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BLOG TOUR: Beat of the Heart by Katie Ashley

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Beat of the Heart (Runaway Train #2)
After years of bad relationships and a cheating ex-fiancé, twenty-eight-year-old Mia Martinelli prefers healing her patients’ hearts on the Cardiac Care floor rather than risking having her heart broken again. But that all comes to a screeching halt when caring for the head roadie for Runaway Train puts her into the orbit of drummer and Latin Lover, AJ Resendiz. After a scorching weekend of steamy passion, Mia’s intention of getting out with her heart unscathed is challenged by the stud with the wicked sense of humor, especially when he wants to continue seeing her. But when the harsh reality of AJ’s hoard of female admirers sends her insecurities into overdrive, Mia bails, leaving him handcuffed to his bathroom shower.

AJ never imagined that after two weeks of the best sex and female companionship he’d ever experienced, he would need rescued by his band mates from his shower prison. Although he tries to forget the sensual brunette whose curves made his mouth water, AJ can’t get her out of his mind…or his heart. Months later when he finally seeks Mia for answers as to why she left, nothing could prepare him for their life-altering reunion.
 
Can AJ prove to Mia that regardless of the women after his body, his heart belongs only to her?
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Review:
This was a wonderful story with lots of steamy scenes, plenty of mushy ones, and two people that are totally made for each other. With a fantastic cast of characters and a great story line this book easily had my undivided attention from the very beginning.
 
Mia has a lot of emotional baggage but she has a great personality and when AJ says something cocky she fires right back with something to put him in his place. AJ is hot, funny, and a truly nice and genuine person. He is constantly there to help Mia with her self esteem issues and remind her just how great she is.They both had me cracking up several times during the book with their snarky comments back and forth to each other as well as when they are with friends. There was also plenty of hot moments between them. They were very likeable and I felt like they were very real while I was engrossed in their story.
 
The characters were all written well and I enjoyed how both AJ and Mia’s family interacted as well as the band was like a whole other family. The story was totally engrossing and time easily slipped by while I was glued to my tablet, eager to find out how their story turned out. Even after I finished the book,I found myself thinking about the story while doing other tasks. To me, that is the mark of a truly good book and I think it deserves a solid 5 out of 5 books. I can’t wait to read Rhys’ book!!
 
 
 
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AUTHOR PROFILE:
 
 
Katie Ashley is the New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon Best-Selling author of The Proposition. She lives outside of Atlanta, Georgia with her two very spoiled dogs and one outnumbered cat. She has a slight obsession with Pinterest, The Golden Girls, Harry Potter, Shakespeare, Supernatural, Designing Women, and Scooby-Doo.


She spent 11 1/2 years educating the Youth of America aka teaching MS and HS English until she left to write full time in December 2012.

 

She also writes Young Adult fiction under the name Krista Ashe.

 

 
AUTHOR LINKS:
 
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MIA (Jenni Runk)
 
 
AJ (Assad Shalhoub)
 
 
Book 1 Runaway Train: Music of the Heart

 
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Excerpt:

As he moved, my eyes honed in on the flourishing movements of his hips. With his blazer off, I could see his back muscles flexing through his shirt. Moist heat burned between my legs at the way the rhythm moved so effortlessly through every inch of him. My mind couldn’t help wandering to what those hips and shoulders might feel like moving above me, my hands running up and down his corded back muscles as he thrust in and out of me….

AJ’s voice brought me out of my fantasy. “Got it?”

“What?”

He laughed. “Come on, Mia. This is the easiest part I could show you without blowing your mind with the complications.”

“It wouldn’t take much.”

“Let’s try it together.” Once again, he took the remote out of his pocket. He scanned through several songs. When a sultry, Latin beat came from the speakers, he shoved the remote back into his pocket. He then slid his arm around my back while the other went to clasp my hand. He waited for the music to pick up at the right place.

“Slow. Quick, quick, slow,” he instructed, his breath fanning across my cheek.

While the rhythm rippled easily through AJ’s body, I wasn’t quite getting the upper body flow or the swishing of the hips.

“Keep your frame locked, don’t slouch.”

I rolled my eyes. “Jesus, I feel like I stepped into Dirty Dancing.”

AJ laughed. “I don’t think I’ve ever been likened to Patrick Swayze, but hey, I’ll take it. The man had some serious moves.”

When I caught my reflection in the mirror, I tensed up. “AJ, I can’t do this. I’m completely robotic compared to you!”

“No, you’re not.”

“I tried to tell you before that I just don’t have it in me.” I dropped my arms from his shoulder and started to stalk off, but AJ tightened his grip on my hand before whirling me back against him.

“Yes, you do have it in you, Mia. And I’m going to show you.” He turned me to face the mirror before sliding behind me. His hands came to rest on my shoulders. “First of all, you’re way too tense. You need to loosen up. You have to let the music flow through you.” His deft fingers began massaging my neck and shoulders. His dark eyes locked on mine. “That’s it. Let the tension go. It’s only you and me here. No one is judging you.”

“But you—”

He shook his head. “You’re the one doubting yourself, not me.”

AJ’s fingers slid down, teasing along my clavicle. I felt the muscles in my neck and shoulders go limp. My eyelids started fluttering closed as he continued massaging me. “Mia, when will you get it through your thick, stubborn, Sicilian skull that your body is made for dancing…and for fucking.”

I popped my eyes open to stare open mouthed at his reflection. He winked at me. “Now for the lower half.” His hands slid down the side of my body, slightly catching the sides of my breasts, before coming to grip my hips. His hands rose up and down on my flesh, causing my hips to roll forward and backward. “That’s right.”

When he eased up on his grip, I kept up the same pace of undulating my hips. “Very nice.” He met my gaze in the mirror and grinned. “See, you don’t suck.” Keeping his eyes locked on mine, he slid his hands slowly back up my torso. My breath hitched when they paused above my ribs to tease the underside of my boobs. Surveying my reaction, he then splayed out his fingers to fully cup my breasts.

I raised my brows at him. “And when did groping second base get added to the rumba?” I questioned breathlessly.

His head dipped to nuzzle my neck. “It’s all part of my rumba.”

“I see.”

“Do you like it?” he asked, as his thumb and forefinger pebbled my nipple under the dress’s fabric.

“It’s not bad.”

“Hmm, ‘not bad’? That’s not exactly good, is it? Guess I better work on my moves.” His right hand released my breast and trailed down my side before coming to rest between my legs. “Think I might be able to sell you on third base better?”

A shudder rippled over me as he cupped and stroked me over my dress. Even through the fabric, I could feel the heat of his fingers. “Pretty good.”

