Friday, 12 February 2016

Blog Tour Promo & Giveaway - Rising Ridge by Alexa Jacobs

Rising Ridge
Alexa Jacobs
Release Date: October 30th, 2015

Book Description:
Olivia Reynolds was free. Twenty years old, living in New York City, and having absolutely no idea what she wanted to be when she grew up, every day would be an adventure, or at least that was the plan. When a phone call from her brother lands her back in her home town, and dealing with an unexpected tragedy, she comes face to face her brother’s best friend Dean and realizes that the feelings she had buried long ago were still there. Dean Winston has lived with the fact that Olivia walked out of his life two years ago, and was never coming back. With her back in town, he struggles to be the friend that she needs him to be, and not the lover that she once wanted him to be. With lines between childhood friends and secret lovers once again blurring, Olivia must decide between the possibilities of her future and the ties of her past. Some strings just refuse to be cut.

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They sat in silence for a while. Dean was good at that; he had always been good at that. At first, Olivia was so thankful for it. Her parents were always talking at her. What to do, where to go, what to wear. Their pursuit of the perfect children seemed relentless. Connor had always wanted to just help her do the things they asked her to do, and Elle was ready at a moment’s notice with an escape from life plan. Somehow, whenever she was looking for something that fell in the in-between, Dean was always the gentle hand holding her steady.

Now, the silence was maddening. Somewhere along the line, she realized he would always be there for her if she reached out to him, but she wasn’t sure he really wanted to be. She made him that. Just like her parents, she gave him a role he did not ask for and that does not fit.

What frustrated her, what caused the abyss of silence between them, was she knew if she reached for his hand right now, he would take it. If she laid her head on his shoulder, he would rest his head on hers. If she put her hand on his chest, she would feel his slow and steady heartbeat begin to quicken and lose its pace. She put him in the role she wanted him to fill, but he let her. It was moments like those when she wasn’t sure if his were the arms she would be safe in, or if they were the arms that would dance her to the furthest edge of a cliff and then let go. She hated herself for the itch she felt in her fingers to reach out for his hands, only inches from hers, and she hated him because she knew he would allow it if she did.

Two years. She had put two years and a few hundred miles between them, and it was all for nothing. She had fooled herself into thinking that she was over him and had moved on. She didn’t think of him in her life in New York. It was true that she had not dated, but she was giving herself time to get to know the Olivia who had never gotten a chance to live. She was happy there, and had the promise of everything she had ever dreamed of. She looked at him as he sat silently looking at the stars, and realized she had never gotten over him. It was just a room in her heart where she had turned off the lights and closed the door. It was still there, in the darkness, as big and complicated as it had always been.


Dean sat with her. He felt helpless when she was like this. She always ran extreme in her emotions. Most of the time, it was enough for him to just be there. He took off his shoes, and laid down next to Olivia. She lifted the blankets so he could scoot under with her, and she curled herself around him. They lay silently until they both fell asleep.

Dean woke to the subtle smell of a flower garden. Before he opened his eyes, he could feel soft skin pressed against his cheek and felt warm, soft hands wrapped around his waist. He had attempted to untangle their legs without waking her, but as he stirred, she just made her grip tighter around him. She slowly opened her eyes, and looked up at him. The small lantern was off, so she could only see hints of his features. She realized it was a face she knew so well, she could close her eyes and picture every detail. With her arms wrapped around his waist, and his arms cradling her, she felt that ache in her heart she’d had for him since the night she kissed him in the garden.

“Dean,” she whispered as she did her best to close the small remaining distance between them.

Somewhere in the back of Dean’s head, a little alarm was going off saying this was wrong on every level. But he was too lost in the smell of her and in the way her warm skin felt so soft as she slowly began to explore him. Her lips found his in the darkness and he felt a deep warmth spread through his chest. Why did she taste so good? Why had it taken him a month to shake off the thought of one kiss two years ago that should have never happened? Why? Why?

“Olivia,” he began, urging his brain to gain control of the war it was now having with his body. “We can’t. You have got to stop doing this to me; it’s not a teenage girl’s game this time.”

She continued to rub her hands up and down his sides under his shirt. Her kisses spread from his mouth to the bottom of his ear and then she settled on his neck. She said the only thing her mind seemed to say every time he had been within ten feet of her for the last two years.

“It was never a game,” she replied honestly, more to herself than to him. “I don’t regret that. I needed you then, and I need you now.”

Dean tumbled further from reason when she reached for his hands and guided them under her shirt. She stopped for just a fraction of a second before she leaned in to kiss him again, as if to see if he would follow her into the madness. He lifted his head and propped it on his elbow. He looked at her and withdrew his hand from where she had guided it to her stomach. Every inch of him wanted this, but this was a line that could not be uncrossed. She pulled his hand up to rest on her heart, which was beating wildly. He could feel the mad flutter under his fingers. No turning back, he thought.


