IN THE SPOTLIGHT: The Temptation of Lila & Ethan by Jessica Sorensen

thetemptationoflilaandethan

thetemptationoflilaandethan_UKOn the surface, Lila Summers is flawless: good looks, expensive clothes, and a big, beautiful smile. But a dark past and even darker secrets are threatening to bubble over her perfect façade. She’ll do anything to keep the emptiness inside hidden-which leads her into situations that always end badly. Whenever she hits bottom, there’s only one person who’s there to pull her out: Ethan Gregory.

Ethan set the rules a long time ago: he and Lila are just friends. He doesn’t do relationships. Although his tattooed, bad boy exterior is a far cry from Lila’s pretty princess image, Ethan can’t deny they have a deeper connection than he’s used to. If he’s not careful, he could be in serious danger of becoming attached-and he’s learned the hard way that attachment only leads to heartbreak.

When Lila falls farther than she ever has before, can Ethan continue to help as a friend? Or is he also getting close to falling . . . for her.

excerpt

“Why do you think it’s so hard to be alone?” Lila asks, struggling to keep her eyes open as she gazes out at the night sky through the cab window.

I’m turned sideways in the seat, with my knee up, so I’m facing her, even though she won’t look at me. I lost count of how many shots we had hours ago and I can barely comprehend

how we got to a cab—stumbling, laughing, as she rubbed her hand up the front of my jeans. No, that can’t be right, can it?

“I think being alone is fan-f*cking-tastic. . . well, maybe . . .sometimes . . .” I mumble, draping my arm on the back of the seat. I stare at her for a moment, taking in her bare skin in the

moonlight. I want to touch it. Lick it. Even bite it.

I’m bursting with sexual energy and I channel it to my foot on the floor, bouncing my knee. There’s something different about tonight, something out of the ordinary, this strange need

to keep getting closer to Lila. It could be the alcohol. Or it could be something else, but there’s no way my tequila-soaked mind is going to reach any sort of answer.

Lila turns her head toward me, her pupils wide and shiny. “Why are you staring at me like that?”

I keep tapping my foot on the floor, trying to think of a better answer than the first one that pops into my head, but I can’t find one. “Because I’m thinking about you.”

She glances at the cab driver, a thirtyish guy wearing a baseball cap, and then her gaze lands back on me. She sucks her lip into her teeth and I have to bounce my knee faster or I swear I’m going to fucking lose it. “Thinking what about me?” she asks, looking wary, interested, and exhausted.

Don’t say it . . . “I was thinking about what it would be like to lick you . . . or bite you . . . either one really.” It seems like I should regret it as soon as I say it, but regret is nowhere in my

reach at the moment.

Her breathing quickens and her voice comes out shockingly unsteady for someone who has sex so much. “Then do it.”

I blink, wondering if I heard her right through the massive amount of alcohol consuming my thoughts. “What?”

She holds my gaze steadily, even though she seems really nervous, her voice trembling. “Then bite me. Or lick me…whatever you want.”

Buy book: Amazon US | Amazon UK | B&N
✤ ✤ ✤
The Secret – Reading Order and Purchase Links
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thetemptationoflilaandethan
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The Secret of Ella and Micha: Amazon US | Amazon UK | B&N
The Forever of Ella and Micha: Amazon US | Amazon UK | B&N
The Temptation of Lila and Ethan: Amazon US | Amazon UK | B&N
The Ever After of Ella and Micha: Amazon US | Amazon UK | B&N
✤ ✤ ✤
The Author

The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Jessica Sorensen, lives in the snowy mountains of Wyoming. When she’s not writing, she spends her time reading and hanging out with her family.

Connect with Jessica: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
The Giveaway

To win necklaces inspired by the cover and print copies of Jessica’s Forever titles, please enter below. By entering, you accept the following Giveaway Conditions. This contest is administered by Grand Central Publishing and it is open internationally.

