Friday, May 23, 2014

Blog Tour Review: Strings of the Heart by Katie Ashley

Title: Strings of the Heart
Author: Katie Ashley
 Release Date: May 12th

Twenty year old, Allison Slater has been in love with her brother’s bandmate, Rhys McGowan, since she was fifteen years old. But to him, she’ll always be Jake’s little sister and off limits. Now a college sophomore and licking her wounds from a bad breakup, she sets her sights on making Rhys see her as someone he could date…maybe even love. Her opportunity comes when Rhys visits his parents in Savannah where she is attending college. But the night she’s dreamed of turns to heart-break, and she realizes she’ll never be the one for Rhys.

For Rhys McGowan, his nightmare began when he woke up, naked and hung-over, next to his bandmate’s little sister. Unable to remember a thing from the previous night, he only makes matters worse by lying to Allison about not being interested in her. The truth is he’s spent the last year to ignore his body’s reaction whenever Allison is around. His resolve is tested when Allison comes on tour with Runaway Train, as both Jake and Abby’s nanny and to fulfill her fashion design internship. The more time he spends with her in the close quarters of the bus, the harder it is for him to resist.

Will Rhys realize that having a relationship with Allison is worth fighting for even if it means that he has to fight his best friend for a chance?

Strings of the Heart is book 3 in the Runaway Train Series. I was really looking forward to this Allison and Rhys story. Allison is Jake Slater, the lead singer of Runaway Train’s baby sister. And Rhys is his best friend. There is a slight gap in the ages between these two. Allison fell in love with Rhys at like thirteen years old. She always dreamed of a life with him. Rhys also looking at her as Allie Bean, his best friends baby sister. But Allie Bean grew up into a beautiful amazing woman and Rhys started looking at her in a different light.
This story to me felt very real. As a younger sister, I totally had crushed on my older brother’s hot friends. But they would never even look at me that way because I was younger and they never wanted to ruin a friendship. And that is exactly the battle Rhys had.
The couple spent a glorious few weeks together and really connected! Enter the angst!!! Things happened and they went their separate ways but life threw them back together when Allison goes on tour with Runaway Train as Jake and Abby’s nanny and apprentice to the wardrobe department.
The connection Allison and Rhys had was great. There was such a mutual respect between the two that it made them being apart hard on the reader because you just wanted them to be happy and in love.
Strings of the Heart was a great addition to the series and I loved seeing all the characters we fell in love with in the first books in this story as well. Another great book from Katie Ashley. She never disappoints.  

Katie Ashley has written another smash with the latest novel in her Runaway Train Series. Strings of the Heart follows Allison Slater (Jake’s sister) as she navigates her feelings for off-limits band member Rhys McGowan. I absolutely loved the first two novels in this series, and I once again was left completely satisfied with Rhys and Allison’s story.

Rhys McGowan is another killer book boyfriend whom I gladly added to my growing list of loves. This fiercely independent man stepped away from the life his parents so meticulously crafted for him to pursue his passion for music. At the same time, he is confined by his obligations and love for the family he has created on the road (within Runaway Train) and his sister he’s left behind in Georgia. It was painful and at times frustrating to watch him sacrifice his happiness for those relationships he holds dear. Despite his faults and reservations, he is passionate, sexy as hell, and a delicious slice of book boyfriend heaven.

I have been dying to get my hands on Rhys and Allison’s story after all of the teasing about their connection in the first books. There’s something about forbidden relationships that I can’t resist. I love how Katie Ashley laid out the plot, transitioning between the present and past to build the foundation of events that composed Allison and Rhys’ torrid connection. Strings of the Heart held me in its grip from start to finish and I could not put it down.

Fans of the Runaway Train Series are going to absolutely salivate over Strings of the Heart. Rhys and Allison bring a lot of passion and swoon to the table as they competed for favorite couple in the series. I don’t want to cast my vote yet (until everyone has gotten a novel or novella), but I will say Rhys blew me away. Treat yourself to Katie Ashley’s Runaway Train Series. Each novel is full of romance, irresistible rock stars, and just the right amount of angst and drama. This is by far my favorite of her series.

“Take a shot,” he commanded, his expression tense, his eyes unreadable.

Goosebumps pebbled my arms at his assertiveness. I wasn’t used to him being so forceful. For a moment, I couldn’t process his words. It was like the tone of the entire conversation had veered off course. Reluctantly, I followed his orders. When I started to reach for a lime, he stopped me. As I eyed him curiously, he took the shaker of salt in his hand. Tilting his head, he shook the bottle along his neck. Then he leaned over and brought the shaker to my neck. My chest rose and fell in harsh pants at the nearness of him. But most of all, it was the way the tension crackled in the air between us. Nothing really had been spoken out-loud, nothing had been done to change things, but in that moment, everything was different.

“Take a shot,” he repeated.

With trembling fingers, I reached for the glass. I took it in one hand and the lime in the other. Leaning forward on the stool, I dipped my head down to his neck. My lips hovered over the warmth of his skin. Flicking out my tongue, I brought it against the stubble on his neck. Rhys sucked in a harsh breath at the contact. Slowly, my tongue trailed upwards over the faint line of salt, eliciting a small groan from Rhys.

Once I finished, I pulled away. I didn’t dare look at Rhys—my skin burned just from the intensity of the stare I felt on me. Tipping up the glass, I downed it in one fiery gulp. As my eyes pinched shut in pain, I slammed the lime against my lips. My teeth cut through the fruit, as my mouth sucked off the juices. When I swallowed again, a shiver echoed through me.

I opened my eyes to find Rhys still staring at me. His dark eyes shone with an intensity that I would’ve given anything to know what he was thinking. He reached for his glass and lime. His eyes never left mine as he bent over. I tilted my head to give him better access. At the feel of his warm tongue on my neck, I shuddered, and I remained trembling even after he pulled away. He then downed the tequila without even bothering with the lime.



We repeated the process again. And again. Until we had downed five shots and licked and sucked our way up each other’s necks. My skin still tingled from the feel of his tongue. Of course, my entire body was tingling from the strong alcohol pumping through every cell and molecule. It made me feel so alive. While it had just been his tongue on my neck, the feel of his hands as they brushed on my shoulders, whispered across my collarbone, had driven me crazy. I could only fantasize that his tongue was following the same path across my chest and down to my breasts.

More than anything in the world, I wanted this man, and tonight I was going to get my wish. From the lust-filled looks he been giving me, along with the groans of pleasure when I had licked his skin, I knew what was going to happen. I was finally going to have Rhys.

(songs mentioned n the book)

You and Tequila - Kenny Chesney 

Weakness in Me - Joan Armatrading

Am I The Only One -Melissa Etheridge

You're beautiful--James blunt 

Say something - A great Big World

Portland, Oregon—Jack white and Loretta Lynn. 

Same Mistake - James Blunt

Goodbye My Lover - James Blunt

Conga - Gloria Estefan

Drunk in Love - Beyonce

Katie Ashley is the New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon Best-Selling author of The Proposition. She lives outside of Atlanta, Georgia with her two very spoiled dogs and one outnumbered cat. She has a slight obsession with Pinterest, The Golden Girls, Harry Potter, Shakespeare, Supernatural, Designing Women, and Scooby-Doo. 
She spent 11 1/2 years educating the Youth of America aka teaching MS and HS English until she left to write full time in December 2012.

She also writes Young Adult fiction under the name Krista Ashe.

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