Tag Archives: Jessica Sorensen

Now Available in Paperback! Nova and Quinton: No Regrets (Nova, #3) by Jessica Sorensen *Review and Giveaway*

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Nova and Quinton: No Regrets (Nova, #3)
by Jessica Sorensen

A New Adult Contemporary Romance
From Forever
Paperback Release Date April 7th 2015

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Today is the first day of Quinton Carter’s new life. The toxic guilt of his past left him in pieces-but one girl unexpectedly put him back together. Thanks to Nova Reed, Quinton can finally see the world with clear eyes. She’s the reason his heart is still kicking behind the jagged scar on his chest. And he would love to have her in his arms every minute of the day . . . but he’s not ready yet.

Playing drums in a band and living with her best friends are just some of the highlights of Nova’s life. But the best new development? Talking to Quinton on the phone each night. She wishes she could touch him, kiss him, though she knows he needs time to heal. Yet shocking news is on the way-a reminder of life’s dark side-and Nova will need Quinton like he once needed her. Is he strong enough to take the final leap out of his broken past…and into Nova’s heart?

no regrets

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Review

5-stars

Nova and Quinton: No Regrets starts up at the moment Quinton is about to start his new life sober. Although scared, confused and uncertain of what is about to come, Quinton is still determined to make something of his new beginning. He is set to move in with his father and although he is armed with the tools he learned in rehab to deal with his emotions and difficult moments, he still can’t wrap his mind around being back home with his father and where all his problems began. Thankfully, he keeps busy, meets new people, goes to his meetings and most of all reconnects with Nova.

Nova continues to attend college and keeps busy with her job and her video diary. She’s in a good place in her life, but has never forgotten Quinton–the guy that got to her when she thought she was about done feeling anything for anybody.

After reading Breaking Nova and Saving Quinton I was most definitely invested in these characters so as you can imagine, I loved this story!

Jessica Sorensen did it again by continuing Nova and Quinton’s journey of self-discovery, this time through the use of text messages, phone calls and unexpected moments. What I enjoyed most about this story was the pace of it, the special moments and the intimate confessions. I don’t think I would have accepted any other way because from the very start their connection was ever present and only continued to grow.

Once again, the emotions of both characters were at the forefront of the story bringing forth the uncertainty of Nova and Quinton’s situation, their hesitations and their struggles about the direction their lives were taking in regards to both their relationship and that of them with other people. While Quinton settled into his new life, dealing with his father, his feelings towards Nova and his struggles with the role his past was playing in his recovery, Nova was struggling with feelings of helplessness, frustration and insecurity in regards to her need to have control over her life and that of the people around her. Both Nova and Quinton experienced growth as individuals and as a couple coming to term to what they were feeling towards each other. They grew strong, showed weakness, crumbled and picked themselves up as best they could and when they finally came together and truly let go they were able to move forward in their lives.

Packed-full of emotions, revealing moments and engaging interactions, the final chapter in Nova and Quinton’s journey of healing not only brings them together romantically (finally!) it also brings along all the fear, uncertainty and peace that comes with embracing a new beginning in life. All in all, an excellent conclusion to Nova and Quinton’s story.

*I received a copy of this title through NetGalley in exchange of my honest opinion.

 

 Excerpt

“I have to tell you something else, but it’s not good—it’s bad.” Before I can chicken out, I hurry and sputter, “Someone gave me a bag of meth today and I have it underneath my mattress.” As soon as I say it, I wonder why the hell I thought this was a good idea, throwing this on her. I need to stop relying on her so much—need to stand on my own two feet.

I’m about to hang up, because really it’s the only choice, but then she says, “Did you do any of it?”

“No.” My voice shakes as I grip the side of the mattress and battle to breathe evenly.

“Do you want to?” she asks calmly.

“Yes.” My voice is full of desperation.

“Are you… are you going to?” There’s a hint of worry in her tone.

“I’m not sure,” I admit. “I want to, but I also want to throw it away.”

“Then throw it away,” she says, as if it’s the easiest thing in the world to do.

“I don’t think I can.” My hands quiver just at the thought of it and I rest my forehead on the mattress, still on my knees “It feels fucking impossible.”

“Yes, you can.” She sounds so certain and I have no idea how she’s doing it—managing to sound so calm when I know she can’t be. “Just take it and dump it down the toilet. You can do this. I know you can.”

“You have too much faith in me,” I say, slipping my fingers between the bed and the mattress, fighting the urge to hang up on her and turn to what’s only inches away from my fingertips.

“No, I have the right amount,” she replies. “Now let me know when you have it and you’re headed to the bathroom. And don’t hang up on me.” It’s like she can read my mind.

I sit there forever, going back and forth with what I want and need to do. At one point I grab the bag of crystal and put it back. Then pull it out again and open it, staring at the white crystals so close I can almost taste them. But I can also hear Nova breathing on the other end. Soft and full of concern. Acting calm, when I’m sure she’s freaking out. I want to throw them away just for her, but I have to wonder if it’s possible to care for someone so much that I’d give this up. Do I care for her that much?

After a lot of deliberating, I come to one simple answer.

Yes. I care about her that much.

I get to my feet and make my way to the bathroom, not speaking. Then I lift up the toilet seat and, shutting my eyes, I tip the bag over, pour the contents into the water, and flush them down.

“Did you do it?” Nova asks at the sound of the flushing.

I press my lips together, resting back against the bathroom wall, realizing how sweaty I am and how much I’m gasping for air. “I did.”

“See, I knew you could do it,” she says with relief in her voice. “I knew you’d do the right thing.”

The right thing? Is that what I just did? Sometimes it feels like it is, but there are other times when it feels like what I’m doing is so wrong and disrespectful to Lexi. But through the right and wrong, there’s always one thing that gives me hope and that’s Nova. She’s what keeps me going.

 

The Nova Series

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Breaking Nova (Nova #1)

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Saving Quinton (Nova #2)

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About the Author

Jessica Sorensen

The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Jessica Sorensen, lives in the snowy mountains of Wyoming. When she’s not writing, she spends her time reading and hanging out with her family.

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Now Available in Paperback! Saving Quinton (Nova, #2) by Jessica Sorensen *Review, Excerpt and Giveaways*

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Saving Quinton (Nova #2)
by Jessica Sorensen

A New Adult Contemporary Romance
From Forever
Paperback Release February 3rd 2015

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Nova Reed used to have dreams-of becoming a famous drummer, of marrying her true love. But all of that was taken away in an instant. Now she’s getting by as best she can, though sometimes that means doing things the old Nova would never do. Things that are slowly eating away at her spirit. Every day blends into the next…until she meets Quinton Carter. His intense, honey brown eyes instantly draw her in, and he looks just about as broken as she feels inside.

Quinton once got a second chance at life-but he doesn’t want it. The tattoos on his chest are a constant reminder of what he’s done, what he’s lost. He’s sworn to never allow happiness into his life . . . but then beautiful, sweet Nova makes him smile. He knows he’s too damaged to get close to her, yet she’s the only one who can make him feel alive again. Quinton will have to decide: does he deserve to start over? Or should he pay for his past forever?

 

saving_quinton

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Review

5-stars

Saving Quinton picks up about a year after Breaking Nova ends, just as Nova is on her way home for summer break. After returning to school the previous year, Nova has found some semblance of closure regarding her boyfriend’s suicide, but she still can’t forget the guy that was there for her the previous summer – the man who despite being lost, helped save her from the downward spiral her life taking.

So after receiving some disturbing news about his past and the situation he finds himself in currently, Nova decides that she will try to help him like he helped her. She soon finds that her persistence and sympathy is not going to be enough to save Quinton.

Quinton doesn’t want to be saved. He wants to live his life in a daze because that’s the only way that he can bear being alive. His guilt is eating him alive and if that doesn’t finally end his life, drugs will surely do the trick – and that’s just the way he wants it.

Quinton

After reading Breaking Nova I was curious to see where life was leading Quinton because he surely was not leading his life. His fall from grace was a sad sight to see in the previous installment, but Jessica Sorensen sure didn’t pull any punches on this one. Holy shit! This was gritty and dark and so emotional! Quinton’s pain jumped off the page. His despair about losing his girlfriend and cousin was portrayed so intensely that my heart went out to him time and time again.

It’s rare that a book with this type of subject matter raises any type of feelings of understanding from my part. I was conflicted. I was engaged. I was invested.

Forgetting my feelings about drug use, I was absorbed in this story. Like Nova, I wanted to save Quinton, but my resolve dwindled and at times I just wanted to punch  some sense into him for being an absolute fool. But along with those feelings were the ones of understanding and caring I had for him. I felt myself becoming emotionally invested in his well being and each and every time he did drugs it pained me. I cried along with Nova and rejoiced at glimpses of the old Quinton.

I loved his moments of lucidity if only because I could see how he struggled with not only his guilt but with the feelings Nova had awaken in him. It was a sign that hope could still be harbored for the young man that used to be. I came to enjoy Nova and Quinton’s talks for only that reason. He did try hard not to involve her in his world and I admired the effort it took him to do that. It showed how deeply he had come to care for her.

