Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Book Tour for Breaking Her Rules by Jennifer Snow (Review & GIVEAWAY)


As a reader obsessed with the sexy men of the MMA world I was immediately drawn to the unlikely romance between two people from very different worlds who get to know each other all over again.  Keep reading to get a tantalizing taste of Breaking Her Rules by Jennifer Snow, the first installment in her Beyond the Cage series, along with my impressions of it.  In honor of this series starter make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win a $20 Amazon GC, swag, and 5 e-copies of this book too!

MMA fighters go the distance in this all-new series from Jennifer Snow, author of the Brookhollow novels.
Walker Adams was supposed to follow in his lawyer father’s footsteps, but instead he’s training to be an MMA fighter. And while he works for his chance to make it in the Maximum Fight League, he’s bunking on his baby sister’s best friend’s couch. Gracie Andrews is all grown up—in all the right places. But she’s engaged to the fight match-maker who holds Walker’s career in his hands...
Gracie had almost convinced herself that she’d put her silly childhood crush on Walker to rest. But the sight of him sleeping in only a pair of boxer briefs makes it clear that some things never change. And as old sparks turn to flames, Gracie is forced to decide between the future she thought she wanted or the man she’s never stopped loving…

EXCERPT:

“Whoa…occupied,” Walker Adams said, quickly reaching for a towel as the bathroom door swung open.
“Shit, sorry.” Grace shut her eyes as she slammed the door, but not before seeing much more of her best friend’s older brother. Something her fifteen-year-old self would have gone to extreme measures to see.
Well, that image was going to take a brain injury to forget.
“I’ll just be a second,” he called through the door as she turned to leave.
“No worries-take your time.” She checked her watch. She had fifteen minutes before she had to leave for work. They would need to come up with a better routine if they were going to be roommates for several weeks.
Several weeks. Holy shit. How had Kylie talked her into this? When her best friend had called from California to ask the favor, she wished she hadn’t answered the call because Kylie had asked her a question she’d been unable to refuse.
“He’s desperate,” Kylie had said.
Desperate was one word that failed to come to mind when she thought about Walker. She was pretty sure he’d never wanted anything too long before getting it. “Really?”
“Yes. I mean, he will never admit it, of course, but he’s left himself zero options. If he’s not attending classes, Dad says he’s not paying his rent or helping him financially until he wakes up and realizes he’s ruining his future.”
That sounded like Judge Adams. He saw one future for his son and Grace didn’t expect the man to ever support the fighting career Walker had dropped out of law school to pursue. She’d sighed. “All I have is a pull out sofa-no spare room.” She cringed at the thought of someone sleeping in her living room…even for a few weeks. She’d never had a roommate, preferring her privacy and space.
Roommates were messy and loud and…messy.
“Trust me-he’s not picky right now. He’s been sleeping in his Jeep for the last few weeks. He finally told me and I’m a little worried about him living on the streets in Las Vegas.”
Her resolve melted. The idea of Walker Adams down on his luck was a completely foreign one. The high school valedictorian and football star was not exactly lacking in the ‘good fortune’ category. Not when it came to success or brains or looks…so how had the guy voted ‘most likely to succeed’ in high school end up needing her pull out sofa?
“Okay, he can stay here…but you know I’m moving in three weeks, right? July 31st my lease is up and I’m moving in with Erik.”
“I was kinda hoping you’d come to your senses…” her friend had mumbled.
“Nope, still planning a future with a successful, gorgeous man.” She didn’t take offense at Kylie’s attitude toward Erik. The one and only time her friend had met her boyfriend, the Christmas before, they hadn’t exactly hit it off. Erik was kind of an acquired taste. His abrupt manner could be a little off-putting to those who didn’t know him well.  Normally, if her best friend and boyfriend didn’t get along, it would be a cause of stress for Grace, but with Kylie a thousand miles away in L.A. and their visits rare these days as they both climbed their respective corporate ladders, her friend’s opinion seemed to matter less.
“Fine…Well at least he hasn’t proposed yet, so there’s still hope.”
Grace rolled her eyes. “So when is Walker getting here?” Changing the subject was always the best course of action whenever their talks turned to her relationship.
“I’ll text him right away with your address and he’ll be there soon. He can’t be that far away.”
Fan-fucking-tastic. Her best friend’s brother, a guy she’d been completely in love with at fifteen, and a man she hadn’t seen in almost five years would be her new roommate in a matter of minutes. “Can’t wait to see him,” she’d lied.
And boy, in less than twenty-four hours, she had certainly seen him. Every last perfectly tanned, sculpted inch of him. From the short dark hair, chiseled chest and shoulders to his drool-worthy abs and-ahem-everything else.  Everything else.

