The Real

The Real by Kate Stewart

4 stars! 

“You never really know someone unless they want you to.” 

One of my favorite things about being a fan of an author is seeing them grow as a writer as the years go by. My first ever book by Kate Stewart was Loving the White Liar, then Room 212 and with those I knew this was an author I enjoyed. Then The Fall released and the fangirl in me was activated. Since then, Kate has only continued to deliver wonderful and beautiful stories. None of them are the same, everything she writes is unique and original. And I always find myself wanting more of her words.

The Real is further proof that Kate only gets better, her intricate plot and the alluring characters reminds me of why I love her stories. At its heart, this book is about believing in love even when you’ve given up on it.

This is a book I truly believe you need to GO IN BLIND. Did you read that? GO IN BLIND! Seriously, just stop reading this review, buy the book, read it, then read reviews. I knew a little something going in and while it didn’t in any way affect my feelings on the book, I wish I hadn’t known. Again, this doesn’t affect my feelings or my rating, that is on the overall of the book, but I think the book has more punch if you don’t know anything.

So without revealing any spoilers, I loved the characters, I loved the beautiful words and I enjoyed the story. If I could, I would give Kate a giant hug for this book and all the books she wrote before it. Someday hopefully I can be weird and hug her in person. She just needs to get her butt closer to the west coast again haha.

“You and me, we are absolute.” 

ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review 

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Drive

Drive by Kate Stewart

ALL THE STARS! 

“Music is the heart’s greatest librarian.” 

Top recommendation and one of the best books of the year for me! Drive made me fall in love with the romance genre again. I’m not exaggerating when I say this, since August I have only had one 5 star romance read, and it was MM not MF. I had given up hope on this genre and on the indie romance community but after reading Drive I’m back and ready for more!

Drive is the story of Stella, a music journalist gets some shocking news and decides to drive home instead of taking her flight. Along the way she remembers her past and the events that led to her present circumstances. That’s all I’m going to tell you, I went in blind and I think the experience of reading this book is more enjoyable this way.

“A gravitational pull lured me to him. I wanted inside his head. And that was just the start of what I wanted.” 

Kate Stewart is an author I find myself recommending all the time and wish more people would read. Her writing is very versatile, each book a unique and heartfelt experience. Drive follows in the same vein, at the heart of it is music. The songs mentioned at the beginning of the chapters (the ones I knew and didn’t have to pick up) I could hear in my mind as I was reading. I don’t listen to music when reading because I find it hard to focus on one or the other, but if you enjoy music while reading, I recommend the spotify playlist Kate made for this book.

This was the book that I wanted to read into the early hours of the morning, the one where I was cursing my job that I love because I wanted to stay up late reading this book but needed sleep instead. It didn’t take me long to realize while reading this book was something special, and I was only halfway through when I started sending book recommendations of it to other readers on Goodreads. This is the book that you know will stay with you forever, the one that when you hear certain songs you’ll remember how you felt when reading it.

Stella is a heroine that is flawed, emotional and beautiful. I loved her outlook on life, that even though bad things had happened to her she tried her hardest and kept going. We see her struggling as a college student, to working her way up the music world. And while this book is a love story, it’s also about how Stella found her way back to her true self. How she picked up the pieces and told the world to go screw itself and fought her way to the top.

Not sure what else to say, it’s obvious I loved this book. If you haven’t picked up a book by Kate yet I want to smack you. Just make sure you don’t end 2017 without reading this book. You won’t regret it.

“He was my song, my soul, my everything, and his love had propelled me forward into the woman I wanted to be.” 

Best Books of 2016

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Best books of 2016!

Here’s my list of my 15 favorite books that I read in 2016! Not all of these were published this year, but it’s the year I read them and I won’t overlook greatness for something as silly as a publication date. Without further ado:

Wolfsong by TJ Klune!!!!

If you would have told me that my all time favorite book of 2016 would be a gay shifter romance, I would have thought you were on crack. But Wolfsong touches your heart and just brings out every feel you have, and then finds more and brings them out too. Beautiful writing, a breathtaking story and a stunning romance, this is one I won’t ever forget. Plus the main character Ox is up there with the likes of Elizabeth Bennett, he’s one of my all time favorite characters.

