Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Blog Tour: Paper Fools - Staci Hart

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In the game of love, she never loses.


Paper Fools by Staci Hart is available now!!

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Title: Paper Fools
Author: Staci Hart
Cover Designer: Quirkybird Designs
Photographer: Lauren Watson Perry

Aphrodite knows love — just don’t ask her to figure out her own mess.
Rather than deal with her sticky love life, she toys with the hearts of unwitting humans. It’s a little game she plays, and the stakes are high. Lucky for her, she’s just found the perfect match.
Lex is everything Dean needs, but he can’t have her.
It doesn’t matter that her eyes speak to a long forgotten part of him, or that her art and poetry touch his shredded heart. She’s off limits — crossing that line would implode his band and everything he’s ever cared about. There’s only one option: stay away from her, no matter the cost. Even if the price is his heart.
Dean is everything Lex wants, but she can’t take the risk.
The second she meets him, she knows her heart is in danger. She’s convinced it’s only attraction that has her hung up on the dark, quiet lead singer, but with every day that passes, she knows it’s more. It’s just that she can’t put her heart on the line. She won’t — love has never been worth the sacrifice.
If only they knew they were just pawns in a much bigger game. And in the game of love, Aphrodite never loses.
*Formerly titled Deer in Headlights, Paper Fools has been rewritten and reedited just for you.*

Review
Lex is damaged by her childhood, she jumps into relationships but runs from any feeling that could possibly lead to love. Dean too is unable to love, his connections with women are fleeting and often damaging to those he cares for. When Aphrodite and Apollo are chosen for the games, with all of Olympus watching on, both draw on their past anger towards one another to choose the best candidates to hurt the other's chance at winning. Both hold the other accountable for lost love and a game of love or heartbreak is the perfect place to channel their anger. Dean and Lex are made for each other though and while Dita and Apollo put their heads in the game it is impossible to deny that the two human souls could heal one another.

"Well, no one knew love like she did. She owned it. It almost felt rigged, like an inconceivable task, but then again, challenges wouldn't be much fun if one were not an expert in the subject matter they defended. Of course, when it was between Apollo and Dita, it was never for fun."

I love Greek Mythology, the idea that Gods could be playing games with humans for entertainment is what first drew me into Paper Fools. Told through several points-of-view, Staci Hart brings readers into the lives of Aphrodite "Dita," Apollo, and the pawns in their game of wits, Lex and Dean. Readers are swept into the beauty of life in Olympus, quickly seeing that the gods play with humans lives to either entertain themselves or to get at another. Dita and Apollo have an interesting relationship filled with disdain and distrust; Hart writes in such a way that readers feel the pain both feel over lost love. Lex and Dean are very obviously damaged and though we learn of their past we only see how it effects them in the present time. I loved the idea of Lex and Dean, especially the game of the Gods, but it was hard to find their instant chemistry believable when thinking in terms of human connection. 

"She was beautiful-there was no doubt about that -but it was more than that, something he didn't understand, some magic about her that had taken him over, and he hoped his obsession with her would be over soon. Because he didn't know how much he could take."

Previously written and released as Deer in Headlights, Paper Fools is a heavily edited new version by Hart. Though the story line is the same the writing has definitely been taken up a notch. Previous readers will find that the story flows better, while new readers might find complaint with the lengthy side stories that make getting into the story a little bit harder. I had a difficult time keeping the story straight, while it was interesting to read about Aphrodite and Apollo, and their competition, the side stories really took away from Dean and Lex for me. Much of the story tells the tale of Aphrodite and Apollo's centuries long feud, as well as details their lives through out time and presently. I felt the urge, several times, to write down the characters and timeline, because it was hard to keep track of and the POV changing made that even harder. Lex and Dean felt like a backseat story for me and, though I rooted for them endlessly, I never felt a connection to the characters. I wanted them to be fleshed out further and for the Greek Mythology story lines to be shorter. 

"He was all she hoped for and all she feared. One day, and everything hinged on the decision she would make at the end. But the truth was, the decision had already been made. She'd never really had a choice in the matter."

Paper Fools is a complex, yet fun and sexy read from the always amazing author, Staci Hart. The story is unique and the writing in this new edit is excellent, especially the smut scenes that drew so many comments previously. Paper Fools is definitely a romance read I'd recommend to fans who like their love stories a little bit twisted.

Excerpt:

She reached into her bag, digging around in the black hole for her book, but looked up, sensing someone in front of her.

When her eyes locked on his, she froze.

They were the greenest eyes she’d ever seen, shocking and bright, rimmed by thick, dark lashes. His long face was graced with an elegant nose and wide lips bent in a crooked smile. And he was tall, really tall, with ebony hair that fell forward as he looked down at her. He pushed it back without seeming to think about it, but it still looked perfectly tossed, like he’d just rolled out of bed.

She realized she still hadn’t taken a breath and flushed as she fumbled and almost dropped her book.

“Uh, hi. I’m Lex.” She tossed her hand in a wave, hoping she looked casual.

He paused for a second, watching her with an expression she couldn’t quite place. The moment seemed to stretch on forever, and as she studied him, it dawned on her that he was amused. This unnerved her, even more so when it dawned upon her that it was exactly what he wanted.

“Hey,” he said, the timbre of his voice deep and full. “I’m Dean.”

Lex realized her mouth was open. And that he was smirking. And that he was dead sexy while he was doing it.

She closed her mouth and cocked an eyebrow, putting on her snark to hide the fact that he’d gotten to her.

“Dean, huh? I heard they call you Professor Panty Dropper.”

His smile stretched wider. “Oh, is that what they say?”

“They do.”

A tall blond, who she guessed was Roe, stood at the microphone, glaring at them. “Mic check, Dean.”

They stared at each other like idiots for a split second longer before Dean turned to pick up his guitar, and he took his place with the rest of the band. She watched him walk away and blinked a few times before turning to her bag again, not looking for anything in particular — she only wanted to keep her hands busy and her eyes off of Dean while she scraped her dignity off the floor.

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About the Author

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Staci has been a lot of things up to this point in her life -- a graphic designer, an entrepreneur, a seamstress, a clothing and handbag designer, a waitress. Can't forget that. She's also been a mom, with three little girls who are sure to grow up to break a number of hearts. She's been a wife, though she's certainly not the cleanest, or the best cook. She's also super, duper fun at a party, especially if she's been drinking whiskey. From roots in Houston to a seven year stint in Southern California, Staci and her family ended up settling somewhere in between and equally north, in Denver. They are new enough that snow is still magical. When she's not writing, she's reading, sleeping, gaming, or designing graphics.

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