Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Blog Tour: Darker Water by Lauren Stewart

Title: Darker Water (Once and Forever, #1)
Author: Lauren Stewart
Author Social Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest  Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: October 3, 2014

After another painful breakup, Laney Temple finally understands that love is a fairytale and sex rarely comes with a happy ending. She’s too busy for it right now anyway—she has a business to run, art to create, and candy to crush. Eventually she’ll be ready to switch from her plastic-or-silicon lover to a flesh- and-blood one. But before that happens, she needs to be sure she won’t feel any of those annoying emotions that make her heart do things it wasn’t meant to do...

Like break

Carson Bennett is completely upfront about what he wants, and it has nothing to do with Laney’s heart. Her lips? Hell yeah. Other parts of her body? You better f*cking believe it. But her heart? Nope, not even a little. Until it does...a lot. But having feelings for someone isn’t allowed. It’s the kind of thing you’re supposed to push down deep and cover up with one-night stands, sarcasm, and booze...

Like secrets

Two people want the same thing—a commitment to nothing more than great sex in a bunch of different positions. Simple. Enjoyable. A win-win. Problem is, those two people have families and fears and pain that spill into every moment of their lives, control what they do and who they are. And if either Carson or Laney can’t free themselves from the past, they’ll both be pulled under by it.

**DARKER WATER is a standalone contemporary romance (no cliffhanger)**

Buy Darker Water ✷
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“Let me guess,” I said. “You’re different from every other guy, searching for the one woman who will complete you. You’re considerate, caring, and really want a chance to know who I truly am.” 

“Not at all,” he said, ticking the points off with his fingers and grimacing. “Definitely not. Dear god no. That’s not even close to what I want from you. And...was that all of them? I got distracted by your breasts for a little while there, so I may have missed one.” 

I coughed, covering my mouth before I spit my coffee out. “Seriously?” In the last few months I’d had a lot of similar conversations with moderately similar guys. But not a single one had an answer even remotely like that. 

“Seriously. I’m a complete asshole who only cares about what he can get from someone. Take you, for example. I saw you sitting here alone, no ring, great body. And thought, ‘I want to fuck her.’ And yeah, those were the exact words that went through my head. On the way over here I tried to figure out the fastest and most efficient way to get you into my bed—which isn’t far from here, by the way—hoping you weren’t the type who needed a couple dinners out first. So, Lane”—he popped an eyebrow—“are you?” 

Two percent into Darker Water and I was completely hooked. I loved the dual POVs of Laney "Lane" and Carson. Together these two are fun, flirty and sexy. But what really was refreshing is how direct, open and honest they are with each other from the moment they meet.

Lane has sworn off men and Carson is some random from her regular coffee place that makes her an offer she decides she can't refuse. Trying not to make the same mistakes she has in the past, she and Carson lay ground rules for their 'no love' allowed relationship. They each have their reasons for not wanting to date or fall in love and they each are challenged by their pasts to confront those reasons.

About seventy percent in, the story started to fizzle out and slow down for me. It almost felt a little like a different book with the same characters. When their pasts challenge them and feelings can no longer be avoided, the book takes a more serious tone that even in the end never really recovers to the pace and tone of the beginning of Lane and Carson's story. On the one hand, given the subject matter, I can understand this but at the same time it was a little distracting. Without giving anything away, and going into it knowing there is an HEA, I guess I just expected there being another shift in the tone at the end. The title and cover, once I was done, also confused me.

Overall I did like Darker Water. I am very interested in the next book in the series which will be about Carson's older brother, Hayden. The little we meet him, and what Carson narrates about him, leaves you to believe there is an interesting story behind him.

Lauren Stewart lives in Northern California with two of the most amazing children that the world has ever seen. She reads almost every genre so, naturally, her writing reflects that. With every book, every story, you'll find elements of other genres--fantasy, mystery, romance, paranormal, suspense, YA, women's literature, all with a touch of humor because what doesn't kill us should make us laugh.

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