Review: Off Limits (Sawyer Bennett)

Title: Off Limits
Series: Off Series #2
Author: Sawyer Bennett
Published: April 14th 2013
Genre: NA Contemporary Romance
Rating: 4/5

“There is a vulnerability there, hovering just below the surface. And I want to pick at it until I expose it. Then I want to kiss it." 

Two years ago, Emily Burnham had an epiphany about the shallowness of her life. And she made it her mission to become a different person…a better woman. Out from under the controlling thumb of her mother, Emily is tasting the real world for the first time. And she likes it.

Nixon Caldwell has served his time in the Marine Corps, surviving two brutal tours in Afghanistan. He is back home, surrounded by what he likes best…isolation. It's certainly the best way to avoid confrontation of the consuming guilt that is weighing him down.

When an accident brings Emily and Nix together, he soon learns he is not the master of his own fate. Struggling with his own pain, Nix tries to guard himself against Emily’s charms. He wants her in his bed, but he doesn’t want her in his heart. 

Having grabbed life by the horns, Emily wants it all. But is she willing to accept just the small part of himself that Nix is offering? Can she reach the part of his soul that he has deemed to be Off Limits?

Okay so I'm kind of reading this series backwards as I've already read book #3 Off The Record. But to be honest it doesn't really matter since each book focuses on different characters.

The story:
In this story we follow the dual POVs of Emily Burnham and Nixon Caldwell. After returning home from the Marine Corps, Nix struggles to adjust back to normal life. He closes himself off from the world and focusses on his motorcycle repair business. He does have one bright spot - his PTS assistance dog Harley. Harley is the only connection Nix is able to make.

Emily on the other hand comes from a privileged background and her family has high expectations for her. However she makes the oh so shocking decision to major in journalism! This upsets her snob of a mother and her trust fund is cut off until she changes her mind. Wanting to gain independence from her disapproving mother, she stands her ground. However, after hitting Nix with her car and damaging his bike, she needs to find a way to pay for the damage and Nix comes up with the fabulous idea that she should help with his admin work for his business. Working so close to each other causes the sparks to fly between these two and you just know it's only a matter a time before one of them takes action…

The characters:
Emily, the journalism student & daughter of a wealthy family is focussed on reinventing herself. She no longer wants to be the snobby, privileged trust fund baby that she has always been. I really liked Emily and her drive to change the things about herself she doesn't like. She's also got an awesome fiery attitude & isn't afraid to speak her mind.

Nix on the on the other hand, it just looking at getting through each day without letting his PTS control his life. He's dark and moody and doesn't have any patience for other people. Although he has improved since returning home, we can see that he is still clearly struggling with something and instead of dealing with it, he tries to ignore it. He avoids making any personal connections with people and comes across as cold and uncaring. But it's clear that this is just a way of keeping people at arms length. 

The romance:
Emily & Nix couldn't be more different, but somehow they just complement each other perfectly. At first their relationship starts out as just sex, however we know that won't last long! You can see them both getting emotionally invested in each others lives. I really loved how Emily breaks down the walls that Nix has built around him. After a traumatic experience in the war he doesn't like making personal attachments for fear of loosing them. It takes a lot of courage for him to let Emily in, but it was beautiful to watch him grow as they got closer.

The Writing:
I love that Bennett has written a sexy steamy romance, while including some depth with Nix's PTS storyline. She brings attention to an important issue that doesn't get enough acknowledgment, and does it without sensationalising it. Plus those steamy scenes are always creatively delicious!

Another hot and passionate romance with a beautifully emotional & heartfelt story. I'm seriously in love with the Off series and all the characters! I'll be reading Off Course next…sexy Irish musician here I come!!

Sexuality: strong / several sex scenes
Violence: mild-medium / minor flash backs of war scene, near sexual assault
Language: medium / frequent f**k
Drugs & alcohol: mild 

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