Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Blog Tour: Soaring by Kristen Ashley

American heiress Amelia Hathaway needs to start anew. 

Her husband cheated on her, and when everything she wanted in life slipped through her fingers, she fell apart. When she did, she took another heart wrenching hit as she lost the respect of her children. 

When her ex took her family from California to live in the small town of Magdalene in Maine, Amelia decided it was time to sort herself out. In order to do that and win her children back, she moves to Cliff Blue, an architectural masterpiece on the rocky coast of Magdalene. 

Her boxes aren’t even unpacked when she meets Mickey Donovan, a man who lives across the street, a man so beautiful Amelia takes one look at Mickey and knows she wants everything from him. 

The problem is, she finds out swiftly that he’s friendly, he’s kind, but he doesn’t want everything back. 

Amelia struggles to right past wrongs in her life at the same time find out who she wants to be. She also struggles with her attraction to the handsome firefighter who lives across the street. 

But Amelia will face a surprise when her friendly neighbor becomes not-so-friendly. As Amelia and Mickey go head to head, Amelia must focus on winning back the hearts of her children. 

She soon discovers she also must focus on winning the heart of a handsome firefighter who understands down to his soul the beautiful heiress who lives across the street is used to a life he cannot provide.

5 Soaring Stars by Natasha Gentile

For those of you who don’t know I absolutely love Kristen Ashley.  Every single time I finish one of her books I say this is my favorite and I don’t think she can get better, guess what she does?  Every. Single. Time.
I fell so madly and deeply in love with Amelia and Mickey’s story that it left my heart soaring.  Let me take you on my journey…

Let me tell you how refreshing it was to read about a woman who is 47.  Now don’t get me wrong I love 20 and 30 somethings, but I was so happy with this that I fist pumped into the air.

American heiress Amelia Hathaway needs to start anew.

Amelia is ready to put the past behind her.  She is ready to finally forgive her cheating spineless ex-husband, Conrad and move on.   In moving on she decides that she is ready for a new house, a new town and a new venture.  The thing is, her ex-husband is less than thrilled with this new and improved Amelia and he has no problem letting her know that he is less than thrilled with this decision.

He was angry and I didn’t want him angrier.  Though how that could be, I couldn’t imagine.  I’d spent years plumbing the depths of his wrath.  However, as I did, I found those depths were unending.

Now I know you’re thinking that he’s gone crazy, and I would be the first to say probably, except well Amelia didn’t handle the whole cheating and break up with well. She handled the whole he is marrying his mistress even worse.  Just think fatal attraction minus the rabbit boiling in the pot.  I know it’s wrong, I get it, but come on,  we all know the saying “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.”

So now Conrad is in her face letting her know how much he is not happy that she is there.  Well it seems that her new neighbor isn’t keen on men screaming and berating woman!

However, before I got it out, I heard a deep voice demand, “Step back. Now.”
Conrad jerked around.
I looked beyond him and the world suspended
This was because, five feet away from Conrad, standing on my front walk, was a tall, muscular man with dark hair clipped short to his skull and the most beautiful blue eyes I’d ever seen in my life.
Those eyes were on Conrad.  They were irate.
But I didn’t take that in.
I took him in.

Oh. My. God. And just like that my heart is filling up.  So when people say who writes the best Alpha males?  Well, I’m not sure anyone could deny that Kristen gets it. Each and ever time. 

This man who is a stranger knows that it’s not right.  He has no idea who she is, and still he is jumping to her rescue, and they say chivalry is dead!

So we have a stand off.  In one corner you have the crazy cheating ex and in the opposite corner you have God’s gift to mankind.

But most of all, in that moment, I found myself wanting, in a myriad of ways, to make those beautiful blue eyes heated.
Yes, standing in my brand new house facing off with the love of my life, my ex-husband, the man who I lost, a man I didn’t think I could get over but knew I had to find a way-for him but mostly for our children-that was what I thought.

 So now you find out that she has children.  Two children actually, two children who lost all respect for her.  It seems that when you go crazy and start attacking their father and his new wife verbally, in public, the kids tend to go to the sane parent.  So yet another reason she is moving to a new town.  You see, Conrad has taken the kids and moved away California to Magdalene, Maine from her.  Now she wants them back. 

Mickey Donovan, oh my Mickey Donovan, if you were my neighbor I would constantly be making “I need a cup of sugar” requests.  Mickey is totally happy living in his family’s home next door to the Cliff Blue house, with his two kids.  He doesn’t need nor want the headaches, and he is very vocal with telling Amelia that right off the bat.
Amelia is ok with that in general, after all her goal is not to fall in love; it’s to find herself, and it’s to mend the relationship with her kids.

I was going to be me.
I had absolutely no idea what that me would turn out to be.
I just knew whoever she was, for the first time in her life, she’d be real.

Her relationship with her children just about breaks your heart.  As a mom to even think about losing that connection that I have with my kids, leaves me with hollowness in my chest.  I have to give it to her, she fought for them, she fought like a true momma bear.  No matter how many times they blatantly ignored her, never answered her texts, wouldn’t even give her the time of day, she plowed through, because in the end the reward was worth it.

