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Friday, 29 March 2013

Blog Tour Reviews and GIVEAWAY: Star Cursed- Ashley Lavering

Title: Star Cursed (Curse of the Beast book 2)
Author: Ashley Lavering
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance/ Beauty and the Beast Retelling
Tour Host: Lady Amber's Tours

Brayden held the door open for me as I climbed out of the car. I tried not to cringe seeing the movie house again, but I couldn’t stop my lips from pulling into a hard line. My wolf felt my unease and paced in my mind, adding to my nerves. I knew Brayden was different from Kyle. There was no comparison, but that night still haunted me, and seeing the place where Kyle had assaulted me left me a bit unnerved.
“Are you okay?” Brayden’s hand rested lightly on my lower back.
“Umm.” I shook the bad memories and turned a smile on him. “Yeah. Sorry. It’s been awhile since I was here last.” Like months. He looked confused, so I lied, “It just looks different. That’s all. Why don’t we get our tickets?”
“All right.” He still looked unconvinced, but let it go.
We arrived at the ticket booth and both spoke at the same time, “Two for Lights and Brimfire.”
“Oh, I’m sorry.” I looked off to the side of him. “I just thought, that well, since I asked you and all…”
He chuckled. “Tayla, it’s okay.” I looked up at him and the smile on his face tugged mine back into place. He continued, “And I always pay, even if the girl asked me.” He winked at me and my knees wobbled from the fuzzy warmth creeping into my stomach. A rumble of agitation pushed through from my wolf, but it only gave me more confidence that this guy was it.
We picked the seats right in the very middle. To me they were the best seats in the house. I wasn’t sure about the movie. It was some war movie. I felt bad that Beast had to be subjected to it. At least he hadn’t had to run here. He had insisted on drive his own truck.
I felt Beast slink in behind us. He was a few rows up, wearing his trademark black trench coat and kept his head low. As people filled into the theater, they gave him a wide berth. I didn’t blame them. Honestly, he looked like the grim reaper or something.
The lights dimmed in the theater and the previews started. I offered Brayden a licorice. He smiled, and my heart stuttered. Even in the dark, his smile lit the world.
“Thanks for coming,” I whispered.
“No problem.” He grabbed another licorice. “Thanks for the invite.”
“Hey.” I shouldered him. “That’s my licorice,” I teased.
He shoulder knocked me back. “Then you shouldn’t have given me the first one. Now I’ll eat the whole bag.”
I made a great show of hiding them in my jacket and we both chuckled. He was easy that way. I didn’t feel like I had to be someone else. Not like with Kyle.
Why am I thinking of him?
I mentally scolded myself and relaxed back in my chair, leaning close to Brayden. He didn’t scoot away and hope warmed my chest. I was careful to only breathe through my mouth and had practiced clamping down on my wolf senses, not wanting a repeat of the gym scene. The heat of his arm against mine was comforting, and the way he periodically gave me sideways glances made my heart flutter.
The movie started but I was too focused on Brayden to watch. That was until the battle scenes demanded my attention. My wolf was riveted to the carnage on the screen and, to my horror, was licking her lips. I almost dry heaved right then. I shrunk from the movie and from her. I covered my eyes with my hands, praying it would stop her blood lust and my rolling stomach. I’m sure I whimpered or something equally as embarrassing, because Brayden lifted the armrest and pulled me close. I snuggled into his chest.
“We can leave,” he whispered, tickling my ear.
“I don’t want you to miss your movie,” I responded, trying not to breathe as I was happily surrounded by his strong arms.
He squeezed me close. “All right.”
My nose pressed up against his shoulder, a potential happy place for me if it wasn’t for my wolf. I was too close and could taste the tang of animal blood on my tongue. I quickly closed my mouth. When I was forced to breathe, the smell of farm animals was strong, but not as strong as the metallic smell of blood. It all reminded me of the first time I met him.
The smell overwhelmed my senses and I felt my control slip. I closed my eyes, focusing on restraining the wolf struggling against her cage. She wasn’t going to ruin this for me. I refused to pull away, but the thought of dead animals was too disturbing, and the smell was stronger than that day in the gym. My mind wandered from its task. Had he killed an animal today? But the horror that should have washed over me was replaced with a heady need. I breathed deeply and pressed my body closer, quickly losing control. The smell was delightfully tantalizing and my stomach grumbled, transporting me to a childhood memory of Aunt Lily’s jello cake.
My mouth watered, as I pictured the cake. It smelled so real that I could almost taste it. I opened my mouth and skimmed the cake with my lips, biting down softly. My teeth met more resistance than I was expecting. I was about to bite down harder when large fingers slid between my teeth preventing me from my dessert. I growled and threw my head back, only to have Beast’s strong arms capture me in a vice grip around my torso.  
“What the—?”
Brayden’s voice snapped me out of my delusion of a childhood dessert. My eyes flew open and I took in his disgusted expression as he rubbed his neck. His hand came away wet with my saliva. His gaze darted to his left shoulder where his shirt was several shades darker, thanks to my drool. Horror washed through me, but before I could utter a word of apology, Beast tugged me out of my seat and hauled me out of the theater. I could still hear Chel and Brayden.
