Friday, August 7, 2015

Blog Tour + Giveaway: Carry Your Heart (Carry Your Heart Series #1) by K. Ryan

Title: Carry Your Heart
Series: Carry Your Heart #1
Author: K. Ryan
Genre: Contemporary. New Adult.
Publish Date: July 14, 2015
Review Source: eARC
 
When Isabelle Martin steps onto Sawyer Auto Repair’s parking lot, she can’t believe it’s come to this. After dropping out of a school she never really wanted to go to in the first place and dumping a boyfriend she never really loved to begin with, she thought coming home to Claremont, North Carolina would solve all her problems. Instead, she’s still reeling from her mom’s death six months earlier and trying, but failing to help her dad, who’s sunken deep into a whiskey-fueled depression. Working in the local, motorcycle club-owned, auto shop’s office is a last resort, but it’s the only option she has...even if it means working with Caleb Sawyer, the bad-boy biker with swagger to spare who used to drive her up the wall in high school.

Caleb Sawyer is on the fast-track to a downward spiral. He used to think he had the world at his feet--all he has to do is be patient, earn his keep in the club and in the shop, and his legacy within the Iron Horsemen MC will be his for the taking when the time is right. But that just doesn’t mean anything without his old lady by his side, who wants to leave Claremont more than she wants to stay with him. When the bottom finally drops out, nothing prepares him for the impact and he deals with it the only way he knows how--with whiskey and women. Despite all that, being around Isabelle Martin, the girl whose feathers he ruffled so easily in high school, somehow brings him back to life. She doesn’t take any of his crap, but she calls him on it without judgment and without pity.

Despite some initial animosity, Caleb and Isabelle quickly realize that the perceptions they had of each other in high school couldn’t be further from the truth. The more time they spend together, the closer they become and the more they gravitate towards each other. Both are at a crossroads, but stuck in reverse. Isabelle needs help; she just doesn’t know how to ask for it. Caleb needs a life preserver; he just doesn’t know where to find one. And ultimately, on the path to rediscovery and identity, all roads lead them to exactly what they need--each other.

New adult/contemporary romance told in alternating points of view. Recommended for readers 18 and older.

Book #1 in the Carry Your Heart series that follows Caleb and Isabelle’s journey spanning the course of eight years.

 Caleb Sawyer is traveling down a dark road that will unravel his entire past, and future if he doesn't pull out of the funk he's in now. The woman he loved, and cared for up and walked out of his life, and to the other side of the country. No if's, and's, or but's about it. Ariel left. She couldn't stay in Claremont, and she needed out. Now. Causing a scene the day she left was what she wanted; ducking into the cab that waited her short winded goodbye, was what she wanted. Caleb, wanted none of that. Drowning his sorrows in Jack Daniels, multiple women at the Iron Horsemen Clubhouse, and being a generally rank person became his MO for a while when Carry Your Heart first started out. 

Isabelle Martin didn't plan on coming back home. She didn't plan on her mother passing away from cancer. She didn't plan on her father drinking himself into oblivion every night. She didn't plan working at the Iron Horsemen. She didn't plan a lot of things in her life, and when she did, they just seemed to fall apart at the seams. When she starts at the Iron Horsemen she is terrified. Rightfully so, as Caleb and his group had been horrid to her in High School. Skyler Sawyer is the badass around town, and there is no shock as to why Isabelle should fear her; she rules the Clubhouse with an iron fist, and nobody questions her.

Now, I really enjoyed this book. It was a bit YA/New Adult mixture for me, and it was a nice read. It was also my first MC read, and I have to say, it was quite enjoyable! The beginning of the book, and the ending were very well put together. When the time came that I thought Isabelle, and Caleb were going to finally get together, that moment didn't come. The middle drug on....and on....and on for me. That is honestly the only downfall I noticed to Carry Your Heart. Other than that, it was a heartfelt novel that really seemed to poke the reader in all the right feels. 



Isabelle

With nothing better to do than play anxiously with my fingers and saw on my bottom lip with my teeth, I fumbled frantically for something that would make this awkwardness fade away.

“Hey,” I pushed out suddenly. “Wanna see something? Maybe you’ll remember this."

I waved for him to follow me, even though I had no idea where this was coming from or why I was doing it in the first place. This was just as heavy as what had happened outside the clubhouse tonight, but this time, there was no safety net to fall back on. No friends or bar tables here as a buffer, nowhere to retreat to when and if things got too complicated. It was just Caleb and me here...in my bedroom.

As I pushed through the door, cold panic gripped my throat. Did I leave dirty underwear on the floor? My bed wasn’t made and yesterday’s work outfit was strewn across the carpet and there was a plate next to my bed with days-old pizza crust left carelessly to mold. He would think I was gross and messy and--but there was no going back now because Caleb Sawyer was standing in the middle of my bedroom, waiting for me to do something about it.

Finally, my mind cleared just enough to remember why I’d brought him up here in the first place. It only took me a couple of minutes to dig my sketchbook out from under my bed, but I still needed a minute to flip through it until my fingers skimmed across the one I was looking for. Then, like they had a will of their own, my arms extended the sketchbook towards him.

“You remember this one?”

I gestured down to the sketch, a winding, thick tree with long, expansive roots with buds of hearts, all overlooked by an intertwined sun and moon. I’d be the first to admit it was a pretty literal interpretation of the text, but I was also only 17 when I’d stayed up late one night to work this image out of my head. At least I’d had the foresight to scribble specific lines next to the visuals.

Caleb's forehead creased in deep concentration as he studied the lines and shades on the paper, trying to make sense of it. From the perplexed expression on his face, it was clear he was trying to place where he knew those words.

“It’s “i carry your heart” by ee cummings,” I offered quietly. “We read it in class that semester. I don’t know, for some reason, that one’s always stuck with me. The words are just beautiful.”

He nodded, craning his neck to see what I’d written next to the intertwined sun and moon, and read the words in a quiet voice, “Whatever a moon has always meant and whatever a sun will always sing is you.”

“It’s just...” I exhaled. “The most perfect explanation of what love is supposed to be. What it’s supposed to mean. That whatever is going on in the world and in your life, everything’s going to be okay because you’ve got this person who’s tipped your whole world on its axis, even if you can’t be with them the way you want to. Everything’s okay because this person is in the world and you know them and you love them.”

His cloudy gaze leapt up from the page, sparkling with something I couldn’t quite place, and he nodded soberly. “You’re right. It is beautiful.”


K. Ryan is a former English teacher, who graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in 2009. In between ‘real life’ duties, she’s been writing the Carry Your Heart series quietly on the side for the last two years. When not writing, she’s either binge-watching something on Netflix, running, reading, or cheering on the Packers. She lives in the Green Bay area with her crazy-supportive boyfriend and the best decision of her adult life, a not-so-stray cat named Oliver.

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