Monday, May 12, 2014

Within Temptation by Tanya Holmes ~ Release Day Review and Giveaway

WT-FrontCover copy-2

Title: Within Temptation

Author: Tanya Holmes

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Release Date: May 12 2014


4 stars

add to gr


Love, betrayal and murder in a small town….

Twelve years after her mother's murder, Shannon Bradford fears she may have helped convict an innocent man. Even worse, her prominent family may have had something to do with it. Desperate for answers, she seeks help from the one person least likely to give it. Her best friend and childhood crush, Trace Dawson. The man she sent to prison.

Serving hard time for murder has left Trace angry and bitter. As far as he's concerned, digging into the past won't replace the years he's lost or erase the hell he's lived. Now that he's free, Shannon Bradford tops his list of bad memories. But he never counted on falling in love.

Set in a sleepy little town during the dead of winter, this award-winning romance novel is a tale of one woman's quest for truth and a man's struggle to forgive.

"MEMORIES flooded my mind, of the quiet riot he was, of the secret crush I’d had on him, and the extraordinary friendship we’d shared so many years ago. As fast as those images came, others replaced them. I was thrust back to the crime scene, back to Mother’s corpse and the shirtless eighteen-year-old roaring obscenities while Sheriff Gray and a deputy dragged him away in handcuffs." -- Within Temptation

Lisa’s Review

4 Stars

“A life lived in fear is a life half lived.”




Within Temptation is the debut novel for author Tanya Holmes and it is also the first book in her Sons of Temptation series. This book is a multi-layered, complex and intelligent romantic suspense story centered around a murder mystery with twists and turns I did not see coming. As the layers are slowly peeled away new questions continuously arose. Ms. Holmes does a fantastic job balancing a nail-biting and absorbing suspenseful mystery with a tender-hearted and slow-burning romance. Deceit, betrayal, murder, sensuality, passion and love – this book has it all.






Shannon Bradford was a fourteen year old girl when she stumbled across her mother’s dead body and the murderer. She was an essential key to convicting her once best-friend and the boy who once held her heart and sending him off to jail for murder. Now twelve years have passed since that dark time in Shannon’s life. But now Shannon has doubts about her testimony and the guilty verdict. With her childhood friend released on parole, Shannon goes to an unlikely source for help. She is desperate to find the answers to all the plagues her conscience and sheer determination and will give her the courage to face her past and the demons that haunt her.






Trace Dawson has spent the last twelve years of his life in prison paying for a crime he did not commit. The case against him revolved around lies and deceit, but that did not stop a guilty verdict from viciously coming forth. He is angry, resentful and full of bitter rage. Finally released on parole, Trace is back in Temptation, West Virginia in hopes of starting over and moving forward with his life. Trace lost his freedom, his humanity, most of his family and despite this, upon his return, the people of Temptation are less than welcoming. After all, in their eyes he is a butcherer…a cold-blooded killer. Trace is ready to leave the past in the past; however, one stubborn woman is wanting all the sordid details of the murder and his conviction to resurface. Trace needs this like he needs a hole in the head!

Shannon is persistent in her efforts to have Trace’s help in drudging up matters that have been swept under the rug and hidden. Trace finally agrees when he realizes that the people of Temptation will always see him as a murder unless he clears his name. Therefore, an unlikely alliance is formed between the pair. As Trace and Shannon work together to uncover the truth of what really happened, Shannon comes to understand that deep down she always knew that Trace did not murder her mother. She may not have any memory of past events surrounding her childhood, the murder and the trial; but, she remembers the young boy who cared for her and stood up for her when no one else did. There is no way that same boy was capable of murder. Despite Trace’s deep anger, hurt and suspicions, he comes to realize that Shannon is as much of a victim as he is. They were pawns and as they piece together the puzzle surrounding the murder, the pair slowly begin to reconnect and fall into the easy friendship and profound connection they once shared.

“And what am I?”

I swallowed and stared intently at him with a nakedness I
couldn’t hide. “You’re…my everything.”




“Do you hear me, Shannon? You’re all the woman I’ll ever need.”

The romance in this book was tenderly sweet and it was a beautiful undercurrent that seamlessly flowed throughout the entirety of the novel. Tanya Holmes does an amazing job slowly and patiently building up the attraction shared by Trace and Shannon. As they learn to trust one another and begin to see the other in the same light that they once did, their connection and love only grew more profound and stronger. It was lovely, passionate and everything a romantic tale should be. With this being stated, I will say that the only reason this book is getting a 4 star rating rather than a 5 star is due to the romantic aspect of the book. Let me explain. Tanya Holmes dived into an area that is usually a no-go hot zone for me when it came to the heroine. I will not explain any further but it did cheapen the relationship between Trace and Shannon a little for me. I did not become as fully immersed and invested in their romance as I would have been if the heroine had chosen a different path.

