10.01.2014

#Review + #Giveaway - The Last One by @Tawdra #NA #Contemporary


I warned you, did I not, that you might be seeing this book hanging out around here a bit this week?  I love Tawdra's romance books and can't help signing up to promote them with everyone!   That said, although this was going to be a strictly promotional post with an awesome giveaway (see the rafflecopter below), I decided to go ahead and toss my review in here as well :)


The Last One
(The One Trilogy, Book 1)
by:  Tawdra Kandle

Publication:  Hayson Publishing (Sept 28, 2014)
ISBN:  1501036653
ASIN:  B00MYAZ9O6
Length: 263 pages
Genres:   Contemporary, New Adult,  Romance




Blurb:

Meghan Hawthorne is restless.  The last year has been a roller coaster: her widowed mother just married a long-time family friend.  Her younger brother unexpectedly became a father and a husband.  Everyone's life is changing ... except hers.  As she begins her final summer of college, Meghan's looking for excitement and maybe a little romance.  Nothing serious; this girl just wants to have fun.

But the only man for Meghan turns out to be the last one she expects.

Sam Reynolds doesn't need excitement, and he doesn't want romance.  Fun is out of the question.  He's been the steady, responsible one since his parents were killed, and serious is his way of life.

When Sam rescues Meghan alongside a dark Georgia backroad, she falls hard for his deep brown eyes and slow drawl.  But making him see her as more than just a party girl won't be easy.  Sam's tempted by the fiery young artist, even as he realizes that giving into his feelings will mean radical change ... maybe more than he can handle.

Nobody ever said love was simple.



Buy it :  Amazon  |   Barnes & Noble 



My Thoughts : 


I love reading Tawdra's books!  When I finished The Posse, I clearly remember bugging her for another book. I need more on these people!  Thankfully she obliged and gave us a spin-off featuring Meghan.  Meghan is a sweet, feisty girl who is still getting over her father's death, her mother's marriage to a family friend and basically everyone in her life going through major changes except her.   After returning to her apartment from a trip visiting home, she decides to go out drinking and dancing with her roommate and best friend.  Meghan drinks a bit more than she should and is passed out in the car while her best friend drives them home.  They end up along side the road when the car breaks down and luckily a nice HOT guy stops to help them.  Sam ends up carrying a passed out Meghan from her car to a loaner and there is this moment ... this moment that sends goosebumps all over when she wakes up briefly, touches his face and says "Oh, it's you." before passing back out.  In that moment, you know that this is going to be one hell of a love story.  That was my clincher, I knew that no matter what I wouldn't be putting this book down until I found out how their story ended up.

The summer before your senior year of college should be spent doing something exciting before you have to settle down into real life.. Meghan wants to get away from everything and redefine herself, so she decides to join the Art Corps - sending art students far and wide to areas that have had to cancel their art program.  Unfortunately, circumstances defined Meghan's wish for a location where no one knew her, and she was assigned to Burton - home of Sam.

Watching the two of them first fight their attraction and finally give into it is exhilarating! The chemistry between Meghan and Sam is such that if you were in the room with them, you would be able to feel the sparks flying.  Still, both have their own issues and demons that they must fight.  They are both a bit hardheaded and stubborn, which frankly doesn't surprise me.

I laughed, I sighed way too many times, and yes some tissues were used.  I can't wait for the next installment !!

I received an ARC digital copy of this book from Hayson Publishing in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. All are my own opinions and not compensated by any individual, organization, or company.


Tawdra Kandle writes romance in just about all forms.  She loves unlikely pairings, strong women, sexy guys, hot love scenes and just enough conflict to make it interesting.  Her books run from YA paranormal romance (The King Series), through NA paranormal and contemporary romance (The Serendipity Duet, Perfect Dish Duo, The One Trilogy) to adult contemporary and paramystery romance (Crystal Cove Books and Recipe for Death Series).  She lives in central Florida with a husband, kids, sweet pup, and too many cats.  And yeah, she rocks purple hair.

Stalk her :

Website   |   Facebook   |   Twitter   |   Goodreads



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Let Me In by Erin McCarthy @authorerin #Excerpt #NA #Romance



Okay, this is one that I simply have to read.  The blurb immediately pulled me in, while the excerpt left me cringing...  Check it out and tell me what you think !


