Oct 30, 2013

(Autumn Taboo) Interview with S. Walden, Author of Good + Giveaway

       Yesterday we hosted cover reveal for second (and final) book in Too Good series by S. Walden - Better and you had an opportunity to read our review for first book, Good. We are excited because S. Walden agreed to answer few of our question and she is giving away 2 e-copies of Good.

Find the author:
Buy the books:
Good:  Amazon
Better:  Comming out on November 19th

WTHB: Thank you for being with us today We just hope that we won't scare you away with our questions. Let's start with a easy one. When did you realize that you wanted to be a writer?

      I started seriously writing at fourteen, but I didn’t know that I wanted to do it professionally until the financial crisis. I had just completed my Masters and couldn’t find a teaching job anywhere, so I created a job for myself. Best decision I ever made because I’ve discovered that it’s the best job I’ve ever had. Is it hard? Yes. Time-consuming? Uh, yeah. There’s no such thing as weekends in my world anymore. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything because I love what I do.

WTHB:  Was it hard to publish your first novel? Who was the first person that read it?

      I published my debut novel, Hoodie, through Amazon’s self-publishing platform. So no, it wasn’t hard to actually publish it once I figured out how to format correctly. The hard part was learning how to market successfully. I’d never heard of book blogs. I had no idea how to get my name out there. I literally just pressed PUBLISH and thought that was all it took! I’ve come a long way since then—learning all about the book world, making connections with really great bloggers, discovering new ways to promote my work. Branding myself. Spreading the word. It really is true that an indie author spends more time promoting and marketing than writing. I always say that writing the novel is the easy part.

WTHB: I believe that books we read can tell a lot about who we are, especially those we mark as favorites. What are your favorite books? How much the fact that you used to work as teacher influence your choices?

      Well, nothing about being a former teacher has influenced my writing other than I want people to feel something when they read my work. Literature should influence in some way, though I leave that up to the reader how she wants to be affected by the words on the page. Two of my favorite books are Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand and Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya. I think you’re right: the books we love are definitely a reflection of who we are. I love Atlas Shrugged because I believe in personal freedom, accountability, and choice. I love Bless Me, Ultima because it taught me that the spiritual framework we’re given as children may not suffice when we grow older. And that’s okay. Reworking a foundation isn’t necessarily a bad thing. People should constantly grow and change, after all. That same theme runs throughout Good.

WTHB: Speaking about being a teacher, I have to ask you something. You wrote a book about relationship between student and teacher. I had  hard time wrapping my mind about some of the things Mark did because I couldn't just forget what I do for a living and my work ethic. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed reading Good, I liked it, but all the time I wasn't able to get my consciousness to shut up. What made you write story like that?

      I’m glad you couldn’t get your conscience to shut up. If it did, then I wouldn’t have done my job. There’s no way the book couldn’t bother you. It’s meant to. Or at the very least, it’s meant to encourage some sort of dilemma on your end—moral, ethical, social. I honestly didn’t think about the fact that I was a former teacher when I wrote this story. Didn’t come into the equation. I was much more focused on telling a realistic story about a high school girl and her teacher who find real love. It’s not perfect by any means. It’s messy, embarrassing, awkward, weird at times. That’s realistic. And it’s also true.

WTHB: How did your ex-colleagues react when they saw what it's about? Did they read it? It probably wasn't easy deciding to publish a book about such a taboo topic.

      I have one ex-colleague I still talk to, and I don’t think she’s gotten to Good yet. She just finished Going Under. I imagine her reaction would be the standard, “I don’t know about this. I like it, but I don’t. I’m rooting for them, but I don’t want to. I’m conflicted and confused.” Well, I supposed that’s how I’d hope she’d feel.  As far as deciding to publish a taboo story, I thought this one was much “safer” than Going Under. I mistakenly thought that because Georgia’s age of consent law is 16 and over, there’d be no issue with the age difference. I couldn’t have been more wrong! Did it make me question publication after the fact? Not really. If the story makes a reader uncomfortable or even enraged, she is perfectly within her right not to read it.

WTHB: One of the things I've noticed is that religion plays a big, important part in Good. Was it something that is part of your own upbringing or you used it for different reasons?

      Yes. I grew up with a Christian framework that didn’t seem to jive as I grew older. It was difficult for me as a teenager to reconcile my personal relationship with God to the expectations of church culture. It wasn’t until my mid-20s when I finally decided to ignore that culture in favor of nurturing my own spirituality. Think Anne Rice divorcing herself from Christianity. Did she divorce herself from Christ? Absolutely not. She divorced herself from the church.

