Friday, August 29, 2014

Review & Giveaway:Thin Love by Eden Butler

Title: Thin Love
Author: Eden Butler
Genre: New Adult/Contemporary Romance crossover
Release Date: August 19, 2014
Tour Hosted by: As the Pages Turn

Synopsis

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.”
“Kona…”
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! 


Giveaway

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About Eden

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.

Please send help.


 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Review and Giveaway: Vanquish by Pam Godwin


I really loved this book! Read on for my review, excerpt and giveaway!


Warning: Graphic sex and violence. Age 18+ only

It is recommended to read after Deliver, but it can be read as a stand-alone.


Her life is like a prison cell.

A self-made, to-hell-with-the-free-world existence that locks from the inside.

Stop judging. Her agoraphobia doesn’t define her. It simply keeps her safe.

He belongs in a prison cell.

The 6x8, make-me-your-bitch variety that locks from the outside.

But he’s free. To hunt. To take. To break.

And he just found a sexy new toy.

Capturing her is the easy part. Her fucked-up mind, however, makes him question everything he does next.

But he’s a determined bastard. If all goes his way, this will hurt like hell.
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What I thought about Vanquish

Pam Godwin has crafted a brilliant dark erotic tale with Deliver and Vanquish. We met Van in Deliver, but we really didn’t get to see much beyond his villainy. Vanquish picks up with his escape from the house after being shot, which was an awesome way to refresh this reader's memory as to what happened to him in Deliver. He’s still obsessed with Liv and for good reason. He wants to connect with their daughter and the only way he’s going to do that is by convincing Liv he should. That’s not going to be so easy.

When he finally finds Liv using his many stalker-ish talents, he meets Amber.  She’s got lots of problems, like an ex that totally messed up her head, along with agoraphobia and OCD just for starters. Van's intrigued with her, which rapidly moves to more of an obsession as he realizes just how much he wants Amber and how he could use his "talents" to help her.

Only he doesn’t really bargain for the things Amber does for him as they both spill their secrets to each other. I was amazed by the emotions that I felt during this part of the book. It was easy to hate Van for what he did to Liv and the others, but to hear his life story was gut-wrenching and I found myself becoming sympathetic to Van. Pam does a great job with building the case for his redemption.

And just when I thought it was all going to work out, Van shows just how much he’s changed from his trafficking days with an unselfish act that has both Van and Amber alone again. There’s a good amount of emotion in this part of the book that is so well done and I just loved it.

Vanquish was a very satisfying and awesome way to end this dark series. I love it when an author manages to make me feel differently about a character, and Pam Godwin does an excellent job of that in Vanquish. There wasn’t a lot of action in this one--there’s more introspection and I didn’t mind that. There’s lots of steamy sexual content too, but I do feel I should give a warning that Vanquish does contain abduction and non-consensual sex.

I really love this series. It’s dark, sexy and very well researched. Vanquish is the perfect follow-up to Deliver.

He stalked toward her, mirroring the tilt of her head, knees and shoulders loose, and his gaze holding her prisoner. A breath away, he paused, soaking in the subtleties of her tipped-up chin, parting lips, and glossy but resolute eyes.

With the next breath, he launched, hands on her jaw, fingers spread around the back of her head.

His elbows dropped, shoulders raised, and he yanked her to him, lifting her on tiptoes, guiding her mouth, taking it. His grip twisted through her hair as he drew in her upper lip and shoved her against the fridge, following her with the weight of his body.

The kiss went fucking wild, their lips mashing in a frantic battle. His tongue plunged her mouth, attacking, thrusting in and out, possessing her movements, owning her. Breath for breath, lick after lick, he ate at her mouth, tasting, devouring.

He dropped his hands to her breasts, squeezing ruthlessly as he rolled his cock against her cunt.

His tongue tingled, his skin burned, and his head swam. God, she was a drug, and he was so fucking high.

She gripped his biceps, bit at his lips, and threw her arms over his shoulders, her fingers scratching the fuck out his back. He shuddered, loving it, but he was in control.