Let Me In
(Blurred Lines #3)
by:  Erin McCarthy

Publication: September 25, 2014
ASIN:  B00NtBO5F8
Length:  171 pages
Genres:   Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Hosted by:  Xpresso Book Tours


Blurb:  

A girl in danger...

Aubrey Walsh never dreamed that she would find herself in an abusive relationship, but after her boyfriend hits her so hard he breaks her tooth, she flees the University of Maine to hide on a remote island wit her best friend.  Only to discover that she is pregnant.  Terrified of what will happen if Jared finds out, she is walking along the rocks, deciding her future, when she slips.

A guy with a secret past...

After a job gone wrong, Riker has left the assassin business and is incognito as a ferryboat operator off the shores of Maine.  It's a lonely life, and when he sees a young woman almost fall off the rocks, he doesn't hesitate to ave her and take her in, tough he's determined to stay unemotionally uninvolved.  But when the truth about her situation is revealed, he will do anything to protect Aubrey and her unborn child.

Even marry her.  Even kill for her.

When Jared comes looking for the only girl who has ever rejected him, Riker won't allow it.  And Aubrey is torn between protecting herself and her child, or protecting the mysterious husband she has come to love.

And when chance brings them together but fate tears them apart, can their love survive the storm? 


Buy it:   Amazon    |   Barnes & Noble




“Where were you?” Jared asked as I came into the apartment, my arms loaded with plastic grocery bags.
He didn’t offer to help.  He never offered to help. 
His tone was congenial, but after six months of living with him, I knew him well enough to recognize that he was looking to trap me, to start a fight.  To back me into a verbal corner where he could accuse me of some misconduct and there would be no way to argue rationally with him. 
“The grocery store.”  I staggered to the kitchen and heaved the eight bags onto the counter. 
“It doesn’t take that long to go to the grocery store, Aubrey.”  He stood up, rising slowly, unfurling himself like he had all the time in the world.
My palms started to sweat.  Nerves.  The cat-and-mouse game had begun, just like it had more and more frequently, where he berated me and shamed me and frightened me. 
“I left work at five, sweetheart.”  Sometimes, giving him a smile and using a term of endearment helped to diffuse his anger, but it was getting harder and harder to make myself smile. 
It was also hard to believe I’d ever looked at him and thought he was gorgeous.  Thought he was so sweet, so charming.  There was nothing charming about him at all now.  He was cruel and insecure and sadistic, and I was afraid of him—yet even more afraid to leave him.   
He moved towards me, his arms crossing over his chest.  “You fucking the bag boy, babe?  Is that it?  You can’t come home on time and cook me some dinner because you’re too busy in the backroom blowing some loser.” 
I shook my head, saliva thick in my mouth.  I took an involuntary step backward, but the cabinets halted my progress. 
There was nowhere to go. 
“Of course not.  Why would I do that?  I love you,” I said even though I didn’t.  He’d killed every genuine emotion I’d ever had for him.  “You’re the only man for me.” 
The only man I even dared to look at for fear of the repercussions.  The only man whose touch I granted, even when I wasn’t in the mood or I was tired or he purposefully degraded me.  I knew that if the fear could be peeled away, there would be nothing there but pure hatred for Jared, but the terror was too overwhelming, an octopus ink that covered, hid, camouflaged all my other emotions. 
“What do you want for dinner, baby?” I asked, despising the tone of my voice.  It was wheedling, desperate.  Pathetic.  I didn’t even recognize that voice anymore—or who I had become.   
I reached out to put my hands on his chest, to halt his steps, but under the guise of affection.  I tried to kiss him, but he grabbed my hands and yanked one up to his face, the motion jerking my shoulder.  I winced then tried to cover it.  He sniffed my hand. 
“What are you doing?” I asked, appalled. 
He had leaned in and was smelling my neck, my clothes, my hair.  It was discomfiting, and my hand trembled before I could try to control it. 
“Seeing if you smell like a man.”