      I wanted Cadence to grow up with a Christian framework because I wanted her to struggle spiritually as she embarks on her illicit affair with Mark. I wanted to raise questions like “What does it mean to be good?” “How does one show goodness?” “Are you still good if you make mistakes?” because I feel like sometimes fundamental Christian viewpoints are too black and white. I grew up with black and white, but I don’t believe for a second that the human condition is black and white. We’re too complicated for that. So yeah, religion is important in this story because it raises important questions for the heroine that she must grapple with. Religion isn’t meant to teach the reader a damn thing. It’s meant to grow the main character.

WTHB: I saw on Goodreads that a lot of readers labeled it as Young Adult novel? Was your intention to write YA?

      It really isn’t Young Adult fiction. It’s New Adult fiction. YA is for a younger crowd. NA is for an older one. I don’t really care how people label my work, though. I hate genres. I wish I could be genre-less, but that’s impossible if I want to market my books. I do think it can become confusing, though, to see Good labeled YA simply because of the targeted age group for that genre. That’s why, as much as I despise them, I include disclaimers at the end of my book descriptions. No room for misunderstanding when you let your readers know what to expect from your books in terms of sex, drugs, language, and violence.

WTHB: How do you manage to deal  with people who think how authors such as yourself are using taboo topics just to get bigger sales? I know that your other two novels are far from being light reads too.

      Well, I’ll start by saying that I don’t think taboo stories generate more sales, and I certainly don’t write the stories I do because I think they’ll make me mad money. I don’t think many readers feel that way either. I never set out to be this indie writer who pens “controversial” stories. It just happened that way with every book I published because I was writing stories that didn’t quite fit the mold. There’s kind of a formula for New Adult fiction right now, and my stories don’t fit that formula. So what seems so taboo is just a story that hasn’t been done, or hasn’t been done often. You’re right, though: my stories aren’t light reads. Just the nature of what I enjoy writing.

WTHB: Do you have idea what will you write about next?

      Yes, but I’m refraining from sharing quite yet. All I can say is that it’ll be my last NA story set in high school for a good, long while. And it’ll be a stand-alone.

WTHB: Any words of wisdom for the end?:)

      Words of wisdom, huh? Hmmm. I guess to readers I’d encourage you to trust the story. Happily-ever-afters have their place, but feel-good literature is easily forgotten. Take a chance on stories that aren’t contrived. Even if the ending makes you cry.


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Waiting on Wednesday (#9)

Waiting on Wednesday is weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. Goal is to connect bloggers and readers trough their most anticipated upcoming reads. So, here is what we on Way Too Hot Books can not wait to grab.

Mud Vein by Tarryn Fisher


Book summary:
"When reclusive novelist Senna Richards wakes up on her thirty-third birthday, everything has changed. Caged behind an electrical fence, locked in a house in the middle of the snow, Senna is left to decode the clues to find out why she was taken. If she wants her freedom, she has to take a close look at her past. But, her past has a heartbeat…and her kidnapper is nowhere to be found. With her survival hanging by a thread, Senna soon realizes this is a game. A dangerous one. Only the truth can set her free."

Expected publication date: December 2013.

 Do we even have to explain why we want to read this? It's Taryyn Fisher!!! Queen of drama and mean girls!
What do you think - will Mud Vein be better then Love Me With Lies series? 
Tell us what is on your wishlist this Wednesday, leave us links so we can stalk you back and
follow Way Too Hot Books!

Also, you can enter giveways - Preservation series by Rachael Wade and 3 copies of Good by S. Walden

Oct 29, 2013

Good (Too Good, #1) by S. Walden (Autumn Taboo Review)

Buy the book:
Published: August 26th, 2013.
Penny Press Publishing

My rating: 4 stars

 Book summary:

"Cadence Miller is a good girl. She just happens to make one terrible mistake her junior year in high school which costs her ten months in juvenile detention. Now a senior, she’s lost everything: her best friend, the trust of her parents, driving privileges, Internet access. It’s a lonely existence.

But there is one bright spot: Mark Connelly, her very cute, very off-limits 28-year-old calculus teacher. She falls hard for him—a ridiculous schoolgirl crush headed nowhere. She can’t help it. He’s the only good thing at Crestview High. She doesn’t expect him to reciprocate her feelings. How inappropriate, right? But he does. And he shows her.

And that’s when her life goes from bad to good."

      I have no idea how to start this review. Was Good what I expected? Did I like it? Hate it? Was I completely turned on after reading steamy scenes? And then disgusted by myself because he is her teacher? Not to mention ten years older? Is this a story about abuse? Could it be considered as darker romance novel? What was the point with all religious aspects of the story? Well, one thing is sure - this is taboo read.

