Blog Tour: “Taming Me” (Cover To Covers #5) by Alexandrea Weis – My Review, Excerpt, Author Interview & Giveaway

Title: “Taming Me”

Series: Cover to Covers #5

Author: Alexandrea Weis

Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance

Release Date: February 2, 2015

Lexie Palmer is a writer in search of the perfect story.

When a case of mistaken identity introduces her to the charismatic dominant, Garrett Hughes, she discovers her salvation. In hopes of penning an accurate portrayal of the BDSM lifestyle, Garrett agrees to educate Lexie.

She eagerly places herself in Garret’s capable hands, but what starts out as just business with the sexy Mr. Hughes takes a turn toward the unexpected.

Soon, Lexie becomes immersed in his world, and finds Garret taking control of her life. Her experiences with Garrett may be providing wonderful material for her book, but how far is she willing to go to for her story?

Lexie Palmer is about to get a lesson in submission that she will never forget.

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Review Image

Complimentary copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review

It has now been a year since I was introduced to Alexandrea Weis and her books for the first time, and her ability to create stories that are engaging, lifelike, and filled with romance have made her become one of my favourite authors. There is just something about her books that always draw me in from the very beginning, and I can honestly say that “Taming Me” did the same as the other novels I have, so far, had the pleasure of reading: I lost  myself in the love story, yes, but, moreover, the characters, Lexie and Garrett, made me realise that, although people – in my opinion, at least – deep down do not ever change, they do have the ability to evolve and become better at making compromises in order to find happiness.

As ever, I will endeavour to write a completely spoiler free review, so I will not necessarily provide you with a rundown of the plot – because that is not the way I write my reviews – however, I cannot avoid it entirely, of course.

Lexie Palmer, a somewhat successful romance novelist, has hit a rut: her books are not selling as well as they used to, and so she needs to come up with a completely new approach to find inspiration for her next novel. Luckily, a chance meeting in a park seems to do the trick, and her fascination with the life of Garrett Hughes commences. Because as soon as Garrett reveals that he is a Dom, a new story begins to form in her mind, and Lexie manages to convince Garrett to depart with his insider knowledge into the BDSM lifestyle; but as time passes, Lexie finds herself becoming more and more interested in this intriguing man, instead of the Dom, and the question is if she will be able to let go of her preconceived notions about how a relationship should be like and take a chance? And is Garrett actually who he says he is? Hmm. Well, you will have to read the book in order to find out. 😉

Lexie is a wonderful character: independent, strong, and determined to succeed as a writer. She is rather jaded when it concerns men, but that is due to her failed marriage. And you cannot really question that or blame her for feeling that way. I loved seeing her evolve from this rather “playing-it-safe” woman and into one willing and, mostly, unafraid to take chances.

Garrett was first introduced to us in the “That Night With You” – the previous book of the Cover To Covers Series – and I have to confess that I have been looking forward to getting his story ever since. To be perfectly honest, he is quite the enigma: a successful architect, elusive, and not someone to reveal his innermost thoughts until the very end. This, to me, does not mean that he is a frustrating character, though that could very well have been the case; no, the subtlety of this man, the way he speaks and educate Lexie, intrigued me so, and I could not help but think that this man has a very specific agenda when it concerns her…but what is it? In the end, Garrett bares his soul completely, and that made me fall in love with him entirely.

The title of this book is, in my opinion, spot on: because who will be tamed, Lexie or Garrett? I see both of them as being pretty stubborn characters – on the surface, at least – and they refuse to let go of their stubbornness throughout most of the story; however, that is not to say this is wrong. No, these characters have trust issues, and I enjoyed seeing them tear down their walls, bit by bit, until, in the end, they find the courage to trust in one another completely. You cannot truly love another person if you do not have trust – not in my opinion, anyway – and Lexie and Garrett are pretty good examples of this fact.

I cannot profess to know a great deal about what the BDSM lifestyle is like in the real world, but Miss Weiss manages to paint a very vivid, believable picture of it, and it definitely appears to be a topic very well researched. The setting of the book, New Orleans, is interesting and captivating, and you get the sense that this may be just the perfect city when is concerns the pleasures that are of a sexual nature: it is more open, more free, if you will, and definitely not frowned upon to have “different” tastes.

The storytelling skills of Miss Weis are, as always, unique and engaging; Lexie and Garrett may be fictional, but they could actually be real people: that is how believable and genuine they are. Furthermore, the pace of the story flows really well, and the dry wit and banter between all the characters made me chuckle or even roll my eyes in amusement a time or two.

I have nothing but praise for this book, and I can honestly say that, out of all the books of Miss Weis’ that I have read and marked as favourites? This one tops them all. Thank you for a lovely reading experience, Miss Weis! And thank you for always satisfying my romantic – and, at times, cynical – heart with your love stories. ❤

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“When I punish a sub, I want to make the punishment memorable, but in another way I want to make it reinforce their submission to me.” He removed his tie, curling it about his long fingers.” Punishment is about withholding pleasure; tempting, promising, but never giving.”

