Tuesday, May 7, 2013

VBT: Review and Giveaway ~ Friends & Lovers by Tara Mills


Can the man of Lauren’s dreams save her from the man in her nightmares?

Wes Dunlop was a hot commodity in high school and the ruin of good reputations, so it was easy to criticize the guy when his sister did it too. Then Lauren McKay actually met her best friend’s brother, and she was intrigued. When he came to her rescue, she was doomed. Afraid to admit her change of heart, Lauren hid her secret from both of them.

Fifteen years later Wes is back. Now a dedicated cop, he’s determined to win Lauren—the girl he can’t forget and the only one his sister demanded he leave alone. But he finds that Lauren’s life is a lot more complicated than he imagined.

Personal tragedy made Lauren a fierce defender of battered women. However, when a dangerous gunman tracks his wife to Lauren’s shelter, the protector becomes the target. Her life suddenly in the balance, nothing will stop Wes from doing everything in his power to rescue her.

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Lauren shook her head and went searching in her handbag for a tissue. Blotting her eyes and wiping her nose, she finally sobbed, “I feel like I don’t even know Sherry anymore.”

Wes gripped the back of her headrest, wishing he could stroke her hair instead. “Sure you do.”

“I didn’t know any of her friends. I’ve been replaced. It’s like we’re strangers. I’ve missed so much.”

Now he understood. “Do you care about Sherry?”

“Yes,” said Lauren without hesitation.

“Then you have to make the effort to repair the friendship. Just because Sherry has new friends doesn’t mean she doesn’t want you in her life too. You have to reestablish your connection, that’s all. It isn’t going to happen overnight or even in two short hours. What did you expect?”

She threw up her hands. “I don’t know.”

He’d never seen a more forlorn expression in his life. The tears clinging to Lauren’s lashes were too much for him. Expelling a deep sigh, Wes cupped the back of her neck and pulled her in. His kiss was soft, compassionate, and infinitely tender. The wet tissue in Lauren’s hand flattened out against his shirt and he felt the moisture leech through the light cotton, dampening his skin underneath. He didn’t give a damn.

The timing was wrong, all wrong, and yet he couldn’t help himself. The need to be close to her, comfort and caress her was almost unbearable. In his mind he’d held back long enough. Now it was up to her. If Lauren pulled away or asked him to stop he would.

She clutched his shirt instead.

The first chapter can be read under the Friends and Lovers title page on Tara’s website.

Author Info:    

I write stories I like to read -- contemporary romances with identifiable characters and themes. Life is hard, love makes it bearable. If you like stories with heart, heat, and humor, I have a title for you.

In the real world I'm a pampered wife, lucky mom to three amazing sons and one wonderful daughter-in-law, and I just became a very young grandma. I should probably underline the word very. Oh heck, why not the word young too? Nah, you get the point. I'm also the daily monitor of one naughty dog with an attitude.

Author Links

Visit Tara Mills Romance or find me on Facebook.

  My Thoughts:              

Friends and Lovers was hugely enjoyable. I really liked the characters. Wes was wonderful and sweet, Lauren was strong and courageous, and Sherry was the fun girl that everyone would want to be around.

Lauren had a thing for her best friend Sherry's brother Wes during high school. He was a bit of a playboy back then but there was just something about him. At the time, Sherry despised the way he behaved and because of this, Lauren never told her how she felt about him. Unbeknownst to her, Wes wanted Lauren but Sherry threatened him and told him to leave her be.

Flash forward fifteen years, she still has a thing for him that she's never gotten over. Imagine her surprise when she sees him at the shelter she runs. The attraction is still there big time!

This book had romance, some danger, and action (especially the steamy kind). There were some scenarios that were very thought provoking. Tara Mills writes about the the abuse the women suffered in a way that is objectively realistic but not overdone. These elements and the romance were blended together seamlessly.

If you like your romance with some meaningful subject matter thrown in to the mix, then this is a must read!

I received a copy of Friends and Lovers in exchange for my honest opinion. I liked it and honestly thought it was quite good. :D

Would you be able to work in a shelter dealing with abused women despite the possible danger?

Tara is hosting a TOUR WIDE giveaway for TWO DIGITAL COPIES of FRIENDS AND LOVERS to Two Randomly Drawn Commenters. Please leave a VALID EMAIL ADDRESS with your comment.    

Here is the Tour Schedule


Thank you for commenting! Don't forget to enter the Comment Incentive Giveaway. The link can be found at the top of the page!


  1. If the digital copy can be a pdf i would be delighted to win oen because i'm really interested in this story and i think i would love it greatly.

    do i think i could work there.... if i'm well in my mind at that time sure, as a child i was the protector of the excluded children at the recreation.. i took all who were alone even if it caused trouble with teh popular one.But to be able to help them i think you need to be at 100% if your mind is heavied with something else better to wait because they need support and you can support someone when you need support yourself


  2. Thank you so much for having me on Crazy Four Books! I'm thrilled that you enjoyed, Friends and Lovers.

  3. Great excerpt and love the cover. Excellent review. Good luck with the book. clexline at gmail dot com

  4. I think I could work there. Being committed to help take you outside the danger.
    debby236 at gmail dot com

    1. I think it's wonderful that you'd feel able to help!

  5. Even though I would like to help, I think it would be difficult for me to work at a shelter dealing with abused women. It would be very depressing and heart-breaking to hear their sad stories.

    1. I'm with you. I don't think I could help either. :(

  6. I can certainly understand how difficult it could be for many women, but for Lauren, it's a trans-formative and empowering experience. She's helping women and children find their way out difficult situations and helping to restore hope and security to their lives. Having lost her sister and nephew to domestic violence, this is a calling she takes very personally. She's committed and driven. I love her for that.

    1. I admired her character a great deal. I wish I was that strong!

  7. I dont know if I could. Im a very empathetic person and I seem to like to take on people's problems and try and help them. But all my friends do tell me they dont need a therapist, they have me. So maybe I could? Another one I'll def. have to check out! :)


  9. +JMJ+

    If I really believed in something and there were a job that would let me make a difference, I'd take it and chalk the dangers up to a regular work hazard. But in this specific scenario, my concern would be that I have a hard time reaching out to people emotionally and so might be a bad fit in a shelter. I guess you could compare me to a doctor who'd be able to help you get well but who has a really awkward bedside manner. =/

    I think it's great that the leads in this book both have jobs that put them at the service of others, even at great risk to themselves.