Blog Tour – New Release Review & Excerpt: Into the Blue by Chanel Cleeton

ITB Review Tour

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From the moment I read the final Troubleshooters (Suzanne Brockmann) I’ve been searching for a new military style contemporary romance that would fill the void.  I’m not going to lie, my dislike of CR has made me very picky.

It’s no surprise that I was very curious about the Flying Aces series.  It’s military, but detours from the usual Navy SEAL story by giving us men in the Air Force, YUM!

So, a thank you to Chanel Cleeton for asking us to join the review tour and giving us the opportunity to read Into the Blue!

♥♥♥

Into the BlueInto the Blue by Chanel Cleeton
Wild Aces #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: July 5th, 2016
Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group
 

Synopsis from Goodreads:

From the author of Fly with Me and the Capital Confessions Novels comes the newest in the sexy Wild Aces Romance series.

Eric Jansen—call sign Thor—loves nothing more than pushing his F-16 to the limit. Returning home to South Carolina after a tragic loss, he hopes to fix the mistake he made long ago, when he chose the Air Force over his fiancée.

Becca Madison isn’t quick to welcome Thor back. She can’t forget how he shattered her heart. But Thor won’t give up once he’s set his sights on what he wants—and he wants Becca.

Thor shows Becca that he’s no longer the impulsive boy he used to be, and Becca finds herself irresistibly drawn to him. But will Thor be able to walk away from his dream of flying the F-16 for their love or does his heart belong to the sky?

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Wendy’s Review

 

It wasn’t too long ago that I reviewed Fly With Me for Badass Book Reviews.  While my review wound up being relatively favorable, I had to mention that the story started off pretty rough for me.  It was definitely one of those novels that found its stride as the story progressed.  Initially I wasn’t impressed with Jordan or Noah, but by the end I had warmed up to both of them, and it was through the friendship’s and support system they found in Noah’s flight crew.  I also thought that Chanel Cleeton did a spectacular job of constructing the life of a man in active service.  You can tell she writes from experience.

Happily, I can say that Cleeton hasn’t lost any momentum.  Into the Blue was solid all the way through.  I loved that this wasn’t an ‘instalove’ story like the first one was, it was a story of rediscovery.  Becca and Eric never stopped loving each other, but hurt feelings and broken hearts made picking up where they left off an uphill battle, one that Eric never stopped trying to surmount.  There was something that was genuinely sweet between the two of them, and I loved that their history went all the way back to high school.

Of course, on top of the nice reconnection we got with Becca and Thor, we also got moments between Thor and the rest of his friends.  There was more Easy and Dani, and even some Noah and Jordan.  They definitely set up the premise for the next book, one that I’m looking forward to reading.

There were still problems I had with the story, though.  First, there was an opportunity to really build up the small town that Becca and Eric were from.  Ample opportunity to give us that quirkiness that readers love (something like Stars Hollow), that makes us wish that we lived there too.  In addition, I wish more time had been spent between Eric and his Grandma.  That always adds an extra layer of intimacy that I think was missing here.

Even with the tiny critique, it was a good solid read, and I didn’t find myself bored once.

Thank you to Berkley Publishing Group via Netgalley for providing an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 4 Stars = B

Series Reading Order:

  1. Fly With Me
  2. Into the Blue
  3. On Broken Wing (On Sale January 3rd, 2017)

Excerpt

Eric’s hand felt warm against mine—warm and big. He squeezed, and even though he touched my fingers, I swore I felt an answering tightness around my heart, as though the power to crush it lay in the palm of his hand.

I wanted to pull back, had never intended to let him get this close, but here we were, and I didn’t move. The temptation was just too strong to ignore and it felt too good to have him hold my hand.

“I’m so sorry,” he whispered again, his voice and eyes full of an emotion that spelled trouble.

This time I did pull back, too close to losing my heart. Too much time had passed, too much between us. I didn’t want to fall into the trap of thinking that this could be something again, of letting old feelings confuse me.

“I need to go.”

“Can we get dinner sometime, or coffee, or something?”

“I don’t think that’s a good idea.”

“I know I don’t deserve for you to let me in again, not after what I did, but what if we just gave it a chance. If we took things slowly? What if we started as friends?”

I didn’t know how I was supposed to answer that one, what slow was with people who had the kind of baggage we did. We’d been engaged; I didn’t know how to pretend we were just two people getting to know each other. At the same time, I didn’t really know him. Not anymore. But what was the point of getting to know him if he was just going to leave again?

“What’s changed?”

“What do you mean?”

“What’s changed?” I repeated. “You’re back here, but what’s different? What’s the point? You’re going back to Oklahoma in a few weeks, aren’t you?”

He nodded.

“Then what?”

He shifted in his seat, his expression guarded. “Well, we have the deployment coming up, and then I’ll probably go on to my next assignment. I don’t know where yet.”

Yeah, I’d been here before.

“So nothing has changed. Not really.”

“I’ve missed you.”

I’d missed him, too. It wasn’t enough. It had been ten years. We’d been apart longer than we’d been together. It wasn’t like we could just hit “Play” and pick up where we’d left off.

“We still want different things.”

He didn’t answer me for a beat. “What if we didn’t want different things?”

I froze. He knew me too well, knew just how to worm his way back in.

“Don’t try to make this about me. Don’t come back here with your ‘maybes’ and your ‘what-ifs’ and expect me to hang my future on it. I’ve been here before. I know how this goes. You’ve been back, what, a day? Do you honestly think that after everything we’ve been through, I’m going to trust that you want a future together? That you’ll actually choose me?

“I’m not going down this road with you again. I’ve been there and all it did was give me years of heartbreak. I don’t trust you anymore. There is no us. Not anymore.”

I grabbed my wallet, putting some cash on the table for my breakfast. I got up on shaky legs, not giving him a chance to respond, not sparing him another glance.

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Author

Chanel CleetonOriginally a Florida girl, CHANEL CLEETON moved to London where she received a bachelor’s degree from Richmond, The American International University in London and a master’s degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Chanel fell in love with London and planned to stay there forever, until fate intervened on a Caribbean cruise and a fighter pilot with smooth dance moves swept her off her feet. Now, a happily ever after later, Chanel is living her next adventure.

Law school made Chanel realize she’d rather spend her days writing sexy stories than in a courtroom, and she hasn’t looked back since. An avid reader and hopeless romantic, she’s happiest curled up with a book. She has a weakness for handbags, her three pups, and her husband.

Chanel writes contemporary romances, women's fiction, and thrillers. She is published by Harlequin HQN, Penguin/InterMix, and Penguin/Berkley and is the author of the International School, Capital Confessions, Assassins, and Wild Aces series.

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