any of that matter to me, no. I decided that I can’t please everyone so this week my only goal is to please me. I’m a selfish cow but I can’t seem to help it. I’m Clara Lord. I own Bloodline’s Tattoo Parlor, have a filthy mouth, no filter and a really strong objection to bossy idiots, pet names and wealthy men.
You will hate me, love me or love to hate me but either way it doesn’t matter. Everything I touch turns to crap and it’s all my fault. See, I lived through hell. Then I escaped hell and carefully spent the next eight years crafting a perfect little life until Domini Napoli screwed it all up. Now nothings right. Everything’s wrong and all my secrets are coming out.
(Sawyer’s Story, Releasing Late 2014)
My name is Sawyer Crown, I own Bloodlines Tattoo Parlor, despise drama, and have a penchant for broken women. It’s a habit I intend to kick.
The arrangement had been simple. Clara and I sleep together if and when we wanted too. We were always best friends first. We raised Allie together with love. Four years into it did people assume we were married- yes. Did people assume I was Allie’s father- sure. Did I love every second of that- most definitely.
Then my world exploded. Clara left me. Moved on. I’m supposed to too. I just haven’t figured the moving on part out quite yet. The heart wants what it wants right? Or maybe the mind want what it wants for the heart. All of those scenarios are bullshit though. Clara went for the gold. She carved out the happiness she needed, wanted.
Now it’s my turn.
I feel like I’m crawling in my skin. I’ve had this feeling for the last sixteen months just about. Time has done little thus far to mend me. People keep promising time heals all wounds. Bullshit. I call bullshit. Love is a four-letter-word.
Love is blindness. I didn’t want to see. I don’t want to see. I chose to ignore all the signs. I was in denial. I pretended that Clara and I were more than we were. I knew it was wrong. I buried that feeling deep though. Flat out refused to let it bubble to the surface where I’d have to deal with it. I’d tear out my insides if I could go back and change it.
I didn’t give her room to breathe. I never gave her the chance to come to me, to want me. I gave her what I wanted to give and convinced myself that it was exactly what we both wanted and needed.
Our arrangement had been simple. We slept together if and when we wanted too. We were always best friends first and we were to raise Allie together with love. Four years into it did people assume we were married- yes. Did people assume I was Allies father- sure. Did I love every second of that- most definitely.
The problem is, real women don’t need you, they want you. Clara always needed me. I knew that. I liked it, hell I loved it. I thought it would be enough to keep her attached to me. It wasn’t. She put my heart in a blender and watched it spin around until it was a pureed mess. I’d love to blame her entirely, but when shit hit the fan and she told me she never asked for my love outside of our arrangement, she was right. She never did.
She was upfront, honest, clear with me from the start. I tried to change that subtly over time. To embed myself into her life so wholly that eventually she would want to submit to me entirely. My game got sloppy, I grew complacent. I used my dating life to try and piss her off and make her jealous. Sometimes depending on the woman, it worked. Mostly she held up her end of our deal and knew that we’d agreed to be able to date, therefore never bringing it up.
My weakness was that I let myself care too much. It was all a well played game between the two of us. A balancing act with no safety net. Games that never amounted to more than they were meant to, eventually played themselves out.
Clara is many things, but she’s not an asshole, contrary to what most think. She’s a straight shooter. Calls it like she sees it, a take action kinda gal. She loves fiercely and wholly. Even when she’s not in love with you. If she loves you, you get all of her for better or worse.
All things I love about her.
Clara makes mistakes and people view her actions as self-centered, but they don’t understand how she works. She’s not a selfish woman. She’s bold. Takes no prisoners. Driven. She gives back in so many ways.
People look at her and judge, they don’t see or maybe they choose to overlook all the things she does from the heart. Her friends, family and their and her personal well-being come first. Her two jobs follow next. She’s committed, blunt to a fault and owns her faults. It’s refreshing really. Her past was so much worse than even I knew, and I knew most of it, but when the parts I didn’t know came out- so much came to light, for me at least. But by then, it was too late for us. There was a gap so wide between us there was no bridging it.
She loves Allie fiercely. She’s wonderful mom. I admire that about her. Sure she’s made mistakes- we both have, but she’s never claimed she hasn’t. When the school told her the chorus program was being cut, she volunteered to continue teaching the kids for free. Bloodlines thrives as a business because she puts her heart and soul into it. Even from a distance she’s loyal to Marg and Amanda, staying in touch, talking often, putting in the effort to make sure they all stay connected. She’s thoughtful and kind and funny.
Dominic swooped in and threw us all off balance. I can’t say that had the situation been reversed I would have handled it any differently than she did. It was confusing. Where did we draw the line? How do you give up someone that’s been an intimate part of your life without giving them up completely? How do you tell what’s right and wrong? How do we maintain our family still for Allie? When you never talk about the hard stuff together, how can you expect the other to just know what’s in your head? Bottom line, you can’t. It was a cluster fuck to say the least. We’ve found some semblance of peace. We’re just rearranged now. I’m supposed to accept that and move on. Supposed being the key word.
I just haven’t figured the moving on part out quite yet. The heart wants what it wants right? Or maybe the mind want what it wants for the heart. All of those scenarios are bullshit though. Clara went for the gold. She carved out the happiness she needed, wanted.
Now it’s my turn.
(Bentley’s Story, Releasing Early 2015)
My first kill was at sixteen. One might think that’s young but I’d been trained for two years before I was allowed to execute a human target on my own. I won’t ever forget him. Jackson Manning was testifying in a human trafficking case and someone didn’t want him to be heard. I’d been sloppy and careless, but excited and if I’m honest, a little turned on too. I’d found myself rather curious staring at his unmoving body. I’d been scolded for my carelessness but it didn’t matter. I’d had a taste of the real thing and I thirsted for more. My desire, my obsession took on a new form that day. It wasn’t a goal I was working towards anymore, it was tangible now.
I am an assassin. I don’t know my targets or why they’re targeted. I am commissioned to kill without question and I am paid grandly for the service I provide. I get a text with a name and an address. I watch them. I wait. I become who I need to be. I seduce them if necessary to get close enough to execute.
I love my job, or loved my job. Everything changed when I was assigned: ATF Agent Bentley James, last known location Christiansburg, VA.