Monday, September 9, 2013

Still Human (Just Human #2) by Kerry Heavens - Cover and Prologue Reveal

Danny and Liv are back...

Danny loves Liv. He knows he loves her more than she loves him because she ran without a word when she saw their future mapped out before her. He knows he will never love anyone like he loved her and this time he doesn’t think he can move on.

Liv loves Danny. She knows she loves him more than he loves her because he broke her heart in the worst possible way, right when things were falling into place. She knows she will never love anyone like she loves him and this time she doesn’t think she can move on.

They needed a second chance because they just weren’t ready for their first, but when events changed everything between them, they discovered they were just human after all. Now Liv and Danny have to find a way to survive being hurt by each other. 

They doubted, they underestimated and they did believe the worst, but only because they were too young the first time and too vulnerable the second time. But now they have changed and if they are not the same, surely things can only turn out differently?

~~~~

Prologue

Liv

      “Please Liv, you have to eat something,” begs Max.
      I tighten the covers around me. I’m not hungry, but I keep quiet. If I speak, even about food, he’ll think I’m ready to talk. There’s nothing else to say. I poured it all out when I got home and there’s nothing left. He stayed with me all night, held me tight while I cried and now he is fussing around. He wanted to call everyone to tell them I was safe. But I warned him not to call Danny. I said he could let Mum know I was okay but that was it. No details and under no circumstances were any of them to make any contact with Danny either. I can just imagine Mum and Grace as vigilantes and, while I want him to hurt, he isn’t worth it.
      “I’m going down to check on things, I’ll bring you something up anyway.” He says quietly. I don’t respond.
      In the silence of my flat, my ears ring. I hate silence, I always have and without thinking I get out of bed, wrapping myself in a blanket, and sit in front of the TV. I find a film on a movie channel I’ve seen before and sit and ignore it. It’s better than the deafening silence. Now that I’m upright, I ponder what to do next. I know I have to pull myself together today, Connie is flying home. Ugh! She won’t let me just wallow, she’ll make me talk. I need to get up, shower and go to work. Keeping busy is my only option, it'll keep people off my back.
      As I adjust the temperature of the shower, I examine my options. I don't really have any. It's not like life was going well before I allowed Danny to walk in and screw me over. I have to just try my hardest to get back to normal as quickly as possible. I should have trusted my instincts. Danny was just human after all, hurting me was almost inevitable. Sadly, I knew that but the naive teenager in me just got sucked in for old time’s sake. I knew this would happen, I was safer with Mark, at least I could take that on the chin.
      Max is waiting when I come out of the bedroom dressed for work.
      “I brought you some coffee and…” He starts as he turns to me. His face falls as he sees me. “Liv, you’re not going to work?”
      I walk across to where he is sitting and pick up my coffee. Taking a sip, I smile a tiny smile and sit beside him.
      “What should I do then?” I ask softly.
      “We have it all covered downstairs. You need to sort your head out.”
      “I’m not going to do that here, trust me. I need the distraction.” I put my hand on his knee. “Thank you for looking after me, but I have to get back down there before I drive myself insane.”
      He sighs. “Well, you aren’t going anywhere until you eat something.” He holds up a muffin on a plate.
     I smile sweetly and dutifully take the muffin. Then, with some physical effort, I force some down. I may as well start now, Connie will be much harder to deal with. 
      Satisfied, Max sits back and seems to relax slightly. I can hear his cogs turning though and I know he wants to talk. So when he parts his lips to say whatever it is I know I don’t want to hear, I say “I don’t want to talk about it.” Then, getting to my feet, I take the coffee and the muffin and go to the door. 
      “Coming?” I ask innocently as I head down to the diner.


Danny

      Jen places a coffee on my nightstand and sits on the edge of the bed. “If they know any more, they’re not saying,” she says softly.
      She was just on the phone with Liv’s sister, trying to get more information. But I know all I need to know. They found the note last night when they got back; it said she was going home. 
      It didn’t say why, but I know. 
      She doesn’t love me. 
      She found out I was going to propose and she ran. 
      Again.
      Last night after the dust settled, Jen found the ring bag screwed up in the trash. I’d left it out on the counter when I went to go meet Liv at the party and it doesn’t take a genius to see what happened. Liv came back just after I left, saw the bag, figured it out, freaked and then packed her things and left.
      Scott and Jen left me alone last night, but only after I insisted. Jen came back first thing this morning though, to make sure I was okay. She wants me to get up and go over to Grace’s to find out what they know, but I don’t want to hear it. I can’t face their pity and I’m too angry to see Connie. This is all her fault. Liv and I were getting on with our lives quite happily until she interfered. Now I’m left with that old open wound and I have to start getting over her again. Except this time, I don’t think I can. 
      “Danny, come on, drink your coffee,” Jen urges. Reluctantly, I sit up and take a sip.
      “Thanks,” I say distantly.
      “So what are you going to do now?” 
      “Nothing,” I tell her.
      She watches me as I drink, until I can’t take it any longer. I throw the covers off and get up. 
      “Are you going over there?” she asks hopefully.
      I turn and see her optimistic face. “No,” I say firmly. “I have unpacking to do.”
      “Danny! You can’t just give up.”
      “Why not?” I scoff. “She has.” 


Ahhhh!  I cannot wait for this book.  The first book was soooo good and the ending had me ready to throw my Kindle at the wall.  You can read my review of the first book Just Human here.

About the Author:
Terrible wife - Mediocre mother - Appalling housewife - Fashion graduate - Wedding coordinator - Sex toy salesperson - Shop manager - DesignerFont collector - Romance addict - Fancier of nice men - Ok, fancier of almost all men - Awesome cupcake baker - Incessant singer - Film buff - Friend - Writer

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Good by S. Walden - Review

Cadence Miller is a good girl. She just happens to make one terrible mistake her junior year in high school which costs her ten months in juvenile detention. Now a senior, she’s lost everything: her best friend, the trust of her parents, driving privileges, Internet access. It’s a lonely existence.

But there is one bright spot: Mark Connelly, her very cute, very off-limits 28-year-old calculus teacher. She falls hard for him—a ridiculous schoolgirl crush headed nowhere. She can’t help it. He’s the only good thing at Crestview High. She doesn’t expect him to reciprocate her feelings. How inappropriate, right? But he does. And he shows her.

And that’s when her life goes from bad to good.


