Release Day/Blog Tour/Giveaway: Saving You: Kelly Elliott

Kelly ElliottAdd to Goodreads
RELEASE DATE: January 22, 2015
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What happens when your head and heart contradict each other regarding the one person you’ve always wanted?

Growing up, Luke Johnson and Libby Hayes thought they would be best friends forever.
One kiss changed everything.

Fearing his love for Libby could cost him their friendship, Luke chooses to listen to his head—instead of his heart.

Will the regrets of denying the one person Luke wants to give himself to, end up leaving him lost and alone? Or will Libby be able to save him with her love?

“Do you remember the time we got grounded for talking Will into flying off the barn?”
Libby’s eyes met mine. She smiled so big it caused me to laugh. “I remember the time you talked me into talking my brother into soaring through the air.” She shook her head. “Poor, Will. He broke his arm and we were all so afraid to tell my mom.”
I watched as Libby moved across the kitchen. My heart began to beat stronger in my chest. She’s mine. She’s finally mine. Taking in a breath, I slowly let it out. “Do you know what I remember most about that time?”
She continued to cut up the watermelon and put it into a bowl for us. “Will threatening to hurt you every single time he saw you?”
I chuckled. “Nah, that was funny though. I bet if we brought it up to him he’d still be pissed.” Libby giggled and nodded her head. “I remember sneaking out and coming to your house in the middle of the night. Tapping on your bedroom window and sitting under the stars, talking for hours.”
Libby stared into my eyes, smiling softly. “I remember that too. I used to lay in bed and pray so hard you would be there that night. Then, I’d hear you tap on my window and I would get giddy at the idea of sitting next to you on the roof. I remember if your body brushed against mine, I would get the silliest feelings in my stomach.” She looked down and then back at me. “I still do.”
Pushing the stool back, I walked over to Libby. Placing my hands in her hair, I pulled her head back and pressed my lips to hers. The kiss was passionate—filled with love, as we kissed each other like we hadn’t seen each other in days. I pulled back some and whispered against her lips. “I loved you then, Libby.”
Closing her eyes she barely spoke, “Never stop loving me, Luke.”

There were times in the first book Without You that Luke and Libby stole the show with their fussing, fighting, and obvious longing. Their book starts on a timeline about midway through Without You but revisits scenes in their points of view.

Luke Johnson (Jeff and Ari's son) and Libby Hayes (Josh and Heather's daughter)  have been best friends all of their lives, but as they grew up, so did their feelings. One kiss changed their dynamic dramatically. But Luke is so afraid of ruining their friendship (and that with her brother), hurting her, and not feeling good enough about himself that his behavior is often erratic and confusing. Sometimes he avoids, other times pushes her away, or gets jealous,  then at other times he is nice and even romantic.  Poor Libby can't keep up with him  All she knows is she misses him and wants more, but has no clue what holds him back. He confuses, irritates, and  hurts her, and makes her insecure. But in his head he is protecting her and their friendship, but his heart (and body) want her. 

"I'd rather have Libby in my life than risk losing her because of my feelings."

Oh my, at the fight or flight in this book. I think Luke might win the award for Kelly Elliott's most indecisive and conflicted man. The push and pull was agonizing at times. I wanted to shake sense into him...and into her too at times.

Luke was so much like his father, Jeff. He thinks he is being more noble and doing the right thing by protecting Libby from himself, but in the long run just hurts her more. He was strong, protective, stubborn, and struggling with what was best. He made mistakes and was not proud of his choices and it made him push her away. Sometimes he gave me whiplash. But it was obvious how much he loved her and how hard it was to stay away and how conflicted he was. But in trying not to lose their friendship, his behavior becomes a self fulfilling prophecy affecting their friendship anyway.

"Love has a way of melting our defenses, Luke. You just have to know when to let those defenses fall." (Jeff)

Libby was sweet, smart, and tried to be patient, but was understandably puzzled and upset due to his back and forth actions. But sometimes she did not help the situation either with her own choices.

I hated that the more I tried to push him out of my heart, the stronger he held onto it.

The miscommunication, fears, outside influences, jealousy, anger, longing, and near misses made for lots of angst and drama. They had a deep connection, feelings, and chemistry, but were crippled by fears. Much of the conflict came as they were trying to determine if they should fight for each other to take the next step or just move on and hope to maintain their friendship. There was a lot at stake.