I didn’t smell like a man.  But I was sure I did smell like sweat.  It was August, and even in Maine, the days could heat up.  It was almost eighty degrees outside and we didn’t have air conditioning in our apartment.  Plus, fear always made me leach that sour anxiety sweat and I was truly afraid.  I knew what he was going to do and I knew it was going to hurt. 
The girl I used to be would have spit in his face, kneed his nuts, stomped on his foot.  But for eighteen months, Jared had been grinding me down one day, one hour, one minute at a time until I was merely a powdery dust beneath his boot.  I wanted to fight back.  I wanted to flee, but I had left him three times before, and each time, he’d brought me back with first his tears and then his fists.  He’d threatened my mother, my father, my brother, my best friend.  He’d gotten me fired from my job, kicked out of my sorority house, and he had convinced me that no other man would love me.
So this me, the one with no money and no car and self-esteem that had been fed through the industrial shredder, just tried to keep the peace.  To make the moment pass without repercussion. 
“I’ll smell like a man once you kiss me,” I said lightly.  “I missed you.”  Lie.  Total lie.  So untrue that I actually felt bile rise in my mouth. 
He saw it.  Somehow, he always saw it.  It was like he’d perfected the evil art of stripping me naked emotionally in front of him and he thrived on the humiliation. 
Jared suddenly gripped my chin hard in his hand, jerking my head to the side. 
I gave an involuntary cry.  “What’s wrong?  What are you doing?” 
His lips came up to my ear.  At first, he lightly nibbled on my earlobe.  Then he whispered to me, his tender tone at complete odds with his words.  “If you even so much as look at another man, I will break every bone in your body.  I won’t even use my hands because you’re not worth it.  I’ll stomp on you with my boot, the one I use to go riding, the one covered in horseshit.  I’ll beat you so bad you’ll wish you were dead, and no man will ever look at your busted face with anything other than total disgust.  Do you understand me?”
I nodded, a shiver rolling up my spine.  He was big and he surrounded me, his shoulders tense, his grip on my chin so hard I knew it would bruise.  He had played lacrosse in college, but he was broad and muscular enough that he could have gone out for rugby.  I would never be able to overpower him, outrun him, escape him. 
“I understand,” I whispered.  “I am not interested in other men.”  I wasn’t.  I never wanted another man ever again.  All I wanted was to be left alone.
He bit my earlobe.  Hard. 
I gasped in surprise.  “Ow.”  I hadn’t meant to say it out loud, but it’d slipped out involuntary.
Pulling his head back, he jerked my chin so I was facing him again.  “Shut up. You are the whiniest woman I’ve ever met.  I swear to God, all you do is complain.” 
A hysterical laugh bubbled up inside me and escaped before I could stop it.  Was he insane?
Maybe he was.  Maybe he was actually totally certifiable.  Because I never complained.  Ever.  About anything.  He had knocked that out of me months ago, had silenced me almost from the beginning with his verbal disapproval.  I walked on fucking eggshells now and I was exhausted. 
But even though I tried to clamp my lips shut, he heard the weird giggle and it enraged him.  Before I could even prepare for it, the back of his hand came up and nailed me on the cheek.  I stumbled from the force of the blow, tears springing up.  Pain reverberated throughout my face and I caught myself with my palms on the kitchen counter, my hands falling into the grocery bags.  He yanked me back by the arm and slammed me against the cabinets so that my hip connected hard with the lip of the countertop. 
Then he went for the hair, grabbing a big fistful of my blond strands and jerking it so viciously that I cried out in pain.  He did it to blur my vision with tears so I couldn’t see him clearly.  It was his MO.  First the hair.  Then a few blows.  Sometimes the face, but usually the arms so no one would see bruises later. 
“Give me your phone.” 
I dug it out of my pocket, thrusting it at him.  There was nothing incriminating on it.  But that wasn’t why he wanted it.  He hurled it at the cabinets, denting the wood.  The phone fell to the floor and he stepped on it.  I heard the crack. 
This was going to be a bad one, the worst in months.  I could feel it.  When I blinked and my vision cleared, I saw the fury in his eyes, the flare of his nostrils.  He looked…murderous.
