Blog Tour: Rare and Precious Things (The Blackstone Affair #4) by Raine Miller~Stacy's 5 Star Review, Giveaway & Book Trailer!
Title: RARE AND PRECIOUS THINGS
(The Blackstone Affair Book 4)
Author: RAINE MILLER
hosted by: The Book Avenue
The fourth part in the New York Times bestselling series, The Blackstone Affair: A bright beginning for two damaged souls fighting for their hard-won love, and the promise of a new hope to secure their happily ever after.
Fresh from an idyllic honeymoon along the Italian coast, the Blackstones prepare for the birth of their precious baby and the challenges of settling into a new home. But things get complicated when specters from the past reappear to threaten the very foundation of their relationship. Ethan and Brynne will have to fight harder than ever for each other. Rare and Precious Things is the story of two people who both need the other in order to be complete, but learn just how "rare" their brand of love is when they have to risk everything in order to hold onto it.
I am a worrier. I worry about Brynne. I will worry about my child. I want to keep everyone safe and happy, and yet I know that sometimes shit happens that is not nice, and people do get hurt, or sick, or tragedy strikes. In my line of work, I know this all too well, but I also know my family will always come first before anything else.
2. Whats the biggest thing Brynne has said or done to you that has made you love her even more, and what do you think Brynne would answer to the same question about you?
Brynne really was the first woman who cared about ME as a person. She was able to see the good in me, and brought me to a place where I wanted more out of life than just the shallowness I was living before her. She also loves me in spite of all my flaws. Brynne would probably say that I taught her how to learn to trust.
3. How do you see your life had you and Brynne never met?
A very empty, and lonely one.
4. How do you see yourself acting in the delivery room?
Like a fuckin’ idiot in a total panic. Thank Christ Brynne is so level-headed and calm.
5. Ethan, you and Brynne have so much chemistry together..we feel your love and connection together......did you recognize this from the moment you first saw a picture of her?
I just knew I had to meet her in person. But when she walked into the gallery, though—that was a defining moment for me. The way she looked at me from across the room was different and did something to me inside. I knew there was nothing that would stop me from meeting her. NOTHING.
6. Ethan, what is the most important life lesson you have learned from your father Jonathan that you want to pass down to your children?
My father taught me many things and is a man I respect more than any other, but mostly he taught us to own up to our choices, and to follow our hearts.
7. Ethan, do you wish you would have told Brynne that her father had hired you to watch over her a hell of a lot sooner?
All the time. I don’t know what I was doing in not telling her. I was a fuckin’ moron.
8. Ethan, how are you going to deal with staying away from Brynne during her postpartum recovery period?
*rolls eyes* (probably not very well)
“Every part of you will be claimed and touched by me tonight. Every part. Taken. Everywhere your body can have me, I want to be there…filling you up.”
Okay, so I’ve been patiently waiting for the fourth installment of this book alongside some of my most favorite and esteemed bloggers and readers. It seemed like a century in waiting! Our precious Ethan Blackstone and his beautiful American girl Brynne have waited so long for us to consume them, so long that I almost forgot about them. HA!!! NO FUCKING WAY! That never happened, nor will it ever! When Raine titled this book Rare and Precious Things-- she wasn’t kidding, this finale of one of the most beautiful series ever written was shown wings and light that I never knew possible. From the very first paragraph to the very last paragraph I was encapsulated with some of the best book love I’ve ever felt, I’d say mesmerizing at the very least! Good GOD this is probably one of the most bittersweet endings to a series EVER!
When I first started reading this story WAY back when Ethan was harboring a secret held by Brynne’s father I SWEAR! I never knew it would turn into the beauty that it is today. Like seriously? How does one do that? The Journey that Raine takes you on is astronomical in proportions to other books. Her writing style is just… Different. Special almost. I, by the way almost never fan-girl gush in my reviews, like ever. I mean I get animated RARELY but it happens periodically, and I honestly didn’t know which way this review was going to go for a minute. Then I finished the book. And… Holy crap, I’m screwed! I cried for so many reasons, and I can’t even begin to tell you why, that’s the craziest part! I’m also pretty sure my grammar is jacked back to Sunday, but I could really give a damn at this point, LOL. I’m writing fresh from reading, which I almost always never do but I feel the need to express my current state of being.
Ok… So those of you that need logistics, here you go. The book starts off with the Beautiful Blackstone’s at the same place that their nuptials were held. The ever loving Hannah set up a surreal place for our favorite lovers to re-connect (as if they needed to) and one sweet- savvy line starts this story off with a bang:
“I remember the sound of the sea and the sound of the gravel when we walked here that day. It’s so beautiful.”
