Blog Tour and Giveaway: Beat of The Heart: Katie Ashley

Beat of the Heart
(Runaway Train #2)
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After years of bad relationships and a cheating ex-fiancĂ©, twenty-eight-year-old Mia Martinelli prefers healing her patients’ hearts on the Cardiac Care floor rather than risking having her heart broken again. But that all comes to a screeching halt when caring for the head roadie for Runaway Train puts her into the orbit of drummer and Latin Lover, AJ Resendiz. After a scorching weekend of steamy passion, Mia’s intention of getting out with her heart unscathed is challenged by the stud with the wicked sense of humor, especially when he wants to continue seeing her. But when the harsh reality of AJ’s hoard of female admirers sends her insecurities into overdrive, Mia bails, leaving him handcuffed to his bathroom shower.

AJ never imagined that after two weeks of the best sex and female companionship he’d ever experienced, he would need rescued by his band mates from his shower prison. Although he tries to forget the sensual brunette whose curves made his mouth water, AJ can’t get her out of his mind…or his heart. Months later when he finally seeks Mia for answers as to why she left, nothing could prepare him for their life-altering reunion.

Can AJ prove to Mia that regardless of the women after his body, his heart belongs only to her?

Music of Heart (#1)
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For Abby Renard, the plan was supposed to be simple—join her brothers’ band on the last leg of their summer tour and decide if she’s finally ready for the limelight by becoming its fourth member. Of course, she never imagined stumbling onto the wrong tour bus at Rock Nation would accidentally land her in the bed of Jake Slater, the notorious womanizing lead singer of Runaway Train. When he mistakes her for one of his groupie’s, Abby quickly lets him know she sure as hell isn't in his bed on purpose.

Jake Slater never imagined the angel who fell into his bed would resist his charms by promptly kneeing him in the balls. Of course, the fact she seems like a prissy choir girl makes her anything but his type. So he is more than surprised when after betting Abby she wouldn’t last a week on their tour bus, she is more than willing to prove him wrong. But as Jake’s personal life begins to implode around him, he finds an unlikely ally in Abby. He’s never met a woman he can talk to, joke with, or most importantly make music with.

As the week starts comes to a close, neither Abby nor Jake is ready to let go. Can a sweetheart Country songstress and a bad boy of Rock N Roll actually have a future together?

AJ and Mia’s first date:

"Tell me about yourself." 

Swirling the wine around in her glass, Mia shrugged. “Not much to tell.”

I arched my brows at her. “Yeah, right. Don’t make me start in with some lame-ass get to know you questions.”

She grinned. “And what would those be?”

Even though I knew it would probably irk a woman like Mia—one who was refined and cared about class and style, I leaned in on the table with my elbows. “What do you like do when you’re not mending hearts?” I asked, my tone serious like an interviewer.

“Hmm,” she murmured, closing her eyes to think. After a few seconds, she popped them open and replied, “I like Pina Coladas and walks in the rain.”

It was my turn to tsk at her. “Not getting off that easy, Miss Martinelli.”

“Fine then. What I enjoy doing is probably a huge bore to you, but you asked for it.”

“Yep, hit me with it.”

“I like the usual stuff like books, movies, and TV. I like traveling. And…” A little flush filled her cheeks.

“And what?”

After a hearty gulp of wine, she replied in a low voice, “I like to knit.”

I couldn’t help laughing. “You’re shitting me.”

She narrowed her black eyes. “No, I’m not. My late grandmother taught me how to knit and crotchet.”

At her still seething anger and embarrassment, I held up my hands. “I’m sorry I found it so shocking that a smoking hot woman like yourself did something so old-school and nerdy as knit.”

She shrugged. “You asked, so I was honest.”

“You’re right, I did.” Grabbing another breadstick out of the basket, I grinned at her.  “You think you would ever make me something?”

“Hmm, like a dick cozy for those cold nights when no woman wants to put up with your bullshit?” she asked with fake sweetness.

Choking on the breadstick, I fumbled for my wine before taking a long swig. When I recovered, I couldn’t help laughing at her fiery response. “I would be honored if you would make me a dick cozy. I would wear it with pride and think fondly of you.”

“Oh you would, would you?” she asked, her lips curving upward.

“Yes, I would.” With a wink, I added, “But be sure to make it extra-large because I want it to fit.”

Mia snickered. “I’ll keep that in mind.”

“Don’t fight it. Just feel.”

AJ Resenendiz the  Latin drummer for Runaway Train is smokin hot! He is a dirty talking, charismatic, determined, sex God. He is intense, sexy, funny, romantic, and likes to take control.  I never realized how freakin funny AJ was until this book since he was kind of overshadowed by Jake in Music of the Heart

Mia has been burned in the worst possible way. She is skittish, closed off, in desperate need of an orgasm, and has difficulty resisting AJ's offer of mind blowing sex. She is really not fazed by his stardom. She is down to Earth, real, insecure, and has womanly curves.

