Saturday, July 5, 2014

Blog Tour and Review: Something Worth Saving, by Chelsea Landon

Title: Something Worth Saving
Author: Chelsea Landon
Release Date: Feb 3, 2014
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It was one night, one fate and something tragic destroying something beautiful.
Heavy sheets of smoke curling and rolling together constricting my visions of this life I had.
You see that there?
That wrenching pain in your gut knowing not everything as it seems?
Look closer. That nervous energy you now have, stumbling over words you can’t say, a voice muffled under a mask, a moaning plea to be saved, slurred words on the tip of your tongue, there’s the something tragic.
When I have nothing left to give, nothing left to say, it’s him that brings me back to the moment, in the arms of my firefighter, the warmth of his heart and body, struggling to save his family.

  This image of us right now, the one you have of two people frantically trying to get in the few moments of privacy they are allowed as parents, is one you’ll see in most bedrooms where children are raised and both parents work. Alone time is something that is never scheduled but stolen when the crazy little bundles of energy were asleep.
          “Stop thinking,” he whispered, sensing my distraction. He came to rest against my chest as he entered me, both of us groaning as he filled me. “That’s it. No more...thinking.”
          It was right then that I tried to stop and be there in the moment, but it was hard when our overly curious and insane black lab started scratching and barking at the bathroom door where Jace had barricaded him so we could have sex. If he wasn’t locked in another room, he stared at us the entire time. It was unnerving.
          Gripping Jace’s shoulders, I looked over his right one at the door to the bathroom to make sure that asshole of a dog stayed put. Just when I thought maybe we might make it before he started in with the barking, he began to howl, and then bark.
          Little bastard had the worst timing.
          “Damn it,” I muttered, shaking my head and turning into Jace’s chest. The warmth of his body, the smell of his deodorant, consumed me, bringing me back to our moment. We were alone, one of the very few alone times we got, and my boy was moving above me.
          The thing was, Jace knew my body like no one else, which meant he knew when I was getting frustrated, too.
          My legs fell from around his waist when Smokey’s howling reached an all-time high and he began his obsessive jumping as though he was going to come through the door at any minute...or destroy the bathroom. Both of which he’s done before. Many times.
          “Don’t you dare stop, Aubrey. Don’t you fucking stop right now.” Jace’s breath caught in his throat as he continued to move in and out of me. His eyes fluttered closed as his hands held me in place. “We need this.”
          “Don’t you think I know that?” I sighed, and my hands went from his shoulders to his chest, pushing back, only to have him rock against me. He wasn’t having it, though, and shifted his weight, pushing my arms against the mattress, his pace picking up, and goddamn if it didn’t feel so right, so complete.
          It was the kind of sex that made you feel all warm and tingling. You know — the kind where even the slightest movement can make you come because it’s literally been so fucking long since you’ve had any stimulation down there. All that aside, I heard Gracie padding down the hallway. Thank goodness Jace had locked the bedroom door.
          “The kids are up.”
          As much as I wanted him to continue, there were so many problems with this situation.
          “I don’t care.” And I was sure he didn’t.
          As in most situations, when Jace Kenneth Ryan had something in his head — a mission like this — there was no stopping him.
          It wasn’t like I wanted to stop him. It had been just as long for me since we last had sex. I wanted nothing more than to ride this shit out of him, but reality was weighing in on that decision.
