Tag: Elisabeth Barrett

#DFRAT Excerpt & Giveaway: Elisabeth Barrett

Posted July 11, 2013 by Rowena in Features | 11 Comments

DFRAT2013

I am very happy to be back for round two of Book Binge’s DFRaT! Last year, as a digital-first debut author with Random House’s Loveswept, I wrote a post about how from my perspective, digital publishing was nearly identical to print publishing. Over the past year, my perspective has changed a bit, but my main point—that there was more freedom (and less pressure) for me as a digital-first author—hasn’t.

Since my prior post here (which preceded the release of my debut novel Deep Autumn Heat), I’ve released three books in my Star Harbor series that features four sexy brothers living and working on Cape Cod. All of the books can be read as stand-alones, so today, I’d like to leave you with excerpts from Long Simmering Spring (which came out on May 13) and Slow Summer Burn (which will be released on August 12).

Without further ado, let’s get back to those four sexy brothers. Long Simmering Spring features Cole Grayson, a former hell-raiser who left town after high school but then turned his life around, serving his country with honor. He’s recently returned to Star Harbor as the town’s sheriff, and has beautiful doctor Julie Kensington in his sights. Problem is, she knew exactly what he was like as a teenager and now won’t give him the time of day.

Here’s a scene from early in the book from Cole’s perspective:

What he wouldn’t give to run his fingers through her hair, crush her to his body, and see how high he could make her fly. See how far he could push her until she unraveled in his arms.

But, clever woman that she was, she hadn’t given him an opening. She’d shied away from him since he’d returned, dodging him for months, and always with the same excuse: work. He took a deep drink of his lager, pushing back against the nostalgia, coupled with a smidge of bitterness.
Forget about who he was now; all she probably remembered was the guy he used to be. Bad. There was no other way to put it. He and his brothers had raised some serious hell in high school, and he’d been the worst of them all. The pranks, the drinking, the girls—God, it was embarrassing to even think about. Yet he’d come so far. He might still be one of Star Harbor’s notorious Grayson brothers, but instead of a cocksure hellion, he was a decorated military hero who worked every day to improve his community.

Maybe Julie didn’t care. They’d run in totally different circles—he with the bad boys and she with the good girls. He’d done nothing to distinguish himself to her back then until he’d confronted her—and himself—the afternoon he’d run into her behind the track at the high school. He’d made a play, and she’d turned him down, taking him apart with a few choice words. And then, bonehead that he was, he’d gone in for the kiss anyway. He’d gotten what he deserved that day—a slap so hard it had rattled his teeth, and a lecture on making something of himself.

Words he hadn’t heeded until years later.

Long Simmering Spring © 2013 Elisabeth Barrett

And then there’s Val Grayson, oldest brother in the Grayson clan and the hero of Slow Summer Burn. He’s spent his whole life taking care of his family until he meets Cameron Stahl, a Boston socialite who owns a high-end boutique in Star Harbor. When he falls for her, he falls hard. Only problem is that he’s a DEA agent from Star Harbor and Cameron is . . . herself.

When he saw that woman, all soft curves and gentle heat, he hadn’t stopped to think about what problem he needed to fix, or how he could help. All he thought about was how beautiful she was with her hair dampened from the summer rain. And the way she looked up at him with those luminous eyes. A man could get lost in them.
Only Cameron Stahl could look more amazing half-drowned and huddled under a hardware store awning than she could with fancy hair and sparkling diamond earrings at a society awards function. Today, he hadn’t considered her wealth or prestige or how she was way, way out of his league. The only thing running through his mind was how very right she felt in his arms when they danced, and how she felt even better when he kissed her. . . . .
He shouldn’t want someone like her. She was too rich, too cultured—too everything that he wasn’t. And the way she looked at him? With curiosity and awareness and something more.

No, his brain had said. She’s not for you. He’d learned young that rich women with big yachts and expensive diamonds were temptations best ignored. Townies were only curiosities to them, and he and his brothers kept far away from the pricey boats that sometimes docked in Star Harbor. But when he helped Cameron get back to her boutique and she pressed herself to him, wrapped her elegant little hand around his waist to stay dry under the umbrella, he just couldn’t resist.
He asked her out, partly for her and partly for himself, just to show her that he was man enough to do it. And then he kissed her. For him. And damn, it had felt good. Though in the back of his mind he knew he still shouldn’t want it—want her—he’d do it all again. In a heartbeat.
Even if he knew that their being together was a short-lived dream.

