Saturday, June 1, 2013

Blog Stop and Giveaway: Darkness Before Dawn by Claire Contreras

Book Title: Darkness Before Dawn
Author: Claire Contreras
Genre: Romance Mystery/Suspense/Romance
Release Date: May 31, 2013
Cover Designer: Okay Creations


Is love ever enough?

Faced with obstacles she could have never imagined, Blake is brought to darkness and back by forces in her past she never knew existed.
Desperate to stay connected to the only thing he loves, Cole is forced to revisit his past and align himself with the people who knew about Blake’s disappearance.
Separation has forced both Blake and Cole to learn how to live under the worst circumstances, each of them alone in their own hell.

When they reunite, can they be the same two people they were before darkness swept upon them?
Told in separate points of view, Darkness Before Dawn is the continuation of Blake and Cole’s fight to make it to the light.

Loud pounding on the bathroom door breaks me from my daydream and I get up quickly to turn off the water and get out of the shower. The pounding on the door continues until I yell out that I’m almost done. Once I’m dressed, I take a deep breath and decide that I will not let them break me; I won’t let my family down. I open the door and find Dean on the other side of it, wearing a plaid blue button down shirt with the sleeves rolled up, jeans, and black boots. His voluminous dark hair is perfectly styled, and even though I hate facial hair, I notice that the shadow of a beard displayed on his face looks pretty good on him. My eyes trail down his slim body and stay glued to the tattoo I see on his left forearm, until his chuckle brings me to meet his twinkling hazel eyes.

“Well, this is a change,” he says, the side of his mouth forming in a slight smile.

“What is?” I ask crinkling my eyebrows.

“You. Checking me out instead of glaring at me,” he says as a slow smile spreads on his face.

My mouth pops open for a moment before I recover my thoughts. “I was not checking you out! I was trying to figure out what your tattoo is. There’s a difference. Besides, you’re not in your uniform today. It’s weird to see you wearing grown up clothes.” I mock.

He doesn’t really wear a uniform, but most of the time he’s dressed in jeans, a white T-shirt and a leather jacket.

He shakes his head. “If you say so.” I can hear the disbelief in his voice and it makes me want to throw something at him.

“Do you have another magazine for me?”

He’s been bringing me magazines to help my boredom. I have to hide them whenever Alex comes to check up on me just in case, but that’s a small price to pay for entertainment. I may not know what’s going on in the world, but I know what celebrity couples are together and what the latest trend fashion is. So far, Drew Barrymore got married and Jessica Simpson had a baby. Maybe if I would have kept up with gossip before, this would be exciting for me to know, but frankly, I don’t give a damn. I sigh dreamily at my own thoughts and daze off thinking of Gerald O’Hara. God, I need to get the fuck out of here! You know it’s bad when you’re day dreaming of an old dead guy.

“You’re such a pain in the ass,” Dean says with a laugh, and then suddenly stops. “Shit. I was kidding, chick, you didn’t have to go and cry about it.”

I wipe my tears, but can’t stop the sobs from escaping my throat before I bury my face in my hands. How pathetic am I that I can’t be called a pain in the ass without crying? How pathetic is it that everything reminds me of Cole? Once I calm down, I wipe my face again and bring the tray onto my lap, avoiding his gaze.

“So, you don’t like being called a pain in the ass?” he asks quietly. I know he’s trying to keep the conversation light, but I’m not in the mood for any of it.

“No,” I grumble before taking a bite of toast. “I don’t like being called anything.”

He sits in front of me and watches me eat in silence. When I finish, I get up and head to the bathroom, leaving him sitting on the floor by my bed.

I wash my hands before sitting up on the counter and lean my back on the mirror hoping that he gets tired of waiting for me and leaves. I idly begin to draw circles over the green bruises on my calf and it hits me that that’s all I am these days: cuts and bruises, inside and out. At the sound of thunder outside, I snap back to reality and hop off the counter, picking up my hair in a messy pony tail as I open the door, hoping to walk into an empty room, but Dean still there flipping through my magazine.

“You gonna sit here and read old gossip all day?” I ask.

He raises an amused eyebrow. “This is new gossip.”

