Blog Tour: Rushing In: Lexi Ryan

Lexi Ryan
Expected August 30, 2016

The favor seemed simple: Keep my new stepsister out of trouble for one summer. 

I’ve never met Grace Lee, but Mom tells me she’s a quiet and artsy college student with a troubled past. When I agreed to let her stay with me, I thought it was no big deal. I expected to share my apartment with a sullen girl who’d spend hours locked in her room.

I didn’t expect a walking fantasy determined to make me lose my cool.

I didn’t expect a woman with secrets so dark, so deep, I’d throw away everything if it would save her from the past.

Rushing in to do this favor is turning my life upside down—and not just because Grace needs her ass spanked. Keep her out of trouble? Grace is the trouble. And I want in. 

RUSHING IN is a standalone novel and the second in The Blackhawk Boys series.

Chris Montgomery is the Blackhawks centered, always-in-control quarterback. He's known as the good guy, the leader, and seems to be kind of a Prince Charming. He loves his Mom and supports his friends and team. He tries to make good choices, and feels guilty if he doesn't.

Grace Lee is not proud of her past and often feels like a failure. She's made poor choices that led to a bad reputation and consequences. She feels unworthy of a good guy, and that fact has been reinforced by events in her past.

Now they are becoming step-siblings and room mates for the summer. Chris is supposed to keep her out of trouble, but is unsure of what all that will entail.  Grace is the one girl who gets under his skin and makes him lose control. However, she is guarded, wary, and tries to keep her past secrets locked up. She does not want to be associated with the girl she used to be.  But eventually they will have to face full disclosure and how others react to the negative things sometimes can overshadow all the good. She's got serious defense mechanisms due to her fears and insecurities that also add more tension and drama.

All of the characters from Spinning Out are back with some ongoing stories--Arrow, Mia, Mason, Bailey, Keegan, Olivia, and Sebastian. And Grace's bestie, Willow, is introduced. I really liked Chris. He was a sweet, caring, and protective guy, but his past did also affect how he reacted to certain situations. He is suddenly under a lot of stress not only due to Grace, but also due to some possible life changing issues surrounding him. Sometimes Grace's self doubt and self sacrificing behavior was hard to take, but considering all she has been though it was understandable. But sometimes the secrets and omissions instilled doubts that could easily be manipulated and cause misinterpretations. It reinforced the importance of having faith and believing in yourself and those you care about.

It was told in dual points of view that was really important due to the secrets and hidden feelings. This was angsty and emotional, but also had some humor and good sense of friendship and camaraderie. It was not quite as dark and mysterious as the first one, but did have a few situations that kept you wondering for a while and a few twists. I am looking forward to more with these characters. Sebastian is supposed to be next in Going Under and I think I know a possible heroine for him. But I really want to see more of Mason, Bailey, and Keegan too.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review. 
Grace Lee has made mistakes. She is impulsive and a free-spirit, struggling to find her place and fit in. 
Chris Montgomery is always in control. Keeping his cool, leading his team, and making good decisions are all things he counts on. But Grace spins him out of control. She loosens up his tightly held reins and sends him spinning.

When Grace’s father asks Chris to let her stay for the summer, Chris thinks it's a great opportunity to get to know his new stepsister. He didn’t plan for her presence to stir up his summer. And she doesn’t plan to let him know who she was when they first met.

These two have so many secrets between them. Grace is determined that Chris not know her past, even though the secret is a tenuous one at best. They challenge each other and if they didn’t have the new label of stepsiblings between them, they might have experimented long before they did.

This story is told in alternating perspectives. I love being able to see inside both main characters heads, especially with the secrets and side conflicts that are going on. Knowing what both characters are thinking helped me enjoy several tropes that would sometimes frustrate me.

Part of what I really liked was the resolution with the character who could be considered the “villain” in this situation. She isn’t likeable at all. But something about Grace’s treatment of her struck me as perfect. Grace didn’t fully villainize this character, as she could have and probably had every right to do. But Grace’s insight gave her the ability to let some things go that would have been sticking points for another woman. 

The ending wrapped up fairly quickly, and I would have loved to see more of them happy and together, but I love the gestures that happened at the end to fix the wrongs throughout the book. This was a fun addition to the Blackhawk Boys series and introduced a couple situations that would make for interesting stories. Sebastian is the next book though, and I look forward to more from this group of college boys. 
I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Rushing In Excerpt © 2016 by Lexi Ryan

Chris arches a brow and skims his gaze over my body—correction, my dress and Chucks. “You’re gonna go hiking in that?”

I shrug. “It’s not like it’s full-length and gonna get tangled around my legs or anything.”

His gaze drifts down my body again, this time landing on the thigh visible beneath the hem of my dress. “It’s certainly not,” he mumbles, and the way he says it has my cheeks burning and me reaching for my water.

So damn thirsty.

We finish packing up our lunch together, and after we put the cooler back in the car, I grab the park pamphlet out of the front seat. “Come on,” I say, nodding in the direction of the outlook. “It’s my turn to be in charge.”

The park is beautiful, but as soon as we enter the woods and I see the overlook, my breath catches. From here, we have a view of the ravine below and the creek rushing through the bottom. Mossy rock faces make up the ravine walls, and trees protrude from them. It’s possibly the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.

I head past the overlook and take the stairs down into the ravine. It’s shady back here and feels ten degrees cooler than our picnic table in the sun.

At the bottom of the stairs, the trail splits in three directions, and when I follow the sign with the three, Chris puts his hand on my arm. “Hey, this one has ladders.”

I arch a brow and drop my gaze to my shoes. “I can handle it.”

