Blog Tour: Excerpt of The Idea of You by Robinne Lee

Blog Tour: Excerpt of The Idea of You by Robinne LeeThe Idea of You by Robinne Lee
Published by St. Martin's Griffin
on June 13th 2017
Amazon, Goodreads

When Solène Marchand, the thirty-nine-year-old owner of a prestigious art gallery in Los Angeles, takes her daughter, Isabelle, to meet her favorite boy band, she does so reluctantly and at her ex-husband’s request. The last thing she expects is to make a connection with one of the members of the world-famous August Moon. But Hayes Campbell is clever, winning, confident, and posh, and the attraction is immediate. That he is all of twenty years old further complicates things.

What begins as a series of clandestine trysts quickly evolves into a passionate relationship. It is a journey that spans continents as Solène and Hayes navigate each other’s disparate worlds: from stadium tours to international art fairs to secluded hideaways. And for Solène, it is as much a reclaiming of self, as it is a rediscovery of happiness and love. When their romance becomes a viral sensation, and both she and her daughter become the target of rabid fans and an insatiable media, Solène must face how her new status has impacted not only her life, but the lives of those closest to her.

~~~~~~~~~~

About Robinne Lee

ROBINNE LEE is an actor, writer and producer. A graduate of Yale University and Columbia Law School, Robinne was born and raised in Westchester County, New York. Robinne has numerous acting credits in both television and film, most notably opposite Will Smith in both Hitch and Seven Pounds. She recently completed shooting Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed, playing Ros Bailey. Robinne currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children. The Idea of You is her first novel.

las  vegas

 

 

I suppose I could blame it all on Daniel.

Two days before my planned getaway to Ojai, he showed up at the house in a tux with our daughter, Isabelle, in tow. He’d left the car running in the driveway.

“I can’t do the Vegas trip,” he said, thrusting a manila envelope in my hand. “I’m still working on the Fox deal and it’s not going to close anytime soon.”

I must have looked at him in disbelief because he followed that up with:

“I’m sorry. I know I promised the girls, but I can’t. You take them. Or I’ll eat the tickets. Whatever.”

An unopened package of Da Vinci Maestro Kolinsky brushes was lying on the entry table, alongside a set of thirty-six Holbein watercolors. I’d spent a fortune at Blick stocking up on materials for my artist retreat. They were, like the trip to Ojai, my gift to myself. Forty-eight hours of art and sleep and wine. And now my ex-husband was standing in my living room in formal black tie and telling me there’d been a change of plans.

“Does she know?” I asked. Isabelle, having retreated immedi- ately to her room—no doubt to get on her phone—had missed the entire exchange.

He shook his head. “I haven’t had time to tell her. I thought I’d wait and see if you could take them first.”

“That’s convenient.”

“Don’t start, okay?” He turned toward the door. “If you can’t do it, have her call me, and I’ll make it up the next time the group’s in town.”

It was so like him to have a Band-Aid for everything. To walk away from commitments guilt-free. Would that I had acquired that gene.

Isabelle and her two girlfriends had been counting down the days to see the band August Moon, a quintet of handsome lads from Britain who sang pleasant pop songs and drove tween girls mad. Daniel had “won” the tickets at the school silent auction. Paid some formidable amount to fly four to Vegas, stay at the Mandalay Bay, and attend the concert and a meet-and-greet with the band. Canceling now would not go over well.

“I have plans,” I said, following him out into the driveway.

He slipped around the back of the BMW and withdrew a cum- bersome bag from the trunk. Isabelle’s fencing equipment. “I assumed you would. I’m sorry, Sol.”

He was quiet for a moment, drinking me in: sneakers, leggings, still damp from a five-mile run. And then: “You cut your hair.”

I nodded, my hands rising to my neck, self-conscious. It barely reached my shoulders now. My act of defiance. “It was time for a change.”

He smiled faintly. “You’re never not beautiful, are you?”

Just then the tinted window on the passenger  side  rolled down and a sylphlike creature leaned out and waved. Eva. My replacement.

She was wearing an emerald-green gown. Her long, honey- colored hair twisted into a chignon. There were diamonds dan- gling from both ears. It wasn’t enough that she was some youngish, stunning, half-Dutch, half-Chinese star associate at the firm, but that she was now sitting in Daniel’s 7 Series in my driveway look- ing every bit the princess while I was dripping sweat—now, that stung.

“Fine. I’ll take them.”

“Thank you,” he said, handing over the bag. “You’re the best.” “That’s what all the boys say.”