“That’s what I like to hear.” When his hand left me, I moaned at the loss of sensation. In a flash, AJ was tugging at my hemline. My eyes widened when I watched his hand trail up my bare thigh.

Trying to steady my erratic heartbeat I sucked in a breath when his hand delved into my panties. “AJ—”

“Don’t fight it. Just feel.”

His fingers stroked my clit, causing me to whimper. My gaze darted over to the door, fearing that at any moment the instructor was going to walk in on us. As if he could read my mind, AJ said, “Don’t think about her. Just think about what my fingers feel like against your warm, wet pussy.”

I opened my mouth to protest, but AJ silenced me by sliding two fingers deep inside me. “Oh God,” I murmured. My eyes locked on AJ’s hooded gaze in the mirror. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t tear myself away from looking at what he was doing to me.

“Do you like watching me touch you?”

“Yes,” I panted.

“I like watching you react to me—the way your eyes widen, the way your chest rises and falls, the way your hips move.” He dipped his head to where his breath burned fiery against my ear. “I can’t wait until it’s my dick, not my fingers, that’s inside you.”

With my first male induced orgasm in six months within reach, I no longer cared that we were standing in a public place or that AJ had a thing for dirty talk unlike any of my other lovers. All I cared about in that moment was getting off. My arms went behind me to grasp onto his hips that were moving against my ass.

“Mmm, I’m close. Make me come, AJ,” I commanded.

 
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BLOG TOUR: Sweet Home by Tille Cole

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Title: Sweet Home

Author: Tillie Cole

Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance (18+)

My Rating: School School School School School

 

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Synopsis

Mature New Adult novel—contains adult content, highly sexual situations and mature topics. Suited for ages 18 and up*

At age twenty, Molly Shakespeare knows a lot.

She knows Descartes and Kant.

She knows academia and Oxford.

She knows that the people who love you leave you.

She knows how to be alone.

But when Molly leaves England’s grey skies behind to start a new life at the University of Alabama, she finds that she has a lot to learn—she didn’t know a summer could be so hot, she didn’t know students could be so intimidating, and she certainly didn’t know just how much the folks of Alabama love their football.

When a chance encounter with notorious star quarterback, Romeo Prince, leaves her unable to think of anything but his chocolate-brown eyes, dirty-blond hair and perfect physique, Molly soon realises that her quiet, solitary life is about to dramatically change forever…

 

Review:

This fast paced and intense book had me glued to my tablet from beginning to end. I was eager to get the outcome of these characters and felt invested in their wellbeing. Full of love, tragedy, friendship, and downright evilness, this story has well written characters and a moving story line.

Molly and Romeo have a really intense relationship. Both of them are damaged for different reasons but they help each other heal and despite their faults, I truly enjoyed them. Molly is very introverted and shy when she first meets Romeo. However, after a while with him and her new friends, she opens up and really blossoms into a strong woman. Romeo is that hot, dark, and brooding type of guy who cares more about his Football than anything else. As the story progresses he opens up as well and even though he still has the need to exert control (especially in the bedroom) it works for Molly. They truly are perfect for each other and I liked them a lot. Their friends were lively and great secondary characters that brought another layer and personality to the story.

Well written characters and a compelling story line came together for one emotional, sometimes steamy, sometimes sad, and overall great book. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story and happily give it a 5 out of 5 books rating!

 

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Author Info:

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Tillie Cole is a Northern girl through and through. She originates from a place called Teesside on that little but awesomely sunny (okay I exaggerate) Isle called Great Britain. She was brought up surrounded by her English rose mother — a farmer’s daughter, her crazy Scottish father, a savagely sarcastic sister and a multitude of rescue animals and horses.

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Enter to Win:

Go HERE to enter the giveaway for a chance at:

1 – $100 Gift Card to Amazon OR Barnes & Noble (Winner’s Choice)

 

Excerpt:

“For the initiation task, we will be using brothers from our linked fraternity. You will be blindfolded and will have to kiss—with tongues—a fellow Greek brother and guess the food they’ve just eaten. It’s not a lot to show your commitment, and we will all get a great laugh from it.” Shelly tossed her shampoo advert-worthy hair to the rest of the sorority sisters, who all giggled in response.
Bugger.
I didn’t like the sound of this.
I grabbed Lexi’s arm and leaned in close. “I thought you said hazing wasn’t allowed anymore due to some recent scandal or something? Look at those blindfolds. This is going cause us all to be completely humiliated—that certifies as friggin’ hazing! I can’t do this, Lexi. I’m way out of my depth here.”
Lexi hit me with her black-rimmed puppy-dog eyes. “Please, Molls. For me? It’s not exactly bad hazing; it’s just a kiss with a guy, for God’s sake!”
I dropped my head and groaned. There was no use fighting her. She’d only cry on me again, giving me a guilt trip. “You totally owe me one!”
“Walk to the table and take a blindfold. We’ll put you in a line and the guys will be brought in,” Shelly sang, thoroughly enjoying herself at our expense.

We did as commanded, and after a few minutes, I heard the door click open and several pairs of feet shuffle into the room. I sensed someone stand before me and nearly puked at the stench. He had liquor and strong, putrid body odour humming out of his pores.
Disgusting.
“When I tap y’all on the shoulder, make out, guess the food correctly, and you’ll be in—simple,” Shelly informed with a gleeful lilt.
I could tell I was at the end of the line because when I waved a hand out beside me, all I felt was thin air.
I would be the last pledge last to go.
The distinct sound of slurping tongues and girls making guesses filled the room, and a chorus of sorority sisters emitting bitchy laughs mid-process came from every direction.
I could feel my pulse racing in nervous apprehension and my hands fidgeted, betraying my burgeoning panic.
Time seemed to still as my turn approached. The frat guy smelled… bad. But I’d do it for Lexi.
A light tap on my back signalled that it was my turn. I braced myself and leaned forward, only to feel a rush of air pass my head and a loud crash come from the side, male laughter echoing around me.
“Move, Macmillan. I think you’re in my spot,” a deep voice drawled.
“Ah n-no… B-b-bullet! Shelly said… said…” Macmillan slurred from the direction of the floor, semi-coherently.
“I don’t give a shit what she said. Go and get a fuckin’ drink, or pass out, or somethin’. You get me?” The menace in this ‘Bullet’ guy’s voice was unmistakable.
“I-I get you. I get you, man.”
I had no clue what was going on or who would be fighting over kissing me. This day just kept getting weirder and weirder by the second.
“Wait! Mac has to—” Shelly shouted.
“Shut the fuck up, Shel.” His tone left no room for argument, and Shelly fell silent.
I was busy chewing on my thumbnail—a nervous habit I adopt in uncomfortable situations—when my new frat guy moved before me, smelling deliciously better than the previous person—summer, soap, and mint. It was familiar. Comforting. Enticing.
Copyright©Tilliecole2013 All Rights Reserved
A large, calloused hand pulled my thumb from my mouth and placed it on a hard waist. My fingers crept along the cotton-like fabric covering his torso, identifying the ridges of hard muscle and defined abdominals underneath.
Blindfolding was definitely a sensory awakening; you smelled, felt, and heard so much more.
Hands grasped both sides of my face and I could feel the moment he began to move in towards me, only to suddenly caress my lips, teasingly, softly with his own.
Without warning, my captor expelled a frustrated groan, dropping any gentleness, and his eager, wet tongue invaded my mouth, duelling against mine, fighting for control. I gave it over gladly. There was no other choice.
I’d never felt anything like it.

