Monday, December 28, 2015

Spotlight-Excerpts & Reviews: The Key West Series by C.A. Harms

Title: Unpredictable
Series: Key West Series #1

Author: C.A. Harms

Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Published: April 14, 2015
Publisher: Limitless Publishing LLC


Have you ever wished for a moment that you could pretend to live the life of someone else? Escape the harsh reality that your own is anything but perfect?

Quinn had always been forced to put her own needs last. With an absent father and a mother who drowns herself daily in a bottle of Rum, there was no other option.

Jett was the distraction she needed, even if it was just for one night. A void filler, a chance for a freeing moment to allow herself to feel something other than emptiness.

He wasn’t what she expected…

Gentle

Her life didn’t have room for a man like Jett.

Unpredictable

But now it was too late, there was no turning back.

Desire

Nothing would ever be the same.





My Review

Unpredictable is a great start to this series. It is sweet yet emotional, with great characters that you become invested in and want to see get their happy ending.

First, Jett. Mmmm...Jett. He's the kind of guy that you want to reserve a special book boyfriend spot just for him. Sweet, hot, responsible, protective, hardworking...and my favorite character of the story. Next, Quinn. You can't help but feel empathetic toward her, though the way she was basically enabling her mother was frustrating.

The way the two of them meet and get together is just perfect, one of those "it only happens in the movies" type moments that just makes you sigh and you get that warm and fuzzy feeling. But of course nothing's ever that easy, and there's plenty of drama and angst thrown into the mix with Quinn's mother.

I really enjoyed reading this story, and the great cast of secondary characters ensures that there will be some more great stories coming in this series. 4 shining stars for Unpredictable...and with the sneak peek at the end, now I'm all revved up for the next book in the series ;-)


Unpredictable Excerpt © C.A. Harms 2015

It’d been two days. Two days of unanswered calls, unanswered texts. Two days of driving by her house day and night, only to find it empty. I spoke with her boss at Spencer’s, and he too said she had taken some time off.

With each day my heart sank a little more with the thought that I had thrown away the best thing that had ever happened to me. This was on me, completely. I acted like the biggest d*ck when I should have just talked to her.

“Hey, numb nuts, you still pouting?” Kade shouted as he exited the French doors onto the back patio.

“I need to change my locks,” I grumbled. Resting my head back against the chair, I closed my eyes, attempting to block him out.

“Don’t blame me for your massive amount of sh*t. I’m just here for the pool—oh, and the free beer.” He chuckled as he pulled his shirt up and over his head, then took off and jumped, cannonballing into the pool. “Whew,” he yelled out just before hitting the water. The cool splash flowed backward, drenching the entire patio.

All I could do was shake my head at the ass. He was doing everything possible to pull me from my slump. I picked up my phone and checked once again for any response only to come up empty. “Give the girl some time. I know it’s driving you crazy, not being able to fix this, but you need to try to give her some space.” Kade climbed out of the pool, shaking his hair, once again spraying water in every direction. Cocky son of a bitch chuckled as I jumped from my chair and stepped back.




Title: Inevitable
Series: Key West Series #2

Author: C.A. Harms

Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Published: June 30, 2015
Publisher: Limitless Publishing LLC


Harper Jameson, had built the necessary walls to keep her heart safe. Never again would she allow herself to be weak and vulnerable.

Confident and full of attitude.

A mask she wore that many fell for.

Except Easton Black.

He was equally confident, cocky and knew what he wanted.

Determined.

Things he wanted rarely escaped his grasp. He was immune to the fa├žade Harper had created.

She was intriguing.

It was inevitable and Harper could sense that there was no way out. Easton Black would no doubt be the man who could change everything.

People aren’t always as strong as they appear to be on the outside…





My Review

After reading the first book of this series, Unpredictable, I was eager to get started on this one...and it was even better. A lot of that is due to the characters, with the rest of the credit going to the plot and writing. I was hooked right from the start with Harper's sassiness and attitude, and read the whole thing in one shot.

Harper is the kind of character who is feisty, loyal, outgoing, flirty...but still has a problem trusting guys due to something that happened in her past. Easton is just as spirited and his attitude is the perfect match for Harper's. And of course let's not overlook the *holy hotness* factor and super-alpha male personality. With their fiery personalities, when the two of them come together it sets off major sparks--and not just due to their explosive chemistry.