He paused then, screwing up his aristocratic nose. I anticipated a response, but none was forthcoming. Instead he smiled blandly, leaning in to do the awkward divorcé cheek kiss. He was wearing cologne, which he’d never done in all his years with me.

I watched him make his way over to the driver’s side. “Where are you going? All dolled up . . .”

“Fund-raiser,” he said, getting into the car. “Katzenberg’s.” And with that, he pulled away. Leaving me holding the baggage.

 

I was not a fan of Vegas: loud, fat, dirty. The underbelly of Amer- ica convened in one garish skid mark in the desert. I’d visited once, years before, to attend a bachelorette party that I was still trying to forget. The smell of strip clubs and drugstore perfume and vomit. Those things linger. But this was not my adventure. This time I was just along for the ride. Isabelle and her friends had made that clear.

They spent that afternoon running circles around the resort on a quest to find their idols, while I followed dutifully. I had be- come accustomed to this: my passionate daughter trying any- and everything, setting her mind and forging her way. Isabelle and her American can-do spirit. There was trapeze school and figure skat- ing, musical theater, fencing . . . She was fearless, and I loved that about her, envied it even. I liked that she took risks, that she did not wait for permission, that she followed her heart. Isabelle was okay with living outside the lines.

I was hoping to convince the girls to visit the Contemporary Arts Center. It would have been nice to squeeze some real culture into the weekend. To imprint something worthwhile upon their im- pressionable minds. I’d spent countless hours trailing my mother through the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston as a child. Following the click of her Vivier heels, the scent of the custom-made fragrance she bought every summer in Grasse. How knowledgeable she was to me then, how womanly. I knew the halls of that museum as well as I knew my third-grade classroom. But Isabelle and her cohorts had balked at the idea.

“Mom, you know at any other time I would say yes. But this trip is diferent. Please?” she’d implored.

They’d come to Vegas for one reason only, and nothing would thwart their mission. “Our lives begin tonight,” Georgia, with the silky brown skin, had proclaimed on the flight in. Rose, the red- head, agreed, and the three quickly adopted it as their mantra. No expectation too high. They had their whole lives ahead of them. They were twelve.

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Blog Blitz: Rookie Move by Sarina Bowen (Excerpt + Giveaway)

Today I get the fun privileges of sharing an excerpt of Sarina Bowen’s next book, Rookie Move (out 9/6/16). Check out a sneak peek of Leo and Georgia’s story. And go all the way to the end and enter for a chance to win a copy US ONLY.

“Come right this way,” Georgia heard her coworker and roommate Becca say, the clomp of her Dr. Martens echoing through the grand old passageway. “Nate is excited to meet you.” Becca was the owner’s assistant, and Georgia lingered half a second to wave her down and offer her a donut, too.

But Becca didn’t happen to look in Georgia’s direction as she led a tall man down the corridor. Something about his gait snagged Georgia’s subconscious. So she took a second look.

And that’s when her heart took off like a manic bunny rabbit. Because she knew that man. She knew the chiseled shape of his masculine jaw, and the length of his coal-black eyelashes.

Oh my God.

Omigod, omigod, omigod.

“How was your flight?” Becca asked him, oblivious to the fact that Georgia was spying.

“Not too bad. I got in late last night.”

The sound of his voice fluttered right inside Georgia’s chest. It was the same smoky sweet timbre that used to whisper into her ear while they made love. She hadn’t let herself remember that sound in a long time.

Now it was giving her goosebumps. The good kind.

“Welcome to Brooklyn,” Becca said while Georgia trembled. “Are you familiar with the area?”

“Grew up about thirty miles from here,” he answered while chills broke out across her back.

Holding her breath, Georgia eased her office door further closed, until only a couple of inches remained. She could not be caught like this—freaked-out and speechless, hiding behind a door.

The movement caught Becca’s eye, though. Georgia saw her turn her head in her direction and then pick her out in the crack where the door was still open. Becca raised one eyebrow—the one with the barbell piercing in it.

All Georgia could do was close her eyes and pray that Becca wouldn’t call out a greeting.

There was a pause before Georgia heard Becca say, “Right this way, please.”

Quietly, Georgia stepped into her office and shut the door. After flipping on the light, she let her briefcase and pocketbook slide right to the floor. Only the folder that Nate had given her was still in her shaking hands. She flipped it open, her eyes searching for the new player’s name on the page.