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BLOG TOUR: Open Your Eyes by Jani Kay

Adult Contemporary Romance Novel.
Warning: 18+ Contains sex scenes and explicit language.
Second chances? Twisted love triangle? Hot steamy sex? Hell YES!
What reviewers are saying about Open Your Eyes
Holy Crap!! ~ 5 Stars  ~ K. Greer
“What a book! Let me just say the epilogue blew me away!!!!! Blows my mind!
 
Sit Down, Strap In And Hold On Tight – Truly An Emotional Ride! ~ 5 Stars ~Lacstines
Amazing, hard to put down story. This was an excellent read which had you on an emotional rollercoaster. The epilogue truly did me in. A love story if I ever read one.
 
Heartbreaking Love Story. ~ 5 Stars ~ M. Gerena
“Open your Eyes was an amazing good read from the beginning to the end! I was so emotionally and mentally invested in the storyline that I experienced sleep deprivation.”
 
Seriously…Open Your Eyes & Read It!  ~ 5 Stars ~ Torrie
“I am SOOOOO glad that I took the time to read this book. I loved the story and I loved, loved, loved the ending. I would recommend this to anyone who asks!!”
 
Truly, Madly, Deeply !  ~ 5 Stars ~ R. Brannon
The ups and downs of the book had me screaming and turning the pages quicker and quicker. Absolutely loved this read and I think a lot of woman can relate to Natalie. Great read, it will not disappoint.
 
Touching!!  ~ 5 Stars ~ S. Bachovin
“Loved this book. So touching. Made me cry. Can’t wait to read more from this author.”
Shattered and disillusioned after separating from her domineering husband, all Natalie wants, is a peaceful Christmas vacation in New York City, with her 21 year old daughter, Olivia. Uncomplicated. No pressure. Fun.
What she didn’t expect, was meeting a dangerously handsome stranger in an art gallery. He is charming, sexy as hell, and does funny things to her insides. Her frozen heart slowly melts as he seduces her, awakening her deepest desires, showing her that the kind of love she craves is very possible. She wants him as much as he wants her.
Battling his demons from the past, famous photographer Nicholas Gallagher has successfully evaded serious relationships, earning him the title of the world’s most eligible bachelor. But from the moment he lays eyes on Natalie, she stirs something in him. Compelled to chase the sadness from her vivid blue eyes, Nick is captivated by the spirited Australian beauty.
Hot romance.
Steamy sex.
Absolute perfection.
Until Natalie gets a call from home – one she can’t ignore.  In a fateful moment the game changes and throws her life into chaos. Gabriel, her jealous ex, wants her back. Two powerful men want her. She is forced to make a choice that will tear her apart.
Will Natalie make the right choice? Will she finally find her soul mate, the one person who can look into her eyes and see deep into her soul, everything she is and everything she desires… will she finally open her eyes?
A Stand-alone Novel.
Nick must have sensed that I was awake. He slowly opened his eyes, confused for a few seconds before remembering where he was. He caught me in the act of staring at him, drawing in a short sharp breath when he looked down at me, straight into my eyes. A wicked grin spread over his face as he turned onto his side and hauled me even closer, encaging me with both his arms.
 
 “What a lovely way to wake up,” he whispered as he planted a kiss in my hair. His big hand rubbed up my back leisurely, as if he was savoring the moment, his palm applying just the right amount of pressure to my spine to make me want to purr. In spite of trying to suppress it, a small moan escaped my lips as he reached my neck and gently traced up it with his fingers, till his hand disappeared into my hair. Very gently, he massaged the base of my scalp till I dug my forehead into his chest, the simple touch sending ripples of pleasure through my already aroused body.
Good God! I barely knew the man, but his touch alone could ignite a fire in my belly of a magnitude I had never experienced before. If he could get this kind of toe-curling reaction from me by merely massaging my neck, what would making love with him do to me?
He gently tugged a fist full of my hair, raising my face up to his. I had closed my eyes, not wanting him to see the desire burning deep within me. My heart pounded in my chest as I tried desperately to keep my breathing even.
“Open your eyes. Look at me,” he whispered. I obeyed, even though it would expose my deepest feelings, slowly meeting his intense gaze. I gasped at the yearning in his eyes. My eyes melted into his as he searched my soul, seeing deeper than anyone ever had.
“Natalie,” he groaned softly as his head dipped and his lips covered mine. The kiss was gentle at first, a meeting of mouths and tasting one another. “So sweet,” he murmured against my mouth, then let his tongue slide along my lips, till I parted my mouth to let him slip in. He tasted of cheesecake and sleep…and passion and fire. His silky tongue glided along mine, a mingling of breaths and raw desire.
His hand moved down my back to cup my bottom and pull me against his body, closing the gap between us. So far I had carefully avoided touching in intimate places, much like a virgin in denial of the awakening of her body.
His arousal pushed into my belly, and I let out a gasp that he swallowed quickly with his mouth. My pulse quickened at the feel of his hard length throbbing against me, only the fabric of our clothing between us. The warm liquid pooling between my legs begged for more of him, but I lay there, unable to move, stunned that this man so obviously wanted me. I was getting more and more out of my depth with every passing moment. I wanted him, yet I wasn’t sure how to respond.
I’d never been a one-night stand type of girl. And I definitely didn’t do sex on a first date. Hell, this wasn’t even supposed to be a date. And he was virtually a stranger. Yet the want – the longing – in my belly overwhelmed my senses. I wanted to rub up against his erection; I wanted to kiss him till I was breathless. But I just lay there, dumbstruck.
“Natalie?”
I screwed my eyes shut.
 “I want you, Natalie. God, how I want you…” He thrust his pelvis against my stomach, grinding his steel hard length into me to affirm his words. “But I would never take you now. Not like this.”
His words had a strange effect on me – calming and evoking feelings of deep trust.
“I sense your fear, my little one, why are you so afraid?” His husky voice soothed me over. How could I tell him? Words weren’t enough.
“Open your eyes so I can see what you’re feeling. It’s OK, I won’t hurt you.” Concern laced his voice. His hand cupped my chin, his thumb gently caressing my lips. I could drown in his touch alone.
My lids were heavy. Heavy with desire and pain and fear.
“Open, Natalie,” he coaxed so gently I couldn’t refuse.
I forced my eyes to open, my lids lifting slowly, trying to force my gaze to be neutral. But the moment I looked into his – soft and gentle – all the emotions came rushing back. This man could look deep into my soul without me uttering a word.
A sigh of relief escaped his lips. “You want me too…” he breathed as a wicked, wicked grin spread over his lips.
He must have read the confusion in my eyes. “For a moment there I thought you didn’t want me, little one. But your eyes tell me everything I need to know.”
The pressure from his thumb increased on my lips, and as a small gasp escaped, he pushed his thumb into my mouth. I sucked his thumb hungrily, my groin throbbing with want.
“Ahh, God,” he groaned. “What you do to me…” He took my hand in his and slipped it between us, resting my palm on his erection, which had grown even harder and longer as I touched it. “I want you.” I stroked his length lovingly, my thumb rubbing over the tip roughly, sucking his thumb harder and harder.
He pulled his thumb from my mouth and instantly replaced it with a warm wet kiss, his tongue wild, stroking, teasing, hot and wet.
His hands slipped under my top, finding my breasts like missiles, pushing my bra cups up. “You feel so good,” he moaned softly, “a perfect handful,” as his thumbs rolled and pinched my aching nipples. His words turned me on even more, the heat between my legs rising, my panties wet with want.
I slung my leg over his, pressing my body as close to his as I could get it, rubbing my mound against his throbbing erection, desperate for the friction, pushing him closer with my leg on his ass. It was driving me wild, in spite of the barrier of clothing between us.

