Blog Tour + Giveaway: One to Keep - Tia Louise

Saturday, January 18, 2014

One to Keep - Tia Louise
WARNING: Mature themes, strong language and sexual content. Recommended for adult readers (18+) only!

Patrick Knight is not a nice guy.
At least, not anymore.

After a failed engagement, a one-night stand, and a random office shag, he’s sent to the desert so his business partner (Derek Alexander), can clean up his mess. Before he kicks his ass.

When Patrick meets Elaine on his desert exile, all he wants is to make her his. The problem is Elaine’s not looking for any guy—or a long-distance relationship.

Now Patrick’s doing everything he can to change her mind. And just when it seems he’s convinced her he’s the one to keep, the skeletons from his past life start coming back.

Note: Standalone, M/F, HEA

Purchase Links:
Amazon     |     Barnes & Noble     |     Kobo     |      ARe 

My Thoughts:
Again, Tia Louise had written another heartfelt novel about a guy who was broken and completed by love. Patrick portrayed a guy shattered and betrayed by his so-called ‘the one’ yet he found different kinds of love that helped in the process of him mending his broken heart. The levels of love that Patrick had found in: friendship, sibling, relationship and another unexpected kind of love.

The story about Patrick was not lost in the book. It was very much about Patrick. Very Patrick. How he tried to recover from his heartbreak. How he treated his meeting with Derek, Kenny, Melissa and Elaine as a part of his character developing from his past to present. Of course the unexpected twists about his pasts (before and during Elaine) and how it affected him and his relationship. Mostly, it never lost that sense that it focused on Patrick entirely. Also how Patrick and Elaine were more than just a couple, it was more. They were ‘growing’ together and I loved that about this book. And it was interconnected with several of the scenes at ‘One to Hold’ and also bounded  by Mel-Derek, and as supporting characters on the previous novel, I saw more insight as an observer from Patrick’s POV and then it shifted to my focus on Patrick-Elaine’s story. The details and how it was written was as crisp and clear like before. I personally loved One to Hold but One to Keep also behold such a love story about a different kind of ugly love to healing and recovering then transforming that ugly love to a well-deserved beautiful love – both with the main characters, Elaine and Patrick (even Kenny) and their story.

Patrick was a lot deeper than what he was at ‘One to Hold’. He was different from the previous book – he wasn’t that kind charmer. He had a baggage that was sort of an ego-inflating as he was cheated on by his ex-fiancée.  He was once that total fool in love. But he was betrayed to and he took the jerk way out to recover. He was hurt. Then he found love again. An intense one that he never expected. On another note, the deleted prologue (I posted it after my rating – originally found at: Vilma’s Book Blog) was helpful to fully-understand and have a detailed grasp on what happened to Patrick.

I literally felt both characters, as much as I felt Patrick, Elaine was also too much. I loved Elaine’s character and how she helped Patrick. How Patrick grew as himself – that was really promising, how he changed but now in a good way. The moment Patrick and Elaine had met, I was squealing like a fangirl! Patrick was really attracted to her and it wasn’t just lust. Also, there were sparks between the both of them that were natural, exciting and consuming (in a good way). There was a connection that wrapped them together – it was not cheesy but romantic. It was like I felt they were ‘it’ for each other. The hugging was even more compelling. I could sense how warm their embraces were. I swear it was natural to do and sweet. I felt the “I don’t ever want to let go” feeling whenever they hug each other. It felt like whenever Patrick-Elaine’s parts came up, it was like they were in their own bubble. Then sexual scenes were like in ‘One to Hold’ – emotion and physical-wise; but steamier and borderline kink on top. It was different but the same in the way it exerted the lust, desire, worship that surrounded them. His love for Elaine was so real and to compare the hurt he felt at Elaine was incomparable to the pain he had felt when his ‘ex’ hurt him. Because Elaine was his real deal, he realized that the moment the devastation on Elaine’s face when she knew something that almost crushed their relationship, that pain he felt just by looking at Elaine’s eyes. Just by him to have felt that overwhelming sense of hurt, dread and shattered, I knew his feelings for Elaine was nth power genuine and unconditional. For him to also hate himself and have that fear of losing Elaine, that made me love Patrick more. He was scared to lose Elaine and that was when I knew how his feelings consumed him.

