Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Blog Tour & Review... Lauren Hawkeye's Untouched


New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance author Lauren Hawkeye serves up a captivating story of loss, self-discovery, and deep-seated desire.

Some secrets are best left locked away in the past….

Alexa Kendrick has no recollection of the car accident that left her scarred and sent her life careening wildly off course. When the half-sister she thought she’d never meet shows up at her door with an invitation to a new life, Alexa finds herself in Florence, Arizona, a town notorious for being populated with more prison inmates than actual citizens…a town that has done its best to hide its own dark secret.

After Ellie is called out of town, she leaves her sister with the keys to her flower shop and Alexa finds herself swapping lives with her sibling: running Ellie’s business, living in the house left to them both by their absentee father…and forging a smoldering relationship with sexy-as-sin penitentiary officer, Nate Fury—a man with his own demons.

But arranging flowers by day and tangling with the only man who has ever seen her real self by night isn’t enough to silence the mysterious panic that fuels Alexa’s dark dreams. When Nate brings home a book written by an inmate, one describing an unspeakable crime, the shackles binding Alexa’s own lost memories begin to shatter. And as the devastating truth comes to light, she realizes that Nate holds the key to unlocking her past, as well as her heart.

Add to Goodreads here!   

<< Barb's Review >>

First off I need to say thank you to InkSlinger PR and the author, Lauren Hawkeye, for providing me an ARC of Untouched in return for an honest review.

Keeping in mind the honesty clause I have I have to say this one is good but was a little slow getting started. Though I fully accept that could have just been for me. From the moment I first came across this book’s title and looked it up on Goodreads I was intrigued. The premise and the ideas behind the characters is what made me say “YES, I will definitely read and review.” But.. once I made it through chapter 3 it got really good. And just FYI there is a Mr. Stark and Mr. Fury in the courses of these pages and my inner nerd fan girled at that. So as I read I so pictured the faces from The Avengers. Yes, yes I did. And I admit it fully… (laughs)

**small spoiler alert**

We first meet our main character Alexa Kendrick, an artist with a paintbrush, when she is in her hometown of Phoenix Arizona (I say hometown since thats where she lives with her mom) and her mother Tracy. Talk about over protective to the point of being neurotic… yeah that would be Alexa’s mom. Though, once you find out that Alexa was in an almost fatal crash a year ago and has no recollection of what happened you can kinda see Tracy’s side. She is scared and not ashamed to admit she is worried about her only daughter. But there is still such a thing as ‘too’ much.

Alexa is struggling in Phoenix; working at the local diner, a chain restaurant if you will, just to keep her hands and mind busy. She doesn’t need the money she has plenty of that but what she doesn't have is answers. What happened that day a year ago? What secrets is her mother keeping from her about her father? Why is her inspiration for painting not coming back to her. Alexa hasn’t painted anything since her accident. Maybe her brains just not ready for that mind set yet? Who knows.

One day while at work someone comes into see Alexa. The moment she sees the young lady there waiting on her she feels as if she knows her. But how? There was something in the girls eyes. They were her eyes. How was that even possible? The lady, Ellie was in fact her half-sister. Ellie told Alexa that she was cleaning out Estelle, their grandmothers attic and found her birth certificate. Ellie’s husband is the town sheriff in Florence Arizona. Talk about a ‘How do you do’ moment. Alexa is stumped but after some thought she packs a bag, take a little time off from the diner and tells her mother that she is going to Florence. Of course the moment the words are out of her mouth Tracy gets defensive. There is something with the secrets that she is hiding that surrounds the town her mother and late father are from. Even if she won’t budge on speaking of them.

When Alexa arrived in Florence, ready to get to know the half-sister she never knew about, to know the town her parents were from and to try and learn what she could of her father her sister Ellie hands her the keys to her Flower Shop and runs out of town with her husband to handle a ‘family emergency’. Now, here is where things go wild… she left Alexa without any instructions of what to do in the shop, how to do them or even make sure the kid had any idea of what a flower arrangement and such was. (laughs) Such a sister thing to do.

The first day is hard. Alexa has no clue what she is doing but while at the diner across the street she gets an itch to sketch. That systematic need to withdraw from her surroundings and get lost in her work takes over. This is when and how she meets Nate Fury who is a guard at the prison with his own deep dark secrets. Alexa keeps stealing glances of him and sketches him out on a napkin. After meeting his gaze a feeling takes over her insides. Attraction. Something new to her.

