ARC Review: Two of Hearts by Christina Lee

Two of Hearts by Christina Lee

Two of Hearts by Christina Lee
Series: Golden Arrow #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: May 5th 2015
Links: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

A gripping standalone adult contemporary romance about finding yourself while taking a second chance at your first love…

Dakota Nakos was always the resilient, strong-willed achiever. But when her father dies and she’s entrusted with the family’s casino, she feels vulnerable, scared, and more than a little emotional — not exactly the best time to see an old lover she’s never really gotten over.

Dakota once meant the world to Shane Garrity. Then suddenly he left town to train as a U.S. Marshal, and their love for each other crashed into a memory. Now he’s come home for her father’s funeral, and one look at the girl he left behind stirs up both memories and regrets, and reignites a fire he feared he’d lost forever.

Dakota may be the same driven girl she always was, but she’s also changed in ways neither could have anticipated. She’s not just a young woman searching for own identity in the Native American community in which she was raised, but one questioning her new life outside her father’s shadow. Above all she wonders if Shane can push past her weakened defenses to rekindle what they once had, or whether the intense blaze between them will ultimately reduce her heart to ashes.

Two of Hearts is the first book I’ve read from Christina Lee. I’d really been looking forward to this one when I read the blurb since I LOVE second chance romances. I found Two of Hearts fairly enjoyable, but sadly, the romance and plot were a bit underwhelming. Still, I really liked the underlying sense of family and friendship tied with the Indian culture that’s portrayed heavily in this book.

Dakota and Shane were each other’s first loves, but when the time came for them to fight for their love, they instead let each other go. They reunite under unfortunate circumstances, at Dakota’s father’s funeral. Dakota and Shane have grown to their full potential in their separated years, but the chemistry between them hasn’t faded for a second. But while Dakota is hesitant to start something again with the boy who broke her heart, Shane recognizes that Dakota is the only girl meant for him and he fights for them and their relationship.

“Don’t you know how much I’ve thought of you over the years? Wondered how you were doing, if you were okay? Whether you still thought of me, too?”

I really would have liked the romance to take center stage, but the book focuses a lot on the casino that Dakota is running. Dakota and her family are being attacked for inheriting an Indian casino but not being fully Indian. There’s a suspenseful angle to this novel, with suspicious characters that Shane, as a U.S. Marshal, is investigating. I found the suspense a bit boring, so I couldn’t enjoy this book as much as I wanted to.

What I liked about Shane and Dakota was how when they separated, they were able to fully grow and follow their ambitions. They didn’t hold each other back, and once they became the people they wanted to be, they found each other again. Even though I didn’t connect with the main characters, I found their story to be sweet and sexy.

This was a good, but not great, read. I was bored during the middle of the book, at least until the suspense finally picked up. If you’re a fan of second chance romances, you should give this a try.

3 hearts
lacey

Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.


Reading Order: Golden Arrow series

Two of Hearts by Christina Lee 

#1 ~ Two of Hearts: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#2 ~ Three Sacred Words: Ebook • Goodreads


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Excerpt Reveal: Two of Hearts by Christina Lee

Two of Hearts excerpt reveal

Two of Hearts by Christina Lee

There You Stand by Christina Lee
Series: Standalone
Release Date: May 5th 2015
Add to Goodreads

A gripping standalone adult contemporary romance about finding yourself while taking a second chance at your first love…

Dakota Nakos was always the resilient, strong-willed achiever. But when her father dies and she’s entrusted with the family’s casino, she feels vulnerable, scared, and more than a little emotional –not exactly the best time to see an old lover she’s never really gotten over.

Dakota once meant the world to Shane Garrity. Then suddenly he left town to train as a U.S. Marshal, and their love for each other crashed into a memory. Now he’s come home for her father’s funeral, and one look at the girl he left behind stirs up both memories and regrets, and reignites a fire he feared he’d lost forever.

