Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Blog Tour and Review: Pretty Instinct by S.E. Hall

“If opposites attract, then I am nothing. Because you, you are everything.”

There’s no easy road traveled to such an intense sentiment, one I never dreamt I’d feel…. 

But I also never planned on Cannon Blackwell climbing aboard my tour bus.


Pretty Instincts Cover

SE Hall has done it once again with Pretty Instinct!  I rate this book 5 stars and recommend that everyone read it.  The characters in this book were feisty, loved with everything they had, and supported one another through every step in life.  It melted my heart, brought a tear to my eye more than once and made me laugh.  A fantastic combination when reading a book!

Liz, Lizzie, Bethy or Sister, however she was referred to, she was one of my two favorite characters in this book.  Taking control of a life that gave her heartache and anger, she rose above to take care of her brother Connor and stood by her friends who were more like family to her, trying to give them a happiness that she couldn't seem to find in the band.  She never took for herself, she made sure that everyone was cared for and was doing something they loved, even if she didn't feel the same way about it.  The way she fiercely loved her brother Connor and took care of him was admirable and made me smile on more than one occasion.

And Cannon.  Holy swoon worthy!!  I think that I have a new book boyfriend!  He was everything that any girl could ever hope for having in a guy and Lizzie deserved to be loved by him more than any character I have come across in a book.  The gentle way that he loved her was amazing, he always knew just what she needed and he was able to give her that and more.  I can't imagine anyone reading this book and not falling just a little in love with him along the way.

I enjoyed seeing how the relationships between all of the characters started out in the beginning and changed as the book progressed, all for the better.  And without giving a spoiler, I will just say that the scene in the bank with Cannon and Lizzie had me reaching for tissues as the tears fell down my cheeks. 

This books is an absolute MUST READ.  I would love to read a book about Jarrett and Rhett's story after that ending!  A girl can hope :)

A Few of my favorite lines:
Cannon~ "Breathe. One in for me, and out for you"
Liz~"I scooped up your trash and it's my treasure."
Cannon~ "You witchy, mood swinging, sexy girl, for once, shut that fuck up and listen! Look around, my love, everything you need to stop hurting is right in front of your face."

I do love a good rock and roll love story and SE Hall delivered the goods on Pretty Instinct!  I love love love Ms Hall’s Evolve series and her style of writing!  She always gives us a strong but quirky female lead, a loveable but yet dominate male and a splash of comedy in the romance to mix it all up.   Some people may not be a fan of insta-love books but I personally love them.  I mean really, who doesn’t believe in love at first sight?? I know I do! And I love stories like that! I want to fall in love with the story and the characters and get sucked into their love fest!  Pretty Instinct did just that fore me!  This is told mostly in the female POV but there are some male POV sprinkled in.  I loved that it didn’t alternate… gives insight to the man’s POV when needed. I liked to think it was a nice added bonus!

Liz Carmichael is the lead singer and mama bear to the boys of See You Next Tuesday.  She travels with her brother and uncle on a tour bus with the boys of the band that have become her extended family.  She doesn’t speak to her father and her mother committed suicide so her band is her family.  She’s always been sort of a loner and not your normal girly girl.  With her mother’s death, she had to grow up and take more responsibilities than what a young girl should have to take on.  She’s defiantly the pessimist that will say the glass is half empty.  She doesn’t do relationships and certainly not love.

“Nothing, no one ever surprises me in a god way or brings to curios life parts of me I thought were long since dead or didn’t exist at all.”

When a blow up leaves them down a bassist, fate steps up and leads them to the Cannon Blackwell. Left by her girlfriend at a bus stop, he has only his suitcase and his guitar.   Desperate for a replacement, Liz approaches him about joining them.  He oozes sex appeal and has that aura around him that makes her immediately feel the butterflies in her stomach when they have contact.  But with Liz trust doesn’t come easy and she keeps her guard up. But slowly she lets her guard down. They both feel the connection they have.  But she doesn’t want to be his rebound…

“I want to melt into a puddle.  I want to, for once, let go and steal a taste of his mouth.  I want to kick him in the shin for teasing me so, defuddling my stoic resolve and making me question all I thought I knew and controlled.  He makes me want silly, whimsical things reserved for frilly girls, which I’m not.  Or so I thought.”

Will the road be too much for Liz and Cannon??  Can it build their love or does Liz feel like she his rebound?  When challenges present themselves, will Cannon remain by her side?  You need to read to find out!  It’s definitely one you need tissues for this one as there are moments that will melt your heart but then moments that will break it into a million pieces!  Another amazing one from SE Hall!  5 huge stars from me!