Then the part where another part of Patrick’s recent past came back, he manned-up and supported Kenny – plus, I liked their relationship. Kenny and Patrick were a couple that was “healing”. It was just for one day-night but it helped them vent their pasts. Then they had this relationship that was ‘special’ it was like a sibling love – the urge to protect and knew about what they had in common. But what happened afterwards was unexpected yet a blessing. It was both an ideal and real thing to do – the decision they (Kenny and Patrick) did. About the Kenny issue: I understood Patrick and how he wanted to explain but then I felt for Elaine – because I felt her as a girl and I kept it mind that she had just recently ended a 5-year relationship. That 5-year relationship was still a relationship; she might not have loved her ex as much as Patrick but it was still years being together. That plus Patrick didn’t correct Elaine for the first time about Kenny. There were so many obvious faults and as much as I knew Patrick and his misery while it was happening, I could not help but cry for Elaine (I really did because she stated it was true but she didn’t know the whole story). There was a moment where Patrick said he would never hurt Elaine and Elaine replied that he already did. It pained me deeply. Then I wanted to console Patrick because it caused him another heartache but much more intense. No, ache did not even suffice… his heart shattered, shredded, stomped and almost ash.

He gave tried to apologize, he told her countless times how he loves her, he gave her space, he did everything… Then my favorite line was delivered by Derek: “Go to her. Beg her to forgive you. Grovel if you have to.” He made his moves to win her back. Elaine was a very understanding character. I applaud her to everything she had done. Gods, to be in her shoe? To be able to welcome Patrick as she was shattered to bits by the hurt and the jealousy? Yes, jealousy. Because even if I was in her position I would be wishing for the same thing, “I wanted…” that part. I cried at that part and I wanted Elaine to have that too but that would be impossible so when another unexpected twist happen, I was still overjoyed! Patrick was dedicated to Elaine as he was to Kenny, but Elaine was always the exception. Elaine was always the number one. He had new priorities but Elaine would always be the one that would be the first. No one ever came close. No one.

This book was different from ‘One to Hold’ though both had gave a second shot at love. The difference made me love both books in their very own way. Aside from delving on Patrick’s POV here (and how the author managed to grasp a man’s head), it really dealt on Patrick’s life. Even a girl could relate to Patrick, he experienced it in another way but it was still painful and then he fell in love again. It was a refreshing read but very familiar. It had the sense of hurting, healing, recovering, wishing, apologizing and of course of proving that when you find true love, you would literally grovel to have it back. You just know when it happens but no precursor, it was just unexpected but elating and blissful.

Lastly, to end this rant, I share to you an original (long) poem that nagged at me after I read this book:

‘Ode to Elaine by Patrick Knight’
By Jassie

“Everything happens for a reason,”
I am still hurting
but that is also preparing me
to be stronger.
I am fooling around to recover
but I know I am just wasting time.

My brother tries
to keep me on track,
I befriend his friend
and work with him.
Was it really helping?
I don’t care. I’m winging it, man.

Then I meet someone,
she is broken like me,
I feel her.
We become friends,
but that is it.
Just a couple of days and she will leave.
But she will always be special.

Am I being on the right path?
I am trying to be on the right path,
I need to work harder.
Get my mind off things.

Then I see her.
Her luminous beauty shines.
I feel the earth shifting on its axis,
all those poet stuffs
crashing to me all at once.
Sh*t, in this desert escapade
I meet my oasis.
Blame the desert air,
I am being romantic.
Damn, aesthetic-wise
that woman is a hands-down.
I am trying to keep my cool,
checking to turn on my charms.
As I step closer,
she looks at me.
She is radiating.
She is f*cking beautiful.
Wait, I see how she looks at me,
Is she interested?
She smiles at me,
Oh baby, I am a goner.

One day, one night.
Turned to a couple more days.
We need to leave soon
at this paradise.
Really, paradise?
But seeing that goddess?
To feel her in my arms
and inside?
Heaven might be a disappointment.
This right here is heaven.

I am not going to deny it…
I am falling in love.
No, not again.
I am in deep. Deeper.
When I thought I already fell,
I keep on falling in love more
and more on every little things
This time the love I am feeling
is different.
For me,
this is what love is right now:
Worth it.

Yes, I am all-in and very
committed to this girl.
At that I smile
on all things holy,
God, I feel blessed.
I have this girl.
Mine. All mine.

The pain of the past is
nothing compared to the devastation
I am seeing on Elaine’s face.
I will be gaining another,
I cannot believe it.
It literally shocks me to the very core.
Elaine’s beautiful face now crunch up
will forever be etched on my brain,
those soulful eyes holding the
hurt, betrayal, disbelief,
every pain keeps on  flashing on her eyes.
I want to explain,
to hold her tight and speak.
Then her tears start to flow,
my gut constricts,
my heart clenches,
my whole being paralyzed with the hurt
as I feel every pain she feels.
I am the one responsible for her tears.
No, no.
I step forward,
she turns and rushes out.
Please. No.
This. Cannot. Be. Happening.

F*ck to the moon and back,
I want to take all her pains
and clarify the misunderstandings
but what she said is true.
Sh*t, can I punch something?
I want this nagging ache be gone.

Not her.
Anything. Everything. Except her.
No. Not her.

