Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Starting from Lost by S.K. Wills (Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Starting from Lost by Author S.K. Wills!

Book Review

Starting from Lost by S.K. Wills
Book 1: Broken Beginnings Series
Publisher: Booktrope
Publication Date: November 13, 2014
Format: Paperback - 282 pages
             Kindle - 1223 KB
ISBN: 978-1620155868
Genre: Contemporary Romance

BUY THE BOOK: Starting from Lost

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours.

Book Description:

Love is a risk. If you lose it all, would you dare to risk it twice?

Hannah Rogers is lost: cynical, insecure, and withdrawn. Skeletons forged through a bad breakup that should have been a marriage proposal. Now four years later, Hannah follows her dead-end job to the big city where her only hope is to survive the next eight months as her flirtatious boss’s personal assistant. The last thing her predictable life needs is to collide with the boy responsible for breaking her heart, or the twist of fate that sends a sexy new neighbor to awaken feelings she’s long since put to bed.

Alex Sorrento doesn’t have any room in his life for another pet project. He’s already put aside his career and his personal dreams to follow his half-sister Mackenzie to the big city. Lost in the guilt over the events that nearly took her life, he feels he owes her that much. When Mackenzie befriends the new girl on the third floor, Alex finds himself defenseless against the sizzling chemistry between them and the sadness in her eyes. Can he protect Hannah from her ex without losing his heart?

In this turbulent journey about self-discovery, forgiveness, and love, some second chances aren’t worth taking, but others have their own rewards.

Book Excerpt:

He kept his eyes trained on hers, and lifted his hand to tuck a loose strand of hair behind her ear. He heard her breath catch when his fingers brushed against the sensitive spot below her earlobe, saw the understanding in her eyes, and thought that might as well have been invitation enough.

She felt like she was falling, and grabbed onto his arms to anchor herself even as his fingers traced a lazy line down the tender column of her throat. Her lips parted, willing him to meet them.

She watched those glacier blue eyes darken, not in pleasure, but in something else. Grief, perhaps. She recognized the sadness as it often lived in her own eyes. She wanted only to comfort, to soothe away the flash of pain she caught, but he was already withdrawing. The complete abandonment left her shaken, and she turned away from him to fight for composure. When she turned back she was holding the to-go bags for Mackenzie.

“Hannah,” he said, but she shook her head to silence him. She knew better than anyone that ghosts in one’s path had a way of holding you back from the future. Losing Jake had kept her afraid to feel anything again, and she let it. No one had ever made her want like Alex did, and he was fighting it. Knowing he could already reach her, without even trying, was terrifying. She had no defense against it but anger. She couldn’t sympathize, even though she wanted to. It would leave her too exposed and vulnerable to him.

“Here you go.” She tried handing him the bags. “Tell Mackenzie I’ll get a hold of her tomorrow. It’s been a long week, and I’m going to head to bed.” She was sorry for the hard edge in her voice, but she had to try to block him out. To keep him away.

Angry with himself, angry with her for making him crack, he decided his control could go to hell, and Mackenzie with it if she had a problem with him kissing Hannah. Keeping his eyes on hers, he set the bags easily on the counter. Understanding flashed across her face and widened her eyes as he snaked an arm around her waist and yanked her to him.

Her protest died on her lips when she collided against his firm chest, and fighting him seemed to flee her mind. Her arms came around him, hands stroking his back, fingers tracing the taut muscle. Underneath, she wanted this — to be in his arms, to test what they could give each other. She knew deep down, he wanted it too.

His movements were rough and clumsy when he pulled on her hair clip to send her hair tumbling free. He tangled his hands in it and tugged her head back.

Now, do it now. Her mind was practically screaming it. Her labored breathing reverberated in her ears, and she noted with some satisfaction that his mirrored hers as they stared at each other, bodies pressed together. If he withdrew this time, she would surely go insane. Her body sang, nerve endings exploding so that she almost begged him to kiss her, touch her, something. Anything.

Her eyes were deep and smoky. Looking into them he read her desires, and answered her simple request by slowly lowering his mouth to hers. His breath was warm against her lips when he whispered, “don’t move.” And he meant it. If she kissed him back he might not be able to stop. That truth terrified him as it aroused him, but he couldn’t take any more chances. Even this was going to cost.

One taste. He could rid himself of her with one taste, and he brushed his lips against hers in a gentle caress that rocked them both.