I also enjoyed seeing this new side of Nova. She was focused and living in the moment. Yes, she still struggled with some issues but she continued to grow as the story progressed and she became more involved with Quinton.

Nova_Quinton

Again, this is not a romance – this is a story about survival. It’s a story about Nova’s loyalty for a young man she barely knew but who had awakened in her feelings she had given up ever feeling again. It’s a story about a troubled young man who can’t bear the guilt he has thrust upon himself and prefers to lose himself in drugs than to feel the pain of loss. But is is also a story about a young man discovering that maybe there is a future to be held. The next installment will surely reveal if Quinton is strong enough to face his past and move onto his future.

All in all, a fantastic addition to the journey of self-discovery for a girl who once thought she had nothing to live for and a young man who doesn’t even want to continue living but somehow continues to hold on.

 

Excerpt

I suddenly realize that I’m in my room. Awake. And Nova’s here. With me. My thoughts start racing as I try to recollect what happened. I was planning on those guys beating me to death. Why didn’t that happen? Because it was too easy? Do I deserve not to be let off so easy—do I deserve worse than death? But if that’s true then why’s Nova here?

“What are you doing here?” It’s painful to talk, but I force the words to leave my mouth. “Or am I dreaming?”

She repositions her hand on my cheek, but doesn’t pull away, the startled look in her eyes diminishing. “You’re not dreaming…you were unconscious but…are you okay?” She seems nervous and it reminds me of how innocent and good she is, and how she shouldn’t be here in the crack house that I call home.

“Why are you here?” I ask, my voice feeble as I try to sit up, but my arms aren’t working and I fall right back down on the mattress.

“I came here to see you,” she replies, absent-mindedly touching her lips, and I wonder if I really kissed her or if I was imagining it.

She stares at me with her fingers on her lips and it’s uncomfortable because she’s really looking at me. I’ve been so used to people looking through me, as if I were a ghost, seeing the drugs, the person that I am now, the worthlessness all over me, instead of who I used to be. I’ve forgotten what it’s like to be really looked at and for a split second I enjoy it. Then she looks away and I feel like I’m dying, my brain registering the pain in my legs, arms, chest—everywhere. And I’m crashing. Badly. My hands start to shake, my heart rate picking up as soon as I realize this.

“Go put some ice in a plastic bag,” she says, snapping her fingers at someone.

I hear a mutter and then Tristan steps into my view. He glances down at me and the haziness in his eyes lets me know he’s high on something, but I’m glad he’s at least here and it doesn’t look like he’s been beaten up. “Dude, you look like shit,” he tells me with a dopey-ass grin.

“I feel like shit,” I mutter, managing to get my hand up to my face to rub my eyes. “You look like you got away.”

“I did, and you should have run with me, you dumbass…I thought you were for a while until I realized I was alone.” Tristan chuckles under his breath. “Wait until you see yourself in a mirror.”

His amusement seems to piss Nova off and she gets to her feet, tugging the bottoms of her shorts down, fury burning in her eyes. “Go get a fucking bag to put the ice in,” she says, not yelling, but her tone is cold, abrupt, harsh, and she sort of shoves him. This isn’t the Nova I remember at all and she kind of scares me.

She seems to scare Tristan, too, who surrenders with his hands in front of him and backs toward the doorway. “Fine. Jesus, Nova. You don’t have to get crazy about it.”

“You haven’t even begun to see me get crazy,” she snaps, pointing at the door. “Now go get a damn bag.”

After Tristan leaves, she turns to the doorway and says, “What am I going to do?”

I can’t see who she’s talking to and it makes me wonder who the hell is in here. Delilah? I doubt it, since I don’t think she’d be asking Delilah that question.

“I don’t know,” someone replies. I still can’t see who it is, but I can tell the voice belongs to a female and I hate how excited I get over the fact that Nova’s not here with a guy.

Suddenly a girl with black hair and big blue eyes steps in. “He looks…” She assesses me, then looks at Nova. “He looks like he needs to go to a hospital.”

“No hospitals,” I croak. “I don’t have the cash to pay for that.” And I don’t deserve to heal so easily. I should suffer for getting up and running away from my death.

Nova stares down at me with reluctance. “Quinton, I really think you need to go to a hospital.” She kneels back down on the mattress, sweeping her long brown hair to the side as she leans over me. Her fingers gently enfold my wrist and, moving slowly, she bends my arm so I can get a good view of my hand. It’s twice the size it normally is and my skin is purple and blue. Even where her fingers are, the skin is swollen and raw, and it seems like her touch should hurt, but all I can feel is heat—her heat. God, I’ve missed her heat. I’ve spent the last year wrapped up in coldness, feeling the numbness of drugs and sex with random women and now she’s here and I feel like I’m burning up.

“It’s just a bruise,” I say, not looking at my hand, but at her. I want to hold her, hug her, kiss her, touch her, but I also want her to go away. Stay. Leave. Right. Wrong. Lexi. Nova. Guilt.

Guilt.

Guilt.

Guilt.

It was all your fault.

 

The Nova Series

17672770

Breaking Nova (Nova #1)
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About the Author

Jessica Sorensen

The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Jessica Sorensen, lives in the snowy mountains of Wyoming. When she’s not writing, she spends her time reading and hanging out with her family.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

 

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Launch Day Blitz: The Ever After of Ella and Micha by Jessica Sorensen *Excerpt and Giveaway*

Ever-After-of-Ella-&-Micha-Launch-Day-Blitz (1)

The Ever After of Ella and Micha (The Secret, #4)
by Jessica Sorensen

A New Adult Contemporary Romance
From Forever
Released December 2nd in Trade Paperback

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The day Ella has waited for is just around the corner. It’s the day she’ll marry Micha, the love of her life, the light that guided her out of the darkness. It looks like it will be the perfect Christmas-until an unexpected package arrives with a harsh reminder of Ella’s past. Suddenly Ella doesn’t feel as confident about her future. Can she really have a “happily-ever-after” if she’s never even seen one?

Micha will stand by Ella no matter what she’s going through-though he worries that she might leave him standing at the altar again. When he’s offered a once-in-a-lifetime chance to tour with his favorite bands for three months, Micha knows he can’t leave Ella behind. But can he ask her to uproot her life to join him on the road?

Now Ella and Micha must find a way to balance their fears, their dreams, and their love . . . if they ever want to hear wedding bells.

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Excerpt

 

“Baby, come on. Let them be. They deserve a beautiful wedding not an elopement in a tacky fake church.” Lila glides her hand up the front of his chest, stands on her tiptoes, and kisses his neck. Then she whispers something in his ear as she plays with his hair.

I’ll admit they make a cute couple, especially now that Lila has this whole grunge thing going. Her blond hair is chin length and streaked with black that matches Ethan’s hair. She’s wearing jeans and a tank top that aren’t name brand like everything she used to wear when we were living together. Her style goes well with Ethan’s laidback look: his plaid shirt and faded jeans and a pair of sneakers that he’s probably owned since he was sixteen. And Lila’s average height allows her to nestle her head against Ethan’s chest comfortably. Looking at them with the sunlight and my house in the backdrop, I find myself wishing I had time to draw them.

After a lot of kissing and whispering in Ethan’s ear, Lila convinces him to stop complaining and he begrudgingly agrees that Vegas is a ridiculous idea and that Micha and I should get married in Star Grove.

“A week is not a lot of time to prepare a wedding,” Lila declares, pulling her sunglasses over her eyes. “Not a real one with decorations, flowers, dresses, tuxes, and guests. God, I wish we had more time to plan this.”

“And I wish you wouldn’t take any time to plan it,” I say, and when she frowns I sigh. “Sorry, I’m just not into wedding stuff.” I round the car to the passenger side of the Chevelle, trailing my finger across a few dings and chips in the black paint that were put there when Micha intentionally crashed it into the snow bank.

Micha opens the driver door and steps back so Ethan can climb into the backseat. “It doesn’t matter what kind of wedding we have,” he says, “just as long as Ella’s there with me. In fact, we don’t even need dresses and tuxes. We could even be naked and standing in my backyard and I’d be okay.” He winks at me over the roof of the car. “As long as we’re together, I’ll be happy and being naked would just be an added bonus.”

This makes Lila giggle as she ducks her head and hops into the backseat with Ethan. I push the seat back, get in the car, and shut the door, then pull the visor down to block the sunlight.

Micha adjusts the driver’s seat before he closes the door and starts the engine. “So is everyone ready for this?” He looks around at the three of us, but when his eyes finally land on me I know he only really cares about my answer.

It takes me a second to answer and he notices my hesitation and his expression starts to fall. But even though my throat feels dry I manage to say, “Of course.” My voice trembles a little.

“Okay then.” Giving me a small but slightly forced smile, he backs down the driveway and drives toward the highway, toward home where all of this started. Where Micha and I first met, first talked, first played, kissed, fooled around, danced, said I love you.

Where Micha and I began.

 

About the Author

Jessica Sorensen
The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Jessica Sorensen, lives with her husband and three kids. When she’s not writing, she spends her time reading and hanging out with her family.

