Wednesday, September 30, 2015

September Mini Musings

Little Black Lies:  I reviewed the sequel to this book earlier this month.  I really enjoyed this book.  I thought it was a great mystery and was surprised in the end.  I loved Zoe's character.  It was kind of cool to see a psychiatrist going through her own therapy and dealing with ADHD.  It made her seem more realistic and human.  This is definitely a series I will keep up with!

Friction: This was enjoyable, but definitely not this author's best.  I did like the main characters, but I thought their romance was kind of lukewarm.  The mystery was also kind of so-so. The thing that made me lower my rating on this one was the father-in-law.  He was just over the top unreasonable and it got old. It was still an interesting read, but I'd say get it at the library.

All Played Out: Not my favorite out of the series.  Both main characters kind of annoyed me. Nell was a little too over the top innocent and naive for me.  Mateo was kind of annoying with his constant comparison for Nell to his ex girlfriend.  Their romance was a little lackluster for me.

The Midnight Dress: I am surprised at all of the rave reviews for this book.  I did finish it and am baffled by how many people loved this story.  I didn't at all.  I thought it was too long and kind of dull.  The back and forth timelines was an interesting concept, but it just took too long for the reveal of which girl was missing and who did it.  And I hated the ending!  It was really depressing.  I might not have minded the dullness of the story had the ending been better.  I wouldn't really recommend this one!

Waiting on Wednesday: The Harder You Fall by Gena Showalter

Gena Showalter’s THE HARDER YOU FALL is coming! Being released on November 24th, this fantastic contemporary romance in the Original Heartbreakers series is a scorching tale featuring an aloof bad boy and the rowdy Southern belle who rocks his world, published by HarlequinHQN! Pre-order THE HARDER YOU FALL from the links below for an sneak peek opportunity!

  The Harder You Fall - Cover

Pre-order THE HARDER YOU FALL here!

Amazon * Kindle * Barnes and Noble * Nook * Book Depository * Powells * iBooks * BAM * Kobo * IndieBound

  THE HARDER YOU FALL Synopsis: From New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter comes another scorching Original Heartbreakers tale featuring an aloof bad boy and the rowdy Southern belle who rocks his world… Millionaire video-game creator Lincoln West has a dark and tragic past. The sought-after bachelor lives by a rigid schedule and a single rule—one relationship per year, lasting no more than two months. No exceptions. When he gave up the big city for a small town, he hoped to escape the worst of his memories—until a brash beauty dredges up long-buried emotions. A reformed party girl, Jessie Kay Dillon is determined to walk the straight and narrow. But her love-hate sizzle with West is just too irresistible. They can't be near each other without tearing off their clothes, but the last thing she needs is to be his next two-month dump. Will she become the one exception? Because as any former girl-gone-wild knows: rules are made to be broken.

 "Emotional, heart-tugging, kept me turning the pages!" —Carly Phillips, New York TimesBestselling Author

Add it to your Goodreads Now!

  The Harder You Fall - Preorder teaser  


Author pic- Gena ShowalterAbout Gena Showalter:

Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of the spellbinding Lords of the Underworld and Angels of the Dark series, two young adult series--Everlife and the White Rabbit Chronicles--and the highly addictive Original Heartbreakers series. In addition to being a National Reader's Choice and two time RITA nominee, her romance novels have appeared in Cosmopolitan (Red Hot Read) and Seventeen magazine, she's appeared onNightline and been mentioned in Orange is the New Black--if you ask her about it, she'll talk for hours…hours! Her books have been translated in multiple languages. She’s hard at work on her next novel, a tale featuring an alpha male with a dark side and the strong woman who brings him to his knees. You can learn more about Gena, her menagerie of rescue dogs, and all her upcoming books at or 

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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Blog Tour: Review & Excerpt of These Battered Hands by Laurel Ulen Curtis

Author:Laurel Ulen Curtis
Publisher: Self
Date of publication: September 29, 2015


Blood, sweat, hard work, and a disconcerting lack of tears—my entire life—was meant to culminate in a flourish of glory and significance.
I’d thought I’d always known exactly what that meant.
But I’d had the timing wrong by about three minutes.
I knew now.
This moment wasn’t everything. The one person I found myself wanting more than anything during it was.


