Why I Had to DNF You... [#1]

Ever experienced signing up for a review post for a book tour, only to find out the book you requested wasn't what you expected it to be? A lot of times I get an email from the book tour organizers, and I see a cool looking book from their list, with a very intriguing synopsis. What else is there left to do? Join the tour!

And before you say anything, I know it's a terrible habit. There's a huge 70% chance that I would not enjoy a book by a new author or someone I'm not exactly familiar with, and I've experienced having to DNF a couple of books because of my massively wrong first impression, and have I learned my lesson? Nope! Definitely not!

I've been shammed! Many times, I tell you! And when will I learn? NEVER. I keep requesting books that end up in the DNF pile. But I'm not even going to blame the book entirely, because for some reason I've turned into a nitpicky reader and if I see something--just a teeny tiny bit--that does not fit well with me... BAM!


ONTO THE BOOKS!

*I received these books as review copies courtesy of the author/publisher. This does not affect my opinion or views regarding the book whatsoever.

Rule Breaker
by Harper Kincaid
Published by Samhain Publishing on March 3rd, 2015
Genres: New Adult, Erotic Romance, Contemporary
Format: eARC (104 pages)
Source: Publisher via Netgalley


Just one more can’t hurt…right? 

Re-belle-ious, free-spirited Lauren Renwick has decided it’s time to trade her wings for roots. That means no more bad boys, no more foolish choices. Yet when she’s stood up on New Year’s Eve, her resolution to stick to her Mama’s Rules for Dating weakens. Especially when she spots sex-in-leather-and-tattoos, Jackson Sullivan.

One look at Lauren, and Jackson is hell-bent on getting her on the back of his Harley and riding straight for his bed. Their night together is an erotic rush that has a new word popping up on his horizon—forever.

 Lauren tries to convince herself he’s just one last fling to get bad boys out of her system, yet she finds herself falling hard and fast for a man with a stalker ex and a meddling Irish family. Plus, he has zero chance of passing her uptight parents’ inspection.

 Jackson has Lauren’s back, but if she wants all of his heart, she’ll have to meet him halfway—by ditching rules that hold her prisoner, and learning to stand up for what she really wants.

Okay, so this sounded really sexy. I mean, it's the typical "Girl meets bad boy biker equals hot sex" romance read, and I'm a sucker for those, because I'm not even sure if it's obvious enough but I'm a romance junkie. I love basically anything romance, especially friends with benefits romances. It's my go to after a terrible book hangover and I'm rarely disappointed. I love the way two characters clash, but so perfect, they can't get enough of each other.

However, Rule Breaker is more of an "It's not you, it's me" case. Although there are a few stuff that I was able to tick off my sexy romance check list, there was just one detail that had me lift my pen off the pad. A day after their first super hot hookup, after meeting at Jackson's bar, [Jackson] suggests a trip to his cottage somewhere. Just the two of them, of course, for a crazy weekend of sexcapades. And of course, Lauren agrees, though after saying "But I barely know you" after she's had his dick in her more than twice. (Hah!)

I don't know about you, but despite how hot and steamy their hook up was at the very beginning, a spontaneous trip with a stranger does not sit well with me, because I can see where this is going already. Agreeing to a trip already proves that she trusts him too much, which pretty much warrants for an instalove story, and I'm definitely one of those who hates instalove romances. I honestly cannot fathom how instalove works, and why it's even a thing. But yeah, the moment the trip falls into action, I just had to drop this book and let it go, especially the moment she and Jackson exchange sob stories hours after the hook up. Nope. Not going further, no more.

Even though this was pretty short and just a hundred pages, I don't think my patience is enough to handle such read.


Wicked White
by Michelle A. Valentine
Published by Montlake Romance on June 23rd, 2015
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Music
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via Netgalley


After his mother dies, rock star Ace White—lead singer of the red-hot band Wicked White—is done with the celebrity game. The phony people, the meaningless one-night stands: he doesn’t want any of it anymore. Quitting in the middle of a sold-out tour, Ace sets out to find some place—any place—where he can be alone.