“Oh,” Chel said. “Eww. I’m so sorry. Maybe her blood sugar was low.”
“What?” Brayden’s disbelieving voice sliced me. How would he love me now?
“You know people do all sorts of weird stuff when their blood sugar is low,” Chel explained.
“Oh, like biting me?”
I could imagine his eyes narrowing in anger.
“Umm,” Chel hesitated, obviously surprised I had actually bit him. “Was it just a nip? I don’t see any broken skin.”
That news sent a trickle of relief over me. At least, I hadn’t drawn blood.
“That isn’t the point. She bit and slobbered all over me. My animals don’t even get me this bad!” he hissed back. His voice sounded like he had stood and was walking out of the theater as well. Chel didn’t respond. I’m sure she was trying to process the whole thing.
“And who was that guy?” Brayden asked.
“Oh, just a friend.”
“She has some stalker friend to pull her from dates when she starts biting them?”
“No.” She giggled nervously. “I guess you smell so good she just wanted a taste.”
I cringed, mortified even more than I already was. Way to go, Chel, now I really want to hide. The night air hit my face as we exited the theater house. Beast strode a few yards more before depositing me against the wall, where I slumped down to the ground and hugged my knees.
Almost too low for me to hear, Chel’s date, Dalyn, responded, “You can take a taste of me anytime you like, Chel.”
“You’re all nuts,” Brayden said.
“Wait, I’ll drive you home,” Chel called after him, her voice getting louder as they neared.
“Don’t bother. I’m safer walking.” He pushed open the door. Our eyes met for a moment before he stormed off.  
I hung my head. “Oh, Beast,” I whispered. “What have I done?”
To my surprise, he chuckled. “So you nipped him?” He shrugged his shoulders but the mirth was still there.
I glowered at him. “Then why did you swoop down and carry me off if you didn’t think it was a big deal?”
“The nip wasn’t what I was worried about, but the real bite you were going to give him next would’ve drawn blood, and then it was unlikely you’d be able to stop.” His lips hitched upward. “That would have really made your wolf crazy.”
“That meddlesome she-devil!” I ground out between my teeth. “She ruins everything.”
“If you’d learned to control her better, you would’ve smelled the animals on him and stayed far away from him in the first place.” His eyes twinkled as if laughing at an inside joke.
Before I could retort, Chel came out of the doors, her date trailing behind her. “Dalyn, will you start the car for me and bring it around?” She tossed him her keys before he responded.
“Sure.” He eyed me with a mischievous glint. I felt Beast vibrate with an inaudible growl. I agreed. Dalyn’s look sent chills up my spine, like he was assessing a hooker or something. Yuck! I was definitely telling Chel to stay away from that one.
With Dalyn in the SUV and out of hearing, Chel demanded answers. “What just happened?”
I scowled at my knees. “He must’ve slaughtered a cow or something yesterday because his stench was so much stronger today, and my wolf got the better of me.”
“But you bit him?”
“It’s her! I would never do that. Eww. He must think I’m a freak.” I groaned, placing my head in my hands. “He was so perfect, too.”
Chel patted my shoulder, but it wasn’t soothing; nothing was, with this wolf in my head.
“You know what the worst part is?” I ask, looking up to see Chel raise her eyebrow. “She tricked me. She used my memory of Aunt Lily’s jello cake to convince me to bite him. I didn’t even know she could do that!”
“Jello?” Chel asked.
Beast cleared his voice.
“What?” I demanded.
“That isn’t exactly true,” he said. I lifted a disbelieving eyebrow at him. “Just hear me out. The smell, it was delicious to you?”
“Only after she tricked me into thinking it was cake. If I had consciously thought of it as blood, animal, whatever, I never…” I couldn’t say the rest.
“That is where you are wrong.” Beast paused until I looked up at him. “To your wolf, animal scent and blood are delicious, and so the best way you could understand those feelings was to relate it to cake.” His voice lost its teacher tone when he got to the last word and turned more playful. “It must’ve been some delectable cake. Maybe my blood lust would curb a bit if you made it for me.” He winked.
“Shut up.” I smacked him in the leg, but couldn’t resist the smile that spread across my lips. I had my wolfish friend back and was determined to side-step as many rift-creating topics as possible.  
Chel bit her bottom lip. “I’m not sure I can fix this, Tay. A little drool I could explain away, but…”
My frown was back. I’d lost Brayden. “Thanks for trying. I guess we should stay away from cowboys.” I gave Chel a rueful grin.
Chel puffed out air and rubbed her temples. “Friday night is a cancel then.”
“Oh?” Why did things always go to crap?
“Yeah, one of Brayden’s roping buddies. But after he hears Brayden’s story, he’ll be canceling before I get a chance to do it.” She gave my shoulder a squeeze. “I’ll find a replacement.”
“Ah!” I buried my face in my hands. “Why did she have to bite him? Stupid wolf.” She growled at me and nipped at my mind, causing a throbbing headache.
Beast crouched down to my level and tucked a finger under my chin. His touch held soothing warmth, but I fought it. I deserved to feel the crushing weight of my actions. The pressure on my chin increased until I could no longer resist his strength. My face tilted up to him, but I refused to look him in the eyes. At least, in that I still had the power to defy.