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MY IMPRESSIONS OF THIS BOOK:

It's common knowledge that we often can't see what's right in front of us and that perfectly sums up the relationship between Grace and Walker since they were young.  It's an emotional journey as these two people from very different worlds reunite to admit feelings that will change their lives forever.  Along with a slowly burning romance readers get a glimpse into the gritty world of MMA fighting and all the behind the scenes machinations that combine to make this a compelling read that races to an exciting conclusion.

Grace came from a life of just struggling to get by.  With a flighty mother constantly working to make ends meet and who repeatedly gave her heart away to men who quickly walked away set Grace on a path where she was willing to settle for a life of comfort over happiness and emotional support.  She always loved Walker but had to stand by watching him go from one beautiful woman to the next all the while convinced that he'd never want someone as plain as her. She's tried to forget him throughout the years, forging a relationship with a man of importance in the MMA community, but coming into contact with Walker once again reignites the feelings she once had for him.  With a proposal in her future from a man who takes her for granted, cares more about work than love, and makes her feel unimportant left me frustrated and hoping she'd take a second chance on love when Walker's eyes are finally opened.  Grace is a strong-willed woman in many respects but being with Erik makes her spineless.  She puts up with his ignoring and forgetting about her as well as his lack of passion with a serene smile on her face that made me want to punch some sense into her. Before Walker arrived she was bland and fearful of taking chances for fear of failing, but Walker brings out a sassy side to her, a much braver one that I vastly preferred.

Walker came from a family of wealth that seemed picture perfect and with everything coming easy to him as he was seen as the Golden Boy.  His father had plans for him to be a lawyer but with graduation looming large he throws it all away to fulfill a dream he's had since he was young.  Wanting to be an MMA fighter has him cut off financially and ending up on childhood friend Grace's couch.  She's not what he remembers though and when certain truths and feelings are revealed not only will he fight for the career he wants but he'll be fighting for Grace's love too.  I adored Walker from the moment I laid eyes on his glistening, freshly-showered body.  Once he finally admitted what he wanted out of life he didn't let anything hold him back.  When he realized how he truly felt about Grace he was loyal, never letting other women sway him, despite Grace being with Erik.  Walker always held out hope, believing in dreams that he could one day claim Grace.  Walker could be cocky at times but he was always caring and supportive despite being made to feel like a failure by his father, and with many doubting his ability to win a life-changing fight.  Through it all I was cheering him on.

This is a story that started off slowly with Grace a pushover in interacting with Erik who I found smarmy.  Walker was a breath of fresh air lighting up every scene he was in with his charm, sexiness, and flirty nature.  As the story progressed, and as he and Grace grew closer, their interactions became more flirty with witty banter that was teeming with sensuality.  That sensuality didn't add up to many sexual moments though until very late in the book which further frustrated me.  The concluding chapters is when the action really picked up which had me on the edge of my seat watching Walker fight for his life and his love.  Surrounding these memorable main characters is a unique and colorful cast of secondary characters that make this MMA world larger than life and who I'd love to see more of.  From bar owner Maria with her take no prisoners attitude, to former fighter Tyson with a mysterious past of his own who gives Walker the knowledge he needs to get what he wants, these characters helped immerse me in this story even more and have me excited for the next installment set in this gritty world of broken dreams.  Readers looking for a delicious hero who will sweep you off your feet need look no further than Walker Adams and this series starter from Ms. Snow.

My rating for this is a B-

*I got this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.


