Blog Tour: Within Temptation by Tanya Holmes, Review + Excerpt, Teasers + Giveaway!


Release Date: May 9, 2014
Within Temptation
by Tanya Holmes
Book 1 of Sons of Temptation

5 stars

I couldn't help but gush over this book on FB and Twitter. I wanted to share to everyone what I thought as I was reading the book because I just knew this was something really good! 

The very first sentence of WITHIN TEMPTATION's blurb was what captured my attention. "Twelve years after her mother's murder, Shannon Bradford fears she may have helped convict an innocent man."Then it ends with a quote from the book: "MEMORIES flooded my mind, of the quiet riot he was, of the secret crush I'd had on him, and the extraordinary friendship we'd shared so many years ago. As fast as those images came, others replaced them. I was thrust back to the crime scene, back to Mother's corpse and the shirtless eighteen-year-old roaring obscenities while Sheriff Gray and a deputy dragged him away in handcuffs."

Now, who the heck wouldn't be intrigued with this book? 

Genius synopsis aside, WITHIN TEMPTATION did meet my expectations! I want to shake Tanya Holmes' hand because of her equally genius writing. She gives us the details of what happened in the past in bits and pieces so as not to overwhelm or resort to a cheesy "recollection"scene. Each revelation of the past happens at just the right moment in the story. It gives the "OMG!"factor that kept me literally at the edge of me seat from start to finish. There was one revelation in particular that gave me chills. It made me gasp out loud and go to Twitter because I couldn't contain my excitement, lol! 

When there was a downtime in the mystery, the romance took center stage. It wasn't a recipe romance though, with the heroine getting in trouble and being in danger, then the hero turns up to protect her, which is commonly the plot in romantic mysteries. No, in this story we get a very strong and determined heroine and a very forgiving hero who impressed the heck out of me.

Shannon Bradford is basically a model citizen in Temptation. Years after the tragedy that made her family the talk of the town (more so than usual, seeing as they are a wealthy and established name in the community), she became a successful real estate agent. Her family is well-connected in business and politics. She is also affianced to a man twice her age.

Trace Dawson is the man whom fate dealt with very unfairly. The story begins with his release for parole, having spent 12 years in prison. Known as the Butcher Boy of Temptation, he couldn't get a break from the universe. Yes, he got out on parole, but he couldn't get a start on life with the entire town ostracizing and practically abusing him. People in power beat him up, random cab drivers beat him up, the town boycotts decent people who try to help him have a fresh start… UGH. I felt so angry for his behalf, honestly I thought it a miracle that he just didn't just throw the towel in, live up to his negative image and take revenge on the people who hurt him and his family.  

Trace is just wonderful. He taught dance classes, studied and got a diploma while in prison. He was open-minded to acknowledge that Shannon was just a kid twelve years ago. Shannon is awesome in that she relentlessly pursued the truth behind her mother's death. She knew she might have been wrong back then, and she wanted to get justice not just for her mom but also for Trace.  

These two have wonderful chemistry, and they just couldn't avoid each other. I was greatly impressed that Trace was able to forgive Shannon after everything that happened between them. It also helped that Shannon is a no-bullshit kind of person. She's very persistent and brave.  She's trying to uncover the identity of a murderer! I also liked how Tanya Holmes handled the issue of her fiancĂ©. It was something I expected, to be honest, and I'm glad there wasn't too much drama on that score.

There's a teaser of a newspaper clipping in this post, but if you want zero spoilers then don't read it! 

With the combination of romance and mystery, WITHIN TEMPTATION was definitely a refreshing read. My inner Nancy Drew was roused even as I enjoyed the romantic portions of the story. There were even funny parts, which I didn't expect because I thought this would be a full-fledged, serious, mystery-romance. 

Tanya Holmes is definitely an author to keep an eye out for!  As early as now, I am already looking forward to the next book in this series! **excited dance** Temptation's Edge will be releases next year (next year?!!) and it's going to be about Colt, Trace's brother. I already said earlier that his family was unfairly treated by the universe. Well, Colt received one of the heaviest blows. **deep, sad sigh** all three of them actually, Tracemore (love this name), Beverly and Coltrane. WITHIN TEMPTATION has a sneek preview for TEMPTATION'S EDGE, and I absolutely loved that little bit of the book. I have a feeling Colt's story is going to be much bigger! 

So, do read this book! I highly recommend it! :) Tanya Holmes has officially been included in my will-automatically-read list!


Synopsis:

Category: Romantic Mystery/Romantic Suspense. This is not erotica or romantica. This is a romance centered around a murder mystery. 

Heat Factor: 3 out of 5 -- The sexual tension is high, and the burn is slow. Sex is character-driven, rather than plot-driven.

Love, betrayal and murder in a small town.

Twelve years after her mother's murder, Shannon Bradford fears she may have helped convict an innocent man. Even worse, her prominent family may have had something to do with it. Desperate for answers, she seeks help from the one person least likely to give it. Her best friend and childhood crush, Trace Dawson. The man she sent to prison. 