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Nova and Quinton: No Regrets (Nova #3) by Jessica Sorensen *Review and Excerpt*

no regrets

Title: Nova and Quinton ~ No Regrets (Nova #3)

Author: Jessica Sorensen

Release Date: April 15th 2014

Publisher: Forever

Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance

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Synopsis

Today is the first day of Quinton Carter’s new life. The toxic guilt of his past left him in pieces-but one girl unexpectedly put him back together. Thanks to Nova Reed, Quinton can finally see the world with clear eyes. She’s the reason his heart is still kicking behind the jagged scar on his chest. And he would love to have her in his arms every minute of the day . . . but he’s not ready yet.

Playing drums in a band and living with her best friends are just some of the highlights of Nova’s life. But the best new development? Talking to Quinton on the phone each night. She wishes she could touch him, kiss him, though she knows he needs time to heal. Yet shocking news is on the way-a reminder of life’s dark side-and Nova will need Quinton like he once needed her. Is he strong enough to take the final leap out of his broken past . . . and into Nova’s heart?

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Review

5-stars

 

Nova and Quinton: No Regrets starts up at the moment Quinton is about to start his new life sober. Although scared, confused and uncertain of what is about to come, Quinton is still determined to make something of his new beginning. He is set to move in with his father and although he is armed with the tools he learned in rehab to deal with his emotions and difficult moments, he still can’t wrap his mind around being back home with his father and where all his problems began. Thankfully, he keeps busy, meets new people, goes to his meetings and most of all reconnects with Nova.

Nova continues to attend college and keeps busy with her job and her video diary. She’s in a good place in her life, but has never forgotten Quinton–the guy that got to her when she thought she was about done feeling anything for anybody.

After reading Breaking Nova and Saving Quinton I was most definitely invested in these characters so as you can imagine, I loved this story!

Jessica Sorensen did it again by continuing Nova and Quinton’s journey of self-discovery, this time through the use of text messages, phone calls and unexpected moments. What I enjoyed most about this story was the pace of it, the special moments and the intimate confessions. I don’t think I would have accepted any other way because from the very start their connection was ever present and only continued to grow.

Once again, the emotions of both characters were at the forefront of the story bringing forth the uncertainty of Nova and Quinton’s situation, their hesitations and their struggles about the direction their lives were taking in regards to both their relationship and that of them with other people. While Quinton settled into his new life, dealing with his father, his feelings towards Nova and his struggles with the role his past was playing in his recovery, Nova was struggling with feelings of helplessness, frustration and insecurity in regards to her need to have control over her life and that of the people around her. Both Nova and Quinton experienced growth as individuals and as a couple coming to term to what they were feeling towards each other. They grew strong, showed weakness, crumbled and picked themselves up as best they could and when they finally came together and truly let go they were able to move forward in their lives.

Packed-full of emotions, revealing moments and engaging interactions, the final chapter in Nova and Quinton’s journey of healing not only brings them together romantically (finally!) it also brings along all the fear, uncertainty and peace that comes with embracing a new beginning in life. All in all, an excellent conclusion to Nova and Quinton’s story.

*I received a copy of this title through NetGalley in exchange of my honest opinion.

 

 Excerpt

“I have to tell you something else, but it’s not good—it’s bad.” Before I can chicken out, I hurry and sputter, “Someone gave me a bag of meth today and I have it underneath my mattress.” As soon as I say it, I wonder why the hell I thought this was a good idea, throwing this on her. I need to stop relying on her so much—need to stand on my own two feet.

I’m about to hang up, because really it’s the only choice, but then she says, “Did you do any of it?”

“No.” My voice shakes as I grip the side of the mattress and battle to breathe evenly.

“Do you want to?” she asks calmly.

“Yes.” My voice is full of desperation.

“Are you… are you going to?” There’s a hint of worry in her tone.

“I’m not sure,” I admit. “I want to, but I also want to throw it away.”

“Then throw it away,” she says, as if it’s the easiest thing in the world to do.

“I don’t think I can.” My hands quiver just at the thought of it and I rest my forehead on the mattress, still on my knees “It feels fucking impossible.”

“Yes, you can.” She sounds so certain and I have no idea how she’s doing it—managing to sound so calm when I know she can’t be. “Just take it and dump it down the toilet. You can do this. I know you can.”

“You have too much faith in me,” I say, slipping my fingers between the bed and the mattress, fighting the urge to hang up on her and turn to what’s only inches away from my fingertips.

“No, I have the right amount,” she replies. “Now let me know when you have it and you’re headed to the bathroom. And don’t hang up on me.” It’s like she can read my mind.

I sit there forever, going back and forth with what I want and need to do. At one point I grab the bag of crystal and put it back. Then pull it out again and open it, staring at the white crystals so close I can almost taste them. But I can also hear Nova breathing on the other end. Soft and full of concern. Acting calm, when I’m sure she’s freaking out. I want to throw them away just for her, but I have to wonder if it’s possible to care for someone so much that I’d give this up. Do I care for her that much?

After a lot of deliberating, I come to one simple answer.

Yes. I care about her that much.

I get to my feet and make my way to the bathroom, not speaking. Then I lift up the toilet seat and, shutting my eyes, I tip the bag over, pour the contents into the water, and flush them down.

“Did you do it?” Nova asks at the sound of the flushing.

I press my lips together, resting back against the bathroom wall, realizing how sweaty I am and how much I’m gasping for air. “I did.”

“See, I knew you could do it,” she says with relief in her voice. “I knew you’d do the right thing.”

The right thing? Is that what I just did? Sometimes it feels like it is, but there are other times when it feels like what I’m doing is so wrong and disrespectful to Lexi. But through the right and wrong, there’s always one thing that gives me hope and that’s Nova. She’s what keeps me going.

The Nova Series

17672770

Breaking Nova (Nova #1)

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Amazon | Barnes & NobleiTunes

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Saving Quinton (Nova #2)

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Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes

About the Author

Jessica Sorensen

The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Jessica Sorensen, lives in the snowy mountains of Wyoming. When she’s not writing, she spends her time reading and hanging out with her family.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

New Release: Saving Quinton (Nova #2) by Jessica Sorensen *Review*

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Title: Saving Quinton (Nova #2)

Author: Jessica Sorensen

Release Date: February 4th 2014

Publisher: Forever

Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance

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Synopsis

Nova Reed used to have dreams-of becoming a famous drummer, of marrying her true love. But all of that was taken away in an instant. Now she’s getting by as best she can, though sometimes that means doing things the old Nova would never do. Things that are slowly eating away at her spirit. Every day blends into the next . . . until she meets Quinton Carter. His intense, honey brown eyes instantly draw her in, and he looks just about as broken as she feels inside.

Quinton once got a second chance at life-but he doesn’t want it. The tattoos on his chest are a constant reminder of what he’s done, what he’s lost. He’s sworn to never allow happiness into his life . . . but then beautiful, sweet Nova makes him smile. He knows he’s too damaged to get close to her, yet she’s the only one who can make him feel alive again. Quinton will have to decide: does he deserve to start over? Or should he pay for his past forever?

section-break-4
Review

5-stars

Saving Quinton picks up about a year after Breaking Nova ends, just as Nova is on her way home for summer break. After returning to school the previous year, Nova has found some semblance of closure regarding her boyfriend’s suicide, but she still can’t forget the guy that was there for her the previous summer – the man who despite being lost, helped save her from the downward spiral her life taking.

So after receiving some disturbing news about his past and the situation he finds himself in currently, Nova decides that she will try to help him like he helped her. She soon finds that her persistence and sympathy is not going to be enough to save Quinton.

Quinton doesn’t want to be saved. He wants to live his life in a daze because that’s the only way that he can bear being alive. His guilt is eating him alive and if that doesn’t finally end his life, drugs will surely do the trick – and that’s just the way he wants it.

Quinton

After reading Breaking Nova I was curious to see where life was leading Quinton because he surely was not leading his life. His fall from grace was a sad sight to see in the previous installment, but Jessica Sorensen sure didn’t pull any punches on this one. Holy shit! This was gritty and dark and so emotional! Quinton’s pain jumped off the page. His despair about losing his girlfriend and cousin was portrayed so intensely that my heart went out to him time and time again.

It’s rare that a book with this type of subject matter raises any type of feelings of understanding from my part. I was conflicted. I was engaged. I was invested.

Forgetting my feelings about drug use, I was absorbed in this story. Like Nova, I wanted to save Quinton, but my resolve dwindled and at times I just wanted to punch  some sense into him for being an absolute fool. But along with those feelings were the ones of understanding and caring I had for him. I felt myself becoming emotionally invested in his well being and each and every time he did drugs it pained me. I cried along with Nova and rejoiced at glimpses of the old Quinton.

I loved his moments of lucidity if only because I could see how he struggled with not only his guilt but with the feelings Nova had awaken in him. It was a sign that hope could still be harbored for the young man that used to be. I came to enjoy Nova and Quinton’s talks for only that reason. He did try hard not to involve her in his world and I admired the effort it took him to do that. It showed how deeply he had come to care for her.

I also enjoyed seeing this new side of Nova. She was focused and living in the moment. Yes, she still struggled with some issues but she continued to grow as the story progressed and she became more involved with Quinton.

