Title: FINDING SERENITY
Author: Eden Butler
Source: eARC from author for review
Mollie Malone's mom skipped out on her. Her biker dad, always loose and easy with the law, still was able to make her feel loved, and to keep her safe. But thirteen years ago, when his luck finally ran out and he landed in prison, Mollie found herself a new family - a group of friends in the sleepy little college town of Cavanagh, Tennessee, where now they all attend the local university. These girls know about the rotten roots of her family tree but accept her anyway, and the bond between them is so strong and supportive that Mollie is finally able to see past graduation to a future that is bright and secure.
But sometimes the past doesn't stay buried.
Suddenly, inexplicably, there's a shadow behind every step Mollie takes. Someone is lurking in that shadow, threatening not only Mollie, but also the new family she has claimed for herself.
And it isn’t just the past that has Mollie’s life in upheaval. Hunky former Marine Vaughn Winchester - who Mollie really would like to get to know much better - thinks Mollie is just a kid; he's made it clear she wouldn't ever be able to understand the demons haunting him. But if that's what he believes, then why does he keep sticking his nose in her business? And if he thinks she’s such a kid, why does he keep trying to kiss her?
Vaughn’s mind games are frustrating, especially since Mollie knows enough about secrets to be convinced that there's something he isn’t telling her, something he's so far been able to keep hidden. But when that secret is revealed, Mollie is forced into a situation that tests her loyalty and threatens even her closest friendships - just when the shadow of her past returns, and she's going to need them the most.
'Finding Serenity' is book two in the Seeking Serenity series.
I went into this book without reading CHASING SERENITY. I made sure with the author beforehand so to make sure I wasn't missing any valuable info. And yes, some things were a tad bit spoiled for me about book one, but not enough to stop me from going back and reading it. A lot of the characters from that one are in this one. They are a group of friends that are more like family. It warmed my heart.
So you get the gist from the summary, right? Yeah it pretty much sums up the whole book. In a way. But, what you actually find is something altogether different. Something altogether amazing. Butler writes a story so well written, so put together, so flippin fantastic. Yes, I was absolutely in love with this book from the start. In fact I read until I couldn't keep my eyes open any longer. With just pages left I had to lay the book down and go to bed. Only to pick it up the next day and eagerly devour the remaining bits.
Vaughn has a secret. And that secret doesn't take too long to get revealed, but then there is this part 2 of the secret. And it was great! See what the author did there? She made us readers think the first part of the secret was all there was. Then there was the next part and BAM!! I was taken back a few notches. Way to Butler! Way to make me love Vaughn and her dad even more. Ok, yeah, so I didn't love her dad much to begin with since he is kinda a "bad guy" but I found myself warming to him. He is taking care of his daughter, even behind bars.
And seeing all of Mollie's friends in action has me even more ready to read CHASING SERENITY. They were some great secondary characters. They really care for one another, and love each other like family. Even better than some blood families.
Lots of heat in this one. And Butler is not afraid to go there. Vaughn fought his inner self throughout most the read and finally couldn't deny Mollie anymore. He came in and not only swept her off her feet but me too. He really is a great guy. I hated hearing him say he was broken. Hell we are all broken one way or another. But that doesn't mean we don't deserve love at some point. Deep. I know. I can't help myself.
Read this book and then I can promise you will be recommending it to everyone you know. It is full of suspense to keep your mind wondering and enough romance to curl your toes to. Absolutely loved it! 5 Give Me More Stars!
“Does that surprise you?”
His eyes snap to hers, the honesty of her question and the context behind it startling him. “What?”
“Does it surprise you that someone could want me, Vaughn? You called me a kid. Youthink I’m a kid. Even after you saw I wasn't, even after you said you were wrong, deep down, you still think that.”
“No, I don’t.”
“You do. No matter what you say, what you tell me, you still see me as not enough. Not near enough for you.” Mollie turns around and he moves back, just a half step. She looks nothing like a kid now and reason begins to settle back in his mind. He needs to leave this room. He needs her to not move toward him the way she is. But he is paralyzed by the smell of her and the water dripping across her chest to disappear beneath the towel. “Even with all the times you told me how badass I was, you still think I’m untouchable, that I’m too young, too stupid for you.”
Is she crazy? Did she miss that part just seconds ago when he kissed her skin? “I never said that. If I did, I didn't mean it.” Brilliant, yes. Beautiful, yes, but she’s not too young and she sure as hell isn’t stupid. But the mission, it was the mission that had him pulling away from her, that had him restraining.
This was a mistake, being here, watching her without guarding his expression. He knows she can see what he wanted. He knows she felt what he wanted just seconds ago when that round, supple ass was leaning against him. But he has a job to do. He has to protect her, to keep her safe. Everything hinges on her safety. If he can't do that, then Mojo will pull out and all that Viv has worked for these past six months would be for nothing. “I don’t think that, but you’re right. You are untouchable.”
“Because I’m a kid?”
“Because you’re off limits.” That settles it. That should, he thinks, make her understand that no matter what he says or how badly he wants her, he can't touch her again. Vaughn turns, the door just feet from him. He is almost there, just in reach of the space he needs to force between them. She has to see reason. She has to understand that the mission is what matters, not what either of them wants.
“Vaughn?” There is something in her voice that is different. Determination maybe? Certainty? Whatever it is, Mollie has never used that tone with him and he knows it would be a mistake to turn around. His gut tells him that turning around would disintegrate any hope of resistance. But her feet drag on the carpet and he can feel the soft wisp of her breath against his neck and he is helpless. He manages a glance, tells himself that is all he will allow her, but when he sees her face, sees how calm she is, how confidently she sets her shoulders, he moves, comes to face her fully. “I’m not a kid.” And then, she drops the towel.
“Fuck.” It is the only word that Vaughn can manage to utter. It is the only thing to cross his mind as he watches that towel slip to the floor. Mollie stands before him completely naked, her skin still red from the hot shower. “What are you doing to me?” he asks her when he had better hold of his tongue.
“What you want.”
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Eden Butler is an editor and writer of New Adult Romance and SciFi and Fantasy novels and the nine-times great-granddaughter of an honest-to-God English pirate. This could explain her affinity for rule breaking and rum. Her debut novel, a New Adult, Contemporary (no cliffie) Romance, “Chasing Serenity” will launch October 2013.
When she’s not writing or wondering about her possibly Jack Sparrowesque ancestor, Eden edits, reads and spends way too much time watching rugby, Doctor Who and New Orleans Saints football.
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