But she didn’t even need the paperwork to confirm what her racing heart had already figured out. The newest player for the Brooklyn Bruisers was none other than Leonardo “Leo” Trevi, a six-foot-two, left-handed forward. Also known as her high school boyfriend, the boy she’d loved with all her heart until the day that she’d dumped him. And now he was here?

“Thanks, universe,” she whispered into the stillness of her office.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Blog Blitz: Rookie Move by Sarina Bowen (Excerpt + Giveaway)Rookie Move by Sarina Bowen
Published by Berkley
on September 6th 2016
Amazon, Goodreads

In high school they were the perfect couple—until the day Georgia left Leo in the cold...

Hockey player Leo Trevi has spent the last six years trying to do two things: get over the girl who broke his heart, and succeed in the NHL. But on the first day he’s called up to the newly franchised Brooklyn Bruisers, Leo gets checked on both sides, first by the team’s coach—who has a long simmering grudge, and then by the Bruisers’ sexy, icy publicist—his former girlfriend Georgia Worthington.

Saying goodbye to Leo was one of the hardest things Georgia ever had to do—and saying hello again isn’t much easier. Georgia is determined to keep their relationship strictly professional, but when a press conference microphone catches Leo declaring his feelings for her, things get really personal, really fast....

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Spotlight: Defending Taylor by Miranda Kenneally (Excerpt + Giveaway)

Spotlight: Defending Taylor by Miranda Kenneally (Excerpt + Giveaway)Defending Taylor by Miranda Kenneally
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
on July 5th 2016
Amazon, Goodreads

There are no mistakes in love.

Captain of the soccer team, president of the Debate Club, contender for valedictorian: Taylor's always pushed herself to be perfect. After all, that's what is expected of a senator's daughter. But one impulsive decision-one lie to cover for her boyfriend-and Taylor's kicked out of private school. Everything she's worked so hard for is gone, and now she's starting over at Hundred Oaks High.

Soccer has always been Taylor's escape from the pressures of school and family, but it's hard to fit in and play on a team that used to be her rival. The only person who seems to understand all that she's going through is her older brother's best friend, Ezra. Taylor's had a crush on him for as long as she can remember. But it's hard to trust after having been betrayed. Will Taylor repeat her past mistakes or can she score a fresh start?

I now understand culture shock: it’s me experiencing Hundred Oaks High for the first time.

A lot of kids go here. Five hundred? A thousand? There are so many I can’t tell. At St. Andrew’s, there were only forty kids in my entire class. We lived on a calm, sprawling, green campus. Walking down the halls of Hundred Oaks feels like last-­minute Christmas shopping at a crowded mall.

Two guys wearing football jerseys are throwing a ball back and forth. It whizzes by my ear. A suspender-­clad male teacher is hanging a poster for the science fair, while a couple is making out against the wall next to the fire alarm. If they move another inch, they’ll set off the sprinklers. At St. Andrew’s, kissing in the hall was an über no-­no. We snuck under the staircase or went out into the woods. Ben and I did that all the time.

Thinking of him makes me stop moving. I shut my eyes. Dating Ben was stupid. Going into the woods with him was stupid. Thinking about what happened makes me so mad, I want to rip that newly hung science fair poster off the wall and tear it apart.

A boy shoves past me, slamming my arm with his backpack. That’s what I get for loitering in the middle of the hallway with my eyes closed. He looks me up and down. “You coming to Rutledge Falls this afternoon?”

“What?”

“Paul Simmons challenged Nolan Chase to a fight. Rutledge Falls. Three o’clock. Don’t tell the cops.”

A fight? Where the hell am I? Westeros?

A girl bumps into my side. “Watch it!” Flashing me a dirty look, she disappears into a classroom with a group of friends, chattering away.

Seeing those girls together reminds me of my best friends, Steph and Madison. Right now, they’re probably gossiping before trig starts. I miss Steph’s cool British accent and Madison’s cheerful laugh.

I take a deep, rattled breath. And then another. I feel trapped, like the time I got locked in my grandpa’s garage and no one found me for an hour and I banged on the windows until my fists turned purple from bruises.

I can’t believe I had to leave my school. My home.

All because I made one stupid decision.

I check my schedule. My first class is calculus 1, the most advanced math course Hundred Oaks offers. Just a week ago, I was taking an advanced calculus quiz at the University of the South. St. Andrew’s is one of the best prep schools in the country, and they offer seniors the opportunity to take courses at the university, which is up the road. Even though I was still in high school, the professors treated me just like a college kid. I was only in the course for two weeks, but still. It was insanely difficult. The truth is, unlike everybody else in my family, I hate math. I have to work at it harder than anything else in my life.