Aspiring singer Iris Easton’s life has never been easy. First, her mother walked out on her when she was a kid. Now she’s buried in debt, weeks after losing her beloved grandmother. When a mysterious and sexy new guy moves in next door, Iris can’t help but be drawn to his soulful gaze. She can tell there’s something from his past haunting him—something he’s not telling her.

Just as Ace starts falling for Iris, the media go on a worldwide hunt to find the missing rocker. Will true love conquer all, or will the truth be the very thing that tears the couple apart?

I wanted to like this. Rockstar runaway falls for the sweet girl next door, and as much as I love rockstar romances, this one was beyond ridiculous, which I noticed first hand in terms of the writing, which seemed as if I wasn't reading a New Adult Contemporary novel.

At one point, when Ace has moved into the trailer next door to Iris', after he ran away from the media following his foster mother's death, he rescues Iris from being harrassed and the line that popped out of his mouth?

"Touch her again and I'll annihilate you!"

Seriously? I swear, if I was the guy in question, I would have looked at him like "You're kidding, right?", because that was the lamest thing to say even as the knight in shining armor. Annihalate? I couldn't stop laughing for two minutes, no joke. Okay, maybe just a whole minute, but it was still darn funny. Not to mention the forced romance--it was just plain terrible--and the fact that the girl is a big fan of Opera music and sung to him once, all I could imagine was an episode of Glee. I dropped this book faster than any beat. (Hah!)


Falling Fast
by Tina Wainscott
Published by Loveswept on June 16th, 2015
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via Netgalley


Fans of Jasinda Wilder and Colleen Hoover will adore this emotional new small-town romance—a smoldering tale of first love and long-awaited redemption from USA Today bestselling author Tina Wainscott.

Raleigh West works in an auto shop day and night, trying to put his broken past out of mind. It’s been seven years since the fiery crash that landed his teenage sweetheart in the hospital . . . and him in jail. In an instant, he lost everything: his passion for racing, his hope of escaping his father’s shameful legacy, and the only girl he ever loved. Raleigh hasn’t seen her since that awful night. Never got a chance to apologize. And never forgave himself, either.

When brave, beautiful Mia Wentworth returns to the Florida coast for the first time in what seems like forever, it’s not to see Raleigh. Even so, the moment she arrives she can feel his presence like a gust of wind that gives her goose bumps. Opening her heart to him again seems impossible. But staying away? That might be harder still. Lucky for them both, Mia’s never been the kind of woman to take the easy way out.

So, the synopsis marketed Colleen Hoover and I was instantly grabbed by it, because Colleen Hoover is my queen. She is everything, and I don't care if you say her books aren't that good, because her novels are the holy grail of NA romance, to me, at least. And if you say Colleen Hoover, you have to freaking deliver.

I don't know what this author thought was an acceptable Colleen Hoover comparison. We've got Mia, the good girl and Raleigh, the resident bad boy, a forbidden teenage romance which ended up in a terrible car accident, which landed Mia in the hospital and the hero in jail. Fast forward to seven years, Mia and her parents are back for her grandmother's funeral, and Raleigh is trying to stay on the sidelines, away from her and her family to avoid further drama.

As much as I love second chance romances, Falling Fast just couldn't make me like it, let alone love it. It wasn't even the plot that got me wary. In fact, despite the simplicity of the plot, it was a very interesting one, but my main problem were how dumb and ridiculous the characters were.

Mia, apparently, is a cancer kid, and is pretty much wrapped in a protective shell by her family. Homeschooled, indoors, doctor appointments, chemotherapy, you name it all. The moment she met the Raleigh, they were instantly smitten by each other. But after the accident that caused the end of her teenage lovelife, she was once again forced into hospitalization and her parents overprotectiveness. Granted, she's a character with a sob story, but her actions and the way she could not stand up for herself or Raleigh against her parents just aggravated me so much, I wanted to slap some sense into her.

