Eden Butler's done it again! She's written a book that's completely stolen my heart. Donovan and Layla's story is everything I'd hoped it'd be and more!
Title: Claiming Serenity (Seeking Serenity, #3)
Author: Eden Butler
Genre: NA | Contemporary Romance
Release Date: December 22, 2014
She left glitter in his AC vents. He put green dye in her conditioner.
She buttered his bathroom floor, and he kidnapped her precious puppy.
Layla Mullens hates Donovan Donley. His crude language, his wide shoulders, his crystal blue eyes…she hates that she can’t stop herself…from kissing him or landing in his bed.
And Donovan Donley wants nothing more than to knock Layla off her princess pedestal. He hates her stuck up attitude and her soft, tempting lips. He especially hates that her father is his coach.
But he’s fine with their arrangement—act horrible to each other during the day, attack each other naked at night. It works.
But one night changes everything. When Layla doesn’t show, and Donovan’s cold bed stays empty, the lies he tells himself to keep Layla out of his mind aren’t enough to keep him from missing her. And needing her. Something he promised himself would never happen.
The white flags in their prank war have been lowered but their high stakes battle has just begun.
Buy Claiming Serenity
“You’re disgusting,” she told him, but her voice carried no venom.
“And you’re a complete and utter bitch.”
She wanted to hit him. She wanted to kiss him. She wanted Donovan to do something, anything but glare at her the way he was. And then, before she could think which she wanted more, Layla got her wish.
His mouth was controlling, consuming, teeth against her bottom lip, opening her up to the invasion of his tongue. It was warm, thick and she felt it all over her body, with every thrust of his mouth on hers, with how tight his fingers pulled and squeezed her ass. Donovan wasn’t gentle, wasn’t sweet. This wasn’t a kiss that was meant to be tender. This was a full bodied, take control kiss and Layla had no idea why she wasn’t resisting, why she liked it so much. But she didn’t resist, and she did like it, so much. Too damn much.
She moved her hand, curling her fingers into his t-shirt, let a low, soft moan work up her throat and she didn’t think about how much she hated him, how surely, kissing Donovan should repulse her, that the idea of Donovan doing anything remotely sexual had always repulsed her—hadn’t it? —but his tongue battled against hers, obliterating her thought. Caught in the fray, Donovan pushed his hands into Layla’s ass and that deliciously hard erection pressed against her. Layla was lost.
For a moment.
Her thoughts were warring, scattered telling her how stupid she was being, reminding her that she had a backbone, that she hated, hated Donovan and no matter how incredible his mouth and hands felt, she could pull away from him. Any minute now.
1. Where did the inspiration for this series come from?
I don’t know that there was a real inspiration other than the image of a girl running and a drunk Irishman chasing after her like an ass. But once that little scenario came into my head, it was all over from there.
2. Where's your favorite place in the world?
New Orleans. I’m not technically from the city, I lived just outside of it, but every single time I go into the city, it feels like coming home. I also adore and loosely based Cavanagh on Gatlinburg, Tennessee and my college town Hammond, Louisiana. But I love places with culture and lots and lots of history. But no bears. Screw those bears and how they jump out in front of you in the middle of a mountain trail.
3. When you're frustrated with how a book is going, what do you do?
Take a nap or a shower. I don’t know what it is, but both have some ethereal power to force my muse to stretch and start to speak to me. Just the other day I was working on something and got stuck. I told my husband I needed a shower to get the creative juices flowing. It worked like a charm and I wrote for another three hours.
4. When do you think readers will be able to have Sayo's book in their hands?
Spring of this year. Probably around March/April.
5. What's your publishing schedule for 2015 look like?
Insane. I’m hoping to publish six projects this year. I won’t be sleeping much.
6. What's the first book you read that inspired you?
American Gods by Neil Gaiman. Gaiman is my protonous. In romance? Probably Kele Moon. Anything by Kele.
7. What's the last book you read that you loved?
It’s a toss up between Aflame by Penelope Douglas and The Slayer by Kele Moon. Neither are out yet but my God will both blow people away once they’re released. I have mad, mad crushes now.
