Author Lauren Grimley of the Alex Crocker series has created and is sponsoring
Romance For A Reason
Wishing to help contribute to two exceptional charities very close to her heart, Lauren's decided to forward all the proceeds from her latest book, Unbridled, which is a collection of short stories from the Alex Crocker series, to BCRF and V-Day. This fascinating book takes a romantic look into the lives of the strong and resilient females of the Rectinatti coven and is a must-read for this sensational series.
Check out my Romance For A Reason Page for a more in depth look at these amazing charities and what you can do to help. While you're there, don't forget to enter the GIVEAWAY for two chances to win a spectacular swag pack from Lauren!
Series: Alex Crocker
Series Info: A Collection of Short Stories
Author: Lauren Grimley
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: October 1, 2013
Pages: Aprox. 128
Tour Sponsored by:
Book Blurb:“Think Law and Order SUV meets The Breakfast Club” was Ellie’s trite explanation of what Alex had been dragged into. Add a few fangs, Fifty Shades of Oversharing, and a dash of Dr. Phil, and she was in for quite a Thursday night.
Alex couldn’t deny she had become the pint-sized poster child for PTSD lately, but she didn’t exactly expect to find a support group for teachers turned vampire chew toys in Bristol, MA. Listening to the tales of the four other females gathered to help her heal, however, she accepts that perhaps both the worst and the best of life can blossom from the unexpected.
Unbridled is a novella-length collection of four connected stories focusing on the unlikely friendships and less likely lovers of the female characters from the Alex Crocker series.
Author's Note: Proceeds from the sale of these stories are being donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and V-Day. See the Romance for a Reason page for more information.
Reviewers Note: I received this eARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.
A Bit of Woman Power Mixed with A Bit of Fun and A Lot of Understanding! A Perfect Collection of Stories for A Fantastic Series!
A revisit with all the essential characters from the Alex Crocker series as they self help their way into a girls gab session. How fun is that!
This collection of short stories are pulled together with an intervention group, which the females of the coven have coined the Special Victims Unit. They’ve decided to hold a special meeting for Alex, who is still struggling to find a balance in her new life with her domineering housemates and her growing powers. Being the only human living with a house of vampires who have their own set of rules and laws to live by has been a learning experience for Alex and its not been an easy transition for any of them. Not to mention the traumas Alex has experienced since this new life was shown and thrust upon her.
So the females have come together in an attempt to get her to talk her feelings out about her encounters with their enemy clan, the Vengatti. Alex, strong and resilient as she is, doesn't want to be perceived as weak in front of her formidable new family, so she talks the women into helping her understand her housemates better and how they came to be paired.
The Short Stories...
The first tale is of Sarah and Darina’s coming together in Strength and Dignity. Being promised to Darian at a young age didn’t really prepare Sarah and Darian for their mating. As Darian nears maturity, Sarah goes to live at the Regan stronghold where she will prepare to become Darina’s lifemate. But his pompous, entitled attitude sets things off on a rocky start and they must both learn compromise in order to fulfill their duties to the coven as well as honor their union and feelings for one another.
I loved getting this look into their history. I became intrigued by their relationship when we first met them in Unforeseen and it was fun getting a look at who they were before they became leaders. Sarah is an outspoken force of nature with expectations of respect and equality in a time when these things are rare for a woman, especially in the vampire world. I love strong female characters who can go head to head with their male partners and Sarah definitely fits that bill.
The second story, Rules and Recollections, is Vivian and Sage’s story of how they met and started their essence sharing. It was definitely a challenging start for the both of them. Vivian and her younger sister Elana had just declared their independence and after leaving the Regan’s office with her independence papers, she bumps into Sage, the coves Knower, who has a surly reputation and everyone fears due to his power. When her fragile sister Elana faints and Sage offers to carry her back to their home, it gives Vivian and Sage a chance to converse and much to both their surprise, they see something they like in one another. But Sage is used to going it alone and decides to use his other power so she forgets. And it works.. for a while, until they meet again under most dire circumstances.
I loved this story. Sage has always been one of my favorite character but we never get a lot of insight into his past. He’s always so shut off and internal with his thoughts and we never really see him connect intimately with anyone so it was fun watching a strong, confident woman put him in his place and show him a way to connect that’s not overbearing but exactly what he needs. I just love Sage and now I have a deeper appreciation for Vivian and her tenacity.
In story three, Blood and Secrecy, Ellie and Rocky meet when both are desperate to connect with one of their own, while both hiding things that could put their lives in jeopardy. Ellie, who’s hiding her identity, is working at the bar Rocky walks into while searching out a possible partner to exchange essence with. He’s not allowed out of the vampire stronghold which is both his home and prison and hasn’t been provided the much needed and life sustaining essence due to his sentence which doesn’t allow him the freedoms of relationships for which essence exchange is a part of. When Rocky walks in, Ellie is immediately suspicious of him, thinking he’s there to take her back to a home she hates. But when offered the essence she desperately needs as well, she quickly agrees to the exchange with no strings and no explanations. But as their time together unfolds and things become more clear and emotions start to get involved, they both know they have to come clean if they want to continue.
Rocky and Alex’s friendship in books Unforeseen and Unveiled was always such a special part of the story for me and we see a stronger Rocky at that point so seeing him practically begging for survival was a real eye opener. He’s facing this long term punishment for something that’s not entirely his fault but he’s always taken it with his head held high. In this story, as the events that caused his sentencing have recently unfolded, we see the insecurities and negative effects of his punishment. I was never a big supporter of Ellie because she seemed so into herself but this story also brought out a side of her that showed me her caring and nurturing side as she takes on Rocky’s past and pain.
The Wrap Up:
I am a huge fan of Lauren Grimley. Her unique storytelling and creative imagination never fails to delight and entertain. This book was fabulous! All these stories allow us to see a different side to the characters we’ve already come to love and it only makes you care for them more. The females in this story are strong, independent, intelligent and there’s not a wilting flower in sight. I love them all I loved seeing their first moments with the men who stand beside them. Unbridled is a must have to add to your Alex Crocker series collection. As with the other books, its well written and displays strong characters with interesting and exciting stories.
And if you buy the book, it also helps contribute to two very worthy charities. You can’t go wrong! Get an entertaining and fun read and help two causes we should all get behind.
Buy the Book!