RELEASE BLITZ: REVIEW AND EXCERPT: Revelry by Kandi Steiner

Title: Revelry
Author: Kandi Steiner
Release Date: April 20, 2017
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From the bestselling author of Weightless and A Love Letter to Whiskey

Wren Ballard is trying to find herself.

She never expected to be divorced at twenty-seven, but now that the court date has passed, it’s official. The paperwork is final. Her feelings on it aren’t.

Spending the summer in a small mountain town outside Seattle is exactly what she needs. The peaceful scenery is a given, the cat with the croaky meow is a surprise, but the real kicker? A broody neighbor with nice arms, a strange reputation, and absolutely no interest in her.

Anderson Black is perfectly fine being lost.

He doesn’t care about the town’s new resident — he’s too busy fighting his own demons. But when he’s brought face to face with Wren, he can see her still-fresh wounds from a mile away. What he doesn’t see coming is his need to know who put them there — or his desperation to mend them.

Sometimes getting lost is the way to find yourself. Sometimes healing only adds a new scar. And sometimes the last place you expected to be is exactly where you find home.

 

I had just grabbed my oversized hat and slipped my sunglasses on when I spotted Anderson walking up the drive with a large trash bag slung over his shoulder. He wore a simple, black V-neck and distressed jeans, an outfit way too dark and hot for the heat. A light sheen of sweat gathered on his neck as he made his way toward my cabin, his eyes hidden behind all-black sunglasses.

“Change your mind?” I asked, not even fighting the grin on my face as I walked outside and leaned against the banister.

Anderson squinted up at me, his boots heavy as they hit each stair. “About?”

“Tubing?” I asked. That was why he was here, right?

“Oh.” He shook his head as he hit the top stair, shrugging the bag off his shoulders to hold it by the neck in one fist. “No, I have somewhere to be…” His voice trailed off, and even through the tinted shades of his glasses I felt his eyes on my chest. I’d strapped on my favorite boho print bathing suit and paired it with a dainty gold chain that wrapped around my neck once before dipping between my chest and crossing over my ribs.

He sniffed, holding the bag out toward me. “I just came to drop these off. My clothes. Well, the ones that could probably use a little TLC.”

My eyes lit up and I reached for the bag, but Anderson snatched it back, brows shooting up into his forehead.

“No frills, Wren.”

I threw my hands up in surrender. “I promise.”

He smirked, just slightly, and handed the bag over, tucking his hands in his front pockets.

“Are you sure you don’t want to come?” I asked, peering into the bag at my project before setting it just inside the cabin and locking the door behind me.

“I can’t,” he said, lips pressed together. He was tense, the muscles on his forearms tight as he glanced around at pretty much everything but me.

I opened my mouth to ask why but was cut off by the sound of a truck flying into my drive, tires sliding against the gravel.

Tucker was in the driver’s seat with Davie in the passenger. Sarah and Yvette sat in the back, laughing with their hands up as the truck skidded to a stop. They were both sprawled out on a pile of tubes, wearing bathing suit tops and tiny shorts.

All of their faces froze when they saw Anderson.

“Hey, you ready, Wren?” Tucker asked warily, his eyes moving from where Anderson stood in front of me, to me, and back again.

“Yeah, one sec!” I called back.

I turned to Anderson, but his eyes were hard on Tucker, jaw ticking under his skin. When he faced me once more, an anchor fell from my throat into the pit of my stomach, immobilizing me completely. Because even though I ‘d tried to convince myself I was wrong, I recognized the look in his eyes.

Possession.

And when his nose flared and he took one big step toward me, our chests brushing, his hand reaching out to rest almost imperceptibly on my hip, the anchor in my stomach exploded into flames, burning a desire so fierce I inhaled a toxic breath and didn’t let it go.

“Be careful, okay?” His eyes locked on mine just before he leaned in and swiftly kissed my cheek.