Beard Science by Penny Reid

I’ve yet to find a Penny Reid book I haven’t liked, this woman is like nerd girl magic! Beard Science is my favorite Winston Brothers book (so far, I have a feeling Billy will be everything) and Cletus. Oh Cletus, I want to find a shrink ray, use it on him and make him the tiny devil on my shoulder. That man, sigh. There are no words. Instead, read the damn book already, will ya?

Paper Princess by Erin Watt

I have to say Paper Princess was a book that slapped me in the face with it’s amazingness. I feel like it came out of nowhere but now that it’s here, everyone has become obsessed with The Royals (myself included). The best YA/NA series I’ve read since Fallen Crest by Tijan, there is no doubt in my mind these Royals will ruin you. I also equally loved the second book Broken Prince, and enjoyed the third. I want more from this author duo!

Unbreak My Heart by Nicole Jacquelyn

Quite simply, the ANGSTIEST book of 2016 and I loved every bit of it! I learned to never doubt the dirty girl book friend who recommended this to me, and I discovered an amazing new author. Military family, regret and angst? Not for the faint of heart and it gets worse before it gets better. But in the end you get a beautiful story. The second book Change of Heart, a standalone was equally as amazing as this one.

All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood

I took a chance on a new author with this one and I am so glad I did! Bryn Greenwood is an evil genius and leaves the reader with so much to ponder. This is the kind of book that makes you reflect on yourself and how your perception of others can affect their life. It also portrays that just because something seems a certain way, doesn’t mean it is. Bravo Greenwood! I cannot wait to read more from you in the future.

In the Middle of Somewhere by Roan Parrish

An MM romance between a graduate student and a quiet man who lives in a cabin in his new town. Both have issues when it comes to love that they must overcome, but this book was the journey to both of them healing one another. Roan Parrish became a favorite author and a go-to author with this book, I love her writing style and her complex and realistic characters. The second book Out of Nowhere is a fantastic read as well.

Painted Faces

An unconventional romance between a straight drag queen and a curvy Irish girl. This is one of those books I was so skeptical about going into it and came out the other end of the book in awe. My favorite Cosway book to date, she did an amazing job with these two characters. It’s a very special novel.

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Veiled

It happened. THIS BOOK HAPPENED!!! This is a spin off of the Experiment in Terror series BUT it can be read as a standalone novel!!! Veiled is about a young girl named Ada who slowly discovers demons and other beings around her. Add in a sexy ginger guide as the romantic interest and I was thrilled! Everything I had hoped it would be. But like I said you can read and enjoy it as a standalone.

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Lingus

Romance with a porn star, sounds raunchy? It’s not! Sweet wonderful slow burn romance between two people who genuinely care for each other. I loved every second of this novel!! Mariana Zapata is the queen of slow burn romances!

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Swear on this Life

This is one of those books that hits you with emotion like a friggin mac truck. A journey of self healing and discovery, this also has an unforgettable love story. I ended up bursting into tears on an airplane while reading this book, and I don’t cry in public EVER.

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Black Swan Affair

An angsty love story that centers on a love triangle between two brothers and the woman they both love. I know what you’re thinking, that you hate love triangles. Trust me, let that part go and enjoy the ride. I was blown away by this book and so so happy when I got to the end! Nothing is what you think it is, remember that.

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The Bourbon Thief

A beautiful love story in the 70’s between a young rich girl in the South and the stable hand who is forbidden from her. A family full of secrets, this romance is almost haunting and beautiful at the same time. Proof that Tiffany Reisz can write an amazing book not centered on BDSM or sex.

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Wicked Heart

A second chance romance between a movie star and a stage director. Liam broke Elissa’s heart years ago and she never fully recovered. Now years later they are working on the same stage production and old feelings come back. But Liam is engaged to his costar and Elissa knows falling for him again would be a tragedy. I loved the Bad Romeo books and this is my favorite of the bunch. Is a standalone read with only connected characters.

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The Mind

Kate Stewart is possibly the most underrated indie author out there, this woman writes pure romantic genius!! The Heart is probably one of the few novellas I have ever loved, and I fell in love with Grant and Rose immediately. This is a prequel to The Heart and may not have an HEA in this book, but does in the next one (I promise). I sobbed big ugly tears when reading this and kind of wanted to kill Kate (I didn’t, obviously) but this is proof of how amazing Kate is.

Anything But Minor

Anything But Minor Teaser 4

Anything But Minor by Kate Stewart

4.5 stars!!!

