Monday, June 22, 2015

Blog Tour: Broken Barriers by Sara Shirley

Author: Sara Shirley
Series: Barriers Series Book #4

It was just supposed to be a “friends with benefits” type of fling. Feelings were never supposed to get in the way. Drew Daley never thought Courtney Page would be the one to change all that.

He watched her walk away to pursue her own dreams while Drew’s Marine Corps orders sent him packing for a tour of duty in Afghanistan. Something told him to never let her go; to fight for her and his country.

Can a decision from years ago make all the difference in one’s future? 

Time has passed. People have changed. Lives have gone in different directions. Drew returns broken and torn after nearly eighteen months overseas and everything isn’t what it was when he left. Life after deployment isn’t nearly as easy to fit into as he thought. Until new friends and familiar faces enter his life and everything changes.

When his mind is trying to piece together all the puzzles surrounding his life, Cole Porter might just be the one to heal his broken heart and guide him in the right direction. However something about Cole is vaguely familiar to Drew. Despite what his head tells him he begins to get closer to her.

Will Drew finally be able to let his heart heal and move on?

Sometimes you have to face your dreams and fears all at once in order to recover. Otherwise you may never heal the broken pieces inside of you.



Drew Daley was a character introduced in the second book of the Barriers series, Hidden Barriers. Drew is the brother of Samantha and a character who I came to love. I was excited that this one would be his story. As a supporting character in Hidden Barriers, I was drawn to and intrigued by Drew and to have his story is a dream come true. 

Courtney Page was first introduced in book one, Frozen Barriers, and is the sister of Jeremy and Josh (Hidden Barriers). I've liked her character from the beginning of the series so I was glad to see she gets her own love story now that her brothers have found their happy endings.

Drew is a Marine home from Afghanistan with PTSD. His friend with benefits, who happens to be the girl he fell for, is getting married..and not to him. Drew doesn't know where to begin living his life again now that he is home. All he knows is he has severe PTSD and is devastated over Courtney getting married.

While out with a friend Drew meets Cole. Both are broken and may be the only two people that can help each other heal. They brought out the best in one another and had an instant connection and yet a part of him still loves and thinks of Courtney. 

Drew's friendship with Josh is heartwarming and I like the relationship that Drew has with Josh and Sam's son. I also really liked the new characters that were introduced. My favorites were Everett and Marty. 

As for the rest of the book I liked the plot and Broken Barriers sure touches on every emotion from sadness, pain, and heartbreak to happiness. The lake side setting is perfect for this book. The only thing that bothered me was that I was iffy about the end. I liked it, but man! That ending! I don't want to give any spoilers so that's all I will say about that. Broken Barriers is a great continuation to the Barriers series.



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Frozen Barriers
(Barriers #1)

"Live your Dreams, Follow your Heart"

Emily Cameron is America's newest figure skating star looking for her own personal identity. Her high profile life was never her dream, it was her parents. 

Jeremy Page is a minor league hockey player who always imagined himself playing for the NHL.

A chance encounter has them crossing paths after several years apart. Which way will his heart lead him? Will Emily embrace his charm?

Just when things finally fall into place, an unexpected event occurs leaving Emily reevaluating everything in her life.

Can Emily escape from under her parent's intrusive ways and take a chance on love? Will Jeremy be able to break down the barriers that have held her back for so long?

Book 1 of the Barriers Series. This story does not have a cliffhanger. 

**Mature Subject matter. 18+ due to strong language and sexual situations**

Frozen Barriers is a love story years in the making. Meet Emily, an eleven year old girl who is paraded around as some sort of show pony by the parents who are supposed to love her. Instead her parents treat her as a meal ticket and her skating has become something that no longer makes Emily happy but something she is forced to do. And then there's Jeremy.. At thirteen years old Jeremy lives and breathes hockey. Once chance run in sets these two on their path to love.

Years after their childhood run in, Jeremy is getting ready to graduate high school when he has another run in with Emily and realizes that he wants her to be his. When Emily never calls, Jeremy must move on. 

Until the day she comes back.. 

This time nothing is stopping these two from being together. 

