Saturday, June 7, 2014

Blog tour: 21 Days by Bethany Lopez + excerpt, review & giveaway


On this first Saturday in June Reader Girls has a special weekend tour. We always welcome author Bethany Lopez to our blog and we are one of today's stops on the 21 Days blog tour hosted by Ink Slinger PR. For our stop we have a sexy excerpt, our review, and there's a tour-wide giveaway too. Thanks for stopping by. Have a wonderful weekend!

photo 2Title: 21 Days
Series: Time for Love #2
Author: Bethany Lopez
Publication Date: June 2, 2014

Summary: Sasha and TJ are no strangers to enjoying sex with no strings attached, so when they decide to act on their mutual attraction, there should be no reason why they can’t apply that same philosophy to each other. 

Money has never been an issue for Sasha, which made proving herself as a real estate dynamo a personal challenge she was determined to conquer. Raised in a gilded world masking neglect and disappointment, she learned not to depend on anyone, especially when it comes to love and relationships. Men are great for companionship, but she isn’t looking for anything serious. 

Used to going without, TJ has worked hard to be able to support himself. When he loses his job and his home in one fell swoop, he faces relying on others for the first time in his adult life. Then Sasha steps in, offering him a place to stay until he’s back on his feet. He grudgingly agrees, but vows to be out of her guest room within 21 days. 

They'll discover that a lot can change in 21 days, especially when they decide to give the idea of "friends with benefits" a try. As each day passes, Sasha and TJ become closer than they’ve ever been. Will they be able to go back to being just friends when their days together are up, or will they allow their personal hang-ups to get in the way of what they really cherish most? 

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“I dare you to kiss TJ,” Shelly said excitedly.

“What?” Gaby and I both asked.

This was not turning out quite how I’d imagined, but Shelly was grinning like the Mad Hatter.

Gaby looked at me questioningly, but when I just shrugged, she walked toward the room TJ was staying in. Shelly and I trailed closely behind her. She knocked on the door and TJ said, “Come in.”

He was sitting on the bed, fully dressed, his hair still wet from his shower, and reading a book.

I blinked.

“You read?” I blurted without thinking.

TJ raised his eyebrow at me and asked dryly, “Are you surprised that I can?”

“No,” I stuttered. “I didn’t mean that. I just didn’t realize you liked to … As a pastime I mean.”

TJ put the book on the end table and looked at each of us warily.

“What’s up?”

“I’m gonna kiss you?” Gaby said eagerly.

A little too eagerly for my taste.

TJ grinned at her.

“Is that right?”

“We’re playing Truth or Dare,” I said sharply as way of explanation.

TJ nodded, as if he saw grown women play Truth or Dare every day. He aimed his sexy grin at Gaby and crooked his finger at her. Gaby paused, then got up on the bed and crawled across it toward him, trying to look sexy, but blowing it when she started laughing. My mouth went dry when his eyes met mine, and I wondered if he wished it were me crawling toward him instead, because I was beginning to. He flicked his eyes back to Gaby, then made a show of kissing her passionately.

I mean … Seriously, I think I came just from watching.

He leaned in and started with just their lips touching, then his right hand came up behind her head and pulled her closer, while he placed his left hand on her face. I couldn’t see, but I imagined he was caressing her cheek. Then he turned his head and seemed to deepen the kiss. I started to feel a red hot lick of jealousy crawl up my spine as I watched, and just as I was about to whimper, he broke the kiss and leaned back with a cocky grin.

“Wow,” Shelly said from behind me, mimicking my thoughts.

“You’re really good at that,” I heard Gaby say.

TJ looked at my face again, frowned at what he must have seen there, then stood up and held out a hand to help Gaby off the bed. I heard a knock at the door and spun to go answer it, eager to get away from TJ and my confusing reaction to seeing him kiss Gaby.

I wanted to kick something. Preferably the two of them.

When I begin reading any novel by Bethany Lopez I know three things: I'll find characters to care about, the love story will touch me, and I will be entertained. After reading and enjoying her Friends & Lovers series and Indelible, Ms. Lopez is a go-to author for me. The second book in her Time For Love series, 21 Days exceeded my expectations.

Sasha is like many women I knew growing up in New York City. She comes from money, has drive, a good job and has a killer fashion sense. She enjoys the single life. With distant parents, her gang of loyal and caring friends have become her substitute family. When she hears that her friend TJ is 'homeless', offering him her guest room is a no-brainer. 

TJ's a fighter. After a tough childhood, he's determined to support himself. A mechanic, he's a hard worker, talented, and dedicated. When his boss announces he sold the business, TJ worries he'll have to get another job and secure a new place with limited funds and little time. He won't ask his friends for help when some are settling down. When Sasha offers, he's torn thinking he's getting a hand-out or being pitied. The clock is ticking.

When friends spend time alone, they discover that spark flickering inside them is merely a beginning. A beginning to some thing else. But what? Two individuals accustomed to life on their own join together--friends with benefits. It's an easy win-win situation for both. Isn't it? Sometimes the heart makes an easier decision than the brain. When the time limit they've imposed of 21 days ends, both Sasha and TJ feel the loss of one other. Can two single people determined to stay that way admit that they may want more?

Bethany Lopez did it again. I quickly fell in love with her characters and their stories in 21 Days. Sasha and TJ immediately became a favorite couple. Fiercely independent, Sasha is her own woman living her life on her terms. TJ is cool, kind, the type of person to give a destitute person his last buck. When they get together the chemistry is sizzling. They've never given into their attraction before and their scenes are smoldering. The author teases the reader with glances and tender touches, never rushing into an instant hook-up. I get to know these characters until I feel like part of their gang and that's a nice place to be. 

The secondary characters all stand out, individuals with memorable story lines. I enjoyed watching Sasha and TJ realize their true feelings for one another and the trip getting there was one fast-paced and addicting read. I rooted for both characters where as in other New Adult books, I champion either the guy or just the girl. Not here. I loved them both. 

Bethany has hit another home run with her latest series, Time For Love. Which couple will be the lucky ones to star in book three? It doesn't matter--readers are actually the fortunate ones whenever they begin a novel by Ms. Lopez. Consider me a lifetime fan.

Rating: 4.5

Cover comment:
I couldn't imagine a more perfect cover for Sasha and TJ. Sexy, hot, with a touch of hesitancy, this couple easily captures the essence of the characters.

Book source:
I received a promotional copy.

About Bethany Lopez: 

Award-Winning Author Bethany Lopez began self-publishing in June 2011. Since then she has published various YA and NA books. She is a lover of romance, family, and friends, and enjoys incorporating those things in what she writes. When she isn't reading or writing, she loves spending time with her husband and children, traveling whenever possible.

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