Excerpt & Giveaway: FORGIVE ME by Liza Freed

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Forgive Me (Lost Souls, #1)

~ BOOK BLURB ~

When two lost souls find each other are they still lost?
At twenty years old, Charlotte O’Brien is suddenly lost and can’t seem to find her way home. In the wake of her parents’ tragic death she replaces a healthy mourning period with an emotionally and sexually intense relationship with Jason Leer, a fellow lost soul and an unlikely lover. She’s a student of diversity, a lover of Manhattan, and about to be a junior at Rutgers University. He’s a steer wrestler, an Oklahoma State cowboy, and the hottest thing Charlotte has ever laid eyes on.
Charlotte buries herself in Jason. When they’re together it’s everything, but when they’re apart it’s utterly frustrating. Can love survive when distance is measured in more than just miles?

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~ EXCERPT ~

“To exist in silence as I lay my soul bare.”

And so it goes. The days are blurs of Sean, Jenn, and Margo helping me with the administration of my life. There’s a will, a house, cars, belongings. Too much to comprehend. And my nights are Jason Leer.

He comes when the others leave; always here within minutes of loneliness setting in. He saves me from my thoughts and my memories. Two days ago I showed him the key under the turtle rock and now he no longer knocks. Knocking would imply asking permission to come in and he’s already here.

Something’s different about tonight, though. Sean and Michelle brought dinner over and drove Dad’s tractor back to their house. They left an hour ago, later than expected, and he’s still not here. I haven’t slept without him since the funeral and now that he’s absent, the depth to which I need him scares me.

I look in the mirror as I brush my teeth and my face is distraught. I refuse to let myself consider why. Too afraid it has more to do with Jason’s absence than with my parents. That’s impossible, though. Did he say he had something to do tonight? Did he say anything? Do we ever say anything? I thought I understood. Until tonight. Now that he’s not here the last week no longer makes sense.

I button the last button on my favorite nightshirt and climb into bed. It’s enormous and cold without him. The silent darkness allows the memories to seep in. The moonlight invades my room and everything is gray and sad. Why?

Why did you die?

Why aren’t you here?

Where the hell is Jason Leer?

Tears fill my eyes, and I roll onto my stomach and bury my face in my pillow. I can’t be without them. They have to come back. I hear the truck tires on the gravel of my driveway and hurry out of bed. His truck door moans as he closes it and I go to the back door to meet him. I open it just as he’s fitting the key into the lock.

His smile fades as the look on my face registers. He steps to me and wipes the tears from my face, which makes me cry a little more.

“I’m sorry I’m late,” he whispers, so as to not disturb the quiet that’s descended on the house. He smells of cigarettes and dirt. Actual dirt. And I’m so thankful he’s here.

“I was worried.”

“Worried I wasn’t coming?” Jason moves closer to me and I lose my breath as he pins me up against the wall. I nod my head slowly, my eyes never leaving his.

“I came as soon as the rodeo ended.”

“The rodeo.”

“Did you forget the rodeo?”

“No. I know the rodeo is on Saturday.” Jason’s face turns to confusion. “I didn’t know today is Saturday,” I say, and my complete disconnection from the living makes me start to cry again. If my parents were alive, I would know what fucking day it is.

Jason pulls me close to him and kisses the side of my head as he runs his fingers through my hair.

“I need a shower,” he says, but I can’t be concerned with what he needs.

“I need you.”

I lay my soul bare; Jason’s to do with me what he wants because I can’t seem to care about it anymore. He forces me back to the wall and presses his body against mine until I can feel him. Until I can feel something.

~ ABOUT THE AUTHOR ~

Eliza Freed

After graduating from Rutgers University and returning to her hometown in rural South Jersey, Eliza Freed discovered her creativity and gift for story telling as a corporate trainer and spent years perfecting her presentation skills and studying diversity. It was during this time she became an avid observer of the characters we meet and the heartaches we endure. Her years of study have taught her laughter is the key to survival, even when it’s completely inappropriate. She currently lives in New Jersey with her family and a misbehaving beagle named Odin. An avid swimmer, if Eliza is not with her family and friends, she’d rather be underwater. While she enjoys many genres, she has always been a sucker for a love story…the more screwed up the better.

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Book Review: THE REAL THING by Cassie Mae

***This book was provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.***

The Real Thing

~ BOOK BLURB ~

In this electrifying novel from New Adult sensation Cassie Mae, two close friends surprise themselves by shifting from platonic love to sexual attraction.

Eric Matua has one friend—his best friend and childhood sweetheart, who needs a place to stay for the summer. Mia Johnson has thousands of friends—who live in her computer. Along with her email chats and Facebook notifications, Mia also devours romance novels, spending countless hours with fictional characters, dreaming of her own Romeo to sweep her off her feet. When she starts receiving supersweet messages from a stranger who thinks she’s someone else, Mia begins to believe that real love is possible outside her virtual world.

When the two friends become roommates, Mia finds herself falling harder than she ever thought she could. But Eric keeps his desires locked away, unsure of himself and his ability to give his best friend what she deserves in a boyfriend. As her advances are continually spurned, Mia splits her time between Eric and her computer. But she soon realizes she’s about to lose the only real thing she’s ever had.

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~ BOOK REVIEW ~

The Real Thing is a friends to lovers story about a couple who have been harboring their romantic feelings for each other for years.

