Title: Wrecking Ball
Author: B.N. Toler
Release Date: April 24, 2014
Find on Goodreads
Author: B.N. Toler
Release Date: April 24, 2014
Find on Goodreads
But even the strongest of foundations can be crumbled.
Sometimes all it takes is one moment, fleeting as it may be, to crush what was once strong and indestructible, like a wrecking ball.
Now Sophia has left and as she rediscovers herself, Brandon is left holding the shattered pieces of their lives, trying to figure out how to put them back together.
He loves her.
She loves him.
All he needs now is to make her remember that.
“What the...” My lap dog slid off me as I stood and spun around to see what hit me. And that’s when I laid eyes on the audacious Sophia Marie Campbell.
“Oh, my God! I’m so sorry!” she groaned as she bent down and picked up the ball.
I was speechless. She was a wet dream in a red bikini with long blonde hair and legs that went for miles. My eyes immediately fell to her chest when she stood back up, ball tucked under one slim, but toned arm.
“Are you okay?” She gazed at me, concern in her eyes. Everything was stunning about her. Her eyes, her body, her boobs. Her boobs. “Uh, yeah. I—”
“That hit to your head must’ve messed with your vision. My eyes are up here,” she interrupted me, bending down slightly trying to meet my gaze with hers.
“Busted!” Ryan laughed from behind me. My gaze snapped to hers and I mumbled some sort of excuse, but was saved by Jake.
“You’ve got quite the arm,” Jake noted as he approached us, and I could tell he was scanning her body from behind his sunglasses. My teeth clenched at the thought.
“Yeah, just poor aim,” she laughed.
“Sophia!” One of her friends called from the volleyball net and she turned.
“Be right there,” she yelled back before returning her focus to me. “Seriously, I’m really sorry.”
“No worries.” I rubbed the back of my head and shrugged. My mind fumbled for something witty and clever to say to make her laugh again, but her presence overwhelmed me. Most girls went into flirt mode when they were around me, batting eye lashes, biting their lower lips, twirling their hair. Not this girl. With that, she gave a slight nod and spun around to head back toward her friends. I couldn’t let her go. I had to think of some way to speak with her. There were guys playing with her. Could one of them be her boyfriend? Did I care?
“Aw, shit.” I shook my head and took off after her. “Where you going, Brandon?” Ryan shouted, but I didn’t answer. Every one of my bodily senses honed in on the beautiful bronzed blonde running away from me.
“Hey,” I yelled catching her off guard as she spun around. “Yeah?” Her eyes were big and brown, almost exotic-looking when paired with her blonde hair.
“Um, I was wondering if...” I hesitated. When I was chasing her, asking her out didn’t seem like a big deal, but facing her, staring into those beautiful eyes, I wasn’t ready to take the chance she’d say no. “Do you guys need another player?” She bounced on her feet for a moment and spun the volleyball between her hands, running her eyes up and down my body as if sizing me up. “You sure you can hang with us?” she challenged with one eyebrow quirked.
“Yeah. I’m pretty good,” I lied. What the hell am I saying? I suck at volleyball! Truth was, I’d maybe played five times my entire life, but those games went pretty well so I convinced myself I could easily play with a bunch of girls and a few guys.
“Okay.” She grinned, a playfulness lurking in her eyes. “Let’s see what you got.” When we reached the sandpit where everyone was waiting for her to return with the ball she motioned to me. “Guys, this is...” Her last word trailed off and she turned to me, biting her lip. “I’m so rude. I didn’t even ask your name and I hit you in the head with a ball.”
“Everyone this is Brandon,” she yelled and ran across the pit to her spot, kicking up sand. “Can you play setter?” “Uh, sure.” I shrugged and took the only empty spot I saw, hoping it was where I needed to be. I was glad asking to play didn’t backfire and she included me, but I was disappointed when we weren’t beside each other.
The game pressed on and the other side immediately gained five points on us. No one on our team outright blamed me, but I could tell the general consensus was—it was my fault. I had a hard time staying in the game because I was too busy trying to catch glimpses of her. I finally snapped to as the ball was flying over the net, and I lunged toward it only to collide head on with Sophia. We both crashed to the ground, tangled in one another, the ball landing right beside us.
“Game!” one of the girls from the other side squealed and everyone on our side groaned.
“Are you okay? I’m so sorry,” I apologized frantically. Nice move dumbass, you just physically crushed the girl you have the hots for.
Rubbing her head where it hit mine, she asked, “So, you don’t really play, do you?” She laughed as she pushed up with her hands. Sand coated most of her, like sugar against her tan skin, and it looked sexy as hell.
“That obvious?” I questioned shaking my head, humiliation surging through me.
“I’m Sophia, by the way.” She grinned as she hopped up and reached a hand down for me.
“That’s a pretty name.” I took her hand and let her help me up.
“We should go rinse off.” She held on to my hand and pulled me toward the water with her. “I guess now were even, huh?”
“Even?” I questioned unsure of what she was talking about.
“Yeah. I hit you with a ball and you nailed me to the ground. We’re even.”
The douchebag in me wanted to say something like, do you like to be nailed to the ground, but I refrained. This girl was different. I had no idea what it was about her I found so alluring, but I was hooked.
“Yeah, I guess so.” We waded into the freezing cold lake, until we were waist deep when we both started splashing water, rinsing our skin. My mind wandered to devious places as I imagined her naked and wet, moaning my name as I thrust inside her. I sank into the water planting my ass to the mush bottom, to hide the hard on I was getting.
“I think your girlfriend is waiting on you.” She nodded to the shoreline where what’s her name stood with one of her friends, trying not to look obvious as she casually glanced our way while they spoke.
