Thursday, December 10, 2015

review || HICKVILLE CONFESSIONS {blog tour } by Mary Karlik

Indie Published | December 3, 2015 | YA Romance
Hickville High, book 2


New town. New look. New beginning. High school junior Ryan Quinn has a past. She will do just about anything to keep it hidden, even if means joining the ultra-conservative, no fun allowed, Purity Club. But secrets are hard to keep in a small town and when the Purity Club girls discover the truth, they viciously attack Ryan. 

Senior, Justin Hayes is a good guy wrapped in a bad-boy reputation. He may have been kicked out of the Homecoming Dance for fighting, but it was his dead sister’s reputation he was defending. He did stay out all night with super hot Ryan Quinn, but it was after he’d rescued her from the Purity Club and all they did was talk. He lost his heart to her that night. But with his home life a complete hot mess, there is no way he could have a relationship with her. The trouble is, he can’t stay away from her.

Justin is the kind of guy who can make Ryan forget her vow to change. He’s the kind of guy she should avoid at all costs. But he knows her soul secrets. He understands her and it is torture when she is away from him. But as she deals with the outward scars on her face and the inward shame of her past and Justin’s home life continues to spiral out of control, their relationship becomes as convoluted as their home life. Will they find the courage to open their hearts to each other in spite of their family drama?

{ about mary karlik } .

Following a career as a nursing instructor, award-winning author, Mary Karlik earned an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University in Pennsylvania. A native Texan, Mary loves horses, dogs, cats, country music, and small town diners. Although she has recently relocated in northern New Mexico, her heart remains in the Lone Star state.

{ excerpt } .

He lived less than five minutes from the feed store. He was waiting in the drive, and when she pulled in front of the house, he jogged toward the truck.
Her insides didn’t know whether to be nervous or excited. When he opened the door, she smiled—and then her big, fat, lopsided lips did this crazy Elvis twitch.
Smooth, Ryan. Very smooth.
He smiled, but it was a sad smile. “Thanks for coming.”
“No worries. Where do you want to go?”
“I need to walk. How about the park?”
The park was nestled in a grove of live oak trees. Spring Creek ran alongside the walking trail. She parked in the same spot Justin had taken her when he’d saved her from the fountain.
As they stepped onto the path, he took her hand and they walked in silence for what seemed like an eternity. It was sort of like that night at the gallery—except this time she wasn’t all emotional. But the feel of his hand in hers was causing other sensations—like the desire to wrap her arms around him and press her lips against his. He gave her hand a squeeze and she thought her heart was going to burst.
They rounded a corner and there was a lookout over the muddy creek. Justin led her to the railing. “Thanks for coming.”
“Bad day?” She leaned on the rail and looked up at him. His eyes drooped at the corners and although he smiled down at her, his cheeks still sagged a little.
He placed his hands on her shoulders. “Better now.”
That was all she needed to hear. She wrapped her arms around his waist and he pulled her against him. He whispered into her hair. “Ryan, I need you. God, I don’t deserve you, but I need you.”
She looked into his face. “No. Believe me, I’m the one who doesn’t deserve you.”
He gave her a gentle kiss. “Does it hurt your mouth?”
“To kiss?” She gave him a slow smile. “No. Does it feel weird?”
“Let’s find out.” He lowered his mouth to hers. He kissed her deep and hard, and she couldn’t get enough. She pressed tight against him, welcoming his tongue. The kiss broke and he rested his forehead against hers. His breath was ragged. “It feels—awesome.”
She pulled back a little and placed her hands on his cheeks. “Good, because I want to take the sadness from your eyes.”
He squeezed them shut for half a second. “I’m sorry. I don’t want to infect you with my issues.”
She kissed the side of his mouth, his cheek, and the corner of his eye. “I’m here for you. I will always be here for you.” She caught his bottom lip between hers and then took his mouth with all the weeks of longing that had been building inside her. Desire flared—
The slut of Chicago was fighting for control.
She nestled against him. He ran his hands up her ribs and trailed his fingers over the sides of her breasts. Tingles spread through her and the Chicago side of her begged for more.
Justin pulled away from her mouth and trailed kisses down her neck. Somewhere in her mind, she pushed lust aside. “We can’t.”

“Okay.” He stopped, wrapped his arms around her, and rested his chin on the top of her head. They held each other and swayed. He sighed deep and low and pulled from her completely. “Let’s walk.”

{ review } .

After reading WELCOME TO HICKVILLE HIGH, I was excited to see where the next Quinn girl was going to go. The way the previous ended left many questions where Ryan Quinn was concerned.

I loved Austin in the previous book, but move over bud, because Justin is a pretty good high school male lead in and of himself. The first time he stood up for Ryan, my heart melted.

Mary Karlik is proving herself to be a great voice for the high school romance genre, this time touching on prevalent issues such as bullying, violence, rape, and other tough issues in high school.

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