Even tough girls need saving.
Jude Brooks is bad news. He’s the kind of guy that leaves behind a string of broken hearts and Tatum O’ Connor is not about to be one of those girls, despite all of Jude’s advances. They have a past, and Tatum’s determined to make sure they don’t have a future.
Unfortunately for her, “no” isn’t a word in Jude’s vocabulary.
The more she backs away, the more he pushes.
But what if he pushes too far?
Tatum’s hiding a pain that no one sees and holding on to a hurt that may never heal. Letting Jude into her heart could shatter her completely—and what if she opens up to Jude and he can’t handle her baggage?
Love is never easy—especially when the person you’re falling for is the person you blame for the worst event in your life.
Love, heartache, and despair.
That’s the name of the game when you’re Saving Tatum.
"Every day and what it brings is a mystery, a gift to be unwrapped and treasured. All we can do is find happiness in the little things and peace in the chaos."
Saving Tatum by Micalea Smeltzer is the next book in the Trace & Olivia Series. The readers first met Tatum in the book Tempting Rowan, and now Micalea Smeltzer gives them her story, one of heartache, grief, anger and eventually acceptance and love. The emotions in this book jump off of the page and smack the reader in the face; sometimes making you laugh and other times making you sigh. This was a 3.5 star read for me and I recommend this incredible series to everyone, it is definitely one of my top series of all time!
Tatum closed herself off to the world after her brother Graham died during his senior year in high-school and she blamed their classmate Jude for his death all of this time. For the last several years she has focused on school and her hate for Jude, never letting anyone get close enough to see the truth; that she was broken and unsure of how to fix herself or her life. That is until Jude worms his way in one silly question at a time while she shadows him for her last journalism paper. Jude bets Tatum, or Tater Tot as he calls her, that by the time her paper is done, that she will believe he is a good guy and she won't hate him anymore. She doesn't believe him, thinking that nothing could end the hate that she has in her heart, that not hating him would mean she didn't feel for her brother's death any longer, that her life of solitude wasn't a way to live. And Jude shows her just that.
" No matter how bad your day is, or what kind of horrible shit you go through, loving someone completes you."
Tatum slowly lets Jude into her life, and he starts to make her wall crumble, one crack at a time. She sees a different side of him and how he appreciates the beauty in even the simplest things, like a sunset. She falls for him a little bit at a time, while watching him be so kind and caring with every patient in the nursing home, when he brings her twizzlers because they are her favorite, how he loves his Pap and worries for him. But Tate can't give herself fully to Jude because she hasn't accepted the things in her life that she refuses to see for what they really are and not how she remembers them to be. It is Jude who helps her find her way, who stands by her when her father is out of control, who loves her no matter what and knows everything about her, things that she didn't even know that he had paid attention to. And that is when she fell in love with him. Although their start was rocky and one-sided at first, the love that blooms between them is real. Although their relationship has its up and downs; its unwavering. A beautiful love story.
"I hadn't been looking for the one, or anyone for that matter, but love doesn't wait till you think you're ready. It comes along when you least expect it and turns your life upside down. It sends you on a journey of epic proportions and changes the course of your life. It completes you."
Saving Tatum was the fourth and final book in the Trace + Olivia Series. Although it could be read as a standalone I wouldn't recommend it because you get bits and pieces of Trace and Olivia, and Trent and Rowan. I absolutely loved this whole series and am sad to see it over. Saving Tatum is Jude and Tatum's story and it was a rough ride but in the end they will finally find there HEA and god how I loved Jude. It is now at the top of my book boyfriends list for 2014! I would give this book 4 stars. This is told in Tatum's POV. I would probably pay just to get inside Jude's head in many scenes-- HINT HINT-- I can only wish right! This story will show you the pain of the loss of loved ones and how Jude and Tatum will learn to pick up there pieces of there lives and learn to love, oh and don't worry there is plenty of panty melting sexy parts too!
