Blog Tour and Giveaway: Unconditional Love: Kelly Elliott

Unconditional Love
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Lark Williams leads a fast-paced life, always on the edge of danger. Running from his past and fighting to keep his present life a secret, he keeps his heart out of reach from love. The walls he built around himself come crumbling down when he meets Azurdee Emerson. 

Azurdee lives a peaceful life in the small town of Wimberley, Texas. Her tame world quickly becomes heated as she begins to fall in love with Lark. He’s everything she has vowed to stay away from—dark and mysterious, and not to mention, sexy as hell and full of secrets.

Just as Lark and Azurdee give in to their feelings of love, Lark’s present life threatens the safety of the one person he would sacrifice his own happiness for. When Lark finds history repeating itself, he makes a decision that will forever change both of their lives, leaving one heartbroken and lost and the other fighting to survive.

Micheal Lark Williams was broken by love and vowed never to fall again. And it worked just fine for him until he met Azurdee. She is the best friend of Jessie who married his best friend, Scott. And he was warned from the beginning to leave her sweet innocence alone and not taint her in anyway.

Lark thrives on thrill, danger, and living on the edge with no attachments. He is all alpha, flirty, sarcastic, and charismatic. His background is Marines/Special Ops so that it is safer not to be involved. He has made a vow to guard his heart.

Guardia mi corazon siempre...Guard my heart always...

Azurdee is the sweet, sensible girl who likes to make her own way and has followed her own dreams. But she also has spunk, sass, and a backbone. And she gets to him, and threatens to break down his defenses and infiltrate his head and heart. But in his line of work that is dangerous since his head needs to be sharp and focused at all times. 

"Azurdee, you're everything I've ever wanted, and everything I've ever feared."

Despite their connection, chemistry, and feelings, their lives are complicated and there are aspects of them that could ruin them. There are secrets, half-truths, and dangerous situations lurking. His world is at war between the past, fears, feelings, and duty. He is conflicted, confused, and terrified of his feelings. And his hidden career causes stress and danger.

"I'm not sure I can be what you want me to be. "

Will protecting her also mean protecting her from himself?

I have liked both Lark and Azurdee since we met them in Cherished. They are fun and feisty, but both have good hearts. I enjoyed seeing their defenses crumble and show vulnerability under their snarkiness and seeing them move into something deeper and more meaningful. They had amazing chemistry but it was based on a connection and feelings and not just lust. Their journey was not easy and had road blocks. It was at times emotional, frustrating, sweet, and sexy (yes, lots of sexy times). 

"Welcome to the journey of love. Hold on tight, son. Shit's about to get real."

This was a story of two people who found a deep connection and rapport, but were blocked by walls and issues. They brought significant change to each other's lives, but is love enough to break down all of the barriers?

We were introduced to an interesting side story with his older brother, Tristan and his love interests. Their story will continue in Undeniable Love (Book 2 in The Journey to Love Series) and I am already invested in them. 

I also loved her friend Ralph, both of their parents, and spending more time with Scott, Jessie, and Ari. Even though this is a different spin off series, since we already knew most of these characters from the Wanted series, it was a comfy read and felt like a continuation. But this had more of a romantic suspense element to it as well. It was told in both points of view allowing us full access to their innermost thoughts. Fans of Kelly Elliott especially those who fell for Lark in  Cherished will not be disappointed in his full story. 

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review. 

As this is a spin-off series from Wanted, we met both main characters previously in the Wanted series, and a few familiar characters make appearances here, especially as Lark is Scott’s best friend, and Azurdee is Jessie’s, both from Cherished. While it is the beginning of a new series, Unconditional Love has a similar feeling to the original series. And the title appears as a recurring theme throughout the story. 

Lark (Michael) is a player. After losing the girl he thought was The One, his relationships consist of a long-term bed-buddy and a series of one night stands. He constantly reminds himself to guard his heart, to protect himself from feeling the pain of that loss again. He is full of secrets, stemming from his status as a Marine working for the CIA. As he gets to know Azurdee, his protective streak develops to the point where he causes himself more trouble than he could possibly foresee. 

