RERUN Reviews: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

RERUN Reviews: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow RowellEleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Published by St. Martin's Griffin February 26, 2013
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 328
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Amazon US
Goodreads

Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.

Eleanor... Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough...Eleanor.

Park... He knows she'll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There's a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises...Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

Rerun Reviews features reviews by Debbie, previously published on Keep Calm Read Romance or Talk Supe — and reviews by Ali previously published on GingerRead Reviews.

 

When I received the review request from St. Martin’s Press, as I always do,
I popped over to Goodreads and Amazon to read the synopsis and take a closer
look at the author. Had I gone by the blurb on Goodreads (the one shown above),
I may have passed this book up.  It was what I saw on Amazon that had me
anxious to read Eleanor & Park:
 
Bono met his wife in high school, Park says.
So did Jerry Lee Lewis, Eleanor answers.
I’m not kidding, he says.
You should be, she says, we’re 16.

 

What about Romeo and Juliet?

 

Shallow, confused, then dead.
I love you, Park says.
Wherefore art thou, Eleanor answers.
I’m not kidding, he says.
You should be.
 
Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of
two star-crossed misfits—smart enough to know that first love almost never
lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll
remember your own first love—and just how hard it pulled you under.
 
It was the banter between these two that I found intriguing.  Plus, I
am a product of the eighties…if I thought I could get away with it, I would
probably still where my hair in some ridiculous angular cut.  Okay, not
really but you will still find me lovingly listening to “new wave”
music while I clean my house.  Anyway, what I’m saying is the book seamed
like something I would like.
 
I was wrong.
 
This book is something that I loved.
 
When I read on my Kindle, I highlight all the bits I want to remember for
when I write my review.  There are usually a handful.  If you peak at
my Eleanor & Park file there is yellow all over the place.  There is
so much good stuff here, it has it all.
 
Eleanor has a rough life and that is putting it mildly.  After a year
of couch surfing she’s brought back home to live with her mother, her four
younger siblings and her creeper stepfather.  She has to share a room with
all her brothers and sisters, there is no door on the bathroom, almost all of
her possessions were thrown out while she was gone and her mother can’t even
remember to buy Eleanor her own toothbrush.  To say she is an awkward
outcast with fluffy red hair and a ridiculous wardrobe would be an
understatement.
 
Park is the only (half) Asian kid in the area.  He’s not sure where he
fits in and no one else really seems to know either.  He’s not a pariah at
school but he is somewhat on the outskirts of the ‘in crowd’ and is careful to
not be completely pushed to the outer limits.
 
This unlikely pair is forced to sit together on the bus but don’t talk or
acknowledge each other for weeks. Yet a relationship, a bond, forms between
them that is undeniable and utterly heart oozing sweet.  When they first
interact and become more than two strangers simultaneously riding a bus, watch
out because all the warm fuzzies will be spreading from your ears to your
toes.  The first hand holding is to die for cute.
 
Holding Eleanor’s hand was like holding a butterfly. Or a heartbeat. Like
holding something complete and completely alive.
 
If you’ve ever wondered what that feels like, it’s a lot like melting
– but more violent.
 
As the relationship develops, so do the insecurities that Eleanor and Park
both harbor and so do the secrets of Eleanor’s home life and struggle with
girls at school.  It is the love that these two feel for each other that
carry them through each day and living without each other becomes something of
an impossibility. 
 
The exchanges between these two is nothing less than adorable and their
inner monologues are even better.
 
She sat completely still because she didn’t have any other option. She tried
to remember what kind of animals paralyzed their prey before they ate them…
Maybe Park had paralyzed her with his ninja magic, his Vulcan handhold, and now
he was going to eat her.  That would be awesome.
 
This started out as such a quirky and fun story, I often found myself
giggling aloud.  As the story became more intimate and serious, it began
to tug at my heart and with one absolute ‘mom moment’, I was reduced to
tears.  Not something I do regularly with books.
 
