Friday, February 17, 2017

Not in My Wildest Dreams by Jamie Hollins Blog Tour

It really sucks to be in love with someone who sees you as nothing more than a friend. Darcy Owens knows this from personal experience. From the moment she met Sean McKenna as a shy ten-year-old, he’s owned her heart. So when he asks for her help with an important construction project, she can’t say no.

Building a boutique hotel on Boston’s waterfront is a career-making opportunity, and Sean needs Darcy’s interior design expertise. She’s incredibly talented, and there is no one he trusts more. He knows he can always count on his childhood friend, but doesn’t know why he’s thinking about her tight skirts and blue eyes instead of tight deadlines and blueprints.

When Sean and Darcy’s excitement about their work turns into an entirely different kind of excitement, it’s a sexy surprise. But they soon realize that building a new relationship is more challenging than building a new hotel, especially when life-long habits and old insecurities create cracks in the foundation.

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Book 2
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Mallory dug her hand into the mug and pulled out the next question. Her eyes scanned the paper and she laughed.

“What is your preferred shape when shaving your pubic hair?”

Quinn spit her beer back into her glass, almost choking on it. “Darcy!”

“You first, Quinn,” Darcy smiled.

Quinn’s eyes were as big as saucers, the whites totally surrounding her light gray irises.


“Figures,” Darcy teased. “Okay, I’ll go first again. I try to keep it mostly in a little triangle shape. But I trim it pretty short so it doesn’t get too out of control down there.”

Quinn was turning three shades of purple. Mallory and Jessi both laughed hysterically, covering their faces with their hands.

“You are shameless!” Quinn yelled, looking like she didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

“Who’s shameless?”

All heads turned to see Ewan and Sean McKenna walk through the front door. Darcy’s smile froze on her face as she stared at the two cousins who looked absolutely nothing alike. One was dark and one was fair. Both were tall, fit, and drop-dead gorgeous. Ewan was a usual suspect on the weekends. Sean, however, was not.

Damn, I’m not drunk enough to handle this.

“Darcy’s shameless,” Quinn said, now with a little grin on her face.

“Of course she is,” Sean said, smiling his million-dollar smile. “She’s Darcy.”

Nope. Definitely not drunk enough to deal with Sean McKenna.

That smile was one of Sean’s many highly effective and deadly weapons in his arsenal against the opposite sex. It had been eighteen years, and Darcy’s breath still caught every time she laid eyes on him. Strong, sculpted shoulders and a chest that narrowed into a lean and muscled abdomen.

No matter what he had on, his body looked amazing. Long, toned legs, shapely ass. His list of sexy and virile attributes could go on and on.

Combine that list with his sunny blond hair and his nonstop sense of humor, and he was a one-man woman-eater. And she didn’t mean that as an innuendo, although she could guess it was fairly accurate if the rumors served him right.

He had the confidence and charisma to charm Mother Teresa’s panties off. He was just that good.

Not that Darcy knew what it was like for Sean to charm her panties off, even though she’d been dreaming about it ever since she’d met him on her first day of school in Ballagh, a sleepy village south of Boston. She’d seen all his tricks and moves. But only because she’d helplessly watched him work them on other girls.

Sean had been the reason several lucky girls had given up their hymens. Ironically, he was and remained to be the reason she still had hers.

Call it sad. Call it impossible. Call it an abomination. Darcy was a twenty-eight-year-old virgin. It was hard to have a physical relationship when all she did was compare other men to Sean. She didn’t mean to do it. She just did.

And if that didn’t fucking split her heart in two, the fact that he considered her one of his best friends did the trick. No guy ever fucked his best gal pal. It was in the guy code of conduct or something.

Ewan pushed by his cousin, bent down, and gave Quinn a hard kiss on the lips before whispering something in her ear that made her giggle. His smile for his girlfriend was warm and made promises that told Darcy she’d likely need to sleep with the TV on. Not that they were ever loud when the darkly handsome and brooding Ewan was getting it on with her roommate. But Darcy didn’t want to risk hearing anything.

Quinn smiled up at him. “We’re almost done.”