AUTHOR INFO:

Jennifer Snow lives in Edmonton, Alberta with her husband and four year old son. She is a member of the Writers Guild of Alberta, the Romance Writers of America, the Canadian Author Association, and SheWrites.org.  She is also a regular blogger on the Heartwarming Authors site and is a contributing author to Mslexia Magazine, WestWord Magazine and RWR. She has also taught RWA Chapters courses online.  Her 2013 Holiday Romance-The Trouble With Mistletoe was a finalist in the 2014 Golden Quill Contest and the Heart of Denver Aspen Gold Contest.
Her publishing credits include two holiday novellas, previously published by The Wild Rose Press, now re-released or being re-released as self-published editions through Amazon. The Mistletoe Fever was an Amazon bestseller for two weeks in the category of Kindle Short Reads. Her six book small town, Brookhollow series is published through Harlequin Heartwarming and she has a new MMA sports romance series releasing through Berkley/NAL Intermix in 2015. RT Reviews has given each of her Brookhollow series books 4 stars.
She also hosts an annual SnowGlobe Award contest in recognition of holiday themed romance stories, with over forty entries each year, with participants ranging from new authors to NYT Bestselling authors, such as Brenda Novak and Sarah Morgan.  More information about the contest can be found at www.snowglobeawardcontest.vpweb.ca

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Book Blast for Shoshanna's Short Shorts by Shoshanna Evers (GIVEAWAY)


Fans of Ms. Ever's works, as well as those looking for a little afternoon delight, will want to add this collection to their bookshelf.  Keep reading to get a tantalizing taste of Shoshanna's Short Shorts by Shoshanna Evers and learn even more about it by visiting the other sites hosting this tour.  In celebration of this release make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win a $25 bookstore GC!

If you’re in the mood for a quickie (ahem), you’ll love this collection of eleven sexy short stories from New York Times and USA Today bestselling erotic romance author, Shoshanna Evers —“Queen of the erotic novellas.” (Fandom Fanatic). This collection pulls Evers’ published stories together from nine different anthologies into one volume. Includes a never-before-published story, plus the bestselling Overheated!

EXCERPT:

From Falling Ashes
Trent set her down slowly, letting her body slide over the front of his as he released her from his fireman’s carry. Her ass still tingled from the smack he’d given her.
“Do you spank all the women you rescue when you have to throw them over your shoulder?” she asked, feigning jealousy.
“Nope.” He leaned in, his stubble scratching her cheek. “But I always want to.”
Susan giggled and grabbed the suspenders hanging down his hips on either side of his uniform. “You don’t need these to keep your pants on right now, you know that, right?”
Trent grinned and sat down in the grass, looking up into the smoky night sky just as she had done not moments before. “You want me to get buck-naked right here?”
“More than anything.”
Trent pulled off his boots, tossing them to the side. Susie watched with anticipation, running her tongue over her lower lip.
“This ain’t no show,” he teased. “Tit for tat, baby. Take off your shirt for me.”
Susan pulled it up over her head so quickly she heard a seam rip. F*ck it. She couldn’t get out of her clothes and onto her man fast enough, as far as she was concerned. All those hours worrying, wondering… she kicked off her shoes, shimmying out of her jeans.
Trent stared at her as he pulled his pants off too, the reflective stripes gleaming in the dark, and stood up. He looked tall and dark and almost menacing in a sexy-as-hell way, naked and sweaty and streaked with soot, standing in front of her. The look in his eyes made her feel desirable. Needed.
God knows she needed him, too.
“I was so scared, Trent,” she admitted.
“Yeah, me too,” he pulled her into his arms, his sweat-slicked chest rubbing against her breasts, her nipples immediately hardening into tight buds.
“You were scared?” The thought never occurred to her, somehow, that a man as big and strong and courageous as Trent could ever be scared of anything.
“Yeah. Scared I was never going to get the chance to see you again.”

