Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Blog Tour: Outside by Michelle Mankin

Meet Lincoln Savage in this perfect summer read. Are you ready for rock stars, surf and second chances in
Outside by Michelle Mankin?

NOW AVAILABLE at the following retailers:

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1Gu6aKm


When handsome California surf god Lincoln Savage suddenly rolls into Ocean Beach like a rogue wave, shy beauty Simone Bianchi’s foundation is shaken. No longer under the thumb of her domineering father, she’s made a simple quiet life for herself and her fluffy fourteen pound Havanese pup running a surf shop in her hometown of OB. Long ago she gave up her dreams for a future with Linc.
But now the notorious lead singer of the Dirt Dogs has returned, and Simone is reluctant to admit that she’s still vulnerable to his killer dimpled smile and easy charm. She finds that although she’s stowed away the mementos, it hasn’t been as easy to erase the memories of their epic summer love.
It seems he hasn’t forgotten, either.
Is the recording contract he’s offering merely a pretense?
Or does he have something more in mind?
Does he really believe that they can just pick up where they left off, despite all the bad luck and heartache?
And is she willing to risk everything again for one last chance at love?


“Dammit, Mona.” I leaned in closer inhaling her sweet scent and nearly brought to my knees with desire. I wanted to have her. Right here. Right now. I had to curl my fingers into fists to keep from reaching out, grabbing her and reminding her how it used to be between us. Her lids lowered and her breathing turned ragged. Was she remembering, too, or trying to forget?
“Go away, Linc.” Apparently the latter.
“Maybe I can’t,” I admitted my voice raspy with stripped down need. “Maybe I don’t want to.”
“Don’t.” She closed her eyes and her chin dropped. “Don’t do this to me.” She wet her lips. They visibly trembled. Even though I knew I had upset her I still wanted to kiss them. “I’m not one of your groupies easily flattered by your bullshit. The fact that you’re a big rock star doesn’t impress me. I know who you really are Lincoln Savage. I’ve seen you at your best and I’ve survived you at your worst. So don’t think you can come here and play games with me.”

3.5 Star Review by Lisa Kane

"Outside," the one on the right yelled to the other as a steep wave rose and curled over him. 
"What does that mean:" I asked Linc.
"That there's a good wave, a surf-able wave coming up behind you. Up to you to turn around and take it or get out of the way before it crashes over you."

Outside opens up with Simone Bianchi performing at her weekly gig at the Tiki Bar in Ocean Beach. But she senses someone in the crowd is there. And she's right-Linc Savage the love of her life is back in town after fifteen years. Why would he come back after all these years of touring with the Dirt Dogs his band? Their initial meeting is bittersweet. They ended on such a sour note and they haven't talked in all that time. But Linc has an agenda for coming back to town. He tells Mona (his nickname for her) that he has had an offer for one of the songs they wrote together to be sold to a movie. It means hundreds of thousands of dollars for them. Simone's family was wealthy so she may not need the money but he wants her to consider it. But he doesn't tell her his real reason for coming back. 

While Simone doesn't have anyone special in her life, she has come to depend on a hot, gorgeous, much younger guy named Patrick. There may be a ten year difference in their ages, but he is a mature for his age and wants nothing more than to be with Simone. Unfortunately, he chooses to tell her his feelings at the same time as Linc is back in town. 

Most of the story is told from both their POV's and is about their past. How they met and both were instantly attracted to the other. Simone's father was a control freak and her mom was an alcoholic. Linc was a champion surfer and that's where his future was-until music accidentally changed the course of his life. They took on the world to be together, only to have it ripped apart and for Linc to betray Simone in the worst way possible. Their lives took different paths, but neither made any permanent relationships with anyone else. 

"You're the one who shut me out," she said bowing her head in defeat. 

"Maybe I did. Maybe I have. But maybe that was because I knew where you and I were headed all along."

So much of the writing is about Linc and Mona's past. Towards the end of the book when we brought back to the present I needed to feel that 15 years was not long enough to rob this couple of what they once had. But here is where I felt the disconnect. Linc had issues with booze and certainly partied with his share of women and dabbled in drugs. But in all that time, he didn't have any come to Jesus moments telling him that if he loved Simone so much go back and try and salvage something with her? He wanted to be worthy of her and cleaned up his act in rehab. I just didn't feel it. Maybe if there was more to his story on the road and why he had no communication for 15 years and then a detailed explanation of why he was leaving the band and going after Mona. But to never see that person in all that time (except for the few details Ash knew of her) he didn't even know she was broke. What if she was with someone? He made plans with Ash to renovate the 
building Patrick lived in to convert it to a studio. That's a lot of money to spend before you even know if you have a future in that town. 

Patrick confused me too.  After being so opposed to Simone being with Linc, he has one conversation out surfing one morning and he's convince that Linc truly is in love with Simone? Simone's life was torn apart for Linc. In standing up to her father, she lost the financial backing she needed to go to school. Meanwhile Linc is making millions over the years with his band but never wondered if she needed help? When the opportunities were there for him to support his former bandmate Patch, he failed on both accounts. Patch's family was quicker to forgive than I would have been. 

At the end of Outside, the hurts have healed. I am not sure if the questions about the other characters in the story-particularly Ash and Karen, will have some resolution. There is a great canvass of characters and lots of stories yet to be told. 

" I was holding back. I was afraid. I was so busy trying to find myself that I lost track of you in the process. You were like the perfect wave but instead of turning around and swimming toward you with all I had in me I went the opposite way, the wrong way."

About the Author:
The bestselling author of the Black Cat Records series of novels.
Romance with subtext.
Reimagining classic stories with sexy rock stars and thought provoking issues.
Love Evolution, Love Revolution, and Love Resolution are a BRUTAL STRENGTH centered trilogy, combining the plot underpinnings of Shakespeare with the drama, excitement, and indisputable sexiness of the rock 'n roll industry.
Things take a bit of an edgier, once upon a time turn with the TEMPEST series. These pierced, tatted, and troubled Seattle rockers are young and on the cusp of making it big, but with serious obstacles to overcome that may prevent them from ever getting there.
Rock stars, myths, and legends collide with paranormal romance in a totally mesmerizing way in the MAGIC series.
When Michelle is not prowling the streets of her Texas town listening to her rock music much too loud, she is putting her daydreams down on paper or traveling the world with her family and friends, sometimes for real, and sometimes just for pretend as she takes the children to school and back.

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