Nocturne by Andrea Randall and Charles Sheehan-Miles

Nocturne

From goodreads: Savannah Marshall is a gifted flutist and daughter of musical royalty when she enrolls in the elite New England Conservatory of Music. Brilliant, eclectic and passionate, she lives music, but struggles with her plans for the future.

Gregory Fitzgerald is one of the most renowned cellists of his generation. A member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and professor at the Conservatory, he is laser focused on his career to the exclusion of friends, family and especially romance.

When Gregory and Savannah’s paths cross in the classroom, it threatens to challenge more than their wildly differing beliefs on music. Friendships, ethics, and careers are put on the line as Gregory and Savannah play a symphony of passion and heartbreak.

In the final movement, Gregory and Savannah are handed their greatest challenge, as the loss of absolutely everything they’ve held as truths hangs in the balance.

Review:

*SPOILERS AHEAD*

Normally I don’t write reviews for anything that falls under 3 stars because I’ve always thought, what’s the point? Since I am evolving as a reader and someone who shares thoughts about books, I think it’s okay to express disappointment because a review is purely subjective and my intent is not to bash a book but merely point out why I couldn’t connect.

First, let me start by stating that I’m a fan of both, Charles Sheehan-Miles and Andrea Randall. They are talented writers and in their previous books I’ve been captivated, moved and highly entertained but with that being said, this book was a huge miss. A beautiful cover and exceptional title will only get you so far if the content is lacking and that’s the bottom line, it was lacking in complexity, depth and some of the characters seemed to be lacking redeeming qualities.

If you are going to write about the love affair between a teacher and student it needs to feel completely and utterly real within their fictional world. The dialogue felt forced many times and I mostly felt that coming from Gregory, every time he said anything…A.) I couldn’t believe in what he was saying and B.) The way he spoke seemed over-stylized for the situation at hand. There were moments when it felt like I was reading about a soap-opera versus a forbidden relationship that was blossoming and facing challenges.

Karin was made out to be a villain for not being able to help the fact that she fell in love with Gregory. Granted, she made some poor choices but she’s portrayed in a way that makes her look evil because she desperately wants to hold onto her husband. A better angle would have been not to have any villains but have both, Karin and Savannah worthy of love. Again, this is the complexity piece that is missing and that I keep referring to.

I will say, I did love Savannah and there’s was a lot about her that had me cheering because I wanted her to find happiness and peace. Growing up in the shadow of an absent parent should shape you into an insecure girl but not her; she’s resilient and capable of giving and receiving love.

Gregory and Savannah were polar opposites but music was their connection and it was through the music that they communicated when words failed them. The only problem with these two, it wasn’t believable. I felt their attraction but many times I couldn’t believe in Gregory. They both fall in love with each other early on, but Gregory inadvertently states to a colleague he will “cut it off” with Savannah and the drama intensifies.

They meet years later and Savannah finds out Gregory is married and at this point, I’m thinking things will get interesting and complicated. Nope, sure doesn’t. Instead he asks her simply to be his mistress. WHAT IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW?? Then he strings his wife along because apparently she’s evil but he also wants the cake and to eat it too, even though that’s not his intention. Time and time again, Gregory seemed wimpy and not able to take control of his situation.

“I am in love with you, but there’s nothing I can do about it, and I’m sorry for that.”

What I liked about the book was Savannah and the music is described beautifully but unfortunately it wasn’t enough for me to feel invested and I felt disappointed. Again, I must stress that it’s difficult to write a tough review but a tough review can sometimes make another reader interested enough to want to take the gamble.

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BLOG TOUR: Making Faces by Amy Harmon (review + giveaway)

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From goodreads: Ambrose Young was beautiful.  He was tall and muscular, with hair that touched his shoulders and eyes that burned right through you. The kind of beautiful that graced the covers of romance novels, and Fern Taylor would know.  She’d been reading them since she was thirteen.  But maybe because he was so beautiful he was never someone Fern thought she could have…until he wasn’t beautiful anymore.
Making Faces is the story of a small town where five young men go off to war, and only one comes back.  It is the story of loss.  Collective loss, individual loss, loss of beauty, loss of life, loss of identity.  It is the tale of one girl’s love for a broken boy, and a wounded warrior’s love for an unremarkable girl.  This is a story of friendship that overcomes heartache, heroism that defies the common definitions, and a modern tale of Beauty and the Beast, where we discover that there is a little beauty and a little beast in all of us.