I was mesmerized by the way the cool gray silk was laced in and around his fingers. I hurriedly gazed down at the drink in my hand.  “So what do you do, spank them, tie them up, what?”

He took my drink and put it on the table. “Would you like a demonstration?”

“No.” I shrank away, picturing being held over his lap and spanked like a child.

He leaned toward me, holding up his tie. “If you want to truly learn about my world, Lexie, you must experience it.” His face inched ever so close to mine. “I promise I will not hurt you,” he softly added.

His thin lips hovered in front of me as I considered his offer. He had a point; perhaps I needed to experience what he did to his subs in order to be able to write about it. As his dark brown eyes seared into me, my resistance slipped away.

“All right, fine.” I sat back against the sofa. “But I’m only agreeing to do this for the sake of the book.”

“Of course. It’s all about the book.” He stood from the sofa and went to the middle of the room. “Come here.”

Taking in a deep breath, I stood up and approached him. Without my heels I came right under his chin, and I could see the slight dimple there. I had never noticed that before.

“Turn around,” he commanded.

Sighing at the insistence in his voice, I did as he asked, wishing he could just ask nicely for once. When his hands went to the zipper on the back of my dress I almost pulled away, and then remembered his words from previous encounters. I had to relax, and I had to trust him.

“You didn’t pull away,” he whispered as the zipper slowly eased downward. “You’re learning.”

“I’m getting—”

“No talking. You never talk when I’m punishing you.”

I snorted. Silly me.

After he had pushed my black cocktail dress off my shoulders, I stood calmly as the fabric slid down my body and gathered about my ankles. Standing before him in my underwear and strapless bra did not seem like such a feat anymore. Maybe I was getting the hang of this; and then another thought hit me. Or maybe I wanted to be naked in front of him.

His fingers lightly stroked along my shoulders and then his deep voice said, “Put your hands behind your back.”

Still not sure what to expect, I complied, and soon I felt the silk tie being wrapped about my wrists and secured tightly. At this point, I should have been getting concerned. Every instinct I had was screaming at me not to go along with his plans, but at a certain point in a relationship there comes a time when belief in another person outweighs reason. We want to believe someone will be kind to us, love us, or take care of us no matter how many times our past has taught us otherwise. This was that moment for me. I believed Garrett would not hurt me, and I knew then that I trusted him.

When his hands left my wrists, they began working their way down my back until his fingers hooked the top of my black silk panties. He eased the panties down my hips and all the way to my ankles. Lifting my right foot and then my left, he removed the underwear and dress from about my feet.

The cool air in my apartment was making my flesh dance with goose pimples, and when his hand cupped my behind, the chill turned into a rush of heat.

“On your knees,” he said behind me.

With a little awkward effort I got down on my knees. I prepared myself for a few slaps on my butt, thinking that was what he had in mind for my punishment. But when he kneeled behind me and pushed my head over to the hardwood floor, my stomach clenched. Feeling so exposed only compounded the rush of adrenaline racing through me. My heart was pounding and my breath was coming in nervous gasps. I stayed like that for a few minutes, waiting for him to touch me, spank me … do something.

Keep reading – I hope you enjoy the interview with Miss Weis!

 

Hello Alexandrea,

Thank you so much for letting The Danish Bookaholic Blog run an interview with you. I have been looking forward to it for some time now.

Here goes:

 1. What does a typical day look like for you?

My day starts and ends with my animals. I get up, feed furry people and spend the day juggling their needs and my writing. I do spend several hours a day on the computer, usually with dogs at my feet or a squirrel in my lap. When I am not writing, or tending to the zoo, I am an avid runner.

2. Where do you find the inspiration for your books?

Anything can bring a story to mind. Things just pop into my head, usually when I am driving … don’t ask me why. I’m not sure how the process works, and that is probably one mystery I don’t wish to know about. I just get an idea and it builds, until it needs to be written down.

3. What, in your opinion, is the most challenging aspect of being a self-published author today?

PR! Without a doubt getting your name out there is tough. There are so many books, so many writers that you have to really struggle to stand out. It’s a real challenge.

4. Out of all the books you have written, which one is your favourite? (If you have one, that is?)

My favorite is always my first, To My Senses, with The Ghosts of Rue Dumaine running a close second. I love those stories, the heartache and the poignancy of the characters still gets to me. I guess your first book is like a first love … unforgettable. 

5. How did you research the BDSM life style in your latest book, “Taming Me”? 😉

LOL! I should probably say lots of hands on experience, but my husband would die! Thank God for Google. Although, I did interview a few Doms about their methods for handling subs. This is New Orleans and there are lots of bars in the French Quarter where such individuals hang out, and are surprisingly open to talking about their lifestyle. However, I already have 4-legged Doms in my life, telling me what to do all day long, so I kind of had an idea of where to start.    

Again, thank you so much for stopping by!

Alexandrea Weis is an advanced practice registered nurse who was born and raised in New Orleans. Having been brought up in the motion picture industry, she learned to tell stories from a different perspective and began writing at the age of eight. Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her award-winning novels, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story moving and memorable. A permitted/certified wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, Weis rescues orphaned and injured wildlife. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans.