One preconceived notion can haunt you for the entirety of your life.
I thought I owed it to myself and to everyone who’d ever backed me to do what was expected. What was right. What I was supposed to do.
But nothing is forbidden in love. Not circumstances or propriety or the denial of the object of said affection.
I knew now.
This was it.
If I wanted it, I had to take it.

This gymnastics love story is more than grips, rips, and battered hands.

For Calia Nickleson and Nikolai Bagrov, it was everything.

My thoughts:

These Battered Hands is a story about finding a balance in your life and figuring out what comes next.  Callie is a two time Olympic gymnast who at age 26 is considered old.  That isn't preventing her from trying one last time to score a gold medal. The question that she can't answer is who is she doing it for, her or her father? Nik has been hired by her father to coach her and help her improve before the trials begin.   I'll be honest, I have mixed feelings about this book.  I did like the romance and the parts about gymnastics, it was the story line with Callie's dad that just didn't ring true for me.
The thing I loved about the book was Nik.  He was just what Callie needed to see that there was more to the world than gymnastics.  She needed to learn that having more that her sport would make her a better athlete.  This is something that her father never taught her.  Their attraction was instant and I loved them together. What I didn't get about the story was why anyone would care if Callie was dating her coach. They are both well over the age of consent.  As long as he is helping her improve her skills, what did it matter?  Also I didn't get why the Olympics committee would care.  It's not like Nik would be coaching her in the games anyway since the team had its own coach. This made me question why they took her father's threat seriously.  That was the one thing that bothered me about the story. I felt like it was unnecessary conflict and the story would have been better without it.

This is the first book I have read by this author.  I did like that way she wrote the end and beginning of each chapter.  That was a neat technique that I haven't seen before.  I will be checking out this author again in the future!


His eyes were like actual pools of watermoving, flowing, and changing color along with depth. Each time his focus shifted, so did mine, zeroing in on a new fleck of deep blue and trying to help it float through the much more abundant aqua. Their magnetism made it hard to focus on his words, but I wouldnt have traded those moments spent studying their nuances for all of the words in the dictionary.
Sure, looks were shallow and words could mean everything, but in those split seconds when his eyes changed before my own, I would have sworn on my every Olympic medal it was the opposite.
And right now, I needed the comfort of that feeling. I needed it to swaddle me in its warmth and make everything feel right again.
The word wrong had never been a concept worthy of my focus, but as I tried to make sense of what was happening, denying its existence was no longer an option.
Up felt like down and left very nearly tricked me into believing it was right.
Voices called out to me constantly and on repeat, but none of them were the one I wanted. Like they were speaking through water, every pronunciation of my name seemed foreign and unwelcome, and my brain did nothing but scream another.
I tried valiantly to talk my uncooperative body into bending to my will, but for the first time in my life it wouldnt.
Digging deep down into my gut, I found the last vestiges of my energy and willed them into one single action.
Into one single word.
Priorities shifted and silence mocked me.
My entire life had been a series of events all specifically driven toward this very moment. Id known all of my work was meant to culminate in a flourish of glory and significance. Id known thered be a second in time when I knew why each part of my life had played out the way it had. Why Id worked, why Id sweat, why Id fought to keep going well after most peoples journeys were done.
Id even known it would probably happen nowon this stage, in front of all of these people.
Id just had the timing wrong by about three minutes.
But I knew now.
This was it.
The thing I found myself wanting most during this momentthat was everything.
He was everything.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the author:

Laurel Ulen Curtis is a 28 year old mother of one. She lives with her husband and son (and cat!) in New Jersey, but grew up all over the United States. She graduated from Rutgers University in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science in Meteorology, and puts that to almost no use other than forecasting for her friends and writing a storm chasing heroine! She has a passion for her family, laughing, and reading and writing Romance novels. She’s also addicted to Coke. The drink, not the drug.


Buy Links:

Books We Didn't Finish - September Edition

Bourbon Kings - I am a big fan of this author's so I was excited to start her latest non-paranormal series.  I was hoping for something fresh and exciting.  I don't even mind family drama.  However, I ended up giving up very early into the first couple of chapters.  I hated the main characters, especially Tulane.  There was nothing likable about him.  It was hard to put it down, but I have enough other books with likable character that I would rather give my attention to.