I always know one thing going into a Kate Stewart book: she’s gonna leave me with a big old smile on my face.

“I’m not sure what you want me to think of you, Rafe.”
“I’m pretty sure I just want you to think of me, Alice.”

Anything But Minor is about a woman named Alice who has left Ohio to live in Charleston and has a new career as a flight instructor. Having been sheltered by her mother her entire life, Charleston is Alice’s chance to live free and discover new things. On a whim, she attends a baseball game for the local minor league team where she meets Rafe, the star pitcher. Rafe makes it clear from the beginning he is interested in Alice, but Alice wants something more substantial than a fling. The two agree to be friends but there is an attraction between them that Rafe doesn’t want to deny.

“I may be wrong about you, I think. I thought you were one of those bone-headed, stupid athletes who only cared about baseball and women. But I have a feeling you’re worth knowing.”

I really loved reading the progression of the relationship between Rafe and Alice, their adventures together and the little moments where they got to know each other. Alice is quirky and nerdy and I loved her. I loved that Rafe embraced her nerdiness and quirks, and he saw how her past made her the woman she was. Rafe, he was quite the hero. Friendly, strong, and determined, I also loved that he was a big dude! Cause I like my alpha males and all.

The side characters are a delightful cherry on top and I am dying to see them again. I really want to see more from Kristina as I adored her friendship with Alice. The VHS tapes at the beginning of the chapters were another awesome touch to the book, in fact this entire book just made me want to sit down and watch 80’s movies.

Another great book from Kate Stewart and I look forward to what’s to come!

“I’ve got you.”
“I’ve got you, too.”

ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review

The Heart

The Heart by Kate Stewart

4 stars!

If you have not read The Fall or The Mind, there will be spoilers for those books in this review.

I loved The Fall and The Heart by Kate Stewart, so when I saw she was writing another book in the series my mind was made up that I was reading it, no questions asked. I was a bit apprehensive about reading this one, because I cried reading both of the first two books, The Mind itself was just sobbing embarrassingly for hours. Luckily, I only ALMOST cried when reading this book but ONLY because I was in public and needed to keep my act together. If I had been in private, I would have cried.

“My life had started a long time ago and had begun to leave me behind.”

The Heart is the story of Jack and Rose (no not the ones from Titanic, but these two do have quite a love story). Rose had lost her fiancé Grant just before her wedding a few years back and she’s barely coping with it years later. Throwing herself into her work, Rose has surrounded herself in a comfortable way of life, and one where she doesn’t move on from Grant.

Jack comes in when Roses father hires him to work on the new treatment center Rose is building with her sister. There’s an instant attraction between the two of them, but Jack is looking for serious and Rose has no idea what she wants. But with the ghost of Grant around her at all times, can she let him go and move on? Or honor his memory instead?

“A majority of my grieving had to do with the fact that I had known a love so incredible, so unique, I was sure I’d never be given the same gift twice.”

Kate writes beautiful and emotional books, it’s the reason I love them and her as an author. This is such a heartfelt story and I think it will touch a lot of readers with what it has to say. For me, when I read a book, the character needs to change, they need to come out of the book different from where the book started, and Kate accomplished this tenfold. Rose was in a place where she didn’t realize she was existing, and not living. And at its heart, this book is about Rose coming back into the woman she can be and the life she was meant to live.

I really liked Jack as a hero, because he wasn’t a jerk, or an alpha hero. He was a good guy with his own insecurities and wants, and what he wanted was a place in Rose’s heart. I like that he was up front with what he wanted but knew it was also up to Rose to choose him. He knew she had walls and he wanted to be the one to break them down, but Rose had to break down some of the walls herself and respected that.

If you want to read a lovely romance story, I recommend this book and series to you. She’s a great writer and this was an engaging book. I cannot wait for you to read Rose and Jack’s story.

“You’re in my head, my thoughts, you’ve completely invaded me, whether you wanted to or not.”

ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review

The Mind

The Mind by Kate Stewart

5 lightning stars

“I’ve had enough years of doing the wrong shit and being with the wrong women. I took one look at you and a thousand memories we hadn’t made hit me in waves. I can’t explain it and it may seem fast to you, but to me, it’s as natural as taking my next breath.”

