Sunday, November 8, 2015

Untamed (Thoughtless #4) by S.C. Stephens: Blog Tour Review, Author Q&A, & Giveaway


Blurb:

The spotlight doesn’t only shine. Sometimes, it burns.

Being the bad-boy bassist for the world’s hottest band has earned Griffin Hancock some perks: a big house, a fast car, and most importantly his incredible wife Anna. The one thing it hasn’t brought him is the spotlight. Anna tells him to be patient, that his talent will win out. But Griffin is through waiting for permission to shine.

Without warning, Griffin makes a shocking decision and takes the gamble of a lifetime. Suddenly he’s caught up in a new level of lights, cameras, and chaos—one that pushes his relationship with Anna to its limits. Anna has always found his unpredictable behavior sexy, but lately he’s seen an ache in her eyes, and it has his soul in knots. Just as the recognition Griffin seeks is finally within reach, the thing he loves most in life could be slipping through his fingers…


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Q&A with S.C. Stephens:

1. Which of the D-Bags do you think you’re most like?

I would definitely be Matt—sitting in the back and letting everyone else take the spotlight because I really don’t like being the center of attention. I’m not nearly as organized as he is though. Or as anal.

2. What is your secret to staying in love with a series over several books, and what makes you keep coming back to the Thoughtless series in particular?

I think I fall more and more in love with them with each book, so the more I write about the characters, the more I want to write! But I also want to do them justice, so I’ll be waiting until I have the perfect story for each character before I even think about doing more.

3. If you could trade places with anyone for just one day, who would you want to be?

That’s a hard one! I’m really not sure who I would want to be for a day. Hmmm…it might be fun to be Bob Iger for a day. As the CEO of Disney, he can probably ride all the rides without waiting in line, and that would be seriously amazing!

4. Finish this sentence: Griffin will always… 

be arrogant and inappropriate. And I love him all the more for it.

About the Author:

S.C. Stephens is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who enjoys spending every free moment she has creating stories that are packed with emotion and heavy on romance.

Her debut novel, Thoughtless, an angst-filled love triangle charged with insurmountable passion and the unforgettable Kellan Kyle, took the literary world by storm. Amazed and surprised by the response to the release of Thoughtless in 2009, more stories were quick to follow. Stephens has been writing nonstop ever since.

In addition to writing, Stephens enjoys spending lazy afternoons in the sun reading fabulous novels, loading up her iPod with writer's block reducing music, heading out to the movies, and spending quality time with her friends and family. She currently resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her two equally beautiful children.

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Review by Michelle:

The Hulk tells his story! Whether you relate more to Anna or to Kiera, you can't possibly have read the Thoughtless series without having a good laugh or twelve courtesy of Griffin. As a die hard fan of the series there was no question as to whether I would love to crawl inside Griffin's head to find out just what that crazy man is thinking at all times, the real question was whether I would end up loving the overconfident, shameless, outspoken man himself. While I find myself leaning toward the Kiera side of the shyness, up-for-anything, Griffin appreciation spectrum I was sure that his antics and the growth and maturity he seemed to have found by the end of Reckless would win me over. Untamed tests that theory in every possible way. Just as fun, raunchy, and sexy as you would expect a book about Griffin Hancock to be, Untamed is also shockingly touching, poignant, and heartbreaking.

Sometimes I think it is hard to give a secondary character, no matter how loveable and amusing, a voice all their own. Maybe it's just hard for that voice to translate and ring true for the readers who have come to love and adore that character in previous books. Often times, after reading a book that follows a secondary character, I find myself thinking, "another great book in the series," or "wow, another great book by the author," but it isn't often when a series continues with a character that is the polar opposite of the last, that you find yourself thinking over and over, "that is SO this character," "only HE would do that," or "wow the author really nailed that character." Not only did S.C. Stephens nail Griffin (Insert Griffin's schoolboy snicker here) but I was so immersed in Griffin, in his antics, in his attitude, in his foolishness that I often completely forgot about that Kellan guy (if that is even a real possibility). Untamed isn't just another Thoughtless book or an excuse to read more about Kellan Kyle (though I would never turn down an offer like that) it is a completely different, authentic, believable story that is SO Griffin.

We set out on Griffin's journey finding him a changed man. He has grown leaps and bounds since his days of drunken manwhoring. It seems family has done him a lot of good, changing him in a myriad of ways yet leaving plenty of the same crazy, brazen troublemaker that we have all come to know and love. Unfortunately, there is still much more to learn if he wants to do right by his growing family. Griffin sets out on a misguided adventure which could be considered par for the course with him, except now he is a father and a husband and this time around he may end up taking his family down in his pursuit of what he feels he deserves and his search for what is truly important in life.

This story was a struggle for me emotionally. While I loved being back in the Thoughtless universe, Griffin disappointed me time and again with his foolhardy actions and decision making. I often had to remind myself that these actions and decisions are true to Griffin's character and exactly what he would do. But then I would argue with myself that I thought he was at least smarter than THIS and that he seemed to have grown so much since meeting Anna. Finally I had to realize and force myself to remember that many times selfishness, pride, and arrogance often get in the way. Back and forth and so on and so forth through most of this story left me a little dizzy, a lot angry, and even more impressed with S.C. Stephens and her dedication and truth to character.

From the moment Griffin and Anna hooked up in Thoughtless you could tell those two self-assured nymphos were made for each other. This book did nothing but solidify that and it was truly beautiful and touching and heartwarming. Yes, I am still talking about Anna and Griffin! Anna who seems conceited and self-centered and a bit ditzy in the beginning proves to be intelligent, selfless, giving, and loving. And it is not often you see the soft and squishy side of Griffin, believe it or not the dude does actually have feelings and vulnerabilities, but when he shows this side he goes all out giving me a new respect for him and his relationship with Anna and even bringing a tear to my eye before completely winning me over in the end.

While a story about Griffin Hancock cannot possibly be anything but funny, it was astoundingly real and painful as well. It seems that just as Griffin needs a reality check, so too do the Griffin fans, realizing that even the perpetual jokester can't be carefree and fun all of the time and that even Mr. Awesome himself can learn a thing or two about what is really important in life.

As boneheaded and frustrating as Griffin and his story could be at times, Untamed is perfectly Griffin and really everything you could hope for and more from his journey.

*complimentary copy provided by author in exchange for an honest review

Rating: 4.5 Stars

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