Bennington Girls are Easy - I knew after the first chapter that I wouldn't like this book.  I didn't like the characters or their attitudes.  It definitely wasn't for me.

Immortal Crown - I was so-so on the first book, but liked it enough to try the second.  I got about halfway through and stopped.  The story was so boring. Nothing happened. I gave up when the main characters got to Arcadia. I wasn't
willing to keep reading about how the Arcadia men treated women.  I got it after the first one opened his mouth.  It's too bad because this series had potential.

Me Talk Pretty One Day - I was hoping for a Throwback Thursday read with this book.  It is a book of short essays that I guess is supposed to be funny.  I found no humor in this book at all.  I am confused by the excellent review I saw for this one.  Me?  I was bored to tears.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Review & Interview with Jayne Conway, author of What if I Fly?

We are joined today by local (well to Kari) indie author, Jayne Conway.  She is promoting her debut book, What if I Fly?  Enjoy her interview after some thoughts in the book.

Publisher: Plain Jayne Ink
Date of publication: July 2015

Julia and Will grew up in the same small Rhode Island town, but their lives couldn’t be more different. But when their paths cross one fateful summer night, Julia and Will are captivated by one another and their lives forever changed.

They share a deep bond, a passionate love, and are truly alive together – but love isn’t always enough. Can Julia and Will overcome the roadblocks of betrayal, loss, judgment and pride to navigate the sharp twists and turns of the road less traveled? As the dramatic events of their story unfold, they are both forced to open their eyes and find the strength within to live life on their own terms.

My thoughts:

What if I Fly? was recommended to me by several local people.  So of course having semi-grown up in Bristol, RI, I had to buy it and give it a shot.  Sometimes you never know what you are going to get with an indie author, but I was pleasantly surprised.  I found myself drawn into Julia and Will's story and read it in a couple of hours. 

You all know I am a sucker for second chance love.  The story is not all hearts and flowers.  It's raw and gut wrenching at times.  But, then, isn't real romance like that sometimes?  I found that this story had an element of reality that some romances don't have. Some couples are meant to be together, but unfortunately it takes a long time to get to that HEA.  Both characters had a lot of baggage that they had to overcome in order to find their way to each to happiness.

This is a good book to curl up on a crisp fall day with a cup of tea and just let yourself get lost in. I thought it was a well written  debut novel.  Ms. Conway is definitely an author to keep an eye on.  I look forward to seeing what story she comes up with next!

Kari& Autumn: What inspired you to become a writer?

Conway: It wasn’t a conscious decision. I’ve always been a journal writer and would write short stories about my life for fun. The few people I let read my short stories told me I was a good writer and eventually I added ‘write a book’ to my bucket list. Last year I hit a crossroads in my life and I decided to write my way into an alternate reality. What would my life be like today if I had taken another path? These musing turned into a book and I discovered a newfound passion.

Kari& Autumn: Where do you come up with the ideas for your books?

Conway: What if I Fly? is my first novel and the idea came from posing the question ‘what if?’ What if I hadn’t parted ways with that certain someone? What if I didn’t move back to RI after college? What if I lived the life I imagined? I got really creative with the possibilities associated with that question.

My life (and the lives of those around me) has been rich with drama. If I crammed it all into one book it would be too much. But focusing on one granule of truth and building from there…the wealth of my personal experiences should keep me busy writing for decades to come!

Kari& Autumn: What exciting projects are waiting in the wings?

Conway: Recently, I finished the first draft of my second novel with the working title, As it Seems, as in ‘nothing is as it seems.’ I am fascinated with illusion. The images people project to the world via social media, or even in their personal interactions, are rarely a true representation of actual life. The main character of this book discovers her own life is an illusion and she embarks on a quest for truth.

Kari& Autumn: Who is your favorite literary character and why?

Conway: Tough one, but I’d have to say Emma Harte from A Woman of Substance. She overcame a great deal of adversity, created something from nothing, knocking down gender barriers as she built her business. She was independent, strong, brave, loyal and passionate. I admire those traits in anyone and when I first read this book back in high school, I wanted to be her.

Kari& Autumn: Just for fun, if you could be any animal, what would it be and why?

Conway: A bird. I’ve always wanted to fly.

