Thursday, May 26, 2016

Blog Tour + Review + Excerpt + Teaser: Until Now by Laura Ward

Title: Until Now
Series: Not Yet Series
Author: Laura Ward
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publish Date: May 23, 2016
Review Source: ARC

Dean Goldsmith is Indiana University’s star quarterback, and his dreams are about to come true. His undefeated season means he has a legitimate shot at the NFL. If he stays focused. Football comes first. 

College senior, Grace Yeates, is determined to defy the odds. She is months away from graduating with a business degree, something no one thought she would be able to pull off. All she has to do is focus on her number one priority. Family comes first. 


Dean has no time for distractions, but when a gorgeous, snarky, redheaded waitress refuses to tell him her name, he can’t seem to focus on anything else. 

Grace knows she can’t let herself get caught up in a guy, particularly a man-whore like Dean, no matter how charming or sexy. She has two hearts to look out for now and no room for a Dean-sized distraction.


Everyone in Dean’s life agrees that Grace is the kind of complication his career doesn’t need. 

Grace knows that Dean is the kind of risk her heart shouldn’t want. 

But what if the last person you think you need, the one you shouldn’t want, becomes the one you can’t live without? Can their biggest distraction actually be the focus they were missing all along?

"Why? Why are you being nice?  What do you want from me?"  Dean reached out and brushed his thumb along my cheek causing me to jump in response.  My heart raced as he stayed close to me, placing his lips close to my ear in the same way I had done with Finn.  "I don't know exactly, but I like you.  I don't want anything in return except your forgiveness.  I'm sorry I hurt you."  

Dean has his head on his shoulders and he knows exactly what he wants, and how he is going to achieve just that.  Until... he enters into a local diner and sees her.  Then for no reason all bets are off, because he has been struck.  Some how Cupid has managed to breech the well placed wall.

Grace is following the path of least resistance taking care of the important things.  She is focused and determined to overcome all of the heart break and loss she has faced.  She is strong, determined, and level headed.  Everything that the typical college student is not, and because of this Dean seems to want to find more out about her.

This book made be think of the Brad Paisley song about a man who became a dad even though he didn't have to.  This is a story that will pull at your heart.  For some of us, it fills us with love and hope and even appreciation of those very men.  I for one have a father who chose to be my daddy because he fell in love with my mom and even me.

This story is one that will rip your heart out one second, but then at the very next second make you all warm and fuzzy.  I really enjoyed reading this book because of those very feelings.  It focuses on life and finding the happiness that we each deserve, and not letting the hardships and even down moments define who we are, even when it may seem impossible.  It also hits on a few tough topics that give us a brief thought of what our friends and family are left to overcome when we make decisions that ultimately affect them.

I hope that you take the time to read this story, and find the admiration that I have for Dean as well.  He is such a wonderful guy, and you will find out just how wonderful he is.. maybe even think of him in hero status.  And, last but not least... we must not forget our small super hero.."Just Finn."

"There he is!  Hey, Dean!  Hi! It's me, Just Finn!"  Finn waved his hands in the air, and I giggled, loving every second of his excitement.  

"Until now.  Until me. I'm going to keep on taking care of you because nobody has ever deserved it more than you."

"You love me"  Like a friend or like a.. Daddy?"  Deans face twisted, and he pulled Finn onto his lap.  "I'm not your daddy, little dude.  But I love you like you were my son.  Does that make sense?"

My heart hammered in my chest. “Why do you ask me my favorites all the time?”

Dean grinned and then bent to kiss my lips. “I’ve never wanted to get to know a girl. I want to know every part of you and every favorite you have. Everything that makes you happy so that I can be the person who never lets you down and always brings you your favorites.”

Oh my.

“Well, I want to know your favorites too. Let me think…” I tapped my finger on my chin. “Where’s your favorite place for me to kiss you?” As soon as the question escaped from my mouth, the meaning hit my brain. Dean had a wicked gleam in his eyes, and I hid my face in his chest. “Oh, Lord. Did I just ask that?”

His chuckle rumbled beneath me. “You did. And I love your dirty little mind, Red. If I’m being honest, I can’t answer that. Cause you haven’t kissed me everywhere… yet.”

Mortified. I was absolutely mortified. I had a choice. I could be shy and feel awkward, or I could own it.

Two seconds later I decided. I was owning it.

I raised my head and pressed a kiss on his chest. Then I lifted onto my elbows and shimmied a bit down his body.

“Let’s rectify that, shall we?”

Laura Ward lives in Maryland with her loud and very loving three children and husband. She married her college sweetheart and is endlessly grateful for the support he has given her through all their years together, and especially toward her goal of writing books. When not changing diapers, driving to lacrosse practice, or checking spelling homework, Laura is writing or reading romance novels.

Laura has written three novels so far, the new-adult novel Not Yet and the contemporary romance novel Past Heaven. Her third novel, co-written with author Christine Manzari, The Pledge, was released July 25, 2015.


Not Yet (#1) – Released July 28, 2014

Emma Harris is learning that life is just a series of lessons. 

Lesson #1: Nothing goes the way you plan.

Lesson #2: You can’t trust men. Especially not the pretty ones.

Lesson #3: Turns out, appearances are almost always deceiving.

Emma thinks she has life all figured out, and what she knows isn’t good. For years, she’s put her big sister, who was born with Down syndrome, first. Now Emma’s ready to start her own life, but fate has other plans. To do the right thing for the sister she loves, Emma’s dreams will just have to wait.

She doesn’t plan on meeting Landon — a rich, flirtatious jock, who never has to wait for anything. Not for attention, not for money, and certainly not for girls. Meeting Emma marks the first time in his life that he’s had to fight for something. And Landon doesn't know how to lose.

Emma has no interest in wasting her summer with a superficial guy like Landon. But very soon she realizes she is wrong about him. The question is, can she trust him? Or will he let her down like every other guy in her life? But most importantly, can Emma trust herself enough to live the life she's always dreamed of?

Life has a way of sneaking in the most important lessons when you aren't looking. And once the heart gets involved, that's when the real learning begins.

*** This book is intended for mature audiences. 18 and over!

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