      You shall have no sex before you're married. I have to start with a thing that bothered me the most. Too much religion talk. Cadence is seventeen years old girl (almost eighteen) who lives in extremely religious community - everything she does must be approved by her "Church". Like any teenager, Cadence tests boundaries of her world which leads her to some stupid choices and ten months in juvenile detention. Now she is "spawn of Satan" and there is no redemption for her mistakes - her parents, her ex-best friend Grace, her youth group at church and whole damn school are picking on her. It doesn't matter that she was a poster child for good girl before incident that got her in trouble.
With all due respect, I do not like religious ideology and that's why I'm hesitant to pick up books that promote that kind of view point.I probably wouldn't have read Good if I knew. Sad thing is that it would be a bad move because it turned out to be a good novel no matter my initial pouting when I realized what it's about. S. Walden is actually dealing with all the things community like that teach you and points out that life is not that simple and that even there you can find lot of things that "good Christians" shouldn't be doing. Now, this doesn't mean that she rejects her beliefs completely - she just talks about things that should be changed and aren't very logical.

      Abuse or romance? Or maybe both? I have to set few things straight. I've noticed that lot of books  about student/teacher affairs have one common thing in plot - they meet and hook up before they realize that they shouldn't have. He always thinks that she is older and she always thinks that he is younger or college student. Then you sit and wonder how the hell could he think that? Wasn't it obvious that she is still in high school? I have a question for you? Have you ever teach in high school, especially older kids? I have. I had honor to meet smart and eloquent girls for whom I believe have a really bright future and will make great lawyers, doctors, journalists or even teachers. And they are drop dead gorgeous. Stunning. Beautiful. I am so proud of every single one of them. Now, if I saw them out side of school hallways and classrooms, I would never guess that they are seventeen, eighteen years old. (Unless, of course, you get to talk with them about school.) So, it could happen.
Now, about teachers. Have you ever saw one of your younger teachers on Saturday night? Having fun with his/hers friends, wearing completely different clothes, smiling, drinking? Having fun? Not looking like that gloomy person that talks about responsibility or how all class will fail the next test if they don't start to study soon? We don't tend to think about our teachers as real persons that have a life outside their classrooms. Someone who has 28 years is still young and in some aspects not so different from his or her students. So, it could happen.

      Good has a different approach - Cadence and Mark meet before, but they saw each other just for a short time and they exchanged few words. Nothing bad or scandalous. Everything happens slowly and you get to see everything behind sexy scenes and "excitement of forbidden romance" (that is basically what most of the books are about). S. Walden had done good job with describing their interaction - it is believable, because you catch on the age difference between them, how naive Cadence still is no matter her smarts and wit, Marc is older, more experienced and sometimes you get the feeling like he's the "predator" in the whole situation. Everywhere Cadence turns, there he is. But she is not stupid girl and she confronts him several times asking him if he's using her. This is not a story that talks just about forbidden lovers fantasy - it deals with consequences and social aspects (partially). I wouldn't label this book as fluffy romance - at times it was like I was reading a story about mental abuse. Maybe he loves her, but I can not justify a lot of his actions. They just felt wrong.

       Is this something you should let your teenage daughter to read? In my opinion, Good by S. Walden is not young adult novel no matter the fact that narrator of the story is high school student. Just like Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma, this book deals with very sensitive subject that needs a more serious reading and not just teen swooning over star crossed lovers. But when you say: "You are forbidden to read/do this!" it's more likely that they would do the exact thing you told them not to, so it's probably more wiser to talk with your kids openly and clear some things out from the beginning. Also, this book can be described as erotic romance - there are a lot of sex scenes and maybe you wouldn't be comfortable with your sixteen year old daughter reading some of them.

      How does it make me feel? One of the things that define us as persons is what we do for living. When you are young, you think how you'll never be like grown ups in your life, but that is something that happens and you don't even notice it. You grow up and start to think trough about everything that you do or say. That is why I can't forget my job while I read this novel. If I had read this book ten, eight years ago, I would be all heartbroken and cheering for Cadence and Mark. But that is not the case. I can not ignore my work ethic and say that whole situation is okay because they are in love. I understand circumstances that lead to everything, but I still think that Mark as teacher abused his position. Don't get me wrong - I very much enjoyed reading this book, but I guess that I grow up and I can't simply swoon over forbidden romance without thinking about what is right thing to do.

      Will you read it? I know that this was one of my longer posts, that most of you gave up reading it after first half, but I had to clarify few things. So, have you read Good? Did you like it? Are planning to read it? And are okay with teens reading stories like this?

      Come back again tomorrow... because S. Walden agreed to answer few of my questions, but also she will be giving away 2 e-copies of Good. Also, earlier today we posted cover reveal for Better - you can also get ARC copy of the sequel. On Saturday S. Walden is talking about student/teacher topic in books. Do not miss it! 