Hurt, guilt, heart break, pain.
betrayal, disappointment, remorse,
and tragedy.
Yes, tragedy because I sense that the
‘Us’, that is Elaine and I,
is over.
Just the thought pierces me
and breaks my broken heart into
another shattering spectacle.
All the previous pain is nil
compared to this.
This is numbing my whole body
but on the inside,
it is overwhelming me with a
strong sense of unfathomable
pain and dread.

I will do anything to get her back,
“You would never be hurt so much
unless you have fallen deep.”
I already admitted I am in deep,
I will give ANYTHING she wants,
needs, every-f*cking-thing.
I will win her back.

I will do what Derek said,
“Go to her. Beg her to forgive you.
Grovel if you have to,”
I cannot promise not to hurt her
but I will try not to.
Never intentionally.
But the one thing I can promise,
there will never be
to use. Ever.

As she cry yet again,
I am keeping my arms around her,
crying with her.
Because I will trade whatever I have
to keep her with me.
Hugging her tightly, I confess everything.
Loosening my arms, I look at her,
her face twits to doubt – forgiveness..
I am hoping there is the spark back.
I stare and I am at bliss.
I see the love and I cling
to the slightest silver lining,
I love this woman.
I love her.
I will beg and apologize forever if I have to,
anything for this woman.

She is my heart and soul,
I am hers and she is mine.
She will always be:
the one to hold,
the one to keep,
desire, worship,
(lust), want, need,
and the only one to love.

I love her.
My Elaine.
The future Mrs. Patrick Knight.

That thought makes me smile
like I had been given the moon and the stars,
the universe.
Who wouldn’t?
I am such a lucky bastard.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.


