Friday, September 26, 2014

Blog Tour: Saving Tatum by Micalea Smeltzer

Even tough girls need saving. 

Jude Brooks is bad news. He’s the kind of guy that leaves behind a string of broken hearts and Tatum O’ Connor is not about to be one of those girls, despite all of Jude’s advances. They have a past, and Tatum’s determined to make sure they don’t have a future.

Unfortunately for her, “no” isn’t a word in Jude’s vocabulary.

The more she backs away, the more he pushes.

But what if he pushes too far?

Tatum’s hiding a pain that no one sees and holding on to a hurt that may never heal. Letting Jude into her heart could shatter her completely—and what if she opens up to Jude and he can’t handle her baggage? 

Love is never easy—especially when the person you’re falling for is the person you blame for the worst event in your life.

Love, heartache, and despair. 

That’s the name of the game when you’re Saving Tatum. 

4.5 Star Review by Jen Skewes

I love the Trace + Olivia series and could not wait for Jude and Tatum’s story.  We met them in Tempting Rowan and I loved them.  They had this love/hate relationship going on.  Well more like love on Jude’s end and hate on Tatum’s.  But yet we didn’t know what their story was.  Why Tate seemed to dislike him so much.  I loved the banter between them and could not to find out the real story.

Tatum lost her brother about 7 years ago.  And for the past 7 years she has blamed one person for that loss, Jude Brooks.  She believed that he was the cause of his death and from that moment all of her anger over losing her brother went into hating Jude.  Jude and Tatum went to high school together but she managed to avoid him.  But now that they are in college and Jude is best friends with her best friend Rowan, so it is a little hard to pretend like she doesn’t know him.  When she has no choice but to accept his help with a paper that she is writing she starts to see a side of Jude that she never knew existed.  Jude brings out something in Tatum that she hasn’t see in a while…feelings.  But she swore that she would never give in to Jude’s advances and would always hate him.  But things change and sometimes not everything is as it seems.

Jude has wanted Tatum since she kicked him in the balls in high school.  He loved the feisty tough girl attitude.  But Tate has never liked him and for the life of him he could never figure out why.  Now that he will be working with her for the next month this is his chance to find out the truth and maybe get to know Tatum O’Connor a little better. 

As Tate and Jude spend more time with each other, Tate starts to think that maybe she was all wrong about him.  Maybe he isn’t the bad guy that she made him out to be.  But the problem is that Tate is still so scared of the feelings that she is developing for Jude.  She is afraid of getting close to someone, only to lose them again.  She is afraid of all the feelings that she has when she is with him.  She doesn’t know what to do with her feelings but if there is one thing that she is good at, it’s running.  Will she take a chance on the boy that she spent the last 7 years hating? 

Jude was just so sweet, caring, adorable and at the same time sexy.  He always had a thing for Tate but given her feelings towards him nothing ever happened between them.  He is determined to prove to her that he wants her, that he is not the bad guy she thinks he is.  Jude has his own past that has hurt him.  And for that reason has shut himself off and guarded his heart, but Tate was different.  I loved how thoughtful he was with her.  Just the little gestures that made me smile.  He was there for her no matter what.  He had patience with her and he just wanted to make her smile.  I think he may have taken Trace’s place as my favorite book boyfriend of this series!  Yes I said it, Jude Brooks is my new fave. 

Tatum was a tough cookie who had a wall around her heart that was so thick you would need a sledgehammer to break it.  But Jude Brooks slowly broke that wall down.  And as each piece began to fall she found herself opening up to him to more and more.  Opening up the idea of love.  After seeing everything she has gone through and the burden she still carries I completely understand why that wall was constructed.  And while at times I became a bit frustrated with her I loved her.  I loved the snarky wise-ass comments.  She was the perfect match for Jude. 

Once again Micalea Smetzler has done an amazing job with this story.  I fell in love with these characters and was rooting for them to get their HEA.  I felt the emotions, the heartache, the happiness, and the fear.  I love Pap and thought he was such a beautiful addition to this story.   Tate’s worst enemy at times seemed to be herself and her conscience, but she managed to face them, with Jude by her side.  She also had an amazing friend in Rowan who helped her see what was right in front of her.  This is a wonderful series and one that I am sad to see end. 

