Friday, November 20, 2015

review + interview || NOT ENOUGH { blog tour } by Mia Hoddell

Self-Published | November 16, 2015 | Upper YA/NA Contemporary Romance


Neve Colvin isn’t good enough. As an introvert, her life is a never-ending list of labels and criticism. Pressures to change come from everyone—including the one person she thought would love her unconditionally … her mother. All Neve wants is acceptance, but surrounded by extroverts it’s a wish that’s nearly impossible to fulfil.

For Neve there’s only one solution: anyone disapproving must go. Even if it means only one person will remain.

That person is her lifelong friend Blake Reynolds. He’s seen the fights with her mum, the breakdowns caused by attacks on her personality, and the battles for acceptance. Each time she is left shattered and questioning who she is, he’s the one to collect the pieces of her broken heart. Shielding her from the cruelty is his only concern. But how can he protect her when Neve is concealing a secret so dark?

Blake thinks he knows everything about her, and with their relationship developing, he assumes Neve trusts him fully. However, there is one memory Neve is too ashamed of to share. Revealing it will test Blake’s loyalty beyond what she could ever ask, and Blake is the only friend she can’t afford to lose. He’s the one person capable of dragging her from the darkness plaguing her, but with pressures to conform increasing, even Blake may not be enough to pull her back this time.

{ about mia hoddell } .

#1 Amazon bestselling author Mia Hoddell lives in the UK with her family and two cats. She spends most of her time writing or reading, loves anything romantic, and has an overactive imagination that keeps her up until the early hours of the morning.

Mia has written over ten titles including her Seasons of Change series, the Chequered Flag series, the Elemental Killers series, and her standalone novels False Finder and Not Enough.

Her favourite genres are contemporary romance or romantic suspense, and with an ever growing list of ideas she is trying to keep up with the speed at which her imagination generates them. She also designs book covers on her website M Designs.

You can follow Mia on:

Or sign up to her newsletter for the chance to receive ARCs, giveaways, and exclusive content first.

{ 10 questions with mia } .

1. What are 5 words to best describe you?

Creative, dreamer, hopeless romantic, introvert.

2. Who would play you in the movie of your life?

I have no idea. I don’t tend to watch many movies so I can’t name many actresses.

3. What are 5 words to best describe your writing style?

I’m pulling these words from reviews since I can never describe my own writing.

Heartbreaking, emotional, funny, passionate, powerful.

4. Where’s your favorite place to write?

It changes with the seasons. In the summer I love writing outside, but in the winter I have to be curled up somewhere warm.

5. If you couldn’t write, what would you be doing (or, what do you do aside from writing)?

I’d like to either do something creative or work in the publishing industry. I design book covers when I’m not writing so that’s probably what I’d do. I’m only 20 so I have plenty of time to change my mind.

6. We all have our book boyfriends… Who is your current one? What about him draws you to him?

Can I pick my own character? I think everyone needs someone like Blake (from Not Enough) in their lives. Keywords there are ‘someone like’ since Blake is mine :-) He accepts and loves Neve for who she is, never asks her to change, and is always by her side to pick her up when people cause her to doubt herself.

7. Of your characters (your ‘babies’), who are you ‘closest’ to?

Neve from Not Enough probably. She shares a lot of personality traits with me and I can relate to her the most. There is a little of me in every character I write, though, so it’s hard to pick.

8. Was there anything in this book that caused you to pause, that was difficult to get past? Any annoying character flaws you had to push through?
There were a few things in Not Enough I found difficult. They didn’t cause me to pause, but they weren’t always easy to write. To get inside Neve’s head I had to go to some dark places and keeping up that level of intensity was exhausting. Not Enough is the hardest book I’ve ever written emotionally.

9. Lastly… you get to take a breather from writing – what do you do?

I love anything creative. At the moment most of my free time is spent either reading or making swag for the signings I have coming up in Cardiff (2016), and London and Birmingham (2017). I’m also a graphic designer so I love photography as a way to get me out of the house.

10. Last 5-star book you read?

Roped in (Armed & Dangerous #2) by L.P Dover

{ excerpt } .

“What are you doing?” I manage to get out around my laughs. She tenses at my words and then tilts her head back to fix me with a glare, her eyes blazing with irritation.

“I’m sleeping in the bath like I said I would. Why, what did you think I was doing? Teaching myself to swim?”

“I know what you’re doing. I think that’s obvious. What I meant was why are you doing this?” I step into the room and move in front of her so she doesn’t have to crane her neck to see me.

“You know why.”

“You’re not sleeping in here, Stripes.”

“Watch me.”

