BLOG TOUR REVIEW AND EXCERPT: MIDNIGHT BLUE by L.J. Shen

Midnight Blue, an all-new sexy standalone from LJ Shen is LIVE!

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Midnight Blue

Author: LJ Shen

Release Date: January 18th

It should have been easy.

I needed the money. He needed a babysitter to keep him from snorting himself to death.

I was cherry-picked especially for him. Responsible. Optimistic. Warm. Innocent.

The worst part is that I should have known better.

Alex Winslow. British rock star. Serial heartbreaker. Casanova with whiskey eyes.

“Don’t get near the devil in a leather jacket. He’ll chew you up and spit you out.”

Sounds familiar? That’s because it was a headline in a tabloid the second time he got arrested.

Guess what? I didn’t listen.

I signed the contract.

World tour. Three months. Four Continents. One hundred shows.

My name is Indigo Bellamy, and I sold my soul to a tattooed god.

Problem was, my soul wasn’t enough for Alex Winslow. He ended up taking my body, too.

Then he took my heart.

Then he took my all.

Review

“People where you live,” the little prince said, “grow five thousand roses in one garden… yet they don’t find what they’re looking for…

They don’t find it,” I answered.

And yet what they’re looking for could be found in a single rose, or a little water…”

Of course,” I answered.

And the little prince added, “But eyes are blind. You have to look with the heart.”

― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

The Little Prince’s contemplations are amazingly insightful about the world/environment  in which we live, and even though Alex Winslow’s world is one that was developed and constructed in L.J. Shen’s mind and her imagination, many truths about our society…about our choices in life are exposed and then explored in such a manner that resonates the beauty that life holds as well as the many ways that people allow certain lifestyles and certain people to destroy everything they ever thought was precious…everything that used to mean the world to them…simply because the WANT…the DESIRE…the NEED to fill their lives to the brim with everything they thought they wanted slowly and insidiously turns to their downfall…to a life that is no longer their own, and then the battle becomes how to break free from the users and abusers, after it has become their norm for so long, without completely losing their lives to the demands, to the demons, to the addictions that must constantly be battled, all because they refused to see success in its simplest terms and strove for a stardom that would ultimately expose just how volatile, how dark, and how manipulative a life on the stage can be.

I’m a huge fan of anti-heroes. There’s something to be said about a male lead who moves beyond stereotypical characteristics and has an edge to him that deviates from the norm, making him a unique mix of a cold and calculated alpha male, a devilish asshole, and the man beneath the stage persona who simply wants his music, his friends, and quite frankly his life to be more about the songs and their meanings instead of what people can take from him until they’ve sucked him dry of his passions, his sense of self, and his soul.

Alex Winslow is such a character, but while my characterization of him in Midnight Blue is apt, I don’t quite see him as so much of an anti-hero as a man who has lost his way…a man who has been used by too many people and feels the need for retribution when it comes to his so-called friends, Fallon, and the people who have done nothing but take from him ever since he became a superstar. Because while I can’t deny that Alex was one hell of an asshole throughout the course of the story, readers get an explanation for every devious action…every asshole comment…every emotion felt and shown and while I might not find him commendable, I can handle THAT kind of damaged jackass…it’s when the hero does it just to do it that pisses me off and leaves me feeling like he’s a douchebag just because he can be.

Indie Bellamy entering Alex’s life may come with a massive amount of headaches and even heartache due to the nature of her contract as Alex’s sobriety companion, but regardless of how many times she becomes his toy…his doormat…his punching bag, because readers are privy to Alex’s perspective, we are able to understand his recourse for acting that way and while he’s definitely a major prick at times, there are also moments between Alex and Indie that illustrate just how much her presence has allowed his addictive personality to be tempered and his erratic moods to find some sense of balance and while both of those fixes may be temporary, Indie has also allowed Alex to get back to basics when it comes to his music, his songs, his lyrics, and by finding his musical outlet again, he’s able to become less tortured and perhaps even less lost but the length of that clarity is unclear, especially when his ultimate goal is something that could not only tear his world and his career apart but also force his muse…his soul to fracture even further.