Jani has been married for a long time to a special man, and her two children and their partners are the sunshine in her life. She is a voracious reader and would spend her last dollar on a book – always fascinated that for the mere price of a book, she can escape her world for a while and see through someone else’s eyes.

Besides reading, her favorite ‘thing’ is traveling – she has traveled the world, learning about the ways people live and has come to the realization that no matter where we live, we all ultimately want the same things. Her hobby – Scrapbooking – keeps her up till way after midnight and her usual subjects are her family and her travels.
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Ever since she can remember, Jani wanted to write stories about people, about their lives and loves. Relationships and Happiness – arguably the most difficult things to master in life and yet exactly what everyone ultimately desires (in her humble opinion).
 

 
 
 


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BLOG TOUR: Until November by Aurora Rose Reynolds

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Title: Until November

Series: Until, #1

Author: Aurora Rose Reynolds

Genre: NA Contemporary Romance (18+)

My Rating: School School School School School

Synopsis

Warning:

Suitable for Readers 18+ due to sexual content and a strong Alpha Male

November is looking forward to getting to know her father and the safety of a small town. After leaving the big apple and her bad memories for Tennessee, November starts working for her dad at his strip club doing the books. The one time she’s allowed there during club hours she runs into Asher Mayson. He’s perfect until he opens his mouth and makes assumptions. November wants nothing to do with Asher but too bad for November fate has other plans. Asher Mayson has never had a problem getting a woman that is until November. Now all he can think about is making November his and keeping her safe.

Review

This book drew me in from the very beginning. It had wonderful romance, some steamy scenes, and a bit of mystery and suspense. The characters were wonderful and the story line was very captivating.

November and Asher and an immediate and intense first attraction to each other. November is damaged from her past and still kind, sassy, and strong willed. Asher has always been a player until he meets November. He’s all kinds of sexy, owns his own construction business, a serious alpha male, sweet, and protective. They compliment each other very well and I instantly felt connected to these characters.

The secondary characters were just as great as the main ones. They provided a nice support system and I felt drawn to them almost as much as I did to November and Asher. I really can’t wait to read books about these other characters.

The story line was very well written. There was an excellent romance but also a bit of suspense that kept me on the edge of my seat. The awesome characters and great story line came together to create a wonderful story. I truly enjoyed this book and I think it deserves a 5 out of 5 books.

 

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Author Info

Aurora Rose Reynolds

Aurora Rose Reynolds is a navy brat whose husband served in the United States Navy. She has lived all over the country but now resides in New York City with her Husband and pet fish. She’s married to an alpha male that loves her as much as the men in her books love their women. He gives her over the top inspiration everyday. In her free time she reads, writes and enjoys going to the movies with her husband and cookie. She also enjoys taking mini weekend vacations to nowhere, or spends time at home with friends and family. Last but not least she appreciates everyday and admires its beauty.   

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Excerpt

“So, what are we doing today? Can we go riding?” I ask excitedly.

“No, someone’s coming over in an hour,” he says, wiping his mouth.

“O…kay,” I say slowly, waiting for him to tell me who is coming over. He doesn’t say anything, just smiles. “So, who is it?” I ask after he still doesn’t say anything.

“You’ll see.” He shrugs.

“So, you’re not going to tell me who it is?”

“Nope,” he says, putting his cup and plate into the sink without rinsing it. He starts to walk away, so I clear my throat to get his attention. When he looks at me, I nod my head in the direction of the sink and he raises his eyebrows. So, I nod my head in the direction of the sink again. “Do you have a tic, baby?” he asks, his mouth twitching.

I narrowed my eyes. “I’m not your maid, Asher.” He straight out smiles, giving me the dimple, then walks to the sink, takes his plate and cup out, still without rinsing them, and places them in the dishwasher. “You have to rinse it before you put it in the dishwasher,” I tell him, feeling and sounding like a total nag.

“It’s a dishwasher,” he says slowly, walking towards me.

“Ye—” Before I can get the words out, his mouth is on mine. The kiss is deep, wet, and so yummy, that when he pulls his mouth away, my hands are wrapped around his neck and my legs are around his hips. I’m in an Asher fog so deep that he could tell me that it’s not a dishwasher, but a microwave, and I would agree with him completely.

My eyes flutter open. He’s looking down at me with a cocky smile and mumbles, “That’s better.” Then, he squeezes my ass in his hands, sets me on the counter and leaves the kitchen, putting on his shirt as he goes.

“Holy crap,” I whisper. Beast looks at me, grunts, then walks to his dog bed and lays down, completely disappointed in my lack of willpower. “It’s not my fault,” I mumble to my dog. He lets out a breath and shuts his eyes, completely dismissing me. “It’s not,” I say, still mumbling. I hop off the counter, take Asher’s dishes from the dishwasher, rinse off the cream cheese so it doesn’t harden onto the plate, rinse out the cup then place them both back in the dishwasher. The whole time, I’m smiling.

