Sunday, February 8, 2015

Review & Giveaway:Red Lines by T. A. Foster


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Love on remote Perry Island was one thing, but with the flash of a camera everything has changed. Movie star Evan Carlson has just landed the role of a lifetime, playing the infamous Dexter Red. Fans can't get enough of the sexiest, most-talked-about guy to ever hit paperback pages. Haven is in Austin working on her songwriting career, and Evan's faith and commitment are put to the test. No matter which way he turns, Hollywood keeps getting in the way. Does realizing their career dreams mean losing their relationship? Can they survive the headlines and media frenzy surrounding Evan's new role? When it comes to love, some lines are meant to be blurred. 



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Haven felt lips brush against her cheek. Someone was in the suite.
“Haven, wake up.” A firm hand nudged her shoulder.
She stretched upright, locking eyes with Evan. “Hey, what time is it?” She must have fallen asleep waiting for him.
“I’m sorry it’s so late, but I couldn’t get out of there. It’s midnight. 2 a.m. Texas time. You’re probably exhausted.” He sat next to her on the couch. “But I’m so glad you’re here, darlin’.”
She nodded, pushing herself forward. Midnight? He hadn’t called or texted the entire time. Instinctively, she wrapped her arms around him, wanting to feel the strength of his arms and the warmth of his skin, but her nose was hit with a sharp wave of perfume.
Quickly, he pulled her hands off his neck and kissed her on the forehead. “I’m going to go take a shower, but I’ll be right back.”
She watched him walk toward the bathroom. All the feelings of joy and anticipation of seeing him again felt shadowed and dark. Something was off, and she didn’t like the way he smelled.
She slipped off the couch and crept to the bathroom door. She pushed it open slowly. Evan was standing under the stream of water. His back was facing her. She stared and took a step forward. It was covered in red lines.
“Evan, what happened to your back?”
He jerked and turned around. “Oh, that’s nothing.”
“Nothing?” Haven opened the glass door and reached out to touch his skin. She didn’t care that the water was soaking her shirt.
His eyes held her steady. “Baby, it’s from the movie. It’s not a big deal.”
“Are they from Emmy?” She remembered the scene in the book.
“Not Emmy, Karina.” His head tilted to the side, and she thought he was trying to soften the impact of the physical evidence.
“Same person. Did Karina put these on your back?”
“Yes, but they don’t hurt. They’ll be gone by morning.”
Haven turned from the shower and closed the door behind her.
“Haven, wait,” Evan called, but she didn’t stop. She hurried through the suite, looking for a place that would offer comfort, but it just looked like a fancy hotel suite—not home.
“Haven, we should talk about this.” Evan appeared dripping wet, holding a towel around his waist.
“Is this what happens every day? Is the movie really this physical?” She tried to make the words smooth, but she choked in between questions.
He hung his head. “You read the book. You know the storyline.”
Her eyes stung. “But I thought there would be doubles or something. Body doubles, right? There are supposed to be other people doing those parts.” This couldn’t be how it happened. Where were the special effects? There should be some makeup artist painting lines on his back, not Emmy.
“You won’t see that much of it once they do the editing. No frontal nudity for me, I promise.”
“Was frontal nudity an option?” She felt naive.
Evan led her to the bed and sat on the corner. “Darlin’, in this movie, everything is an option.”
“Does that mean Emmy is naked? Are you with her naked?”
“It’s not like that. There are fifty people around us at all times. It’s choreographed and technical. I swear, absolutely no improv. I can’t even turn my head without them telling me which direction to go.” He paused. “I thought you were ok with all of it. Didn’t you tell me it would be hot if I did the movie?”
“I didn’t know what I was saying. I didn’t know it would be like this.” She pointed to the top of his shoulder where she could see the pink lines start. Her inexperience in how movies were made was plastered all over her forehead. Evan stared at her.
“I wouldn’t have signed on if you had said no.” He ran his fingers through her hair. “But I can’t back out now. I have a contract. I have to finish it.”
Her eyes fell to the quilt. She couldn’t look at him. “I don’t know what to say. All I can think about right now is you and Emmy.”
“Hey, hey. Come here.” He pulled her against his chest. She felt the water droplets against her cheek. Thank God, the perfume smell was gone. “There is no Emmy and me. I am making a movie with her, yes. But as soon as we wrap, it’s over. I won’t see her until premiere week. This will all be over.”
Haven nodded, but she felt as if she was agreeing to something she didn’t truly believe.
“You know it doesn’t mean anything, right? It’s acting. I’m only acting.”
She tried to nod her head.
“How about we get some sleep? It’s late and we’ve both had a long day.” He maneuvered around her, pulled the covers back, and then adjusted the pillows. “We can talk some more tomorrow. I don’t have to be on the set until noon. We can sleep in. Have a nice breakfast.”
How was she supposed to fall asleep next to him now knowing the marks on his back were real, and his hands had been on someone else?
It wasn’t the night of passion and heated abandon she had planned, but she curled up against Evan, his palm planted on her hip. Within minutes, his breathing was slow and rhythmic, but all she could think about was that he had just spent the day in bed with Emmy.
She clung to the hope that, in the morning, she would wake up and all of this would be a dream. It was part of some big misunderstanding caused by an acute case of jetlag. There was nothing ok with this situation. If it wasn’t a dream, she was going to have to figure out a way to deal with being in love with the man staring in the most talked about movie on the planet.
And his ex.

What I thought about Red Lines 

Evan Carlson has it all. He has the girl he loves and an offer to star as Dexter Red in the hottest movie of the year, the one that will make him an even bigger star.  Haven has a songwriting contract and the man she loves. The relationship they began on Perry Island isn't over--but Evan and Haven have to figure out a few things if they are going to make it work.

With Evan away in Hollywood shooting a provocative movie with his ex, they both have to put up with a lot of gossipy press, paparazzi and being apart for the next three months.  It isn't easy on them. T.A. Foster does an excellent job of building the tension over all these external situations.  I loved the beginning of this because of how well done Ms. Foster captures the conflict between home and work life. 

When the tables are turned and Haven comes under the scrutiny of the gossip magazines, tensions escalate to the point of breaking. I loved how Haven stood her ground on this particular matter, and that Evan must make a choice himself about the importance of their relationship.

 And that's what Red Lines is really about, how two people navigate a new relationship challenged by long distance, fame and family issues.  Evan and Haven must decide where their relationship falls among their many commitments and their very public lives.  This was a fabulous theme to this story and I really liked it. 

Even though the conflicts are settled quickly and the drama isn't stretched out for chapters, Red Lines had just enough conflict to make it interesting and Evan is quite skilled in convincing Haven to stay and is a lovely follow-up to Finding Haven. 

While Red Lines didn't pack the punch I expect with a five-star read, I loved reading about Evan and Haven's continuing relationship and the challenges they face to make it work beyond Perry Island. T.A.Foster delivered the happily-ever-after in her usual style, with just the right amount of drama and plenty of love to triumph over the bumps in the road.  

  ARC provided for review. 


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Previous book in the series.


FindingHaven_FrontCover Books can be read as a standalone.

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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.  

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