Bright green eyes drew my attention like a magnet. A halo of golden curls framed chubby pink cheeks, and the little girl’s hand clutched the skirt of what was either her mother or an aunt. The woman in the charcoal suit was preoccupied by a phone call.
I placed my order for a Chocolate Decadence to go. The bakery just off Michigan Avenue was my fiancée Stacy’s favorite, and after one too many nights working late this month, I’d decided to surprise her. I’d taken off early, grabbed a bottle of wine and a dozen roses, and I planned to seal the deal with her dessert of choice. Followed by my own dessert of choice…
The little girl’s gaze never left me, until at last I gave her a smile and a wink. Then her green eyes flew wide, and she buried her face between the woman’s legs, causing her to take a step.
“That’ll be eight fifty.” The guy behind the counter waited as I handed over a ten, and when I looked, she was peeking at me again.
Another wink, and the smallest smile crossed her baby face. Dimples pierced both cheeks.
“Here you go!” He was back with my change. I took it and the paper bag, glancing back once more before heading to the door.
In that moment, she stood straighter and pressed both eyes closed at once. The woman lowered her phone just in time to catch it. “Abigail! Are you flirting?”
Abigail’s eyes flew open and up to the woman, and I laughed. Her mom/aunt straightened, and when she saw me, her own eyes widened. “Oh!” she said.
I held out my hand. “Patrick. Sorry, I started the whole thing.”
“Can I finish it?”
For a moment I wasn’t sure whether to answer or laugh it off. Just as fast the woman whipped up her phone and ducked, causing her straight brown hair to sweep like a curtain over her flushed cheeks.
Hastily she touched her phone’s face. “Did I just say that out loud?”
I did laugh then. “You did…”
The little girl jerked on her skirt, causing the woman to lean down. “Ask him to play with us, Aunt Evie.” Her voice was a loud whisper, causing Evie’s cheeks to flush darker.
“Aren’t kids cute?” Her nose wrinkled.
“She’s precious. Your niece?”
“Yes.” Evie pushed a dark piece of hair behind her ear and gave me a tentative smile. “So, um, Patrick? Would you like to play?”
Squatting down in front of Abigail, I took her little hand. “I would love to play with you. But I’m afraid I have to get home to my fiancée now.”
“What’s that?” Abigail’s small brow crinkled adorably.
“I bet your aunt can explain it.” I rose and met Evie’s disappointed face.
“Fiancée, huh?” The corner of her mouth turned down. “I guess that’s serious.”
She was actually a stunning woman, slim with shoulder-length brown hair and hazel eyes. I pressed my lips together, shaking my head. Those days were past, and I was fine with it.
“Pretty serious. But you guys seem really great.”
She nodded. “Just my luck.”
Stepping to the door I smiled at them both as I backed out of the shop. “Have a great night.”
~ ~ ~
The wind slammed into my face as I walked fast up the few blocks to our Lakeview apartment. Heavy grey clouds were building on the horizon, and it was clear Chicago was about to get one of those major snow-dumps that made everyone second-guess living in the WindyCity.
On the elevator to our apartment, I thought of Abigail. Man, I was looking forward to having a little girl. With Stacy’s dark eyes and my hazel ones, the chances of us having a little green-eyed beauty were slim, but that didn’t matter to me. I couldn’t wait to carry her around, take her to dances, intimidate her boyfriends…
A big part of the reason I’d taken off early today was Stacy had stopped talking about kids altogether these last few weeks. We’d barely even slept together.
It was my fault. Too many long hours working on too many cases. Building a solo investigative practice was hard work, and I planned to spend the entire long weekend doing everything she wanted, reminding her how much I loved her.
Unlocking the door, I hoped she wasn’t home yet. In addition to the roses and the wine, I planned to order take-out from her favorite Thai restaurant. Sliding the heavy, black-wool coat off my shoulders, I heard the faintest noise from the kitchen.
I hung it up and dropped my key in the tray on the small table at the door when I heard it again. It was a sound I recognized—it was Stacy moaning.
For a moment I paused, listening to that sexy sound.
“Uhh,” she panted, causing my dick to stir and a smile to curl my lips. It seemed I’d gotten home at just the right time. Hopefully she was on the couch getting off, and my tongue touched my bottom lip as I considered how I’d help her finish.
Going quickly around the corner into the open living area, the smile died along with all the good feelings I’d just had. What lay before me slammed into my face and knocked out my wind. It was a sight I would spend months trying to purge from my memory—along with her cries, growing in rapidity.
“Oh god, oh god, oh yesss!” Stacy was lying on her back on the bar with her knees spread open like a Thanksgiving turkey. There between her thighs was a male I barely recognized from the building. His head was moving fast as he had my fiancé for dinner.
Stacy’s cries snapped me out of my shock. “I’m coming—oh god, ooooh!!!”
Her fingers threaded into his rust-colored hair as her hips started to tremble and rock.
“What the FUCK?” I shouted.
Her head snapped toward me and her thighs clamped shut around the fucker’s ears.
“Patrick!” Her voice was a breathy shriek as her partner struggled to stand up.
“What the fuck is going on here?”
Douche bag backed away with a tent pole in his pants and his chin glistening wet. Bile rose in my throat at the sight. Automatically, I crossed the room and grabbed him by the throat.
“Patrick!!” Stacy jumped down between me and the shithead, pulling on my forearm. “STOP!!!”
The asshole tried to speak, but I pushed my now-ex-fiancée out of the way and escorted the fucker on a rough trip to the door. I jerked it open and threw him into the hall, slamming it on the sounds of him falling.
Then I turned to face her standing in front of me in an open blouse, her landing strip on full display.
Her voice was shaky. “You’re home early.”
My jaw clenched so hard it hurt, and I could see my chest rising and falling rapidly. “How long has this been going on?”
“I… I don’t know what you mean.”
“Godammit, Stacy. A week?”
She didn’t answer. She only stood there daring to tremble.
“Longer? A month?” Now my throat was closing. Everything inside me was crashing down—all my trust, my plans. “I want you out of here.”
“But… wait…” Her face crumpled as if she would cry. It made me sick.
Too much adrenaline was pulsing through me to stay in the same room with her any longer. “I’m going for a walk. And a drink. When I get back, you’d better be gone. Leave your key.”
“Patrick…” she reached for my arm, but I jerked it away, grabbing the door knob.
“Don’t make me throw you out too.”
Without another word, I turned and left, slamming the door on her bullshit. On my dreams, on all of it.
Outside, the cold blast hit me again, and my insides felt like they were freezing with it. I couldn’t believe how bad this hurt; this pain was worse than anything I’d ever felt. I looked around, deciding where to go. A small bar was a few blocks up and around the corner.
As I started toward it, my gaze traveled back up the street to the now-empty bakery, and like a symbol, I realized how much I’d lost.

(Also, there's an exclusive Alternate POV at Angie's Dreamy Reads)

One to Hold - Tia Louise
WARNING: Mature themes, strong language and sexual content. Recommended for adult readers (18+) only!

Derek Alexander is an ex-Marine, ex-cop, and the top investigator in his field. Melissa Jones is a small-town girl trying to escape her troubled past.

When the two intersect in a bar in Arizona, their sexual chemistry is off the charts. But what is revealed during their "one week stand" only complicates matters.

Because she'll do everything in her power to get away from the past, but he'll do everything he can to hold her.

Standalone, M/F, HEA.

Purchase Links:
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CreateSpace     |     Amazon

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Author Bio:
Tia Louise is a former journalist, world-traveler, and collector of beautiful men (who inspire ALL of her stories... *wink*)---turned wife, mommy, and novelist.
It's possible she has a slight truffle addiction. And she will never look at a family restroom the same way again.
ONE TO HOLD is her debut adult romance.

Books by Tia Louise:
One to Hold (Derek & Melissa), 2013
One to Keep (Patrick & Elaine), 2014

Author Links:
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-     Jassie

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