Friday, October 14, 2016

Touching Down by Nicole Williams: Blog Tour Review & Excerpt


The whole world might be in love with him. But all he’s ever loved is her.

Grant Turner’s name is synonymous with football. The fans and media can’t get enough of the player known as The Invincible Man, a nickname he earned while growing up in one of the toughest neighborhoods in the country and the nickname he’s kept by being one of the best players in professional football today. No one can take him down. He’s unstoppable.

But even a suit of armor has its weak point, and Grant’s has always been Ryan Hale.

They were a couple of kids when they fell in love, and just when it looked like the happy ending neither expected was within reach, Ryan disappeared. No explanations. No good-byes.

Grant coped by throwing himself into the game for seven years, and he’s finally moved on. Or so he thinks.

When she walks back into his life, all of those feelings come crashing back, despite the warnings in his head that tell him she’ll leave him again. Grant can withstand the league’s toughest defensive line, but he’s always been weak where she’s concerned.

No man can take Grant Turner down.

But one woman certainly can.

One woman will.

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Grant motioned for me to wait when I started to open my door, then he jogged around to open it himself. “This is a date. That means I drop you off in front, walk you up to the front door . . .”

He took my hand and helped me out, grinning all goofy-like when the hem of my dress slid up my legs as I crawled out.

“Give me a goodnight kiss?” I added as I let him take my hand.

He peered over at me, brow raised. “Or a good night something.”

​Giving him a light shove, I tried not to pretend that a good night something sounded as appealing to me as it did to him. “I never should have told you it’s been seven years since my last time.”

​“Yes, you definitely should have.”

​“Why’s that?”

​He grinned at the ground. “Because I can use that knowledge in my favor.”

​“How does knowing that work in your favor?” I angled toward him as we climbed the stairs together.

​After we’d stopped in front of the door, he turned and pulled me closer. “Because I know how bad you need it now.”

​The skin on the back of my neck raised, my lips parting from the acceleration of my breath. “How do you know it’s not a case of the longer you go without it, the less you need it?”

​“No,” he said at last, his head slowly shaking. “Not with something like that. Not with someone like you.” Grant moved closer, not stopping until his chest was pressing into mine, walking me backward until my back ran into the wall. “In fact, I bet you’ve gone so long, I could barely touch you and you’d fall apart in my arms. Am I right?”

​My chest was brushing against his, my legs feeling weak from what was happening. Or what was about to happen. Or what I was imagining was about to happen.

​“No,” I whispered, “you’re not right.”

​His eyes called me out. “There’s only one way to know who’s right.” He kissed the outside of my neck before lightly sucking on my earlobe.

​The moan he drew from me seemed to sweep across the entire estate. My hand clamped over my mouth, but he pried it away.

“No. I don’t want you stifling the sounds you make for me.” Holding my wrist, he slid my hand up the wall until my arm was fully extended above me. The stone was still warm from the sun, heat seeping into my skin. “Other hand,” he ordered before sinking his teeth into my lobe.

​The sensation made me jolt against him, but all he did was press his body into mine harder until I felt trapped between two walls of stone. When I lifted my other hand for him, he gathered it up in his hand with my other wrist. The task of winding around both of my wrists was no challenge for hands the size of his.

​Once he had me pinned, he rocked his hips into mine, practically lifting me up the wall. Another moan escaped from my mouth, but this one was more a cry of pleasure. He was right. He’d barely have to touch me.

​His other hand moved from the bend of my hip to reach something above us.

​“What are you doing?” I breathed, my ribs feeling as though they’d crack from the way my heart was pounding.

​“Unscrewing this light bulb,” he said, right before the wash of light disappeared and darkness moved in around us. “And now, I’m going to take care of you.”

About the Author:

I'm the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of the CRASH series (HarperTeen, S&S UK), LOST & FOUND series, UP IN FLAMES (S&S UK), The EDEN TRILOGY, and a handful of others. I write stories about everyday kinds of people who find themselves in extraordinary kinds of situations. I tell love stories with happy endings because I believe in making the world a better place, and that's one tiny way I can make it so. I'm one of those people who still believe in true love and soul mates, and would rather keep my head in the clouds any day over having my feet firmly on the ground.

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Review by Michelle:

Not your average sports romance, not your average second chance romance, far from your average swoony hero, and far from your average strong, capable and independent heroine, Touching Down is in a league all its own.

Ryan's got a secret and let me tell you, it's a doozy. Oh, and make that three shocking secrets! What I love about a Nicole Williams book is that you are always in a for surprise, there is always a significant twist, each more unique than the last, a gasp worthy revelation that keeps you hooked and makes you desperate to find out what happens next. To top it off, these twists don't come at the very end of the book and leave you hanging or have to be tied up in the absolute quickest way possible. Oh no, these secrets always come out early on in the story to shock you, astound you, consume you with worry, and inundate you with questions, all with plenty of time for a complete, realistic and completely satisfying resolution. Ryan's secrets are huge, life changing secrets, flawlessly revealed to leave you breathless and turned completely upside down.

As an ardent fan of sports romances, it is surprising how long it has been since I've found a footballer to rival my undying love for one of my favorite heroes, Jude Ryder. It seems only fitting that another of Nicole Williams' leading men would step up to fill those shoes and Grant Turner is the perfect football super star to step up to my beloved Jude. A genuinely nice guy who is unbelievably down to earth, caring, considerate and compassionate, loyal till the end, incredibly forgiving, and an amazing role model and generous humanitarian, you couldn't ask for more when it comes to Mr. Turner. When you throw in a multi-million dollar contract, rugged good looks, a killer physique, and a reputation for being the Invincible Man, you'd be hard pressed to find a more enchanting hero.

Everyone needs a savior, even if only to remind you that you can do it and make you believe in yourself again. Although the couple met when Ryan was literally saved by Grant, I love that both Ryan and Grant are each other's knight in shining armor at times and that these roles continually switch back and forth over time. Ryan is no damsel in distress and Grant is no big dumb jock and while they both were successful in their own right independently, once they reunite, they refuse to take no for an answer and are truly a force to be reckoned with.

Overly romantic in an unrealistic sort of way? A little. After all, seven years is an awfully long time, especially for a much sought-after pro football player. At the same time, who doesn't love a super sweet fairytale-like story every now and again especially when the man in question is everything Grant Turner encompasses, and when it's done as well as Nicole Williams does it. A tad impractical at times, maybe, yet incredibly life affirming and uplifting. A beautiful story that reminds us to not simply wait around for death to call, but to live, and even to live it up while you can.

Funny, delightfully sweet, emotional without being overly angsty, wonderfully inspiring, and satisfyingly steamy, Touching Down will touch you in just about every way possible and keep you enthralled from beginning to end.
*complimentary copy provided by author for an honest review

Rating: 4.5 Stars

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