Tuesday, July 5, 2016

REVIEW + EXCERPT: Into the Blue by Chanel Cleeton

Shel: Stop making me fall in love with your fighter pilots, Chanel Cleeton, I'm married and you're killing me with these guys. Gah. I should've known when they swaggered into that bar in Fly with Me that I was a goner. Surely, imagining them in their hot af flight suits as they step off the plane they just piloted like the hot fighter pilots they are would've clued me in that I was sunk? Nope, it was definitely that these guys are so wonderfully sweet and tender and caring under the alpha-maleness their jobs and lives seemed to expect or demand that has me dying for each new installment in this series. And if I'm being completely honest, it's knowing that Chanel Cleeton is writing about a world she's familiar with and imagining that bits and pieces of these guys and their women actually exist that gets me excited to see where she'll take me next. So what I'm saying is, don't be surprised if you fall in love with this series because Chanel Cleeton makes it way too easy to do so. 

Court: Ugh, I know. Hard job we have to read her work isn't it? Haha, j/k. Her stories really bring my feelings and emotions to life. She runs the gamut of funny, sexy, heart felt, heart wrenching..you name it...you'll feel it if you read this book. Real world situations, and real world problems but written in a way that doesn't bog you down with melancholy. I didn't know too much about Thor in the first book, but if you're familiar with this series I think you know pretty quickly why I would be super excited that his book was next. After that other ending that nearly killed me, I needed a little more time with these boys before we get to that book. Eric and Becca are so different from Noah and Jordan, and I really enjoyed that these couples are not cookie cutter in any way. Eric really has to work for it y'all. Whew, and boy did he have his work cut out for him.

Shel: As much as the pilots are swoony, it's the women in their lives that I find myself relating to the most. In Fly with Me, Jordan's concern about leaving the life she'd built and her family seemed like something I'd worry about too. In Into the Blue, Becca's desire for building on the career she had and the roots she'd established seemed completely reasonable. And even more than that, I appreciated Becca's stubbornness; her tenacity and fierceness when it came to making Eric work for every bit of ground he gained with her is absolutely something I do when someone's hurt me. She had such a hard time overcoming what he'd done to her and the fears she had at opening herself up to having him leave her again had me siding with her again and again. Even when she relented to Eric's own tenaciousness when it came to pursuing her, she never just jumped in; she eased her way in as best as she could (until she had to take a leap) and her reluctance felt very real. Maybe some readers might not appreciate her stubborn nature, but as someone who is stubborn, I loved her and understood her and respected how she approached this second chance with Eric. I also respected her ability to forgive and to really think about how and why things happened in their past and whether she had it in her to move forward, potentially sacrificing some of her dreams, so that Eric could have his dream too. 

Court: And I was so frustrated with both of them. I am a "look at all sides, and all opinions" type and it was just so complicated all the way around. She wasn't budging, and I found her hard to get to know at first. It was killing me. He messed up in the biggest way, and as we find out more about each of our main characters we can see how this isn't going to piece together like a nice puzzle on a leisurely day. This is definitely like repairing that china plate that Grandma loved, and cutting your finger on the edge just enough to burn every time you touch something. I needed that right now though. I needed to feel something for these people, and the writing definitely helped me do so. I even told Shelley that I love how Chanel writes in such a way that her characters are my friends, and I'm in the scene with them, watching this happen to them and not able to do a thing but let life take its course. And we'll be right there with them wherever this wonderful woman takes us!

Shel: The end of Into the Blue came all too quickly and with the look at Dani and Alex's story at the end, I can see that it's going to be an emotional one; it'll be interesting to see how Cleeton handles it. With each pilot and their love, we've seen so many various aspects of those who are in (and marry into) the military must face. With Cleeton writing it, there's an air of authenticity and thoughtfulness that enhances the feel and experience of each of their stories and has me looking at the calendar to see when we'll get more. Court: I cannot even wait, but did mention to Shel that I am somewhat glad it comes out in January - that way I have enough time to mentally prepare! Hahaha, who am I kidding, I am waiting with bated breathe for it to come out! Dani is my favorite, and that teaser was killer!

Into the Blue
by Chanel Cleeton

July 5, 2016
Wild Aces #2
Adult Contemporary Romance


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 fiancĂ©e.

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?


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.


Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1OFUJnZ
Google Play: http://bit.ly/1lvnY4M

Check out Book 1 in the Wild Aces series, Fly with Me:

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/20ewq86
Google Play: http://bit.ly/23eFOei

On Broken Wings, Wild Aces Book 3 Pre-order (out January 3, 2017):

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1XaprN9
Google Play: http://bit.ly/1rM6yVg


Originally 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.


Website:   www.chanelcleeton.com

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