Having read and loved Switched by the same author, I was excited for this book, but something about it felt flat to me.

I thought Eric was a great hero. He was generous and kind, and his insecurities fit well with his past experiences. I also liked that he knew his past was beginning to shape his entire life in unhealthy ways, so he sought help.

Emmy, unfortunately, was a character I just couldn’t warm up to. I thought she was incredibly self-centered, and she pressured Eric even after he’d told her he wanted to slow things down between them.

I will say that Emmy’s addiction to social media was quite eye-opening. It’s so commonplace nowadays that until you see it in print like that, you almost think nothing of it. But where Eric was rarely on social media, it almost felt like a huge slap in the face that she was on it so much when she was with him. It was clear it bothered him, as well it should. Em knew that what she was doing while she was on social media was wrong, and it’s too bad that she wouldn’t put Eric first until it got way out of control.

This book could have been stronger, in my opinion, if it had been broken up into two parts: their time spent together in high school and their time starting from when they finally met up again. Too much of this story was spent telling the reader what Eric and Emmy used to do, showing them doing it now, and then depending on those moments to be special and cute. It established their past connection, but I felt like their current connection fell flat. Though there were a lot of cute scenes, I didn’t feel like any of them really moved the plot forward.

Overall, this book was a case of the parts being better than the whole.

2 of 5 stars


Excerpt & Kindle FIRE Giveaway: FACING THE MUSIC by Andrea Laurence

Facing the Music

Book: Facing The Music

Author: Andrea Laurence

Publisher: Pocket Star

Release Date: September 15, 2014

Genre: Contemporary Romance

~ ABOUT THE BOOK ~

In this sizzling and hilarious contemporary e-book romance, pop sensation Ivy Hudson returns to her small town to face her ex. Only trouble is, she made her Taylor-Swift-like career with the hit song “Size Matters”—and the football hero has had to live it down ever since.

Five years ago, high school sweethearts Ivy and Blake’s relationship imploded and both their lives were changed forever. Ivy became a rock star and Blake lost not only his dreams of a successful NFL career, but his reputation. Ivy’s angry song about their breakup, called “Size Matters,” hit the top of the charts and Blake became a national laughingstock. He’s salvaged his career and returned to Rosewood to be the high school football coach, regaining his status as town hero and leading the boys to the state championships.

When a tornado whips through town and destroys the high school gymnasium and stadium, a committee is formed to help rebuild and plan some charity fundraisers. Blake’s grandmother requests that Ivy return to Rosewood for the events. Forced back together for the good of their hometown and their careers, Ivy and Blake have no choice but to put aside their differences, stop running from their pasts, and finally face the music.

For fans of Kristen Proby and Colette Auclair, Facing the Music hits a perfect balance between small-town romance and big-time success. Follow Ivy and Blake as they fall back in love and figure out what does matter in the end…

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FacingTheMusicTeaser

~ EXCERPT ~

Ivy pressed her hands against Blake’s shoulders, pushing him gently until he was lying back on the blanket.

“What are you doing?” he asked.

“Whatever I want to.”

Blake arched his eyebrow at her, but he didn’t complain. He held perfectly still as her nimble fingers moved down the front of his shirt, undoing each button and exposing the expanse of skin beneath it. Her palms ran over his skin, relishing the feel of his chest hair tickling her hands. She leaned forward, letting her tongue glide along his collarbone, and then she crept down his body to the button of his jeans.

“Your hair tickles,” he said.

Ivy gathered up the long, wavy strands of her hair into one hand and swept them over her shoulder. “Do you want me to stop?”

“Not on your life,” he said between tightly gritted teeth as her fingertips brushed the edge of his waistband.

“That’s what I thought,” she said with a smile. “Now, stop complaining.”

Ivy settled between his legs, resting on her knees as she unbuttoned his jeans. She tugged at his back pockets, pulling his jeans down the length of his legs and throwing them out of her way. She moved back over him doing the same with his underwear, which thankfully, this time, were a pair of charcoal-gray boxers. They slid easily out of her way, leaving nothing between her and her goal.

She leisurely traveled back up his legs. Her fingertips gently brushed along the puckered pink scars of his calf and across his kneecap. By the time she reached his upper thigh, he was nearly trembling. Ivy wasn’t sure if it was with anticipation, emotion, or pain.

His hand reached out and snatched her wrist as she moved higher. “This hardly seems fair,” he said. “You’re wearing entirely too much clothing for me to be wearing so little.”

“Who’s doing this? You or me?”

Blake acquiesced and released her hand. He crossed his arms behind his head, giving himself an excellent vantage point for overseeing her activities. “You are, ma’am.”

“That’s right. Now are you going to keep critiquing everything I do, or do I need to put something in your mouth to shut you up?”

A wicked grin crossed Blake’s face as he looked at her. “May I offer a suggestion?”

“I have several ideas of my own,” she said.

~ ABOUT THE AUTHOR ~

AndreaLaurence

Andrea Laurence has been a lover of reading and writing stories since she learned to read at a young age. She always dreamed of seeing her work in print and is thrilled to finally be able to share her special blend of sensuality and dry, sarcastic humor with the world. A dedicated West Coast girl transplanted into the Deep South, she’s working on her own “happily ever after” with her boyfriend and their collection of animals including a Siberian Husky that sheds like nobody’s business.

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