But if I didn’t take college calc, there’s a good chance I wouldn’t get into an Ivy League school. I need to go to a top-tier school because that’s what people in my family do. My father attended Yale, and my sister Jenna is there now. According to Dad, my brother Oliver—­Jenna’s twin—­is a traitor for going to Princeton, but I think Dad respects him for having the balls to make his own decision.

Me?

When Dad called me into his home office last night, he barely looked at me as he pored over my new schedule. The silence was killing me.

“I don’t know how Yale will still consider me if I’m not taking all AP courses,” I said. “Hundred Oaks only offers AP chemistry.”

Dad sighed, took off his glasses, and set down my schedule. “I’m incredibly disappointed in you, Taylor.”

I looked him straight in the eyes. His quiet restraint worried me. I’d never seen him so upset.

But I was upset too. He rarely had time to call me when I was away at school, but he could spare a few minutes to comment on my one screwup? After how hard I’ve always worked?

Over the years, I’ve done hours of homework every night. I had a 4.2 GPA at St. Andrew’s. A 1520 SAT score. I was on track to be valedictorian. I was captain of the soccer team and on the debate team. I did everything I could to show Yale that I worked hard. That I am a unique individual. Because that’s what Yale wants.

But my one misstep has muddied my glowing record.

Dad ended our conversation with a death knell.

“Tee, I gave you all the tools you needed to succeed,” he said. “I’ve paid for your private school education since first grade, and you squandered it by getting kicked out.”

“I’m sorry,” I said, my face burning. “I’m going to keep working hard at Hundred Oaks though.”

“You’re damn right you will.”

My father had me so flustered, I wasn’t thinking straight when I said, “Maybe Yale will still take me because of who I am.”

“You mean because of who I am.” Dad rubbed his eyes. “I’ve always taught you kids the importance of integrity, and the minute you got into trouble, instead of owning it, you called me to bail you out. And now you’re doing it again. Using my name to try to get ahead.”

I hung my head. “I’m sorry, Dad.”

“I love you more than anything, but you have to take responsibility for what you did. You’ll have to figure college out on your own.”

“What does that mean?” I asked slowly.

“It means I’m not lifting a finger. I won’t be calling the alumni association or the school president to put in a good word for you.”

“But didn’t you do that for Jenna and Oliver?” I blurted.

He put his glasses back on. “You need to own up, Tee.”

So here I am, glancing around the unfamiliar halls of Hundred Oaks. The school is neat and orderly, but it doesn’t look completely clean, like no matter how hard you scrub, it still looks old. At least it’s not juvie.

I step into my math class, which is already filled with kids. I choose an empty seat at a wobbly wooden desk and stare out the window at the sunny, seventy-­degree September day. I bet at St. Andrew’s, my world politics teacher is telling my friends, “Gather your books. It’s a beautiful day out. Let’s have class in one of the gardens.”

I check out the problem set on the whiteboard. I could do this level of math years ago…

My former guidance counselor told me that colleges look for trends in our GPA and activities over four years of high school. So that means when colleges see my application, they will see:

I’m taking easier classes;

I’m no longer doing debate;

I’ve lost my soccer captainship this year; and

I was expelled.

I have never simply given up when calculus got a lot tougher or an opponent ran faster than me on the soccer field. So I refuse to believe my entire future is over because of one mistake.

I just need to figure out how to move forward.

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About Miranda Kenneally

Growing up in Tennessee, Miranda Kenneally dreamed of becoming an Atlanta Brave, a country singer (cliché!), or a UN interpreter. Instead she writes, and works for the State Department in Washington, D.C., where George W. Bush once used her shoulder as an armrest. Miranda loves Twitter, Star Trek and her husband.

 

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Blog Tour – Review/Excerpt: Charged by Jay Crownover (giveaway)

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 From New York Times bestselling author Jay Crownover comes CHARGED, the latest in her sexy The Saints of Denver Series, releasing May 24th! Known for her strong heroines and alpha males, you won’t know what hit you as you read Avett and Quaid’s story. Keep reading for more about the Leagle Eagle and Avett and order your copy today.

Blog Tour – Review/Excerpt: Charged by Jay Crownover (giveaway)Charged by Jay Crownover
Series: Saints of Denver, #2
Published by William Morrow Paperbacks
on May 24th 2016
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Amazon, Goodreads

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Marked Men books comes the second installment in the Saints of Denver series featuring a bad girl and a by the book attorney who could be her salvation...or her ruin.

