Monday, January 28, 2013

'Racing to Love: Jesse's Soul' Book Tour & Review

Contemporary Romance
Title: Jesse's Soul ( Book 2 in Racing to Love Series)
Author: Amy Gregory
Date Published: 1/03/2013

Jesse Frost lived the life most men would have killed for. Fast bikes, fame, money and looks—from the outside looking in he had all, but the combination nearly broke him. He hadn’t thought much about any of those things throughout his career, he was just an easy-going guy from a speck of a town in Texas that had always worked hard for everything he had gotten in life. He’d been the shy guy in school, so when the prom queen found him years later, he thought he had finally made it, winning her affection was the crown jewel. Her mirage however, left him empty and certain there was no one that wanted him just for the man inside.

Emery Kincaid has a last name that is revered in their world. A woman in a man’s world and succeeding, Irish through and through, she has the temper and sass to boot and a reputation that precedes her. She has remained strong because she’s had no other choice. The pain she masks runs deep and hiding it is the only way she can survive.

Thrown together because of circumstance and forced to be in each other’s space day in and day out, sparks start to fly—from chemistry and the brakes she tries desperately to throw on. Without a doubt in his mind, Jesse thinks he’s found her, but the girl that stole his heart has a stubborn streak a country mile wide.

In reality, what Jesse doesn’t know could break his heart. Hiding her true feelings for him is the only way for Emery to protect him and in turn—herself because her secret, her pain is just too big. She barely made it out the first time, if she let Jesse in, only to have him walk away…well, that’s a risk her heart can’t take.
Read an excerpt:

Jesse had always had a sixth sense when it came to bad news. Anxiety would send a rush of heat from head to toe and his stomach would drop immediately. When he was little, he knew from the moment he hit the bus stop when his ass was in trouble for something. Plus, Jesse knew his manager and friend well enough to know the signals. Gripping the back of his neck like he was right now wasn’t a good sign. Their teasing was done and Reid was serious. Jesse had a feeling he wasn’t going to like what he was about to hear, and he had no doubt in his mind it was regarding Emery.

“Listen, Jess, I’ve always tried to be a man who looks at life like everything happens for a reason. I know it’s affected you with Shawn leaving, but I can’t say I’m all that upset about it. I needed her here. I need her here with me so I can watch over her. And she’s good too, huh?”

He had been right as rain. It was what Reid wasn’t saying that scared the hell out him. Sure, she was a mechanic and this could be a natural place for her to be as any, but she was a grown woman. Reid’s need to watch over her sent a shiver up Jesse’s spine.

“I’ll admit it, she is the best, like you said. I just wish she’d let me in.”

“I know, son.” Reid smiled. “I’ve seen the way you look at her. Give it time, it’ll—“

Cutting their conversation off, Emery came out in just a pair of straight-legged Levi’s and a simple white t-shirt. Still, Jesse’s jaw dropped open. He didn’t mean to stare so openly, especially in front of her father. There was just no way to help it. His brain was stuck on one thing—making sure he didn’t look like an idiot wasn’t it.

She’d been in her uniform all day, and the tight jeans and low-cut v-neck showed off her curves where the boxy polyester team shirt and shorts did nothing to flatter her. The messy bun she’d been wearing was gone. Instead her hair reached her shoulders in loose waves and curls that could only be natural. She had on very little makeup, from what he could tell, maybe just some mascara, but it made her big green eyes pop. She had added lip gloss, but that was it. Simple, not overdone. A classic beauty without even trying.

“Wow, Em. You look really pretty.”

She barely grinned, hiding it under the guise of sleepiness. But she couldn’t control the blushing. Whether it was because of the compliment or because it was said in front of her father, he couldn’t tell. She rolled her eyes—something Jesse was getting used to. An endearing part of her that tugged at his heart.

“Sorry, I didn’t pack anything but jeans and t-shirts. I had no intentions of going someplace where I’d need anything but my team shirts or something like this.” She motioned down at her attire.

“I think you look great. And you’ve got some color back in your face.”

She cocked her head to the side. Jesse read the silent warning not to start on her, particularly in front of her dad. He just didn’t care. That part of him that needed to protect her was too strong, too big to ignore, especially after the slip her father just let him in on. Reid may have not intended for it to happen, but after their conversation a moment before, albeit brief, Jesse now had confirmation she had a problem. He was going to help. Emery probably wouldn’t agree, but then again, he wasn’t asking.

There had been an instant attraction upon their introduction—chemical, hormonal, pheromones, whatever science wanted to break it down to. Jesse knew it wasn’t just lust and the fact he hadn’t had sex in way too many months. It wasn’t his d**k, as much as it was his heart, that had taken the lead in this thing between them and he could do nothing but follow.

“What? I’ve been worried, sue me.”

“I just might. You ready?”

She grabbed her fleece-lined jean jacket off the chair. “What?” she questioned as she glanced back over at him.

A true skeptic. Her curled lip and arched eyebrow made it harder than hell not to smile, but Jesse held it in the best he could.

He was playing with fire, but God she was beautiful. The chase she was sending him on was fueling the flame, making her all the more enticing.

With his tongue in his cheek, he answered, “Nothing.”

**My thoughts**

This is the second book in the Racing to Love series and the second one that I have read. I think I liked this one better than the first one. Emery was more relatable. Her relationship with Jesse slowly builds up and felt more natural to me. I admire her feisty spirit and his reaction to it. I will admit that him calling her "honey" all the time kind of got to me, particularly so early in their relationship.

Emery has a very painful secret. Despite her tough exterior, she is actually hurting inside, both physically, mentally, and emotionally. Jesse is a special man if he can handle her past, and what that past means for her future.

Favorite characters from the first book, Carter's Treasure, are in this one. Molly quickly becomes one of Emery's best friends. Jesse relies on Molly and his other friends to help him win Emery over. Even though this is the second book, though, it can stand alone and be enjoyed for its own merit.

I think I would enjoy reading another installment in this series, should one be written!

Author Bio
Amy Gregory leads an incredibly active lifestyle in Kansas City with her husband and their three fantastic kids who keep them running in three very different directions.  When she’s not rushing her oldest daughter to tumbling, her youngest daughter to music lessons, or sitting track-side watching her son practice motocross, she’s taking the few minutes in between to scribble the next pages in her Racing to Love series. 

When asked, “When do you have time to write?” Amy Gregory giggles.  “In bits and pieces,” she says.  

Amy is known for her snarky, off the cuff sense of humor, which you’ll find shining through in the characters she’s created.  Her debut novel, Racing to Love, Carter’s Treasure, is set for release June 7, 2012.

I’ve spent my whole life trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up, and now I’ve finally found it. – Amy Gregory 

Publisher Author Page
Twitter - @AmyGregory548

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