I had to make a home
I had to heal my family
I had to find me
I had to let go of the old.
I had to pull myself together and start anew.

And just like that she started shaping her new life.  It is not easy for anyone to start at the beginning.  Especially when you are in a whole new state with no one that you know.

Her first step was to make her house a home.  A home for her and her children, even if they weren’t completely sure of their mom.  A place where she can bake for them, cook for them and grow with them.

Next, she found her way into the local boxing gym.  Having nothing to do she organized a fundraiser to help the kids fund their boxing equipment.  She is selling all her belongings.  The saying, “Out with the old, in with the new” is her motto!

When all that is done she puts in hours volunteering at the seniors’ home.  Her friendship with some of the locals leads to some of the best moments in the book.

So far she is on the right track to being a better person.
Make a home. Check
Make more time for kids. Check.
Send Daily texts to kids. Check.
Make time for myself. Check
Try to stay away from hot neighbor. Check.
Fall in love with hot neighbor’s kids. Check
Start dating. Check.

Only one small problem with that last part.  Seems Mickey isn’t that keen on the fact that she is dating and he is less keen on the fact that she is right under his thumb all the time.  Always there, yet out of reach.  He’s done fighting this attraction, and like the alpha male that he is; he takes what he deems is his.

And then he was kissing me.
Mickey Donovan was kissing me!
At first, I was suspended in utter disbelief.
Then his tongue touched my lips, I opened my moth, it slid inside…
And I tasted Mickey.
He was the most beautiful taste ever to touch my tongue.
Because of that, I wanted more.
And I took it, in doing so receiving the best kiss I’d had in my life.
It was deep, wet, blazing.

And just like that he’s in her face.  He is making sure that she knows that this is where he will be, only problem with this is that he works two jobs, and he is a volunteer fireman.  So between their kids visits, and his crazy hours working, they try to make it work.   Amy is willing to do what it takes, to take him as she can, but here is the thing. 

She has always had everything money can buy, she has always had material things, what she has never had is love.  Unconditional love.  A wholehearted love.

“All my life,” I whispered, “I was the girl who everyone thought had everything or could get it.  But the only thing I ever wanted was a man like you.  You’re the best man I’ve ever met, Mickey Donovan.” I felt another tear and the words trembled when I finished, “And you’re mine

They say that you fight for what you want, they say to never ever give up, they say that the heart wants what it wants, they say to believe, but do they ever tell you that with that comes, tears, comes happiness, comes doubt, comes fear, but with all that it is so worth it?  In the end all that, just makes your heart soar!  And my heart went soaring through this whole book.   I can not wait for more from this series!