Avett Walker and Quaid Jackson’s worlds have no reason to collide. Ever. Quaid is a high powered criminal attorney as slick as he is handsome. Avett is a pink-haired troublemaker with a bad attitude and a history of picking the wrong men.

When Avett lands in a sea of hot water because of one terrible mistake, the only person who can get her out of it is the insanely sexy lawyer. The last thing on earth she wants to do is rely on the no-nonsense attorney who thinks of her as nothing more than a nuisance. He literally has her fate in his hands. Yet there is something about him that makes her want to convince him to loosen his tie and have a little fun…with her.

Quaid never takes on clients like the impulsive young woman with a Technicolor dye job. She could stand to learn a hard lesson or two, but something about her guileless hazel eyes intrigues him. Still, he’s determined to keep their relationship strictly business. But doing so is becoming more impossible with each day he spends with her.
As they work side-by-side, they’ll have to figure out a way to get along and keep their hands off each other—because the chemistry between them is beyond charged.

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

There is something about a Jay Crownover story that just makes me happy. She has a way about writing her couples that sucks me in and Avett and Quaid’s story was no different. Crownover managed to take people from two totally different life styles and backgrounds and make them perfect for each other.

Charged is Avett’s story. We originally met Avett in Jay’s Marked Men series and saw her again in Built (a favorite of mine) with Quaid, her love interest. Avett is a very very lost soul that always seems to get herself in trouble and makes the wrong decisions.  When she gets herself in real trouble and may face jail time Quaid is hired to help her. Soon the two of them find themselves in a whirlwind romance and see that maybe your kindred spirit is the complete opposite of what you thought and expected.

I guess what i enjoyed the most about Charged is Avett and Quaid. Both of them are lost souls but not in the way you would expect.  Avett has never figured out who she is and Quaid has lost the idea of who he wanted to be. They are on separate paths of self destruction in different ways and when those paths merge they are explosive.  There was something about these two characters that just worked for me. My heart went out to both of them but I just knew they could figure it out.

In the end I really liked Charged. Was it as good as Built was? No. But it was nice to connect with the characters I loved from the series and the companion series. And it was nice t get to know Avett and her family a little more. I look forward to Church’s and Wheeler’s books, which I hope we get soon. All in all a good book.

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And don’t miss the first titles in The Saints of Denver Series!

 

LEVELED - cover

LEVELED

Studio portrait of young bearded man --- Image by © pinkypills/Corbis

BUILT

Jay Crownover - author picAbout Jay Crownover:

Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men, The Point, and the Saints of Denverseries. Like her characters, she is a big fan of tattoos. She loves music and wishes she could be a rock star, but since she has no aptitude for singing or instrument playing, she’ll settle for writing stories with interesting characters that make the reader feel something. She lives in Colorado with her three dogs.

 

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Quaid

I tapped the edge of my thumb on the black-and-white mug shot photo and couldn’t stop the grin from tugging at my mouth.

She tried to fire me.

She was five-foot-nothing, a lifetime younger than me, had multicolored hair that had seen better days, wild eyes that couldn’t decide if they wanted to be green, gold, or brown, while dressed in convict orange and obviously scared out of her ever loving mind, yet she still tried to fire me. If it had been any of my other clients—the cop accused of sexual battery, the frat boy accused of manslaughter over a bet on a football game gone wrong, the middle school teacher accused of pedophilia and having an inappropriate relationship with several of her students, or the pro football player accused of domestic abuse—I would have tipped my proverbial hat, wished them luck while I cut my losses, and walked away without a backward glance. People always committed crimes. People always needed a good defense, so it wasn’t like I was hurting for clients, but there was something about the girl. Something about the defiant tilt of her chin and the raw desperation in her tone when she begged me not to call her father.

I don’t want your help. I don’t want anything from you.” She sounded like she meant it when she said it, but I figured she was too young and too scared to know exactly what she wanted or needed. Regardless, it was still refreshing to hear.

Everyone always wanted something from me and my help was usually the least of it.

I tapped the picture again, wondering why I found it so easy to believe that she really hadn’t been a part of the boyfriend’s plan to rob the bar. She wasn’t anyone’s idea of a model citizen and she had the shady track record to prove it. She was too young, and frankly too adorable, to have a file this thick. From what I could see, she had a set of parents always willing to ride to the rescue when she got herself into trouble. She looked like some kind of colorful woodland fairy from a Disney movie with her odd hair and delicate features. None of it added up, but the sincerity in her tone when she said she would never have gone with the boyfriend if she knew his intent and the fear in her eyes when I mentioned her father seemed genuine.

