Category Archives: 5 Stars

Blog Tour: Review & Giveaway- The Redhead Plays Her Hand by Alice Clayton

TRPHHRHPHH

Goodreads

Amazon

mandy

5 out of 5

Do I even need to write a review for this? Book 3 in the The Redhead Series is just a funny, sexy, witty, and fantastic as the first two books were. I expected nothing less from funny girl, Alice Clayton. Between the Redhead series and Wallbanger, you can keep yourself laughing and fanning yourself for days.

And that is the beauty of Alice Clayton. Take this quote from, The Redhead Plays Her Hand: “I took him into my mouth entirely, the words he uttered through clenched teeth were equal parts obscene and nonsensical. Nice to know I hadn’t lost my touch.” Her writing is the perfect blend of sexy and erotic mixed with hilarious characters that are so real, I feel like I’ve known them forever.

And I am not blowing smoke. You should know by now that I don’t deal in bullshit. Alice Clayton is a damn fine writer. And she makes me laugh. I don’t know if this is the last we will see of Jack and Grace. I certainly wouldn’t scoff at more, but if this was it; then kudos Ms. Clayton on a fantastic series. I love how the redhead played her hand!

Synopsisbutton

The third sexy novel in USA TODAY bestselling author Alice Clayton’s playful and erotic Redhead series continues the sizzling romance between actress Grace Sheridan and Hollywood’s hottest leading man Jack Hamilton. 

Grace has landed the lead in a new TV series—but when the director asks her to lose fifteen pounds, she goes public with her weight struggles and suddenly develops a huge fan club who support her right to have curves. But between that and the public’s continuing fascination with her “are they or aren’t they” relationship with Jack, Grace begins to wonder if anyone’s really interested in her because of her upcoming TV series, or if it’s all speculation about the size of her ass and her bedroom partner.

Meanwhile, Jack is voted the Sexiest Man Alive and becomes a little too enamored with the party-hard lifestyle. Grace vows to give him the space he needs to find himself, but then he begins to spiral down from lovable Brit to Hollywood brat. People are talking, but are Jack and Grace? Her career is on the rise, and his continues into the stratosphere, but will she be able to catch him if he falls? Will they ever be able to just be a couple who can hold hands when they walk down the street?

StalktheAuthorbutton

Web | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Other Books by Alice Clayton

The Unidentified Redhead (Book #1)

The Redhead Revealed (Book #2)

Wallbanger

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under 5 Stars, ARC, Blog Tour, Book Humor, Contemporary, Favorites, Funny Shit, Giveaway, Mandy, Recommendations, Review

Blog Tour, Review, and Giveaway: Wild by Adriane Leigh

tourbanner99-2

webgoodreads

Title: Wild

Author: Adriane Leigh

Genre: Erotic Romance

Release Date: December 13, 2013

Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qhs2Ve3lj1c#t=0

Hosted by: Love Between the Sheets Promotions

add-to-goodreads-button31

heartdividerPost

lynsey

5 out of 5
Oooohhhhhh eeemmmmmm gggeeeeeeeee!
I think I’m in love with Lane Wild. He is just so yummy and fun, definitely flirty and when he calls her “Sugar” you will definitely need a panty change. This book is raw sex right the way through, just the way I like it. It’s fun with a mix of angst at times as you know they both have a past, but it’s what the past is that will keep you guessing. I would definitely recommend putting this book on your TBR lists as you will not be disappointed in the least.

mandy

3.5 out of 5

Lane Wild is a dirty talkin’ hottie and if I met this man, I would climb him like a tree! Adriane Leigh’s Wild was a fun read. An Alpha male with a dirty mouth meets the new woman in town who is hiding from something and wants no attachments and the sparks fly between these two! The dialogue is quick and witty. The sex scenes were HOT. The characters were likeable.  It was a worthy read and I liked it! What I didn’t like was the fact that issues that were too painful to talk about, issues that were made to seem like this HUGE secret, were kind of glossed over. This book is not heavy on the emotions. Some heavy issues are a factor in the story but the emotions that Lane and Kat’s histories should invoke were sort of skipped and made trivial in the scheme of things. It’s not a bad thing. I think this was meant to be an positive love story and it was. But the issues were tackled too easily for me. I find it hard to believe that something you are running from and have dealt with for years wouldn’t have had a more lasting effect on the characters. I wanted to see more of the heavy emotions. But such is life. Still worth the read!