All in all, Within Temptation is a wonderfully written and character driven debut novel set in a distinctive small town. As Trace and Shannon go up against the secrets, hidden memories and deception, they discover a love that was many years in the making. Two opposite attract, learn to forgive and grasp onto a dream of love that neither of them saw coming. This book is definitely worth the read if you are a lover of romantic suspense. I am very much looking forward to the next book which is about Trace’s brother, Cole.



Purchase Links

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AUS


No more than two minutes could have passed, two of the most terrifying minutes I’d ever had. The left side of my face was numb with cold. My lips and hands ached too. I couldn’t seem to make anything move.

The details came in pieces. How I’d almost been run over. How a stranger shoved me to safety just before a Jeep playing target practice could send me flying.

Then as if someone had flipped a switch, sensory explosions filled the void. Horns blared. Somebody screamed. A baby was crying. And the wind howled while sounds burst forth in a crush of voices.

“I swear the brakes locked!” a teenage boy yelled. “She ain’t dead, is she? Oh, jeez. Daddy’s gonna kill me!”

“Don’t just stand there. Call 911!” a girl shrieked.

A cell phone chimed and someone started pressing numbers.

Next, an old man with a rough-and-ready voice said, “Pushed her out the way just in time. Another second and—”

“Is she dead or not?” the teenager demanded again.

While this was going on, I sat up, taking my time to ensure I was in one piece. Except for a sore hip, a bump on the head, and a scraped knee, I was fine. A woman standing nearby helped me, and as I got to my feet, realization dawned.

Trace Dawson had tried to save me.

I fought to see past the crowd into the parking lot, spotting him instantly. He’d just struggled to his feet and was staring right at me, his chin dripping blood. The people scurrying about and the cars streaming through the slush faded. Nothing but the two of us existed.

Memories flooded my mind, of the quiet riot he was, of the secret crush I’d had on him, and the extraordinary friendship we’d shared so many years ago. As fast as those images came, others replaced them.

I was thrust back to the crime scene, back to Mother’s corpse and the shirtless eighteen-year-old roaring obscenities while Sheriff Gray and a deputy dragged him away in handcuffs.

Trace Dawson the man glared at me now, and his eyes were hard and accusing, eyes brimming with fire and ice. A chill wind rumbled past him, but he stood as still as a statue. Only his eyes moved while he looked me up and down with agonizing thoroughness. The rage. The pain. It was all there.

Trace?” I whispered.

In chilling silence, he walked away without so much as a glance over his shoulder.


About the Author


Tanya Holmes is a former Romance Writers of America Golden Heart finalist, a recipient of the Maggie Award, the MICA Award, as well as Overall Winner of the Sandy Haddad Award and a two-time finalist and one-time winner of The Emily (Best of the Best). She's happily married with children and loves reading, writing and a good cup of coffee---but not necessarily in that order. Her debut novel, Within Temptation is due out on May 12, 2014. 

Connect with Tanya

Facebook –

Goodreads –

Twitter –

Website –

Amazon Author Page –

Trace Dawson on Twitter -



Tanya has a fantastic Giveaway for this tour.

Winner 1 (U.S. ONLY)

Signed copy of Within Temptation by Tanya Holmes

Within Temptation rack card

Within Temptation magnet 

Within Temptation keychain

Sizzling Pages Reviews (Courtesy of Ang) Winners choice of 1 ebook @ 3.99 or less

Playing For Keeps by Jamie Denton, paperback

The Matchmaker by Jamie Denton, paperback

Flirting With Chaos by Kenya Wright, e-book

Nailed by Amie Stuart e-book

Dreaming Silas by Nina Ceves, e-book

Winner 2  (U.S. ONLY)

Signed copy of Within Temptation by Tanya Holmes

Within Temptation rack card

Within Temptation magnet

Within Temptation keychain

J.A.Dennam, e-book, Winner picks one book in her Captive Series (Truth And Humility, Between Faith And Fear, or Chrystal Mac)

Sizzling Pages Reviews (Courtesy of Ang) Winners choice of 1 ebook @ 3.99 or less

The Matchmaker, by Jamie Denton, paperback

Complicated By You by Kenya Wright e-book

Reason To Breathe, and Barely Breathing by Rebecca Donovan signed paperbacks, courtesy of Ellen from The Book Bellas 

Catch Me by Katherine Grant, e-book

Winner 3 (Open To International Entrants)

Within Temptation by Tanya Holmes e-book

Sick Day by Morgan Parker, ebook, 

A Test Of Love by Kenya Wright, ebook

Second Chances by PJ Fiala, ebook

30 Days by K. Larsen, e-book 

The Blue Amaryllis by Sonia De Leon, e-book, 

Perfect Match by Kelly Arlia, e-book,

For Nicky by A.D. Ellis, e-book,

Forever Young by Sherry Sirna, e-book, 

Kelsey's Korner Blog, signed mixed bag of swag

For your chance to win – just enter the Rafflecopter below and Good Luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Enjoyed your review! The photos really added to your whole description of the book.

  2. Thanks for the lovely review.

  3. Oh yes! This is on my TBR list :-)

  4. I am dying for this book!!! <3