About the author:

What if I Fly? is Jayne Conway’s debut novel.  Jayne has written dozens of short stories, poems, song lyrics, and other meandering thoughts, for her own amusement. One day, she decided to share the stories dancing in her head with others. What started off as a daydream, something to tick off her bucket list, has turned into a passion. She lives in Rhode Island with her three beautiful children and is currently writing her second novel.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

In a Dark Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

by:  Ruth Ware
published by:  Scout
publish date:  July 30, 2015

Someone's getting married. Someone's getting murdered.   Nora hasn't seen Clare for ten years. Not since Nora walked out of school one day and never went back.  Until, out of the blue, an invitation to Clare’s hen do arrives. Is this a chance for Nora to finally put her past behind her?

But something goes wrong. Very wrong.

Some things can’t stay secret for ever.

This is one of the Must Read books of Summer.  I usually approach these books warily.  I'm almost always burned by them.  This one was actually very good in my opinion.

Nora, went through a bad breakup when she was 16 and now it's 10 years later.  She hasn't been in contact with most of the people she went to school with until she gets an invitation to a Hen Do, or bachelorette party for us Americans.  Out of curiosity, she decides to go, and it ends up being the worst decision she makes.  The bride is just as manipulative as Nora remembers her being.  The maid of honor is crazy.  The house they're staying at is creepy.  The situation snowballs downhill until Nora wakes up in a hospital with no memory of what has transpired.  Slowly, her memory of the events begins to unfold, but are they reliable?

This was an enjoyable book.  It was a little bit predictable at times, but overall it was a really good story and I was fully interested in the story from start to finish.  This was an excellent debut and I can't wait to read more by this author!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Hannah and the HIghlander by Sabrina York

Author: Sabrina York
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Date of publication: September 2015

Hannah Dounreay has no time for suitors who only seem interested in her family’s land, which she manages as well as any man. If she marries, she wants to be loved for the educated, independent woman she is. But when a strong, silent—and spectacularly handsome—Highlander saves her from a violent attack, her heart is stirred. Who is this man? And if he asks for Hannah’s hand, will she be able to resist him?

Love is the most powerful weapon of all.

Alexander Lochlannach, Laird of Dunnet, has no time to lose. The Highlands are in an uproar as clans battle for land—without mercy—and Alexander can’t afford to fall for the wildly attractive, strong-willed Hannah. What’s more, he has a desperate secret, one that could destroy them both. But as their attraction turns into an all-consuming passion, Alexander has no choice but to prove to Hannah that he’s the only man for her—body and soul…

I absolutely adored this book.  I haven't read a historical romance in a while and this one was one of the best books I have read this year! Hannah and the Highlander is such a sweet romance that I read in one sitting! This story involves strong-willed  Hannah and Alexander who has earned the nick name of The Wolf..  They both decide that they must marry for political purposes as well as safety for Hannah.  She is a well sought after woman because she stands to inherit a lot of land.  Alexander needs that land.

From their first meeting, there is a pull between Hannah and Alexander.  The frustrating part for Hannah is that Alexander won't talk to her.  He has a speech impediment that makes it hard for him to get his words out quickly.  It was such a pleasure to watch these two fall in love.  What Hannah does for Alexander when she figures out his speech difficulties was just so sweet.  He is such a gentle giant who really cares about his people.

I won't give too much away because you really should experience their love story yourself.  There are other great characters as well. The next book, Susana and the Scot comes out in December.  I can't wait to read it!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Blog Tour: Dance of the Bones by J.A. Jance

Author: J.A. Jance
Publisher:William Morrow
Date of publication: September 2015

J. P. Beaumont and Brandon Walker, two of New York Times bestselling author J. A. Jance’s most acclaimed series characters, join forces for the first time in one of the most suspenseful works of her career

Prospector Amos Warren and Big Bad John Lassiter, his young protégé, were as close as father and son until a violent argument tore them apart. The next day, Amos disappeared, never to be seen again. Years later, his bones were found in the desert. All signs pointed to John Lassiter, and Detective Brandon Walker made the arrest in the case.

