Friday, June 14, 2019

Blog Tour & Review: On the Rocks - Kandi Steiner

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OTR Cover FINAL.pngOn the Rocks 
by Kandi Steiner
Release Date: June 13, 2019

Noah Becker is nothing but trouble.
That’s what Mama told me when I was a kid, kicking his pew in church and giggling at the games we’d play. It’s what the town said when his father died and the Becker brothers went wild.
And it’s on repeat in my mind the day I walk into the whiskey distillery where he works to buy a wedding gift for my fiancé.
He’s trouble.
Dirty, sweaty, rude trouble.
No matter how many times I repeat it, I can’t escape Noah in our small Tennessee town. And the more I run into him, the more he infuriates me. Because he sees what no one else does.
He sees me—the real me.
The me I’m not sure I’m allowed to be.
I’m Ruby Grace Barnett, the mayor’s daughter. Soon to be a politician’s wife, just like Mama and Daddy always wanted. Soon to fulfill my family’s legacy, just like I always knew I would.
Until the boy everyone warned me about makes me question everything, like whether the wedding I’m planning is one I even want.
Everyone said Noah Becker was nothing but trouble.
If only I had listened.
A stand-alone, contemporary romance.
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4.25 Stars
Stratford, Tennessee is known for its whiskey and in the town you're known by your last name and your reputation. Noah Becker's is simple; he's wild, he's the handsomest barrel raiser around, and his last name no longer sits at the top with the Scooter's and the Barnett's. Ruby Grace Barnett, daughter of the mayor and engaged to a future president, is all legs, confidence, and wedded bliss. At least, that's what she wants people to see, for some reason Noah is able to see her drowning, able to see her desires and wishes, able to pull honesty from her mouth. What starts as a friendship gives way to something more, but the ring on Ruby Grace's finger keeps her in line, until a devastating revelation shakes her world to its core. Noah doesn't know how to be her friend when she's all he can think about, but Ruby Grace holds all the answers and power, she's the one who gets to choose what her forever looks like. Is she meant to be the politician's wife or is she meant to chase her dreams, the ones she's set aside for a future mapped for her?

"It was always in the cards for me. And it was all I ever wanted. At least, that's what I thought."

On the Rocks by Kandi Steiner is both classic Kandi-angst while also somehow being a totally unique story from her. Ruby Grace is a picture of, well her middle name, grace, while Noah is the country boy with dirty jeans and a taste for whiskey, Tennessee whiskey. They're on two different paths and yet in the heat of summer, under the pressure of wedding planning and questions of what's next, those paths cross. I loved these two, I loved how even with such a big age gap they feel so alike. Kandi Steiner perfectly captured that small town atmosphere, I know, I live in one now. Everyone knows everyone, gossip is hot off the press daily, and age doesn't mean a thing when you're out in the woods by the fire. These two just click, with Ruby Grace alighting something in Noah he'd started doubting he'd fine, and Noah making Ruby Grace realize her hopes and dreams are valid. Their friendship isn't easy, you might not believe me when I say these two throw insults at each other quite often, but the passion between them is. I don't mean lust passion either, though that's there, they both have a passion for life that is often a missing characteristic in book characters. These two come alive under the summer sun, under the night sky, in the lake and in the pool, as they take on adventures together unaware, or maybe unprepared to admit, where their friendship is heading.

"'No, you see me with your soul.' She swallowed, eyes flicking up to mine before they fell back to mouth. 'And I feel you with mine.'"

Okay, okay, I know so many of my reader fans are absolutely against all things OW/OM, but Kandi hit this out of the park. At its base, this is friendship and lust, and a coming-of-age moment that maybe could've been avoided had Ruby Grace's life not been flying at the speed of light towards collision with her unable to control the direction. This is youthfulness, recklessness, and above all, an all-consuming feeling of being out of place that drives the characters in this direction. This isn't the easy path, this isn't just one night, Kandi Steiner perfectly captures the dread, the fear, the angst that can drive two together when everything is falling apart. More than that, things don't come to a head until, in my opinion, things are irreparable anyway.

"His dark hair in my hands, my dark heart in his."

On the Rocks isn't your typical contemporary romance, no this one is filled to the top with angst, but it's the kind of angst that doesn't come just from falling in love. Kandi Steiner tackles family honor, expectations, and the fear of facing one's future so perfectly. It's a small town story with both romance and scandal and coming-of-age weaved into the pages. It's a book about owning one's truth and figuring out the rest along the way. I so enjoyed this book and am so excited to see what the other Becker brothers have in store for us.

About Kandi:
Kandi Steiner is a bestselling author and whiskey connoisseur living in Tampa, FL. Best known for writing “emotional rollercoaster” stories, she loves bringing flawed characters to life and writing about real, raw romance — in all its forms. No two Kandi Steiner books are the same, and if you’re a lover of angsty, emotional, and inspirational reads, she’s your gal.
An alumna of the University of Central Florida, Kandi graduated with a double major in Creative Writing and Advertising/PR with a minor in Women’s Studies. She started writing back in the 4th grade after reading the first Harry Potter installment. In 6th grade, she wrote and edited her own newspaper and distributed to her classmates. Eventually, the principal caught on and the newspaper was quickly halted, though Kandi tried fighting for her “freedom of press.” She took particular interest in writing romance after college, as she has always been a diehard hopeless romantic, and likes to highlight all the challenges of love as well as the triumphs.
When Kandi isn’t writing, you can find her reading books of all kinds, talking with her extremely vocal cat, and spending time with her friends and family. She enjoys live music, traveling, anything heavy in carbs, beach days, movie marathons, craft beer, and sweet wine — not necessarily in that order.
Connect with Kandi:
Kandi Steiner may be coming to a city near you! Check out her “events” tab to see all the signings she’s attending in the near future:

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