Christie's Reviews

~ REVIEW: Blue Dream by Xavier Neal ~

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Synopsis

First love. Last love. Only love. Well, at least that’s how Ryder Collins thinks of the girl he lost because of his addiction ten years ago. While Ryder is battling the demons of his past to save his future, he will start to question the nightmare that has become his reality and the illusive blue dream that he swears started it all.

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christie review 5 star a

I am still stunned and in awe even days after I finished reading Blue Dream. I don’t recall having a book move me in quite the same way as this one did! It’s raw, real, emotional, beautiful and heartbreaking, just like the main character, Ryder.

“Your past doesn’t have to dictate or destroy your future. If you use it correctly, it can do the opposite. It can inspire and change it. However, that choice is yours.”

At one time, Ryder and Presley thought they had it all. Despite who or what tried to come between them, they would beat it and be together forever. However, that wasn’t to be. Years later, Ryder is in yet another rehab facility. Presley is very successful professionally yet in a relationship that does nothing for her. Ryder and Presley have never forgotten one another…not the love…not the pain. As the two have to face their pasts, will they finally let go of the past and be able to live again, even if they are apart?

Presley was always Ryder’s addiction; he could never get enough of her. Yet, he allowed outside forces to pull them apart. I have never hated yet loved a character as I did Ryder. He not only rejected her, but he destroyed her. He was selfish and self-centered. As with any addiction, he couldn’t leave her alone and kept dragging her into his madness. To heal himself, he developed another addiction to help him cope with his pain. The one thing, drugs, he turned to help him ended up destroying him and Presley in the process. As much as I wanted to hurt him, I loved and wanted to protect him like she did. I fell in love with Presley, and I enjoyed seeing her remember the girl she once was.

Blue Dream was different from the other books I’ve read by Xavier Neal, but I have to say, this is my favorite from her. She gives an honest, real, and raw look at addiction…not only the effects on the addict but on their loved ones as well. Sometimes, it’s easy to forget the person and only see the disease because of the self-destructiveness of the user. Through her flashbacks of their early days, readers get to see Ryder before he let the darkness have everything. The icing on the cake was the surprise appearance of one of my favorite characters from one of her other series. Neal continues to surprise me with every book she writes! Not only was this my favorite by her, but it’s a book on the very top list of favorite books EVER read. Looking forward to the next stop in Ryder’s and Presley’s journey!

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~ Crimson Cove by Eden Butler Release Blitz + Giveaway ~

Blog Tour - Crimson Cove

Title: Crimson Cove
Author: Eden Butler
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: December 31, 2015

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Synopsis

Ten years ago Janiver stole a kiss from the meanest boy in school.

He never forgot.

Senior year.

One minute before the tardy bell rang, Bane Illes would slip through the door.

He never smiled.

He never spoke.

Each day, that dark, dangerous boy gave Janiver Benoit a glance. And when she could not take another quiet stare, or the warmth that look sent over her skin, she took from Bane something he’d never give freely—one lingering, soul knocking kiss.

Ten years later, her family needs her, and Janiver will have to face the one person she promised herself she’d never see again.

The dangerous wizard that might make leaving Crimson Cove the last thing she wants to do.

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Excerpt

A small breeze picked up against the water and I closed my eyes, trying to push back the sensation of longing I felt when Bane’s scent lingered in the air. Did the lines push us together or some other mystical force draw us closer despite the expectations laid at both our feet? I had no clue where that inclination came from, didn’t much care, if I was being honest. But out here under the bright moon, with the lines humming behind us and Bane standing close enough that I could feel the heat of his body, nearly feeling the whisper of his breath on the back of my neck, that closeness felt like a weight I thought I’d dropped years ago.

It never left you, the lines sang, and in my mind I imagined that tone was a bit smug.

Still, it wasn’t wrong. But it was pointless. The truth was useless when reality serves up a generous helping of impossibility. Which made Bane’s closeness and that gravitational pull of him almost impossible to ignore.