“Done with what?” Sean asked, pulling up a chair to the table.

“We’re playing Dirty Dozen.” Mallory’s words were slightly slurred.

Sean looked over at her and raised his brows. “Dirty Dozen? Sounds scandalous. Do tell.”

Darcy noticed the way Sean’s eyes lit up. He would be the only guy she knew who would use a word like scandalous.

“We have to answer twelve questions,” Jessi answered him. “The naughtier the better.”

“Jesus,” Ewan muttered, shaking his head as he started toward the living room to watch TV.

“Naughty questions, huh?” Sean replied. “And why haven’t I been invited to join in on the fun before?”

“Because you don’t have a vagina,” Darcy deadpanned.

Sean twisted his lips at her and raised a brow.

“I have intimate knowledge of vaginas. That should count for something.”

Darcy rolled her eyes. Before she could tell Sean that no dicks were allowed at their Girls’ Night In, Jessi chimed in. “Of course you can play with us. It‘ll be fun to get a guy’s perspective.”

With the exception of Quinn, Darcy’s friends didn’t know about her feelings for Sean. Jessi and Mallory, no doubt, thought he was the hottest thing since Tabasco.

Pretty much everyone did.

Her friends had met him a few times over the years through parties someone or other had thrown. Sean very rarely ever came down to Providence, where Darcy had just finished her graduate degree and Quinn was still trudging through hers. He lived in Boston, where he had earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees, and was now partner in a general contracting firm.

“Okay, hit me,” Sean invited. “What’s this shameless question of Darcy’s?”

“What shape do you shave your pubic hair?” Darcy challenged. She should have known that he wouldn’t even bat an eye.

“Great question,” he immediately answered. “Personally, I just trim my pubes. However, if you want to know my preference for how a woman should shave hers—”

“We don’t,” Darcy quickly said.

“Yes, we do!” both Mallory and Jessi yelled at the same time.

Sean smiled at them both before continuing. “It’s gotta be tidy down there. Shaved is okay, but waxed is better. And it needs to have some shape. I think it’s unnatural for a woman to be completely bare. I personally prefer something I like to call the Martini Glass, right above the—” He stopped suddenly and frowned. “I should illustrate. Can I get a pen and paper?”

“No!” Darcy cut in.

Sean shrugged, clearly loving how uncomfortable she was.

“My turn to ask a question.” He reached in to pull out a piece of paper. Sean smiled as he read it to himself before turning that blinding grin on the rest of the table.

“God, this is a great game,” he laughed. “Okay, the question is: When, where, how, and to whom did you lose your virginity?”

All the blood seemed to drain from Darcy’s head.

She’d been surprised that this question hadn’t come up the first few times they’d played the Dirty Dozen. It wasn’t that she was trying to keep her virginity a secret. She just never talked about it. Why the hell did it have to come up now, when Sean was here, for Christ’s sake?

Fuck, she was nowhere near drunk enough for this.

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Avid Reader☆☆☆☆☆
4.5 stars
M/F Romance
Triggers: Child abuse

Sean is your typical clueless guy. He is constantly surrounded by beautiful women, but they all lack a key feature – depth. He loves his group of friends and his brother, Ewan. In fact, he's very happy when Quinn joins the group, but it makes his life seem even less fulfilled.

Darcy is amazing. She's funny, feisty, brash, smart, and gifted. She has been in love with Sean forever and despite those feelings, they've been able to have a great friendship. But when she grows closer to Quinn, she wants what Ewan and Quinn have. She's tired of having someone not invested in her. With a past like hers, she has hidden scars that run deep.

Sean and Darcy set out to work on a great project together – Sean using his skills and Darcy hers. When their relationship becomes more than a friendship, Sean has a difficult time navigating these uncharted waters. Essentially, he's a mess and ends up hurting Darcy needlessly. My heart really went out to her because she was trying to give him an out. I can understand the whole thing from her perspective.

This was a great story with a complex relationship that developed very organically. I can't wait to see what comes next!

4.5 stars of wild dreams

This is the second in the series, and although it features a different couple, it does follow on directly from the first book – which is also an excellent read – so I recommend that you read them in order.