 

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BLOG TOUR: Lovely by Beth Michele

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Title: Lovely

Author: Beth Michele

Genre: New Adult

Release Date: September 26, 2013

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Synopsis

A moment can change everything… Ashton Taylor. Six foot one, Dark hair, chiseled jaw, riveting hazel eyes, and a body cut in all the right places. He’s a natural. Things just come easy to him. He’s used to getting everything he wants, excelling at everything he does. The grades, the recognition, the beautiful women. His path was set. A girl, a full scholarship to UC San Diego, and a bright future. To others, his life seemed perfect. But, things are never what they seem, and life, well, at any moment, something or someone can come along and turn it upside down. That something…the death of his father. That someone… Cara Hayward. The girl with the hypnotic eyes, melodic voice, enchanting smile, and lips sent straight from heaven. The girl who doesn’t want to be seen. So what happens when a guy who everything comes easy to, meets a girl who doesn’t come easy? Can he crawl through all the broken glass to find her? Will the girl he discovers deep down be able to see past his perfect exterior? Together, do they have the power to heal one another? Or, could the very thing that brings them together, be the one thing that tears them apart? 

 

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About the Author

BethAuthorPicture-1 I am a wife, a mom, an author, and a lover of all things chocolate, well, anything sweet really. While stuffing chocolate in my face, I enjoy reading young adult and new adult novels furiously, and spending time with my husband and two adorable children who keep me on my peppermint pink painted toes. Those same children who inspire me to tell silly stories that cause hysterical giggles to tumble from their bellies. I love to laugh and love to have a good cry, especially after reading a novel that stretches my soul, one that makes me feel, and lingers in the corner of my heart. I’m a hopeless romantic and a happily ever after fanatic, and I love to write about LOVE. I began writing when I was in middle school, penning anything from short stories, to poetry, and then later moved on to write children’s books. I have now endeavored into New Adult and Contemporary Romance novels and am loving every minute of it. My first novel, Love Love, was released in May, 2013.  

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My Rating: School School School School School

Review:

This book is a rare one in that it is written from the male character’s perspective. It was a nice change of pace and I really enjoyed it. The story was full of love, heartbreak, trust, and family. The characters were complex and the story drew me in from the very beginning.

Even though Ashton had to woo Cara a bit in the beginning, you can tell there is this instant chemistry between them. Cara is compassionate and kind despite her childhood. Ashton is sexy and starts off as a player but things change when he sees Cara for the first time. They had similarities from their past that helped them to connect on a different level and learn from each other. I was immediately drawn to both of them and felt emotions on their behalf.

The characters were well written, including the secondary characters. They story line was heartfelt and heartbreaking at times. It had emotion and not just from Ashton and Cara. This was an excellent story and I believe it deserves a 5 out of 5 books.

 

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Excerpt:

She turns so her back is now flush with my chest, her ass pushing against my groin, my hard-on straining against my pants. I gently lift her hair up off her neck, pressing quiet kisses to her shoulders, trailing my tongue along her nape. She whimpers, angling her head and giving me access to her throat. I drag my lips down to her collarbone, licking and sucking until I hear her moan again, goosebumps popping and dancing all over her back. Running my knuckle down the side of her cheek, my fingers continue to move lower to skip along the soft flesh of her arm and I feel her body shiver. I spin her around to face me, needing to see her now.

“You’re so fucking beautiful, you know that?” I breathe against her lips.

She looks up at me, her voice thick with desire. “I want you to touch me, Ash,” she whispers hoarsely. “I want to feel your hands all over me. I’ve never wanted anyone’s hands on me the way I want yours, right now.”

 

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BLOG TOUR: Holding Onto You by S. Moose

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Title: Holding Onto You

Series: Never Letting Go, #2 (Novella)

Author: S. Moose

Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance (18+)

My Rating: School School School School School

Synopsis

Losing my best friend was the worst feeling in the world. I always wondered what she was doing and how she was doing but I never went after her. I never took the time to find out how she was doing and that broke my heart into a million pieces. Not only did I lose my best friend but I lost the love of my life.

Now, four years later, I am back in North Carolina and find myself longing to see her smile and feel her touch.

One day, she finally sees me and our eyes connect. The connection is still there. She can still make me weak at the knees and she still holds my heart and soul.

Things are different. She is dating my teammate Kyle and I hate him. Not for dating my Sophia but for being the worst person imaginable. But I vow to make her mine again. Welcome to my mind and life. My story about finally seeing Sophia again and how I will always be holding onto her.

Review

This was an awesome look at Adam’s perspective from Reaching Out for You and it actually filled in some holes. It was a quick read but did not disappoint. It had the same well written characters and actually answered some questions that I had about vague scenes or things not even mentioned because Adam and Sophie were apart. I really enjoyed hearing about scenes from his point of view and actually getting a little more info on Conner and even his parents as well as Sophia’s sister, dad, and best friend (Erin). I thought it did an excellent job of portraying Adam’s torment and struggle to get Sophia back and also what he had to go through while they were apart. This is a 5 out of 5 books. Excellent Job!

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Author Info

SM

Saoching Moose, writing as S. Moose, is a contemporary romance author living in Webster, NY. She debuted as an author on June 7, 2013 with Reaching Out For You. She lives with her lovable and supportive husband.

A 2011 graduate from St. John Fisher College, S. Moose loves to read and write. When she’s not in her writing cave, you can find her hanging out with her amazing family and friends.

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Excerpt

Sophia looked over and our eyes met. Her beautiful blue eyes grew wide. I flashed her my charming smile and gave her a nod. Her face turned bright red and raised her eyebrow. I loved when she blushed. She had on a strappy white dress with a black cardigan. Damn, she looked good. We held our connection for what seemed like forever. Everything was on pause and it felt like it was just her and I in the room. Nothing mattered. No one mattered. My heart was beating uncontrollably and I felt my hands shaking. This feeling nearly brought me to my knees and choked me. She still had a hold on me and my heart. It’s yours Sophia, always.

 

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Go Back to the Beginning…

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Adam and Sophia were best friends but when tragedy strikes it’s more than Adam can handle and he leaves Sophia alone in the dark.
Four years later, Adam and Sophia are reunited and the sparks between them return but is it too late?
Sophia is happy again and has let go of the darkness. She has great friends and a sweet boyfriend name Kyle. Now that Adam is back how will she be able to balance her boyfriend and her best friend?
The darkness always finds you again but will Adam be able to save her or leave her again?