Reaching back, he grabbed her wrists and slammed them above her head. Their bodies ground together, his forearms pressing hers to the fridge, their tongues dancing and clashing. Chest-to-chest, hips fused together, he flexed his ass, dry humping her like a horny teenager.

Jesus, fuck, he didn't care. He wanted her.

He leaned back to study her face and found strong smoldering eyes, sharp breaths, and swollen wet lips. Whatever she saw in his expression made her mouth chase his and her fingers curl around his hands. They kissed endlessly, fueling the fire and pushing his control long past the point of discomfort before pulling back and starting all over again.

When he broke the kiss with a hand on her jaw, they panted as one, mouths open and so close their bottom lips brushed. She peered at him through lowered lashes, and he stared back in awe. What trembled between them wasn't an if? Or even a how hard? Those were foregone. The question they shared was simple.

Ready?





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New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author, Pam Godwin, lives in the Midwest with her husband, their two children, and a foulmouthed parrot. When she ran away, she traveled fourteen countries across five continents, attended three universities, and married the vocalist of her favorite rock band.

Java, tobacco, and dark romance novels are her favorite indulgences, and might be considered more unhealthy than her aversion to sleeping, eating meat, and dolls with blinking eyes.

Facebook | Twitter | Website | Amazon Author Page | Goodreads

Other Books by Pam Godwin


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Excerpt-Review-Giveaway:Guardian by Courtney Cole

Guardian RDL Banner We are absolutely over the moon excited about the Release Day Launch for Courtney Cole's GUARDIAN!!! GUARDIAN is a YA Paranormal Romance, and a book close to Courtney’s heart

Not only is this fabulous book back in a big way, it's Courtney's birthday! To celebrate all of the awesome she is making a few select titles only .99 TODAY ONLY! Grab them all and thank us later.

Guardian


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GUARDIAN Synopsis:

Sometimes, things that go bump in the night are real.

My name is Whitney Lane. I’m sixteen years old and at first, I thought I was crazy.

I kept seeing shadows move along walls, and hearing whispers around corners, but whenever I looked, there was never anything there.

Until one day, there was.

Our world isn’t what we think. There are things around us, good things, bad things, scary things.

Things that we tell ourselves aren’t real, but they are.

They’re very real, and they’re terrifying.

I’ve been swept up now, in a battle of good and evil, confused about love and what is supposed to be love, but isn’t. I don’t know what to think anymore. I can’t trust my emotions and I don’t know what is true.

There’s only one thing I know for sure.

Nothing is what it seems.

Guardian Available now
EXCERPT:
Sometimes the things that go bump in the night are real. 

