Saturday, February 15, 2014

Blog Tour Stop & Giveaway ~ Finding Home by Aine Kelley

Finding Home
by: Aine Kelley
293 pages
published December 8th 2013
NA Contemporary Romance

Can two broken people help each other learn to love again and find their way home?

For Samantha Cole, love and relationships have never come easy. Pain and heartbreak have forced her to build a wall around herself. Hoping to start over, Sam leaves Boston behind and moves to Napa with her best friend. Trying to make better choices in love, Sam establishes rules to keep her heart safe. Little does she know that one man will challenge her and change her mind. He has the potential to break down her walls and bring her heart back home.

Ben Foster has been dealing with heartache and guilt for the past two years, believing he lost his only chance at love. Pounding guys on the Rugby field and running the family winery get him through the pain. When Sam arrives the fog over his life slowly lifts. He wonders if she is the one who can help his heart find a new way home.

Letting go of the past and moving forward is not always easy. Their connection is strong, but their pasts keep getting in the way. Will Sam and Ben's journey tear them apart or help them find a place to call home? 

*****5 -Rip Your Heart Out- Stars*****
~this review contains minor spoilers~

Women everywhere want their happy endings and happily-ever-afters. That's what I want. I want the boom box over the head of the guy playing the song for the girl he loves. I want my Say Anything moment. Is that really so much to ask?

Well, this book took me completely by surprise and let me tell you, that does not happen very often. I was expecting some angst, and there was plenty of that, I was not prepared for the gut-wrenching heartache, extreme frustration or the smokin' hott steam. I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that this was a debut novel for this author, she has definitely entered the scene with a bang.

My life plan-or rule, rather-is simple: no relationships. Relationships can only lead me down the dark path of heartache, loneliness, and self-pity. I am not going to let myself feel the pain of loving someone who doesn't love me back. To be told time and again that I am not enough is not an option for me anymore.

Samantha Cole has spent years having her heart trampled on and she's had enough. From divorced parents who can't be bothered with her, to boyfriends who can't stop cheating on her-Every. Single. One of them. So, she comes up with a new life plan, it's simple really, no relationships. Ever. Period. That's the only way she knows how to protect her heart. Sure she's lonely, and horny, but she's safe, from men at least. Everyday life...not so much. After graduating from college, her life begins to unravel before her eyes and she's left with nowhere to go. Her best friend Jenny invites Sam to come home with her to Napa Valley and stay at her family's vineyard. She can work there and stay as long as she needs to get her life back on track. Upon landing in California, she meets Jenny's brother Ben face to face for the first time.

My eyes travel up his arm shoulder, neck, lips, before finally landing on his eyes. They lock onto his-so hauntingly beautiful. They've seen love and loss. But I also see something else. Maybe it's hope or longing, I'm not sure, but I know that I want to find out.

She's only ever seen pictures of Ben and talked to him on the phone before now and that was enough to spur on some fantasies. But nothing prepares her for the real thing. He just may be the one guy she'd be willing to throw her rules out for. There's just one problem...

For most of my adult life, Beth was it for me-there was never anyone else. She's still as much a part of me today as she was yesterday. I know I need to try and move on. I just don't know how. She was my world for so long....

Ben Foster is no stranger to loss and heartbreak, for two years he's closed himself off from women and distanced himself from the prying eyes of his family. He knows it's time to move on and make some major changes in his life, he just doesn't know how. Ben has always liked Sam, though he's never met her, but she has been a great listener the few times they talked on the phone, never pushy or judgmental, just there if he needs her. But nothing prepares him for the havoc she plays on his senses when they come face to face for the first time.

She's the first girl that's stirring my insides up-making me feel something. It's been a long time, and I cautiously welcome it...

...I smile at her, and it's a genuine smile. It's the kind that I haven't been able to give in a really long time. And she smiles a beaming one right back at me. I'm hooked.

She's bringing to life feelings in him he hasn't felt in a long time and he doesn't know what to do about it. He wants her, he enjoys being around her, but he can't seem to move beyond his past. Sam is drawn to Ben like no other and that only grows stronger with time, she knows he's hurting and she wants to help heal him, if only he'd let her. But Ben has mastered the art of running away and his constant flights only remind her of her own insecurities of not being enough and her fear of opening up. Can two shattered souls really heal each other, or will their pasts forever be in their way?

I've been walking around with my heart split in two for so long that I didn't think it would ever be whole again. Sam could put my heart back together. And it's freaking me the hell out.