I learned long ago to treat everyone like they were guilty of whatever it was I was paid to defend them against. I didn’t want to know the truth. I didn’t want to know the circumstances. I wanted my clients to listen to me and let me do my job as I tried to convince the rest of the world they were innocent, regardless if they were or not. But this girl with her faded, rose colored hair and turbulent eyes oozed innocence through the cracks of a very guilty façade.

Because I was intrigued and actually believed the girl might be innocent, I wasn’t going to let her fire me. I was going to call her father and hope that he would help me keep her out of the slammer while I figured out how to plea bargain her charges down or get them dismissed altogether. Again, because a cop was involved in the robbery and because the boyfriend, junkie or not, was offering up a pretty plausible explanation for Avett’s involvement in the crime, nothing was a slam dunk, yet. I was going to help her whether she wanted me to or not.

 

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May 16th

Ramblings From This Chick – Review & Excerpt

BJ’ S Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

2 Girls & Their Kindles – Review & Excerpt

She Hearts Books – Review & Excerpt

Booky Ramblings of a Neurotic Mom – Review & Excerpt

Reading Between the Wines Book Club – Excerpt

BookWorm221 – Review & Excerpt

Red Hot + Blue Reads – Review & Excerpt

Three Little Birds Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Gemma Reads Too Much – Review & Excerpt

Read more sleep less – Review

Ticket to Anywhere – Review & Excerpt

May 17th

Never Judge a Book by its Cover – Review & Excerpt

The Book Disciple – Review & Excerpt

Desert Divas Book Addiction – Review & Excerpt

Literati Literature Lovers – Review & Excerpt

BFF Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Hot Guys in Books – Review & Excerpt

This Wacky Momma reads! – Review & Excerpt

The Rambling Book Junke – Review & Excerpt

A Reader Who Reads – Excerpt

Books to Breathe – Review & Excerpt

Disheveled Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

May 18th

The Book Bellas – Excerpt

HotPressedBooks – Review & Excerpt

The Book Reading Gals – Excerpt

Books by Migs – Review & Excerpt

Emilie’s Book World – Review & Excerpt

Dirty Birdie Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Pages Abound – Review & Excerpt

NC 2 DC – Review & Excerpt

kimberlyfaye reads – Review & Excerpt

The Book Maven – Review & Excerpt

Julalicious Book Paradise – Review & Excerpt

The Dirty Book Girls – Review & Excerpt

May 19th

Ineffable Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Much Loved Books – Review

Reading is Sexy – Review & Excerpt

Pretty Sassy Cool – Review & Excerpt

About That Story – Excerpt

An Asian Chick & Her Cat Walk into a Book Blog – Review

Shanoff Says… – Review & Excerpt

Krista’s Dust Jacket – Review & Excerpt

Home. Love. Books. – Review

Girls With Books – Review & Excerpt

Milky Way of Books – Review & Excerpt

Rachel Reads Ravenously – Review

May 20th

Naughty and nice book blog – Review & Excerpt

Take Me Away To A Great Read – Excerpt

Waiting For Wentworth – Review & Excerpt

TjLovesToRead – Review & Excerpt

Zili in the Sky – Review & Excerpt

From the TBR Pile – Review & Excerpt

Jack of All Trades, Master of None – Review & Excerpt

Typical Distractions – Review & Excerpt

Blog of Books – Review & Excerpt

Belle of the Literati – Review

Lea’s Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Crazii Bitches Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

This is the Story of My(Reading) Life – Review & Excerpt

May 21st

Random Book Muses – Review

Morning Books and Coffee – Review

Dark Faerie Tales – Review & Excerpt

three chicks and their books – Review & Excerpt

Ali’s Reviews and More – Review & Excerpt

Little Red’s Reviews – Review & Excerpt

Book Angel Booktopia – Review & Excerpt

Andi’s ABCs – Review & Excerpt

StarAngels Reviews – Review & Excerpt

We stole your book boyfriend – Review & Excerpt

City of Fandoms – Review & Excerpt

Natasha is a Book Junkie – Review

May 22nd

Best Book Boyfriends – Review & Excerpt

The Bookworms Obession Blog – Review

Bookcrack – Review

Bookaholics Not-So-Anonymous – Review & Excerpt

Words of Wisdom from The Scarf Princess – Review & Excerpt

Guiltyindulgencebookclub – Review & Excerpt

Cocktails and Books – Review & Excerpt

Ceres Books World – Review

Reese’s Reviews – Review & Excerpt

May 23rd

Lazy Book Lovers – Review

People Like Books – Review & Excerpt

The Book Lovers Codex – Review & Excerpt

Tash – Review & Excerpt

Obsessive Book Nerd – Review

Under the Covers – Review & Excerpt

Princess Reads – Review & Excerpt

Shelf_life – Review & Excerpt

The Bookmark Blog – Review & Excerpt

The Phantom Paragrapher – Review

May 24th

RELEASE WEEK BLITZ!

