Sunday, June 2, 2013

***Darkness Before Dawn by Claire Contreras Blog Tour Stop and Giveaway!!***

Book Title: Darkness Before Dawn
Author: Claire Contreras
Genre: Romance Mystery/Suspense/Romance
Release Date: May 31, 2013
Cover Designer: Okay Creations


Is love ever enough?

Faced with obstacles she could have never imagined, Blake is brought to darkness and back by forces in her past she never knew existed.
Desperate to stay connected to the only thing he loves, Cole is forced to revisit his past and align himself with the people who knew about Blake’s disappearance.
Separation has forced both Blake and Cole to learn how to live under the worst circumstances, each of them alone in their own hell.

When they reunite, can they be the same two people they were before darkness swept upon them?
Told in separate points of view, Darkness Before Dawn is the continuation of Blake and Cole’s fight to make it to the light.


Loud pounding on the bathroom door breaks me from my daydream and I get up quickly to turn off the water and get out of the shower. The pounding on the door continues until I yell out that I’m almost done. Once I’m dressed, I take a deep breath and decide that I will not let them break me; I won’t let my family down. I open the door and find Dean on the other side of it, wearing a plaid blue button down shirt with the sleeves rolled up, jeans, and black boots. His voluminous dark hair is perfectly styled, and even though I hate facial hair, I notice that the shadow of a beard displayed on his face looks pretty good on him. My eyes trail down his slim body and stay glued to the tattoo I see on his left forearm, until his chuckle brings me to meet his twinkling hazel eyes.

“Well, this is a change,” he says, the side of his mouth forming in a slight smile.

“What is?” I ask crinkling my eyebrows. 

“You. Checking me out instead of glaring at me,” he says as a slow smile spreads on his face.

My mouth pops open for a moment before I recover my thoughts. “I was not checking you out! I was trying to figure out what your tattoo is. There’s a difference. Besides, you’re not in your uniform today. It’s weird to see you wearing grown up clothes.” I mock.

He doesn’t really wear a uniform, but most of the time he’s dressed in jeans, a white T-shirt and a leather jacket. 

He shakes his head. “If you say so.” I can hear the disbelief in his voice and it makes me want to throw something at him.

“Do you have another magazine for me?”

He’s been bringing me magazines to help my boredom. I have to hide them whenever Alex comes to check up on me just in case, but that’s a small price to pay for entertainment. I may not know what’s going on in the world, but I know what celebrity couples are together and what the latest trend fashion is. So far, Drew Barrymore got married and Jessica Simpson had a baby. Maybe if I would have kept up with gossip before, this would be exciting for me to know, but frankly, I don’t give a damn. I sigh dreamily at my own thoughts and daze off thinking of Gerald O’Hara. God, I need to get the fuck out of here! You know it’s bad when you’re day dreaming of an old dead guy. 

“You’re such a pain in the ass,” Dean says with a laugh, and then suddenly stops. “Shit. I was kidding, chick, you didn’t have to go and cry about it.” 

I wipe my tears, but can’t stop the sobs from escaping my throat before I bury my face in my hands. How pathetic am I that I can’t be called a pain in the ass without crying? How pathetic is it that everything reminds me of Cole? Once I calm down, I wipe my face again and bring the tray onto my lap, avoiding his gaze. 

“So, you don’t like being called a pain in the ass?” he asks quietly. I know he’s trying to keep the conversation light, but I’m not in the mood for any of it. 

“No,” I grumble before taking a bite of toast. “I don’t like being called anything.”

He sits in front of me and watches me eat in silence. When I finish, I get up and head to the bathroom, leaving him sitting on the floor by my bed. 

I wash my hands before sitting up on the counter and lean my back on the mirror hoping that he gets tired of waiting for me and leaves. I idly begin to draw circles over the green bruises on my calf and it hits me that that’s all I am these days: cuts and bruises, inside and out. At the sound of thunder outside, I snap back to reality and hop off the counter, picking up my hair in a messy pony tail as I open the door, hoping to walk into an empty room, but Dean still there flipping through my magazine.

“You gonna sit here and read old gossip all day?” I ask.

He raises an amused eyebrow. “This is new gossip.” 

As he walks over to me, I notice our difference in height, for some reason I had never noticed the way he towers over me. Probably because I’m always looking at the ground unless I’m sitting on it. He’s definitely not as tall as Cole, nothing about his physical appearance is like Cole’s. Cole is tall and muscular, Dean is tall and lean. Cole has more of a playboy face, whereas Dean is more of a rugged pretty boy. The only thing they have in common is that swag, or spark that some guys have. The one that draws you to them, even though you know in the back of your mind that you will get burned once you get too close. When he leans close to hand over the magazine, making me flinch a little, I take in his scent of nicotine and cinnamon. 

He holds my stare as we both grip either side of the magazine. “I wouldn’t hurt you, Chick, okay?”

“You are hurting me,” I whisper as I take it from his hand and sit down on the bed. I downcast my eyes and look at it, but it looks blurry through my eyes and I can’t make out who’s on the cover. He cups his hand under my chin and lifts my face to look at him, but I turn my face out of his hold. “Don’t touch me, please.”

Jenn's Review:

I was past ready to read this book when I finally got the chance. After the ending of There is No Light in Darkness, I was a mess! After everything Blake and Cole had endured, separately and together, the nightmare will continue for them. I finally got my nails to grow back! Now I’m going to have to start all over!!
As the story begins, we find out that some time has passed since Blake was taken but she has no idea how much. She is allowed to eat, bathe and do laundry. She has been beaten and the only thing that gets her through the days and nights are thoughts of Cole.
Cole is going crazy. He knows Blake is alive but has no idea how to find her. He needs help finding Blake and doesn’t have many options. Every time he checks to see what is being done, he is always told, it is being handled. Ummm right. Like that answer is going to stand. It’s a good thing Cole and Blake have the right people on their side. It is with their help that Blake attempts to escape. However, the plan backfires and Blake begins another kind of fight. And, it changes her life again and in a way she could not prepare herself for.
Cole is wonderfully supportive, caring and beyond loving where Blake is concerned. He will not allow her to live in her nightmare alone. He does not let her sink into herself and let the darkness take over. He was so strong for her that it took my breath away. Where Cole is concerned, he had me in tears more often than not.
Darkness Before Dawn also has some amazing supporting characters. The extended “family” that we were able to spend time with were fabulous and I am so glad they stuck around. Too many times I’ve been introduced to characters in a book then they just go away. Claire had this group stay a part of the story until the very end.
Claire also threw in a surprise that I absolutely LOVED!! I won’t tell you what it is, I want you to figure it out. But, It. Was. Awesome.
My emotions were all over the place with this book. While reading certain parts I would have to stop reading because I couldn’t see through my tears. The love Blake and Cole have for each other was evident and plain as day. I know their story had to come to an end but I wasn’t ready for it. This is definitely a story that I will read again and again. 

Claire's Bio:

Claire Contreras graduated with her BA in Psychology from Florida International University. She lives in Miami, Florida with her husband, two little boys, and three dogs. 

Her favorite past times are: daydreaming, writing, and reading.

She has been described as a random, sarcastic, crazy girl with no filter.

Life is short, and it’s more bitter than sweet, so she tries to smile as often as her face allows. She enjoys stories with happy endings, because life is full of way too many unhappy ones. 

Author Links: 

Buy Links:

Barnes and Nobles - http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/there-is-no-light-in-darkness-claire-contreras/1114106198?ean=9781481936606

Click Here For Claire's Giveaway!!

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