To read more about Alexandrea Weis or her books, you can go to the following sites:

 

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Cover Reveal: “Taming Me” (Cover To Covers #5) by Alexandrea Weis – Synopsis & Giveaway

Title: “Taming Me”
Series: Cover to Covers #5
Author: Alexandrea Weis
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Release Date: February 2, 2015
Lexie Palmer is a writer in search of the perfect story.
 
When a case of mistaken identity introduces her to the charismatic dominant, Garrett Hughes, she discovers her salvation. In hopes of penning an accurate portrayal of the BDSM lifestyle, Garrett agrees to educate Lexie.
 
She eagerly places herself in Garret’s capable hands, but what starts out as just business with the sexy Mr. Hughes takes a turn toward the unexpected.
 
Soon, Lexie becomes immersed in his world, and finds Garret taking control of her life. Her experiences with Garrett may be providing wonderful material for her book, but how far is she willing to go to for her story? 
 

Lexie Palmer is about to get a lesson in submission that she will never forget.

Join the  Release Party on February 2nd on Facebook

Alexandrea Weis is an advanced practice registered nurse who was born and raised in New Orleans. Having been brought up in the motion picture industry, she learned to tell stories from a different perspective and began writing at the age of eight. Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her award-winning novels, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story moving and memorable. A permitted/certified wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, Weis rescues orphaned and injured wildlife. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans.
To read more about Alexandrea Weis or her books, you can go to the following sites:



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“Restoring Hope” by C. P. Smith – My Review

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Title: “Restoring Hope”

Author: C. P. Smith

Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance

Release Date: 22nd July, 2014.

 

SYNOPSIS

Life throws you curve balls, but no parent should ever bury a child. Determined not to make the same mistakes with his son as he made with his daughter, Nic Beuve is single-minded until Hope walks into his life.
Hope Delaney, a woman with a past that almost broke her, tries to keep people at bay for their own protection. Fortunately for her, no one listens when she says she wants to be alone.
Burning desire, a deep need to protect, and a woman who looks like an angel breaks down Nic’s defenses until he can’t ignore them. He wants Hope and what Nic wants…
Hope thinks she can walk away at any time she just wasn’t counting on a man like Nic to get in the way, or a nosy but loving Cajun Boss. All’s fair in love and war and what Maman Rose wants is Nic and Hope together.

Will their relationship survive an ex-wife with an agenda or will her past come between them… or kill them?

ADD TO GOODREADS

 

My Review

Complimentary copy given by the author in exchange for an honest review.

You should all know by now that even if I did not fall for a certain book by an author in the past, it does not deter me from picking up a book by the same author again. I am, first and foremost, the kind of reader and reviewer who decides what to read based solely on the synopsis of a book – true, I have my favorite authors, as you know, BUT that is not really the point I want to make here. The point is that even if an author’s work has disappointed you in the past, it does not mean that you should overlook it in the future. For me, reading is an adventure, a chance to explore and challenge myself…Thus, taking chances. And I am thrilled to say that C. P. Smith has left me with quite a book hangover with her latest novel, “Restoring Hope”.

Now, as the synopsis gives you an idea of what the book is about, I will not expand on it that much, and, as always, I will attempt to write a review that is completely spoiler free.

The story is about two lost and tormented people who, by chance, meet and form a very strong connection. Hope Delaney is on the run. Little by little, we learn why and what makes her fear for her life, and the fact that Hope does not allow herself to form attachments – getting close to people, forming friendships, and the like – because of said fear makes for a lonely existence. Hope finds herself in New Orleans, and because of her limited funds, she needs to find a temporary job – she has no intentions of staying long, naturally, but she does not count on the determination and stubbornness from her new boss, Maman Rose.

Nic Beauve is not exactly fighting his own demons, more like drowning in them. He is tormented, guilt-ridden with the loss of his daughter, Chelsea, but he is trying to remain strong because of his other child, his son, Nicky, Nic is introduced to Hope by the meddling, but loveable, Maman Rose, but even though he is taken in by her looks and demeanor, he keeps telling himself to stay away.

Hope is equally intrigued by Nic – not to mention, attracted to him physically – but she is more than ever determined to stay keep her distance.

“Nic Beauve, plain and simple, is the sexiest man she’d ever encountered, and she needed to be in his presence like she needed at hole in the head.” (Hope)

The question remains, though: can these two lost souls really stay apart when they are so obviously in sync with each other? Well, dear reader: buy the book and find out! *wink*

I have to say that what makes this a great book to me is because of how Hope evolves throughout the story. She comes such a long way, emotionally, and I like how she truly becomes her own woman – but it does not happen with a simple snap of her fingers. It takes time, work and determination from not only Nic but her new friends as well. This, to me, makes Hope a truly realistic character. I also have to mention that I admire her strength – her sassy attitude has not been completely snuffed out despite her past, and as she gains more confidence and learns to trust Nic, that sass and spirit really shine through.

As for Nic…I might as well be honest right now and say that I completely fell in love with him! He is so broken in the beginning, but Hope helps him become stronger, little by little, by simply being who she is. I also have to admit that I love his alpha ways – yes, he can be rather dominating, but he does it in such a caring, funny way that you cannot help but swoon.

