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May 16, 2013

Review: The Stillness of You by Julie Bale

Series: Beautifully Damaged 1
Format: Digital
Release Date: March 12, 2013
Publisher: Self-Published
Source: Author
Genre: New Adult
"Ben Lancaster had just tattooed himself onto my soul and the thing about tattoos? They’re painful to remove."--Georgia King.

Georgia King is trying to survive after spiraling into a darkness that nearly took her life. In therapy and with her college dreams on hold,she's trying to get healthy. Trying to still the craziness inside her. She has no room for someone like Ben Lancaster,and if he was smart he'd stay away. Because everyone knows Georgia is bad news. Everyone knows she ruins people. And if Ben isn't careful, he'll be next in line.

Ben Lancaster is a young, hot shot hockey player on his way to the top. Newly signed to the Philadelphia Flyers, he's living the dream. The girls. The money. The fame. He thought he had everything he wanted until he met her. Suddenly he wants more--he wants her. He'll do whatever it takes to get her and Ben Lancaster always gets what he wants.

But the girl who's different from anyone he's ever known is hiding secrets. And as the dog days of summer pass, only time will tell if Georgia's secrets can be healed. Or if her bruised soul is strong enough to resist Ben Lancaster...

Julie Bale aka Juliana Stone, I don't know what it is about you and your stories that leaves me speechless! Just like when I read and reviewed The Summer He Came Home, I went through several drafts before I was able to finally write one decent enough to pass off as a review. I'm so lost for words this review post has been sitting in our drafts folder for a couple of days now.

Gah!
She was damaged and broken and there wasn't any kind of glue in the world that could fix her.
When I started reading THE STILLNESS OF YOU, I thought the series can be read as a stand-alone with guaranteed HEA in the end typical of most contemporary reads. Well I was so very wrong. JBale took me for a wild spin as Beautifully Damaged book 1 is as real as it can get without being overly dramatic and tragic. 

Let me explain a little bit.
I didn't want to go back to where I'd been before. To the girl who was way too free and easy with her charms.
Georgia King is your typical privileged, beautiful and rich young woman with too much money and too much time in her hands. Running away from ghosts, Georgia medicates herself with sex, drugs and alcohol to numb her pain and chase her demons away. Georgia has been to too many parties and slept with too many men and women she's definitely scarred at the young age of twenty. I kept Georgia at arm's length because I'm really not fond of the poor-little-rich-me act some of these heroines are infamous for. But Georgia slowly grew on me, she's in that place where she acknowledges that she has a problem, she's taken steps to solve it and is making a conscious effort to steer her life in the right direction with a few minor hiccups along the way.

Throughout the novel, we see how Georgia Struggled with a capital S. It's hard to adapt an outside-looking-in mind-set when one is balls-deep in a situation but I have to give Georgia props for trying. But temptation waits in Ben Lancaster, handsome, young, a famous athlete and off-limits to Georgia but our heroine is weak and it didn't take long for Ben to break Georgia's resolve. 
Ben Lancaster walked into my life with no warning, just after three o'clock on a sunny afternoon.
Ben Lancaster is a good guy, I might be wrong but from the events in THE STILLNESS OF YOU, he's not damaged, tortured or even a bad boy. Aside from having the looks, the skills and the brains, Ben is pretty normal. I love how he's so patient with Georgia, very generous with his time and heart until Georgia felt good enough to trust and share herself with him. But typical of Georgia, she has to railroad their relationship, overthink things, let her trust issues prevail, and throw Ben to the dogs so to speak, leaving him heartbroken and in pieces while she selfishly takes time to reassess herself. In Ben's behalf, I was so miffed at Georgia during the conflict because Ben didn't really give her any reason to doubt him as far as accepting her past is concerned. If any, he's been tolerant and even understanding of her so I can't help but mutter Drama Queen when their misunderstanding was happening and Georgia was dragging it out, blowing things out of proportion.

Inasmuch as I'm not a big fan of Georgia now, I still am rooting for her and Ben. Georgia needs someone like him to ground and show her that she's worthy of love and that normal isn't as difficult as she thought. Their relationship is one of my favorite new adult romance because it felt gradual as JBale brilliantly highlighted the emotions running between Georgia and Ben and really explored Georgia's psyche, stressing that this girl has complicated but not hopeless issues. Damaged but beautiful still.

The ending. The frickin' ending of THE STILLNESS IN YOU killed me! Its the reason why it took me so long to write up this review! Nevertheless, it helped me appreciate Georgia a little more and frankly I was impressed. She demonstrated strength in her decision and even if I want instant gratification in getting an HEA, I love that JBale took the real route and made Georgia more human and the situation natural by allowing Georgia to room for rediscovery and self-love instead of giving that task to Ben. I found that brave and mature and I'd like to think that Georgia is starting to finally let go of her demons and move on with her life. 

I can't wait for book two, The Chaos In Me (coming this Summer as per her website). I'm hoping that Ben will stay true and that Georgia won't make it difficult for him to hold on. However, I don't want to expect too much from this crazy chick, Georgia has her weak moments and she tends to lean towards the idiotic when she's put on the defense. Still, I love a good twist in the story and I have a feeling JBale will bring it!

I'm ready.







Julie Bale fell in love with book boyfriends when she was twelve. She decided that when she was a grownup she would write her own book boyfriends. So that’s what she does. 

When Julie isn’t writing she’s busy looking after a family that includes a couple of kids, her husband and a dog who is prettier than some people she knows, and a cat who thinks he’s human. 

She loves The Walking Dead, Pretty Little Liars, The Foo Fighters, Vampire Diaries, The Fray, and The Gilmore Girls. And when she has time, she loves to kick back and read yummy romances with hot guys and girls who are cool enough to hang out with.

Fan Girls & Boys Invited



“Do you feel this?” he whispered hoarsely. “You have to feel this. It can’t just be me. There’s no fucking way it can just be me.” 

My mouth was open but nothing came out. I felt all of it. Every. Single. Bit of it. 

And then his hand slid behind my neck, cradling me just above my shoulders, his long fingers moving over my body with a hunger and an urgency that I matched. I might have moaned, in fact, I’m sure I did because his eyes widened, and his lips parted. 

I felt…I felt crazy but without the crazy. 

It was the anticipation. It was all the moments and seconds and minutes that had passed between us over the last few days. It was that first time I’d glanced over my shoulder and spied him in Matt’s loft. It was his breath at my cheek the night before. It was want. 

It was all of that and so much more. 

“I feel you,” I whispered. 

And then his hot, demanding mouth was on mine, and that so much more, became suddenly clear. 

It was everything.




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