So when I say re-connect I actually just mean CONNECT. Like in general, Brynne and Ethan have a fire that exceeds most couples I’ve ever read. Their love isn’t futile and eager, it’s steady, strong and overflowing with passion. There are no doubts when it comes to the passion that consumes these two. It’s raw and it’s real, and we should all strive to get in on this shit! They aren’t perfect by any of society’s standards. But they make each other perfect by accepting each other’s imperfections, including the little baby that they’ve grown in Bynne’s belly together. I’ve been waiting FOREVER to see what kind of father Ethan would be, and holy crap. Tears, beyond tears, beyond more tears. He’s everything you could hope for. I’m getting emotional just writing this! I want to talk about this SOOO badly with someone!
As perfect as you want Brynne and Ethan to be, other factors are still widely apparent. Brynne still suffers with insecurities that Ethan inflicted, and Ethan still suffers from the fact that he’s… Well, he’s Ethan. These two have always had a slight virtual chess game between them if you will. Always wanting to win, but never finding the right moves that might help them succeed. As much as they want each other to submit, they still have a horse running wild that they cannot contain. They desperately want peace with one another, but have a hard time wrangling that peace in. Whether it be a figurative porcelain piece, or a full throttled mustang. Either way the love is strong and SOOO good. And Ethan’s dirty mouth is to DIE FOR!!!
I’m pretty sure this review is crap at this point, but all I can say is that Ethan takes care of his beautiful American girl, and their beautiful ???? Baby! Ethan will shiver you down to your core with his hotness, and Brynne and Ethan will melt you together with their sweetness. I have no words. This book just completed me. Raine Miller has taken over my heart with this disgustingly beautiful finale that is the Blackstone Affair, and I will not EVER forget this amazing series, like ever!
“I have to see my beautiful wife…every inch of you.”
"Shhh, baby, “
“Just feel what I’m going to give you.”
Raine Miller has been reading romance novels since she picked up that first Barbara Cartland book at the tender age of thirteen. And it's a safe bet she'll never stop, because now she writes them too! Granted Raine's stories are edgy enough to turn Ms. Cartland in her grave, but to her way of thinking, a hot, sexy hero never goes out of fashion. A part-time teacher and writer of sexy romance stories every other chance she gets pretty much fills her days. She has a handsome prince of a husband, and two brilliant sons to pull her back into the real world if the writing takes her too far away. Her sons know she likes to write stories, but gratefully have never asked to read any, thank God! Raine loves to hear from readers and to chat about the characters in her books.
OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES
NAKED (BOOK 1)
ALL IN (BOOK 2)
EYES WIDE OPEN (BOOK 3)
CHERRY GIRL (BOOK 3.5)
Blackstone Affair spin-off, yet can be a standalone
*I received an ARC in exchange for my honest review
The synopsis for this book completely drew me in when I read it. It sounded exciting, emotional, and angsty. Everything I look for in a story.
Brooks, Branch, and Katy grew up together. Not only was Katy the twins neighbor, but also their best friend. When tragedy strikes Katy's family, due to the terrorist attacks of September 11, she moves in with the twins' parents. Along the way, feelings arise. Katy is caught in the middle of these two brothers. After she chooses, it was obvious to me that she chose wrong. She obviously had feelings for the other twin, but due to some manipulation, she ends up staying with the wrong twin.
Years pass, and its the night before their wedding. After the twin that was in the military comes back to be the best man, all those feelings that never went away resurfaced. They finally come out with how they felt about each other, which leads to them sleeping together. Katy wakes up the next morning and realizes that there is no way she is going to face the family after what she did, so she flees to another state. I wanted Katy to to stand up and yell from the rooftops her love for him and have enough faith that the family that raised her, would love her no matter what. I wanted her to be strong and brave enough to let all of her feelings be known.
At this point in the story, I was loving all the emotions and angst that Jennifer Foor threw at me, but I had a little bit of a problem with the middle of this book. Katy is now living in a small-town. After finding out some huge news, she decide to keep it to herself and not contact anyone from her family. Around this time is when she meets Bobby. As soon as I met Bobby, I knew he was too good to be true; I was right. He was batshit crazy! More than once I found myself yelling at Katy to get out and leave him, but that doesn't happen. The love of her life is now back in her life, but she's already married to Bobby.
I disliked Branch. From the very beginning, I knew he was hiding something and I was right. Brooks I completely loved. He was pretty great; he was there for Katy when she most needed a shoulder to cry on or just someone to be there. He was protective of Katy and completely likeable.