Happy birthday to me. 
 I close my eyes and burrow into my pillow as I try to sleep, as I try to escape this life. 
It’s a life I never thought I’d have, a life I most certainly don’t want. 
I’m still feeling sorry for myself as the blackness of sleep finally overtakes me. 
I don’t know what time it is when I shoot straight upward like a rocket.  Something had yanked me from the oblivion of sleep, something loud and shrill scraping my window.
My room is completely dark and I glanceat my clock in confusion. 
3:00 a.m.
As my heart pounds hard against my ribcage, I quickly scan every corner of the room.
 In the last few hours, dark shadows had migrated onto my pink walls, but they’re familiar, nothing out of the ordinary, although in the night, they seem twisted and scary.  
I remain motionless as I allow the sleep-induced fog to clear from my brain.
As I sit, I feel common sense and logic slowly returning.
Of course nothing had touched my window because my bedroom is on the second floor. Nothing can reach it.  And there are no trees near enough to brush against it.  It was just a dream.
It was only a dream.
I chant it silently to myself like a mantra as I consciously slow my breathing down, hoping that my racing pulse will soon follow. It was only a dream.
But just as I’m calming down, I hear it again.
A high-pitched shrill shriek, reminiscent of fingernails on a chalkboard, scraping down my window. I gasp and pull my feet up to my chest, which is when I notice the temperature. 
I notice because I can see my breath.
Timidly, I blow a puff out again, watching the way my breath turns white in the air. 
Holy crap.  Oh my God. 
What the hell?
The sound stops and stillness surrounds me once again, the silence so loud that it echoes in my ear.
Nothing moves around me, the shadows are perfectly still as they twist across my wall.  They look like mangled fingers and arms and legs, but they don’t move. 
My legs are weak and shaking, but I know I have to move.   I have to move off my bed because it feels like something is under it.  Something terrifying. 
With a leap, I bound across the room, my feet hitting the floor several feet away from the edge of my bed. 
The floor is ice cold, as though it had been covered in a blanket of snow. 
I’m trembling as I race to the far wall and check the thermostat.  Because that’s the only explanation.  I must’ve bumped it earlier, I must’ve turned the AC way down. 
But the luminous numbers stare at me in contradiction. 
74 degrees. 
It must be broken.  It has to be broken.
My breath is coming in pants now, terrified, anxious pants. 
My fear isn’t logical.  I know there’s nothing here.  I’m the only one in this room. 
Or am I?
The air seems to push at me from all around, something dark, something heavy, something real.  Something unseen. 
My fingers shake, my legs tremble, and then all of a sudden, they can no longer support my weight.  I go down like a pile of bricks, collapsing onto the floor.  I lie still because I can’t move, because something seems to sit on my chest, holding me down. 
The shadows start to move, to slither across the walls, to reach and pull and dance. 
I struggle to focus, to see what it is. 
But all I can see are the numbers on the thermostat suddenly moving, rapidly counting down from 74 to 20. 
Twenty degrees?
The air is frigid as I suck it in, as I try to pull the ice crystals into my mouth so I can breathe. 
All of a sudden, there’s a blackness in front of me.  It hovers over me, a shapeless mass, sucking in the cells of the air, the atoms and the molecules.  It’s darker than the blackness of my room, blacker than the blackest black. 
Something is here. 
With me. 
“Dad?” I whisper in a white puff.  Because what else could it be?
I reach out a finger to touch it, and then I can’t see anything else, because the darkness of it surrounds me, bleeding into everything else, even my vision.   The shriek is back, screaming into my ears, bleeding into my brain. 
Then there’s nothing. 


To celebrate the release of GUARDIAN and Courtney's birthday the following books are on sale for .99, today only!
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What I thought about Guardian


I love Courtney Cole's Beautifully Broken series, I wanted to read this when I had the opportunity. Guardian is a re-release of Ms. Cole's debut novel and it's a YA paranormal tale of angels and demons.

Guardian does a good job of setting up a seemingly "normal" sort of world from the start. 16 year old Whitney is trying to keep her family together. It's only been 7 weeks since her father drowned, her mother is grief stricken to the point of being bed-ridden, and her 6 year old sister is having nightmares.  Some heavy, real-life stuff going on here.

There's also a few bright spots-- a boy named Brady, the cutest guy in school who's taken a sudden interest in her. A romantic interest. And then there's Delaney, Whitney's best friend, But Whitney's mom gets worse and so does Whitney. She's seeing things and feeling things that she has no explanation for, and then things get really strange when she meets her guardian angel and learns not all is what it seems.

The reveal of the paranormal elements of the story is nicely paced, building gradually to an exciting conclusion.  There were a few twists and turns, some that surprised me, and some that weren't so surprising but still fun.

So overall, I liked Guardian.  It was a quick read that held my interest and had me guessing a few times.  It's very well suited for the YA age group. 



HeadshotABOUT COURTNEY COLE: Courtney Cole is a novelist who would eat mythology for breakfast if she could. She has a degree in Business, but has since discovered that corporate America is not nearly as fun to live in as fictional worlds. She loves chocolate and roller coasters and hates waiting and rude people. Courtney lives in quiet suburbia, close to Lake Michigan, with her real-life Prince Charming, her ornery kids (there is a small chance that they get their orneriness from their mother) and a small domestic zoo.
  

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Release Day Blitz and Giveaway: Fly by T.A. Foster

FLY_Blitz

Today is the release day for FLY by T.A. Foster! Be sure to check out the contest below for a chance to win a gift card!

I'll be back with a review for FLY during the blog tour!