AUTHOR INFO:

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Shoshanna Evers has written dozens of sexy stories, including The Man Who Holds the Whip (part of the NYT bestselling MAKE ME anthology), I Am Not Your Melody (from the NYT bestselling Cowboy 12-Pack), Beauty & the Beast: an erotic reimagining (from the USA Today bestselling Wicked Hot Reads), The Enslaved Trilogy and The Pulse Trilogy from Simon & Schuster Pocket Star, and the national bestseller, The Tycoon’s Convenient Bride...and Baby.
Her work has been featured in Best Bondage Erotica 2012 and Best Bondage Erotica 2013, the Penguin/Berkley Heat anthology Agony/Ecstasy, and numerous erotic BDSM novellas including Chastity Belt and Punishing the Art Thief, originally from Ellora’s Cave Publishing.
The non-fiction anthology Shoshanna Evers edited and contributed to, How To Write Hot Sex, is a #1 Bestseller in the Authorship, Erotica Writing Reference, and Romance Writing categories.
Shoshanna is also the cofounder of SelfPubBookCovers.com, the largest selection of one-of-a-kind, premade book covers in the world.
Shoshanna is a New York native who now lives with her family and three big dogs in Northern Idaho. She welcomes emails from readers and writers, and loves to interact on Twitter and Facebook.


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Monday, July 27, 2015

Book Tour for Take the Fall by Marquita Valentine (Review & GIVEAWAY)


Readers who enjoy romances of reunited loves will be drawn to this series starter from its first heartbreaking moment to its triumphant conclusion.  Keep reading to get a glimpse of Take the Fall by Marquita Valentine, along with my impressions of it, and learn even more by visiting the other sites hosting this tour.  You'll also get a look at military heroes through Ms. Valentine's eyes.  In honor of this book release make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win a Loveswept mug, a Flirt mug, and a selection of amazing eBooks too!

There’s something about a man in uniform (and out of it, too) that makes a woman’s knees get all weak. Maybe it’s the underlying note of protectiveness we instinctively know he posses. Or maybe it’s the power he wields only when he needs to take out the bad guys and save the day…or sometimes even the world.
Whatever the case, military heroes have a special place in romance. They give up so much to do their job—one that requires a lot of sacrifice and attention to detail. Usually that attention to detail and willingness to sacrifice is transferred to the heroine when he finally meets her.  * swoon *
In Take the Fall, Seth O’Connor is a Marine who has come home to bury his grandmother…and find a way to win back the girl he left behind. Only the girl he left behind has turned into a woman who wants nothing to do with him. Rowan Simmons doesn’t believe he’s changed or willing to make any kind of sacrifices to be with him. Luckily for us (and her), he does everything in his power to change her mind, including focusing all his attention on her and making sacrifices to be with her.
I do hope you read Take the Fall so you can see how it all works out in the end.

Fans of Abbi Glines and Katy Evans will adore Take the Fall, the first spinoff novel from Marquita Valentine’s New York Times bestselling Boys of the South series. In this emotional new romance, passions run hot as a rugged, brooding Marine rekindles an old flame.
As a teenager, Seth O’Connor went to jail for a crime he had nothing to do with. He took the fall to protect the girl he loved, but the cruel realities of prison hardened him. After doing his time, Seth shuts her out and enlists in the Marines—until his grandmother’s funeral forces him to come home and face Rowan Simmons once again. The woman she’s become puts all his high-school memories to shame, and Seth wants her more than ever. Can he be honest about why he denied her for so long?
After Seth pushed her away, Rowan swore that no man would ever hurt her again. But the boy who broke her heart has become a sexy Marine, capable of fulfilling her every desire—and now that he’s back in town, old feelings are simmering to a boil. Rowan wants to stay strong, even as her body surrenders to his expert touch. She only hopes that by taking him back, she can finally help heal the wounds that drove them apart

EXCERPT:

