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Thanks – Dawn & Abby
Turquoise blue waters. Sandy white beaches. Mojitos… Film location scout Kenzie Cole has found herself in paradise. Working in the Caribbean for a week is just what she needs to escape the long line of exes in her closet. Though the last thing she expects is to be picked up at the resort bar by a disgraced former Prince!
Luckily for Kenzie, exile is suiting the man formerly known as Prince Fredrik very well. And it’s not long before his rugged, pirate charm is proving hard to resist.
But Rik’s been spending his time in paradise exorcising demons of his own and he has danger written all over him. If Kenzie was sensible she’d run a mile instead of lose herself to lust – although, they do say sometimes you have to get lost before you can be found….
The Trouble with Mojitos is published by Harper Impulse, a division of Harper Collins, and is available from the following online retailers:
Interview with Romy Sommer
UAN: Hey Romy, thanks for joining us on Up All Night Book Blog! Dawn had an opportunity to read The Trouble with Mojitos (Book 2 in the Westerwald series), so we’re excited to having you here for a few minutes!
I’m excited to be here too, ladies. Thanks so much for hosting me!
So for someone who hasn’t read your books, can you tell us a little about The Trouble with Mojitos, and your next one coming out soon?
My books have been described as modern day fairy tales, and The Trouble with Mojitos is no exception. It’s Book 2 in my Westerwald series, but it’s a stand-alone book and can be read without first reading Waking up in Vegas.
Kenzie Cole is in the Caribbean to scout locations for a movie. She is NOT there to scout men, especially men of the dark and dangerous variety. The enigmatic Rik is both dark and dangerous, and yet she can’t seem to avoid him.
The Trouble with Mojitos is set in a luscious paradise. Did you research for it by traveling to a tropical island?
I wish! I grew up in a sub-tropical region of South Africa though, and I love sunshine and warmth (which is why I live in Africa!) so it wasn’t too much of a stretch of the imagination to visualize the setting – but the Caribbean is still very much on my Bucket List!
We need to add that to our Bucket List!
There’s also a legend that is referred to in Trouble. What was the inspiration for it?
To be honest, I don’t remember! The legend sort of wrote itself, long before the rest of the story made itself known to me. The legend also heavily influenced Book 3 (tentatively titled Life in Technicolour).
As an author, what has been the best part of your author journey so far?
Good reviews and contact with readers are definitely a highlight of being published. Even if Harper Impulse hadn’t shown faith in me by publishing my books, I’d still be writing these books, but knowing that others enjoy my stories too makes me feel a lot less lonely!
Trouble is a modern-day fairy tale. Growing up, did you have a favorite fairy tale?
I love all fairy tales, but I prefer the Disneyfied Happy Ever After versions to the grim Grimm versions. My favourite story growing up was the Princess and the Pea – it still is, though I’ve given up hoping Disney will do anything with it. Hmmm, if they don’t perhaps I need to do something with that story….?
What is your writing process? Do you write every day? Do you have a special place you write? Does Simba help you write or is he just a bed hog? Haha
I try to write for a half hour every weekday morning, if my work schedule allows, and more on weekends. I also write at night though I’m far less productive when it’s late and I’m tired (unless you count Facebook or Pinterest as being productive!).
I have a desk, but it’s usually so cluttered that I sit on my bed to write, with the laptop on my lap.
And no, Simba is no help at all! In fact, he gets really miffed when he sees the computer because it means he’s not going to get cuddles, so the moment the laptop appears he stalks off with his nose and his tail high in the air to express his disapproval.
Out of all your characters, which has been the most challenging to write and why?
The book I’ve just finished, the third in the Westerwald series, was definitely the most challenging. The hero is mixed race, which is outside the realm of my personal experience and I really hope I’ve treated his issues both realistically and sensitively. But the biggest challenge was the heroine of this story – she’s described as an Ice Queen, and it’s a title she’s proud of, so to make her sympathetic took a great deal of effort. I hope I cracked it!
What do you think it is about romance that is so captivating and continues to bring readers back time after time?
For me, it’s that almost magical belief that there is a Happy Ever After possible for each and every one of us.
Also, there’s so much darkness, stress and unhappiness around us that we need the joy of romance. After a day at work, sitting in bumper-to-bumper, dealing with fractious kids, paying bills, and seeing all the grim news on TV, we need to immerse ourselves in stories that guarantee an uplifting ending. I can’t speak for anyone else, but romance novels keep me sane!
Lots of books keep us up all night reading. What’s the last book to have kept you up all night?
The last book that kept me awake well into the early hours was Kelly Hunter’s What the Bride Didn’t Know. I love all Ms Hunter’s books, and each one just gets better than the last, so I knew when I started reading that I would be giving up a night’s sleep.
Oh, that one looks like a good read! Thank you!