 
Fly_FrontCover_web

FLY BLURB:

Not everyone’s good at one-night stands. Skye Stephens has the worst day of her professional career, and all she wants to do is shed her power suit and get lost in the sheets with the hot guy she met at the bar. The problem is, this uptight ad exec doesn’t know how to do one-night stands. She has strict rules about dating and when to let a man in her bedroom. Fighter pilot Ben “Bolt” Hardcastle is used to lovin’ and leavin’. But, after he meets Skye, one night doesn’t seem to be enough. When these two crash-land into each other, a connection strong enough to make the loner pilot and the sexy businesswoman shed their rules about love and relationships begins to burn deeper than either of them ever expected.

BUY LINKS:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/XK4tdQ

Smashwords: http://bit.ly/YRrknN

iTunes: http://bit.ly/1znYoip

B&N: http://bit.ly/1ophC16

FLY_ReleaseTeaser1


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TAFoster


T.A. Foster met, fell in love with, and married her own Marine fighter pilot. Through deployments, trainings, and sometimes living oceans apart, their own love story continues every day. She grew up catching rays and waves along the North Carolina Outer Banks and now resides in the state with her husband, two children, and two canine kiddos. T.A. has an undergraduate degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a graduate degree in Educational Psychology from Texas A&M University. When she’s not chasing her two-legged and four-legged children or trying to escape for date night, you can find her reading, writing, or planning her next beach trip.


Author Links:

Blog: http://www.tafosterauthor.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/tafosterwriter
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TAFosterauthor
Author Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7164289.T_A_Foster Blogger Button

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Review & Giveaway: Hard to Hold On To by Laura Kaye

 

 
About Hard To Hold On To:

Edward "Easy" Cantrell knows better than most the pain of not being able to save those he loves—which is why he is not going to let Jenna Dean out of his sight.  He may have just met her, but Jenna's the first person to make him feel alive since that devastating day in the desert more than a year ago. 

Jenna has never met anyone like Easy. She can't describe how he makes her feel--and not just because he saved her life. No, the stirrings inside her reach far beyond gratitude.

As the pair are thrust together while chaos reigns around them, they both know one thing: the things in life most worth having are the hardest to hold on to. 

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Other Books in the Hard Ink Series:
Hard to Come By (11/25/14)
Hard to Be Good (3/10/15)
Untitled (7/28/15)




Did you know Laura is donating the proceeds of all the sales from the first two weeks to a national non-profit that assists wounded veterans?




Praise for the Hard Ink Series:

For Hard As You Can:
"TOP PICK! There is a sinister and desperate edge to this tale that will keep readers glued to their seats. Kaye has dark romantic suspense nailed!" ~ RT Book Reviews Magazine

"Hard As You Can is another five star read. The characters Ms. Kaye has created are wonderfully broken and the drama is gritty, but the burgeoning romance and the tight-knitted relationship of the team leaves you with a sense of redemption. A must read series!" ~San Francisco Book Review

For Hard As It Gets:
"Edgy, sexy and full of suspense!  A great read from a great new author!" ~ #1 NYT Bestselling Author J.R. Ward

"Sizzling romance... The intriguing tattoo parlor and military background will appeal to fans of Suzanne Brockmann and Lindsay McKenna." ~Publishers Weekly Review

"Kaye's depiction of sexual tension and her sex scenes are masterful and this will appeal to fans of Maya Banks' KGI and Julia Ann Walker's Black Knight's series." ~Booklist


What I thought about Hard To Hold On To


When the opportunity to read and review Hard To Hold On To came my way, I decided to hop on it because so many of the people I follow liked this series. I hadn't read the first two books in the series, but I thought I'd give this novella a shot and see if I liked it, and I did!


Edward "Easy" Cantrell has just rescued Jenna from the hands of some bad guys with the help of his special forces buddies. This was the part that was a little hard to follow for me since I hadn't read the first two in this series, but I got the gist of the story, so no worries there. (I do very much want to read those first two books in the series after reading this novella, btw.)
 
But what really pulled me into this story was the emotional content between Easy and Jenna. It started out with Easy being super-protective of Jenna as she tries to recover from the drugs and the abuse given to her by her captors. Jenna is drawn to Easy just as much as he is drawn to her, and that was quite a lovely part of the story.  There's some heat between them for sure.