I won’t lie and tell you this a super feel good HEA type of book.  It
has many super feel good moments but the crux of the story is more profound and
questions the power of love – what it makes you do – and what you are willing
to give up to hold on to it.
 
Now, I have recently berated a book for having an untidy ending. 
Eleanor & Park’s ending leaves a lot to the imagination as well. But, I
think this ending works and I’ll explain why.
 
First, this is a standalone book. I have not invested hours upon hours
developing deep emotions for the story, nor have I spent years waiting and
wondering what is going to happen next and how it is going to end. 
Second, these are teens experiencing their first love, the kind of love that
your heart hurts when you are away from the person for an hour. The type of love
that stays with you in your heart forever, even if the relationship itself
doesn’t last. When you’re young you think everything will last forever and
always be as perfect as it is now. It’s not reality. Life gets in the way,
growth gets in the way.  In my head, this ending was reminiscent of that
sort of love and it was quite fitting.  Others may not agree.
 
I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a first love, somewhat
coming of age type story or someone like me who loves the nostalgic feelings
that can’t help but surface when reading about young love in the age of your
own teen years. 

 

Miss Ali - Transparent

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Sunday Brunch + Giveaway #6: Kaira Rouda

Sunday Brunch is a weekly feature for getting to know authors who are
new to us at Black Heart Reviews, by asking some quirky, fun questions.
 
 
 
 
Happy Sunday! Please welcome Kaira Rouda, author of the Indigo Island series. See more about that below!

 

If people were thrown in jail for bad habits, what would be your crime?
Excessive cheese eating.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

Super Listening – I love to eavesdrop, but also, hopefully listening as a good friend, too 😉

Bonus Question: What would your superhero name be?

Dumbo? That doesn’t sound very super, does it?

Chunky or Creamy?

Chunky

Who is your favorite Disney Princess?

Pocahontas

If you were a stalker, would you be good at it?

No. I’m too disorganized and I’m not a detail person. Although a character in my WIP is a stalker, and he is excellent at it. (scary)

You are forced into karaoke, what song do you sing?

Anything by Tina Turner or Boston 

Godzilla or King Kong?

King Kong

You are an alien with your own spaceship, who do you abduct?

Brad Pitt

We come to your house for dinner, what are we eating?

I’m mostly vegetarian (who eats cheese and eggs) so a mostly plant based meal. A recent favorite is frittatas. They’re really good. 

Pick two celebrities to be your parents.

Mr Incredible and Elastagirl

 

 

About the Author

 

Kaira discovered the joy of reading and writing at a young age. In third grade, the assignment was to write a letter to a person who you wanted to be when you grew up. She wrote to Robert McCloskey, author of her favorite books, Make Way for Ducklings and Blueberries for Sal. Unfortunately, Mr. McCloskey wrote back that he was an illustrator, but did wish her good luck.

Book Series

   

Weekend With the Tycoon

 

Wealthy business tycoon Blake Putnam isn’t looking for love, he just needs a date for a family wedding he’s dreading. Alpha male to the core, Blake’s idea of being a man leaves little room for emotional connection. He comes up with the perfect solution to the dreaded wedding: he’ll find a controllable date. He has everything planned to perfection.

 

Samantha Jones agrees to spend the weekend with the hot boss. She’s attracted to him, but she’s sworn off men after her embarrassing recent break up. She’s determined to ignore the attraction and focus on business when he hands her an opportunity to be part of the biggest business pitch in Blake Genetics’ history. It could change everything. She’s not looking for love, she won’t jump off that cliff again. But she will take the chance to further her career.

 

What neither of them expected was the weekend to take flight. Is this a risk they’re willing to see through to the end?

 

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Exclusive Guest Post: Pure Abandon by Jeannine Colette

PURE ABANDON by Jeannine Colette
 Adult Contemporary Romance
Cover Designed by: Okay Creations
Scheduled to release: July 14, 2015

KATHRYN GRAYSON has it all—a beautiful husband, new baby, and a life most women would dream of. But after putting her career on hold for her family, Kathryn sets out to reclaim the woman she once was.