The Mind is a spinoff novella of The Fall, as well as being a prequel novella to the next book in the series. We met Rose and Grant in The Fall, and fell in love with them there. This book has their whole love story. I highly recommend reading The Fall before reading The Mind because they are connected fairly well.

When Grant saw Rose for the first time, it was love at first sight. He just had to convince Rose of that fact too. Due to sheer persistence and an undeniable connection, Grant and Rose forge a relationship unlike any the two of them have ever had.

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“Grant moved me in a way that he had taken complete care of both. My heart was heavy with love; my soul was filled with contentment.”

So if I am being completely honest here, I expected to enjoy this book but I didn’t plan on loving it as much as I did. Having read The Fall and knowing the result of Grant and Rose’s love story, I was a bit hesitant going into this one. But like I said despite my reservations I loved this book and couldn’t put it down until the very end.

So there is instalove in this book, not something I typically enjoy in my romance books but I kind of knew going in that there would be, so I was able to suspend my disbelief early on and enjoy. It also helped that Grant’s feelings were entirely believable based on his persistence and honesty with Rose. Also for a short story, instalove is kind of necessary because otherwise it wouldn’t come altogether. I loved that Rose on her end struggled with her intense feelings and their fast relationship. While she was initially attracted to Grant and could not deny their connection, she didn’t believe she could love someone so quickly and it took some convincing from Grant to bring her over. This is actually one of my favorite tropes in romance, where the guy is the one convincing the girl to be all in.

I will say this book completely broke my heart and had me SOBBING. The real ugly cry snot and all. I even knew what was coming and that almost made my heartbreak worse because I KNEW. So now that I’ve cried all of the water out of my body I am going to go and watch something very happy. I rate books on how they made me feel, and since this one had all of the feels, I grant it a 5 star read.

“I won’t ever give you a reason to want to walk away. I’ll love you the way you deserve to be loved, always. That’s my promise.”

ARC kindly provided by author in exchange for an honest review

Best Books of 2015

Best Books of 2015

2015 best books

Hello all! These are the books I read in 2015 that were my favorites. I read so many great books this year, it was hard to decide on just 10, so I included more and bunched some series together. Many of these were published in 2015, but I did not restrict the books by year, so essentially these are books I read in the year, not specifically ones published in 2015.

-Elements of Chemistry (Attraction, Heat, and Capture)

This is technically 3 books in 1 volume, but they are short so combined they amount to about 500+ pages, making 1 large volume. Angst galore, this is the series that convinced me that Penny Reid is my spirit animal.

My reviews:

Attraction 

Heat

Capture

-Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

This YA fantasy heist novel blew my mind and left me wanting more.

My review of Six of Crows

-A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

A YA fantasy take on Beauty and the Beast with Fae and humans. Enchanting!

My review

-Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas

One of my all time favorite series, this fourth installment made me feel all the feels and blew my mind! Can I have the next book please?

My review: Review to come soon….

-Breaking Him by RK Lilley

Super angsty romantic read with a slight cliffhanger, but I couldn’t put the dang book down!

My review

-Love Hacked by Penny Reid

Quirky romance between a psychologist and a computer hacker. Alex is one of my all time favorite book boyfriends!!!

My review

-Racing the Sun by Karina Halle

A beautiful romance between a young American girl and a dark brooding Italian man. Karina Halle swept me away with this book and I’ve been dying to go to Italy ever since.

My review

-Long Way Down by Krista & Becca Ritchie

The final book in the Addicted series, it details the relationship of Ryke Meadows and Daisy Calloway, and had me tearing up the entire time.

My review

-Corrupt by Penelope Douglas

A darker more intense book from this author, I couldn’t put this book down. Part mystery, part revenge novel, it’s the ultimate guilty pleasure read.

My review

-The Fall by Kate Stewart

Second chance romance with so much angst I thought my heart was going to fall out of my butt. Seriously, loved it. And you need to read it!

My review

-Fantasyland 1-3 by Kristen Ashley (Wildest Dreams, Golden Dynasty, and Fantastical)

fantasyland

Prooving that Kristen Ashley is a romantic genius at whatever genre she writes in, I devoured all 3 of these lengthy books in a matter of days. I can honestly say I would reread them again and again and never get sick of them.

My reviews:

Wildest Dreams

The Golden Dynasty

Fantastical

That’s all folks! Hopefully you love these books as much as I did, and that I convinced you to read at least one of them!

