Tuesday, July 21, 2015

review || SLATE { release blitz } by Kelly Gendron

Kelly Gendron | July 21, 2015 | Contemporary Romance
Breaking the Declan Brothers, book 2


"Some boys will keep it, some will break it, and some boys, they just won't want it. You gotta be careful who you give your heart to..." Slate Declan

First loves, we all got them. Mine is Slate Declan. He was kind, gentle, and caring. Still, he managed to break my heart. So I put miles between us, and eventually, my heart healed.

I haven’t seen Slate in years, but a couple friends and I are going back to the Bayou for the summer. While I’m visiting my hometown, I’m going to look up Slate Declan. And I plan to break his heart, just as he did mine. I'll remind him of what he has lost, and then I'll prove to him that I’ve moved on.

It should be real easy, right?

Well, let me tell you, Slate Declan is not the same guy that I left behind. And there’s another problem. How do you break someone’s heart when they no longer have one?

{ about kelly gendron } .

Kelly’s motto ~ "Bad boys, give 'em a little time and experience, and they will evolve into misbehaving men!" And what hot-blooded woman doesn’t want a naughty, all grown up bad boy?

Kelly Gendron is the author of the TroubleMaker series, Breaking the Declan Brothers series, and a few other romantic suspense novels.

When she's not writing steamy, blush producing romances, she's out meeting new people while representing a group of reputable nursing facilities. You can find Kelly in a quiet suburb, somewhere between Buffalo and Niagara Falls. If you Google her, she’ll pop up there too. And, please do find her. Kelly loves to hear from her readers, and meeting new people.

{ excerpt } .

Rayna (15 years) & Slate (16 years)
“Oh, come on! You can throw harder than that,” I say catching the ball.
A wily grin spreads across Slate’s mouth. “I don’t want to hurt your girlie hand.”
“You won’t.” I whip the baseball back to him, and he easily catches it.
“Hey, Grams wanted me to ask if you’re coming over for dinner Saturday,” he says, tossing the ball up in the air and then catching it in his mitt.
Since Jamison’s death, home hasn’t been the same. My parents are either arguing or not speaking at all. So, I’m rarely there. I hang out at Slate’s or Emmie’s, weekends mostly at Slate’s seeing as Emmie’s mom usually has some kind of event or pageant scheduled for her. “I don’t know.” I shrug.
He stops playing with the ball and looks at me. “What? You got something else going on?”
“Well,” I set my glove on my hip, “Timmy Baxter did ask me out to the movies.”
Slate’s face scrunches up. “Like on a date?”
“I think so,” I say with a grimace.
“And what are you going to do at the movies?”
“Watch it, and maybe kiss,” I say, knowing that’s what most couples do at the movies.
“Kiss!” His eyebrows lift. “Have you ever kissed a boy before?”
“No.” I look down, kicking some dirt on the ground with my sneaker, suddenly feeling weird talking about this with Slate.
“But you want to kiss Timmy Baxter?”
“I don’t know.” I glance up at him. “Maybe.”
He walks over to me. “Show me.” He drops his glove on the ground.
“Show you what?”
“How you’re gonna kiss Timmy Baxter.”
“You want me to kiss you?”
“Yeah.” He lifts his hand. “Here, show me on my hand.”
“That’s stupid.”
“Don’t you want to know if you’re doing it right?” He shoves his fist closer to my face. “Go on.”
Never backing down from a challenge presented by Slate, I grab his balled hand and pull it up to my mouth. I close my eyes and press my lips against his warm skin. Opening my eyes, he’s curiously watching me. “Not too bad.” He drops his hand. “Now, let me show you how a boy’s supposed to kiss you.”
“Okay.” I go to thrust out my hand, but he grabs it, yanks me against him, and lowers his head. He’s going to kiss me on the…Wow! His lips touch mine and those dormant butterflies come swarming into my belly. He pulls away with a smile. “And if he tries to stick his tongue in your mouth, knee him in the balls.”
“You kissed me!”
“Ah, it was just a peck.”
“It was a kiss! Ow…I should knee you in the balls.”
“What, you didn’t like it?”
“You’re a jerk, Slate Declan.” I whack him in the chest with my glove. “I thought you were going to kiss my hand, too!”
“Your hand is all dirty. Besides, I wanted to be sure I got there before anyone else did.”
“Got where,” I ask, and a smile ruffles his mouth. What is he talking about? He’s not making any sense, and darn it, my lips are still tingling where his mouth touched me. “I’m going home!”
He starts laughing.
“Jerk!” I stomp away.
“Hey, Rayna,” he calls after me, still laughing.
I flip around with a snarky, “What?”

“Have fun on your date Saturday.”

{ review } .

I was lucky enough to be able to go straight from reading JAX, into reading SLATE. If you had the opportunity to read JAX, then you are aware of the pretty little cliff that Kelly lead us to -- Jax telling Emmie that there's something she should know about Slate.

Rayna and Slate dated for years, but had known one another since he moved to town with his brothers when he was nine. He was the quiet kid, kept to himself, but Rayna always noticed his eyes. The first time he smiled for her, she was completely gone -- his eyes were brighter. One theme that you will notice throughout SLATE is Rayna's thoughts about Slate's eyes -- when she first sees him again, it's the coldness.

Rayna thought she was going to marry Slate. From the time she was seven and he dubbed her 'Monkey' (to which she named him her 'Superman'), they were nearly inseparable. She got her first true taste at what kind of man Slate could be when he rescued Emmie from a date gone wrong.

One night, though, Slate and Rayna's future takes a huge turn and she leaves. Now, it's been six years and she wants to pay Slate back for breaking her heart by breaking him.

The very last thing she expects, though, when seeing just the silhouette of him, is that maybe she still has feelings for him. When she truly sees him for the first time, she realizes the Slate she ran from six years ago is not the same one standing guarded in front of her. His scars and demons prove that.

I thought that I enjoyed JAX, but then I read SLATE and I was even more in love. I truly enjoy stories where characters once loved and for whatever reason, choose to walk away. The biggest thing with Rayna and Slate, though, was that both of them wear scars from the other -- the love they had for one another was so much bigger than either of them and they were broken in more than one way when Rayna left.

Slate honestly broke my heart. Rayna realizes that in order for her to break him, she needs to put him back together again first -- but in doing so, she realizes she may be risking her heart all over again. As noted in my review of JAX, again you get to see Jax and his awesome big-brother-ness.

"...Jax warned me that you like to break stuff. And I checked with him, he said there's nothing more valuable down here than you." --Rayna 

I mean, c'mon. Big brother of the year award, right? And for a thirty year old? That's a damn good brother.

One of the things I enjoyed with SLATE was the flashbacks. Odd for me, yes, I know. Their story jumps from present to different points in their growing friendship and relationship. It helped fill the story, sure, but it also helps the reader understand the amount of love these two have had for one another. Equally, kudos to Kelly for appropriately writing the younger parts in a younger voice -- as Slate and Rayna grow up, the voice of the flashbacks changes and I truly appreciated hearing the difference.

I have to say... I'm going to be stalking Kelly's blog, Goodreads page, Twitter... just so I can find out when ZEKE is coming out!

{ other reviews in series } .

JAX 4.5 review }

{ giveaway } .

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