Now, more than four decades later, the retired Walker is called in when TLC—The Last Chance, a group of retired cops, criminalists, medical examiners, and district attorneys who devote their time and experience to solving stone-cold homicide cases—looks into the killing. Lassiter can get out of jail now for time served if he’ll plead guilty to a lesser charge, but he refuses to cop to a crime he didn’t commit. Lassiter’s daughter, Amanda Wasser, wants Brandon and TLC to find Amos’s “real” killer and clear her father’s name.

Brandon Walker’s search to find the truth about Amos’s killer eventually leads sixteen hundred miles north to Seattle, to an unsolved murder that could be connected to the case. Thanks to a mutual friend, Brandon gets in touch with crack investigator J. P. Beaumont. With the Special Homicide Investigation Team disbanded and his wife away at a conference, the retired Beau has plenty of free time to help, even though he’s skeptical about Lassiter’s claims of innocence.

J. P. Beaumont and Brandon Walker’s meeting proves all too crucial, for soon these seasoned detectives must pool their personal and professional expertise when someone close to Brandon falls into the hands of a cold-blooded killer involved in a recent multiple homicide—who may also hold the key to the cold case.

One of the problems with going into a book like Dance of the Bones without ever having read a book by the author in either series it is associated with is that you always feel late to the party.  At least that is how I felt.  I haven't read either series that the two detective characters are featured in, but I was hoping this would work as a stand alone.  Unfortunately for me, it didn't hold up well.  The author did put in a lot of background, but I kept feeling like I was playing catch up.  Too much to enjoy the story.  There were also too many characters to keep track of in the beginning.  Again, that probably comes from the merging of two series into one book.  

The premise of the story is that these two detectives end up helping each other solve a "cold case".  The problem is that the reader already know what happened.  You find out in the prologue.  So, for me that kind of killed the thrilling part of it.  I probably would have preferred solving the cold case with them.  So, in the end it was just an OK read for me.  

The one good thing that I can say about the book is that I liked both Beaumont and Walker.  Enough to want to go back to the beginning and read both series from the start.  Maybe once I do that, this book will be more exciting.

About the author:

J. A. Jance is the New York Times bestselling author of the J. P. Beaumont series, the Joanna Brady series, the Ali Reynolds series, and five interrelated thrillers about the Walker family, as well as a volume of poetry. Born in South Dakota and brought up in Bisbee, Arizona, Jance lives with her husband in Seattle, Washington, and Tucson, Arizona.

Find out more about Jance at her website, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

Purchase Links

J.A.’s Tour Stops
Tuesday, September 8th: Worth Getting in Bed For
Monday, September 14th: Dwell in Possibility
Friday, September 18th: Booked on a Feeling
Monday, September 21st: Queen of All She Reads
Tuesday, September 22nd: Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
Thursday, September 24th: Joyfully Retired
Friday, September 25th: FictionZeal
Friday, September 25th: From the TBR Pile
Monday, September 28th: The Reading Cover Book Club

Tuesday, September 29th: A Bookworm’s World

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote

Author: Truman Capote
First published in 1958
Audio-book 2014 by Audible

It's New York in the 1940s, where the martinis flow from cocktail hour till breakfast at Tiffany's. And nice girls don't, except, of course, Holly Golightly. Pursued by Mafia gangsters and playboy millionaires, Holly is a fragile eyeful of tawny hair and turned-up nose, a heart-breaker, a perplexer, a traveller, a tease. She is irrepressibly 'top banana in the shock department', and one of the shining flowers of American fiction.

I know, I know!  I am probably the last person on earth who hasn't seen the movie version of Breakfast at Tiffany's. But how many of you have actually read the story? Written in 1958, it is a novella set in the 1940s.  From what I understand, the movie is different from the novella.  For instance, it isn't a romantic comedy and the two do not end up together in the end.  I wonder if the screen play had stayed more true to the novella, would it have done as well as it did?

For me, the story was worth a listen.  It's only 3 CDs on audio, so it's quick.  The story is narrated by an aspiring writer who talks about his experience with his neighbor, Holly Golightly.  Holly was not a very likable character.  She is a con artist who I think was much smarter than she let others believe.  But, as I listened I did find myself kind of hoping she would get away with everything.  If you haven't read the novella, I do recommend giving it a try. I know I'll be hunting down the movie real soon.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Blog Tour: The Art of Crash Landing by Melissa DeCarlo

Author:Melissa DeCarlo
Publisher: Harper paperbacks
Date of publication: September 2015

Broke and knocked up, Mattie Wallace has got all her worldly possessions crammed into six giant trash bags and nowhere to go. Try as she might, she really is turning into her late mother, a broken alcoholic who never met a bad choice she didn’t make.

