Book Blast: Forever Your Heart (Beside Your Heart #3) by Mary Whitney

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Title: Forever Your Heart (Beside Your Heart #3)

Author: Mary Whitney

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Date: April 8, 2014

Publisher: Omnific Publishing

Event Organized By: Literati Author Services, Inc.

 

 

~ Synopsis ~

I’m a journalist—Adam Kincaid, BBC reporter, to be exact, so I’m not going to bury the lead. I’m about to see the woman I never got over. I know that because I’ve been back in America for years now, and I still don’t date American girls. My dad would say I’ve come to my senses, sticking to my own British patrician kind, but that’s crap. Mum, the psychologist, would more wisely say it’s my unresolved issues around Nicki. My teenage years are long behind me, yet my guilt over her remains. So I’ve avoided all things Nicki, though the irony is she’s the one avoiding me. Maybe if we see each other, we can both move on. Could she ever forgive me? Can you forgive yourself when you hurt someone you love? But please, don’t answer yet. I’ve jumped ahead of the story, and as a reporter, I should give you more background to get to the root of it all. So let me tell you my story. Then you can be the judge.

 

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    Author Photo ~ Mary Whitney

~ About the Author~

Mary blames Laura Ingalls Wilder and Margaret Mitchell for her obsession with romance novels. At an early age, Mary fell in love with the Little House series and its dreamy hero, Almanzo Wilder, who only wanted Laura to be Laura. Like many women, Mary later graduated to the ultimate, tall and dark bad boy, Rhett Butler, who loved Scarlett despite her flaws. Mary has lived in many parts of the U.S., and after a first career in the non-profit world and politics, she’s settled in Northern California with her husband and daughters. She spends her days writing characters she hopes somehow capture the romance of Rhett and Scarlett and Almanzo and Laura. She’s a firm believer in what Rhett says to Scarlett: “You should be kissed, and often, and by someone who knows how.

Connect with the Author: Facebook | Twitter| Goodreads| Website

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then there was you

Book Review: Then There Was You by Melanie Dawn

then there was youTitle: Then There Was You ( So Much It Hurts Series Book #2)

Author: Melanie Dawn

Genre: Contemporary Romance 18+

Date of Publication: February 26, 2014

Rating: 4.5 Out Of 5 Stars

Synopsis

Chris King never saw it coming…
In some ways, closing the book on my first love was the worst day of life. I was gutted, and yet I was completely at peace with my decision. I walked away knowing that I did what was best for her, unsure if I could ever recover.
Little did I know that one concert would change the entire course of my life.

There I stood, signing autographs and snapping pictures with fans when a familiar face in the crowd catapulted my mind back in time—Salem Honeycutt, once a balm to my pain and a calm in my storm. Yet again, her smiling face gave me hope.

Only one question remained: did she still see me as a wayward teenage boy who was completely off limits, or could she see the man I’d become…focused and driven, yearning for another chance at love?

For Salem Honeycutt, postpartum bliss seemed like a lie…
No one told me that I’d hate my baby when I brought her home from the hospital. No one told me that I’d want to put a pillow over my husband’s head and smother him in his sleep. No one told me that I’d want to slap every person who gave me the ever-so-cliché advice to ‘cherish every moment.’ No one told me that I’d despise my life the minute I became a mother, but I did.

Then I met Chris King, the kid who made me want to pull myself up from the dark recesses of my mind and face each day. This kid, whose passion for life and talent for music, touched my soul deeper than I could ever touch his. Chris gave me a reason to live.

I was once affectionately known as Mrs. H., Chris’s juvenile detention counselor.

This is our story.

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Robbie’s Review

I have to say up front…..in this second book of her So Much It Hurts series, author Melanie Dawn has created one of the sweetest male fictional characters I’ve ever met!  Chris King is introduced in the first book of the series, So Much It Hurts, when fate reunites him with Kaitlyn, the girl who remembers him as her salvation from a devastating high school experience. In Then There Was You, Chris is reunited with another woman from his past, Salem, his counselor from Juvenile Detention whom he remembers as being his salvation.

I would never forget this woman who picked up the pieces of my shattered heart and helped me mend them back together one piece at a time.  She encouraged me to go after my dreams, sat by me in my darkest moments, and was there for me when I needed someone the most.  I loved her for everything she was to me…”I believe in you, Chris,” she whispered against my chest.

