Friday, September 26, 2014

BLOG TOUR: Saving Tatum by Micalea Smeltzer

Even tough girls need saving. 

Jude Brooks is bad news. He’s the kind of guy that leaves behind a string of broken hearts and Tatum O’ Connor is not about to be one of those girls, despite all of Jude’s advances. They have a past, and Tatum’s determined to make sure they don’t have a future.

Unfortunately for her, “no” isn’t a word in Jude’s vocabulary.

The more she backs away, the more he pushes.

But what if he pushes too far?

Tatum’s hiding a pain that no one sees and holding on to a hurt that may never heal. Letting Jude into her heart could shatter her completely—and what if she opens up to Jude and he can’t handle her baggage? 

Love is never easy—especially when the person you’re falling for is the person you blame for the worst event in your life.

Love, heartache, and despair. 

That’s the name of the game when you’re Saving Tatum. 

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 Happiness had been absent from my emotions for a long time. On the surface, I wore a smile and never showed the struggles I dealt with on the inside. The fact of the matter was, I’d been hurt. I was damaged goods, and I hadn’t believed I was the kind of girl worthy of love—of being saved. But I was beginning to see that everyone is worth saving. It was strangely appropriate that the man I’d let break me, was the one to put me back together.
I didn’t know what tomorrow, or next week, or even the following month might hold for us, and I wasn’t going to let myself overthink it. I was going to live in the moment.
Jude lay on his back, staring up at the clear blue sky. “Tatum?”
“Yeah,” I replied when he didn’t continue immediately.
“Can I hold your hand, or are you going to hit me for that?”
I turned my head and laughed at his serious expression. “I think that would be alright, and I really am sorry about that. It was an automatic reaction.”
“So…” He started, a slow grin appearing on his face. “Your first response to a guy kissing you, is to slap him? Interesting.”
He was never going to let me live this down. I really hadn’t meant to hit him. He knew that, but he also enjoyed my pain. Douche.
“Only one guy.”
“I’m the only guy to ever kiss you?” He brightened.
“No!” I immediately shut him down. “I’ve kissed other guys, but you’re the only one that I…you know…”
“Slapped?” He supplied. “Should I be honored that you like to hit me?” He winked.
“You make me sound like I’m abusive,” I pouted, feeling ashamed of myself and my behavior.
“Nah,” he propped his head up on his hand and stared down at me. “You’re just a tough girl.”
“Tough?” I wrinkled my nose. “That doesn’t sound very appealing.”
“Oh, trust me,” his brown eyes sparkled, “it is. It’s hot as hell actually. But you want to know a secret, Tate?”
I nodded and he lowered his head so his mouth was pressed against my ear. My body shuddered at the close proximity and the heavenly feel of his breath ghosting against my skin. “Even tough girls need saving.”
“Is that what you’re going to do Jude?” I quirked my head and squinted from the sun shining in my eyes. “Are you going to save me?”
“No,” he shook his head, his dark hair brushing my forehead. “You’re going to save yourself.”
He said the words with such surety that I couldn’t help but believe him. When I didn’t say anything he rolled onto his back and finally entwined our hands together. Peace flooded my body and I didn’t understand it. How could the man that had filled me with such torment not long ago, calm my body with a simple touch? It was mindboggling.
I rolled my head slightly to the side, studying his profile—the elegant slope of his nose and the slant of his lips. I couldn’t believe I was thinking this, and he’d probably kill me if I said it out loud, but he was beautiful—inside and out. It was a shame that I was just now noticing it. I think a lot of people never saw what a magnificent person he was. He hid his true self behind cocky smiles and flirtatious come-ons.
“You’re staring at me.”
“I’m not,” I hastily turned my head away.
“I felt your eyes,” he continued. “You were totally staring. It’s okay, look all you want. I know I’m quite the feast for your eyes.”
With my free hand I smacked his stomach. My God he had abs of steel. I think I hurt my hand more than I did any damage to him. Not that I was really trying to hurt him. Although, I thought he needed a nice blow to his ego.
I squealed as he rolled on top of me and I found my arms pinned above me, pushed into the sand. His tongue slowly snaked out between his plump lips to moisten their surface. I thought he was going to kiss me, but he didn’t. I was learning that Jude rarely did what I expected of him. In many ways he was a mystery.
His dark eyes grew serious as he stared down at me and I found myself squirming as his hips dug into mine. I felt my body responding to the position—muscles tightening, pulse racing, and an overwhelming ache building inside me.
“Are you sure about this?” He breathed softly. There was a vulnerability in his eyes that I’d only ever seen when he was around his grandpa. “About us? Or am I going to wake up in the morning and find that you’re gone?”
“You really think I’d run away?” I replied, wiggling my hips, which caused him to hiss sharply between his teeth.
“Honestly? It wouldn’t surprise me. You’re afraid of your own feelings,” he lowered his head, brushing his nose against my neck. My eyes closed and a pleased hum resounded in my throat. There was still a voice in my head telling me to push him away, but I was done listening to it. “It’s okay to be scared, Tate,” he nipped my earlobe, the heat of his body wrapping around mine like a blanket. “I’m scared too.”
“You are?” I breathed, my voice so soft the wind nearly carried it away.
I felt him nod, his hair tickling my neck. “I’ve never felt this way about anyone, but you,” he confessed. “It’s always been you.”