When Mattie gets news of a possible inheritance left by a grandmother she’s never met, she jumps at this one last chance to turn things around. Leaving the Florida Panhandle, she drives eight hundred miles to her mother’s birthplace—the tiny town of Gandy, Oklahoma. There, she soon learns that her mother remains a local mystery—a happy, talented teenager who inexplicably skipped town thirty-five years ago with nothing but the clothes on her back. But the girl they describe bears little resemblance to the damaged woman Mattie knew, and before long it becomes clear that something terrible happened to her mother. The deeper Mattie digs for answers, the more precarious her situation becomes. Giving up, however, isn’t an option. Uncovering what started her mother’s downward spiral might be the only way to stop her own.

Mattie is 30, broke, pregnant and basically homeless.  That is how The Art of Crash Landing opens.  She finds out when she gets to her step-father's house that her long lost grandmother has passed on and left her something.  She decides to travel to the town to claim it and at the same time find out more about her mother's life.  I really wanted to love this book, but in the end, I just didn't.

The problem for me was the main character.  She just wasn't likable. Mattie is 30.  Old enough to know better yet she seems not to want to change.  She runs he mother's business into the ground because she can't be bothered to answer booking calls.  She stops taking her birth control pill for 6 DAYS and figures it will be OK all knowing her boyfriend is a loser.  She owes her stepfather's girlfriend money and doesn't even feel guilty about not paying it back.  This is just all in the first couple of chapters.  Throughout the book, I never felt that Mattie changed much.  I got tired of hearing that she was they way she was because of her life with her mother.  All that kept going through my head was, "Get over it!  You are 30!".

There are two things that I did like about Mattie.  I thought her relationship with her step father Queeg was endearing.  You could tell they had a mutual love for each other.  The other thing that I liked was her decision about the baby.  Given her life track, I think adoption would have been the best thing.  She didn't seem interested in breaking the cycle, so hopefully the baby would have a better life with someone else.

I'm definitely in the minority on this one. I guess it just wasn't for me.

About Melissa DeCarlo

Melissa DeCarlo was born and raised in Oklahoma City, and has worked as an artist, graphic designer, grant writer, and even (back when computers were the size of refrigerators) a computer programmer. The Art of Crash Landing is her first novel. Melissa now lives in East Texas with her husband and a motley crew of rescue animals.

Find out more about Melissa at her website, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

Melissa’s Tour Stops
Tuesday, September 8th: Books and Bindings
Thursday, September 10th: The Book Bag
Friday, September 11th: Cerebral Girl in a Redneck World
Tuesday, September 15th: Literary Lindsey
Wednesday, September 16th: Sara’s Organized Chaos
Thursday, September 17th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Friday, September 18th: bookchickdi
Friday, September 18th: Fuelled by Fiction
Wednesday, September 23rd: From the TBR Pile
Thursday, September 24th: Kahakai Kitchen
Friday, September 25: 5 Minutes for Books
Monday, September 28th: BoundbyWords
Wednesday, September 30th: A Bookworm’s World
Thursday, October 1st: A Bookish Affair
Monday, October 5th: Kritters Ramblings
Tuesday, October 6th: Raven Haired Girl
Wednesday, October 7th: Novel Escapes
Thursday, October 8th: Bloggin’ ‘Bout Books
Friday, October 9th: My Book Retreat
Monday, October 12th: Snowdrop Dreams of Books
Tuesday, October 13th: Imaginary Reads
Tuesday, October 13th: Broken Teepee
Wednesday, October 14th: Thoughts On This ‘n That
Wednesday, October 14th: Svetlana’s Reads and Views

Thursday, October 15th: Joyfully Retired

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Blog Tour: Beneath These Scars by Meghan March

Author: Meghan March
Publisher: Meghan March LLC
Date of publication: September 21, 2015

I'm the guy you love to hate.
In every story in my life, I seem to end up playing the villain—and I've got the scars to prove it.
That role works fine for me, because I'm sure as hell not anyone's hero.
I run my life and my empire with an iron fist—until she knocks my tightly controlled world off its axis.
She's nobody's damsel in distress, but I can't help but want to save her anyway.
I guess we're about to find out if there's a hero buried … beneath these scars.