Nova_Quinton

Again, this is not a romance – this is a story about survival. It’s a story about Nova’s loyalty for a young man she barely knew but who had awakened in her feelings she had given up ever feeling again. It’s a story about a troubled young man who can’t bear the guilt he has thrust upon himself and prefers to lose himself in drugs than to feel the pain of loss. But is is also a story about a young man discovering that maybe there is a future to be held. The next installment will surely reveal if Quinton is strong enough to face his past and move onto his future.

All in all, a fantastic addition to the journey of self-discovery for a a girl who once thought she had nothing to live for and a young man who doesn’t even want to continue living but somehow continues to hold on.

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About the Author

Jessica Sorensen[1][1]

The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Jessica Sorensen, lives in the snowy mountains of Wyoming. When she’s not writing, she spends her time reading and hanging out with her family.

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The Nova Series

breaking nova

Breaking Nova (Nova #1)

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Review: Breaking Nova by Jessica Sorensen

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Title: Breaking Nova (Nova #1)

Author: Jessica Sorensen

Release Date: September 3rd 2013

Publisher: Forever

Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance

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Synopsis

Nova Reed used to have dreams-of becoming a famous drummer, of marrying her true love. But all of that was taken away in an instant. Now she’s getting by as best she can, though sometimes that means doing things the old Nova would never do. Things that are slowly eating away at her spirit. Every day blends into the next . . . until she meets Quinton Carter. His intense, honey brown eyes instantly draw her in, and he looks just about as broken as she feels inside.

Quinton once got a second chance at life-but he doesn’t want it. The tattoos on his chest are a constant reminder of what he’s done, what he’s lost. He’s sworn to never allow happiness into his life . . . but then beautiful, sweet Nova makes him smile. He knows he’s too damaged to get close to her, yet she’s the only one who can make him feel alive again. Quinton will have to decide: does he deserve to start over? Or should he pay for his past forever?

 

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Review

5-stars

Nova doesn’t want to go back home for summer break. She has come a long way from the place she was when she left to go to college, but she fears she will only lose herself once again if she goes home. Looking for answers to questions left unanswered after her boyfriend’s suicide, Nova doesn’t know how to fully move on. Once she returns home, she finds that she’s still stuck between heart and reason and she just needs it to go away.

Quinton doesn’t want to continue with what his life has become. Preferring to forget than confront his demons Quinton decides to move in with his cousin, only adding fuel to his already overwhelming guilt. Not caring what becomes of his life, he is determined to make the pain and the memories disappear. But then he meets Nova and she arises in him feelings he once swore never to feel again.

Two broken souls find each other, each wanting to save the other, but neither wanting to save themselves.

NOVA_

I have to say that Jessica Sorensen is fast becoming my go to author for deep, emotional stories that tug at my heart strings. She pulls me into the story and doesn’t ever let go, not even when I’ve encountered the last word on the page. I make the characters’ emotional well-being my own – I want to shelter them, smack them upside the head and comfort them. How can so many conflicted emotions be felt for a pair of fictional characters? Brilliant!

This story was no different. Although Sorensen managed to bring her trademark drama and angst-ridden story, this one was so much more. Darker and grittier with a hopeless vibe that compels you, Nova and Quinton’s story is not romantic nor sweet, but it is fantastic.

From the cast of characters that keep you guessing as to which is more screwed up, the range in emotions that never fully come close to happiness and the undertones of a blooming romance, Breaking Nova has all the elements necessary for me to consider is an exceptional read. Call me a masochist, but there is nothing I enjoy more than two broken characters that awaken from their slumber only because they have met their match. They struggle, give in, retreat and surrender. They suffer along the way and lose themselves in the process and their journey back is more exceptional because of the obstacles they overcome.

This is mainly Nova’s story and as such it is very good. But when you add Quinton into the mix, it takes it to a whole new level. Yes, I like my men broken because I love to watch them grow. I didn’t get to experience Quinton’s growth, but the glimpses of the boy he was and the man he could become is worth the wait until Saving Quinton, the next book in the series, releases early next week.

I’m curious to see how Nova has adjusted after the changes she went through in this story, but if I’m being honest I can’t wait to see what’s in store for Quinton.

This is not a romantic, happily ever after type of story, but it is about growth as a person and connecting on a deeper level with another person. But mostly it is a story about a girl finally accepting her reality while still keeping the faith and being strong enough to move on.
breaking_nova

About the Author

Jessica Sorensen

The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Jessica Sorensen, lives in the snowy mountains of Wyoming. When she’s not writing, she spends her time reading and hanging out with her family.

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‘Forever Young’ Blog Tour featuring Jessica Sorensen, J.A. Redmerski, Shannon Richard and Nyrae Dawn

Forever-Young-Blog-Tour

Welcome to the Forever Young Blog Tour. Below you will find all relevant information and excerpts for books from authors Jessica Sorensen, J.A. Redmerski, Shannon Richard and Nyrae Dawn. I hope you enjoy my reviews for Masquerade, The Destiny of Violet & Luke and Undone along with the spotlight on Song of the Fireflies.

masquerade

Title: Masquerade (Games #3)

Author: Nyrae Dawn

Published: January 7th 2014

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Synopsis

A biker. A tattoo artist. A love to last a lifetime.

Maddox Cross has always had to be tough. When his father went to jail for murder, the teenager took care of his sister and mother. Now on his own and working security at a night club, Maddox wants to become a tattoo artist-a dream that comes closer to reality when he falls for the hottest, most tatted woman he’s ever seen. She’s wild and beautiful, and Maddox will do anything to be with her.

Bee Malone came to town to open up her new tattoo parlor, Masquerade. Since being kidnapped as a young girl, Bee has had trouble getting close to anyone. But when she meets Maddox, she sees that under his hard biker’s body is the sensitive soul of an artist. What starts out as a sizzling one-night stand soon becomes so much more.

Bee wants Maddox to join her tattoo business, but letting him into her life means revealing all her most intimate secrets. And as the past begins to intertwine with her present, Bee fears their love may not be as permanent as their ink . . .

Review

5-stars

Maddox has always been taking care of the ones he loves, but his guilt for the one time he didn’t speak up has hunted him for years. He feels unworthy and like a failure, so he keeps to himself, making no commitments and keeping people from seeing who he really is. So when he meets Bee his rapport with her is no different since he doesn’t expect to see her ever again.

For the past few years Bee has been struggling about who she is and about what her family expects her to be. She knows what she wants and how to go about it, but she’s still conflicted by that one aspect of her life. Not one to let people get close to her, she sees in Maddox something that calls to her and although she wants to keep her distance, their chemistry is too strong to be denied.

Loved. L-O-V-E-D this story.

Out of all the books in this series, I have to say that Masquerade is so far the edgiest and most emotional of them all. I loved Maddox. He tried so hard to do the right thing and feels so conflicted about his actions when his family came apart. He feels guilty for Adrian, for his sister and his mother. He carried such a heavy burden on his shoulders that I just wanted to smack some sense into him and keep him from feeling worse.

Like Maddox, Bee’s problems were taking its toll on her. But in a sense she was stronger and more determined to stick to her guns. I loved how the author went about bringing these two together. It was great to see how Bee recognized some aspects of herself in Maddox and how drawn they were to each other.

Was there chemistry? Hell yeah! But there was so much more to their connection than lust. Slowly but surely they came to rely on each other. Their interactions grew from cold and withdrawn to something more meaningful where you could glimpse their vulnerability and their need to connect to someone else. Neither one of them was looking for love, but they got smack with it nonetheless. Through flirtatious banter, honest exchanges, looks and touches Maddox and Bee’s connection grew into something palpable that could not be stopped.

Masquerade is the second book in the Games series and although it can be read as a stand alone I recommend reading Facade first so you can get the whole story behind what has Maddox so conflicted. Plus it was a great story and a 5 star read for me.

All in all, an amazing story of letting go, fighting your demons and opening up to what the future holds.

Excerpt

“Did you bring any drawings?” Bee sits at the chair behind a desk.

I hand her a book, but the second I do, I want to snatch it back. It’s always like that showing someone my work, even though I know it’s good. “That’s just one I had with me. I have more at home.”

She doesn’t answer as she starts flipping through the pages. After a couple minutes of watching her study each page, I start to get jittery. Feel like she’s looking inside me instead of at some pages, so to distract myself, I move around the room, taking in pictures of her work and other tattoos on the walls.

She looks at the book for what seems like an hour before speaking. “These are good. They’re different. Your artwork has a unique style that I haven’t seen before.”

I nod.

“Why do you want to be a tattoo artist?” she asks. The question shows me how serious she is about what she does because no one has brought it up before.

The urge to tell her it’s none of her business surges through me, but I want this badly enough to answer. “Because when I’m around it, I feel more like myself than I probably ever have.”

A brief flash of shock shows on her face, but she covers it quickly. “Good. I won’t screw around with someone who’s playing a game. This isn’t something you do to make a quick buck. Not if you’re working with me, at least. Did you get a chance to actually give anyone ink?”

“No. The apprenticeship only lasted three months before he bailed.”

Bee nods. “That’s good. I actually rather you have hardly any experience—that way I don’t have to train bad habits out of you.”

“I’m not a dog.”

“No one said you were. Chill out, Scratch.”

I tense at the name, but before I can really say anything, she starts asking questions again. “Do you lean toward liking only black work or are you into color too?”