The beginning of the book is a flashback to the period when Salem, a counselor at Fairbanks Juvenile Detention Center has her first encounter with Chris….a 17 year old bad boy and repeat offender.  This time around he’s being detained for assaulting a classmate who attacked his girlfriend Kaitlyn.  As a 24 year old fresh-out-of-college counselor and new mom, Salem’s plate is very full.  She loves her work and feels very strongly that she is making a difference in the lives of the young men she counsels, but at home she is dealing with a colicky baby and a non-supportive husband while she silently shoulders the cumbersome weight of postpartum depression.  Fourteen years later Chris and Salem meet again.  Chris is living his dream as a rock star and Salem has moved forward from her bad marriage to life as a single mom.  When Salem treats Alexis, her teenage daughter, and two friends to concert tickets, the girls are overawed to find Salem has a connection to their favorite rocker, especially when he singles the group out for personal attention .

I observed Chris from a distance as he interacted with all of his adoring fans, young and old. . . He took time to take pictures and talk to everyone, never making anyone feel rushed.  He was sweet, funny, and at times, a little goofy.  My heart smiled at the thought of the man he had grown into — the man he had always aspired to be.

As a new and very adult relationship grows between Chris and Salem, they find there are obstacles to be overcome.  Chris is a chick magnet who spends a lot of time on the road and  has no privacy, while Salem is an older woman who must deal with the inevitable questions that arise from her ex-husband and the public about the appropriateness of their relationship when she was Chris’s counselor.

He’s amazing, but he’s not mine.  He belongs to everyone else…the greedy, clamoring, screaming fans who have no idea that behind that guitar and that spectacular voice, there is more than just a sexy man.  There is an honorable man with a heart of gold who would give the shirt off his back for anyone.  A strong man who has overcome obstacles in his life that nearly broke his spirit, but who walks tall with a beautiful, perfectly flawed soul — the one soul that very likely holds the key to my heart.

In addition to writing a compelling love story, author Melanie Dawn has dealt with the subject of postpartum depression, a condition that frequently strikes vulnerable new mothers at a time in their lives when they feel they should be the happiest.   Having spent my career as an OB nurse, I commend Melanie for her sensitive and accurate portrayal of this condition which is so often misunderstood by friends and family. Then There Was You can definitely be read as a standalone book although I think most readers will certainly want to read the first book with Chris’s and Kaitlyn’s story after reading this one.  I know I do!  For steam lovers, there is plenty of steam.  For romantics, there is so much sweetness. And for those who demand a HEA, you will only be disappointed because the story is complete!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book directly from the author. I was not paid to read or review this book. All opinions are y own, and I was never influenced by anything or anyone.

About the Author

melanie dawnMelanie Dawn is a thinker, a dreamer, and a hopeless romantic. When her head isn’t in the clouds, she spends her time as a jack of all trades to her family. Melanie resides in the hills of North Carolina with her husband, her three children, and her cat. She enjoys lazy summer afternoons cruising around the lake on the pontoon boat with her family.
Melanie graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with a BA in Psychology and earned her MA in School Counseling from Appalachian State University. She spent the first six years after graduate school as a middle school counselor. Those were years she deems as some of the best years of her life. That is, until she had children of her own. The last seven years have been spent as a stay-at-home mom. She has learned some tough life lessons, like what the inner absorbent pellets of a diaper look like scattered in the washing machine. She has also learned the strength of the willpower of a two year old lacking a nap. Through it all, Melanie has learned how to roll with the punches and appreciate the time she has been able to spend at home with her children.
Now that her last child has started Kindergarten, Melanie is ready to add a new chapter in her life.

Connect with Melanie: Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon | Twitter

Book 2_5 Dazed

Blog Tour, Book Review & Giveaway: Dazed (Connections series 2.5) by Kim Karr

 

 

Book 2_5 Dazed

 

Title: Dazed (Connections series,2.5)

Author: Kim Karr

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Published: April 1, 2014

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Reviewer: Maria

~ Synopsis ~

Jagger Kennedy never went looking for fame, he just fell into it. After scoring a major modeling contract, his clean-cut good looks and charm catapulted his career. But when his actress girlfriend breaks his heart, he moves to L.A. to try his hand at acting. He’s not looking for love—he just needs to make a change.

 

Aerie Daniels is a woman in control … until she meets Jagger. Her surprising connection with him leaves her dazed and it’s unlike anything she’s ever felt. But just when she lets her walls fall, she makes a startling discovery about Jagger that breaks her fragile heart into a million pieces.

