Today the Burning Up blog tour stops by Holly’s Hot Reads where you can find my review, the full first chapter of Burning Up, a giveaway, AND I was given the chance to interview the lovely Marie Coulson. Check it out . . .
Title: Burning Up
Author: Marie Coulson
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: November 1, 2013
Tour Host: Book Boyfriend Reviews
Hi Marie, first off I’d like to say thank you for agreeing to this interview with Holly’s Hot Reads, and congratulations on the release of Burning Up.
My pleasure! Thanks for having me.
Burning Up is the sequel to Bound Together; what can readers expect from this book?
We jump right in where we left off in Bound Together. All the characters make a return but, with the angst and occurrences in Bound Together, a lot has changed. Readers can expect lots of angst, sex and infuriating Layla moments!
For any readers out there who have yet to meet Ollie, Layla, Jared and the gang, what would you say to try and get them to pick up this series?
I guess I would say, If they like a good triangle that’s not quite a triangle and lots of sexy angst from a hot rocker and strong alpha…this series may be just what they’re looking for.
Hot rock star, or millionaire businessman?
Oooooooh. Hot rock star! Don’t tell Jared!
I am a big fan of your novel Diary Of A Dieter. I laughed so much while reading it, and would absolutely love to hear more from those characters. Do you have any plans for a sequel or a companion novel?
I am currently working on a sequel to Dairy Of A Dieter called Secrets Of A Sex Sinner. It is Ness’s story and will be book two in the Confessions series. Book three will be Memoires Of A Love Addict. This shall be Dana’s story. And of course, all our favourite characters return…including Charlie’s crass and outrageous Grandmother!
That news makes me VERY happy! And speaking of news . . . You recently had a baby (congratulations!!!!!), has having a newborn affected your writing life in any way?
Thank You! It has affected EVERY aspect of my life, including my writing. The demands of a newborn vastly outweigh my time for writing these days but I endeavour to do a little whenever I can.
If you could be bound together with any book boyfriend (not including boys from your own books) who would it be, and which book can we find him in?
Jack F’kn Carter from Jenn Sterling’s The Perfect Game. I love that smartass boy!
Yes!! I love Jack and Jenn. Definitely a book readers should check out. If you could only read ONE book for the rest of your life, which would it be?
The Diary Of Anne Frank. If I could read only one book, I would choose the one that has taught me a great deal about real suffering and is also a book that humanity must learn from.
What can we expect from you in 2014?
I am working on the final book in the Bound series as we speak and will also be focusing on the second book in the Confessions series.
Thanks again for dropping by Holly’s Hot Reads, Marie. We can’t wait to see what you have for us next.
It’s been a blast!
Layla Jennings thought she had it all figured out. The right time, the right place and the right guy. After leaving behind her life and friends in Long Beach, Layla must now walk the path she has chosen, hand in hand with the man who holds her heart.
As the flame of love continues to burn brightly, she discovers more about herself and the man she loves every day. But what happens if the fire goes out? What happens when half of your heart is across an ocean?
With the other man in her life unwilling to give up his fight for her, and a danger she is too blind to see, Layla must battle between the safe and steady journey she has embarked on and the one that leads to destinations unknown.
*ARC received in exchange for an honest review*
If you haven’t read the previous books in this series and don’t want to know how they end, then please DO NOT read this review.
If you have read my reviews of the previous books in this series (Bound Together and novella Last Christmas), it’s no secret that I wasn’t a fan of Jared and Layla’s relationship. I was TEAM OLLIE all the way. But after the sneaky ending of the novella, I was pretty excited to get stuck into the sequel to see what Marie Coulson would bring us with the newest installment of the Bound Together series.
At the end of book #1, Layla chose Jared, and then at the end of book #1.5, Ollie decided to head to Europe and fight for the girl he loves. I was so incredibly happy that Ollie was possibly getting another chance with Layla. Not because she deserved him, but because I couldn’t get enough of him.
