05 March 2014

Then There Was You by Melanie Dawn - Blog Tour, Book Review, Giveaway

Title: Then There Was You 
(So Much It Hurts Series Book Two)
Author: Melanie Dawn 
 Hosted by: The Book Avenue
Chris King never saw it coming…

In some ways, closing the book on my first love was the worst day of life. I was gutted, and yet I was completely at peace with my decision. I walked away knowing that I did what was best for her, unsure if I could ever recover. Little did I know that one concert would change the entire course of my life. There I stood, signing autographs and snapping pictures with fans when a familiar face in the crowd catapulted my mind back in time—Salem Honeycutt, once a balm to my pain and a calm in my storm. Yet again, her smiling face gave me hope. Only one question remained: did she still see me as a wayward teenage boy who was completely off limits, or could she see the man I'd become…focused and driven, yearning for another chance at love?

For Salem Honeycutt, postpartum bliss seemed like a lie...

No one told me that I’d hate my baby when I brought her home from the hospital. No one told me that I’d want to put a pillow over my husband’s head and smother him in his sleep. No one told me that I’d want to slap every person who gave me the ever-so-cliché advice to ‘cherish every moment.’ No one told me that I’d despise my life the minute I became a mother, but I did. Then I met Chris King, the kid who made me want to pull myself up from the dark recesses of my mind and face each day. This kid, whose passion for life and talent for music, touched my soul deeper than I could ever touch his. Chris gave me a reason to live. I was once affectionately known as Mrs. H., Chris’s juvenile detention counselor. This is our story.
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Buy the Book: AMAZON US | B&N
Salem Honeycutt makes a difference in the lives of a lot of boys in juvenile detention. Their burdens, their problems, their angers, their frustration – she could understand where it all came from, and how to combat it. But when it comes to her baby, Salem has no clue. You can feel the frustration, the hatred, the intense feeling of dread when she’s at home. My heart was aching badly, feeling for both mother and baby. I don’t blame her, there is a lot of undetected post partum depression cases around the world, only some would recognize it, and a few would ask for help. How can someone possibly understand the hatred mother has for her own child? It’s unthinkable, almost unheard of. But yes, it is happening. It is real.

It’s ironic how a counselor who can help boys get out of their haze can’t help herself. No thanks to her husband who seemed to be more concern about himself rather than his wife and daughter. I was hoping, praying that she’d ask for help soon, before it becomes too late, before she collapses, before she does anything that she’d regret.

And there’s Chris King – the one who changed her life, the one who gave light when she was on her darkest moment. She helped him, guided him, and motivated him to his full potential – never in her wildest dream that their paths would meet again. He was her client, she was her counselor – I thought it would never work. Reading the blurb – I wonder how Melanie Dawn would put things together without the both of them being inappropriate and unethical and well, without Salem sounding like a cougar.

Chris King deserved his own HEA after experiencing a serious heartbreak from his first love. But walking away from her was one of his smartest decisions. It may have given him pain, but he was completely at peace with his decision. He was doing it for everyone’s peace of mind, and for the best. One concert lead him to a woman from his past who gave him hope during his lowest moment. Question is, would she see him as a man now?

The story was flawless without a hint of inappropriateness, which I greatly appreciated. Chris and Salem were each other’s lifesavers during her time as a counselor, and it took more than a decade for them to meet again, this time he was already grown up, a popular star and on his way of becoming a music legend.

I loved the fact that Chris didn’t forget Kaitlyn that easily, he still placed her in a special place in his heart, but he had moved on. She was his first love, the woman he had been in love with for a long period of time, and for him to completely transfer the feeling to a new person would just be unrealistic and unbelievable. Still, you wouldn’t feel that he loved Salem any less despite this fact. You can feel that he cared about her a lot, her importance in his life, and his love for both Salem and Alexa.