Last question, for any aspiring authors out there, what advice would you give to them when starting out?
Never give up!
Someone once said that the only difference between published authors and unpublished authors is that the published authors never gave up. That is so true! Success could be just around the corner but you’ll never know if you don’t finish your book and submit it!
Anything you’d like to add before we wrap up?
I’d like to thank Dawn for her lovely review of The Trouble with Mojitos. I’m so glad you enjoyed it!
Life in Technicolour will also be available soon – and there’ll be a special treat for readers following on its heels, so watch this space!
You are so welcome, Romy. It’s been a pleasure getting to know you and read your work. We thank you SO much for the opportunity to have you here on Up All Night Book Blog! We look forward to more in the Westerwald series! And now for an excerpt from The Trouble with Mojitos…
Dawn’s Review 3.5 Stars
The Trouble with Mojitos opens with an intriguing, exciting story about pirates and long-ago fairy tale with an unfinished ending…waiting for something to break a curse.
Then we meet Rik and Kenzie. Kenzie is sassy and instantly drew me in with her take-no-crap personality. I loved her strength of purpose mixed with a touch of vulnerability. Rik jumps off the page as a possible modern-day pirate with some secrets to keep. I loved their dialogue with each other and internally too. Another aspect that was fun, which I adore in books when handled well, are the tweets between Kenzie and her roommate, Lee.
I loved this sweet, romantic story that had me caught up for a few hours in a far off, tropical setting! This is one of those books that just take you away from the realities of everyday life and leave you smiling in the end. I felt like there were a few parts that weren’t fully resolved or addressed in this book and although it’s part of a series, it can be easily read as a standalone. I’ll definitely be reading the next book, particularly when I need an easy, sexy escape!
ARC provided for honest review
I’ve always written stories for myself, but didn’t even think of being an author until I realised that being over thirty and living in a fantasy world was a little odd. Writing those same stories for other people makes it a lot more acceptable!
By day I dress in cargo pants and boots for my not-so-glamorous job of making movies but at night I come home to my two little Princesses, in Johannesburg, South Africa, where I live, and I get to write Happy Ever Afters. Since I believe every girl is a princess, and every princess deserves a happy ending, what could be more perfect?
Author: Pepper Winters
Genre: Dark (Lighter) / Romance (Grey Romance)
Release Date: March 7, 2014
Tour Organized by: As the Pages Turn
She has a secret.
I’m complicated. Not broken or ruined or running from a past I can’t face. Just complicated.
I thought my life couldn’t get any more tangled in deceit and confusion. But I hadn’t met him. I hadn’t realized how far I could fall or what I’d do to get free.
He has a secret.
I’ve never pretended to be good or deserving. I chase who I want, do what I want, act how I want.
I didn’t have time to lust after a woman I had no right to lust after. I told myself to shut up and stay hidden. But then she tried to run. I’d tasted what she could offer me and damned if I would let her go.
One secret destroys them.
Dawn’s Review 4.5 Stars
Ummm… wow… I hardly know what to say about Destroyed. Other than it was a flipping rollercoaster ride of emotions! It was one that I felt myself beyond compelled to continue until the very last page, just as Roan and Hazel feel compelled to be with each other, regardless of the fact that destruction is waiting around the corner for them. And dammit if Pepper didn’t make me cry!! (that’s not easy, either) I’m not going to give any spoilers so for that reason, I’ll try to avoid any specifics in my review.
Pepper Winters dove headfirst into the dark places within both Roan and Hazel, gripping me in their internal struggles and their absolute need for each other. But at what price? Initially, I did struggle a little with the pace but it very quickly picked up and kept me turning pages. As the story built, my heart ached for both Roan and Hazel and their friends and families. I was on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen next. Pepper knows exactly how to draw out the emotions in me as a reader. I felt the conflict and the need for that elusive possibility of peace.
Destroyed, like Pepper’s previous works, is inventive and unexpected. There is pain, destruction, fear, tragedy, love, family, and redemption. It is one that will definitely stay with me and destroyed me in several different ways. Another must-read from Pepper Winters!
ARC provided for honest review
About the Author
Pepper Winters wears many roles. Some of them include writer, reader, sometimes wife. She loves dark, taboo stories that twist with your head. The more tortured the hero the better and she constantly thinks up ways to break and fix her characters. Oh, and sex… her books have sex.
She loves to travel and has an amazing, fabulous hubby (who speaks French—hot!) who puts up with her love affair with her book boyfriends. She loves to hear from her readers so hit her up at firstname.lastname@example.org
Author Social links:
Cutting breaks through my numbness, but only opens more wounds.
Depression, self-harm, bullying….that’s my reality.
Sex and guys….that’s my escape.
The space between the truth and lies is blurred leaving me torn, lost and confused. And while the monsters that live in my head try to beat me– the two men that I love try to save me.