(Cover Reveal) Better (Too Good, #2) by S. Walden

Title: Better (Too Good #2)
Author: S. Walden
Expected Release: November 19, 2013

Hosted by: Romance Addict Book Blog


"Their relationship has been exposed, and now their lives are changed forever.

For Cadence Miller, the fast track to adulthood proves intimidating and frustrating. She’s a little girl lost—abandoned by her parents and uncertain of her future. She doesn’t think she “fits” anywhere. She’s eighteen. She wants to be older. And the result is both comical and heartbreaking.

Mark Connelly will do anything to provide Cadence a stable, loving home—to be her protector. But he’s just as broken and lost, and his heart won’t let go of his past so easily. He knows he must share his secret with Cadence. And he hopes his revelation won't tear them apart. He hopes it will draw them closer, and make their love better."

Good by S. Walden

Good by S. Walden is current on is currently on sale for .99¢ on Amazon for a LIMITED TIME to help celebrate the release of Better!

About author
S. Walden used to teach English before making the best decision of her life by becoming a full-time writer. She lives in Georgia with her very supportive husband who prefers physics textbooks over fiction and has a difficult time understanding why her characters must have personality flaws. She is wary of small children, so she has a Westie instead. Her dreams include raising chickens and owning and operating a beachside inn on the Gulf Coast (chickens included). When she's not writing, she's thinking about it.

She loves her fans and loves to hear from them. Email her at swaldenauthor@hotmail.com and follow her blog at http://swaldenauthor.blogspot.com where you can get up-to-date information on her current projects.

Website Blog Facebook Twitter Goodreads

Better Teaser

She made sure to look as inconspicuous as possible for her first day of classes: jean shorts, tank top, flip flops. She kept her hair down but pulled it off her face with a headband. She wore a tad bit of makeup. Nothing showy, but she thought first day classes warranted mascara and lip gloss, at the least.

She slid into a seat in the row closest to the windows. She didn’t bother to look for Michael. Or save him a seat. She still wasn’t sure about that guy. She felt guilty for not telling Mark about Michael’s kissing comment. She wanted a friend, but she was unsure if he was a good one. She scanned the room for somebody better. She needed a girlfriend. And there was one sitting directly behind her.

“Hi,” Cadence said tentatively.

“Hi,” the girl replied.

Cadence wasn’t sure what else to say. Neither was the girl. That was until she recognized Cadence.

“You went to Crestview High.”

Cadence’s face fell. “Yeah.”

“My friend went there. She graduated with you.”

Cadence nodded.

The girl leaned in and whispered, “Did you really have an affair with your math teacher?”


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(Cover Reveal) Fighting Redemption by Kate McCarthy

Title – Fighting Redemption
Author – Kate McCarthy
Genre – Contemporary Romance
Expected Release Date – December 2, 2013

"Ryan Kendall is broken. He understands pain. He knows the hand of violence and the ache of loss. He knows what it means to fail those who need you. Being broken doesn’t stop him wanting the one thing he can’t have; Finlay Tanner. Her smile is sweet and her future bright. She’s the girl he grew up with, the girl he loves, the girl he protects from the world, and from himself.
At nineteen, Ryan leaves to join the Australian Army. After years of training he becomes an elite SAS soldier and deploys to the Afghanistan war. His patrol undertakes the most dangerous missions a soldier can face. But no matter how far he runs, or how hard he fights, his need for Finlay won’t let go.

Returning home after six years, one look is all it takes to know he can’t live without her. But sometimes love isn’t enough to heal what hurts. Sometimes people like him can’t be fixed, and sometimes people like Finlay deserve more than what’s left.

This is a story about war and the cost of sacrifice. Where bonds are formed, and friendships found. Where those who are strong, fall hard. Where love is let go, heartache is born, and heroes are made. Where one man learns that the hardest fight of all, is the fight to save himself."