I’m sitting in the holding cell with Seth. He’s wearing a standard orange jumpsuit. His face is swollen on one side, the skin around his eye on his good side is mottled purple and green, and his lip is busted. Every last injury is due to a paperwork error that had put him in the general population. The stupid guard took great pleasure in telling me how much a pretty boy like Seth caused a ruckus.
Bile rises and I force it down, taking a deep breath. I can’t imagine the horror he’s been through, or how he must feel right now. Only, while his feelings matter to me, the rest . . . I don’t view him any differently.
He’s still the guy I love. The guy I want to take home with me. The guy I gave my virginity to, and the guy I want to spend the rest of my life with.
“How are you?” I ask and immediately want to smack myself. How do you think he is, Rowan? He’s in prison!
“How do you think I’ve been?” he says, his gaze sharp.
I shrink back a little. “I’m sorry—I didn’t think.” Taking another breath, I try again. “I miss you.” Since he’s been here, my life has gone to crap. And Jase . . . Jase is here at Western Prison, too—serving time for attempted murder.
God, if I could go back and shoot Tony Johnson myself, I would. The two men I love the most are behind bars because neither of them would listen to me.
Neither of them would let me take the fall.
Guilt overwhelms me, so my gaze lowers and I stare at the table, then the floor . . . anywhere but at the man sitting across from me. He doesn’t look at me like he used to. . . . In fact, I think he hates me.
A full five minutes of silence pass before I finally speak again. “Why won’t you talk to me?”
“What do you want me to say? Thanks for making me go down for you and your brother?”
“That’s unfair, Seth. Jase has to serve seven years. That’s a hell of a lot longer than nine months,” I snap and then take a breath. This hasn’t been easy on Seth; he’s not like Jase. I have to remember that.
When Seth was sentenced, it was like the boy I knew faded away. He wouldn’t talk to anyone, including me, afterward. He let the guards handcuff him and lead him away, without looking back.
“But he didn’t get the shit beat out of him, did he, the first night and every night for a week until a paperwork mistake was corrected?” Seth blows out an angry breath. I bite the inside of my cheek so hard that blood spills into my mouth. “He doesn’t have to join the fucking Marines and get sent off to war to reduce his jail sentence, does he?”
“You could always get your lawyer to contest it,” I say softly. “Everyone knows Judge Smith gives creative judgments.” But because he’s been on the bench so long and has accumulated so many friends in high places, no one dares to question him.
“Yeah, right, Rowan. Keep dreaming.”
“I’m only trying to—”
He pounds his fist on the table and I jump. “Quit trying to do anything but listen to me. I got a death sentence from some crackpot judge who wanted to make sure I never pulled something like this again. I’ve never been in trouble in my entire life, Rowan. Who’s going to take care of my grandmother now? You?”
Miserable and helpless, I nod as tears spring to my eyes. “Yes. I’ll take care of her. I’m already living with her. Miss Myrtle took me in after . . . everything,” I say quietly.
“Good.” The fierce look on his face fades a little, and I ache to take him in my arms. I want to make him feel better. I want to assure him that everything will be okay. “Promise me you’ll take care of her,” he says.
I reach out, grab his hand, and squeeze it tight, but it’s entirely one-sided. “I promise. I swear I’ll take care of her, Seth.”
Finally, finally, his hands cover mine as he lifts them to his lips. He breathes in, eyes closing. “Promise me one more thing, sweetheart.”
“Anything.” I mean it. I’ll do anything for him if it means he’ll keep loving me. If it means he’ll stop being this guy I don’t recognize.
His eyes open and my breath catches. They’re like obsidian. Hard and cold. “Don’t ever come see me again.”
A cry escapes my mouth before I can stop it while the rest of me is frozen and hard, like a statue. Only on the inside, I’m crumbling. I’m dying.
“Please don’t be this way,” I whisper brokenly. “Please. I’ve already lost Jase. I can’t lose you, too.”
He rises to his feet. “You already have.”
I watch as he calls for the guard to come get him, as he’s handcuffed once more and led away.
Jumping up, I run after him, but another guard puts out his hand.
“Don’t you fucking touch her,” Seth barks, jerking back and putting himself between the guard and me. Hope springs in my chest. If he didn’t care about me, why would he bother to say that? “Unless you like going to prison for a crime you didn’t commit.”
Stunned, I stare up at him. Seth’s dark eyes search my face, like he’s trying to memorize it. This isn’t the boy I love, but he’s in there. I know it. Finding my nerve once more, I take a step toward him. “Seth, I—”
The guard clears his throat. “You can’t go with him, Miss.”
My lips tremble as Seth turns away without another word and walks out the door. “I love you, Seth,” I cry, right before the door closes.
My knees give, and I crumple to the floor, sobbing. This isn’t over, I silently vow. I’m not giving up on us.
If Seth won’t let me visit him in prison, then I’ll find another way to keep in contact and let him know how much I care. I won’t let his change in attitude toward me drive us apart.
All I have to do is remember who Seth really is. Who he’s been since we were children. Who he’s been since he first told me he loved me.
Wiping my tears away, I stand and then grab my purse. When I leave Western Prison, it’s with a sense of purpose.
I’ll get Seth back, no matter what.

