Monday, May 9, 2016

BLOG TOUR REVIEW & GIVEAWAY - Defying Destiny (Forsaken Sinners MC #3) by Shelly Morgan

Defying Destiny
Forsaken Sinners MC Series
Book Three
Shelly Morgan
Genre: MC Romance/Suspense
Publisher: Limitless Publishing
Date of Publication: April 19, 2016
Word Count: around 74K
Cover Artist: TOJ Publishing Services

Book Description:

Twenty-six-year-old Louie Creighton knows there is something inside him he can’t control…

Ever since he can remember, Louie has had a short fuse. People always said he’d amount to nothing. He wasn’t smart enough to get into college. He wasn’t tough enough to be a Marine. No one believed in him.

No one except his father, Mike Creighton…

Louie’s father always taught him to turn the other cheek. He was a true mentor, teaching him how to be a man in a world of cowards. But when his father is murdered the day after scratching a winning lottery ticket, Louie’s inner monster can’t be contained. He becomes determined to track down the suspect at any cost. All along, he struggles to live by his father’s motto—To find out what you live for, you have to discover what you’d die for.

Then he meets Harlow McPherson…

Her entire life has been a battle. Harlow grew up in the system, bouncing from one foster home to the next. Most weren’t that bad, but some were hell.

The only comfort was the fact she wasn’t alone. Her twin brother, Hendrix, was always there—until he took his own life years later, abandoning Harlow in a cruel world. Unable to forgive, it’s Louie who reminds her there’s still hope.

When Louie unleashes his inner monster, and Harlow finally faces her demons, will they lose themselves to the darkness, or risk it all Defying Destiny?

This book is another winner for this series! I'm so glad we finally get Louie's story, since he's all mysterious in the first two books. This story has plenty of drama, angst, smexy and a large dose of heartbreak, for both Louie and Harlow.

I liked that this story has a second chance feel to it, since Harlow and Louie kind of had something going on before Harlow's abrupt departure. But now she's back, and Louie wants answers: why did she leave so suddenly, and where has she been? Most importantly, Louie wants to help her however he can, but his most important goal is to just be with her.

Both Louie and Harlow had it rough when they were growing up, so we already know their history and what heartbreak they've each endured, but when Harlow finally reveals why she left, you might feel your heart break all over again. Kudos to Ms. Morgan for writing that part of the story so well.

The road to romance is so far from easy for Louie and Harlow you might feel like you need to wear some sort of protective gear, but the trip is well worth the nerves and angst you'll feel while reading this. I definitely recommend this series!

ARC provided in exchange for honest review.

Chapter One

Age 17

One more hour, then I can finally go home and be away from this shithole. Then it’s just one more month until graduation.

I fucking hate school—and I don’t mean that in the way that most kids would probably say they hate school. I hate it because of the pieces of shit that roam these halls. They all walk around like they know everything and are the kings and queens of the town. But they ain’t royalty. They are the shit on the bottom of my fucking boot. The pesky mosquitos that want to suck you dry.

My dad and I may be trailer park trash in their eyes, but we are better than everyone in this God forsaken town. Better than the mayor who fucks his assistant on the side. Better than the preacher man that has a thing for little boys. And better than the teachers, the townsfolk, and their spawns.

I grew up without a mother and even though I wish I would have known her; I can’t say that my life would have been any better or I would have felt more love in my life. My father provided everything for me. He was the one who taught me how to walk, talk, and ride a bike. He played catch with me when he wasn’t working, helped with my homework when I needed it, and always made sure I had a hot meal at least once a day. My dad means everything to me and I’ll wipe the floor with anyone who disrespects him. He was a God damn fucking Marine—served five tours overseas, took more than a dozen bullets throughout his service to this country, and saved more men than anyone will ever know. My dad is a fucking hero—my hero.

The bell ringing brings me out of my thoughts. One more class to go.

Getting out of my seat, I put all my books into my bag and make my way into the hall and toward my locker. Since my last period is Shop, I make sure to grab everything I need so I can leave right after class. Any extra time spent here is time wasted in my eyes, even if it’s just to walk back to my locker. No fucking thank you.
I’m the first one into the shop, as usual, since I have no need to delay. I get right to work on the old Chevy Mr. Peterson brought in for us to work on. Today, we’re starting to work on the engine.

Shop is actually one of my top favorite classes, the other being gym. Those are the classes I get to use my hands. In here, it’s tearing shit apart, finding the problem, then fixing it. In gym, it’s pushing my body to the limit and working my ass off. Usually, no matter what the activity is for that day, the gym teacher will let me do my own thing in the weight room. I think he’s learned that I don’t play well with others. Either that, or he just doesn’t want to have to deal with me, like everyone else in this fucking place.

