We have been participating in great tours lately and here is another one. Last month, we were part of the tour for After Math. Today, we are one of the stops on the Redesigned Blog Tour. Redesigned is the second book in Denise Grover Swank's Off the Subject series. There's an excerpt, we have our review, and there is a tour wide giveaway. Enjoy the day!
Redesigned (Off the Subject #2) by Denise Grover Swank
New Adult contemporary romance*Paperback/eBook, 226 pages
Published June 10th 2013
While fashion design major Caroline Hunter may have been born economically unlucky, in college, she’s been lucky in love. Until her senior year at Southern University. She’s gone from a serious long term boyfriend to a string of crappy dates.
Then she meets mathematics grad student Reed Pendergraft.
Reed is everything she’s not looking for. Serious. Headed for a low paying university job. Boring. Caroline spent the first eighteen years of her life wondering where her next meal was coming from. She sure wasn’t getting trapped in that life again with a man living on a professor’s salary.
An encounter with Reed in a club proves she might have pegged him wrong. He brings out a lusty side she never knew she had. But just when she’s about to give in to her hormones, Reed makes a fool out of her.
When she shows up for the first committee meeting for Southern University’s Fall fashion show, a fundraiser for underprivileged kids, Caroline’s horrified to discover the insufferable Reed is the committee chairman. While she refuses to tolerate his totalitarian rule of the committee, she’s not sure she’ll survive the month with her heart—and her pride—intact. Just when she thinks she has everything figured out, she finds that her entire life has been redesigned, thanks to Reed Pendergraft.
“No offense, but I don’t have time to hang out with you for an hour.” Not that part of me doesn’t want to. Maybe I should just give in to temptation and get him out of my system. Isn’t that what Tina does? Has her fun with a guy and moves on. But Reed doesn’t seem like fling material, and I’m not that kind of girl. Not to mention we still have three weeks to work together. No, giving into temptation is the worst of worst ideas.
His shoulders tense.
As he drives to the parking lot exit, and I realize how rude my statement sounded. I sigh and rub my forehead. “Reed, we have to work together for several more weeks, and we both know that something happened between us.” Something happened between us. Talk about the understatement of the century.
Thankfully Reed doesn’t call me on it. He doesn’t say anything, just hangs onto the steering wheel for dear life.
“We can ignore that something happened and fight this … feeling we experienced.” I can’t bring myself to say attraction. “Or we can address it and meet it headlong.”
Reed smirks. “And how do you plan to face it headlong? You’re not proposing we get it out of our system, are you?”
I’m tempted. Lordy, I’m tempted. “Don’t be ridiculous. Of course, not. It’s been awhile since I’ve had a boyfriend—”
“You could have fooled me with your date last week.”
“That was one date, and we both know how well that went. And besides, when you asked me out, you said you hadn’t met many people yet. Wasn’t that your reasoning for asking me out?”
“Caroline.” He sighs. “Sometimes I’m socially inept.”
“You think?” I try to keep a straight face, but I can’t help laughing. “The high and mighty Reed Pendergraft admitting he’s imperfect. I do believe that’s the eighth wonder of the world.” I tap my chin with a finger. “Or is it a sign of the apocalypse?”
To my surprise, he actually laughs. “Are you calling me the Antichrist?”
I laugh again. “I wouldn’t go that far.”
“Then maybe you could have a chat with some of my Algebra 101 students and convince them otherwise.” He laughs. “But then again, maybe it’s better if they have the fear of God in them.”
“Or in this case, I think you mean fear of Satan.”
“True enough.” A dazzling smile spreads across his face, and I realize this is the first time I’ve seen him actually smile. Sure, I’ve seen smirks and sarcastic grins and plenty of derisive looks, but Reed actually looks happy.
Could it be that he’s so cross all the time because he’s unhappy?
Is it my business if he is?
But now that the seed has been planted in my head, it takes root like a fast-growing weed. I like this side of him, even if it’s only a glimpse. But seeing a side of Reed that I like to go with the hot chemistry we share is dangerous territory. “We’ve gotten off point.”
“Have we?” he asks, trying to look innocent.
