UNTAMED by S.C. Stephens
(November 3, 2015; Forever Trade Paperback; Thoughtful #5)
The spotlight doesn’t only shine. Sometimes, it burns.
Being the bad-boy bassist for the world’s hottest band has earned Griffin Hancock some perks: a big house, a fast car, and most importantly his incredible wife Anna. The one thing it hasn’t brought him is the spotlight. Anna tells him to be patient, that his talent will win out. But Griffin is through waiting for permission to shine.
Without warning, Griffin makes a shocking decision and takes the gamble of a lifetime. Suddenly he’s caught up in a new level of lights, cameras, and chaos—one that pushes his relationship with Anna to its limits. Anna has always found his unpredictable behavior sexy, but lately he’s seen an ache in her eyes, and it has his soul in knots. Just as the recognition Griffin seeks is finally within reach, the thing he loves most in life could be slipping through his fingers…
When Anna came back into the room, I was my usual self—just a half chub was trying to poke through my jeans. But even that faded when I saw the little miracle in my wife’s arms. “Daddy!” Gibson tossed her hands my way and leaned so hard in my direction that Anna had to struggle to hold on to her. Gibson’s little face scrunched with annoyed concentration while she fought against her mom. Then, with a pout that only a little kid could make adorable, she turned and scowled at Anna. “Want Daddy.” She said it as a command, not a request. Gibson was only around a year and a half, but she already knew what she wanted, and she fully expected to get her way. She was so much like me, it was scary.
Anna rolled her eyes but stepped closer so Gibson could reach me. When her little hands touched my skin, they suddenly became razor-like talons. Like an eagle securing a fish from the sea, Gibson clamped onto my forearm with a surprising amount of freakish strength. “Ow, shit! Relax, Gibs. I’m right here.”
Grunting, I pulled her into my side and examined what was left of my arm. I half expected to see a mutilated flap of skin hanging off the bone. Instead, all I saw were bright red streaks where she’d raked me. Anna winced. “Guess I need to cut her nails. Sorry.”
I shrugged. “The day isn’t truly awesome until a gorgeous girl has scratched me up. I wear my war wounds with pride.” Looking at the design she’d left behind, I added, “I might actually get this one tattooed on me. How cool would permanent shred marks be?”
Anna smiled, then shook her head. “No, if you want claw marks to tattoo, I’ll give you some good ones. Then every time you look at them, you can remember how you got them.”
“Damn…yeah, that’s a much better plan. Fuck, you have the best ideas.”
Gibson grabbed my nose and pulled my attention her way, where she liked it. Girl had a jealous streak a mile wide. Looking at her was like looking at a miniature version of me, if I were a girl. She had the same light blue eyes, same blond hair, although hers was a pristine platinum color while mine was a little dirtier. As it should be. She gave me a smile full of shiny white teeth, then spouted, “Fuck.”
Anna crossed her arms over her chest, but her expression was more amused than annoyed. “I think we’re at the point where we need to start watching our language.”
I looked past Gibson to Anna. “Watch my language? You might as well ask me to hop on one foot while reciting the alphabet backwards. I can’t police myself like that twenty-four-seven. I’m exhausted just thinking about it.”
Anna swished her hands at Gibson. “Well, she’s starting to copy you, and if we don’t put a stop to it now, she’s going to start calling people cocksuckers soon.”
I started laughing. “That…would be so awesome.”
Anna put her hands on her hips; true irritation was starting to edge out her amusement now. “No, it wouldn’t be.” She smiled. “Well, yeah, it kind of would be, but as parents, we have to put a stop to that kind of stuff.” She sighed. “Well, we should try anyway.”
Looking back at Gibson, I frowned. “I suppose I could try.” Even though I was sure she didn’t have a clue what we were talking about, Gibson laid her head on my shoulder, wrapped her arms around my neck, and patted my back like she was encouraging me. Yeah, if it would help Gibson, I would try to control my mouth. There wasn’t much I wouldn’t do for that little girl.
Whitney’s 3.5- 4 Star Review
The loveably annoying D-bag we all fell for in the Thoughtless series, Griffin, is back! And boy, does he live up to his band’s name.
Seriously, Griffin is… well, he’s an immature jerk. When the story begins, Griffin is ready for his time to shine, his turn in the spotlight and feels like the band is holding him back from his true star potential. And I won’t lie, it’s hard to sympathize for the guy while he’s being selfish and treating his bandmates the way he does. And although he is a good dad and clearly loves Anna, he doesn’t show it very well. And my only real criticism is that Griffin’s behavior is almost too much at times. I’m hoping his behavior doesn’t alienate readers.
Essentially, this is the story of Griffin’s spiral down and then his fight to win back the life he took for granted. So when you’re halfway through the book and want to kill Griffin, keep going. There really is a loveable guy underneath it all. He just has to grow up enough to let him out.
If you’re a fan of this series, I definitely recommend reading this. All of the other bandmates, their girls, Denny and Abby are all along for the ride and make appearances. Kudos to SC Stephens for being able to redeem the biggest D of them all! The end of the story is worth the pain and frustration and I think that sort of sums up the way the characters feel as well. Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom to appreciate what you have in life… and this is Griffin’s story. 3.5-4 stars.
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About the Author
S.C. Stephens is a #1 bestselling author who spends her every free moment creating stories that are packed with emotion and heavy on romance. In addition to writing, she enjoys spending lazy afternoons in the sun reading, listening to music, watching movies, and spending time with her friends and family. She and her two children reside in the Pacific Northwest.
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