Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Blog Tour: Better (Too Good #2) by S. Walden {Review + Giveaway}

Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Expected Publication Date: November 19th 2013
Series: Too Good #2
Format: ARC
Source: Provided by author for tour

Their relationship has been exposed, and now their lives are changed forever.

For Cadence Miller, the fast track to adulthood proves intimidating and frustrating. She’s a little girl lost—abandoned by her parents and uncertain of her future. She doesn’t think she “fits” anywhere. She’s eighteen. She wants to be older. And the result is both comical and heartbreaking.

Mark Connelly will do anything to provide Cadence a stable, loving home—to be her protector. But he’s just as broken and lost, and his heart won’t let go of his past so easily. He knows he must share his secret with Cadence. And he hopes his revelation won't tear them apart. He hopes it will draw them closer, and make their love better.

My Review:

A few months ago I fell in love with Mark and Cadence's story in Good. Not many people can handle the student/teacher storyline but I thought it was well written and realistic to how a 17 year old would feel and experience this sort of thing. The two go through a lot in the first book and their trials aren't over now that everyone knows about them and Better became THE BEST as I went through this journey with them.

Picking up where Good left off Cadence and Mark are waiting for her father to blow the lid off their cozy existence and haul Mark off to jail. The circumstances surrounding their outing were intensely dramatic once Cadence's father punched her and Mark moved her in with him. Now these two have to learn to cope with living together, the age difference between them and a past secret Mark is hiding from Cadence. I really loved these two from the very beginning and rooted really hard for things to work out for them. I'm not one of those people who is creeped out by the student/teacher pairing especially if the person is like Cadence and almost 18 AND knows exactly what they are getting into. I'm not going to get on my soapbox or anything and I know for the parents it's really hard to deal with but if a young person is smart enough to know the repercussions you have to let them live their own lives. That's what I loved about these characters. Mark never promised Cadence any sort of magical rainbow life together. He was honest and told her society would look at them as being wrong and he would be considered a predator regardless of how old she was. I loved that honesty about him. 

Going through this book reveals exactly what kind of harsh realities  Mark has had to face when his big secret is revealed. It's heartbreaking to know he has had the rug pulled out from under him and I absolutely understood why he kept it a secret from Cadence. We get to see a little of what Mark suffered through when memories and nightmares leave him shaking and vulnerable. I hated seeing how wrecked he was just by the simple mention of this painful memory and seeing how torn up he was when his dreams wouldn't let him rest was gut wrenching. Mark is such a good guy and seeing him in pain hurt me. He was one of those men who took care of his responsibilities and cared so much for Cadence it was hard not to fall for him. He was sweet, romantic, sexy and smart. The absolute best combination of traits in a guy. While I know it was a painful secret to relive I do think he should have told Cadence sooner seeing as how she was his shining light he so desperately needed but like I said I got why he didn't. When it finally comes out Cadence takes it really hard and starts to distance herself from Mark emotionally and actually punishes him for it. 

Cadence upset me in this one a little bit more than Mark did in the first book. She's in college now and living with Mark and I understood her needing to grow and experience everything without being too smothered but the way she went about it pissed me off. She almost rebels against Mark after making new friends and experimenting with alcohol and partying. Staying out late or just not coming home really worries Mark and puts him through even more stress. I did understand why Cadence felt the way she did. She's young and being around the older adults makes her feel stupid and immature so she lashes out and acts the way a teenage girl would who is trying to figure out who she is. I didn't agree with the way she handled everything but I did love her even more seeing her struggle through her journey to find herself. I worried that her destructive behavior would make her do something really stupid but despite how immature she acted she really did have a good head on her shoulders and was smart enough to know her limits. 