When Kathryn meets her new boss, ALEXANDER ASHER, Manhattan playboy and heir to his family’s fortune, their relationship is heated… and not in a good way. The two are at odds, playing a cat-and-mouse game that has Kathryn pouncing.

Kathryn seeks the comfort of her husband, GABRIEL MONROE, an up-and-coming attorney who seems to have less and less time for his wife as his career takes flight, leaving her dreaming about the days when their love story was a fairy tale.

After a heated argument, a box of Twinkies and a very elaborate display of white roses, Kathryn and Asher call a truce. She unravels a deeper side of him, and they develop a fierce connection that leaves Kathryn wondering what is appropriate… and what is not.

When Kathryn becomes suspicious of Gabriel’s activities, she finds herself alone and far away from home with the charismatic Asher. After a night of drama, honesty, and pure eroticism, Kathryn’s will to stay away from Asher is tempted like never before.

In a battle of self-discovery, Kathryn must choose between them. Both men are devastatingly broken by her actions—and she can only fix one of them. But when she makes her choice, will he even want her after all that’s happened?

 

Guest Post

I love taking a realistic look at relationships. They can be
passionate and romantic and then they can be boring and mundane and even
difficult and trying. A relationship isn’t just about the wild
beginning but the journey it takes. The book tells the story of three
different relationships. Kathryn and Gabriel when they fell in-love,
Kathryn and Gabriel’s relationship today and Kathryn’s friendship with
her Alexander Asher. 
 
So many people say “cheating is a deal breaker.” I am one of them. I get it.
 

Now think about this. Take your #1 book boyfriend. I am going
to use Kellen Kyle from Thoughtless. Now, imagine he is staring in front
of you and he wants you to leave the world you know behind and go with
him. Would you? 

 
The book is imagined in a way that the reader has to stop and ask
themselves “what would I do?” You literally can not turn the page
without asking yourself that question. It is my favorite part of talking
to readers about the book. I love to know what their choice would be.
 
I am #TeamAsher all the way. (Yes, I am trying to make that a thing!)
 
Pure Abandon is a journey – Kathryn’s Journey. We all have an element
of our lives that feels unfulfilled. It’s human nature. Kathryn is on a
quest to reclaim the woman she thought she was going to be, but that life
comes at a cost.

 

 

 

 

 

 Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 About the Author

Jeannine Colette is a television producer, writer, mother, and philanthropist.
 
A graduate of Wagner College and the New York Film Academy, Jeannine went on to become a Segment Producer for television shows on CBS and NBC. She currently freelances in the television industry while attending to her children and pursuing her writing career. She lives in New York with her husband, the two tiny people she adores more than life itself, and a rescue pup named Wrigley.
 
Jeannine and her family are active supporters of The March of Dimes and the Hearing Health Foundation.

SOCIAL MEDIA
www.JeannineColette.com
FaceBook @JeannineColette
Twitter @JeannineColett
Instagram @JeannineColette


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Review: Craving Trix by Nicole Jacquelyn

Review: Craving Trix by Nicole JacquelynCraving Trix by Nicole Jacquelyn
Series: The Aces' Sons #1
July 13, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Format: ARC
Source: Copy for Honest Review
Also by this author: Unbreak My Heart
Amazon US | B&N
Goodreads

Bellatrix White had loved
Cameron Harrison for as long as she could remember. He was her best
friend and her closest confidant, and she knew one day he’d be her
forever.

Then he broke her heart.

After five years of
complete silence between them, the motorcycle club they grew up in comes
under attack, giving Cam the opportunity he needs to work his way back
into Trix’s life.

Because while Trix was nursing her broken heart, Cam was realizing exactly what he’d given up.

They
fall into a relationship easily, but when new tragedies mix with old
memories, neither of the lovers are prepared for the fallout.

Whether you are a fan of MC stories or not, there is something appealing about the stories Jacquelyn tells.  There is such a strong sense of family, loyalty and unconditional love in all her books. And she does it without any truly graphic brutality or gross amounts of whoring.
 