~~~~

It's 5am.  What the hell am I doing up right?  I'm on vacation and I should be sleeping in.  I woke up around 2am and couldn't go back to sleep, so I picked up my Kindle and started to read Good by S. Walden.

It's good (no pun intended).  So freaking good, I can't even stand it.  So here I am.  Typing up this review when I should be relaxing.  I can't help it.  Everyone needs to hear how good his book is.


"I was expected to always be perfect.  I was never allowed to make a mistake, and when I finally did, I paid the ultimate price.  Not only did they not forgive me and probably never would, but I don't think they even liked me anymore."

Cadence Miller is your quintessential good girl.  Gets good grades, goes to church and is active in her youth group.  One night, one mistake was all it took for her to mess it all up.  She is sentenced to 10 months in juvenile detention.  Her parents don't trust her, she has no friends and even worse, she is the target of bullying.

Cadence knows her senior year is going to be horrible.  She doesn't have anyone.  No one has her back.  She's accepted her fate and has decided to just get through this year, graduate and never come back.

Enter Mark Connelly, her Calculus teacher.  If you say you've never had a fantasy about one of your teachers, I call bullshit, or your teachers have all been hideous.  Everyone has that student-teacher fantasy in high school.


"I wanted him to stop saying my name so much.  I wanted him to stop being so kind.  It bordered inappropriate, and I realized I liked it too much."

Mr. Connelly is cute, sweet and knows that there is something bothering Cadence.  Yes...I'm going to refer to him as Mr. Connelly, because that is so much hotter...but anyway.  He is nice to her and she is appreciative of his kindness, especially since everyone else is so cruel to her.  She starts to develop a school girl crush on him and no way expects him to feel the same way.

"Well, that was decided.  This was more than a silly schoolgirl crush.  This was deeply disturbing infatuation."

Mr. Connelly's random acts of kindness are not random at all.  He has feelings for Cadence, even though he knows he could lose everything if he acts on it.  Luckily for us...he acts on it and it makes for a story that you cannot stop reading.


