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Monday, October 6, 2014

Blog Tour: Broken by Laura Wright (Teaser, Review + Giveaway)

Woohoo! Guess how happy I am? I get to be part of Laura Wright's blog tour for Broken! You know I love this lovely lady and her books right? I mean, she writes the men of my fantasies, vampires and now cowboys. RAWR, is there anything she can't do? I doubt it!

About Laura:
Author of the Bestselling Mark of the Vampire series, Laura Wright spent the early years of her life immersed in the worlds of singing, acting and competitive ballroom dancing. But when she started writing, she knew she’d found her true calling.

Laura lives in Los Angeles, California with her husband, two children, three dogs, two frogs and two fish. She’s been thrice nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award, and loves hearing from her readers.

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     James dropped a bunch of bills on the table, gave the man a quick handshake, then followed Sheridan out the door. She had a small head start, but it didn’t take long to catch sight of her. Black boots on her feet, tight, classy denim covering her toned legs and sensational butt, and a fitted dark gray tank top that showed off her tiny waist and tanned arms. She was crossing the street a block and a half up. He eyed his truck. It was parked right outside the diner. Maybe it wasn’t the best of ideas considering who her boss was. He didn’t want to make trouble for her. And yet, even so, he was inside the cab, gunning the engine and pulling away from the curb before she made it a block down Main.

     Traffic was pretty light, and when he caught up to her, he slowed to a crawl. “Heading back to work?” he called out.

     Her head came around so fast he was worried she might have whiplash.

     “Oh, hi,” she said, her expression a mix of surprise and curiosity. “I’m actually going out to the ranch.”

     He patted the side of his truck. “Let me give you a lift.”

     She didn’t even hesitate before blowing him off. “That’s okay. Thanks, though.” She gave him a wave, then turned and continued down the street.

     His gut tightened, and he tapped the gas, followed her. “Why not?” he called.

     This time she didn’t stop. “I’m working off my breakfast, if you must know.”

     He chuckled. “I thought we talked about that, Miss O’Neil. You don’t need to work a damn thing off that body.”

     Her cheek flushed pink, but she kept walking.

     “Come on now,” he coaxed. “You tryin’ to avoid me or something?”

     “Why would I do that?”

     “Maybe because it’s the smart thing to do.”

     As if his words had struck some kind of cord, she stopped and turned around to face him.

     James hit the brakes. Someone honked at him, then went around with a screech. He didn’t even pause to give the driver a wave of apology for his asshole move. His attention was on the woman coming right up to his window. She had her hair down this morning, waves of red and gold and brown all swirling around her shoulders and face.

     His fingers tightened around the steering wheel as he waited for her to give him a cool dressing down. But it never came. Instead, her gray eyes studied his blue ones for a second, then she asked, “Are you even headed out that way?”

     James was not a gambler. Never tossed dice or hit up a slot machine in his life. But in that moment, he felt like he understood the attraction -- the risk and the reward.

     “As a matter of fact I am,” he said with a grin.

     He thrust the truck into park and got out. He went around to the passenger side and opened the door for her. For a few seconds, she mulled things over, chewing at her bottom lip. The slightly sensual action caused a small fire to erupt within James, but he didn’t say a word.

     Finally, she made a move. Coming around the truck and giving him a cautious smile. “All right,” she said. “Truth is, that car of mine is giving me fits. I think it’s the alternator or the oil pan area.” Slipping inside the truck, she looked up at him and laughed. “I’m thinking my air filter needs to be replaced. And I should check my transmission fluid. Just haven’t had the time.”

     James was momentarily speechless. Then, “You know about cars?”

     “Little bit. In college I had the hardest time falling asleep at night. Only thing that helped was reading my owner’s manuals. Car, fridge, television, toaster...that kind of thing.”

     He closed her door and came around to the driver’s side. Beautiful, intelligent, hard working, read Shakespeare...He didn’t think it was possible for Sheridan O’Neil to get any sexier. But she just had.

     He belted up and put the truck into gear. “So,” he said pulling away from the curb. “You could fix my fridge?”

     “Possibly. If it was something like a blown fuse or a tripped circuit breaker.”

     Damn....James stifled a groan as they left the small town behind and hit the interstate.

     “But I feel like I am most gifted in the toaster arena,” she added, her hair blowing in the breeze that was rushing through her open window.

     “I don’t have a toaster,” he said. But I’ll sure as hell be buying one tomorrow.

Format: .mobi (provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review)
Release Date: October 7, 2014

For years, James Cavanaugh has traveled the world as a horse whisperer, but even the millions he’s earned hasn’t healed the pain he hides behind his stoic exterior. Forced to tackle old demons at the ranch, James throws himself into work to avoid his true feelings. Until he meets a woman who shakes the foundations of his well-built walls…

Sheridan O’Neil’s quiet confidence has served her well, except when it comes to romance. Tired of rejection, she’s ready to swear off men. But after being rescued from a horse stampede by the most beautiful cowboy she’s ever met, her resolve wavers.