I’m not saying the Aces’ MC is full of clean cut virgins or that they never experience violence. I am saying Jacquelyn tells the story without the need of keeping a vomit bucket next to you the entire time you read it.  You’ll feel, you’ll hate some characters at times, you’ll want to punch them, hug them, love them….but you probably won’t ever want to stab them in the dick. You know?
 
Bellatrix was there at the beginning of the Aces’ MC, it seems only fitting that she starts the spin off series. I loved her as a little kid, but she’s grown into such a fierce woman now. She doesn’t take shit from anyone, a trait I regard highly.  But underneath that hard exterior lies some traumatic situations that were never dealt with and when things in her life bring them out of dormancy, she could lose all the things she’s ever wanted in life. You may have moments of hating Trix, but stick it out and it all becomes so understandable and well, sad.
 
I loved how Trix and Cam interacted. Trix is a handful, constantly pushing the boundaries with Cam. Not because she wants to argue, more because she’s so terrified to give up any control over her life.  Cam, even when he’s furious with her, is always there for her. That’s the unconditional love I mentioned earlier, along with the loyalty. He’d never willingly let her fall or fail. He’s not perfect, but damn if he’s not an absolutely loveable guy.
 
This is much more than a love story between two people. It’s a story of family and suffering, it’s tragic and mournful, but heartfelt and sweet too.  Craving Trix was a story I easily fell into, I enjoyed it from start to finish and loved the emotions it evoked. It also cements my admiration for Jacquelyn’s writing and I can’t wait to see what she brings us next.

 

Miss Ali - Transparent

About Nicole Jacquelyn

Nicole Jacquelyn is the mom of two little girls and a full time college student. She hasn’t watched television in well over a year, she still does things that drive her mother crazy, and she loves to read. At eight years old, when asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, she told people she wanted to be a mom. When she was twelve her answer changed- to author. By the time she was eighteen, when people asked her what she wanted to do with her life, she told them she really wanted to be a writer- but the odds of that happening were so slim that she’d get her business degree “just to be safe”. Her dreams stayed constant. First she became a mom, then she went to college, and during her senior year- with one daughter in first grade and the other in preschool, she sat down and wrote a story.


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Review + Giveaway: Insider by Olivia Cunning

Review + Giveaway: Insider by Olivia CunningInsider Series: Exodus End World Tour #1
Published by Vulpine June 30, 2015
Genres: Erotica
Format: ARC
Source: Copy for Honest Review
Amazon US | B&N
Goodreads

Toni wants to be an insider.
Logan just wants inside her.

She’s finally ready to rock...
Toni Nichols set aside her dreams to raise her little sister, but now she's reaching for the stars as the creator of a revolutionary interactive biography about Exodus End. She’s on tour with the rock band to immerse herself in their world, but how will she ever gain the trust of four veteran superstars who've been burned by the media before? Nobody said this was going to be easy. Then again, good things can come in hard packages.

He's always ready to roll…
Adrenaline junkie Logan Schmidt lives for the rush of playing his bass guitar before thousands of screaming fans. When he's not performing onstage or in the bedroom, he's looking for his next thrill in extreme sports. So why does a sweet, innocent journalist get his heart pumping and capture his full attention? Is Toni the real deal or just digging up dirt on his band? Logan’s eager to rock Toni’s world and roll her in the sack, but when she starts to get too close to his heart, she takes her insider look to a place he may never be willing to go.

Finally! Exodus End’s series is finally here! It really feels like I’ve been waiting an eternity for this series to finally start. 
 
I’ve been a fan of Olivia Cunning ever since I read her Sinners On Tour series. No one writes erotica rockstar romance like Olivia, and the huge love she has for rock ‘n’ roll really shows in her writing. She totally encompass everything that you could imagine to happen while on tour with a famous band. And she writes some really hot sex scenes. I mean, scorching hot sex scenes. 
 