I freaking LOVED seeing Avery and Dylan, Mark and Cadence's best friends, again in this book. Avery always adds hilarity to the story and I wouldn't mind seeing a book about her. Her relationship with Cadence took a hit at the end of Good and they both have to swallow their pride in Better to become friends again. I love how snarky and opinionated Avery is about EVERYTHING. She's one of those girls you can see as your best friend and with every one liner she had me cracking up throughout the story. It gets even better when Dylan comes over for dinner and Avery just happens to be there. That was a twist I didn't see coming and I love pleasant surprises in books. Cadence's brother Oliver is also featured throughout the book and becomes a source of support for her despite how their parents have treated her. He helps her figure out everything even though he's having a hard time himself. His struggle was a really sad part of the book for me and I actually cried a little at how drastic things got for him in order for him to turn his life around. Aside from Fanny, her Betty White-esque mentor, Cadence befriends a group of older women from her church who become her protectors in a way. I really loved that she had a support group of friends outside of her bad influences that she could talk to when she needed guidance. Her parents were still stuck on stupid so watching Cadence get the TLC she needed was a nice addition to the story.

Better was a total winner as far as sequels go. Sometimes it's hit or miss with these kinds of series' but I think Walden did a fantastic job of juggling all the aspects of life this kind of couple would have to face and eventually overcome. Mark and Cadence are a really fun and sexy couple that make you invest in them and root hard for things to work out. I couldn't imagine a BETTER way to wrap the story than the way the author chose to go. It was very emotional and fitting for how this couple was portrayed and left me with a warm happy feeling when I was done. Regardless of the Teacher/Student relationship I highly recommend this series because to miss out on such an amazing love story is a total shame. 


"I wouldn't give a shit if you did nothing but lay around all day because loving you is not about percentages: I give 50 percent. You give 50 percent. That's bullshit. My job is to love you and give to you as much as I can each and every day. Try to make it to one hundred. On my own." ARC 19%

He lifted his eyes to her face. She was flushed and shining, leaning against the chair cushion with her golden hair spread out like a veil. She lay there glowing goodness, shining like a holy shrine. Open for him. Ready to receive his prayer, and to answer it. And he knelt before her in reverence, his head bent, hands folded in supplication. He said a silent prayer that she would always love him, always open herself to him and trust him completely. ARC 41%

She hated herself, her black heart and mind that conjured black images of hurting the ones she was supposed to love. She wanted to bury Mark under his lies. She wanted to bury Avery under her own anger and jealousy. She wasn't growing older and wiser. She was moving backwards because of hurt she couldn't rectify. ARC 72%


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Tour Schedule
November 11
The Book Bellas - Spotlight
Romantic Book Affairs - Spotlight
Madison Says - Spotlight
All Romance Reviews - Spotlight
Smut Book Club - Early Review

November 12
I Love Indie Books - Early Review
Perusing Princesses - Spotlight
Fab Fun and Tantalizing Reads - Exclusive Excerpt
Jessica's Book Review - Spotlight
Novel Seduction - Spotlight

November 13
Bookaholics Blog - Early Review
Literati Book Reviews - Spotlight
Book Crush - Exclusive Sample Playlist
Life Becomes Me - Spotlight

November 14
Nicely Phrased - Spotlight
Book Reader Chronicles - Early Review
Sab The Book Eater - Spotlight
Addicted2Heroines - Author Interview
TheSecretBookBrat - Spotlight

November 15
Tempest Books - Spotlight
Book Nerds Anonymous - Early Review
Stories and Swag - Guest Post
akiiKOMORI reading - Spotlight
True Story Book Blog - Character Interview

About The Author:
S. Walden used to teach English before making the best decision of her life by becoming a full-time writer. She lives in Georgia with her very supportive husband who prefers physics textbooks over fiction and has a difficult time understanding why her characters must have personality flaws. She is wary of small children, so she has a Westie instead. Her dreams include raising chickens and owning and operating a beachside inn on the Gulf Coast (chickens included). When she's not writing, she's thinking about it. She loves her fans and loves to hear from them. Email her at swaldenauthor@hotmail.com and follow her blog athttp://swaldenauthor.blogspot.com where you can get up-to-date information on her current projects.


Good by S. Walden is currently on sale for .99¢ on Amazon for a LIMITED TIME to help celebrate the release of Better!


  1. Hi Ladies!

    Thank you so much for participating in my teaser tour. I appreciate your support of this series. And thank you, Hootie, for such a fantastic review of Better. I'm so happy that I could give you an ending to Mark and Cadence's story that you enjoyed.

    xo Summer

  2. I still haven't read my copy of Good. Do you promise to give me emotional support?!

  3. Since I have Good on my list to review soon, I'm not reading your review, but I'm glad you liked it.


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