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BIRTHDAY TEASING: The Forever of Ella and Micha by Jessica Sorensen

theforeverofellaandmicha2Jessica Sorensen rules my world. There, it is said and it is out there now. Nothing can make me forfeit beauty sleep like Jessica’s books can. One of my absolutely favourite reads on 2012 was The Secret of Ella and Micha. A heart-clenching but incredibly romantic love story, this book will grab your attention from the very first page and you won’t want to put it down. Not even at 4am…

Read my review of The Secret of Ella and Micha
Buy The Secret of Ella and Micha: Amazon Kindle | Amazon Paperback

We have been anxiously awaiting the sequel for several months now, wondering when our beloved Ella and Micha would get their well-deserved happy ending, but confident that when it does happen, it would be SPECTACULAR. The release date for book two in the series is still relatively far away, but in the meantime, Jessica Sorensen has been so incredibly kind to give us a heart-melting little teaser to tide us over. I give you a taste of The Forever of Ella and Micha… *sigh*

Expected release date: 28 May 2013

I let out a breath of relief. “Then I’m in.”

It’s the exact words I said during our last pact when we promised to run away together, get a nice house, good jobs, and have a happy life.

“So am I.” He spits in his hand. “Gotta make sure it’s nice and slimy for you.”

Snorting a laugh, I press my palm to his and I swear the earth stops, because this moment is the beginning of forever.

“Now we have to kiss,” Micha says, leaning in. “It’s tradition.”

I meet him half way and brush my lips to his. His hand cups my cheek and he instantly intensifies the kiss, stroking his tongue with mine. Our breaths collide and swarm around us as the chains clink together with our movements.

Pulling away slightly, he captures me by the waist and aids me over to his lap, so I’m facing him with my legs tucked through the space on each side of him.

“No flinging us out onto the ground,” I order, putting my glove on before winding my hands around the chains. “Last time I nearly broke my arm.”

A devious look masks his face as he picks up his feet and soars us off into the sky. It’s cold as hell and there’s dogs howling in the background as someone starts to shout, but I can still feel it – the lightness that comes with letting someone love you completely.

The Story

It’s the kind of love that owns you, the kind that last forever.

Ella and Micha have been through tragedy, heartbreak, and love. When they are with each other, anything seems possible. But the days of racing cars and passionate kisses are gone now that they are thousands of miles apart.

Ella continues going to school and tries to deal with her irrevocable mistakes. She constantly worries about how her life will end up, and with her father in and out of rehab, she’s having a hard time making it through the days. All she wants is Micha by her side, but she refuses to let her problems get in the way of his dreams.

Micha spends his days traveling the country with the band, but he knows something is missing from his life. Being away from Ella is harder than he thought. He wants her closer to him – needs her with him. But he won’t ask her to leave college, just to be with him.

The few moments they do spend together are fleeting, intense, and filled with passion, but it only makes it more difficult when they have to part. They quickly learn that a long-distance relationship is challenging and it tests their love.

They know they want to be together, but is wanting something enough to get them to their forever?

Pre-order The Forever of Ella and Micha: Amazon Kindle | Amazon Paperback
The Author

The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Jessica Sorensen, lives in the snowy mountains of Wyoming. When she’s not writing, she spends her time reading and hanging out with her family.

She is the author of the Fallen Star Series, the Darkness Falls Series, the Fallen Souls Series, and the Death Collectors.

Connect with Jessica: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads
The Giveaway

To win ONE of two sets of e-copies of The Secret of Ella and Micha and The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden, or a paperback copy of The Secret of Ella and Micha (sent to you on 26 March 2013), please enter below (three winners chosen and contest open internationally). By entering, you accept the following Giveaway Conditions.

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The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden by Jessica Sorensen

thecoincidenceofcallie&kaydenThere are those who don’t get luck handed to them on a shiny platter, who end up in the wrong place at the wrong time, who don’t get saved.

Luck was not on Callie’s side the day of her twelfth birthday when everything was stolen from her. After it’s all over, she locks up her feelings and vows never to tell anyone what happened. Six years later her painful past consumes her life and most days it’s a struggle just to breathe.

For as long as Kayden can remember, suffering in silence was the only way to survive life. As long as he did what he was told, everything was okay. One night, after making a terrible mistake, it seems like his life might be over. Luck was on his side, though, when Callie coincidentally is in the right place at the right time and saves him.

