Friday, February 7, 2014

Book Tour for The Mason Dixon Line by Linda Morris (Review & GIVEAWAY)

Author Linda Morris is here today talking about bad boys and the process of redeeming them as we see in her new release, The Mason Dixon Line.  Keep reading to get a glimpse of this book and its bad boy hero, along with getting my impressions of it.  You can learn even more by visiting the other blogs hosting this tour.  Make sure to fill out the form for your chance to win a $50 Amazon GC too!

Thanks for having me today! You asked me to write about bad boy heroes and how to redeem them, and it struck me as an interesting question because I hadn't quite thought of my hero, Mason Dixon, as being a bad boy. I guess when I think of a bad boy, at least in romance, I usually think of some muscle-bound tattooed guy who likes to ride motorcycles. Maybe some macho guy with a history as a combat veteran or an MMA fighter.Usually a player with a revolving door on his bed.
Mason's none of those things. He's a cartoonist who wears glasses and avoids casual sex. No motorcycles or tattoos. But what he does have is a streak of individuality a mile wide and a middle finger for anyone who doesn't like it. He grew up as a special-needs kid in a time before that was well-understood, with parents who couldn't be bothered to try to understand him. He has scars, both physical and emotional, from fighting backagainst the bullying he endured, from kids and adults. He's beenthrough a ton of pain and has come out on top. He spent his youth being told he was nothing, a freak, a "retard," yet he has a job he loves and has made a career out of the talent for drawing that saved him during his darkest days. He's such a contrast to the heroine, Carolyn Hart, who grew up pretty and rich, had everything handed to her, yet has no idea who she is or who she wants to become. After a certain point, despite their bickering,she begins to admire him for all he's endured and what's he's made of it.
I have to admit that I love Mason more than any other character I've created. He's just the kind of smart, smart-assed guy I've always had a soft spot for. Yeah, sometimes he's kind of self-centered. He hates "the system" and he distrusts people who are part of it (like Carolyn, who's a teacher's aide), but I think what redeems him is his vulnerability and his strength. Those are two qualities I'll take in a "bad boy" (or any other kind of guy) any day.

Carolyn Hart has excelled at one thing her whole life: looking good. She's always had the beauty, the style, and the attitude to turn heads. But making her own way in the world turns out to be a lot tougher than getting electing homecoming queen. She has no idea what she wants to do with her life, her credit card balance is becoming self-aware, and her love life is DOA. And now her boss at Horizons, a school for kids with special needs, has given her an unwelcome assignment: to work with a cartoonist to create a kids' book as a fundraiser for the school.
Former troubled kid Mason Dixon would do anything for the aunt who took him in after his parents gave up on him. But when he offers to illustrate a kids' book as a fundraiser for her pet cause, he winds up taking on way more than he bargained for. The gorgeous teacher's aide he's assigned to work with challenges him at every turn and makes him wonder if there's any line he won't cross for her.


Mason should never have agreed to this. He and the educational system had never gotten along.
The girl -- what was her name? Carol? Caroline -- shifted her cup to her left hand and stuck her right out. He took it, more out of habit than anything else. It was soft, and still warm from where the heat of her cup had penetrated her skin.
He let go, not wanting to get too comfortable touching her.
"I'm actually a teacher's aide, not a teacher."
Whatever. Teacher, aide, same difference to him. She was the enemy, even if she had soft, warm hands and the kind of perfect bone structure you expected to see on a comic-book illustration. The kind of bone structure his pencil would love to sketch, even though it would be a challenge to capture the combination of sensuality and attitude she carried.
Mason loved a challenge.
They took their seats in silence.
As he always did when he spotted an interesting face, he pulled a sketch pad and a drawing pencil out of his bag and went to work.
She watched in silence for a few moments until the first lines on the page began to take shape.
"You're drawing me?" She sounded surprised.
"Yeah. You mind?"
"No, I guess not. I'm Carolyn Hart, by the way."
Carolyn Hart. He let the name roll around in his brain for a minute and wondered how it might sound on his tongue. The name sounded like a spunky heroine from one of those old comic strips with a single woman as the lead character, back when that was a novelty. Mary Worth. Juliet Jones. Lu Ann Powers in Apartment 3-G.


The Horizons series continues with this romantic tale of opposites attracting.  It's a quick read that ultimately gives a satisfying HEA but you don't get too deep of a look into the character's lives along the way.  What readers do discover is that Carolyn is a bit superficial.  Her family places great importance on things, so money is a necessity with marrying into it being the most expected way of getting ahead.  Marriage isn't for Carolyn though as she doesn't find it easy to commit to anything.  She feels as though she peaked in high school and has been flitting from job to job trying to find a place where she fits.  When she's forced into dealing with the truth about her self-esteem issues she reverts back into the world of superficiality which made me dislike her weakness.

Mason grew up the odd man out where school was nothing but a place for bullying by kids and discouragement for being different by teachers.  This has led to his dislike of the school system, though he finds himself drawn to Carolyn against his better judgement.  Mason is a free spirit and immensely likable for his down to earth ways.  He's encouraging to Carolyn and supportive of her talents and makes her feel worthwhile apart from her superficial family.  He's worthy of the title hero and made this story worth reading in my opinion.

The romance between these two evolves quickly with Carolyn putting up roadblocks along the way, again showing her weakness.  The sexual tension is there from the start but starts off with a love to hate theme.  Mason helped Carolyn grow up and was the more mature in their relationship as he took their time together more seriously.  From start to finish this was a sweet and sexy romance with a heroine that I didn't care for but a hero to die for.  Those looking for a quick yet satisfying read will find just that between these pages.

My rating for this is a C+

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


Linda Morris is a writer of contemporary romance. She writes stories with heart and heat, along with a joke or two thrown in. Her book Melting the Millionaire's Heart was an Amazon Top 100 Series Romance bestseller.
When she's not writing, working, or mommying, she's doing yoga, reading, working in her flower garden, or baking delicious things she probably shouldn't eat. She believes that there are two kinds of people: pie people and cake people, and she is definitely one of the former. Her years of Cubs fandom prove she has a soft spot for a lost cause. A beat-up old copy of Kathleen Woodiwiss's Ashes in the Wind was her gateway drug into the world of romance novels, and she's never looked back.  Linda loves to hear from readers.

TWITTER:  @LMorrisWriter



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  1. Thanks for hosting, and thank you for your review. Now let's get some more entries for this giveaway!

  2. Love the excerpt, thank you.


  3. (´¨*•.¸☆ I enjoyed the Excerpt and Thank Ya for the GIVEAWAY!!

    I hope to have the Opportunity to "Win!!"☆¸.•*¨)

  4. There is nothing better than a reformed bad boy!

  5. Thanks for stopping by and good luck, ladies! (And Theresa, I think so too.)

  6. I love stories with HEA. Thanks for the giveaway.

  7. This sounds like a truly lovely story, far beyond what has become the normal trope of muscle heads or billionaires w/attitude. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Love your bio! Amen for the Cubbies being a lost cause. My hubby--from Mattoon, IL--was a diehard fan, but even he eventually gave up. LOL.
    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com