Friday, April 1, 2016

Review, Excerpt & Giveaway:Catching Serenity by Eden Butler

 TITLE: Catching Serenity (Seeking Serenity Book 4)
AUTHOR: Eden Butler
Contemporary Romance
BLOG TOUR: April 1 - 9
  CatchingSerenity_CVR_LRG copy 



It began with a look.

Just one, thrown my way. A mad, dizzying rush of desire cracking across the patio, bouncing around my friends, ignoring everything but the heat bubbling between his eyes and mine.

That’s when Quinn O’Malley came into my life.

We were inevitable.

We were senseless.

He wrecked me.

He saved me.

I still haven’t recovered.

Sayo McIntyre didn’t want the complications that came with Quinn O’Malley.

But life doesn’t care what we want. It gives us what we need. CATCHING SERENITY is the last full-length novel in the Serenity Series.  

This is a multi-media novel with illustrations from RN Laing. 
Trigger warnings: real damn life.   

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Quinn is sitting on the floor next to that array of organized mess, a bottle of Black Bush between his feet. My gaze moves to the bottle when he lifts it, and the stretch of his neck when he swallows deep.

Uisce Beatha” he says, wiping his mouth on the back of his hand. When I don’t respond, Quinn smiles, making the expression fall from his mouth as he lifts the bottle, swishing the whiskey around. “Gaelic, love.” He lifts the bottle by the neck, offering it to me. “It means ‘water of life.’”

“I’m not thirsty.”

Quinn’s gaze is careful, scrutinizing as I walk further into the room, as I keep my distance from him. But the expression on his face is more open than I’ve ever seen from him. It burgeons on real, as though the mask is slipping and he can’t be bothered to care that it is.

“I bloody well am.”

Quinn takes another drink and I don’t stop him. Why would I? I came here to add to the numbness I already feel. He’s started without me. Behind me the whiskey sloshes against the glass as he drinks and I move to the window, looking out on old Cavanagh stretching below me. There is nothing stirring. No cars, no people. The town sleeps while I watch and I wonder if it would be different if those folk who had given so generously on Rhea’s behalf would be so still, so silent if they knew her life has a deadline now.

With nothing left to do, no way to keep myself from feeling all that threatens to weigh me down, I lean my forehead on the glass, willing away my tears, not eager to let Quinn see me break down.

“Sayo,” he says, getting up to stand behind me. The liquor sloshes again as he holds that bottle between his fingers. The scent of whiskey isn’t so strong, but I smell it on his breath as he moves to my side. “What are you doing here?”

He knows. Why does he ask? And when I look up at him, my forehead cold from the frigid glass, I’m sure my expression confirms it. But he is not easily swayed. Hadn’t he told me that he’s particular about who he lets into his bed?

“You should go to your family.” There’s a warning in his voice, one I know I should heed.

“I know why you do it.”

“Do what?”

In front of me the outline of the cityscape shines like fairy lights and I can just make out the mountains and the starless night beyond it.

“Never show anyone the real you.”

He follows when I step closer to the window ledge. Quinn puts a one hand on that ledge when I lean against the glass.

“Why do you think that is?”

“Because… reality, it’s too much.” One deep breath and I move my gaze up to Quinn’s face. “I don’t want to feel anything anymore. I… I want to forget.” Quinn lifts the bottle, offering it again but I keep my gaze on his face. “That’s not what I want to be drunk on.”

Quinn’s shown me enough over the past months for me to know when he’s weighing things in his mind, so when he hesitates, like he is now, I know it means he’s being cautious. It means he’s waiting for caveats. But I have none. What I offer now is what he wants. We both know that.

And still he wavers, his jaw working, his eyes squinting as he looks me over. “Careful now. The numbness won’t last. Sometimes, just like reality, that numbness fucks you over.”

Gazing back out the window, I slip the bottle from his fingers to drink, hurrying to coat my throat with the whiskey’s bite. “Not sometimes, Quinn,” I tell him, knowing that he is watching me, not caring that it’s careful, that it’s predatory. “Every damn time.”

What I thought about Catching Serenity

It's always a bittersweet moment when a favorite series comes to an end.  I've loved Cavanaugh and its Irish men and the feisty women they fall for.  So many memorable scenes and great heart-to-heart dialogue, it's hard to let this series go.  

This last installment is Sayo's book, and it really belongs to her as it is entirely written in her POV. If you've been following this series, you know that the little librarian has been dealing with some difficult, real-lif-in-your-face kinda stuff. It's the tough part of this book and it sets the tone for the story, so you might want to be prepared.  This is a story of the value of love, even during the darkest times.

Quinn arrives in Cavanaugh surly and at odds with Declan, Quinn's half-brother. (Talk about complicated relationships -- Quinn and Declan's family might just take the prize for that! :) ) We find out more about Quinn's childhood and how his experiences have made him the man he is today.  He's not just what he looked like on the surface, and I liked that about him. He isn't the greatest communicator, but Sayo seems to get him.

Even though there's some definite heat between Sayo and Quinn right from the start, it does take some time for them to get to the sexy times, and I liked that about the book.  Eden Butler does great dialogue and she does a great job of ratcheting up the sexual tension between these two.

Quinn's sketches are an integral part to this story, at least I thought so.  The inclusion of these drawings in the book made this a special reading experience for me and I loved that. 

On the surface, Sayo and Quinn might seem to be an unlikely pair, but their relationship really worked for me.  There was more to their attraction than just physical attraction, but that does take a while to get toI would have liked to see a little more of their relationship after they both drop their defensive masks and admit their true feelings.

There's the wrapping up of some other story lines too, Autumn and Declan, Molie and Vaughn, and my favorite couple in the series, Donovan and Layla. There's happy moments mixed in with the serious and that does a great job with keeping this story from being too dark. Like all the books in this series, I really didn't put it down until the final pages.

Perfect ending to the series.  Recommended.

ARC provided for review.

  Enter the Giveaway 

  The following goodies are up for grabs and are open internationally!
  • (2) $15 gift cards from Amazon or B&N, winner’s choice
  • (3) Signed print copy of CATCHING SERENITY
  • (3) E-book copies of CATCHING SERENITY
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Eden Butler is an editor and writer of Fantasy, Mystery and Contemporary Romance novels and the nine-times great-granddaughter of an honest-to-God English pirate. This could explain her affinity for rule breaking and rum. When she’s not writing or wondering about her possibly Jack Sparrowesque ancestor, Eden patiently waits for her Hogwarts letter, edits, reads and spends way too much time watching rugby, Doctor Who and New Orleans Saints football. She is currently living under teenage rule alongside her husband in southeast Louisiana. Please send help.

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