“Learn quickly, sugar…I will love you, fight with you, die for you, but I will also put your sweet ass over my knee if you run from me.” (Nic)

You see what I mean? Rather annoying, but very hot at the same time. And I love that in my book boyfriends! Furthermore, in my opinion, Nic needs saving as well, and Hope is just the woman for the job.

Together, Hope and Nic learn to let go of their pasts, but they do not forget them: both of them learn from their experiences, realizing that they must open their hearts in order to trust and love again so that they can move forward in their lives. These are lessons hard-learned, of course, thus making the rewards that much sweeter, and their connection is truly beautiful. I feel that I also have to add that their banter is hilarious, the sex scenes are very steamy, and you cannot help but smile, or even laugh sometimes, because of some of the situations they find themselves in.

“He forced her to stay, made her believe that she could have a life, something beautiful, to dream again. And for that, she would do her best to help him heal, give him the love he needed to move forward while she watched over their shoulders.” (Hope)

On every page, it is apparent that Miss Smith cares deeply for both Hope and Nic. You can just feel it. Even more so, the author has also managed to create some incredibly multi-faceted and colorful secondary characters. I have already mentioned Maman Rose, but the cook, Big Daddy, absolutely also deserves a small note here: he provides Hope with some sweet, old-fashioned advice when she needs it. I have highlighted so many scenes on my Kindle because the writing is so heartfelt, yet with a no-nonsense air about it as well – so yes, that is also a major plus in my world, and part of the reason why this book gets such a high rating.

This is a very emotional romance novel: I found myself giggling, swooning, and even crying on more than one occasion, and an author who can bring me to tears? It takes a lot, but when that happens? Well, that author gets an extra star from me. I found myself thinking, “Just one more chapter, then I’ll spend time with my family…” so you can gather that it was very difficult for me to let the book go.

Hope & Nic’s journey, separately and together, moved me to no end, which is why I have no other choice but to give you my highest recommendation – 5 stars – and I hope that you will enjoy their love story as much as I did.

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PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon US

Amazon UK

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

C.P. Smith is a mother of 5 and stay-at-home mom. The need for more stories featuring older couples is the driving force behind her writing. Love isn’t just for the young; it’s for everyone. A first kiss at 18 or 50 is still a first kiss–full of wonder and expectation.

Ms.Smith resides in Oklahoma with her kids, husband and 4 dogs.

 

SOCIAL LINKS

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads Author Profile

“Cover To Covers” by Alexandrea Weis – My Review

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Title: “Cover To Covers”

Author: Alexandrea Weis

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis

A man driven by his desires.
Tyler Moore is considered cold, ruthless, and determined to get everything he wants. CEO of a flourishing oil company, he thrives on order and never gives up control to anyone.

The woman from his past. 
Monique Delome has left her unhappy past behind to pursue her dream of becoming a writer. Love is something she believes is better suited to the pages of her novels and not meant for real life.

Whether in the boardroom or the bedroom, Tyler Moore is always in charge. But when Monique Delome walks back into his life, everything changes. A successful romance author, all the sexy leading men Monique writes about strangely remind everyone of Tyler. Intrigued, Tyler sets out to seduce the one woman he could never forget. Soon Tyler gets more than he bargained for, and his grip on his well-ordered life is turned upside down.
     Tyler Moore is about to find out what happens when a romantic tale jumps from the pages and comes to life between the sheets.

ADD TO GOODREADS

My Review

ARC received by the author in exchange for an honest review

When I first began reading this book, I was in for a bit of a surprise because it turns out that it is slightly different from what I usually read. Please do not get ahead of yourself and stop reading. Is it a romance novel? Yes. Filled with drama, heartbreak, passion and laughter? Yes. But the difference lies in the fact that the main couple is rather mature, and I am not quite used to that. Nevertheless, I found it to be very refreshing and at no point did it make me not want to keep reading, so please do not let it dissuade you from buying the book.

I will not go into too many details about the storyline, though, as the synopsis says so much about it already, so please allow me to be a bit vague from time to time.

Meet Tyler Moore: suave, hardworking, oil tycoon who has two failed marriages behind him. He has just celebrated his 50th birthday but that certainly does not stop him from acting more like he was still thirty in regards to the opposite sex. He spends a lot of his time in meetings, and engaging in casual sex is all he wants. But when he runs into an old girlfriend – Monique – his clearly defined world is tipped on its axis.

“She had happened so long ago, but he found it funny how advancing age only seemed to make the memories of youth more poignant. It was as if growing older brought into focus the emotions that the impetuosity of youth seemed to blur.” (Tyler)

He reflects on their past, wondering if he was in the wrong twenty years ago, and when he finds out that the heroes she writes about in her romance novels all are based on him, he knows that she is still thinking about him and he wants to try to pick up where they left off.

Monique lives in New Orleans, and she leads a quiet life while writing her books. At first, she is very reluctant to let Tyler back into her life, but she decides to give him a chance eventually. And having a former boyfriend turn up at your doorstep, determined to wear you down – one you still have feelings for – would probably make most of us willing to try again.