He turned on his heel and jogged down the stairs and past the truck. Sarah called his name, but he didn’t acknowledge her, just kept his gaze forward until he’d disappeared from view.

And then everyone looked at me.

 Review

In today’s society, the idea of being selfish carries a pretty severe negative connotation with it…the idea that one focuses on him/herself above other people and/or in spite of other people is deemed inappropriate; in fact, the dictionary uses words like “benevolent,” “caring,” and “kind” as antonyms for selfish, portraying the word as having not a single positive attribute. Conversely, people’s view of selflessness is almost spiritual; individuals who put others before themselves are glorified and regarded as superior beings.

Here’s the problem I have with the concept of these two seemingly opposing words – because they are at opposite ends of the spectrum, it appears that an individual cannot be both…that there’s no way for these two qualities to be a part of one person nor does it appear that being selfish can be a positive trait and being selfless be anything other than an admirable characteristic.

But in reading Kandi Steiner’s newest release, Revelry, I’ve found a number of reasons and examples to support the idea that selfishness isn’t always a bad thing and selflessness can end up doing more harm than good. And just as Wren and Anderson teach and learn from one another information that helps them to heal and to feel and live again, readers grow to understand that love is both selfish and selfless, and in order for a couple to have a lasting relationship, they need to allow each other to be exactly who they are, living out their personal dreams as well as those as a couple, not sacrificing themselves for their partner but loving themselves and one another enough to understand when selfishness is warranted, and selflessness is needed.

Wren and Anderson’s story is my first read by Kandi Steiner, and I reveled in the experience of reading her words and understanding the lessons she taught through her emotional storyline and multifaceted characters. This journey that Steiner takes her readers on is one that many will connect with, and, in a way, to experience Wren’s struggles…her fears…her quilt and her shame, readers grow to understand that there is no magical path to clarity because life doesn’t work that way – life is messy and complex and it’s easy to get lost and not be able to find the road back to who one was before, but here’s the thing…maybe getting on a new track is exactly what it takes to live again…to take the broken and battered pieces of oneself and slowly put them back together and while it will definitely no longer resemble what it once did, the new picture that’s created once one’s new self is constructed will be the one that enables a person to know who/what to let go of and who/what to hold on to…

Revelry is an exceptional read because it not only wakes up its characters, helping them to open their eyes to the kind of life they want to live despite the scars from their pasts, but it also allows its readers to understand that having the courage to make life their own should be their focus because if they’re unhappy with themselves and the life they’ve chosen to live then there is no way that there will be anything left to give to another person and the feeling of never being enough will never go away.

Revelry is so much more than a book…it’s a life altering experience because it illustrates a multitude of life’s lessons and then Steiner pushes readers to learn from them and take the path that’s right for them not the one that’s expected of them.

5 Poison Apples

Kandi Steiner is a bestselling author and whiskey connoisseur living in Tampa, FL. Best known for writing “emotional rollercoaster” stories, she loves bringing flawed characters to life and writing about real, raw romance — in all its forms. No two Kandi Steiner books are the same, and if you’re a lover of angsty, emotional, and inspirational reads, she’s your gal.

An alumna of the University of Central Florida, Kandi graduated with a double major in Creative Writing and Advertising/PR with a minor in Women’s Studies. She started writing back in the 4th grade after reading the first Harry Potter installment. In 6th grade, she wrote and edited her own newspaper and distributed to her classmates. Eventually, the principal caught on and the newspaper was quickly halted, though Kandi tried fighting for her “freedom of press.” She took particular interest in writing romance after college, as she has always been a die hard hopeless romantic, and likes to highlight all the challenges of love as well as the triumphs.

When Kandi isn’t writing, you can find her reading books of all kinds, talking with her extremely vocal cat, and spending time with her friends and family. She enjoys live music, traveling, anything heavy in carbs, beach days, movie marathons, craft beer and sweet wine — not necessarily in that order.

 
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