Something passes over his face I don’t understand, and then he sighs and nods. “Okay, but I’m climbing the ladders behind you. If any creep is going to be looking up your dress today, it’s gonna be me.”

My cheeks heat, and my brain instantly diagrams his words and starts analyzing the nuance of each. Just comedy or more? Stupid brain. “Fair enough.”

He mutters something that sounds like “Dreams really do come true,” but I can’t be sure.

The trail leads down into the ravine and along the creek bed. It’s so much cooler down here, and I love the sound of the creek rock crunching under my feet as we walk along.

By the time we come upon the first ladder, there’s no one else around.

“Ladies first,” he says, gesturing toward the ladder.

“Pervert,” I mutter, but I move forward and begin my climb. The rungs are coated in mud, and when I’m halfway up, one foot slips and suddenly Chris’s hands are there, holding me steady, his hands strong and warm against the backs of my legs.

My breath catches, and I force myself to breathe and find my footing. The feel of his hands against my skin causes something to swirl hot and tight low in my belly.

“Are you okay?” he asks, his voice as thick as the forest beyond the trail.

I’m not okay. I’m afraid to move. Afraid not to move. Trapped by a fear that has nothing to do with a slippery ladder and everything to do with falling.

Then, slowly, his thumbs begin to slide over my skin. His hands inch up my thighs until his fingertips skim the bottom edge of my underwear and slip under to trace the bottom curve of my ass.

I cannot breathe.

I force myself to turn my head and look down at him. His jaw is set tight, a picture of self-control, but when his eyes meet mine, his face relaxes and he shoots me a boyish grin. I attempt my best poker face. “Are you copping a feel, Christopher Montgomery?”

His grin goes wide, putting his dimples on full display. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he says, his Southern accent drawing out his words. “I’m just trying to perform a necessary rescue mission.”

“Do I look like I need rescuing?” I ask. Under the lace edge of my panties, his thumb strokes again, a long, slow motion that makes me want to close my eyes and moan. I resist and hold his gaze.

“Who said you’re the one I’m rescuing? Maybe I’m trying to save myself.” He drops his hands and grabs a hold of the sides of the ladder, then he climbs up behind me so his body is pressed against mine, my back to his front. His mouth hovers above my ear, his breath hot and uneven. “Because I swear if I have to go much longer without touching you, I’m going to implode.”

His lips skim my earlobe, and my eyes float closed. My brain has no room for sight when it’s overloaded with sensations. His lips on my ear. His hard chest against my back. His breath against my neck. “I need to know, Grace.”

I open my eyes and swallow hard. I don’t want to talk. Not right now. I’m too afraid I’ll ruin this moment with my choppy stutter. “What?”

“I need to know . . .” He leans his forehead against my shoulder, and I watch his knuckles turn white as he tightens his grip on the side of the ladder.

On the ground beneath us, someone clears his throat. “You two heading up or down?”

Chris mutters a curse and takes a step down so I have the freedom to move. I scramble up the ladder with him behind me. When we reach the top, I can’t look at him.

“Sorry about that,” he calls to the people below, then he grabs my wrist and pulls me off to the right toward a rocky alcove just off the trail. A wooden sign tells me this is “The Devil’s Ice Box,” and beyond the sign, a thin waterfall drizzles into a pool of crystal-clear water. Chris leads the way, following the rocky edge around to the backside of this semi-secluded space and stopping by the waterfall. I pass him, feigning interest in the rocks and water so I don’t have to meet his eyes. There’s a cavern behind the waterfall, a haven from the falling water.“I have to know,” Chris says, his words nearly drowned out by the falling water. “Is it just me? Everything I feel when you’re close to me? Tell me you feel it too.”
THE BLACKHAWK BOYS, an edgy, sexy sports romance series from 
New York Times bestseller Lexi Ryan. 

Football. Secrets. Lies. Passion. These boys don’t play fair. 

Which Blackhawk Boy will steal your heart?

Book 1 - SPINNING OUT -  (Arrow's story)
Book 2 - RUSHING IN - (Christopher's story)
Book 3 - GOING UNDER - Coming December 2016 (Sebastian's story)

Spinning Out (The Blackhawk Boys #1)
Add to Goodreads
Buy Amazon/B&N/iTunes/Kobo
Our 4.5 star reviews

Once, the only thing that mattered to me was football—training, playing, and earning my place on the best team at every level. I had it all, and I threw it away with a semester of drugs, alcohol, and pissing off anyone who tried to stop me. Now I’m suspended from the team, on house arrest, and forced to spend a semester at home to get my shit together. The cherry on my fuckup sundae? Sleeping in the room next to mine is my best friend’s girl, Mia Mendez—the only woman I’ve ever loved and a reminder of everything I regret.

I’m not sure if having Mia so close will be heaven or hell. She’s off-limits—and not just because she’s working for my dad. Her heart belongs to someone else. But since the accident that killed her brother and changed everything, she walks around like a zombie, shutting out her friends and ignoring her dreams. We’re both broken, numb, and stuck in limbo.

Until I break my own rules and touch her. 

Until she saves me from my nightmares by climbing into my bed. 

Until the only thing I want more than having Mia for myself is to protect her from the truth. 

I can’t rewrite the past, but I refuse to leave her heart in the hands of fate. For this girl, I’d climb into the sky and rearrange the stars.

New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance novelist Lexi Ryan is a former college English professor turned full­time writer. She lives in rural Indiana with her husband and two children. When not writing, she can be found enjoying yoga, reading copiously, hanging out with her family, and thanking her lucky stars.

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