As Easy struggles with his feelings for Jenna, he's also struggling with a whole lot of serious PTSD issues as a result of his special forces experiences.  After  some sole searching, he ends up reaching out to his special forces buddies. There's nothing more attractive to me than an alpha character willing to show his vulnerabilities, and when Easy comes clean about his problems to his friends.. well, I had some mad love for him at that point in the book.

There were so many things I liked about this story that I will definitely be going back to read the first two titles in the series. The heart of Hard to Hold On To is really Jenna and Easy, and their story came across quite well in this novella. I liked Hard To Hold On To enough to want to go back for more.




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About Laura Kaye:

Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over a dozen books in contemporary and paranormal romance. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Release Day Launch-Review & Giveaway: I Want It That Way by Ann Aquirre


IWITW RDL Banner  

We are absolutely thrilled to bring you the Release Day Launch for Ann Aguirre's I WANT IT THAT WAY! I WANT IT THAT WAY is a New Adult contemporary romance and is the first book in the 2B Trilogy Series, published by Harlequin HQN. We are already in love with this series and Ann's characters! Read the excerpt, then go grab your copy today!!

I Want It That Way

Amazon | B&N | BAM | Indiebound | Vroman’s | Book Depository | Powell’s| iTunes

I WANT IT THAT WAY Synopsis:

Nadia Conrad has big dreams, and she’s determined to make them come true. But between maintaining her college scholarship and working at the local day care to support herself, dating’s the last thing on her mind. Then she moves into a new apartment and meets the taciturn yet irresistible guy in 1B….

Daniel Tyler has grown up too fast. Becoming a single dad at twenty turned his life upside down—and brought him heartache he can’t risk again. Now, as he raises his four-year-old son while balancing a full-time construction management job and night classes, the last thing he wants is noisy students living in the apartment upstairs. But one night, Nadia’s and Ty’s paths cross, and soon they can’t stay away from each other.

The timing is all wrong—but love happens when it happens. And you can’t know what you truly need until you stand to lose it.

"A tender, sweet, and sexy story about how life—and falling in love—can never be planned."
—Jennifer L. Armentrout, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Wait for You

 
IWITW Teaser

I WANT IT THAT WAY on Goodreads

Read the First Chapter HERE!

EXCERPT:

“Where are you from?”
Ah, an actual question. That means I can ask one back.
“Nebraska, toward the South Dakota and Wyoming side, if that helps.”
“I’ve never met anyone from there.”
Michigan was a long way from home. “I usually get ‘not in Nebraska anymore’ jokes, and then I have to decide if I’m going to remind them that’s Kansas or play along.”
“What do you usually do?”
“Play along.”
“You don’t like conflict, huh?” He sounded normal tonight, as if talking to me wasn’t an unpleasant chore anymore.
That was a relief since I’d come to look forward to these moments with him so much. More, maybe, than I’d like to admit.Right. Friends. I distracted myself by considering his question. “Not if it can be avoided. I’m not what you’d call pugnacious, no. But I like to think I don’t back off important issues. What about you?”
“No.” His voice was bleak and quiet. “I don’t. Even when I should.”
Wow, that took a dark turn.
If I could’ve jumped onto his patio without breaking an ankle or waking Sam, I’d have been down there like a shot. The distance between us seemed intolerable, and from the knot in my throat, I didn’t see how I could live another second without touching him, finding out if his hair was as soft as it looked or what he smelled like. I wanted him in a way I never had before.
In high school, I had a boyfriend who played basketball, and we broke up when I left the state. It was a rational decision, and I didn’t miss him that much once I was gone. My freshman year, I went out with a lot of different guys, one date here, two dates there, but I never clicked with anyone enough to focus on them. Sometimes there were hookups with no strings, no expectations. Classes, friends and work seemed a lot more important. The intensity of this attraction was foreign and frightening, if exhilarating. I might already be backing off if I had the faintest sense that Ty was jerking me around on purpose.
Wish he didn’t make me feel this way. It’d be so much simpler if I could friend-zone him.
I realized I still hadn’t touched his verbal grenade. “We all have things we’d do differently in hindsight.”
“What is it about you?” he asked in a wondering tone.
“Huh?”
“You make me…better. Calmer.”
“Like a sedative?” I snickered. It was the least sexy thing a guy had ever said to me, including a junior high squeeze who said my face wasn’t actually that bad.
He laughed, too, a sheepish sound. “I didn’t mean it like that. Just…I’m worried pretty much all the time that I’m dropping the ball somewhere, about to face-plant, but when I come out here and hear your voice, everything backs off like ten steps. I can breathe again.”