This book also explores the fun and emotion of young love and lust that is finally set free along with the complications surrounding a new relationship. Of course there are some obstacles to overcome and some surprises. But all of it is needed for Luke and Libby to set a path for their lives and figure out what is most important to both of them.

This was another best friends to lovers story that begins with lots of drama, and progresses to be more of a growing up story. But while Alex and Will's story dealt more with love sustaining separation, in this one they had proximity, but a lot of insecurities, fears, and misunderstandings causing self imposed distance and holding them back. And there is a whole group of siblings and friends that are around for all of the good and bad times and can see the train wreck happening around them.

"Jesus, our little group, I swear. It's a good thing we ran out of boys for Meg and Taylor." (Luke)

These young characters have tight bonds with each other and their extended families. They all support each other and give each other a hard time. The kids are still young and learning about themselves and have fears and doubts that affect their choices But they would do anything for the others. But each character (this was especially true for Luke and Libby) has to dig deep and let go of some issues and figure out  if the potential rewards of changing their relationship are worth fighting for. And the other one has to be willing to put forth the effort to fight for happiness too, Only then will their relationship be saved and meet its full potential. Not all of the characters have got to that point yet.  There is still tension with Lauren and Colt. Grace still has her own issues and the one that got away. Maegan is struggling with some problems. Taylor seems to be the one without much going on right now(but there was a hint of what might happen with her in another series). But I loved  all of the friends and siblings together. They have such fun banter and close ties even when things get convoluted.

"Why do they have to f**k with our heads and hearts so much?" (Colt)
"They probably think they same thing about us." (Luke)

I adored the interactions with their parents especially Luke with his dad, Jeff, who have such similar personalities. And it's fun watching Josh deal with  his baby girl growing up. The dynamics with the parents' group of friends are still as fun as the next generation. The stories with the other younger characters continue to be teased as they all are still trying to discover who they are, who they want to be and who they want to be with. I am interested to seeing where all of their stories go.

"Love seems to take its own sweet time. It doesn't take a straight path. It twists and turns, but somehow it finds its way to you. You have to learn to listen to your heart, but that's harder to do than it sounds." (Libby)

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

Luke Johnson is a young version of his father. The mistakes he make are often mirror images of what the older generation went through during their youth.

Libby Hayes knows what she wants, but thinks she can’t have it and needs to move on. She is tired of the confusing back and forth she feels from Luke and endeavors to move on.

Both characters had moments where I wanted to smack them through my Kindle, or lock them in a room so they would have to talk. Luke and Libby and one of those couples that are just meant to be, so watching them struggle and hurt each other and themselves was difficult.

Without having read Without You, one would be lost at several points. Because the timelines overlap, there are references to events that aren’t explained, and time periods that are completely glossed over. I read some of those scenes feeling like I was missing something in Luke and Libby’s story, even though I have read Without You, and know what was being referenced.

There are some side characters that were introduced in Without You central to Luke and Libby’s story and central to stirring the pot of drama between them. Abigail, Karen, and Zach all play a big part in the decisions Luke and Libby make when dealing with each other. And frankly? I didn’t like any of them in Without You, and didn’t like them here either.

But ultimately, I loved how the story came together in the end, especially for as much trouble as they had in the beginning. These two really were meant to be, and their journey was a rocky, but necessary one.
This book continues the Love Wanted series and fits with the feeling that has been established in this spin-off series. Because Luke and Libby are rooming in the dorms with others from their childhood group, and ultimately move into a house with 4 others of their group, there is a lot of interaction with Will, Alex, Grace, Colt, and the others from Mason. As has also been established, there are hints about what other characters are up to in their own love lives without distracting too much from Luke and Libby’s story.

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

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Alex and Will have spent months keeping their relationship hidden from their families. Getting caught prematurely causes them to admit their love for each other to their parents. 

One decision made by Alex's father changes her entire world, shattering her plans for the future. Alex always thought Will was the very air she breathed, but life has a way of causing doubts for the one thing she thought was absolute…their love.

Can Will's promise to Alex be enough for her to hold on to or will she find herself moving down a different path that she never imagined for herself?

The  Love Wanted in Texas Series is  a spin off of the Wanted series. If you would like to read more about the parents and grandparents from the new series, check out the Wanted series where all of their love stories began. 

A Forever Love
 (Pre-quel 0.5)
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Kim and Rachel's 4.5  star reviews

 Wanted (#1)
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Saved (#2)
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Faithful (#3)
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Believe (novella#3.5) 
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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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