Everything I have so far is only black, but as I look at her again, I see a variety of black and colorful work. “Depends. I don’t want to do only one or the other. I love work with shading too. I’ve seen some pieces that are really incredible just because of the shading.”

She nods and I wonder if that was the right answer.

“I’m not saying you don’t, but this is something you have to take seriously. There are a lot of dumb-asses out there who think it’s all fun, but it’s not. Stuff like being clean and safe is even more important than the picture you put into someone’s skin.”

“That’s a given, isn’t it?”

She grins. “You’d think, but it’s not always like that.”

We’re both quiet after that. Bee glances down at my artwork again. “I’m surprised I even let you in here tonight. It’s important that you know that. I don’t take shit from people.”

One look at her and that’s obvious. Part of me didn’t expect her to open the door for me either. “I’m surprised I came, so that makes two of us.” When she looks up at me, I’m not sure how I feel about the way her eyes take me in. Don’t know what I think about the fact that we have shit in common or that her look is familiar to me. I give it myself.

Bee stands, walks around to the front of the desk, and then leans on it. “If we do this, can we keep things from getting awkward?”

My answer comes automatically. “I can if you can. It was one night. We don’t know each other and I’m never with someone more than once anyway.” I’ve shared this strange sort of honesty with her tonight that makes my body overheat. I want all the words back because they’re a part of me and I don’t want anyone to see who I am, but this is it. Saying these things to her is the only way to get what I want.

“Now that you’ve asked your questions and realize this isn’t a game to me, I need to know if we’re doing this or not.”

Silently she walks toward the door and opens it. I hold in the groan, pissed at myself for fucking this up again and even more pissed that she’s in control.

Bee turns toward me, her blond hair messy from sleep, but it’s another thing she doesn’t care about. It doesn’t take away from how sexy she is either.

“We’re doing this. Don’t make me regret it. Now I need to get some sleep and then we’ll talk tomorrow about a schedule.”

I let out the breath trapped in my lungs. Thanks, echoes through my mind, but all that comes out is, “Cool. We’ll talk later.” Then I walk out the door.

Instead of going home, I head to the high school. It’s such a dumb fucking thing to do, but like I’ve done other nights, I jump the fence and head to the football field. Sitting in the middle of it, I let my eyes trace over the whole thing, trying to remember the time this used to be important to me. And trying not to concentrate on the fact that even though I got something I want, something I need, I still want to take out the fucking world because of everything I’ve lost.

About the Author

Nyrae Dawn_Photo Credit - Cherished Memories Photography

Writing has always been Nyrae Dawn’s passion. Nyrae gravitates toward character-driven stories. She loves going on emotional journeys with characters whether it be reading or writing. And yes, she’s a total romantic at heart and proud.

Nyrae resides in sunny Southern California with her husband (who still makes her swoon) and her two awesome kids.

When she’s not with her family, you can be pretty sure you’ll find her with a book in her hand or her laptop and an open document in front of her. Nyrae also writes adult romance under the name Kelley Vitollo.

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Other Books in the Games Series

Charade (Games, #1)

Charade (Games, #1)

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Facade (Games, #2)

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violet and luke

Title: The Destiny of Violet & Luke (The Coincidence #3)

Author: Jessica Sorensen

Release Date: January 7th 2014

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Synopsis

Luke Price’s life has always been about order, control, and acting tough on the outside. For Luke, meaningless relationships are a distraction-a way to tune out the twisted memories of his childhood. He desperately wishes he could forget his past, but it haunts him no matter what he does.

Violet Hayes has had a rough life. When she was young, she was left with no family and the memory of her parents’ unsolved murders. She grew up in foster homes, living with irresponsible parents, drugs, and neglect, and trying to fight the painful memories of the night her parents were taken from her. But it’s hard to forget when she never got closure-and she can’t stop dreaming about what happened that tragic night. To make it through life, she keeps her distance from everyone and never allows herself to feel anything.

Then Violet meets Luke. The two clash instantly, yet they can’t seem to stay away from each other. Although they fight it, they both start to open up and feel things they’ve never felt before. They discover just how similar they are. But they also discover something else: The past always catches up with you . . .

Review

5-stars

Luke just wants to leave his past behind the only way he knows how – through booze and sex. Although that has worked since he was 16 years old, he feels that his walls are closing in on him when he finds himself with nowhere to go but back home for the summer with his mother. Luke never paid attention to Violet before. But in a move that surprises even himself, Luke finds himself spending time with her after she runs into him at a party. Even more surprising to Luke is the fact that he’s drawn to Violet. She’s always on his mind bringing along the very emotions he doesn’t want to feel for someone else, let alone a woman.

Violet has always kept to herself. She doesn’t depend on anybody and believes that people don’t care about anyone but themselves. She’s detached and unemotional. So when she finds that Luke is awakening feelings in her she never once thought she would feel, she’s determined to keep in at bay.

Thrown together by circumstances out of their control, they find themselves fighting the emotions they bring out on each other. But Fate can be a sneaky game-changer and just as they find a balance between friendship and something more, their world is turned on its axis.

Loved, loved, LOVED this story! And if you like stories where you feel invested in the main characters’ emotional welfare this is the book for you too.

Keep in mind that although this is the third book in The Coincidence series, it can be read as a stand alone so don’t miss out on reading it if you haven’t read the previous ones.

You can find my full review here.

Excerpt

“Maybe you should go get cleaned up first.” She runs her thumb down the side of my lip and the connection sends uninvited emotions coursing through my body. I have to clench my hands into fists, just to keep myself from grabbing her and crashing her lips against mine. She withdraws her hand and wipes her thumb and her finger together. “You have blood on your face and clothes.”

I shrug, smothering the desire to jerk her hand back to me, rip her clothes off and bend her over the hood out of my truck. “I’m fine with looking like a man who just beat the shit out of someone, but if you’re too embarrassed to be seen with me, you can sit in the truck.”

“ ‘A man who just beat the shit out of someone’?” she muses, stopping at the passenger door of my truck, her hand hovering above the handle of the car door. “Or a guy who just got his ass kicked?”

I can’t tell if she’s toying with me or not, but it’s both irritating me and exciting me in ways I didn’t know were possible. Half the damn time I have no fucking clue whether she’s being serious or not. Being a control freak, this should send me running, yet it’s having the opposite effect when it comes to her.

I decide to give her a taste of her own intense medicine, throw her off a little, regain the upper hand and hopefully scare her away. “Are you saying that I’m not tough?” I position myself in front of her, trying to get her to back up into the truck, but she stays still. “Or that I’m not a man?”

“I’m not saying either,” she says with a fervent look in her eyes that nearly sends me soaring through the roof. The more intense I get the more excited she gets, which makes me want to get even more intense. “Although, I’m guessing that despite that fact, you’re still about to show me that you’re both of those things.”

“Is that what you want me to do?” My voice comes out husky. This isn’t working out how I want, my plan of keeping her away backfiring on me. I take a step forward and then another, until I’m pretty much stepping on her feet. She still doesn’t back up and it frustrates me even more. “For me to show you how tough I am or how much of a man I am?”

She presses her lips together, her gaze unwavering, eyelashes fluttering. “I don’t want anything from you, Luke. I’m just simply saying what’s in my head. And the longer you’re around me, the more you’ll realize this.”

The longer I’m around her? Fuck. I reach a hand around the side of her and grab the door handle of the truck. “So you don’t think I’m tough?” I ask.

“I think you want to show me how tough you are and how much of a man you can be,” she says.

I put my other arm on the other side of her, so she’s pinned between my arms. Most girls in this position would back up into the door, but she stands firm, refusing to let me control her like I desperately want to.

“And how would I show you?” I drop my voice to a husky growl, intentionally this time.

“I’m sure you have your ways,” she replies, her gaze flickering at my mouth as I lean forward and our bodies press together.

It takes every ounce of strength not to seize hold of her hips and gently shove her back. Instead, I lean farther in, our lips inching closer. “I do have my ways…” I lick my lips and feel the sting of the cut. It reminds me of everything I just

witnessed; with her, with me. I know if I kiss her it’ll more than likely lead to me jerking the door open and throwing her down on the truck seat, right here in broad daylight. I wouldn’t care who saw us. I never do. I’d just want to get this God damn need to regain control out of me, the need she’s putting in me. But then what would happen after it was all over? Would we go get tacos and come back to my dorm and hang out? Yeah, that doesn’t seem at all possible, but neither does screwing her and then bailing. I’m too far into her and I’m not sure how to get away or if I can get away at this point.

I clench my hands into fists as I fight the urge to shut my eyes and kiss her until she can barely breathe. I feel weak the moment I flip up that handle and start to pull the door open because I’m choosing to feel the vile, pathetic feelings of my past—how I did things I didn’t want to do, how my mother messed with my head, how I had no control over my life. I was a puppet. I was weak. I don’t want to be that person ever again.

I wait for Violet to move out of the way so I can get the door open, but she doesn’t budge and I’m the one who ends up stepping back, losing again. It’s an unsettling place I’ve arrived at and I don’t know what to do with it beside drink myself into a stupor and hammer my fist through anything that gets in my way. My body is actually shaking as my mind craves the burning, blissful taste of alcohol.