"Love comes in all kinds of packages.  Some are neatly tied up, and some are messy.  It doesn't mean that the messy ones aren't every bit as good."

I totally had the hots for Mr. Connelly.  He was sweet but hot teacher definitely knew how to turn it up a notch and push all of the right buttons.  You swoon over his sweetness...but when he gets angry, hot damn...you are pushed over the edge.  You don't even care that the relationship is all kinds of wrong at that point.

If you've read Going Under  by S. Walden, you know that she isn't afraid to push the boundaries when it comes to writing stories about high schoolers.  

I made the mistake of deciding to just read the first chapter in hopes that it would help me fall asleep.  Well, here I am, 5:15am writing a review because I needed to let everyone know that they had to read this book.  

I.  Could.  Not.  Stop.  I had to find out what was going to happen to them.  You find yourself rooting for them, even though you know it's wrong.  She's a senior in high school, he's her teacher.  You want them to work out, but you know shit is going to hit the fan.  You know that from the first chapter.  That damn first chapter sucks you in and you don't stop until you find out how everything falls apart.

This is the first book of the series, so just know going into it that there is more to the story.  I for one, will be stalking the internet for any update as to when the next book is going to be released.  


My rating:
5 totally hot for teacher stars


Source:  Self-purchased


S. Walden used to teach English before making the best decision of her life by becoming a full-time writer. She lives in Georgia with her very supportive husband who prefers physics textbooks over fiction and has a difficult time understanding why her characters must have personality flaws. She is wary of small children, so she has a Westie instead. Her dreams include raising chickens and owning and operating a beachside inn on the Gulf Coast (chickens included). When she's not writing, she's thinking about it.

She loves her fans and loves to hear from them. Email her at swaldenauthor@hotmail.com and follow her blog at http://swaldenauthor.blogspot.com where you can get up-to-date information on her current projects.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Covet by Tracey Garvis-Graves - Review

From the author of the New York Times bestseller On the Island.

What if the life you wanted, and the woman you fell in love with, belonged to someone else?

Chris and Claire Canton’s marriage is on life support. Downsized during the recession and out of work for a year, Chris copes by retreating to a dark place where no one can reach him, not even Claire. When he’s offered a position that will keep him away from home four nights a week, he dismisses Claire’s concern that time apart could be the one thing their fragile union can’t weather. Their suburban life may look idyllic on the outside, but Claire has never felt so disconnected from Chris, or so lonely.

Local police officer Daniel Rush used to have it all, but now he goes home to an empty house every night. He pulls Claire over during a routine traffic stop, and they run into each other again at the 4th of July parade. When Claire is hired to do some graphic design work for the police department, her friendship with Daniel grows, and soon they’re spending hours together.