Stars. Definitely stars. And she wanted more. The knowledge of that simple truth filled her with a slow, sweet pleasure that she couldn’t quite remember experiencing before. She wanted him to take the kiss deeper, was too afraid to do it herself, but he didn’t. She was trembling when he lifted his mouth from hers and he pulled her against him. She rested her head against his shoulder and he stroked a hand down her hair. The intimacy in the gesture had her eyes threatening to fill with tears. She soaked up this sweetness so foreign to her, and pressed closer. She fit too well against him. This moment seemed too easy as if it was right, fated, but fate was foolish to believe in.

When she pressed even closer, his hand fell away from stroking her hair, and he stepped back away from her. He broke their contact so swiftly he had to grab her arms to steady her as she swayed with the sudden loss of his body to lean on. Besides the confusion he could read on her face, she looked every bit as he imagined she would after an entire night of love-making, and he committed the sight to memory, as this was as far as he could ever let it go, even with wanting more.

As she steadied, he released her arms and balled his hands into fists at his sides to keep from touching her again. He had to let her go or they’d both go over the edge, and he wasn’t sure there was a way back after that.

Once balanced, Hannah understood that he didn’t want her. Not really. Not the way she wanted him to want her. The way he retreated must have him thinking the kiss had been a mistake. That she was a mistake.

My Book Review:

In her debut novel, Starting from Lost, author S.K. Wills weaves a wonderful coming of age story of self discovery, forgiveness, and moving on.

Starting from Loss is a touching story that follows Hannah Rogers' personal journey as she overcomes a broken heart and painful past, discovers her true inner self, learns to heal, grow, and move on with her life.

Hannah's first love Jake left her brokenhearted and lost when he moved away to follow his dream. Four years later, Hannah graduates from college and follows her lecherous boss to New York City for an eighth month stint as his personal assistant. Settling into her new apartment, Hannah meets upstairs neighbors Mackenzie and her half-brother Alex Sorrento. Mackenzie is a free-spirited young woman who gets Hannah to lighten up, while Alex is sexy and stirs long dormant feelings in Hannah that she thought she'd never have again since Jake. But Alex has his own troubled past to deal with ... can two broken people find a way to put their pasts behind them and find love again ... or will the sudden appearance of Jake leave Hannah spiraling downward again?

This is a slow building contemporary romance story that engages the reader to follow Hannah's journey as she faces her past, and rises from the abyss of heartache and loss that she has lived in for so long. Hannah's gradual discovery of her inner strength enables her to grow, and learn that she still has a life to live after a lost love, and even a chance at finding a new love. You can't help but feel compassion for Hannah's story, and anyone can relate to the happiness and pain of a first love, the lessons learned from life's experiences, and the ability to look towards the future.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention that I really liked Mackenzie and Alex, they both brought the kind of friendship Hannah needed that would help her move forward, and Alex was everything that you could hope to have in a hero. You can't help but cheer on Hannah and Alex as their journey is filled with trials and tribulations as they learned to put their pasts behind them and accept the gift of love.

Starting from Loss is a realistic and raw coming of age story that has a wonderful balance of humor, emotion, drama, and romance that will leave a smile on your face.


About The Author

S.K. Wills grew up with reading in her blood; a favorite pastime passed down thanks to her two beautiful grandmas. Wanting to inspire others, like good books inspire her, she added “write a romance novel” to her bucket list, and ultimately, checked it off. Writing makes her soul happy, and since she's now hooked on story-crafting, she's decided to stick with it for as long as it will have her. S.K. lives in Southeastern Michigan, and juggles expertly (or so she thinks!) also being a passionate marketer and entrepreneur helping other authors reach their writing dreams. She fuels her insatiable dream-chasing with what some would consider an unhealthy amount of coffee, and she wouldn’t have her crazy busy life any other way. To learn more, visit her at:


Contest Giveaway

Win A $5 Amazon Gift Card

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Virtual Book Tour

Tour Schedule:

January 26 - Chick Lit Plus – Tour Kick Off 
January 27 – SultrySteamy Reading- Review & Excerpt 
January 28 - Chick LitGoddess – Review
January 30 - JoonielObsesses over Books – Excerpt
January 30 - Bookish- Review
February 2 - Two Children and a Migraine - Review
February 4 - Chick LitPlus – Review
February 5 - Ski-Wee’sBook Corner – Excerpt
February 5 - ABlue Million Books – Excerpt
February 6 - Authors and Readers Book Corner – Excerpt
February 6 - Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt
February 6 - Ogitchida Kwe’s Book Blog – Review & Excerpt
February 9 - The Phantom Paragrapher – Review

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