Friday, June 7, 2013

BOOK REVIEW - PLAYING PATIENCE by TABATHA VARGO - BLOW HOLE BOYS #1 - NEW ADULT CONTEMPORARY

By: Tabatha Vargo
Published By: Tabatha Vargo
Released : Available Now
Details: Digital for review, 425 Pages

RATING: 4.25 ZEKE STARS!!

Blurb : Goodreads

Sometimes all you need is Patience.

Life’s been hard for Zeke. Being a punching bag for his alcoholic father has turned him into stone. Not even the dodgy trailer park he lives in can scare him. Fighting is his release and sex, drugs, and his guitar bring him peace, but deep down Zeke isn’t quite as hard as he makes himself out to be. When he meets Patience, she finds all his broken pieces and puts him back together, but she’s a ray of light in his shadowed life and the last thing he wants to do is bring her into his dark world. Playing careless is easy, playing the bad guy can be fun, but playing Patience is impossible, especially when she can see right through him.

Zeke isn’t the only one who’s broken, and for the first time, in a long time, Patience feels alive. Her black and white world gets a shot of color when she meets Zeke. He’s unlike anyone she’s ever met with his tattoos, piercings, and blunt honesty. She wants nothing more than to let go and ride the wild side with him, but some wounds never heal and the broken pieces of Patience aren’t so easy to find.

***Warning: this book contains graphic language, sex, and violence. Mature readers only. Not intended for young adult readers.***



BOOK REVIEW by Michelle:

This is a story about two broken characters who meet, not realizing how broken the other is. They keep their home life hidden from friends, from each other. They exist in a bubble , holding that pain back.

Zeke Mitchell, guitar playing band member with Blow Hole , lives in a trailer park and his father’s fists worship Zeke’s body. He barely can make petrol money.


My gas hand was low and I didn’t have two dimes to rub together, but it just felt like the right thing to do.


He has trouble staying out of jail with Patience around.


“You again,” he said as he crossed his arms and bit down on his lip ring. “Guess that means I’m going to jail today.”

I suddenly got a big case of nerves. “Why would you go to jail?” I fiddled with my hair.


“Every time I see you I end up behind bars.....”



Zeke is a bad boy.


His loose-fitting jeans had rips and tears in them and the sleeves in his black T-shirt were rolled up. The tattoos on his elbows melted into the ones that disappeared into the sleeves of his shirt. There were letters placed on his fingers, but his hands were moving so fast I couldn’t see what they said. Once his solo was over, he looked back out at the crowd. His long, dark bangs still covered half his face. He shifted his head to the side, tossing them out of his eyes and giving me a peek of the little music note tattooed behind his ear.

He didn’t smile. He was as hard as the concrete that surrounded us, but in his eyes you could see he loved what he was doing. There was a natural look of joy in his sultry stare as he bathed the women in the front row with his inattentive gaze. He caught a break for a minute and reached over for his beer. I watched as he brought the bottle to his lips and his silver lip ring caught my full attention. He was covered in color and art; he was a standing statue for freedom, and I was drawn to his careless stature.



He doesn’t complain about the life he has been dealt, he gets up every day and holds on tight to his music.

Patience, love her name, she is a rich girl, living the rich life, or so we think. She has a horrendous secret she carries around with her. She is very protective of her mother and little sister, so her secret stays buried deep within her soul.

So deep that I wonder how she can function and not show cracks after so many years living with it.

Outsiders would never know that behind closed doors my life was hell. I was well liked and a soccer star, but I was a broken porcelain doll, cracked beyond repair and tossed in the back of a closet.

Zeke meets Patience when she is in need of desperate help. Zeke isn’t the type of guy to care about anybody but his mates and his guitar , drugs and some meaningless sex.

That is all about to change.

The first three quarters of this book for me was a fantastic read. I was drawn in like a moth to a flame, I could not put the book down. I was in a reading trance, I was consumed by the dance that Zeke and Patience were performing in front of me.

Tabatha gave her lads from Blow Hole, Finn ( front man) , Tiny ( bass guitar) , Chet ( drummer) and Zeke ( electric guitar) the voices of young men from the other side of the track. They do drugs, drink heavily, have energetic sex lives and Blow Hole is their life. School is not a priority. Their craft and getting a recording deal is a priority. Sex with girls is too easy and then they are too easily discarded. There is no fancy dinner, date night, dressing up, it’s hanging at The Pit or at Finn’s garage. They are not politically correct when they talk about women. They bang them and move on. They have no filter on their mouths when it comes to women.