More than just an ordinary love story, Then There Was You tackles a subject that most of us ignores, most of us could not understand and would label as a “normal phase” in a woman’s life. It highlighted the seriousness and possible consequences of post partum depression that can help readers fully understand what it is about.

An emotion-filled novel, Melanie Dawn is finally giving Chris King his much sought-after HEA. My heart may have been aching reading half of the novel, but it didn’t make it less beautiful. It made me craved for both of their HEA, making this novel a real page-turner for me. Melanie Dawn grabbed my heart, squeezed it so tight I can’t barely breathe – but made it all worth it at the end. #MUSTREAD!

★ARC Copy was given in exchange for an honest review.★

“Goodnight, Alexis,” I told her.

“Night, mom.” She gave me a quick hug and darted toward the stairs.

The moment she was out of sight, Chris hopped up and wrapped me in his arms. “You don’t know how much I’ve missed this, you in my arms like this,” he said, pulling me tight against him.

I sank into his chest, laying my head over the thumping beat of his heart. “I miss this too,” I admitted, breathing in his manly, musky scent.

Our bodies melded together as he cradled my head against him. Kissing me gently on the top of my head, he whispered, “I’ve missed you so much, Salem.”

I lifted my eyes to look at him. “Thank you for coming tonight. I know it wasn’t easy to get here, especially knowing we only have a few hours together.”

He looked down at me, smiling. “Baby, even if I had to drive all night just to spend one minute with you, it would all be worth it.”

My heart flipped in my chest hearing him call me ‘baby.’ It was definitely a nickname I could get used to.

He lowered his lips to mine. The hot rush of passion tore through my body the moment his lips touched me. God, I’ve missed him. I parted my lips, an invitation for his tongue to find a deeper connection.

He ran his hands down my back, sending shivers up my spine. The caress of his fingers across my back left me hungry for more.

Chris reached up, gently grasping the sides of my face and caressing my cheeks with his thumbs. His soft, luscious lips moved against mine. My fingers found their way to his hair and tangled themselves up in it, pulling him closer to me. He thrust himself against me, causing me to arch my back in response. A gentle tug of his teeth on my lip sent a flaming burst of yearning through my core. He was hungry for me, too. I felt it in the gentle pulse of his erection beneath the fabric of his worn-out jeans.

A quiet moan escaped my throat, triggering a frenzy of him clutching, grasping, and pulling me toward him. I could sense the desperation behind his actions.

“Salem,” he whispered between kisses, “what are you doing to me?”

Pulling away from his mouth, I asked, “What do you mean?”

Tucking a strand of hair behind my ear and sliding his thumb down the length of my jaw, he said softly, “I didn’t mean to do this.”

“Didn’t mean to do what?” I asked, my eyes wide with worry.

Chris smiled that sexy half grin that melted my heart every time. His eyes held a softness, full of affection and adoration. “Fall for you,” he breathed.

★☆✫Play List ★☆✫

Melanie Dawn is a thinker, a dreamer, and a hopeless romantic. When her head isn't in the clouds, she spends her time as a jack of all trades to her family. Melanie resides in the hills of North Carolina with her husband, her three children, and her cat. She enjoys lazy summer afternoons cruising around the lake on the pontoon boat with her family. 

Melanie graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with a BA in Psychology and earned her MA in School Counseling from Appalachian State University. She spent the first six years after graduate school as a middle school counselor. Those were years she deems as some of the best years of her life. That is, until she had children of her own. The last seven years have been spent as a stay-at-home mom. She has learned some tough life lessons, like what the inner absorbent pellets of a diaper look like scattered in the washing machine. She has also learned the strength of the willpower of a two year old lacking a nap. Through it all, Melanie has learned how to roll with the punches and appreciate the time she has been able to spend at home with her children. 

Now that her last child has started Kindergarten, Melanie is ready to add a new chapter in her life. That chapter begins with her debut novel—So Much It Hurts.

Connect with Melanie: FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOODREADS


Buy the Book: AMAZON | B&N

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