The Fall: Review and Blog Tour

The Fall Tour Banner

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The Fall by Kate Stewart

Review:

4.75 stars!

“You are the other half of me. Tell me how to fight for you, baby. Tell me what to do. I’ll do whatever you want. Don’t take my life away from me. Forgive me.”

Dean and Dallas were best friends in high school and then lovers in college. After a whirlwind romance for one year, their breakup ended in devastation for the both of them.

Now seven years later Dean has returned to Texas from New York to get Dallas back. But Dallas doesn’t trust Dean and she’ll do anything to protect herself from being hurt again.

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“You used to look at me that way. I’d give anything to have that look back. I want you with every single breath I take. Familiar or not, I want all of you.”

To say I loved this book would be an understatement. I binge read three of Kate Stewart’s books this week and can honestly say that this one is my favorite by her. Such a gut-wrenching romance that had me feeling like my heart was going to pop out of my chest like a jack-in-the-box. Calling all angst whores out there like me! This book is for you!!!

I love both main characters and I loved the romance between these two characters, every choice and action was believable. I didn’t always agree, but the drama wasn’t over the top and logic was understandable. The dual point of view helped the reader understand both characters and I was rooting for each one of them to get what they wanted.

Kate also broke my dang heart near the end of this book with some side characters, I was actually really upset about it. Hopefully more will come from that in the next book about Rose, sister of Dallas. Many of the side characters caught my heart and led to many feels, not just the main characters. And boy did the main characters bring on all of the feels.

I highly recommend to everyone who loves angst and second chance romance stories. Both are present and extremely well done.

“I loved you then. I love you now. I’ll love you tomorrow. And if you walk away from me, not one damn woman in the world will ever take your place. No one ever has.”

**Arc provided by author in exchange for an honest review**

Blog Tour

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21857392-the-fall?from_search=true&search_version=service

Dallas
He was the beginning of my heart . . . and the end of it.
I was only fifteen years old when he claimed it and twenty when he took it with him.
They say what is meant to be will find a way. But when you have changed to the point of no return, how can anything ever be the same?
Seven years later, Dean Martin waltzed back into my life in hopes of resuming what I had fought so hard to forget, but he was in for a wake-up call.
I was no longer the naïve woman he had left . . . and I was no longer his.
I met the love of my life and my soul mate when I was fifteen. I knew that; he knew that. He wanted that girl back. I wanted to forget she ever existed.

Dean
What I thought was my pre-destined path was very much an illusion. Living seven years with regret, I realized too late that I was broken, and that I only had myself to blame.
I thought love could wait . . . but it didn’t.
We’d had it all those years ago, and then I foolishly left it behind.
She was all that mattered. She was all there ever was.
There was no life without Dallas, no reason . . . except her.
No matter how hard she tried to convince me, I knew I had to once again make her mine, to make her remember . . . the fall.

 

Excerpt

It was three long years before I heard three words that would forever change me. I was walking across campus toward the Marshall Hall building when the voice sounded. “Dean, Dean Martin?” A smile was already on my lips as I looked in the direction of the voice. Dallas’s laugh was unmistakable as she walked toward me. What I wasn’t expecting was the mere sight of her would leave me scrambling to regain basic fucking motor function. My smile quickly faded as she flew at me in a hug. All the breath left my body as I inhaled her scent. I gripped her to me tightly as she laughed and hugged me back. When she pulled away, my arms were still securely around her. I knew I had to be grinning like an idiot as she beamed back at me.

“How the hell are you?” she asked, a little Texas twang in her voice.

“Better now,” I said, still refusing to let her out of my grasp.

We spent a little longer than we should in our embrace, neither of us willing to pull away from the other. In that instant, I felt the pain of missing her ease slightly. My chest tightened at the return of a familiar stir.

It was just that damned easy.

“Let me look at you. Damn …” My voice was hoarse as I let her go to take her in. She was wearing tight jeans, knee high, rider boots and a tight fitting red sweater. I took in every curve as I whistled slowly.

“I know.” She waggled her eyebrows up then down and did a little turn for the full effect. She was a far cry from the skinnier version I left. She had a small amount of curve on her hips and her long legs remained one of her best assets. This was no longer the tempting Lolita that I had left. This was the young woman I had always pictured but even more beautiful than I could have imagined.

“Still dressing like every day is a Sunday at church,” she said, poking fun of my clothes, as usual.

