Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Blog tour: Last First Kiss by Lia Riley

Last First Kiss
Brightwater Series Book #1
By: Lia Riley
Releasing June 23rd, 2015
Avon Romance

New to Avon author Lia Riley makes a splash with her first sexy, hilarious book in the sizzling Brightwater series!

A kiss is just the beginning…

Pinterest Perfect. Or so Annie Carson’s life appears on her popular blog. Reality is... messier. Especially when it lands her back in one-cow town, Brightwater, California, and back in the path of the gorgeous six-foot-four reason she left. Sawyer Kane may fill out those wranglers, but she won’t be distracted from her task. Annie just needs the summer to spruce up and sell her family’s farm so she and her young son can start a new life in the big city. Simple, easy, perfect.

Sawyer has always regretted letting the first girl he loved slip away. He won’t make the same mistake twice, but can he convince beautiful, wary Annie to trust her heart again when she’s been given every reason not to? And as a single kiss turns to so much more, can Annie give up her idea of perfect for a forever that’s blissfully real.

Lia Riley writes offbeat New Adult and Contemporary Adult romance. After studying at the University of Montana-Missoula, she scoured the world armed only with a backpack, overconfidence and a terrible sense of direction. She counts shooting vodka with a Ukranian mechanic in Antarctica, sipping yerba mate with gauchos in Chile and swilling XXXX with stationhands in Outback Australia among her accomplishments.

A British literature fanatic at heart, Lia considers Mr. Darcy and Edward Rochester as her fictional boyfriends. Her very patient husband doesn't mind. Much. When not torturing heroes (because c'mon, who doesn't love a good tortured hero?), Lia herds unruly chickens, camps, beach combs, daydreams about future books, wades through a mile-high TBR pile and schemes yet another trip. Right now, Icelandic hot springs and Scottish castles sound mighty fine.

Hello! Welcome to Roberta’s Dreamworld and thank you for your time. First of all, tell us something about yourself, both as a writer and as a person.

Thanks for having me on your lovely blog, Roberta!

How/when did you realize you wanted to become a writer?

Well, my first taste at writing came w/ a Sunday School poem I wrote during first grade that hung in a place of honor near the coffee machine in the church basement. But it wasn’t until much later, after the birth of my second child, that I started slowly but surely poking around on the keyboard. After nine months, I had a book that will never see the light of day, but got the confidence that I could finish a draft, and that’s how it’s been ever since….word-by-word, page-by-page--and it’s the best job in the world!

Let’s speak about “Last First Kiss”. We’ve read the synopsis but can you tell us a little more about what the book is about?

I can't wait to introduce you to my sexy-as-sin Kane brothers: Sawyer, Archer and Wilder. What will Last First Kiss deliver? A hunky sheriff, a 150-year-old family feud, honeycomb foreplay, blanket fort sex, cliff jumping, a (slightly nutty) chicken-killing grandma and a second chance at first love.

How did you come up with the idea and how did you create the characters?

I grew up in a small town, a place that’s a little stuck in time, where the Main Street hasn’t changed much since I was a kid. One day, I wondered, what would happen if my hometown had a movie shot there, and then it got famous, and then everyone fell in love with the place and people started moving there, buying vacation homes and setting up shop? How could that change the dynamic of the place? What tension would be created?

I also attended college at the University of Montana--Missoula and there are quite a few small towns in the state that have become vacation hotspots, with East and West coast millionaires buying up prime real estate and driving up property prices.

So that was my nugget for creating Brightwater, an Old West town being dragged somewhat unwillingly into the New West.

My characters are a product of this environment. The Kanes have been around since the first wagon train rolled into the valley. The family matriarch, Grandma Kana, intends her three grandsons to marry sensible local women. Of course, they all fall for someone who is anything but :)

If you should describe your books in three words, what would you pick?

Humorous, sexy and a little quirky.

Do you have any favorite authors and did they influence your choice of the genre?

I love to read, especially within the romance genre. Some of my favorites include: Lisa Kleypas, Jill Shalvis, Victoria Dahl, and L.M Montgomery (I’m a huge Anne of Green Gables fangirl).

What else do you enjoy doing, when you’re not writing?

I am addicted to story telling so if not writing, I’m often found with my nose in a book or watch a movie or show with my husband. I also love hanging out on the beach (hard not too seeing as I live in beautiful Coastal California).

As a writer do you get support from your family and friends?

Yes! 100%. I have two (with one on the way) children. My husband supports me on the weekend so I can draft time and my mom has often flown in from the midwest to lend a hand during busy periods. I couldn’t get anything done if it wasn’t for my strong support base.

What are your dreams and plans for your future as a writer?

Writing full-time is a dream come true and an absolute privilege. My hope for the future is to continue to grow my wonderful readership with stories that make them laugh, sigh, swoon, and tug their heart strings.

Would you like to say something to the readers to encourage them to read your books?

There are so many books out there and so little time. It’s hard to take a chance on a new author but if you like relatable heroines, heartfelt but humourous plots, and heroes who make your heart beat a little faster, all laced with a hefty dose of quirk then you might want to take a chance on me!

Thank you for having me on the blog, I had a blast answering your questions!

I love small town romance and second chances, so I was immediately intrigued by the blurb. I was pulled into the story from the first scene and I have to say I loved Annie. She's a funny character and I enjoyed the author's style and how she helps the reader create a connection with the heroine thanks to her funny and a little klutzy behavior in the first chapter.
Throughout the books there were moment that made me smile to myself and others that made me laugh out loud (so make sure you're reading this book in the quiet of your home and not in a crowded train, if you don't want people to look at you in a funny way).