Claire loves the way Daniel makes her feel, and the way his face lights up when she walks into the room. Daniel knows that Claire’s marital status means their relationship will never be anything other than platonic. But it doesn’t take long before Claire and Daniel are in way over their heads, and skating close to the line that Claire has sworn she’ll never cross.


~~~~


I was on my way back home from the Naughty Mafia author event in Las Vegas when I started reading Covet.  I really shouldn’t have read it on the plane.  I felt like my heart was very slowly being ripped apart and the only person I could talk to was the young college kid next to me who was already annoyed that I kept having to get up.

I hate reading a book and not having anyone that understands my pain!  I wanted to cry, throw my Kindle, and scream at the top of my lungs.  Those behaviors on a plane would have me arrested, so I put my hoodie on and curled myself up into a ball, bracing for more heartache as I turned each page.

“I’ve worked hard to keep the fa├žade of this marriage, this life, intact, but only to avoid becoming fodder for the neighborhood gossip mill.  Frankly, I’m exhausted.”

Claire is a stay at home mom and free-lance graphic designer who lives in an affluent suburban neighborhood.  She has kept the family going when her husband Chris was out of work.  Chris was out of work for a year and fell into a depression that she or the kids couldn’t pull him out of.  He eventually finds another job, but the damage to their marriage has been done and Claire wonders if they’re beyond repair.

“He doesn’t look like any cop I’ve ever seen.  He looks like a model pretending to be a police office for a photo shoot.  Or maybe one of those cops who shows up to a bachelorette party and then strips down to his underwear.”

Claire meets Daniel, a police officer when he pulls her over.  He is, as Claire describes, “ridiculously good looking.”  A man in uniform?  Yes please.  He describes him as having  a few flecks of gray in his dark hair and I immediately think Eric Dane aka McSteamy from Grey’s Anatomy.  Then I just got mad because men get better with age and it’s so not fair.  But that’s another subject.

Claire runs into Daniel again and is asked to design a new logo for the police department.  Daniel becomes her contact person.  It all starts with a few calls and text messages about the design.  Claire finds herself becoming excited about the possibility of talking to or seeing Daniel again.

“You stumble upon something that helps you cope, fills a void.  Makes you feel something different than what you currently feel.  You know in the long run it probably won’t be good for you, but you do it anyway.  Tell yourself you can handle it.  And before you know it, you’re in so deep that you can’t find your way out.”

Their friendship evolves from having a business lunch, to motorcycle rides, to late night phone calls.  She used to feel hurt when Chris would leave for his business trips, or fall asleep working instead of spending time with her.  Now, she finds herself not caring about Chris’ absence and you know she’s skating on thin ice.

“We’re the Cantons.  Sun-kissed, all-American, picture perfect.  By all appearances, we’re the ideal suburban family.  As long as you don’t look too closely.”

This is not your typical love triangle story.  You hurt for each character and you want all of them to be happy.  But it isn't possible, because someone's heart is going to break. 

Tracey Garvis-Graves does it again.  She writes a real book with real characters and real problems.  At a blogger’s brunch, a publisher asked what kind of books us readers were looking for.  Someone responded, more books with older characters.  The new adult genre has taken over, and while I love me some new adult stories, I am so happy that this is a story about characters who are in their mid to late thirties and have a few years of marriage under their belt.

Like On the Island, Tracey Garvis-Graves switches points-of-view between chapters.  The majority of the chapters are in Claire’s POV, but you get chapters in Chris and Daniel’s POV as well.  I think it was so well done.  I’m a self-proclaimed POV whore.  I would sell my left leg to find out what all the characters are thinking, and in this book, I get it.

Love is not easy.  Marriage is even harder.  Nothing in this world is in black and white.  You know you should hate Claire for what she’s doing.  You know you should smack Chris upside the head for ignoring his wife.  You know you should yell at Daniel to find himself his own woman.  But you don’t.  You get insight to why they do the things they do and you can’t help but sympathize with all of them.  You feel every ounce of the pain that they are all feeling and you don't know who is right and who is wrong.

The tension in this book is built up slowly…but I don’t mean that the book is slow.  You will keep turning the pages because you need to find out what is going to happen next, even though you can feel a knife going into your heart. 

My Rating:
5 stars
This is another 5-star book from Ms. Garvis-Graves.  Well-freaking-done.  I will be reeling from this read for at least a few days.

Source:  ARC provided by publisher for honest review.
Release date:  September 17, 2013

About the Author:
Tracey Garvis-Graves is the author of On the Island and Covet. She lives in a suburb of Des Moines, Iowa with her husband, two children, and hyper dog Chloe. She blogs at www.traceygarvisgraves.com using colorful language and a snarky sense of humor to write about pop culture, silly television shows, and her suburban neighborhood. You can e-mail her at traceygarvisgraves@yahoo.com. She’d love to hear from you. 



Thursday, August 22, 2013

Mine by Katy Evans - Cover Reveal



In the international bestseller REAL, the unstoppable bad boy of the Underground fighting circuit finally met his match. Hired to keep him in prime condition, Brooke Dumas unleashed a primal desire in Remington “Riptide” Tate as vital as the air he breathes . . . and now he can’t live without her. 

Brooke never imagined she would end up with the man who is every woman’s dream, but not all dreams end happily ever after, and just when Remington needs her the most, Brooke makes a discovery that forces her away from the ringside. Now with distance and darkness between them, the only thing left is to fight for the love of the man she calls MINE.




~~~~

Release date:  November 5, 2013

Pre-order links for MINE

Ahhh!  I cannot wait to read this one.  And how badass is this cover?  I need my Riptide fix soon!