May 30, 2017

All That I Am by Rachel Brookes • FMR Review

Title: All That I Am
Series: Men of Monroe #1
Author: Rachel Brookes
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 20, 2017


A kickass home décor boutique – tick
A sassy mouth and absolutely no filter – tick
A wall so strong no man could ever tear it down - tick, tick, tick!

Or so I thought.

Until I meet Detective Ben Hunt, the owner of exquisite blue eyes, a god-like physique and a seductive smirk that makes me weak at the knees. He charges into my life like a force of nature. No matter how hard I try to keep the walls up around my heart, he’s made it his mission to shatter them. I have no chance of resisting him, but I would make sure I won this tug of war.

Which was what I wanted.

Right? When did the idea of losing myself to him start to sound so good?

I wish Ben was the only battle I faced. There’s a reason this small town needs a good detective. One way or another I’m going to have to brace for impact, because no wall I build can stop the new threat thundering toward Monroe.

After all, secrets only stay a secret for so long around here.

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Review by: Leeann 

So I have never read a book by this author that I didn’t like, but I have to say I FLOVED this book so much!
The swoon factor Is off the charts, the sass is record breaking and the sexiness is ground shaking!!

When you read this you will see why Sasha has her walls up, and let me tell you the size of them would rival
The Great Wall of China.. They are that high. 
Ben, Ben, Ben.. What can I day about Benjamin Hunt? Get your drool bucket out maybe? His Alphaness (As Sasha calls it)
Is astronomical. And when you meet his father you soon work out it is a family trait!

There are phenomenal support character in this story that all play a huge part but I am not going into detail on them because it would give too much away!
I hope they all get their stories told though! There are a few that I can’t wait to read about.

Rachel Brookes has written a story that is a combination of fast paced and slow burn. I know this may not make sense to everyone but that is how I felt
when I read it. The anticipation is high and the satisfaction when Ben and Sasha get their moments is overwhelming. I felt at times that  these
characters were people I knew and I desperately wanted them to get their happy ending!
There is a huge twist and I will say it was one I didn’t see coming. I knew there was a villain I just never guessed how far their reach was.

Ms Brookes has drawn out the emotions of her characters in a way that makes sure you feel everything. It is almost tangible.
The ups, the downs, the highs, the lows.. You feel it all and I wanted more!!

When I got to the end I was not ready to say goodbye. I honestly could have read more about Ben and Sasha for another few days. I was just not ready for it to

I think that is the sign of a brilliant author, when they leave you wanting more. Rachel Brooks has definitely accomplished that!
I cannot wait to see what she gives us next!!

6 sparkly stars..

Review by: Sam 

I have been a huge follower and fangirl of Rachel Brookes work, words and creativity since the very beginning. I remember reading Rachel's earlier work 'Just Breathe' and adoring all of the feels that this story brought to my heart. I have loved each and every book she has released for a number of different reasons- the strength of the heroine, the love of the hero and the fictional world she is able to draw her reader into making them feel a part of every scene.

Along with Rachel's other Bombshell's, we have been patiently awaiting the release of 'All That I Am', the first book in 'The Men Of Monroe Series'. We had been following the whole build up to this release and have hung onto the authors every word and teasers of information that could give us insight into this new fictional world. This story did not disappoint and the author has bounced back into the writing world with a BANG!

Sasha Hamilton had to face a lot of hurt and emotion during her younger years and the events that she has been through created a lot of depth to the story. Now a business owner, with a take no prisoners attitude and a body and a mouth that can bring any hot blooded male to his knees, we are pulled into the world of Sassy, her friends, family and the town she lives in. Sasha is happily in control of her life, is not interested in finding a HEA, and meets her needs with one night stands to avoid any emotion or further damage to her already sensitive heart. Until the sexiest man in Monroe stomps into her life. Until Mr Alpha himself smashes down the skyscrapers Sasha has built around her heart and soul. Until HIM.

Detective Ben Hunt...Dear Sweet Lord.
Ben is bossy, Ben is the hottest Alpha, he is ALL in, dirty talking and will stop at absolutely nothing to make Sasha Hamilton his woman. As the story unfolds, we find out just how long Ben Hunt has had Sasha on his radar. I adored this man's family, his love for them and just how big his heart is. He wants to love with everything he is and I loved both the alpha side to his character and the soft, open hearted, gentle side to his character.

I love the connection between both Sasha and Ben. The banter, the attitude and the heat, SWEET LORD! I won't ruin that for any reader, but let's just say, Rachel Brookes has signed, sealed and delivered some fantastic action in the bedroom department *throws bucket of ice water over head and fans self*.

I absolutely adored the supporting characters. Sasha is surrounded with some amazing friends and family, Ben is also surrounded by a whole lot of love. Gigi is a firm favourite, I actually believe I could be best friends with that crazy lady!

I really don't want to ruin the story for any reader, but you should all know that 'All That I Am' was a million percent worth the wait. I could feel that Rachel Brookes put her heart and soul into this book. I am DYING for the next in the series and know that this author will create further perfection. Congratulations to you Rachel Brookes, Ben and Sasha are a whirlwind of heat, heart and passion.

5 Stars 



Thirteen years earlier.

“Mom! I’m home.” 

Summer break had arrived, and all I could think about was lying out with Missy, shopping trips into the city with Mom, and spending Sundays dancing and causing underage havoc at my family’s bar, Hamilton’s. 

I shrugged off my bag, dropped it on the couch, and then strolled through the house, listening for any signs of where my mom was. 