This is my story of friendship, heartache, and the grueling journey that is mental-illness.
Sometimes you have to get lost in order to be found…
Abby’s Review 5+++++ Stars
“The story was fiction, but the messages were not.”
Do you know or love someone who suffers from mental illness? The answer is YES! 1 in 4 adults in the U.S suffer from some type of mental Illness. I’m no statistician, but I’m betting that’s higher than every other disease out there. So why isn’t it talked about? Why all the negative stigmatism? Why is it easier to say, “My mom has cancer” then, ”My mom is bipolar with personality disorders?”
This is Jessica’s journey of her struggles with Mental Illness but it’s also her journey of finding love in herself and others.
Jessica is bullied. She takes it and accepts it, not giving herself enough self worth to stand up to it.
“Their weapons aren’t illegal, yet they cut deeper than a blade ever could. Hiding behind electronic shields, they use their words like swords.”
She finds love, but ultimately learns she has to love herself first.
” I’ve been broken before, I’ve been bound and I survived.”
Every once in a while you will come across a gem that will stick with you for the rest of your life. You find the beauty in courage and strength. For me, this book touches a very personal place and I am guessing it will for most of us, since we all love someone, knowingly or not who suffers from some sort of mental illness.
My mom is a sufferer from Bipolar Disorder and PTSD and Mood and Personality disorders, and everything else that she has been diagnosed with. My father passed when I was young so she was my only parent. In high school, I remember feeling shame, guilt and fear because of her disorders. There were times where she was committed and I didn’t want anyone to know, in fear that children’s services would find out. I was terrified that I would be uprooted and put in a worse situation.
Guess what, the reason I’m sharing is because this book says, STAND UP! SPEAK OUT! This is a family disease. And often one person’s mental illness can sometimes spread throughout a family. I am a girl who always has hid behind a smile, doing my best to make everything okay for every one.
“But I smile for the world because my smile is my protection. It hides my pain, It hides my sadness, and it hides my fear.”
Jace loves Jessica. He struggles with doing the right thing, but I never doubted his love.
“You were beautifully flawed, but perfect to me.”
After trying to take care of Jessica, and perhaps his sociopathic Mom, Jace finally gets some help for himself. This is so important because it can effect everyone who is touched.
I loved Kathryn Perez before reading this, but her talent shines through in waves. Every line is deliberate and beautiful. Through pain and hard topics she shows beauty and strength. I felt her courage through this book. I think it will help others speak out and be more accepting of mental illness.
“I saw me today, I don’t hate me. It’s time that I get to know the girl staring back at me in the mirror better. It’s time to have a love affair with myself, time to live my life for me once.”
I read the words The End and you know what I wanted to do? I wanted to start it all over again, I may have highlighted a record breaking amount of lines throughout this story, but it’s only because of the strength found on every single page. If you haven’t fallen in love with Kathryn Perez yet, it’s time. She encompasses everything beautiful in writing.
Nicole’s Review 5+ Stars
There are certain topics out there that authors need to be very careful with as they write about them; physical abuse, substance abuse, rape, war, mental illness. All of these are extremely personal and triggering events. In order for them to come across to a reader as real, the author must have a deeper understanding and compassion for them. A reader who has first-hand knowledge of any of these topics would be able to spot a less than accurate portrayal right away. In my opinion, it takes a very special kind of author to pull off this kind of writing. In Therapy, Kathryn Perez is able to pull it off, and then some, when she tells the story of how devastating and personal mental illness is.
Jessica is a high school senior who has been the victim of bullying for years. She believes that if she can just make it to graduation without drawing too much attention to herself, it will end. In the meantime, she copes by cutting herself and having sex with any guy who wants it. This is how she can control the pain and self-loathing that she feels. When the bullying takes a dangerous turn, the most popular and best looking boy in the school, Jace, steps in and gives Jessica something that she has never really had…hope. Jessica and Jace’s journey is a long and winding one that is full of love, heartache, acceptance and forgiveness.
Throughout this story, mental illness is discussed with great honesty and compassion. Never once does Perez minimize the exhausting and painful road that someone suffering from bullying, depression or severe self-loathing must walk each and every day. I won’t lie. There are some dark places in this book. There are most definitely things that may be triggers for some people. I had a few of my own pulled. That said, this book is amazing. Kathryn Perez does such a wonderful job of writing about topics that are heavy and uncomfortable. Topics that can be looked at with judgmental eyes or ignorance rather than compassion or love. She writes about them in such a way that you ache when Jessica feels pain, you cry with her when it all seems to be too much. And hidden under all of the heaviness in the story is hope. Jessica’s journey isn’t easy. In fact, it is downright awful at times. But she doesn’t give up. She could have and at times, she wants to…but she doesn’t. There is power and beauty in that.
