Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Blog Tour Review, Excerpt, Teasers & Giveaway ~ Not The One by Amy Daws

Not The One
by Amy Daws

~Not The One is Full Length Standalone Adult Romance~

My name is Reyna Miracle.
Even though a part of my name is Miracle, there’s nothing miraculous about me.
My body portrays the tales of my life.
Every feeling, every heartbreak, every emotion.
Marked. Inked. Stained.
A walking canvas of my messed up truth.

But there’s one confession I can’t put in a tattoo.
A confession that will kill me to tell, but my best friend died before I had the chance.

Now I’m left with him.
The only one who can hold me in the night and squeeze that spot on my neck that feels like my lifeline between sanity and chaos.

But we don’t work together.
We’re absolute poison for each other.
We’re a stifling, suffocating, sickness of darkness.

But I feel safe...because I’ve made an art of pushing people away.

Now he’s pushing back…
And making me believe...
Making me wonder...
Maybe, just maybe...
I could be the one.

Amazon: US | UK | AU | CA ~ B&N | Kobo | iTunes

Christ, I hardly recognized you,” he seethes, the angry bulge in his jaw bone ticking violently. He grabs my arm firmly and pulls me off the concrete steps and into a covered archway away from all the other happy students. “What the fuck, Rey?”

What are you talking about?” I ask in utter confusion.

He reaches beneath my chin, grabs the zipper and yanks it down harshly. I shove his hands away as my robe is yanked open.

Fuck, Rey! You’re skin and bones!” Liam’s face is tortured and sickly. Dark circles reside under his eyes but he still looks gorgeous as ever.

Don’t be ridiculous.” Grabbing the edges of my robe, I cover myself back up, protectively. I’m wearing a short blue shift dress that used to hug every one of my curves but now hangs on me like a potato sack. I know I’ve lost some weight since Marisa but I’m not about to let him scold me like a child over it. “I’m a twenty-five-year-old adult, Liam. I don’t need you chastising me over this.”

Rey,” he says my name on a sigh. “How can you expect me to ignore this?” His eyes are pleading and pained as they flash between my eyes and my mouth in utter agony.

I’m not your concern!” I push back my dark hair and squeeze the back of my neck to try to gain some of my control back.

You made that perfectly clear when you shoved me out of your dorm room. Fuck. How did we get this so utterly wrong?”

Just leave it, Liam.”

No.” He grabs my shoulders and turns me to face him. “Don’t you miss me? At all? I miss you like crazy. I feel like I’m mourning two deaths instead of one. It’s like you died on me two weeks ago. And now I see you today and it makes me sick to my stomach that I’ve left you the way I did!” His eyes are shimmering with tears and pain, only adding to the self-loathing I’ve developed the past fourteen days.

My eyes are dead and cold, my voice flat and unaffected. “I told you I wanted nothing to do with you, Liam. I meant it.”

You’re lying to me. Again!” he roars, angrily punching the concrete wall beside my head.

5 – Perfectly Imperfect & Utterly Heartbreaking – Stars
~this review MAY CONTAIN minor spoilers~

It's been three years since I last saw Liam. Now here he is, standing before me as if no time has passed, reminding me of a day in my life that I was trying desperately to forget.

Reyna may carry Miracle as her middle name, but there is nothing miraculous about her life. She's always felt incomplete, happier being on her own. She wears snark as a second skin and has grown used the the permanent chip on her shoulder. No one has ever been able to see past her hard exterior to the damaged girl that lies beneath, until Oxford when two people push past her walls – her best friend Marisa... and Liam. For the first time, a guy is making her feel things she never thought possible, things she always tried to avoid – but he doesn't let her. He sees her for what she is and likes her anyway, and that scares the hell outta her because above all else – she can't have him. When her life spirals out of control and she betrays one of her best friends, all she wants to do is make amends – but her best friend dies before she can tell her the truth.
Now she's floundering. Buried in a black hole of pain, suffering, booze and tattoo's. There's only one person that can keep the pain at bay but they are awful for each other. Both suffering in their own ways, both keeping each other buried in the darkness that has become their lives. Together, they are toxic, but they can't seem to stop. Then he walks back into her life. He is done watching her self-destruct and tired of her running. It's time for him to push back, but is Reyna too far gone? Will he still like what he finds when he gets to the core of the girl she has become? She has never believed that she is THE ONE for anyone, but what if she is finally starting to see that she might want to be? Will she be too late??

This can't be for nothing, Liam. We can't have betrayed her for nothing.”
“One person shouldn't break someone like this, Rey. We tried to turn nothing into something. But nothing is all we ever were.”