We get the fantastic returning cast of secondary characters for the series, and as this story goes on, the whole group just feels more and more like you're stepping into a big family-something that I'll continue to look forward to as the series goes on.

There's the requisite drama, courtesy of Easton's ex (oh, I really didn't like her...nasty is the first word I think of when it comes to her), along with Harper's emotional past. Both together serve to keep drawing you further into the story and get you even more invested in the characters.

I liked Inevitable even more than Unpredictable, and can't wait to read the rest of this series! 4.5 fiery stars, recommended for 18+ contemporary romance lovers.


Inevitable Excerpt © C.A. Harms 2015

The moment I knocked on her door, I think my heart jumped in to my throat. A deep vicious bark had my nerves on high alert. The bark didn’t sound like any dog I had ever been around. I know she had one, I remember the day she brought it by Jett’s place to show him, the day she picked him up. But that bark, the one that was still flowing out from behind her door, I had to admit had me a little worried.

I wasn’t an animal guy. I had never had one and had no desire to change that.

When the door came open and I looked down to see a head the size of a car looking back at me, I swallowed hard. Okay so maybe the size of a car was an exaggeration but in panic mode everyone tends to do that.

“That is not a dog,” I stated. “That’s is a tank.”

Harper laughed. “No actually this is Brutus, and I promise you he isn’t just a dog.”

I looked up at her, cocking my eyebrow.

“He is my best friend, my cuddle buddy and the protector.” She explained as she rubbed his head in a motherly way. “He may be big.”

“He’s f*cking huge,” I corrected.

“Okay he may be huge, but he is the sweetest dog you’ll ever meet. Don’t let him fool ya, he’s a big baby.” I still wasn’t convince. The idea of a dog being almost as big as most motorcycles, had me convinced that I should wait in the car.

“Will you stop being such a p*ssy,” Harper stated as she placed her hand on her hip. “He won’t hurt you. In fact he is scared of his own shadow on a good day.”

She opened the door and I took a step inside, still leery of the dog that could stand on his hind legs and be taller than me. She led me toward the couch and directed me to have a seat.

“I just need five minutes.” She rushed off before I could say another word.

I was tense and afraid to move, Brutus, watched me from the left end of the couch. I continued to stare straight ahead, thinking if I avoided eye contact, maybe he would walk away.

My actions had the opposite effect. I felt his head nudge my knee and I stiffened, this sh*t was messed up. Dogs were supposed to be small and cute. Never should a dog be larger than their owner…never.

I strong nudge against my leg once more, made me sweat a little. Then Brutus went one step further and placed his paw on my thigh, laying his head next to it, letting out a loud, humph.

“Hey there big guy,” my voice vibrated with tension. Harper was right, what the f*ck. I was acting like a damn p*ssy.

I lifted my hand and began petting the top of Brutus’s head. “You’re not that scary are ya?” It was definitely more of a question than a reassuring statement. I still wasn’t completely convinced that he wasn’t going to eat me before Harper finished getting ready.

“Okay, this isn’t so bad is it?”

I let out a breath I had been holding since Harper left me alone with the grizzly. His big puppy dog eyes looking up at me as they sagged in awe. Apparently he liked it when you scratched behind his ears.

So for the next, what felt like ten minutes, I continued to pet him in the place he enjoyed the most. Yes I still silently prayed that I made it out of here with all my limbs in tacked but I may have been able to relaxed, just a little.



Title: Uncontrollable
Series: Key West Series #3

Author: C.A. Harms

Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Published: September 15, 2015
Publisher: Limitless Publishing LLC


Avery Nolan’s father has never been a part of her life.
As a result, she finds herself becoming a caretaker. Always trying to please other people, willing to tuck her own concerns aside for the happiness of others.

She is selfless.

She is a nurturer.

On the outside, it appears Kade Thomas has it all, but no one can understand the guilt and ache he feels daily.

He is haunted by his past.

Every time he closes his eyes, he finds himself reliving the same nightmare, over and over again.

He blames himself for the loss of Jenna.

He pushed her too far and she paid the price.

Avery saw something special in Kade, from the first day she met him—she could feel it.

