Wednesday 27 November 2013

Blog Tour ~ Review & Alternative POV ~ Songbird by Lisa Edward

Book Description: 

Every relationship changes you, some for the better, others can shatter your confidence and almost destroy you.

For the musically talented, twenty-four year old Tara O’Connell, her relationship with Stephen almost broke her, until Tara found the strength to leave.

Now she is on the road to discovering that it is never too late to pursue your dreams and follow your heart.

As Tara’s self-belief grows, she meets two men she is instantly drawn to who will change her life forever.

Corporal Riley Hammond is a soldier in the Australian Military Special Forces. With his smiling sapphire blue eyes, Tara falls for him instantly. He is thoughtful and caring, and gives her the support and love she needs.

While Cole Michaels is the overconfident singer in a popular local band. His charisma, emerald green eyes, tattoos and piercing, have girls falling at his feet. But while Cole pushes Tara’s buttons, he also pushes her to reach for the stars.

Both men couldn’t be more polar opposites, but both offer Tara different qualities that she needs to fulfil her destiny.

As Tara continues her journey, she will discover fate can offer you more than one path. Her fate is in her own hands, and the choices she makes, will shape her life forever.

Our Review

Reviewed by Donna ~ 4 Stars

I love reading books from new authors and this book was recommended to me by a friend and she said “you have to read this” so I did…and I couldn’t put it down…and now I am torn…I love two men…I should only love one of them…I don’t like triangles or squares…but I love Riley and I love Cole…if I find it a hard choice…imagine how Tara feels!!

Tara starts this book in an abusive relationship…not physically as such…but mentally. Stephen is very OCD, everything has its place, including Tara. His life is like a series of pockets and if you put something in the wrong pocket all hell breaks loose. He undermines her constantly, demeans her constantly, over the 2 years they are together he totally changes her as a person and turns her into some Stepford Wife that is a good asset in the board room. Eventually Tara does see sense and gets out whilst Stephen is away on business and Tara moves in with her best friend Kelli.

“You were trying to share an opinion when you don’t have one. You looked like an ignorant idiot…you embarrassed me in front of my associates…”

“At least Genevieve knows how to sit there quietly and just look pretty. There’s no hope of you looking pretty though, is there.”

“You’re lucky I put up with you, no one else would give you a second glance.”

Her confidence and self-worth were decimated. It was up to Kelli to bring Tara back. Kelli takes Tara to her hairdresser for a makeover and Jason firmly becomes Tara’s new gay BF. Kelli and Tara then decide to join a gym and it is here they meet “Mr Hotbod.” Kelli is not interested but does window shop…she has her long term boyfriend Cooper, he is in the forces and is based in Sydney, but Tara has no partner and drools when she does her window shopping…he is hot and sexy and he knows it…there is an instant connection and attraction but Tara does not act on it…in fact she runs away and tries to stay away from him as much as possible, she is actually terrified, he is a player and she knows that she will only get hurt.

“Not for me, for Tara. She needs to get laid and she thought Mr Hotbod was a prime candidate.”

On a visit home, Cooper brings his best friend with him…meet the Irish charmer that is Riley, he too is in the forces, he is gorgeous, sexy, fit and also quite quiet. He has just recovered from coming out of a long-term relationship and finally feels that he is able to date again. They are instantly attracted to each other…what will happen? Riley is totally and utterly adorable…I love him to bits!

“Whether you’re lying here in my arms, or we’re a thousand miles apart, I will always love you. You will always be with me.”

As Riley is in the forces, Tara embarks on a long distance relationship, the same as Kelli has with Cooper. It is a struggle, she misses him so she tries to fill her time up with other stuff to keep her mind occupied. She ends up going to Jason’s friends bar called “Songbirds,” Tara is an accomplished musician and pianist and it does not take long before Tara has her own regular guest spot as a performer. Tara also gets one of her friends bands a regular gig at Songbirds, the lead singer turns out to be none other than “Mr Hotbod” a.k.a. Cole.

“Cole ticked every box in what I would ever want from a boyfriend, except for one thing. He was caring, thoughtful and attentive. He was funny and intelligent; he just couldn’t keep it in his pants.”