“So where are we going to get tacos?” She sidesteps around me and hops in the truck, tucking her skirt in as she brings her legs into the truck.

“You pick,” I say as I shut the door.

She smiles a plain, fake smile, not even giving me the benefit of a real one. “It doesn’t matter to me,” she says as I climb into the cab. Then she kicks her feet up on the dash and flops her head back against the seat, looking as calm as can be.

I have to wonder if she really means it. If nothing matters to her, and if she’s beginning to matter to me.

About the Author

Jessica Sorensen[1][1]

The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Jessica Sorensen, lives in the snowy mountains of Wyoming. When she’s not writing, she spends her time reading and hanging out with her family.

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Other Books in The Coincidence series

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The Coincidence of Callie & Kayden (The Coincidence #1)

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16718083

The Redemption of Callie & Kayden (The Coincidence #2)

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song

Title: Song of the Fireflies

Author: J.A. Redmerski

Release Date: February 4th 2014

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Excerpt

When I made my way back to the top, I found Bray wasn’t sitting near the edge of the ridge where I had left her I moved farther out into the clearing with our blankets draped over one shoulder.

“Bray?” I said, looking around.

I brushed it off for a second, thinking she was probably just taking a piss behind a tree somewhere, and I set our blankets on the ground.

But then I got a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach.

I walked quickly toward the edge and looked over. My heart started to bang against my rib cage. I peered down as far as my sight could penetrate the darkness, but took a step back upon realizing that if she had fallen there was no way I’d be able to see from way up here.

She had to be somewhere around close by. She had to be.

“Bray?” I called out again. “Where the hell did you go?”

Still no answer.

Panic set in quickly. I stood there as still and as quiet as I could for several long seconds in case she was coming through the woods, but I heard nothing. I arranged both hands around my mouth and shouted, “BRAY!” and my voice echoed through the wide-open space. But still nothing. I felt sick to my stomach. She wouldn’t have left like that way out here. And if she did, I would’ve seen her on the path coming down as I was making my way back up.

I ran toward the tree line, searching for any sign of her, for another path she might have taken. I refused to believe that she had fallen off the edge.

Just as I noticed another path through the woods that seemed to head south and I started to go toward it, I heard footfalls in the leaves. I didn’t wait to see if it was her, I ran blindly

straight into the woods. A skinny branch slapped me across the forehead on my way, but I didn’t stop.

Bray and I nearly crashed into each other.

“Shit, baby! Where the hell did you go? Scared the hell out of me!” I started to pull her into a hug, but something about her was off and I stopped. She didn’t respond or even raise her head to look at me.

“Are you all right?”

I took her hands into mine. Hers were shaking. Her whole body was shaking.

I cupped her face in my palms and raised her head so that she’d look at me. She was crying, and something in her eyes…I couldn’t place it, but it haunted me. I wondered if she even knew I was standing right in front of her. Her hair was messy, with pieces of leaves stuck within a mass of strands. Dirt was smeared across her left cheek. She looked like she’d been in a fight.

I touched her split lip, where a thin line of blood glistened near the corner. “Bray, you’re scaring me. What happened to you?” I shook her gently and then more aggressively when she still didn’t respond. “What happened? Talk to me!”

Her lips trembled and more tears seeped from the corners of her eyes. And then as if a floodgate had been opened, she started screaming through her tears, “It was my fault! Elias! Oh my God!”

“What happened?” I roared, scared for her and for myself, my heart about to burst through my chest.

About the Author

jredmerski12

J.A. Redmerski, New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author lives in North Little Rock, Arkansas with her three children, two cats and a Maltese. She is a lover of television and books that push boundaries and is a huge fan of AMC’s The Walking Dead.

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undone

Title: Undone (Country Roads #1)

Author: Shannon Richard

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Synopsis

Things Paige Morrison will never understand about Mirabelle, Florida:

Why wearing red shoes makes a girl a harlot
Why a shop would ever sell something called “buck urine”
Why everywhere she goes, she runs into sexy-and infuriating-Brendan King

After losing her job, her apartment, and her boyfriend, Paige has no choice but to leave Philadelphia and move in with her retired parents. For an artsy outsider like Paige, finding her place in the tightly knit town isn’t easy-until she meets Brendan, the hot mechanic who’s interested in much more than Paige’s car. In no time at all, Brendan helps Paige find a new job, new friends, and a happiness she wasn’t sure she’d ever feel again. With Brendan by her side, Paige finally feels like she can call Mirabelle home. But when a new bombshell drops, will the couple survive, or will their love come undone?

Review

3-stars

Paige is down on her luck recently. Having moved in with her parents to a small town in Florida, Paige is having trouble while she gets her life back together.

In comes Brendan to the rescue. Literally and figuratively too. Brendan is a fix-it kind of man and when he notices Paige struggling he decides to help her in a any way he can. They develop an easy friendship that eventually leads to more, overwhelming them both.

Undone was a good start in the Country Roads series regardless of some of the problems I encountered. All in all, a simple, feel-good romance.

You can find my full review here.

Excerpt

When Brendan pulled into the shade of the park he saw Paige sitting on top of a picnic table. She was staring down at the screen of her camera, biting the corner of her lip. She looked up at the tree and then back down to her camera, shaking her head. Brendan pushed his sunglasses to the top of his head, grabbed his loot, and got out of his truck. When he slammed the door shut she looked over at him. She turned her camera off and shoved it into a bag that was on the table.

“Hey,” she said, standing up and brushing the back of her orange dress down before she started walked toward him.

“Hi,” he said, walking past her and sitting down on top of the picnic table.

“What are you doing?” she asked, spinning around and looking at him. “My Jeep’s over there.”

“Yes,” he said, grabbing a Coke and popping the top. “But lunch is over here.”

“I thought you were going to change my flat,” she said, frowning.

“I am, after I eat lunch. Care to join me?” he asked, patting the empty space next to him.

“You’re serious?”

“Paige, it’s almost one o’clock, so I’m going to eat. You can either stand there and watch me, or you can split this Cajun turkey sandwich that my grandmother made,” he said, taking the sandwich out of the bag.

She shook her head and smiled.

“You, Brendan King, are a whole mess of trouble,” she said, walking over to the bench and sitting down next to him.

“Good choice,” he said, taking his half out of the bag and handing her the other half. “What are you doing out here?” he asked, taking a bite of his sandwich.

“Taking pictures.”

“For?”

“The tribute program that Mr. Adams wants to start using during the memorial services. He wants to use local pictures instead of the stock pictures that are already in the program.”

“That sounds like it’s right up your alley.”

“It is actually,” she said, reaching for the other can of soda and popping the top.

“Don’t sound so surprised.”

“Why? That I could actually fit in around here? It does surprise me.”

“Why?”

“I’m not used to this whole small-town thing, where everybody knows everybody and their business.”

“Yeah, that’s one of the things about small towns that sucks,” he said, opening a bag of chips and holding it out for her.

“You can say that again,” she said, reaching for a chip. “Why don’t you have oil stains on your hands? I thought all mechanics had oil stains.”

“I wear gloves,” he said, grabbing a few chips for himself and popping them into his mouth.

“Right.” She glanced down and frowned, reaching out for his arm.

“The tree,” she whispered, grabbing his elbow and pushing up the sleeve of his shirt.

Her soft, delicate fingers lightly traced the lines of his tattoo. It took only one simple touch from her for him to completely lose his mind again.

“I knew I’d seen it somewhere.” She looked up to the oak tree in front of them and then back down to his arm. “Why do you have that tree tattooed on your arm?” she asked, looking up at him.

She must have seen the heated look in his eyes because she let go of him and started blushing.

“Sorry, I just … yesterday when I’d been looking at your tattoo, it just sort of fascinated me, and … and it’s that tree,” she said, pointing to the tree in front of them.

“It is.” He cleared his throat and finished his sandwich. He grabbed an orange from the bag on the table and started peeling it. “My mom loved that tree,” he said, looking up at it for a second. “She would bring me and Grace here all the time.”

“Loved?” Paige asked.

“She died,” he said, turning to look at her. “Twelve years ago from breast cancer.”

“Oh God, Brendan. I’m so sorry.”

“I am too. She was a great woman. Grams still can’t talk about her without losing it.”

“Wait, your mom was Lula Mae and Oliver’s daughter?” she asked, confused.

“Yeah,” he said, looking over at her. “I know a little bit about being the center of town talk too. My dad walked out on us before I was born, and Grace’s dad, well, no one knows who Grace’s dad is. My mom wouldn’t tell anybody. That was a source of gossip for years,” he said, handing her half of the peeled orange.

The orange was still cold from being in the refrigerator. Brendan stuck a slice in his mouth, the juice bursting across his tongue. Paige sat next to him in silence, eating her half.

“How do you do it?” she asked, looking at him.

“Do what?”

“Accept stuff like that? Move on? I lost my job, my apartment, and my boyfriend all within a span of two months and I thought that everything was falling down around me. But you? God, Brendan, you had a girlfriend run off with another man, your dad abandoned you, and your mom she …” Paige trailed off. She looked down at her empty hands shaking her head. “You make my problems look trivial.”