Therapy might be one of my very favorite books of all time. No lie. It is no surprise that I am giving it 5 stars. I would give it more if I could. While the topic of mental illness is a crucial part of the story, there is also love, laughter and hope. All of which make Therapy a must read.
ARC provided for honest review
Kathryn lives in her small hometown in East Texas with her hand and two amazing children. Kathryn is an advocate of suicide prevention, supporter of ant-bullying efforts and does all she can to provide support to organizations who educate and bring awareness to these topics. With music being her second love to books she claims to be a music infused writer and book junkie who loves to live in a fictional world.
Connect to the Author
Jada McLean is about to get married in nine days, when she walks in on her fiancé in a little more than a compromising position. Days later, she’s on a trip that she intends to be relaxing and a prelude to her fresh start, when she runs into the rude, obnoxious, but gorgeous Jonathan Kole.
Jonathan Kole is San Francisco’s newest District Attorney. When he finds himself deeply attracted to a stunning beauty, he has no idea that she’s about to get into BIG trouble with the law—and he’ll be the one presiding over her trial. To make matters worse, his father is the lawyer representing her in the high-profile case.
When a series of events force them together over New Year’s weekend, Jonathan’s feelings and ethics will come into question, while Jada comes to terms with the fact that she is falling for the man that will be responsible for attempting to put her behind bars… Little do they know, they’re both about to fall into a whirlwind so deep, it will send both their lives spiraling out of control.
Nicole’s Review 4 Stars
When I saw the title of Rebecca Rohman’s latest book, I got my hopes up. Love, Lies and the DA…it screams sex, power and intrigue!! Knowing that I should never judge a book by its cover/title, I held my giddiness at bay. I didn’t want to be disappointed and have to blame myself for it!! It didn’t take long (like just pages in!) for me to let my giddiness run free! Right off the bat, all three elements were present!! Yay!!!
Jada McLean is a smart, savvy business owner just days away from getting married. The dress is ready, the honeymoon is booked and the guests will soon be arriving. None of this matters when Jada walks into HER condo to find HER fiancé getting busy on HER desk in HER office! Needless to say, Jada cancels the wedding. In an effort to get some space to process what just happened to her life, Jada finds solace in a vacation home in Lake Tahoe. It is her hope that she can grieve and find peace in the solitude of the area. On her first venture into Lake Tahoe, she meets the most incredibly sexy and completely obnoxious man she has ever met. Jonathan Kole is smart, sexy and a total asshole (Jada’s words. Not mine!). He also happens to be San Francisco’s District Attorney. He leaves Jada with a first impression that will be hard to change, but Jonathan finds that convincing Jada she is wrong bouts him is worth the work.
Through an extraordinary series of events, Jada finds herself facing the possibility of being on the opposite side of the courtroom from Jonathan. To make matters more complicated, Jonathan’s father is Jada’s attorney. What follows is a story full of “no ways”, “WHATs” and “DAYMNs”!!! Rebecca Rohman does a great job of taking the reader on a rollercoaster ride full of twists, turns and “never saw it comings”!
I give Love, Lies and the DA 4 stars. It is a really great book that had the potential for more stars, but the length of it held me back. There is a LOT of detail in this story. Some of which is good in that it helps the reader get to know Jada and how her mind works, but some of it is just unnecessary. That said, don’t let the length of the book turn you off. It is so worth getting to the “HOLY CRAP” part near the end. Read it! I think you will find that the book is as good as its title!
ARC provided for honest review
Rebecca Rohman is a wife and designer currently living in the Northeastern United States.
She was a Sales Manager for a tourist magazine, and for many years prior, she was involved in marketing for a jewelry company, and later for a fine wine distributor.
About fifteen years ago, she started writing her first romance novel, Uncorked, just to purely entertain herself. It was not until early in 2012 when she decided to complete it and share it with the world. The story was published in February of 2013. Love, Lies & The D.A. is her second novel.
Facebook Rebecca Rohman Page: https://www.facebook.com/RebeccaRohman1
Facebook Love Lies & The D.A. Page: https://www.facebook.com/LLATDA
In Working It, New York Times bestselling author Kendall Ryan delivered a sexy and addictive contemporary romance about Emmy Clarke, a sweet southern girl out of her depth in New York City’s cutthroat fashion industry, and Ben Shaw, the hot male model who introduced her to a world of pleasure. But their story is far from complete…
Emmy Clarke is no quitter. Toughened by her experience working for fashion heavyweight Fiona Stone, Emmy has come a long way from her country girl roots, embracing her fast-paced and unpredictable life in New York City.
Though that life comes with more than a few complications.
