Thursday, November 6, 2014

Blog Tour and Review: Bigger than the Sky by Harper Bentley

Title: Bigger Than the Sky (Serenity Point #1)
Author: Harper Bentley
Release Date: Sept 30, 2014
Find on Goodreads

Five years ago, I left my fiancé, hotter than hot Navy SEAL Kade Kelly, at the altar.
No, I’m not an idiot.
Yes, I had my reasons.
Now I’ve made a new life for myself working at a large firm in Richmond and I’ve left the past behind. Or so I thought.
Upon returning to my hometown of Serenity Point, Virginia, to take care of some business, I find that Kade’s now home for good and he’s none too happy about my being here.
Two months. That’s all I’m staying then I’m out of here. Unless I believe the town’s pink-haired psychic’s prediction. Or embrace the sense of belonging I feel at being back home. Or give in to the emotions stirring inside when Kade's attention is suddenly on me.
He scares the crap out of me.
He thrills me.
He used to tell me our love was bigger than the sky.
I always knew ours was a once-in-a-lifetime love. So how can he be so sure it can happen again?


4.25 Stars!
In so many ways, I really loved this story. Five years ago, Amelia, or Mill, ran away from Kade, on their wedding day. She is now back in her hometown, however, to figure out what to do with her grandparent's service station, so she can no longer avoid everything concerning Kade, as he, his whole family, and many of their friends from her past still live there. You find out pretty quickly that Mill basically freaked out on her wedding day when she realized that, while she had always loved Kade, she had barely seen him in the few years prior to their wedding day, due to his training as a Navy SEAL. So, like any girl that comes from a broken home and a past where both of her own parents left her and ran to live their own lives, she chose to run, rather than to face Kade, marry him and then live by herself and feel swallowed up in him. 

Kade was definitely the strong, silent type, while also being the alpha male that Mill had always loved. I liked that he didn't drag everything out for Mill. He let her know that she had hurt him, that he had been angry, and that he had thought a lot about her over the years. He also started chasing after her pretty quickly, though, because he had finally realized that she was what he wanted, and he probably should have gone after her to begin with. In many ways, this was an aspect that I liked, but I also had a hard time really believing. I guess, in my mind, I think Kade is the type of guy that would have gone after Mill well before five years had passed by, as she was only an hour away. 

This author is also a very good writer, but Kade's inability to speak in full sentences drove me nuts. It felt very abrupt, at times. There was also several other dramatic things that were added to the story that felt a little rushed. Someone from Mill's past comes back and seems unwilling to let Mill move on with her life with Kade, and I think that there could have been more preparation for this, because what happened, as well as the tone of the book towards the end, were not what I was expecting. Overall, I think this is a good start to a series, but I would like to read more about what is happening with the couple in the present, as opposed to being told about what happened in the past and how it was like that now, in the present. 

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After my squawk of surprise, I turn and see Brody Kelly walking across the street and I can’t help the huge smile that covers my face.
“Brody!” I holler and run to meet him, jumping up and throwing my arms around his neck for a hug as his encircle my waist and he spins me around.
“Thought that was you,” he says with a grin as he sets me back down.
“In the flesh,” I say with a smile as I look up at him, covering my eyes with my hand to block the sun. Brody was always such a cutie with his messy sandy brown hair, expressive hazel eyes and mischievous grin that always let you know he was up to no good. He’s around six-two, two-hundred pounds of rock solid muscle and I’d think he was hot if not for the fact that he’s like a little brother to me.
He walks over and whistles at my car. “Man, Mill, getting’ pretty fancy on us. Might wanna hide it in the garage tonight so no one steals the rims.” He grins down at me when I come up beside him and smack him in the arm. He looks around for a second and says, “Seriously, where’s Jeeves? Didn’t he drive you?”
“Shut it, Brody,” I reply with a giggle.
“Guess you’re doing pretty well for yourself then, huh?” he asks, a small frown forming on his face.
I purse my lips then respond, “Yes, I’m doing okay, I guess.” He looks at me out of the corner of his eye in a that was so an understatement kind of way since my car cost almost six figures. “Um, what’re you doing here? I mean, it’s like you just appeared out of the blue,” I say.
He takes me by the shoulders and turns me to face across the street. I look at Pettyman’s Lumberyard, but that’s when I notice it no longer says Pettyman’s on the front but Kelly & Family Lumber and Construction in its place.
“Y-you bought Pettyman’s?”
He nods with another grin then asks, “So how long you in town for?”
“Not sure. I’ve got two months’ vacation time I’m using so I came to finally check out the station,” I explain, turning back to face it, my smile falling away.
“Aw, Mill, I’m sorry. They were good people,” he replies. “I know Harley feels terrible about everything.”
Harley Sedgwick, the local heating and air technician, had inspected the heater in Papaw and Meemaw’s house for years, telling Papaw on his inspection five years ago (the winter after my wedding debacle) that it really needed to be replaced. Papaw had scoffed at him telling him there was at least a good five more years in it. The next year, Papaw had neglected to call Harley to come back out and take a look, and Harley had been so busy that it hadn’t even occurred to him to check on them. The heater had developed a leak since the previous year it’d been checked, and my beloved grandparents tragically died in their sleep from carbon monoxide poisoning on a chilly day in early November.
“I know,” I say. “I hope he knows it’s not his fault. Papaw was a stubborn old fool anyway, as Meemaw would’ve said.” I chuckle sadly.
He curls an arm around my shoulders to comfort me. The Kelly men and their protectiveness, I think which makes me sigh.
“So think you might be back to stay?” he asks looking down at me, eyebrows raised.
I huff out a laugh because that’s a ludicrous idea. “No. I wanted to see if maybe I could get the place up and running again then sell,” I inform him.
He drops his arm then nods with what looks like disappointment, which I think is ridiculous. He knows I’m never coming back.
“So how are you? How’s Piper?” I ask.
“She’s fine,” he says aloofly. Then he gets a shy look on his face. “I passed the fireman test. I’m a real-live firefighter now.”
My eyes now get big and I squeal, “Really? Oh, my God! I’m so happy for you!” I hug him again telling him his news is wonderful when I hear someone clearing his throat behind him. Still holding on to him, I lean to the side and look around his shoulder, and what I see makes me swallow down a gasp.
Dear God.
Brody’s older brother Kade Kelly.
Still hotter than hell Kade Kelly.
Kade Kelly who’s got a hard body that’s sculpted like a magnificent work of art.
Who has a large Celtic cross tattooed on his back with “Fiona” in the middle of it in honor of their baby sister who’d died at birth.
Kade Kelly who sings and plays guitar in a band.
Who took my virginity when I was sixteen and he was eighteen.
Kade Kelly who I left standing at the altar five years ago.

Author Info:
Harper Bentley has taught high school English for 22 years. Although she’s managed to maintain her sanity regardless of her career choice, jumping into the world of publishing her own books goes to show that she might be closer to the ledge than was previously thought.
After traveling the nation in her younger years as a military brat, having lived in Alaska, Washington State and California, she now resides in Oklahoma with her teenage daughter, two dogs and one cat, happily writing stories that she hopes her readers will enjoy.

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