“I found her sitting on a blanket watching the evening sky. I said nothing, but I poured a glass for her and sat down. I poured a glass for myself, and we toasted to the beauty of the sun and the elegance of the stars. We drank, and I told her of my life. I told her that I came to this country with hope for a good education; I had a head for business and wanted to make millions. I come to work at my uncle’s vineyard and had to work from the smallest job on up. I told her that I had nothing in my pockets, no money to offer. But I tell her of what I see for the land, for the harvest, for the wine. If I work hard and I learn, one day he would leave it to me, as he had no children of his own,” he said.

“And she fell in love with you then?” Cat asked, as it was always the next question.

“Pas. She fell in love with the grapes.” He smiled. “She asked for a second glass. God have mercy and thank you, Lord for that second glass.”

“What happened when she drank the second glass?” Cat asked, her favorite part.

“Ah. The earth moved, mon amour. She looked at me, and I could not help but want to kiss her. She was so beautiful, the most beautiful girl in the world. I wanted to have a kiss from her to go on living. When our lips met, all of the angels in heaven sang the sweetest song.” He closed his eyes and smiled at the memory.

This was the air that he breathed. There was no world beyond the bed they were on. He let himself fall into the spiraling abyss of pleasure as he felt his body release inside of her. Her head rested on his shoulder, and rather than releasing her, he pulled her closer.

“Dean?” she quietly whispered up to him as she struggled to steady her heartbeat.

“Yeah?” The breath of his voice tickled her ear.

“What just happened?” she asked.

“That damn dress, that’s what just happened.”

“I’m pretty sure that damn dress is on the floor in shreds,” she said breathlessly.

“Oh, that’s a shame. I really liked that dress.” He smiled in the dark, and the room fell silent for a few minutes.

A few hours later, in the quiet of the night, listening to his steady breathing as he slept, she said the words she had never said out loud to him.

“I love you. I’ve always loved you.” She kissed his arm and his cheek.

He moved just a bit, and she slid silently off the bed. She watched him for just a few minutes, feeling the ache return to her heart, where it had been her constant companion for the last two years. When he woke up in the morning, he found that he was alone. She had gone. He pulled the pillow from the now empty side of the bed and covered his face with it. When the subtle scent of her hair caught him, he screamed into the pillow.

She loved him as a teenager, and it wasn’t until she found herself in his arms again that she realized how deep that love went. He was it. He was the love of her life, but sadly for her, she was not the love of his. As tears slipped down her face, she looked at him sleeping quietly. She would love him forever. And even a day after that. She had to get away. It wasn’t fair, to her, to the abyss she felt in her chest. She just had to get out of town, and she wasn’t sure if she’d ever be able to go back.


He had no idea how long he had been sitting there letting the rain pour down on him. His shirt was soaked, his jeans were sticking to him. Minutes, hours, who knew? He had thrown the covers off himself nearly eight hours earlier and gotten into his truck. He was mad, he was furious, he was sad, he was lost, he was fearful, and he was every damned emotion he had ever experienced. He drove through the early morning into New York, knowing that he was going to end this game he had been playing with her. He was going to say every single thing they had spent years not saying. He found parking in a nearby hotel garage and stomped on the pavement, rain spouting up around his black work boots. Every damned word they had not said. When they had kissed the first time. When he had spent weeks and months being careful to never be alone with his best friend’s little sister afterward. Words never said when they happened to catch each other staring, and the small second of eye contact before a reluctant break and they each returned their attention to the world. Words they never said the night they made love. Words they never said when she showed up madder than hell at him in that little red dress. All the words scattered and screaming inside his mind.

About the Author
Alexa Jacobs was born and raised in the suburban outskirts of Baltimore, Maryland. She met her husband through friends in high school, and began what turned out to be a short lived career in the financial industry. With her first child, she became a stay at home parent and threw all of her energy into becoming the queen of Pinterest before Pinterest was a thing.

When her second child headed off to kindergarten, Alexa thought that it was time for a career change.

After a decade with at least one child underfoot 24 hours a day, it was time for her to discover who she was going to be when she grew up.

Turns out, she was a mom who sat by the window and cried the entire day on that first day of “freedom” from early parenthood.

A few months, and many kindergarten volunteer days later, she sat down at the computer and dusted off the rough draft of a story she had crafted years ago. That draft turned into her debut book, Rising Ridge.

Alexa is a member of the Romance Writers of America, and participates in many writer circle groups.

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