Later that morning after their workout and shower, Jake fell asleep on the couch. Feeling at a loss with nothing but time on his hands, Ryan wandered down the hall towards Fin’s room. She was sitting at a little study nook in the corner, laptop open with one foot resting on her chair. She was wearing a tank top and a little pair of shorts. Leaning up against the doorframe, he couldn’t tear his eyes away from those long, delectable legs.
As though sensing his presence, she turned in her chair. He forced his eyes upwards, catching a sexy flush fill her cheeks at his blatant perusal.
“Morning, Ryan.” She took off her black framed reading glasses and tossed them on the desk.
“Morning, Fin,” he replied.
Against his better judgement, Ryan pushed away from the door and walked farther into the room. Fin hadn’t changed at all and neither had his desire for her. His heart kicked over when she met his eyes. He knew everything he was feeling right now was written all over him, but he couldn’t seem to shut it off.
Her eyelids fluttered closed and she whispered, “Why now?”
Ryan took a deep breath. “I don’t know,” he replied honestly.
He shouldn’t still be feeling this way after so many years. Why was he doing this to her, and to himself? It was better for everyone if he stayed away like he was supposed to.
“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have come. I’ll go stay at the barracks.” He turned to leave.
“Ryan!” she called out. Scrambling out of the chair, she grabbed his arm as he was halfway out the door.
“Fin,” he warned, looking down at her hand pointedly.
She took a step closer and he breathed her in, her scent like jasmine on a hot summer’s day. He was surprised when he looked into her eyes and saw anger burning hotly in their depths.
“Six years, Ryan. Do you know how hurt I was, each day passing by and getting nothing—not even a note or an email? I didn’t just lose you. I lost my brother too. Both of you left me, and I was okay with that. I understood that this was what you needed to do, so I moved on. I built a life that doesn’t include you. That was what I had to do.” She paused and raised a shaky hand to cup his cheek. “I’d have given you my entire heart if you’d only asked, but it’s not yours now. It’s not yours.”
Ryan closed his eyes, agony for losing what was never his rose in his chest until he felt strangled by it. He placed his hand over hers, holding it there until she tugged it away.
“You’re right,” Fin told him. “You should stay on the barracks … but I don’t want you to. Damn you, Ryan,” she whispered fiercely. “I don’t want you to.”
Ryan used his bulk to crowd her against the wall until there was no room for her to move. Leaning one hand against the wall, he grabbed her hip with the other. Her breathing rose rapidly and he leaned in, ducking his head until their mouths hovered a mere breath apart.
“Why can’t I force myself to leave?” He rested his forehead against hers and closed his eyes. “I hurt too. For six years I fought every day not to think of you, and I lost, because every day you were all I could see. You were the best thing in my life—so sweet and innocent, and so goddamn tempting.” His hand strayed from her hip and slid down to grip her ass. He swallowed the groan. “I stayed away so you could move on.”

Prizes – Five (5) ARCs of FIGHTING REDEMPTION & Five (5) $5 Amazon Gift Cards

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Kate McCarthy grew up in a small town outside of Port Macquarie, Australia. Raised in a house just a short walk to the beach, Kate enjoyed the peaceful, relaxed atmosphere and friendships that come from being raised in a friendly, small town area.
She now resides in Brisbane, Australia, a city in the state of Queensland where she works as an accountant, along with a sideline wedding cake business and her writing.
She is married with two children, has two dogs and house in the suburbs, and a pile of friends and family dotted all over the country that help keep her sane.
When she’s not busy running after naughty kids, filthy dogs, crunching numbers, piping buttercream and writing books, you can find her curled up in bed in the early hours of the morning reading new books and re-reading old favourites. Her favourite books are the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J.R. Ward in which she longs to eventually join the brotherhood and change her name to Phierce Mutha.



Oct 28, 2013

(Book Blitz) Impossibly Love by Shane Morgan

Release date: October 23, 2013
Series: Impossibly #1
Publisher: TSW Books

"All Moya Douglas wants to do is study hard, maintain her scholarship, and make her mother proud while attending college. She doesn't have time for a boyfriend or going on dates arranged by her best friend. Moya doesn't believe in love. And she has no intention of ever finding it.

Branden McCarthy is determined to change her views.
A selfless romantic who's had his heart broken in the past, Branden is fascinated with Moya's personality and hopes to develop something real with her—a connection so strong it'll open her heart. But just when things start to work between the two, Branden’s secret threatens to get in the way.

Will Moya finally do the impossible and give love a chance with Branden, or will fear keep them apart?"


Shane Morgan is a lover of "interesting" books. Her imagination is always running wild so it's best to collect and organize them into separate stories.

Shane's love for writing started the moment she picked up a Nancy Drew book. At a young age, she began writing short stories, delving into a variety of genres: from comedy and drama, to horror and contemporary romance. Shane's quite intrigued by the otherworldly or things otherwise deemed "impossible." Well, in her opinion, people never really grow up, do they?