heartdividerPost

Synopsis

An independent woman, a controlling man, and one wild one-night stand…

Kat Kennedy moved to the rugged coast of Maine to start a new life, but encountered much more than she bargained for in dark, dangerous, and seductive Lane Wild.

Desire and temptation smolder before she succumbs to her darkest fantasies with the captivating stranger. She doesn’t expect to see him again after an explosive one-night stand leaves her breathless and craving more, but just like lightning in the darkness, he shows up in her life at the most unpredictable moments.

A sensual game of cat and mouse ensues before the attraction between them reaches a fever pitch—the magnetism combustible, the sexual tension nearly unbearable—and Kat finally abandons inhibition and explores the cunning, selfish, and sexual side of a world she’s never known.

They have the perfect non-relationship—passion-fueled nights with no strings attached—until life gets real and the past and present collide in a dangerous storm of lust and obsession.

heartdividerPost

Buy the Book

WILD is on SALE!

99¢ Reader Appreciation SALE for ONE WEEK ONLY!!

Amazon US –  http://tinyurl.com/kja2cmv

heartdividerPost

Join the Wild Release Week Party on Facebook

A week-long party to celebrate the release of WILD with giveaways, teasers, book discussion, and more!

Friday at 9:00am until December 22 at 11:45pm

https://www.facebook.com/events/480375228748522/?source=1

heartdividerPost

About the Author

Adriane Leigh

Adriane Leigh was born and raised in a snowbank in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and now lives amongst the sand dunes of the Lake Michigan lakeshore.
She graduated with a Literature degree but never particularly enjoyed reading Shakespeare or Chaucer.

Adriane is married to a tall, dark and handsome guy, plays mama to two sweet baby girls, and is a voracious reader and knitter.

Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter | Pinterest

heartdividerPost

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

smalljacket

Leave a comment

Filed under 3.5 Stars, 5 Stars, Alpha Men, Giveaway, Indie Authors, Lynsey, Mandy

Release Day Blitz: Concealed by Selena Laurence

concealedcoverwrap

Goodreads

Amazon

The Hiding From Love Series

Camouflaged (Hiding From Love Novella #0.5) Check out our review here

Hidden (Hiding From Love Novel #1) Check out our review here

Concealed (Hiding From Love Novel #2) Amazon

Buried (Hiding From Love Novel #3) Coming April, 2014 (YAY!)

Synopsisbutton

Two years ago, Gabe Thompson stood in the desert of Afghanistan and watched the love of his life drive away. When his tour of duty ended six months later, she wasn’t waiting. Now Gabe’s ready to go after the one thing his life is missing – the woman he’s never been able to forget.

Twenty-year-old Alexis Garcia rues the day she decided to volunteer for a UN mission to Afghanistan. The sexy, exasperating soldier she met there nearly destroyed her carefully constructed life with the boy next door. She’s spent two years trying to forget Gabe, working to show her parents and her boyfriend that she knows where she belongs.

But when Gabe shows up at Alexis’s door, complete with tattoos, a Harley and enough attitude to start another war, everything she’s tried to conceal could be exposed, starting with her heart.

Extrasbutton

The Concealed Trailer!

http://vimeo.com/81151442

mandy

5 out of 5

I have been waiting for what feels like forever to see Gabe have his happy ending. Selena Laurence first tortured me with Gabe in Hidden. Seriously- swoon. Then she gave me his back story in Camouflaged and just about ripped my heart out because Camouflaged was a prequel to Hidden and Alexis was not in Hidden. And Gabe and Alexis fit. They work. She’s his mate, his partner. I fell for their banter and the easiness of their “love” in Camouflaged. I was already a goner for Gabe after reading Hidden.

