Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Blog Tour: Redesigned by Denise Grover Swank

To Add Redesigned to Goodreads Cliock HERE


Off the Subject #2
By:  Denise Grover Swank
Published:  June 10, 2013
Source:  Author
Hosted By:  Inkslinger PR

GR's Summary:

While fashion design major Caroline Hunter may have been born economically unlucky, in college, she’s been lucky in love. Until her senior year at Southern University. She’s gone from a serious long term boyfriend to a string of crappy dates.

Then she meets mathematics grad student Reed Pendergraft.

Reed is everything she’s not looking for. Serious. Headed for a low paying university job. Boring. Caroline spent the first eighteen years of her life wondering where her next meal was coming from. She sure wasn’t getting trapped in that life again with a man living on a professor’s salary.

An encounter with Reed in a club proves she might have pegged him wrong. He brings out a lusty side she never knew she had. But just when she’s about to give in to her hormones, Reed makes a fool out of her.

When she shows up for the first committee meeting for Southern University’s Fall fashion show, a fundraiser for underprivileged kids, Caroline’s horrified to discover the insufferable Reed is the committee chairman. While she refuses to tolerate his totalitarian rule of the committee, she’s not sure she’ll survive the month with her heart—and her pride—intact. Just when she thinks she has everything figured out, she finds that her entire life has been redesigned, thanks to Reed Pendergraft.

Caroline comes from an impoverished background, with limited clothing, (what she did wear had been handed down 5-6 times) school supplies, food to eat, (she often went hungry) teasing, and ridicule.  When she reached high school, she was often referred to as, "white trailer trash" and men assumed they could easily get into her pants.  She decided from a young age that she wanted more out of her life, and her parents often told her she was uppity, and thought she was better then them.  When the time came to go to college, Caroline's mother offered an ultimatum.  If she went to college, then she would be dead to her family.  Caroline left for Southern College, got loans, decided to pursue fashion, and never look back.  One of her main goals while in college was to find a good-looking guy that either came from money, or was majoring in something were he would make a lot of money.  She also changed her image, by dressing well, acting confident, and not ever sharing her poor background with anyone.  The only person who knew about her family, was her best friend Scarlet, because they had grown up as childhood friends.  

Caroline sets her eyes on Dylan Humphrey, a friend of Tucker's, (Scarlet's boyfriend.)  While at a celebratory party for Scarlet, Caroline meet's the attractive, and sexy Reed.  He is a graduate Mathematics student who teaches undergrad classes at the college.  Instantly, there is a mutual attraction between Caroline and Reed.  When Reed asks Caroline on a date, she turns him down, and tells him, she's too busy with school.  He accepts her answer until, Tucker brings over Dylan, who also asks Caroline out on a date, and she accepts.  Reed becomes offended, and asks her if the reason she turned him down and accepted Dylan's date was because of money.  She slips, and admits to him that yes, that's the truth.  After they meet, Caroline, and Reed keep running in to each other, and being involved in similar activities.  The more they are around each other, the more they can't resist one another.  However, Caroline is determined to end up with a man that can provide financial stability for her, and Reed doesn't fit her #1 criteria.      

I loved reading Redesigned!  The main characters didn't fit the usual cliche's.  Caroline was assertive, intelligent, and ambitious.  She wasn't cast as sexually innocent, or as sleazy.  She was more representative of the average woman.  Reed was a genuinely good guy.  He was a little nerdy and socially awkward, good-looking, intelligent, and very protective of his younger sister, 18 year old Lexi.  Caroline and Reed were so good together.  Their chemistry, and passion for each other was amazing.  The intimate scenes, were beyond sexy.  I enjoyed when Caroline pulled Reed by the collar, because she had to have him immediately.  It was great seeing her take charge, as he awakened a completely different side in her that she was unaware of.  Caroline had never been as attracted to someone as Reed, and he proved to be her special someone in more ways then one.  Reed took on a whole other persona in the bedroom, than in his day to day life.  Ladies, there was not one drop of awkwardness in the bedroom!  He really knew what he was doing, and was very giving.  There relationship may have begun as lust, but it grew into a beautiful, and meaningful relationship.  All of the characters were great in this story.  I enjoyed getting to know Caroline, Reed, Scarlet, Tucker, and Lexi.  I hope the next book in the series is Lexi's story.  

Redesigned was fast-paced, and the plot kept me intrigued.  Even though we know all of Caroline's secrets, we are not told about Reed, and Lexi's secrets.  So as you can imagine, I kept turning the pages, wanting to figure out what they were hiding.  I also kept waiting for Caroline's background to come out.  I figured out a few things around the middle of the story, but other information came as a surprise to me.  Ms. Swank is very talented at writing love scenes, and I felt like I could really feel the connection, and passion between Caroline and Reed.  I connected to this story, and found like I was a part of it.  These characters became my friends, and I cared about what happened to them.  Redesigned was a feel good novel, that made me fall in love, with a beautiful story.

I give Redesigned, by Denise Grover Swank, 4.5 Steamy Southern, Secretive Stars!  This story is filled with intrigue, mystery, secrets, unbridled passion, and swoon worthy sexy scenes!  You will not be able to put this hot, one of a kind, fast-paced, non-cliche, NewAdult Contemporary Romance down!  You will be rooting for Caroline and Reed to succeed, and embrace the happy future, that they both deserve.  I recommend Redesigned for readers that want a refreshing, and unique twist on a contemporary romance.  Redesigned will confirm that nice guys don't always finish last!

