TOO BEAUTIFUL TO BREAK
Series: Romancing The Clarksons #4
Author: Tessa Bailey
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: September 26th, 2017
A love of a lifetime . . .
Leaving Belmont Clarkson is the hardest thing Sage Alexander has ever done. From the moment they met, she knew Belmont was the one, and getting up close and personal with him on his family’s epic road trip has taken her desire to a new, even hotter level. But there’s no way she can go there—not without revealing secrets that could devastate them both.
Losing Sage is not an option. Belmont’s heart is hers, has always been hers. He knows she’s hiding something from him, but nothing will stand in his way of telling her just how much she means to him. Finding her is easy—saving her from her past could cost him everything.
“You don’t have to leave right away,” Sage said when Belmont turned, watching her from beneath his eyebrows. “Can you wait here while I take a quick shower?”
Maybe that hadn’t been the right thing to say. His big back heaved and the touch of his tongue in her mouth came crashing in like a behemoth wave. They had crossed an unspoken boundary on the train platform. There was no going back to before, to when they stopped at rough, crushing embraces. As if that hadn’t been…more than sexual somehow.
“Yes, I’ll wait,” he said, his voice sounding like serrated metal. “I can light the fire for you.”
I’ll say. God, why did everything sound like an innuendo now? If her body weren’t flush and sweating beneath the jumpsuit, she would have laughed about it. But there was nothing funny about having Belmont looming mere yards away, looking like one word of encouragement would snap his chain and send him barreling toward her. “That would be perfect. I’ll just be…a few minutes.”
Sage all but dove into the itty-bitty bathroom, pressing her back up against the door and willing her racing heart to calm down. Why had she asked him to stay? Her resolve would weaken with every passing second. Biting down on her lower lip, she began the excruciating task of lowering the zipper of her jumpsuit, which kicked up a protest in her triceps and shoulder muscles. When she finally got it down, she gripped the hem of her T-shirt and attempted to lift it over her head.
Her arms wouldn’t cooperate. They flat out wouldn’t rise any higher than her ribs, leaving the T-shirt suspended in midair. Her muscles burned like someone had doused them in lighter fluid and held them above a flame. Sage’s agony must have escaped in the form of a whimper, because Belmont’s boots scraped just outside the door. And her stomach hollowed with awareness, lightning racing all over her skin.
“Sage.” His voice was deep, urgent. “Do you need help?”
No. Say no. She’d only gotten finished reminding him she didn’t need him. But in this case, it would be a lie and she’d done so much of that lately. With Belmont. The most truthful person she knew. “I can’t get my shirt off.” Her nose started to ache, the tip probably turning red. “My arms hurt.”
His growl was short and broken. A beat passed before the door opened and she felt Belmont filling the doorway behind her. She flicked a glance up to the ancient mirror and confirmed what she’d seen in her mind’s eyes. Belmont towering over her like an avenging angel, outlined by candlelight. He’d taken off his coat, leaving him in a black long-sleeved shirt, which he’d rolled up to the elbows. Every inch of visible skin was shot through with strained cords of muscle, as if his frustration were written on him like a road map.
Sage still had the shirt halfway lifted, so her lower back was visible. Not a big deal to most people. But Belmont had never seen anything below her neck. Or above her knees. With the jumpsuit peeled halfway down, the band of her underwear might even be peeking out.
Breathing grew difficult as Belmont took one step closer and took hold of the T-shirt, his knuckles grazing the small of her back. “You’re wearing”—his breath ghosted down her neck—“my shirt.”
Sage only realized she’d closed her eyes when they popped open. Oh God. In the shock of Belmont arriving, she’d forgotten. “I am?” Her mouth was parched. “L-look at that.”
“I am looking.” She jumped when Belmont reached over her shoulder with his left hand and turned on the shower, the sound of spray filling the room. Then the roughness of his knuckles returned, sliding up her spine along with the shirt. “I like knowing there was a layer of me standing between you and the earth.”