REVIEW:

Amy Harmon delivers another powerful and moving story about hope in Making Faces. If you are a fan of A DIFFERENT BLUE and RUNNING BAREFOOT like me (I adore those books…no, I’m obsessed), you can put your mind at ease and know that you’ll enjoy this story as well.  The difference between Making Faces and the others is there are some strong faith elements throughout the book; it will either resonate loudly with you or it won’t but brace yourself for the emotional yet beautiful journey of Fern Taylor and Ambrose Young.

Fern is a beautiful character on the inside and out, she sees herself as a “plain Jane”.  Her need to be unnoticed broke my heart throughout this story but she displays such strength in the way she cares for others that I took comfort in knowing she’d come out ahead.  I realize that I’m talking about Fern as if she’s not a fictional character but that’s what Amy Harmon does, she creates characters that feel completely real.

Ambrose Young is the handsome, popular athlete who seems to be wandering throughout high school without purpose, at least that’s how it felt to me.  His solution to the emptiness he feels is to enlist in the Gulf War and I wanted to yell, NOOOOOOOOOOO!  Actually, I think I did.

Fern has always been in love with Ambrose and the slow building friendship that ensues after he returns from the war is intimate without it being overtly so.  This is not your typical love story, it isn’t perfect or beautiful but it’s honest and fill with so much depth you’ll get lost in their story.

Bailey is by far my most favorite character in this book.  Truthfully, I think this could have been HIS book.  He’s so compelling, layered so beautifully with complexities that I wanted and needed more.  I was drawn to him in ways that I’ve never been drawn to a character before but I could see why it would be difficult to write a book just about him.  The way he loved Rita shattered my heart and I’m not sure that I’ve recovered from the many situations he found himself in.  He’s a character that I will not soon forget, like ever.

“I’m in a wheelchair, man. You gonna tell me I can’t have my seeing-eye cat with me? Actually, it can be your seeing-eye cat, since you’re blind and all. One of the perks to being a pathetic figure is that I tend to get what I want.”

I’m not sure how to sum up this book but I will leave you with this…

What you can expect from MAKING FACES, exceptional writing that only Amy Harmon can deliver, a rich plot, heartbreaking characters and moments that will make your heart hurt and sing at the same time! 😉

RATING: 4.5 stars

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ABOUT AMY:

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Amy Harmon knew at an early age that writing was something she wanted to do, and she divided her time between writing songs and stories as she grew. Having grown up in the middle of wheat fields without a television, with only her books and her siblings to entertain her, she developed a strong sense of what made a good story. Amy Harmon has been a motivational speaker, a grade school teacher, a junior high teacher, a home school mom, and a member of the Grammy Award winning Saints Unified Voices Choir, directed by Gladys Knight. She released a Christian Blues CD in 2007 called “What I Know” – also available on Amazon and wherever digital music is sold. She has written five novels, Running BarefootSlow Dance in Purgatory, Prom Night in Purgatory, the New York Times Bestseller, A Different Blue and coming October 20, Making Faces.

Author Links:

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Running in Place (Mending Hearts #2) by L.B. Simmons (review + giveaway)

Running in Place (Mending Hearts, #2)

From goodreads: ****NA Contemporary Romance, can be read as a stand alone. Due to Explicit Language, Mild Violence, and Sexual Situations – Recommend Readers 18+******

Tatum O’Connell:
Some call me a party girl. People see me as happy, full of life, with absolutely no cares in the world. They see what I want them to see. But no one knows me – really knows me. Not even Noah Reese. Mr. Perfect is always watching me, most likely judging every single imperfect thing I do. But, if Noah wants to keep an eye on me, that’s just fine. I definitely don’t mind. I just hope he doesn’t have any plans to save me from my new-found life of self-destruction because in order to save me, he will have to see me…
And I’m never going to let that happen.