Jude and Tatum met in Tempting Rowan, Tatum hated Jude for reasons unbeknownst to anyone. She has held her hatred so long that she doesn't know how to deal with new feelings she has for Jude because how can she feel anything for the person she blames for ruining her life. She doesn't do relationships because she doesn't believe in love, she is biding her time until she finishes college and finally gets away from her parents.
I'd never had a relationship like that. I wasn't saying that I was the Virgin Mary, but I'd never been in love. There had never been a guy I pined for from afar. I hadn't kissed someone in the rain. Or fought and made up. I hadn't found someone worth sharing the darkest parts of myself with, or even the good parts.-- TATUM
When her final project for school requires her to follow someone around and write about it, she has no where to turn but Jude. While spending time with Jude she realizes maybe she was wrong about her hating him and her walls will start to crumble...
I didn't know the exact moment that Jude paved a way into my heart, all that mattered was he did, and I was never going to be the same once I gave in completely.-- TATUM
Jude won't give in that easily he will make Tatum show him that he is all she wants before taking things further. He has his own demons he deals with but he has always wanted Tatum and he always gets what he wants.
"When I touch you like that," he reached out with his index finger to graze my lips, "you're going to beg for it. You're going to want it, and you're going to scream my name because it's the only word you can remember."-- JUDE
When a misunderstanding happens it will break them apart, but will they be able to find there way back to each other, and save each other?
Go get this whole series you will not be disappointed! Thanks for a great series and I look forward to much more in the future from this amazing author!
Happiness had been absent from my emotions for a long time. On the surface, I wore a smile and never showed the struggles I dealt with on the inside. The fact of the matter was, I’d been hurt. I was damaged goods, and I hadn’t believed I was the kind of girl worthy of love—of being saved. But I was beginning to see that everyone is worth saving. It was strangely appropriate that the man I’d let break me, was the one to put me back together.
I didn’t know what tomorrow, or next week, or even the following month might hold for us, and I wasn’t going to let myself overthink it. I was going to live in the moment.
Jude lay on his back, staring up at the clear blue sky. “Tatum?”
“Yeah,” I replied when he didn’t continue immediately.
“Can I hold your hand, or are you going to hit me for that?”
I turned my head and laughed at his serious expression. “I think that would be alright, and I really am sorry about that. It was an automatic reaction.”
“So…” He started, a slow grin appearing on his face. “Your first response to a guy kissing you, is to slap him? Interesting.”
He was never going to let me live this down. I really hadn’t meant to hit him. He knew that, but he also enjoyed my pain. Douche.
“Only one guy.”
“I’m the only guy to ever kiss you?” He brightened.
“No!” I immediately shut him down. “I’ve kissed other guys, but you’re the only one that I…you know…”
“Slapped?” He supplied. “Should I be honored that you like to hit me?” He winked.
“You make me sound like I’m abusive,” I pouted, feeling ashamed of myself and my behavior.
“Nah,” he propped his head up on his hand and stared down at me. “You’re just a tough girl.”
“Tough?” I wrinkled my nose. “That doesn’t sound very appealing.”
“Oh, trust me,” his brown eyes sparkled, “it is. It’s hot as hell actually. But you want to know a secret, Tate?”
I nodded and he lowered his head so his mouth was pressed against my ear. My body shuddered at the close proximity and the heavenly feel of his breath ghosting against my skin. “Even tough girls need saving.”
“Is that what you’re going to do Jude?” I quirked my head and squinted from the sun shining in my eyes. “Are you going to save me?”
“No,” he shook his head, his dark hair brushing my forehead. “You’re going to save yourself.”
He said the words with such surety that I couldn’t help but believe him. When I didn’t say anything he rolled onto his back and finally entwined our hands together. Peace flooded my body and I didn’t understand it. How could the man that had filled me with such torment not long ago, calm my body with a simple touch? It was mindboggling.
I rolled my head slightly to the side, studying his profile—the elegant slope of his nose and the slant of his lips. I couldn’t believe I was thinking this, and he’d probably kill me if I said it out loud, but he was beautiful—inside and out. It was a shame that I was just now noticing it. I think a lot of people never saw what a magnificent person he was. He hid his true self behind cocky smiles and flirtatious come-ons.