In Burning Up, we begin exactly where Bound Together ended. Layla took off to New York to be with Jared, and start her HEA. The dynamic of their relationship wss very much the same as before, and it still had a Fifty Shades Of Grey theme to the storyline, but I thought that it also had a life of it’s own and a younger, more refreshing feel it which I was very happy about.
Jared was – as perfectly described by Layla during one of many disagreements – “an overbearing, patronizing asshole.” Honestly, sometimes he was really mean with the things he said to her, but at other times, he showed hints at a normal, fun guy. My favourite being during a business meeting where Layla was under his desk and he spoke in near constant sexual innuendos.
Now Layla . . . Tsk. I’m just going to say it. She’s a bit of a slut. In my review of Bound Together I said that she yoyo-ed between Jared and Ollie, and while that is still the case, her panties have started yoyo-ing in Burning Up and it was almost like she had absolutely no thought for Jared and Ollie’s feelings because she kept messing them around and only thinking about herself. There were quite a few *facepalm* moments with our Layla.
The secondary characters more than made up for any frustration I was feeling while reading this book though. I still loved outspoken Mel, Amy, Nick and Eric, and Layla’s parents certainly made an impression with me in one certain scene. I was laughing so hard that I had to stop reading but what Layla saw is something that NO child should have to witness.
And then we have my guy Ollie. I swear he can do no wrong in my eyes. He’s just perfect and I’ve become a little obsessed with him so I won’t say much about him other than I SQUEEEEE’d when he showed up and he’s still as sexy as ever, if not sexier!
The last 35-40% completely turned around for me. The whole feel of the book was lighter, Jared started to redeem himself and I actually ended up really liking him (who knew that was possible??), there’s great news for Ollie’s band DOA, Layla pulls her finger out and finally stops messing the guys around, and something crazy happens. CRAZY!
I absolutely loved that last section of the book and then OMG!!! What an ending! I’m both excited and scared about reading the third book in this series because I’m not sure how much more my heart can take but I will definitely be giving it a read once it’s released.
★★★☆☆ 3.5 Stars
Make sure you enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below –
Born and bred in Essex, England, Marie Coulson discovered her love of writing in her early teens. Beginning with poetry and song lyrics, she tried her hand at creative writing while studying for her English GCSE.
It was love at first line.
Unfortunately, Marie’s career as a childcare and education practitioner soon took up most of her time and writing became something she only dreamed about.
In the summer of 2012 she quit her job and enrolled at university, ready to start a new career as a therapist. This left her with a lot of time on her hands and on August the 20th she sat down and wrote the first chapter of Bound Together.
Bound Together was a story that had been waiting three years to be written and when fingers hit the keyboard…Layla, Jared and Ollie’s story was born.
Marie has since written and released two novels in the Bound Together series and a novella. Her romantic comedy novel Diary Of A Dieter has also received excellent reviews and is the debut novel in the Confessions series.
♡BURNING UP – CHAPTER ONE♡
The Big Apple
Walking through the crowds, I gazed out of the vast window at the sparkling lights of New York. “Does he know I’m here?”
Daniel shook his head. “You asked me not to say, so I didn’t. I’m really glad you’re here though. He’s been fucking miserable since we left Long Beach. Besides, with you here, I have someone to talk to and keep me from going crazy. Things are about to get real hectic at the company. You sure you know what you’re in for?”
I gave him a puzzled look and he smiled at me. “Guess not. Well, you’ll learn.”
Daniel wasn’t just Jared’s driver; he was his friend, even if Jared didn’t realize it or choose to admit it. I felt that the two of us had also become friends. After all, he’d had my back so many times I’d lost count. When I’d been arrested, it was Daniel who’d called Jared and, as it turned out, broken several traffic laws to get to him. That awful night at Felix’s apartment would have ended a lot differently had Daniel not called Jared and warned him of our activity. I had a lot to thank him for and keeping him company during our time together, was the least I could do. I figured that it must be lonely work driving Jared around, sitting there, in the front seat, a screen between them. It all seemed awfully secluded, isolated and impersonal.
I was not going to be one of those high society girlfriends that I saw in magazines and newspapers. The ones that look as though they have caramel stuck to the end of their noses and pout a lot when people speak to them. I was definitely not buying into the hype of that lifestyle. Daniel was stuck with me now, and I was determined to have some fun.