Noah Reese:
Perfect. That’s me. That’s the only acceptable way to be, according to my father. Perfect grades. Perfect manners. Perfect athlete. Perfect SAT scores. Perfect college. And recently, I was accepted into the perfect med school. My future has already been mapped out for me and there’s nothing that can change that. Not even Tatum O’Connell. That girl is out of control, yet for some reason, I can’t seem to keep my distance from her. I watch her closely, hoping that one day she’ll let me in, but watching her lead her life down the dangerous path she’s on right now isn’t easy…
I have a feeling I’m about to find myself swept away by the hurricane that is Tatum O’Connell.

“Two fleeting souls, 
Unknowingly tethered.
Too slowly drawn,
Impatient fate calls. 
The jolting collide intertwines their lives
And splinters their walls.”
“Catalyst” – Noah Reese

L.B. Simmons has given me a book that I absolutely, hands down, ENJOYED.  It has everything you could possibly want, a good amount of angst, the push and pull is perfect and the steaminess will make your toes curl!

There were moments throughout the book where I was told things versus being shown but I was able to overlook that as the story had me hooked.  Tatum and Noah were so perfect together, nothing else mattered and if it meant I was told a few times…so be it!

This is the story of a very broken girl, Tatum, who is out of control but it’s only because the past has fooled her into believing that she’s not worthy.  When someone is screaming ugliness at you, day in and day out, ultimately you begin to believe that it’s true.

Tatum works with the amazing Noah, the hot bartender but she despises him because he’s almost too perfect.  The physical attraction that Noah and Tatum feel for each other can be cut with a knife because it’s intense and the push and pull between those two had me wanting more at every page.  It’s when the arguing stops that they realize they can be friends but soon they want much more than just friendship.

Running in Place is about learning who you are, loving yourself and doing the things in life that make you happy.  While it’s mostly about Tatum, it’s very much Noah’s story too and the comfort they find in each other’s presence gives them the strength to do what’s right and long overdue.

What I specifically loved about the book, besides everything that’s Tatum and Noah is, L.B. Simmons took this story in an edgier direction than what we’re normally accustomed to in her previous books.  It’s not quite dark but it definitely had an edge to it and I loved it!

 “I would rather have one night with you, than to live the rest of my life with the possibility of never being able to experience loving another person that way that I love you.” 

If you haven’t had the pleasure of reading L.B. Simmons books, do yourself a favor and let this be the first because I promise you…you’ll love it! 😉

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BLOG TOUR EVENT

RUNNING IN PLACE TEASER:

“You’re a worthless excuse for a daughter. I wish I never had you.”

Frantically, my eyes dart around the room for her. She’s here. I know it. I can smell the stench of alcohol in the air.  Whipping around, I search for any trace of her, my entire body shaking and the knot in my throat unbearable. Tears fill my eyes as they anxiously race around the kitchen, finally landing on the cabinet where she used to store her liquor.

Memories flood my mind, the immobilizing terror that I would feel every time she approached it.  The prayers I would send to no one in particular, just hoping that she wouldn’t open that fucking cabinet for just one night.  Prayers that fell on deaf ears.

Slowly I make my way to the white doors, crouching down in front of them.

“You killed him and I will make damn sure you spend the rest of your life paying for that. I’ll never again know true happiness because you fucking exist.”

Shaking my head to try to clear her voice from my mind, I set my trembling fingers on the silver knobs and yank the doors open. Nothing.

A sigh of relief escapes my lips as I close them.  Rising, I turn to take a step towards the sink when another memory strikes.

“Mama, don’t please.” I cry out loud as she approaches me with the scissors.

“I have to, Tatum.  Your beauty does not match the vile, revolting child that you really are on the inside. Everyone should see you for who you are.”  I try to run, but she grabs my long dark hair as I pass by her, swiping the blades so close to my neck that I can feel the cool metal against my skin. Laughing she chunks my tresses into the sink.  “You’re an ugly person, Tatum. Inside…and out, now.”

“God, Daddy.  Please help me,” I say out loud, lifting my shaking hands to my forehead, threading sections of hair through my fingers.  “Please, Daddy, I need you.” After a while, calmness spreads throughout my body.  I’m no longer shaking, but the voices are still there.