FIND THIS BOOK AT GOODREADS here.

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BUY LINKS:  AMAZON  |  BN  |  iBOOKS  |  KOBO  |  RANDOM HOUSE

MY IMPRESSIONS OF THIS BOOK:

Fate can sometimes be unkind and that is vividly portrayed in this intensely emotional series starter that puts readers through the emotional wringer, as well as its compelling characters.  When tragedy comes out of nowhere a rash decision destroys the loving relationship between two teens and sets them on a journey of redemption and forgiveness that doesn't always bring out the best in either of them.  Years apart has changed both Rowan and Seth, hardened one and softened the other, but their connection is just as intense which leads to a heartwrenching battle which leaves both of them bruised.

Seth once swore that nothing would take him away from Rowan, but taking the blame for a fight gone wrong leads to a stint in jail and the Marines that leads to years of separation and anger.  After numerous near-death encounters Seth's looking to put past pain and anger behind him to finally focus on a future with the girl he once pushed away.  It won't be easy to win her back though as she's hurt and angry too, but he's not afraid to fight dirty which leads to numerous scorching sexual encounters.  If Seth hopes to have his HEA with Rowan he'll have to prove that she won't be left behind again and that she can count on him.  Seth's love for Rowan was clear even as a teen.  He was once wrapped around her little finger but as a man he now understands the games she plays and sets out to outmaneuver her at every turn in their erotic battle for supremacy.  Seth admits the mistakes he made in pushing her away as a youth and makes numerous Grand Gestures that brought a tear to my eye to win her back.  Ultimately he's an immensely likable hero who's learned from his past to make something of himself and richly deserves his HEA.

Rowan and her brother Jase have always been seen as trash but two people have always stood by them....sheriff's daughter Piper befriended Rowan when everyone snubbed her and Seth loved her above everything.  Rowan swore she'd always love Seth but his anger at going to jail for a crime he didn't commit to save her brother festered and had him throwing her away.  It broke her heart and in the intervening years she tried to forget him by hardening her heart.  She's a more sarcastic and untrusting woman when he returns and she does everything she can to push him away as she expects him to leave any minute.  This aroused anger in me and made her seem rather shrewish.  She treated him as a sex object, happy to acknowledge him at night, but ignoring him in the daylight.  It was infantile behavior and I desperately wanted her to move on from the past as Seth and her brother Jase had.  She continually tried to sabotage her future by holding on to her anger from the past.  To be truly happy she needed to act like the woman her age suggested as opposed to continuing to play manipulative and hurtful teenage games.  Luckily, Rowan has a small but very supportive group surrounding her with each being colorful and likable who pushed her in the right direction as she needed numerous kicks in the pants.

With two strong leads whose emotional battle took up a lot of time, I was pleasantly surprised by the secondary romance fighting to exist between bad boy Jase and the very sweet and virginal Piper.  Piper's been controlled by her parents, over-sheltered, with her life and future guided by them until the day she decides she wants more.  She's always been drawn to Jase and stood by him while he was in jail.  His return home has her gaining confidence as she tries to become closer to him.  Jase is rough around the edges, haunted by a past that makes him feel dirty and unworthy and though he's immensely attracted to her he doesn't want to taint her.  Fate has other plans though and with her starting work at his tattoo parlor (and living right next door to him) the sparks are sure to fly in the next installment which I'm breathlessly anticipating. Rowan and Seth went through a lot to find their way back to each other, a journey full of heartbreak, scorching sexual encounters, as well as heartwarming moments.  For Seth there was lots of emotional growth while Rowan let things overwhelm her which brought out a less than appealing side to her personality that dimmed my enjoyment a bit.  The secondary romance between Piper and Jase truly captivated me though and had me treasuring every glimpse I had of them and has me recommending this book as I look forward to their burgeoning romance guaranteed to bring a tear to the eye!