Now I won’t bore you with everything that happens in INSIDER because this book was lengthy. A lot lengthier than the other Olivia Cunning books I’ve read in the past. But just in case you didn’t read the synopsis here’s a mini overview: Virgin girl goes on tour with famous rock band, girl loses virginity to a rockstar immediately, girl does some journalistic stuff, drama happens, girl wins the heart of rockstar. 
 
Got the gist of the story? Good. Let’s move on to our main characters. 
 
Logan Schmidt. To be perfectly honest, it took me a few beats to warm up to Logan, bass guitar player and resident adrenaline junkie of Exodus End. His fun and playful personality instantly reminded me of Eric Sticks from the Sinners, and while I loved Eric, I didn’t want a repeat of that kind of character in this series. But it didn’t take long for Logan to quickly change my mind about him. The guy is a total sweetheart, he loves the life he lives, and he totally won me over with his adorable flirting. Logan brings a light heartedness to his band’s dynamics and I really enjoyed seeing him joke and mess around with some of the more broody members of his band. And like with all of Cunning’s rockstars, Logan has bedroom skills that can get a woman screaming like she was at a concert. 
 
While Logan quickly set out to win me over, it took forever for me to like Toni. Honestly, I don’t know if I ever ended up really liking her. I think I mostly tolerated her just for Logan’s sake. I’m over the whole innocent virginal heroine types, and Toni was just too nice, too introverted, too innocent, and too virginal. Her skittishness with kissing, foreplay or sex was supposed to be humorous, but I found it all to be a little maddening and irritating. How can a twenty-five year old woman be that totally clueless about sex in this day and age? There’s free porn all over the internet, I’m sure she could have learned what to do when there’s a cock on the palm of your hands. Her nativity just didn’t seem believable.  
 
While Logan and Toni’s story didn’t totally rock my world like I was hoping it would, I’m still really excited to read the rest of the Exodus End’s stories. Like I said, I’ve been waiting years for this series, and I’m determined to finish this world tour with Exodus End. I need that Dare Mills book! Overall, INSIDER was a good read. I loved reading about all the antics of Cunning’s rockstars, and I’m dying to see what sort of fun drama she has in store for us in the next book. One of my favorite characters from the Sinners On Tour series is making a come back and it’s got me set to squealing like a fan girl. 
 Miss Debbie - Transparent
About the Author
Combining her love for romantic fiction and rock ‘n roll, USA Today Best-Selling Author Olivia Cunning writes erotic romance centered around rock musicians.
 
Raised on hard rock music from the cradle, she attended her first Styx concert at age six and fell instantly in love with live music. She’s been known to travel over a thousand miles just to see a favorite band in concert. As a teen, she discovered her second love, romantic fiction — first, voraciously reading steamy romance novels and then penning her own.
 
 
Stalk Olivia
 
Book Series

 


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Giveaway: Paper Towns by John Green

In anticipation of the movie adaptation release of +John Green‘s PAPER TOWNS, we are giving away a signed paperback copy of this coming of age YA novel about a boy who goes on a search for his neighbor and chilhood love interest.
Description: Adapted from the bestselling novel by author John Green (“The Fault in Our Stars”), PAPER TOWNS is a coming-of-age story centering on Quentin and his enigmatic neighbor Margo, who loved mysteries so much she became one. After taking him on an all-night adventure through their hometown, Margo suddenly disappears–leaving behind cryptic clues for Quentin to decipher. The search leads Quentin and his quick-witted friends on an exhilarating adventure that is equal parts hilarious and moving. Ultimately, to track down Margo, Quentin must find a deeper understanding of true friendship–and true love.
In Theaters – July 24, 2015
 
Movie Cast
 
    
 
Cat Delevigne – Margo Roth Spiegelman  |  Nat Wolff – Quentin Jacobsen
Halston Sage – Lacey Pemberton   |  Jaz SinclairAngela 
Justice SmithRadar  |  Caitlin Carver – Becca Arrington
Griffin Freeman – Jase  |  Cara Buono – Connie Jacobsen   
Austin Abrams – Ben Starling
 
Official Trailer
The Book!

Who is the real Margo?

Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificent Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life—summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows. When their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Margo has disappeared. But Q soon learns that there are clues—and they’re for him. Embarking on an exhilarating adventure to find her, the closer Q gets, the less he sees the girl he thought he knew.
John Green is a New York Times bestselling author who has received numerous awards, including both the Printz Medal and a Printz Honor. John is also the cocreator (with his brother, Hank) of the popular video blog Brotherhood 2.0, which has been watched more than 30 million times by Nerdfighter fans all over the globe. John Green lives in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Stalk John
 
Win a SIGNED paperback copy of Paper Towns. 
Open Internationally!

 


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Excerpt Reveal: Bleeding Love by Harper Sloan

Series: Hope Town #2
Release Date: July 14, 2015
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Pre-Order Links: Amazon US  |  Amazon UK  |  Nook
I’ve loved once. I gave everything that I had to that love. Blindly believing that nothing could ever take that feeling away from me. Away from us. And when my little world of happiness was ripped from my fingers, I felt a loss that still haunts me to this day.
 
Now I use that lingering grief as a shield to keep my heart from loving again. It’s that fear that keeps me from letting anyone, except my daughter, get close enough to make it hurt. To make my heart bleed when I inevitably lose again.
 
Until the day I met Liam Beckett and everything I thought I had protected myself from was shoved back in my face.
 
He’s on a mission to prove to me that a love worth having is a love worth fighting for.
 
** Can be read as a standalone but we recommend reading the whole series. **
 
Excerpt
Prologue
Megan
 

 

Holy shit.What am I doing?

“Oh, God! Right there… I’m coming… Don’t stop!”

 

 

 

Is that me screaming like that?


 
Holy shit.
 

 

I didn’t even know that noises like that could come out of my mouth!

 

 

 
“You like that?” he asks with his lips pressed against my neck – the vibrations shooting straight to my core.
 
I focus, my now alcohol free vision, on the man thrusting above me. His dark hair is blending in with the shadows that are dancing around the room. His face is a mask of ecstasy as he thrusts into my waiting body. It’s a look of pure desire that I will never forget.
 

 

What the hell am I doing?

 

 

 
“You feel so good. Your body so greedy for my cock. You want it harder, darlin’?”
 
I moan shamelessly and feel my body get even wetter with his huskily whispered words. 
 

 

Screw it – this feels way too good to stop now.

 

 

 

 

I reach down, dig my fingers in the firm globes of his ass, tip my head back and beg. Beg with incoherent cries for him to take me harder. To take everything he can.

 

**Two Hours Earlier**
 
“You look beauuuutiful,” I sing as Dani Reid – No, Dani Cage – walks over to sit next to me at one of the tables scattered around the backyard wedding.
 
She looks at me, her stunning green eyes bright with love and happiness.
 
“And you sound a little drunk, my friend,” she laughs.
 
I just smile at her, running my fingers through the lace on her wedding gown. “This is soft.”
 
She just laughs and leans back and looks across the yard to where her new husband, Cohen, is standing by the dock talking to some of his friends. This is another one of those moments when I’m reminded that this group doesn’t have a single unattractive person in it. I take a second to look at all the well-built, good-looking men standing around him. When my eyes meet Liam Beckett’s, I look away quickly. For months now Liam has made no secret that he would love nothing more than my undivided attention. 
 
“They’re all so unfairly hot. No men should be that attractive,” I whisper in awe, gaining me another chuckle from Dani. I blush when I realize that my thoughts aren’t staying in my head, where they belong. When I look back over to where the group of men are standing, my eyes hit the familiar pair of deep brown ones again, eyes that always seem to know each and every time I’m looking their way. I quickly look away, feeling that blush get even brighter. I’m not ready to deal with him right now. At least not when I’m this tipsy.
 
Picking up my wine glass, I take another healthy swallow as I do a quick scan, taking in all that is the Reid Family property. They’ve done a beautiful job transforming the backyard of Dani’s family home for Cohen and Dani’s wedding. I still can’t believe that Dani managed to pull off a surprise wedding without Cohen even catching the smallest hint of her plans.
 
