Saturday, April 5, 2014

Tour Stop Ahead of the Darkness by Simone Nicole

TITLE: Ahead of the Darkness

AUTHOR: Simone Nicole

RELEASE DATE: 13th March 2014

HOSTED BY: Forever Me Romance


It has been a long, long time since I’ve seen your little face, chérie. Not once did you visit. That really hurt; after all, it was thanks to you I was convicted. That’s not something you forget.
I thought it was time— a visit was due. Seeing as you wouldn’t come to me, I thought it only right I come to you. Sadly, you weren’t home, but your furry feline was more than accommodating . . .
I’ll be seeing you soon, mon chérie. I’ll always find you . . .

For six years, a letter has dictated Amelia’s future. She’s running from a past that refuses to stop, always trying to get one step ahead. Amelia is clever and resilient, and refuses to slip up.

Relying only on herself, she’ll be anything and anyone she needs to survive. But everyone slips up . . . eventually. You can’t always stay ahead of the darkness.

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Author Bio

Self-confessed chocoholic and undiagnosed crazy person, Simone can be found climbing Himalayan mountaintops like a ninja, sky diving backwards and rubbing shoulders with billionaires. She is also full of crap, but can read backwards and upside down.
Simone loves all things Disney and alcoholic, and is rarely seen not reading, writing or wearing lipstick, usually of the red variety.

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“Take a deep breath,” he moved on without comment, “duck ye head under the water, and exhale through ye nose. When ye run outta air, pop ye head back up.” I bit my lip and nodded, but I was less than confident.

“But, what if, what if the water goes up my nose?” I whispered. I sounded like a small child, but I was too panicked to care.

“Hold ye nose, love. Like this.” He pinched his nose and dropped under. It was silly, but I gasped. A second later he reappeared, shaking his head like a dog, spraying water all over me.  I smiled as I tried to hide from the spray. He seemed to know just how to diffuse me. It was bizarre, to say the least, but I was a little grateful.

“Yer turn. Do you need me to hold ye hand?” And sweet Drew was gone. He was back to his usual self.

I scoffed at that offer. “No.” But it might have been nice.

“One. Two.” I pinched my nose, and my pulse beat a million miles per minute. “Three!”

And I was under.

Oh God, oh God, breathe, no, don't breathe, just … don't breathe.

So I counted. I counted to ten and that was enough. I broke the surface, and gasped for breathe.

“Ye did good. Just next time, breathe first, aye?” Oh, yeah.

“Yeah, okay. Now what?”

“Now ye try holding yer breath for longer.”


“Aye. The fun comes later.”

I raised an eyebrow. The boys had clearly started to rub off on me. He smirked in return.
“How long can you hold your breath?”
“A while. Why? Ye want to challenge me?”
Do I? “Always.”
He smiled, and shook his head.
“One. Don't forget to take a deep breath in. Three!” I sucked a huge breath in and we ducked under the cool water.
I watched a little in awe as tiny bibles left Drew's nose. His hair sort of hovered in the water. He looked so beautiful that I found it easier to be still under the water just staring at him. He wiggled his eyebrows at me and it took all my strength not to laugh, expelling all my air. I did, however, poke my tongue out at him. It wasn’t the smartest thing to do, as when I pulled it back in it, tasted like manky seawater, and I wrinkled my face up in disgust. Surprisingly, I still managed to hold the little breath I had left in. Drew, however, lost all control at my tongue poking or face pulling, I wasn’t sure which, most likely both. He laughed heartily, expelling all his air in a great, big, gust, and had to go back up for air. I broke the surface to hear Drew coughing and spluttering.
“Ha! I won.” I’d be lying if it didn’t give me a little satisfaction that I sort-of won, by default but a win all the same.
“Ye’re a pisser. And ye didn’t win, ye cheated.”
“Oh, and you weren’t trying to cheat by wiggling your eyebrows at me? All’s fair in love and war, baby!”
“Which are we?” he asked softly, and my heart stuttered.

“Ah … definitely war.”



It wasn’t an option for me, to stay in one place, make friends, and live. I had to keep moving.

First, I want to say that I was lucky enough to witness the growth of this story into what it now is. I read bits and pieces given to me by one of my fave Aussie ladies and author and I fell for Drew and I fell HARD! I also fell for this story because it’s not your usual girl-meets-boy story and they fall in love, break up, get back together and the end! 

It’s so much more than that. It’s a story about finally finding something you were positively sure you never wanted nor needed. Love. It’s about accepting that being all alone is not what a human being needs and admitting it’s okay to rely and lean on others. 

So, the book starts with Amelia/Mia, who is a chameleon character. She changes her identity and physical features very often, in order to hide, to blend in and stay incognito. She’s been on the run for the past six years and it has always worked just fine. She’d just up and leave wherever it was she was living. No friends, no relationships because it was easier to run that way.

See, one would think Mia is weak for doing that but she’s not. It’s in our genes, the fight-or-flight instinct. It’s always been. She’s afraid and she’s been through so many horrible things and she thinks she’s guilty of all that happening. 

