Friday, January 22, 2016

Blog Tour: Sunset at Lake Crane by Casey Hagen

Sunset at Lake Crane
Casey Hagen
Release Date January 12th

Love, truth, and pain lie buried beneath the Sunset at Lake Crane… 

Faced with a blackmailer’s ultimatum, 19-year-old Erynn O’Neal protects her lover by disappearing from his life. Brokenhearted, she vanishes—and takes a life-altering secret with her. 

Grant Alexander crossed the line when he took former student, Erynn O’Neal, as his own a mere two months after her high school graduation. Knowing the truth revealed would shred his career and reputation, he accepted the risks in exchange for the promise of a lifelong love. A heartbeat later, Erynn abandoned him without a word. 

Years pass as Grant and Erynn lead separate lives–he as a reclusive author, she as an ambitious reporter. Yet, despite scarred hearts, true love lost is never forgotten, and Grant devises a way to draw Erynn back into his sphere of passion. Their aching hearts begin a tentative d├ętente, but old jealousies flare, devastating truths come to light, and Grant and Erynn must resurrect and overcome the painful secrets of the past if they’re ever to love again.

3 stars
Review by Jen Hagen

Erynn and Grant had a summer fling. She had just graduated from high school and he had been her senior year English teacher. They did nothing wrong – she was of legal age and he was not fraternizing with his student, but yet somebody thought this behavior was worth a scandal. Erynn is young and makes a rash decision that she believes is the right one. Erynn is also alone as she has no immediate family remaining following a car accident that claimed the life of her parents. She has nobody to talk to about what her decision means. 

“I couldn’t go to anyone. I still can’t.”

Erynn has been carrying this weight around for 8 years. Grant has been nursing a broken heart for 8 years. Eight years is a long time to build up hate and resentment when you don’t know the series of events. Eight years is a long time to spend brooding over your loss and what you will say when you finally come face to face.

“I’ll never give another woman enough of me that she has the power to gut me when she walks away. Not. Ever. Again.”

I think Grant has some festering feelings for Erynn that need to be resolved! How better to get some answers than to act on anonymity and coerce Erynn for an interview of a highly-rated author that writes under a pen name? That writer himself is none other than Grant. This is his chance at a form of payback – making her see firsthand what the damage of her leaving did to him. When Erynn broke his heart his writing turned from romantic into dark and mysterious – just like his heart turned from warm to ice cold. 

“I ended up in a dark place. None of us were sure I would find my way out.”

How is Erynn going to explain her leaving and the secret that she has yet to tell? Grant and Erynn definitely still love each other, but how do you get past an 8-year unanswered absence? Erynn has will power when it comes to Grant, but Grant’s now a man who takes what he wants and he wants Erynn. 

Can Grant overcome his pain and trust Erynn again?

He stared into her eyes, into her soul. When he pressed his forehead to her and stilled against her, she felt his longing, his pain, the years he’d spent missing her.

He stood in front of his desk, tension radiating from the ri-gidity of his shoulders when he asked in a rough voice, “What’s his name?” At the change in Grant’s voice, Brewster sat up on his bed and glanced back and forth between them.
“You love him?”
She turned to him, hoping he would get the point when she said, “I do.”
She saw it. The flash of hurt before he masked it. “So it’s se-rious?”
“We own a home together.”
He shook his head. “That’s not an answer.”
She held her hands up, palms out. “It’s the only one I have.”
He stalked her, a predatory gleam in his eye. She knew the look—in the right situation, that look alone could get her half-way to a mind-shattering orgasm. Something she hadn’t experi-enced since him. Talk about the wrong time to acknowledge that only he had the power to turn her inside out with pleasure, almost to the point of pain.
“And what about us?”
Her heart tumbled in her chest. She held eye contact. She needed him to understand. So that no matter how close he got, no matter what he did, she would not back down. “There is no us.”
“We kissed,” he whispered. His eyes locked on her mouth. She struggled to keep still and not squirm under his intense stare.
“You kissed me. There’s a difference.”
“You kissed me back.” He laughed without humor. “There’s something. At some point, we’ll have to address it.”
She took a deep breath and tried another tactic. “Aren’t you seeing someone? I mean, you went somewhere Saturday night, a sleepover.”
He smirked at her. “I see someone.”
“So it’s not serious?” The words were out before she thought about what she had done, and his smile grew. She’d showed an interest. She’d screwed up, and his smug expression said he was celebrating his victory.
“I don’t do serious.”
His tone invited no argument, but the reporter in her wanted to know. So did the woman. “Why?”
“I just don’t.”
It was her turn to smirk at him. “Now who’s full of it?”
“Don’t,” he bit out.
“Can’t handle it?”
With surprising speed, he spun toward her. He leaned his face within inches of hers, the muscle along his jaw jumping. “Can you, Erynn? Can you handle it?”
“Absolutely.” She stood her ground, leaning toward him with almost as much aggression as he’d leveled at her.
“I don’t do serious because—” He closed his eyes, and when he opened them again she saw more agony in those their depths than she thought possible. “I’ll never give another woman enough of me that she has the power to gut me when she walks away. Not. Ever. Again.”


Casey Hagen is a debut contemporary romance author releasing her first book, Falling in Fiji, in October. She writes her stories from the dense, green wilderness of the Delaware National Forest, Middle of Nowhere, Pennsylvania. She’s a born and raised Vermont native with Ben & Jerry’s in her heart and real Vermont maple syrup pumping through her veins.

Over the years, Casey has dabbled in a wide variety of professions. She worked in the States Attorney’s office, created beautiful works of art as a florist, slaved to the public in retail, taught preschool (and potty trained eleven two-year-olds at the same time), and finally, she owned and operated her own residential cleaning business for over a decade. She is also the new Vice President of the Penn Jersey Women Writers Guild.

Casey is the proud mother of three girls, two of which are successful college students…yay! She resides with her youngest daughter, husband, and two cats. Her days are spent in her new office that she proudly admits they would need dynamite to blast her out of! When she’s not working she can be found chasing after her youngest with a camera (much to her youngest daughter’s embarrassment) or on the golf course with her real life hero!

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