“Are you sure you’re okay with Molly spending the night with my parents, Megs? I know it’s hard for you to leave her overnight, but they just love your daughter to pieces. And I know Owen loves having her around.” Dani reaches out and takes the hand I had resting against the table while she speaks.
 
“Yup,” I smack and nod my head.
 
“You’re drunk,” she says, repeating her earlier observation.
 
“I’m not drunk, I’m tipsy. There’s a huge difference there. If I was drunk I wouldn’t be able to walk. Watch!”
 
I jump up from my chair with a little more power than I mean and quickly stumble when the narrow heel of my five-inch shoes sinks into the soft grass beneath me.
 
“Whoa, there darlin’.”
 
I feel it, those words, every single syllable deep down in my gut. Each rumbled word vibrating through my body creating a slow burn until they end with a sharp pulse between my legs. His arms locked at my elbows and my back solidly against his front – where my graceless stumble caused me to end up. I jerk my body tight and feel his laughter reverberate through my body once again. 
 
I attempt to pull my arms from his loose but strong hold, only to give up when it becomes clear that he isn’t going to let go. Shifting until my face is turned, he lets one arm go and helps me spin until I’m facing him, and moves his hands from my elbows to my hips.
 
“Hey,” he says with a smile, the dimple in his cheek popping out.
 
“Liam,” I sigh and then curse myself for not being able to hide my reaction to him.
 
His smile turns knowing and his eyes darken before dropping to my lips.
 
I gulp.
 
“You should be more careful, Megs.”
 
“It’s Megan,” I snap.
 
“I know, babe, you don’t have to keep reminding me.”
 
“Then why can’t you seem to actually remember it?” I squeak and try to pull my body away from his grip – and fail, again.
 
“Someone doesn’t sound drunk anymore.” I hear Dani speak but I don’t take my gaze off Liam. “She does look it though.” She muses on a laugh, which finally gets my eyes to snap to hers.
 
“I’m fine! I just had a few glasses of wine and I haven’t eaten much. But, I most definitely am not drunk. I think I would know if I was drunk.”
 
Okay, so that’s a lie. I might not be drunk, but I am definitely slightly past tipsy. Dealing with Liam – or rather my attraction to Liam – is hard enough for me on a good day, when I’m completely sober. But with this amount of wine flowing through my body, I just can’t trust myself.
 
It’s taken everything I have to keep him, and his obvious interest, at bay for the last couple months. When he’s around he goes out of his way to get me alone and lay it out. He wants me.
 
“You look stunning when those shadows aren’t rolling around your shoulders,” Liam whispers, his lips press close enough to my ear that I can feel his words one by one against my skin.
 
I shiver, his words hitting me close to home, but the tone causing me to forget I should be pushing him away. Especially when he’s talking about things that he has no business speaking about.
 
“I’m fine,” I stammer.
 
“Yeah, darlin’, I know you are.” 
 
His eyes keep their hypnotizing hold on my own. I hear Dani excuse herself. I don’t turn to watch her disappear in the lingering crowd of party-goers that are still left milling around. The music is still floating in the air around us. As I look into his eyes everything around me feels like it’s…alive. It’s a feeling that I’ve been missing for the last few years. A feeling that only comes to visit when I’m with my daughter, or until recently, when Liam Beckett is in the same room. It’s a feeling that, even though I shouldn’t, I feel guilty for allowing myself to enjoy.
 
Whether it’s the wine, the fact that Molly left a few hours ago with Dani’s parents, or the man standing in front of me, all I know is if I don’t hold on to this feeling for as long as I can right now, I’ll regret it for years to come.
 
“Megs,” he says on a sigh, his fingertips digging in and his eyes swirling with a rich hopefulness that turns those golden flecks you can normally see swimming in his brown eyes into a burning fire lighting his gaze.
 
Hungry eyes.
 
