Title: Thin Love
Author: Eden Butler
Genre: New Adult/Contemporary Romance crossover
Release Date: August 19, 2014
Tour Hosted by: As the Pages Turn
Love isn't supposed to be an addiction. It isn't supposed to leave you bleeding.
Kona pushed, Keira pulled, and in their wake, they left behind destruction.
She sacrificed everything for him.
It wasn't enough.
But the wounds of the past can never be completely forgotten and still the flame remains, slumbers between the pleasure of yesterday and the thought of what might have been.
Now, sixteen years later, Keira returns home to bury the mother who betrayed her, just as Kona tries to hold onto what remains of his NFL career with the New Orleans Steamers. Across the crowded bustle of a busy French Market, their paths collide, conjuring forgotten memories of a consuming touch, skin on skin, and the still smoldering fire that begs to be rekindled.
When Kona realizes the trifecta of betrayal—his, Keira's and those lies told to keep them apart—his life is irrevocably changed and he once again takes Keira down with him into the fire that threatens to ignite them both.
Excerpt“We’re alone for the first time in weeks and I’ve had to be around you all day, walking down sidewalks where I held you as a kid, in hallways where you touched me and all I wanted to do is kiss you again.”
His hands go to her hips, around her stomach. “I’ve been thinking about the party, about kissing you, that song, and how you didn’t hate it. How you kissed me back, how you touched me. I know I’m obvious. You know what I want.”
“You can get that from anyone.”
She is testing him, he knows; it’s in her tone, in how straight she holds her back and Kona can’t help the frustrated growl that leaves his mouth. “You’re not just anyone.” He takes a chance, eases down to kiss her neck, slides his fingers at her nape to expose all of that skin to him and she doesn’t push away from him. “I realized something that first day in the Market, even after I saw Ransom, after I realized you’d kept him from me all this time.”
“What… what did you realize?” Her voice sounds like a whine, then a moan when Kona kisses behind her ear.
"That I haven’t breathed in sixteen years. Not since you, sweetheart; not a real breath once since that day I pushed you away.”
“And… you… you can now?”
His breath moves down her neck and Kona loves the blanket of chills that covers Keira’s skin. “Like my lungs are wide open. Every time you walk in a room, every time I hear you sing, see you smile, touch you… it’s like breathing for the first time.” He pushes her hair out of his way, kisses further down her neck, moves the thin, linen shirt she wears to get to her back, then lowers to kiss her again, right on the spot he’d missed all this time and then, eyes widening, he takes his mouth from her skin. .
“You little liar.” She tries turning around but he keeps her still, lowering her shirt more to see that bright Hibiscus tattoo. “Thought you got rid of it.”
“I… I tried to.” She comes around, hands on his chest. “I meant to, but there was never enough money, then when there was, I just… couldn’t.” When he shakes his head, Keira laughs at him and he loves the sound, loves how easily it comes to her. “Look who’s talking. I know you covered yours up. I saw that spread you did in GQ. You have that massive tattoo over your chest now, all down your arm.” He backs away from her and his fingers go to his buttons. “What are you doing?”
One cock of his eyebrow silences her and Kona grins at Keira’s widening eyes, at how they lower onto his chest as each button comes loose. “I added to my tattoo, Wildcat. I didn’t cover it up. You didn’t see that in the spread because I didn’t want my chest shown. That tattoo is for you and me. No one else.”
Kona pulls open his shirt, and throws it onto the island and Keira’s eyes move to the colossal Polynesian tribal designs, all black, all connected, that cover his shoulder, half his arm and his chest.
“Sixty hours with a bone-tipped rake and a striking stick. I was on the big island for three weeks and most of that time was with Naoki, an old war buddy of my tutu knae’s. There was no smartass tattooer telling me not to get inked for some girl, like Michael did. There was me, Naoki and his two sons. Up until a month ago, this piece was what I was proudest of in my life. Until I met Ransom. Until you introduced me to my son.”
Keira’s eyes soften and she stretches out her fingers like she wants to touch him, but then curls her hand into a fist, until Kona reaches out to her, and places her hand on his shoulder. “This,” he says, to the black waves that circle his entire shoulder, “is for the persistent memory of those I’ve loved and lost. It’s for Luka, for my tutu kane, the ones I pushed away when I was too stupid to realize how lucky I was, how loved.”