She reached out and boldly grabbed my ass. This was a normal thing for me and nothing caught me off guard with the girls at The Pit. I turned and was met by a hot redhead with cleavage spilling out of a too-small top. Most of the redheads I’d had were wildcats under the covers, so I was definitely down if she wanted to play later. I leaned in to make sure she could hear me over the loud music.

“Nice tits.” I grinned down at her as I ran a finger across her bulging cleavage. There was a jagged tattoo just under her lacy bra line that I wanted to have a look at. “Meet me beside the stage later.”


I wasn’t asking. I was telling. My blunt nature was something I was known for and that suited me just fine. Dishonesty wasn’t my thing and I was born without a filter around my brain. Anything that crossed my mind came out of my mouth, whether it was hurtful or not. The no-filter thing initiated some pretty bad fights in my life. It also didn’t help that I had no idea how to bite my tongue.



Zeke’s music is the only thing he needs... until he meets Patience.... his snowflake.


She looked foreign, all pale with naturally platinum hair, not the box-dyed white that chicks liked to use.

She reminded me of a tiny snowflake fairy.



The story is told from dual pov’s from Patience and Zeke. I really liked listening to Zeke. We can see how he is reasoning things out in his head. He is a smart mouth around Patience, but it is a facade. He is happy in his bubble of bang them and move on.

But Patience is getting to him.


Parts of me wanted her natural reaction. I wanted to see her lips and nose curl up in repulsion. I hated her composed stance when I bet every nerve in her body screamed for her to run to safety.

I couldn’t take it anymore.


“What are you doing here?” I asked rudely. I made the face of disgust that I’m sure she wanted to make.



Zeke makes a lot of assumptions about Patience based on where she lives and how she dresses.


She had more nervous ticks than any other person I’d ever met in my life. She was like a little fawn on the edge of escape. She looked out of place. Her clean appearance stuck out among the dirty rock road and rusted trailers that surrounded her. Her name brand clothes and expensive purse were begging to be swiped by the nearest hood rat. She had to be smarter than this. Didn’t she know she’d walked through the gates of hell for that pitiful thank you? Didn’t she sense the danger that was all around her? She needed to leave. She was too fresh for such polluted air.

“You’re welcome. Now go back to your side of town,” I snapped.


I didn’t mean to sound so rude, but it pissed me off that I was once again worried about her. It felt unnatural to me and it was starting to freak me out.



I loved the Boys Club scenes and watching Zeke play music to his boys.


I peeked out of the little window into the gym and watched as the kids played without a care. It was actually kind of nice to have a place for troubled kids to go. I wish I’d had a place like that when I was growing up. Maybe I could’ve been saved. Maybe I wouldn’t be so fucked up.


I loved how Patience and Zeke were not insta love. Both characters play off each other. Patience has no idea how to be around a guy. She has only the horrors of what she has gone through and that will start to catch up to her.

“Are you always so blunt?”

“Always,” I said as I leaned back in the swing.


“I suppose I like that about you,” she said softly, like she was confessing something huge. “It’s refreshing. Even if you do say some pretty vile things.”



Did I have the word ‘lesbian’ written across my forehead or something today?

“No,” I said adamantly.


“No, that’s cool.” His smile was too big. “I don’t discriminate. Trust me. I like chicks, too. You know what? We should like them together, like at the same time.”




“Okay, so you’re not a lesbian. Then what are you?”

Aggravated by his question, I sighed loudly and answered honestly.


“You want to know what I am? I’m shattered, that’s what I am. There are tiny pieces of Patience scattered all over.”



Zeke for whatever reason doesn’t have relationships. He has one night stands or a quick bang, nothing romantic, no show of feelings or tenderness.

No love.

“My. Name. Is. Patience!” she yelled at me.

I had to admit, I liked it when she yelled at me. Mostly because it let me know she wasn’t as weak and defenseless as she looked, but also because I’m a fucked up individual and occasionally I get off on being jerked around.


Her voice reached every wall of the gym and everyone turned to look at us. I watched as a pretty red blush crept up her neck and filled her cheeks. Her eyes started to water and become bloodshot and she looked like she was about to blow up from embarrassment. The poor thing, she looked like she was about to pass out, but it was funny to see her so pissed off and embarrassed. I kind of enjoyed ruffling her feathers.


I laughed softly to myself, earning another evil glower and I couldn’t help but poke the bear one more time.