5 smushy stars!

I was excited to read my first book by S.E. Hall-Pretty Instinct. I found her writing to flow, be humorous, packed with emotion and genuine. The cast of characters helped make this standalone book an experience.
The message I gathered from it is, don't be afraid to lean on someone that shows you compassion and the beauty inside yourself. This is not your typical rocker book. It has lots of substance and evolves at a thoughtful pace. The story was sweet, charming and layered with equal parts of beauty and pain.
The plot had me curious and eager from the first chapter so I swiftly consumed the pages to discover the unanswered questions I needed answers to!

Cannon is the hero that Lizzie stumbles upon who awakens feelings that she's never experienced.
He's hot, flirty and compassionate. Will she let him break through her independent ways? Or is it not the right time for them due to unfortunate circumstances?

"What you do to me Lizzie, your song, your smile, a look... You draw me in and I'm captivated, willing to sell me soul to know more."
Elizabeth has a lot on her shoulders looking out for the ones she holds near and dear. She is selfless, always putting their needs first. She's a bit sassy, vulnerable but also guarded. When Cannon comes into her life she makes a new friend that gives her the attention she truly deserves. He shows her that it's ok to let your guard down and experience some happiness. It's ok to be happy and enjoy life.

"Cannon's sense of humor is invigorating and quirky and adorable. You can't help but like him."
The dialogue is witty, romantic and heartfelt in this book. I fell hard for the hero in this tale. His tender and authentic ways touched my heart. He has so many beautiful qualities that Lizzie could benefit from at this crucial time. It was an inspirational story about facing truths, letting love in and to new beginnings!

I look forward to discovering more of S. E. Hall's books. They have depth and beauty within the written words. Discovering the hidden message within is her work is part of their charm! I was blown away by so many of the authors beautiful and poignant quotes!

I wish I had a Cannon years ago. I would of gladly given him smushy LOVE and been his Siren...

Oh and don't 4get to follow your INSTINCTS they may just lead you to a treasure!



S.E. Hall Author Pic

S.E.Hall resides in Arkansas with her husband of 18 years and 4 beautiful daughters. When not in the stands watching her ladies play softball, she enjoys reading and writing. She's also being clutch at Baggo, when it's warm outside!

“I can’t let a stranger on the bus with Bubs. What if he’s a mass murderer?” What if he’s not as pretty on the inside as he is on the outside?

“Ah, Mama Bear, run him through all the tests. You’re careful. And he might say we’re crazy and tell us to fuck off. Let’s ask before we worry about it.”

Biding my time, I chew on the inside of my cheek and look back, confirming Conner’s still tossing the Frisbee happily, Rhett watching him. “You asking or am I?” I sigh, hopefully masking the foreign tingle of anticipation working its way up my battered spine.

“He’s hetero, I can tell from here. I say we send in,” he flicks a finger back and forth between my boobs, “the big guns.”

“Don’t lick your lips!” I shove him, mouth agape. “You’re like my brother. That’s illegal in at least forty states, and gross.”

“You didn’t think it was gross when—”

“Enough.” I slap my hand over his mouth hastily. “I’ll go, but you stay right here and watch, closely. He makes a move for a weapon, dial 911 as you run to rescue me.”

“On it.” He grins at me, full of victory, a hint of his earlier teasing still lingering in his expression.

Girding my loins, I think, do women have loins and can they be girded or is that only a guy thing? Summoning my courage, I move with slow, hesitant steps in the miraculous unknown’s direction, reminding myself with each one that it’s for the boys, the band, the overall goal of staying the hell out of Sutton. And it is, but I’m kidding myself if I don’t admit I wouldn’t be this anxious if I was walking up to an ugly man. Or even a kinda good-looking man. Shallow much, Liz? Nah, I have no control over biological response.

Almost there now, his head lifts and turns at my approach, connecting eyes as sable brown as thick molasses to my own. He was tummy-turning enough far away. Up close, he’s better than photoshopped, a clear-cut case for Guinness Genetics. His lips are full, much plumper than my own, and he has a strong nose and jawline, both very masculine, the latter covered in a dark scruff. His hair is the same rich chestnut as his eyes, not too short, but definitely not too long. “Just fucked” hair (isn’t that what they call it?) be damned. He’s got “just fucked her and she had to hold on” locks, unruly in the most intricate fashion. The black boots at the end of long, thick legs are scuffed, faded jeans worn, well, and the long sleeved black thermal he’s wearing? Oh, he wears it, or rather, every muscle in his torso holds it up flawlessly.