I needed what Concealed gave me.  Not only did my Gabe get what he deserved, but Concealed was delivered with the same well written perfectly paced, relatable, real, fun and sexy style as Hidden and Camouflaged. My heart is full. I read this book in just a few hours, ignoring my family and refusing to make dinner, because I had to finish. And it was all so worth it! I cannot wait for more of anything from Selena Laurence. The Hiding from Love series is a must read.

StalktheAuthorbutton

Selena Laurence lives in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and spends a hell of a lot of time at soccer games, on her laptop, and reading. She requires a Mocha Latte every day to function, keeps a goldendoodle at her feet most of the time, and has more kids than she knows what to do with. Her husband, Mr. Laurence, spends as much time as he can at the office and the gym in order to avoid the kids, the dog, the laptop and the reading, but he always shows up for the soccer games, and he makes a mean Mocha Latte.

Sign up for Selena’s Newsletter! http://selenalaurence.us3.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=39fb881ae75904f2ea0244f47&id=8211f783e6

Website: http://www.selenalaurence.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SelenaLaurenceRomanceAuthor

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/selenalaurence

Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Concealed Cover ebook

2 Comments

Filed under 5 Stars, Alpha Men, ARC, Blitz, Contemporary, Giveaway, Indie Authors, Mandy, Military, Recommendations, Release Day, Review, Tattoos & Piercings

Blog Tour Review & Excerpt: Pieces For You by Genna Rulon

FB PFY Page header

 

pfy final 2

Goodreads

Amazon

excerpt

He smelled so damn good, clean with a hint of masculine sweat, a temptation I couldn’t resist.  Beyond my control, my tongue darted out of my mouth and covertly tasted the section of chest exposed above his tank.  Oh God, he tasted even better than he smelled, like a chocolate-covered pretzel—sweet, salty, and addictive.

“Did you just…lick me?” he asked, sounding both shocked and amused.

“I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“You licked me.  I felt it,” he accused, but I noticed he wasn’t complaining.

“Your imagination is running wild because of all the workout endorphins.”

“It wasn’t a complaint.  In fact, you’re welcome to have another taste.”

“Fine…I licked you.  But it was an involuntary reflex—hot guy, exposed chest…you know how it is.”

“Mmm,” he replied, his eyes darkening with lust.  “I am familiar with the temptation, but it’s not a hot guy who’s testing my self-control…it’s a petite, auburn-haired vixen.”

lorraine

5 out of 5

Pieces For You floored me.  I was really looking forward to reading this after Only For You because Sam’s character was so full of lie and I was very invested in her after the attack, and I knew I wanted her to get her HEA (click here for mine and Mandy’s reviews).  Griffin was also introduced and he made my heart speed up a little.

I got so much more than I was expecting.  I’ve read other stories with rape victims, and more often than not, the “incident” is brushed over and the girl is magically cured and moves on as if nothing happened.  Genna Rulon wrapped her arms around the subject and put me inside Sam’s head and dragged me along through the roller coaster of her healing process.  I cried…I never cry.  Never.  I desperately wanted to take Sam’s pain away.  I was fully invested through every step forward and back she took.

Griffin, sigh, he’s so wonderful.  I want a man like Griffin.  He knew exactly what Sam needed every step of the way to help her through.  He pushed her forward when needed, and stood back ready to catch her if she faltered.

Aside from all of the above, the story was overall well done.  It would have been easy to rely only on the rape and recovery as the only basis for the story, but there was much more involved, but I won’t spoil anything.  This is definitely a must read for anyone!

One last thing:  Rape is a very serious and delicate subject and I applaud Genna Rulon for her skill in the telling of Sam’s story.  To add one more reason to go out and buy this immediately, Genna notates in her acknowledgements that part of the proceeds will go to RAINN (Rape Abuse and Incest National Network).  If you would like to learn more or show your support: www.rainn.org.

