Thursday, March 15, 2018

Thirsty by @MiaHopkinsxoxo - New Release, Review, and Giveaway @Barclay_PR

by Mia Hopkins
Series: Eastside Brewery, #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 13, 2018

A gangster hiding from his past. A single mom fighting for her future. Can she show this bad boy the man he’s meant to be?

“Mia Hopkins is an imaginative author who doesn’t take the easy road to a formulaic book.”USA Today’s Happy Ever After blog

My name is Salvador Rosas. Back in the barrio, my past is written on the walls: ESHB. Short for East Side Hollenbeck, my father’s gang—my gang. Hell, it’s a family tradition, one that sent both my brothers away. They used to call me “Ghost” because I haunted people’s dreams. Now I’ve got nothing going for me except a hipster gringo mentoring me in a new career. An ex-con making craft beer? No mames.

Still, people in this neighborhood look out for one another. That’s how I became Vanessa Velasco’s unwelcome tenant. Chiquita pero picosa. She’s little, but with curves so sweet they’re dangerous. I remember Vanessa from the old days, the straight-A student with big plans. Plans that were derailed by another kid stupid enough to think he was bulletproof. Now Vanessa knows better than to believe in empty promises. There’s fire in her . . . and if I touch her, I might get burned.

I’m trying everything I can to go straight. But when East Side Hollenbeck comes calling, I might have to risk it all to find out if there’s a future for Vanessa and me. Because she’s the only one who can quench my thirst for something real.

The ride starts with a burst of music like a jack-in-the-box. We glide backward and over a couple of times. The Ferris wheel stops to let other passengers on. At the very top, our carriage swings back and forth before it goes still.

Now I can see my neighborhood from a different viewpoint, high above. The lights of the carnival are bright and beautiful. The smells of tacos, hot dogs, and popcorn fill my nose. People pack the church parking lot. Cars line the street, and in the surrounding houses, lights in the windows show where families are talking or watching TV or having dinner.

“How are you doing?” I ask.

“I’m all right.”

She’s looking at the same things I am. I wonder if she is seeing the same details. I stroke her hair and take another risk. “So what do you think?”

“About what?”

“Starting something with me?”

She takes a deep breath but doesn’t say anything.

“What are your doubts?” I say.

“Are you kidding?” She snorts. “You’re seriously asking me that?”

I laugh a little. “Okay, well. Besides the obvious.”

“You have your own life. I have mine. You’re trying to rebuild from the ground up. I’m trying to secure my daughter’s future. We’re heading in different directions.”

She isn’t wrong. Life has disappointed her in such deep and cruel ways, I don’t blame her for protecting herself. But even as she tells me this—the truth about how we’re not right for each other—I feel how right it is to talk to her, to hold her hand, to show her who I am. “I have an idea,” I say. “Probation.”


“I’m only around for two months, right?”


“Spend those two months with me.” I look into her eyes. “I want to be with you, Vanessa.”


“I’ll be gone before I have a chance to disappoint you.” When the words leave my mouth, I try to ignore how pathetic they sound. “We’re adults, not dumb kids. We won’t lose our heads.” I run my fingers through her silky hair. “I swear to God, every time I look at you, I feel . . .” I reach for the most honest word I can find. “Thirsty.”

Gritty and raw, this book was an intense read that was so much more than just a romance. It started a bit slow for me and took a bit to get into, but once it did I was transported right into the barrio with Sal.

I’ve read other books by this author and have always been impressed with her ability to write the emotions into the page, but this book took that to another level. Perhaps it was that the emotions this book deals with aren’t all those of the heart, but also included getting inside Sal’s head and feeling what his life is like, not just reading it off the page. He is trying hard not to let his past with the gang shape his future, but is not convinced that he is truly worthy or capable of finding what he terms “something real.”

This book had a lot of edge to it, but it also had a lot of heart and romance. There was such chemistry between Sal and Vanessa and their heat was off the chart, but there was also a tenderness between the two that was sweet. Despite all Sal’s hard edges, he’s able to show his softer, sweeter side when it comes to Vanessa…as well as to her daughter and her mother.

As the beginning of a new series we get introduced to lots of characters and the details of the world that is being built. Being immersed in a culture and world that was not familiar to me made this book slow to start, but once I got through that I really felt as if I was part of the world the author created.

I really enjoy the author’s writing style and love how she is able to make you feel right along with her characters – something I have found in all the books by Mia Hopkins that I have read. The characters are real and watching Sal find who he was and begin to see that he was worthy and capable of “something real” was great.

Mia Hopkins has definitely pulled me into this new series – so bring on the next book!

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book I received from NetGalley.

Mia Hopkins writes lush romances starring fun, sexy characters who love to get down and dirty. She’s a sucker for working class heroes, brainy heroines and wisecracking best friends. She lives in Los Angeles with her roguish husband and waggish dog.

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