                            shanemorganwrites.wordpress.com | twitter.com/itchingforbooks


The first kiss – Branden’s POV

"Moya’s eyes widened when I spun her around to face me. It was obvious what I was about to do and I knew very well she wouldn’t let it happen without a fight. Her attempts at being freed were futile as my hold increased the more she squirmed in my arms.
    “Let go!” she demanded.
    I blew hard, eager to drown myself in the sweetness of her lips. Dismissing her protest—and the little voice at the back of my head telling me not to—I shoved my mouth to hers and kissed her hungrily.
    Moya lifted her hands to my chest and pushed tentatively, and just as fast they began to lower. I knew she couldn’t resist the deep passion evoking between us. Finally, she yielded, and I wrapped my arms even tighter around her as Moya parted her lips and allowed me to enter.
    We groaned as our tongues collided, touching each other wildly as if the kiss was not only our first but our last. Moya placed her hands on my lower back, touching me sensually with her fingertips as she worked her way up my spine. She caressed the back of my neck, and then combed her fingers seductively through my hair.   
    By the time the kiss ended, we were both panting, trying to breathe steadily.
    Moya wobbled as she backed away. “I have to get to class,” she whispered shakily as if under a trance.
    I released her with regret and watched as Moya turned and started up the path, staggering along the way.
    Afterwards, I dragged my thumb lightly along my lips, eyes fastened on Moya as she walked away. I could still feel the heat of her skin on mine, giving light to a fire of pleasure that threatened to make my hands shake in memory of her taste.
    Motivated by the promise of her presence, I walked up the path as well, following behind the girl I was indisputably falling hard for and fast."


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Oct 27, 2013

Drowning Instinct by Ilsa J. Bick

Buy The Book:

Author's Page:

Contemporary/ Realistic Fiction


There are stories where the girl gets her prince, and they live happily ever after. (This is not one of those stories.)

Jenna Lord’s first sixteen years were not exactly a fairytale. Her father is a controlling psycho and her mother is a drunk. She used to count on her older brother—until he shipped off to Afghanistan. And then, of course, there was the time she almost died in a fire. 

There are stories where the monster gets the girl, and we all shed tears for his innocent victim. (This is not one of those stories either.)

Mitch Anderson is many things: A dedicated teacher and coach. A caring husband. A man with a certain... magnetism. 

And there are stories where it’s hard to be sure who’s a prince and who’s a monster, who is a victim and who should live happily ever after. (These are the most interesting stories of all.)

Drowning Instinct is a novel of pain, deception, desperation, and love against the odds—and the rules.



This book just blew me away!

This book has stolen my attention right from its very first line.
It´s stunning, scary, unpredictable and beautiful. 
This book is a definite MUST HAVE!

An older man and a teenage girl. Bittersweet romance. Your first thought must be Lolita? High school teacher and troubled student. Sounds like a recipe for disaster or at least some jail time. But, although situations like this would ordinarily cause me to cringe because I´m a school teacher, I actually felt... hope for these two tragically broken people... This is a taboo romance story with student-teacher relationship in which there are no stereotypical predators or victims. These people are damaged, but are they monsters in this book? No, they just made some bad decisions and this sure is their complicated love story. Monsters are some other characters who ruined their lives in the start. 

The story is told in Jenna's voice as she "confesses" the truth of an incident into a policeman's tape recorder. Her family is dysfunctional (Psycho dad/cheater, alchocolic mother, grandfather- pedophile, a brother away at war...) and she finds escape in delusions and pain (selfharm). She is a cutter and she spend some time in Psycho ward. 
Then she moves to a new school and meets Mr. Anderson. He becomes the only one who sees her and brings her to the truth, but he is just as broken as she is...

" I´d never heard a man cry before, Bob, but...it´s awful. (...) I think some man aren´t used to it and don´t know what to do with all that feeling. Their emotions are hexane ignited in their chests and rips them apart, and then they feel like they´re going to die-just as something was dying, at that moment in Mitch." 

 Two of them pull strength from each other's tragedies... but, at the same time, they destroy each other and themselves. 

“They call it the drowning instinct. It´s when drowning doesn´t look like drowning. In real life, if the water´s very cold, a person can´t help but gasp. It´s reflex. The thing is as soon as water hits your lungs, your throat closes off, even it the water´s warm. Your body´s trying to protect itself, and the reality is that a lot more people suffocate than truly drown. Regardless, to people on land, especially when you´re really close to the end, you don´t look like you´re in trouble. You don´t scream, but that´s because you can ´t, and you don´t wave your arms either or expend a lot of energy flailing. You´re just there. So people don´t notice that you´re drowning.

That´s me. I think I´ve been drowning all this time and doing it so quietly, even I didn´t know it.” 

My favorite part is the ending:

"You probably want me to regret Mitch. You want me to see that he lied, was some kind of predator; that I´m the victim, like you said. But Mitch was broken, too, in his way and just as much a hostage to his past and his mistakes. Maybe by trying to fix me, he was also healing himself in the only way he knew how.
Oh, I can just hear you now. You and every therapist who ever lived will say that I´m rationalizing, that I´ve identified with a monster, just like those kids do who are kidnapped and live in a cage for twenty years. You´ll want to see me as damaged somehow, and then you´ll try to cure me. Well, I got news for you, Bobby-o.
Cured is just synonym for coming around to your way of thinking.
Cured is the word you use when I finally agree.
But here´s the problem with that, Bobby-o. You and the therapists can yammer until you´re blue in the face, but I just can´t agree with you and probably never will.
Because Mitch gave me love. He handed me back my life and that doesn´t make me a victim." 
Ilsa J. Bick has a way with words. This is possibly one of the most emotionally intense books I have ever read. This story has a bittersweet romance and a plot that leads you on an emotional roller coaster.