Her legs took on the consistency of Jell-O. His touch was a drug, making her languid, although it was different than the way he usually touched her. There was sex this time. So much of it. And it was that major difference that allowed Sage to accept the skimming of his fingers. Accept the part of herself that lusted. They were in a dark room and time had surely suspended anywhere outside this little plot of square footage. Words ached to leave her mouth, words that wouldn’t be suitable in the sunlight. This man, so warm and brave and large at her back, knew things about her no one else did. What was one more secret? “I stole it out of your suitcase. I broke a commandment and everything.”
“Why?” He breathed into her hair, sinking heat like an anchor in her belly. The shirt came off, her arms dropped to her sides, and she was left in nothing but a bra from the waist up. Inches from Belmont. “Why, sweetest girl?”
A light steam had begun curling in the air like beckoning fingers. Maybe this is a dream. It felt like one of the fevered fantasies she woke from on occasion, sweat slicking her breasts and neck. “Because I like the way you smell and it hadn’t been washed.”
His exhale was gravelly. “Sage.”
She thought he might not respond, but finally he asked a question that made her nipples turn to hard points. “Can you manage”—a long, windy inhale—“the bra?”
Sage tried. She really, truly did. Her arms felt as though they might break off and hit the floor, but she reached back until her muscles locked up, refusing to move farther. But Belmont was already there, pushing them back down, holding them at her hips.
“Jesus. Please, stop. I can’t watch it.” His touch disappeared only for a second and then the cotton material of the bra tightened over her breasts. She could feel him working the back clasp with fingers she knew so well. They’d tunneled through her hair so many times, twisted in her clothing, but had never, ever, touched her with any kind of…intent. Intent to seduce. And that’s what he was doing, intentional or not. The inhibitions she’d held close forever, circled the drain, along with the shower water. “Your back is so beautiful.” A ghost of a fingertip traced down her spine. “But I need to leave before I—”
“Before I turn you around.” They weren’t touching, but she could sense the shudder that ran through him. “Or look in that mirror.”
Right or wrong, the mine, their codependency aside, Sage knew if she let him leave just then, she would regret it for all time. Her body had been woken up. By one man. He’d kept her on the razor’s edge for thousands of miles, surrounding her with his power and taking it away. Over and over. And this fever wrapping around them in the tiny bathroom was completely different from easing his anxiety. Finally, she felt like a woman standing in front of him, instead of a calming device. This was mutual and alive and she couldn’t stand it to end. Tomorrow might be a different story, but this moment was the culmination of a thousand dreams and she could no more deny herself than she could forget his face.
“Belmont, do you think of the kiss?”
“I never stop,” he groaned into her hair. “Never.”
She took a deep breath for courage. “Will you shower with me?”
4.5 ‘My Heartbeat/Love of a Lifetime’ Stars
ALL THE FEELS!!!
Seriously, Tessa Bailey just wrecked me with these two’s UNBREAKABLE love story! Belmont and Sage’s broken souls stole my breath and made me cry like a baby – interrupted by so seriously needed fanning myself due their sexual tension and sexy times, it is Tessa Bailey, after all – and proved how family and soulmates’ love and support is the only healing possible! Loved really conquered ALL in this epic ending for this amazing series!
Belmont, the only remaining single – not really, lol – of the Clarkson siblings, has been since the very first book, the character I was most captivated and intrigued about, because for me, like it was reinforced multiple times in this book, Belmont was the core, the driving center of this damaged family. Bel was without a doubt one of the most beautiful male characters I have ever read.
He was the only one of his kind.
Belmont was special and unique in every way, and Sage knew that very well immediately after meeting him, all those years back. They were indeed drawn to each other like two halves of one’s soul.
“Your heart asked mine. And mine was already begging.”
My GOD!!! This man!!! Seriously, his love, no, love is not strong enough would for what we can feel he feels for her, WORSHIP is so much more fitting. Sage was the center of his universe, so when she is obligated to remove herself from his life, to protect him, we could already feel the depth of his heartbreak.
“My heart, Aaron. I don’t think I can keep it beating without her.”