Note: **Special release price of $2.99 for 48 hours!**

My thoughts:

Beneath these Scars is the 4th book in the Beneath series.  This is Yve and Lucas's story.  For the most part, I thought this stood up fairly well as a stand alone.  From what i could deduce from reading between the lines Lucas played a major part in Beneath This Ink, which is the 2nd book and Vanessa and Con's story.  I kind of wish that I had read that one, only to see how much Lucas was different from the second book. But, I don't think it's really necessary to this story.

I really liked Lucas and Yve as individual characters.  I loved Yve's conviction to do things differently than her family and to do it her way.  As for Lucas, he is a typical alpha billionaire who always gets what he wants, but he has a great hidden tender side.  While I ultimately liked Lucas and Yve together, their relationship kind of bothered me in the beginning.  They kept having angry sex and that was kind of off-putting.  I'm not sure I'll ever understand how two people can end up falling in love when their relationship starts out like that.

There is a little bit of a mystery that ended up surprising me.  I was a bit off base, but I liked that.  I am looking forward to the next book in the series.  I hope it is Valentina and Hennessy's story!

Chapter 1
SWEAT DRIPPED INTO MY EYES as I bounced on the balls of my feet. Someone had to be calling out how much time was left in this round soon. My pride was on the line, and there was no way I would hand it over to Con Leahy. He’d already gotten the girl, and I wasn’t about to let him humiliate me in the ring in this piece-of-shit New Orleans gym too.
My muscles burned, but that was nothing compared to the heat of victory—or the sting of defeat. What had started out as a boxing lesson had quickly transformed into an all-out brawl for dominance and respect.
Only you would pay a million dollars to get your ass kicked, Titan. The voice in my head mocked me as I bobbed and weaved. But I hadn’t paid a million to get my ass kicked. I’d done it because that night at the charity auction I’d been drunk, pissed off, and determined to prove a point—he might’ve gotten the girl, but I was still the one with the power. I got a sick sense of satisfaction that every time Con bought something for his gym and these kids, he had to think of me.
I swung with another right hook. The blow connected with Con’s jaw and snapped his head to the side.
Yeah. That’s right. But my mental cheer came a moment too soon, and pain exploded in my left side.
Shit, that’s going to hurt tomorrow.
I stumbled back but threw myself forward again, shooting out my fist with an uppercut that knocked Con back a step. This was how it had gone for the last several minutes—trading punches and circling each other.
There was no love lost in this ring, that was for damn sure, and I was ready for this to be over. I would walk out of here with every bit of the respect I was owed. Fuck anyone who thought otherwise.
Con moved toward me and the circling started again. The cheers and chants from the crowd surrounding the ring in the old warehouse gym seemed to grow every time I glanced beyond the ropes. A flash of blond hair caught my eye as I stepped left and Con shifted to the right.
She threw her head back and laughed at something said by her redheaded friend, Elle. I turned my attention back to the man in front of me, but my focus wandered again when a huskier, sexier laugh echoed through the room.
My eyes strayed from Con for a second too long as I tried to track down the source of the laughter. Pain burst through my jaw, catching me by surprise, and I stumbled back into the ropes. Using their momentum, I shoved off to the side, my pride stinging from my momentary lapse in concentration. Embarrassed and now thoroughly pissed off, I surged forward and attacked.
One punch. That was all I landed before the bell rang, signaling the end of the round and my very expensive “lesson.”
I pushed off Con, and my knee might have slipped as I stepped back . . . and caught him directly in the balls. It was probably an accident. I huffed out a chuckle, but Con didn’t share my humor.
“Goddamn it!” he roared. “Are you fucking serious?”
It was like stabbing a bull with a matador’s sword, but I was ready for him. I jumped out of the way as Con charged, and shifted into a defensive stance when he swung.
“Should’ve expected a cheap shot from you, motherfucker.” Unrestrained anger flashed over his face as every shred of coaching mentality fled, along with that smug superiority he’d been giving me.
Good. You aren’t better than me, Leahy. I could buy and sell you a hundred times over.