But the darkness that consumes him is…

Uncontrollable.

Will she finally be the one to break down the walls he’s built around his heart and soul?

Or will she find some walls are just Indestructible…





My Review

With each book in this series, the overall story of all of the characters gets better and more solid.  In Uncontrollable, we get to peek behind Kade's curtain to find out just what exactly happened with Jenna to make him so closed off and tortured.

Now, personally I found Jenna to be manipulative and selfish, so I immediately wanted to grab Kade once I found out their backstory and just shake him to knock some sense into him so he would know...it's NOT his fault.  Not that she deserved what happened, but man...I really didn't like him beating himself up over what happened for so long.

Avery is the perfect match to Kade, the perfect person to help him heal and move forward.  I really liked the two of them together, I just didn't quite agree with Avery's attitude toward Kade after their first time being intimate together.

This is a really good addition to the series, and it really has me excited about the next book with the bit of a cliffhanger about Jude--I can't wait to read his story!  My final star rating for Uncontrollable...4 stars!  Recommended for 18+ due to adult language and sexual content.


Uncontrollable Excerpt © C.A. Harms 2015

KADE

“Here’s the address,” Easton said as he passed the paper over the top of the table toward me. “Bennie said they live in a ranch-style home at the end of the lane.”

Vermont. They stuck around for a few months after the funeral and then picked up and moved thousands of miles away. Running from the place where they saw their daughter everywhere they looked.

“You sure about this, Kade?” Jett asked as he sat down in the booth next to me.

“Yeah, I am. It’s something I have to do. It’s the last step before I can say good-bye to Jenna,” I explained as I twisted the paper between my fingers. “I’m ready to move on with Avery, and I can’t do that until I do this.”

My stomach was in knots at the idea of facing Jenna’s parents. I had no idea what to expect, but I wanted to close this chapter.

“I’m gonna need something from you, Jett,” I said as I looked up from my hands.

“And what would that be, brother?” he asked.

“Keep an eye on my girl,” I said, and he grinned widely and nodded as Easton chuckled. “Yeah, I know. You never thought you’d see the day, right?”

Jett placed his hand on my shoulder and patted it.

“Nope, I didn’t, but it looks good on ya.” “What does?” I asked.

“Love, infatuation, whatever you wanna call it,” Easton said.

“P*ssy-whipped, henpecked, does it matter how you refer to it?” Jude flopped down in the seat next to Easton, chuckling. “Avery has you wrapped around her pinky, and you are sunk to the deepest depths, brother.”

I smiled. “Where the hell did you come from?”

“I’ve been quietly observing this exchange you three were having.” He leaned back, waiting for me argue with what he had said. But he was right. It was pointless. Avery had me tied up tight, and there was no coming back.



Title: Undeniable
Series: Key West Series #4

Author: C.A. Harms

Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Published: December 15, 2015
Publisher: Limitless Publishing LLC


Sometimes in life you are forced to do things you may not agree with.

Family meant everything to Jude Calvert.

He would do whatever it took to keep them safe and provide for them no matter what it took to make that happen.

Even if that meant putting his own safety at risk, he had no other choice.


Callie Raine has always felt a heavy attraction toward Jude.

He was fascinating.

He was undeniable.

She knew there was so much more to him than he allowed anyone to see. But she was a headstrong woman and feeling weak was something she wouldn’t allow.

Except when it came to Jude.

However, when Jude is hit with the unexpected and forced to rely on others, Callie realizes he doesn’t take weakness easily.

He becomes even more withdrawn.

More angry.

Will he finally give in and learn to lean on those who care?

Or will he push them beyond the point of no return and once again be left to face his obstacles alone?





My Review

Now, while all of the books in this series could conceivably be read as standalones, I have to say that you're going to want to read them in order to get the greatest enjoyment from the series.  Though not too much is said about Jude in the first three books to give you any backstory, knowing everyone else's stories made this a much more pleasurable read.

I've been curious about Jude for a while, and after the bit of a cliffhanger at the end of Uncontrollable (the third book of the series), I couldn't wait for Undeniable to come out to find out what the heck was going on!

Jude is extremely private, and is absolutely determined to be self-reliant and to take care of his family without any outside assistance.  He does not want to be viewed as weak, hating when anyone tries to help-even with little things.

