Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Book Release Blitz for Mine For Now by Erika Kelly (Review & GIVEAWAY)

When it comes to reading romance novels I'm drawn to those that take readers on an emotionally intense journey full of highs and lows.  Today I'm introducing you to just such a story, a powerful story of parental addiction and the affect it has on the bruised young adults left to clean up their messes.  Keep reading to get a tempting taste of Mine For Now by Erika Kelly, along with my impressions of it, then add it to your bookshelf as it released this morning.  In honor of this first installment in the Wild Love series make sure to fill out the form for the chance to win 1 of 2 signed print copies of this book for my US/CAN book buddies too!

From the award-winning author of the Rock Star Romance books comes a sizzling new series about the O’Donnell siblings. The pull of wild love is irresistible.
She’s had enough drama in her life.
Nicole O’Donnell is more than ready for the fresh start college offers. After a lifetime of trying to help her alcoholic mom and ex-boyfriend get sober, she’s finally learned her lesson: people don’t change. They certainly don’t change for her.
He can never leave his drama behind.
Thanks to his mom’s substance abuse issues, Dylan McCaffrey’s persona non grata in his hometown of Gun Powder, Colorado. So when he scores a free ride to the top university in the country, he’s determined to make something of this fresh start. But his mom has always relied on him, and she’s not handling his absence well at all. If he can just keep up his grades, pay her bills, and come home every break, he might be able to pull off this opportunity.
True love won’t be denied.
No matter how determined they are to steer clear of each other, their combustible connection explodes, especially when Nicole offers Dylan the one thing he can’t bear—hope. Once he has a taste of it—and the irresistible force of her—there’s no going back.
But when he falls too deeply, when he loses sight of his priorities, he might just lose it all.


He blocked her way but didn’t budge. Wet hair hung around her face, trickles of water sliding down her shoulders and disappearing into the towel. She looked so pretty, so sweet.
Caught in that magnetic force that always bound them together, neither one made a move. His hands fisted to keep from touching her. He wanted…what did it matter what he wanted?
And then she smiled, breaking the tension. She reached around him for her doorknob.
His heart pounded, his nerves vibrated. He wanted to say something to keep her, but he couldn’t keep her. He couldn’t have her at all.
Her door opened, and she stepped inside. She’d shut him out in one second, and he’d be stuck with Brittany, Todd, Joe, and Kevin for the night. For all the nights of his college life. And then he’d go home to his Colorado friends and sink back into the sameness, the ugliness of that life.
And this girl? She was like a portal to a whole different world. Fresh, clean, pure.
He could feel her warm body curving along his under the covers, smell her subtle, sweet scent, see the look in her eyes in the darkness just before they fell asleep—the soundest sleep he’d ever had in his life—and he wanted that. Wanted it so bad his body throbbed with it.




The best romance novels pull readers in, make each turn of the page another moment in their own lives.  With this first installment in the Wild Love series I found myself quickly immersed and captivated by the pain of living with an addict and the years of fallout addicts leave in their wake.  It's a powerful story full of anger and frustration but it's ultimately an uplifting one full of steamy encounters and supportive friends and family.  It's a story that lays the groundwork for even more insightful and gut-wrenching tales that I look forward to experiencing in the future.

Dylan McCaffrey's life growing up in a small town was one of embarrassment, desolation, and hopelessness due to his mother's addictions.  He felt like trash, continually struggling yet never getting a good outcome, which drew him to people equally as lost which kept him in a vicious cycle of negativity.  His mother's behavior tainted him in many ways both mentally and physically, leaving him torn between wanting to run towards the future yet stuck in the past out of guilt and misguided loyalty.  Dylan knows that life in his small town will lead to nothing so he jumps at the chance to go to college with a full ride. It's an opportunity to start anew, to make a future for himself, if only he's strong enough to break from the anchor of his past.  Not only does college offer him a chance for a different future it also introduces him to Nicole O'Donnell who will greatly change his life and how he sees himself as their burgeoning relationship takes readers on a heartbreaking journey from the first page to the last.  Dylan's a character easy to relate to and I found bits of myself in his personality as I'm the sister of an addict.  His feelings of accountability towards his mother are understandable but oh so frustrating.  His fears for her weighed on him as he did everything in his power to keep her safe and this was achingly felt by readers as well.  He was clearly on edge every moment except when in Nicole's arms.  With her he could be free, surrounded by goodness and purity, despite feeling unworthy of it.  His conflicted feelings led to a lot of emotional highs and lows and hurt feelings that made me want to slug him as well as hug him for trying to be a good son.  The cycle he went through to reach the story's immensely satisfying conclusion was a realistic journey that got ugly at times but ultimately showed the power of love winning out.

Nicole had a traumatic childhood too, living with an alcoholic mother who neglected her in many ways that have all left their mark yet today.  Months of going hungry and eating spoiled foods during that time have led to raw food issues that might put her dream of culinary change in jeopardy now.  Her mother choosing alcohol over her daughter, along with an ex-boyfriend doing the same, have her feeling unworthy of love and full of self-doubt over the feelings the complex new boy in college engenders in her as well.  Her and Dylan are combustible from the moment they meet, the same in many ways because of their painful pasts yet vastly different in their outlook on life.  While Dylan's still mired in his past she's moved on out of self-preservation.  These differences cause turmoil in their relationship and frustration for the reader as she pushes him to accept the truth about his mother while struggling with her own insecurities.  In the bedroom though, they totally click in numerous scorching encounters that show him desperate to forget everything but her and her desperate to give him peace and proof that he's worthy of happiness. Nicole's an admirable heroine who rose above her painful past.  She's wise beyond her years but with tender feelings easily hurt when Dylan's manipulative ex interrupts their burgeoning relationship.  Her constant mistrust of Dylan, amidst her involvement with her own ex, felt a bit hypocritical too but added a bit of realism to the depiction of the lives of these compelling New Adults.

From start to finish I found myself caught up in the quagmire of Dylan's life and desperate to show him the truth regarding his mother's manipulations as I've been there myself.  His actions frustrated me early on but ultimately led him to the truth and a powerful and cheer-inducing conclusion.  He was an immensely appealing hero, a bit bruised, but super sexy and sweet in his all-consuming love for Nicole.  Nicole was a breath of fresh air with her kind heart and positive outlook, a supportive friend and caring girlfriend who wanted only the best for Dylan.  They're a memorable couple, with interactions that were sensual and emotionally intense, carrying the scars of their pasts into a future I look forward to glimpsing as this series continues.  Surrounding this compelling couple is an equally entertaining cast of secondary characters that I long to learn more about as they all have hidden pains.  From their gay friend James who's had indulgence issues in his own past along with relationship issues of his own, to Nicole's overachieving brothers and friend Gina whose actions are becoming increasingly worrisome, these characters caught my attention and haven't let go yet.  From the very first page Ms. Kelly has crafted an unforgettable read that pulls no punches when it comes to dealing with addiction, and those surrounding the addict, and I look forward to more of her insightful storytelling in the future!

My rating for this is an A-

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


Award-winning author Erika Kelly has been spinning romantic tales all her life--she just didn't know it. Raised on the classics, she didn't discover romantic fiction until later in life. From that moment on, she's been devouring the genre and has found her true voice as an author. Over three decades she's written poems, screenplays, plays, short stories, and all kinds of women's fiction novels. Married to the love of her life and raising four children, she's lived in two countries and seven states, but give her pen and paper, a stack of good books, and a steaming mug of vanilla chai latte and she can make her home anywhere.


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