“I don’t hear anyone else complaining,” I pointed out, still overwhelmed with the sight of her in front of me. “And you are still a pain in the ass,” I noted as she laughed.

“You have no idea. So did you miss me, Dean?”

“You know the saying ‘Don’t know what you got till it’s gone?’ Well, I can’t stand most of the girls at this school,” I assured her.

“Well, don’t tell me the infamous Dean Martin has changed his ways,” she teased.

“No, I still sleep with them. I just run like hell after,” I chuckled. “Anyway, what about you?”

“What about me?” she asked her eyes meeting mine. I let them stray and sweep down her body slowly bringing them back to her. “Dean, you wouldn’t be checking me out, would you?”

“Yes, I absolutely fucking am,” I said pointedly, giving her pause. She gave me a wary glance as she looked around campus. She seemed more relaxed than when I had left her, more comfortable in her own skin. Her confidence radiated off her in waves. My mind drifted back to the kiss I had left her with as I studied the slow curve of a smile forming on her lips.

We quickly made up for lost time and spent the rest of the day stuck together, holding hands and laughing as I gave her a full tour of campus. I was on my last year and would be leaving for Columbia next fall and I was again a senior to her freshmen. I refused to dwell on that. I felt completely relaxed for the first time since I had left her three years ago.

We were inseparable our first few weeks of school as we stayed busy, getting reacquainted. When we were not in class, we spent our nights either on the phone, walking on campus, going to parties, or hanging out at my frat house. My friends seemed to like her right away, a little too much for my liking. I caught their hungry eyes on her and glared at them openly as they shot a game of pool at the table in what was supposed to be our dining room. The minute her back was turned, I was bombarded with the inevitable question of who she was to me.

There was no mistaking my straight answer to Casey, the newest member of my fraternity. “Don’t even fucking look at her,” I barked.

“Okay, bud, all right,” he said, backing away to grab the pool stick from Rob—another brother who was a senior—and eyed Dallas suspiciously. It wasn’t common practice for me to bring girls back to the house other than to my bedroom. I had fallen into a bad habit my first few years at school but had slacked since then, concentrating more on my grades.

New York was a whisper away, but Dallas…Dallas was here.

I watched her work the table as she made herself comfortable, shooting off her shit talk at my frat buddies, who happily obliged her. They were impressed, especially Casey.

Casey was notorious on campus, easily one of the biggest players. He had absolutely no good intentions when it came to the opposite sex and though I wasn’t one to preach, he had a rather tasteless way of discarding the affections of his women. He was doing his best to impress her and she seemed to notice, humoring him.

Rob was the next to ask, stepping up and handing me a beer. “What’s the deal?” He asked as he eyed Dallas’s perfect ass as she took a shot and made the eight ball, winning the game. She looked up at me with her knowing smile. She was so fucking beautiful. I cursed my stupidity in bringing her to the house.

“The deal is any woman I bring into this house is off limits,” I said through clenched teeth. Rob laughed as he eyed me. “Dude, that’s not exactly fair. I don’t think any of us would get anywhere that way,” he said loudly. I ignored him and grabbed Dallas’s hand.

“Nice game,” I said, giving her a wink and pulling her toward the door. The guys frowned as if I was taking away their shiny new toy.

“Bye,” Dallas said quickly as I pulled her out of the house.

“Oh, come on, Dean. You aren’t going to pull the same old shit you did in high school.” She raised a brow. I took a step toward her.

“No, this will be different. I promise.” Before she could question me, I swept her in my arms and hauled ass down the steps of the massive front porch of the house.

“What the hell are you doing?” She laughed as I ran like a lightning streak toward the quad. “Getting you somewhere safe. Couldn’t you smell it in there?” I said, running faster as she laughed.

“Smell what?” she asked, her voice choppy as I kept my legs moving.

“Your pregnancy,” I answered, slowing to a halt. She rolled her eyes as she jumped from my arms.

“They were just curious,” she said, giving me a pointed stare. “I’m sure you don’t bring girls home often to meet the parents, am I right?”

I smirked.

“Whore,” she said without affection. I pushed her down on the grass as she yelped out in protest, flailing her arms before giving in to the inevitable.

“You ass!” she said testily as she wiped grass from her sweater but stayed seated.

“Oh Dallas, always trying to bring out the angry Spaniard in me,” I teased as I joined her on the grass.