 

quote 3

mandy

5 out of 5

The prologue of this book actually made mean old me tear up. I identified with Sam on so many levels in this book. Her pain and her strength were awe inspiring. Genna Rulon did a phenomenal job at capturing  the emotions and the healing process. She surreptitiously gave a lot of fantastic and absolutely true information about rape survivors, their feelings, and how it effects not only the survivor, but their loved ones as well.

But don’t think this book is morose and sad. It’s not. It’s about healing and falling in love. It’s about the bonds of friendship. And it’s just as witty and fun as Only For You. With a heaping pile of deep emotions and a beautiful and overdue love story.

Sam’s coolness was solidified in Only For You and once she gets her healing on in Pieces For You, she is back and just as fun and awesome as before. But better because she has Griffin. And Griffin is definitely her other half. Griffin is perfect. I honestly can’t think of a negative thing to say about him. I was already swooning for him by 19% in, but then at 20% Genna gives us the first bit from Griffin’s point of view and if he wasn’t the perfect partner for Sam, I would fight and cut a bitch for him. He’s that yummy.

Pieces For You is stellar. A must read. Not a single complaint. Well written, great characters, well paced, interesting plot. Hot sexy times. It truly has it all. Go read it!!!! NOW!!

 

quote 4

 

 

excerpt

 

I was waiting for Griff to exit the men’s locker room when a gym rat approached me from behind, nearly causing me to wet my pants when I discovered his body within inches of mine.  He leaned against the wall next to me with his arm resting above my head.  I felt caged and uneasy.

“Hey sexy, haven’t seen you here before.  Need me to show you how it’s done?  I know the manager—I can hook you up with a free month…in exchange for dinner?”

I was about to—I didn’t know what—run, scream, panic, tell him I wasn’t interested in his ‘free month’ if he was the last man on earth.  Then I heard it—a growl.  A deep menacing growl was coming from behind me, about a foot and a half above my head.  I slapped my hand over my mouth to stifle my snicker.

I couldn’t see Griffin and he didn’t say a word, but whatever his body language communicated, the dumbass in front of me clearly got the message because he turned tail and left, practically running.

I spun, hoping to catch a glimpse of ‘scary Griffin,’ but his face was devoid of all emotions, his eyes tracking my visitor’s departure.

“Excuse me,” I said to capture his attention.  “Did I just hear you growl at that moron, or am I hallucinating now, too?”

“I didn’t growl, it was a deep exhale.”

“Oh, an audible exhale that reverberated in your chest…like a growl,” I said before dissolving into giggles.

“I love that sound—you laughing.”

“Should I start calling you ‘Tony the Tiger’ now?  Wait…how about ‘Harry the Hippo’?”

“Hippos do not growl.”

“They absolutely do!  I took a zoology class for my science requirement sophomore year, and hippopotamuses, my growly friend, most definitely growl.”

“If I growled—and I admit nothing—but if I did, it was not a damn hippopotamus growl.  It was a tiger growl…no, a bear…I want to be a bear.”

“Alright, Yogi it is.  Come on, my furry friend, you promised me dinner.”

“Despite your torment, I do keep my promises.  Let’s go.”

“Do you have the picnic baskets in the car?” I teased, enjoying watching him squirm.

“No picnic baskets, I’m afraid.”

“Oh, is Boo-Boo bringing them?”

 

Synopsisbutton

 

“The phoenix hope, can wing her way through the desert skies,
and still defying fortune’s spite; revive from ashes and rise.”  -Miguel de Cervantes

Samantha Whitney survived unimaginable tragedy only to discover she had been betrayed by a man who claimed to love her.  Shattered, Sam spends months at a safe haven trying to piece herself back together.  Ready or not, the time has come for her to return home.

