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Giveaway: Razed by Shiloh Walker

Giveaway: Razed by Shiloh Walker

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Gosh I love this cover and the woman’s tattoos. So many times it’s the guys with the tats and here we have something different. Hurrah!

Blurb

Keelie doesn’t believe in the “perfect man.” But the men who are worth the trouble are usually taken—like her business partner Zach Barnes. After a string of bad luck and the lost chance with Zach, Keelie decides that maybe flying solo—and living with suppressed desires—is the key to happiness.

As a photographer, Zane Barnes has an eye for the human form, and his eyes can’t get enough of Keelie’s curves. Unfortunately, Keelie is like most women—always fawning over his little brother, Zach. Zane is about ready to give up, but then a few stolen moments at his brother’s wedding have him thinking maybe there’s a chance there after all. Now he just has to prove that the perfect man does exist…for her.

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Excerpt

“What’s wrong?”

“Nothing.” She swallowed the knot.

“Bullshit.” He moved in.

If she could have walked away, she would have. But her ankle was screaming at her and she felt like she was going to cry—not just from her ankle, either. She didn’t entirely know why. She just knew she felt like she was falling apart.

Frozen, all but trapped there, she went rigid as he reached up and touched her cheek. “I guess . . . shit.” Zane looked away, his hand lowering when she flinched. “I’m sorry.”

Then a low, raw laugh escaped him. “Even saying that feels like a lie. I’ve wanted to kiss you for so long, I can’t even remember a time when I didn’t think about it anymore. But you clearly didn’t want me to. For that, I am sor—”

“Stop.” She forced the word out, made herself look back at him even though her head was spinning from what he’d just said. I’ve wanted to kiss you . . . Her heart started to thud against her ribs and she got that same, lightheaded rush she’d felt when he first put his hands on her.Don’t. Stop. Be logical. “If you think I didn’t want you touching me, then you clearly don’t know much about women.”

His eyes came back to hers.

That intense, soul-searing gaze left her feeling naked and vulnerable.

“Then what’s wrong?”

How did she even explain that? Her gaze dropped to his mouth and to her dismay, she thought about reaching for him again, dragging him against her. Her hands curled into fists and she kept them locked at her sides to stop herself from doing just that. “I don’t even remember the name of the last guy who made me feel like that.” She met his eyes unflinchingly despite the fact that the blush on her face might have lit up the night sky. “Let’s just say it’s been a while. I prefer it that way. Then you go and put your hands on me and my brain leaks out. Your brothers, your parents, people I’ve known for years are just a few yards that way and I’m over here losing my mind because I can’t think about anything but finding a flat surface.”

His jaw went tight. “Vertical works for me.”

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REVIEW:  Coming in from the Cold by Sarina Bowen

REVIEW: Coming in from the Cold by Sarina Bowen

Coming in from the Cold Sarina Bowen

Dear Ms. Bowen:

I loved the three New Adult books you wrote and was desperate to read more Bowen romances so I was giddy when I learned that there were already two adult contemporaries available.

The hero Dane “Danger” Hollister is like the lead in Viscount Who Loved Me. He has a family illness that is likely to kill him before he’s forty and it’s a terrible disease. He doesn’t do relationships. He hooks up and has pursued his dream of being an  Olympic skier. This doesn’t mean he wouldn’t like something more permanent but rather that he foresees that death is imminent and you can’t have a relationship with anyone when your life has an early expiration date.

He gets trapped in a snowstorm with the heroine Willow Reade, who’s moved to Vermont, abandoning her doctorate in Clinical Psychology to move in with her boyfriend. Then her boyfriend takes off with someone else, leaving her with an underwater mortgage, gourmet chickens and no money. Why Willow doesn’t abandon the house, allow it to be foreclosed up and go back to pursue her degree wasn’t clear but that was only one of the incomprehensible behaviors of the characters in the book.

In the trapped vehicle, the two can’t stop the hormones and they have sex. He reminds her it is only a one time thing and at one point he says he doesn’t have a condom. She reassures him that it’s okay because she’s on the pill. When he does the disappearing act that he promised he would do, she’s disappointed because she’s not ready to let go.

I’m okay with both Willow and Dane at this point. They hooked up, had risky sex, and neither are emotionally okay with how things were left but that’s just how life is sometimes. It’s what happens next that had me banging on the screen of my kindle and sending angry texts. I told Sarah on SmartBitches during a podcast that I felt like the book turned me into a momentary Men’s Rights Activist and that made me even angrier.

Something happens to Willow and this causes them both more emotional trauma that is only resolved when something else happens to Dane. I know this is vaguey mcvaguerston but rather than spoil it outright, I’ll just say that I wasn’t sold on the characters’ actions and reactions. Willow does something that affects both their lives and then doesn’t really take responsibility for it. Dane is rude and cruel. Neither of them really recovered for me as characters and I had a hard time getting excited for their HEA particularly when Dane’s issues could have readily been solved earlier.

There’s not so much character growth as there is a change in circumstance. If the circumstances hadn’t changed, I couldn’t foresee an HEA between the two. I ended up not liking either character much. C-

Spoiler (spoiler rant): Show

Willow gets pregnant because she had allowed her prescription to lapse and thought she could skate by. She lied to Dane about her birth control situation and never fesses up to this. There’s no repercussions and it’s just a small confession to her friend who is like, well, okay then.

What the hell? SHE LIED ABOUT HER BIRTH CONTROL. How angry would we be at the male character if he poked holes in a condom and told a woman that he was protecting her? Very.

I felt this situation was worsened when she’s angered and hurt that he tells her to get an abortion. Yes, he calls her a “fuck up”. That’s rude and cruel, but the focus of the remainder of the book isn’t that he called her a fuck up but that he told her to get an abortion. Telling her that he didn’t want the baby, that he believed she should get an abortion is not cruel. To me this felt like an unnecessary vilification of abortion as an option.  She considers being a welfare mom and adoption, but abortion is cruel and unfeeling I know romance doesn’t want to go there, ever, but I don’t have to be happy with how the choice issue is played out.

That Dane doesn’t tell her why he believes it is vital for her to get an abortion is stupid but somewhat ameliorated because he fears that if it got out, it would affect his standing as an Olympic hopeful.  But Dane is just as stupid as Willow because he never gets tested. That makes sense if he’s going to pretend he doesn’t have the disease, but Dane lives and assumes as if he does. Why not just find out? Why he wouldn’t want to be sure when his driving motivation is the belief it is true baffled me the entire book. I get that it is necessary to keep the conflict between the couple.

I felt her lying to him when he was so adamant about using protection, not having children, was a really shitty thing to do and trumped him calling her a fuck up. I know that this a complicated moral issue, but the book brought it up and didn’t deal with it well. Of course since he doesn’t have the disease, it’s all sunshine and roses at the end. Urgh.

Best regards

Jane

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