Overall, I liked the story. It had a strong beginning and ending, but the pace slowed down in the middle. I loved the angst and drama, and most of all, Brooks!
“Brooks, the man that I shattered and abandoned, had given me more than his heart that night we’d made love. He’d give me something even more fragile.”
*I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.*
I was an early fan of the Mitchell series by Jennifer Foor so I was looking forward to reading this new story, the synopsis intrigued me and I needed to find out more.
Katie Michaels is dealt a tough hand in life, losing both her parents in the September 11 attacks, she moves in with her parent’s best friends. That also means she will be living under the same roof as Branch and Brooks, twin brothers who also happen to be Katie’s best friends since birth. But growing up, friendship turns into more and when feelings and hormones get involved, the happy trio break apart. Katie makes her decision to be with Branch even though that’s not where her true feelings lie, a lot of miscommunication and manipulation goes on.
The night before her wedding to Branch, Brooks returns from the army and Katie can no longer deny her feelings. Brooks thinks this is the start of their life together but Katie is so ashamed with her actions and the consequences that she flees her hometown and the only family she has left.
The years that follow are full of ups and downs, Katie starts over in a new town and builds new relationships. Leaving Brooks behind may have been the hardest thing she had to do but raising his daughter alone and without his knowledge proves even harder. Katie marries her friend Bobby for convenience and comfort, she is up front that her heart lies with Brooks and Bobby is ok with that to begin with, believing her feelings will change with time.
When Brooks reappears Katie’s life is once again up in the air. She has to gain Brooks forgiveness, escape from crazy Bobby and confront her ex-fiancé Branch, all the while protecting her daughter. It all goes down in this book and you are in for one roller coaster ride!
The story started strong for me, there were tears when Katie lost her parents, and I liked getting to know Branch and Brooks. It was clear from the start that Katie should have been with Brooks but they were both young and Branch made it impossible for them to be together. When Katie left town and started over, the pacing of the story slowed down. It’s not often I think time jumps are a good idea but in this case I think it would have worked, we got a lot of Katie’s life on her own and her relationship with Bobby. When I’m reading a romance, I need the connection with the two main characters, so for Brooks to be missing for half the book this did take away some of my enjoyment. I wanted Bobby’s role summarised and Brooks’ expanded.
Brooks was my favourite character by far, even though his actions when he was younger were questionable, I loved the man he became and he really was sweet, protective and kind. The scenes with his daughter melted my heart. Katie on the other hand frustrated me at times, I wished for more character growth on her behalf. She did a lot of running, avoiding and blaming herself. I did soften towards her at the end as she was put through a lot and I was glad she got her HEA.
I really enjoyed the dialogue between Brooks and Katie; there were some sweet lines. These two were clearly meant to be together and even though they had a lot of miscommunication and a back and forth relationship, in the end it was shown they were meant to be.
I did feel there were many storylines merging at the end and it all got a bit too much, Bobby, Brooks and Katie were the focus but then Branch reappeared, creating drama and then a curveball was thrown it at the end with the twins’ mum. It was a lot to take in.
I liked the storyline and I think if it was streamlined and the flow of the story was more consistent then I would have loved this book completely. With that being said, it was a good, angst filled read with plenty of drama and you should check it out today.
“It’s his life’s mission to love you more than I do. So I figure that as long as I still love you, he’ll worship the ground you walk on.”
“Hurry back to me. We’ve got forever to spend together.”
“I meant every word that I wrote in those letters, Brooks. I could never completely give my heart away, not when it was with you the whole time.”
“That night we spent together in that hotel room was the second best night of my life.” I could tell that I’d affected him. “What was your first?” “The day I gave birth to your daughter.”
“I can’t stop loving you, Kat.”
“I don’t want to be your friend, because I need more than that. Open your eyes woman. I want to be your everything. I always have.”
“I’m not scared of you.” “You should be. I’ll steal your heart and you’ll never get it back,” he promised. “I gave it to you years ago, and I don’t want it back.” I replied.
“I love you.” “That will never get old.” “It better not. I’ve been practising it in front of a mirror since I was twelve.”
A Maryland native who spends most of her time devising a plan to live off the land on some remote island, where no one will ever find her.
She is a married mother of two kids, who may or may not drive her completely bonkers. In her spare time she enjoys shooting pool, camping and spending time with friends and family.
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Author: A.E. Woodward
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: February 9, 2014
Katie’s world came crashing down in an instant.