At my side, the wizard kept his attention on the sky and, possibly, on that quick, steady buzz of magic pulsing from the lines. Bane closed his eyes, tilting back his head to give his face to the moon as though the beams of light warmed his skin. He was so ruggedly beautiful, so impossible to resist that I had to remind myself we weren’t alone, the others would likely notice if I stood there staring at him helplessly for so long. But before I brought my attention away from those sharp features and the subtle, soft hint of stubble along his jaw, Bane grinned, a slow, amused twitch of his mouth and then he glanced at me as though he found it the height of funny to catch me gawking.

“Your eyes are telling secrets, Jani.”

“Hardly,” I tried forcing an eye roll I didn’t mean. Bane wasn’t buying it. He didn’t seem overly concerned that the others stood some distance from us or that Cari or her bored brother were likely spying on us. Bane, in fact, somehow stood closer, arms crossed so that his elbow brushed against my bicep.

“It doesn’t mean anything, you know.”

“What doesn’t?” My question came out too quickly, the words too clipped as he inched closer. He liked to torture me, I knew that, but I’d never seen him enjoy dolling at that torture so openly.

“The attraction you feel.” Bane shot his thumb over his shoulder. “The lines, the raw feel of them—without the Elam they aren’t buffered and we are all feeling it.” He nodded grinning as two witches snuck off into the forest alone. “It’s in our nature, Jani. The lines unhindered, raw, they just bring it from us.” He’d drank whiskey from a canteen he edged out of his pocket. The rich hint of it came off his breath when he stepped closer. It made my fingers shake. Bane was easily five inches taller than me and as he crowded closer, he used that height to his advantage with his breath fanning over the top of my head and his chest touching my back. “They’ll only get stronger.” It wasn’t anything I hadn’t already guessed, but that claim coming from him, with that air of seduction in his tone, made me realize, finally, what that might mean. Uninhibited magic influencing every magical creature; no voice of reason to temper our behavior should we get too close. God help me, I’d cave, and from how eager Bane was to get close to me, I had a feeling that’s exactly what he wanted.

“What is it about you, Jani?”

He’d said my name like that once, right after he’d confessed he wasn’t sure what I wanted. But one look, one real, honest examination of my expression and Bane had guessed. I wanted him, and my name falling from his mouth in that throaty, eager whisper was all it had taken to unravel my hesitation.

My fingers rubbing against my eyelids, another breath against the top of my head and the sweet, warm bourbon scent brought my awareness away from the never-dimming desire to kiss him. He was twisting magic, working me over on purpose. Bane let the lines take him over, just a bit. His control was waning as he moved his fingers through the ends of my hair.

“You’re more open out here, this close to the lines, aren’t you?”

“We all are,” I told him, curling my arms around my waist like I could really protect myself from him.

“They’ll get stronger,” he said, taking one wavy strand of hair off my shoulder to curl around his finger. “They’ll get stronger and you’ll want to lose control.”

Eyes closed tight, I saw what that loss of control would look like. Something erotic and inappropriate involving that large wizard behind me and lots and lots of fallen red maple leaves sticking to our naked skin.

I blinked, stepped out of his reach to block that imaginary scenario. “That is not going to happen.”

“Why not?” he asked, moving in front of me, keeping me from retreating further away from him.

I arched an eyebrow and smiled. “Why do you think, Mr. Iles?”

His shoulders fell and the tension crowded around his features again when my small words pushed reality right back into his mind. One low grunt and Bane turned his head, attention back on the crowd in the clearing. “You know how to ruin a moment, don’t you?”

“Was that a moment?” I teased, trying not to laugh when Bane started working his jaw.

His gaze flashed back at me and some of that irritation lessened the severity of his expression. “Could have been.”

Sometimes Bane let a little emotion—real emotion that has nothing to do with teasing or trying to bate me into a reaction—pass in his eyes. I saw it just then. It was sincerity, maybe a little longing, but I couldn’t stop and give it much weight. How could I when that would lead to nothing but disappointment?

