Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Blog Tour Stop: The Day He Kissed Her by Juliana Stone (Exclusive Excerpt, and Review)

Please join me in welcoming Juliana Stone to Debbie's Book Bag today. Juliana is here promoting her book, The Day He Kissed Her, which is the third book in the Bad Boys of Crystal Lake series. Juliana has brought us an exclusive excerpt from her book, today. Enjoy the excerpt and my review of her book.

He stopped a few inches away, and his smile widened when he caught sight of the throbbing pulse at her neck.

She had no idea at all.

“This is a surprise,” he said softly, his eyes piercing the dark glasses on her face. A smattering of small freckles danced across the bridge of her nose, so pale, you’d miss them if you weren’t looking.

“Really?” she answered. “You don’t look surprised.” 

“No?” Mac shoved his hands into the front pockets of his faded navy board shorts. 

“What exactly do I look like?” 

“You really want me to answer that?” she shot back. 

Mac shrugged, enjoying the color that slowly flushed up her cheeks. 

“Only if you have something nice to say.” 

“That would be a stretch,” she replied, not missing a beat. 

“Am I missing something?” Jake said with a frown.

 “Do you guys know each other?” 

Lily opened her mouth, but Mac beat her to the punch. 

“Nope,” he said with a grin. “At least not until yesterday. Isn’t that right…Boston?” 

Her mouth thinned a bit. Score one for Draper. 

“Don’t call me that,” she said softly.

“I like it,” Mac shot back. 

“You would,” she retorted. 

For a moment there was silence, and then Raine let out a long, slow whistle. “Wow. This is gonna be fun.” 

Mac turned and headed back toward the boat. “Got that right.” 

Suddenly it was as if the clouds parted and the sun shone on everything in his sight.

The tension across his shoulders dissipated and not one single muscle or bone ached. All was right with his world. 

He saw the way Boston’s pulse still ran…the way she let her tongue glide across those pouty, full lips—-a nervous gesture, no doubt about it. 

She wanted him to think that he didn’t matter. That New Year’s Eve didn’t matter. That the way she’d responded to his touch didn’t matter. 

Mac hopped into the boat. It mattered. 


It mattered a lot.

Book Information:


The Day He Kissed Her (Bad Boys of Crystal Lake - Book 3) by Juliana Stone

Publication Date: 04/01/2014
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Imprint: Casablanca
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 320
ISBN-10: 1402274866
ISBN-13: 978-1402274862

(Received for an honest review from Sourcebooks Casablanca)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indiebound

Juliana Stone on the WEB: website, twitter, facebook, goodreads

Books in the series

Bad Boys of Crystal Lake

1. The Summer He Came Home
2. The Christmas He Loved Her
3. The Day He Kissed Her

Coverart: Click the Image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.




Excerpt from, The Day He Kissed Her, courtesy of the author's website.

Synopsis:


"Will appeal to readers of Cathie Linz and Susan Elizabeth Phillips."—Booklist
He can't wait to leave
Mac Draper finally has everything he's always wanted: An amazing career. A New York City apartment. He's this close to being free of his past forever. But a mind-blowing encounter with the sexy yet tough-as-nails Lily St. Clare has him delaying his plans to put Crystal Lake in his rearview mirror for good.
She's finally found a place to stay
For Lily St. Clare the charming small town of Crystal Lake is her haven—a place she can hide from her famous, back-stabbing family. It's as close to happy as she's ever been. Until an unforgettable night with tall, dark and tortured Mac Draper gives her a glimpse of what true happiness feels like.
Lily can't help but melt a little under the sizzling heat of Mac's touch. But Mac's scars run deep, and Lily's afraid she may be falling for the one man who can never return her feelings...

Thoughts:

Juliana Stone's third book in the Bad Boys of Crystal Lake series, The Day He Kissed Her is an emotional journey that readers won't soon forget. Contemporary romance fans will love this small town, feel good, romance with two somewhat tortured souls that find each other in the grand scheme of life. Stone's ability to right about deep meaningful relationships is balanced by her gift for writing humor and every day situations. As well as some pretty hot and heavy romance scenes. This is a great new book from a great author.

What I liked:

Now I will be the first to tell you that I like a dark and brooding hero in some cases. In Juliana Stone's new book, the hero isn't a brooder but he certainly has a lot to overcome to find his happy ever after. Mac Draper's father was a real piece of work and the childhood Mac endeared would have been more than many could stand. But he powered through it and he has the life he thought he wanted. But in the back of his mind he wants to settle down and have a family. But that's something he feels he can never have. He thinks he doesn't have a chance to be different. That he can't outlive his father's influence on his life. 

To say Mac was a bit tortured is probably an understatement. I really liked Mac's character. I can't say that I felt a kinship with him or that I understood his pain, because my childhood was pretty great. But I do think I understand overcoming obstacles and this character was a case study in perseverance. Juliana Stone gives readers a character that is struggling with himself and what he believes he is capable of. I was totally engrossed in watching Mac find his way out of the darkness of his own making. It took finding someone who was his equal in most things to help him find his way.

Lily came from a very elite family with old money and pedigree that could match a thoroughbred. But she wasn't pretentious. She wasn't a spoiled little rich girl and she understood the value of working for what you wanted. I liked the fact that she isn't a perfect women. She has her flaws and demons and was able to recognize them in Mac. It took a strong woman and Lily was definitely that. Mac and Lily didn't have any illusions about their New Year's Eve hookup, they both knew what they were doing, but they both were longing for something more and it was hard to deny they had found it in each other.

This was a very emotional novel that wrung that emotion from the reader as well as the characters. I don't always go for books that leave me feeling spent, but this one was an exception. Juliana Stone writes contemporary romance with the best of them and this book proves you can have a story that pulls at the heartstrings and still has substance and strong plot points. There were some hiccups along the way with Lily's family and Mac's commitment issues. By the time I was finished I really, really wanted this happy ending and I'm guessing it will affect most people that way. 

What I didn't like:

I was all for Mac working out his issues and a bigger part of the story centered on him and what was going on inside him and I felt like Lily's story got a little cheated because of that. Mac's plot line was so intense that it was hard for Lily's to shine. Though I felt I knew Mac well, Lily was more of a periphery view. A little too focused perhaps.

Bottom Line:

This was a very well written contemporary romance. I was totally invested in this hero, though I felt the heroine was a bit more two dimensional. Not because that's how the author wrote her, but because so much detail had to go into Mac's story. A bit more balance would have put this one over the top. Still a very good novel though.

The Day He Kissed Her is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!





About the Author:

Juliana Stone fell in love with her first book boyfriend when she was twelve. She decided that when she grew up she would like to write her own book boyfriends and, luckily, she gets to do this. She writes dark paranormal romance as well as contemporary romance and now is excited to write young adult as well. She lives with her husband, kids, a dog and a cat somewhere in the wilds of Canada.

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