As he walks over to me, I notice our difference in height, for some reason I had never noticed the way he towers over me. Probably because I’m always looking at the ground unless I’m sitting on it. He’s definitely not as tall as Cole, nothing about his physical appearance is like Cole’s. Cole is tall and muscular, Dean is tall and lean. Cole has more of a playboy face, whereas Dean is more of a rugged pretty boy. The only thing they have in common is that swag, or spark that some guys have. The one that draws you to them, even though you know in the back of your mind that you will get burned once you get too close. When he leans close to hand over the magazine, making me flinch a little, I take in his scent of nicotine and cinnamon.

He holds my stare as we both grip either side of the magazine. “I wouldn’t hurt you, Chick, okay?”

“You are hurting me,” I whisper as I take it from his hand and sit down on the bed. I downcast my eyes and look at it, but it looks blurry through my eyes and I can’t make out who’s on the cover. He cups his hand under my chin and lifts my face to look at him, but I turn my face out of his hold. “Don’t touch me, please.”

There is No Light in Darkness

***Jennifer's 5 Star Review***

First can I start with Claire Contreras is a damn genius!  This story is so well written with so many twist and turns and end the end having you saying WHAT!!! If you have not read There is No Light Before Darkness, what are you waiting for?!?!  This series is full of suspense, romance, and the hotness that is Cole Murphy… enough said right there!  Cole… Cole… Cole… You have to get to know this one… he’s hot, he’s smart, and always gentlemen.  I love that the book rotates POV from Blake to Cole.  Nothing like getting into a man’s head! 

So… we start off right were the last book ends.  Blake has been kidnapped.  She awakes to a small room that has only a mattress, a small 80’s era TV and a bathroom.  She is bruised and beaten but still hold onto her love for Cole that she will find a way out.  She recognizes her captors from her past but a new face is the one that will end up befriending her.  Enter Dean…  he’s part of the drug cartel that is keeping her hostage but has the pretty boy face but has some edge to him that intrigues Blake.  He is not like the others and is actually kind to her.  With his help Blake is able to escape her captures.  But with this brings more questions about her and Cole’s disappearance many years before.  

While Blake is in captive, Cole struggles to find answers to her disappearance. He then reaches out to the one person that can give him answers, the one person he hates that he has to turn to, his Father.  Cole finally comes face to face with his parents.   With this more lies and deceit are exposed and more OMG moments are revealed!  


Once Blake is free, she and Cole struggle to find their way as she continues to reach out to Dean.  But with this Blake is able to help piece together the puzzle that is her and Cole’s life and the mystery behind their disappearance. Will they be able to work past their struggles? Can Cole work past the new relationship she tries to build with Dean? Or will their families’ lies and deceit be the end of their relationship?  You will have to read to find out!

There are just so many moments in this book where I could not stop turning the page!  We even get a cameo from Jack Fn’ Carter!!  Cole and Jack in the same book!!!  Be still my heart!!!    My heart was racing, and my jaw dropped on more than one occasion.  I love Cole even more in the book and commend the author for growing her writing process as this book, I feel, is exceptional!  I LOVED… LOVED… LOVED this book and sad that this is the end of their story! 
Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book...
“Blake is everything to me. She’s not somebody I’m involved with, she is my reason, my everything”
“We both stare at each other for a long moment, with tears in our eyes, before his arms swallow my body in his, shielding me from everything; the light, the dark, and everything in between”
“In this moment I realize that I’m not sure how long I’d been kidnapped, but nothing, nobody, can hold me hostage like Cole’s eyes can.”
“My soul belongs to you , Blake.  I got where you go, I cant live without you. I don’t want to live without you. If you die tomorrow, I die with you.” (omg… so swooning!!!)
“Love is knowing that one day when I’m old and my body aches, my heart won’t because I’ll be with you.” (sigh……)

About The Author: 

Claire Contreras graduated with her BA in Psychology from Florida International University. She lives in Miami, Florida with her husband, two little boys, and three dogs. 

Her favorite past times are: daydreaming, writing, and reading.

She has been described as a random, sarcastic, crazy girl with no filter. 

Life is short, and it’s more bitter than sweet, so she tries to smile as often as her face allows. She enjoys stories with happy endings, because life is full of way too many unhappy ones. 

Author Links: 

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1 comment:

  1. Great review! Can't wait to read this book and finish the story!