So that is the background, a lot happens, there are a lot of men vying for Tara’s affections, she must have some potent pheromones!! But as I said in the intro, I love two of these guys. It is not your typical love triangle, or square as the case maybe…Tara makes her choice, but I did want to bash her sometimes, she does have feelings for two of them, but if you love someone, you shouldn’t feel that way about somebody else and it was this that was quite conflicting. I could understand though, I am just as conflicted…I loved Riley and then I fell in love with “the real” Cole. It is rare that you fall for two contenders, that is the beauty of Lisa Edwards’ story telling, because you cannot help but love them both.

Whilst I absolutely adore Riley and I really want them to get their HEA, I do feel that there is something between Tara and Cole and I cannot believe I am saying this, but I really want to see these waters tested!! OMG!! Not only do Cole and Tara seem to connect on a physical and emotional level, but their mutual love of music only heightens this passion. I do however, not want Riley to be hurt in any way shape or form if there is some toe dipping (I do not want much do I? lol) I just can’t see how it could be done…maybe ménage but I don’t see that being Lisa’s style lol! That is the trouble with this book, it leaves you torn and conflicted, your emotions all over the place, I have never been in this position before and that is kudos to Lisa Edwards, I am really firmly on the fence and I cannot wait to see where this is going to go. I need book 2 NOW!

“Smile for me. When I turn around to wave goodbye for the final time, I want your beautiful smile to be the last thing I see.”

Alternative POV

Riley’s POV – When Riley met Tara 

Leaning back on the couch, I reached around behind the extremely loud and annoying girl beside me, and tapped my best mate Chook on the shoulder.

He ignored me and I knew why.

I tapped again a bit harder, there was still no response, so I slapped him up the back of the head. That made him turn around. He gave me the biggest grin, reading my WTF expression for what it was.

When he’d told me I could crash at his girlfriend Kelli’s place for a couple of days while we were in Melbourne, I had no idea that would mean also having to entertain this completely over the top friend of hers.

Seriously, he had to be kidding!

Chook knew I wasn’t interested in forming any sort of relationship with a girl, and I wasn’t into casual either. But even if I was, this was not the girl to be doing it with. She kept practically trying to climb onto my lap, instead of sitting her ass down beside me. In response, I was edging further and further over to the arm of the couch, but I was quickly running out of room.

Looking back over at Chook and Kelli, I smiled to myself. Now if I had a relationship like that it would be different, but the love of your life doesn’t just walk through the door, and I wasn’t in the type of career where I could foster a long term relationship. Being in the military and being away from home a lot, had taught me that it was all too hard, and in the end I’d decided that I was better off focusing on my career and forgetting about finding the one.

Chook must have been doing another impersonation because the girls were laughing, but I wasn’t paying attention. I really didn’t want to be here.

I heard a knock on the door that the others didn’t hear.

“Hey Kell, I think there’s someone at the door,” I told her over the din.

She grinned at me. “That’ll be Tara.”

As she stood, Tara knocked again.

“I’m coming,” Kelli called.

I rolled my eyes at Chook. If Tara was anything like this Jacqui girl sitting beside me, I was checking into a hotel.

But Chook just gave me a wink as he stood.

“Hey Fox, great to see you again.” He strode over to her and lifted her into a bear hug off the floor.

She squealed and laughed. “Great to see you too ya big lug, now put me down, I can’t breathe!”

Her voice was like music to my ears. Even though she was struggling to get free of Chook and laughing, I could tell she was refined and softly spoken.

Chook stood there with his arm around her shoulder while she glanced at Jacqui. She attempted to hide an eye roll at Jacqui’s presence, before looking over at Kelli.

I smiled to myself. If she wasn’t a fan of Jacqui’s then I liked this girl already.

Taking a moment while she was looking away, I cast my eye over the length of her body, and what a body it was. She had the longest, perfectly shaped legs I’d ever seen, which were highlighted by the fact she was wearing quite possibly the shortest shorts ever made. Somehow though, she didn’t look slutty, she just looked fucking hot!

I stepped around the couch and came closer to her, almost as if she was reeling me in. She turned back around to face me, her long, wavy hair cascading around her shoulders, and our eyes locked.

And I was hooked.

I felt like someone had just kicked me in the guts. She was breathtaking.

Keep it together I told myself, she’s just a girl. But I couldn’t speak, all I wanted to do was kiss those partially open, plump, moist lips.

