? Paradise Fought ABEL ? by LB Dunbar Excerpt and Review

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Title: Paradise Fought: Abel
Author: L.B. Dunbar
Release Date: Jan 25, 2016
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I’m not a fighter.
I was born into a fighting family. As the middle child, I was overlooked in favor of my older brother.
He took the negative attention, too. In comparison, there’s nothing special about me.
I’m not as big as Cobra. I’m not as strong as Cobra. He’s the alpha.
I’m a beta.
The second son.
The lesser one.
The one never encouraged to fight, never encouraged to do anything, but stay out of my father’s way.

I’m not a lover either – but I wished to be – that’s why I needed her.
I met a girl in the pouring rain.
Sounds cliché, but it’s true. It changed everything.
Because of love, I learned to fight.

Betas come second, but in this fight, my story is first.

If I thought I was going to make a speedy getaway, I was wrong. My savior caught up to me, half way down the walk, outside the finance building. He was quick and a large hand wrapped around my upper arm.
“Whoa, sister,” he said, slightly out of breath. “You almost got away from me again.”
“What?” I questioned. I had no idea what he meant: again.
“Never mind,” he muttered, his hand still on me. I looked down at it and he immediately released me. My eyes pinched as I realized I didn’t mind his hand on my skin. There was something nonthreatening about him. He seemed rather innocent, studious, actually. His shirt was buttoned almost to the top and tucked into his pants. The sleeves secure at the cuffs. His jeans were snug and hugged him well. He wore dark rimmed glasses that screamed smart. Brown boots looked too new on his large feet. It was like he had the right parts but the wrong combination.
His blue eyes were soft and easy to look into. They practically spoke to me, but I had no idea what he was saying. His dark hair was disheveled, a bit shaggy, but cool looking. He kind of looked like a pop star, which was a little too sugar sweet for me. His form was questionable. It was hard to tell what kind of body he had under those clothes. He looked rather preppy, like half the guys at this university. I didn’t want to think about it. I’d just sold my soul for another semester.
“So when do you want to do this?” I asked. His blank stare told me he had no idea what I meant.
“Us,” I said, pointing between him and me.
“I…” His voice trailed off as he gawked at me. His expression changed from confusion to shock.
“I didn’t buy you to sleep with you,” he said, a touch of disbelief in his voice. His face turned crimson, then fell. “Why, have you done that before?” It was my turn to be surprised and offended.
I turned on my heels and began stomping away from him. He was too quick and he caught me again. His hand on my arm halted me. This time he didn’t release me when I peered down at his fingers wrapped around my bicep.
“Look. I need help,” he blurted. His face pinked a little, and it was sweet. “I don’t need help with sex. I need help with before.” His tone dropped, and he looked side to side to see if anyone would hear him. I took his meaning.
“You don’t know how to do foreplay?” I questioned in a loud whisper, trying to hide my astonishment. How could anyone have sex and not know a touch of foreplay?
His face pinked again.
“Not that,” he said, sounding like a child. “The flirting. The dating. The…other stuff.”
I was stunned. I stared at him, taking in his features again. He was kind of cute, leaning toward the potential for good looking. He couldn’t possibly need help with this request. The confusion on my face made him speak.
“I don’t know how to flirt.” The words swirled between us.
“I don’t understand.” I didn’t. I didn’t know what he wanted from me.
“I need lessons how to be…cool: with girls. Call it a tutoring session. I need to learn how to be…seen.” His voice took on a touch of sadness. He couldn’t possibly be serious. I continued to stare at him. My mouth might have actually dropped open a bit, and I noticed he was watching my lips. It was a little exciting the way he stared at them. I licked them and his pupils dilated, filling in more black over the blue. His expression changed. Knowingly, he blinked when he realized I was teasing him. His lip quirked up and a dimple showed in his cheek.
“I need to date you,” he blurted. “To learn how to do, what you just did to me.”

Kristys Review (2)4 Star ReviewAnybody who’s read LB Dunbar’s knights series knows that there is always more going on in one of her books than meets the eye. She loves to play on historical themes and to intertwine her plot with grandiose legends. With the Knights Series it was King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table and with Abel….you guessed it…the bible.

Abel is the second son, the lesser son in his father’s eyes, always in the shadow of his older brother Cain. Born into a family of fighters and having survived a nasty childhood, Abel is determined to prove that he too is a fighter and a worthy opponent to his brother.  Shy and invisible in his brother’s shadow, Abel is slowly transforming himself, content to swim under the radar until the need to be noticed by the beautiful girl of his dreams forces him into the spotlight.

Elma was floundering, and sinking fast after being forced to step up and manage her life and the life of her drunk mother.  Her brother had been her protector, her stability until suddenly he wasn’t. A chance meeting and an impulsive decision have now intertwined Abel and Elma as they struggle for identity and revenge.

Abel was endearing. A sweet man, shy and eager to please Elma, watching him transform from the insecure beta to the man he wants to be quite a journey.  It was so refreshing reading an MMA book where the main male character is NOT an alpha douche with a long line of conquests and an attitude to match.  Abel is smart, protective and selfless. I adored him and watching him discover his own self worth.

Elma is unique.  She is a strange mix of innocent and jaded, she is vengeful and manipulative yet caring and loving.  It’s pretty impressive to see a character that is so completely contradictory buy still completely believable and  empathetic.  I wanted her to succeed, to overcome and to get her happy ending.
The best part of this book for me was the smartly interwoven classic themes.  I love those moments when your eyes open a little wider and you realize the author gave you this little Easter egg, a little surprise twist you didn’t see coming but you feel really smart for figuring out.  I loved all the clever little nuggets in this one.
And I can’t wait for Cain’s book.
L.B. Dunbar loves to read to the point it might be classified as an addiction. The past few years especially she has relished the many fabulous YA authors, the new genre of New Adult, traditional romances, and historical romances. A romantic at heart, she’s been accused of having an overactive imagination, as if that was a bad thing. Author of the Sensations Collection,Sound AdviceTaste TestFragrance FreeTouch Screen, and Sight Words, she is also author of the Legendary Rock Star series, beginning with The Legend of Arturo King. She grew up in Michigan, but has lived in Chicago for longer, calling it home with her husband and four children.

 

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