“Paige,” he said, edging closer to her and pressing his thigh against hers.

She looked at him, her hair falling in her eyes. He reached out and pushed it behind her ear, letting his fingers trail down to her chin.

“That stuff happened over a long span of time, and I’ve had years to deal with it. You had to deal with a lot over a very short amount of time, and it didn’t happen so long ago. It isn’t trivial,” he said, rubbing his thumb across her jaw. “One day, you’ll wake up and it won’t hurt as bad. You’ll be able to move on.”

“I think I had that breakthrough a week ago,” she whispered, her eyes dipping to his mouth before they came back up to his eyes.

“Really?” He smiled, moving in closer. “And what was the catalyst for that development?” he asked, moving his hand to the back of her head, his fingers tunneling in her hair.

“A cracked radiator,” she said, putting her palms on his chest.

He brought her mouth to his. She parted her lips and when his tongue touched hers he lost himself. She tasted like oranges, like the sweetest freaking oranges that he’d ever eaten. He wrapped his free arm around her back, pulling her into his chest as he slanted his mouth over hers, deepening the kiss. One of her hands was in his hair, her nails racking the back of his head.

Brendan pulled back and looked at her, both of them breathing hard. He was still holding her face in one of his hands as he ran his thumb across her lower lip.

“That was …” He couldn’t even find the words to describe exactly what it was.

“Yeah.” She looked at him, dazed as she fisted her hand tighter in his shirt and pulled him back to her. And then they were off again and neither of them had any desire to come back up for air for a long time.

About the Author

Shannon Richard
Shannon Richard grew up in the Panhandle of Florida as the baby sister of two overly protective, but loving brothers. She was raised by a more than somewhat eccentric mother, a self-proclaimed vocabularist who showed her how to get lost in a book, and a father who passed on his love for coffee and really loud music. She graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelor’s in English Literature, and still lives in Tallahassee where she battles everyday life with writing, reading, and a rant every once in a while. Okay, so the rants might happen on a regular basis. She’s still waiting for her Southern, scruffy, Mr. Darcy and in the meantime writes love stories to indulge her overactive imagination. Oh, and she’s a pretty big fan of the whimsy.

Website | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest

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The Destiny of Violet & Luke by Jessica Sorensen *Review*

 

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Title: The Destiny of Violet & Luke (The Coincidence #3)

Author: Jessica Sorensen

Release Date: January 7th 2014

Publisher: Forever

Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance

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Buy the Book
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Synopsis

Luke Price’s life has always been about order, control, and acting tough on the outside. For Luke, meaningless relationships are a distraction-a way to tune out the twisted memories of his childhood. He desperately wishes he could forget his past, but it haunts him no matter what he does.

Violet Hayes has had a rough life. When she was young, she was left with no family and the memory of her parents’ unsolved murders. She grew up in foster homes, living with irresponsible parents, drugs, and neglect, and trying to fight the painful memories of the night her parents were taken from her. But it’s hard to forget when she never got closure-and she can’t stop dreaming about what happened that tragic night. To make it through life, she keeps her distance from everyone and never allows herself to feel anything.

Then Violet meets Luke. The two clash instantly, yet they can’t seem to stay away from each other. Although they fight it, they both start to open up and feel things they’ve never felt before. They discover just how similar they are. But they also discover something else: The past always catches up with you . . .

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Review

5-stars

Luke just wants to leave his past behind the only way he knows how – through booze and sex. Although that has worked since he was 16 years old, he feels that his walls are closing in on him when he finds himself with nowhere to go but back home for the summer with his mother. Luke never paid attention to Violet before. But in a move that surprises even himself, Luke finds himself spending time with her after she runs into him at a party. Even more surprising to Luke is the fact that he’s drawn to Violet. She’s always on his mind bringing along the very emotions he doesn’t want to feel for someone else, let alone a woman.

Violet has always kept to herself. She doesn’t depend on anybody and believes that people don’t care about anyone but themselves. She’s detached and unemotional. So when she finds that Luke is awakening feelings in her she never once thought she would feel, she’s determined to keep in at bay.

Thrown together by circumstances out of their control, they find themselves fighting the emotions they bring out on each other. But Fate can be a sneaky game-changer and just as they find a balance between friendship and something more, their world is turned on its axis.

Loved, loved, LOVED this story!

Why you ask? Simple, this story is all about emotions, emotions, emotions and I’m a sucker for punishment. So of course I immersed myself into it from start to finish until I felt as overwhelmed as Violet and Luke.

I’ve read the two previous books in the series, The Coincidence of Callie & Kayden and The Redemption of Callie & Kayden, both emotion-driven and 5-star reads for me but this story took it a step further. It was as emotional as the others but it was something else too. It was gritty, dark and edgy. Although there were some light moments, which I loved, it was those emotional moments when the main characters came face to face with what they were so determined to keep locked up that really got to me.

Is this a romance? In a way. I actually see it more as a story of survival where you get to know and experience what it has taken these two complex and troubled individuals to be where they are right now. What they have achieved was no easy feat and although they are f*cked up to the nth degree, they have made their way into something resembling ‘normal’.

I loved watching them getting to know each other. Their banter and their bickering was as entertaining as their confessions and honest interactions. I don’t know if I wanted to keep them apart or throw them together in a room to devour each other. They were ideal for each other, but so complicated that it was a struggle for me to imagine them together. And that is another reason why I loved this story. It made me analyze their every intention, action and reaction to the point that when the end came I was as emotionally drained as them. I can’t wait to read what’s in store for these two! Their connection was palpable and their chemistry off the charts, so I’m expecting a hell of a story to come.

If you like stories where you feel invested in the main characters’ emotional welfare this is the book for you.

Keep in mind that although this is the third book in The Coincidence series, it can be read as a stand alone so don’t miss out on reading it if you haven’t read the previous ones.

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Excerpt

 

Luke

She reaches for my fries with an undecided look on her face. “So I have a question.”

“Okay…”

“About you.”

I slowly chew my food. “I’m not really sure I want to hear your question now.”

She picks a pickle off of her burger, pulling a repulsed face. “Well, I’m still going to ask it.”

I grab a handful of fries from the tray that’s on the table between us. “Go ahead and ask but it doesn’t mean I’ll answer.”

She props her elbows onto the table with her burger in her hand. “Why haven’t you ever talked to me before? I mean, we’ve walked past each other probably a hundred times, but never so much as acknowledged each other and then suddenly you’re stalking me.”

I pick up my soda and sip from the straw. “First off, I’m not stalking you. I just can’t seem to get rid of you.”

“You didn’t have to stop to pick me up.”

“Yeah, I did.”

“Why? You don’t know me—you’re in no way obligated to help me.”

“I know, but I wanted to.”

“Why?”

I shrug, setting my drink down. “Why not?”

She gives me a funny look, like I’m the most confusing person in the world, when really she should be looking at herself like that. “I don’t get it. Why would someone like you help someone like me?”

I open up the bun of my chicken sandwich to pick the tomato off. “What do you mean someone like me and someone like you?”

She points at me. “You as in a football player who has friends.” Then she points at herself. “And me as in the loner girl who could probably kick your ass.”

I choke on a laugh and my mouth full of food almost shoots out of my nose. “You could not kick my ass,” I cough, and then take a swallow of my drink.

She scans me over while scooping up some fries. “I beg to differ. I think you’re not as tough as you try to look.”

“Do you really?” If only she knew what really lay inside me. “Because most people think I am and for a good reason.”

“I think it’s all for show,” she replies nonchalantly and I can’t tell if she’s being serious or not. “I think that deep down you’re just a softy.”

“Are you trying to pick a fight with me right now?” I set my sandwich down on the tray and crack my knuckles. “Because I’m not going to fight a girl.”

“That’s such a typical guy answer.” She hurries and takes a drink, but I detect a hint of a smile before her lips wrap around the straw.

“You know what I think?” I cross my arms on the table and lean in, cocking my head to the side as I observe her closely. “I think you like arguing with me and that’s why you’re bringing this up.”

Her shoulders lift and descend as she takes a bite of her hamburger. “Maybe, but maybe I’m being serious.”

“You know that as a football player I have to tackle guys, right? It takes strength to do that.”

“Maybe you just run, though,” she counters. “Maybe you’re just good at running.”

The way she says it reminds me so much of my past and it’s like a kick to the stomach. “Maybe I’m not, though. Maybe I suck at running.” I sound choked and I decide it’s time to cut this conversation short, my brain seeking that potent taste of Jack and Tequila mixed with nicotine. I glance at my watch, pretending to check the time. “I just remembered that I have to meet Kayden somewhere in like a half an hour, so I’m going to have to take you back.”

She balls up the wrapper for her hamburger, acting nonchalant, but her shoulders are stiff. “Sounds good to me. I was done anyway.” She seems irritated and I have no idea why, other than she seems to be able to read through my bullshit and test me, which most people can’t and won’t even try. I’m supposed to be a closed book. A mystery. That way no one can see who I really am. It’s the way I’ve been living for years and it’s comfortable. Not ideal, but nothing is ideal.

We don’t talk as I collect our garbage and then walk next to her as she limps out to my truck. I try to offer her my arm and open the door for her, but she denies my offer, moving to the opposite door and pushing it open.