As Sam struggles to resume a life that no longer feels familiar, she finds unwavering support in an unexpected, familiar face.  Confronting Sam’s raw emotions and open wounds head-on, Griffin manages to take two steps forward for every step she retreats.

But when Sam is once again threatened, Griffin must decide how far he is willing to go to protect the woman he wants…knowing the cost of her safety is the risk of losing her.

Pieces For You is a captivating journey of survival, healing, and sacrifice—teeming with honesty, humor, unexpected twists, and love’s unsurpassed endurance.begin to plague Sam, it is Griffin she is forced to turn to.

• This story is appropriate for readers 18+
• Though Pieces For You is a part of the For You Series, the book can be read as a stand alone.

 

quote 5

 

excerpt

 

In a classic male move, he grabbed the bottom of his tank and lifted it to wipe the dampness from his face.  My ravenous eyes snapped to his stomach.  I was greeted by one, two, three…eight, eight perfectly chiseled abdominal muscles.  The elusive eight-pack—I had heard rumors of its existence, seen pictures even, but I’d never encountered the phenomenon in person.  I reached up and pinched my arm to ensure I was not dreaming.  Ouch!  Nope, not dreaming.  My fingertips itched to touch him, to trace each and every line and crevice—suddenly a black wall of cotton obstructed my view.  Son of a bitch, it was criminal.  The man should not be allowed to wear a shirt…ever.

 

StalktheAuthorbutton

 

headshot

Genna Rulon is an up-and-coming contemporary romance author who loves nothing more than a good love story.

 

During her 15 years in the corporate world, Genna, inspired by her love of reading, fantasized about penning her own stories.  Encouraged by her favorite authors, many of whom are indie writers and self-published, she committed to pursue her aspirations of writing her own novels.

 

Genna was raised on Long Island in New York, where she still resides, surrounded by the most amazing family and friends.  Married to a wonderful man who patiently tolerates her ramblings about whichever book she is currently working on, even feigning interest relatively convincingly!  Genna is blessed with two little boys who do their best to thwart mommy’s writing time with their hilarious antics and charming extrapolations.

 

All of Genna’s reviews are brought to you courtesy of copious amounts of coffee and Disney Junior (something has to entertain the boys when mommy is writing).

You can find Genna online at:   www.gennarulon.com

Be sure to join the mailing list for updates about future books, as well as giveaways, and other fun facts.

Genna would love to hear from you, and will personally respond to all messages!

You can contact her as follows:

Email:                  genna@gennarulon.com

You can also follow Genna online at:

Facebook

Goodreads

Twitter

Pinterest

quote 9

2 Comments

Filed under 5 Stars, Blog Tour, Friendship, Indie Authors, Lorraine, Make You Cry, Mandy, New Adult, Recommendations, Release Day, Review

Blitz and Giveaway: Ever After Trilogy Book 1&2 by Jasinda Wilder

 Forever & Always  and After Forever
(The Ever Trilogy)
Jasinda Wilder
Expected Release: Dec. 20th, 2013
Hosted by: The Book Avenue
Join the Release Party Here
Ever,
These letters are often all that get me through week to week. Even if it’s just random stuff, nothing important, they’re important to me. Gramps is great, and I love working on the ranch. But…I’m lonely. I feel disconnected, like I’m no one, like I don’t belong anywhere. Like I’m just here until something else happens. I don’t even know what I want with my future. But your letters, they make me feel connected to something, to someone. I had a crush on you, when we first met. I thought you were beautiful. So beautiful. It was hard to think of anything else. Then camp ended and we never got together, and now all I have of you is these letters. S**t. I just told you I have a crush on you. HAD. Had a crush. Not sure what is anymore. A letter-crush? A literary love? That’s stupid. Sorry. I just have this rule with myself that I never throw away what I write and I always send it, so hopefully this doesn’t weird you out too much. I had a dream about you too. Same kind of thing. Us, in the darkness, together. Just us. And it was like you said, a memory turned into a dream, but a memory of something that’s never happened, but in the dream it felt so real, and it was more, I don’t even know, more RIGHT than anything I’ve ever felt, in life or in dreams. I wonder what it means that we both had the same dream about each other. Maybe nothing, maybe everything. You tell me.
Cade
~ ~ ~ ~
Cade,
We’re pen pals. Maybe that’s all we’ll ever be. I don’t know. If we met IRL (in real life, in case you’re not familiar with the term) what would happen? And just FYI, the term you used, a literary love? It was beautiful. So beautiful. That term means something, between us now. We are literary loves. Lovers? I do love you, in some strange way. Knowing about you, in these letters, knowing your hurt and your joys, it means something so important to me, that I just can’t describe. I need your art, and your letters, and your literary love. If we never have anything else between us, I need this. I do. Maybe this letter will only complicate things, but like you I have a rule that I never erase or throw away what I’ve written and I always send it, no matter what I write in the letter.
Your literary love,
Ever
CHAPTER ONE 
 