I cleared my throat, bringing my eyes down to the ground where I kicked a rock with the tip of my boot. “I don’t think your fiancé would have appreciated any moments you might have wanted with me.”

“Probably not,” he said and the humor in his voice was forced, as though he’d noticed the real emotion had snuck in for a moment and he needed to tamp it down quickly. Bane put back on that dominant, in-control mask and moved his head, trying to catch my eye. “But that doesn’t mean they won’t happen anyway.”

“That’s a little selfish of you, don’t you think?” When he squinted at me as though he were confused, I clarified. “You engaging with moments not reserved for the witch you’re supposed to marry.”

“Maybe, but you know, Miss Benoit, I’m not married yet.” He stepped even closer, bringing my hair back between his fingers. “And when the right moments come, I generally don’t care who they’re with.”

It was a lie, one that I saw clearly through his arrogant demeanor. But Bane walked away from me then, looking back only once as though he wanted me to see the promise in his expression with the low glance of his eyes over my body and that thick bottom lips between his teeth. That expression, that promise he gave, was a challenge he wanted me to take. But as he climbed back up the hill and greeted several of members of the Birmingham coven, I knew the challenge would be unmatched. Just like us, it’d be the game I’d refuse to play with him.

Abou the author

Eden Butler PicEden Butler is an editor and writer of New Adult Romance and SciFi and Fantasy novels and the nine-times great-granddaughter of an honest-to-God English pirate. This could explain her affinity for rule breaking and rum. Her debut novel, a New Adult, Contemporary (no cliffie) Romance, “Chasing Serenity” launched in October 2013 and quickly became an Amazon bestseller.

When she’s not writing or wondering about her possibly Jack Sparrowesque ancestor, Eden edits, reads and spends way too much time watching rugby, Doctor Who and New Orleans Saints football.

She is currently imprisoned under teenage rule alongside her husband in southeast Louisiana.

Please send help.

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Giveaway

The following goodies are up for grabs and are open internationally!

  • (3) eBook copy of Crimson Cove
  • (1) $20 gift card from Amazon or B&N, winner’s choice

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On Sale

~ Under His Command Trilogy by Lili Valente Sale Blitz ~

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Title: UNDER HIS COMMAND TRILOGY

Authors: Lili Valente

Genre: Erotic suspense

Publication Date: October 22, 2015

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Synopsis

Three HOT, suspenseful books in one! The complete, bestselling Under His Command series is together for the first time.

*Warning: Dominant alpha hero Blake Roberts will own your nights and forever ruin you for lesser men*

Blake Roberts has everything he’s ever wanted—fame, money, and ownership of the hottest chain of tattoo parlors in the country. But he’s haunted by his first love, his former foster sister, Erin. The matching tattoo they share is a constant reminder of who he was before he learned how to control his emotions, his desire, and a woman’s pleasure.

He needs to purge her from his heart, and he’ll do whatever it takes to be free.

For Erin, what started as a charade has become all too real. She’s never experienced anything like the savage bliss she’s discovered in Blake’s arms. He tests her, dominates her, and if she isn’t careful, soon he’ll own her—body and soul.

Blake has what he thought he wanted—Erin’s submission. But with her submission comes a deeper responsibility. Erin’s in trouble and an innocent life hangs in the balance. Blake knows he can help her break free of the past, but he doesn’t know if a man like himself belongs in her future.

How can he swear to protect her from danger when he has a dark side of his own?

 

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Abou the author

Lili Valente has slept under the stars in Greece, eaten dinner at midnight with French men who couldn’t be trusted to keep their mouths on their food, and walked alone through Munich’s red light district after dark and lived to tell the tale.

These days you can find her writing in a tent beside the sea, drinking coconut water and thinking delightfully dirty thoughts.

social links

Website | Facebook | Goodreads

 

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