Monday 28 April 2014

Blog Tour ~ Review, Excerpt & Giveaway ~ Veiled Innocence by Ella Frank

Book Description:
Tick, tick, tock.
That’s all I have now.
A small room, a photograph, and time.
They want me to trust them and confess my sins.
They told me they wouldn't judge me—they lied.
I thought we could convince the world that this wasn't a crime.
We were wrong.
Time doesn't stand still.
The clock keeps ticking, the world is unconvinced, and now…
Now he is gone.

Veiled Innocence by Ella Frank

Excerpt One – Mr. McKendrick’s POV
Copyright © 2014 by Ella Frank
I couldn’t believe she’d followed me home.

I was sitting in my truck with my hands wrapped around the steering wheel. I could see her in the rearview mirror, and my heart pounded in my chest as I thought about my next move.

I’d purposely waited to leave until she had gone home. It had been quite the wait, but I couldn’t afford to put myself within close quarters of this girl.

She was undisciplined and clearly had never heard the word no in her life. She wanted things she couldn’t have, and I needed to make that much clearer than in our previous conversations.

I could see the hood of her car peeking out from behind one of the neighbor’s hedges and wished I could forget she was there, but this time she had crossed too many lines. She needed to know that this behavior could not continue.

Pushing open my truck door, I climbed out and locked it before walking down the drive. I strode purposefully along the sidewalk and tried to think of exactly what I was going to say to this student of mine.

Please stop following me? Please stop hitting on me?

They both sounded ridiculous, and I realized that at this point the word please needed to be thrown right out the fucking window.

Polite wasn’t going to work with Addison Lancaster. It was time to get serious, maybe even mean, because this girl had the ability to destroy me.
Our Review:
**ARC Received for honest review**
Reviewed by Donna ~ 5 Stars

“Temptation had come to visit, and her steely determination would likely destroy us both.”

There are a few authors where no matter what they write I read it; I know that I am going to get a good book so I don’t even bother reading the blurb. This is one of those authors and one of those books. I totally went into this book blind and I am glad I did. As soon as I started reading and suddenly realised that this was going to be a student/teacher book I was excited. This is one of the genres that I love to read. We all love the forbidden romance aspect; the fact that it is deemed so wrong immediately piques my interest and gets my brain going into overdrive. We all had crushes on one teacher or another at school, but what would have happened if you actually acted upon them and the feelings were mutual? The possibilities are endless, invariably they never end well, but you cannot help who you fall in love with, if fate intended for it to happen, it will happen. I just sat back reading and enjoyed the ride.

“I’m broken.”
“No, Addison. Just perfectly imperfect. None of us are perfect.”

Addison is one of “the popular” girls who makes sure that she excels at everything she does, but she is far from happy. This is all part of the “Addison” façade, she pushes herself to her limits in the vain attempt at getting love and acceptance from her parents. If she could be the best, perhaps her parents would learn to like and love her again, maybe they could be proud, maybe just maybe life could go back to the way it was, but that is a pipe dream. Addison is OCD, she has her little rituals, she constantly counts and constantly listens to her watch…tick tick tock. You know that something has happened in the past, but this is only gradually eased out during the story thus drawing you into Addison’s internal pain. She is extremely guarded, nobody knows the real “Addison” she hasn’t wanted to let anyone in, not doctors, not psychiatrists, she keeps everything bottled up, her own misguided guilt eating her away slowly but surely.

“Because I was late.”

Grayson is a history teacher and whilst his first meeting with Addison is not at all pleasant, there is something about her that has him intrigued. He can see through the walls and defences that she has in place, he knows that there is more to the girl than meets the eye and he cannot help but want to know and help. He knows it is wrong, but why does it feel so right? Grayson has his own problems, his back story is somewhat vague in this book and once again little snippets are slowly released throughout the book. He is in his early thirties and his dad is sick, his illness being the reason he is now in his current position. He is in a bad place mentally, trying to come to terms with his dad’s impending death and trying to make the most of the time that he has left. He has left his “old life” behind to make this move and is struggling to adapt, but all that changes when Addison walks into his classroom.

“You are so fucking dangerous that I’m not sure I’ll survive you.”

When Addison walks into that classroom and sets eyes on Grayson, her world changes. Fatal Attraction style, Addison relentlessly pursues him, overwhelmed by her instant attraction to him she goes all out to capture her prey and Grayson at first does not want to be caught. This is an unusual dynamic and was refreshing to read. Addison’s metamorphosis from student to vixen had me page turning and even though you knew it was wrong, Ella’s words made it right and you couldn’t help but root for them.

““You’re going to be the death of me.” Life is full of ironies, because with him, I’d never felt more alive.”

Addison’s internal counting and constant watch listening is apparent to everyone, it is so much part of her that she cannot help it. The other teachers know the reasons behind it and as such ignore it but you could not help but see the pity that they had for her. You wanted to know what had happened that was so bad that all the teachers gave her such a wide berth and I was relieved when Grayson finally asked the question. The only time that the counting and the tick tick tock disappears is when Addison is with Grayson, he grounds her, she feels safe, she feels like Addison.

“You make it go away.”
“I make what go away?”
“The chaos.”

You always know that in these situations it can never end well and you are constantly on the edge of your seat waiting for the whole thing to capitulate in front of you. You are well aware throughout the book that what they are doing is “wrong” none more so than with Grayson’s constant battle with himself. He knows what he is doing is unacceptable, he knows that it could destroy him, but when the siren calls, he cannot help but come.

“Just as Cupid revived Psyche with a kiss, he revived you with words.”

I was totally entranced in this story; from the first to last page I savoured every page, every word. From love, to pain, to grief, to conflict, to consciences to what the hell, you will run the gamut of emotions with this one. The hopeless romantic in me defends their love vehemently, at the end of the day, this is a love story, Grayson’s job be damned. It was beautiful to read, to immerse yourself in, and to drown in, as always Ella’s writing has that knack of totally consuming you from start to finish. Fantastic book, totally loved it and one that I will certainly be reading again.

“Yes there were moments of madness, but what is love without some madness?
It wasn’t wrong.
No-it was just misunderstood.”
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