Cue the sobby tears… Fear not, he didn’t spend the rest of the book balled up in despair, and went to get his woman and find out why she left their life so suddenly, and he had quite a battle ahead of him, given Sage was just has damaged as him. I have to say this book truly had all the feels, but in the first half I was a bit too lost inside their heads. Yes, we needed those thoughts to understand these two, but at some points they became almost the entire chapters, and given the sadness and depression of their state of mind, I felt it became too much. Yes, they did indeed live inside their heads, but a bit more of communication or at least an effort too, would have created a different dynamic and undoubtedly reached the full 5 stars for me. Actually Belmont alone would have achieved it!
“My name is Belmont. I’m your daughter’s…” Sweat began to bead on his brow under their close attention. “I’m your daughter’s.”
See what I mean? This introduction to her parents alone shows all everything that Bel is about: Sage’s! 😉
Sage knew exactly his level of devotion, because she reciprocated in measure, and that exactly her fear, considering her parents extreme codependency. That was their hardest obstacle and the line that they feared crossing, and OMG, their struggle just about undid me! It completely torn me apart and I was suffering to find balance right along with them. That woman was strong, because I sure has hell you not be able to resist everything that was Belmont… He was everything!
“I already knew. Because you’re a man who values everyone’s happiness above himself. And that’s what makes you the greatest man any of us will ever know. There’s never been anyone like you, Belmont. There never will be again. How lucky am I that I get to love you?”
She knew how love she was, even given his damaged soul, Belmont gave his all for her, even touching her with a care and love of one who touches a divinity, a relic. When he realized all his love and devotion was not one sided and that Sage crave him just like he craved her, it was like someone gave him the world. Apropos since she was indeed his world.
She fit against him like God had taken a mold of his body and created a woman who would correspond to every jut and angle of him.
Some may consider his level of devotion/obsession too much, too stalkerish, but I adored him for it, and devoured every word from his lips, case in point that I have DOZENS, yes, dozens of Bel’s quotes highlighted on my book, and it was nearly impossible to chose for this review, I wanted to show you everything that Belmont is, and what an lucky lady Sage was.
There was nothing better in the entire world than being held by Belmont.
So I’ll stop here, and tell all of you to go get Too Beautiful to Break, and find for yourselves just how dreamy, swoon-worthy and perfectly imperfect Belmont is, and how amazing, heartbreaking and soul-warming his and Sage’s story is. Tessa Bailey may have given us the saddest/darkest of her stories in this book, but TBTB was so much more and even being each others one and only – can’t put into words I much I loved that <3 – it didn’t deter TB of given us some of her her trademark steamy hot sexy times, and dirty talk. Told you Bel was perfect in every way! 😉
Too Beautiful to Break was the PERFECT closure for this incredible and emotional series. What a better way to finish than with the person that was the hidden key behind all the complicated Clarksons HEA?! Brilliant Ending for a brilliant Series! <3 <3 <3 <3 <3
“A fearless man for a fearless woman, Sage. All of me is standing on this beach in front of you. All of me will stand beside you for the rest of my life.”
“There’s my heartbeat,” he whispered in her ear. “I love you.”
ARC kindly provided by the author via publisher, Forever Romance,
for an honest review
TOO HOT TO HANDLE (Romancing The Clarksons #1)
TOO WILD TO TAME (Romancing The Clarksons #2)
TOO HARD TO FORGET (Romancing The Clarksons #3)
TOO CLOSE TO CALL (Romancing The Clarksons #3.5)
Tessa Bailey is originally from Carlsbad, California. The day after high school graduation, she packed her yearbook, ripped jeans and laptop, driving cross-country to New York City in under four days.
Her most valuable life experiences were learned thereafter while waitressing at K-Dees, a Manhattan pub owned by her uncle. Inside those four walls, she met her husband, best friend and discovered the magic of classic rock, managing to put herself through Kingsborough Community College and the English program at Pace University at the same time. Several stunted attempts to enter the work force as a journalist followed, but romance writing continued to demand her attention.
She now lives in Long Island, New York with her husband of eight years and four-year-old daughter. Although she is severely sleep-deprived, she is incredibly happy to be living her dream of writing about people falling in love.
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