I recommend it to anyone who wants to read something that is neither black nor white, but just like the real life, very very grey.

Until next time,
stay naughty...

Oct 25, 2013

Tear You Apart by Megan Hart

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Author's Page:

Contemporary Romance

Summary on Goodreads:

Their passion will consume everything and everyone in its path.

I'm on a train.

I don't know which stop I got on at; I only know the train is going fast and the world outside becomes a blur. I should get off, but I don't. The universe is playing a cosmic joke on me. Here I had my life—a good life with everything a woman could want—and suddenly, there is something more I didn't know I could have. A chance for me to be satisfied and content and maybe even on occasion deliriously, amazingly, exuberantly fulfilled.

So this is where I am, on a train that's out of control, and I am not just a passenger. I'm the one shoveling the furnace full of coal to keep it going fast and faster.

If I could make myself believe it all happened by chance and I couldn't help it, that I've been swept away, that it's not my fault, that it's fate...would that be easier? The truth is, I didn't know I was looking for this until I found Will, but I must've been, all this time. And now it is not random, it is not fate, it is not being swept away.

This is my choice. And I don't know how to stop.
Or even if I want to.

***BUDDY REVIEW by Purple & Beatrix***

PurpleBook's thoughts:

“Love is always real, even when it doesn’t last.” 

As all of you are probably more than aware of by now- I'm a masochist reader- meaning I have this "sick perversion" for deeply emotional & tear-your-heart-apart type of stories and Megan Hart is my Queen. Being a masochist reader can be very lonely sometimes, because I know that people usually prefer more cheerful and & fairy-tale-alike stories, so I'm really glad that our newest blog member Beatrix shares the same "perversion" like I do :). After I read Tear You Apart I was set on a mission to make her read smth by my favorite masochist Queen with whose work she wasn't familiar until this book- I know, shame on her ;). 

I was so happy when she decided to give M. Hart and this book a chance and started reading it right away...and then came the atypical silence- no word from Beatrix for hours which made me start worrying that she might hate the book and doubt my decision of recommending it to her, because as a reader she's far from easy to impress and when she doesn't like smth she isn't afraid at all to say it. Fortunately, in the end, my worries were unnecessary.

But enough about us, let us introduce you to this engrossing, emotional & heart-wrenching story.

“The word love has always tasted like the scent of fresh ink and soft paper to me. Like a newly written poem.” 

Megan Hart writes the type of stories that IMO you'll either love or hate. It's like- either you get it and get compelled by the story & its characters page by page or you get it, but just don't care. I can understand why there are so many mixed reviews about this book, because just  like every other book by M. Hart, this one too dealt with some heavy issues, this time: adultery. It's a very sensitive subject and I usually avoid books with similar themes, and if this book wasn't written by this particular author, I would have probably never been brave or eager enough to read it, but M. Hart has a way to tell you a story in a way that you can process it from every corner, both ugly & good, and in the end- it's up to you to decide if this is just another book about a woman having affair or there's more to the story than just that and before you already decide not to read it, because of this particular issue, I ask you to be open-minded and to give it a chance, because you might be surprised.

“Jealousy smells like the water in the bottom of a flower vase after the flowers have died.” 

For me, there was so much more to this story than the cheating part, especially after getting to know the main character Elisabeth and getting a peek of her everyday life. It's not easy to be a woman. Women have many roles in life- we are sisters, daughters, wives, mothers etc. and it's expected from us to excel in every role, but above all we are also human beings with needs, desires and expectations of our own, and sometimes it's hard to decide which of these roles should come first without losing ourselves in the process. That's why I could sympathize with Elisabeth. She was a very interesting character. She sees and feels everything around her through smell and taste and it was amazing to see the world through her "special sight."  This is one of those don't judge me, if you don't know me stories. The ending, and that last quote were IMO so right. They made me fall with the story even more and I wouldn't change a thing about it. What else to say than- bow to The Queen!!!

“...This is the truth. I have been in love. I have been in lust. I’ve made good choices and bad ones, I have been smart and I’ve been stupid. But I have never in my life felt the way I do now...” 

5/5 stars

Beatrix' thoughts:

First I'd like to thank to my dear Purple  for recommending this book to me, yeah it's true, I haven't read Megan Hart before, and I'm deeply ashamed haha, but that's definitely gonna change after now.
The type of books I enjoy are the raw and emotional ones, and this one falls into that category, as I've said in my review, I liked the writing style the most, how the ordinary emotions are brought into the focus.
So, read our thoughts and tell us what you think of this one!

