04 February 2014

Keep Me Tour Stop!

Sexy, tatted up, underwear model Marcus Grayson is every girl’s dream—or more likely worst nightmare. He’s a player, a self-proclaimed bachelor for life, and he’s got no problem living up to his man-whore status. But when his older sister’s friend comes back from the past, he may just have the chance to turn some of his adolescent fantasies into reality.

Tessa Bradley is a self-sufficient, take-no-bull, single mother—well, now she is. Finally rid of her abusive, alcoholic ex, she’s making a new life for herself and catching up with old friends; the ones she was forced to break ties with because of her controlling husband. When she runs into Marcus, her friend Riley’s once-adorable turned smoking-hot little brother, she has no idea how he’s about to rock her world.

You wanted me then, now you can have me. Just promise you’ll Keep Me…

This kind of story is totally up my alley.  Bad boy, self-proclaimed man whore who finds one woman who changes the whole game for him.  It’s like one of the best female fantasies every, because I can’t even get my husband to pick his socks up off the living room floor.  But in fantasy lands like this, men can change!  It can happen!
Marcus is a tattooed (yes!), model (yes!), bad boy (YES!!!) who was once upon a time in love with his older sister’s best friend Tessa.  Tessa comes back into Marcus’ life and he wants to seize the chance the try and make Tessa his.  But, Tessa is still carrying around some baggage from her past and is being warned off of Marcus’ advances by her best friend and Marcus’ sister.  Can Marcus change his ways and become a one woman man? 
Well, this story was HOT.  Damn hot.  There were a lot of cat and mouse games between the two main characters throughout the book, interspersed with some hot hot hot sexy time!  Yowza.
Aside from the sex, the characters in this story are really good too.  I mean, I’ve read a million books about the hot man-whore but you rarely read about a hot male underwear model that pursues a divorced single mother.  I’m a little sick of reading about college kids, I was ready to read about characters that I could feel I had a bit more in common with.  And really, even though it’s been done, Marcus is a great character.  He’s got the good to be the best kind of alpha male hotness, but really struggles at points in the book.  It makes him a bit more realistic and adds depth to his character, and I really liked that.  Sure, I wanted to throw my kindle across the room a few times and scream “Oh no you just didn’t!” while I wagged my finger, but in the end those dumb actions of his served to further endear his character to me and make his redemption that much sweeter.
Overall, I thought that was a good book.  It was sweet and fun and by the end will make your heart really happy.  4.5 Stars!

I rocked Luca to sleep while listening to the peaceful sounds of Marcus and my old guitar downstairs. Holding my son close to my chest I silently sobbed, wishing my life could have been different—good, like right now. Instead, I was all screwed up, jaded and broken, with no foreseeable way to fix it.
Nights like this reminded me how I’d wanted things to be, how they should be. They reminded me how unfair life could be, too. Why did Luca’s father have to be such a hateful bastard? Why did I allow him to ruin my idea of a happily ever after? And why, for the life of me, did I feel like I was losing control again? Forget that Marcus and I shouldn’t be. . .dabbling. . .the way we were. We were having fun, maybe even more. I loved the idea of dating someone, especially someone I knew wouldn’t hurt me, but Zack had left me incapable of trust. I gave it all to him, even when I didn’t trust myself to do so, and it was the stupidest, most dangerous, mistake ever. Thankfully an angel came out of it, but that was all I had to show for years of taking Zack’s shit and never saying anything about it. That and the tears that just couldn’t stop themselves from flowing right now.
When the tiny mouth around Luca’s thumb slackened and his hand fell from his face, I knew he was out for the count. I stood carefully so as not to wake him while transitioning him to his crib. After closing the door behind me, I went into the bathroom to compose myself.
“He is nothing like Zack, Tessa. He’s a friend. It’s okay to relax and have a good time.” Great! Now I talk to myself! But my little pep talk was just what I needed to rid my mind of ugly memories and hurtful pasts. There was nothing wrong with enjoying the company of an old friend and allowing him to make me feel good. I wiped the tears from my face, reapplied a little bronzer for color, swished some mouthwash around, and followed the intoxicating music that was the elixir to my wounds. 
“Hey, what’s that?” I asked as I hopped off the last step, got rid of my melancholy mood, and made my way toward him. Was there anything sexier than a hot, tattooed, muscle-bulging man playing a guitar?
“Ever heard the Lumineers?”
“Yes, but not this one.”
“Reminds me of you. It’s called Classy Girls.
As he sang with a raspy, soft voice about a man trying to pick up a ‘classy’ girl in a bar, the little reserve I had left started to melt away. I take it back. . .there is something sexier than a hot, tattooed, muscle-bulging man playing a guitar. And that would be a hot, tattooed, muscle-bulging man playing a guitar while singing an adorable song that reminds him of me!
I listened and felt my cheeks warm, then gave in to the huge smile making its way across my face as the pace of the song picked up and he really got into it. His arms flexed, his fingers danced across the strings, and his eyes focused on me when he sang, “something drew me closer to her lips.” The rest of the lyrics passed by with no significance until Marcus strummed the final note and I realized that the guy in the song never actually got to kiss the so-called classy girl.
I applauded and asked, “And why does that remind you of me?”
He laid the guitar on the couch beside him and relaxed against the back cushions. “Because he wants her so bad, but they just don’t fit.”
His words were a surprise. Did Marcus want me ‘so bad?’ And although I knew why, was it so obvious that we were the worst possible match for each other?
With nothing to say in response, I leaned over him and lifted the guitar. When I played a familiar chord, I basked in the sensation of how good those forgotten strings felt underneath the skin of my fingertips. The first song that came to mind was a new one by Phillip Phillips. I fell in love with his music during his stint on American Idol and downloaded his album to iTunes as soon as it was released. Not only did it prove to be right up my alley, but the track I was about to play made me hopeful that I’d feel this way about someone…one day. I didn’t want to admit that Marcus made me hopeful, but this was the first step in allowing myself to trust him.
I gave in to the urge to take the leap and just started to play. I fumbled with the difficulty of the chords and I hadn’t sung in front of anyone in. . .forever, but just like the words of the song, Marcus made it so easy. I poured my heart out through shaky vocals and rusty strumming, never looking up at him to register how he felt. When I was almost done, I felt a pang of regret for speaking these words to him, even if they weren’t my own, but it was too late for that, wasn’t it?
With the last chord, I kept my eyes closed, afraid to face him.
He pulled at the guitar and I released my grip. His touch was strong yet gentle at my cheek. When I opened my eyes Marcus looked at me with emotion that I imagined was foreign to him. This was so different from lust or desire. “Tessa, that was. . .you’re so. . .do you know what you’re doing to me?”
I desperately wanted to know, but I was also too scared to hear the words. Go figure! I could sing him a song about falling hard, but I couldn’t admit that that’s what was happening.
Before I had the chance to be embarrassed or to even think, his lips were on mine, taking control of my brain and the rest of my body.
I gave in to the parts of me that wanted this, ignoring the parts that were telling me it was wrong, or too soon, or just plain stupid. I remembered the word I used earlier to describe what we were doing to Marcus—fun. If I just kept convincing myself that that’s all it was, no one would get hurt. Right?


Faith Andrews lives in New York where she is happily married to her high school sweetheart. They have two beautiful daughters and a furry Yorkie son, Rocco. If she isn’t listening to Mumford and Sons or busy being a Dance Mom, her nose is in a book or her laptop. She’s a sucker for a happily ever after and believes her characters are out there living one somewhere . . .

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