Serving hard time for murder has left Trace angry and bitter. As far as he's concerned, digging into the past won't replace the years he's lost or erase the hell he's lived. Now that he's free, Shannon Bradford tops his list of bad memories. But he never counted on falling in love. 

Set in a sleepy little town during the dead of winter, this award-winning romance novel is a tale of one woman's quest for truth and a man's struggle to forgive….

"MEMORIES flooded my mind, of the quiet riot he was, of the secret crush I’d had on him, and the extraordinary friendship we’d shared so many years ago. As fast as those images came, others replaced them. I was thrust back to the crime scene, back to Mother’s corpse and the shirtless eighteen-year-old roaring obscenities while Sheriff Gray and a deputy dragged him away in handcuffs." -- Shannon 

This story is the first in a trilogy of standalone contemporary romance novels in the "Sons of Temptation" series.

          No more than two minutes could have passed, two of the most terrifying minutes I’d ever had. The left side of my face was numb with cold. My lips and hands ached too. I couldn’t seem to make anything move.
          The details came in pieces. How I’d almost been run over. How a stranger shoved me to safety just before a Jeep playing target practice could send me flying. 
          Then as if someone had flipped a switch, sensory explosions filled the void. Horns blared. Somebody screamed. A baby was crying. And the wind howled while sounds burst forth in a crush of voices.
          "I swear the brakes locked!"a teenage boy yelled. "She ain’t dead, is she? Oh, jeez. Daddy’s gonna kill me!"
          "Don’t just stand there. Call 911!"a girl shrieked.
          A cell phone chimed and someone started pressing numbers. 
          Next, an old man with a rough-and-ready voice said, "Pushed her out the way just in time. Another second and—"
          "Is she dead or not?"the teenager demanded again.
          While this was going on, I sat up, taking my time to ensure I was in one piece. Except for a sore hip, a bump on the head, and a scraped knee, I was fine. A woman standing nearby helped me, and as I got to my feet, realization dawned. 
          Trace Dawson had tried to save me.
          I fought to see past the crowd into the parking lot, spotting him instantly. He’d just struggled to his feet and was staring right at me, his chin dripping blood. The people scurrying about and the cars streaming through the slush faded. Nothing but the two of us existed. 
          Memories flooded my mind, of the quiet riot he was, of the secret crush I’d had on him, and the extraordinary friendship we’d shared so many years ago. As fast as those images came, others replaced them. 
          I was thrust back to the crime scene, back to Mother’s corpse and the shirtless eighteen-year-old roaring obscenities while Sheriff Gray and a deputy dragged him away in handcuffs. 
          Trace Dawson the man glared at me now, and his eyes were hard and accusing, eyes brimming with fire and ice. A chill wind rumbled past him, but he stood as still as a statue. Only his eyes moved while he looked me up and down with agonizing thoroughness. The rage. The pain. It was all there. 
          "Trace?"I whispered.
          In chilling silence, he walked away without so much as a glance over his shoulder. 

For this blog tour, there is a MASSIVE giveaway with 3 Grand Prizes!

Winner 1 (U.S. ONLY)
Signed copy of Within Temptation by Tanya Holmes
Within Temptation rack card, magnet & keychain  
Sizzling Pages Reviews (Courtesy of Ang) Winners choice of 1 ebook @ 3.99 or less
Playing For Keeps by Jamie Denton, paperback
The Matchmaker by Jamie Denton, paperback
Flirting With Chaos by Kenya Wright, e-book
Nailed by Amie Stuart e-book
Dreaming Silas by Nina Ceves, e-book

Winner 2  (U.S. ONLY) 
Signed copy of Within Temptation by Tanya Holmes
Within Temptation rack card, magnet & keychain  
J.A.Dennam, e-book, Winner picks one book in her Captive Series (Truth And Humility, Between Faith And Fear, or Chrystal Mac)
Sizzling Pages Reviews (Courtesy of Ang) Winners choice of 1 ebook @ 3.99 or less
The Matchmaker, by Jamie Denton, paperback
Complicated By You by Kenya Wright e-book
Reason To Breathe and Barely Breathing by Rebecca Donovan signed paperbacks, courtesy of Ellen from The Book Bellas 
Catch Me by Katherine Grant, e-book

Winner 3 (Open To International Entrants)
Within Temptation by Tanya Holmes e-book
Sick Day by Morgan Parker, ebook, 
A Test Of Love by Kenya Wright, ebook
Second Chances by PJ Fiala, ebook
30 Days by K. Larsen, e-book 
The Blue Amaryllis by Sonia De Leon, e-book, 
Perfect Match by Kelly Arlia, e-book,
For Nicky by A.D. Ellis, e-book,
Forever Young by Sherry Sirna, e-book, 
Kelsey's Korner Blog, signed mixed bag of swag  


Tanya Holmes is a former Romance Writers of America Golden Heart finalist, a recipient of the Maggie Award, the MICA Award, as well as Overall Winner of the Sandy Haddad Award and a two-time finalist and one-time winner of The Emily (Best of the Best). She's happily married with children and loves reading, writing and a good cup of coffee---but not necessarily in that order. Her debut novel, Within Temptation is due out on May 12, 2014.


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