Sunday, July 20, 2014

Blog Tour: The Longest Night by Kara Braden ~ Review /Guest Post / Giveaway

 I am so excited to welcome author Kara Braden to the blog today, to discuss her book, The Longest Night. I also have a review to share with you (spoiler alert: I loved it!) along with a giveaway. Thanks for stopping by!

The Longest NightSeries: Standalone
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casa
Publication Date: 7/1/14
Format: ARC
Pages: 352
Source: Publisher
Rating: 5 stars

This could work, whispered the little voice in the back of her mind, the voice that had been silent for seven years…

Years ago, former Marine Captain Cecily Knight fled her dark past and the nightmares forever haunting her nights. Alone in the remote Canadian wilderness, she survives day to day…until Ian Fairchild comes storming into her life and shatters her protective seclusion.
Aloof but intriguing, defensive but undeniable, Ian is everything Cecily shouldn’t want but can’t ignore. He watches her with shrewd blue eyes, as if determined to decipher her secrets…and for the first time in years, she finds herself coming alive beneath the hands of a man with too many scars to count.
As the hushed and harsh winter closes in around them, two lost souls find themselves on the precipice of a love that could save their lives…or destroy them forever.

My Review

Oh yeah....I just love a good cabin romance, particularly when the characters are struggling, emotionally vulnerable wrecks.

That made me sound mean, didn't it?

The Longest Night was a delicious cabin romance, full of tension and lust and emotionally-laden
moments that had me pulled in the whole way through. The story centers around Ian, a lawyer recovering from a prescription painkiller addiction, and Cecily, former soldier and by all appearances,
 a recluse. When Ian is released from his latest treatment program, he's told by his bosses to stay out
of Manhattan for at least several months. His brother Preston (who'd better be getting a book, Ms. Braden)knows of one place to send him, a remote cabin in the Canada wilderness, to stay with

Ian doesn't particularly want be in a remote location, but is out of options. Cecily doesn't want Ian's intrusion, but after Preston's actions seven years prior, she owes him any favor. The story begins with a lot of tension between the two, not hostile, just a bit uncomfortable due to their experiences. He doesn't want to be there, she doesn't want him there, but their both resigned to make the best of it. But as with the best cabin romances, the two quickly develop a deep level of comfort that came across as authentic. The fact Cecily's cabin is only accessible by plane or quad (I think what a lot of us know as a four-wheeler), has limited electricity and internet, and it's too effing cold to even go outside most of the time, has Ian and Cecily in constant close quarters and contribute to the quickness of comfort level and intimacy.

So you go into The Longest Night thinking Ian is the one who needs the most. He's still in a lot of pain from an injury, and he's coming off of an addiction. Surprising though, Ian is in a mostly good place with his recovery. He knows he must stay clean, and at this point, his distress stems from pain and not the addiction. The character who appears the strongest is the one who needs someone the most, Cecily. Her past is a mystery to him, but Ian is a keen observer, noticing scars and wounds that don't line up with military medical care. This obviously piques Ian's curiosity, and leads to a tiny bit of snooping, where he discovers Cecily was a POW in the Middle East. This also explains how Cecily knows Ian's brother, Preston. Which by the way, makes for a very interesting story in itself. I really need his book!
Cecily's body language exudes constant alert and tension. She keeps a weapon on her at all time, doesn't sleep well, suffers nightmares when she does, and doesn't like to feel evenly remotely confined. This is why Cecily lives a life of seclusion. Not only does she recoil from people and
unknown situations, but she is terrified she will react badly and inadvertently hurt someone. The
author did such an amazing job of digging in and properly expressing the logic and fears of someone with Cecily's condition. Here's where Ian becomes a swoon-inducing romantic lead: instead of being put off or scared by Cecily, Ian senses that he can help her in a way no one has figured out yet. As a brilliant attorney with fantastic observation skills, he has reading body language and anticipation down to a fine art. He reads and anticipates Cecily's thoughts and fears, giving him the ability to
know when and how to touch her, when to back away. He knows how to angle his body in a way that won't trigger her reflexes, how to touch her, hold her, even make love to her in ways that give her the all of the power, and builds trust.
I was thoroughly enjoying The Longest Night, but with Ian's actions, the way he treats her with delicate precision, deference and confidence in her ability to adapt and be pushed, all to prove to her just how strong she is...that is when I fell in love with the story.
So obviously, Ian and Cecily fall in love. Then the question becomes, what will they do about it? Will Cecily ever be able to follow Ian back to society? Will Ian give up his life to stay with Cecily in her remote world? How will they fit into each other's lives? I will say that the author surprised me with the answer, in that it's not ever a definitive answer and like life, I believe it will evolve over time. I do know that in my opinion, the author handles this the very best way possible.
The Longest Night is a love story full of longing and passion, brilliantly crafted characters who's growth was fulfilling and thought-provoking. This book made me a happy reader and I have already formed a line for her next book, The Deepest Night.

