Blog Tour and Giveaway: Sugar on the Edge: Sawyer Bennett

Last Call, #3
Sawyer Bennett
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He’s utterly alone…

Tortured and existing in a dark spiral of despair, bestselling British author, Gavin Cooke, has come to the Outer Banks of North Carolina to escape the seedy lifestyle he had been living in London and in a desperate attempt to regain his writing focus. He’s twisted, bitter and angry at the world. He’s a loner… needing not a single thing other than his Scotch and a laptop upon which he can bang out his next erotic, dark thriller.

She’s running in place and getting nowhere…

Savannah Shepherd’s life is falling apart. Her dream of being a wildlife photographer seems a distant memory and she’s barely able to make ends meet. Driving herself forward with no clear goals apparent, she’s about ready to pack up her bags and head home with her tail between her legs.

Two unlikely lovers…

He’s raw, forceful and a dirty talker. She’s a flowers and romance type of girl. Yet within each other, they find a mutual craving that can only be satisfied by giving in to their desires for one another.

Lust turns into something more… something they were not looking for but tentatively accept. Will it be enough to push them past the obstacles of Gavin’s bitter past?

*SUGAR ON THE EDGE can be read as a stand-alone*

Gavin Cooke comes to the Outer Banks as a closed-off, loner author drowning his pain in a bottle while trying to finish his book. He has relocated to escape his past and distractions in England and focus. He is unfiltered, short-tempered, and comes off like an asshole. His real estate agent, Casey recommends her room mate Savannah when he needs someone to help clean his his new huge house.

Savannah is independent, but stretched way to thin trying to keep her head above water. She works multiple jobs to make ends meet while also volunteering. She is stuck in a rut. Her passion is photography but she has no time to really pursue it. She is shy, usually unassuming, and lets people walk over her. But for some reason she does not let Gavin do so, no matter how intimidating he tries to be. 

She becomes a fascination to him and a muse. The more he sees her reactions, the more layers he uncovers of Savannah. And he studies them, dissects them, and uses them for inspiration. 

I find it to be macabre, because no matter the fascination sweet Savannah holds for me, when it boils right down to it, deep down I want to break her. I want to prove to myself that she's nothing special. That she's exactly as I imagine her to be. An uninteresting sort of woman who thinks more of herself than she actually is, and in the grand scheme of things, she'll never amount to more.

"I'm not some sort of sick game for you to play with."

Oh, Gavin...He is interesting and magnetic. He is obnoxious, cocky, dirty talking, jaded, and even rude especially under the influence of alcohol. But under that he is sweet, loving, vulnerable, and terrified. But he has reason to hide and drink himself numb. His past broke him and he's been living in darkness without a lifeline. And only the light of Savannah could begin to reach him.

"Because I'm dark that way. I'm way too bitter for your brand of sweet."

And even though she initially seems meek and bendable, she is also strong willed, stubborn, and fiercely independent. He encourages her to be even more bold, stand up for herself, and go after what she wants out of life.

He pushes her to explore the barriers of her comfort zone and she does the same for him. You can feel their intense chemistry, passion, and need. They meet in the middle at a place that both excites them and soothes their battered souls. They are a perfect balance of sweet and filthy...hot and connected...dark and light...and together they begin to open up and find that something more...

She represents everything that's the antithesis to my darkness. She represents the possibility of moving myself out of that darkness, and allowing a little bit of bright back into my life. 

But there are certain triggers and situations that could push them too far. Will it shatter their little safe bubble of light in the darkness?

I was sucked right into this installment. I did not really have a feel for Savannah from seeing her in the other books, but I really liked her in this one. She had many sides to her and  Gavin kept trying to peg her between being an anti-heroine and a heroine. She often proved him wrong about her reactions and strengths. And Gavin just drew me right in. He was obviously hurting and had a hard time believing that he could find true happiness again. He was deep, complex, and completely breakable under his protective layer.

I loved seeing more with the other characters especially getting more with Brody (Make it a Double). It was good to see his progress continue as well as catching up with the other characters' lives and see them all interacting. They truly are a family that is there for each other. They are protective, tease each other, and stand up for one another. 

It was told in both points of view and I was happy to get into Gavin's head even when it was a darker place. There were times that were snarky and funny. And lots of of sexual tension and sexy times. But also some that were sweet, romantic, and tender. Of course there were frustrating and dramatic situations too and I knew they were coming, but just had to wait and watch it all hit. Their story was intense and passionate with underlying sadness, loss, and fear. But it was heart felt and painfully beautiful too. I fell for the sweet, filthy, broken boy underneath the facade just like Savannah did. 