Turning the faucet on, I splash water on my face repeatedly, trying to drown out them out along with the memories.  After wiping my face dry with a dishtowel, I hear the crackling of gravel as Noah’s Jeep pulls up into the driveway.

Breathing in deeply, I try to regain my composure as I walk to the door, straightening my shirt and running my fingers through my hair before I reach for the knob.  Hearing steps in front of the house, I barely crack the door and poke my head out to make sure it’s really him.  With all the crazy shit going on in this house I can’t be too sure.  But, much to my relief, there he is, standing on my porch in his classic white t-shirt, work jeans and boots, his fist raised about to knock.

And just like that, the voices are gone and my head is clear.

I release a comforted breath and feel the corners of my mouth slightly lift at the sight of him.

“What are you smiling at?” Noah asks, seemingly nervous.  Opening the door wider, I gesture for him to enter my house of horrors. The sight of his disheveled hair makes me grin even more.

“Your hair, it’s nice to see it like that.  I don’t know why, but it makes me smile.” I clear my throat.  His nerves must be contagious, because suddenly I feel that hummingbird feeling in my chest.

With him now inside, I close the door and head towards the kitchen, checking over my shoulder to make sure he’s following me.  “Want something to eat?”

Once I see he’s fallen into step, I turn back around and round the corner, making sure to avoid looking at the sink. The memory still lingering on the hinges of my mind, I try to push it as far away as I can. “I don’t have much, but I did manage to make it to the store over the weekend.”

“No, I’m good, Thanks, though.” He shoves his hands in his pockets and rocks onto the balls of his feet.

Thinking about our last night together, I feel the frustration mounting within myself. I should kick my own ass for kissing him.  Everything seems so edgy between us now and I hate it.  Running my fingers through my hair, I twist it at the nape of my neck and bring it over my shoulder.

“Well, what’s up?  What couldn’t wait until tonight?”

His eyes widen. “Tonight?  What’s tonight?”

“I picked up Sadie’s shift.”

He grinds his teeth together as he leans against the wall, crossing his arms over his chest.  “I told you to take the entire week off, Tate. You don’t need to work right now. You need to concentrate on healing.”

I know.

“No, I don’t.  I’m sick and tired of being cooped up in this depressing house.  I need to get out, to stay busy.  I feel like I’m losing it, honestly.”  My hands are still trembling and I’m not sure if it’s the sudden anxiety from being around Noah or the fact that I’m losing my mind. His eyes break from mine and land on them as they continue to shake like a leaf.  Pressing himself off the wall, he takes a small, timid step towards me.

I want to tell him to stop.  To stay where he is.  To tell him to leave this house and forget about me.  That I could ruin his perfect life by just being near him.

But I don’t.

I let him continue taking those steps until he’s right in front of me and even breathe out a sigh of contentment when he wraps his arms around me, pulling me into his frame. The tears fall as he lightly traces my back with his fingers, and with each touch, my uneasiness lessens.  I know it’s selfish, but I would give anything to stay in this moment forever.

Circling my arms around his waist, I press my forehead against his chest and watch the droplets as they plummet from my face towards his boots, dark spots forming as they strike.  After a couple of seconds, I replace my forehead with my chin, daring to look into his muddy brown eyes, full of their usual intensity as he studies me, peering into my soul.  In them, I find complete solace and protection, and the sudden desire to share things with him that I swore I’d never share with another living person.

“I don’t know what’s wrong with me, Noah. I feel like I’m going fucking crazy. Ever since Friday, I can’t stop them.  The voices.  My mother’s leading their charge to my insanity.”   My throat closes almost completely shut.  “I hate this house. I hate being here, alone.  So many memories…” I trail off, my strength fading, no longer able to keep from bawling.

I close my eyes as the warm moisture cascades down my cheeks and runs down my neck.  Unwrapping his arms, he moves his hands to my face, wiping the tears away, but it’s useless.   They’re replaced instantly.

“Tate, open your eyes.  Look at me, baby.”  I keep them closed, not ready to face the wary expression in front of me.