Bottom line—he’s easy to look at.

“Are you a deranged serial killer and/or rapist?”

I like to open subtly.

“No, are you?” His timbre is deep and gravely, sending my vagina subliminal messages. Something along the lines of “yup, you want it.” With a voice like that, I’m praying he isn’t a chain smoker. To fuzz this perfect picture with the stench of an ever-present cloud of smoke would be one helluva slap in the face of the Almighty creator.

“No,” I answer too defensively, this instant, highly unusual attraction frying my staple “too cool to care” attitude that, up until right now, I’d like to think I pull off fabulously. “You any good?” I lean and point to the instrument on his back, brows bowed in questioning antagonism.

“Define good,” he deadpans, head down as he pulls the guitar off his back and puts it back in its case.


“Not left-handed.” He shrugs as he straightens back up and captures my gaze.


He laughs, treating me to one seriously enlightening sound, accompanied by the sexiest blindingly white smile. “Then no, not even close to good.”

Damn, I should’ve gone with a mediocre guitarist! Now I’ve backed myself into a corner, Stranger Danger not giving me anything in the form of segue. Struggling, I shove my hands in my back pockets and rock nervously back and forth on my heels, forced to come up with another revealing yet seemingly aloof question.

“Why do you ask?” he rescues me.

“Our band.” I toss my head back toward the bus. “We need a bassist. And since you’re hitchhiking, I thought maybe—”

He drops down from his perch on the top edge of the bench and stands, well over six feet of sinister sex appeal stretching out before my eager eyes. “Do you know what a hitchhiker is?”

“What?” I shake my head to clear it and take a step back. “Yes, of course.”

“You sure about that?” He eats up the steps I’d retreated, placing his body close enough to mine that I can literally feel the battle of push and pull between us. “‘Cause where I come from, hitchhikers stand at the road, where you can see them. It increases their chances of actually landing a ride.” His left eyebrow curves up at one end and that same eye, I swear it, twinkles at me. “Seeing as how I’m sitting at the back of a desolate rest stop, I’m either the worst hitchhiker in history,” another step closer, “or you’re labeling me with the wrong tag.”

I check my phone for the tenth time. It’s almost 2 am, surely they’re asleep and I can sneak to my own bed. Sleeping with Conner isn’t as fun as you might think, unless you think being caged with a wild animal sounds like a party.

As quietly as possible, I slink out of the bed and through his door, pulling it closed; halfway there. Sending up a silent prayer I don’t meet any open, awake eyes, I turn, relieved at the lack of spectators, and scurry to my bed. After sharing my song tonight, I need some time to pass before I look them in the eyes—those lyrics, the tremor in my voice as I sang—I’m not ready for questions or commentary.


Of course I didn’t pull off the covert bed switch undetected. This bus—40 x 8 feet—might as well be a shoebox. I draw back the curtain, squinting my eyes against the dimness.

“Hey,” Cannon greets me with a whisper and grin from his bed, curtain also pulled open.

Giving him back the smile I can’t contain, I finger wave. Has he been waiting up for me? Was I secretly hoping he’d still be awake? Do I want to know either answer or what it says about me? What planet am I living on that this is now an issue?

“Here.” He scoots to the edge of his bunk and hands across…an earbud? Eyeing him curiously, I turn on my side, facing his way, and put it in my ear. “Shhh.” He puts a finger over his lips then winks and slips the other bud in his own ear, only breaking eye contact for a split second to tap the phone screen, then reconnecting in the muted light.

“Hello, Lizzie,” his voice sounds in my ear and as my eyes pop in surprise. He once again does the “shhh” thing, nodding to me to just listen. “I thought about playing you ‘You Are So Beautiful,’ but surely you already know that. This, you may not.”

There’s a brief pause, then music starts… It’s “Have a Little Faith in Me.”

I know I whimper aloud, but I force my eyes to stay on his no matter how badly I want to hide them and the building tears. Through the entire song, I stare and he stares back, mouthing the words every once in a while. With the closing notes, his voice returns.

“Not too corny, I hope. Just…think about it. Sweet dreams, Lizzie.”

Apparently picking up on the fact I’ve been rendered incapable of functioning, he reaches over and gently removes the earbud, taps the end of my nose with his fingertip, then closes my curtain for me.

I’ll have the corny with a side of corny please.

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