To keep from losing the woman who’s changing his world, Jagger is willing to give up anything—including his career. But even that might not be enough to regain Aerie’s shattered trust…

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 ~ Review ~

Let me start by saying if you haven’t read Connected  and Torn, books 1 and 2 in this series, you absolutely MUST!! Though not necessary to read Dazed, they are just so amazing, I feel I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you that you are missing out on an epic story if you don’t add them to your TBR list. Back to Dazed. I really loved this story!! Jagger Kennedy is funny, sweet, and HOT!! Aerie Daniels is strong, guarded and also funny. I liked her the minute we met her in Connected, book 1 of the series. I was very happy to hear she’d be getting her own story. Author Kim Karr’s writing is fantastic. Dazed can be read as a stand alone. It is complete, no cliffhanger.

Aerie Daniels is on her way to visit Dahlia and River. Dahlia is her best friend.  She decides to bring dessert. At the cupcake place, she bumps into Jagger but doesn’t get his name. Although, he gets the cupcakes she was eyeing up. Coincidentally enough, it turns out her sexy cupcake thief is River’s cousin and is also at the house for dinner.  The chemistry between them is palpable. The tension is thick. It surprises Aerie how visceral her response is to Jagger.

“The things his touch does to me. I don’t know if I should melt away out of embarrassment or jump for joy out of elation.” ~ Aerie Daniels 

Oh, Aerie!! Do it!! Just jump for joy!! But, Aerie’s been hurt before and not one to let her guard down or lose control. Jagger has something though, that tears down her defenses and has her trying new things. Everything seems to be going so well. Until, she finds out something that leads her to believe he hasn’t been completely honest. Will she let that destroy what they’ve started to build or will she give him a chance to prove her doubts and fears are unfounded?

Jagger is looking for more than life as a model. He is getting ready for what could be his big break. He hadn’t counted on meeting Aerie and feeling what he feels for her. It’s intense. From what he can tell, she feels the same way but is wary. Just when things are going good, a blast from his past threatens it all. He’s willing to give it all up for Aerie. The question is, will she let him?

“Do you have any idea how much I want you right now!” he growls not meaning for it to be a question. ~ Jagger Kennedy

Dazed  has everything a great romance should have. Sexy hero and beautiful heroine that are each strong, well developed characters. There is a perfect amount of angst, personal past baggage, and very steamy sex scenes. It hooked me immediately and didn’t let me go until I was done. This is a quick, light read that will have you falling in love with Jagger and Aerie. You will be rooting for them to get their HEA. Kim Karr does not disappoint. Fans of the Connections series and new readers, alike will love this story. I wish it were longer because I really fell for Jagger Kennedy! What a doll!! Highly recommend this novella!!

~ Excerpt ~

Aerie Daniels

There’s something deliciously perverse about staring through the clear glass. All of my senses engage as I wait in line—the fragrance that fills the air as the fire crackles beneath the foil wrapped treats wafts under my nose, the beauty in each and every small package as they line the shelves with tiny dots and colored sprinkles mesmerizes me, the sound made as the silver sheet is peeled back to reveal the magnificence it holds captivates me, and the anticipation of the taste makes my mouth water. Ummm… just thinking of the first bite into the moist brown exterior with its bittersweet Belgian chocolate complimenting the flavor of the Madagascar bourbon vanilla that oozes from its inside has me trembling. The black and white cupcake—it’s simply perfection. Amidst the skyscrapers in Los Angeles’ South Park neighborhood, Sprinkles is a gem tucked away for those of us who seek out a small piece of heaven. I don’t come here often, but when I do it’s for that one special treat. The menu describes it as, “Yin and Yang.” An ancient proverb that says, “Complementary opposites, such as light and dark, day and night, and masculine and feminine, seemingly may exist as contrary forces, but are actually interconnected.” Simply put, it says one gives rise to the other and it’s true— opposites attract. Without the vanilla inside, one could not possibly crave the chocolate outside—looking at the two parts united has me drooling.

“You know what they say about staring through the glass,” a deep husky voice says from behind me. His words tingle my skin and my gaze snaps up.

“Excuse me?” I stop short, in a daze, not even sure what he just said I was so lost in my thoughts.

He chuckles. “You know what they say about staring through the glass,” he repeats.
My eyes blink and come into focus on the upward tilt of his full lips. Then my eyes move to his smooth pale skin flecked with a light stubble, his nose seemingly sculpted even with a slight imperfection in its slope, large eyes with the most unusual gray color swirling from within, and chocolate brown colored hair framing his face in pieces—I’m not sure if he has just rolled out of bed or if product molds it just so. Either way, he is utterly beautiful. “I’m sorry, I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Just be careful so you don’t fall in like Alice.” He smiles, displaying his bright white teeth.

