Friday, July 6, 2018

"Watching You" by Shannon Greenland

REVIEW and GIVEAWAY
Watching You
by Shannon Greenland

Watching You by Shannon Greenland

Watching You by Shannon Greenland is currently on tour with Xpresso Book Tours. The tour stops here today for my review, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.


Description
Viola’s always been that girl from that family, so a scholarship to a prestigious private school in Florida was supposed to be her ticket out of poverty and into a brand-new life. But Viola’s secrets have followed her. Her relationship with the intelligent and gorgeous Riel should have been the salvation she needed - he understands her troubled past better than anyone. But then weird things start to happen.
Frightening messages.
Missing personal items.
The unsettling feeling that she’s being watched.
Viola’s never been one to give her trust easily, but she’ll need to trust in Riel if she’s going to survive her stalker. Because she’s not fighting for a new life anymore - she’s fighting to stay alive.


Excerpt
PROLOGUE
(Stalker)
Her long dark hair fans out beneath her as she lies sprawled on the ground.
What a pitiful excuse of a girl.
Squatting down beside her, I take in her huge irises as I tighten the white scarf around her neck and watch the life in her eyes start to fade.
She had been warned.
She didn’t listen.
This is what she gets. For everything.

CHAPTER ONE
Whoever installed this mess must have been high.
Crammed under a desk in the library, I reach for a wad of tangled wires, completely aware that my butt sticks straight up in the air and hoping nobody notices.
“Dammit.” I bang my head on the underside of the desk and try yet again to wrap a label around one of the wires.
“Can I help you?”
I stop, and pushing my glasses up my nose, I glance over my shoulder to see a pair of tanned muscular legs standing right behind me. He’s probably staring at my butt. Great.
“Can I help you?” he repeats, and I catch a hint of accent.
“I’m all right,” I call back. “Just trying to label some wires.” What’s he doing here, anyway? The semester doesn’t start for two more days.
“You new here?” he asks.
“Yeah.”
“Student tech crew?”
“Yeah,” I answer again, wondering if he’s going to keep standing there staring at my ass. At least I’d thrown on jeans. Although they are low rise.
“Sure you don’t need any help?”
Obviously he’s not leaving, and I’m so not comfortable with the probable direction of his stare. So I wiggle my way out.
I smile up at him, trying not to show my irritation at being interrupted, and catch him looking right down my V-neck T. His eyes jump to mine in that embarrassed, I-just-got-busted-looking-down-your-shirt way that makes him seem more harmless than anything.
I tighten my ponytail as I stand and zero in on those eyes, and phew, what eyes they are. Amber? No, green. No, a combination of both.
He wears his dark hair long enough that it curls against his neck. He smiles then, and I catch a flash of dimples that flutter all kinds of girlie things through me that I have no business feeling. As I take him in one more time, I think of this Calvin Klein poster my momma has of a young Antonio Sabato Jr.
Yes, my momma has an underwear ad hanging in her locker at work.
I remind myself I need to speak. “Great accent,” I tell him. “Where’re you from?”
“Spain. You?”
“Backwoods, Tennessee.”
“Tennessee?” He laughs a little, and Lord help me if it’s not the best I’ve ever heard. All deep and chuckly. “Guess that explains your twang.”
“Guess so.”
“Big change coming south to the Keys.”
“Yeah, big change.” He has no idea how huge of a change. Where everything in my life is concerned. “Well, I need to get back to work,” I say, more because I don’t need an amber-eyed, Spanish, chuckly distraction. “Thanks again for the offer of help. I guess I’ll see you around when class starts.”
“Sorry, didn’t introduce myself.” He offers a hand, and I take it, finding it warm and dry and perfect. Nothing worse than a clammy hand. “I’m Riel Villanuevo.”
“Oh! You’re my peer mentor. The guidance office gave me your name.”
His lips curve in confusion. “They did?”
“I’ve heard all about you. I’m Viola Burnett, the academy’s scholarship recipient.”
His smile slides away as does his hand from mine. “I’m sorry, did you say scholarship recipient?”
The air between us suddenly chills. I blink and take a step back. “Yes?”
The muscles in his jaw tick. “As of when?”
“Last…week.” What’s going on? Why is he suddenly so pissed?
“Who called you?”
I stare at him a second, unable to wrap my brain around his sudden temper. “Dr. Williams, the director.”
Riel doesn’t say anything for a few seconds, then he jerks his fingers through his dark hair. “Something’s not right.”
I don’t know what to say to that. I’m so completely clueless why he’s upset.
He grabs his books off the computer desk.
“I already moved into the dorm,” I say, not really sure why.
“Listen,” he tells me. “There’s been a mistake.”
“A mistake?” Dread settles through me. “No, I don’t think so.” There better not have been a mistake. I spent my entire school career trying to get into this private academy, and I’m here. I’m finally here. No way has there been a mistake.
Riel doesn’t respond and instead turns and strides off.
It takes me a solid minute of standing in a befuddled haze to realize he’s probably headed straight to the director’s office to dispute my scholarship.
Oh, wait a minute! No, he’s not! I charge off after him across the library and down the hall, and as I march into the administrative suite, I immediately hear them.
“But Dr. Williams,” Riel pleads. “I thought you said the scholarship was mine.”
I come to a halt. His? Oh no. This isn’t good.
“No,” Dr. Williams patiently responds. “I said you were a candidate for the funds. You know as well as I do that it goes back up for review every year.”
“But I’m a senior,” Riel says. “This is my last year. I’ve had the academy’s scholarship every year I’ve come here. Shouldn’t I get seniority?”
“It doesn’t work that way,” the director says.
“Why didn’t somebody tell me?”
“I thought the committee did. I apologize for the oversight.”
Riel sighs. “Is there any other available money?”
“No, Riel, I’m sorry.”
Silence falls between them, and guilt works its way through me at the things I said, and didn’t say, to get the scholarship. Of course I know nothing about Riel so I don’t know if he really deserves it more than me or not, and look at me trying to justify everything. Reverse the roles, and I’d be pissed, too.
“If Viola for some reason doesn’t work out, what will you do with the funds?” Riel asks.
“That decision will ultimately go to the committee. Generally, though, the money goes to our second choice, which would be you. But I can’t see why she won’t work out.”
The guilt turns to foreboding and stirs darkly in my gut. There’s no reason anyone around here should find out that I stretched the truth on my application.
“I know your situation,” Dr. Williams says. “I’ll do everything I can to help you.”
Situation? What situation?
“Right.” Riel finally speaks. “Well, thanks for seeing me.”
“Riel?” Dr. Williams stops him from leaving. “How is everything at home?”
Riel doesn’t answer, and I take a step closer to hear.
A phone rings. “Need to take this,” Dr. Williams says, and I quickly turn to leave.
“Have fun eavesdropping?” Riel snips as he brushes past me.
I want to snip back but have no place. He’s right; I had been eavesdropping.
A blond guy sticks his head in the door to the administrative suite. “Yo, Riel, you coming tonight? Gonna be a kickass beginning-of-the-year bash.”
Riel shakes his head. “Too much going on.”
“Sucks for you,” blond guy says.
“See you in a couple days, though, when school starts,” Riel tells him.
Blond guy glances at me, giving me a once-over. “Freshman?”
“Senior.”
He gives me what I’m sure he thinks is a sexy smile. “Welcome. I’m Peter.”
Ugh. “Thanks.”
With that, blond guy’s gone and Riel turns to me. Confusion, worry, and strain reflects in his gaze for a beat, bringing on my own confusion and worry. What have I done to this guy?
It seems like he wants to say something, so I hold my breath and wait. Instead, he shakes his head and walks off.
I close my eyes. This is not how I expected to start my year.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
“This book is everything you could hope for! Bravery, suspense, romance, and insight into the stalkers mind ... S.E. Green/ Shannon Greenland brings her A game to every novel. You won't be disappointed!” ~ KPKnupp, Goodreads Reviewer
“One of my favorite things about reading a new book is when it surpasses my expectations. Watching You, from beginning to end, was just such a novel, avoiding typical cliches and maintaining a high level of interest, incorporating interesting characters and events.” ~ Sascha Darlington's Microcosm Explored
“If you love hella-hot, resourceful guys, sassy, smart girls, and a suspenseful ending that'll make you forget your to-do list and read this story in one sitting, then this book is for you! Highly recommend!” ~ Victoria B., Goodreads reviewer
“This was the first book I have experienced from Shannon and I loved the suspense she created as well as the characters- I have now just added pretty much all her other books to my need-list to read. The ending gave me warm fuzzies because of just how perfect it was for the book and the people. I highly recommend this romantic suspense read for anyone who loves swoon worthy guys, tough yet sweet southern girls and an interesting stalker!” ~ KRLGA


