Tag Archives: Stripped Away

Stripped Away by Ellis Carrington

Stripped AwayPublished 4 August 2014

Published by Ellis Carrington

Copy obtained from author for review.

Synopsis:

HE DOESN’T RECOGNIZE HIMSELF

David Moorehouse has spent his life hiding behind masks. Nice guy. Best friend. Reverend’s kid. After finding his father dead on the floor, he’s been stripped of his job at the family church and his identity as the quiet, nice guy. The life he knew is over, and he doesn’t know what to do next.

HE KNOWS ANGER BETTER THAN ANYONE

Ricky Slade is itching for a fight. By the time he meets David, he’s struggling to save his business, his best friend, his drug-addict brother, and his own sanity. He’s got no patience for his business partner’s judgmental sibling showing up and getting in his face.

Their furious heat turns into a fiery inferno, but Ricky’s fresh off a bad breakup, and David is getting guilt-tripped by his family and his ex. Every time they fight, they fall into bed, but will that be enough when things around them come apart?

Be advised, this book contains: two men with big egos and bigger trucks, more emotional baggage than they can carry, and a whole lot of sizzling man on man action.

Our Thoughts:

One of the things that struck me while reading Stripped Away was how appropriate the title was and Stripped Clean, book one, for that matter. I feel that Ellis writes a book without bells and whistles. There’s no ploys to move the book along. What we get are stripped down, emotionally charged dealings between two men. Their lives are not perfect and they are struggling. Their nerves are stripped down and they don’t always make the best decisions or choices. Their lives are stripped down in one form or another. They’re left raw and emotionally charged and have to find their center again. Whether that is alone or with each other remains to be seen.

Stripped Away picks up where Stripped Clean ends. Ricky accompanies Greg to his father’s funeral and that’s when Ricky and Dave first meet. The sparks are flying from that moment on. Dave challenges Ricky at every turn. It isn’t like him to be so confrontational and harsh but something in Ricky’s the cocky demeanor sets Dave off.

Ricky is definitely attracted to Dave but they seem to butt heads more than they get along. From the beginning Ricky is nothing but helpful and accommodating to his best friend’s half-brother. In the first book Ricky came across as a real tough guy. Someone not to cross and also very dominate. I was very surprised to see a very different side of Ricky emerge in Stripped Away. He isn’t the person I assumed he was. I rather liked Ricky. More than in book one. I like his business sense, the way he takes care of people. I enjoyed his softer side and his kindness. I was also surprised by his willingness to submit. Ricky was a total surprise!

I wish I could say the same for Dave. It really took me awhile to warm up to him. His stiffness from being closeted and under his father’s church views was pretty severe. He was very awkward and hard to read. After going through the motions for so long, he was finally free of it all and still couldn’t let go. His father was gone, the church had folded and yet his family was still a pressure point. I felt bad for him, but I still wasn’t liking him. It wasn’t until he started actually thinking and doing for himself that I warmed up. He was open to a relationship with Greg and once he got off his high horse, he was open to Ricky, not for a one-off but in the potential to have a meaningful relationship with him. I loved the bond he formed with Ricky’s mom. That showed just how caring Dave really was, the rest was just a protective shell from year in the closet.

Stripped Away isn’t a sugar-coated book. It is raw emotion and a rocky road. These guys fight and claw and fight some more. When they get past that, the tenderness is so worth the emotional roller coaster.

RATING: BAD ASS BOOTS!

COVER REVEAL and EXCERPT: Stripped Away by Ellis Carrington

We are excited to reveal the cover for Stripped Away, the sequel to Stripped Clean, Dave and Ricky’s story!

StrippedAway

About Stripped Away:

HE DOESN’T RECOGNIZE HIMSELF

David Moorehouse has spent his life hiding behind masks. Nice guy. Best friend. Reverend’s kid. After finding his father dead on the floor, he’s stripped of his job at the family church and his identity as the quiet, nice guy. The life he knew is over, and he doesn’t know what to do next.

