Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Release Week Blitz - Review, Giveaway and Excerpt: LOVE IN THE LIGHT by Laura Kaye

Welcome to the Release Week Blitz for Love in the Light.  Thank you for joining us for our review, an excerpt from the book and giveaway by the author.  

Two hearts in the darkness…

Makenna James and Caden Grayson have been inseparable since the day they were trapped in a pitch-black elevator and found acceptance and love in the arms of a stranger. Makenna hopes that night put them on the path to forever—which can’t happen until she introduces her tattooed, pierced, and scarred boyfriend to her father and three over-protective brothers.

Must fight for love in the light…

Haunted by a childhood tragedy and the loss of his family, Caden never thought he’d find the love he shares with Makenna. But the deeper he falls, the more he fears the devastation sure to come if he ever lost her, too. When meeting her family doesn’t go smoothly, Caden questions whether Makenna deserves someone better, stronger, and just more…normal. Maybe they’re too different—and he’s far too damaged—after all…

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“So Caden said you two met in an elevator,” the tattoo artist said to Makenna, amusement plain in his voice.

“We really did. We were trapped in it for over four hours,” Makenna said, smiling. It was a little weird to talk to someone she couldn’t look at, but she couldn’t move while he was working. “In my office building. I rode it just today.”

“That’s quite a way to meet someone,” Heath said with a chuckle. “How come nothing like that ever happens to me?”

“Maybe you don’t ride enough elevators,” Makenna said.

The tattoo machine pulled away from her skin. Heath laughed. “I guess I don’t,” he finally said, leaning back in.

The needles hit a sensitive spot along her spine that had Makenna grimacing. Originally, she’d been thinking of putting the piece on her shoulder, but when she’d decided on the bigger size, she thought it would look better in the center. Heath had warned her that the central placement meant inking over bone, which could hurt more, and it sure did.

Caden braced his elbows on his knees so he could lean closer. “Want to play twenty questions?” he asked.

She smiled, knowing he was trying to distract her and appreciating the heck out of the gesture. “Are there still questions left we haven’t asked each other?”

“Probably,” he said. “For example, I don’t think I’ve ever asked you your favorite sex position.”

“No laughing,” Heath said, as Makenna tried to hold back her humor. Heat filled her cheeks. “Also, TMI. However, I like TMI, so feel free to answer, Makenna.”

Since the needle was away from her skin, she did laugh that time. “Okay, so maybe there are questions we haven’t asked.” She winked at Caden as Heath got back to work. “And, to answer the question, the second part of the night on my floor.” 

Caden’s gaze went molten. He flicked at the spider bite piercings with his tongue. And that had parts of her going molten, because she knew how freaking talented that tongue was.

“Yours?” she asked, arching an eyebrow.

After meeting the love of your life in the dark, what are you dealing with in the light of day?  What is the reality after the Happily Ever After?

I would imagine that it is a little daunting writing the sequel to a hugely popular book featuring a beloved couple.  Where will Laura Kaye take this story of Makenna and Caden?

As we learned from Hearts in Darkness, Caden is a broken guy.  After surviving an tragic accident that killed his mother and brother,  Caden rebuilds his life, keeping himself highly guarded against deep attachments.  When he meets Makenna in that elevator, she breaks through and he is willing to take a chance.  

However, it take more than a few days for Caden to deal with all of his demons.  His lack of self-esteem is, at times, overwhelming.  This is exacerbated by his high esteem for Makenna.  He holds her in such high regard, that she is almost unattainable.  He calls calls her a “force of nature with her honesty and her positivity and her acceptance and her touch.”  He puts her on a pedestal. 

Caden’s sense of unworthiness started to get to me.  I understand insecurity, but he seemed consumed by it.  He wants to hide himself away and begins to even resent Makenna. Before he met Makenna, he could keep his emotions in check.  But being with her opened him up:  “. . . sometimes it made him feel like an exposed nerve that was too sensitive, too vulnerable, too unprotected.” He desperately does not want her to see his darkness.  It is more than getting out of a funk, more than pulling yourself up by your bootstraps.  Caden has some serious issues. When he spirals out of control and hits rock bottom, then I realize this is more than just self-doubt. For me, that revelation changed the book.  

Whereas Hearts in Darkness is the story of Makenna and Caden, here Caden’s story drives this narrative.  It is his story about battling darkness, reconstructing his life and winning the love his life back.  Bonus, there is a great grovel scene. 

For me, this is a reminder of the importance of caring for yourself as you care for others.  Your capacity to love and care is proportional to your capacity to love and forgive yourself.  

The beginning part of this book was difficult for me, but by the end, this story won me over.  

Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over twenty books in contemporary and paranormal romance and romantic suspense. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

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