February 25, 2015

Blog Tour: The Way We Fall by Cassio Leo

Maybe we shouldn’t have fallen so fast and so willingly.

Maybe we shouldn’t have moved in together before we went on our first date.

Maybe we should have given our wounds time to heal before we tore each other to shreds.

Maybe we should have never been together.

Houston has kept a devastating secret from Rory since the day he took her into his home. But the tragic circumstances that brought them together left wounds too deep to heal.

Five years after the breakup, Houston and Rory are thrust together by forces beyond their control. And all the resentments and passion return with more intensity than ever.

Once again, Houston is left with a choice between the truth and the only girl he’s ever loved.

The Way We Fall is available for purchase:

The Way We Fall
 is the first book in The Story of Us series, which follows the tumultuous love story of Rory and Houston. The sequel, The Way We Break, will be released Spring 2015.**


By the time Houston pulls his truck into the lot of the sports bar, I’m ready to tell him to turn around and take me home, but I hold my tongue. It’s been four nights since our blowout fight over Hallie and I’ve been trying to keep the peace. I kept my cool when he got drunk last night and asked me, in front of all his friends, if I wanted to fuck him in the bathroom. And I kept quiet when we slid into bed a couple of hours later and he accused me of flirting with his best friend, Troy. I’ll just promise to give him a really long blow job if he agrees to be the designated driver tonight.

God, sometimes I hate the person I’ve become.

“What’s tonight’s forecast?” Houston asks as he kills the engine.

“Rainy with a ninety percent chance of beer,” Troy replies from the backseat.

“Just another night of grueling research,” Houston replies and all I can do is roll my eyes.

As soon as we’re seated at a table in the bar, I lay my hand on top of Houston’s thigh and lean in to whisper my proposition in his ear. He grins broadly and Troy just shakes his head.

“Is that a yes?” I say, taking a sip from my glass of water. 

He turns to me and his smile is gone. “If you don’t want to watch me drink, you can take the truck home. I’ll call a taxi.”

He slides his car key across the table and bile rises in my throat as I stare at it. He’s lost all perspective.

I know Houston took the brunt of the impact from Hallie’s death. He was her older brother. He was supposed to protect her. He wasn’t supposed to find her dead body in our dorm. He’s probably suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, but he refuses to see a therapist. He thinks this obsession with creating and consuming craft beer is a healthy alternative to therapy.

I don’t know how much longer I can pretend everything’s okay.

I take the key from the table and smile as I tuck it into my pocket. “I’ll drive us both home… later.”

“How about me?” Troy asks, leaning back in his chair so he can check out the waitress serving beers at the table next to us.

Troy is Houston’s oldest and best friend. They met in ninth grade around the same time Hallie and I met in sixth grade. Hallie had a crush on Troy for about two minutes when she was fourteen, before she decided he was too young for her. Hallie always had a thing for older men.

“Maybe you can get her to drive you home,” I remark, and the waitress turns around.

Her glossy lips curl into a seductive smile as she catches Troy staring at her ass. Troy nods at her and she shakes her head as she walks off with her empty tray. His eyes are locked on her as she leans over the bar, flirting with the bartender while stealing the occasional glance in Troy’s direction. 

He stands up and pushes up the sleeves of his hoodie to expose his muscular arms. “I’ll be back.”

“You’d better come back with a pint,” Houston calls out as Troy walks away. 

He turns to me and the corner of his mouth turns up in that signature crooked smile. He leans forward and kisses my cheekbone. His lips hover over mine and suddenly I’m grinning like an idiot.

“You look beautiful tonight.” He plants a tender kiss on my lips and I wish we were home so I could make out with him for hours. “I’ll drive us home. You can be my beer taster and I’ll be your designated driver.”

He kisses me again and there’s no way I can resist him when he’s laying on the charm like this. 

Another waitress arrives with the two pints we ordered earlier and Houston pushes the one she placed in front of him over to me. The waitress smiles and apologizes for mixing up the order.

“No worries,” he says, waving off the apology. “My wife is planning on pounding about a dozen of these tonight, so keep ’em comin’.”

I shove Houston and the waitress just smiles as she walks away. “Way to make me look like a lush.”

“You’re not even going to mention the fact that I called you my wife?”