Dakota may be the same driven girl she always was, but she’s also changed in ways neither could have anticipated. She’s not just a young woman searching for own identity in the Native American community in which she was raised, but one questioning her new life outside her father’s shadow. Above all she wonders if Shane can push past her weakened defenses to rekindle what they once had, or whether the intense blaze between them will ultimately reduce her heart to ashes.

Buy Links:
Amazon • Amazon UK • Barnes & Noble

Now here’s an excerpt from Two of Hearts! ❤

excerpt

“Still so damn gorgeous,” he said, and his mouth was on me again, his fingers reaching up and pulling my hair out of its tie. As it fell and hit my shoulders, his throat rumbled with desire. I pushed his shirt up and over his neck and gasped at the muscles I saw.

But that was short-lived because he was kissing me so hard, with such profound need, that all I could do was run my hands along his shoulders and the smooth ridges of his back. I couldn’t believe how ripped he’d gotten. He had always been toned, but now, good God, he was beautiful.

His mouth was on my neck, at my collarbone, on my breasts and he groaned into my skin murmuring my name as he went. I was overcome with emotion and longing, wetness pooling between my legs. It was like a dream that he was here, that he was kissing me again. I never wanted it to end.

He lifted me and turned, moving deeper into the room. The back of my knees hit the chaise longue, the same one he’d sat in countless times over the years. One night we had even secretly made out in it, the summer we’d hidden our attraction. I could scarcely sit there without remembering how it felt to have his tongue in my mouth. But the reality was so much better.

He stood and began unbuttoning his pants, his gaze roving all over me, his eyes glittering pinpoints of hunger. My breath faltered just watching him and I couldn’t hold back any longer. I leaned forward and began touching and kissing every inch of his skin that I could reach.

He squatted down in front of me and hooked his hands beneath my knees, hauling me toward him so that the crux of my thighs was at eye level. His palm glided over the damp center of my underwear and my legs begin to tremble. “Your smell turns me on.”

I moaned as he corkscrewed two of his fingers into the soft middle panel, locating my entrance. “Oh God.”

I was a panting, quaking mess and all he’d done was touch me over my panties.

about the author

Christina Lee

Mother, wife, reader, dreamer. Christina lives in the Midwest with her husband and son–her two favorite guys.

She’s addicted to lip gloss and salted caramel everything. She believes in true love and kissing, so writing romance novels has become a dream job.

Author of the Between Breaths series from Penguin. ALL OF YOU, BEFORE YOU BREAK, WHISPER TO ME and PROMISE ME THIS available now. Book five in the series, THERE YOU STAND, coming in April, 2015.

Also, her Adult Contemporary Romance, TWO OF HEARTS is releasing on May 5th, 2015.

Twitter • Facebook • Website • Goodreads

Release Day Blitz + Excerpt & Giveaway: There You Stand by Christina Lee

there you stand blitz banner

There You Stand by Christina Lee is now available!

There You Stand by Christina Lee

There You Stand by Christina Lee
Series: Between Breaths #5 (full reading order below)
Release Date: April 21st 2015
Add to Goodreads

From the author of All of You and Before You Break comes a new Between Breaths male/male romance about the silent, inked up skateboarder and the tattoo artist who unravels him piece by piece…

Tattoo artist Cory Easton has worked long enough at Raw Ink to know, just by looking at a dude, what his body art reveals, what makes him tick, what even makes him scared. Until he meets the quiet and remote Jude York–so unreadable, so unreachable, and so unlike anyone else, he can’t help but arouse Cory’s curiosity.

As captivating and complex as his ink, Jude is a mystery–and Cory’s falling fast and hard under his spell. Against his better judgment to steer clear.

The rumors of Jude’s past overshadow him–whispers of prison and an unmentionable secret that’s kept him in the protective shadows of a local motorcycle club. As Cory probes deeper, he wonders how much he really wants to know. Especially since Jude has awakened something inside him that has been buried too long–and has him feeling completely alive for the first time in forever…

Includes a preview of Christina Lee’s upcoming adult romance Two of Hearts.