This is my first book by Amy Daws and I'm not entirely sure how she has managed to fly in under my radar but, I am pissed as hell that I have been missing out. This book was freakin amazing (and lets not forget that cover!! I would buy this based on that alone, I LOVE it THAT much.) This is exactly the kind of romance I eagerly sink my teeth into – one that bombards you with so much emotion it's damn near suffocating, but it's sprinkled with just enough laughs to keep you from completely drowning. So many amazing characters to choose from and fall in love with, though I have to admit, Liam was the major pull for me. Reyna took a long time to worm her way into my heart. I felt for her, my heart broke for her, but then she would just piss me off so much I would actually start to think fuck it – maybe Liam is better off just walking away. Seriously, it's usually the male characters that pull a stunt that has me shaking my head in pure disgust, but not this time. I almost wanted her to end up alone – she sure as hell seemed to like it and want it that way. This girl turned pushing people away into an art form, an Olympic sport she would be the reigning gold medalist in. She was just so stubborn and thick-headed, but she wasn't just hurting herself, she was destroying everything and everyone around her and that just made it all worse. Her 'relationship' with her 'best friend' Hayden was toxic at best, completely destructive on both their parts and on the fast track to a dead end. I was desperately hoping for a POV shift on many occasions, not just because I really wanted to know what was going on in Liam's head, but because I just needed a break from her constant bullshit. Liam and Frank are really what kept me from totally hating the girl – they humanized her, forced her to show some damn vulnerability and emotion, pulled her head outta her ass. In a word, she was EXHAUSTING. And yet.... I grew to love her anyway. Now THAT is true talent. When an author can make me fall in love with a completely unlovable character, that alone is reason enough to never walk away. This book is a standalone, a spin-off from Ms. Daws London Lovers series, and while I don't think it's completely necessary to have read that series first – I haven't and I never suffered any kind of confusion over missing story lines – there are cross-over characters (mainly Frank) and it seriously made me want to go back and read their stories. So I think I will ;)
In the end, if you love your romances with an abundance of emotion, lots of tears and laughs, all wrapped up in a dirty-talkin sexy-ass Brit, then go get this book, as well as some tissues, and read on my friend. It's an amazing journey from completely broken to the path of healing and all those that help you get there. Friends are the family we choose and the family in this book will steal your heart. 

On a final note, I want to leave Ms. Daws with this...

You saw me better than I ever saw myself and you pushed me back. Just when everyone else would give up, you would push through. I want to be everything you see in me. I want my insides to match my outsides... perfectly imperfect... just as long as it's with you.”

Amy Daws is a commercial producer and lives in South Dakota with her husband and daughter. The long-awaited birth of Lorelei is what inspired her passion for writing. Amy is a lover of all things British and her award-nominated romantic comedy series, The London Lovers Series, is centered around Americans in London. It's emotional and self-deprecating with lots of humor sprinkled in. On most nights, you can find Amy and her family dancing to Strawberry Shortcake’s theme song or stuffing themselves inside children’s-sized playhouses because there is nothing they wouldn’t do for their little miracle.

Q: Readers are calling Not The One a “painfully beautiful love story.” Why is that? What was the writing process like?

A: Writing this book was terrifying. I’ve never been so far outside my comfort zone with any other book. This storyline literally terrified me and I got pretty depressed during the process. It was crazy hard, but crazy cathartic. It feels good to sink into those dark corners sometimes. It makes finding the light that much more magical.

Q: What inspired this story?

A: Well, Reyna was a character in my London Lovers Series that I couldn’t get out of my head. I had an idea for an interesting backstory for her…a mother/daughter dynamic that I’d never read before but could relate to because of some of my own personal struggles. I needed to know more about her, so I wrote it.

Q: But this book isn’t a London Lovers Series novel, correct?

A: Correct. I’m calling it a spinoff. A cross-pollination so to speak. There are characters from my London Lovers, but it reads best as a total standalone.

Q: Who the heck is Frank? And how did you create him?

A: LOL! Ohhh, Frank and Beans. He is my London Lovers secondary standout. He’s a fantastical redheaded gay Brit that everyone needs in their life. Magically, he fit into Not The One like it was meant to be. Frank is the comedic lightness that this story needed, but he’s so much more. He’s special.

Q: Will he get a story?

A: He is my most requested story.

That’s not an answer.

LOL…Let me be “frank” when I tell you…it is a distinct possibility. ;)

Q: Who designed your cover? It’s stunning!

A: I’m so glad you like it because I did! LOL. My sister in law took the photos. We do all of my covers together. We both come armed with cameras and click away until our models can’t take anymore. But I always end up using my sister-in-laws pictures for the cover. I just like to see through the lens instead of my eyes. But I do all my own layout and designing in Photoshop.

Q: And the cover models?

A: All of my covers have just normal people. I never shoot models. The cover models on Not The One are just a couple of local hairdressers that my sister-in-law knew! It’s funny…I had met the girl a couple of times and talked with her briefly about her incredible ink and through the writing process, her tattoos fit my story perfectly. It was kind of chilling.

Q: So what’s next for you?

A: I’m pretty sure I’ll be continuing on this London path for a couple more stories. Without revealing any spoilers, I’m really hoping readers will be interested in one of the characters’ HEA. I’d love to write his story next. And then…finally, Frank and Beans :)

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Amy Daws - Not The One - Blog Tour