What I thought about I Want It That Way
4 solid stars for I Want It That Way! This really isn't a falling in love sort of story -- although that is a beautiful part of this story, it's just the easy part.  I Want It That Way is more of a story about taking a chance on love in spite of everything, past present and future.

What I liked most about this was Nadia's voice.  She's a good student, a good friend, a good employee, a good daughter. It's no wonder that she's drawn to Ty and Sam, her downstairs neighbors. Ty's a single dad with no time for love.  He's got his boy and his own heart to protect. 

In spite of Ty's intention of just being friend-with-benefits, Nadia and Ty fall in love. It's all very lovely, until a small emergency has Ty thinking too much and eventually running scared. 

I love writers who can take the highs and lows of everyday life and make it interesting, and Ann Aquirre does just that.  There are a few slow spots, but it was easy to move through them. If you are looking for a lot of drama and external forces messing up the relationship to provide the conflict, you may not like this. Most of the drama in this one comes from Nadia's roommates and they didn't have enough page time for me to get invested in them. 

I Want It That Way is a feel good story that shows love isn't always easy and sometimes you have to have faith and not give up. In the end it's all worth it.

I really liked this and I'm looking forward to the followup books in this series.

This is my honest review. Thanks for to Harlequin HQN for the opportunity to read and review.

 
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About Ann Aguirre: Ann Aguirre is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author and RITA winner with a degree in English Literature; before she began writing full time, she was a clown, a clerk, a voice actress, and a savior of stray kittens, not necessarily in that order. She grew up in a yellow house across from a cornfield, but now she lives in sunny Mexico with her husband, children, and various pets. Ann likes books, emo music, action movies, and she writes all kinds of genre fiction for adults and teens, published with Harlequin, Macmillan, and Penguin, among others.      

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Monday, August 25, 2014

Release Day & Giveway: Her Destiny by Monica Murphy

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We are excited to bring you the Release Day Launch of Monica Murphy's HER DESTINY! HER DESTINY is a young adult Contemporary Romance and the sequel to HIS REVERIE. Grab your copy today!

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Excerpt:
“You sure Evan doesn’t mind me being here?”
“He probably hates that you’re staying the night, but he’ll get over it.” I take a step toward him and pat him on the shoulder, marveling at the solid feel of muscle beneath my palm, beneath the thick fabric of his sweatshirt. Has he gotten taller since the last time I saw him? Broader? He’s so big, standing next to him makes me feel small. “Do you need anything else?” I remove my hand from his shoulder, wishing I could touch him more.
“Nah. I’m gonna change, brush my teeth and go to sleep.” He smiles, looking cute, like a little boy and my heart flutters. When he reaches for the hem of his sweatshirt I step away, watch in silent fascination as he pulls the fabric over his head, taking the T-shirt he’s wearing beneath it upward so I catch a glimpse of his flat, perfect stomach, the little trail of dark hair that starts just under his navel.
I’m breathless, my skin is tingling and when he tosses the sweatshirt onto the couch, I start to walk backwards. “Okay well, good night.” I need to get away from him before I do something really stupid.
Like jump him.
“Night, Reverie,” he calls after me as I hurry to my bedroom. Glancing over my shoulder, I find him watching me with that penetrating, thoughtful gaze and I turn away, practically tripping over my feet in the hall. I rush into my room, shutting the door quietly before I slump against it, closing my eyes and pressing my forehead against the rough wood.
My feelings for him haven’t stopped. I still want him. I’m still in love with him. So why am I denying myself from being with him? Because I’ve changed and I’m worried he won’t accept me for who I really am? And because my life is so crazy the last thing I need is another complication to muck it all up?
Valid reasons, but why would I deprive myself from being with him? He’s the only one who understood me. Who listened to me. Who cared about me.
I think he still does.
Cracking open my eyes, I push away from the doorway and shut off the light before I crawl into bed. I lay there in the dark, listening to him move about inside the bathroom, which is right next to my bedroom. He finishes brushing his teeth before he exits the room and I swear I can feel him standing on the other side of my closed door, waiting. Listening for any sign of life coming from within.
I can’t move. I’m frozen, holding my breath, waiting for him to knock on the door, to turn the knob, anything to show that he wants to see me. I want him to both respect my brother’s wishes and defy them. I want him overcome with need yet cautious. I want…everything.
All of him.
Disappointment crashes through me when I realize he is definitely obeying Evan’s wishes. He doesn’t sneak into my room, doesn’t attempt to talk to me, nothing. I should be happy. Pleased that he doesn’t want to upset anyone.
Instead, I’m sad.
Rolling over on my side, I punch the pillow beneath my head and settle in for the night, willing myself to fall asleep. I get to spend pretty much the entire weekend with him. Maybe we can work it out then since we’ll have plenty of time. But for now I’ll have to settle for Nick visiting me…
Only in my dreams.