Now he can’t stop thinking about the girl he saw at school, but never really knew. When he ends up at the same college as Callie, he does everything he can to try to get to know her. But Callie is reserved and closed off. The more he tries to be part of her life, the more he realizes Callie might need to be saved. 

review

“… the thing I regret – will always regret – is going into my room on my twelfth birthday.”

Nothing will prepare you for what this book is about or the authenticity with which it tackles some very important but grim life issues. This is a book about second chances at what life should have been in the first place, about the freeing power of the human connection, and about love between wounded souls.

Callie and Kayden lived in the same small town all their lives, went to the same school, knew the same people, but they have never really known each other. Their paths rarely crossed, their lives rarely intersected, but they knew of each other. One tragic encounter between them just before moving out of home and going to college connects their lives irrevocably, planting the seed for everything that happens between them afterwards.

Callie and Kayden’s lives have been everything but ordinary. Each one of them carries the burden of their own secrets, recognising in each other the sadness that comes from carrying such burden from a young age. They’ve both felt so much ugliness and endured such emotional pain in their young lives that they’ve become afraid of feeling intense emotions again. They choose numbness and avoidance over confronting the source of their pain. They swipe it all under the rug and face life fiercely guarding their internal turmoil. Their shame over what happened to them further taints their happiness, always making them feel incomplete and ruined.

Kayden is a product of constant and systematic physical abuse by the hand of a man who should have been his protector, not his worst nightmare. Abuse and fear were the only language spoken in his home while growing up, but while his brothers eventually either retaliated or left without ever looking back, Kayden endured his sentence alone, never reacting, pain becoming a source of emotional escape rather than a reason to run. It became his dirty little secret, a coping mechanism for whenever he could not deal with too many emotions together.

“As his fist hammers against my face, warm blood pours along my skin and splatters against his shirt. I know this time he’s probably going to kill me and I should finally fight back, but I was taught to die on the inside. Plus I just don’t seem to care anymore.”

Callie’s abuse, on the other hand, might have been a one-off occurrence in her life, but its effects on her wounded mind have followed her ever since, shaping her interaction with others, her appearance, self-esteem, but most of all, her trust in people, including those closest to her. No one had saved her during that horrific act when her innocence was stolen from her and she has never trusted another person since. She spent the remainder of her forming years hiding from the world, attempting to disappear and blend into the shadows. Callie has her own ways of dealing with her pain, just as desperate and just as self-destructive as Kayden’s. They have so much in common without even realising it.

“Everyone was watching me, like they could see that I wasn’t whole anymore.”

When they meet again in college, they are both terrified of the pull between them. By spending time together, Callie soon realizes that Kayden makes her feel safe, protected. Their growing intimacy slowly purges her mind from her bad memories, replacing them with new, happy ones. Kayden, however, fights his attraction to her, recognizing the way she makes him feel as something that could potentially shake his careless façade.

“… from the few moments I’ve spent with her, I’ve felt everything too much… she makes me feel things I’m not used to; the dirty dreams, the protectiveness, the way my stupid heart starts to beat like it’s finally alive.”

Two broken hearts start to heal by simply caring for each other and acknowledging each other’s demons. Their connection is primal, irreversible, addictive. They offer each other a way out of the darkness they’ve been living in, fiercely protecting one another from further abuse and soothing existing wounds with compassion and kindness. But life can be excessively cruel to the ones that deserve it the least and soon Kayden and Callie are again battling old fiends.

A compelling and superbly written story that will keep you captivated and consumed by truly loveable characters and a storyline that will undoubtedly leave its mark on your heart. The sequel, The Redemption of Callie and Kayden, will be released on 28 February 2013.

“Life is full of luck, like getting dealt a good hand, or simply by being in the right place at the right time. Some people get luck handed to them, a second chance, a save. It can happen heroically, or by a simple coincidence, but there are those who don’t get luck on a shiny platter, who end up in the wrong place at the wrong time, who don’t get saved.”

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The Secret of Ella and Micha by Jessica Sorensen

Ella and Micha have been best friends since they were kids. But one tragic night shatters their friendship and their lives forever.

Ella used to be a rule-breaker with fiery attitude who wore her heart on her sleeve. But she left everything behind when she went to college and transformed into someone that follows the rules, keeps everything together, and hides all her problems. But now it’s summer break and she has nowhere else to go but home.