Together Jeremy and Emily overcome their fears, face obstacles they never would have imagined, and give each other strength. Emily grows into her own person and finally experiences a taste of freedom and craves more. With Jeremy at her side will Emily have the strength to tell her parents that enough is enough?

Frozen Barriers is an enjoyable read but I often felt myself having trouble connecting to the book and characters despite the fact that the book is well written and so are the characters. I really liked the strength of the characters, especially Emily, and the support this couple gives one another. There is a lot going on in the background with Jeremy's family and his and Emily's friends such as a surprise pregnancy. The supporting characters in this book are great and Jeremy's family seems pretty idllystic. 

Sara Shirley seems to be a promising author so I do want to read the rest of this series and see how it grows and connects the characters.

★★ 1/2

Hidden Barriers
(Barriers #2)

 **You should read Frozen Barriers (Barriers #1) first. Hidden Barriers can be read as a standalone, but some situations overlap with those in Frozen Barriers.**

Josh & Sam's Story

Love has been hiding for too long. What happens when it reveals itself?

Josh Page, a Massachusetts State Trooper, wants nothing more than to put his first love behind him. His career is all he’s ever known for the last ten years. Seeing her is a constant reminder of what he could have had if he had not put his career first years ago.

Relationships and dating women have never been part of his lifestyle. He continues to have meaningless sex with women as an attempt to distance himself from his past. That is until he opens the door and a sassy roller derby girl stares back up at him.


Samantha Daley’s past haunts her. After college, she spends years building a new life with new friends, roller derby, and a bustling business under her feet. Her past suddenly comes rushing back after just one phone call.

Afraid to love, she never imagines a life where one man can turn her world inside out and make her reevaluate what she wants in her future. Almost instantly, she’s attracted to the man in front of her. He pushes her trust to a new level and is willing to take a chance with her.

Will Sam be able to handle the reminders of her troubled past enough for her to be with Josh, or will it be Josh’s secrets that threaten to tear them apart in the end?

***As with all the books in the Barriers Series, there isn't a cliffhanger.***

**For mature audiences. 18+. This book contains sexual and abusive situations, and strong language.**

Josh Page was first introduced in book one, Frozen Barriers. A state trooper, Josh had dated his ex-girlfriend Sue years ago but had chosen his career over his relationship. Now years later, he's still trying his best to get over her but she's everywhere. After their relationship ended Sue and Josh's sister, Courtney, became best friends and now to make matters worse Sue is pregnant by Josh's brother's best friend Dave. Now all Josh sees in his future are one night stands with no strings or emotions involved. 

Samantha is on the run from her past. Trying to move on after experiencing one of the most terrible things to have ever happened in her life, Samantha is trying to move on. In order to do so she's taken to hiding and the only ones who know where she can be found are her parents and her brother. Samantha, suffering from her past with her ex, has sworn off relationships and instead has dedicated herself to her wine bar and roller derby team. 

Josh and Samanta run into one another accidentally (Sound familiar?) and Josh is intrigued to the point where he is constantly thinking of Sam and wanting to get to know her. Samantha is feeling the same way and is being encouraged by friends and family to put the past in the past and move on with Josh. 

When these two finally get their relationship on the right track, unforeseen things come into play and come crashing down around them. As Josh and his family band together to keep Samantha safe, she becomes a shell of herself. Now Josh, Samantha and their family must fight. 

Hidden Barriers is incredibly captivating and there is never a dull moment with everything that goes on from one page to the next. Although I enjoyed Frozen Barriers and liked Emily and Jeremy, Josh and Samantha have stolen the show and I love them as a couple. 

Josh and Jeremy's family is, as always, incredible. They really have the family togetherness thing down. Also, the new supporting characters such as Samantha's roller derby team members and her brother are all characters that you cannot help but to love. 

Sara Shirley showed promise in her debut Frozen Barriers and her writing has only grown since then. I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to others.