Only, as Sheridan uncovers James’s belief that no woman is safe with him, she wonders if such a wounded man could ever give in to love, or if some hearts are too broken to be healed…

Is it hot in here or is just James Cavanaugh? Where’s my ice water when I need it?!

James Cavanaugh spends most of his time focused on his job: Working with horses. Dubbed “The Horse Whisperer,” James hides a painful and tragic past that had caused him to ignore his own emotions and hide the demons that plague him every day. After his father’s death, James is forced to come back to the ranch that holds memories of his sister’s murder as well as a chance to begin healing.

City girl Sheridan O’Neil had been around the romance block a couple of times and is tired of being burned so she’s sworn off romance, never thinking that her boss’ brother would be the one to tempt her to try again. Even knowing James is carrying a lot of pain in his heart, Sheridan can’t resist him or the goodness she glimpses inside.

This is the second time one of author Laura Wright’s books turns me into a puddle of hormones! Damn that woman and her ability to write scorching hot scenes, not to mention sexy heroes and heroines. She has found another of my book boyfriend weaknesses: The Cowboy. Then to make matters worse, he’s a horse whispering cowboy! How am I supposed to survive that I ask you?! I just wanted to jump into Broken’s story line, throw myself at James and say “Take me I’m yours!”

Don’t judge me.

James was a driven, asocial man who was carrying a lot of emotional and mental pain, and while the packaging might have looked fine in a pair of jeans, what was inside was one hot mess that only a crazy or brave woman would have willingly tackled.

Sheridan was a little of both. She too had her emotional baggage but she was also an independent, strong minded woman. She had enough of everything to make her an interesting character and she was more than a match for James (Damn my luck, I couldn’t even hate her).

What I love most about this series so far is the connecting story line, the unsolved murder of the Cavanaugh brothers’ little sister, Cassie when they were teenagers and the subsequent abuse they endured from their mother for what she saw as their failure to protect Cassie. The tragedy and trauma the brothers endured definitely shaped them as men and as painful as it might be, glimpses of Cassie were everywhere, from the way her brothers behaved, to their memories of her to snippets from her diary that chronicles her young romance with the mysterious “Sweet.” I honestly felt the pain of Cassie’s loss because of the inclusion of her diary entries, I felt like I was getting to know her but at the same time, knowing that her life was cut tragically short. If it affected me, I could only imagine how it tormented her brothers.

James was particularly withdrawn, having experienced two tragedies in his life and blaming himself for both. He seemed to find some peace and comfort in the horses he helped. Drawing out a man like that wasn’t supposed to be easy and I’m glad that author Laura Wright made sure that James’ withdrawal from the world was a big obstacle for him and Sheridan to overcome.

That’s not to say that James and Sheridan didn’t heat up the pages while they figured out what exactly was happening between them, there were major sparks between the two of them from the very first time they met. It’s a slow but intense burn with them and it was just delicious to watch it unfold. But as much as Broken was James’ story, it also served as a launching pad to push Cole into the spotlight. Not only the youngest Cavanaugh brother, Cole was Cassie’s twin, which would have made her death hardest on him. I’m curious about his life and how it was affected by her murder and of course I’m wondering if Laura Wright can get me to fall in love with a man who fights for a living (I’m not really into UFC fighters, boxers or anything like that but we’ll see when Cole’s book comes out).

I really like the way this series is shaping up, like I said, the connecting storyline of Cassie’s murder shaped and continues to shape the character’s lives, even those who weren’t around from the beginning like Sheridan. I enjoyed James’ interaction with his brothers because, despite them going their separate ways and eventually working in vastly different fields, they’re close, they loved each other and like all close knit brothers, they gave each other a hard time. As much as Broken is a romance, it’s also a story about rebuilding, redemption and rediscovery and I love that.

Imperfection runs high within James and Sheridan and that’s part of what drew me in, their flaws, their emotional outbursts that revealed their real personalities, and of course, their hot romance. Broken is one of those stories that provides a little of everything for a reader like myself and of course, it doesn’t hurt that Laura Wright is the one behind the story. She’s never disappointed me before, so it’s no surprise that she didn’t this time either.    

Song Selection: Shame by Keith Urban. If you read the lyrics, I think they fit both James and Sheridan very well. Plus, Keith is country, you can't have a cowboy without country music.   

Final Verdict: *sighs* James. 

Book Rating:

Heat Rating:

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For a chance to win a $10 Amazon Giftcard, leave a comment answering the following question: What do you love about a cowboy?

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