L.J. Shen created a kickass heroine in Indie. She definitely comes with her own baggage and she’s just as broken as Alex is, but she chooses different outlets for her breakdowns The fact that she’s not a rock star also allows Indie’s struggles to not play out on social media, which is one area Alex has no control over. Indie has a backbone, but she’s also delicate in ways…she’s more innocent than most girls her age, so when she steps into Alex’s world, it’s a bit overwhelming, but she handles everything that’s thrown at her with grace and learns to traverse through the many faces and moods of Alex Winslow, and the longer she remains his glue…the person who looks out for his best interests when it comes to reverting back to bad habits, the more readers see just how much power Indie seems to have over Alex, even if never feels that way about their situation.

Alex and Indie’s story showcases L.J. Shen’s ability to create characters who are multifaceted and so rich with personality that readers receive new insights into who the hero and the heroine are up until the very last page of the book.

And while Shen is known for her angsty plot lines, there’s always a reason for the torment…there’s always a backstory that allows an understanding to be established and it’s for that very reason that I can endure the angst because it’s not staged…it’s not there just to cause chaos, and I appreciate that the emotional conflict I feel as a reader is not contrived; it is so easy to get caught up in the world and the characters that Shen creates because it feels so real and that’s due to the way she writes and captures the essence of her characters’ feelings and their actions.

I continue to be captivated by L.J. Shen’s broken princes and princesses and the fact that their souls find a way to survive teaches me that even with pain and suffering, finding one’s true place is possible.

5+ Poison Apples

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Read Today!

(Free in Kindle Unlimited)

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2FNBCMg

Amazon Universal: http://mybook.to/MidnightBlue

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Excerpt

Nat’s words came back and haunted me like a bad haircut from the eighties. An irrational need to check the goods took over me. It wasn’t like he minded. According to the rumors, his dick had seen more cameras than Kendall Jenner. Slowly—so painfully slowly—my eyes drifted down his sinewy body. I just wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Whatever I had in mind, though, didn’t come close to the real thing. Thick, long but not atrocious. With thin veins running through its length.

“Nice view?” he groaned, tucking his junk back into his briefs. His profile was glorious. Strong jaw, pouty lips, eyes like sex…

My eyes snapped up when I realized he was talking to me. “I wasn’t…”

“Looking? Yes, you were. Next time take a picture. It lasts longer.” He rolled his zipper upward and flushed the toilet with the toe of his boot. He turned around and squirted soap into his palm, washing his hands almost violently—rubbing between each finger and scratching his knuckles like he wanted to shed his own skin. When he was done, he looked around for a towel.

I cleared my throat, scrambling to regain my wits. “Longer than the glimpse or longer than your performance?”

Casually—so unbearably casually—he wiped his wet hands over my purple dress. I gasped, moving sideways. It looked like he was about to open the door and get out, but before I had the chance to yell at him for using me as a human towel, he slammed me against the wall, bracing both his arms above my head and pinning me to my spot. I let out a shriek of surprise at the sudden proximity.

Alex Winslow is touching me. Willingly, my surprisingly pitiful brain squealed.

Heat rolled off his body, making my back arch and my breath catch in my throat.

“Let’s make one thing clear—I could fuck you to a point of numbness without even breaking a sweat if I wanted to. Now, careful, New Girl. If you don’t keep your distance from me, I think I just might.”

About LJ Shen

L.J. Shen is an International #1 best-selling author of Contemporary Romance and New Adult novels. She lives in Northern California with her husband, young son and chubby cat.

Before she’d settled down, L.J. (who thinks referring to herself in the third person is really silly, by the way) traveled the world, and collected friends from all across the globe. Friends who’d be happy to report that she is a rubbish companion, always forgets peoples’ birthdays and never sends Christmas cards.

She enjoys the simple things in life, like spending time with her family and friends, reading, HBO, Netflix and internet-stalking Stephen James. She reads between three to five books a week and firmly believes Crocs shoes and mullets should be outlawed.

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