Book Review: Stripped Away by Ellis Carrington

Stripped Away by Ellis CarringtonTitle: Stripped Away
Series: Stripped Clean, Book 2
Author: Ellis Carrington
Genre: Contemporary Romance, M/M Romance
Sensuality Rating: Erotic
Source: Review copy provided via NetGalley
Published: August 4, 2014 by Ellis Carrington

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.

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.

Reviewed By: J9

In a Nutshell: I loved these two characters and their complicated relationship. Their blue-collar lives and strong friendships added wonderful atmosphere to this erotic and emotional relationship.

The Set Up: David’s life of being the good reverend’s son explodes on him when he and the town learn his father had another family and was a thief. At his father’s funeral David sees Ricky with David’s half-brother and is immediately drawn to him. Ricky has no time for the confused David and can’t help verbally sniping at him. But David isn’t the good reverend’s son in bed and for some reason Ricky keeps finding himself in that position with David.

What I Read This Book: I loved book one in this series (my review) and couldn’t wait for more by this author.

What I Like: David and Ricky are delicious together. They have an emotional and sexual intensity that leapt off the page. Ricky loves to needle David and David loves that Ricky makes him feel alive, possibly for the first time in his life. The chemistry between the men is definitely erotic but also emotional, as when Ricky offers to help David move his mother out of her house. I loved seeing Ricky and David out of bed as much as in bed, and that’s saying something given how much I adore erotic romance!

What I Also Like: This isn’t a novel about rich men who have college degrees and big time jobs. On the contrary, this is about blue-collar country men who are struggling to figure life out. David has no clue what to do with his life and while Ricky has a job, it certainly isn’t billionaire CEO! Ricky’s best friend (and lead from book one) is David’s half brother and I loved their interactions with each other. David’s best friend is a complicated character as is her relationship with David. Ricky’s mother plays a heartwarming role in this book that will have you sniffling if you have any sort of heart. I loved these secondary characters and the blue-collar life they all lead.

The mystery adds just enough of a danger element without taking over the romance. David’s life with his mother and family offer more tension than the mystery but that worked for me since I like to see interpersonal relationships in my romance.

What I Didn’t Like: That the book ended. Just kidding. I needed a HEA for Ricky and David but I would love to revisit them and their lives.

IMO: Stripped Away is a delightful and unconventional romance with blue-collar leads I highly recommend.

J9’s Rating:
4 Frogs

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About J9: Vegan. Avid runner. Android addict. Never without a book in hand. Currently devouring MM romance but reads historial romance and paranormal romance as well. Follow J9 on Twitter.


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