Monday, 2 February 2015

Whatever You Do (Try Again Series #2) by Stephanie Smith - Blog Tour & Review

 Release Date: January 15, 2014
 Genre: Contemporary Romance



 How do you trust someone who is everything you’re trying to avoid?

Harper Lindell is having a bad day. You know, if a bad day consists of getting fired from your cushy job and then catching your boyfriend red handed playing hide the salami.

Sick of meeting the same guys over and over, Harper decides to try her luck at Internet dating. How bad could it be? Right?

Tate Washington wasn’t looking to meet anyone. Still dealing with the consequences of his one serious relationship, all he’s interested in is revamping his family’s behind-the-times café.

He didn’t plan on seeing the beautiful receptionist from Argo again, walking into his life to use his café as a dating hub, and using him as a BFF.

Can Harper really trust Tate, who is everything she thinks she needs to steer clear of?

Can Tate wait while Harper works through her insecurities and fears?


Amazon US:
Amazon UK:

Kristine's Review:

Reviewed: January 2015

In Wherever You Will Go we met Harper Lindell, friend, colleague, the kind of person you want in your corner when something goes down. In Whatever You Do, when her day goes from bad to worse, losing her job, and then her boyfriend, Harper starts to think that this may just be the catalyst she needs to effect change. Maybe the kind of guys she's always been attracted to are part of the problem, maybe she needs to change it up a bit and try new ways to meet someone.

Tate Washington knows all about sacrifice, family and focusing on work, his last attempt at a relationship ended in disaster and he has spent the time following focusing on his business. Tate looks like a sexy bad boy and despite the initial attraction Harper is determined not to fall into her old ways. But even the best intentions don't always come to fruition, Tate might just be everything she's ever needed if only she's willing to see past his self assured demeanour and bad boy good looks.

Whatever You Do is very much Harper's story, she's been able to hide behind her looks for far too long, still living with jabs of disappointment and rejection from adolescence, from dealings with infidelity and feelings of inadequacy and letting Tate in, giving him the opportunity to own her heart might be more than she's willing to give up. There's a beautiful, quiet strength in Harper, beneath the bravado, she's a young woman who wants to be wanted, dreams to be needed, not just desired, watching her journey from self doubt to strong and independent, to a woman who is willing to be fragile with the people who love her was inspired, There's often a pressure I feel for us as young women to be strong, independent, to not show emotions, be career focused and yet still want a family, and I love Harper's journey to finding the strength to give Tate a chance, and to allow herself to be fragile, vulnerable, I connected to her, I was invested, I wanted, no needed her to find her person, the one who can help her weather the storms and fight the darkness. Smith shows so much growth in her second novel and I can't wait to see what she does next.

Tate chuckles as he picks up a tomato and throws it to me. Thanking my quick reflexes, I catch it mid-air.
“Here, cut those,” he says, gesturing to the pile of tomatoes already stacked on the bench next to where he is preparing bacon.
I pop the tomato down and head to wash my hands. Once I return to the counter, Tate approaches me with an apron and wraps his arms around me as he ties the strings in front. We get stuck into it and work in companionable silence for the next few minutes.
“I’m sorry about the other day,” he says, not pausing for a second from the bacon he is cutting.
“I know,” I respond.
“I’m glad we’re okay.”
“Me, too.”
Silence descends once more, and we continue our tasks before Tate speaks again. “The other day, you said how you’ve never felt an instant connection with someone before.”
“Yeah?” I ask warily, wondering if I freaked him out.
“I didn’t get to tell you that I feel the same. When we’re together, it feels right.”
“Yeah … it does.”
Even though we don’t mention another thing about it, the silence doesn’t come again as the shots keep flowing and the music on the old radio gets louder and louder. We are laughing and carrying on and there is more ‘accidental’ touching on both sides.
‘Black Widow’ by Iggy Azalea and Rita Ora flows through the speakers and I sigh in happiness. “I love this song.” I leave my tomatoes behind to shake my hips all over the kitchen to the beat, singing along with the lyrics.
Warmth covers my back as two strong hands land on my hips. Tate pushes into me from behind and moves his hips along with my own or forces my hips to move along with his—I’m not sure.
“You’re so fucking sexy, Harper,” he whispers into my ear. “I won’t be able to keep this friendship platonic if you keep shaking your ass like that in my kitchen.” His warm breath flows over my collarbone as he nuzzles my neck and goosebumps break out across my skin. Tate must notice as he lifts his head and slowly peppers small, light kisses along the crease of my shoulder.
My head rolls back onto his shoulder, and my body liquefies at the intimate and sensual touch. He’s breaking down my walls. My common sense. He’s slowly softening me, melting me so he can mould me as he pleases, and it’s working.
As the realisation hits me, I jump out of Tate’s arms, grab hold of his hand, and pull him to the middle of the kitchen. I smile seductively at him and wink. “I’ll just have to keep you in line and focused then.”
He throws his head back and laughs, allowing me to ignore the moment and lead him around the centre workbench as we shake, shimmy, and wiggle to ‘Shake it Off’ by Taylor Swift, which is now playing on the stereo.

 Wherever You Will Go (Try Again, #1)


 Amazon US:

 Amazon UK:

Brooke Willis had everything she ever wanted: a happy marriage, volunteer placement at the art gallery, and the promise of starting a family with the man of her dreams.