I cross my arms. There’s no way I’m going back to bed and allowing her to sleep in a bath. The only problem is that it’s hard to maintain a frustrated expression when everything about the situation is so damn funny. “Be back in a second.”

She mumbles something that sounds like “I’m not going anywhere” to my back as I rush out of the bathroom. Rummaging in my drawer, I find what I’m looking for then I’m back in the room with Neve in seconds.

Before she can react, I have a camera in front of me.

“Smile,” I tease, only it causes her glower to darken. Three lines appear on her forehead as her face screws up.

“Delete that now.”

“Nope. Get out of the bath and I might let you.”

“I’m not getting out. I told you I’m sleeping here.”

“Why all the drama? We’ve slept in the same bed for ages now. It’s not a big deal.” She rolls over, showing me her back, and ignores me. “Stripes, get out of the bath.”

“Night, Blake.”

If she thinks I’m going to give up that easy, she’s got another surprise coming. She should know by now that I don’t give up and people don’t say no to me. I put the camera on the counter by the sink, needing both of my hands.

Carefully, so as not to reveal my intentions, I lean over the bath and line up my hands. With one swift motion, I grip her tightly, heaving her out of the tub and throwing her over my shoulder as she screams, “Put me down, Blake!”

“I told you, you’re not sleeping in a bath. Now shut up and stop hitting my back.” My light and jovial words only serve to make her flail around even more. I manage to pin her legs, but I’m powerless to do anything to stop her hands pounding against my back. It’s not enough to hurt, that’s not her intention, but the squirming is becoming increasingly frustrating.

When I reach the bed, I drag her back over my shoulder and dump her on the mattress. She bounces, not able to hide the laughter on her face while she stares at me and hiccups. This is how I like to see her, carefree and happy. It’s rare nowadays that I catch a glimpse of Neve when she’s truly happy, but in this moment there isn’t a strained muscle in her body. It’s natural, and I can’t stop myself from watching her. I’m still amazed that I’m the one who can bring out her joy and it baffles me that she’s allowed herself to be mine.

We remain gazing at each other with ridiculous grins for a minute. When I’m sure she isn’t going to run, I move around to my of the bed side. Her head follows me, and when I go to climb in beside her, she rolls over. She throws her arms and legs out wide, taking up the entire mattress.

“You’re in the bath then.” She points at the door with the hand furthest away from me, a devilish twinkle in her eyes. It takes me a while to respond. The sight of her body stretched out in her skimpy pyjamas makes my throat dry, and I have to consciously remind myself to swallow. My gaze focuses on her pale skin, which is exposed by her shirt riding up and the top of her shorts lowering as a result of her actions.

“I don’t think so.” My voice comes out more breathless than I expect as I watch her spread out in front of me.

“Well, you’re not sleeping in here with me.”

“My bed, my rules.” I place one knee on the mattress and climb on. My arms support most of my weight so my body is directly above hers. “So, I can either sleep on the left … or on top of you.” My voice drops into a murmur and she gulps, her lips parting as I hover over her. “Take your pick, Stripes.”

{ review } .

This story definitely had the ability to pull heartstrings. Growing up with a "normal" mother who felt her introvertedness was "not normal", Neve made plans. She just had to get her business up and running and she could go. One fight too many pushes Neve to the brink, but luckily for her, her best friend Blake was always there to catch her -- but even he doesn't know the darkest her moments have gotten.

I loved Blake for the way he cared for his best friend. He wasn't dumb to what Neve had gone through -- he'd been a part of Neve for so long, her mother didn't stop her belittling in front of him. As Neve falls further and further into herself, her friends start to drop away, but Blake always stays.

Now... I'm introverted. I have mini panic attacks when meeting co-workers (whom I've worked with for nine years) in groups larger than 5; I have asthma attack inducing panic attacks when I'm in stores that I feel I don't belong in (Hollister and Abercrombie, anyone?). I prefer my art and reading and writing and photography than going out.

But Neve takes introvertedness to a whole new level. Her inability to be in social situations was nearly painful. However, her desire to be cared for and wanted for who she was was heartbreaking. Like me, she fears that everyone will eventually leave her, so rather than waiting for that to happen, she pushes people away.

So while I could definitely relate to Neve, she annoyed me at times. Blake though -- there was one super supportive person in her life and if we could all have someone in our lives like him, we'd all certainly be happy. He was right to be a bit timid to going a step further in their friendship -- if things were to go wrong on the love front for these two, Neve would literally have nobody. The cautious steps that take place to get these best friends to forever were certainly written well.

I also really enjoyed Robbie's character. I loved that he grew into Neve without her knowing, and he became another support person for her. I would absolutely love to see Mia write a story for this guy who teases Blake endlessly.

for other reviews & tour goodies,

{ giveaway } .

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