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Freeing Asia by E.M. Abel

How does a tomboy raised in a house full of men find the sensual woman inside of her? Growing up with a widowed, retired Marine as a father and two older brothers taught Asia to be tough. But how does she stop being one of the guys and learn to find the right one? 

Finding herself won't be easy, finding love will be even harder. 

Meeting Jay opens Asia's eyes to the possibility of love and unbelievable sex but can his country club world accept the woman more comfortable in torn jeans and flip flops? Or will she find the love she yearns for in the tattooed arms of her first love, a pro skater who has come back into her life? 

With the possibility of new love or closure from a painful first love, finding her path is riddled with uncertainty and discoveries but before she can follow her heart she must first set it free.

**Not recommended for younger readers due to sexual content, recreational use of marijuana and language.**
4.5-4.75 Stars

No more tears. 

Thank you Ms. Abel for bringing an end to my book funk. I fucking loved this book; I consumed it in one day. I saw this book around GR and was awaiting its release, so as soon as it came out, I was all over it like white on rice. Once I picked it up, I couldn’t put it down. I can totally relate to the heroine and her insecurities, I guess dressing like a tomboy and having two older brothers can do that to a girl. To me, this story is about figuring out how to accept and love the person you are, flaws and all. It’s then, and only then, can you truly be happy. 

It was one thing for someone to insult you or hurt you, but it was an entirely different thing when the one person who didn’t believe in you and didn’t think you were anything special was…you. 

Asia was raised in a house full of men: Two brothers and her father. Growing up, her brothers were her main influences, which included smoking the occasional weed and drinking. She surfs, skates and likes to wear baggy clothing; the typical tomboy. Because of her older brothers’ über protectiveness, no guy in high school could even approach her, but unfortunately, Asia didn’t know this was happening leading her to believe that she was just one of the guys and nobody special. The one boy she felt a connection with was Marcus, her brother Shaun’s best friend. 

My insecurity around men hadn’t been created all on my own. I had help, and that help had come from my first love, Marcus – the guy I’d lost my virginity to. 

Marcus was her everything. After his father passed away, her alcoholic mother raised Marcus. Needless to say, Marcus spent a lot of time with Asia and her family. She secretly admired him, fearing his reaction as well as her brother’s. However one night changed all that. She lost herself in Marcus, but it wasn’t meant to be. Marcus moved away wanting to chase his dream of being a pro skater, leaving Asia devastatingly heartbroken. 

“If you wanna be free, Asia, all you have to do is see yourself through my eyes.” ~ Marcus 

Fast forward seven years, and she still hasn’t quite gotten over Marcus, but she’s trying. She’s decided to let her friend make her over. Whether it’s permanent has yet to be determined. Her new look catches the eye of Jay Clarke, a very wealthy and handsome gentleman. She starts to fall for him, but a two important things hold her back: One – she constantly hides her true self around him. He doesn’t know she use to be quite a bad girl, who use to smoke weed, dislikes wearing dresses; always opting for the comfy jeans and shirts. Will she ever fit into his world? Two – she still quite hasn’t gotten over Marcus, who now is a famous professional skater. She really can’t catch a break. Is she willing to change who she is for Jay? What happens when Marcus comes back into her life? Will she ever be free of her insecurities and be truly happy?

“You’re sexy as hell. You’re sweet. You surf, you skate. You’re so fuckin’ talented that I can’t even pick one of your damn paintings to hang in my room because they’re all so fuckin’ good. And the best part is you have no clue how special you are.” 
My eyebrows furrowed. “Why is that the best part?”
“Because that means I’m the one who gets to watch you figure it out.” 

I loved the drama in this book. Though there was a small love-triangle, it didn’t overpower the story, nor make it so angsty that my blood pressure would rise. No. It was just perfect. I loved Asia’s journey. Every time you think she’s down for the count, she would pick herself back up and try again (no matter how hurt she was.) I truly admired her character. As for Marcus, well, there aren’t really any words to describe how I feel about him. I loved watching him change too. He doesn’t do relationships, but once Asia re-enters his life, he was a goner. The way he helped Asia see her true value was just plain ole beautiful. Loved this book and I’m really looking forward to Shaun’s story next. Highly recommend! 

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