“Again, I’m sorry but I have no idea what you’re talking about.” I notice his eyes sweep over me and my heart starts pounding.

“Through the Looking Glass,” he responds in a dangerously husky voice.  This time when he speaks I catch an accent, ever so slight but extremely sexy.  It reminds me of how Robert De Nero talks, just not as loud or fast. I continue to stare, unable to respond. I notice that his physique is long and lean. He’s dressed in worn jeans that fit him perfectly. His orange laced hiking boots scream I don’t conform. A pair of tortoiseshell sunglasses hang from the V of his gray sweater, which clings to his body perfectly. And an outdoor vest tops the outfit. It throws me off. It makes him look more like an Abercrombie model than a James Dean type. It’s a navy blue down and quilted one with a silver zipper. I don’t know why, but something about his outfit, about this man, captivates me.

“Number 98,” calls the girl from behind the counter. He steps closer. His warm breath whispers across my neck.

“Through the Looking Glass is the sequel to Alice in Wonderland. When Alice gets too close to the glass, she falls in and starts on a crazy journey,” he tells me as his arm waves in the air with a green ticket on display. Stepping closer, his gaze cuts from mine to the glass case as he hands his number to the clerk whose wearing a cute brown apron with the word Sprinkles scripted across it.  “Can I have a dozen of the black and white cupcakes?” he asks.
Suddenly alarmed, my eyes dart to the case as I watch the single remaining row of beautifully crafted cupcakes diminish until there are none left. My irritation flares as I glance at my number—97. The beautiful stranger hands the clerk his credit card and waits to sign the slip.  “I was number 97, my number was before yours,” I say as he’s handed the bag that holds his treasure.

“Oh, I’m sorry. Here let me get the sales clerk’s attention so you don’t have to take another number,” he says.  I want to stomp my feet. I want to scream. I don’t want her attention. I don’t want another number. I want the cupcakes that he stole from me. “Miss,” he calls draping his perfectly fit body over the case. She looks his way and with a charming grin he says, “Can you help this lovely lady? She missed her number being called.” “Of course, I’m so sorry. How can I help you?” the girl asks averting her eyes from the man who looks like he should be on the cover of GQ magazine, over to me.

He smiles at me with a face that belongs on a billboard. “Don’t fall in.”  I swear he’s goading me. But then he tips his chin and a sexy, smoldering grin passes over his lips and I’m not so sure anymore. He turns to look at me one more time before he exits, and excitement flushes over my face. I nod a slight cursory acknowledgement, then he disappears and disappointment washes over me—he’s gone. Crap. The cupcakes are also gone. Double crap. And now I’m left wondering if he saw me staring at that flavor? Did he distract me on purpose so he could purchase them first? Urrr…I’m so angry right now I consider walking out, but when the clerk asks me what I’d like I settle for the Vanilla Milk Chocolate cakes—they are the mirror reflection of the black and whites, with vanilla cake and chocolate frosting, but they are not nearly as good.

~ Purchase Links ~

Amazon | Barnes & Nobles

 

DAZED TEASER 1

 

 

*Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review. I was not paid to read or review this book. All opinions are my own and I was not influenced by anyone or anything.

 

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~ About the Author ~

Kim Karr

I live in Florida with my husband and four kids. I’ve always had a love for reading books and writing. Being an English major in college, I wanted to teach at the college level but that was not to be. I went on to receive an MBA and became a project manager until quitting to raise my family. I currently work part-time with my husband and full-time embracing one of my biggest passions—writing.

I wear a lot of hats! Writer, book-lover, wife, soccer-mom, taxi driver, and the all around go-to person of the family. However, I always find time to read. One of my favorite family outings use to be taking my kids to the bookstore or the library. Today, my oldest child is in college and my twins are juniors so they no longer go with me on these outings. And although I don’t need to go to the actual store anymore because I have the greatest device ever invented—a Kindle, I still do. There’s nothing like a paperback. So now my four year old and I make dates out of going to the bookstore–it’s time I love and cherish.

I like to believe in soulmates, kindred spirits, true friends, and Happily-Ever-Afters. I love to drink champagne, listen to music, and hopes to always stay young at heart.

~ Connect with the Author ~

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