Chook slapped me on the shoulder. “Have you forgotten your name mate? Fox, this is my army buddy Irish, Irish this delectable young lady who has you speechless is Fox.”

Chuckling, while secretly plotting my revenge on Chook, I looked over at him. “Thanks mate, good to see I can always count on you not to embarrass me or anything.”

I had to get this back on track, I had to get to know this girl.

Smiling, I held out my hand to her. “My name’s actually Riley, it’s a pleasure to meet you....Fox.”

I could feel my stomach rolling nervously as I said Fox, which was obviously a nickname Chook had given her. I took in every detail of her face, from her wise pale blue eyes, high cheek bones and those seductive lips.

She was perfect.

She took my hand and it felt like coming home. I didn’t want to let go, so like some desperate weirdo, instead of shaking it, I held it between mine.

“It’s Tara, and it’s a pleasure to meet you too,” she replied breathlessly.

I smiled at her a little relieved. So it wasn’t just me who could feel this connection, by the way she replied she was feeling it too.

The night was finally looking promising.

I started to lead her over to the couch still holding her hand, and offered her a drink, but she said she was only here to drop off some dresses.

“That’s a shame, do you have time for just one?” I asked hopefully.

She smiled and turned to Kelli. “Did you want to try them now or can I just leave them?”

I looked over at Kelli, willing her to say she’d try them later but she didn’t. She grabbed Tara’s hand and practically dragged her into the bedroom, closing the door behind them.

Jacqui was nearly laying on me again but I tried to ignore her. I could hear voices coming from the bedroom and strained desperately to hear what the girls were saying.

“Oh.My.GOD! Who is that guy? He’s GORGEOUS!” I heard through the thin wall.

Beaming, I looked over at Chook who was obviously also eavesdropping on the conversation in the other room.

We sat there still as statues, occasionally looking at each other and commenting on the girls’ conversation.

“She thinks you’re yummy,” Chook teased.

I tried to contain my smile, I thought she was pretty delicious too.

“So you think I’m a great guy?” I teased back at Chook.

I could hear Tara saying it would be hard for her to do long distance, but there was no reason why we couldn’t hang out and have some fun. I agreed with her, long distance was hard and in my experience, almost impossible.

Chook gave me a slap on the shoulder. “Do ya wanna have some fun with her?” he asked, twitching his eyebrows at me.

For some reason I felt overly protective of this girl I’d only just met, and frowned disapprovingly at Chook.

But of course I wanted to have some fun, I couldn’t stop thinking about those long legs and how they would feel wrapped around my hips, or how it would feel to kiss those amazing lips.

I felt a twitch in my pants and told myself to stop thinking about it. There was plenty of time later tonight once I’d gone to bed to think about her.

Besides, I needed to hear what she was saying. Chook was still laughing and I couldn’t help joining him, when clear as day she blurted out, “It’s been so long since I’ve had sex!”

I put my hand over my mouth to hide a smirk, strangely relieved by her outburst. It may have been a long time for her, but I bet it had been longer for me. So long in fact that I was nervous to get back out there again.

I was just about to call out that we could hear them, before she said anything else that Chook would use against her later on, when he called out instead.

“How long has it been Fox?”

Oh fuck! What was he doing?

Chook had that glint in his eye and I knew he would push this too far, as always.

“Longer than I care to remember Chook,” she called back.

“Well, if you’re really desperate I know a couple of guys...”

Hey, that wasn’t on. I reached past this chick who I swear to god was trying to give me a lap dance, and punched him as hard as I could in the arm.

“Ouch! Fuck Irish what was that for? I was just messing with her, she gives as good as she gets.”

I heard the girls laughing from the other room and just shrugged at Chook.

“Go in there and apologise to her.”

“Well, well, well,” Chook said, still rubbing his arm where I’d punched it, “looks like someone wants to unlock his chastity belt.”

“Fuck off dickhead.”

So maybe I was interested in this girl, and maybe she was the first girl I’d been even remotely interested in since Rebecca, but I didn’t need him jeopardising it before I’d had a chance.

Chook stood and headed to the bedroom.

“Hey!” I called to get his attention. “Find out if she’s free on Saturday night, I want to take her to the ball.”

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