I very much enjoyed getting to know Tyler, and the fact that the story is told solely from his point of view had me riveted to the pages. I found Tyler to be a rather arrogant man – and some of the things he said definitely had me shaking my head once or twice – but he is a very likeable character at the same time. Like so many others, he is defined and ruled by his past and the disappearance of his older brother, Peter, when he was just a child, plays a big part in how he has led his life so far. I could not help but care for Tyler and hoping that he would see that in order to move on with Monique, it would be imperative that he changed his ways.

One of the things I admire about Monique is the fact that she does not let Tyler get away with anything. She is brutally honest, strong-willed and independent. She, too, has a failed marriage behind her, but even though it scarred her, making her vulnerable for a while, she found her way back to herself and she chose to not let a man dictate her dreams ever again. That kind of determination deserves a great deal of respect in my opinion. Also, I found her reluctance to start anything with Tyler again quite understandable, given their past and how he made her feel from time to time.

“Showing me isn’t telling me how you feel, Ty. It was always this way before. You would claim to show me how you felt, but never once did you ever say how you felt.” (Monique)

Most of this story takes place in New Orleans, and I confess that I now really want to visit this city one day. Miss Weis knows her city very well, and that definitely comes across in the book. Her writing style reels you in, and her descriptions of both places and people feel so life-like, it is as if you are experiencing everything yourself. That is the sign of a great story-teller in my eyes, and I was actually a bit sad when the story ended. I would also like to stress that the flow of the story is perfect – it never feels rushed or farfetched to me. Everything these characters felt, I felt as well.

Both Tyler and Monique have to learn letting go of the past and give up on the preconceived notions they harbor towards each other. What I feel is one of the most important themes of the story is that you are never too old to go after the things you want, that it is never too late to change if you do not like the direction your life has taken. And I find this to be very uplifting, actually. This is, in my opinion, mostly Tyler’s story: family secrets will be revealed, drama ensues and his fears of losing control will have to come to an end. Trusting in Monique is absolute key, and I confess that I found myself a bit worried if a man of his age was able to acknowledge his past mistakes and learn to compromise.

“…I was terrified of how much I needed you…of how much I love you. I will do whatever it takes to hold on to you. Like I told you before, I would rather fail a thousand times with you than never take the chance.” (Tyler)

To sum up: if you are looking for a great romance that is slightly different from what you are used to, I definitely recommend that you buy this book. Like I said in the beginning of this review, it has everything that you could wish for in a romance novel: heartbreak, laughter, tears, passion…Oh, and an ugly mongrel called Bart *wink*. I will certainly pick up other books the author has written so far, and this book is now on the list of my favourite books of all time.

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PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Smashwords

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alexandrea Weis is an advanced practice registered nurse who was born and raised in New Orleans. Her first novel, To My Senses, introduced readers to the world of Nicci Beauvoir and garnered numerous awards and rave reviews. Her popular second Nicci Beauvoir novel, Recovery, won the Gold Medal for best romantic suspense from The Reader’s Favorite Book Awards 2011, and was named best Romantic Suspense novel by the Spring 2011 NABE Pinnacle Book Awards. Her fourth novel, Broken Wings, won best Contemporary Romance by the NABE Pinnacle Book Awards in 2012, was a Silver Medal winner in the ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Awards for Romance, as well as a finalist in the Reader’s Favorite Book Awards for Contemporary Romance for 2012. Her last novel, Acadian Waltz received honorable mention at the Readers’ Favorite Book Awards for Best Contemporary Romance and  a Gold Medal at the Feather Quill Book Awards Program for Romance. A permitted wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, Weis rescues orphaned and injured wildlife. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans

SOCIAL LINKS

Facebook

Twitter

Website

Goodreads Author Profile

Blog Tour: “Kayden: The Past” (Love At Last Series #0.5) by Chelle Bliss – My Review, Excerpt, Book Trailers, Playlist & Giveaway

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Hello, everyone!

Today, it is my turn to participate in the blog tour of this very steamy, heartaching book, “Kayden: The Past” by Chelle Bliss.

Besides my review, you will be able to read an excerpt of the book, watch the book trailers for both books in the series + enter the tour wide giveaway.

Enjoy!

Tour Schedule Link: http://bit.ly/LnkSOt

 Kayden - The Past

Title: Kayden: The Past

Series: Love at Last, Book #0.5

Author: Chelle Bliss

Genre: Erotic Contemporary Romance

Release Date:  December 31, 2013

Tour Organized by: As the Pages Turn

 

Synopsis

** CAN BE READ AS A STAND ALONE NOVEL**

Kayden Michaels has a past filled with sex, addiction, and heartache. A past that he’s avoided sharing with the love of his life, Sophia, and held close to his core not risking rejection. Needing to get his addictions in check and gain control of his life for the sake of his family, Kayden is forced to confront his past and make amends for the path he’s walked.

Kayden must recount every carnal act and the betrayal from those he’s loved to identify the triggers that spur his addictions and overcome it all to be worthy of Sophia’s love – his sole reason to exist.

