The 12 NAs of Christmas: Review of Zoe Dawson’s Brave and Excerpt from Meredith Walter’s Warmth in Ice

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There’s big doin’s here today at RoloPoloBookBlog.  I am thrilled to be featuring not one but two of the awesome novellas releasing today as a part of The 12 NAs of Christmas event.  First up is my review of Zoe Dawson’s Brave and then there is a fine excerpt from Meredith Walter’s Warmth in Ice.  Finally, I have book and author info for the other ten amazing novellas that make up The 12 NAs of Christmas.
Thank you all for stopping by and supporting these amazing authors 🙂

Brave

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Synopsis:

In the season of hope, in the season of giving…

How far would you go for your friend?

Alissa Thompson has been the good girl her whole life.  Her uninterested parents don’t understand her hopes and dreams.  But this Christmas when her steadfast childhood friend Charlie needs her more than ever, she can’t back down.  Crossing the line means being braver than she has ever been in her life.  It means changing and growing and taking a stand.

Dakota Gray was brave in the face of debilitating fear.  But he lost himself in that blood soaked day and has shunned everything he once knew.  Now shattered and broken, he hides out in isolation, his wounds beyond healing.  His heart closed, his emotions buried, he’s a man on the edge of self-destructing.  Little does he know that courage would be found in another searching for the strength to be brave.

Now snowbound in the Colorado Rockies one week before Christmas, Alissa thought this was about her journey and her friend, about setting him free.  But from the moment she meets Dakota, she learns about what real bravery is all about.  What real love is all about.  But is the season enough, her courage enough, her love enough to heal this hero’s brave heart and in the end set herself free?

Source: ARC from author

My Rating: 5/5 stars

My Review:

Dakota Gray’s life is divided into two distinct categories: 1) the time before that horrific day and; 2) the time after that horrific day.  Before that horrific day, Dakota was a talented and skilled nurse whose outlook on life was generally very positive.  His kind nature and desire to help other led him to caring for others until that day robbed him of everything.  Now, Dakota lives in total isolation, shunning the world and refusing to return to the life, the family and the friends he once had.  That day lives on in Dakota’s every thought and every feeling and he just can’t see a path beyond the pain.

For Alissa Thompson, life should have been easy.  Her parents are ridiculously wealthy and as long as Alissa follows the life plan her parents have mapped out for her, they will continue to pay for everything and make achieving “her” goals smooth and easy.  All of this and more can be Alissa’s as long as she doesn’t expect anything like affection and/or concern in return.  The only bright spot in Alissa’s life has been her best friend Charlie, a friend she would do absolutely anything for even if it means defying her parents and digging deep to find just a little bit of courage.

Enter fate, a mountain, a hot guy cutting wood and, a wretched snow storm.

In trying to fulfill her promise to Charlie, Alissa finds herself trapped on a mountain top with a busted ankle and a rescuer who wants nothing to do with her beyond setting her injured ankle and pushing her out the door the moment the storm passes.  Alissa is scared and hurt (in more ways than one) yet realizes that Dakota may be just what she needs to overcome her fear and begin to live her life.  Dakota can’t deny his basic nature and taking care of Alissa does come quite naturally.  Both angry and confused by her presence, Dakota fights himself, his memories and Alissa before finally accepting that there may be hope for him yet.

The Bottom Line: Even at just 118 pages, Zoe Dawson’s Brave will take you on a whirlwind ride beginning with page one and not stopping until the very last sentence!  Dakota and Alissa are both beautifully broken characters who may never have dealt with their issues if they weren’t forced into doing so.  Thank goodness for that snow storm!  Every moment with them is both heartbreaking and joyful as you see them learn to accept themselves and care for one another.  Oh, and they have some steamy sex too J  Even in so few pages, both characters and their respective backstories are fully developed and left me with a real sense of satisfaction at the end.  Zoe Dawson has mastered the fine art of packing a few pages with a whole lot of powerful!!  Overall, this quick and emotionally charged novella will have you flipping pages at lightning speed and remind you of the true meaning of bravery and courage, love and friendship and, the holiday season.

About the author and where to find her:

Zoe Dawson is the alter ego of Karen Anders, award winning, multi-published author. Her writing journey started with poetry and branched out into fiction. With a couple of college English courses under her belt, she penned a historical, then moved onto contemporary romance fiction. Today, she is happy producing romantic suspense, romantic mystery, urban fantasy and paranormal novels. The words feed her soul and the happily ever afters feed her heart.

 Website | Twitter | Facebook | Blog | Goodreads | Newsletter

Links to find/buy Brave:

Amazon       Barnes & Noble

Title: Warmth in Ice Series: Book/novella #2.5: Find You in the Dark Author: Meredith Walters Format: Kindle Edition, 96 pages Published October 26, 2013  ASIN: B00G829YYM
Title: Warmth in Ice
Series: Book/novella #2.5: Find You in the Dark
Author: Meredith Walters
Format: Kindle Edition, 96 pages
Published October 26, 2013
ASIN: B00G829YYM

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Synopsis:

***Spoilers for those who have not read Find You in the Dark or Light in the
Shadows***

It’s Maggie and Clay’s first Christmas together…

Clay and Maggie have gone through the dark and come out on the other side. For the first time, they are on this journey together. Fighting for something they both need and can’t live without…each other.