Meanwhile, Raleigh was pretty much broken over the accident he feels he caused, and although I did feel bad for him at times, he played the depressed loner card too much, it got really annoying. I understand he felt guilty, but with Mia's parents talking trash about him despite the fact that he was the one who watched over Mia's grandmother and spent time with her before she died, he never bothered to stand up for himself.

And let me not get started on Mia's parents--these two were the worst! They were controlling, abusive and incredibly inconsiderate. I hated them so much! I get the idea that it was intentional to have the parents be hateful people, but with the main character as someone with no sense at all, I just couldn't go on with the story.

Don't get me wrong, in terms of writing, it was really good, but if a character or more and I don't click at all, I'm not wasting time on a book that will just leave me frustrated and hanging in the end.


I feel bad whenever I have to DNF a book, but a blogger's gotta do what a blogger's gotta do. So many books, so little time, so why waste? 

If you still want to read the books, not a problem! You might even enjoy them since we all have different tastes. I'm just very nitpicky, it's not even healthy. 

BOOK TOUR REVIEW: No Kissing Allowed by Melissa West + Giveaway!

No Kissing Allowed
by Melissa West
Published by Entangled: Embrace on July 28th, 2015
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Format: eARC (204 pages)
Source: Publisher via Netgalley

ADD TO GOODREADS
Armed with her besties, an embarrassing number of shots, and her list of 10 Wild Things To Do Before Adulthood, recent grad Cameron Lawson is partying it up before she starts her dream job at New York's biggest ad agency. Her last task? Hook up with a random guy. And while it's so not her style, the super-sexy guy sitting next to her is definitely game. No names. No details. At least, that was the plan.

On her first day of work, Cameron discovers her hook-up is none other than Aidan Truitt—her new boss's boss. Talk about failing the “no fraternizing with coworkers” policy on an epic level. Especially when Aidan makes it clear their one night was only the beginning. Falling for him could cost her everything, but sometimes the only way to get what you want is by breaking a few rules...

No Kissing Allowed is one of those "I hooked up with a guy and he turns out to be my new boss" new adult romances, and although cliche and predictable, it was a pretty entertaining read.

The way the story kicked off was a great start--hilarious and crazy, with the heroine, Cameron, partying hard with her best friends to celebrate landing their dream jobs. Imagine her surprise when she finds out that her new boss was apparently the guy she hooked up with and kicked out of her apartment the day after.

Although this might come off as a romantic comedy, this novel actually has its depths, particularly in the characters. No Kissing Allowed is told in Cameron's POV, which makes it easier to understand her side of the story. [She] dreams of her happy ever after--commitment, a husband, kids and the white picket fence, but Aidan is a man who leers away from commitment and is burdened by his own demons due to his childhood.

The only thing I'm conflicted about is the way the romance bloomed. It falls under the slow burn category, but at the same time, it's pretty much fast paced, but definitely steamy and sexy and that surely makes up for it.

The secondary characters are also a great addition to this story, mainly Cameron's bestfriends, and they remind me so much of my besties. I'm going to assume that this is the start of a new series and Lauren and Grace are going to have their own stories as well.

As mentioned above, No Kissing Allowed is a somewhat predictable read and not exactly an original concept, but if you're into romances that will make you swoon despite how common the trope is, this could be your go to, or something to read after a romance book hungover.

*I received a review copy courtesy of the author/publisher. This does not affect my opinion or views regarding the book whatsoever.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR



MELISSA WEST

Melissa West writes heartfelt Southern romance and teen sci-fi romance, all with lots of kissing. Because who doesn't like kissing? She lives outside of Atlanta, GA with her husband and two daughters and spends most of her time writing, reading, or fueling her coffee addiction. Connect with Melissa at www.melissawestauthor.com or on Twitter @MB_West.


