Monday, May 23, 2016

#ReviewTour - Reawakened Secrets (Reawakened #1) by Mari Denae

Title: Reawakened Secrets
Series: Reawakened #1
Author: Mari Denae
Genre: Romance
Published: October 26, 2015
Some secrets should never be kept…

Growing up in the servant’s quarters at Haven Hill, Claire Brown was a poor outcast living in a world of money and privilege. Her only solace was best friend, Alice Sinclair and secret desire, Jackson Montgomery. Rich and connected, they were perfect in every way and perfect for each other.

Still, Claire was foolish enough to fall in love with Jackson, and desperate enough to hide it. When Alice found out, there was a terrible accident that left her in a coma. Jackson disappeared, leaving New Haven without even saying good-bye.

Ten years later, Claire has managed to build a life without them. So when Jackson calls out of nowhere to say Alice is awake, Claire’s first thought is Thank God. Her second? I’m screwed. Lusting after Jackson destroyed her. It’s nothing compared to what she’s hiding now.

But nothing stays hidden forever.

Finally, I arrived at the hospital and made my way to the elevator. I tried to concentrate only on Alice - impossible. I struggled against the tears that welled in my eyes and wondered who was this pathetic person I’d become in less than thirty minutes? I’m a surgeon, for crying out loud... well, almost. I dealt with life-and-death situations all the time. Nevertheless, my heart continued to pound at the thought of seeing him again.

Now was not the time to lose my shit. The naïve, infatuated kid I used to be stopped existing a long time ago, thanks in no small part to Jackson Montgomery and my own recklessness. The elevator came to a smooth stop, and I stared at the number illuminated over the doors as they slid open. I took a long, deep breath and stepped out into the hallway.

My heart slowed to a steady beat when I realized she was alone. Disappointment, not the expected relief, flowed through me. My eyes filled again, and shame rooted me in place, much too far away from the person I had rushed to see. Alice’s fragile frame lay unnaturally still in the oversized hospital bed. It was really her. I soaked in the beauty of her face. Waves of silvery blonde hair fanned her pillow. Her delicate cheekbones were more prominent in the sunken cheeks. The slight bow of her lips curved into a smile while she slept. Thick brown lashes framed her eyelids in stark contrast to her pale, translucent skin. She looked very much the same, just a frailer version of the girl I used to know.

Alice, my savior, my lifeline, was finally home. I couldn’t remember a time before she had been a part of my life. Her mother had died just before her second birthday, so my mom became more or less a surrogate to her as the nanny. We lived on her family’s estate grounds in the staff quarters of Haven Hill. Alice and I had spent most of our time together.

Unable to think of one without the other, my mind drifted to Jackson. I must have been four years old the first time he came to visit Alice. We were playing hide-and-seek in the Haven Hill rose garden. I couldn’t take my eyes off him. I had never seen anyone so beautiful. Well, maybe except for Alice.

“Who’s that?” I had whispered to Alice as my mother led him to us. I was afraid to voice my curiosity too loudly.

“Oh, that’s just Jackson,” she replied. “I’m gonna marry him one day.” She smiled.

Me too, I thought to myself, looking guiltily toward my best friend. Even then, I had known this was a thought I should not share with Alice. No matter how good a friend she was, and despite the fact that we told each other everything, something about how Jackson Montgomery made me feel was private. Without warning, Alice’s eyes fluttered open. My stomach lurched viciously, but I was frozen in place.

I am a married mother of three and publishing my first novel is a dream come true. As the nerd that went to bed with a flashlight to read the books I swiped from my mom’s room, I have always been an avid book lover. My favorites are hot, alpha male heroes (think Kristen Ashley), suspenseful, romantic thrillers (think Sandra Brown) and poignant, sweet love stories (think Abbi Glines or Colleen Hoover). My plan was always to be a writer of some sort, but somehow real life responsibilities got in the way. Now, I am an accountant with a night time writing obsession.

One Saturday afternoon, I took my girls to see the latest teenage movie. Four days later, I had read all four Twilight books. I was inspired by the innocent romance and 'Edward Cullen' (don't judge). Once I found my way to Fifty Shades of Grey, I was a complete goner. All my spare time was spent reading, writing or blogging. After version one million, five hundred and fifty five of my series Reawakened, I'm finally ready to share it and hope that someone enjoys reading the story as much as I have enjoyed writing it. This one's for my mother. I hope she's looking down proud because I finally finished what I started.


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