This book tore me in so many different directions. I loved all the 80's references being a HUGE 80's girl myself. Sam's inner-lusting Cracked. Me. Up. I'm dying to know what's going on with Jack & Jenny. Ben's past wrecked me but he also frustrated the ever-lovin' hell outta me with his 'king of mixed signals' crap. I got it, really I did-kinda, to a point, but it still drove me nuts and made me sad for Sam. I laughed, cried often, and drooled throughout the whole book. The epilogue turned me into a blubbering idiot. Once again, I have to say, a truly fabulous debut Ms. Kelley, I CANNOT WAIT to read more from you.

I want the home I always envisioned for me-the symbol of what a home should be. Home that fills you with happiness, passion, tenderness, craziness, heartache, joy, and love. As long as your home is with the one you're meant to be with, you can do anything. 
To share your mind, body, and soul with your home-your forever, your person-then everything falls into place.

As I step farther into the barn, I move over to the large oak barrels lined up against the wall. The smell is heavenly, and my mood begins to improve. The air I’ve been searching for is found as I inhale the sweet scent. My peace doesn’t last long, though; I can feel his presence before he even enters the barn. My body continues its steady pace toward the back where the light is dim. The hairs on the back of my neck rise as I feel his body move closer to me. I keep my mouth shut tight so nothing will spill out. It’s his turn to talk, to take a chance. Not mine.
You ran this time.” His voice is gruff and forces me to momentarily stop my route.
I did. The difference between my running and yours is that I went to where you would find me.” I feel his arm touch my shoulder to turn me around so I face him. My mind tells me we should talk, but I don’t want to hear anything he has to say. My body wants him and to deny it any longer is painful. Pushing my fear aside, I brace myself for what I’m about to do. “Why did you follow me?”
I had to. Let’s not run anymore. I’m done with denying this.” His hands move to cup my face, tilting it up.
I asked you to dance, and you said no.”
I’m a fucking idiot. Watching you dance with Jack nearly killed me. That should have been me dancing with you. Touching you. Holding you.”
So, why didn’t you?”
Chuckling softly, he whispers, “I’m a fucking pussy.” He hangs his head in shame. “I knew if I touched you one more time tonight, I’d be gone.” My breath hitches as his thumb strokes my bottom lip. Opening for him slightly, I nip the tip of it before speaking.
“Well, you’re touching me right now. Are you gone?”
Taking his hands away, he anxiously rubs his hair while he steps closer to me. Leaning into me, he whispers in my ear, “You have no idea how you affect me.” 

I'm a wife, mother, teacher, and now author. Aine Kelley is my pen name for when I take off my 'super mom' cloak and write. I'm a Massachusetts native who resides in a small seaside community outside of Boston. Besides my immense love for my hubby and two girls, I'm a huge lover of the Patriots and Red Sox! I'm a one click addict and love getting lost in a great story. I can be wooed or bought, depending the situation, with wine and chocolate. Like Samantha in my book, I'm a huge 80's movie lover and a music freak! My love of books, beta reading for authors and reviewing for a blog, led me down the writing path. My motto is: Live freely, laugh heartily and love deeply.

1. I have a potty mouth. It doesn’t come out all the time but when it does it tends to shock people.
2. I am a sucker for anything chocolate. It is a true addiction.
3. I love wine. Like really love wine. Red or white, I’m not biased.
4. I attend boot camp twice a week for personal torture. That’s when you may hear my potty mouth.
5. My original title for Finding Home was Say Anything, but legally I didn’t think I could do it.
6. My Kindle currently has 40+ books waiting to be read and yet I keep one-clicking. It’s yet another addiction.
7. I am a sucker for the Love Songs channel on Sirius XM. I’ve been known to wipe away tears as I’m driving and listening to a mushy and gushy one.
8. Some of the best friendships I have formed started on Facebook. Being in the indie author world I get to talk to the most amazing women I have had the pleasure of knowing.
9. I started writing Finding Home on my summer vacation before going back to work. I worked on it every night after my kids went to bed. It is a true labor of love and I have a new appreciation for people that work multiple jobs and juggle being a wife and mother.
10. Like Sam in my book, I am a true 80’s geek and love all things movie and music from that time period.
11. I’m an only child.
12. I love the Peanuts. I have to watch the holiday specials every time they come on with my daughters.
13. I go to the beach pretty much every day in the summer.
14. I’m a big sports fan. My favorites are football and baseball. Go Patriots and Red Sox!
15. I was editing my book when the Red Sox won the World Series. I was so excited that my lap top fell off my lap and crashed on the floor. I then happy danced around the house.

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