I don’t know how to respond to this. I didn’t mention it because I assumed it was just part of the joke; it’s funnier if you say wife than girlfriend. But now that he’s calling attention to it, I don’t know what to think.

I shrug as I lean in to take a sip of the farmhouse ale. “It was part of the joke.”

He waits for me to swallow my ale, then he grabs my hand. “One day, we’re going to get married. You know that, right?”

I chuckle and roll my eyes. “Yeah, of course.”

“Did you just roll your eyes?”

“I just think it’s a bit early to be making those kinds of proclamations. It’s probably best not to make any promises we can’t keep.”

His gaze falls to the table and he nods. “You’re right.” For a moment, I think this is it. The topic has been closed to further discussion. Then he sits up a little straighter and looks me in the eye. “No, you and I are going to be together forever. Even if we break up, we’ll always make it back to each other; mark my words.”

I nod as I reach for the beer again. “Do you want to know what I think of this beer?”

He smiles at my attempt to change the subject. “Shoot.”

“It’s too citrusy. You can taste a hint of honey, maybe even caramel, but the top notes are definitely orange and bitter lemon. The hops deliver a bite and they’re lingering.”

“IBU?” he asks.

IBU is an acronym for International Bittering Units, a measurement of the amount of bitterness or “hoppy-ness” in a beer. 

“Probably thirty to forty.”

He shakes his head. “I’m in love with a beer snob.”

“Does that turn you on?” 

“Put your hand under the table and you’ll feel my beer-ection.”

I almost spit out my ale, but I manage to swallow it down. Houston laughs as I grab the cocktail napkin to wipe the dribble from my chin. Then he rubs my back as I cough out the small bit of farmhouse ale I inhaled.

“That’s what you get for killing Mufasa,” he says.

I shake my head as I take another long sip of ale to cool my throat, then an idea comes to me. “Did you decide what you’re doing next week?”

“For Spring Break?”

“No, for Christmas,” I reply sarcastically. “Of course for Spring Break.”

He looks uncomfortable with this question. “Troy and I made plans.”

“What kind of plans?” I regret the question as soon as it comes out. I don’t want to be the nosy, clingy girlfriend. That’s not me.

“Troy and I are gonna try out some new formulas.”

“But… you guys do that every weekend.”

The muscle in his jaw twitches and that’s my signal to let it go. I want to say, So that whole thing about us being together forever is only true if we never get too close? but I hold my tongue… again. Then I down four more beers and give my detailed analysis of each one. Houston drives us home and fucks me over the bathroom sink. And when we wake the next morning, with the rain tapping on our bedroom window, Houston’s head is lying on my abdomen, facing the foot of the bed. 

I can’t see his face so I reach down and run my fingers through his hair to wake him gently. At first, I think he’s still sleeping. Then I hear a small sniff and I feel the wetness on my skin. This is the second time I’ve seen Houston cry and, somehow, this time is worse than the day Hallie died. Because today I don’t know why, and I don’t know if I ever will.

Alright, so I don't know that I'm fully on Team Houston here. There's something about how he's handled things with Rory that just doesn't sit right with me. I don't blame her for being completely skeptical of him and his intentions now that he's happened to step back into her life. I think, also, because I tend to have the belief that sometimes you just have to cut the toxic people out of your life. One needs to do that sometimes for the greater good of the quality of your own life--in Rory's case, I feel like there's so much negativity coming from that aspect of her life, she needs to just cut it out and move on...

Liam, on the otherhand, I just warmed right up to. Maybe I'm a sucker for the hipster with a beard lol but there's just something positive and kind to him that makes me want to vouch for him. No, he doesn't have the same history with Rory as Houston does but sometimes you need a fresh change in life. 

The story jumped back and forth a little too much for my liking. I get that it was needed to get the history of Houston and Rory across but I didn't love that it kept backtracking dates. It made a it a bit hard to keep track of the past and the present. That being said, there was enough chemistry between the characters that make me want to read the next installment of this series to see where/who Rory ends up with!

About the Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cassia Leo loves her coffee, chocolate, and margaritas with salt. When she’s not writing, she spends way too much time watching old reruns ofFriends and Sex and the City. When she’s not watching reruns, she’s usually enjoying the California sunshine or reading – sometimes both.

