Thursday, August 21, 2014

Where Life Takes You by Claudia Y. Burgoa: Book Review and Giveaway

Kinky Vanilla Romance is pleased to share Where Life Takes You by Claudia Y. Burgoa as part of the Next To You blog tour organized by Xpresso Book Tours.

Where Life Takes You by Claudia Y. Burgoa
Series: Life (#1)
Publication Date: July 31, 2013
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult


Becca Trent lived her childhood next to a cruel woman—her mom—who lived to torment and neglect her. During her high school years, her mother married; bringing home not only a new husband, but a step sister her same age. The latter took over her Mom’s role—making Becca’s life miserable. Including stealing Ian—Becca’s best friend and boyfriend—Lisa treated her worse than her mother had for the previous fifteen years. A couple of years later, things ended up in tragedy.

Becca buried that part of her life in the deep corners of her psyche, but that only work during the days when the nightmares didn’t come back to haunt her. Her best friend, Dan gives her that family love she always lacked. Everything was close to perfect, until everything and everyone from her past came back. Now, she’s trying to figure out how to survive and keep that bond which seems now to be held together by a thread.

Note: This is the first part of a two book novel.



Whew. Where Life Takes You is a doozy. I am talking drama. High drama. Low drama. And everything in between. After a getting a few chapters into the book, I just couldn't look away...

You get the sense that Becca Trent has really been through some hard times from the very beginning of the book. She is in therapy and a chance encounter with someone from her past sends her spiraling. Becca's early life took her to some pretty dark places. Growing up she had to deal with an especially cruel mother and step-sister. Then a family tragedy strikes leaving her stripped of what little joy she had. It's kind of like a first person version of Cinderella - on steroids.

Burgoa's storyline touches on a number of serious issues with a deft hand. At it's heart, the book is a story about someone trying to move on from a very tragic past. However, before she can truly heal, Becca has to face her demons. That is not an easy feat as they are pretty awful. Luckily Becca doesn't have to do it alone. She has her best friend, Dan, to support her in ways that her family could not or would not. His love and support are a light in all that darkness.

Dan is also broken in ways of his own. Although Becca tries to view Dan with brother-like goggles, his Alpha feelings run much deeper than that. But how do you reveal your feelings to someone who is already dealing with so much? This book ain't for the faint of heart. It's not your average romance. Bonus cool points for that.

Quite honestly, this book stressed me out. I went from sympathetic page clicking to outraged Kindle shaking. I was not altogether pleased with the cliffhanger ending, but that was a good thing. It means that I was emotionally invested in the characters enough to actually care about what happened to them. You know, that is not always a guarantee.

Readers love books that stir their emotions. This book does just that. I look forward to reading the next installment. I am pulling for Becca and Dan's happily-ever-after.

NOTE: I will be reading Next To You this weekend during the Bout of Books 11 read-a-thon. I received a free copy of both of the Life series books in exchange for an honest review.

Next To You by Claudia Y. Burgoa
Series: Life (#2)
Publication Date: June 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult



…I need time. Time to heal those wings and learn to use them…

Was part of the letter Rebecca Trent, Daniel Brightmore’s fiancĂ©e and best friend left when she ran away. The person he trusted the most for the past decade disappeared without giving him a second glance. She taught him how to love, believe in family and that everyone deserves a happily ever after. Now he’s struggling between wiping any traces of her from his life and drowning his sorrows away with the help of his new best friends—Don Julio and Jack Daniels.


Rebecca’s past suffocated her to the point of not wanting to continue, her lifeline and the only reason to live began to withdraw from her. She wished it had been her imagination, but heard it loud and clear: “If not, there’s always a divorce, nothing is forever.” This time it became a leave or die situation. Something has got to change—she had to change. Packing light and leaving a letter behind, she takes a journey that can help her find herself through the shards of her painful childhood.
As letters, memories and stories are exchanged, two once inseparable people reconcile what’s left of their relationship. Beyond the confines of everything they built together, they’re left with two lonely people searching for what it means to be whole. Will they find meaning under their bruised psyches or will their pasts get the better of them?


Claudia lives in Colorado with her family and three dogs. Two beagles who believe they are human, and a bichon who thinks she’s a beagle. While managing life, she works as a CFO at a small IT Company. She’s a dreamer who enjoys music, laughter and a good story.
Author Links
Tour-wide Giveaway

Ends Sept 2nd
  • $100 USD Amazon or paypal GC
  • 1x signed copy of both life series books
  • 2x ecopy of both life series books

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  1. Glad you liked it it sounds like an emotional ride and those are often my fav reads! :)

  2. Thank you for such a great review, looking forward to see what you think about Next 2 U x

  3. I enjoyed the review, thank you.