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RELEASE DAY BLITZ: Beautifully Awake by Riley Mackenzie

Beautifully Awake CoverTitle: Beautifully Awake

Author: Riley Mackenzie

Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance

Release Date: October 2, 2013

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Synopsis

Diagnosis: Sleep-running

Treatment: Truth

Prognosis: Beautifully Awake

Lili Porter hates the rain. Bad things happen in the rain. As a small town social worker dedicated to protecting children, she is forced to start over to escape her rural disaster. Determined to follow her father’s advice—head up and chin high—Lili finds herself in a new city, taking on a new system, this time healthcare. In doing so, she gets something she never expected, an intimate behind-the-scenes look at life in the hospital.

Lili learns that a surgeon’s hands have the power to heal more than physical wounds. And a prescription for truth can cure three years of sleep running and leave you beautifully awake.

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Excerpt

I washed up and had just enough time to tug on a clean tank and thong and then climbed back into bed. I heard his footsteps. Excitement and relief washed through me. A small part of me feared he might have changed his mind, but my insecurity vanished the second his chiseled face appeared from the darkness.

His shirt hung open. He folded his arms across his chest and casually leaned against the wall, studying me like the MRI images he methodically memorized before each surgery.

“You moved?” His lips parted into a half grin, and he shook his head disapprovingly.

“You took too long.”

“You put clothes on.”

“You might need some new clothes.” I smiled.

“You’re fucking beautiful.”

Speechless.

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About the Authors
Riley Mackenzie

Yep. That’s an “s.” There are two of us! We’re East coast girls separated by Long Island Sound who met in Physician Assistant School and have been besties ever since. We can safely say that thirteen miles of water does not get in the way because we talk or text, no exaggeration, at least 150 times a day. No, really, we do—about everything and nothing. Shockingly, we never (we mean never) run out of things to say. Umm, ever. We definitely laugh A LOT and we’re a tad sarcastic. And if we’re being totally honest, one or two people might have, on occasion, used our names and ‘dramatic’ in the same sentence. But it’s hard to trust the sources since they married us.

It only took twelve years, two husbands, five kids, two dogs, and a two-week vacation in Cape Cod later to decide the romance world needed a splash of medicine. Write what you know. So you can easily find us at 4 o’clock on Bank Street beach with a glass of cold Prosecco brainstorming. And guaranteed if we bump into you, literally, it’s only because our iPhones are glued to our hands (totally out of our control) either writing or editing our next novel (and yes, it is possible to do from your iPhone, we mastered it … damn those straight quotations).

When we are not working on our book or reading the latest angsty romance on our kindles, you basically name it and we have it going on. Soccer, lacrosse, golf, swimming, dance, gymnastics, football, chess, baseball, basketball, skiing, ice skating, school, homework, and more school. Oh yeah, did we forget to mention our careers in medicine?

Needless to say, we realized fast that something had to go, so we opted for sleep. It’s completely overrated (yet so AMAZING) and delirium makes everything funnier. Good thing we share a brain and can pretty much complete each other’s sentences (definitely weird, we know), otherwise it might have taken us two years to write Beautifully Awake rather than one.

So that’s our story, who we are … just add AUTHORS to the list!

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BLOG TOUR: Can’t Go Home by Angelisa Stone

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Title: Can’t Go Home

Author: Angelisa Stone

Genre: NA Contemporary Romance (18+)

My Rating: School School School School School

Synopsis

*This novel is for mature readers only, due to language and sexual content*

Everyone has secrets; secrets meant to be kept—hidden away where nobody can discover the truth. Adrian O’Donnell (aka: Dre Donley) is no exception. Dre spins tales and half-truths like it’s his job, keeping the reality of his past buried deep within each lie he fabricates. On the other hand, Kathryn Howell is the exception to the rule. She’s a straight-shooter, a tell-it-like-it-is, no filter kind of girl.

Kathryn’s honesty and straightforwardness is the ultimate turn on for a guy like Dre. He’s never met someone so sincere, so full of truth and innocence. Their chemistry is unavoidable, their connection, magnetic. When Dre sets out to make Kathryn fall for him, he doesn’t realize the grave mistake he’s making. Kathryn’s strength and convictions do not falter, even for an irresistible man like Dre. When his past resurfaces, and the lies come tumbling forth, Kathryn must decide if his deceit and betrayal can be forgiven or if the damage is irreparable. Will the truth ultimately destroy the relationship that neither one of them could deny or even attempt to resist?

Review

I freaking loved this book! The writing style, humor, well written characters, and solid plot contributed to making this a wonderful story.It drew me in from the very first sentence and had me riveted to my tablet until the last sentence.

Dre and Kathryn are very captivating characters. They have feeling and depth that make them very realistic and enjoyable to read. Kathryn is very blunt and her inner monologues had me cracking up. Dre is sexy and very easy going. He has secrets but a great heart. The chemistry between them is electric. I could immediately feel things brewing between them. The whole cast of characters were well written and I truly enjoyed them.

The story flows really smoothly from one scene to the next and I found it very easy to get lost in this wonderful plot. The inner dialog Dre and Kathryn have with themselves was really funny at times and the banter between them had me laughing several times. This fantastic book gets a definite 5 out of 5 books from me!

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Author Info

Who is Angelisa Stone?

Angelisa Stone is a typical Midwestern wife and mom, frazzled by parenting and housework, and overwhelmed with sports schedules, doctor appointments, and three-dimensional creative projects due “tomorrow morning.” Angelisa dreams of white sandy beaches, clear-blue waters, and Midori coladas in hand, but realizes that her loving husband and four not-so-perfect children are her real dreams-come-true. Writing and reading are her passions, and she hopes (and prays with her fingers tightly crossed) that readers will find enjoyment and escape through her words and characters.

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Excerpt

“How many women have just full out fallen for this whole mysterious, sexy stranger thing?” she asks again.

“You think I’m sexy?” I inquire, raising my brows.

Kathryn leans over, grabs her purse, and takes out a small mirror. Opening the case, she holds it in front of me, and says, “I had no idea you didn’t own one of these. This is a mirror. Mirror. Take a look.” She shakes the mirror in front of me. “People pay big bucks to look like you, Casanova.”

Kathryn retracts the mirror, closes the case, and stirs more sweetener into her unsweetened tea. The whole time, I am staring dumbfounded at her. This is not the type of girl I’m used to. Kathryn is straightforward, honest, and as intriguing as Hell.

Before I can answer, she says, “So, why’re you pulling out the big guns on me?” She takes a sip of her tea, frowns, and adds in straight sugar this time. After tasting it again and grimacing, she calls the server over and orders a large sweet tea. Now that’s some funny shit. There are no false pretenses with this woman.

The server glances at her briefly, looks at me, and says, “We have the sweetest tea here; it just melts on your tongue. It really whets your appetite.” Then she licks her lips and leans over, smiling at me, giving my line of vision a direct assault on her cleavage.