My rating for this is a B-

*I got this book from NetGalley for review in exchange for my honest opinion.

AUTHOR INFO:

Marquita Valentine is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Holland Springs and Boys of the South series, having sold more than a quarter of a million books around the world. She’s been called “one of the best new voices in romance” (Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews) and her books have been praised as “sexy, fun, and slightly addicting” (The Book Queen). When she’s not writing sexy heroes who adore their sassy heroines, she enjoys shopping, reading, and spending time with her family and friends. Married to her high-school sweetheart, Marquita Valentine lives in a seriously small town in the south with her husband, two kids, and a dog.


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Book Tour for Make Me Believe by Karen Ferry (Review & GIVEAWAY)


As a reader who loves the theme of opposites attracting I was drawn to Make Me Believe by Karen Ferry from the first page to the last.  Keep reading to get a tantalizing taste of this emotionally intense read, along with my impressions of it, and then add it to your bookshelf.  In honor of this first installment in the Believe series make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win swag, a keychain, and signed paperbacks too!

Sometimes, a chance meeting is just the push you need in order to break free from the darkness within…
My name is Emma, I’m 23, and I’ve never been kissed. I’m no virgin…But kissing is too intimate, too intense, and I don’t want that – not ever. I like sex, though, and most of my hook-ups don’t seem to mind the no-kissing part.
But then I meet Daniel, who’s such a geek, and definitely not the kind of guy I’d normally take an interest to. He’s the shy, quiet type, but with such a charming smile, and he makes my heart race – something I’ve never experienced before.
Daniel has his own issues to work through, and I know my hardened heart shouldn’t melt when he looks at me. I really shouldn’t be falling for him, either, but somehow, he manages to tear down my walls, and I’m scared…because once he learns my secrets, he’ll want nothing to do with me.
All I know is that Daniel makes me feel things that I have never felt before – but do I dare let down my walls and confide in him?
Will I let him be my first kiss?
This is my story, and I’ll reveal everything in my own sweet time…
Just don’t expect all the hearts-and-flowers stuff.
Life is messy, and mine is no different…

EXCERPT:

Daniel
My alarm goes off and I hit snooze quickly.
Just five more minutes . . .
The ping alerting me to a text message, however, makes me open my eyes slightly, and my arm sneaks out from the warmth of the sheet covering me. I fumble around a bit, my hand searching for my glasses. As soon as I have found them and put them on, I pick up my phone from the floor, swipe the screen and see that the text is from Emma.
Damn, she’s up early, I think, yawning, and I look at her message:
Emma: You know, the walls in this building are really thin . . .
I frown, confused.
Me: What do you mean??? This is weird . . .
Emma: Let’s just say that I’m glad I won’t have to teach you everything . . .
What the . . . ? bolt upright in bed as a feeling of dread fills my gut. Before I have the wits to form a reply, another ping alerts me of a new message. I’m almost too embarrassed to read it, but I think I have to man up, and so I take a look.
Emma: The next time you need to . . . err . . . relieve some tension? Go do it in the shower, okay? ;-)
That winky face at the end mocks me, and I can feel an embarrassing blush starting to rise on my neck. What the hell do I say back to her? This is really embarrassing. Ugh. I can’t make a joke of this, but I do have to answer her, I guess. I’m quite relieved that I didn’t shout out her name last night, though . . .  now, that would be pretty difficult to talk myself out of. I don’t want her to think that I’m some kind of pervert just because I had her in mind when I jacked off.
Me: Will do. See you at work.
I throw the phone behind me on the bed and rake my hands through my hair, all the way to my nape, holding onto it tightly for a couple of seconds. I breathe deeply a few times before loosening my hold, and I decide to try to ignore the fact that Emma obviously heard me get myself off last night. There’s nothing I can do about it.