First there’s the mystery of Fiona’s pregnancy, which may or may not involve Emmy’s boyfriend, superstar male model Ben Shaw. Emmy has always known that Ben comes with more baggage than she can handle—and not the Louis Vuitton kind. Yet Ben is the only man who has ever loved Emmy for who she is, and she wants nothing more than to do the same for him, even if it means forgiving his past and overlooking their wildly different lifestyles.
But when a shocking secret from Ben’s past comes to light, unraveling all of their progress, Emmy must decide if their relationship is worth the fight, or if it’s time to ignore her passion for him and let go.
CRAVING HIM links (available for pre-order):
WORKING IT links (now available):
Kendall Ryan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the contemporary romance novels HARD TO LOVE, UNRAVEL ME, MAKE ME YOURS, RESISTING HER and THE IMPACT OF YOU. She’s a sassy, yet polite Midwestern gal with a deep love of books, and a slight addiction to lipgloss. Visit her at: www.kendallryanbooks.com for the latest books news.
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS
The fourth part in the New York Times bestselling series, The Blackstone Affair: A bright beginning for two damaged souls fighting for their hard-won love, and the promise of a new hope to secure their happily ever after.
Fresh from an idyllic honeymoon along the Italian coast, the Blackstones prepare for the birth of their precious baby and the challenges of settling into a new home. But things get complicated when specters from the past reappear to threaten the very foundation of their relationship. Ethan and Brynne will have to fight harder than ever for each other. Rare and Precious Things is the story of two people who both need the other in order to be complete, but learn just how “rare” their brand of love is when they have to risk everything in order to hold onto it.
Dawn’s Review 4.5 Stars
Fabulous and beautiful conclusion to the Blackstone series! Ethan Blackstone and Brynne Bennett captured my attention over a year ago when I devoured both Naked (Book 1) and All In (Book 2) within days of each other. I’m a little sad to see their journey end as I’d love to have a little bit more involving their “Peach”.
Rare and Precious Things picks up right at the end of Book 3, Eyes Wide Open. It’s erotic, sensual, filled with love, and also deals with some very painful moments for both Brynne and Ethan. I loved how Raine wrapped in the history that seemed to reflect back to their story. How they deal with the painful moments really defined how their relationship played out.
There’s no denying it…Ethan is ALL Alpha. Holy smokes, he had me panting along with Brynne from his dirty mouth and hair-pulling. The next thing I knew I was giggling and swooning over his protectiveness and playfulness. This book for me was one in which I felt some significant changes for Ethan. Brynne complements him, holds him up perfectly. She’s witty, sassy, and deeply passionate for her Blackstone. The moments of banter between them had me smiling like I was right in the midst of their lives. That’s one of the many things that keeps me turning pages late into the night when reading the Blackstone series – Raine Miller’s skill at drawing me into the story completely and never feeling on the outside.
Overall, this was just the conclusion I had hoped for and more to the Blackstone series!! I’ve truly loved the journey and seeing the changes for both Ethan and Brynne throughout the series. I’m not quite ready to let them and their families go just yet! Thank you, Raine, for a story that I will cherish for a long time.
Raine Miller has been reading romance novels since she picked up that first Barbara Cartland book at the tender age of thirteen. And it’s a safe bet she’ll never stop, because now she writes them too! Granted Raine’s stories are edgy enough to turn Ms. Cartland in her grave, but to her way of thinking, a hot, sexy hero never goes out of fashion. A part-time teacher and writer of sexy romance stories every other chance she gets pretty much fills her days. She has a handsome prince of a husband, and two brilliant sons to pull her back into the real world if the writing takes her too far away. Her sons know she likes to write stories, but gratefully have never asked to read any, thank God! Raine loves to hear from readers and to chat about the characters in her books.
Chris King never saw it coming…
In some ways, closing the book on my first love was the worst day of life. I was gutted, and yet I was completely at peace with my decision. I walked away knowing that I did what was best for her, unsure if I could ever recover. Little did I know that one concert would change the entire course of my life. There I stood, signing autographs and snapping pictures with fans when a familiar face in the crowd catapulted my mind back in time—Salem Honeycutt, once a balm to my pain and a calm in my storm. Yet again, her smiling face gave me hope. Only one question remained: did she still see me as a wayward teenage boy who was completely off limits, or could she see the man I’d become…focused and driven, yearning for another chance at love?
For Salem Honeycutt, postpartum bliss seemed like a lie…
No one told me that I’d hate my baby when I brought her home from the hospital. No one told me that I’d want to put a pillow over my husband’s head and smother him in his sleep. No one told me that I’d want to slap every person who gave me the ever-so-cliché advice to ‘cherish every moment.’ No one told me that I’d despise my life the minute I became a mother, but I did. Then I met Chris King, the kid who made me want to pull myself up from the dark recesses of my mind and face each day. This kid, whose passion for life and talent for music, touched my soul deeper than I could ever touch his. Chris gave me a reason to live. I was once affectionately known as Mrs. H., Chris’s juvenile detention counselor. This is our story.