By Kristen Ashley
Release date March 16, 2015: ebook and print

 “Hello, Boston Stone,” I greeted because I had no idea what else to say.
“You are?” he asked as I put the bags to the ground and touched the button on the trunk that would open it keyless.
As it glided open, I opened my mouth, doing it uncertain if I’d share my name or continue to try to brush him off, but I didn’t have the chance to decide.
I heard the word, “Babe,” growled from behind me.
I turned and saw Mickey stalking our way.
Not sauntering.
Not simply walking.
And he didn’t look happy.
“Mickey,” I called tentatively as a greeting, uncertain at his demeanor.
I hadn’t seen him since he hadn’t seen me (I hoped) at the movies.
He was in his firefighter-not-fighting-a-fire uniform of blue khakis and tee. His eyes were moving up and down my body. He still was unbelievably beautiful (that uniform…seriously).
He didn’t greet me back.
When he stopped, his gaze cut to Boston Stone and it went flinty.
“You need somethin’?” he asked incomprehensibly inhospitably.
“I was just helping this lovely lady with her groceries,” Stone responded.
“I got it,” Mickey stated flatly and then he got it. As in, he carefully pulled me back, grabbed the bags I was perfectly capable of picking up myself and placed them in my trunk.
He then went for the bag Stone was carrying, caught hold, but Stone didn’t let go.
“I can put it in the trunk myself, Donovan,” Stone clipped.
So they knew each other.
“As I said, I got it, Stone,” Mickey clipped back.
Yes, they knew each other.
The handles flattened as they both kept hold and pulled.
“Please!” I exclaimed. “We already had a wine incident. The sidewalk of Magdalene has been anointed with one red, let’s not anoint Cross Street with four.”
Mickey instantly let go and stepped back, running into me but he didn’t apologize or move away.
He stayed close, the back of his left side touching the front of my right.
It was at that point I noticed Mickey gave off a lot of heat.
Stone put the bag in my trunk, shut it and turned slowly to Mickey and me.
But he had eyes on Mickey.
“Are you two seeing each other?”
“That’s your business how?” Mickey asked as reply.
“It’s my business because, if you’re not, I’d like to request you leave so I can ask her to dinner,” Stone returned.
My head jerked as my body locked in shock.
“That’s not gonna happen,” Mickey growled.
My body stayed locked in shock but that didn’t mean my eyes didn’t fly to Mickey’s stony-faced profile in more shock.
“So you are seeing each other,” Stone remarked.
“Again, not your business,” Mickey bit out.
Stone’s expression turned shrewd. “And that’s something that would lead me to believe that the beautiful woman standing behind you is free to go to dinner with me.”
“You forget English?” Mickey asked. “I already answered that too.”
I butted in, “I think I can speak for myself, Mickey.”
He moved nothing but his head (though his torso shifted an inch) so he could look down at me.
His eyes were communicating again.
This time they were communicating the fact that he really didn’t like Boston Stone.
Considering what I knew of Mickey, this would be something that, along with my own natural aversion to Mr. Stone, would have made me decline the man’s invitation.
Unfortunately, Mickey added words to his look so this didn’t happen.
“You’re not goin’ out with this guy.”
Was he being serious?
He couldn’t tell me what to do. He wasn’t my father, my brother or my lover.
Heck, he barely knew me!
All he knew about me was that he didn’t want me. I was his…“attractive” neighbor who he now did not even walk over to beg recipes from (okay, so Aisling didn’t know of any other recipes I had, but whatever).
He didn’t even return my email!
And he was off with beautiful, statuesque redheads, smiling at them, taking them to movies.
He couldn’t tell me who I could and could not see.
“I’m not?” I snapped.
“No,” he turned fully to me, an ominous fully. “You are not,” he enunciated each word clearly.
“Sorry?” I asked sarcastically. “When did you become my big brother?”
He was still enunciating clearly, and dangerously, when he stated, “I absolutely am not your big brother.”
“No, you’re not,” I retorted, tossing my hair, which I hoped was shining in the sun. And with my hair toss, I further hoped my fabulous highlights caught the rays and gleamed. “You’re my neighbor. And if I want to go out with someone, you can’t say boo to the contrary.”
“This guy is an asshole,” he bit off, jerking his thumb at Boston Stone.
I felt my eyes get big and I got up on my toes, leaning into him, hissing, “That’s insufferably rude, Mickey Donovan.”
“It isn’t rude if it’s the truth.”
“You may think so but you don’t say it in front of the man in question.”
“You do if he’s as big of an asshole as this asshole is,” Mickey shot back.
My eyes got wider and I leaned closer. “Stop being nasty!” I demanded.
“You been in town, what?” he asked then answered with another question he didn’t expect a reply to. “A coupla months? I lived here my whole life and trust me, I’m savin’ you from a load of misery, this guy gets interested in you,” he returned.
I rocked down to my stilettos. “I am a big girl, Mickey. All grown up and everything. I do think I can make such decisions for myself.”
“You do, and they’re not what I’m tellin’ you to do, you’d be wrong.”
I glared at him.
Then I pushed right past him, hand lifted and got in the space of Boston Stone.
“Boston,” I said as he took my hand, grinning arrogantly and more than a little obnoxiously at me. “A belated nice to meet you. I’m Amelia Hathaway.”
His hand tightened in mine as he murmured, “Amelia.”
I pulled my hand from his, asking, “Do you know Cliff Blue?”
“Of course,” he replied, inclining his head in a pompous way that actually was kind of creepy.
“I live there,” I announced, doing another hair toss and powering beyond the creepy. “And I have plans this evening but I’m free tomorrow. Are you?”
“I wasn’t,” he replied. “But I’ll be making a phone call and I will be.”
“Excellent,” I decreed. “Seven?” I went on to ask.
“I’d be delighted,” he said softly, his eyes dancing with humor and I could see that too was relatively malicious.
I didn’t care.
I’d go out with him once, just to stick it to Mickey.
Then I’d be done with Boston Stone.
And anyway, I had about seven new outfits that would be perfect for a date and I knew this even though I hadn’t been on a date in two decades.
“I’ll see you then,” I said.
“You will, Amelia.” He dipped his chin to me. “Looking forward to it.”
“And me,” I replied.
He gave me another arrogant grin then transferred it to Mickey.
“Donovan,” he murmured.
Mickey didn’t reply.
Stone looked back to me. “Until tomorrow, Amelia.”
“Yes, Boston. And please, feel free to call me Amy.”
Mickey grunted.
Boston smiled before he turned and sauntered away.
I whirled on Mickey and tipped my head to the side. “See? All grown up and able to make decisions for myself.”
“What I see is a pattern here,” he retorted unpleasantly.
“Oh?” I asked with mock interest. “Do tell.”
Then Mickey told.
“First time I laid eyes on you, your ex was up in your face, cursing at you, threatening you, shouting right at you and acting like a total fucking dick. It’s obvious he’s rich and up his own ass and didn’t give a shit you were alone, and because of that, you probably felt unsafe. It was just as obvious you were lettin’ him use you as his punching bag. Even if no woman deserves the way he was speakin’ to you, he just kept right on punching. Now, you know that guy you just made a date with is a total asshole and you made that date anyway. So that’s your pattern. You open yourself up for assholes to shit all over you. And if that’s the way you like it, baby, then no way in fuck I’m gonna get in there to show you there’s another way.”

Before I could retort, he turned on his boot and prowled away.

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