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BOOK REVIEW: Searching For Always by Jennifer Probst

Searching For Always (Searching For #4)
by Jennifer Probst (Goodreads, Website, Twitter, Facebook)
Published by Gallery Books on June 30th, 2015
Genres: Romance, Contemporary, Chick Lit
Format: eARC (400 pages)
Source: Publisher via Inkslinger PR
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes

ADD TO GOODREADS
New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Jennifer Probst sparks a blissful mind-body connection as her “sexy, satisfying” (Kirkus Reviews) new series continues!


She’s an expert in helping others de-stress, but Arilyn Meadows is running on fumes. Along with her job counseling singles seeking soul mates at the Kinnections agency in Verily, New York, she’s a yoga teacher, animal shelter volunteer, anger management therapist, and helping hand to her beloved grandfather. No time to find Mr. Right—but after discovering her yogi boyfriend in a compromising asana, Arilyn would rather dog-sit for her honeymooning friend Kate than risk her heart on another downward dog. And when police officer Stone Petty—radiating masculinity and bad-boy attitude—is sent to her for mandatory lessons in cooling off when the job gets too hot, Arilyn vows to ignore his seductive glances and sexy grin. But there’s no halting their sizzling flirtation—a red-hot, high-speed chase that’s breaking all the limits.


After having read Searching For Beautiful, the book released prior to this, I was so excited for Arilyn's story, especially the very moment Officer Stone came into the picture. Jennifer Probst, once again, brings you another quirky 'opposites attract' romance, that'll make you feel all giddy and swooning up to the very last page.

After an arrest mishap by Officer Stone Petty; [he] is suspended from the job and forced to take anger management classes to control his temper. Surprisingly, the instructor is none other than Arilyn Meadows, the angry woman who riled him up for being an "irresponsible" police officer.

Arilyn Meadows, the usually calm and collected girl, is definitely not happy to see Officer Petty in her class. First off, he irritates the heck out of her, and she's not even the kind of person to be irritated! And to make matters worse, she's also absolutely attracted to him, despite the fact that he's so wrong for her, and just her previous"relationship" ended terribly.

Oh, joy.

I love the characters Jennifer Probst brings into her books! They're all quirky and fun and definitely their own person, and they're absolutely fun to read especially when she places her previous characters in for crossovers.

Arilyn is the kind of girl who's not into glamor. Basically, a tank top and yoga pants are her daily go-to's. Not to mention, she's definitely one of those who lives "healthy" and believes in Feng Shui and has the words "organic", "chakra" and "meditation" in her daily vocabulary.

Meanwhile, Officer Stone Petty. The polar opposite of Arilyn. Tall, dark and angry. Unfortunately, his past has caused anger issues, but don't let that tough exterior fool you because Officer Stone undergoes such a huge character development and is actually a sweetie under all that hard coating. *winks*

"One kiss. Let's prove to each other that we'd be a disaster together."

Together, Arilyn and Stone are just hilarious. There's a lot of banter between them that made me giggle snort all throughout the whole read. These two just hated each other's guts the moment they made contact. But at the same time, these two are just so right for each other and so perfect, I just couldn't help but squeal, especially when the dogs came in the picture. That's right; DOGS!

Jennifer Probst's inclusion of adorable animals are one of the reasons why I love this series. And as a dog lover, I really had so much fun reading about Pink and Robert! The wonderful thing is, they do play an important role in the books, and they're not just for cutesy which is just awesome!

Searching For Always was such a fun read. The romance is absolutely hilarious, sweet and flirty, and very sexy and I couldn't help but fall in love with this series all over again! This can be read as a standalone but I highly recommend reading from the beginning starting from the Marriage series, in which the Searching For series is spun off of. If you're into funny, quirky romances, this series is the definite go-to!

*I received a review copy courtesy of the author/publisher. This does not affect my opinion or views regarding the book whatsoever.