As soon as I walked into the kitchen, I stopped. The familiar aroma of chocolate didn’t greet me, and my mom’s perfume didn’t linger in the air. I turned around quickly and looked to the counter where a fresh plate of brownies always sat on Friday afternoons. But today, for the first time, there was nothing. 

I left the kitchen and searched the house. 

Living room. Empty. 

Dining room. Empty. 

Bathroom. Empty. 

Everywhere. Empty. 

I began to panic. After school, I never arrived home to an empty house. Mom made it very clear that she’d always be here when Drew and I got home. For as long as I could remember, she’d told us that her favorite thing about being a Mom was being able to be home for us. 

Now she wasn’t here. 


I jumped at Dad’s voice calling my name behind me. I turned quickly, smiling, expecting to find Dad and Mom together. As soon as I saw him on his own, my smile fell. He stood in the foyer with his arms folded across his chest, and he didn’t look like my Dad. He looked like a shadow of himself. His eyes would always twinkle when he looked at me, but now they showed nothing but sadness. 

“Where’s mom?” I asked as my heart raced. 

“Come here, Sash,” Dad said low, his voice cracking. 

Hesitantly, I moved toward him. When I was within reach, his hand shot out and grabbed mine and I was pulled toward him. 

“Dad, what’s going on?” 

We moved through the house in silence. Every step I took, my anxiety soared and my confusion grew. What was going on? Dad held open the back door, and I stepped out onto the porch. Drew leaned against the railing, looking out over the yard, but turned when he heard us arrive. His face was as blank as Dad’s. 

I took a seat on the porch swing and held one of the yellow cushions Mom and I had purchased during one of our epic shopping trips close to my chest. “Where’s mom?” I asked softly. “What’s going on?” 

If it were anyone else, including Dad, I would of thought he was at the store or at work, but not Mom. She was always here. Our family had traditions. Friday’s were our time. 

Dad, Mom, Drew, and me. 

“I love you more than anything, Sasha,” Dad said, his voice strangled with emotion and his eyes shimmering with tears. He sucked in a deep breath before saying the words that would forever change my life. “She’s gone, Baby Girl. She left.” 



His words hit me hard. 

My throat closed as his words sunk in. The tormented look shadowing his face didn’t lie, but I didn’t want to believe it. I wanted to believe there was some kind of mistake, but why would my Dad lie to me about something like this? Gone and left were final. There was no mistaking what they meant. 

“Baby Girl, did you hear me?” 

“What do you mean she’s gone?” I stammered, as the first tear fell over my cheek. 

Dad wrapped his arms around me and hauled me against his chest. The usual comfort his arms provided had no chance of healing the hurt spiraling through me. 

There was no way she’d leave. Why would she have told me this morning that she breathed for us? That her heart beat for us. My mother was everything I dreamt of becoming, and now I was being told she was gone? 

“This can’t be real.” I shook my head. “There has to be a mistake.” My voice became more frantic and louder with every word. “How do you even know she’s gone? Maybe she’s just at the store. Or popped into work.” 

I was clutching onto anything that would lessen the pain tearing through me. 

“She isn’t at the store.” Dad spoke softly. “She isn’t at Hamilton’s either.” 

I tore myself away from Dad and ran back inside. I had to see for myself. I went into every room and found nothing. I hesitated outside my parent’s room and then slowly entered. The dresser was bare. Mom's jewelry was gone, her favorite perfume gone, her lipstick gone. I stumbled into the closest and was smacked in the face with a brutal reality. Mom’s clothes, shoes, and her suitcase were gone. 

Nothing was left. 

Everything was gone. 

Feeling numb, I walked into my room and lay on my bed. I buried my face in my pillow as the first sob left my chest. Tears saturated my pillow, and my chest ached from trying to catch my breath. 

As I pulled the pillow closer, the crinkle of paper sounded. With shaking hands, I pulled out a folded piece of paper from beneath my pillow and held my breath as I saw my mom’s familiar handwriting. I inhaled sharply and unfolded it. 

Baby girl, 

Please never forget how much I love you. You will always be in my heart, and every breath I take is for you. 

Forgive me, 

Mom x

The words became blurry as fresh tears hit my eyes. Why would she do this? My mother chose to leave me? Why wasn’t I enough? My chest screamed at me. The pain was excruciating, and I felt like my heart was going to stop. 

I didn’t hear my bedroom door open and didn’t know anyone was in my room until I felt my bed dip beside me. 

“Squirt, come here,” Drew whispered as he grabbed my hand and pulled me against his body. 

I went willingly to him and crashed against his chest. His arms circled me, and I cried against his shirt, soaking the cotton with hot, heartbreaking tears. 

“How could she do this?” I choked out through another wave of tears. “What did we do wrong?” 

“We did nothing. You did nothing wrong.” The strength in his voice made me look up at him. “We are the Hamilton kids. We will get through this. I promise you, Sasha.” 

My brother. My protector. 

“I’ll never let anything or anyone hurt you again. You have my word and my protection for life.” 

I believed him.
I had to believe him.

Author Bio

Rachel Brookes is from the east coast of Australia and writes angst ridden love stories with a pinch of craziness, a dash of drama, a cup of romance, and a bucket load of sexiness. With five novels currently published, she is constantly writing and getting ready to release her next hero and heroine into the world. An avid reader, Rachel can often be found with her kindle in her hand, and getting lost in a happily ever after. She has an unhealthy obsession with The Walking Dead, and social media, and loves hearing from readers.

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