Nicole’s Review 5 stars
**If you haven’t read So Much it Hurts, there may be spoilers here**
Months ago, when I finished reading So Much It Hurts, by Melanie Dawn, I was completely unaware that there would be a follow-on book. I was so satisfied with the ending and how the story played out that I never considered that there COULD be another book. I walked away from Kaitlyn and Chris with tears running down my face and a place in my heart for what Melanie Dawn had given me with her characters. Imagine my elation, jubilation and anticipation when I found out that one of my favorite book boyfriends was going to get his very own book!! Then There Was You is Chris King’s story. And what a story it is!
When Chris walked away from Kaitlyn, the only woman he had ever loved, he knew it was the right thing to do. It broke his heart, damaged his soul and left him wondering if he would ever know that kind of love again. Years later, at a backstage autograph signing with his band Fifth Wheel, Chris comes face to face with a part of his past that he never thought he would see again, Salem Honeycutt; his juvenile detention counselor. Through flashbacks, we witness what happened to Chris when he was sent to juvie for trying to protect Kaitlyn and how important Salem became to Chris during his time there. As a bonus, we get to see just how important Chris was to Salem during that time.
When Chris entered Juvenile Detention, Salem was in the throes of life with a newborn baby. She was tired, angry, conflicted and unsure of herself. Chris and the other boys she counseled gave Salem a much needed break from her “real” life. Salem was able to use her brain, measure progress and feel her worth with others. Even though she was madly in love with her baby girl and could not imagine life without her, she felt none of the mastery at home that she felt at work. Counselling Chris was a lifeline for Salem at a time where she felt the weight of the world on her shoulders. For Chris, Salem was the first person who saw him, the real him. Not a screw-up or lost cause, but someone with value and talent. When they reconnect all of those years later, both of them are able to admit to themselves and each other just what an impact they had had on each other’s lives. They find out that their connection is still very real and has evolved into something bigger and better than either could have imagined.
Then There Was You gave me something I didn’t know I needed. It gave me the enormity of Chris’ capacity for love, courage and strength. I fell a little harder for Chris this time because I was able to see the true depth of his character. I wept with Salem and him as they made breakthroughs and connections. I laughed because teenaged boys are goofy and funny. I felt butterflies as he and Salem fell for each other. I laughed. I cried. I swooned! That pretty much covers everything I love about a good love story!
I love this book as much as I loved So Much It Hurts. I give Then There Was You 5 stars. I have to. Days later, I am still marveling and thinking about it. I still find satisfaction in a story that I didn’t know I needed, but realize now that I absolutely had to have.
Dawn’s Review 4 Stars
**If you haven’t read So Much it Hurts, there may be spoilers here**
When I finished So Much it Hurts by Melanie Dawn, I was a freaking mess! My heart was ripped open and bleeding for Chris King. That was one of the few books I ugly cried for and I couldn’t let it go. Even now, I can still feel the ache in my chest for what I wished for Chris. Imagine my excitement and joy to know that Chris would be getting his own story!!! Commence fangirling!!
I did start this with some trepidation, wondering how in the world could Melanie Dawn possibly give Chris his happily ever after? Or would my heart be ripped from my chest AGAIN?! But she gave me just what I needed for Chris’s story. It filled in some gaps that were missing in his story and helped me fall in love with him just a bit more. Not only is this Chris’s story though, this is Salem’s. Oh lord, the things that Salem faced as a new mom and as a counselor in a juvenile detention center…wow. I wanted to cry with her. Melanie Dawn delved into Salem’s experiences and drew out pain, pride, and love for all that she faced. She addresses some very dark concepts with care, drawing out my empathy for the characters.
Melanie Dawn blended past and present beautifully to create Then There Was You. I found myself staying up late wanting to find out what was going to happen…would Chris eff things up in his typical fashion? Can Salem overcome her insecurities and accept the love of a man who is slightly younger than her? I love the lyrical moments throughout the book – whether in the form of Chris’s lyrics or simply in the midst of the story. Overall, a read that gave me more of what I wanted – Chris King!
“For weeks, my heart had been drifting down slowly like a feather in the wind, knowing all along that this day would come. But as the final hour approached, it suddenly took a nosedive and smashed itself against the unforgiving ground.”
Abby’s review 4 stars
Melanie Dawn is quickly proving that she is not a one trick pony. NOOOO! She delivered in So Much It Hurts and this was no exception either. Melanie Dawn has a talent of taking an emotion; inadequacy and really diving into all the depths of that feeling. In So Much it Hurt she felt inadequate in her marriage and in Then There Was You, Salem dealt with feelings of inadequacy as a parent.