She chuckled. “Truth hurts.”

The night was surprisingly cool for early September in Texas. I looked over at her, memorizing the perfect outline of her face, the way her silky hair cascaded down her shoulders and swirled around her as the breeze lifted it. She smiled at me and the unmistakable jolt shot through me, the effect the same. This time, I didn’t fight it.

“It’s not like that anymore,” I said in an attempt to reassure her. I grabbed a stray hair away from her face and tucked it behind her ear. She sobered up a bit, her smile slowly fading.

“Not what I heard,” she said, hugging her knees to her chest, averting her eyes. She wasn’t being confrontational, and I knew that. “They don’t call you the Spanish slut this time,” she said with no humor in their voice.

“Oh yeah, what do they call me?” I said, nudging her, hoping to lighten the mood.

“Dean,” she said looking straight into my eyes. Fuck if I didn’t want to kiss her right at the most inappropriate moment. I didn’t want to aid in what she already probably thought of me. I had wanted to kiss her so many times in the past few weeks but had held back for this very reason.

“You do them a disservice, you know,” she said thoughtfully as she played with the blades of grass, not looking at me.

“What do you mean?” I asked, plucking a piece of grass between my fingers.

“Letting them think that’s all you are good for. They never get to know you. It’s sad.”

I laughed. “They objectify me?”

She looked at me seriously. “Yes, they do.” That wiped the smile off my face.

“Dallas, I told you a long time ago, I don’t care about that shit, never will.”

“No, I guess not,” she said, perking up with a smile I knew wasn’t genuine. “I mean you are the big man on campus again. And what the hell is up with that frat chair in there, anyway?”

“It’s my throne,” I said defensively.

She rolled her eyes. It grew darker as the lamp lights came on around us, our faces covered in shadows. We enjoyed a few minutes of silence before she spoke up.

“Tell me about Columbia,” she prodded. “You are so close,” she encouraged.

“I can’t wait,” I said honestly. “My parents took me to New York when I was ten. I just remember being excited the entire time. I loved the semi-organized chaos. The noise, the culture clash, it was palpable, you know. Even then at that age, I could feel it, and it was everywhere. At least that’s the way I remembered it. I made my decision then, I wanted to be there and Columbia was a big heap of icing on the cake. My father and I spent hours going over my game plan. He always loved the idea of Columbia, especially when I told him I wanted to be a doctor. All these years later, I haven’t changed my mind. I’ve been back a few times since to check out the campus, look at housing, I still love it. Have you been?”

I hadn’t realized she was watching me closely, a small smile on her lips. “No, my parents and I vacationed a lot, but mostly to Colorado and then California to see my aunt and uncle. We never really made it out east.”

“It’s incredible and nothing like it is here. It makes our corner of the world seem so small. There is so much potential bursting out of it. I think you’d love it.”

“Maybe…probably,” she said, lost in thought.

“Then again, you are a true Texan. So damn proud to be from this fucking state with no plans of ever leaving,” I teased. “Even your name suits you.”

Before she could attack me for that, I lifted her to her feet. “Come on, I’ll walk you home.”

“Are you going to do this every night?” she asked as she leaned in close and I played with the tips of her long hair as I trailed my fingers down her back, pulling her closer to me. “Maybe, if you want me to.”

“Hmmm, kind of a boyfriend type thing to do, isn’t it?” I avoided her question, leading with mine.

“Coming to my toga party tomorrow night?”

“Maybe,” she said, glancing my way with a smile.

“You should, Dallas.”

“Why is that?”

“’Cause I will be there,” I said, slowing to a stop at her dorm.

She turned to me playfully. “Oh, well, when you put it that way, meh…and change clothes would you, you look like a bible salesmen.” She hurried up the steps as she chuckled.

“Just come, okay? We can tilt a few beers back and I want to talk to you.”

“About what?” she asked as I admired her from the bottom of the steps. She had on a sweater dress that outlined her curves perfectly and tight black leggings that I dreamt of ripping off her all day.

“There’s just something I want to talk to you about.” She heard the hint of seriousness in my voice. “It’s important.”

“Okay, I’ll be there.”