SOMEWHERE OUT THERE
 
~ CADEN ~
It’s always the hands that mess me up. I can never get the fingers right, somehow. It’s something about the proportions between the knuckles, and the way the fingers are supposed to curve when at rest. I had an entire sketchbook full of failed attempts.
Even at that moment, in the passenger seat of Dad’s F-350, I was sketching out another attempt. My tenth so far, and we weren’t even to Grayling yet. This one was the best yet, but the middle knuckles of the last two fingers looked awkward, like they’d been broken.
Which gave me idea. I glanced over at Dad, who was driving with his left hand, the right resting on his thigh, fingers tapping to Montgomery Gentry on the radio.
“Dad?” A sideways glance and a raised eyebrow were the only acknowledgement I got. “You ever broke your fingers?”
“Yeah, broke most of my left hand, matter of fact.” Dad took the wheel with his right and showed me his left hand. The knuckles were bulbous, the fingers crooked. “Didn’t get ’em set right, so they’ve always been kinda fucked up.”
“How’d you break ’em?”
The fingers in question scratched at a shaved scalp, the stubble of a receding hairline whisking under his nails. “Me and your Uncle Gerry were out in the back forty, riding the fence line, checking for breaks. My horse got spooked by a snake. He threw me, ‘cept my hand was tangled in the reins. Dislocated most of my fingers. Then, when I hit the ground, his hoof landed on the same hand, broke the middle two pretty good. Your Gramps is a hardass, and I knew he’d wallop me good if I came back without the job done. So I set the broke fingers best I could. There was a busted fence post, see, way out at the far corner, and Dad’s prize Thoroughbred kept getting out. Gerry and I fixed the break and went home. I never told Dad about my fingers, just had my mom wrap ’em for me. Never really healed right, and even now when the weather’s shitty my hand aches.”
I’d heard the stories of my father’s childhood growing up on the Wyoming horse ranch that had been in the Monroe family for several generations. Every summer of my entire life had been spent on that ranch, riding and roping and tagging and birthing and breaking. Gramps didn’t accept excuses and didn’t tolerate weakness or mistakes, and I could only begin to imagine what it had been like growing up with Connor Monroe as a father.
Gramps was a tall, silver-haired, iron-hard man. He’d served in both Korea and Vietnam before returning to work the ranch. Even as his grandson, I was expected to pull my weight or go home. That meant up before dawn, to bed past sunset, the entire day spent out in the field or in the stables, rarely even sitting for lunch. At fourteen, I was tanned, muscled, and, I knew, hardened to the point of looking older than I really was.
Dad had been the first Monroe son to pursue a career away from the ranch, which had caused a decades-long rift between him and Gramps, leaving Uncle Gerry to take over running the ranch as Gramps got older. Dad left Wyoming after high school, moving to Detroit on his own to become an engineer. He’d started on the floor of a Ford plant, assembling truck frames and attending night school until he’d completed his degree, and eventually he’d been promoted to the engineering department, where he’d worked for the last twenty years. Despite his decades as an engineer, Dad had never really lost the wild-edged intensity of his upbringing.
“Why the questions about my fingers?” he asked.
I shrugged, tilted the drawing into his line of sight. “I can’t get these damn fingers to look right. The last two look messed up, and I can’t fix it. So I thought I’d make ’em look broken, on purpose.”
Dad glanced at the drawing and then nodded. “Good plan. The relationship between your angles and curves is off, is your problem. I’m more of a draftsman than an artist, but that’s my two cents.”