What Mom at some point in early motherhood doesn’t think, “This is too much or too hard.” The talent from Melanie Dawn to talk about difficult feelings and make them resonate is outstanding.
Chris King! Oh how our heart hurt for you at the end of So Much It Hurts. In Then There Was You, we are transported into Chris’s past when he was in Juvie. We get to see what happened to the boy before he became a rock star.
Then there is Salem Honeycut, she has a teenage daughter, but we get to witness her struggles with Postpartum depression. I’m not sure if I have ever read a book that had this topic. It’s ballsy of Dawn to discuss, and I like ballsy!
I really enjoyed this book and it was a great follow-up. I did like So Much It Hurts a little more, however I think that this was a really nice read. It’s hard not to compare two books from an author, but I will say that I felt more emotionally connected in the first which is why 4 stars and not 5.
ARC provided for honest review
WHO AM I?
Hi! My name is Chris King. Born in North Carolina and I am a famous musician in the band, Fifth Wheel.
Let’s get to know you better
Tell us your favorite:
Song – As a musician I listen to a lot of different genres, but I’ve recently favored a trio called Il Volo. They are an Italian pop group. They aren’t really my typical genre of choice, but if you know anything about Salem and me, you’ll know why these guys are my new faves.
Movie/ TV Show: I’m a pretty big Clint Eastwood fan. I loved Gran Torino. I don’t watch much television, so I don’t really have a favorite show, but Salem makes me suffer through The Bachelor with her. She also makes me watch The Voice with her, but I don’t mind that as much.
Band: I’m a big fan of Chris Daughtry. I also love Eric Church and Scotty McCreery. I can get into a little Ben Folds, too. Gotta support my fellow North Carolinians.
Cartoon Character: Schroeder from Peanuts. I love a cartoon who appreciates Beethoven.
Sports: Football, I guess. But I just enjoy the music of the halftime show.
Hobbies: Playing guitar and writing songs
Vacation Spots: The beach
Let’s dig deep
Describe your fashion style: Fashion? I say whatever’s clean, I’ll wear.
Describe your daily routine: Wake up late, head to the recording studio, and work late into the night. Unless I’m on tour, then it’s wake up in whatever city I’m in, beer, work on our set for the night, beer, spend a lot of time in interviews and signing autographs, concert, beer, after-party, beer.
3 major things you can’t live without? My woman, my guitar, my notebook full of lyrics.
If there is one thing you could change about yourself, what would it be and why? My ability to ruin a good thing by making stupid choices.
What is your worst habit? Alcohol. But Salem would say it’s leaving my dirty laundry in a pile by the bed.
Greatest fear in life? Letting down the ones I love
Most likely to be arrested? Well, I’ve already been arrested before. It’s not fun.
If there is one person you could bring back from the dead, who would it be and why? My grandfather. My grandfather was a musician too. He played music with Doc Watson years ago. My grandfather taught my dad everything he knows. I’d love to sit down and chat with him.
One of your most embarrassing moment? Let’s see…would you want to hear about the time I tripped and fell on stage? I mean I face-planted right there in front of everyone. God, it was awful.
Greatest regret so far? I try not to think about stuff like that. It depresses me.
Greatest achievement in life? Learning from my mistakes. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it hadn’t been for the people in my life who have loved me and supported me through it all.
Let’s talk dirty
Lights on or lights off? Either. When it comes to getting frisky, it doesn’t matter the position of the light switch.
Sexiest part of your body? Hmmm, that’s hard to say. My abs, maybe? I work hard for this six-pack, so yeah I’m going with abs.
Sexiest part of Salem’s body? She’s beautiful from head to toe, but I especially love her sexy curves.
Kinkiest thing you’ve ever done? I’ll tell you like I tell Jeremy…I don’t kiss and tell.
Favorite place to get down and dirty? I’ll take it anywhere…in the shower, against the wall, on the kitchen table. Doesn’t matter. But my favorite place is in the bed because I can fall asleep holding her when it’s over.
Title: Sweet Little Thing (Sweet Thing #1.5)
Author: Renee Carlino
Genre: New Adult Romance
Release Date: March 4, 2014
Ever wonder what happened after the final pages of Sweet Thing?
From his candid and sometimes neurotic point of view, Will tells all in this musical and sexy follow-up novella to Renée Carlino’s USA Today Bestseller.
Life is pure bliss for Mia and Will. They have a puppy, a loft in Brooklyn, and a new music studio on the rise. It seems things couldn’t get any better for this talented couple when life decides to throw them a sweet little curve ball.
They quickly learn that things don’t always go according to plan. Sometimes happily ever after is one giant leap of faith away.
With the help of good music, good friends, and one eccentric old lady, they overcome a few of life’s little bumps to find the sweetest thing of all.
Watch this duo grow in more ways than one in SWEET Little THING.