“Let me in, Tate. Open your eyes.”  The heartache in his tone and the tremble of his voice prompts me to open them immediately.  As soon as our eyes catch, a breath hitches in my throat.  His eyes shining, he gently wraps his fingers around my shoulders, pressing his thumbs softly into my flesh as he speaks.

“You’re not alone.  I’m right here.” A slight smile of relief breaks through the tears on my face.

I watch his mouth tip up in response.  “Now, tell the voices to shut the fuck up because it’s my turn.”

SERIES READING ORDER:

Mending Hearts #1 – Running on Emptyamazon

Mending Hearts #1.5 –  Recoveryamazon

Mending Hearts #2 – Running in Place

AUTHOR BIO:

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L.B. Simmons is a graduate of Texas A&M University and holds a degree in Biomedical Science. She has been a practicing Chemist for the last 11 years. She lives with her husband and three daughters in Texas and writes every chance she gets.

Connect with L.B.:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT

Skater Boy (X-Treme Boys Series, #1)

From goodreads: For 25-year-old attorney, Hindley Hagen, life is all about staying one step ahead of the game. Avoiding surprises and keeping people at a distance is the only way she has to protect herself from the painful scars and shattered memories of her past. When Hindley is offered a new position at her prestigious Austin law firm as sports agent for pro skateboarder, Rory Gregor, she’s ready for the new challenge but completely unprepared for the man who captures her heart. Suddenly, Hindley is thrust into a world where protecting all their secrets could cost her everything; her family, her career, and maybe even her life. 

Professional skateboarder and X Games royalty, Rory Gregor knows what it’s like to be at the top. But after two years of bad decisions and one-night-stands, he’s having to make a comeback he never anticipated. Hiring a new agent may be what his team thinks he needs to rebuild his career, but what if it costs him his heart in the process? Just when he thinks he’s posed for a comeback, secrets from his past threaten to ruin his chance for gold and a new love. In a sport where trust means everything, this time… it may not be enough.

SKATER BOY (X-Treme Boys Series #1)

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MY SKATER BOY (X-Treme Boys Series #2)

buy3__V192207739_ MOTO BOY (X-Treme Boys Series #3)  – Available January 2014

Follow Kay Manis:

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Death of the Mad Hatter

From goodreads: The Jack prophesied: If the king loses his head, then the Queen with a Bleeding Heart would rule the Red Court until Time ceased to move forward. When a second carried on for infinity, every creature in Wonderland would tip their Hat to the misfit girl with a Boy’s name (or was it a boy with a Girl’s name?) who’d end the Reign of Terror. However, it all hinged on the One-Eyed Hare being able to convince an uninspirable Heir that the impossible was indeed possible—like stopping time—and that Love was worth a Beheading.

Heads would Roll…
Hearts would Break…
In the end, would it matter who Reigned?

Expected release date: 11/29/2013 

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Follow Sarah J. Pepper:

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From goodreads: When Marie finally wrote back to Andrew, he truly learned how words can seduce, corrupt and inflame. The stories Marie and Andrew now make up, trading e-mails, consume them. They begin a passionate affair, and their deepening obsession with each other penetrates their writing. Then the stories take over and change everything. Oh, and the bit with the shoe is freaking wild. Fun, well-told, intelligent and absorbing, Heart-Break-Proof is about words that bind tighter than any rope. (Actually, there are ropes in this book too. But mainly words). So, be careful what you read. For a free preview of Heart-Break-Proof (first 3 chapters), check out http://heartbreakproof.com.

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Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor & Park

Fan art images courtesy of the very talented illustrator, Simini Blocker. 😉

From goodreads: Set over the course of one school year in 1986, ELEANOR AND PARK is the story of two star-crossed misfits – smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love – and just how hard it pulled you under.

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“Holding Eleanor’s hand was like holding a butterfly. Or a heartbeat. Like holding something complete, and completely alive.”

Why haven’t I read this book sooner and why haven’t I heard more about this author?!?! I love when I stumble upon a book that moves me and leaves me thinking about it for days. *sigh* I seriously fell in love with this book, its innocence and the storytelling is brilliant and moving; I couldn’t get enough of Eleanor and Park.   I’m not sure if it was all the comic book references that captivated me or if it was the fact I went back in time to 1986 but what’s the point of trying to figure out what captivated me when the bottom line is… I LOVED IT!!!

