Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Blog Tour: Almost Innocent by Carina Adams


New Dark Romance by Carina Adams!
Almost Innocent is NOW LIVE!

Callaghan. A name synonymous with power and fear. A family of untouchable criminals.
As a teenager, Gabriella Forte had no intention of getting to know the town's most dangerous brothers. Once Dustin set his sights on her, she was trapped. There was only one way out of her personal hell.
Declan was determined to break away from his family's shadow. Until he fell in love with the one woman he couldn't have. She changed everything.
Life isn't always kind. Love can hurt. Sometimes you need to sacrifice yourself to protect the people you care about.
It's been twelve years since Declan did the unthinkable and went to prison. He promised to stay away from Gabby and his nephew. That's one vow he can't keep.
Things aren't always what they seem. Facts are only as credible as the person stating them. The truth doesn't always set you free.

Warning: This is a dark romance. If domestic violence bothers you, if you can't read violence in literature, or you are looking for a light and fluffy read, this book is not for you.

AICover.jpg5 stars
Review by Jen Skewes

I had the honor of beta reading this book and I loved it.   But because I had read it in pieces I needed and wanted to read it again. I wanted to sit by myself, ignore everything around me and just submerge myself into Gabby and Declan’s world.  And I did just that.  And let me tell you that it was even better the second time around.  I knew what happened, I knew the twists and turns in this book but that didn’t matter because when those moments came I was still an emotional wreck with knots in my stomach.  Almost Innocent is a beautiful and yet very painful story that will touch you in so many ways.  It will pull out every emotion, it will make you cry and give you those not so nice feelings inside of you.  But between all of that it is also a second chance story of two people who have loved each other since they first met, but were never given the chance that they deserved.  This is Gabby and Declan’s story and while it is a very tough road, filled with so much pain, it is a road that ends in a very happy place.   It just took a lot to finally get there.  

I do not want to go into too much detail because what is written in the blurb is really all you need to know.  Gabby and Declan met as teenagers.  They quickly became best friends.  But when Gabby started dating Declan’s brother Dusty, that meant she was completely off limits to him.  Even though they were best friends, their love for each other was so much deeper than that, but neither one of them knew it at the time.  Gabby’s relationship with Dusty was complete hell.  He was an abusive asshole who brought so much pain, hurt and fear into Gabby’s life.  But when things go really bad Gabby finds herself losing the one person who truly meant anything to her. 

It is 12 years since Gabby has seen Declan.  After serving his time in prison he is now out.  When they finally run into each other Gabby doesn’t understand what happened over the past 12 years that caused him to ignore her.  Did he hate her that much that he never wanted to see her again?  Honestly when I first met Declan I thought he was a bit of a prick.  And maybe that is because of the way he tried to push Gabby away.  But when you see the reasons for his actions you understand.  There are so many unspoken words between these two that you are not even sure they have a chance of ever being together.  But regardless you cannot help root for them.

Declan is the man that no matter how bad he is you cannot help but fall in love with him.  He is the guy that you never want to cross for fear of what will happen to you if you do.  But beneath the hard exterior shell is a man who does have a heart, who will do anything to protect those he loves.  And if you are Gabby Forte he is the man that has loved you since he first met you, he is your best friend who will always be there to protect you.   

When Declan loves he loves with passion and intensity.   Gabby is the only girl to ever have his heart.  He will do anything to protect her and no matter how long it’s been since they have seen each other the feelings that he had for her 12 years ago are still there.  It doesn’t matter how he hurt people who crossed him or what his family did for a living.  What mattered to me was how much he loved Gabby and how much he wanted to protect her.  I don’t think he was always the man that he is today and I think very tragic and unfortunate circumstances made him into that man.  But the one thing that never changed was his love for Gabby and you could see that throughout this book.  That man has loved her since he was a young boy.  Gabby unknowingly had a hold on his heart and never let go.  I loved how much he loved her and wanted to protect her and keep her safe,  no matter what.  He was a loving and loyal man when it came to her, and he protected what was his. 