“Careful , snowflake, if your face gets too hot, you might melt.”


She pressed at my chest with tiny palms and actually growled at me as she pushed me out of her way. I fucking loved it.



They are starting to get under each other's skin.

“After you.” I motioned for her to go inside.

I wasn’t usually the gentlemen type, but she had gotten a good view of me. It was only fair that I get to watch her tight little ass in those gym shorts I loved so much. She didn’t disappoint as she shifted her hips. Unlike most girls, she wasn’t doing it on purpose. She had a natural sway that had me practically bobbing my head from side to side.




I wrapped my arm around her waist to keep her from tumbling over. Her hips and ass melded into me and I’d never felt something so fucking amazing. It turned me into a caveman.


Zeke will fight his feelings for Patience. He will go out of his way to convince himself that he needs to stay away from her. He will be hurtful. He will break her heart.


I was changing some and I wasn’t sure I was okay with going soft since I needed my hard shell to keep myself alive.


“I wouldn’t be too hopeful, snowflake. Do yourself a favour and quit deluding yourself into thinking there’s anything even remotely decent about me. I make the guy your daddy warned you about look like a little bitch. I get high, I drink, and I like to fuck. If you’re as smart as I think you are, you’ll jog your pretty little ass back to Pleasantville and stay away from me.”



“You’re doing it again, pretty girl,” he whispered. The smell of vodka roamed around me. “You need to understand the nature of the beast. Even a rattlesnake hisses in warning before he attacks.”


“You will never know the depths of me, so don’t even try to explore that far. You’ll get lost and you won’t survive me. Don’t pretend to understand my feelings and emotions. Half the time I don’t have any, but when it comes to you, they’re limitless, which is more dangerous. I don’t look at you like you are nothing, I look at you like you’re everything, because you are, and I fucking hate it.”


It was better than sex somehow. I’d had enough sex in my life, but this was deeper. This was different. It was being inside of her on a whole other level. I was letting her breathe me in. I was breathing her in and she was the breath I needed to take for most of my life.



I felt dangerous. I felt like I was about to explode into a million pieces. She had no idea how much she meant to me in such a short time and it pissed me off that she was making assumptions.

Patience sees Zeke. She knows there is more to this smart mouthed, hard edged guy. She sees glimpses of it showing through the mask he has in place.


Being around Zeke was like watching a movie on a broken tv and having the screen blink on and off. Every now and again, I got to see brief flickers of the real him and I had to admit, I really liked those brief moments. More than I should.


I wanted to know things about Zeke and his father. I wanted to know why his father pounded the shit out of Zeke. I wanted to hear his father rage out loud and give me an understanding of a man who seemed so broken himself. Why he laid into the son who gave him no reason, no provocation. I understood why Zeke didn't fight back. He had made a promise to his mum. 

I wanted to know about the letters tattooed on Zeke's fingers, what they said. 

I would have loved to see what Zeke thought of Patience paying his fine.

I wanted Zeke's band buddies to question more the bruises he had on him. I know his mates cared, but I wanted to feel that band closeness more.

The prologue gave us the ending, I would have loved a twist there when it came time.

I am looking forward to Perfecting Patience and seeing how she is handling the horrors that have been dealt to her for nearly ten years. It's not something that can be forgotten overnight. That is something that needs work to get over. 



I devoured this book in one sitting. I really fell for Patience and Zeke and the short epilogue gave me a future that they both deserved. I'm looking forward to seeing how Tiny, Chet and Finn are doing.

Zeke is a very memorable character. I am looking forward to seeing Chet get a book. He showed us in this book that he has it in him to hold down a girlfriend. 

Well done Tabatha, you captured me in the first chapter, and I didn't want to stop reading.


Michelle 






Blow Hole Boys # 1.5

Sometimes happy endings are just the beginning of an even harder road.

Although her aunt and sister believe she should get help to deal with her past demons, Patience believes the only thing she needs is Zeke. When he comes back into her world, her life couldn’t be more perfect. Except old demons pick the worst time to surface, and once again their happiness is threatened. Help was never a necessity, but Patience finds out that love isn’t always all you need.

Zeke’s dealt with a lot in his life, but nothing could prepare him for watching the person he loves fall apart. Patience is different, she’s not the girl he came to love. He's willing to do whatever it takes to get her back, but a budding music career and his own demons seem to keep getting in the way. How can you help someone else when you can barely help yourself? Once again Zeke is faced with deciding between his future and the future of Patience.


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