My Review
I received this book in return for an honest review.


By Lynda Dickson
Viola begins her senior of high school on a full scholarship to the prestigious Ponce de Leon Academy, where she meets Riel, the previous holder of the scholarship. Viola is consumed by guilt because she lied about her family background in her application. Things become even more complicated when she realizes she’s attracted to Riel. On top of that, she has the feeling that someone is watching her. Who is the driver of the dark SUV that seems to be following her? Suspects abound. Could the stalker be Viola’s ex-boyfriend Manny, her estranged father, one of her mother’s many boyfriends, friendly Mr. Hamns, the bald deckhand who’s always wearing sunglasses, Riel’s estranged father, Riel himself, fellow student Peter, or even her frenemy Abbie?
The story is told in the first person present tense by Viola and is interspersed with accounts by the “Stalker”, who has already killed one girl and is watching Viola’s every move. The short chapters and quick scene changes keep the story moving and heighten the suspense. There is also the added bonus of a budding romance between Viola and the oh-so-perfect Riel.
Hard to put down.
Warnings: violence, sexual references, coarse language, sex scenes, domestic abuse. 


About the Author
Shannon Greenland
Shannon Greenland is the award-winning author of several novels including the teen spy series, The Specialists, and the YA romances, The Summer My Life Began and Shadow of a Girl. She also writes thrillers under S. E. Green and lives off the coast of Florida with her very grouchy dog.




Giveaway
Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win one of three $10 Amazon gift cards.

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