BUY LINKS:  AMAZON  |  BN  |  iBOOKS

MY IMPRESSIONS OF THIS BOOK:

Readers who love the theme of opposites attracting will find themselves drawn to the sweet and sensual romance between the colorful yet emotionally bruised Emma and the geeky Daniel with a painful past of his own.  Told in dual POVs readers are drawn into their world where faith, love, and healing really do exist and is what brings them together as they work towards their HEA by putting their pasts behind them.  From start to finish I was drawn to these vividly depicted characters and was cheering them on every step of the way as they moved from friends to lovers.

Emma's running from a past just hinted at throughout the early stages of the book, hiding behind alcohol, one-night stands, and sarcasm.  She's run all the way to Copenhagen where she finds refuge working at a bookstore with Mr. Andersen, the sweet fatherly figure owner, her friend Suzy, and a small group of colorful denizens surrounding the bookstore.  She's slowly coming to realize though that her way of coping isn't working and that her friends are running out of patience with her secretive nature and self-destructive behavior.  Into her emotionally chaotic life comes the geeky yet shy and unassuming Daniel who's a mystery to her and who becomes an obsession for her to figure out.  Figuring him out leads to numerous close encounters that slowly become romantic.  With Daniel she finally understands the power of love and the importance of connecting with another person.  With his support she'll finally deal with her past instead of hiding behind her usual facade in a emotionally intense journey to HEA.  From the start Emma captures your attention with her strong will, unapologetic sexuality, and larger than life attitude.  Seeing her past pain bleed into her everyday life had me aching for her.  There was a foreboding feeling all along regarding her past that was palpable and that had me wanting to know more.  Emma's a memorable heroine and I loved her interactions with Daniel that crackled with electricity.

Daniel's a truly wonderful character, the quintessential hero in his words and deeds.  He was a bit geeky with his drab clothes, horn-rimmed glasses, and clumsy nature but you can't help being drawn to him.  He has a heart of gold and understands Emma's painful past, never pushing her and helping her appreciate going slow with relationships.  He's had a painful past of his own with his stuttering and dyslexia but has never let it hold him back.  He knows what he wants out of life and isn't afraid to go after it...and in this case it's Emma he wants.  He doesn't hide behind the past but rather focuses on the future he hopes to have with Emma.  Daniel's a bit shy and unassuming at first but being around Emma brings out a confident and sexy side that's immensely appealing and results in some very scorching sexual interludes as this virgin shows how good of a student he really is under Emma's tutelage.  I found myself smiling whenever he was on the scene and I've now added him to my list of book boyfriends.

For a debut novel Ms. Ferry shows lots of talent as she beautifully wove together a sweet yet sensual romance with heavy emotional issues.  Though the start of the book is a bit slow I enjoyed the overall journey between these two very different characters who discovered more in common the deeper their connection became.  Along with such strong lead characters was a colorful cast of secondary characters that were immensely supportive and memorably unique.  The city of Copenhagen played a big role as well in bringing Daniel and Emma together and its vivid depiction helped to immerse me even further in this compelling and heartwarming story.  Readers wanting a book that will put a smile on your face while leaving you tingly with a steamy romance will want to add this book to your bookshelf and watch where Ms. Ferry takes us next!

My rating for this is a B+

*I got this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.


AUTHOR INFO:

Karen Ferry is a thirty-something writer, wife to a quiet, laidback man, and mother to a gorgeous, stubborn, redheaded girl who keeps her parents on their toes.
Karen tends to have a short fuse if she does not get a proper caffeine fix first thing in the mornings, but she is, in fact, a gentle person deep down.
Karen loves Italian food and wine, travelling, and spending time with her family. When she is not writing, she reads – her favourite genres are New Adult, Contemporary Romance, Erotica and Romantic Suspense. She can never get enough of romance. Or of too many book boyfriends, either.
Even though Karen is Danish, she has always felt more at ease writing stories in English, and she has not read a book in her native tongue in over ten years.
She can be very outspoken and a complete fan girl of other authors online but will, in fact, be very shy once she meets you in person.
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