During the car ride, she barely says two words to me. I should be happy about it. That way there’s no room for sudden questions and statements that will set me off, however I find myself missing the bantering thing we had going and the way she pushed my buttons. By the time I drop her off, all I want to do is ask her to stay, talk some more, let me get to know her. But I don’t understand why. I’ve never wanted to get to know anyone before. I’ve never even been out on a date. Each woman I’ve been with, I’ve only been with once. Just sex. That’s all it’s ever about. And I’ve never wanted anything more.

Until now.

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About the Author

Jessica Sorensen[1][1]

The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Jessica Sorensen, lives in the snowy mountains of Wyoming. When she’s not writing, she spends her time reading and hanging out with her family.

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The Coincidence Series

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The Coincidence of Callie & Kayden (The Coincidence #1)
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Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Bookish | iTunes

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The Redemption of Callie & Kayden (The Coincidence #2)
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The Forever of Ella and Micha (The Secret #2) by Jessica Sorensen

16055475Rating: 4 stars

Publisher: Forever (May 28, 2013)

Synopsis: Ella and Micha have survived tragedy and heartbreak. When they’re together, anything seems possible. But now they are thousands of miles apart, and managing their long distance relationship will put their love to the test.

Ella is back at school, trying hard not worry so much about her future. But with her father in and out of rehab, she’s having a hard time making it through the days. All she wants is Micha by her side, but she refuses to let her problems get in the way of his dreams.

Micha spends his days touring the country with his band, but deep down he knows something is missing. Being away from Ella is harder than he thought it would be. He wants her closer to him-needs her with him. But he won’t ask her to leave college, just to be with him.

The few moments they do spend together are intense and passionate, but it only makes it more difficult when they have to part. They know they want to be together, but is wanting something enough to get them to their forever?

Review: Micha and Ella are at it again – trying to forge ahead in their relationship, battling old demons and overcoming new obstacles.

Now that Ella is back in school and Micha is touring with his band, they each struggle with missing each other and making their relationship work long-distance. Trust issues never come to light, but insecurities and longing are a constant presence in their thoughts. Ella is still struggling with her demons and not having Micha as her constant rock is making it harder for her to leave them behind. While Micha deals with his own problems and misses Ella terribly.

Once again, Jessica Sorensen delivers an edgy, emotion-driven story. Filled with intense dialog, heart-wrenching moments and characters that tug at your heart strings whenever they stumble into a new obstacle, Ella and Micha’s journey into forever was a wonderful read.

I enjoyed seeing how Ella and Micha had both grown as individuals since they got together in The Secret of Ella and Micha. They had not only matured as individuals though, their relationship – that connection they forged years before – was deeper and stronger when the story began and only continued to strengthen as the story progressed. I loved it!

“You and I, good or bad, belong together. We make each other whole.”  

I loved how they were there for each other, spoke honestly and looked for a solution to the problem. Yes, there were moments I wanted to smack them both upside the head, but that just meant that I was emotionally invested in their story, thus making this a more enjoyable read for me. Their chemistry continued to be explosive and although I could have done without some of the love scenes I still enjoyed them being together. Their passion and love for each other shined through and I could never fault the author for that. 🙂

“What kind of love are you talking about?”

“The kind of love that owns you. The kind where you know the other person inside and out. Where you can go through hell and back and still make it out ok.”  

The Forever of Ella and Micha is the second book in The Secret series and should not be read as a stand alone. All in all, a wonderful read.

I received this title from the publisher in exchange of an honest opinion.

Review: The Temptation of Lila and Ethan by Jessica Sorensen

 

The Temptation of Lila and Ethan

 

Rating: 4 stars

Publisher: Forever (October 22, 2013)

Available at: Amazon     Barnes and Nobles     Kobo

Synopsis: On the surface, Lila Summers is flawless: good looks, expensive clothes, and a big, beautiful smile. But a dark past and even darker secrets are threatening to bubble over her perfect façade. She’ll do anything to keep the emptiness inside hidden-which leads her into situations that always end badly. Whenever she hits bottom, there’s only one person who’s there to pull her out: Ethan Gregory.

Ethan set the rules a long time ago: he and Lila are just friends. He doesn’t do relationships. Although his tattooed, bad boy exterior is a far cry from Lila’s pretty princess image, Ethan can’t deny they have a deeper connection than he’s used to. If he’s not careful, he could be in serious danger of becoming attached-and he’s learned the hard way that attachment only leads to heartbreak.

When Lila falls farther than she ever has before, can Ethan continue to help as a friend? Or is he also getting close to falling . . . for her?

Review: “I don’t want to feel like I’m always screwing up. I want to feel loved. I really do.”

Lila’s been living with a secret that’s eating away at her soul, leaving a shell of the woman she wants to be. She presents a tough shell of beauty and perfection, but underneath all she has ever wanted was to be accepted and loved. Now that her best friend has moved out of town in pursuit of her happiness, Lila starts spiraling out of control. Partying, drinking and sleeping around. Her life is on a downward spiral and her only source of comfort is the boy she least expected to be her rock.

“I’m not looking for a relationship. They’re ugly, raw, brutal, painful, life destroying. They exist only in the hearts of the needy and I don’t need anything from anyone. I’m perfectly content being alone, hiding in the desolate place inside myself.”

Ethan has been living with guilt, regret and heartache since the night he walked away from the one girl who had meant anything to him. Unable to move forward with his life and escaping a life of abuse, he finds solace in drinking and women. He is not relationship material, but it feels great to be able to be with someone he can connect to and let go with. Although attracted to Lila from the moment he met her, he treasures the friendship they’ve developed and doesn’t think he can offer her much. But when he sees her struggling, he can’t help but be there for her. Even as he struggles with the past that has come up to haunt him.

This is the time to decide which one to let go – Lila or his past.

Once again, Jessica Sorensen delivers an amazing, emotionally driven story about of two people learning to let go of their past in order to be able to start planning for a real future. Their journey was a treat to read and I wouldn’t change a thing about it. From the start, I was drawn into the story by the intensity and the impact of the events that were taking place. I felt for the characters as individuals and cheered them on as a couple as the story progressed. From friends to confidants to lovers, Lila and Ethan’s story was packed-full of emotions. It was edgy and rough. It was beautiful.

“This isn’t just about sex. There is so much more to it than that. We have a connection. We have since the day we met.” 

Their struggles differed but both wanted the same thing out of life – to be loved and be happy. Accepted without ‘IFs’ or ‘BUTs’. After many struggles, honest interactions, explosive moments and frustrations, Lila and Ethan come to a place in life where they were able to move forward. They relied on each other, they laughed, they cried and they loved.

Although The Temptation of Lila and Ethan is the third book in the series, it can be read as a stand alone. Then again, why would you miss on such a wonderful cast of characters. Their stories will tug at your heartstrings and will leave you wishing all of them the happily ever after they deserve.

I receive this title from the publisher in exchange of my honest opinion.

 

Please enjoy the following excerpt:

“Why do you think it’s so hard to be alone?” Lila asks, struggling to keep her eyes open as she gazes out at the night sky through the cab window.

I’m turned sideways in the seat, with my knee up, so I’m facing her, even though she won’t look at me. I lost count of how many shots we had hours ago and I can barely comprehend

how we got to a cab—stumbling, laughing, as she rubbed her hand up the front of my jeans. No, that can’t be right, can it?

“I think being alone is fan-fucking-tastic. . . well, maybe . . .sometimes . . .” I mumble, draping my arm on the back of the seat. I stare at her for a moment, taking in her bare skin in the

moonlight. I want to touch it. Lick it. Even bite it.

I’m bursting with sexual energy and I channel it to my foot on the floor, bouncing my knee. There’s something different about tonight, something out of the ordinary, this strange need

to keep getting closer to Lila. It could be the alcohol. Or it could be something else, but there’s no way my tequila-soaked mind is going to reach any sort of answer.

Lila turns her head toward me, her pupils wide and shiny. “Why are you staring at me like that?”

I keep tapping my foot on the floor, trying to think of a better answer than the first one that pops into my head, but I can’t find one. “Because I’m thinking about you.”

She glances at the cab driver, a thirtyish guy wearing a baseball cap, and then her gaze lands back on me. She sucks her lip into her teeth and I have to bounce my knee faster or I swear I’m going to fucking lose it. “Thinking what about me?” she asks, looking wary, interested, and exhausted.

Don’t say it . . . “I was thinking about what it would be like to lick you . . . or bite you . . . either one really.” It seems like I should regret it as soon as I say it, but regret is nowhere in my

reach at the moment.

Her breathing quickens and her voice comes out shockingly unsteady for someone who has sex so much. “Then do it.”

I blink, wondering if I heard her right through the massive amount of alcohol consuming my thoughts. “What?”

She holds my gaze steadily, even though she seems really nervous, her voice trembling. “Then bite me. Or lick me…whatever you want.”

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About the Author: The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Jessica Sorensen, lives in the snowy mountains of Wyoming. When she’s not writing, she spends her time reading and hanging out with her family.

You can interact with Jessica and find more information about her books on her blog, Facebook and Twitter pages and on her author profile on Goodreads.