I love this series and I am looking forward to Casey's story. She was in this book quite a bit and her time is definitely coming. And even though Wyatt was not in this one, I still want to see more with him in future stories.  

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

Savannah Shepherd, Casey Markham’s roommate, has agreed to work for Gavin Cooke, the famous British writer who has just moved to the Outer Banks to finish working on his next book. Though she knows taking on one more job will tax her already full schedule, she needs the money. What she doesn’t count on is getting to know the man beyond the asshole front he projects to those he meets.

Savannah is the quiet one of her group of friends. She is the sweet one, the one they all look out for. She feels like she is the only one of her girlfriends who is no overly sexy or beautiful, but after she meets Gavin, it’s like she forgets that was ever an issue for her. 

I’m not sure I ever felt for Gavin what I did for Brody and Hunter, but he was an interesting character and by the end he had wormed his way into my heart. He ran the gamut of typical alpha tendencies -- asshole, protective, possessive, stubborn, and slow to admit when he’s wrong, but when he was sweet, he was sweet, and when he was filthy, boy was he filthy. But he also had some character traits that surprised me as the story unfolded - reactions that surprised me.

When Gavin begins to use Savannah as inspiration for his next book, he notices things about her that had been missed by his initial impressions. Those details begin to draw him further into Savannah until the story he is writing begins to change as he falls for her. 

It was great to see the Markhams (and Gabby) again. As the group, and particularly Brody, are so protective of Savannah, they play some pretty big support roles at various points. Gabby and Hunter and Alisa and Brody continue to strengthen their relationships, and though Casey is firmly anti-relationship, the ribbing she endures from her family and friends makes me anticipate her book even more.

The resolution at the end happened whiplash fast. Some pretty big things happen to the relationship that in my mind would take more time to forgive, but both Gavin and Savannah move past it so quickly, I was surprised to turn the page and find the epilogue.

This was a fun read. While it may not be my favorite of the three books in the series so far, I grew to love Gavin for himself, and love Gavin for Savannah. 

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review. 
On the Rocks (Last Call #1)
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Kim and Rachel's 5 star reviews

He left to travel the world for fame and glory, but only after spurning Gabby Ward and crushing her young heart. Now Hunter Markham has come back home to the sand and salty breeze of the North Carolina Outer Banks so he can open up Last Call, a beach bar nestled among the dunes of the Atlantic.
Gabby Ward is not happy that Hunter has returned. Bitter over his rebuff years before, she’s content to stay far away from him and his dangerously charming ways.
Gabby’s well-schemed plans to ignore Hunter go up in flames when he presents an offer to her that she simply can’t refuse, throwing them together in a common quest to each reach their goals. Working together day in and day out proves to be problematic for Gabby, who soon realizes that the feelings she had for him are still very much alive. Hunter struggles to reach through to Gabby’s cold heart, all while starting a new career away from his life as a top ranked, professional surfer.

What starts out as a mutual business arrangement soon turns into a passion that neither of them can continue to deny.
Hard choices lay ahead for both of them when Hunter is offered a once in a lifetime opportunity to return to the pro surfing tour.

Choices that could destroy what they have built or take them further than they ever had dared to hope.

Make It A Double (Last Call #2)
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Kim and Rachel's 5 star reviews

Brody Markham has endured a nightmare, spending the last five years in prison and losing everything that was dear to him. Now he’s back home, trying to survive in a world he doesn’t recognize anymore. While his family and friends desperately try to reach through to him, he shelters himself further and further away from their love.

Alyssa Myers has worked her entire life to distance herself from the luxurious and privileged lifestyle in which she was raised. Running her non-profit agency, The Haven, she is content to spend her days helping abused animals find sanctuary, which fulfills her in a way that money just can’t buy.

Maybe it’s that she recognizes in Brody some of the same characteristics she sees in her homeless wards, but Alyssa is powerless to stop her personal quest to make Brody whole again.

While Brody struggles to surface from the darkness, Alyssa tries to protect her heart in case he’s not willing to accept the light that she offers him.

*MAKE IT A DOUBLE can be read as a stand-alone*
Sawyer Bennett
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USA Today Best-Selling author, Sawyer Bennett, is a snarky southern woman and reformed trial lawyer who decided to finally start putting on paper all of the stories that were floating in her head. She is married to a mobster (well, a market researcher) and they have two big, furry dogs who hog the bed. Sawyer would like to report she doesn’t have many weaknesses but can be bribed with a nominal amount of milk chocolate.

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