“You’re staring at me.”
“I’m not,” I hastily turned my head away.
“I felt your eyes,” he continued. “You were totally staring. It’s okay, look all you want. I know I’m quite the feast for your eyes.”
With my free hand I smacked his stomach. My God he had abs of steel. I think I hurt my hand more than I did any damage to him. Not that I was really trying to hurt him. Although, I thought he needed a nice blow to his ego.
I squealed as he rolled on top of me and I found my arms pinned above me, pushed into the sand. His tongue slowly snaked out between his plump lips to moisten their surface. I thought he was going to kiss me, but he didn’t. I was learning that Jude rarely did what I expected of him. In many ways he was a mystery.
His dark eyes grew serious as he stared down at me and I found myself squirming as his hips dug into mine. I felt my body responding to the position—muscles tightening, pulse racing, and an overwhelming ache building inside me.
“Are you sure about this?” He breathed softly. There was a vulnerability in his eyes that I’d only ever seen when he was around his grandpa. “About us? Or am I going to wake up in the morning and find that you’re gone?”
“You really think I’d run away?” I replied, wiggling my hips, which caused him to hiss sharply between his teeth.
“Honestly? It wouldn’t surprise me. You’re afraid of your own feelings,” he lowered his head, brushing his nose against my neck. My eyes closed and a pleased hum resounded in my throat. There was still a voice in my head telling me to push him away, but I was done listening to it. “It’s okay to be scared, Tate,” he nipped my earlobe, the heat of his body wrapping around mine like a blanket. “I’m scared too.”
“You are?” I breathed, my voice so soft the wind nearly carried it away.
I felt him nod, his hair tickling my neck. “I’ve never felt this way about anyone, but you,” he confessed. “It’s always been you.”
The dead grass crunched beneath my feet as we trudged through the field. It was crazy to think that in a few short weeks spring would be here and the grass would soon be green. Spring was my favorite time of year. I loved the colors and flowers, even the smells. There was something so promising about spring—it was a new beginning.
Jude stopped in the middle of the field and spread the blanket out on the ground. “Sit,” he instructed.
With a reluctant sigh, I did as he told me. “Why are we out here?” I asked, drawing his sweatshirt closer to me as I shivered.
“I want you to see something.”
“Thanks for the non-answer,” I mumbled as he sat down beside me. He wiggled around until he got comfortable.
He chuckled, sweeping his hair from his eyes. “There’s something I want you to see,” he repeated, “be patient.”
You’d think Jude would know by now that I was the least patient person on the planet. Only a few minutes had past when I asked, “What are we waiting for?”
“Oh, Tate,” he chuckled, his eyes crinkling as he lay back, propping his body up with his elbows, “you’re something else.” Tilting his head, he continued, “Look around you, appreciate what’s right in front of you for a change. You need to slow down and enjoy life.”
“Look at you sounding so wise,” I commented, resisting the sudden urge to smile. I wanted to smile a lot around Jude and that scared me a bit.
He gasped, his eyes brightening. “I am wise.” He sat up and drew his knees up, draping his arms on top. “Now watch, here comes the surprise.”
For a moment, I wondered what he was talking about and then I realized we were watching the sunset. The sky deepened with hues of orange and red as the sun descended. My mouth fell open in awe as the meadow around us became awash with golden light. I didn’t speak and neither did he. For once, I was living in the moment, and maybe this moment wasn’t such a bad place to be.
There was calmness in the air around us as the last of sun’s rays fanned across the land. It didn’t take long for the sun to disappear and for the stars and moon to twinkle above us.
Without saying anything, we both lay back on the blanket, staring up at the sky above.
“Beautiful, isn’t it?” He whispered, his fingers brushing lightly against mine where we rested side by side.
“What?” I asked, trying to pick out any of the constellations.
Micalea Smeltzer is a bestselling Young and New Adult author from Winchester, Virginia. She’s always working on her next book, and when she has spare time she loves to read and spend time with her family.