“Nothing was dirty. With Park. Nothing could be shameful. Because Park was the sun, and that was the only way Eleanor could think to explain it.”

Eleanor has crazy red hair (her wardrobe will make you cringe) and Park is half-Korean who sometimes likes to wear eye liner but yet they make complete sense.  Park seemed somewhat lost when he met the troubled Eleanor but an unlikely friendship slowly forms between them over comic books and mixed tapes. High school is a complete and total jungle but when you have someone in your life that loves you for you and believes in you, anything is possible.  These characters felt incredibly genuine at every turn and all I wanted to do was reach through the book and hug them.

“Maybe Park had paralyzed her with his ninja magic, his Vulcan handhold, and now he was going to eat her. That would be awesome.”

This is a slow-building story, it moves with such fluidity that you will feel every blessed detail of Eleanor and Park’s relationship.  Hand holding has taken on a new meaning for me and every dang time that Eleanor and Park held hands it took my breath away.   Normally I don’t like alternating POV every other chapter as I find it jarring but in this case it made sense, it worked and it wasn’t distracting in the least bit.

“The first time he’d held her hand, it felt so good that it crowded out all the bad things. It felt better than anything had ever hurt.”

To tell you what this story is about is to rob you of the experience and I refuse to do that, the blurb alone will give you an idea.  What you need to know:

  • It’s about falling in love for the first time.
  • Be prepared to relive all the awkwardness and cruelty of high school.
  • There is angst and your heart will hurt.
  • Eleanor is a very complex character, more so than Park but you will love them both equally.
  • Rainbow Park has captured the essence of what it’s like to be a teenager, she made me remember and I love her for it.

“I want everyone to meet you. You’re my favorite person of all time.”

Don’t wait a moment longer to read this story, it’s worth every penny and you can thank me later!!! 😉

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Beyond Fate (Fate #1.5) by Heather Lyons (review+giveaway)

Beyond Fate (Fate, #1.5)

From goodreads: There are always two sides to every story . . .

His whole life, Jonah Whitecomb has strove to meet everyone’s expectations of him: the perfect student, dutiful son, loyal twin, accomplished surfer, and powerful Magical. But behind his carefully composed façade hides the truth of how his family has fallen apart, leaving Jonah more often than not feeling adrift. To complicate matters, he fell in love long ago with a girl in his dreams, one he’s never told anyone about, including his twin brother.

Just when life seems its bleakest, Jonah discovers that Chloe is real. Wanting to finally reach out and grab happiness for himself, he embarks on a journey to track down the girl of his dreams, only to find that happy endings aren’t always guaranteed, the best laid out plans can go horribly awry, and sometimes, you have to simply let yourself go along for the ride.

* Beyond Fate is Jonah’s point-of-view of the events of A Matter of Fate, and is a companion novella.

Beyond Fate needed to be written and Heather Lyons did the impossible, she made me love Jonah.  She took a character that I had no real connection to, she commanded I understand his motives and she made me realize just how deep his hurt goes, not to mention his guilt.  It might be a bit extreme to say I had no connection to Jonah but that’s just me being dramatic, when in reality I’m just Team Kellan.

“When you fall in love with somebody, you shouldn’t have to share them and that feeling they inspire in you, not even with your twin brother.”

This story broke my heart because it’s as though Jonah was always one step behind.  Every decision he made was either the wrong one or because he wasn’t quick enough.  All he wanted was this one thing, the one person he had been dreaming about for a lifetime and he loved Chloe without thinking twice about it.

I should’ve pushed for his belief all those years ago, because that lack of faith in my brother has snowballed until this very moment, where our relationship dangles over a very precarious precipice.  We are fractured, and I don’t know how to fix it.”

It’s safe to say this is a stress inducing series because you feel everyone’s angst and Beyond Fate is no different.  I was constantly feeling a tremendous amount of heart burn for Jonah, would he make peace with Kellan or will he finally find happiness with Chloe?  Clearly, I know the outcome since this is the companion novella to A Matter of Fate (#1) but that’s how much this story sucked me back in and it answered so many of my questions.