“Do we have to go straight to the apartment? Will he get suspicious if you’re gone?”
He eyed me skeptically. “I guess not. I told him I had to run errands and he’s been so distant, he just kinda nodded and dismissed me. I could have been naked and dancing, and he wouldn’t have noticed. He’s really not himself right now.”
My heart sank. My intense, hot mess, businessman was in pain, and I was the cause. Bitch.
I was desperate to see him and put him out of his agonizing misery, but I was also determined to get to know Daniel better. I was going to be spending a lot of time with him during the next few months and aside from Jared, he was the only person I knew in New York and I hardly knew him at all.
Reaching the exit, Daniel gestured to the shiny, sleek Mercedes parked curbside. I smiled at the familiarity of it. He opened my door and ushered me inside before running around to pack my case into the trunk. He got into the driver’s seat and glanced back, smiling at me. I leaned forward and rested my hand on his shoulder. “I’m starving. Dinner?”
He gave me a look that told me he was unsure if it was such a good idea. “I don’t know. I mean, aren’t you anxious to see him?”
I shook my head. I wasn’t anxious to see him; I was freaking out from nerves and the more I worried, the harder my stomach churned. “Nope. I’m Hank Marvin and I need something to eat before I throw up from nerves.” He chuckled.
I nodded. “Yeah, you know, starving? I heard it on TV once.”
He threw his head back and laughed. “Since you put it that way, I’d be happy to have dinner with you. There’s a burger joint just around the corner, or do you want something a little fancier?”
I shrugged. “I think, a nice juicy burger sounds awesome.”
* * * *
Sitting in the booth, I scanned my surroundings. New York was a far cry from Pasadena or even Long Beach. It was almost eight in the evening, and the streets were still bustling with people.
The burger bar was quiet though. It was one of those nineteen fifties diner types and had a jukebox playing in the corner. The waitress rolled over on her skates and placed the most enormous cheeseburger that I had ever seen in front of me. The smell of greasy food and the delicious vanilla from my creamy, ice-cold milkshake was a welcome scent. Every single bite of my meal was like a taste of heaven. I really was hungry. I hadn’t eaten properly in days and I finally had my appetite back. I was definitely looking forward to my first New York bagel, too. Bagels. Coffee. Ollie.
My heart plummeted into my stomach again and I suddenly lost my appetite. My chest felt tight, and I could feel unshed tears begging to be released.
I could only imagine how broken he was right now. I’d done a horrible thing and I’d done it over a text! It was selfish, cowardly, and I deserved whatever hate or anger he was feeling toward me. He hadn’t replied or called since, and I knew that we were not only done as lovers, but also as friends. He’d never forgive me now, and I didn’t deserve him to.
Daniel frowned at me. “You okay? You seem a little distracted. You’re not having second thoughts are you?”
Snapping out of my mood and forcing thoughts of Ollie out of my mind, I shook my head. “No. I’m just a little tired from the flight.”
He smiled and took another big bite of his burger.
Pushing my plate away, I leaned back and cocked my head to the side. “So, I guess you’ll be keeping me company while Jared works, huh? I hope you don’t mind. I promise not to be high maintenance and to make it as much fun as I can.” He grinned and pushed his plate away, cleaning his hands on a napkin.
“It’s my job to take you wherever you want to go. Jared doesn’t usually use the Mercedes unless he’s going to a formal dinner or social. He’ll take the Jag so that leaves me at your disposal. Shopping shows and sightseeing … I’m the man to take you there, with Jared’s permission, of course.”
Jared’s permission? I rolled my eyes and shook my head at the statement. The whole time we’d been together he seemed to think he could dictate where I could go, how, and with whom. Things were going to change and for the better, I hoped.
“You leave Jared to me. I want to see everything, all the sights this city has to offer, and Jared is not going to stop me from having fun. I’m an adult and it’s time he started treating me like one.”