8. What's the best gift from a reader you've ever received?
My first (and only) gift so far has been the best, I’d say. Some lovely blogger friends made coasters with quotes from my books. I have them hanging up in my office and I adore them.
9. What's your least favorite part about writing?
Can I say writing? I equally love and hate it. That’s a huge misconception, that writing and publishing is a joy ride. You just sit down and type, but God is that not true. Writing is the hardest job I’ve ever had (and I have THREE teenage daughters). It’s very much like taking bits of your heart and sprinkling what’s left over onto the page for weeks, months, sometimes years. You do this over and over again until it’s ready for edits and then, you do it again until your editor and street team tackles the manuscript out of your hands and says It’s time to publish now. And then, the masses read it and either love or hate those shiny, out-for-everyone-to-see bits of your heart you spattered onto those pages.
The up side to all of this is that the characters blabbering in your head are quieted and, if you’re lucky, one day someone with send you a message or stop to speak to you at a signing and say I really loved your book and then all that fretting and worrying and driving yourself crazy is absolutely worth it.
10. What's one goal you'd like to achieve in your professional life this year?
To rank in at least the top twenty on Amazon’s best seller’s list. That would be amazing. Oh and to stop using adverbs. Dirty little things.
I've been eagerly looking forward to reading Donovan and Layla's story since the moment I first met them in Chasing Serenity. My anticipation only increased with each subsequent story in the Seeking Serenity series, until it was at fever pitch. I wanted there to be lots of pranks, romantic tension, and hidden tender moments between Layla and Donovan, and I got all I wanted and so much more.
I loved seeing Layla and Donovan spar; their chemistry was incendiary. I was so surprised by what they were hiding, from each other and from themselves. I thought Layla was going to have some dark secret that was going to take me by surprise, but instead it was Donovan who completely bowled me over with his vulnerability, which totally contrasted with the confident, almost arrogant persona he projected. If that wasn't enough, the truth behind what caused their animosity left me reeling. In the end I thought it was wonderful to see betrayals and redemption from unlikely sources.
I absolutely loved seeing familiar faces from previous books. I loved catching up with Autumn, Declan, Mollie, and Vaughn. They were integral parts of the story, but their being there in no way detracted from the story, it only enhanced it. I was so happy to see more of Sayo in this book, but so devastated by what she was dealing with. I have a feeling I know who her hero will be, and I can't wait to find out for sure. I have a feeling it's going to be epic.
Claiming Serenity is the shortest novel of the three full length novels published in this series so far, however it has the same emotional depth I expect a 600 page tome would have. I laughed while reading this book, smiled, and chuckled. I also wept tears of sadness, pain, frustration, and happiness, just as Layla and Donovan did as they struggled to find what they needed and wanted. I went on an emotional ride, one that I really enjoyed being on.
I feel like Eden Butler really connects with her characters and thus makes it really easy for her readers to connect with them too. I always find myself shaken when I finish reading one of her novels. It's so easy to slip into her words and become one with the story. I can never read her books in parts, it's always all at one time. I will ignore everything from the time I start until the time I finish. Read this book. You'll fall in love with Layla, Donovan, and everyone else in Cavanagh, just like I did.
*Thank you to the author for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for them in any manner.*
Other Books in the Series
Eden Butler is an editor and writer of New Adult Romance and SciFi and Fantasy novels and the nine-times great-granddaughter of an honest-to-God English pirate. This could explain her affinity for rule breaking and rum. Her debut novel, a New Adult, Contemporary (no cliffie) Romance, “Chasing Serenity” launched in October 2013 and quickly became an Amazon bestseller.
When she’s not writing or wondering about her possibly Jack Sparrowesque ancestor, Eden edits, reads and spends way too much time watching rugby, Doctor Who and New Orleans Saints football.
She is currently living under teenage rule alongside her husband in southeast Louisiana. Please send help.
Facebook | Twitter | Blog | Pinterest | Tumblr | Amazon Page | Newsletter
♡♡ Follow the Blog Tour ♡♡
♡♡ Follow the Blog Tour ♡♡
a Rafflecopter giveaway