Because deep down, he knew she was from a different world. And a woman like her could never be happy with a man like him. At least, not for long.

Slow Summer Burn © 2013 Elisabeth Barrett

Thank you so much for joining me at DFRaT 2! To celebrate, I’m giving away two digital copies of Long Simmering Spring!

About the Author

Elisabeth Barrett lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and spends her days teaching, editing, writing sexy contemporary romance, and enjoying time with her sometimes-bearded husband and three spirited children. She is constantly perfecting her home-work-writing juggling act, but in her free time she loves to hike open space preserves, grow orchids, bake sweet things her husband won’t eat, and sing in grand choruses. Find out more about Elisabeth at her website, www.elisabethbarrett.com, or join her on Facebook or Twitter.

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Review: Blaze of Winter by Elizabeth Barrett.

Posted October 22, 2012 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Rowena’s review of Blaze of Winter (Star Harbor #2) by Elisabeth Barrett.

Hero: Theo Grayson
Heroine: Avery Newbridge

Winter heats up in this hot new Star Harbor romance, as another sexy Grayson brother, a wickedly handsome writer, plots his happily ever after with a sweet stranger.

Frustrated with her job in Boston, social worker Avery Newbridge welcomes the opportunity to reassess her life when family asks her to help manage the Star Harbor Inn. Trying to figure out her future is overwhelming enough, but she doesn’t count on distraction in the form of one Theo Grayson, the gorgeous, green-eyed author who she knows is trouble from the moment he saunters into the inn.

Not only does he have a talent for writing swashbuckling adventures, but Theo also has a soft spot for big-hearted damsels in distress, especially a woman who’s great at helping everyone—except herself. Avery’s demons challenge him, but for desire this hot, he isn’t backing down. With every kiss and heated whisper Theo promises her his heart . . . if only Avery is willing to open up and accept it.

Warning: There will be loads of venting and spoilers.  Read at your own risk.  You’ve been warned.

This is the second book in the Stars Harbor series by Elisabeth Barrett.  This book follows Theo Grayson and Avery Newbridge to their happily ever after and it was a long time coming too.  It may not have seemed like it because the book takes place within a few months but it definitely felt like a long time because Avery kept Theo at a distance for a long time.  Theo didn’t give up though because he knew what he wanted and he was always upfront about everything with her.  I appreciated that about him.

There’s a lot of things going on in this book from secret drug rooms, Avery’s indecision about going back to work, Theo’s own work, Kate’s after cancer sickness and the Christmas musical thingy that Avery was a part of  but as much as those things added to the story, I was focused mainly on the romance between Theo and Avery.

Avery got on my nerves a lot.  Her constant dodging each and every time that Theo tried to get closer to her (yes, even after she melted for him at every turn) bothered me.  Every time they had sex and she would freeze up on him, I wanted to smack her.  I wanted her to get over herself, her reservations and just enjoy their time together for however long it was but she kept getting in the way of herself by overthinking everything.

She assumed the worst each and every single time and every time that she thought she knew what Theo was thinking or about to say, I wanted to punch her in the nose. It got so freaking old. When Theo finally snapped, I was glad because like Kevin from Undeniably Yours by Shannon Stacey, he had done nothing to deserve her constant distrust and when you’re 80% done with the book and she’s still putting up walls, I was about ready to give up on the book or kill Avery, one or the other.  I think I would have liked it better if Theo didn’t lose his steam with writing his book, like he was dependent on Avery for the success of his book.  And really, I wanted more suffering from Avery before her and Theo finally got it right.  She put him through too much crap to not have to grovel..  And I hated that Theo thought he drove Avery away when she drove herself away long before the night everything goes to shit.