Her husband, daughter, and unborn baby. . . all gone in a flash. The life that she’d come to know, gone before she ever really got to live it.
With a broken heart, she deals the only way she knows how, by shutting it all off. No communicating, no feelings, just pure nothingness.
Alone with nothing but her own thoughts and a well meaning family, she moves back to her childhood home, a horse farm. It’s there that she finds herself healing along with the horses her family rehabilitates. But when Parker McKenzie comes back into her life she’s reminded of all that went wrong, and all that she lost.
Will Katie ever begin to heal? Or will her secrets and loss be too much for her to overcome?
Perhaps, this is her kismet.
The more awake I become, the more my curiosity grows, and the faster my heart begins to beat. The anxiety is slowly creeping in again. I do my best to control it, but instead I find myself taking quick shallow breaths. The feeling is all too familiar. I know myself well enough to know that I need to calm down. I’d done it before. In fact, at one point of my life, I’d been a professional at controlling my anxiety, and I know all the strategies to get myself under control. But those strategies I learned so long ago don’t do much for me anymore. In fact, they’re useless…powerless. Just a weak David pitched against an all-too-strong Goliath. The gaping whole in my chest is just too much to overcome.
They were the only things in my life that made sense, and their love for me was the only thing that kept me going. Without it, I wouldn’t know how to go on living. Like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, Michael had put me back together and Zoe had made me whole again, igniting something deep within me that I thought had been lost forever. I feel a tear prick my eyes. If I had known that morning would be the last time I’d hug her, I would have never let go.
Eventually, despite the urge to know what’s going on around me, I stop trying to open my eyes. Lying awake, with my eyes still closed, will have to suffice. I’ve completely lost track of time. No one can talk to me about what happened because straight away I start losing it, and they have to drug me again. The two people who loved me unconditionally, are gone. It’s bad enough that I have to relive it every day and night in my dreams, I don’t need someone talking to me about it in my consciousness.
It’s unbearable to hear about them, and the way they were taken from me. The words cut through my heart, slicing through all my hopes and dreams, and leaving cut up pieces behind. I can’t deal. I won’t deal. So instead, I scream to get them to stop.
Truth is, I already know what happened, all too well in fact. It’s something that I will never forget, no matter how badly I want to. I just don’t want them, or anyone for that matter, talking to me. I don’t want to think about it. To know that I finally got what was coming to me was punishment enough.
“Kismet: A power that is believed to control what happens in the future”
After reading the synopsis for Kismet, I had a conversation with the author, and said that I was excited about Kismet as it looks very good, and I have a feeling that I'm going to need tissues. Well after reading, Kismet was more than just good; it was amazing just like A.E Woodward said it would be. Yes, I did need tissues, and lots of them.
After the loss of her husband, daughter, and unborn baby, Katie’s world comes crumbling down; heartbroken with grief, pain and the guilt that only she survived, Katie shuts down and won’t talk to anyone. In hopes, to help her heal, she moves back to her family’s horse farm. Whist there, she is reunited with Parker McKenzie, her brother’s best friend, whom she has known since she was little. Katie and Parker share a history there was and is much more to their friendship, but Parker is one of the reasons she feels so guilty about what she has lost.
The story, told mainly from Katie’s POV, is about second chances, forgiveness, new beginnings, strength and learning to live again. Kismet is not an easy read; it was an emotional rollercoaster from the very first chapter. My heart went out to Katie as I could feel her heartache, anguish and despair. I could feel her emotions; understand the reasons why she struggled to cope with what happened, and to find herself again. Why she felt what happened was a result of her secrets and the choices she had made. I did have a feeling I knew what the secret was and therefore, I was anxious to keep reading to see if I was right, and see how this aspect of the story would unfold.
Every so often A.E gave us Parker’s POV, normally when this happens I always wish there was more of the male characters POV, but in this case what we got was just perfect and was the right balance. It always came at the point in the story when it was needed so you got an insight into what Parker was thinking, his demons, his secret, his heartache and despair. I loved the way Parker was with Katie, so patient and understanding, affectionate, wanted to help her heal, help her recovery, and move forward with her life.
Overall, I loved this book, the ending was bittersweet and it made sense to the essence of the story but wow! It did make me cry. I’m a big fan of A.E Woodward and love her A Series of Imperfections series. She said this was going to be different, and it was. I have to say well done to A.E for writing Kismet, as it was a beautiful, breathtaking and poignant read that was well written and a story that is going to stay with me for a long time. The emotions of A.E’s writing and characters pulled me in from the very first chapter.
