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Publisher's Summary

RITA AWARD FINALIST

She bears the scars of the past. He blames himself for things he can't control. Their defenses are up, but in Cecy Robson's latest Shattered Past novel - perfect for fans of Monica Murphy and J. Lynn - true love lands a knockout punch.

Sofia Tres Santos remembers a time before her life went sour, before her innocence was ripped away, before she began punishing herself with risky behavior and unworthy men. Now, at 20, she just hopes she's ready to rebuild some of what she lost. One way or another, it always comes back to her childhood friend and longtime crush, Killian O'Brien.

As strong as Killian is, Sofia has always been his one weakness. He knows Sofia has suffered and wants to ensure she's never hurt again - not like before, and definitely not under his watch. When Sofia agrees to work at his mixed martial arts gym, Killian seizes the opportunity to help and protect the sweet girl he's always cared for. And yet, as he trains Sofia to defend herself using his hard-hitting MMA techniques, he's drawn to the vulnerable beauty in ways he never expected. As Sofia grows stronger, she also grows brave enough to open herself up to love. And along the way, she challenges everything Killian believes to be true, showing him that no matter how much he dominates in the ring, the real battle is fought in the heart.

©2015 Cecy Robson, LLC (P)2017 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"The sexual tension between Sofia and Killian is super steamy; the passion builds with every page." (RT Book Reviews)
"Sexy and heartbreaking, Once Pure is an excellent, emotional read." (New York Times best-selling author Monica Murphy)

What listeners say about Once Pure

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Sofia’s triumph!

Sofia Tres Santos is young (20-years old) but has already faced a lot of suffering. Her highly-abusive father regularly beat her and her siblings and she was raped as a teen. She was so traumatized that she then engaged in risky, demoralizing behavior. Now she’s taken control of her life and is going to school and working for Killian O’Brien, an MMA fighter who she grew up with and has secretly admired. He’s highly protective of her, harboring some guilt regarding the violence of her past.

This was the story I waited for as Sofia has healed so much since the first story. She’s still suffering from crippling fear whenever she feels threatened and her own painful sins of her past resurface at embarrassing moments. I loved how she faced these circumstances head on and took steps to try and overcome them. Her relationship with Killian developed rather sweetly and I liked his patience with Sofia, putting her needs ahead of his own even when it was difficult.

The new adult genre can be challenging for me as it’s often fraught with lots of miscommunication and flight is typically the first response to conflict. There’s some of that here but not protracted and it’s eclipsed by the tenderness of the story and well developed characters. The horrific nature of Sofia’s past was handled deftly, nothing gratuitous in the describing as the focus was on her feelings rather than the acts. I felt the degradation, not the physical aspects, which is really great writing.

I liked the narrator who captured the heart of Sofia. She told the story without dramatic embellishment, important giving the topics. I enjoyed so much about this story, primarily Sofia’s triumph and experiencing the little and major milestones. This was a fitting conclusion to the series, especially as the characters from the previous books were also featured substantively. And, you’re in for a real treat with the epilogue. Now that’s how you write an ending!

(I received a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review)

4 people found this helpful

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Best in the series

Sophia and Killian's story is like a punch in the gut!! There is so much angst and heartbreak but this is the best book in this series. The epilogue absolutely made this book.

This narrator definitely isn't for me. It sounds like she's just reading aloud instead of narrating a story.. kind of like when you ask Alexa to tell you a story.

3 people found this helpful

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amazeballs

amazing was hard to stop listening to deal with shit it felt like I was living in it awsome series nd authour time to hit the O'Brien series

2 people found this helpful

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Liked this story the best…

I liked this book the best. Although, you could just listen to the last chapter and you get the whole story in a nutshell!

1 person found this helpful

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Letty and Evelyn’s stories are better

I discovered this author through chapters and enjoyed reading Once Perfect, then the next. It took me a while before I managed to dive into this book and it was just kind of disappointing. Both Letty and Evelyn’s stories had some great qualities. Evelyn’s was pretty awesome. But Sophia’s just doesn’t do much for me. As for Mercedes Moreno, no. Just no. Her voice is that of a little girl and too sweet for the masculine voices that all sound super feminine and the same. The story spends a lot of time kind of bouncing back and forth, either he’s mad at her or she’s mad at him and I just wanted to scream.

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Great story! But the narration? not so much

The author has penned a poignant, heart-felt story but it is almost ruined by a mechanical narration. it was hard to listen and get through it. I know narrators get better the more books they do, let's hope. Now I need to hear the entire series.