Buy Links:
Amazon • Amazon UK • Kobo • B&N • iTunes • Google Play

Now here’s an excerpt from There You Stand! ❤

excerpt

“Come inside, please.”

I followed him through the door, telling myself it was only to get Chopper acclimated. But Chopper seemed right at home as he bound to the kitchen and lapped at the water in the dish that Jude had set down.

“I can’t stay long,” I said, feeling almost shy, like it was my first time at his place. “I have a shift at Raw Ink.”

He nodded. “I just finished my morning at the Board Room, but I’ll be heading to the skate park.”

“What was that one trick I saw you practicing the other day?” I asked, watching Chopper sniff around the room.

“Hmmm . . . the one-eighty pop shuvit?” he said, shrugging. “The one I really want to trick out on someday is the upside-down three-sixty loop. But I need a pipe for that. They’ll have one at the arena for the upcoming games.”

“A pipe?”

“A curved wall with a lip so that I can hang upside down.”

“Holy Christ, you’re going to maim yourself,” I said.

He laughed. “It’s a difficult trick but I’m definitely up for the challenge.”

Suddenly he grabbed my face and backed me against the wall, kissing me hard and deep and desperate. Like he was releasing it all—giving it all to me. “I don’t want to talk right now. I want to taste you.”

I groaned and wormed my body closer, reaching behind him to grab his ass. We were both instantly hard and he ground his hips against me.

“Every damn night I’ve dreamt of you,” he said against my lips.

I pulled back to look at him. “You have?”

“Oh yeah.” His gaze fastened on mine. “I knew I couldn’t have you, so the next best thing was the fantasy of you.”

“Same here,” I said. “I’d lay in bed and jerk off to thoughts of you.”

He panted against my mouth. “What did you think about?”

“This,” I said. “Your hands on me, your lips all over my body.”

“God,” he groaned. “And here you are. Right in front of me. And I want nothing more than to have all of that and more with you.”

He backed me down the hallway, yanking off my shirt and unbuttoning my pants.

It felt so urgent, like we were running out of time. Not only because I had a job to get to, but also because I never felt certain of how many more days we might have left.

“I need to touch you,” he said, hemming my thighs against the bed, and forcing me to lean back.

Reading Order: Between Breaths series

All of You by Christina Lee Before you Break by Christina Lee
Whisper to Me by Christina Lee Promise Me This by Christina Lee There You Stand by Christina Lee

#1 ~ All of You: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#2 ~ Before You Break: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#3 ~ Whisper to Me: Ebook • Goodreads
#4 ~ Promise Me This: Ebook • Goodreads
#5 ~ There You Stand: Ebook • Goodreads

about the author

Christina Lee

Mother, wife, reader, dreamer. Christina lives in the Midwest with her husband and son–her two favorite guys.

She’s addicted to lip gloss and salted caramel everything. She believes in true love and kissing, so writing romance novels has become a dream job.

Author of the Between Breaths series from Penguin. ALL OF YOU, BEFORE YOU BREAK, WHISPER TO ME and PROMISE ME THIS available now. Book five in the series, THERE YOU STAND, coming in April, 2015.

Also, her Adult Contemporary Romance, TWO OF HEARTS is releasing on May 5th, 2015.

Twitter • Facebook • Website • Goodreads

giveaway

$10 gift card to the book retailer of their choice—AMZ, B&N or iBooks, one ARC of my adult romance releasing May 5th, TWO OF HEARTS, and some Between Breaths swag mailed to one winner

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Preorder Blitz + Teaser: Promise Me This by Christina Lee

Promise Me This by Christina Lee

Promise Me This by Christina Lee
Series: Between Breaths #4 (full reading order below)
Publication date: October 7th 2014
Add to Goodreads

A new love will test the boundaries of passion between a privileged boy next door and the tattooed, blue-haired girl who helps him embrace his wild side…

Nate has developed quite a playboy reputation around campus. It’s not that he doesn’t respect or trust women; he doesn’t trust himself. The men in Nate’s family are prone to abusive behavior—a dirty secret that Nate’s been running from his entire life—so Nate doesn’t do relationships. But he can’t help himself around one girl…

Jessie is strong, independent, and works at a tattoo parlor. Nate can’t resist getting close to her, even if it’s strictly a friendship. But it doesn’t take long for Nate to admit that what he wants with Jessie is more than just friendly.

