These Battered Hands: Review + Giveaway



These Battered Hands

Laurel Ulen Curtis

Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance

Release Date: September 29, 2015



Blood, sweat, hard work, and a disconcerting lack of tears—my entire life—was meant to culminate in a flourish of glory and significance.

I’d thought I’d always known exactly what that meant.

But I’d had the timing wrong by about three minutes.

I knew now.

This moment wasn’t everything. The one person I found myself wanting more than anything during it was.


One preconceived notion can haunt you for the entirety of your life.

I thought I owed it to myself and to everyone who’d ever backed me to do what was expected. What was right. What I was supposed to do.

But nothing is forbidden in love. Not circumstances or propriety or the denial of the object of said affection.

I knew now.

This was it.

If I wanted it, I had to take it.

This gymnastics love story is more than grips, rips, and battered hands.

For Calia Nickleson and Nikolai Bagrov, it was everything.


PURCHASE: Amazon I Kobo


These Battered Hands was my first Laurel Ulen Curtis book and I was not disappointed. Starting this book I was immediately engrossed in what Curtis was offering. Inhaling Curtis’ words, I was under her spell and sucked into the world of Calia, Nikolai and gymnastics and had no intention of ever returning. These Battered Hands is a gorgeously crafted love story that uses gymnastics to highlight the originality of this love story.

Calia is a twenty six year old gymnast preparing for her third Olympics. In what is perceived by everyone else to be an odd career decision, Calia is determined and unwavering.

Nikolai Bargov is starting afresh, which leads him straight to Calia. With a new coaching job under his belt, he is determined to make the most of this experience.

As Calia and Nikolai are thrown together to ensure the best possible outcome for Calia, it s evident that they are both intrigued by one another. As we witness their relationship go from Calia and Nikolai to Cali and Nik very quickly, readers are honoured to witness two characters who have a connection, deeper and more profound than anything physical. Curtis describes their attraction flawlessly, showing off two souls crawling out of the darkness, to find themselves in the light.

As Cali and Nik bask in this new found connection, it’s unfortunate that the deep seated  beliefs, practices and expectations of the gymnastics world clouds their relationship. As their professional and personal lives are threatened, readers are left wondering if their happiness will be short-lived or will they be able to profess their love in time to make things better.

These Battered Hands takes readers on a journey filled with a kaleidoscope of emotions. Curtis has created such beautiful characters in Cali and Nik. Their honesty, the brutal truths that each faces, the soul crushing pain that they endure; both in and out of the gym. Curtis’ multi faceted characters is what ensures the success of These Battered Hands.

“I learned to love those battered hands, but I learned to love you better.”

About Laurel Ulen Curtis


Laurel Ulen Curtis is a 28 year old mother of one. She lives with her husband and son (and cat!) in New Jersey, but grew up all over the United States. She graduated from Rutgers University in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science in Meteorology, and puts that to almost no use other than forecasting for her friends and writing a storm chasing heroine! She has a passion for her family, laughing, and reading and writing Romance novels. Shes also addicted to Coke. The drink, not the drug.

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