Burning Barriers
(Barriers #3)

We were high school prom king and queen. 
He moved on. I moved east. 
Seven years ago, I left Breckenridge, Colorado, hoping never to return. 
All it took was one horrific night not too long ago to change everything. 
Now, I’m back in Breckenridge to recover from a recent attack that nearly took my life as well as my best friend’s, and there is one person I hope I don’t run into. 
His name is Jake Galloway. 
My old boyfriend and my first true love. 
I’ve never told anyone about him for fear of my deepest feelings resurfacing. 
I’m more afraid of what will happen to me should my path cross with Jake’s again. I know memories of what we once had will hurt me more than anything I’ve recently gone through. 
He’ll own my heart and my body all over again. 

She took off running when I confessed I loved her but couldn’t give her the committed relationship she wanted. I needed to live my college years and party it up with lots of girls and booze. 
Sex with Lucy Wyatt was an experience in and of itself. I thought I was doing right by moving on from her. I thought there was more out there than just Lucy, even if we burned for each other like a raging wildfire. 
I haven’t seen her since the night she took off from my house. Little did I know life would throw me a curveball once I got to college. 
I still screw women and drink all night long, but that has to do with the direction my life went seven years ago. It has nothing to do with college, simply because I never made it past my first week once classes began. 
I lost Lucy. I lost out on the college experience. And, I lost my father all in the course of a few short months. 
Now, Lucy’s back, and I want her more than ever. The minute my eyes trailed on her driving down the street, my desire for her burned more than ever. It’s as though seven years apart never happened. It’s just this time I’m not sure I can have her anymore. 
Can old flames still burn? Lucy and Jake are about to find out. 

**Mature Audiences Only 18+** Due to violence, language and sexual content.

Seven years ago Jake Galloway broke Lucy Wyatt's heart and sent her running. 

Lucy, a roller derby girl first introduced in Hidden Barriers, was happy with Jake until he broke her heart causing her to run away. Lucy threw herself into her roller skating and the girls on the team. Even after all these years Lucy feels the pain of that break up and in return has become broken. She doesn't have relationships. She has hook-ups. And every hook up is faceless to her because she can't help but to picture Jake each time. Jake ruined who she was. 

Jake Galloway let Lucy Wyatt go and has blamed himself every day since. Taking to alcohol and random hook ups, the only woman he thinks of is Lucy as he wallows in his regrets. 

When Lucy heads home to heal, she's not sure about anything except that Jake is the last person she wants to see. Will Lucy be able to forgive Jake and take him back or is seven years just too late?

I thought I couldn't like a book in this series more than I liked Hidden Barriers. I was wrong! Burning Barriers is a great emotional roller coaster ride of a book. Even though I didn't connect well with the first book - which may have just been the reading mood I was in - I am glad I didn't give up on this series. With each book the author shows a dramatic improvement in writing style and draws the readers in with twists and turns. Each book is better than the last and each couple is a couple you root for while each character is someone you grow to love.

Lucy is one of the strongest characters in this series and is a survivor. Even though bent and broken in different ways, she does not give up. She loves her derby girls and has made a family with them. She is strong, she is caring, she is loving...She's everything a kickass female character should be.

I really enjoyed Burning Barriers and am excited about the next book Broken Barriers.


Sara Shirley
I think my love for books started when I was a teenager on summer vacations reading Mary Higgins Clark novels. As I grew older that turned into reading romance novels. Now, that's turned into me writing three romance novels and another on the way in the series. 

In college I actually majored in Geography and concentrated in Travel & Tourism. I still love to travel constantly, but now find myself working in the world of Finance during the day and writing romance novels at night. 

I was born and raised just north of Boston and currently live with my husband and cat. When I'm not running a mile a minute with work and books you can find me at a local wine tasting or out with friends at the pub doing shots of Patron. I have a weak spot for candy, Ghirardelli chocolate to be exact. I am addicted to the three "C"s. Coffee, Cheese and Carbs. I grew up with an Italian family and giving those up will never be an option. 

I typically have a dirty mind and zero filter between my head and my mouth. If you are around me...good luck. I'm obsessed with hockey, Oregon football, beaches, Supernatural, Friends and stupid comedy movies. I've been called a "tall drink of water" due to my height and love for platform heels. Chances are you will not miss me if we are ever in the same room. Just look for the chick laughing hysterically, wearing heels and holding a glass of wine in her hand. That will be me.

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