BOOK TOUR REVIEW: Chaos by Jamie Shaw + Excerpt & Giveaway!

Chaos (Mayhem #3)
by Jamie Shaw
Published by Avon Impulse on July 21st, 2015
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Music
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss

ADD TO GOODREADS
From the moment she saw Shawn Scarlett perform at a school talent show, Kit Larson has loved two things: the guitar, and the gorgeous, green-eyed boy who inspired her to play. But one careless night in high school shatters her hope of ever being more than a notch on his bedpost.

Six years, two bands, and one mostly-mended heart later, Kit’s about to make her rock star dreams a reality as the new guitarist for Shawn’s band, The Last Ones to Know. He may not remember their reckless night together, but Kit has never forgotten… and she’s determined to make him eat his heart out.

The release of their new album means a month cooped up on a tour bus, sleeping inches away from the ridiculously sexy musician she’s never quite gotten over. And as Kit gets to know the real Shawn—not Shawn Scarlett, the rock god, the player—their attraction becomes too hot to resist. But the past is paved with secrets, and when they finally surface, Kit could lose everything: the band, the music, her dreams… and Shawn.

Rockstar romances are my new guilty pleasure, and should be yours too. After having read Kylie Scott's Stage Dive series, I immediately fell in love with the trope. Though, pretty much, the rockstar trope is usually a good girl-bad boy romance, Chaos has its own pretty little twist in the usual trope and made me want a rockstar for myself.

This time, the heroine isn't an outsider, or a groupie, or a non-fan (as what they usually are) but a member of the band. Kit is the brand new guitarist of the rock band The Last Ones to Know. There's just one little detail she forgot to mention when she auditioned for the position. The other guitarist of the band, Shawn Scarlett, used to be her high school crush and at one point, hooked up with her once, way back when she was fifteen... but he doesn't remember that.

One thing I love about Chaos is that the heroine is a rockstar and a kickass guitarist. Basically, for once, I've never read about a girl rockstar before. Though I've read stories of the heroine being one of the boys, a rockstar isn't being one of them. Kit is a cool heroine, all edgy and a tough nut to crack, but at the same time, she's also sweet and vulnerable, especially when it comes to her family and Shawn.

On the other hand, Shawn is definitely on my book boyfriends list. A total rock god, but a sweetheart deep inside. From a party boy rockstar back in high school to a mature game player the moment the band started growing big, Shawn is the brains and parent of the band. Although at first he may come off as a jerk, he's actually a total sweetheart.

The romance itself was an inbetween of a slow burn and an insta-love, as one of the characters had already been infatuated in the first place, but a friendship actually took place between the couple. It's sweet and teasing, with the right amount of steam and sexy. Kit and Shawn made me giggle, and also made me feel bad, and downright pissed, but Jamie Shaw didn't let me down, and made me feel good again in the long run.

I've never been the type to read a series out of order, no matter how much of a standalone they are. I hate being clueless about secondary characters and couples in books, which kind of makes me unable to keep track with the personalities of the various characters. However, when reading Chaos, even without having read the previous books, did not give me a hard time in trying to connect with the others, particularly, the rest of the band members; Adam, Joel and Mike.

And not only did Jamie Shaw did a great job in character personalization, she also did not forget to write in great detail about the life of a rockstar; the practices, tours, night trips, performances and backstage action. I actually felt as if I was really part of the band, hah!

Chaos is my first novel of Jamie Shaw, and will certainly not be my last, as I also want to make sure I read the first two books of the series to know about Adam and Joel's stories.

If you've read Kylie Scott's Stage Dive series and enjoyed it, you'll also love this one. It's fun, flirty, with a little bit of drama and angst, but come on, who doesn't love a mix of those? Great story with great characters, you shouldn't miss out on this one!

*I received a review copy courtesy of the author/publisher. This does not affect my opinion or views regarding the book whatsoever.