Kona turns, slides Keira’s fingers along his skin, up his shoulder, his breath shuddering at the feel of her nails smoothing over his traps, to his shoulder blades. She touches the spherical sun with waving flames and pointed spikes on his back. “This is for rebirth, for the renewal of myself, for me learning to forgive myself and never letting my weaknesses bury me again.”
Then Kona moves Keira’s fingers along his arm, catching her eyes, holding them as he trails her hand to the dark and light shells intricately patterned against the tribal spaces that fill up his skin. “This is for protection, for my family, to remind me of what I lost, what I want to earn again.” Keira holds his gaze, doesn’t watch her fingers being moved back up his arm, to his chest where Kona marked himself for her all those years ago. “This entire piece is the story of my life, Keira; who I was, what I lost, what I want to have back and it all starts here. It starts with you, Wildcat.”
He steps forward, takes her hand and puts it over his heart. “Ku`u Lei. My beloved. Then. Always. I could never get rid of that just like I could never really get rid of you.” Keira’s face is in his hands, his thumbs smoothing over that skin he’d been aching to touch and his chest constricts, heart strumming steady, but fast. “I could be a thousand miles from you, telling myself I don’t want you, that I’d gotten over you, but it would be a lie. I remember the way your skin felt under my fingers. I remember the noises you made when I kissed you, how quick your breath got when I made you come, how soft you held me, how you made me feel things I didn’t think I was good enough to feel. You did that, always. You were mine and I never loved anything more. I never wanted anything or anyone like I wanted you. Like I still want you. My always, Keira. You’re still my always.”
And then, Kona stopped talking, stopped wanting and took what was always his.
What I thought about Thin Love
When college freshman Keira gets stuck with Kona Hale as a partner for her group project, she’s not very happy about it. All she cares about is getting her project done, and the sexy linebacker isn’t really the studious type. But for some reason, Kona shows up for their study sessions, and it doesn’t take long for the attraction between them to spark to life. They try to keep each other at arms length, but it doesn’t work for long, especially when their leashed anger turns them on. Literally. Their passion isn't hearts and flowers, it's more like lightning and thunder. I liked that about Thin Love.
But there are some obstacles to their love, namely both of their mothers. Neither one is in favor of the relationship, and at times their behavior was really hard to take. I’m being vague on purpose because I thought the whole mother-child dynamic was one of the best parts of Thin Love so I’d rather not spoil-- but there’s a whole lot of evil going on there.
And then there’s Keira and Kona’s temper which can go from turn-on to ugly-ville in the span of a breath. There’s lies and jealousy and abuse, and sometimes all that passion escalates to disaster.
When things are good though, they are so very good, and Keira and Kona find a way to tune out the bad stuff, and make a go of it, until one night, Keira, Kona and Kona’s twin Luka are involved in a horrifying situation that has Kona shredding Keira and Keira disappearing for good.
Sixteen years later, Kona and Keira happen to run into each other back in New Orleans, and secrets from the past force them back together. They are different now, more mature, less volatile and still incredibly attracted to each other. But have they really changed? Can they be good for each other? I kept turning the pages to find out.
I loved that this story spanned sixteen years and gave a very nice look at who Kiera and Kona became as they matured. It made me feel like I got a lot of story, and it unfolded at just the right pace to keep me reading until the final pages.
The story stayed with me for a few days too and even now I’m tempted to go back and read some favorite parts. There were some really great drama that had me blinking hard and some really nice high points in the love story, but most of all there wasn’t a rush to the HEA.
Great story and execution. Loved it!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Eden Butler is an editor and writer of New Adult Romance and SciFi and Fantasy novels and the nine-times great-granddaughter of an honest-to-God English pirate. This could explain her affinity for rule breaking and rum. Her debut novel, a New Adult, Contemporary (no cliffie) Romance, “Chasing Serenity” launched in October 2013 and quickly became an Amazon bestseller.
When she’s not writing or wondering about her possibly Jack Sparrowesque ancestor, Eden edits, reads and spends way too much time watching rugby, Doctor Who and New Orleans Saints football.
She is currently imprisoned under teenage rule alongside her husband in southeast Louisiana.