HE KNOWS ANGER BETTER THAN ANYONE

Ricky Slade is itching for a fight. By the time he meets David, he’s struggling to save his business, his best friend, his drug-addict brother, and his own sanity. He’s got no patience for his business partner’s judgmental brother showing up and getting in his face.
Their angry heat turns into a fiery inferno, but Ricky’s fresh off a bad breakup, and David is getting guilt-tripped by his family and his ex. Every time they fight, they fall into bed, but will that be enough when things around them come apart?

Excerpt:

“You know—” Dave made a disgusted noise in the back of his throat. “Never mind. I don’t know what you’re talking about and I don’t want to know.” He threw his stuff in the rear of Ricky’s cab, then turned to jab a stiff four fingers into the center of Ricky’s chest. “Least we can agree on the dickhead thing. I mean, who shows up to a funeral with a firearm?”

Ricky didn’t show up to funerals at all when he could help it. Easier to avoid acknowledging death that way. “Need I remind, you tried to turn away your own brother? That sort of potential was exactly why I brought the thing.”

Ooh. Jumping jaw muscles and gritting teeth and everything now. “He’s only my brother by blood. I hardly know him.”

Ungrateful punk. “He’s the closest thing you got. He deserved to be at that funeral much as you did. ‘Sides, he was born first.”

Dave advanced on Ricky again, hot breath puffing and panting. “My mama’s heart can’t take that kind of shock. I was trying to keep the peace.”

Ricky matched the threat in Dave’s posture. “The person whose behavior was shocking, Church Boy, was yours.” He licked his lips slowly, grinning at the way Dave’s pupils got smaller and larger and smaller again, like he couldn’t decide whether lust or pissed-as-hell was winning in this fight of theirs.

Ricky himself had adrenaline swirling through his veins and a tornado in his belly. Man, this shit was better than a third ride on the Tilt-A-Whirl “I mean damn, any more heated and you and I coulda wound up going to the dirt right there in front of everybody. Bet that woulda really given your poor mama something to— fuck.”

David growled and gripped Ricky’s shoulders, hauling him front-first against the side of the truck. “Shut up. Shut the fuck up!” His breath beat harsh and ragged against Ricky’s ear.

With what air hadn’t been squeezed outta Ricky’s lungs, he laughed at Dave again. Was that the intelligent option? Hell no. This dude had the markers for being at least three colors of crazy. Ricky didn’t back down though, so he’d push until the other guy did.

Or until someone got hurt.

He’d have said no way could this guy kick his ass, not with his glasses and wiry frame, but Dave handled Ricky’s body with a reasonable amount of strength and know-how. Not enough for a total ass-kicking, maybe, but enough to impress. Speaking of impressive…. “If you think I’m gonna be intimidated by the anaconda you’re rubbin’ against my backside, Church Boy, you got another thing coming.” He sucked in a breath. “Gotta tell you though. If fucking in the parking lot is your thing, you really gotta give a guy some advance warning. I would’ve parked in an unlit area.”

Ricky’s most-likely unexpected response must’ve startled Dave into loosening his hands. Ricky twisted Dave’s arm and turned them both, pushing Dave’s back into the truck and Ricky’s fists into Dave’s chest.

“See, that’s what I figured,” Ricky murmured with his lips a hair from one mother of a betrayed sneer. “Damn shame, too.”

Dave narrowed his eyes. “What’s a shame?”

Ricky smiled slightly, shaking his head. “You’re all bark, Church Boy.”

Stripped Away, Available August 1: Add to Goodreads
Stripped Clean, Available Now: Amazon | ARe |B&N | iBooks | Kobo|  Add to Goodreads

About the author:

Ellis CarringtonRomance requires a hopeful ending and that is why Ellis Carrington is driven to write it. She loves to create original stories that are gritty, witty, and a little unexpected, just like the heroes who inhabit them. Her guys come in both human and non-human form because spirit guides and vampires deserve love too. Her favorite things are great friends, great music, and books that make her sob like there’s no tomorrow

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