          That damn dog started in with his howling, waking up Jayden, and then we had both kids at the door, crying and wondering why their parents weren’t around.
          Who was next, Child Protective Services?
          Don’t even think that, Aubrey!
          “Come on baby...stay in the moment,” Jace grunted, moving the hand that was at the side down my body, over my ribs and lower until it was at my knee. Gripping my leg tightly, he angled my legs farther apart, his hips moving at a steady pace.
          He was determined to finish. “You like that, don’t you?” he asked when he saw my eyes close, the sensations overwhelming me. “You feel so good.”
          I did like that. In fact, I loved it.
          Just as I was beginning to relax and finally be in the moment, I heard the sounds I hated in times like this.
          “Mommy!” our daughter Gracie yelled, pounding her tiny fists against the door. “Open the door!”
          Jace didn’t stop — no, instead he sped up his movements as a growl emerged from deep in his throat.
          That was until the dog burst through the wooden door of the bathroom and into our room, and began to hump the bedpost, and the kids continued to beat against the door. It wasn’t looking like we were going to be able to finish. At least, it didn’t seem right to me.
          “I want to play Candy Crush!” Gracie shouted again.
          “Use my phone. It’s on the table,” Jace yelled back, his mouth only parting from mine for a moment before he went back to work.
          At that point, I just laid there. My concentration and desire seemed lost – if not from the kids screaming and yelling – but from the dog humping the bedpost by my head.
          Who can relax like this?
          Most mothers have been here before, and I know you have. Don’t lie. It doesn’t make you any less of a mother to wish for some alone time for yourself.
          Yes, we love our children, but when they start impinging on our sex life, it becomes a problem.
          That’s a shitty thing for me to say, isn’t it?
          It was quiet for about a half a second when Gracie, still outside our door, asked, “What’s that noise?”
          Jace stopped for about a half a second and then continued despite the squeaking bed springs. “Nothing. Go play your game.” By the irritation in his voice and his tightened grip, I knew how this was going to end.
          His hands twisted gently in my hair, pulling me into every strong-minded thrust. “Hold on honey...please...” he whispered. “I’m so close.”
          If only I was that close.
          Like I said, I knew how this was going to end. It was going to end with the kids screaming and Jace getting frustrated and storming off. Same shit every day. I could already feel the mood changing.
          “I can’t, Daddy!” she pouted. I could almost hear her bottom lip coming out. “I’m stuck on this level.”
          Somehow the phone ended up under the locked door with both Jayden and Gracie screaming and both beating against the door.
          And there was the moment it changed. He got frustrated.
          “Fuck...” Jace sighed, rolling to the side, and I knew the moment was gone. With his arms resting over his stomach, he moved them to his face as he breathed heavily. Scrubbing his hands over his tired eyes, he kicked at the dog, pushing him away from the bedpost. “Knock it off, Smoke.”
          I laughed. It was all I could do. This had happened to us so often that now it was hard not to be frustrated.
          Jace got up after that. Barely lifting my head from the pillow, I watched his naked ass.
          Such a shame.
          Perfect. Muscular. Amazing.
          When he reached the bathroom door he looked back at me, his hand on the knob, and then sighed. Turning away, he slammed the bathroom door shut behind him as he mumbled something about it being four weeks soon. The door, being broken, sprung open again so he used the laundry hamper to keep it closed.