Alls well that ends well but even at the end of the book, I was still annoyed with Avery and my enjoyment of the book suffered because of it.  When heroines hold heroes at arms length for no reason other than to protect their hearts even after the hero has proven time and time again that they’re in for the long haul, I have a hard time forgiving the heroine because it’s just…annoying.  And I hated that it was Theo that went to Avery for forgiveness. Forgiveness for what? For falling in love with her? For being honest about everything from the very beginning? He had nothing to be sorry about.  It was Avery’s stupid ass who should have been the one to go and try to make things right with Theo.  He kept bailing her out which pissed me the hell off because it should have been her.

And when she finally realizes that she wants to fight for Theo? When she’s being kidnapped and her life is in danger. OMEFFINGGOODNESS, get the hell out of here.  *insert eye roll here*

I will say that I enjoyed the other characters in this book.  Theo’s brothers, their women and Avery’s family were all pleasant additions to this story and the small town of Stars Harbor was cute and cuddly and I wanted to hug it close.  This book would have been a lot cuter and sweeter if Avery wasn’t such a stubborn ol’ goat.  I enjoyed Theo but wished that he would have put his foot down long before he finally did but everything worked out so it’s all good.  I think I would have enjoyed this book a lot more if Avery hadn’t been well, her.  Ugh, Avery.

Grade: 2.5 out of 5

This book is available from Loveswept. You can buy it here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher for an honest review.

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Guest Author: Elisabeth Barrett – The Importance of Family (+a Giveaway!)

Posted September 14, 2012 by Tracy in Reviews | 8 Comments

Please welcome author Elisabeth Barrett to the blog.  Elisabeth was nice enough to include Tracy’s Place on her blog tour for her newest release Blaze of Winter.

“Other things may change us, but we start and end with family.” Anthony Brandt

Your family may drive you crazy, but no matter what they do, you still love them! Although it sounds cliché, I do believe that in a family, people often live up to the roles they’re assigned … or the roles they fall into. The annoying little brother. The superior older sister. The doting grandmother.

My latest novel, Blaze of Winter, tells the story of Theo Grayson, an author of swashbuckling adventures who returns to Star Harbor, Massachusetts to plot and write his next book. There he meets Avery Newbridge, a gentle social worker, who is taking some time to figure out her career and her life while she helps her aunt manage the Star Harbor Inn. Theo has a twin brother (Seb) and two older brothers (Val and Cole). Each brother left Star Harbor after high school but after many years away, one by one, each brother returns to Cape Cod. Of course, once the Grayson brothers are back home, it’s like they never left. Old habits die hard, and Theo can’t resist reverting to his prankster self when it comes to baiting Cole.

“What the hell are you doing?” Cole demanded, looming over Theo, who was stooping to throw a pair of socks into his large duffel bag. Theo should have known that it would never work for two huge men to share such a minuscule space.
“Thought you were working tonight,” he responded coolly.
“Hank’s on shift now,” Cole said, referring to one of his deputies. “But you didn’t answer my question.”
“I’m packing,” Theo finally said. “I’d have thought that much was obvious. You are the sheriff, right?” He glanced sidelong at his brother, a small smile forming on his lips.
“I can see that you’re packing. The real question is, why?”
Theo raised an eyebrow. “Are you going to ask me nicely?”
Cole rolled his eyes. “It’s annoying as crap when you dodge my questions. I’m just looking out for you. You know I won’t quit bugging you until you tell me what’s up. Are you heading back to California? Going to visit a friend?”
“Enough.” Val’s calm voice filled the tiny room. “Let him alone.”
Cole stepped back. “Our little brother won’t tell me where he’s going,” he said, his voice heavy with irritation, “because I didn’t ask nicely.”
“Where are you going?” Val asked mildly.
“To stay at the Inn. Our brother here,” Theo said, jerking his thumb at Cole, “is making me nervous.”
“I don’t blame you. You’ll get some good writing done there.”
“That’s what I’m hoping.” Though he wasn’t sure he could convince himself of that anymore. One more second in the presence of Avery Newbridge this afternoon and he would have lost whatever small amount of composure he had left. Slamming the door in her face had been inexcusably rude, but it wouldn’t have been any less rude if he’d shoved her up against the wall and kissed her senseless. And that’s exactly what he would have done had he stayed in that damned hallway. He never did things like that. Didn’t even contemplate them—unlike his twin, Seb. But for that woman, he was ready to do an about-face.