EXCERPT


“That was a hundred years ago, Kale!” I shout at my closed bedroom door as I wiggle into a pair of skintight jeans. I hop backward, backward, backward—until I’m nearly tripping over the combat boots lying in the middle of my childhood room.

“So why are you going to this audition?”

I barely manage to do a quick twist-and-turn to land on my bed instead of my ass, my furrowed brow directed at the ceiling as I finish yanking my pants up. “Because!”

Unsatisfied, Kale growls at me from the other side of my closed door. “Is it because you still like him?”

“I don’t even KNOW him!” I shout at a white swirl on the ceiling, kicking my legs out and fighting against the taut denim as I stride to my closed door. I grab the knob and throw it open. “And he probably doesn’t even remember me!”

Kale’s scowl is replaced by a big set of widening eyes as he takes in my outfit—tight, black, shredded-to-hell jeans paired with a loose black tank top that doesn’t do much to cover the lacy bra I’m wearing. The black fabric matches my wristbands and the parts of my hair that aren’t highlighted blue. I turn away from Kale to grab my boots.

“That is what you’re wearing?”

I snatch up the boots and do a showman’s twirl before plopping down on the edge of my bed. “I look hot, don’t I?”

Kale’s face contorts like the time I convinced him a Sour Patch Kid was just a Swedish Fish coated in sugar. “You’re my sister.”

“But I’m hot,” I counter with a confident smirk, and Kale huffs out a breath as I finish tying my boots.

“You’re lucky Mason isn’t home. He’d never let you leave the house.”

Freaking Mason. I roll my eyes.

I’ve been back home for only a few months—since December, when I decided that getting a bachelor’s degree in music theory wasn’t worth an extra year of nothing but general education requirements—but I’m already ready to do a kamikaze leap out of the nest again. Having a hyperactive roommate was nothing compared to my overprotective parents and even more overprotective older brothers. Pair that with Kale, who always knows what I’m thinking even when I’d rather keep it to myself, and I’m pretty sure I need to figure out what the hell I’m doing with my life or accept that eventually the white coats will need to drive out to retrieve me.

“Well, Mason isn’t home. And neither is Mom or Dad. So are you going to tell me how I look or not?” I stand back up and prop my hands on my hips, wishing my brother and I still stood eye to eye. A growth spurt in high school gained him a few inches over me, and now he’s almost as tall as the rest of our brothers, even if he is a whole lot lankier. At five foot eight, I have to tilt my chin to glare at him.

Sounding thoroughly unhappy about it, Kale says, “You look amazing.”

A smile cracks across my face a moment before I grab my guitar case from where it’s propped against the wall. As I walk through the house, Kale trails after me.

“What’s the point in dressing up for him?” he asks with the echo of our footsteps following us down the hall.

“Who says it’s for him?”

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CHAOS releases today! Don't forget to grab a copy of this sexy new adult rockstar romance!


Don't miss out on the previous books!

   

Mayhem (Mayhem #1)

Riot (Mayhem #2)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR



JAMIE SHAW

Born and raised in South Central Pennsylvania, Jamie Shaw earned her M.S. in Professional Writing before realizing that the creative side of writing was her calling. An incurable night-owl, she spends late hours crafting novels with relatable heroines and swoon-worthy leading men. She's a loyal drinker of white mochas, a fierce defender of emo music, and a passionate enthusiast of all things romance. She loves interacting with readers and always aims to add new names to their book boyfriend lists.


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BOOK TOUR: Falling Fast by Tina Wainscott + Excerpt & Giveaway!

Falling Fast
by Tina Wainscott
Published by Loveswept on June 16th, 2015
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary
ADD TO GOODREADS
Fans of Jasinda Wilder and Colleen Hoover will adore this emotional new small-town romance—a smoldering tale of first love and long-awaited redemption from USA Today bestselling author Tina Wainscott.