I stopped living in the past a long time ago. What if is just that, I guess: living in the past, because you wished your future could have been different.

But her entire world is turned upside-down when she falls into Drew’s arms in the small town she had recently settled in. From that moment on, she’s slowly but surely falling for the sexy Scotsman. 

Ye really need to stop makin’ a habit of falling for me. Ye’ll give me a big head like, and I might get the wrong impression.

*sound the bagpipes*

Drew McKinley is the sexiest, sweetest and funniest Scot I have ever read about. He’s perfect, simply put. No, he’s not prim or proper. He owns a bar and he has a little bit of OCD and wow, he’s certainly possessive and doesn’t give up when he wants something. And he has demons of his own we only get glimpses of. But all those things? They make him perfect. He’s the kind of character that is realistic and believable. 

Ye said I cannae kiss ye. Ye dinnae say anything about pawing ye. Paw away, Drew. Paw away.

Ahem. Sorry. Got distracted by that sexy brogue. 

All in all, I give this book four and a half “strapping” stars! The story is not rushed, it slowly builds up and it isn’t insta-love. The characters simply click. You pretty much have everything in it. Funny scenes, HOT ones – there’s this scene with Drew and no clothes AND another one where he’s showing off his roots *waggling brows* - and towards the end, it will blow your mind. I haven’t seen that one coming but thank God, it was just a false alarm!

The only thing I can add to this is: there will be MORE Drew! Can’t wait to find out more about him!

***I was given a copy of this awesome book in exchange of an honest review***


We begin the story knowing that Mia is on the run from something. Slowly, from her thoughts and actions and through flashbacks, we find out most of her history. She's been on the run for a very long time, never making true connections or settling anywhere.

We don't know much about Drew except that he has a Scottish background. 

"Have ye ever wondered what a true Scotsman wears under his kilt?"
best line ever and key to one of my fantasies

He is the owner of a local bar, and has many friends in the community.

Also he's a great lover.

"I own ye," he whispered in my ear and I shivered.

There is something in Drew which finally opens up a part of Mia that has always been closed. 

I threw myself at Drew as soon as he was in reach. He absorbed the impact, gingerly putting his arms around me as I threw mine around his neck, and wrapped my legs around his middle. I held on like my life depended on it, and for the first time ever, I was home.

Even though we mostly tend to focus on figuring out her situation in this book, I feel there is a lot to Drew that we don't know. He always gives "knowing" looks. Sometimes his accent is different. I don't believe that he is bad or that he doesn't have genuine feelings for her. I just think there is something "more" to him than being just a bar owner (and sexy love god). I do think he is going to save her no matter what.

"I've got ye, love...I'll pull ye out of the darkness."

This book would be considered a partial CH because of the mysterious ending.

***ARC was given by author for an honest review***


Guest Reviewer:  8th grade student Destiny Watson who is a huge fan of Nicole’s

Phenomenal book! I couldn’t put it down! The love of Mia and Drew pulls you in and plants a seed deep in your mind. This book is a must read with a Scottish hottie. 

Simone creates a string of characters to help bring Mia to the land of the living, where running from your past isn’t a problem. This book lets people know that anyone can overcome the darkness, that there is always one last ray of light in the tunnel. That love IS possible in the most unexpected places.

The inspiring and uplifting story of Ahead of the Darkness is enough to help anyone see hope. And who can resist a man in a kilt?

Simone Nicole’s
Q & A’s

1.    what's your favorite restaurant?
a)   My sisters house :P
2.   what's your favorite room to decorate?
a)   Hmmm, the living room. It has all my favourite things in it. TV, Gaming consoles, DVD collection (all alphabetized), fancy hardback books, chess sets (I collect them) and comfy couches. All that's missing is the bed, the rest of my books and the laptop.
3.   Marilyn , Audrey, or Jackie?
a)   Marilyn
4.   if money were no object, what's one thing you'd buy?
a)   A huge manor in England with amble grounds and a ridiculously huge library!
5.  what's your favorite way to spend lazy Sundays?
a)   Curled up on my couch with a good book, hot chocolate and a Disney movie playing in the background.
6.  where do you look for an obscure source of inspiration?
a)   Hmmm usually you can’t look for it, it finds you but if i need to trigger some inspiration, music or people watching in a cafe, seems to do the trick.

Rapid Fire Q & A’s

1.         Favorite color? Purple
2.       Coke or Pepsi? Coke all the way!
3.        Favorite Song (this week)? Lady gaga Do what you want
4.       Ice Cream flavor? Vanilla for simplicity or anything with caramel or strawberry in it but not as flavours
5.         Favorite Movie? Too hard! I have at least 20 all time loves
6.       Book Boyfriend? Eeep! I can’t do this one either. I’m stuggling with picking a top 5. I’m a book hoe
7.       Book to Movie? Damn… Lord of the Rings and Harry potter :D
8.       Pet? Crazy cats and big dogs
9.       Dream VaCa? A permanent one :P Europe 
10.   What was your favorite subject in high school? English + Drama
11.     One Direction, 5 seconds of summer, or Emblem 3? Uck, no 1D lol and I don’t know the others.


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