Chasing Serenity Synopsis:
Graduate student Autumn McShane has had her share of heartbreak. She's been abandoned and betrayed and she lost her beloved mother in a tragic car accident five months ago. That loss damaged her body and fractured her spirit but she's learning to recover, until her ex-boyfriend returns to town, intent on making her life miserable.
Declan Fraser hates her ex as much as Autumn does, but the last thing she needs is to put her trust in the hands of another man, especially one like Declan: his hard body and lulling Irish accent makes more than a few girls weak-kneed. The talented rugby player is rude and sarcastic, with tattooed, muscular arms and a cocky attitude, but he's the only one who can help Autumn win an ill-advised bet that, if lost, could cost her more than she's willing to pay. The reluctant alliance between Declan and Autumn stirs up cravings she doesn't want to admit, but Declan is a hard man to resist.
Just when Autumn starts letting down her carefully constructed walls to the sexy bad boy, he betrays her when she needs him most. Autumn suspects Declan has secrets, and she is determined to uncover what drove him away from her, even if that means fraternizing with the enemy. But will the truth return Declan to her arms or add to the scars on her heart?
Behind the Pitch Synopsis:
Expat Irish rugby player Declan Fraser only wanted to play the sport he loves. He didn’t want to be stuck in this middle-of-nowhere town at this all too quaint university. He didn’t want his team captain to be an entitled jackass who switched Declan's position on the squad just to make himself look good. And he sure as hell didn’t want to fall in love with graduate student Autumn McShane.
Autumn is stubborn, but gorgeous; she bristles at any hint of dependency on anyone or anything, but she’s also a survivor. She’s everything Declan didn’t know he wanted. When Autumn finds herself in the middle of a challenging bet with her ex-boyfriend - who just happens to be the arrogant team captain that Declan hates - he feels honor bound to help her out. But he didn’t expect to fall for her in the process.
“Behind the Pitch” reveals the most twisted and erotic thoughts in Declan’s head as he navigates through his on again/off again, frustrating and deeply erotic relationship with Autumn McShane.
And lordy, does he have a filthy mind.
What I thought about Chasing Serenity and Behind the Pitch
Chasing Serenity opens with a devastating automobile accident. I was totally hooked from that point forward and stayed up until the wee hours of the morning reading because I just had to find out what was going to happen to Autumn and Declan. Yes, I sacrificed sleep on a work night for this book and I don't regret it.
Autumn is a graduate student, finding her way through life after the accident, and that's not the only crappy thing that happened to her. She's had some serious losses in her life, the kind that make you look at yourself and how you want to be. She's made all sorts of resolutions that get tested when she meets the new Irish hottie on the rugby team by the name of Declan Fraser.
There's no insta-love here. Far from it. Autumn does her best to keep Declan at arm's length, in spite of some pretty fiery moments between them. There's a lot of passion here that gets exhibited in a pattern of mistakes, apologies and make-ups. That is until Autumn finds out a secret that threatens to permanently end things.
My heart broke for Declan at this point in the book. He's so shredded by Autumn's reaction. Eden Butler does a really nice job of depicting two very stubborn souls trying to work out their issues. And make no mistake, the secret that threatens to tear them apart is a big one.
The pacing was very good and kept me turning pages. I'll be honest and say that I'm a total sucker for any Irish boy named Declan, so falling for his character was a no-brainer for me, but I thought that Eden Butler does a really nice job with the Irish American dialect she uses in Chasing Serenity. That gave the book a tremendous amount of charm. Autumn frustrated me at times, but I understood why she was the way she was.
There are some interesting secondary characters, like Autumn's long last Dad, and her not-so-interesting and almost-revolting former boyfriend Tucker, both who bring lots of conflict to the story. Most interesting were Autumn's friends, Sayo, Mollie and Layla. I'd like to know more about them.
So a very enjoyable story.
Behind the Pitch gives us Declan's viewpoint during some of the scenes from Chasing Serenity, along with new scenes that take place prior after the final chapter and before the epilogue in Chasing Serenity. I very much liked this content, but I wasn't a fan of how this was presented in the novella with alternating scenes. It made things too confusing for me, but when I went back and read the scenes from CS in Declan's POV, then the new scenes, I really liked it.
There are still a few dramas to play out between Declan, Autumn and Joe, it seems. When I finished Behind the Pitch, I had a pretty good idea of what a passionate relationship Autumn and Declan would have, now and into the future.
A very nice companion piece, and if you have trouble with the alternating chapters, just read them in order and it will make more sense.
Overall, a very nice reading experience and a refreshing male view of falling in love. Looking forward to more in this series.
Chasing Serenity Amazon
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Behind the Pitch Amazon
Behind the Pitch Barnes and Noble
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Behind the Pitch Goodreads
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Eden Butler Bio:
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” will launch October 2013.
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.