“Why are you doing this?” I demanded, more of the old me left than I’d realized.  “I didn’t do anything.”  I tried to bend down, to get away from his hold on me. 
A survival instinct that had been lying dormant kicked in.  This wasn’t going to be a time where I could placate him, and I was suddenly frightened—but not of pain.  Of dying.  If he hit me too hard, I could die, and I wasn’t going to let him do that without trying to protect myself first.   
“You’re a fucking slut, that’s why.  I know you’re screwing around on me.”  With one hand still holding me, he used the other to pull his belt out of the loops on his jeans. 
I clawed at his hands, trying to get myself free.  No.  No way in fucking hell was he going to hit me with that.  When I couldn’t break his grip on my hair, I used my arm to strike at the belt as he raised it, knocking it out of his hand.  The leather stung and I let out a cry, but he was shocked that I’d deflected the blow.  I used that sudden pause to my advantage, twisting out his reach and finally freeing my hair.
“Don’t you dare hit me with that,” I warned, catching my breath and backing away from him.
“Are you giving me orders?” he scoffed.  “I’ll hit you with whatever I want.  Pull your pants down.  I’m going to beat your ass with this belt like you deserve.”
There was no way I was going to voluntarily take my pants off so he could humiliate and abuse me.  Somewhere deep inside, I found my strength despite the fear, and the line I couldn’t let him cross before I lost myself entirely. 
“No.” 
“Then I’ll take your pants off.” 
When he started towards me, I bolted, knocking my shoulder into his as I took off for the front door of our apartment.  My keys to his car were still in my pocket.  Or I could make it to the neighbors if I couldn’t sprint to the car.  But he shoved me and I fell back against the wall.  I tripped on the lamp cord and it crashed off the end table onto the floor.  I put my hands up, but it was too late.
The belt, buckle end first, hit me square in the jaw, and the pain was so shocking, so excruciating, that I fell onto my knees and straight onto my face.  I rolled on my side, grabbing at my mouth, my nose.  Everything was radiating an agonizing throb, my fingers wet, the scent of my own blood clogging my nostrils.  I tried to speak, to scream, to cry, but nothing came out but a gurgling mewl of panic.  I dropped my bottom lip and blood rushed between my fingers, down my arm, puddled onto the floor.
“Oh, fuck, Aubrey.  Look what you made me do.”  Jared sounded frustrated.
The belt clanked down onto the floor next to me, and I winced, scooting away instinctively.  I scrambled to sit up, to grab the belt so he couldn’t hit me again.  There were tears in his eyes, and that enraged me.  How dare he.  How fucking dare he. 
“I’m sorry.  I’m sorry.  Shit.  If you weren’t such a bitch I wouldn’t get like this.  But you push all my buttons.”  His hands went up into his hair.  “You’re going be fine.  Just go rinse your mouth out.  Where are the car keys?  I’m going to the bar.  I need a drink.”
On my knees, gripping my split jaw with one hand, I started to dig in my pocket, loathing him with every bone in my body.  Every single bone that he wanted to break hated him and his pathetic limp-dick need to beat on a woman half his size.  When he bent over and made to root around in my pocket, clearly impatient, I swatted his hand.
“Don’t touch me!  I’ll give you the keys.”  Blood sprayed across his face with my words and he reached up and wiped it away in disgust. 
“Jesus, Aubrey.  That’s really gross.”  Then he took the keys and left as I glared at him in complete silence.
I spit out two of my teeth into my palm and put them in my pocket.  Then, with shaking fingers, I packed a bag with my wallet, my cell phone with the now shattered screen, and some of the groceries I’d just bought.  The rest of the food I left on the counter to rot. 
Without even bothering to clean myself up, I went out the front door and knocked on the apartment immediately to the left, where an elderly couple lived, my bag on my shoulder. 
When the wife opened the door, I choked back tears as her eyes widened in horror.  “Please help me,” I said, my words garbled from a swollen lip and the whistle of air where my teeth used to be.  “Before my boyfriend comes back.”      