"But everyone knows that good southern boys don't bring bad girls home to their mommas.  They bring home well-behaved ladies.  I may not have been born a cultured Southern girl, but I play the part well now.  I just needed to bide my time."  (eARC, pg. 5)  

"Sometimes it doesn't take much.  Just a little tweak to vastly alter something.  She winks.  It's like that in life too."  (eARC, pg. 16)

"No.  We can' that again.  But mostly because I don't trust myself with him.  Obviously this man not only makes me lose my temper, but also makes me want to lose my panties."  (eARC, pg. 65)

"Reed has turned me into this wild, wicked woman and not only do I not care, I want more.  I'm insatiable."  (eARC, pg. 137)

"If I were getting a doctorate in physics, I'd concentrate my studies on the unexplained and unprecedented phenomena of the pull you have on me.  Is it gravitational?  Electromagnetic?  Is it some new force science has yet to discover?  Perhaps I should change my doctorate.  I'm sure I could get a Nobel Piece Prize out of it."  (eARC, pg. 141)

"You're my addiction, Caroline Hunter.  The more I see you-he leans into my ear and lowers his voice-the more I taste you-I shiver.  -the more I want you."  (eARC, pg. 150)  

"When I met Reed, I had no idea that my life would change in every conceivable way.  Reed instigated a redesign of every expectation I ever had.  And I wouldn't have it any other way."  (eRC, pg. 213)

I’m a very eclectic reader, which makes me an eclectic writer—just look at my published list to back up this statement—so it stands to reason that the authors who have influenced my writing are an eclectic group.  The first author to influence my desire to write was Laura Ingalls Wilder.  I loved The Little House on the Prairie books. I read all of them multiple times—except for Farmer Boy.  It was about a boy—ewww!  I only read it once.  But reading the books branched out into my play.  My friend Maureen and I would pretend we were characters from Little House on the Prairie.  She was Laura and I was Mary.  I wanted a sun bonnet in the worst way.  So bad that I made us bonnets with a baby dress and a cotton sash, cinching up the bodice and putting the flared skirt around our heads.  Maureen and I ran our neighborhood with those dresses on our heads.  I’m not sure if she’s ever forgiven me for that.  Those books brought the story out of the books and spurred story ideas of my own.  Looking back, I guess we created our own fan fiction, even if it wasn’t on paper.  But it wasn’t long before I started creating stories of my own and writing them down.  I started my first novel in the fourth grade. (Still uncompleted.)

The next influential writer is Stephen King and I’m going to count him twice. First, I discovered Mr. King in high school, picking up a book of his macabre short stories.  I was horrified and hooked.  My love for dystopians started with The Stand.  And of course the classic, The Shining.  I loved how he mixed mystery with the supernatural.  His work had some influence over my Chosen series.  Then years later I read On Writing, part memoir, part how-to for writers.  After multiple rejections from agents with three books, On Writing gave me hope that I could be published someday.  It also made me look more critically at my own work.

My next influential author is Sarah Addison Allen.  She writes magical realism encased in beautiful prose.  She writes southern stories (many of my books are set in the South) with endearing characters and a touch of fantasy.  Her example gave me the courage to write my Rose Gardner Mysteries, which feature a main character who lives a very normal life, if you don’t count the multiple visions she gets every day. 

My last author is my friend and critique partner, Trisha Leigh (The Last Year series) who also writes as Lyla Payne (Broken at Love).  Four years ago, we found each other on Twitter and then discovered we lived less than ten minutes apart. We critiqued each other’s manuscripts, fumbling around while we learned what we were doing.  We’ve read every single manuscript the other has written, and we often have impromptu phone/text/gmail chat brain storming sessions for anything from titles to plotting to what actor fits my characters.  (She loves to help me with that job.)  I wouldn’t be the author I am today if it weren’t for her support, encouragement, gentle criticism, and our Friday night Fringe parties complete with bottles of wine.

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Denise Grover Swank was born in Kansas City, Missouri and lived in the area until she was nineteen. Then she became a nomadic gypsy, living in five cities, four states and ten houses over the course of ten years before she moved back to her roots. She speaks English and smattering of Spanish and Chinese which she learned through an intensive Nick Jr. immersion period.  Her hobbies include witty Facebook comments (in own her mind) and dancing in her kitchen with her children. (Quite badly if you believe her offspring.)  Hidden talents include the gift of justification and the ability to drink massive amounts of caffeine and still fall asleep within two minutes. Her lack of the sense of smell allows her to perform many unspeakable tasks.  She has six children and hasn’t lost her sanity. Or so she leads you to believe.

You can find out more about Denise and her other books at:

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  1. This sounds really good. I have the first book to read and can hopefully fit it in soon. Great review hon!!

    1. Thanks Amy! I really think that you will enjoy it :)

  2. Wonderful review! And I love the point you brought up about Caroline's sexuality. She wasn't a cliché, she just was. So happy you enjoyed Redesigned too!

    1. Thanks friend! I love it when we both read the same books, and I can look at a different point of view. You always make me think a little more about the book, and make me think about new points.


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