This is NOT a novella.

ADD TO GOODREADS

My Review

ARC received by the author in exchange for an honest review.

It is no secret that when I read the first book in the Love At Last Series, “Untangle Me”, I had a bit of trouble connecting with Kayden. So when I learned that we would get his story, I really hoped that it would change the way I saw him. And I am happy to say that the author succeeded in making me see Kayden in a different light.
Before I begin my review, I would like to say that I do not think that you should read this book unless you have read “Untangle Me” first.

The story begins with Kayden telling us about his home life and how he was introduced to alcohol for the first time. Like so many others, him and his friends goofed around, trying liquor for the first time, which, I believe, is just normal adolescent behaviour.  While growing up, he had a very strained relationship with his father and he did not really have a proper father figure who would teach him about life. He had to figure a lot of things out all on his own.

There are a pretty number of women in Kayden’s life until he meets Bridget, his first love. She is from a completely different world than him but does not let it come between them. Kayden has some of the happiest moments in life with her and he proposes, thinking that the two of them will grow old together.
Unfortunately, Kayden experiences his first real heartbreak just days before he and Bridget are meant to get married, and he turns to the bottle like so many others in order to cope.

Over the course of the next number of years, Kayden’s life is filled with women, drugs and booze. I will not go into further details about what happens in the book, because that defeats the purpose of a review. But I have to mention Danielle, who becomes his wife, and the subsequent loss they suffer together. My heart broke while reading about it and it definitely makes me understand Kayden’s need to always staying unattached in the years after.

“The letter slipped from my fingers and drifted to the floor. I stood there with my heart beating out of my chest. My body frozen in place. She left me?” (Kayden)

When you experience heartache and loss, you tend to turn to the wrong things because you want to forget and because these things make you feel alive. Further, I believe that Kayden’s line of work does not exactly help matters, which he himself also points out: several unattached guys living together, whose only passion in life is their work, makes for a bad cocktail when you have an addiction you do not want to acknowledge.

Now, as with the first book in the series, “Kayden: The Past” is most definitely a book that I would classify as erotica. Reading about Kayden’s sexcapades – and yes, there are many – will make you all hot and bothered. But I do not think that they are too much, and they show us, the readers, that Kayden is a dominant, alpha male with a healthy appetite for pleasure. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this and, in fact, I do believe that many women would like their partners to be much like him.

I still do not entirely understand why Kayden stays with Lisa for so long, but I do understand him being afraid of failing at yet another relationship. And I actually have to respect him for holding out for so long and really trying to make things work with her.

Reading about how Kayden’s feelings towards Sophia progress after they get to know each other through texting and their subsequent meeting made this romantic bookaholic extremely happy. I always admit that I love it when I read a book that shows the POV of the male protagonist, and this was no different.

“When you truly love someone, you stand by their side and help them through the darkest time in their life. She was meant to come into my life when she did – she saved me.” (Kayden)

All in all, I really enjoyed getting to know Kayden and reading about his life. He has certainly always had to fight for the things he wants, which seems very unfair at times, and I honestly believe that you cannot falter him for becoming addicted to alcohol. I would also like to point out that Miss Bliss’ writing style is, once again, very good and it had me riveted to the pages from the beginning of the story. I am really looking forward to reading the author’s next nook “Throttle Me”, which will centre on Suzy, Sophia’s roommate. I have a feeling that her romantic heart will get some bumps and bruises along the way, but I hope she will get her HEA in the end.

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Enjoy the excerpt!

“You have a girlfriend, Kayden?” Danielle asked.

“Danielle, if I did, I wouldn’t have fucked Candy last night. I’m a one woman guy.”

“She has a boyfriend, but that didn’t stop you.”

“I didn’t know anything about that. She’s flirted with me for months. I offered and she accepted, simple as that.” I sipped my drink. “What other people do is their business, but when I’m taken, I’m fucking taken. I’ve never been, nor will I ever be a cheater.”

“Hmmm.” She stared into my eyes and licked her lips. Fuck, she’s killing me.  I swallowed hard watching her tongue glide across her lips, wishing they were licking my cock. This is Ron’s girl, stop the dirty fucking thoughts. I needed to remember who she is and that my cock would never be entering that pretty sweet pussy I knew she would have.

I looked away unable to take the torture any longer.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Chelle Bliss has dedicated her life to education. She has been a teacher for over ten years and holds a Master of Education degree. Teaching has given her a creative outlet, but she yearned for something more. Writing has given her that, no longer about just creativity, it became a journey.

Chelle is an avid reader; consuming contemporary romance, dark reads, young adult, and all things erotica. Chelle wanted to create a book filled with characters that readers could relate to with real world problems and matching wallets.

Chelle loves to travel and her favorite cities are New Orleans and Paris. She currently lives in Florida with her amazing boyfriend. He’s showed her the love and passion that she has poured onto the page.

SOCIAL LINKS

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PURCHASE LINKS

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Check out the book trailers!

“Untangle Me”

“Kayden: The Past”

Enjoy the Playlist!