Daniel nodded, but I could see he was conflicted. “Well, if anyone can handle him, I’d say you can. Speaking of Jared, we should probably get going. You ready for this?” I bit my lip and smiled. I was so ready I was practically giddy with anticipation. Rolling his eyes, Daniel paid for our meal, even though I’d begged him to let me and we made our way back to the car.
I sat in the back because I needed a distraction as my nerves began to swarm in my stomach. “So where’s home for you Daniel?” He looked at me in the rearview mirror. “Illinois. I moved to California when my dad got transferred to another division of his company. I was about thirteen. My mom moved back to Illinois after the divorce, though. How about you?”
He nodded and smiled. “Small town boy, small town girl, and here we are in the Big Apple. Have you ever been to New York before?”
I shook my head. “Other than San Francisco, I’ve never really traveled beyond Long Beach. You like it here? I mean, you must be here a lot with Jared and his business.”
He glanced in the mirror at me again, and I saw his eyebrows furrow. “Can’t say I hate it or love it. It’s where I am. I have an apartment here that Jared pays for and I look at it as just another place I work. It’s not like I vacation here or anything. I’m on duty all week and some Saturdays, so I never really thought about whether I like it. I hardly know it. I’ve never seen the sights or anything else New York has to offer outside of the functions I drive Jared to.”
I felt bad for him and decided then, that I would do everything I could to make his time and mine in New York more fun.
“I guess we’re both gonna have to make New York home for now. Stick with me, Dan. I intend to have lots of fun while I’m here.”
He smiled and chuckled a little. “Dan?”
“Do you hate it?” He shook his head.
“I like it. Dan. Yep. You can call me Dan, Miss Jennings.”
I grinned and leaned forward to his seat. “And you must call me Layla. Deal?” His smile widened. “Deal. Well, we’re here. I’ll get your bags and give you a minute to breathe. You look a bit flushed.”
I looked at myself in the rear view. I was beet red. Nerves were no longer swarming; they were twirling like a tornado in my stomach.
We’d pulled up in front of an impressive building. With its white brick and elegant golden window frames, it was certainly extravagant and definitely expensive. One look at the name above the golden-framed glass door told me I was right. ‘Garrett Towers.’ It was one of Jared’s for sure.
My eyes immediately darted to the top floor where he would no doubt have the penthouse. My heart did a little skip and my insides twisted.
Opening my door, Daniel smiled and held my bags in his hand.
“Ready?” Now there was a question I couldn’t answer.
Ready to go up there? Absolutely.
Ready to see Jared? Oh good God, yes.
Ready to leave my old life behind and start my new one with him? Well, that would come eventually. Wouldn’t it?
The doorman saw me exit the car and nodded at Daniel. “Layton, this is Miss Jennings. She’s here to see Mr. Garrett. Would you please grant her entry while I park the car?” The large and burly gentleman scanned me from head to toe as I stood awkwardly on the sidewalk. I bit my lip anxiously.
Opening the door, he smiled politely. “Of course. Right this way. Let me take your bags for you, ma’am.”
Daniel grinned at me and nudged my arm, immediately pulling me from my dazed state. “You gotta go in there some time. He’s going to be thrilled to see you. Go on. Get in there, girl.”
I beamed back at him and threw my arms around his neck.
“Thank you so much, Dan. Wish me luck.” He snorted.
“You don’t need it. He’s crazy about you. I’ll catch you later. Have a good night.” Giving me a wink, he got in the car and drove away toward a large pair of iron gates, which I assumed, led to the parking lot beneath the building
Layton cleared his throat loudly. Giving him an apologetic look, I followed him inside.
The foyer was a gleaming white and the front desk was a beautiful ivory stone with gold trim. It matched the marble floor perfectly. I stood at the elevator and fidgeted mindlessly. When it finally chimed and the doors opened, I was so caught up in my thoughts; it startled me a little. I could hardly breathe as we entered, and as Layton reached for the keypad, I caught his hand in my own. “I just need a minute.” Taking a deep, calming breath, I held my nerve and nodded at him. He pressed the ‘P’ on the panel, and I hitched a breath as the doors closed and we headed, rapidly, to the penthouse. Well, here we go.