“That’s not my girlfriend,” I clarified a little too enthusiastically.
“Oh. Guess you just let anybody sit on your lap, huh?” She smirked at me and I cursed to myself. Of course she would think I was just some player after seeing me with a random girl on my lap.
I had to change the subject and fast. “Do you go to Alabama?”
“Yeah. Business. It’s my last year. You?” She pulled a hair tie off her wrist and began pulling her hair up, extending her torso, which only exemplified her tiny defined body. Damn, I was a goner.
“Biology. It’s my last year, too. I’ll go for my masters after this.”
“Oh, wow. You’re smart.” Her eyebrows rose as if she was surprised. She wasn’t the first person I ever told my major to that seemed shocked. I didn’t exactly fit the nerdy scientist bill.
“Not what you expected?” I smirked.
“You don’t quite strike me as a biologist, but what do I know?” She shrugged and began wading out of the water toward the shore. Panic flooded me. I had to keep her here. Here, we were away from everyone and I could speak with her, but up there she would surely go her way and I’d be forced to go mine. This could be my only chance to ask her out.
“What do you do besides school?” I blurted. Lame question, I know, but I was desperate.
Sophia stopped and turned slowly, facing me, squinting as if she were trying to determine something about me. With a sly grin, she said, “Go on then. Do it.” She gave me a pointed look and crossed her arms.
“Do what?” I stammered wondering if I had been that obvious. Did she know I wanted to ask her out?
“You’re going to ask me out, right? Or at least you want to.” Yep, she knows. Dear God this woman is a ball buster. All of the blood drained from my face. There was no more pretending. This girl didn’t waste any time. My heart pounded in my chest. What the hell is wrong with me? Why am I acting like such a pussy?
Before I could come up with some coherent response she said, “I tell you what. You seem to be a little...” She paused and looked to the sky as if waiting for her next word to fall from it.
“Confused.” She finished as she put her hands on her hips. “Maybe that ball hit you a little harder on your head than I thought. When you think of what you want to say, I bartend over at Bradley’s just outside of campus. Maybe I’ll see you in there sometime.” With that, she rushed out of the water and back to her friends.
With a heavy sigh I made my way back to shore. I knew deep down I acted like an idiot in front of her and she probably thought I was an ass, but I knew one thing for sure. Sophia would be mine.
“Well, that was...” Jake let his last word trail off.
“Pathetic.” Ryan finished for him, laughing.
“What?” I shrugged as if I had no idea what they were talking about.
“First, you practically latched on to her leg and started dry humping her,” Ryan noted before chugging the remainder of his beer.
“You looked like a jackass out there playing volleyball. They must all play for the school or something. They were good,” Jake added, and I rolled my eyes.
“I wasn’t that bad,” I grimaced.
“Brandon.” Ryan said my name as he stared at me blankly.
“You sucked dick man. It was bad. You fucking head-butted her.”
I squeezed my eyes shut. “Shit,” I breathed. It was bad.
Wrecking Ball is such a heartfelt story, about a man and a woman who met in college, fell in love, had the perfect – or thought was perfect – marriage, until things got too comfortable. They had kids, got too complacent with each other, everything about their life was routine, there wasn't anymore spontaneity ... Then after a certain indiscretion, everything they spent years building together was shattered, leaving Sophia no choice but to distance herself from the man she loves so she can figure out where to go from here.
I love Sophia's (much) younger sister Tia. She's a spunky, carefree, free-spirited woman who lives her life to the fullest, and when Sophia breaks down and tells Tia that her life has fallen apart, baby sister comes to the rescue by making plans for her and Soph to go on an adventure together. A trip to get Sophia out of her depressed slumber and back to the living. They go to Mexico, where Tia's “lover” lives, which, coincidentally, is also where Sophia and Brandon went on vacation together after they graduated college. Sophia's fresh start away from ground zero with her sister, brings back all sorts of memories of her and Brandon's time there.
Ms. Toler does a fantastic job with having the story set in the present, but actually a lot of it was told from both Sophia and Brandon having flashbacks. Going back to how they met, how hard it was for Brandon – the player with a bad rep – to get Sophia to agree to go on a date with him...I loved that part! To when they first made love, the proposal, etc... They were perfect for each other, right from the start. I love the confidence Sophia has with herself, with her “Go on then. Do it.” line she uses, but she sort of loses that beautiful confidence the longer they're married, towards the end of the book though, that fire is re-ignited within her and that was awesome!
“Something tells me you're worth acting crazy for.” - Brandon to Sophia
If this book were to be a movie (and it should be), it would definitely be something that sisters should go and see together. “Wrecking Ball” truly is a beautiful, romantic story that revolves around Brandon and Sophia; what they have to do to get back to the way things were before her love was taken for granted, but it's also a very moving and inspirational story about sisters. There aren't enough words to describe how much I loved this book, but I have to admit, you will need a box of tissues handy when you finish reading it. It's absolutely going onto my top-shelf as a favorite that will be re-read many times over.
Wrecking Ball was given to me as an ARC in exchange for a review -
I LOVED IT!
Push It by Salt-N-Pepa
Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap by AC/DC
Take Me Home Tonight by Eddie Money
Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison
Unforgettable by Nat King Cole
Like A Virgin by Madonna
She enjoys shopping (way too much) and is on a first name basis with several employees at the local Target in her town.
She loves music,(bluegrass, country, 80's, actually she loves most music ~her favorite song is American Pie by Don McLean and she worships anything that is Elvis and Johnny Cash and Eric Church) dancing, (even though she sucks at it)reading, writing, eating (too much) sleeping late, (which she rarely gets to do) and laughing. If you can make her laugh, she will love you forever.