About HER DESTINY:
I knew from the moment I first saw him he was the one. The only boy I could ever want.
The only boy I could ever love.
They say he’s bad for me.
But I know he’s not.
Until the day he rejects me.
And breaks my heart.
Completely.
Everything changes in the blink of an eye. My entire life as I’ve known it is…gone. Secrets are revealed. Promises once made are irrevocably broken. There’s no way my family can get back to what we once were.
So when Nicholas Fairfield walks back into my life like he never left it, I’m furious. Thrilled. Irritated. Excited.
Conflicted.
Despite my confusion, I want to be with him. I love him. But danger lurks where we least expect it. Someone will do whatever it takes to tear us apart. All I know is: I won’t let them.
Because Nick Fairfield? He’s mine.

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What I thought about Her Destiny



Her Destiny is the second book in this series and I'll have to tell you that I didn't read the first book in this series, so my reaction to Her Destiny might be a bit different than yours if you've read the first one.  The good news is that you can pick up the second book and easily follow this YA romance.

The story opens with Reverie's point of view.  She's starting her senior year by partying up a storm, getting herself into some not-so-good situations.  It's good that her brother is there to help her see that her new partying lifestyle is a dead end for the last few good things they have in their lives.  Evan and Reverie has lost everything they've grown up with since their evangalist parents have been arrested for embezzling from their parishioners. 

But what hurts Reverie the most is the boy that left her behind.  Okay, he's been accussed of murdering his ex, but she knows he didn't do it, because the reverend's daughter was in bed with him when the murder occured.

Alternating with Reverie's point of view is Nick's pov, sometimes in unmailed emails, but eventually he joins the story as he comes back to check up on Reverie.  Only the cops follow him there, and Reverie doesn't even have much of a chance to deal with the return of Nick, when the cop shows up at her workplace, wanting Reverie to return to give a statement.

But clearing Nick's name comes with some potentially deadly consequences when the real killer finds out.

Overall, I liked Her Destiny.  The book moved along quickly, and the story of how Evan and Reverie are putting their lives back together after their parents scandal is an interesting one.  I particularly liked Evan's role in this very much. As for Nick and Reverie, I didn't connect with them as a couple as much as I did with them individually, maybe because I didn't read the first book, but that didn't detract from my enjoying this story.

 
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About Monica Murphy: I write books. I have the best job ever. New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. Writer of new adult contemporary romance-ish stuff. Published with Avon and Bantam. Mom and wife. Native Californian. For more information, please visit my website at http://monicamurphyauthor.com or sign up for my newsletter (copy and paste the link into your browser): http://bit.ly/IW5U0y I'm also known as USA Today bestseller romance author Karen Erickson (http://karenerickson.com).


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