“Stupid is the last word I’d use to describe you.” As if by its own accord, my gaze lifted and was met by the warmth coming from his eyes. His thumb grazed my jaw, and both my wolf and I trembled ever so slightly. He noticed my reaction, and his eyes lit with mischief. “And if he had been a werewolf, I guarantee you would’ve gotten a different response.”
I couldn’t breathe. What he implied was too direct to misinterpret. A horn blasted, and I jerked, breaking the spell. Beast lifted his head to look at Dalyn, giving me the needed release to breathe.

Title: Star Cursed
Author: Ashley Lavering
Pages: 277
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Review: I received this book free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This series is so amazing! It is a definite must "to read". Star Cursed is the second novel in the Curse of the Beast series by the very talented Ashley Lavering. Book two starts exactly where book one ended, and it flowed effortlessly. I still love everything about this series, but sometimes I just wanted to smack some people upside the head because they weren't seeing what I was seeing as the reader.
I didn't like Tayla as much in this book, but that was because she wasn't following her heart. She knew she was attracted to Beast but didn't ever act on it. That really frustrated me because I could cut the sexual tension with a knife. Plus she wasn't finding love, she was willing to settle. Beast on the other hand got even hotter! If that's possible. He just sits back and waits for Tayla to realize that he is the one for her. I really wanted to jump in and snatch him for myself. I have the hugest crush on him. Every time I read about Tayla rubbing Beast's chest, I drooled a little bit. So yeah, new book boyfriend!
I was very excited to see that there will be at least one more book in the series. I can't wait to find out what happens now with the little twist. I would still recommend this book to all readers because its so good!

Summary: A dark shadow stalks the night, watching her—waiting to claim what is his.

Seventeen-year-old Tayla Jonas longs for a simple life, but after a traumatizing family loss, she is forced to be both mother and sister to her cousins while caring for her mentally unstable aunt. Moving to her grandma’s quiet town of Cody, Wyoming, Tayla finds some normalcy with her quirky green activist friend, Chel, who spends no time converting her to vegetarianism. 