Five minutes later, the rest of the students show up. Not like they will actually do anything. But as long as they stay the fuck away from me, I’m good.

I’ve been finding it harder and harder to hold my tongue and I can only be pushed so far before I’ll pull my hands out of my pockets and knock one of those fuckers out. Sometimes the beast inside me takes over and the rage is just too much. It’s been there for as long as I can remember, waiting for the opportunity to bare its teeth and draw blood. But, for my dad’s sake, I do my best to just let things slide. My dad taught me to turn the other cheek, but told me to stand my ground. Called it bein’ a man. Said that if someone was wrong, to never back down and prove my point by driving it home. And if that meant throwing the first punch and whooping their ass, then so be it.

I told my dad that once I graduated, I wanted to move to the east or west coast. We’ve lived in Iowa my whole life, but I’ve always dreamed of being close to the ocean and away from this shit town. I want to find a good trainer wherever we find a decent place and start fighting for money. I’ve done a good job training myself in my homemade gym in my room and watching any video I can find, but if I want to make it professionally and make the big bucks, I’ll have to find someone willing to train me. I know I can do it too. I’m good enough even without professional training, but I’ll need that to take me to the next level. Plus, in order to get signed up for the big money fights, it’s easier to do if you have a trainer in your corner. Especially if that training has a big name.

Dad wasn’t too open to the idea of moving away at first, but now that he knows I’m serious, I think he’s warming up to the idea. It’s not like he’ll have anything holding him here after I graduate and leave. I don’t want to go without him, but I’ve told him that I will if I have to. I can’t be here anymore. If I stay for even a day longer than necessary, I know I’ll end up just like everyone says I will—dead or in jail—and I will not let that happen.

Feeling my phone vibrate in my pocket, I wipe off my hands and pull it out. It’s a text message from my dad. He rarely ever messages me and for him to do so during school hours must mean it’s important. I turn around to make sure Mr. Peterson isn’t watching, then pull up the message.
Dad: Things are finally turning around for us, son. This should help for the big move, don’t you think?

Attached to the message is a picture of him holding a lottery ticket and a huge fucking check for fifty thousand dollars.

Me: Is that for real?

Even though my dad has never played a trick on me, at least not to this extent, I have to ask. I don’t want to get excited, but looking at the picture, I know it’s real before I even read his next text.

Dad: It’s real and it’s ours. So here’s to the future.

I don’t even bother responding. Instead, I grab my bag and am out the door before my teacher even realizes I’m leaving.

Sprinting out to my banged up truck, I throw my book bag inside before jumping in after it. I burn rubber as I press down on the accelerator and speed home. I only live about five minutes from school, but today, I make it there in two.

As soon as I pull in front of the house beside my dad’s old Harley, the door opens and I see him standing there with the biggest smile I think I’ve ever seen on him. “You just couldn’t wait an hour, could ya.” It’s not a question, but a statement.
Getting out of the truck I walk up to him and pull him in for a tight hug. Most kids my age, guys especially, don’t hug their parents anymore, but not me. I love my dad more than anything and have never been shy about showing it to him or anyone else.

“What the fuck you think, old man?” I answer him anyway.

My dad laughs and shakes his head. One of the best things about him is he never scolds me for swearing. He always said that if you’re man enough to swear in front of your elders without fear of being punished, then you’re man enough to actually say it. Yeah, my dad’s pretty fucking awesome, I know.

“So we going out to celebrate?” I ask. Things have always been tight in our house—he works almost sixty hours a week to make sure we can make rent and that I have food in my stomach and clothes on my back. It would be nice to go out and have a nice meal for a change, instead of eating ramen noodles or Hamburger Helper.

“You read my mind, boy,” he says before heading back into the house.

“I was thinking we’d go to that steakhouse downtown and then I was thinking of stopping by the bar for a celebratory drink.” He’s hesitant when he says this, but it’s only because I know he feels like he shouldn’t waste money on something as trivial as alcohol when he could put it to better use. Usually that better use is something for me or paying bills.

I look at him with a stern look. “Don’t you even think about taking that back. Hell yeah you should go get a drink. Shit, maybe you can get me a six-pack before you go and I can have a celebratory drink too.” I end on a laugh, which has him laughing too.