Kathryn begins laughing, loudly with a snort, and says, “Sweetie, it’s liquid. It doesn’t have to melt. And it’s wet, so it’s going to wet anything it touches.”

Kathryn shakes her head, takes a deep breath, exhales, and says, “Write your number on the check when we leave, and make sure to put a big heart over whatever “i” is in your name, but for the love of God, please keep your panties on until I leave.”

The waitress leaves quickly and a few moments later a different server returns, dropping off her sweet tea quickly and quietly. I’m not sure what is happening, but I can feel myself being captivated by this woman. I’m tempted to ask her if she even knows the definitions of demure, dainty, or coy, because she is none of those things. But yet, she is the most “womanly” woman I’ve ever encountered.

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REVIEW TOUR: Trials by Sarah Biermann

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Title: Trials

Series: Rock Bottom, #2

Author: Sarah Biermann

Genre: New Adult Rocker Romance (18+)

My Rating: School School School School

Synopsis

“They think Jeremy murdered her.”

Drugs pushed them away…will murder bring them together?

Since losing the rock star love of her life, Harvard Law student Dylan Ackhart is doing the best she can to move on. Now in her third and final year, she’s doing well in school and just landed her dream internship in Boston’s District Attorney’s office. She keeps away from the news so she doesn’t hear about Jeremy Mason- about his frequent parties, new women, and apparent drug use.

But when the body of a young girl is found in his home, suddenly Dylan and Jeremy are thrust together in the most difficult and awkward of circumstances. Dylan is forced to choose between the only man she ever loved and the only dream she ever wanted. Will she leave everything behind and be with Jeremy? Or will Jeremy find himself in more trouble than she can help him out of?

Review

I was hoping for another great book with this one and I wasn’t disappointed. The same passion and torment as Tracks but not quite as volatile. It still had plenty of drama and I was glued to my tablet just like I was with the first book.

Dylan seemed like she was lost and confused for a lot of this book and I got a little frustrated with her at times. Jeremy seemed to be doing better this time around and I really liked him in this book. They both grow a lot throughout the story and I felt like I was right there with them as they dealt with everything.

They characters and story were written just as well as Tracks. I felt immersed in the story from the very beginning and found it hard to walk away not knowing what was going to happen next. It drew me in until the very last sentence. Great job and a 4 out of 5 books!

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Author Info

Sarah Biermann

Sarah Biermann, RN, BSN was born Wilmington, Delaware and grew up in Claymont. She attended Cab Calloway School of the Arts in Wilmington for high school, majoring in creative writing. She went on to Montgomery County Community College in Blue Bell, PA for her Associates Degree in Nursing. She recently graduated Drexel University with her BSN in nursing and is currently in their Masters program for nursing education. Sarah’s nursing specialty is in drugs and alcohol detox and rehab.

Sarah has been married to her husband, Jon, for 8 years. She has two beautiful daughters: Anna, age 7, and Quinn, age 2. They live in Lansdale, Pennsylvania.

She enjoys reading, singing, art, music, television, going to the movies, Hershey Park, and writing. “Tracks”- the first book in the “Rock Bottom” series- is her first book.

Sarah is currently working on the second book in the “Rock Bottom” series- titled “Trials”- coming soon.

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Excerpt

I finally reach his big, wooden door at the top of the steps. With my heart pounding, I reach quickly for the doorknob. I’m planning to just bust my way in there. But when I lay my hand on the knob, I pause. Because above the pounding in my ears I can hear guitar chords…a melody playing softly through the thick door. Not just any melody, but the most beautiful and heartbreaking melody I’ve ever heard. It’s a simple song, slow and beautiful, a ballad. The sound makes my heart hum and my mind clear. My blood pressure returns to normal again instantly.

The melody continues and it’s so beautiful that I’m compelled to stand in silence and listen. I desperately need to hear it more clearly. I’m scared to go in; afraid the melody will stop when he sees me. I carefully and quietly turn the doorknob, cracking the door just a slight bit. I stop breathing for a moment, praying he hasn’t noticed. When the melody continues, I put my ear up to the crack.

The song fills my head like a dream, each note breaking my heart with the emotion it coveys. Tears spring to my eyes, and I’m not even sure why other than that the haunting tune.

In my heart’s sequestered chambers lies truth stripped of poets gloss…” I hear Jeremy’s voice begin with the melody. His voice, yet not his voice. His voice because it’s still bluesy and rock and roll, but soft and extremely sad. Devastatingly sad. Beautiful…

“Words alone are vain and vacant and my heart is mute…” His voice breaks on the end of the sentence, but the song continues. “In response to aching silence memory summons half heard voices. And my soul finds primal eloquence and wraps me in song…” Tears fall down my cheeks, his singing changing and warming as if he is actually wrapping me in the music he plays. His voice becomes more beautiful as he continues, pained and tortured.

“Wraps me…in song…If you would comfort me, sing me a lullaby. If you would win my heart, sing me a love song. If you would mourn me and bring me to God, sing me a requiem. Sing me to heaven!” His voice crescendos as he sings the lyrics, ending in a wounded plea, as if he’s begging for relief from pain.

I’m sobbing loudly now, and I can’t wait anymore to be in his presence. I push the door open and see his shocked expression from the couch in the living room where he sits. He’s holding his glimmering silver guitar in his hand, and I spot where my name is written in green cursive along the bottom of it.

He looks surprised at first, his eyes wide and breathing rapid. We lock eyes with each other and tears roll down both our cheeks. His fingers move along the neck of the guitar again, not looking away from me. “Sing me a lullaby. A love song. A requiem. Love me, comfort me. Bring me to God.

I put a hand up to my mouth. He takes a shaky breath and continues. “Sing me a love song. Sing me to Heaven…” He finishes, the last note lingering in the air, soft and sweet and agonizing.

My knees give out under the weight of my stress and pain. My emotions have been all over the place. Here I was, coming to scream at him and tell him that I thought he was a piece of shit. Now I find myself sobbing on the floor of his apartment because of the crushing way that I love him. That I can’t live without him. That he needs to tell me it’s not true.

 

Rock Bottom

BLOG TOUR: Who We Are by Shanora Williams

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Title: Who We Are

Series: FireNine, #2

Author: Shanora Williams (S.Q. Williams)

Genre: New Adult Rocker Romance (18+)

My Rating: School School School School School

Synopsis

“I thought I had gone through something much worse. I thought the abuse and pain from my mom and step-dad was bad, but this? This heartache? This pain? This depression? This gut-wrenching, heartbreaking moment? This knotted up feeling in my gut, the tightness in my throat, the ache in my chest? It was slowly but surely killing me.”

