Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: Thick Love (Thin Love #2) by Eden Butler

 Thick Love (Thin Love, #2)

Author: Eden Butler

Genre: NA | Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 31, 2015

Hosted by As the Pages Turn
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Synopsis
He doesn’t ask their names.
He doesn’t deserve to know them.
Ransom Riley Hale’s friends think his life is charmed: first string as a freshman on a championship-winning college football team. A father with two Super Bowl rings. A mother with platinum albums and multiple Grammies under her belt. But that brilliant shine on the surface hides the darkness beneath; it’s all Ransom has ever known.
Despite the shadows he walked in, once there was a blinding light fracturing the darkness. It brought the promise of hope and happiness. He’d been careless, filled with pride and stupidity and lost that light. Ripped it from the world.
Now, the shadows are dimming again. Aly King surges into his life threatening to pull him from the darkness. She is everything Ransom can never be again. Her light feels too warm, promises him that there is more waiting for him beyond the shadows.
But the shadows are relentless, resurfacing when he thinks he is safe, and Ransom knows he must keep Aly from them too before he pulls her down into the darkness with him.
Purchase Thick Love
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Thick Love – Excerpt

“Dance with me,” I said. He only stared up at me blankly.
“I don’t feel like practicing.”
“I’m not asking you to practice. I’m asking you to dance.”
Ransom’s body stiffened when I picked up his hand, but he didn’t fight me. “Just be here with me. Me and you and the music.”
We came together in the center of my living room with that slow, soothing music wrapping around us. There was no Kizomba, no prequel to a seduction we both wanted to avoid. There was just Ransom bending low, arms around me, hand taking mine to hold against his chest. After a few seconds, the tension lessened, and his body did not feel as rigid. It felt peaceful, and safe, and simple—just two people, holding each other, swaying to the music.
His mouth hovered near my forehead and as we moved together with no form or practiced steps, Ransom’s grip on my waist got tighter. “I wish I could breathe again. I want that so bad.” The words were whispered, low.
I closed my eyes, reminding myself that I couldn’t touch him.
“Ransom. You can.”
He looked down at me and right then I saw just how lost he was. This realization didn’t come from flippant comments he made to me or desperate excuses I overheard him make. It was all there right in his eyes—the loneliness, the pain, as though each mistake he’d made was etched into the rise of his cheekbones and the worried, faint lines on his forehead. He was still drifting; he had been drifting for so damn long.
The pain in his eyes drew me in. There was nothing I could say that would make his hurt lessen. There was nothing that would take him from the lingering sorrow he’d created for himself. So I didn’t speak, didn’t give him advice I knew he’d never take. I just watched Ransom’s eyes, and felt the slow way he moved. And then with my hand on the back of his neck, I pulled his face towards me, I took his lips, kissing him, pouring into that kiss everything I’d held back from him since we first met.
This is who I am. This is what I want. That voice came from someplace hidden and secret inside me.
It was minutes, minutes of nothing but my mouth on his, nothing but two people finding solace in each other, before
I realized I’d messed up.
He didn’t seem to want me to pull away, but didn’t stop me when I did. Shaking my head, I smoothed the collar on his shirt, unable to look at him. “I’m…modi, Ransom, I’m sorry.”
Ransom pulled my chin up and smoothed his thumb over my cheek, down the slope of my chin before he returned his attention to my eyes. “I don’t think I am.”
It was a moment I thought I’d always wanted. Him looking at me like I was real, like he saw me, finally saw me. I’d seen that look once before, just as Ransom whispered my name and kissed me over and over the first time. It wasn’t the look of someone hopeless. It was open and raw and I realized right then that I’d give anything for Ransom to never stop looking at me.
But this was against our rules. This wasn’t how we were supposed to be. I took his hand, thought of pulling it away from my face but didn’t have the strength, liked how it felt on my face too much. “Friends don’t kiss, Ransom.”
A small nod, and his eyes narrowed. His grip around me tightened. The music around us swelled. “No, they don’t,” he said, still touching my face, inching closer and I knew, right then, he was definitely not my friend.

What I thought about Thick Love

I knew going into this that Ransom's story wasn't going to be an easy one.  He's impulsive, sometimes angry, not always rational, much like his parents at that age. When the book opens, he's locked down tight with guilt, so tight that he's unable to function. Oh, he goes through the motions but he really isn't living.

Then there's Aly.  She's in love with Ransom and he doesn't know it, and she's wise enough to understand that getting tangled up with him wouldn't do her good either.  She values the struggle she had to get where she is, but in the end, she's drawn to Ransom and he's drawn to her.  There are some lovely and sweet flirting scenes between them, and when he helps her with her audition, these scenes are just a beautiful depiction of falling in love.

I loved Aly -- she was a woman in love and a woman finding her strengths and those two things didn't always work well together, which Eden Butler showed very well with Aly questioning following her love or logic.

But Ransom's guilt becomes a bit oppressive after a while, and I was waiting for him to cut himself a break. It made me think this is what Kona must have been like after Luka's tragedy.  

It was great to get a view of Kiera and Kona and their growing family and Kona was a breath of fresh air in this tale. I wished he could have helped Ransom more.  I was waiting for that one conversation that Eden Butler delivers that just knocks my socks of with its honesty and emotion but it got sidetracked here with another crisis. 

Thick Love just didn't flow for me like other Eden Butler books, and I don't know if that was because of Ransom's dark point of view or just a missed opportunity for tightening things up.  There's more  internal narration than action sequences -- it's really about Ransom dealing with some significant demons. I liked how those demons are gradually revealed, but I thought the pacing was a bit uneven in the beginning. Even with these minor issues, I still loved this story.

As for the ending... I LOVED IT!  It's a chapter I want to read again,it was so unexpected and the circumstances rang true for me. Trying not to spoil here because I think it's one of the most significant moments in the book.

I love this series.  The characters are unique and they deal with some scary emotions like anger and guilt in an honest way. I thought this story suited Ransom very well and it made sense that it was different than Kona's book, but yet there were some threads tying them together. 

Recommended. 

ARC provided for review.


Giveaway

(1) $20 gift card (Amazon or B&N) (Intl)
(1) Signed set of Thin Love series (US only)

(1) eBook set of Thin Love series (Intl)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Books in the Thin Love Series


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About Eden Butler

Eden Butler PicEden 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.

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