Gabby is one of my favorite heroines.  My God what this girl went through, the pain and the abuse that she endured at the hands of a sick bastard.  But to see the woman that she has become today and seeing how strong she is, just made me love her and admire her.  And I think in many ways she was a very sefless person.   

I loved them as two individuals but together, Gabby and Declan were just so beautiful.  It has been 12 years since they have seen each other and yes a lot has changed.  But they still loved each other like they did all those years ago.  They would do anything for each other. I’m not going to lie and tell you that this story is all hearts and rainbows, because believe me it is so far from it.   You  know and can feel how much they love each other but their road to getting the happily ever after that they deserved and should have had years ago, is a really bumpy road filled with many twists and turns along the way.  There were secrets and truths between them that needed to come out.  And when they did, Oh My God hold onto your seat.  There were twists I didn’t expect, twists that completely broke me and made me furious and sick all at the same time. Twists that leave you with your mouth hanging open going "holy Sh#@!!!  Trust me it will completely shock you.  

This book is unlike anything that Carina Adams has written.  It is dark and deals with a very heavy topic that is also very, very real.  It deals with domestic abuse, a topic that I think unfortunately people out there can relate to but at the same time a topic that many try to understand.  There’s always those questions of why did she stay, why didn’t she fight back?   And unless you are that person I don’t think you truly have an understanding of what they are going through.   In Almost Innocent, yes those questions ran through my mind but Ms. Adams also answered those questions for me.  She made me fully understand what Gabby was going through.  She made me see and feel the pain and the hurt.  I saw how much she feared losing the two people who meant the most to her.  She makes you see it all, helps you to understand it all.  

There are parts of this story that may not be for everyone.  Dealing with a topic of abuse there are some dark moments.  But with that being said Ms. Adams told this story in a way where it was not too graphic or in a way where I couldn’t handle it.  Were there moments where I felt sick to my stomach and were very painful to read? Absolutely!!  But I never felt the need to walk away.  And those moments weren’t just about the graphic telling of the abouse that got me, it were other moments that completely broke me.  It was the words that people spoke, the lies that they told as well as the truths that just honestly broke me to hear them.  I felt like I was one with these characters because of that.  I felt what they were going through.  The emotions that they felt throughout this book I felt with them.  Their hurt and pain felt like mine.  I think Carina told this story in the perfect way.  Enough to make you fully see and feel every ounce of pain that they went through, but not too much where you cannot handle it. Absolutely amazing job!!  A must read.

Oh I cannot write this review without mentioning one character who I think deserves her own happily ever after and that is Fiona, Declan’s sister.  That woman went through so much.  My God I don’t know how she even survived.  But she was just as strong as Gabby and what I loved was the relationship that these two had.  She was there for Gabby when she needed someone the most.   I want to see her get her own book and see her happy.  I also think that there is so much more to her character than what we saw.  The other person who I wish I got to see a little more was Colin, Declan’s dad.  I honestly did love him and the way he cared for Gabby.  He was like a second father to her and despite what people may have thought he watched out for her and Declan.  I truly believe that and I know that he loved them.  I may be the only one who felt this way about him, I am not sure…lol  But for some reason I liked the guy!!! 

I turned into my driveway so fast I almost sideswiped the gate, then I gunned 
the engine, slamming on the brakes at the last minute, so I didn’t collide with 
my brother’s Jeep. Leaving my car door open, I raced into the house and up the 
stairs, then I threw my weight against the door to Dustin’s room.
Just as the gunshot echoed throughout the house, shaking the walls as if an 
earthquake had hit.

His room was destroyed, furniture broken and scattered around, holes in the 
walls, the floor covered in debris. The scent of blood hit me like a freight train. 
The taste of copper invaded my mouth, almost as if it was me who had been 
wounded, and I stumbled backward as my eyes moved over the room, 
desperate to find her. The closet door was flung open, hanging from only the 
bottom hinge.

