Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Blog Tour: Cement Heart by Beth Ehemann

by Beth Ehemann
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Lawrence Finkle, known simply to his die-hard Minnesota Wild fans as Viper, isn’t used to hearing the word no. He lives his whole life just a little on the reckless side. After all, life is just one big game, right?


When what was supposed to be an innocent bet goes horribly wrong, he’s left to deal with the aftermath— and the guilt. In an effort to make things right the best way he can, he ends up falling for the one person on the planet he never should have.

The old saying goes that two wrongs don’t make a right . . . or do they?

4.5 Star Review by Jen Skewes

I am sure that anyone who has read this series has been waiting for Viper’s book. I loved Viper and all his charming bad boy self.  I was so excited to read his book and Beth Ehemann did not disappoint with this one.  This book was so different from what I expected and I loved it.  It was emotional, heart breaking at times but also fun and sweet.    You just can’t help fall in love with Lawrence “Viper” Finkelstein.

Viper is living the life right now.  He is a professional hockey player, has a great group of friends and can have any girl that he wants.  And believe me he does.  When a tragic accident occurs it leaves him in a world of hurt and guilt.  He shuts himself off from his friends, his team and life in general. He has ignored the outside world as best as he can. But there comes a point when he is given no choice but to get his act together and get help. If not it may just cost him the one thing that he loves, his career. 

Viper has never been in love, has no plans of ever getting married or having kids.  He is actually very good with his friend’s kids, but being the funny inappropriate at times, uncle works for him.  Sex has been nothing more than casual for him.  He has had a wall around his heart for so long but for once in his life that cement wall is slowly breaking into pieces and it’s all because of one woman.  What starts out as a friendship to help two people heal and get through a tough time turns into so much more.  For the first time Viper wants to spend time with a woman and not just for sex.  She makes him happy and makes him feel.  They both feel it.  They have a connection and are drawn to each other.  But the feelings that they have scare them for so many reasons.  Their relationship is complicated but they both feel the connection so they have to decide is their relationship worth exploring?

I honestly do not want to spoil anything by telling you anything else about the storyline.  Nit even the woman who managed to capture Viper's heart.  The prologue for this book completely sucked me in and I knew at that moment this book was going to be emotional  And as I kept reading I honestly was was not sure who would be the woman to grab onto his heart and break the cement around it.  I wasn’t sure where this story would go but when it finally hits you and you get to that moment when you figure it all out, wow!  It was not what I expected and that is what I loved about this book.  The element of surprise.  And while I cannot tell you her name just know that I loved her and she was the perfect person for Viper and the exact person that he needed in his life.

It was a tough journey for this couple and I loved the pace that it was taken and how their relationship was formed.  I thought it was done in a way that made it so real and so genuine.  This is the story about two people finding love when least expected.  It is about two people who are both dealing with pain and trying to heal and move on from it.  My heart hurt so much for these two people and I loved how they bonded and found the comfort and love that they both needed with each other.    I would not have had this story go any other way.  It was simply perfect.  

Now let’s talk about Viper. because let's face it we all love him!  But in reading his story you see that beneath the man whore and the bad boy charm he had a heart. And once he opened it up it was honestly beautiful.  His relationship with this little boy will completely melt your heart.  He was everything that boy needed in that moment and at the same time I think Viper needed him as well.   Yes Viper is still the same Viper and will make you laugh and smile.  But there are also so many layers to this man.  And being inside his head you are able to peel back those layers and see what is underneath. You get to see his emotions and his struggles. You begin to see that there are reasons for hiding behind meaningless sex and nameless women.    You begin to see past the man that everyone else sees, because what the outside world sees is so different than the man underneath it all.  There is more to Viper than sex, women and hockey.  He has a huge heart and feelings and we see that in this book.