Raleigh West works in an auto shop day and night, trying to put his broken past out of mind. It’s been seven years since the fiery crash that landed his teenage sweetheart in the hospital . . . and him in jail. In an instant, he lost everything: his passion for racing, his hope of escaping his father’s shameful legacy, and the only girl he ever loved. Raleigh hasn’t seen her since that awful night. Never got a chance to apologize. And never forgave himself, either.

When brave, beautiful Mia Wentworth returns to the Florida coast for the first time in what seems like forever, it’s not to see Raleigh. Even so, the moment she arrives she can feel his presence like a gust of wind that gives her goose bumps. Opening her heart to him again seems impossible. But staying away? That might be harder still. Lucky for them both, Mia’s never been the kind of woman to take the easy way out.

EXCERPT 


He needed to drive by Nancy’s cottage one more time. Maybe sit out on the deck and remember the times they had shared lasagna after he’d been painting all day or refinishing her wood floors. That was the only payment he accepted, her home-cooked meals and her friendship.

He pulled down the gravel road that housed five cottages built in the sixties. One of them was in the process of being torn down, no doubt to be replaced by something shiny and new. The small Panhandle town didn’t boast wide, sugar-sand beaches. The scrubland in this area, with its sea-grass-covered dunes, hadn’t been developed as it had farther west. But, with the economy recovering, Chambliss was now seeing the results of the dredging project begun years ago.

As he neared Nancy’s home, his heartbeat spiked at the sight of two cars parked out front, lights blazing inside. Mia and her parents, he bet. They’d probably just arrived, given the luggage in the open trunk. He paused, even though he knew that he should back up and leave.

Like now.

Except he couldn’t, because the front door opened and a woman stepped out. His heart tripped and coughed and gasped like a gunked-up carburetor. Mia. Her dark-brown hair was piled up on her head, loose strands framing her face. She stepped off the front porch and out of the light, but in that brief glimpse he could see her tired, sad expression as she headed toward the open trunk. Which would put her only a few yards away from his car.

He still couldn’t lift his foot from the brake pedal. His windows were tinted, so she wouldn’t see him. He couldn’t see her as well, either, but he saw enough as she hefted out the black suitcase. Now his heart was racing, seventy, eighty, a hundred miles an hour. She wore a red top, one sleeve drooping off her shoulder, and shorts. Still trim and long in the torso. Still about five- five. It was her face, what he could see of it in the distant lighting, that gripped him. In this light, as beautiful as ever. 
Memories flashed through his mind like a slide show: her laughing; smiling shyly; closing her eyes and arching as she came beneath him. Whispering his name, her fingers digging into his back.


She looked up then, her gaze zeroing in on his car. Her eyebrows furrowed, and she tilted her head in the way he’d seen a hundred times. Something inside him screamed to lower the window and say something. Hello. How are you? I’m so sorry . . .

She turned to glance behind her, where her father was coming down the steps. Raleigh hit the gas and shot forward to the end of the lane, where he had to pry his fingers from the steering wheel to put the car into park. He was shaking.

Dammit, he’d almost screwed up. Talking to her would only dredge up a painful past for Mia. Maybe her anger, too. Her father would have blown a gasket. Mia didn’t deserve to suffer anymore over him.

He forced himself to breathe normally and pull around the small cul-de-sac. As he passed Nancy’s cottage, he vowed that he wouldn’t look. But he couldn’t help it. Everyone was inside, the cars closed up. He told himself it was for the better. That maybe he shouldn’t attend the funeral after all. How the hell was he going to handle seeing her without a tinted window and the night between them?


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR



TINA WAINSCOTT

USA Today bestselling author Tina Wainscott has always loved the combination of romance and suspense, because nothing complements falling in love better than being hunted down. The author of more than thirty novels and novellas, Wainscott creates characters with baggage, past hurts, and vulnerabilities. They go through hell, find love, and, at the end, find peace in who they are and everything they’ve gone through. And isn’t that what everyone wants?


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