Callie is EXACTLY what Jude needs-whether he wants to admit it or not (even though it is plain to just about everyone else that he wants her).  And she fits perfectly into his life...again, whether he wants her there or not (and oh, you know he does...he SO does).

It's wonderful seeing Jude go from his old, closed-off self to someone open to love and be loved, and to learn to accept support from his friends-who really are his family as well.  The only thing about this story that felt unfinished was whatever was behind the fight that sparked Callie's insertion into his family and life.  We only hear about it at the very beginning, then nothing else for the rest of the book.

But there's plenty of drama and emotion to keep your attention regardless of that, and Undeniable wound up as a 4.5-star read for me.  The epilogue that wrapped up each of the couple's stories was a nice touch at the end, if a bit sappy in places.  Recommended for 18+ due to adult language and sexual content.


Undeniable Excerpt © C.A. Harms 2015

“Hello.” I froze as Jude’s voice carried up the stairway, then jumped up from my position on the floor in our bedroom and scrambled for the door. Before I opened it, I turned back to face the kids, who were playing tug-of-war with the unnamed puppy.

“Stay here.” They both nodded, and I slipped out of the room, closing the door behind me. Jude had just reached the top of the steps, and he looked up with a smile.

“Where are the kids?”

“They’re playing in our room,” I said as I approached him.

“What’s wrong?” he asked.

“Nothing,” I assured him as I continued to walk. He cocked an eyebrow at me, and my stomach dropped. He was seeing right through me. I was such a bad liar.

“The kids are busy. Wanna sneak downstairs and have a quickie?” I wagged my eyebrows, but his facial expression did not change in the slightest.

“Now I know you’re full of sh*t. You’re actually attempting to distract me with sex,” he said with a grin. I was just about to argue when the puppy barked.

“What was that?” he asked.

“Uh…”

My stomach was flipping around anxiously, and I didn’t even get to figure out a way to break the news before everything broke loose. The bedroom door came open behind me, and I heard the puppy’s claws tapping against the hardwood floor as Zoey and Matthew followed him. Squealing and laughter filled the hallway as I remained locked in place. I avoided looking at Jude. In fact, I stared down the floor instead.

“Are those my boxers?” Jude asked, and I looked up. He was pointing at the puppy, who was sitting back on his butt looking up at Jude. Hanging from his mouth were a red pair of Jude’s Calvin Klein boxers I had just purchased last week.

“Warrior likes to play tug-of-war with them,” Matthew announced as he pulled on the other end of the red material.

“See, you just hook your hand through this handle, and he pulls back.”

Matthew slipped his little hand through the front opening in the boxers.

“His name is not Warrior,” Zoey argued.

“We still have to draw for his name, remember? Callie said so.”

I could feel Jude’s eyes boring in to me. I knew he was waiting for me to look up, but I was avoiding eye contact.

“What do you think we should name him, Uncle Jude?” Matthew asked.  “I like Warrior, but Zoey said Buddy or Charlie. I don’t like those.”

The kids began to argue over the name of our new puppy, and of course I continued to keep my head down as my heart raced with the idea that Jude may be angry.

“Callie,” Jude said, and my stomach lurched. He didn’t sound mad, yet he didn’t sound happy, either. Silence set in, and I knew all eyes were on me. I took in a deep breath and closed my eyes tightly.

“I never should have let them convince me to go into the pet store, but before I knew what hit me, they were laughing and playing with this cute little guy.”

I looked up and found Jude staring back at me, an unreadable expression on his face. “They ganged up on me, and they gave me that look. You know the one.”

It was then I noticed the smile tugging at his lips. “Are you ever going to be able to tell them no?”

Jude asked as he stepped around the puppy. I shook my head. I knew the moment they turned on me and gave me those big, sad eyes, I was putty in their hands. I was unable to disappoint them.


C.A. Harms is like any other addicted reader. She enjoys happy endings and HEA love stories. She hasn't always been a lover of Romance and had once been addicted to a good Mystery. Just recently she has taken on a new liking and now is a full blown Romance novel addict.

She lives in Illinois and enjoys spending time with her husband and two children. You will always find her with her kindle or paperback in hand as it is her favorite pass time.



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