Sawyer is the quintessential old-fashioned hero with roots and principles that I love. I'm not a fan of alpha heroes and when I come across and old-fashioned Prince Charming, I'm always inevitable attracted. What I particularly liked about him were his interactions with Atticus, Annie's 5-year-old. The handsome sheriff and the little boy bonding times were some of the sweetest parts in the book.

The book held me captive for most of the first part. However, at some point something changed and I was a little sorry because I was really enjoying the book. What sort of turned me off a little was the way Annie started acting at some point. Throughout the first part of the book she's determined not to fall for Sawyer's charm and she's determined to leave the small town and move to San Francisco. Then, all of a sudden, she has sex with Sawyer and everything is sorted in the blink of an eye. 

From there on, all the book is about is Annie and Sawyer having sex whenever they can, but neither talks about how they're feeling or about the giant elephant in the room: the reason why she was mad at him in the first place. At the start of the book Annie was extremely mad at Sawyer for the way he allowed the town to make fun of her when they dated in high school, and this was one of the reasons why she left the town as soon as she could and never came back.

Personally, I didn't find it believable that she's held the grudge for ten years and then they have sex and everything is okay. Even though the reader gets to read what happened that night, Sawyer never got to explain it to Annie but in a heartbeat she's forgiven and forgotten everything.

In a way, when I reached the happy ending I'd been hoping for from the beginning, I felt as if there were still unresolved issues, especially since everything seemed to be a little rushed toward the end.
Besides, I could have done without the descriptive sex scenes which, in my opinion, weren't vital to the story itself and annoyed me a little because their relationship at that point only seemed to be about sex and didn't make me feel the connection, the feelings that were supposed to be strong and lead toward their HEA and a forever kind of love. 

Apart from this personal preference of mine, if you don't mind sexy, descriptive scenes, you should really give this book a chance because it is a nice story of second chances and it's got a few funny parts in it that will make it an enjoyable weekend read.

The next knock rattled the front door’s hinges; whoever was out there meant business. Annie sneezed before drawing a shaky breath. Drinking wasn’t a personal forte, but chamomile tea didn’t do much to blunt the first-night-back-in-my-one-cow-hometown blues, even with extra honey.
Maybe if she took her time, whoever was out there would go away.
She closed her laptop’s lid, stood, and walked to the sink, setting the tumbler under the leaky tap. Water drip, drip, dripped into the brown dregs. Dad’s radio above the fridge, tuned to a Fresno classical station, piped in Mozart’s requiem on the scratchy speakers, hopefully due to coincidence rather than cosmic foreshadowing.
More knocking.
This could very well be an innocent mistake. Someone had confused directions, taken a wrong turn, driven up a quarter-mile driveway to an out-of-the-way farmhouse . . . to where she sat wearing a Kiss Me, I’m Scottish apron with a sleeping five-year-old upstairs.
She hadn’t missed Gregor in months. Her ex-husband might be a metrosexual philosophy professor, but at least he stood higher than five feet in socks. Why, oh, why had she enrolled in yoga instead of kickboxing last summer in Portland? No way would a sun salutation cut the mustard against a crazy-eyed bunny boiler. An alarmed buzz replaced the hollow feeling in her chest. Brightwater was a sleepy, safe backwater. Had it grown more dangerous since she tore out of here on her eighteenth birthday? Meth labs? Cattle thieves? Area 51 wasn’t too far away, so throw in possible alien abduction?
Well, she was alone now and would have to deal with whatever came.
As a rule, killers and extraterrestrials didn’t announce themselves at the front door. Still, this was no time to start taking chances. She grabbed her father’s single-malt by the neck and padded into the living room. The change from bright kitchen to gloom skewed her vision as blood shunted to her legs. Shadows clung to the beamed ceiling and brick fireplace. If the rocking chair in the corner moved, she’d pee her pants. That old gooseneck rocker starred in more than a few of her childhood nightmares—ever since her sister had mentioned that Great-Grandma Carson had died in it.
“Hello?” she called, her voice calm—but, darn, an octave too high. “Who’s there?”
The door didn’t have a peephole. This was the Eastern Sierras, a place where shopkeepers left signs taped to their unlocked front doors saying “Went to the bank, back in five minutes.”
Think! Think! What’s the game plan?
Retreat—not a choice. But more whisky was definitely a viable option. She opened the bottle, and the gulp seared her throat. At least the burn helped dissipate the cold fear knotting her stomach. She pressed her lips together while screwing the cap back on. Here goes nothing. Brandishing the bottle like a club, she flung open the door.
A light breeze blew across her face, cool despite the fact it was early July. Five Diamonds Farm sat at four thousand feet in elevation. She glanced around the porch. Empty. Unable to stand the suspense, she stepped forward, her bare toes grazing warm ceramic. A baking dish sat on the mat. Annie knit her brow and crouched—a neighborly casserole delivery? At this hour? Fat chance, but one could hope. She removed the lid, and an invisible fist squeezed her sternum.
If hope was a thing with feathers, all she had was chicken potpie.
A toothpick anchored a Post-it note to the crust.
Caught your hen in my tomatoes.
Chicken #2 will be nuggets.
Welcome home.


1 commenti:

  1. Thank you for hosting LAST FIRST KISS and Lia!