Together they are seriously smoldering. Their chemistry is off the charts red hot! Their rapport is funny, flirty, and sexy. They play off each other very well. I loved how AJ accepted Mia and tried to make her feel beautiful even when she had self esteem issues or worried that she was not a stick thin Barbie Doll. He was so sweet, loving, patient, and I might have already mentioned this a time or two...hot and sexy! 

“Just when I think all men are alike….You really are too good to be true, you know that?” “It’s a curse really.”

But she is not ready to jump back on the commitment train. She is only looking for fun times and sex. But little does she know AJ has other ideas. Her past has scarred her and caused her to have serious trust issues. She is damaged, broken, and fearful. And she cannot handle all that he wants to give. Mia has layers of armor from her past that AJ has to chip away at. But she is also smart, sexy, funny and caring. But AJ bears the brunt of all the wrongs done to her by men in the past.

“Yeah, I see right through your little ‘knight in shining armor’ routine. You think I’m broken, and by giving me a few moments of your precious time, you might be able to fix me. But trust me, you can’t do shit, AJ! I’m not broken—I’m fucking shattered with a thousand jagged pieces that will slice a perfect, pretty boy like you in two!”
“Why don’t you let me be the judge of what I can or can’t handle, okay?”

When you have a stubborn Latin American Male and an equally stubborn Italian woman there is bound to be drama.  But trust issues and insecurities are hard to get past. It is a roller coaster of misunderstandings, battles for control, and drama that rivals a Spanish Novela. I alternated between being sympathetic and angry at Mia even though I understood her fears and where she was coming from. But I still liked her and I thought she and AJ were good together.

Even under my lips, I could feel the strong beat of his heart—one that was so amazingly kind and giving...
“In spite of all the joking and innuendo, you sure do know how to make a girl feel wanted and cared for.”
“I’m glad you’re finally realizing how magnificent I am both in and out of the bedroom.”

All along I adored AJ. I mean seriously LOVED! I felt so bad for him at times. He knew what he wanted but all of her issues made it a big mess. He constantly surprised me and made me swoon. I loved him funny, loved him sexy, loved him sweet, and loved him bossy. But most of all I loved his vulnerable, caring, protective side that just wanted to give Mia the world. And seeing AJ with the various children in this story just totally melted my heart. 

"You know, most people think I’m just this goofball who never takes anything seriously and lacks any emotional depth or sensitivity. But that’s not true at all....I can feel your pain all the way across the table." 

And Mia's best friend and co-worker Dee was hilarious! He was more interested in men than Mia was, and he was always there to encourage her, give her a hug, or a kick in the pants. He stole almost every scene he was in!  I love the rapport of the band mates and their mates. They make such supportive pseudo-family that loves, supports, and tortures each other. And Mia fit in with them very well giving them even more ammunition to use against poor AJ. 

It was quite a complicated journey with twists and turns. And I swear I am not sure how she does it, but by the end Katie had me laughing as I was tearing up from emotions at the same time. I enjoyed everything about this story. I think this one even surpassed Jake and Abby's book Music of the Heart(which is saying a lot). But I enjoyed seeing more of Jake and Abby in this one as well, and look forward to even more with them in the upcoming novella, Music of the Soul. And the bassist, Rhys..sigh...We get a tiny tease at his story in this one and Katie promises we will get more about him in the next novella, and I cannot wait to see where his story leads in his book Strings of the Heart

It was great getting  both AJ and Mia's points of view. We really needed to see into their thought processes since there was so much going on under the surface. And the way that Katie was able to tie in a character from another series was awesome! There were twists, turns, and surprises! I smiled, laughed, got mad, I shed a few tears, and I totally drooled over AJ. This was fun, flirty, passionate, emotional, heartbreaking, and sweet. The characters have burrowed themselves into my heart and I cannot wait for more in this series. 

Thanks To Katie Ashley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. I was a beta reader for this book. Quotes are from ARC copy and subject to change in final draft. 

Katie Ashley is the New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon Best-Selling author of The Proposition. She lives outside of Atlanta, Georgia with her two very spoiled dogs and one outnumbered cat. She has a slight obsession with Pinterest, The Golden Girls, Harry Potter, Shakespeare, Supernatural, Designing Women, and Scooby-Doo.

She spent 11 1/2 years educating the Youth of America aka teaching MS and HS English uShe spent 11 1/2 years educating the Youth of America aka teaching MS and HS English until she left to write full time in December 2012.

1 signed copy of Music of the heart and Beat of the Heart and 5 ebook copies of Beat of the Heart
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