The well of my heart is a very deep place,
and at the bottom, it's dark.

Oh boy, what a story… Truly, not what I expected. I like this kinds of books: real, raw, emotional stories. This book was really deep. I like the way it’s done, we’re slowly absorbed with the story, I didn’t connect with Elisabeth right away, it took some time, but then I’ve found myself sympathizing with her, understanding her.. Because to me, this is a story about Elisabeth, she’s central here! To be honest, the story itself is nothing original, woman unsatisfied with her life, unfulfilled, cheats on her husband, nothing new, but the way it was written, the way Megan Hart made us care is something special. And the ending, that did it for me, truly beautiful, I love the way it finished. This was a story about Elisabeth, her finding herself again. And the last sentence in the book illustrates it quite well.

He was my ocean, and I didn't know if I would drown until I learned how well I could swim.
So the biggest reason I liked this book so much is the writing style and the way ordinary emotions are transmitted. I will definitely be reading Megan Hart again, and now I’m going to listen to that Tear You Apart rock opera.

4/5 stars

Purple & Beatrix

Oct 24, 2013

Phoenix by Raine Anthony

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In a small town in Cornwall, a fighter and a schoolteacher meet. 

Dangerous. Bad News. Killer. This is what Phoenix sees when he looks in the mirror.

Shy. Timid. Afraid. This is what Eve sees in her own reflection.

But when Eve looks at Phoenix she sees a strong, handsome, sensual man. And when Phoenix looks at Eve he sees a beautiful, untouchable, heavenly creature. Together they will help each other to escape the labels they have lived with for so long.
Will the ghosts of their pasts return to hinder their happiness?
Or will true love lead to freedom?

Phoenix is a story of two lonely souls trying to find solace in one another’s hearts.



"If the soul is left in darkness, sins will be committed. The guilty one is not he who committed the sin, but the one who causes the darkness."

This book started out really good. Eve is starting a new chapter in her life as a history teacher in a new town and a new house close to nature. Free from her abusive brother and the traumas of her childhood he caused which made her into a scared, timid woman with zero confidence and some claustrophobia. She is determined to try and change her life, shed her fear and start living a normal life. But she never dreamed she will meet someone that will help her with that.

"When I said you weren't ready for all of me, it was a lie. Because the truth is that I am not ready for all of you."

Phoenix is the town mystery. A 30 year-old handsome carpenter - quiet, keeps to himself, not interested in making friends and especially relationships. But the new neighbor turns out to be hard to avoid. He has some very big secrets about his past life and where he came from. And Eve finds him fascinating. As does he her. The mutual interest sparks a desire to get to know each other. 

I really liked this beginning. Often, I came across books that had characters with dark pasts, the typical one being the heroine who got abused and the hero there for the rescue and comfort. But those were beyond cheesy and unreasonable. The women are like two different people - one the dark part, the "oh, poor me!" with scars from past experiences, too afraid and without confidence to do anything. And the other, the sex machine, hot and feisty without trying, absolutely awesome in bed. And that's damn annoying and actually very unrealistic.

Eve.. Now Eve was very different from that. She was portrayed as so innocent and honest, almost child-like. You could really see the victimized person, but also the fighter! She challenges herself numerous times throughout the book, fighting the part of her that wants to run away and hide. And Phoenix was there to push her even more, to become who she really is. Eve fell in love with the part of him she recognized in herself. They were two souls that understood each other and healed together. Because Phoenix was a victim too, one who was made a killer, convinced that he is just as horrible as those how captured him. Beyond redemption. It was beautiful to read about them.

Because this is a story of two people lucky enough to find each other

Unfortunately, the book went downhill in the second part. This book is also quite erotic and explicit. I never expected it too be this hot. The piano oral sex scene was just wooah! (And yes, I said piano and sex in the same sentence. Damn ovaries exploding.) but this part of the story felt weak compared to the main theme. It was all good and very hot....

... but there was too much of it. A little twist here and there, but the only thing I really liked toward the end is the epilogue from Phoenix's POV. That, and the prologue, were the only chapters with his thoughts and I'm very sad that there wasn't more of it. Phoenix is even more intense then Eve. But nevertheless, this is a book that is not to be set aside. Very emotional and self-discovery-type, I definitely recommend it if your like it a little spiced-up too.

"I see myself as the caterpillar, living inside my exoskeleton, never showing my real self to anyone expect for Harriet. I was still inside that exoskeleton when Phoenix came along. I wasn't sure if I wanted to break free but he encouraged me, taught me how to spread my wings and fly. I saw what he had survived, how he had managed to preserve his mind after all the dark things he was forced to do, and it gave me strength. If Phoenix can survive what he has suffered then I can surely survive what I have."

Until next time, 

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