Favorite Quotes

  She looked down as he opened the cardboard, revealing multiple boxes of condoms shrink-wrapped 
together. "Dear God, are you preparing for the collapse of civilization or something?"
  Ian looked up at her. "Is there anything else to do in the winter here?"
  "If we actually use all of those, we'll probably be dead from exhaustion."
  "At least we won't be bored.""

  He wanted nothing more than to throw her down her back and pin her to the mattress, leaving her body open for him to take whatever he wanted, but not yet. Perhaps not ever, though he would work 
diligently to help Cecily overcome her fears. The thought of watching her struggle to endure not pain but pleasure, of Ian pushing the boundaries of her desire for before granting her any relief, was intoxicating.

Ten Things Ian Would Tell You About Cecily

1. Cecily isn’t a technophobe, but she has an irrational love for anachronisms like paper maps and her  manual typewriter.
2. Cecily follows Rule Nine: Always carry a knife.
3. After explaining Rule Nine to Cecily, she binge-watched all of NCIS in a week and a half. If I were any less secure, I’d be worried she was going to leave me for Gibbs.
4. Cecily talks to the TV, pointing out inconsistencies, especially in military shows. Since I do the same around courtroom dramas, we’ve sworn never to watch back episodes of JAG together.
5. Taking Cecily to Per Se for their tasting menu was an exercise in patience. “No, really. When is the 
actual food going to be here?”
6. After Per Se, I took her out for a burger and fries. I also signed a promise to never take her out for a tasting menu again.So much for visiting the French Laundry if we ever go to California.
7. I gave Cecily a day pass to a salon for a haircut, massage, facial, and manicure/pedicure. Six weeks later, she got a haircut at a $10 barber. I couldn’t tell the difference.
8. I lost Cecily for three hours at The Strand bookstore...
9. ...and for four hours at the American Museum of Natural History. It turns out she was in one of the dinosaur wings.
10. Cecily thinks I’m indulging her by mounting the deer antlers in a place of pride over the couch because they clash with the modern decor. She must not notice my smile every time I see them.

And One Thing Cecily Wants To Add
1. Ian’s wrong about number ten. I notice every time he smiles. (But the deer antlers do look a little 
silly with the couch.)

The Longest Night  The Deepest Night

(covers lead to GoodReads pages)

Purchase Links 

Amazon  |  B&N  |  Books A Million , Hastings , IndieBound , Indigo , iTunes ,Kobo

Sourcebooks Casa is giving one winner a copy of The Longest a Night. Must be 18+ years of age; open to US/Can.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About Kara Braden
Kara BradenKara Braden makes her debut in modern romance with The Longest Night, a story of love in isolation. She believes that engaging, romantic fantasy can be found everywhere in the world, even in the most unlikely places. With the support of her wonderful husband, cats, and dogs, she writes from her home office outside Phoenix, Arizona, where she spends her time hiding from the sunlight and heat. (Photo credit: Stephanie Cole)

 photo AndreaSig_zps3f75055b.jpg


  1. I promise, Preston's romance is on the way! He's not *quite* ready to get over Lilit, but he does feature very heavily in my second book. The Deepest Night is about Preston's best friend and vice president, ex-Royal Marine Ray Powell. It's not quite the isolated cabin romance of The Longest Night, but it's set on a gorgeous, remote island off the coast of Cornwall, England, in a lonely bed and breakfast...