I made a surreptitious study of Dad’s broken fingers again, adjusted the knuckles on the pencil-rendered hand, making them look misshapen and lumpy, then worked on the tips of the last two fingers, curving them slightly to the left, zigzagging the fourth finger to resemble Dad’s. When I was done, I held up the drawing to show him.
Dad cut his eyes to the drawing and back to road several times, examining critically. “Good. Best one yet. The index finger still looks a little goofy, but otherwise good.” He punched a button on the truck’s radio, bypassing the commercial that was airing in favor of a classic rock station. He turned it up when Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir” came on. “I think this summer art camp will be good for you. Interlochen is one of the best art schools in the country.”
I shrugged, bobbing my head to the beat, mumbling along with the lyrics. “It’s weird to not be going to the ranch.”
“Gramps’ll miss your help this summer, that’s for sure.”
“Will he be mad at me for not going?”
Dad shrugged. “He’s Gramps. He’s always mad about something or at somebody. Somethin’ to stew on gives him reason to get up in the morning, I think. He’ll get over it.”
“He didn’t get over you moving to Detroit,” I said, spinning my pencil between his fingers.
“True. But that’s different. Every Monroe boy since before the Civil War has lived and died on the ranch. I broke a family tradition going back a hundred and fifty years.”
Conversation faded after that, and I watched the road and the corn fields and the blue sky spotted by puffs of white, listening to Jimi Hendrix singing “Purple Haze” and twist the guitar strings into shrieking banshees. I-75 eventually was replaced by M-72, and I felt myself nodding off. A while later, I blinked awake and Grand Traverse Bay sparkled off to the left, a dozen sails flashing white in the distance.
“Thought we were going to Interlochen?” I asked, rubbing my eyes. The bay was farther north.
“No rush. Thought we’d grab some lunch before I drop you off. Ain’t gonna see you for a while, you know.”
We ate at Don’s Drive-In, a retro burgers-fries-and-milkshakes kind of place, small and cramped, red plastic-leather booths, chrome table edges, and black-and-white checkered tiles on the walls. We didn’t talk much, but then we rarely did. Dad was a reserved man, and I’m a lot like him. I was content to eat my burger and sip my shake, worrying internally about spending an entire summer around a bunch of artsy kids I didn’t know. I’d grown up around silent, hard-bitten cowboys, men who chewed tobacco and swore and could—and often did—go days without much more than a grunt or two. I knew I was a talented artist, as capable with pens and pencils as with paint. What I wasn’t good with was people.
“Don’t be nervous, son,” Dad said, apparently reading my mind. “Folks are folks, and they’ll either cotton to you or they won’t. That was my mom’s advice to me when I left for Detroit. Just be you. Don’t try to impress anyone. Let your work stand for itself.”
“This isn’t like school,” I said, dragging a fry through ketchup. “I know where I fit there: alone in the corner, with my notebook. I know where I belong on Gramps’s ranch. I know where I belong at home. I don’t know where I belong at an arts camp.”
“Wherever you are is where you belong. You’re a Monroe, Caden. That may not mean shit to anyone else, but it should mean something to you.”
“It does.”
“Well, there you go.” Dad wiped his fingers with a napkin and sat back. “Look, I get it. I grew up surrounded by thousands of acres of open land, all hills and horses, rarely seeing anyone but Mom and Dad, Gerry, and the other hands. Even school was the same kids from kindergarten to graduation. I knew everybody in my world, and they knew me. When I moved to Detroit it was scary as hell. Suddenly I was surrounded by all these buildings and thousands of people who didn’t know me or give a shit about whether I made it or not.”
“People confuse me.”