“Something in me changes, shifts and alters and electrifies and melts and suddenly the worlds make sense.  All of the doubts I’d had evaporate as I pull her closer.  Home.  I’m home.  I am finally, mercifully, home with the person I’m meant to be with.”

There was a point in when I was cheering for Jonah and Chloe. *gasp*  I wanted them to be together and find that happiness they both deserve and I realized, there is no villain in this story but only fate and she’s evil.

“Thank you, he tells me before fading away again, and I can’t help but wonder if this is what my life is going to be like now: constantly stuck between the two of them.”

If you haven’t given the Fate Series a chance, trust me…you must because it’s absolutely fabulous!!! 😉

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Excerpt:

She must sense my disinterest, because she rushes to say, “And your Connection is nice and strong. You’re very lucky to have been able to foster that relationship from such an early age.”

Whoa. What now? Connection? “Do you mean the one with my brother?”

I have a Connection with my brother, thanks to being Magical identical twins and all. But it’s not like a real Connection, not like the kind my parents had or Joey and Hannah’s. Not a romantic one, anyway.

“Oh, well, yes, there’s that Connection too.” The Seer nods, biting the end of her pen. Then she yanks it back out, irrational embarrassment taking over once more. “I guess I overlooked that one, since I’ve never seen one between siblings before. No—I meant your Connection.”

My brain sort of goes static-y. “I guess I’m confused here. If you’re not referring to Kellan, then what . . . uh . . . Connection are you talking about?”

She looks down at the yellow legal pad, as if it somehow has answers. “Surely you know about your Connection? I mean, you’ve already been on that road with her, and have been since you were very young.”

My heart starts racing, like it does when I run. But I’m not running. I’m sitting in a yellow chair in a Seer’s office and I’m dizzy and my heart is racing and I’m having a tough time catching my breath. “Elaborate,” I squeak. And it goes to show just how thrown off balance I really am, because I don’t even even care that I’m squeaking like a twelve-year-old going through puberty to some pretty girl.

The Seer’s eyes widen. “Has no one explained this to you?”

I clear my throat once, twice. “I know that my brother and I have a Connection, but I wasn’t aware I had another one. Nobody . . .” I’m forced to clear it a third time. “Nobody has two Connections.”

“Well, uh . . . it’s true that I’m not aware of anyone else having two, but . . .” She blinks at me, scratches her head. “You do. You’re in love with her already, right?”

How could she know that? Can Seers tell that? Can they actually sense emotions, like I can? Can they physically tell that someone is in love, simply by looking at their paths? Because, if that’s the case, this is—

“You’ve known her nearly your whole life,” Sera says, interrupting my internal high-octane rationalizations. “I’m positive of it. You’ve been in love with your Connection for a very long time.”

If somebody had smashed a brick down on my head during this moment, I wouldn’t have been more surprised. So I sound like a total idiot when I blurt out, “You mean she’s real?”

It’s the first time I’ve ever said anything about the girl I’ve called Chloe out loud, to anyone. EVER.

“Well, of course,” the Seer says. And then she has the audacity to laugh. At me. Because I’m too . . . I don’t know. Slow? Stupid? Naïve? To grasp what she thinks is basic Magical Info 101. Normally, this would piss me off royally, but right now, I temper that annoyance down because I’m pretty sure if she doesn’t answer my questions, I’m going to have a full-fledge meltdown right here in her office. It’s been weeks—scratch that, MONTHS—since I last saw or heard from the girl in my dreams. Even if this Seer can give me the smallest bit of info, I’m completely willing to let her think I’m the biggest idiot on the Human plane. “No one has a Connection to an imaginary Magical,” she finishes lamely.

THUD. Another brick smashes down on my apparently thick skull. My voice drops to a whisper. “She’s a Magical?”

Jesus. Now I’ve basically turned into a parrot.

The Seer cocks her head to the side. “I don’t understand . . .?”

And then everything in me, everything I’ve felt for this girl my whole life floods me, and it’s too much, way too much, so the dam bursts forth and finally, finally, the truth comes rushing out. I don’t think I can stop the words even if I wanted to, and right now, here—I don’t want to. “I’ve . . . I’ve dreamed about this girl my whole life. I never knew she was real, though. I mean—I hoped she was, but . . .”