We met Darcy in The Best Part of Me, and she and Quinn are now living together in Providence whilst they finish their studies and set up their respective businesses. Ewan is still in Ballagh running the pub, and meeting with Quinn whenever they have time. Darcy's long time best friend is Sean, Ewan's cousin. She has been in love with him since he defended her on her first day at his school, aged 10, but he has never seen her as anything other than a friend.

But now Sean's business has a chance at a new hotel project and needs an interior designer, and he just knows that Darcy is the person for the role. She is perfect for the job and impresses everyone with her skills, and makes Sean see her in a completely new light. Told from both points of view, we get to witness his confusion at the feelings he has, as she is paid attention by other men. As things heat up, can they both be at the same place emotionally as well as physically, or not, and if not where will it leave their friendship? Read on and find out.

I really enjoyed the hotel business elements too, and the English connection. We also got to see how Quinn and Ewan's relationship is developing, and more of the McKenna clan. Megan, Sean's 'perfect' sister, makes a couple of appearances too.

Very enjoyable read, and a hint as to what might be coming next – I am looking forward to reading that too. Thank you, Ms. Hollins.

4.5 stars

This second story is a much more mature and polished addition to the McKenna series. Sean is a contractor running a growing construction business and Darcy, his childhood friend, is the interior designer on his most recent project. This time round, both leads are definitely adults and much of the action focuses on their professional lives.

Darcy is a complicated character. I’m not sure she’s entirely the same character we met in book one, but I love the confident small business owner much more than the brash and gossipy version of the same character in the first book. Beneath her beautiful shoes and fabulous wardrobe, Darcy hides a dark history and low self-confidence. She feels real and relevant. I absolutely love her.

Sean is also more serious than he seemed in the first book. He is an ambitious career man trying to build his business without losing sight of himself and his priorities. He values Darcy’s friendship, but working with her, he finds himself noticing her as a woman for the first time. Sean struggles with a playboy reputation and a lack of sensitivity, but he is completely loveable.

These two are perfect together. They are playful and silly together and this is a true friends-to-lover story. The conflict feels real and the connection between them is special. I much preferred this story to the first one. While familiar characters reappear here, this has none of the new adult feel that I struggled with in book one. The female relationships that annoyed me first time round are missing here and instead, we see a more mature and supportive relationship between Darcy and Quinn.

I really enjoyed this story and I’m looking forward to the next book.

Darcy Owens had a horrible childhood, until she came to live with her grandmother at the age of 10. On the first day of school she meets Sean McKenna. And for Darcy, it was love at first sight. For Sean, it was just another friend. Forward 20 years into the future and Darcy is one of Sean's closest friends. But she has loved him from day one and still does.

Sean McKenna has the ultimate manwhore vibe going. He sleeps around and doesn't care who knows or sees. He is bold, self-assured in his job, and confident. But when it comes to his personal life, he is scared to death of screwing it up and making someone else unhappy.

When Darcy finally spills the beans and tells Sean she loves him, he is speechless, can't understand what she is saying, and it takes him a few days to process it. She tries to tell him she didn't mean it and they end up doing the deed. She gets mad thinking he regrets it, but he doesn't know how he feels.

Can Sean and Darcy figure out what they want? Will they end up hurting each other in the process? This story is funny at times and it will even break your heart sometimes. I loved Darcy, she was a spit-fire and didn't take shit from anyone. But Sean was a different kind of hero, being unsure some of the time made me love him even more.

This is the second book for me from this author and I am loving this series. I can't wait for Sean's sister, Megan's story, Where I Need to Be, due to release late spring 2017.

Also Available in the McKenna Series

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

For reviews & more info, check out our The Best Part of Me post.

Jamie Hollins was born and raised in rural Northeast Ohio. After graduate school, she embarked on a perilous career in Human Resources where she met plenty of real life characters. When she’s not writing or chasing after her toddler, she enjoys reading and golfing. Jamie lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, son, and their dog, Winston.

Connect with Jamie

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Not in My Wildest Dreams (McKenna #2) by Jamie Hollins to read and review for this tour.

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