Connect with Cassia Leo on:

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February 19, 2015

Bring the Rain by Lizzy Charles

One summer to make the choice of a lifetime…

Everything is waiting in Paris for Autumn—her new home, her mom, the Louvre, and a life where she can experience art, and not just look at it. But to get there, she'll have to survive the summer in the least colorful place she can imagine — her father's Oklahoma cattle ranch

Autumn finds the perfect summer distraction in Colt, the one cowboy hotter than the July sun. But Colt is her father's ranch hand, and he won’t go for the Manhattan-style fling that she's used to. The closer they become, the more she questions which side of the ocean she belongs.

Then her father reveals an unforgivable secret, and Autumn’s illusions shatter. Will the secret destroy everything? Or could Oklahoma hold the greatest masterpiece of all—a love that could mend her heart?

Bring the Rain is available for purchase:

Autumn's sixteenth summer starts off with life-changing news with regards to a life she thought she knew and had figured out. The secrets that she's become privy to changes EVERYTHING she knows and she only has a couple of months to come to terms with her feelings and to make an even bigger decision at her seventeenth birthday. Her character really grows on you as the story progresses. What seems to be a spoiled city girl intent on just getting through the summer on the family ranch she left behind blossoms and grows into a stronger young woman (as mature as a someone her age can be expected to be, really!). 

Colt seems drawn to Autumn from her first arrival. It's sweet and, really, in this day in age, where does one find a guy like him with the noblest of intentions? I think I swooned more and more as his character unfolded. His and Autumn's relationship may be one big emotional roller coaster ride but at that age, what relationship isn't? I think he really complements Autumn's character and truly gives her even more reason to establish roots in a place she used to love and call home.

This novel is one of the sweetest that I've read lately about growing up, discovering yourself and finding out where you belong. I totally recommend this to anyone who loves a heartwarming ya/teen romance! I'd love to see where Colt and Autumn end up and where life will take them :)

February 18, 2015

Finding Haven by T.A. Foster

Power. Money. Control. Love.
He has all but one.

When movie star, Evan Carlson, discovers his girlfriend’s picture with another man splashed on the cover of gossip magazines, he decides he’s had enough of his fishbowl life and attempts to outrun the media frenzy his relationships have become. Driving until the road stops, he ends up on the remote and quaint Perry Island, where a heartthrob can blend in like the locals and be a beach bum as long as he wants. All that changes when Evan meets Haven Owen, aspiring songwriter and the girl he just can’t get enough of. A summer romance turns into something much deeper and Evan gets tangled in his own web of lies to keep Haven in his life. But when his ex tracks him down, Evan learns there are some things you just can’t outrun.

Is the cost of love, losing all control?

Finding Haven is available for purchase:

So Evan Carson ups and leaves Texas when he's fed up with his movie-star life. He ends up driving into Perry Island where he decides he's going to spend some time while he figures out what to do with the mess that has become his life. This seems like an ideal plan and things seem to fall right into place when he meets Haven. Likeeee...everything just falls into place. It's a little too perfect and easy, I think. Seems to happen a lot (the lack of reality/conflict) but whatever. All of the conflict seems to happen all at once when Evan's ex tracks him down and shows up on Perry Island ready to cause a stir. And a stir she does create with everyone, including Haven--will Evan lose her when she finds out who he really is? 

I felt like Haven had this huge conflict (with regards to her relationship with her father) that she had to deal with but it just never happened. It kind of glazed over near the end of the book and wasn't a big issue anymore. It wasn't really ever rectified, though, which kinda bugged me. I can forgive her for forgiving Evan easily (though, she really let him off the hook). Evan, though, started off as a somewhat decent guy but then seemed to get very arrogant and blase (about his wealth and fame) when Haven finally discovered who he was. 

It was a good book, I liked the general storyline but there were elements that didn't sit quite well with me. It flowed easily and makes for an simple summer read as it is written in the familiar style I've become used to reading in Foster's books. 

...don't miss out on T.A. Foster's follow up novel, Red Lines

Love on remote Perry Island was one thing, but with the flash of a camera everything has changed.

Movie star Evan Carlson has just landed the role of a lifetime, playing the infamous Dexter Red. Fans can't get enough of the sexiest, most-talked-about guy to ever hit paperback pages.

Haven is in Austin working on her songwriting career, and Evan's faith and commitment are put to the test. No matter which way he turns, Hollywood keeps getting in the way.