“It’s obvious that there’s something between us, but the truth is we have nothing in common.”
“Don’t you mean I don’t have a big enough paycheck?” His cold tone is back. Damn my mouth.
“I was out of line to say that at Scarlett’s party. I didn’t mean it.” I lean toward him and the musky scent of his cologne fills my nose. I fight the urge to move closer. “You had just suggested that we go out because you were desperate. I was hot and cranky. Not a good combination for me. Throw in hungry and you have the trifecta of bitchiness. I’m not proud of it, and I’m truly sorry I said it.”
He’s silent for several seconds. “Apology accepted. I have to admit, it was probably the worst pickup line in history.”
I laugh. “I suggest you mark it out of your playbook.”
He waves his hand in the air. “Consider it gone.”
“I hope we can get along for the rest of our time working together. You’re kind of fun when you take the stick out of your of your ass.”
“Do you realize your accent is thicker when you curse like that?” His grin broadens.
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“I like your drawl.”
“You could have fooled me. I think your observation of my accent the night of Scarlett’s party was neutral, with a hint of insult.”
“Let’s just say you weren’t the only cranky one that night.”
“Why were you cranky?”
“Do you really think that’s any of your business?” His words are confrontational but he looks amused.
“I told you my reasoning.”
“Yeah, you were hot. Hot for Dylan.”
“You’re not being fair. I’d wanted to go out with Dylan for months. I’d only met you and you practically compared going out with me to folding your laundry.”
His usual seriousness returns, but he’s not confrontational. “There’s more to the Dylans of the world, Caroline. Be careful.”
About the author:
Denise Grover Swank
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Denise Grover Swank was born in Kansas City, Missouri and lived in the area until she was nineteen. Then she became a nomadic gypsy, living in five cities, four states and ten houses over the course of ten years before she moved back to her roots. She speaks English and smattering of Spanish and Chinese which she learned through an intensive Nick Jr. immersion period. Her hobbies include witty Facebook comments (in own her mind) and dancing in her kitchen with her children. (Quite badly if you believe her offspring.) Hidden talents include the gift of justification and the ability to drink massive amounts of caffeine and still fall asleep within two minutes. Her lack of the sense of smell allows her to perform many unspeakable tasks. She has six children and hasn’t lost her sanity. Or so she leads you to believe.
I really enjoyed the first book in this series, After Math. Scarlett and Tucker's story touched me (my review) and I especially liked Scarlett's roommate and best friend, Caroline. She now has her own story and all I can say is "Wow." I liked the mix of fashion design and show, raising funds for a children's charity and the love story between Caroline and Reed.
Opposites attract big time in Redesigned. So does love at first sight. For Reed, he can't get the southern beauty out of his mind. For college senior Caroline, he makes her body wildly react. While reading, or in my case, consuming, this book, all of it seemed to play out like a movie. There was a nice mix of tender scenes, sizzling scenes and chuckles. Caroline is immensely likable. Her conviction to leave her trailer park past behind her and pave the future she wants is intense. She wants to marry a guy with old family money so she'll never have to worry about finances. When she meets grad student Reed at Scarlett's party, she dismisses his college teaching position as not lucrative enough. Her comment stings, but she's already left an impression on the mathematical minded but socially inept Reed.
The see saw play of emotions between Caroline and Reed was fun and frustrating. They were so hard on themselves until they gave in and experienced the incredible pull between them. Chemistry is the magic word and these two have it. Their scenes start as smoldering and quickly sizzle. Though the story line may seem formulaic, the author adds so much heart and emotion to elevate the novel into something more. Besides the romance, there is a poignant story from each and I totally felt for Caroline. To face her future she has to face what she ran away from in the past. When she does this, it's great to see she is not alone.
I'm not sure which character will be featured in the next Off the Subject book (Lexi? Tina? Brandon?) but I know one thing for sure: I'm a fan of Denise Grover Swank and I love this series. If you haven't read this series and enjoy New Adult romance, take these two books on vacation.
I love the covers in this series. This is how I pictured Caroline.
I received a promotional copy from the author in return for my honest review during a blog tour.a Rafflecopter giveaway