Thursday, September 1, 2016

Blog Tour: Called Up by Jen Doyle

There are two things Max “Deke” Deacon can always count on: 
his old high school teammates and Fitz Hawkins.

A Calling It Novel
Jen Doyle
Releasing Aug 29th, 2016
Carina Press

There are two things Max “Deke” Deacon can always count on: his old high school teammates and Fitz Hawkins. But no matter how much Deke might secretly fantasize otherwise, a relationship with one of his best friends is off limits. Until one unexpectedly smoldering encounter has Deke and Fitz looking at each other in a whole new way.

Angelica “Fitz” Hawkins knows for a fact that it is not better to have loved and lost. After losing her parents, she’d rather lock up her heart and throw away the key than endure that kind of pain again. If that means giving up any hope of a lasting relationship, then so be it.

With Deke, Fitz finally feels like she's back in the land of the living. But she won’t risk another broken heart—even if it means saying good-bye to Deke for good. It’s up to Deke to convince her that the safest place she could ever be is right here with him.

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“Hey, Dorie,” she heard from above her. “Do you know where Fitz wants these bottles of water?”
Speak of the devil. Fitz brought her head up a little too suddenly, banging it on the underside of the table. “Ouch!” Her hand going to the back of her head, she came up frowning, and...
Oh, God, was he this gorgeous before? Had he always smelled amazing?
Doing everything she could to keep herself immune from his physical charms, she spun on her heel. “Back here.”
Very specifically not looking in Deke’s direction so that she didn’t give anything away, she forced herself to act exactly as she always did around him. Except she suddenly couldn’t quite remember how that was. Did she flirt with him? Did she flat-out ignore him? Did she generally just go around in a state of low-level irritation? Because right now she had absolutely no clue.
She had even less of a clue as she bent down to open up the lid to the cooler and he crouched down next to her, his head so close all he’d need to do was turn it slightly to the left and his mouth would be on her breast.
And was that…?
Oh, hell, no, her nipples had not just hardened. She slapped her arms over her chest.
Because they had. And Deke, with his superhero sex god extra sensory perception, had definitely noticed. He at least had the decency to look down at the ground as he grinned.
“It’s the cold,” Fitz snapped. “From the cooler.”
Pushing the bottles down into the ice, Deke just answered, “You’d be amazed at all the bits and pieces I can warm up with my tongue.” 

Called Up is a friends to lovers story, but so much more than that. Fitz and Deke have known each other for a very long time and are close friends, not only that, but they are a part of a large circle that is a combination of family and friends, all of whom are still family.  

Fitz hasn't had a great life, since losing her parents, and suffering for the sins of her father, Fitz has seen and known how horrible people can be and knows life can turn on a dime, she also knows that real love is hard to find.  In an effort to protect her heart from the same pain from the past, Fitz wants nothing to do with romance, with relationships, with commitments, because it can all end.  But Fitz can't help but see those happy in love around her either and feel longing for such a thing. 

Deke's been a love em and leave em kind of guy, friends with benefits, one night stands, you name it, he's probably done it, but suddenly he finds himself in a new and uncomfortable predicament; he's feeling a deep attraction to one of his closest and best friends, someone who should be off limits. The attraction continues to grow, and Deke's not sure how to handle it, other than he wants Fitz to give him a chance to be something she's never had. 

The things Fitz went through would have been enough to make anyone hard and cold, but she had a stronger back bone than that, she endured when others would have crumbled and then she found her place amongst a family of her own making.  It was no wonder she wasn't trusting of relationships in general, much less one that couuld cause a stir up in the circle of people she could count on.  

Called Up took me on an emotional journey, one that had me laughing, crying, and even feeling a little stabby at times, but ultimately a journey that left me rooting for a win.  There was so much more than a love story going on in this book, it was a story of second chances for family, a book where secrets came out, and guilt was released and sins forgiven all while a love story blossomed. 

As much as I loved Deke and Fitz, it was the surrounding cast of characters that really made this book stand out and be so luring.  Each person added something to the story, and built up the world in such a way that I felt sucked right into their world, as if I could be at a party amongst them, or  attending a game. There was something that made me feel connected to the group as a whole and made me feel sad when the book was over to leave these people behind.  

A big believer in happily ever afters, Jen Doyle decided it was high time she started creating some. Jen is a member of the Romance Writers of America, as well as a member of the New England, New Jersey Romance Writers and Music City Romance Writer chapters of RWA. She is represented by Sarah E. Younger of the Nancy Yost Literary Agency. She has an M.S. in Library and Information Science and, in addition to her work as a librarian, has worked as a conference and events planner as well as a Communications and Enrollment administrator in both preschool and higher education environments (although some might say that there is very little difference between the two; Jen has no comment regarding whether she is one of the “some”).

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1 comment:

  1. Great review! Thank you for hosting CALLED UP today!

    Crystal, Tasty Book Tours