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. "I just love a good cabin romance, particularly when the characters are struggling, emotionally vulnerable wrecks." If you think you sound mean because of this, than I'm afraid I am mean, too... I think this is something that makes a book strong and really fascinating. Great review! You got me curious, Andrea, very, very curious!!

    1. Every time I write a romance, I realize that if the characters would just talk in chapter 3, the whole mess would be over, and they could get on with the HEA. Of course, that's no fun! And really, who does that in real life? (Other than my husband and I. We actually do talk things out... But fortunately, we're not starring in a romance novel.)

  4. Love the guest post!
    And aren't books where the characters are struggling and emotionally vulnerable wrecks the best? ;)

    1. Thank you! If you do decide to read it, come back here afterwards and reread the post. It was awfully fun to write, in their voices. :)

  5. A cabin story with the characters vulnerable sounds great, and with that cover on top, love it

    1. Didn't they do a great job with the cover? I need it poster-sized on my wall, as a remedy to the 100+ degree heat outside here in AZ.

  6. Who doesn't love a good cabin romance? I know I do love a good one! :)
    This sounds like a lot of fun, Andrea and the romance seems well developed. I like the sound of the characters as well, especially because they are both vulnerable and having issues. I like how the heroine is the soldier. Female soldiers aren't usually tackled in many books so it's refreshing to see one.
    I'm glad you enjoyed this, Andrea!
    Lovely review.

    1. Cecily's PTSD was just heartbreaking to write, even after seven years had passed for her. Making Ian the sharp-tongued, observant criminal attorney was the perfect balance for her. :)

  7. Love cabin romance! They can't run away...have to DEAL with those feelings. Nice review.

  8. No, it doesn't make you sound mean. It makes you sound like you want all the feels lol. And that's good! Gahh, these characters sound amazing. I'm glad you were surprised by the solution and yay that you loved this story :)

    1. All the feels -- even when those feels confuse the characters experiencing them. (Because believe me, neither Ian nor Cecily is any good at actually falling in love...)

  9. LOL I love what Ian told us about Cecily! I have recently read a story where main character, female, is becoming a soldier. It was so interesting to see it and I can only imagine what Cecily went through. I'm so glad you enjoyed this one. Great review, Andrea :)

    1. These two are full of quirks. Fortunately, their respective brands of "odd" are beautifully compatible.

  10. You're horribly mean. Those poor characters, just trying to live their lives, maybe relax a little up in a rustic little cabin in the woods, have some smexytime. But nooOooo. You want them to have drama and angst and deep-seated emotional damage. So mean. (And, for the record, I like it!)

    1. *laughs* Oh, yes. It was awful for them!

      Well, okay. It was awful for Ian, who didn't even have proper shoes for the snow...

  11. Go Cecily! I'm with you on that $10 haircut!

    Sigh, unlike you I don't like cabin romance. But glad you liked this though

    1. One of the things I most liked about writing Cecily is her down-to-earth practicality.

  12. This truly sounds like a fantastic read and I really love that it is the heroine who was the marine. Great review.

    1. It was so fun to write Cecily -- tough and strong, but really sweet and caring.

  13. Wow, this sounds like a great character-driven romance! You have me swooning over Ian and so curious about Cecily. I'll be sure to give this one a go! Thanks for the wonderful review, Andrea.

    1. Ian's snarky, brilliant, and supremely umprepared for living in the wilderness. I hope you enjoy his adventures!

  14. I love that there's no interference from the outside world... Nothing like being in your own little romantic bubble!

    1. Even one without all the amenities... except the occasional possibility of a bear. Does a bear count as an amenity?

    2. LOL I don't need the amenitites as long as I have a place to go to the bathroom in peace :) And I don't mind bears, but could you make mine a sexy shapeshifter!!!

  15. I love ANY romance where the main characters are emotional wrecks! Being a cabin romance just makes it better. ^_^

  16. I really like them because they are usually filled with secrets and sex scenes.

  17. I love the seclusion of them. More apt to try things when there's no one around

  18. I happen to love to read all romance, no matter the type.

  19. Generally, in log cabin romances the characters actually have a lot of interaction and work things out by talking not just by having lots of sex. :-)

  20. This sounds like another book I'd really love. Great review!

  21. This sounds really good. I love cabin romances and struggling characters.


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