Well the same happens to Nate despite him trying to stop himself from this young lady. He approaches Alexa and after giving her a few half smiles she gives him the drawing she did of him. The attraction makes Nate a man that has been lost in the dark for so long now see the light. What is it about this girl? Thanks to Alexa he is getting bits of himself under control. Its been so long since he was able to do that. He makes an effort to see her. One night, he goes to the Flower shop to see Alexa and brings her diner. Things go from hi to panting against each others lips in zero point three seconds. But they both are overwhelmed by this desire and need they are having. That attraction that is consuming them both helps them to open up slightly after events happen during dinner.

Alexa is feeling lost and doesn’t understand this attraction. Nate is trying to pull himself out of a sea of misery and guilt. He left LA to come to Arizona after his partner was shot and killed in front of him on a routine call. A robbery gone wrong. A kid barely out of high school with a gun that was scared. Nate lives with survivor's guilt. The whole “It should have been me, he had a family I didn’t” is eating him up inside.

Thanks to a sparking kiss from Nate Alexa is getting a feeling of her memories so as she paces her grandmother's apartment she tries to remember the night of the accident. Though she freaks out and has Nate worrying over her but he is resolved to not push her. He told her about his partner and now she told him of her accident and her memory loss. Seems they are both broken in different ways but the attraction for one another maybe the answer to it all.

Now its time for Alexa to focus on this in a different way. Forget what she can’t remember she needs to focus on what she can remember. What had she been doing? And why? Was there a connection to her father? She felt there was but then she wasn’t so sure that was a real feeling or not.

You know they always say be careful what you ask for… an in this instance I was speechless. I had no idea what Alexa was getting ready to uncover in the attic of her grandmother’s apartment. As Alexa tries to figure out what this strange book is Nate does some digging of his own. Then a letter comes from her mother. A letter explaining about her father. It was time, Alexa needed to know. Seems her father is dead but they left him when Alexa was about 3. Her father was a bad man, he did an unspeakable, unforgivable act and her mother took her and went on her own to raise her child. Her father, the man she wanted to get to know she no longer wanted to know more about him.

In an odd turn of events the truth finally comes out about Alexa’s accident. What happened and again be careful what you ask for. Shock, horror and pain are the first emotions that slam into her like a 747 on lift off. But as he has as of late Nate is there to help her put herself back together. Her rock. Her heart, her missing piece. Two broken halves truly do make a whole. Alexa has Nate, her mother and her sister to support her so she can start a new life, a whole life in Florence.

Once this book got going I couldn’t put it down. I still say it going slow in the beginning had to just be my brain because it was really good. The sea of emotions that slam into you through out this novel are light and heavy and so realistic. Lauren Hawkeye brings the events of fiction and real life together in a way that it blends wonderfully.

<< Review End >>


Lauren Hawkeye/ Lauren Jameson never imagined that she’d wind up telling stories for a living… though when she looks back, it’s easy to see that she’s the only one who is surprised. Always “the kid who read all the time”, Lauren made up stories about her favorite characters once she’d finished a book… and once spent an entire year narrating her own life internally. No, really. But where she was just plain odd before publication, now she can at least claim to have an artistic temperament.

Lauren lives in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta, Canada with her husband, toddler, pit bull and idiot cat, though they do not live in an igloo, nor do they drive a dogsled. In her nonexistent spare time Lauren can be found knitting (her husband claims that her snobby yarn collection is exorbitant), reading anything she can get her hands on, or sweating her way through spin class. She loves to hear from her readers!

Whether you were good or bad this year, Lauren Hawkeye is pulling something very special out of her Santa bag just for you. Because you shouldn’t get punished for being naughty, right? Sometimes naughty can, in fact, be nice.

Enter the UNTOUCHED “Naughty or Nice?” Giveaway to possibly win one of two Grand Prizes – a Nice Swag Bag or a Naughty Swag Bag worth approximately $150.00 each. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter. And, don’t forget to visit Lauren’s “Naughty or Nice” Pinterest board to see what might be headed your way this holiday season.*

*Pinned items are only a representation of possible final prize items. Similar items may or may not be included in the final grand prize bags, at the sweepstakes Sponsor's discretion.  

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