“Next time I’m going to ask nicely,” Cole muttered, breaking into his thoughts, before pushing past Val out of the room and up onto the deck.
Theo didn’t smile this time. It was too easy to get a rise out of Cole lately. Some days, he acted like he was still leading his Special Forces unit in Afghanistan. Taking a job as the sheriff of Star Harbor had been a good move for him, but he still had a hair-trigger temper. The change in Cole nagged at Theo, but he wasn’t sure what to do about it.

But of course, there’s always another brother to give a comeuppance, and Theo gets his in the very next scene, when his oldest brother, Val, deconstructs him with a few choice words.

Val picked up a blanket from the floor of the cabin and placed it on the bottom berth. “I’m just glad that you’re in town. It’ll give you a chance to start over.”
“Why exactly would I need to do that?”
“You’ve spent the last few years being someone you’re not.” Theo came up short. “I’m exactly who I always was.”
“No,” Val said, shaking his head. “You’re different. It’s inevitable. You leave home, you change. You were always smart, no doubt about it. But you could’ve cared less about what other people thought of you. Too many years in San Francisco made you care, and you’ve surrounded yourself with other people who care, too.” He paused. “Why do you think I live here instead of in Boston? Because Star Harbor grounds me. It keeps me sane. The people are real, and I can guarantee you they’re more interested in finding out about you as a person than the fact that you’re on the bestseller lists.”
“That’s enough,” Theo said gruffly, cutting him off.
Val sighed. “Look, I know you’re struggling. Hell, I would be too, if I was in your position. Seems like you just need some time to figure things out for yourself.”
Theo didn’t respond.
Val glanced up the short stairway, where Cole had disappeared. “I’d better go check on Sheriff Sunshine.” He ducked out of the cabin and headed to the deck.

The Grayson brothers are able to joke and fight with each other without worrying about causing offence because deep down, they genuinely love each other. Returning to Star Harbor meant coming home to family, and these men know that blood is way thicker than water. Their shared experiences and the support they gave each other while growing up strengthened their relationships, enabling them to weather any emotional storms.

About Elisabeth:

Raised in a sleepy little Connecticut town, Elisabeth draws on her upbringing to write small-town romances. Her summers spent living and working on Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard were the inspiration for the Star Harbor series, which kicked off with Deep Autumn Heat and continues with Blaze of Winter. Currently, Elisabeth lives in Northern California with her husband and three children. Her family is awesome. Find her online: Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

About Blaze of Winter:

Winter heats up in this hot new Star Harbor romance, as another sexy Grayson brother, a wickedly handsome writer, plots his happily ever after with a sweet stranger.

Frustrated with her job in Boston, social worker Avery Newbridge welcomes the opportunity to reassess her life when family asks her to help manage the Star Harbor Inn. Trying to figure out her future is overwhelming enough, but she doesn’t count on distraction in the form of one Theo Grayson, the gorgeous, green-eyed author who she knows is trouble from the moment he saunters into the inn.

Not only does he have a talent for writing swashbuckling adventures, but Theo also has a soft spot for big-hearted damsels in distress, especially a woman who’s great at helping everyone—except herself. Avery’s demons challenge him, but for desire this hot, he isn’t backing down. With every kiss and heated whisper Theo promises her his heart . . . if only Avery is willing to open up and accept it.

View an excerpt of Blaze of Winter on Scribd: Click here.

Order Blaze of Winter: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or the iBookstore (Apple)!

Giveaway:

One commenter will be randomly selected to win a NetGalley preview of BLAZE OF WINTER. Contest ends September 18th at midnight (EDT). You’ll need a NetGalley account, and to answer the question below: What do you love about your family?

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Blaze of Winter by Elisabeth Barrett Sneak Peek

Posted September 1, 2012 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

While I haven’t actually read the first book in the Star Harbor series by Elisabeth Barret (yet) I have it and will definitely be reading it SOON. I met Elisabeth at RWA and if her books are as fun and funny as she is then I’m sure I’ll enjoy them! The second book in the series, Blaze of Winter, comes out on Monday, Sept. 10th and here’s a few pages to whet your whistle:

BLAZE OF WINTER by Elisabeth Barrett

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