“You’re not going to win this fight. Know why? Because I have something you want. Her.”
“You’re not for her. I am. I was made for her. To love her, to protect her. To save her. So if you think you can take her, you’re wrong again. You can try, and maybe you will hurt me in the process like you want. But you can be goddamn sure that I will make you pay for it.”
“Death doesn’t take you away from someone. They’re there everywhere we look. It doesn’t take away your memories, either — they’re there, too. Love is stronger than death. I believe that.”
When would it stop? When would be able to talk? Or would it always be like this?
We used to be one person, one heart and one soul fighting fire together. Now we’re struggling to find our own way, our safety line cut, lost in clouds of smoke with no visibility.
We’re trapped.
“I’m serious, Jace. Go! I’ll be right behind you.”
“Stay with me, honey.” His voice was muffled by his mask, a harsh gravelly sound, followed by the hiss of each breath he took. “Please. Please just stay with me.”
“Breathe, baby...please, just breathe...” Removing his breathing mask, he placed it against my face, urging me to take a breath. I didn’t want to. I didn’t feel I should be able to. “Breathe for me! Please just fucking breathe...” His voice faded.
“Well...if he sets you on fire, then let me know. I know a guy who could probably put it out.”

1. A Beautiful War – Kings of Leon
2. Breathe Me – Sia 
3. Grey Blue Eyes – Dave Matthews
4. Closer – Nine Inch Nails
5. This Moment – Katy Perry
6. As I’m Leaving – David Gray
7. In My Veins – Andrew Belle
8. Be Still – The Fray
9. Darling Nikki – Prince
10. Stroke Me – Mickey Avalon
11. The One I Love – David Gray
12. Say Something – A Great Big World
13. Syrup & Honey – Duffy
14. Simple Man – Lynyrd Skynyrd
15. You Found Me – The Fray

4.5 out of 5 stars

What first drew me to this book was the synopsis.  It sounded so completely different than a lot of the books I typically read.  To find a story about after the happily ever after, you know once "real" life begins, I couldn't help but be intrigued. I'm happy to report this book did not disappoint in the least.  It felt real and was full of raw emotional content.  This couple had to fight for themselves, for each other, for the family and life they wanted.  Like many times in our own lives their fight wasn't easy, but it made for a beautiful, well thought out and executed story about love, communication and relationships.  My time with Aubrey and Jace was an experience I will not soon forget.

The story begins several years after Aubrey and Jace, childhood best friends, who re-connect many years later.  They fell in love, had two children and while they aren't married they live together and face many of the same problems married couples with young children do.  When work, bills, kids, and responsibilities bog down your days its tough to make time for intimacy, whether it be emotional or physical.  Jace and Aubrey find themselves in this exact predicament, neither one knowing how to move forward, how to communicate their needs and desires to the other.  Aware they're drifting but afraid and lost as to how to do anything to prevent their relationship from fizzling out completely.

Talk about an emotional roller coaster!  The majority of the story was written from Aubrey's perspective and I found her to be a very relatable character.  She tells life like it is.  She knows her fears just as she knows what she wants.  So many times I found myself rooting for her to find the courage and strength to fight, to follow through on her vow to say the things which needed to be said.

While I enjoyed Aburey's telling of this story I am grateful we also got to hear from Jace.  It only deepened the story line knowing how he felt, seeing his love for Aubrey, struggling with his fear of losing her and everything he loves.  Being inside his head, watching how everything he went through affected him, not only as a man, but as a father and a was simply perfect.  If we hadn't had this opportunity the story wouldn't have worked as well.  Jace made things feel more complete and well rounded.

I definitely recommend you reading Something Worth Saving, while it isn't really an escape from reality, it made an impact and I'm grateful I had the opportunity to review.

Come Sundown – Released May 27
Erin Evans is the kind of girl no guy wants to be in a relationship with. She’s controlling and never backs down when she thinks she’s right. Knowing this, and rightfully fearing her last few years in her twenties will be like the last five, she looks for some adventure.
That’s when her best friend convinces her to go on vacation with her to the Bahamas.
On the land of white sand, coconut rum, and a cloudless sky, what she never expects is to meet Tyler Weston, a local bar tender with a sweet tongue for the pretty girls. He’s tattooed, entertaining, and living the dream in paradise as he sets her drinks and world on fire.
As the moon lights the city, Erin unexpectedly becomes infatuated with Tyler and his bartending skills when he offers her a challenge to try his Black Magic drink.
With a mission to now try every drink on the menu, one night she can barely remember turns into two weeks of exciting possibilities she never saw coming.
Can Erin put aside her cynical side and let the dirty mouthed bartender show her what island life is really like?

Just Enough - Releasing Aug 2014
I want out of this town.
I want to leave and never look back.
He doesn’t knock when he comes in, he never needs to. He knows, as well as I do, my door is always open, waiting.
I crave him. I do. He knows this, I think, I know, and I believe he craves me too. Why else would he come back?
It’s his determination and his will that gets me. That determination keeps me waiting for him in a dreary bay. I’ve always heard my friends say they wanted the rich guy to take them out of this small town that seems to hold us all captive.
Lincoln wasn’t that guy. At first look, he’s a fisherman, married to the sea and weighted by her waves.
Who is he to me?
He’s someone who gives just enough.
He shows me a different way of thinking. A way to give more than just enough.

About Author Chelsea Landon
A stay-at-home mom, Chelsea Landon spends her days drinking entirely too much caffeine, baking sugar-sweet treats she never eats, and jotting down notes for her novels. A dreamer at heart, she’s creating happily ever afters. She’s a lover, a writer, a dreamer, would rather type than speak, wants to remember everything, loves lots of ice in her drinks, and is slightly introverted.

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