Does realizing their career dreams mean losing their relationship? Can they survive the headlines and media frenzy surrounding Evan's new role?

When it comes to love, some lines are meant to be blurred.

Red Lines available for purchase:

About the Author

T.A. Foster is a Southern girl whose heart and spirit are connected to the beach. She grew up catching rays and chasing waves along the North Carolina Outer Banks and now resides in the state with her adventurous pilot husband, two children and two canine kiddos. 

Her long love affair with books started at an early age, and as soon as she was able, she transformed imaginative stories into words on paper. Time Spell is T.A.’s debut novel, and the first in a series about a very adventurous, clever, and magical girl named Ivy.

T.A. has an undergraduate degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a graduate degree in Educational Psychology from Texas A&M University. When she’s not chasing her two-legged and four-legged children or trying to escape for date night, you can find her reading, writing or planning her next beach trip.

Connect with T.A. Foster on:

February 17, 2015

Release Day Blitz: Bring the Rain by Lizzy Charles

One summer to make the choice of a lifetime…

Everything is waiting in Paris for Autumn—her new home, her mom, the Louvre, and a life where she can experience art, and not just look at it. But to get there, she'll have to survive the summer in the least colorful place she can imagine — her father's Oklahoma cattle ranch

Autumn finds the perfect summer distraction in Colt, the one cowboy hotter than the July sun. But Colt is her father's ranch hand, and he won’t go for the Manhattan-style fling that she's used to. The closer they become, the more she questions which side of the ocean she belongs.

Then her father reveals an unforgivable secret, and Autumn’s illusions shatter. Will the secret destroy everything? Or could Oklahoma hold the greatest masterpiece of all—a love that could mend her heart?

Bring the Rain is available for purchase:


Light arms make for easy dancing, even to drawn out country tunes. Turns out, cowboys aren’t bad dancers. They know where to put their hands on your waist to help you sway. They share well too, making sure a new hat accompanies each tune. When my chest burns, I know I've hit my limit. "Sorry," I say to the only guy at the party wearing a baseball cap. "I need a break."

"I can take you outside if you want?" This brown-haired-brute's eyes are a bit swollen, and lips raw. I swear I saw him making out on the steps during my last spin on the dance floor.

"No thanks, I'm good on my own." I quickly zigzag through the crowd and slip out the back kitchen door. If it wasn't for the couple making out in a hammock, I would’ve barreled right into the gray weave. There's a deserted tree a few hundred yards out from the house. Brushing my ballet flats through the crisp grass, I do a quick snake check. Phew. I take a seat, tilting my head toward the sky. The darkness is alive and glittering.

I breathe out, the beauty above. Stars like this never happen at home. Here, Hercules and the dippers are too obvious. And, with a jostle of my memory, I can find the Queen and the Dragon too. I wish I had my paints and a canvas so I could try to capture it. I’d make my own Starry Night, but my brush strokes would be looser here than Van Gogh’s.

A breeze moves through my hair, reminding me to take a deep breath. It instantly relaxes me; somehow one breath here is better than any oxygen bar in the city. I hate to admit it, but that’s another thing this place has going for it. It’s so much easier to breathe here.

“Can I join you?” a husky voice says from behind. I turn to find a tall, broad-shouldered, sandy-haired cowboy leaning against the tree. He doesn’t wait for my answer; rather he slinks down the trunk to sit next to me. His eyes turn toward the sky, but, even though I know it’s rude, my eyes can’t leave his face. His nose is almost perfect. It’d be easy to sketch with a soft pencil.

“Andromeda,” he interrupts my artistic vision, pointing up at the sky. “The Greater Bear,” he traces the outline in the air. “And my favorite…”

“Oh, please don’t say something about your big dipper.” I put the yellow cup to my lips, finishing my third refill. It slides past my throat. Finally, the beer’s tasting good now. 

 “Actually, my prime constellation is Aries, the ram. That line though? Golden. I'll use it next time.”

 “A goat?”

He smiles with a silent laugh and shrugs. “Sounds lame,” he turns toward me. His eyes sparkle and my heart jumps into my throat. His jaw is strong and chest obviously solid under his white button down shirt. “But it’s not.” He flips over my hand, tracing the constellation on my palm. Tingles crawl up my arm.

Now, this is a real cowboy.