May 25th

Escaping Into Books – Review & Excerpt

Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt

True Story Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Lili’s Books – Review & Excerpt

Two Book Pushers – Review

Book Sojourner – Review & Excerpt

Reviews by Tammy & Kim – Review & Excerpt

Romance Addict Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

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Blog Tour: Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn (Review, Excerpt + Giveaway)

Blog Tour: Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn (Review, Excerpt + Giveaway)Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn
Published by St. Martin's Griffin
on January 5th 2016
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon, Goodreads

In the vein of Easy A, an honest and refreshing young adult novel about sex, love, and high school.

Seventeen-year-old Mercedes Ayres has an open-door policy when it comes to her bedroom, but only if the guy fulfills a specific criteria: he has to be a virgin. Mercedes lets the boys get their awkward fumbling first times over with, and all she asks in return is that they give their girlfriends the perfect first time-the kind Mercedes never had herself.

Keeping what goes on in her bedroom a secret has been easy - so far. Her mother isn't home nearly enough to know about Mercedes' extracurricular activities, and her uber-religious best friend, Angela, won't even say the word "sex" until she gets married. But Mercedes doesn't bank on Angela's boyfriend finding out about her services and wanting a turn - or on Zach, who likes her for who she is instead of what she can do in bed.

When Mercedes' perfect system falls apart, she has to find a way to salvage her own reputation -and figure out where her heart really belongs in the process. Funny, smart, and true-to-life, Firsts is a one-of-a-kind young adult novel about growing up.

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

When I first heard about Firsts in early June 2015 I thought it sounded like a book that could have potential and something that would interest me. What I didn’t expect was a smart book about teens, sex, love and friendship and what they all mean separately and as a whole. And let me tell you, this first time author nailed it.

Firsts is a story about Mercedes, a high school senior that is going places. She is smart and funny and sarcastic. But Mercedes as a secret; she has an open door policy for the virgins of Milton High. She allows them to have their first time with her so their girlfriends can have the first time Mercedes never got to have. To her her system is fool proof…until it isn’t. All of a sudden Mercedes’ world that she so carefully crafted started to crumble and people she didn’t realize were so important to her have the potential to get hurt in the cross fire.

It’s hard to really put into words what was so great about this book. There was a lot happening in Mercy’s life between her absent parents, her past, her secret with the virgins, her self-loathing and her trying to keep people that loved her at an arm’s length. To the naked eye Mercy seemed like someone that had it all together. Smart, funny, and helpful. But she didn’t. Not really. She was basically lost. So completely lost and messed up by the past that she used sex to make herself feel like she was in charge of her life. But she never was. She was haunted by things that had happened to her and terrified to be vulnerable to people that were available. Honestly I just wanted to hug her and tell her she didn’t have to do it that way.

The other thing that I loved about this book is that Mercedes had AMAZING people around her (her parents aside). Zach, Angela and her new friend Faye couldn’t have been any different from each other. Zach was the sweet boy that liked Mercy for Mercy, Angela the religious girl that saw the good in people, and Faye the blunt in your face kind that made Mercy look in the mirror a time or two. Each of these people were needed in Mercy’s life in a way she never could have imagined until it is possible she could lose one or all of them. They were the voice in her head even if she didn’t even know it.

I could go on and on and tell you why you should read this story and everything it does in terms of discussing sex and how sexual activity and cheating is treated differently in boys and girls. I could tell you about all the things that happen in this book. But instead I’m just going to leave it here and just tell you to read it. It isn’t a perfect story. There are a couple of things I wish were dealt with in the end, but I think it is an important story and one that should be read.

Buy: Amazon Barnes & Noble IndieBound Indigo Google PlayiBooks Kobo

Tonight, I’m doing Evan Brown’s girlfriend a favor. An awkward, sweaty, fumbling favor. Melanie, or whatever her name is, owes me big time.