“That’s cause most people don’t make a damn lick of sense, if you ask me. Women especially. Trick with women is to not try and figure them out. You won’t. Just accept ’em as they are, and try to go with the flow. Good advice for life in general, really.”
“Do you understand Mom?”
Dad let out a rare laugh, but I didn’t miss the way the corners of his eyes tightened. Things had been strange and tense around the house lately, but neither Mom nor Dad was the type to talk about what was bugging them. “I’ve known your mother for twenty-five years,” he said, “and been married to her for twenty-two. And no, I still don’t understand her. I know her, I get her, but I don’t always understand the way her mind works, how she comes up with ideas or arrives at her conclusions or why she changes her mind so goddamn much. Makes my head spin, but that’s how women are and that’s how she is and I love her for it.”
All too soon, Dad was paying the bill and the truck doors were slamming and we were hauling down US-31 toward Interlochen. The ride was quick, and then Dad was parking and unstrapping my duffel bag from the bed of the truck and handing it to me. We stood toe to toe, neither of us speaking or moving.
Dad pointed to the rows of tiny wooden cabins. “That’s the cabins. You know which one you’re in? ”
“Yeah, number twenty.”
“Alright then. Well, guess I’ll be going. Gonna be a long drive without you snoring in the passenger seat.”
“You’re just turning right back around and driving home?” I asked, then immediately hated how childish and whiny that had sounded.
Dad lifted an eyebrow in reproach. “You’re here for three weeks, Cade. You expect me to sit on the beach and twiddle my thumbs for a month? Your mom needs me home, and I’ve got projects to finish at work.”
I felt the question bubbling up, coming out, and couldn’t stop it from emerging. “Is—is everything okay? With you and mom?”
Dad closed his eyes briefly, breathed in slowly and let it out, then met my eyes. “We’ll talk when you get home. Nothing for you to worry about right now.”
That sounded oddly like an evasion, which was entirely out of character for my gruff, straight-talking father. “I just feel like things are—”
“It’s fine, Caden. Just focus on having fun, meeting new people, and learning. Keep in mind that this is three weeks out of your entire life, and you don’t ever have to see these people again.” Dad stuck his left hand into his hip pocket and wrapped his right arm awkwardly around my shoulders. “I love you, son. Have a good time. Don’t forget to call at least once, or your mom’ll have a hairy conniption.”
I returned the embrace with one arm. “Love you too. Drive safe.”
Dad nodded and turned back toward his truck, then stopped and dug into his back pocket. He pulled out a folded square of $20 bills and handed them to me. “Just in case.”
“I’ve been saving my allowance,” I said. Dad always expected me to earn money, never gave it for free.
“It’s…just take it.”
I stuffed the money into my hip pocket and shifted my weight. “Thanks.”
“Bye.”
“Bye.” I waved once, and watched Dad drive away.
I’d spent months at a time away from my parents, lived on Gramps’s ranch for months at a time. Goodbye was nothing new. So why did this one feel so unsettling?

Follow the Promo Tour tomorrow to read Ever’s POV 
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jasinda Wilder is a Michigan native with a penchant for titillating tales about sexy men and strong women. When she’s not writing, she’s probably shopping, baking, or reading.
Some of her favorite authors include Nora Roberts, JR Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Liliana Hart and Bella Andre.
She loves to travel and some of her favorite vacations spots are Las Vegas, New York City and Toledo, Ohio.
You can often find Jasinda drinking sweet red wine with frozen berries and eating a cupcake.
Jasinda is represented by Kristin Nelson of the Nelson Literary Agency.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under 5 Stars, Blitz, Dirty Books, Erotica, Forbidden Romance, Friendship, Giveaway, Indie Authors, Recommendations