“Yeah. I can do that, son. But no driving, ya hear?” Now it’s his turn to use a stern look. The one major rule my father has is no drinking and driving. He’d say, “If you want to have a drink here and there, that’s fine, but I need to know where you are and I better not ever catch you behind the wheel after you’ve even had a sip. You call me, I don’t care what time it is, I’ll come and get your ass. Better me than the police or the morgue.” I don’t go out drinking a lot because let’s face it, I couldn’t care less about going to any of the parties the kids my age attend, but I have on occasion gone out to the bluffs with a few cans of beer to just clear my head and think about the future. And I’ve never once gone against his word—I either walk home or I call him. He’s never gotten mad when I’ve asked him to come get me, even if it was past two in the morning and he had to be up at five.

“I hear ya, old man. Now let’s go. I’m fucking hungry and I can hear a big ass steak callin’ my name.” Even though it’s barely four, we’re used to eating early whenever we’re both home at night. Dad usually goes to bed around six-thirty since he has to be up at the ass crack of dawn. He doesn’t have to work tomorrow since it will be Saturday and it’s his weekend off, but I figure we might as well keep with our usual eating schedule. I’m also hoping there won’t be a lot of people there since it’s earlier than most people eat. I don’t want anyone to ruin our good mood and a good meal.

Since I know he wants to stop at the bar later, we both hop into my truck. He’s an adult but he’s never driven after he’s had a drink. I think that’s one of his best qualities; he won’t do something that he tells me or others not to do. He says if it’s important enough for him to tell others, then he needs to take his own words to heart too. Most people will tell others what to do just because they enjoy feeling like they are the boss, but then they don’t do the same. Fucking hypocrites.

On the drive over, we talk about mindless shit, like how his work week went or how school and training is going for me. I’ve never had a problem talking to my dad about anything. I guess you could say we’re closer than most father/son relationships usually are. I will always think of him as my father, but he’s my best friend too. I know that he would never judge me and he’ll always give me advice or direction when asked or if he feels it’s needed.

Once we park and head inside, we’re immediately seated.

“Out celebrating, eh, Mike?” I hear someone say from behind me as we sit down.

I look over my shoulder and see that it’s Marcus Brindel. He’s the town attorney and father to Jimmy, who is my age and the star quarterback for the high school football team.

My dad laughs, though it’s a little strained. He hates these people almost as much as I do, maybe sometimes even more. “Well, can ya blame me? It ain’t every day you win a few thousand dollars.”

Marcus looks at him with a twisted sneer on his face. “A few thousand, huh? I thought for sure someone like you would think it’s more like a few million.” With that said, he gets up and walks toward the bar.

“Fucking prick,” I say, looking at my dad.

“Now son, what have I always told you?” he asks, but he’s smiling so I know he’s not mad. Shit, he probably thought worse than what I did, he just isn’t saying it out loud.

“Hm, let me think…” I pause and tap my finger on my lower lip. “Oh, I remember. That you should always respect your elders…unless they are sorry pieces of shit that deserve to be put in their place.” I add the last part in with a smile on my face. Like I said, he’s taught me right and wrong, it just may not be in the traditional sense. But it’s the way we live and it’s honorable than most people.

He laughs and nods his head. “Damn right, son.”

About the Author:

Shelly Morgan grew up in a small town in Iowa. She has 2 older sisters and amazing parents. Growing up, she was always a daddy’s girl, hanging out with him in the garage, fishing, and building stuff. She loved to play softball and swimming, but reading, telling stories, and writing were her passion, even at a young age. She took a break from writing for a while, but you could always find her with a book in her hand.

Shelly has three children – two boys and a girl. They are her whole world. Even when she’s having the worst day ever, they brighten up her day and can always put a smile on her face.

A few years ago, Shelly had this story in her head that wouldn’t go away; it would always play over and over. No matter how many times she went through the idea—from beginning to end—the story never faded. So Shelly decided to put it on paper. She never planned to publish it, but when her story was almost done, a friend read it and said that it need to be shared. And that’s what stared Shelly’s writing career.

Shelly loves all genres of books, and even though she started with writing MC Romance, she has a whole book of ideas, so you can expect more from her than just MC, though romance is in her blood.

Shelly currently works part-time, but her ultimate dream is to become a full time author. She wants to be able to spend her days filling pages with stories. To be the reason people find a reason to smile or laugh from lines on a page. Reading a book always allows her to live in someone else’s shoes, even if for a few minutes. She thinks it’s a way to leave her life and troubles behind, so she wants to be able to help others do that as well with her words.

Tour giveaway

1 set of Signed copies of Rewriting Destiny, Fighting Destiny, and Defying Destiny
2 Ebook bundles of Rewriting Destiny, Fighting Destiny, and Defying Destiny

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