 

Buy Links

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1OEjF3d

B&N: http://bit.ly/THEFALL_BN

Kobo: http://bit.ly/TheFall_Kobo

iBooks: http://bit.ly/TheFall_iTunes

 

About the Author

Kate Stewart, a native of Dallas, now resides in Charleston, S.C. She moved to the city three weeks after her first visit, dropping her career of 8 years, declaring the city her creative muse. Since her move in 2010, she has published two novels, the third coming July 2015. She lives with her husband of 8 years, Nick who is featured on the cover of the novel, TITAN. (Set to re-release some time in 2015.)

Her other novels include Room 212,  Never Me, and Loving the White Liar which are all available now.

http://www.katestewartwrites.com/

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Room 212

Room 212 by Kate Stewart

4.5 stars

“You know Laura Lynn, our God is a jealous God, you love something more than him he is bound to take it away.”

At twenty one Laura met the love of her life. After having broken up with her boyfriend and temporarily resting in a park, she’s hit in the face with a frisbee. Seth is at first turned off by Laura’s bitchiness, but when the two randomly meet again later that night, they see another side of each other and form a connection.

After months of dating despite their differences (Laura being a wild girl and a bit of a partier, Seth being more conservative and a hard worker) the two are in love and going strong. But Seth’s past continues to haunt their present relationship and the two find themselves at odds on where their life path leads them.

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“I’m a firm believer that if you want something, you have to make it happen. The world owes you nothing, but you can take your piece of it. All you have to do is work hard and claim it.”

This book was the perfect angst hit for all of you angst whores out there like me. I loved Laura and Seth’s story, I honestly could feel their love for each other, it was a very powerful romance. Seth and Laura worked well together despite their differences and worked hard on lowering their defenses around each other. I loved the first part of this book to about 70/75%, while the last 25% or so didn’t flow as well for my tastes.

Laura was my favorite part about this book, I love imperfect heroines and she felt like a real person to me. She didn’t want to spend her life spewing out bullshit so she did what she wanted. Small warning, Laura did some recreational drug use but it honestly didn’t bother me all too much because well, that’s life and people use drugs. Reality of our world and all.

The only thing preventing me from giving this book a full 5 stars is the whole not enough groveling thing I’m always getting on about. Seth fucks up big time in my opinion and he honestly didn’t grovel as much as I’d like. I also didn’t understand a lot of his reasoning and decisions for the things he did, maybe because I didn’t have his perspective. Laura I understood a lot more, but probably because I was able to see her side of things.

I read Loving the White Liar before this book and while I enjoyed that one, this one left a mark on my heart. For those of my friends who love angsty romance reads, I highly recommend this book. I think fans of RK Lilley will enjoy Kate Stewart’s work very much.

“So there’s no hero for you?
“I am my own hero.”

Loving the White Liar

Loving the White Liar by Kate Stewart

3.5 stars!

“The perfect marriage is just two imperfect people who refuse to give up on each other.”

At age twenty seven Hilary met the love of her life by the pool in her apartment building. Hilary and Jayden fell fast and while she knew things weren’t perfect, she knew Jayden was the one for her. Jayden has ADHD and at first it didn’t seem like a problem, until it began to affect their relationship. Hilary tries to understand Jayden’s struggles but often cannot break through his walls. Soon Hilary will have to see if she can live with Jayden and his white lies, or without.

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“I feel like I’m going crazy, I can’t decide whether to love you or hate you from one minute to the next.”
“I told you loving me wasn’t easy, Hil.”
“It’s so easy to love you, Jayden. Too easy. It’s only hard when you won’t let me.”
“You are it for me. You need to know that. I won’t be the perfect man, ever. I won’t even come close, but for you I’ll fight hard to be.”

Don’t let the 3.5 star rating deceive you, I really did enjoy this book. The addition of the ADHD aspect of the story is what makes this book unique, as many people are not aware of the condition and the everyday struggles of those who have it. It was my favorite part of the book. I also really liked the character of Jayden, he fought hard to be where he was at without his medication and he loved fiercely, and without apology.

What wasn’t really for me was the instalove aspect of the story. I know it needed to be done in order to focus on the relationship struggles, but this romance happened a little too fast for me. And without the ADHD it would be a story we’ve all read before. Sometimes the writing didn’t flow.

I would definitely recommend this to my friends who love unconventional heroes and do not mind a bit of instalove. I can say I’ve read Room 212 by this author and LOVED it so I highly recommend that one.

“This is forever,” he whispered. “No matter how bad we beat the shit out of it. You and me, we are always.”