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Unrealistic bullish!t

Sofia was whiny and annoying. She had a woe is me outlook throughout the book. I feel as though Sofia was manipulative (she pretended to be so inexperienced and timid sexually, but for over 2 years she engaged in sex with random men and more than one at time on occasion). She says she engaged in the random sex after being raped and not wanting to live anymore. Instead of being upfront with Killian about her past she lets him find out in front of his friends and family. It was upsetting how she played victim in this specific scene stating that she didn’t fuck those guys she didn’t touch them she let them climb on top of her and she didn’t stop them. The rape is not her fault and it’s her body and if she wants to share it with the entire male population it’s her choice. However, I know victims of sexual assault and they would never use their assault to manipulate their partner or gather sympathy. It just felt as if Sofia was attention seeking and because she was embarrassed by her chosen promiscuity she wasn’t upfront with Killian…. Kill deserved someone genuine. I couldn’t even finish

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Pure

Honestly, I was hesitant to read this book. Even though I really wanted to complete the series, glimpses of how tough Sophia had it were given in the previous books. I had a feeling it would be heart wrenching and it definitely was. I was totally sucked in. All the feels, it gave you all the feels! There was plenty of good, but you knew bad stuff was coming and you just didn’t know how it was going to be delivered. Cecy did an awesome job delivering all those feels! It was great finding out how things were going with Mateo and Evelyn and the glimpses of Brody and Lety were good too. I see there are books about Killian’s family so I’m now off to read more about the O’Brian siblings!💖💖💖💖💖💖

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Great series!

This whole series has been great!
From the first, second and now the third books I have been brought into the character’s lives and I pulled for them as the stories unfolded.
Thanks for the great reads!!!

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another great story

(Killian & Sophia): TRIGGERS: child abuse, molestation and rape. Finally, we get the story of the youngest in the Tres Santos family. Sophia has been in love with Killian for a long time but she's shy and she tends to flinch around men. She's had a rough childhood with an abusive father and a dark secret. Killian was friends with her brother but he was her friend first, he's had a thing for her for a long time, so when she shows up to work for him, he thinks this is his chance. Living in the same neighborhood, Killian's life was just as hard but his huge family is there to help soften the blow. This story will seriously have you on the brink of tears in almost every chapter. It's not just a romance, the author will actually take you on a journey through their past, their traumas and their bumpy roads in their relationship. Not only is Killian's family present in this book, Mateo and Evelyn make an appearance as well to show much needed support to Sophia. I really loved the final book of this series.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-14-21

WOW!!!

JUST WOW!!! This whole series had me laughing and crying and just going through all kinds of emotions, but so glad for the happy endings in all. Male narrator would have just given the male chatacters that little bit more. Loved it all the same.

1 person found this helpful

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  • P
  • 01-07-22

Perfection!!!

Really enjoyed this series. Not read/listened to this author before. Was very happy to have got all 3 audio books included with my membership, which I listened to back to back. All the characters were linked between books but they could be standalone. Happy that they had a proper ending and the stories weren’t rushed at the end like some books are. The stories were interesting, funny in parts sad in others and had some OMG moments with good plot twists. Plenty of heat and steamy scenes too😉 and of course, the HEA ending 🙂 A good all round listen, with something for everyone. Well worth listening to.

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  • FBooks
  • 12-28-21

Emmersive. Brilliant narration.

All three stories deals with sensitive issues that takes you on a heart-wrenching, emotional ride. It is difficult for anyone to overcome sexual abuse no matter what age it accurs, wheater you are male or female. Even though you may be encouraged to understand that you it's not your fault and you should not be ashamed.
Many people suffer terribly, trying to recover and live a normal life again.
Despite all the heartbreaking issues of emotional anguish, sadness, self blame, doubt and fears. There is also plenty of love and support from friends and family.
Sofia and Killian had
to explore their feelings and get pass the guilt and shame and choose to find trust and love in each other rather than to remaining a victim.

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  • janice
  • 11-20-21

this story did not need to be this long

there were several scenes which were repeated . I feel that this feeling that kept them apart him not walking her home that night just didn't strike me as something anyone would have kept secret for all these years??

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  • Kenneth Penman
  • 10-15-21

Great story

this series was just amazing. this story grips you from the start and keeps you wanting more

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • S. Lacey
  • 11-12-17

Excellent!!!

Loved this book! I was glad to finally get the full story on what happened to Sofia, through her own eyes/memories. She really had a bad time and real trauma in her life, the rape on top of the abuse she endured from her father was the last thing she needed and she broke. It took a long time for her to pull herself together and Killian really helped her to regain her confidence and heal even further.

They were a great match but their journey wasn't a smooth or easy one as they faced the past in order to make a real future. I love how Killian and Teo made up and regained their former tight friendship again as well, to the point that I really feel Teo approved of Killian being with Sofia (well as much as a big brother can approve of his baby sister dating!). I also loved getting updates on Teo & Evie and Lety & Brody too, even a small cameo from the crew from Teo's old bouncing job too!

I will admit to tearing up more then once as their were a few really emotional scenes but I also laughed a lot as Cecy balances the emotional trauma with good doses of humour as well! This book marks the last book for the Tres Santos siblings but I'm happy that it does not mark the end of the series! I can't wait for Once Touched and to find out who will be starring in it! I hope it will be one of Killian's siblings, in particular Finn or Wren! I loved those two in this book and the rest of Killian's siblings too!