The dead grass crunched beneath my feet as we trudged through the field. It was crazy to think that in a few short weeks spring would be here and the grass would soon be green. Spring was my favorite time of year. I loved the colors and flowers, even the smells. There was something so promising about spring—it was a new beginning.
Jude stopped in the middle of the field and spread the blanket out on the ground. “Sit,” he instructed.
With a reluctant sigh, I did as he told me. “Why are we out here?” I asked, drawing his sweatshirt closer to me as I shivered.
“I want you to see something.”
“Thanks for the non-answer,” I mumbled as he sat down beside me. He wiggled around until he got comfortable.
He chuckled, sweeping his hair from his eyes. “There’s something I want you to see,” he repeated, “be patient.”
You’d think Jude would know by now that I was the least patient person on the planet. Only a few minutes had past when I asked, “What are we waiting for?”
“Oh, Tate,” he chuckled, his eyes crinkling as he lay back, propping his body up with his elbows, “you’re something else.” Tilting his head, he continued, “Look around you, appreciate what’s right in front of you for a change. You need to slow down and enjoy life.”
“Look at you sounding so wise,” I commented, resisting the sudden urge to smile. I wanted to smile a lot around Jude and that scared me a bit.
He gasped, his eyes brightening. “I am wise.” He sat up and drew his knees up, draping his arms on top. “Now watch, here comes the surprise.”
For a moment, I wondered what he was talking about and then I realized we were watching the sunset. The sky deepened with hues of orange and red as the sun descended. My mouth fell open in awe as the meadow around us became awash with golden light. I didn’t speak and neither did he. For once, I was living in the moment, and maybe this moment wasn’t such a bad place to be.
There was calmness in the air around us as the last of sun’s rays fanned across the land. It didn’t take long for the sun to disappear and for the stars and moon to twinkle above us.
Without saying anything, we both lay back on the blanket, staring up at the sky above.
“Beautiful, isn’t it?” He whispered, his fingers brushing lightly against mine where we rested side by side.
“What?” I asked, trying to pick out any of the constellations.

My Review
I have so loved this entire series and while I'm sad to see it end, I don't think Micalea could have written it any better.  Saving Tatum was so beautifully written and the characters were so fun to meet and fall in love with.  Jude actually reminds me of Luke, who is the cover model for Chase in Finding Olivia and Chasing Olivia.  He has the fun, goofy personality that you can't help by love.  He has a way of charming everyone without any effort at all.  He is so much fun and just has a love for life that I'm sure we all wish we had.  

And Tatum...I think every woman/girl can see some of ourselves in Tatum.   That insecure, scared girl who can't see who she really is and is just hoping someone will come along and help her find her way.

Micalea grabbed my attention with the cover of Finding Olivia, but she earned my loyalty with her amazing ability to weave a tale so that you feel as though you are living inside it.  Saving Tatum was a true gem and a perfect way to cap of the series.  

5 Stars!!  


Micalea Smeltzer is a bestselling Young and New Adult author from Winchester, Virginia. She’s always working on her next book, and when she has spare time she loves to read and spend time with her family.
Follow Micalea:
Twitter: @msmeltzer9793
Instagram: micaleasmeltzer

Micalea has always been a huge supporter of Roc n' Read and I am so grateful for that support.  She has also very generously donated an autographed copy of the first book in this series, Finding Olivia, to the JDRF auction that is currently ongoing.  It is Item #1.  Please consider bidding on this or any of the other fabulous books which have been donated by other authors.  Thank you!!

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