If you have yet to read the first book, “Untangle Me”, here is all the info that you need:

Title: Untangle Me

Series: Love at Last, Book #1

Author: Chelle Bliss

Genre: Erotic Contemporary Romance

Release Date:  September 26, 2013

Tour Organized by: As the Pages Turn

Synopsis:

Kayden is a bad boy that never played by the rules. Sophia has always been the quintessential good girl, living a life filled with disappointment. Everything changes when their lives become intertwined through a chance encounter online.

Hundreds of miles separate them, but the connection that draws them together is too much to be denied. As the layers of their lives peel back, Kayden keeps the dangerous parts of his past hidden to protect the woman who is becoming more important to him than he should allow. What starts as a pursuit of carnal pleasure turns into a complicated love story. His past is a tangled web filled with addiction, an obsessed ex-girlfriend, and problems with the law.

One mistake he thought he had left behind may end up ruining it all.

ADD TO GOODREADS

PURCHASE LINKS 

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Barnes & Noble

Smashwords

Here is the giveaway, ladies!

Chelle is offering up (5) eBooks of “Untangle Me” (INTL), (5) Swag Packs (INTL), (1) $10 Amazon GC (INTL) or (2) signed copy of either “Untangle Me” or “Kayden: The Past” (US only).  Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM CST 01/27/2014.

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GOOD LUCK!

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Blog Tour: “Untangle Me” by Chelle Bliss – My Review, Author Interview & Giveaway

UntangleMeBlogTour

Title: Untangle Me
Author: Chelle Bliss

Release Date: 10.1.13
New Author/Debut Release

Hey, everyone!

Now it is my turn on the blog tour and I am so excited to be not only showing you my review but my VERY first author interview as well! I had a really great time doing it and despite it being my first, I think I handled it rather well.

Read on for my review – there is also a giveaway at the end of my post.

Happy reading! 🙂

Untangle Me Cover Small

Blurb:

Kayden is a bad boy that never played by the rules. Sophia has always been the quintessential good girl, living a life filled with disappointment. Everything changes when their lives become intertwined through a chance encounter online.

Hundreds of miles separate them, but the connection that draws them together is too much to be denied. As the layers of their lives peel back, Kayden keeps the dangerous parts of his past hidden to protect the woman who is becoming more important to him than he should allow. What starts as a pursuit of carnal pleasure turns into a complicated love story. His past is a tangled web filled with addiction, an obsessed ex-girlfriend, and problems with the law.

One mistake he thought he had left behind may end up ruining it all.

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My Review

ARC received by the author in exchange for an honest review.

There is a reason why this book’s ranking in the Erotica genre on Amazon is so high, because let me start by telling you that it is SERIOUSLY hot! Phew! Readers who enjoy reading erotica will definitely not be disappointed. 😉

The book tells the story about Sophia and Kayden who meet online, and they are both in their mid-thirties. Sophia is in a relationship but is, in fact, quite bored with the guy and prefers staying at home with her ereader, getting lost in romance novels, instead of being with him. She longs for the kind of relationship she, so far, has only read about. She is shy, sweet, but strong.

Sophia and Kayden’s online exchanges and texting starts off innocently enough, but it does not take long before deeper feelings start developing between them. It does, however, take a long time before they meet because Sophia does not exactly trust Kayden and his sentiments about her:

“I still thought the man whore title fit him perfectly, but he was more complex. He’s passionate and romantic, but his heart’s been destroyed and I needed to know why.”

 Kayden is very up-front with Sophia in the beginning: because of past relationships that ended very badly, he does not date anymore. He only does the friends-with-benefits thing. But he cannot help but falling for Sophia eventually – he has issues, though which we get to hear about later in the book.

“I knew I was dangerous to Sophia, unlike any man she had been with, but I wanted her. I wanted to draw her in as deep as I could.”

Now, as always, I do not want to go into too many details about what happens in the story – this time, it is because I had some issues with it, and it is not fair to cloud your judgment. What does not work for me might work for you.

Let me start with the things I DID enjoy:

First of all, I liked the storyline about a couple in their mid-thirties meeting online after both having scarred pasts when it comes to relationships.This point felt very believable to me, and I found it very refreshing to read such a story as well. Also, the way both Sophia and Kayden struggle with his drinking problem really got to me and I feel that the author made this part of the story very honest.

Secondly, I enjoyed the pace of the book – I liked that it takes quite some time before Sophia and Kayden actually meet in person. If they had met after a few weeks, say, I would have been very sceptical and actually a bit disappointed. I am glad the author chose to do this instead of many others.

Thirdly, for the first half of the book, I really liked Kayden. He is portrayed as an honest, playful, alpha male who is not afraid to go after what he wants. And what he wants is Sophia. I liked that he does not rush her in any way when it comes to their sexual relationship, but he is not afraid to push her just the tiniest bit in order to make her loosen up and embrace her sexuality. All women need such a man in their life, in my opinion.