Saxon Reed had everything he ever thought he needed: a successful career, nice cars, expensive apartment, and more money than he knew what to do with.

After losing her husband Brooke insists on taking over his company to keep his dreams alive. Struggling in an industry she knows nothing about, Brooke turns to Saxon, her husband’s best friend and business partner, for guidance and support. Their mutual grief, and Saxon’s need to look after his best friend’s wife, creates a connection beyond just business.

Can Brooke take over the company and find a new life without saying goodbye to the past? Can Saxon protect and care for Brooke without scaring her away?

What happens when your heart doesn’t listen to your head? When lines are crossed and boundaries are pushed?

About the Author

 I'm first & foremost a reader & fangirl, I will always be first & foremost a reader & fangirl. I am on street teams, I pimp and I brag. I LOVE my Authors!!I have recently started writing as a way to relax and spend some time for me. My first novel Wherever You Will Go is due to release later this year. I'm having so much fun writing my first story and I'm looking forward to the journey it is taking me on.


Interview with Stephanie Smith

 In 5 words, please describe your ‘Romance Writing Style’
Fun, sexy, sweet, comical, real.

Do your leading men come from any place in particular? Dreams? Movie stars? Your partner? Past partners?
I think they are a mixture of everything. Something I’ve heard, something I’ve seen, something I’ve had happen, something completely made up.

What do you do in your down time?
If I’m not playing with my kids and spending time with the Hubster I’m reading. I love to read and will miss countless hours of sleep to fit in even a few pages! hehe

When you walk into a book store, where do you head first?
Romance. No question. I actually don’t think I look anywhere else!

Why did you decide to write romance novels?
I decided to write my first novel, Wherever You Will Go, because the story was playing over and over in my head and I thought if I just wrote it down they would be happy and leave me alone. I never dreamed of actually publishing it.

Who, if anyone, has influenced your writing?
My editor, Lauren McKellar. She is outstanding. She pushes me and challenges me in the best possible way.

What research did you have to perform to back up your story? Any research which really opened your eyes or gave you new respect for a topic or profession?
To be honest so far I haven’t challenged myself in this area. I like to write what I know. What I’ve lived through, what emotions I’ve felt.

What is your method for writing a book? A certain amount of hours every day? A certain routine? Are you character/story builder or an outliner or some other method?I outline first. Not in too much detail but generally where it is going. I start from the beginning and just go. I normally give myself daily and weekly word targets to hit and I keep strict deadline and word count planners.

How do you get past writers block or distractions like Facebook?Oh Facebook. BIGGEST time waster. I don’t have the answer to this yet but if anyone knows it please message me on my Facebook page.

Favourite book from childhood?
I wish I could remember the name of the book. It actually had no words and was a picture book they kept in my school library. The story was the same window frame but each page had a different view from it. I used to lay there for hours making up stories for each scene. I must have been only 5 or 6 but it amazed me I could read a book without any words.

What’s on your desk? Can you see your desk? Describe what you see when you look around.
Paper, paper and paper! I’m not sure it’s even a desk anymore.

What's the weirdest thing you've Googled?
HAHA OMG, no I can’t tell you that!

What is your favourite line from any of your books?
My most recent favourite which has been a favourite with readers too is from my new release Whatever You Do. “You’re so fucking sexy Harper,” he whispers into my ear. “I won’t be able to keep this friendship platonic if you keep shaking your ass like that in my kitchen.”

Do you believe in love at first sight?
No not at first sight, as in from a distance, but definitely first meeting.

What do you do when you are not writing?
I read, duh. LOL I run my kids around and spend countless hours cleaning up after them. I love socialising. Any excuse to have people over for a meal and a laugh.

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
I think reviews say it all. There are negative ones and positive ones. There is no greater feeling than a reader messaging you to tell you how much they loved your story or how it touched them.

Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
I can’t name just one.

Is there a certain type of scene that's harder for you to write than others? Love? Action? Racy?
I hate writing the steamy scenes. They are so much harder than you think. How to make original, different from the ones you’ve done before. Even the ones in that story. Using the right words and terms. My hands are shaking just thinking about it! LOL

How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?
It’s very important to me as an author because it’s very important to me as a reader. I don’t look at meaning I just go with what suits my characters looks and personalities with how I see them in my head.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?
I think getting all the smaller details right. I have the best betas in the world and those girls pick everything up.

What did you want to be when you grow up?
I remember being very young and wanting to be a Flight Attendant. I was too short at only 4’9 so I went into child care instead. hehe

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learn something new all the time with all my stories. Not only things I didn’t know about the world but things I didn’t know about myself, or the way I think.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?I wanted to get the voices to go away. LOL

Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
I’ll let the readers decide that one. hehe

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?I start with an outline and normally a few detailed scenes and then I just see where it takes me.

For your own reading, do you prefer e-books or traditional paper/hard back books?
Definitely e-books to read but I have an addiction to purchasing paperbacks, though I would never read them as it would bend the spine and cover.

What book/s are you reading at present?
The Law of Moses by Amy Harmon. I can’t put it down.

If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?
OMG Totally 50 Shades. Could you imagine seeing that type of success for your story. To be the name that people will know for years to come as the woman who changed the whole industry for the whole world. WOW

What advice would you give to your younger self?
Find what you love and go do it. I wish I had done this 10 years ago.

 How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
I don’t know creatively, but I have evolved as a person completely. Probably changes only I can see but I love them.

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