With Jessie, he can be himself and explore what he’s always felt was a terrifying darkness inside him. Even when Nate begins to crave her in a way that both shocks and horrifies him, Jessie still wants to know every part of him. Testing their boundaries together will take a trust that could render them inseparable… or tear them apart.

Preorder:
Amazon • Barnes & Noble • iTunes • Google Play

Teaser:
Promise Me This teaser

Reading Order: Between Breaths series

All of You by Christina Lee Before you Break by Christina Lee Whisper to Me by Christina Lee Promise Me This by Christina Lee

#1 ~ All of You: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#2 ~ Before You Break: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#3 ~ Whisper to Me: Ebook • Goodreads
#4 ~ Promise Me This: Ebook • Goodreads (Oct. 7, 2014)

about the author

Christina LeeOnce upon a time, I lived in New York City and was a fashion stylist. I spent my days shopping for photo shoots, getting into cabs, eating amazing food, and drinking coffee at my favorite hangouts.

Now I live in the Midwest with my husband and son—my two favorite guys. I’ve always been an avid reader—reading was actually my favorite time of day when I taught second and third grade.

But it wasn’t until I became a local newspaper columnist that something clicked. I finally realized I could turn my love of words into my dream of writing fiction.

I write Adult and New Adult steamy contemporary romance. I am represented by Sara Megibow of the Nelson Literary Agency.

I also own a hand-stamped jewelry business called Tags-n-Stones, which requires me to stamp letters and/or words onto pieces of silver. They go hand-in-hand perfectly.

Twitter • Facebook • Website • Goodreads

Cover Reveal: Promise Me This by Christina Lee

Promise Me This by Christina Lee

Promise Me This by Christina Lee
Series: Between Breaths #4 (full reading order below)
Publication date: October 7th 2014
Add to Goodreads

A new love will test the boundaries of passion between a privileged boy next door and the tattooed, blue-haired girl who helps him embrace his wild side…

Nate has developed quite a playboy reputation around campus. It’s not that he doesn’t respect or trust women; he doesn’t trust himself. The men in Nate’s family are prone to abusive behavior—a dirty secret that Nate’s been running from his entire life—so Nate doesn’t do relationships. But he can’t help himself around one girl…

Jessie is strong, independent, and works at a tattoo parlor. Nate can’t resist getting close to her, even if it’s strictly a friendship. But it doesn’t take long for Nate to admit that what he wants with Jessie is more than just friendly.

With Jessie, he can be himself and explore what he’s always felt was a terrifying darkness inside him. Even when Nate begins to crave her in a way that both shocks and horrifies him, Jessie still wants to know every part of him. Testing their boundaries together will take a trust that could render them inseparable… or tear them apart.

Buy Links:
Kindle • Nook • iBooks

Reading Order: Between Breaths series

All of You by Christina Lee Before you Break by Christina Lee Whisper to Me by Christina Lee Promise Me This by Christina Lee

#1 ~ All of You: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#2 ~ Before You Break: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#3 ~ Whisper to Me: Ebook • Goodreads
#4 ~ Promise Me This: Ebook • Goodreads (Oct. 7, 2014)

about the author

Christina LeeMother, wife, reader, dreamer. Christina lives in the Midwest with her husband and son–her two favorite guys. She’s addicted to lip gloss and salted caramel everything. She believes in true love and kissing, so writing romance novels has become a dream job.

Author of the Between Breaths series from Penguin. ALL OF YOU, BEFORE YOU BREAK and WHISPER TO ME available now, PROMISE ME THIS on October 7th, 2014.

Also the creator of Tags-n-Stones (dot com) jewelry.

Twitter • Facebook • Website • Goodreads