I highly recommend that you one click this book today, but just remember you will need tissues.
“All the degrees and training in the world can’t touch my emotional damages. I have nothing left to live for”
“It scares me, feeling these feelings again, because they are feelings that I spent years trying to forget”
“In a heap in the hallway, I cry for him, for me, for them. Because I seem to be the only one who realizes that there is no saving any of us.We are broken.”
“I know without a doubt that Parker is the key to putting me back together. I just wonder how we’ll get there”
“We just weren’t ready for each other. But now… well, now I think we can learn to love again….together”
“Katie and I have always been in this weird limbo-stuck between what is right, and what we feel, everything we’ve ever wanted just a whisper and a touch away.”
“Sometimes you have to hurt in order to heal”
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Title: A Woman Gone Mad
Author: Kimber S. Dawn
Genre: Adult Contemporary
Release Date: January 8th 2014
Forget everything you know about fairytales. There comes a point in a woman's life when she realizes not everyone gets a happy ending.
And no one knows this better than Lillian Shaw.
The safety of a small southern upbringing and a happy normal family couldn't keep life from chipping away at her.
And nothing leaves its mark like the bite of a broken heart.
Blow after blow, Lillian tries to stay optimistic, but when faced with a choice that could destroy her future, she gives in to the temptation.
When your first true love comes crashing into your happily ever after, you're supposed to walk away. Not fall back in love.
But saying no to Leo was something Lillian could never do...
Once lines are crossed is there any going back?
Or is the risk that Lillian Shaw takes going to leave her broken again...
And this time be enough to make her A Woman Gone Mad?
***Warning: This is not a shy and tender fairytale love story. It's a raw, tragic, and gritty story inspired by true events. This book is not for the faint of heart, it contains graphic language, sex, violence, and drug use. MATURE Audiences Only. Not intended for young adult readers.***
Well holy crap! If this book doesn’t screw with your head and rip your heart out! I had no clue what I was getting into when I started reading this book. It is by far nothing close to what I imagined. In fact I’m not even sure what I expected, but it wasn’t that! This book takes you on a journey through Lillian Shaw’s life, starting in the 8th grade all the way into adult hood and beyond. And when I realized that this is the direction the book was going, to be honest I wasn’t really looking forward to that. But to my surprise I found myself completely wrapped up in this woman’s story that I just could not do anything else but commit to it.
This story takes you through Lilith’s life and the loves, and losses that she felt along the way. She doesn’t come from a horrible home with crappy parents, in fact it’s quite the opposite. She adores her Mom and respects her Dad to a fault. This is just a story about real life, and finding that first love that ripped you heart out once it was over. And then finding love again, just for it to turn into some monotonous lifestyle in which you can’t escape. Finding friends that you didn’t realize you had, and falling into relationships with people to dull the pain of reality. All of these things happen in this book!
I really felt everything Lil felt. Kimber did a great job of making this story into more than a story. It felt more like a saga, and my heart hurt right along with it the whole way. Well not the whole way but sheesh! Be prepared for an emotional roller coaster. And I say that with the biggest compliments. It can’t be easy to write a story that spans through that many years so fluidly, and with no flashbacks! I’m not a fan of flashbacks unless they are extremely necessary.
So coming around full circle is exactly what this book did. I fell in love with some of the characters, as well as I was truly disappointed in some of them. As in real life, book characters can let you down too, but that’s all part of the story I guess. I will tell you this, if you’re not a fan of Leo by the end of this book something is wrong with you! I was pulling for him the whole time, and when he wasn’t there he was in the back of my head, probably similar to how he was in Lil’s head, always. And no, this is not a love triangle if that’s what you’re wondering. There are simply different men at different times throughout the years, which is totally normal.
I cried my fair share of tears on this one, so keep tissue handy. My heart really went through some emotions which were very real. There are some very serious issues which are mentioned that really cut deep if you’ve ever known anyone in that type of real life situation. But Kimber did a great job of doing it in a very respectable way. It might have gutted me, but it happens. Also, there are some little things that Leo says that kinda made me go “Huh?” But I guess that was just him. LOL. Overall this book was great and was told very well, and I’m pretty sure I haven’t read a book like that ever. So if you’re tired of the same old romance story, than read this book! It is far from typical.
“She’s lost, she’s so fucking lost and she doesn’t even know it. But I’ll find her, you’ll see. I’ll find her and wake her up.”
Tattooed across my ribs are the words I have always lived by 'Aut viam inveniam aut faciam tibi' Latin for: If I can not find a way, I will make my own.
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