Tuesday, 13 May 2014

BLOG TOUR - Within Temptation by Tanya Holmes

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Title: Within Temptation (Sons of Temptation #1)
Author: Tanya Holmes
Release Date: May 12, 2014
Category: Romantic Mystery/Romantic Suspense. This is not erotica or romantica. This is a romance centered around a murder mystery.
Heat Factor: 3 out of 5 -- The sexual tension is high, and the burn is slow. Sex is character-driven, rather than plot-driven.

Love, betrayal and murder in a small town….
Twelve years after her mother's murder, Shannon Bradford fears she may have helped convict an innocent man. Even worse, her prominent family may have had something to do with it. Desperate for answers, she seeks help from the one person least likely to give it. Her best friend and childhood crush, Trace Dawson. The man she sent to prison. Serving hard time for murder has left Trace angry and bitter. As far as he's concerned, digging into the past won't replace the years he's lost or erase the hell he's lived. Now that he's free, Shannon Bradford tops his list of bad memories. But he never counted on falling in love. Set in a sleepy little town during the dead of winter, this award-winning romance novel is a tale of one woman's quest for truth and a man's struggle to forgive.    

No more than two minutes could have passed, two of the most terrifying minutes I’d ever had. The left side of my face was numb with cold. My lips and hands ached too. I couldn’t seem to make anything move. The details came in pieces. How I’d almost been run over. How a stranger shoved me to safety just before a Jeep playing target practice could send me flying. Then as if someone had flipped a switch, sensory explosions filled the void. Horns blared. Somebody screamed. A baby was crying. And the wind howled while sounds burst forth in a crush of voices. “I swear the brakes locked!” a teenage boy yelled. “She ain’t dead, is she? Oh, jeez. Daddy’s gonna kill me!” “Don’t just stand there. Call 911!” a girl shrieked. A cell phone chimed and someone started pressing numbers. Next, an old man with a rough-and-ready voice said, “Pushed her out the way just in time. Another second and—” “Is she dead or not?” the teenager demanded again. While this was going on, I sat up, taking my time to ensure I was in one piece. Except for a sore hip, a bump on the head, and a scraped knee, I was fine. A woman standing nearby helped me, and as I got to my feet, realization dawned. Trace Dawson had tried to save me. I fought to see past the crowd into the parking lot, spotting him instantly. He’d just struggled to his feet and was staring right at me, his chin dripping blood. The people scurrying about and the cars streaming through the slush faded. Nothing but the two of us existed. Memories flooded my mind, of the quiet riot he was, of the secret crush I’d had on him, and the extraordinary friendship we’d shared so many years ago. As fast as those images came, others replaced them. I was thrust back to the crime scene, back to Mother’s corpse and the shirtless eighteen-year-old roaring obscenities while Sheriff Gray and a deputy dragged him away in handcuffs. Trace Dawson the man glared at me now, and his eyes were hard and accusing, eyes brimming with fire and ice. A chill wind rumbled past him, but he stood as still as a statue. Only his eyes moved while he looked me up and down with agonizing thoroughness. The rage. The pain. It was all there. Trace?” I whispered. In chilling silence, he walked away without so much as a glance over his shoulder.  

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My Review
This book for me was a very surprising read and I could not believe that this was a debut novel! It was just sooo good. It had it all; murder, betrayal, suspense, mystery, love.. everything! I was engrossed by every word, waiting for each piece of the puzzle to play out and watch this tale unfold.

Shannon and Trace have not had the best relationship in the world. She is the reason he was put away for 12 years. And now hes out, roaming the streets once again. There's only one problem, and that is that after all this time, Shannon seems to think she may have had it all wrong. Was it the wrong place and the wrong time? Or did he really commit murder? When everything fell through they were both only young, her 14 and him 18. They were everything to each other. Best friends and even starting to be more.

You really feel for both the leads in this story and I loved that. They both needed each other as the time progressed. Shannon wants Traces help to figure out who really killed her mother as some pieces just dont seem to fall together in her mind. She's always known deep down that Trace wasn't capable of killing her mother, but she couldn't deny what she saw. The other thing with Shannon is the aspect of her memory. Its fragmented and the things she sees and remembers aren't the same. Whereas Trace is finally out of prison and back into his little town. As you would expect there is quite a lot of hostility towards him and his time in prison has hardened him. Hes suspicious, mean and downright doesn't trust people. Especially Shannon, and so when she comes to him for help, he (not so) politely sends her on her way.

A very good aspect of this book was the time frame in which situations and relationships played out. It was believable and the pacing is perfect. Trace and Shannon's relationship takes a lot to recover and build back up over time. Its not a quick fix but overtime, they see that the friendship and crush is still there. They get the chance to get to know one another again. To rebuild the trust and work out the real culprit of the murder. The books was also told in both Trace and Shannon's POV, giving us both aspects of their thoughts and feelings as the time progresses. These two have been one of my favourite couples to read because they overcome the differences between them (even social status), work with what they have been given and truly come together. Their relationship is built on solid foundations and not a quick get together. In fact, they didn't really get together until quite far in the book. This side of their relationship.. the HOT scenes are also very nicely done. The sexual tension build up is immense and your always anticipating when they are going to finally react. When they do, it is written with quality and not quantity. Instead of hot scenes all over, the ones we have are written beautifully and we really get the fierceness and tension of the two.

The book initially for me started off a little slow and does take some time to get into. This is mainly as we need to get all the info and set the scene over what happened and is happening. Although slow to build, once you hit that peak it was incredible and the story was flowing, your emotions were going and you are immediately glued. The ending of the book is a complete shocker, but the HEA of the characters is one of the most well deserved in a book that I've read. I cannot wait to read more from this author and this book is a must read for romantic suspense lovers and those who love a touch of mystery in their book. I loved it 100%

*ARC received from the author in exchange for an honest review
About the Author
Tanya Holmes is a former Romance Writers of America Golden Heart finalist, a recipient of the Maggie Award, the MICA Award, as well as Overall Winner of the Sandy Haddad Award and a two-time finalist and one-time winner of The Emily (Best of the Best). She's happily married with children and loves reading, writing and a good cup of coffee---but not necessarily in that order. Her debut novel, Within Temptation is due out on May 12, 2014.  

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