Blog Tour and Review for Beautiful Rugged by Sara V. Zook

Title: Beautiful Rugged
Author: Sara V. Zook
Release Date: Nov 29, 2015
Find on Goodreads
Sometimes us silly girls fantasize about things that never come to be. I had expectations after college—expectations to run off with Jake Larson and start our life together in a little Pennsylvania farm town. I had my happiness mapped out inside my head.
I didn’t expect to run into a strange, alluring man with a beard and dark hair stacked up on top of his head. I didn’t expect to be attracted to someone so—different. He was everything I didn’t know existed. He could make me feel things I’d never felt before. It didn’t seem possible that we could be together. We both had obligations. The world told us no, but we couldn’t stay away from one another, couldn’t deny that we were drawn together. He was so beautiful—so beautiful rugged. I was going to make him mine.
“Want something to drink? Some Mountain Dew maybe?” She held up her green can of soda and took a sip.
“Mountain Dew?”
“Yeah. You know, a little sugar, a little caffeine.” She eyed me closely for a moment. “You’ve never had Mountain Dew before, have you, Gideon?”
I chuckled, the anger slowly seeping out of me. “No.”
“Want some?”
“Come on, just try a sip. See what you think. This is so much fun. It’s like teaching a foreigner all kinds of new things and getting to experience it through their eyes.”
I arched a brow her way and shoved a bite of chocolate in my mouth. “Could you make me feel any more like a freak?”
Evanna burst out laughing. “Gideon Beckensheim, did you just say the word freak?”
I smirked but didn’t reply.
She shoved her can of soda under my nose. “Taste it.”
“Please. I want to see what you think.”
I sighed. “You’re a little pest.”
“I won’t be if you just taste it.”
I looked at her smiling face and laughed, taking the can out of her hand and narrowing my eyes at her before placing the can up to my lips. I could taste something on the can where Evanna’s mouth had been. Was that watermelon maybe? She had something glossy all over her lips. I drank back the carbonated liquid and shook my head.
“Well?” she asked anxiously.
“It’s too sickening sweet,” I replied, feeling the tingle in the back of my throat from the carbonation. I took another bite of candy bar.
“It’s delicious, that’s what it is.” She ignored my remark and took another swig herself. “What about Pepsi? Have you had Pepsi?”
“You said you’d leave me alone if I tried your Mountain Dew,” I reminded her.
Evanna laughed. “I have another question.”
“Go figure.” I looked at her out of the corner of my eye. “Is it going to make me feel like a freak again?”
At least she was honest. I pretended to be irritated, but really I was amused. “I may or may not answer it then.”
“Okay.” She leaned back in her chair and looked around the room. “Have you ever driven a car?”
“That’s easy. No.”
She leaned forward quickly and turned her head to look into my eyes. “Never?”
“That’s what I said, isn’t it?”
“But why? What’s the reasoning behind it? And don’t say it’s custom.”
“It’s custom.”
“Gideon!” She elbowed me in the arm. “Be serious.”
Reviewer: Ebbie
Rating: 4.5 Groupie Stars
Beautiful Rugged is a book about finding your true identity and purpose in life. This story starts with Evanna finishing college for journalism. She has been dating Jake for several years and is waiting to find a job until he decides what he is going to do. Jake decides he wants to go back to his hometown in Pennsylvania. He then says he wants Evanna to go with him. Honestly, to me it seemed like an afterthought. Once they get settled Jake is always out with his friends leaving Evanna home alone and wishing that things were like they were in New Jersey. She didn’t have anyone there and all the time alone had her questioning their relationship. She had taken a job at the local library, which was not what she wanted to do but in this small town was her only real option. Then one fateful day she ran into a beautiful rugged stranger who opened her eyes to what she was missing in life.

This is a beautiful story; full of angst, hurt, loss, and perseverance. From the blurb I was intrigued but I was completely blown away by this story and more importantly who this stranger was. Their lives couldn’t have been more different and yet they were drawn to one another. This story evoked so many emotions for me and left me wondering why people are so quick to judge others decisions. Beautiful Rugged has a little feel of insta love but with them I totally get it; their connection was undeniable. I truly believe everyone has a soul mate and sometimes you find each other in the most unconventional ways.

This was an amazingly well written story. I loved the unique plot (can’t say too much about that because I don’t want to spoil it). This story sucked me in from the first chapter, I literally could not put it down. I loved reading the epilogue but I hope this isn’t the end of Evanna’s story. I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a unique forbidden love story.

Sara V. Zook is an author who likes to touch on a variety of genres including paranormal, fantasy, contemporary romance, and organized crime. Her books include The Strange in Skin Trilogy, The Sempiternal Series, Clipped, A Magic Within Series, The Pull, The Push, Six Guns, and Beautiful Rugged.  She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and three small children.


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