Friday, January 22, 2016

"Sunset At Lake Crane" by Casey Hagen

Sunset at Lake Crane
Casey Hagen
Release Date January 12th

Love, truth, and pain lie buried beneath the Sunset at Lake Crane… 

Faced with a blackmailer’s ultimatum, 19-year-old Erynn O’Neal protects her lover by disappearing from his life. Brokenhearted, she vanishes—and takes a life-altering secret with her. 

Grant Alexander crossed the line when he took former student, Erynn O’Neal, as his own a mere two months after her high school graduation. Knowing the truth revealed would shred his career and reputation, he accepted the risks in exchange for the promise of a lifelong love. A heartbeat later, Erynn abandoned him without a word. 

Years pass as Grant and Erynn lead separate lives–he as a reclusive author, she as an ambitious reporter. Yet, despite scarred hearts, true love lost is never forgotten, and Grant devises a way to draw Erynn back into his sphere of passion. Their aching hearts begin a tentative détente, but old jealousies flare, devastating truths come to light, and Grant and Erynn must resurrect and overcome the painful secrets of the past if they’re ever to love again.

He stood in front of his desk, tension radiating from the ri-gidity of his shoulders when he asked in a rough voice, “What’s his name?” At the change in Grant’s voice, Brewster sat up on his bed and glanced back and forth between them.
“You love him?”
She turned to him, hoping he would get the point when she said, “I do.”
She saw it. The flash of hurt before he masked it. “So it’s se-rious?”
“We own a home together.”
He shook his head. “That’s not an answer.”
She held her hands up, palms out. “It’s the only one I have.”
He stalked her, a predatory gleam in his eye. She knew the look—in the right situation, that look alone could get her half-way to a mind-shattering orgasm. Something she hadn’t experi-enced since him. Talk about the wrong time to acknowledge that only he had the power to turn her inside out with pleasure, almost to the point of pain.
“And what about us?”
Her heart tumbled in her chest. She held eye contact. She needed him to understand. So that no matter how close he got, no matter what he did, she would not back down. “There is no us.”
“We kissed,” he whispered. His eyes locked on her mouth. She struggled to keep still and not squirm under his intense stare.
“You kissed me. There’s a difference.”
“You kissed me back.” He laughed without humor. “There’s something. At some point, we’ll have to address it.”
She took a deep breath and tried another tactic. “Aren’t you seeing someone? I mean, you went somewhere Saturday night, a sleepover.”
He smirked at her. “I see someone.”
“So it’s not serious?” The words were out before she thought about what she had done, and his smile grew. She’d showed an interest. She’d screwed up, and his smug expression said he was celebrating his victory.
“I don’t do serious.”
His tone invited no argument, but the reporter in her wanted to know. So did the woman. “Why?”
“I just don’t.”
It was her turn to smirk at him. “Now who’s full of it?”
“Don’t,” he bit out.
“Can’t handle it?”
With surprising speed, he spun toward her. He leaned his face within inches of hers, the muscle along his jaw jumping. “Can you, Erynn? Can you handle it?”
“Absolutely.” She stood her ground, leaning toward him with almost as much aggression as he’d leveled at her.
“I don’t do serious because—” He closed his eyes, and when he opened them again she saw more agony in those their depths than she thought possible. “I’ll never give another woman enough of me that she has the power to gut me when she walks away. Not. Ever. Again.”


Casey Hagen is a debut contemporary romance author releasing her first book, Falling in Fiji, in October. She writes her stories from the dense, green wilderness of the Delaware National Forest, Middle of Nowhere, Pennsylvania. She’s a born and raised Vermont native with Ben & Jerry’s in her heart and real Vermont maple syrup pumping through her veins.

Over the years, Casey has dabbled in a wide variety of professions. She worked in the States Attorney’s office, created beautiful works of art as a florist, slaved to the public in retail, taught preschool (and potty trained eleven two-year-olds at the same time), and finally, she owned and operated her own residential cleaning business for over a decade. She is also the new Vice President of the Penn Jersey Women Writers Guild.

Casey is the proud mother of three girls, two of which are successful college students…yay! She resides with her youngest daughter, husband, and two cats. Her days are spent in her new office that she proudly admits they would need dynamite to blast her out of! When she’s not working she can be found chasing after her youngest with a camera (much to her youngest daughter’s embarrassment) or on the golf course with her real life hero!

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Love, truth, and pain lie buried beneath the Sunset at Lake Crane . . . 3. 5 Stars
It’s been about twelve hours since I’ve finished this book and I’m still not entirely sure how to write my review. So I’m just going to go with the flow here and be as objective as a possible can.
I don’t usually go for the teacher/student trope but this happened years later so that made it all the better in my book.
Erynn falls in love with her former teacher, Grant Alexander, just after graduation. Nothing happened during her being at school. But who would have believed them if it had come out. After a month of bliss she is blackmailed into leaving him. She has two choices, stay and ruin his reputation or leave with no more than ‘more wasn’t enough’ It broke her heart but she tried to move on with her life.
Grant Alexander had the rug pulled away under his feet. Eight years later as coincidence will have it. He sees an article in a magazine that Erynn writes about authors under a pen name, Norah West. There was a misprint. Grant Alexander is an author, his pen name is Alex Cole and he is willing to give an interview but only if the interview is done by Norah West. He writes horror/crime/thrillers with gory details.
Eight years has passed but the chemistry between them is still strong. But Grant wants revenge, so the deal for the interview is thirty days in his house at his disposable. However much she wanted to call the interview she couldn’t explain it to her boss.
She lives in Stamford, Connecticut with her best friend, Avery who is gay. Leaving Grant isn’t the only secret that she has.
I found both the characters, the hero as well as the heroine extremely frustrating. I knew who the blackmailer was but that was alright. The truth comes out and it is ugly. I also want to say that they were both mean to one another. Grant is a douche and he didn’t really redeem himself not even at the end. I’m not justifying what Erynn did was smart but at least she tried to be civil about it.
But both of them dealing with the grief and the loss of losing Rose. Erynn when it happened with her nervous breakdown and then again grieving with Grant and wasn’t as bad as the first time.
I enjoyed the writing style and Ms. Hagen is very talented. I can’t wait to read about Kat and Kyle’s story.