He might’ve gotten the girl, but I wasn’t going to let him get away with her clean. I wanted blood.
“Should’ve expected you to strut around this ring like a fucking cock of the walk,” I shot back.
Con feinted and swung again, but I’d been studying his movements. I bobbed and weaved, and got the hell out of the way.
I threw my own punch as soon as I had a clean shot. It landed just below Con’s left eye, splitting the skin over his cheekbone and sending blood spattering everywhere.
The taste of victory was sweet. “First blood,” I said under my breath.
Apparently my words weren’t quiet enough because Con’s head snapped up and he glared at me with disgust, as if I needed to be put down like a rabid animal. “This ain’t a fuckin’ duel, you piece of shit.”
“It sure isn’t a friendly competition either.”
“Paid a million to get that cheap shot in, didn’t you?”
My lips twisted into a mocking smile. “I sure didn’t pay a million to have you show me up.”
Con dropped his hands and shook his head. “Just when I thought you weren’t a complete fucking asshole.”
“You were wrong,” I replied, turning for the ropes.
Con’s fists lifted and before I could react, one connected with my cheekbone. The instantaneous gush of blood told me I’d have a scar to match his, but it didn’t matter. One more scar wouldn’t hurt my banged-up face.
I roared as I charged, but I didn’t get the chance to retaliate. Shouts filled the room, and beefy arms wrapped around my body, holding me back.
“You’re not half bad when you’re not being a shady rich prick,” Lord’s voice said in my ear.
I lunged toward Con, but Lord’s grip only tightened. “Get your goddamn hands off me,” I growled at him.
Leaning closer to my ear, he lowered his voice. “When you calm the hell down and realize you’re making an ass of yourself in front of a bunch of kids and women.”
I glanced out to the crowd and read disgust on so many faces, including Vanessa’s. Like it mattered what a single goddamn person in this gym thought of me. I could buy and sell them all.
Lord was still holding me back when Con came toward us. He yanked his gloves off and wiped at the blood still dripping from the gash on his face.
“You’re also not half bad when you’re paying attention—and when you’re not throwing a knee into my nuts. But I think you’ve overstayed your welcome.”
I jerked at the arms trapping me. “Call off your dog, and I’m gone.”
“You ever want another round, it’s gonna cost you two million next time,” Con said.
“For another chance to make you bleed? I’d pay even more.”
Con nodded to his brother, and Lord let me go. The crowd had already started to disperse. The only person in the building who probably didn’t want to run me down in the parking lot was my COO, and arguably my friend, Ryder Colson. And he was nowhere to be seen.
Instead of Colson, I saw a group of women moving toward the door—Vanessa Frost in her white cotton dress, Elle Snyder in her yellow retro number, and two others I didn’t know. One looked familiar with tanned skin the color of honey, her hair in dark waves, and a curvy body displayed by a funky teal dress with hot-pink polka dots. She hooked her hands on her hips, and that husky laugh echoed through the room again. Apparently she was the one who had distracted me in the ring. My eyes didn’t move from her to take in the fourth woman.
Colson came up beside me. “Who knew there’d be so many hot pieces of ass in this shit warehouse?”
I turned toward him. “Give any of them a shot, and you’ll probably find yourself bleeding on the floor.”
Ryder shrugged off my comment. “Go get your shit. I’ll wait.”
He was gone before I could tell him he didn’t need to wait around for me. But then again, he was my only ally in a building full of people who undoubtedly would have preferred to see me KO’d on the floor of the ring. Just one more place I’d never be welcome.
Good thing I didn’t give a fuck.
I’d showed up, gone toe-to-toe with Con, and had taken back a piece of my pride. That was enough.
For today.
I was already thinking of hiring a trainer as I went for my bag.

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About the author:

Meghan March is the author of contemporary and erotic romance novels.

Meghan March has been known to wear camo face paint and tromp around in woods wearing mud-covered boots, all while sporting a perfect manicure. She’s also impulsive, easily entertained, and absolutely unapologetic about the fact that she loves to read and write smut. Her past lives include slinging auto parts, selling lingerie, making custom jewelry, and practicing corporate law. Writing books about dirty talking alpha males and the strong, sassy women who bring them to their knees is by far the most fabulous job she’s ever had. She loves hearing from her readers at