Lastly, but not least, the sexual tension between this couple and their extreme chemistry is off the charts HOT! As I stated earlier in my review, I do not think that you will be disappointed if you enjoy reading erotica. 😉 Take this scene, for example:

“I looked through the car windows on all sides and didn’t see anyone. He rammed his cock inside of me and all thought vanished. I no longer worried about the people on the street. We didn’t make love – we had feverish sex in the backseat of my car. The only sound was our skin slapping against each other, our lips and tongues moving together, and our breath fast and harsh.”

Need I say more? 😉

I know this review has been a whole lot about the male character – sorry about that. I very much liked Sophia: she goes from being incredibly shy and rather insecure to this out-going and sexy woman who does everything in her power to support her man in every possible way. Her whole character spoke to me and I found her incredibly real. I think the author did a great job when it comes to making Sophia come alive for me. Well done!

Now, next to the few things that did not work for me:

I felt that Kayden made a complete shift personality-wise that I did not understand completely. I mean, he went from this very apha male to a very insecure one, and I do not think that was so realistic when it comes down to it. Also, I did not find his handling his crazy ex-girlfriend to be that believable – I mean, being the way he is, I would think he would have talked to the probation officer sooner. But I cannot relate to this part of his life – because it is so far from my world – so maybe his hesitation is understandable to other readers. I have taken that into consideration which is the cause of the high ranking of my review.

Overall, I enjoyed getting to know Sophia and Kayden. I liked that this is not a typical fairytale but that they have to overcome a lot of obstacles in order to find their happiness. That is how it is in real life, is it not? As I mentioned earlier, I also find it very refreshing that the story deals with a couple that is more mature than most of the couples I read about in books.

My final note: Miss Bliss, this is a really great debut and I am so looking forward to reading your next book! 🙂

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And now for my interview!

Q: For the readers who have yet to read the book and who do not know you: can you tell them a little about yourself?

 A: I have been a teacher for over ten years. Im just a normal person with a day job and wrote Untangle Me because I felt that I had a story to tell. I want to bring happiness to my readers and leave them satisfied at the end of the journey.

Im pretty boring. I love to talk with people who love to read on Facebook, I am hooked on couponing, and sleep way too little for any human beings.

Q: Where did the inspiration for “Untangle Me” come from? When did the idea of the story come to you?

 A: I pulled some bits from the lives of friends and people I know, but it really just evolved in my mind over time. I thought it was a storyline that wasnt explored and needed to be. I like to write about real life people, someone we can all relate to.

Q: How long did it take you to write the book?

A: I started writing the book in May and finally hit publish at the end of September.  It went through a couple revisions and developed over time. I started writing the main storyline on my phone and slowly filled in the details and added to the storyline as I wrote. It was a process and I learned so much by writing Untangle Me.

Q: Is Sophia a lot like you? Or do you have another person from real life in mind?

A: Sophia is a lot like me. I wont go into which parts, but I definitely have the nerdy girl down pat.

Q: This may seem like an odd question, but…Is there any of Kayden’s characteristics in you? Or is he entirely fictional?

A: Nothing in Kaydens character is me.

Q: Did you know how the story would end from the beginning? Or did the book almost take on a life of its own?

A:  I didnt know how the story would end when I started. It changed over time. I almost had it be a cliffhanger, but I thought that would be cruel. I added the Epilogue only days before publishing.

Q: As an adult, have you always read romance/erotica?

 A: I havent always been an avid erotica reader, but started years ago. Im always looking for something different. The stories sometimes sound the same to me and my mind craves some new. Its a constant quest to find the next great book.

Q: Did certain scenes make you blush while writing them? 😉

A: No, the only thing or person in the world that can make blush is my boyfriend. 😉

Q: I like the fact that we get to see how much Kayden – and Sophia – struggle with his drinking problems – did you know from the beginning that that would be a part of his character?

 A: Yes, I think its a real world problem. Many people struggle with this issue or other addictions with loved ones. I wanted readers to be able to relate. When I read about extremely wealthy people, although I enjoy it, I cant relate to their lives and ability to spend freely.

Q: Do you have any rituals when you sit down to write? For instance, do you listen to music while writing?

 A: I usually write on my couch with Facebook open, I have the television on for noise, and have my coffee on hand. I write whenever I find time, before work, after work, anytime. When I first started writing I did it on my phone during my lunch break.

Q: Speaking of music, do you use it to get you in the right frame of mind while writing a certain scene?

 A: Sometimes I do, depends on the mood. If I’m having trouble getting into a scene then I turn to music for inspiration.

Q: I am very much looking forward to reading your next book which will be about Kayden’s past – can you give the readers a few pointers as to what his story is? (Without giving any spoilers, of course. :-))

 A: Kayden’s story will be a Novella and hopefully will be out before the end of the year. Kayden’s past is filled with women, booze, and drugs. It will be steamy, sexy, and filled with decisions that led him off course. It’s a wild path that led him to Sophia and made her his savior and love of his life. I am also working on another full length story about Suzy, Sophia’s room mate from book one. Kayden and Sophia will play a role in the story too and readers will hear about their life after Untangle Me.

 

Thank you so much for giving this interview, Chelle! 🙂

And now for the GIVEAWAY! The author is offering up an ebook copy of “Untangle Me”!

There will be 1 Winner per blog stop.
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GOOD LUCK!