Review: Find Me in Manhattan-Shealy James


FMIM-KindleAmazon/B&N/Kobo/Smashwords/iBooks/Goodreadscooltext1889161239 copyFind Me in Manhattan is a stand-alone spin-off novel from the Finding Series.

Sarah Grant is finally living her dream in the Big Apple. While working to achieve her life’s ambitions, she becomes ensnared by the charming and charismatic Jameson Carmichael. Just when Jameson threatens Sarah’s safety, a dream-worthy hero falls in her lap making her question everything she had ever believed about herself.

Sergeant Michael Pearson is merely existing in this nightmare he calls life. He is attempting to have a normal existence, while struggling to discover who he is after the army. When an opportunity save someone arises, he doesn’t hesitate, but Michael doesn’t realize that he is rescuing the one woman in a city of millions that can make him want to truly live again.

Sarah and Michael discover a connection that runs deep, but can they find love in a city known for heartbreak?

cooltext1889171582 copy3.5/5 Stars

***I received this ebook as a gift in exchange for an honest review and with participation in this tour. 

+++Contains triggers: Abuse, violence, PTSD.

Find Me in Manhattan is a poignant, gripping love story filled with pain, uncertainty, and doubts. Find Me in Manhattan is real, honest, and tackles everyday insecurities and fears post-trauma. 

PROS:

  • Sarah is a Southern bombshell with a mission. Determined to fast-track her PhD at Columbia, Sarah is a hard-working, fierce young woman who like any girl, despite her intelligence makes big mistakes with men. Beneath her confidence, Sarah is a major romantic, she’ll do anything for love and falls fast. Sarah’s heart makes her easy to adore and her sass will leave you laughing. A shameless flirt, Sarah knows how to work her charms and is unafraid to embrace her sexuality. It’s empowering and wonderful to see such a body-confident character. 
  • Shealy James does a fabulous job capturing the daily struggles for those soldiers who come back with PTSD. It’s complicated and every case is different. The therapy, the questions, each horrific scene of memory and the nightmares was truly eye-opening. A lot of people dismiss PTSD, Find Me in Manhattan makes it blunt, raw, the kind of in your face impossible to ignore reality that’s needed to understand. 
  • Michael is sexy as sin. A wounded soldier, fiery hot mechanic, and playful flirt, the made is made for swooning. The bulging muscles, his fast motorcycle, the sex. EVERYTHING is attractive. He’s gruff sometimes, but open, he takes risks, and the way he confesses his feelings so awkwardly is so cute you’ll melt. Michael lives with the horrific memories of his fallen comrades, he’s come a long way but has more to go. He feels unworthy of Sarah but she brings life back into him. It’s beautiful to watch him become the man he was before the war. 
  • Sarah and Michael are natural together. The tension is high. The build up keeps up the chemistry and when it finally happens, it’s explosive.

CONS:

  • With countless warnings and harassment, Sarah brushes off the threat. It’s crazy that she just doesn’t want to deal with the drama and is blinded to the serious danger she’s in. Sarah, even after all of her training as a counselor, throws away her training when it comes to herself. Sometimes, the reason breaks through but she consistently makes excuses and tries to block things out. It made her character seem sort of wishy-washy. 
  • Jameson’s past crimes and what exactly he was charged with, I would have liked to have seen more of the results. The justice was cut short and summarized, it left me feeling dissatisfied and uncertain that the drama was really over.
  • The immersion, radical therapy was fascinating but also briefly summarized, as was the reunion scene. Expanding these would have show how deeply recovery went. 

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“In or out, lady?” the cab driver yelled.

“Out,” I said and slammed the door. Sarah’s eyebrows were raised and arms were crossed when I turned around. “What? He was boorish.”

She laughed. “Sure.” She took her unbroken shoe off and slammed it against the ground before ripping the heel off. She slid it back on her foot then she started walking away.

“Where are you going?”

“The subway. I’m not spending ten minutes waving down a cab when I could be on my way home.”

I thanked the transportation gods and gratefully followed her the five blocks and down the stairs to the dirty subway. I spent the whole five blocks wondering what to say to her. We knew each other’s secrets at this point, so it was difficult to come up with something to say without bombarding her with questions about the asshole who hurt her.

“You don’t know what to say to me, do you?” she asked once we sat in a practically empty subway car.

Startled by her audacity, I couldn’t help but let out a little laugh. “No, I honestly don’t have a clue.”

“I figured.” She shrugged while staring straight ahead. “You want to ask about the guy, but you know I don’t want to talk about it. More so, it would be inappropriate for me to discuss my personal life with a study participant, but you aren’t just a study participant now, are you, Sergeant?”

“I told you to call me Michael,” was the only thing I could think to say.

“Yeah, Michael,” she uttered quietly.

“Sweet Sarah,” I responded.

“Ha! I’m far from sweet. You should meet my best friend. She’s like sugar. I’m the one who…” She stopped talking and seemed to lose herself in her head.

“You’re the one who what?”

“Let’s just say I’m not sweet and leave it at that,” she smirked.

I found myself laughing out loud this time. The noise was so unfamiliar, I wasn’t sure it was me. Nothing about Sarah was typical. I didn’t know what to expect from her from one minute to the next. She was different…special. She was dangerous.

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Shealy James is a Georgia native who teaches middle school by day and disappears into the world of fiction at night. She is an avid reader and writer who hopes to one day write full time and leave the world of middle school angst behind. A sucker for love and happy endings, Shealy likes to combine humor and drama to create stories that are both emotional as well as entertaining.

Twitter/Goodreads/Google+/Facebook/Website/TSU

Happy reading,

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