“Aries is Zeus, in disguise. Ordinary, but full of power. Cool, huh?”

He lets go of my hand and returns his gaze to the stars.

My heart sinks. I want him to look at me. I’m not letting this cowboy get away. I lean in, close to his ear. “What kind of power?” I whisper. After Mom ditching me for Paris, I could use a little fun, and, as my hand caresses his rock hard biceps, I can’t help welcoming a distraction.

He doesn’t answer yet also doesn’t move away from my touch. Good. I take a deep breath and leap. If he didn’t like me, he’d have moved away already. I kiss the stubble on his jaw and he stills like a statue so I flip my leg over him, sliding onto his lap. The constellations spin. I nibble at his lips. His breathing deepens. Those full lips though? They don't even flinch. I pull back, repositioning to press my lips down his jaw line and then make my way up toward his earlobe.

“It’s not fun if you don’t play,” I whisper.

He laughs, allowing my lips to return to his. He responds now, kissing me with a soft, steady pressure and pulling me close to his rock hard chest. I’ve never been held so securely. My heart trembles and my muscles melt.

“Okay darlin’,” he says, pressing his lips against mine, giving me a kiss that reminds me of chocolate and lemons, before gently helping me off his lap. “I think it’s time we go.”

“Sure,” I whisper. The ground becomes wavy water and my hand disappears in his as I struggle to stand. Take me away cowboy.

He lifts me, giving me his arm to lean on as he leads me through the house, passing Gina and Peter making out on the stairs. He stops, pulling Gina away too.

“Colt? What’re-ya-doin’?” she slurs.

He drops my hand, and it burns with the absence of his touch. “Do you have a ride home Gina?”

She shakes her head as Peter pulls her back to the step next to him. “I drove Autumn.”

Colt unwraps Peter’s arms. “Which is why I'm taking you both home.”

Peter stands up. "Hey man, if she wants to stay, she should."

Colt only has to point to him and say, "Peter. Come on, you know not to try that with me." Peter nods, holding his hands up in some mysterious man exchange.

“Fine,” Gina stumbles like a turkey into Colt’s arms. So funny. I laugh so hard, my goose noise sneaks in too.

“Was that a chortle?” Colt lifts his brow with a cocky grin.

“Chortles are very sexy.” I throw my shoulders back.

He laughs as he wraps his arm around Gina to support her and takes my hand, leading us out the front door. “Into the truck, girls.”

It’s warm in the truck, and with Gina to lean on, comfy too. Sleep takes me away with a few bumps of the road. Gina’s shoulder is soon replaced with a leather jacket. The smell lulls me in and out of sleep with Colt’s whistled tune. My shoulder rocks and I wake. He reaches behind me, propping me up.

“Want some?” He hands me a yellow cup of that watered down beer.

“Thanks.” I say. I am so thirsty. I put the plastic to my mouth, taking a small sip. The liquid slides past my tongue. This must be from the bottom of the barrel because it doesn’t taste right. It’s thin and a struggle to swallow. First goal of the summer, do not spit on the hot cowboy.

“Like it?”

“It’s super watery.”

“Yeah.” He laughs and my stomach tickles with the sound. “Have a few more sips.” He holds the cup back to my lips.

I sip again. It’s horrid, laced with iron and something else that I can’t pinpoint. It’s so hard to slide past my throat. What is he, like, trying to drug me? I hold the liquid poison in my mouth.

Wait. What if he is trying to drug me? Holy crap. While he's focused on the road, I reach for the door handle, trying not to shake. I’m in a truck with a total stranger with his muscles of steel, in the middle of nowhere. What's wrong with me? I’d never let this happen in New York. My heart beats in rhythm with the buzz in my ears. I need an escape plan, like now.

He flips off the headlights. We’re in complete darkness except for the stars. I glance out the window; a light from a lone farm-house is about a mile away. No one will hear me scream.

We’re completely alone.

About the Author

When Lizzy Charles isn't scrambling to raise her two spunky toddlers or caring for premature and sick babies as a neonatal intensive care nurse, she's in a quiet corner writing or snuggled up with a novel and a few squares of dark chocolate. She married her high school sweetheart, a heart-melting musician, so it's no surprise she's fallen in love with writing contemporary YA romance novels.

Connect with Lizzy Charles on: