5/29/2018

Fighting for Everything by Laura Kaye ~ Review + Excerpt

From New York Times bestselling author Laura Kaye, comes the first standalone title in her brand, new Warrior Fight Club series, FIGHTING FOR EVERYTHING. Join the Warrior Fight Club world today!

 
 

Warrior Fight Club #1

Loving her is the biggest fight of his life…

Home from the Marines, Noah Cortez has a secret he doesn’t want his oldest friend, Kristina Moore, to know. It kills him to push her away, especially when he’s noticing just how sexy and confident she’s become in his absence. But, angry and full of fight, he’s not the same man anymore either. Which is why Warrior Fight Club sounds so good.

Kristina loves teaching, but she wants more out of life. She wants Noah—the boy she’s crushed on and waited for. Except Noah is all man now—in ways both oh so good and troubling, too. Still, she wants who he’s become—every war-hardened inch. And when they finally stop fighting their attraction, it’s everything Kristina never dared hope for.

But Noah is secretly spiraling, and when he lashes out, it threatens what he and Kristina have found. The brotherhood of the fight club helps him confront his demons, but only Noah can convince the woman he loves that he’s finally ready to fight for everything.

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Source: ARC from author
This is my honest review.
Rating: 5 Stars ~ Excellent

A wounded hero, friends-to-lovers romance not to be missed!

Combining both a romantic and steamy friends-to-lovers plot while highlighting one of the most serious issues soldiers face when transitioning back to civilian life, Fighting for Everything proves worthy as the first book of Laura Kaye’s new Warrior Fight Club series.

Former Marine, Noah Cortez, had returned home both physically and emotionally injured. He struggles quietly while trying to move on with his life. He especially doesn’t want his best friend, Kristina Moore, to know how hard things are for him as he attempts to handle his severe panic attacks all on his own. Kristina has known Noah since they were children and can sense his conflicts even when he sends her mixed signals.

There’s no doubt that Laura Kaye writes wounded heroes so well! That’s one of the reasons why reading her books is one of my favorite guilty pleasures. I love how the characters she writes are always well developed, complex, and possess a great amount of inner strength. Kaye not only guides Noah and Kristina through their own individual struggles, but also carefully develops their relationship from friends to lovers into something that each finds deserving in a lifelong relationship.

The introduction of the Warrior Fight Club in this book is also a great launching pad for this series. Kaye focuses on the mental health aspect of returning veterans and the need for them to have access to positive outlets. I found Noah’s story both heartbreaking and engaging as he finds a healthy way to deal with his struggles alongside those who can relate.

If you love wounded hero stories, friends-to-lovers romances, or have read and loved any of Laura Kaye’s books, don’t miss reading Fighting for Everything! If you’ve already enjoyed Fighting for Everything and crave more of her contemporary romances, then I also suggest Laura Kaye’s Heroes Series (Her Forbidden Hero and One Night with a Hero), Hearts in Darkness, and the entire Hard Ink series.
 
FIGHTING FOR EVERYTHING – No Good Right Now Excerpt
LAURA KAYE

“I’m no good right now, Kristina,” Noah said in a low voice.

She shook her head. “That’s not true. You’ve been through something horrible. And you’re still recovering. Still hurting. That’s all understandable—”

“I am fucked in the head. You saw it yourself. Twice,” he said, his voice suddenly loud, bitter. Under her hands, his muscles tensed.

“You are not fucked in the head,” she said, anger and determination gathering deep in her belly. Not anger at Noah, but irrational anger for him. She hated that things had happened to him that left him feeling this way. So out of control, so sad, so unlike himself. “Sure, you have things you’re dealing with. And you will get a handle on them—”

“No,” he said, shaking her off and pacing in the narrow space behind the door. “You don’t understand. I’m…” Noah’s hands squeezed into fists at his sides. “…so goddamned angry. All the time. It feels like I could tear the world to pieces. And I want to.” He whirled on her. “Because the perfection of everything around me makes me feel so much more wrecked inside that I can barely breathe.”

Oh, God.

Tears pricked at the backs of her eyes, but she wouldn’t let them fall. She wouldn’t let herself fall apart. Not now. Not in front of him. Not when Noah needed to lean on her so damn badly. “The world around you is not perfect, Noah. It’s an illusion. And you are not wrecked—”

“I am.” He got right up in her face.

Kristina held her ground. “You’re not—”

“I am!”

“Noah—”

He grabbed her by the arms, not so much that it hurt, but with enough force that it surprised her. “Here’s your proof. I want to fuck you, Kristina. I want to bury myself in you and stay there forever. Just lose myself in you until I don’t know who I am anymore. I’ve been fantasizing about it, dreaming about it, imagining it. Having you is all I can fucking think about. Do you understand what I’m saying?”

Noah’s words unleashed a flash fire in Kristina’s blood. Her heart tripped into a sprint. Her breathing shallowed out. Heat roared across her skin. One heartbeat. Two. And Kristina knew what she had to do.

Acting on instinct, she pulled out of Noah’s grip and stepped backward. Away from his confession. Away from him.



