Friday, August 1, 2014

Little Things by Madison Street Blog Tour

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.-**
Book 1
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A few minutes later, the doorbell rings again. With my muffled cries and my heavy breathing, the silent moments feel as though more time is elapsing than what truly is. I can sense Craig’s impatience and his temper rising. His hold on me grows stronger and stronger, making it difficult to breathe.

All of sudden, there is banging on the door and Duke screams my name. My instincts tell me to do everything I can to go to him, so I take my elbow and slam it into Craig’s stomach, causing him to heave over and gasp for air and lose his grip. I escape his arms and race for the door. Just as I’m about to get to it, Craig pulls on my dress, causing me to hit the floor, face-down.

He pulls me off the floor, “Come here, you little bitch.”

I screech and cry for help as my body thrashes about. Craig hauls me back into the kitchen, opens the door to the basement, and throws me down the stairs. I cry out as my body tumbles down the steps and my head slams into the cold basement floor. Feeling disoriented, I struggle to open my eyes and feel blood run down my face. Craig walks down the creaky wooden stairs and I quickly stagger away as fast as I can. My body screams in pain and I can’t move my arm. Shit, I think it’s broken.

I survey my surroundings to find a weapon, anything that I can use to fend him off. It’s completely dark except the dim light from the natural moonlight. Craig’s malicious laughs echo throughout the basement as he picks me up off the floor and slams me into the wall. I spit in his face and he immediately wipes it clean.

His furious eyes burn into mine as he takes his hand and slams my head into the wall behind me. His right fist hooks across my face and hits my bottom lip, causing me to almost hit the ground, but he holds me up.

At this moment, I taste blood on my lips and fear the worst.

I’m going to die tonight.

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team
Duke is a senior in high school and happy with his life. He's part of the lacrosse team, has a great girlfriend, is getting good grades, and heading to college on scholarships. 

Raya is also a senior and she just wants to turn 18 and graduate so she can move out and away from her malicious step-father's wrath.

When the two meet, they instantly are drawn to each other. Raya loves Duke's supportive, positive attitude and how he makes her happy. Duke loves Raya's smile and will do anything to keep it on her face. As the year goes by, they see how close they have become, but will Raya's family life and Duke's having a girlfriend get in their way? Will they be able to overcome all that life throws in their way and still be happy?

I was actually surprised by this book. After I had read the teeny 18+ warnings and started reading the book, I wondered why the warnings were even there. As I read, I found out why. It had started out so much like a young adult book, but the further I got, I realized why it’s new adult. It was much more raw and brutal than I had expected it to be from the beginning and in my opinion it really elevated the book. The love will conquer all basis was inspiring to me. It was a nice example of how strong people can be. I like the cover and I think it really fits the story. Overall, I think it was an interesting read. I am interested in how Madison Street will make this into a series. I would recommend this book only to those who don't mind a bit of violent conflict in their romance stories.

Little Things commences when Raya and Duke first meet in High School. We read knowing (from the synopsis) that at some point events are going to tear them apart. I loved getting to know Raya and Duke and the anticipation of will they get together and if they do, what is going to happen to separate them.

Events unfold and Raya ends up in horrific circumstances and we see Raya's strength shine through. At the same time, Raya's absence changes Duke's life. I couldn't decide whether Duke's failure to give up on finding Raya showed that he was really determined or a love sick fool – probably both.

Even though his book is roughly 380 pages there were a few times I felt the story was rushed and I wanted more, particularly in the last 25% or so.

If you are a fan of new adult and dark reads you will really enjoy Little Things.

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 singer, she’ll still belt it out in the shower, especially if the song is her jam! She currently resides in Virginia with her husband of 8 years, 2 children, a dog, and a cat. She is so excited to start this amazing journey and is honored to be part of such a compassionate and loving community.

Connect with Madison
Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Blog  ~  Goodreads  ~  Google+

Signed Paperback of Little Things – 2 winners (US Only)
Signed Little Things Bookmark – 2 winners (US Only)
Ebook of Little Things – 5 winners

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Little Things (Second Chances #1) by Madison Street to read and review for this tour.

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