Azurdee is a sweet, hard working woman. She owns a coffee shop outside of Austin, and is near to seeing her dream come true - she is opening a new restaurant as well. When we met her in Cherished, Jessie informed Lark (and us) that Azurdee was a virgin, effectively painting a her as a target for him. I’m not sure what purpose her virgin status served, other than to make her more appealing to Lark (?) but I do appreciate that even though she hadn’t previously had sex, she was no shrinking violet. Yes, she had a tendency to blush, but she also knew what she wanted and was comfortable with her own skin in a way that isn’t often portrayed in virgin characters. 

I loved the journey aspect added to the story by Lark’s family. And as Azurdee and Lark begin their journey, it has already been quite a ride in this short amount of time. Getting to know Tristan and Ryn ensured that I will be waiting for the next book in the series. They have quite a bit to work out, even with as much as we learned throughout this book. I am wondering how and when Tristan will sort his head out and what it will take to make him, though the final chapter of Unconditional Love did drop a few crumbs as to how much he is willing to ignore or not.

As with Kelly’s other books, Unconditional Love is a sweet story, sometimes overly so, but a great, warm read. I love the family aspect that is present in all her stories, and this one had more secrets, bordering on suspense, than her other books to mix it up a little. 

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.
I stood in the cold shower cursing Lark. I leaned my head back and let the cool water run through my long hair. It wasn’t too terribly hot out, but hot enough to make it miserable with my long hair. I reached for the soap and began quickly cleaning myself off. I hadn’t had any intentions of finishing off what Lark started, but the moment I heard the bathroom door open and close quietly I knew I had to do it. I pushed my hand down between my legs and began touching myself.

“Ohh...yes…oh God…” I panted as I began moving my hand faster. I was waiting for him to tell me to push my fingers inside myself and I could almost feel the orgasm building.
I heard something drop and opened the door to find Joyce standing there shielding her eyes.

“Oh my God!” I screamed out.

“Oh goodness…Azurdee, I’m in here!” Joyce cried out.

“I know! I’m oh my God-ing that you’re in here…while I’m in the shower.”
I quickly grabbed a towel. “Joyce! Why are you in here?” I asked as I turned off the water.

“Well, Michael asked me to bring you this lotion. He said you wouldwant it after your shower.”

I instantly felt the anger building up in my chest. That bastard!

“I’m going to kill him,” I whispered.

Joyce asked, “Are you covered? Can I look at you now?”

“Yes,” I said as I shook my head and said, “I’m covered.”

Joyce turned and gave me a weak smile. “Now I know it’s none of my business, but maybe you should talk to Michael, honey. I’m sure he can…well, he can…well, I don’t know if you’re having sex or not, but I’m going to go with yes, and if he isn’t performing to his…”

Dear God no. This is not happening. This. Is. Not. Happening.

“Joyce! Please. This is just weird. It’s all just very weird for you to be saying what you’re saying.”

She nodded her head and said, “Well I think so, too. I would think if you were happy in the sex department you wouldn’t need to masturbate.”

She tilted her head and looked up like she was thinking. “I should have Peter have a talk with Michael.”

“No!” I yelled out. “Joyce, I’m very satisfied. Beyond satisfied. Lark is a very good…well…he…umm…”

I closed my eyes and wished like hell I could go back in time about ten minutes ago.
“Can we just stop this conversation, and may I please have some privacy to get dressed?”

Joyce nodded her head and said, “Of course. Well um…dinner will be ready in about forty-five minutes, so…ah…”

She looked me up and down and her cheeks blushed. “I’ll just send Michael on up to um…well…help, I guess.”

My mouth dropped open and I stumbled back against the wall.

I slowly slid down to the floor after she shut the bathroom door and looked up. “I’ll do anything. Anything if you just give me back the last fifteen minutes or so. I swear…God. Anything.”

When the door opened and Lark walked in he was laughing his ass off. I shook my head and said, “No sex for you for the rest of this trip. None.”
Kelly Elliott

Kelly is married to a wonderful Texas cowboy who has a knack for making her laugh almost daily and supports her crazy ideas and dreams for some unknown reason...he claims it's because he loves her!

She’s also a mom to an amazing daughter who is constantly asking for something to eat while her fingers move like mad on her cell phone sending out what is sure to be another very important text message.

In her spare time she loves to sit in her small corner overlooking the Texas hill country and write.

One of her favorite things to do is go for hikes around her property with Gus....her chocolate lab and the other man in her life, and Rose, her golden retriever. When Kelly is not outside helping the hubby haul brush, move rocks or whatever fun chore he has in store for her that day, you’ll find her inside reading, writing or watching HGTV.




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