A few weeks into her new school, Tayla catches the eye of Kyle Harrington—the high school quarterback and resident millionaire—who can seduce any girl with his charismatic charm, including Tayla. But Kyle is anything but what he seems.

Walking through City Park, Tayla is unaware that an ancient curse has her in its crosshairs. The silver moonlight illuminates the path to her van, sprinkling shadows like evil twinkling eyes. Tayla’s skin prickles, and she turns. Something—or someone—is watching her.

A powerful werewolf steps from the shadows. An iridescent blue cord shoots from him and slams into her stomach, dissolving instantly. Pain wracks her body, and she tries to scramble to safety, but his silver eyes freeze her in place as the curse binds them together. The cord settles deep inside her body, coiling with dread around her heart. 

Dismayed by the prospect of a werewolf for a shadow, Tayla fears for the safety of her friends and family. How will she keep the werewolf’s insatiable hunger in check? Her plans for a vegetarian lifestyle quickly dwindle away, and Tayla wrestles to fit her frazzled life back together—piece by piece. But what she didn’t expect was her attraction to the werewolf or the power of the full moon. 

Will Tayla be strong enough to survive the Curse of the Beast? Or will it consume her like so many before? Find out in the first installment of this unique retelling of Beauty and the Beast.(less)
Title: The Curse of the Beast
Author: Ashley Lavering
Pages: 260
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Review: I received this book free from the author in exchange for an honest review. I also wanted to say that I won a signed paperback woot woot!! Go me! I will attach pictures :) this book was friggin amazing!it was so well done that it took me agile to realize that it was a paranormal re- telling of Beauty and the Beast. Yes, I know it was in the summary but I rarely read those, I like to surprise myself when I read. I loved everything about this book! I loved the fairytale, I loved the werewolf twist, I loved the story of how the first werewolf was created, I loved the characters, I loved the romance, I loved the action, I loved the flirting and the sarcasm.and everything about this book. I could not put it down, I devoured it like Beast devours meat!
Tayla was a great character to read about,I could really see her growth over the course of this book.in real life I would totally be her friend, she seems like a fellow bookworm :) I just wish that she would have trusted her gut with that creep Kyle. Gah! He got my blood boiling and not in a good way. And I definitely have a little "beastiality" crush on Beast. I mean he cooks, he cleans, he's buff, he's good looking and best of all he is a hero. I can deal with the hair and he does  turn into a wolf in the day, but I'm willing to overlook that minor flaw :)
If this book is any indication of how the rest of the series continues, then "yes please!". I would recommend this book to everyone! Especially those who love fairytales and werewolves. And I'm extra special because my copy is signed :) also I received a picture of my lover ... I mean cruch, Beast ;) 

Author Bio:

A nomad at heart, I currently claim Nevada as my home. I have a wonderful husband and two young children that put up with my “writing time.” When she’s not pondering a spell that will magically calm the ferocious winds that plague the air around her, you can find her, with notepad in hand, frantically jotting down ideas in those short moments between caring for her girls and working full time at the Elko Institute for Academic Achievement.

Art and science have always been my yin and yang. Throughout my college career, I shifted between the two, but in the end I graduated with a Bachelors of Mathematics and Science from the University of Wyoming.

Charging into adventures and discovering something new has always been a passion of mine, but as a teenager I used to run screaming from a reading or writing assignment. Looking back, the irony isn’t lost on me. Now you can’t catch me without a book in hand or without an open word document. Every time a new idea pops into my mind my heart races and my hand twitch to write it. In that moment, I have my writer's high and pray it will sustain me through thousands of hours of revision.

Ashley's Links:

Amazon Author Page link:www.amazon.com/author/ashleylavering
Amazon Links for Ashley’s books:
Website/Blog Link: Creative Thoughts:http://www.ashleylavering.blogspot.com/
Goodreads Book link, for each book:

Available as E-book: KindleNookSmashwordsand paperback:Amazon

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  1. Loved your reviews:-) I literally laughed several times.

    1. Thank you! And thanks for letting me be a part of this tour!! I'm glad I made you laugh :)