On the floor, just inside the closet, was a man, weeping. He clutched something 
in his arms as he rocked back and forth, sharp wails of pain seeping from his 

No! No. I raced to them, fell to the floor at her feet, climbed up her legs, and 
shoved the trembling mass away from her. Her eyes were still open, yet there 
was no life left in them. One of her hands hung limply at her side while the 
other was curled over her rounded belly, almost protectively. Fuck, no!
I sank onto my knees next to her, pulling her up to me and burying my face in 
her neck. Not my Gabby. She couldn’t be gone! Without her, I had no reason to 

Despair filled every part of me as I clung to the woman I loved, desperate to 
rewind the clock and get her back. Just for a few more minutes. Just to tell her 
how much she mattered to me.

“She’s gone. She’ll never be yours,” the sinister voice I’d grown to hate goaded. 
“She always thought she was never good enough for you.” He barked out a 
psychotic laugh. “You. Bitch was never good enough for me.”

Without moving away from her, because I couldn’t physically let go yet, I 
yanked my Desert Eagle from its holster and aimed at my brother. “You were 
never fucking good enough for her.” I pulled the trigger without a single regret. 
“She’ll never be yours.”

The look on Dustin’s face was one of betrayal and surprise. I didn’t know why he 
felt either. My loyalty to him died the day he’d discovered I was in love with his 
girlfriend and decided to punish her for my mistakes. He’d been there when I 
stole the life from perfectly healthy and decent men, so it shouldn’t be a shock 
that I’d relieved his black soul from his diseased, evil existence. He flopped over 
to the side dramatically as I returned my attention to the woman who was my 
“I’m so fucking sorry, baby,” I whispered, holding her tight one last time.

A phone rang across the room, but I couldn’t move away from the woman in my 
arms. I cradled her head against my chest, begging God and all of the saints to 
grant me a miracle. I’d give my life for hers. I willed my strength into her body.
It didn’t work.

The phone rang again, this time with a commotion behind me. I snapped my 
head to the right, a predatory growl on my lips, daring whoever had come into 
the room to try to rip her from my arms. The sight of my cousin, standing just 
inside the door, caused rage to boil out of me.
I wouldn’t leave her for anything. Except revenge. Pressing my lips to her still 
warm forehead, I laid her back gently and faced the man I’d trusted above all 
I stalked toward him, gun drawn. “Where the fuck were you?”
Mark narrowed his eyes at me but was smart enough to step back.
“I told you to watch her. I told you to protect her.”

My best friend raised his chin defiantly, as if the love of my life wasn’t lying 
behind me and growing cold. “I don’t take orders from you, kid. She wasn’t 

The pain that hurtled through my body was unlike any I’d ever felt, burning a 
path from my mind to my stomach as realization dawned. He’d known. The 
fucker had known and hadn’t lifted a fucking finger to stop it.

Loss—not just from Gabby, but knowing the man I’d loved as a brother was now 
gone—mixed with the bitter taste of betrayal and swirled in my stomach. I could 
finally see the man Mark had become. I hated him. He may not have pulled the 
trigger, but he was just as responsible for Gabby’s death as Dustin.

I lifted my arm without aiming and unloaded the magazine into him.

I sat up, gasping for air and clutching at the blanket that covered me. It was 
just a dream, I told myself. Just a dream. I moved quickly, throwing my legs 
over the side of the bed, leaning my elbows on my knees, and clutching my 
Just a dream.

About the Author
Carina Adams.jpg
Carina Adams has been writing and creating characters for as long as she can remember, allowing her to fall in love with the next man of her dreams with every new story.
Thankfully, fate stepped in and granted her the ultimate wish - a life full of men. Carina lives in a picturesque New England town with her husband, the man who ruined the thought of all others, and two amazing sons who always keep her on her toes.
Carina received her MBA in May, but would much rather play with her imaginary friends (the voices in her head) than work her 8 to 5. When she isn’t trying to juggle being a working mom with karate and football practices, surprising her children with her sci-fi movie knowledge, or writing, you can find her with her nose pressed against her kindle, laughing with friends, or living life vicariously as her Derby Girl persona, Writers Block.
Carina is the author the of Bastards MC series and best selling Forever Red. She is currently writing Out of The Blue, the follow up to Forever Red. She loves to hear feedback from her readers, no matter what type.
Stalk Her:  Facebook |  Goodreads

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