Except she’ll never know it.

***

“You’re not staying over,” I say, fastening the robe around my waist. “You’ll get there. Girls care less about that than you think. Especially in the beginning. You can work up to it together.”

He grins. He looks different, more handsome somehow. In the softer light, his pimples aren’t as evident and his jawline seems more pronounced. One day, I think Evan Brown could even be a heartbreaker.

But that day isn’t today.

I glance at the clock on my nightstand. Eleven p.m. on a Tues- day. “It’s a school night, Evan. Time for you to go. Your mother will wonder where you are.” Or I assume she would. Most mothers do. Not mine, of course.

His grin turns into a frown. “Do I, you know, owe you some- thing? I don’t know how this works . . .” His voice trails off.

“You don’t owe me anything. Just be good to her, okay? Re- member everything we talked about.”

I know he will. He even took notes. Open her car door for her. Bring her flowers, not something generic like roses but her actual favorite flowers. Have dinner reservations in advance, not necessarily somewhere fancy but somewhere meaningful, like where you had your first kiss or where you realized you loved her. Kiss her, not just on her lips but in unexpected places. On the nape of her neck. On her forehead. On her wrist. Push her hair behind her ears gently. Take a picture. She’ll want to remember the night.

I swallow against a lump that has risen up suddenly in my throat. It’s not that Evan is different—he’s a nice guy, a kid who loves his girlfriend and wants to please her. Maybe I’m the one who’s different. Maybe this speech is starting to feel too familiar. I told myself five favors for five deserving virgins. Five was the line I drew in the sand, and I trampled over it like it wasn’t even there. Evan is the tenth, and ten is a line I can’t just trample past.

But I’m certainly not going to get into this with Evan, so I put on a fake smile. I gesture around the room at the chaise lounge and walk-in closet and floor-to-ceiling shoe rack. “Besides, I really don’t need your money. Spend it on Melody.”

He pulls his boxers and pants back on. His movements are more measured, not the bumbling, terrified movements of the Evan Brown who entered my bedroom an hour ago. Even his voice seems deeper, like he came here a boy and is leaving as a man. I suppose that’s not far from the truth. I allow myself a little smile, a real one this time. It’s easy to reaffirm what I do. What happened to Evan in my bedroom will change him, make him into a more consider- ate lover, even a better boyfriend. Moments like these are what made that line in the sand so easy to obliterate.

Moments like these, I could see an eleventh, even though I promised myself that’s not going to happen. I’m starting the second half of senior year with all of my good karma already under my belt.

“I don’t know where you came from, but you saved my life, Mercy. I mean, Mercedes. I don’t know what I would’ve done with- out you.”

“You would’ve ripped five condoms by accident, and you might’ve drowned the girl in saliva. But now, you’re going to nail it. Literally.”

He tugs his shirt over his head. “When Gus told me how you helped him, I didn’t believe it. But he was right—you’re an angel.” He pauses. “But can I ask you—”

I cut him off midsentence. “No, you can’t. Don’t spoil it.” “But you didn’t even let me finish,” he protests.

“Oh, I let you finish,” I say. “The one thing you can do for me is not ask me any questions.”

He nods. “Fair enough.” “Goodnight, Evan,” I say.

“Goodnight, Mercy. Uh, Mercedes.” He gets to my bedroom door and pauses with his hand on the doorknob.

“This won’t be awkward at school tomorrow, will it?” he says, looking back at me.

“Of course not,” I say, folding my arms over my chest. “It’s not going to be awkward at all, because what happened in this room becomes just a figment of your imagination the second you walk out that door.”

He gives me a tight-lipped smile and pulls the door shut after him. I can see his shoes underneath, can tell he’s lingering there, wondering if he said too much or not enough, not entirely convinced that his secret is safe with me.

But he has nothing to worry about. His secret, like those of nine of his fellow seniors, is safe with me. At Milton High, I’m my own statistic. People fail to see the great equalizer, the one thing the band geeks, the drama nerds, the jocks, and the preppies all have in common.

Me—Mercedes Ayres.

The girl who took their virginity.

About Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

Laurie Elizabeth Flynn went to school for journalism and later worked as a model, a job that took her overseas to Tokyo,

Athens, and Paris. She lives in London, Ontario, with her husband and her Chihuahua.

GIVEAWAY is for one finished copy of Firsts. Open for US and Canada ONLY! Your address will be shared with the publisher. Runs until 12AM EST on 1/20/16.

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