And don’t miss the second standalone romance in the Warrior Fight Club series coming August 7, 2018, FIGHTING FOR WHAT’S HIS

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Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over thirty books in contemporary and erotic romance and romantic suspense, including the Blasphemy, Hard Ink, and Raven Riders series. 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. Laura also writes historical fiction as the NYT bestselling author, Laura Kamoie. She lives in Maryland with her husband and two daughters, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.      

4/03/2018

My Dear Hamilton by Stephanie Dray & Laura Kamoie ~ Review, Excerpt

   

Wife, Widow, and Warrior in Alexander Hamilton’s Quest for a More Perfect Union

From the New York Times bestselling authors of America’s First Daughter comes the epic story of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton—a revolutionary woman who, like her new nation, struggled to define herself in the wake of war, betrayal, and tragedy. Haunting, moving, and beautifully written, Dray and Kamoie used thousands of letters and original sources to tell Eliza’s story as it’s never been told before—not just as the wronged wife at the center of a political sex scandal—but also as a founding mother who shaped an American legacy in her own right.

 

Order your copy of MY DEAR HAMILTON today!

   

A general’s daughter…

Coming of age on the perilous frontier of revolutionary New York, Elizabeth Schuyler champions the fight for independence. And when she meets Alexander Hamilton, Washington’s penniless but passionate aide-de-camp, she’s captivated by the young officer’s charisma and brilliance. They fall in love, despite Hamilton’s bastard birth and the uncertainties of war.

A Founding Father’s wife...

But the union they create—in their marriage and the new nation—is far from perfect. From glittering inaugural balls to bloody street riots, the Hamiltons are at the center of it all—including the political treachery of America’s first sex scandal, which forces Eliza to struggle through heartbreak and betrayal to find forgiveness.

The last surviving light of the Revolution…

When a duel destroys Eliza’s hard-won peace, the grieving widow fights her husband’s enemies to preserve Alexander’s legacy. But long-buried secrets threaten everything Eliza believes about her marriage and her own legacy. Questioning her tireless devotion to the man and country that have broken her heart, she’s left with one last battle—to understand the flawed man she married and imperfect union he could never have created without her…


Source: ARC from publisher
This is my honest review.
Rating: 5 Stars ~ Excellent

A brilliant read on a fascinating woman!
I’m not going to lie. I’m sort of a Hamilton fan. Having previously read Ron Chernow’s compelling biography, Alexander Hamilton, I already knew Hamilton’s wife, Eliza Schuyler Hamilton, was an intriguing and resilient woman. Also, having read America’s First Daughter by historical fiction novelists Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie, I knew this dynamic writing duo wouldn’t do anything less than exceptional in telling Eliza’s story; therefore, I highly anticipated My Dear Hamilton. Dray and Kamoie far exceeded my expectations. I absolutely devoured My Dear Hamilton from beginning to end!
There’s no doubt that Eliza Schuyler Hamilton lived through an exciting time in American history. She was right in the center in witnessing the birth of a new nation. She’s mostly known as the wife of Alexander Hamilton, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States; however, there’s so much more to this woman with a compelling life story. I very much appreciated that her life before marriage is portrayed in My Dear Hamilton. We get to know the endearing relationships she had with her family, especially her father and sisters Angelica and Peggy. It’s with these strong familial bonds that she would deeply rely on later in life.
At its heart, My Dear Hamilton is very much a love story filled with betrayal, sacrifice, loyalty and forgiveness. Yes, she was indeed a devoted wife and mother, but she was also characterized in this book as a woman possessing admirable inner strength. Through their intensive research, the authors expertly shape, not only Eliza’s journey through life, but her emotional well being as well. Readers will celebrate with Eliza through her happiest of times, feel utter heartbreak as she endures public humiliation, and be encouraged by her sheer determination and accomplishments.
Eliza outlived her husband by 50 years. In her 97 years, it’s fair to say that Eliza Hamilton had loved and lost so much. Her emotions are so thoughtfully detailed with the passing of the most important people in her life. I was very curious about her life after her husband’s infamous duel. There’s a scene towards the end of the book, and this is not a spoiler, where she literally lays everything out in front of her to try to make sense of what she’s learned. I found this moment to be poignant, sorrowful, and something totally relatable as humans. I’d like to think that scene was how it really played out years ago, but it was surely memorable the way the authors depicted how she may have dealt with that part of her life.
If Eliza Schuyler Hamilton were alive today, I think she would applaud how Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie interpreted her life though My Dear Hamilton. Another brilliant and fascinating read from these talented authors!

My review of America's First Daughter is HERE.

~*~ My Dear Hamilton ~*~
I fell in love with my son that spring. In truth, I fell in love with the entire world. Because with the war nearly over, everything seemed new. And in my baby’s eyes, everything seemed possible.

Philip was as sunny a child as ever lived. One who so commanded my heart that I could refuse him nothing. And I knew my indulgence was not to be remedied by the influence of a stern father. Because in those delightfully domestic months, one might be excused for thinking that—like Ben Franklin and the lightning rod—my husband had invented fatherhood.