Happiness had been absent from my emotions for a long time. On the surface, I wore a smile and never showed the struggles I dealt with on the inside. The fact of the matter was, I’d been hurt. I was damaged goods, and I hadn’t believed I was the kind of girl worthy of love—of being saved. But I was beginning to see that everyone is worth saving. It was strangely appropriate that the man I’d let break me, was the one to put me back together.
I didn’t know what tomorrow, or next week, or even the following month might hold for us, and I wasn’t going to let myself overthink it. I was going to live in the moment.
Jude lay on his back, staring up at the clear blue sky. “Tatum?”
“Yeah,” I replied when he didn’t continue immediately.
“Can I hold your hand, or are you going to hit me for that?”
I turned my head and laughed at his serious expression. “I think that would be alright, and I really am sorry about that. It was an automatic reaction.”
“So…” He started, a slow grin appearing on his face. “Your first response to a guy kissing you, is to slap him? Interesting.”
He was never going to let me live this down. I really hadn’t meant to hit him. He knew that, but he also enjoyed my pain. Douche.
“Only one guy.”
“I’m the only guy to ever kiss you?” He brightened.
“No!” I immediately shut him down. “I’ve kissed other guys, but you’re the only one that I…you know…”
“Slapped?” He supplied. “Should I be honored that you like to hit me?” He winked.
“You make me sound like I’m abusive,” I pouted, feeling ashamed of myself and my behavior.
“Nah,” he propped his head up on his hand and stared down at me. “You’re just a tough girl.”
“Tough?” I wrinkled my nose. “That doesn’t sound very appealing.”
“Oh, trust me,” his brown eyes sparkled, “it is. It’s hot as hell actually. But you want to know a secret, Tate?”
I nodded and he lowered his head so his mouth was pressed against my ear. My body shuddered at the close proximity and the heavenly feel of his breath ghosting against my skin. “Even tough girls need saving.”
“Is that what you’re going to do Jude?” I quirked my head and squinted from the sun shining in my eyes. “Are you going to save me?”
“No,” he shook his head, his dark hair brushing my forehead. “You’re going to save yourself.”
He said the words with such surety that I couldn’t help but believe him. When I didn’t say anything he rolled onto his back and finally entwined our hands together. Peace flooded my body and I didn’t understand it. How could the man that had filled me with such torment not long ago, calm my body with a simple touch? It was mindboggling.
I rolled my head slightly to the side, studying his profile—the elegant slope of his nose and the slant of his lips. I couldn’t believe I was thinking this, and he’d probably kill me if I said it out loud, but he was beautiful—inside and out. It was a shame that I was just now noticing it. I think a lot of people never saw what a magnificent person he was. He hid his true self behind cocky smiles and flirtatious come-ons.
“You’re staring at me.”
“I’m not,” I hastily turned my head away.
“I felt your eyes,” he continued. “You were totally staring. It’s okay, look all you want. I know I’m quite the feast for your eyes.”
With my free hand I smacked his stomach. My God he had abs of steel. I think I hurt my hand more than I did any damage to him. Not that I was really trying to hurt him. Although, I thought he needed a nice blow to his ego.
I squealed as he rolled on top of me and I found my arms pinned above me, pushed into the sand. His tongue slowly snaked out between his plump lips to moisten their surface. I thought he was going to kiss me, but he didn’t. I was learning that Jude rarely did what I expected of him. In many ways he was a mystery.
His dark eyes grew serious as he stared down at me and I found myself squirming as his hips dug into mine. I felt my body responding to the position—muscles tightening, pulse racing, and an overwhelming ache building inside me.
“Are you sure about this?” He breathed softly. There was a vulnerability in his eyes that I’d only ever seen when he was around his grandpa. “About us? Or am I going to wake up in the morning and find that you’re gone?”
“You really think I’d run away?” I replied, wiggling my hips, which caused him to hiss sharply between his teeth.
“Honestly? It wouldn’t surprise me. You’re afraid of your own feelings,” he lowered his head, brushing his nose against my neck. My eyes closed and a pleased hum resounded in my throat. There was still a voice in my head telling me to push him away, but I was done listening to it. “It’s okay to be scared, Tate,” he nipped my earlobe, the heat of his body wrapping around mine like a blanket. “I’m scared too.”
“You are?” I breathed, my voice so soft the wind nearly carried it away.
I felt him nod, his hair tickling my neck. “I’ve never felt this way about anyone, but you,” he confessed. “It’s always been you.”

Micalea Smeltzer is a bestselling Young and New Adult author from Winchester, Virginia. She’s always working on her next book, and when she has spare time she loves to read and spend time with her family.

Follow Micalea:
Twitter: @msmeltzer9793
Instagram: micaleasmeltzer

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