Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Book Tour for Morning Light by Cora Cade (Review & GIVEAWAY)

Today I bring to you a new-to-me author and her steamy novella, Morning Light by Cora Cade.  Keep reading to get a tantalizing taste of this story along with my impressions of it.  Make sure to fill out the form below to win copies of this book as well as two wonderful gift baskets!  And now, let's welcome Ms. Cade talking about setting in stories......

Depending on what part of the world you live in, you may be lucky enough to be enjoying fine weather.  I, on the other hand, live in the frozen tundra that is Ohio in winter.  When I first began writing my debut release MORNING LIGHT it was another freezing long winter. When it came time to decide the when and where of location and setting, I didn't hesitate to dream up a warm location complete with gently lapping waves of water against a wooden boat dock.
I plunked our hero Noah and his heroine Tennyson down in the midst of a warm summer in North Carolina.  Noah, a wounded Army Ranger, has just returned home from overseas with the sole intention of running the family pub and convincing Tenn that she's his forever.   Noah's pub looks out over a gorgeous lake view.   I use visual aids when building my book, and setting is no exception.  
The Drunken Duck, Noah's English-style pub, would have a view like this!  When I needed to remember that MORNING LIGHT was set in the middle of summer with the kind of heat I wouldn't experience for at least six more months, this is the image I always pulled out.
Though our setting is a completely fabricated location, North Carolina has a natural beauty that boasts private islands along the coast and hiking trails and fly fishing in the Smoky Mountains.   MORNING LIGHT is book one in The Day of Pleasure series and it was important for the second book in the series (TWO IN THE AFTERNOON) to be near Fort Bragg, so our fake town is about an hour out from the military base.
I enjoy creating setting as much as I enjoy building my characters.  When pulling together all the details for a series, every decision made about setting can affect a million other details as each book progresses.  Thankfully I had such a wonderful location to build around that all those decisions pulled me away from the reality of a snow covered Ohio.  
It's possible that I could set a future book in the dead of winter, being as that I'm so familiar with all those details, but it's unlikely.  I read for escape, and when I write I like to escape into those pages just as much as any reader.

His toughest battle is ahead—the battle for one woman’s heart.
During Noah Harper’s ten years as an Army Ranger, Tennyson Sharpe’s letters were his lifeline. With each mail call, the bright and vibrant girl of his youth slowly became the woman of his dreams.
Now he’s home—and he’s in hell. The problem? Tenn is his little brother’s best friend. Claiming her risks all kinds of collateral damage.
Tenn is getting nervous. Since Noah came home, they’ve been circling each other, neither willing to risk the status quo. It’s time to kick things up a notch and make a play for the man she’s loved since she was sixteen—before someone else does.
Dressing to impress works better than she could have dreamed. After a scorching interlude leads to a steamy morning wrapped in each other’s arms, reality comes crashing down. Shining a devastating light on Tenn’s deepest fears…and forcing Noah into scramble mode to convince her forever was always on his mind.


Moving down the stairs from the apartment to the pub below, Noah heard the distinct sound of someone cussing up a storm. He quickened his pace to reach the door separating his living space from his workspace and gently opened it.
There, standing on top of his immaculately gleaming mahogany bar, stood Tennyson Sharpe in her bare feet. All five feet two inches of her. She was on her tiptoes, reaching for one of the light fixtures with one hand and a light bulb in the other. The stretch caused her white, fitted tee to slide up her belly and expose a sliver of summer-tanned skin.
She stuck her tongue out at an angle—in concentration, he supposed. As she twisted the used bulb from the fixture, she uttered a soft, “Gotcha.” The final motion to remove the bulb caused her to dip forward on her toes and lifted her jean skirt higher, offering a delectable view of her plain white cotton panties.
Noah instantly hardened at the sight. He’d been in lust with this girl since she was sixteen to his nineteen, and after ten years apart he was finally home. And here she stood, flashing him the sexiest view he’d seen in years. He leaned against the doorframe and watched the scene unfold, never happier to have given her a key a few months back.
As she placed the fresh bulb in the fixture, she stretched again. Her whole body lengthened, straining to reach the fixture. She was all tan limbs and womanly curves. Her body was at enough of an angle that he could see her breasts tight against the fitted tee, but more importantly her cute behind as she placed both palms on the bar to hop down from her perch. As she braced herself she lifted her perky behind and flashed him.
The curve of her sex flashed before him as those white panties intimately hugged her. In a flash, both feet were planted on the floor and she was picking up the used bulb from the bar, then slipping her sandals back on. Time to turn around and head back upstairs before she caught him with a full-on erection and he embarrassed himself.
Noah eased the door shut and sprinted back up the stairs as quietly as he could, hoping to give himself a few moments to calm his erection before she unceremoniously showed up in his apartment for their breakfast plans.
He needed a cold shower before they left or he’d never survive the meal. He was going to have wet dreams about her white panties for weeks to come.
Stripping off his jeans and plain black tee, he dropped his clothes where he stood and snapped the bathroom door shut as his apartment door opened.
“Noah?” Tenn heard the shower start as she closed the door behind her. Well, that was unusual. Noah was nothing if not prompt. Ten years as an Army Ranger kind of beat that into you. She rapped on the bathroom door with a knuckle. “Hey, are you alive in there?”
“I’ll be out in minute. Got a late start to the morning. Give me five.”
She glanced down and saw a pile of clothes. Strange. Noah was also one of the neatest, cleanest people she’d ever known. His place was always immaculate, with nothing out of place. Let alone a pile of clothes tossed by the bathroom.
Now she was starting to sweat. Did he have a girl here? Had she interrupted the morning-after? Shit. That Amber bimbo had been making a play for Noah ever since he’d come home. And if she was in this apartment right now, Tenn was going to die of embarrassment. Right after she beat Noah to death.
They had plans. Even if they weren’t the romantic kind, they were definitely plans. They’d had Sunday breakfast as a standing date since his return from overseas. And he’d never had a woman here.
Who was she kidding? He had every right to get freaky with anyone he wanted. She was just the trusty sidekick, the platonic friend who was always there. Like a lapdog.
Picking up the clothes, she folded them and set them on the back of the couch a few feet away. The apartment was neat as a pin and pretty spacious, as far as it went. It was an open floor plan with only two separate rooms off the main living area, the master bedroom and the bathroom. Everything else was one large, airy space. From this angle she couldn’t see into the bedroom and was half-afraid to know if someone was still in his bed. Warming it for him, so to speak.
Deciding she needed to know, she took a step toward the bedroom after picking back up the stack of clothes she’d set down a moment before. It was a perfect excuse to check out the situation. His dirty clothes needed to be tossed into the hamper. Right.
She was about to fully push open the bedroom door when Noah yelled, “Hey, Tenn. I left my clothes out there. Could you grab them for me?”
And before she could whip around and not look guilty he popped his head out of the bathroom door. As she turned in his direction, she could only see a portion of his upper body, with the rippling muscle and just-now-fading tan from his time in Afghanistan, but it was enough to stop her dead in her tracks. The man was masculine perfection and her panties got a little wet looking at him.
“Oh, did you want these? Um, I was about to put them in your hamper.” Belatedly she whirled around and held up the clothes in question. “I thought they were dirty.”
For a moment he looked like he blushed. Really? “Sorry, I wanted to take a quick shower before we headed out and I tossed them on the floor in my rush.” He reached out a hand and beckoned her forward.
She was going to combust before she reached him. Not only was the man deliciously muscled, he still dripped from his shower. His dark hair, cut in a military-style buzz, glistened in the morning light. Eyes the color of the ocean on a sunny day, clear and crisp-blue, tracked her progress. She cleared the edge of the couch and his gaze skated down the length of her body, snagging on her legs before coming back to her face.
Once within reach of the bathroom door heat crept up her neck and face when she realized Noah stood naked on the other side of the door. His body was positioned so she could only see a naked hip and the curve of a well-defined ass, but it was obvious he hadn’t bothered wrapping a towel around his waist before popping his head out the door.
She dropped his clothes before he could get a grip on them and they fell to the floor with a soft impact. Unbelievably, as she bent to retrieve the clothing, her face flamed even hotter in embarrassment.

BUY LINKS:  Amazon  |  Samhain  |  BN


From the moment I read this novella's synopsis I was intrigued as it contained many of my favorite themes.  Morning Light shows the evolution of friends to lovers as well as friends remaining friends when life leads to change.  There's moments of romance along with endearing friendships that kept me immersed in the story.  From start to finish Ms. Cade crafted a fast-paced story full of sweet and steamy moments that put a smile on my face but left me a bit disappointed too.

With this being a novella the pace was accelerated which made me never really felt the deep connection between returning veteran Noah and the girl who wrote to him while he was gone.  I enjoyed the characters but felt that Noah's attraction was mostly sexual.  He admired Tenn's kindheartedness too but every time he thought of her it was in sexual terms.  Noah's admirable though as he held back on claiming her as he tried to comprehend the relationship between her and his brother Chris as he never wanted to hurt his brother.  Once he get his chance though he's a man on a mission with the latter half of the story full of numerous HOT encounters.

Tenn has been friends with Chris since they were kids and knew it would never progress beyond that.  She was attracted to Noah the moment she saw him but never thought he'd want her.  The letters she wrote to him were their only chance at closeness as she continued to hold out hope that they'd one day be together.  One drunken night gives her the chance she's always wanted but her self-esteem issues and Chris' jealousy cause problems that she has to deal with head-on to get the HEA she's always desired.  Tenn is a fun heroine not afraid to speak her mind.  She might jump to conclusions easily but is smart enough to talk through any issues which thankfully resolves big misunderstandings quickly.

With its likable main characters, and even more likable secondary characters, I found this to be an entertaining story.  The sexual interludes overtook the story in the latter half which made for a rushed ending that was satisfying but a bit disappointing in its abruptness.  Chris was a delightful character who didn't want to lose his best friend and their times together and I longed to see this aspect of the story expanded, along with seeing more of him and his shyness to commit.  The mysterious bar maid Molly, and her strength and cautiousness, have me wanting to know more about her as well.  Ultimately this was a story that dealt with familiar tropes in a familiar way that felt rushed at times along with its overabundance of sex.  The delightful characters kept me entertained and wanting to know more though and I applaud Ms. Cade on their delightful dynamic but definitely hope for more when I next read a book of hers.

My rating for this is a C+

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


Nestled away in a small town in Ohio, Cora Cade spends her days adding steamy books to her library, snuggling with her four rotten dogs, and debating the finer points of life with the dear husband.
When she's not tucked away with a book you can find her tapping away on her laptop. With coffee. And music.


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  1. Well, Cora, I read for escape as well. I like to escape into adventures and mysteries and action and history, anything to "take me away" from where I am. I love where I am, don't get me wrong, but reading is entertainment for me, and entertainment means escaping into places where I am not. Does that make sense? Anyway, I see your book as pure escape! :-)

  2. This sounds like a sizzling hot, yummy book to read in bed with my Fiance!

  3. Looks awesome will have to go read soon.