Blog Tour, Review & Giveaway: Two of Hearts: Christina Lee

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Two Of Hearts
Christina Lee
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Expected May 5, 2015

A gripping standalone adult contemporary romance about finding yourself while taking a second chance at your first love…

Dakota Nakos was always the resilient, strong-willed achiever. But when her father dies and she’s entrusted with the family’s casino, she feels vulnerable, scared, and more than a little emotional —not exactly the best time to see an old lover she’s never really gotten over.

Dakota once meant the world to Shane Garrity. Then suddenly he left town to train as a U.S. Marshal, and their love for each other crashed into a memory. Now he’s come home for her father’s funeral, and one look at the girl he left behind stirs up both memories and regrets, and reignites a fire he feared he’d lost forever.

Dakota may be the same driven girl she always was, but she’s also changed in ways neither could have anticipated. She’s not just a young woman searching for own identity in the Native American community in which she was raised, but one questioning her new life outside her father’s shadow. Above all she wonders if Shane can push past her weakened defenses to rekindle what they once had, or whether the intense blaze between them will ultimately reduce her heart to ashes.

Note from the author: 

TWO OF HEARTS is an ADULT CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE and it is NOT part of my New Adult Between Breaths series. 

Yes, the two main characters--Dakota and Shane--can be found in WHISPER TO ME, but this is not considered a spin-off series. It's just Dakota and Shane all grown up. They are in their late twenties, are facing life-altering dilemmas, and have a second chance at love.

I loved writing this book and I truly hope you enjoy reading it. 

Hope that helps. xxxooo

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Dakota Nakos has a lot going on in her life. Her father’s death, taking over the operations at the casino, and Shane’s return to town.

Shane Garrity left for Marshall training and never returned. Thinking he and Dakota were over, there was little to draw him back home except for short visits here and there. Sensing a strange undercurrent at Mr. Nakos’s funeral, Shane takes a much needed leave of absence to stay and get to the bottom of what is troubling the community he once called home.

Tension and chemistry simmer under the surface between Dakota and Shane. Their college breakup was abrupt, and neither have settled with the loss. Shane’s return kicks up mixed feelings and memories for both.

And tension is running high through the community as well. Worries about traditions, heritage, and legacy leave Dakota and her mother in the middle of a battle to carry out the wishes spelled out by their father and husband despite the community's fear. Dakota is under extra pressure and scrutiny because of her mixed heritage (and her mother’s lack of tribal membership) and she is hesitant to add more fuel to the fire by openly dating a non-tribe member as well.

For all the tension between them, these two are so closed off (both in the past and the present) that it was often difficult to really empathize with them. They not only withhold their feelings from each other, but they deny them to themselves as well.

I generally finish one of Christina Lee’s books feeling like it was a nice relaxation from heavier stories. This standalone takes what seemed like a similar theme, but adds in tribal politics to step up the tension and weight of the story. With so much focus on the casino and the community, there is an element of the story that I hadn’t been expecting and found myself really enjoying.
This is so full of tension, suspense, and a second chance for two people who never moved past their initial romance. Using Native American issues as the backdrop of a romance isn’t something I’ve read before, but it spoke to the social studies teacher in me, and I loved its addition.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review. 
She closed her eyes on a sharp breath, looking soft and vulnerable.

Because I couldn’t help myself, my fingers left her chair and glided up her arms to her neck. Her breaths released from her lips in short pants and I considered touching my mouth to hers.

Would she let me? Would she want me to?

“Yes,” she whispered, the heat of her breaths warming the tiny sliver of air still lingering between us. “But that’s in the past. We had our chance and I . . . I got over you. So let’s leave it there.”

My stomach completely flipped over. “You got over me?”

I studied her lips edge to edge, and they trembled in response. She was so not over me.

I didn’t know what the hell was driving me. I just knew I didn’t like hearing those words. Not one damn bit.

“You got over me?” I growled as my fingers gripped the nape of her neck.

My lips brushed the line of her jaw and she shivered.

“Shane, don’t. Please,” she mumbled, her hands at my chest. “You’ll just leave again and I can’t . . . I can’t . . .”

She sounded so helpless and sad. For the first time she was allowing me to see exactly what she might have been feeling, might’ve gone through five years ago. She sounded wrecked—as wrecked as I had been. My lips trailed to her ear. “Angel.”
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Christina Lee 

Mother, wife, reader, dreamer. Christina lives in the Midwest with her husband and son--her two favorite guys. She's addicted to lip gloss and salted caramel everything. She believes in true love and kissing, so writing romance novels has become a dream job. 

Author of the Between Breaths series from Penguin. ALL OF YOU, BEFORE YOU BREAK and WHISPER TO ME available now, PROMISE ME THIS on October 7th, 2014. 

Also the creator of Tags-n-Stones (dot com) jewelry.
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