Sera gets this dreamy look, and a flash of envy streaks through her. “OH! You’ve got a doorway! Lucky, lucky! So very rare.” Her smile is the rueful, conspiratorial one now. “What most Magicals wouldn’t do for one.”

She knows about . . . “The doorway?”

Kill me now, because there’s more of the parroting.

The Seer blushes violently now. If I wasn’t so, oh, I don’t know, BLOWN AWAY, I just might be annoyed or amused at the fact that she’d just wished she’d had a doorway with me. But I have no time for these shenanigans. “How do you know about the doorway?”

It’s her turn to clear her throat. “Um, it’s . . . one of the ways some people with Connections meet? Like I said, it’s rare, maybe two percent of all Connection cases are like this. So . . .” She scratches her upper arm. “You’re the first person I’ve met with a doorway, though. Have you met her in person yet?”

YET?

I go lightheaded right before the ground below me moves.

READING ORDER:

  1. A Matter of Fate (#1): amazon | b&n
  2. Beyond Fate (#1.5): amazon | b&n
  3. A Matter of Heart (#2): amazon | b&n
  4. A Matter of Truth (#3): coming November 5, 2013

About Heather Lyons:

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Heather Lyons has always had a thing for words—She’s been writing stories since she was a kid. In addition to writing, she’s also been an archaeologist and a teacher. Heather is a rabid music fan, as evidenced by her (mostly) music-centric blog, and she’s married to an even larger music snob. They’re happily raising three kids who are mini music fiends who love to read and be read to.

Author Links:

Blog | GoodReads | Twitter | FB

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Here’s your chance to win SIGNED PAPERBACKS!!! Click on the image below and good luck! 😉

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Willing Captive by Belle Aurora

Willing Captive

From goodreads: (Author note: This is NOT a dark romance.)

Delilah “Lily” Flynn is used to her drab existence. Lily’s been living it for twenty two years. 
Her boring life is suddenly turned on its head when she’s rudely kidnapped from her bedroom.
Or so she thinks.

Nox Taylor is far too high up in his field to be assigned a babysitting job. 
There’s nothing more he wants than to complete his mission so he can be rid of the smartass tomboy, Lily.

Day after day, Nox watches Lily and her strange ways. She’s unlike any woman he’s ever met. 
Getting close to the girl is purely for her own protection…right?

Lily never imagined she’d make her first real friends in captivity. 
What lengths would she go through to keep them?

**This is a stand alone novel and is unrelated to Friend-Zoned**

A quickie review…

I’m going against popular opinion with this book, so I’m prepared for backlash (actually, I’m not prepared at all).  Three stars is not a bad rating but I didn’t love it and I didn’t hate it.  The author clearly states in the blurb that it’s not a dark romance, so going into this story I knew it would be on the lighter side.  However, the story was almost too light and when the angst/drama appeared it was abrupt, almost jarring.

Belle Aurora has a natural comedic writing style that I very much appreciated and enjoyed but the overall flow of the story seemed a little awkward.  In order for me to connect to the characters and their plight, I have to believe in their journey and in this case I didn’t.  I’m all about suspending disbelief but I don’t want to be given a reason as to why I shouldn’t think it’s real.

This is the story about finding love in the least likely place…with the man who is protecting your life. Lily has no life because her overprotective father won’t let her have one and rightly so considering she’s in danger.  The kidnapping  seemed a bit forced but again, this is fiction and I kept reading.  Enter Nox.  Handsome and dangerous Nox.  The problem I had with Nox is…he starts out as a macho kind of guy (yet not really alpha male) but somewhere along the line he lost that and suddenly he’s cuddling with Lily. I don’t get it.  Where’s the push and pull?  What happened to the thrill of the chase?  And so the journey begins of how Lily fell in love with Nox and became friends with the rest of his crew.

The story is a bit predictable and I won’t lie, I had a hard time with it as you can probably tell.  Here’s the thing, Willing Captive isn’t a bad book by any means, there are plenty of people who love loved it and who knows, maybe this could be your next favorite book! 😉

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