Eight months.

That’s how long it’s been since Eliza last saw Gage and they both feel as if they don’t deserve one another’s forgiveness. He screwed up. She walked away without looking back. They’ll try and make up all the time they’ve lost with one another, that is until they’re facing the choices of either going their separate ways, or hanging on and fighting for dear life.
The fights will be endless. They heartache will be real. The demons will return, and they won’t back down without a fight.

There are some who will do anything to keep true love apart, and those same people will dig deep into their demonic ways until Eliza and Gage are literally no more.

Can Eliza and Gage overcome it all? Will they be able to face the true demons that are seeking to destroy them? Or will they just forget about everything they’ve worked so hard for and go their separate ways?

Sometimes you have to go through struggles in order to reach an ultimate point of peace… but will their struggle be worth it?

 

Review

Whew!

*fans self*

This book was all over the emotion spectrum and the hotness is just as steamy as in Who He Is. I was chewing on my lip the whole time, anxious to find out what would happen next. The same excellent characters, a fantastic plot, and well written scenes make up another excellent book by Shanora Williams.

As much as Eliza and Gage yank each other back and forth, it is obvious that the love is still there and burning as bright as ever. Emotions are on a HUGE roller coaster in this conclusion to to their story but it was well worth it. They both do a lot of growing and maturing this time but I still wanted to smack Gage around a few times for being an idiot. The hot and sexy scenes are plentiful and they do not disappoint.

The plot was excellent and the scenes were very well written. I could not put this book down and I now have a huge book hangover but it was so, so worth it. I can’t wait to read the rest of FireNine’s members’ stories in the upcoming books. This gets a fantastic 5 out of 5 books!

 

 

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Author Info

AUTHOR BIO PIC

Shanora Williams was born and raised in Matthews, North Carolina. She’s the author of the New Adult series, OBTAINED and the Best Selling New Adult novel, Hard to Resist. Her upcoming mature New-Adult/Adult novel, Who He Is, will be released in July of 2013.

When she’s not writing, she’s happily reading or watching cartoons like the big kid she is. She has a wonderful family that you will hear her brag and talk about all of the time. Whenever she just wants to get away from the words for a while, she’ll spend some time with her loved ones, eat gummy bears, or drown in Coca-Cola and anything else caffeinated.

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Who’s Who

Eliza        Gage

Elisa Smith (Heroine)             Gage Grendel (Lead Singer)

 

Deed            Roy

Dedrick ‘Deed’ Parsley (Drummer)                Roy Sykes (Lead Guitarist)

 

Montana

Montana Delray (Bassist)

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Excerpt

As soon as I arrived at my temporary apartment, I dropped my keys on the counter, blared some Laura Welsh on the stereo, and then trudged for the shower. The water was soothing. I didn’t want to step out of the steam, especially as I was bombarded with memories.

Gage and me on the FireNine tour bus. Gage kissing me, licking me, soiling me with his fervent kisses. I quivered, running a finger across my lips, remembering the kiss we shared when he stayed the night at Ben’s a few days ago. The passion I felt, the power. It was so much, yet I couldn’t get enough. My lips were still tingling from it… from how much I missed it. How much I missed him.

Soon, the water chilled against my skin and I shut it off, ran a towel over my damp hair, and grabbed an extra towel to wrap around my wet skin. I brushed my teeth, cleared my face with handful of cool water, and then headed for my bedroom.

Laura Welsh sang about hollow drums and it was like she spoke to me—like she reminded me of how much I actually missed Gage. How hollow and empty I felt without him while I was in school and even now. In school it was worse. Every little thing reminded me of him. Every couple that walked by hand in hand reminded me of him. All the girls who were smiling up at their boyfriends lovingly, clinging to their sides, holding them like they never wanted to let go… it all reminded me of him. I couldn’t stand it… but I missed it. I rolled my eyes, trying to rid my mind of him, but it was nearly impossible.

Even as I changed into a pair of running shorts and a tank top and dropped the towel from my hair, I still thought about him. Even as I poured myself a bowl of cereal and ate it to the heartfelt music, I still thought about him. Even as I lounged flat on my back on the sofa, my hand on my forehead, staring at the dots on the ceiling, I still thought about him.

About his eyes, his full, pink lips that always sent a bolt of electricity coursing through me whenever connected with mine. His hard, rippled body, the perfect sleeve of ink on his forearms, broad chest, ribs, and even his back.

The ceiling seemed to spin above me as the music filled me, and then I felt the rims of my eyes pricking, begging for the pooling tears to be shed. I couldn’t believe it. I missed everything about him. I fucking missed him. Entirely too much.

There was a knock on the door and I perked up, back stiff, staring ahead. They knocked again and I swiped at my tears, confused. Who could be at my door this late? I cautiously made my way to the entrance, my heart pounding, my steps soft, making sure I didn’t cross any weak spots to make the floor creak.

I took a peek out of the peephole and made out a tousled mess of silky, dark-brown hair and broad shoulders. His head was ducked down, hiding his face, but I knew exactly who it was and I stifled a gasp.

My mind then went into gear. Should I let him in? Should I shoo him away? Should I blast him and beg him to just leave me alone?

In the end, I knew I couldn’t do any of those, no matter how upset I may have been with him. I did love him, after all.

I cracked open the door and he jerked away from the doorframe, taking a quick step back, his hazel eyes meeting mine. “Gage?”

“Eliza,” he whispered. His eyes were tired, restless. His lips were strained, as if he wanted to say something else, but then they relaxed and he ran a hand through his hair.

“Why are you here?” I asked, opening the door wider. He pressed the palm of his hand on the door and stepped past me, his heavy cologne filling my lungs. It mixed with the light, airy scent of water, as if he’d purposely walked in the drizzle. I could imagine him pacing back and forth in front of the apartment building, debating on whether he should come up or not. “Better yet,” I said, “how did you know where this apartment was?” I locked the door before looking at him.

“Frank told me,” he sighed out. “Look… I can’t do this,” he said, running another rigid hand through his hair. A few pieces fell onto his forehead, proving he would need a haircut in maybe three days tops. His eyes saddened and filled with guilt and I narrowed mine, tilting my head.

“Do what?” I asked, stepping up.

“This… I can’t be angry anymore. I can’t act like I don’t fucking care. I want—” His sentence broke and his gaze lowered to the floor. Good thing the music was playing, filling the silence, because I wasn’t sure of what to say, but I knew what he was getting at. “I wasn’t supposed to come here. I wasn’t supposed to see you. I was supposed to fight myself from getting close to you again—for your sake—but… I can’t. I can’t fight it. It’s so fucking hard to stay away from you, Eliza.”

 

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