Fractured by our son’s every cry and transported to heaven by every gurgle and smile, Alexander doted, day and night. Staring into the cradle, he boasted, “Philip is truly a very fine young gentleman. The most agreeable baby I ever knew—intelligent and sweet of temper. Don’t you agree?”

“Yes,” I agreed, with a laugh. “Of course.”

Sensing condescension, Alexander turned in mock outrage. “It’s true! He’s handsome and his eyes are sprightly and expressive. And he has a method of waving his hand that announces a future orator.”

A future orator. Such grand plans he had for our boy, before he was even out of swaddling.

But having been abandoned by his own father, it made sense for my husband to draw so close to his infant son. For him to feel not only the natural bonds that draw a parent to a child, but also the desire to make up for what he’d lacked. It was as if Alexander thought to somehow tip the scales of cosmic justice by giving his son all the love he hadn’t received.

“How entirely domestic I’m growing,” Alexander later said, bouncing our little Philip on his knee at Papa’s dinner table. “I sigh for nothing but the company of my wife and my baby, and have lost all taste for the pursuits of ambition.”

Kissing our father atop his head as she slipped into her seat, Angelica gave a delicate snort. “You without ambition? Betsy, call for a doctor. Hamilton must be sicker than we knew.”

The whole family laughed, because she wasn’t wrong to doubt him. Especially when his desk in the upstairs hall was piled with leather-bound, gilt-edged law books. Tory lawyers would no longer be permitted to practice in state courts, which left an opportunity for men like my husband to step into the vacancy, and Alexander had designed an ambitious plan to condense his study of the law and start his own practice.

Though he seemed content to live in my father’s house—and Papa was very happy to have us—I knew Hamilton yearned to make his own fortune. Late one night, he returned from his duties as a tax collector, and settling into a chair next to our sleeping baby, he opened a law book and whispered, “Go on to bed, love. I will now employ myself rocking the cradle and studying the art of fleecing my neighbors.”

Tax collecting by day, studying law by night, and somehow managing, in the midst of it all, to conspire with my father to build this brave new American world.

The Articles of Confederation had made less a new nation than a loose alliance of states. Hamilton and my father dreamed of something grander. And oh, how it filled my heart to see them together each night, talking through ideas, my father’s wisdom tempering my husband’s more passionate arguments—I took great pride in realizing that I’d given my father more than a son and my husband more than a father; I’d given both a trustworthy friend.

We were happy. I was never happier, I think.

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About Stephanie Dray:
Stephanie Dray is a New York Times bestselling author of historical women’s fiction. Her award-winning work has been translated into multiple languages, illuminating women of the past so as to inspire the women of today. She is a frequent panelist and presenter at national writing conventions and lives near the nation’s capital.
Stephanie Dray Website |Newsletter | Facebook |Twitter | Dray & Kamoie Website

About Laura Kamoie:
Laura Kamoie is a New York Times bestselling author of historical fiction, and the author of two nonfiction books on early American history. Until recently, she held the position of Associate Professor of History at the U.S. Naval Academy before transitioning to a full-time career writing genre fiction under the name Laura Kaye, also a New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty novels.        
Laura Kamoie Website |Newsletter | Facebook |Twitter | Dray & Kamoie Website


Stephanie Dray & Laura Kamoie’s MY DEAR HAMILTON – Blog Tour Schedule:
April 2nd
Books A-Brewin' – Excerpt
My Girlfriends Couch – Excerpt
April 3rd
My Book Snack – Review & Excerpt
Smexy& Fabulous – Excerpt
April 4th
Always a happy ever after –Review & Excerpt
Ficwishes – Excerpt
Quirky Lady Bookworm Reviews – Review & Excerpt
SJAT's Books and More – Review & Interview
April 5th
Hearts & Scribbles – Excerpt
Literature Goals – Excerpt
April 6th
Books After Fifty – Excerpt
History Undressed – Review & Excerpt
Under the Covers Book Blog – Review & Excerpt
True Book Addict – Excerpt
Zili in the Sky – Excerpt
April 7th
3 Degrees of Fiction Book Blog – Review & Excerpt
Evermore Books – Excerpt
KDRBCK – Review & Excerpt
April 8th
BookCrushin – Interview
Liz's Reading Life – Excerpt
Vagabonda Reads – Review & Excerpt
April 9th
Book Bug Blog – Review & Excerpt
Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt
Read-Love-Blog – Excerpt
April 10th
Miss Riki – Review & Excerpt
My Fictional Escape – Review & Excerpt
Oh, for the Hook of a Book – Review & Interview
April 11th
Sofia Loves Books – Review & Excerpt
April 12th
Denny S. Bryce – Review & Excerpt
Good Drunkard – Review & Excerpt
Ruth Downie – Interview
Margie's Must Reads – Excerpt
April 13th
A Bookaholic Swede – Review
Creating Herstory – Review & Interview
Historical Fiction Reviews – Review & Excerpt
April 14th
Book Nook Nuts – Excerpt
Deluged with Books Cafe – Review & Excerpt
Leigh Anderson – Review
Nerdy Soul – Review & Excerpt
Teatime and Books – Excerpt
Two Girls with Books – Review & Excerpt