I don’t think. If I had given myself just a second to process my next move, I’m sure I would have backed out of his hold and run as fast as I could to my car. But, I didn’t think, so my next move was pure, one-hundred-percent Megan. But not the Megan I’ve been for the last couple years since my husband died. No, this Megan feels like I’ve finally dug myself out of those ashes I’ve been living in since my life burned up around me. The cloak of depression that normally lingers loosely around my shoulders, dropping to my feet with the feel of Liam pressed tight. I know this feeling won’t last, but I suddenly want to hold on to every second I can of this experience, until it leaves me.
 
I reach out and curl my fingers around his forearms. My eyes growing wide when his brow lifts. With a quick push I rock up and close the distance that is left between our mouths. When my lips touch his, that feeling of being alive burns so bright every nerve in my body feels it, each inch of skin boiling and cooling so quickly it’s as if I can’t make up my mind if I want to be hot or cold. My hairs stand on end, my skin pebbles – going cold before rushing heat fills my veins, and the very thump of my heart seems to skip a beat the second our lips touch.
 
One thing I know for sure. I want this. I want this and Liam’s going to give it to me.
 
He doesn’t pause. His groan vibrating against my chest only lights the feeling that is firing through my skin. My hands move from his forearms and I run my hands up his chest until both hands curl around his neck and I use the hold to pull my body even closer to his. 
 
His hands move from my hips and he curls them around my bottom, pulling me tightly against his body. When I feel the very obvious sign of his attraction, I moan deeply, and shiver when he answers with one of his own.
 
I can’t tell you how long this kiss lasts. When his tongue moves to swipe against my lips, I open without reservation. We continue, our tongues dancing together while each of our moans are swallowed by the other, until I have to pull away to gulp a breath of air before I pass out – however, the way I feel right now, passing out might very well be a possibility.
 
“This is finally happening,” he snarls in a tone that should scare me, but all it does is act as kerosene to our already uncontrollable fire of lust.
 
“It is,” I agree without question.
 
“Now,” he says.
 
“Okay,” I agree on a sigh and sway toward his hard body.
 
With the encouragement he needs, his hands finally leave my body. He turns me, wraps one thick arm around my shoulder, and turns to walk toward the front of the house.
 
“We’re leaving?” I question lamely.
 
“Darlin’ I didn’t stutter. This is happening,” he says, pausing when he reaches the side of the house and the shadows that will give us the privacy we need. His body turns, moving me to stand before him once again. “I need to know you’re with me, Megan. I’ve wanted this since the day I met you, but I knew you weren’t ready for me. I’ve been trying to keep my distance, just waiting for those clouds to leave your eyes. If you don’t want me to take you back to my house, strip you naked and fuck you until you can’t walk for weeks, then say so now, because the second I have you I won’t be letting go.” 
 
“Oh, boy,” I whisper.
 
“I prefer oh God, but I’ll make that the first item on my to-do list.”
 
“You’ll make what?”
 
“My to-do list, Megs. The list of things I’ve wanted to do to you for months now. Making you scream oh God will be number one, followed by my name, of course.”
 
Oh, God,” I repeat, my mind swilling with the promise his words inflict.
 
“Yeah, you’re getting it.”
 
His mouth crashes down on mine for a hard but quick kiss before pulling back and giving me another one of those knee-melting smirks. “Last chance, Megan,” he whispers while his hands are framing my heated face.
 

 

Whatever he sees in my eyes is enough, he gives me a light kiss, takes his hands from my face and curls one around my left hand and pulls me toward his truck.
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About the Author
Harper lives in small town Georgia just a short drive from her hometown of Peachtree City. She (and her 3 daughters) enjoy ruling the house they dubbed ‘Estrogen Ocean’, much to her husband’s chagrin. Harper has a borderline unhealthy obsession with books; you can almost ALWAYS find her with her eReader attached. She enjoys bad reality TV and cheesy romantic flicks. Her favorite kind of hero–the super alpha kind!
 
Harper started using writing as a way to unwind when the house went to sleep at night; and with a house full of crazy it was the perfect way to just relax. It didn’t take long before a head full of very demanding alphas would stop at nothing to have their story told.
Stalk Harper
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