USA today and New York Times Bestselling author Erin McCarthy sold her first book in 2002 and has written almost fifty novels and novellas in teen fiction, new adult, and adult romance.  Erin has a special weakness for New Orleans, tattoos, high-heeled boots, beaches, and martinis.  She lives in Ohio it he family, two grumpy cats and a socially awkward dog.

Stalk her : 

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9.30.2014

#Excerpt + #Giveaway - Scratch by @rhelmsbooks #NA #Romance




Scratch
by : Rhonda Helms

Publication:   Kensington (Sept. 30, 2014)
ISBN:  161773120X
ASIN:  B00J7W1E20
Length:  241 pages
Genres:  New Adult, Romance


Blurb:

The most painful scars are the ones you never see.

In her DJ booth at a Cleveland dance club, Casey feels a sense of connection that's the closest she ever gets to normal.  On her college campus, she's reserved, practical - all too aware of the disaster that can result when you trust the wrong person.  But inexplicably, Daniel refuses to pay attention to the walls she's put up.  Like Casey, he's a senior.  In every other way, he's her opposite.

Sexy, open, effortlessly charming, Daniel is willing to take chances and show his feelings.  For some reason Casey can't fathom, he's intent on drawing her out of her bubble and back into a world that's messy and unpredictable.  He doesn't know about the deep scars that pucker her stomach-- or the deeper secret behind them.  Since the violent night when everything changed, Casey has never let anyone get close enough to hurt her again.  Now, she might be tempted to try.
 

Buy it: Amazon  |  B & N  |  Kobo  |  iTunes




He looked down at my mouth again, then back in my eyes, and his eyelids grew hooded. He leaned a fraction closer. “I have a confession.”
My pulse kicked up just a notch. “Why?”

“Why . . . what?”

I swallowed, fought every instinct to stare at his mouth. His full lips, now only six inches from mine. My body began to respond to his nearness, and I dragged in a ragged breath of his cologne. He smelled fresh, like a soft breeze on a spring day at the lake. I wanted to inch closer. No, stop it, I ordered myself. This was dangerous, to let myself even be this close to him.
“Um, why are you confessing something to me?” I finally asked him.
“You ask me the most unusual questions.” He gave a ghost of a smile. “Honestly, I don’t know. But I feel like I want to talk to you all night. Which is why I wanted to confess that I haven’t been able to get you off my mind.”
I swallowed, let his words sink in, then swallowed again. His honesty was disarming me, chipping piece by piece at the careful shield I had around myself.
“Casey,” he said on a soft breath. “You intrigue me.”
He opened his mouth to speak again, but before he could get out another word, I pushed my head forward, past the last few inches separating us, and pressed my lips to his. Daniel froze in surprise for just a moment, then slipped a hand to my forearm, stroking down until his fingers met mine.
With his other hand he cupped the back of my head and teased my mouth open with his tongue, tilting so he could deepen the kiss. He tasted like chocolate and Coke and something purely male, a combination that intoxicated me more than the beer.
My heart thrummed in a wild, erratic beat as he drank from my mouth. I opened wider, our tongues slipping and sliding, my breaths falling into his mouth in little pants. I moved closer, breasts brushing his lean and firm chest. His hand tangled deeper in my hair, and his body heat flooded through my thin shirt into my torso.
I was dizzy, drunk on him, aching with a surge of something intangible coursing through my veins. My core tightened; my belly fluttered.
He pulled back for a moment with a small gasp of air, eyes nearly black as he peered down at me. Then he gave me a crooked smile and kissed me again. Took my mouth in a sensual move that fluttered my lower belly.
I cupped his shoulders with both hands. His muscles bunched and flexed beneath my fingers. Heat poured off him, thickened the air around us.
His fingers stroked my scalp as he tasted me. The thumb on his right hand brushed against my thigh then moved up my leg, to the crease between my thigh and torso. The sensation of him so close to my stomach gave me a brief pause.
When his hand moved aside the bottom of my shirt and the very tip of his fingers brushed my bare stomach, I jerked away, pulling back to the other side of the car. It was like a bucket of ice water had been poured over my head. I tugged my shirt down as low as it could go, heart jackhammering against my rib cage.
God, please tell me he didn’t feel it, I prayed. I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t ready.




Rhonda Helms started writing several years ago and loves writing teen and New Adult romance.  She has a Master's degree in English and a Bachelor's degree in Creative Writing.  She also freelance edits manuscripts.

When she isn't writing, she likes to do amateur photography, dig her toes into the sand, read for hours at a time, and eat scads of cheese.  WAY too much cheese.

Rhonda lives in Northeast Ohio with her husband, two kids, a dog and a really loud cat.

Find her :

Website   |   Twitter   |   Facebook   |   Goodreads



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