Thursday, December 11, 2014

review || UNTOUCHED { blog tour }

Before I truly begin, I want to apologize if the review seems a bit everywhere... I think I did ok keeping it on track but... You see, I was out sick for the last week (I work in healthcare and therefore never get sick. I have a pretty rockin' immune system -- but when I do manage to get sick? Oh man, am I out for the count). Bright side to that? I read... and read... and read some more. I think I got through a good 10 NetGalley books and 4 tour books, in addition to clocking 10-14 hours of sleep per 24 hours. However, if you've followed me in any shape or form, you may recall that I don't have the internet; as I was banned from public, I was reading books left and right, but wasn't able to fully write down what I wanted to say. I can easily read more than one book at a time, so it's not as if I'm going to jumble the books -- it's just sometimes I find my reviews to be more... coherent... when I can blog about them right away.

let's start things out with a...

{ giveaway } .

Whether you were good or bad this year, Lauren Hawkeye is pulling something very special out of her Santa bag just for you. Because you shouldn’t get punished for being naughty, right? Sometimes naughty can, in fact, be nice. Enter the UNTOUCHED “Naughty or Nice?” Giveaway to possibly win one of two Grand Prizes – a Nice Swag Bag or a Naughty Swag Bag worth approximately $150.00 each. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter. And, don’t forget to visit Lauren’s “Naughty or Nice” Pinterest board to see what might be headed your way this holiday season.

**Pinned items are only a representation of possible final prize items. Similar items may or may not be included in the final grand prize bags, at the sweepstakes Sponsor's discretion. You can view the official contest rules here. a Rafflecopter giveaway

New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance author Lauren Hawkeye serves up a captivating story of loss, self-discovery, and deep-seated desire. Some secrets are best left locked away in the past….


Untouched by Lauren Hawkeye

Publisher: TKA Distribution (12/9/2014)

Series: Florence, AZ, book 1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: InkSlinger
Buy It From amazon | bn | kobo | ibooks || Goodreads
My Rating: ★1/2

Alexa Kendrick has no recollection of the car accident that left her scarred and sent her life careening wildly off course. When the half-sister she thought she’d never meet shows up at her door with an invitation to a new life, Alexa finds herself in Florence, Arizona, a town notorious for being populated with more prison inmates than actual citizens…a town that has done its best to hide its own dark secret.

After Ellie is called out of town, she leaves her sister with the keys to her flower shop and Alexa finds herself swapping lives with her sibling: running Ellie’s business, living in the house left to them both by their absentee father…and forging a smoldering relationship with sexy-as-sin penitentiary officer, Nate Fury—a man with his own demons.

But arranging flowers by day and tangling with the only man who has ever seen her real self by night isn’t enough to silence the mysterious panic that fuels Alexa’s dark dreams. When Nate brings home a book written by an inmate, one describing an unspeakable crime, the shackles binding Alexa’s own lost memories begin to shatter. And as the devastating truth comes to light, she realizes that Nate holds the key to unlocking her past, as well as her heart.

about with Lauren Hawkeye

Lauren Hawkeye/ Lauren Jameson never imagined that she’d wind up telling stories for a living… though when she looks back, it’s easy to see that she’s the only one who is surprised. Always “the kid who read all the time”, Lauren made up stories about her favorite characters once she’d finished a book… and once spent an entire year narrating her own life internally. No, really. But where she was just plain odd before publication, now she can at least claim to have an artistic temperament.

Lauren lives in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta, Canada with her husband, toddler, pit bull and idiot cat, though they do not live in an igloo, nor do they drive a dogsled. In her nonexistent spare time Lauren can be found knitting (her husband claims that her snobby yarn collection is exorbitant), reading anything she can get her hands on, or sweating her way through spin class. She loves to hear from her readers!

connect with Lauren || Website | Facebook | Twitter
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{ review } .
After reading UNTOUCHED, I realized I had the prequel-novella, UNSPOKEN, hanging out on my Kindle carousel, so I went ahead and read it...

...after UNTOUCHED, but it didn't make too much of a different (UNSPOKEN is the story of Ellie and her husband; it is also the story in which Ellie learns she has a sister). 

But anyways -- let's focus on UNTOUCHED.

This book begins with Alexa coming into Florence, AZ, at the request of her sister, Ellie. The little gliche with that, though, is that Alexa was unaware she had a sister named Ellie. Granted, Ellie had been unaware of Alexa, as well, until she found a box of Ellie's things in the attic of her grandmother's flower shop/apartment (which you briefly read about in UNTOUCHED, but get the full scene in UNSPOKEN).

When Alexa arrives in Florence, AZ, a prison town that her mother doesn't want her going to, her sister immediately bails on her -- her husband's father had a stroke and they were leaving to be at his side.

Now... this was my first (low-voiced) really........ moment. Just because you have a box of your long lost sister's possessions (and her reflection in the mirror is extremely similar to yours) does not mean you should entrust your business to her -- afterall, Alexa truly is still a stranger. But regardless, Ellie left the flower shop in Alexa's hands.

Alexa knows nothing about flowers, but she seemingly does well with the shop -- after her first butchered arrangement, but that was ok, because it was given to her anyway.

Anyway, part of the reason why Alexa chose to come and try and get to know her sister was because she needed to get away from her current life. A year prior, she'd been in a terrible accident in which she lost her memory -- she has zero recollection of the accident. In hope of gaining back her memory, she wants to go someplace and focus on herself, and in doing that, focus on her art.

Her first 'artwork' in Florence is drawing the guant-ish man at the diner, who turns out to by Nate Fury -- he's currently working at the prison, but is leaving behind his past as a detective from LA, where he lost his partner. However, after just the brief meeting with Alexa, he can't help but be drawn to her.
This strange woman was a ray of light that had managed to break through the gloom that he never seemed quite able to shake, at least not anymore.
Because of that, he wasn't quite ready to let go. 
Now, while the romance was a bit quick, the story moved through the paces well. I became a bit annoyed by Nate's depression (even though it's completely understandable), and I also found that Alexa's accident was a tad predictible -- not much, but just a bit. I did find her reaction to her new memories to be appropriate, however. And I was impressed by Nate's ability to fight through his own fog to stand by her side (him standing next to her bedside, finger in her face, scolding her for hurting herself? Go, Nate).

Altogether, I did enjoy this story. Like I said, I enjoyed it so much that I went back to read UNSPOKEN just for a few more 'answers', not that there's many, but just a few. I'm unsure what Lauren's plans are with the rest of the series, but would it be selfish of me to say I just want more Nate and Alexa...???

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