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.
After reading A Lover's Lament a few months, I was excited to learn that BT Urruela was writing his first solo novel, and I applaud this book. This book starts out with Xander in prison, and what comprises the rest of the story is everything that happened that lead up to him being locked up. Xander is your typical bad boy, but a lot of that had to do with his youth and how that shaped him into the man he is in the book. He's not the type that goes out actively seeking trouble, but somehow trouble seems to follow him. But there are certain instances in which he doesn't make the best decisions, and those are the times where I got the urge to shake some sense into him.
He meets Paige after he intervenes on her behalf when she's being manhandled, and that is the beginning of their road to romance. But it won't be a smooth road, due to Xander's past and Paige's ex-boyfriend. The biggest obstacle to their HEA is what happens to Paige's mother. Once you learn the backstory, the book seems to shift from romance to mystery, because now you want to know who is the responsible party that set everything in motion and ruined so many lives.
For the most part the story flowed along at a good pace, although there are some parts that seem to be a bit heavy with the dialogue. I was also a bit turned off by Xander's choice of coping mechanisms. But overall I feel like this is a good debut novel and I'm looking forward to reading more books from BT Urruela in the future.
ARC provided in exchange for honest review.
"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.