Ella fears everything she worked so hard to bury might resurface, especially with Micha living right next door. If Micha tries to tempt the old her back, she knows that it will be hard to resist.

Micha is sexy, smart, confident, and can get under Ella’s skin like no one else can. He knows everything about her, including her darkest secrets. And he’s determined to bring his best friend, and the girl he loves back, no matter what it takes.

review

“There’s a darkness inside my chest, like the devil hidden inside me is about to make a grand appearance.”

This is the story of two young people, Micha and Ella, inseparable since childhood, daredevils at heart, ‘soul mates’ from the get go. One tragic event in Ella’s life changes everything – she loses herself in her pain, drowning in guilt and regret, and she does the only thing she can think of before her mind shatters completely – she runs away. She runs away from everything and everyone she knows. She leaves the sad and guilt-ridden little girl behind to become a ‘new’ Ella that doesn’t allow her emotions to rule her life. She can’t fix the pain inside her chest but she can silence the screaming voice inside her head by re-inventing herself and regaining the control that she so desperately clings to. But Ella also ends up leaving behind the one person she loves the most in her life, the only person that knows even the deepest corners of her broken soul and loves her all the same – Micha.

“Micha saw too much of me and it scared me too much to let him in all the way.”

Micha is the proverbial bad boy – a road-racer, a musician, tattoos and piercing and all. But his tough guy appearance is just a façade. He is an incredibly sensitive and caring young man, a loyal friend, a responsible and loving son, a patient and selfless boyfriend. Micha and Ella’s friendship gradually blossoms into deep romantic feelings for each other, but while Micha embraces them wholeheartedly, Ella fights them with all she’s got, struggling to admit to herself that she is in love with her best friend.

“I want Micha so bad it physically hurts sometimes. But if it hurts to want him this much, then how bad would it be to lose him?”

Theirs is a story of friends becoming lovers, of allowing love into your heart even when feelings are the last thing you want to allow under your defensive cape. There is no way of fighting those feelings, especially ones that are so solidly founded on friendship and loyalty to each other. There is nothing Ella and Micha wouldn’t do for one another – they are each other’s anchor in a life that has been everything but kind to them.

Once their friendship naturally evolves into romance, they tackle their relationship gently, never hastily or forcefully. They give each other time, space, support, they allow one another to find their footing and draw strength from their bond rather than let themselves be consumed by compulsion and chemistry. I particularly admired them for not just giving in to their desire to be together all the time, but instead continuing to pursue their own dreams as well, using their love as a source of courage and support, driving them forward and letting them take chances in their lives.

By giving us alternating points of view, the author has made sure that we get to know both characters equally. We get to bond with each of them, loving them for such different reasons. We love Ella because she is a broken soul who is so scared of losing control and becoming like her mother that she was willing to give up on the greatest happiness that she had ever known in her life. We feel protective towards her, we want her safe, to shield her, … to give her Micha.

“The kiss … was an earthshattering kiss, one that stole breaths, stopped hearts, and scared the sh*t out of me because it surfaced feelings I’d never felt before, ones that rendered me helpless.”

Micha is an absolute dream. Ella is drawn to him because he is familiar, he is comforting, he gets her. He loves any and all versions of her, whether she decides to be a foul-mouthed eyeliner-wearing Goth, or a pastel-adoring cheerleader-type. His love for her left me gushing, sighing, drooling …

“You can’t just change who you are in the outside and expect it to change who you are on the inside.”

This is the story of a truly selfless love. Micha and Ella don’t suffocate each other with selfish demands, ultimatums or by manipulating each other’s feelings. Their friendship has made sure that they trust each other implicitly, always cheering each other on in everything they do. This book carries for me such a positive message amongst a myriad of similar stories where we are conditioned to equate over-possessiveness and jealousy with true affection, where mind-games are seen as endearing and where controlling one’s partner is considered sexy. I was drawn to the story from the very first page. These characters captured my heart, gave me a constant but gentle fluttering in my chest, making me feel what they were feeling and leaving me hungry for more of their story.

The next book in The Secret series, The Forever of Ella and Micha, will be released on 22 October 2013, and the third book, The Temptation of Lila and Ethan, hopefully shortly after that. I. Cannot. Wait.

5stars

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