There are some moments in this book that will break your heart.  This story was beautiful, emotional and amazing.  I honestly did not expect the emotional ride that this book took me on.  And I am not just talking emotional in the sense that you feel bad for these characters and feel their hurt, I am talking heart breaking, crying my eyes out emotional.  I may have cried on more than one occasion.  But this book is not all about heartache.  It was sweet and fun and a beautiful story about love and healing.  

Beth Ehemann you did a fantastic job with Viper's story.  You have such a wonderful way with words.  Once again you have shown what an amazingly talented writer you truly are. You know how to capture the reader from the very start and how to bring out all of the emotions.  You have a way of making us fall in love with your characters and feeling like we are a part of their lives, like we are going through every moment in their life right there with them.  This book was way beyond what I ever expected and I mean that in a really good way.  I look forward to anything that you write.  Another wonderful job!!

I found a bench right outside the door at the very moment my legs decided to give out. Who knew a hard-ass concrete bench could be so comforting? I ran my hands through my hair and rested my elbows on my knees, staring at the concrete slab below me. An ant slowly walked up to my foot and stopped. I wondered what it was like to be an ant. Did they have friends and families? Did they accidentally hurt each other? Did they feel guilt? I’d fought like hell my whole life to keep my feelings in check and never let people see them, but the last two days were testing that more than any other time in my life. I didn’t know how much longer I could keep it together.
Praying was something we never did in my house growing up, but at that moment I felt the overwhelming urge to talk out loud to . . . someone.
Looking around to make sure I was alone, I took a deep breath and puffed my cheeks out, exhaling slowly.
I glanced up at the sky for just a second, quickly deciding I probably looked like a moron and that whoever I was going to talk to would probably hear me no matter where I was looking.
“Hey, whoever’s up there. My name is Lawrence Finkle, but you probably know me as Viper. Anyway—” I cleared my throat, suddenly feeling very stupid that I was talking to myself, but so desperate I was willing to do anything. “—we’ve never had what I would call an active relationship, but right now I’m feeling pretty alone down here. I’ve fucked up a lot in my life, as you probably know, but I’ve always been able to talk myself out of any trouble I got into. Well, I’ve finally done something I can’t fix. It was an accident, but I still can’t fix it, and I could really use it at the moment. I don’t really know how this works, but I’m willing to bargain. I’ll do anything—go to church, donate time and money, stop fucking strangers. I mean it, anything . . . just please . . . save my best friend. He’s a good man with a wife and kids who need him. If you need to take someone, take me. No one gives a shit whether I’m here or not.” My eyes started to feel hot and sting as I took another shaky breath.
“Mr. Finkle?”
Startled at the sound of my name, I stood and turned as a camera flashed in my eyes. Squinting and holding my hand up, I tried to block out another flash. “What the fuck?” I growled.
“Hi, Mr. Finkle. I’m Warren Sanders with the Star Tribune here in Minneapolis.” He held his hand out for me to shake. I glared down at it and then back up at him without saying a word. He quickly pulled his hand back and continued, “We heard about what happened yesterday and we were just wondering if we could ask you a few questions. Like, maybe what exactly happened? What’s his current condition? Anything you’re willing to give us.” He held a microphone in my face as the cameraman lifted a different camera onto his shoulder to film me.
Rage shot through me like a bullet shoots out of a gun.
“You want anything I’m willing to give you?” I asked coldly. “Well, I’m going to give you ten seconds to get that motherfucking camera out of my face before I shove that mic up your ass.”
“Uh . . .” he stammered. “We won’t keep you for long. We just want a quick statement.”
Without hesitation, I took three steps and grabbed the camera from the guy behind him, lifted it above my head, and smashed it on the concrete. They both jumped back, their mouths hanging open as they stared at the ground.
“There!” I pointed to the shattered camera as I walked away. “There’s your fucking statement.”

Beth Ehemann lives in the northern suburbs of Chicago with her husband and four children. When she's not sitting in front of her computer writing, or on Pinterest, she loves reading, photography, martinis and all things Chicago Cubs. She's represented by Jessica Watterson of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.


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