But a long distance relationship is hard. Particularly for two people who are still trying to build something solid on a shaky and troubled foundation. Clay is finally out of treatment and is living in an out patient halfway house. He struggles with what he wants to do and where he wants to go. Questions he worries he will never have the answers to. Maggie is trying to transition into college life and learning how to create a future with someone who is over a thousand miles away.

As the months pass and they struggle with being a part, old insecurities and fears take root and threaten a love that has come so far.

When Maggie decides to fly to Florida as a surprise for Clay on Christmas, she is unsure whether it will be the first step toward what they both desperately want or whether it could possibly be the end of it all.

But with the holidays approaching, Maggie and Clay are reminded that even when the days are coldest, you can still find the warmth and that hope and love are the greatest gifts of all.

Excerpt from Warmth in Ice:

Maggie’s warm laugh made my heart beat faster and for the millionth time I wished she were here. I would give anything to smell her hair and feel her fitted against me, filling the space meant only for her.

I felt like the worst kind of masochist for denying myself the one thing I needed most. All it took was Maggie and everything was perfect.

But I guess that was the point of all this. Because I needed to find a way for my life to make sense with or without the girl I loved. My world would always revolve around Maggie May Young but I desperately needed to become the guy who wouldn’t fall apart without her.

She had been my fix for so long and it wasn’t fair to put the entire fate of my mental health squarely on her shoulders. Existing like that was unhealthy and toxic. And she deserved so much more than that. So much more than what I had always given her.

About the author and where to find her:

The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Contemporary and New Adult Romance.

A. Meredith spent ten years as a counselor for at risk teens and children. First working at a Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault program and then later a program for children with severe emotional and mental health issues. Her former clients and their stories continue to influence every aspect of her writing.

When not writing (or being tortured with all manner of beauty products at the hand of her very imaginative and extremely girly 7 year old daughter), she is eating chocolate, watching reality television that could rot your brain and reading a smutty novel or two.

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Links to find/buy Warmth in Ice:

Amazon       Barnes & Noble

About Magan Vernon and OFF THE MARKET:

www.maganvernon.com

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18106538-off-the-market

Etta Davis must decide if a second chance with an old flame is worth taking her house, and her heart, off the market.

About Tiffany King and CROSS COUNTRY CHRISTMAS:

http://authortiffanyjking.blogspot.com/

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18107073-cross-country-christmas—the-12-na-s-of-christmas?from_search=true

A hilarious, heartwarming Christmas tale about finding love in the least likely situation.

About Chelsea Cameron and CHRISTMAS CATCH:

http://www.chelseamcameron.com/

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18106783-christmas-catch

She swore she was never going back to the tiny fishing village she came from. So did he. But when they’re both dragged back to Saltwater, Maine, they might realize it’s where they belong. Together…

About H.M. Ward and A LITTLE CHRISTMAS ROMANCE:

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorHMWard

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18106682-a-little-christmas-romance—the-12-na-s-of-christmas

A sexy and sweet holiday treat.

About Breena Wilde and FROSTED MIDNIGHT:

https://www.facebook.com/BreenaWildeBooks

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18106653-frosted-midnight

Willow St. James needs a miracle and an encounter with Austin Merrick at midnight on Christmas Eve may be just the answer she’s looking for.

About Sawyer Bennett and IF I RETURN:

http://www.facebook.com/bennettbooks

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18106691-if-i-return

What was supposed to be a quiet Christmas holiday turns into a life changing event for Hope and Jack. The only problem? Jack is headed off to war, and there is no guarantee he will come back.

About Shelly Crane and WIDE SPACES:

http://www.shellycraneauthor.com/

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18068475-wide-spaces—the-12-na-s-of-christmas

When they found each other, they knew that life had given them a second chance. But a life together that saved them will become a life they think is lost forever.

About Addison Moore and WINTER KISSES:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Addison-Moore/140192649382294?ref=hl

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18107070-winter-kisses—the-12-na-s-of-christmas

 Having a one-night stand with your ex is never easy. She thinks its revenge sex. He thinks its make-up sex. Things can only go wrong from here.

About Marquita Valentine and ALL FOR YOU:

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMarquitaValentine

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18106807-all-for-you–the-12-na-s-of-christmas

The only thing West Diaz wants for Christmas is McKenzie Walsh’s forgiveness, but she’s not ready to make nice, until, that is, he willingly humiliates himself in public to prove he’s not the same guy who bullied her in high school. But can one simple act overcome years of torment?

About Sarra Cannon and A SEASON FOR HOPE:

www.sarracannon.com

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18106973-a-season-for-hope

After a devastating breakup, Bailey Houston just wants to give up on life. But can sexy med-student Judd Kohler teach her that Christmas really is a season for hope?

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