Buy the Book
Sweet Thing (Sweet Thing #1)
About the Author
Renee’s first friends were the imaginary kind and even though her characters haven’t gone away, thankfully the delusions have. She admits she’s a wildly hopeless romantic and she blames 80’s movies staring Molly Ringwald for that. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two sons, and their sweet dog June. When she’s not at the beach with her boys or working on the next book, she likes to spend her time reading, going to concerts, and eating dark chocolate.
Title: Night Owl (Book #1, Night Owl Trilogy)
Author: M. Pierce
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Paperback Release Date: July 1, 2014
Ebook Release Date: February 11, 2014
Cover Designed by: Kerri Resnick
“Tautly written, complex, and vibrating with a dark sensuality that will have you at once blushing and anxious. You’ll think you have this book pegged . . . but you’ll be wrong.”—Christina Lauren, New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling authors of The Beautiful Bastard series
From bestselling ebook author M. Pierce comes the first novel in a provocative erotic trilogy where an anonymous online writing partnership turns into an uncontrollable, passionate obsession.
At twenty-eight, Matt Sky has the perfect life. He has a beautiful girlfriend, a massive inheritance, and four national bestsellers — all penned under his airtight alias, M. Pierce.
At twenty-seven, Hannah Catalano is a train wreck. Her boyfriend is a deadbeat and her job is abysmal.
Matt and Hannah meet online as writing partners. Their relationship is safe, anonymous, and innocent…
Until Matt sees a picture of Hannah. Hannah’s picture sparks an attraction Matt is powerless to ignore. When circumstance brings Matt and Hannah together, the strangers begin a love story that’s passionate, poignant, unforgettable, and unstoppable.
Last Light Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18744040-last-light
After Dark Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20944389-after-dark
M. put together an awesome giveaway to celebrate the paperback cover reveals – 10 prizes being given away! 1 Signed paperback, 4 signed bookmarks, 1 Night Owl inspired charm keychain and 4 ebooks. (The paperback will be delivered after the release date).
M. Pierce is the bestselling author of Night Owl, book one in the erotic Night Owl Trilogy. The author lives in Colorado and owns a rabbit named Laurence.
Knox Bauer’s life has unraveled to the point of no return. Fighting to fill the emptiness inside himself, he seeks solace in unfamiliar beds with unfamiliar women. As guardian to his three younger brothers, he can’t seem to do a thing right. But this can’t go on…they look up to him in every way and all he’s done lately is prove how messed up he really is. Needing a change, he attends a local Sex Addicts Anonymous meeting, where he finds himself tempted by the alluring instructor, McKenna.
Twenty-one year old McKenna is trying to make amends. After losing her parents in a horrific accident, she knows if she can just be good enough, maybe she can forgive herself for what happened. With her newly acquired degree in counseling, she begins leading a sex addicts group where she meets the troubled Knox and her life takes on complications she never bargained for. She doesn’t have time for a bad boy who only wants to take her to bed, even if her body disagrees. The fixer in her wants to help, but trusting Knox’s true motivations might take more courage than she has.
When I Break is book 1 in a new mini series by bestselling author Kendall Ryan.
Warning: Contains a stubborn alpha male with addiction issues and loads of sexual tension between two damaged characters. Read at your own risk.
Due to mature content, it is recommended for 17+.
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Dawn’s Review 4.5 Stars
Holy smokes, Kendall Ryan can write some witty, snappy, and downright lust-filled stories!! When I Break is no exception! I found myself completely enamored with Knox Bauer, the naughty, complex sex addict, just like McKenna is. And the sexual tension – off the charts!!! Gah!
When I Break opens with some ugly moments for Knox, ones that immediately made me want to help him. Then we meet McKenna, only to find she’s hiding quite a bit about herself that unfolds as the story continues. I think one of Kendall Ryan’s strengths is her ability to capture two very different voices and move the story smoothly between the two. Hats off to her for that! She also knows just how to get me to fall in love with her characters, making me want so desperately for their happily ever even knowing that there are seemingly impossible hurdles to overcome.
I will say, I was a little hesitant opening up this book because I feared a potential cliffhanger. For those of you like me, the story is not done. However, it didn’t make me want to throw my e-reader across the room so much as I want to seriously stalk Kendall Ryan for any little teaser I can get for book 2 – When I Surrender!! I loved the start of Knox and McKenna’s story!
ARC provided for honest review
Kendall Ryan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the contemporary romance novels, HARD TO LOVE, THE IMPACT OF YOU, RESISTING HER and WORKING IT.
She’s a sassy, yet polite Midwestern girl with a deep love of books, and a slight addiction to lipgloss! She lives in Minneapolis with an adorable husband, two naughty puppies, and a brand new son.
She enjoys being naughty, reading, and anything girly.
Connect with Kendall