Sunday, June 22, 2014

Blog Tour: Little Things by Madison Street

Everything in Duke Grayson’s life was all he could ever ask for: A loving family, loyal friends, a beautiful girlfriend, and a scholarship to his top choice college. It’s his senior year of high school, and all he needs is to focus on his grades, lacrosse, and keeping his girlfriend happy. That is until Raya walks into his life. 

From the moment they meet, Duke is drawn to her, not only for her natural beauty and her stunning crystal blue eyes, but because he’s aware there’s more to this girl than just his alluring pull to her. He senses secrecy and fear. 

Throughout the year, their bond grows stronger, and his feelings for her become undeniable. Just when he is about to express his love, tragedy strikes and Raya disappears. 

For six years, Duke is tortured by his struggles, as he’s unable to find her and blames himself for failing to protect her. Until the day, she’s found, and he’s given a second chance. Will Duke become her beacon of hope and make her see that it’s the little things that make life worthwhile? Can Raya overcome her fears and fight against the terrors that haunt her? Or will her dark and torturous past be too much for her to battle against? 

*Warning: This book contains some disturbing situations, strong language and sexual content. Suited for 18 years and over.

4.25 Stars!


I glanced through several of the other reviews and saw that some people mentioned the slow pace on the front end. In some ways, I do agree that it does seem to move slowly, but I also think that it was worth it. Duke is beginning his senior year of high school with his girlfriend, Melanie, and it sounds like he worked pretty hard to get her to date him. Raya is new to school, she's quite and somewhat withdrawn, and she never seems to expect much for herself. Duke is immediately drawn to her, but what I really liked about this book is that there was no insta-love - even for two highschoolers.  

Over the course of the year, Duke and Melanie both befriend Raya, and both of them see that she has a great sense of humor, but she is also very secretive and unable to hang out with them much. As for Raya, you quickly begin to see that both she and her mother are basically being held hostage by her step-father, Craig. Everything in their household has to be run by him and approved by him, and he basically does not care much for either of them and spends more time mentally and physically abusing them. Things begin to feel very creepy about Craig...

Everything changes in the spring. Prom happens, and from there, none of their lives are the same. Duke finally realizes how much Raya means to him, and strangely enough, Melanie seems to be understanding. Around that same time, however, tragedy strikes in Raya's life. Not long after that, she just disappears. Raya's life is definitely not the same after that. After spending many years being tortured, she is rescued and Duke is able to come back into her life. Nothing is as it seems, however, and Raya may have to fight for herself one more time. 

On the back end of the story, I appreciated the build up on the front end, even if it did seem slow, at times. Duke and Raya spent months building memories with one another, as friends, and these memories get both of them through some very difficult times. They also affect one another's future decisions, Raya's in a not so positive way, but Duke decides to go into Criminal Investigation and loves it. I enjoyed reading about these two. I do think that there are parts of the story that could use a little work or build up. For instance, there were a few detail things I noticed, such as someone making a sick person chicken soup at 9 am in the morning, etc. Also, it feels like music and songs are really supposed to be a huge part of the story, and I think this could have definitely been given more attention from Raya's point of view. 


I hear a whisper come up from behind me, “So, how’s your first party?” I know that voice anywhere. I turn around to find Duke smiling at me.
“It’s great! I’m having so much fun!”
“I’m glad. You’ve danced with Taylor all night. Usually he doesn’t dance at parties, so that was surprising.”
I glance towards Taylor who’s across the room, talking to Adam. “Oh well. He’s a good dance partner.”
“Wanna bet?” Duke grabs my hand and leads me onto the dance floor just in time for a new song to start. The speakers start to play “Timber” by Pitbull and the crowd goes wild as people begin to flood the dance area. My heart literally stops beating and I swear I can’t even breathe, I’m so freaking nervous. I notice that my hand fits so perfectly in Duke’s hand.
The crowd is so packed together that Duke and I are forced to dance closely; maybe a little too close. As the song starts, he sings the lyrics and we begin to groove to the music. 
I laugh out loud and raise my hands above my head and sing along with him. The crowd is compact and everyone’s bodies continuously bump into one another. Duke looks at me and places his hand on my lower back. A shocking jolt of electricity flows through his touch and my eyes widen. He immediately removes his hand from my back and instead keeps his hand by his side. I can still feel the heat flow, where his hand was placed, and I miss it being there. We continue dancing as I give him a reassuring smile. He winks and continues to sing and twirls me around.
I bob my head to the beat and shake my body with every fiber I have. As we dance together, I no longer pay attention to what’s around me. It’s as if Duke and I are the only ones dancing and as I stare at him, I get lost in the wonder of what could be. Someone from behind me pushes me forward and I fall against Duke’s strong and broad chest as he catches me. We stare into each other’s eyes for a brief moment before he breaks the contact and helps me stand on my own.
“You alright?”
I laugh nervously, “Yea sorry. Just crowded, that’s all.”
The song ends and the crowd begins to clear leaving only a few stragglers. Duke looks at his watch. “It’s getting late. We should get going.”
“Ok. I have to use the restroom first.”
After I use the restroom, Duke finds Melanie among the crowd and we say our goodbyes. Taylor tells me he will call soon and he hugs me and kisses me on the cheek. As we pull up to my driveway, Melanie asks, “So, was it a night to remember?” I smile and catch Duke looking at me through the rearview mirror, “Yes, yes it was.”

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About the Author

Madison Street was born in New York City and was raised in the Bronx, where she resided until she was 17 years old. After 9/11, Madison joined the United States Navy to serve her country.

During the deployments, Madison constantly wrote short stories and she discovered her passion for writing. You will find Madison always on the computer, whether she's on Facebook, designing websites, messing with Photoshop, or writing for her blog.

Besides writing, her second passion is music and dance. Even though she's a terrible. 

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