Thursday, February 19, 2015

Blog Tour: Interference by Dakota Madison

Dakota Madison's Interference Book Tour is stopping here today! This New Adult sports romance has one of the hottest cover models I've seen so far this year. Ahem. I mean, this book brings together an unlikely pair in Sedona, the super smart neuroscience student and Jesse, a bad boy superstar of basketball! 

For other stops on the tour, check out Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours.

The Book

USA TODAY Bestselling Author Dakota Madison returns with another spicy sports romance. This story set in the world of college basketball.

Neuroscience student SEDONA MILLER is perfectly imperfect. She’s slightly nerdy and slightly eccentric, but completely brilliant.

When an unfortunate accident leaves Sedona with an injured arm and she’s fired from her part-time job shelving books at the university library she has to find a new gig fast.

The only job available mid-semester is working as a tutor for the athletic academic center. And the notorious bad boy of the university’s basketball team, JESSE WALKER, is the one and only guy on the new tutor’s roster.

But when SEDONA discovers a secret that could ruin the school’s winning basketball team doing the right thing could mean destroying the only guy she’s ever loved.

Interference is available from Short on Time Books now!

Amazon | B & N Kobo


When I finally hit the last room in a long row of rooms I see a guy sitting there looking bored and staring at two fast food containers in front of him on the table.
He glances up at me when I enter. The first thing I notice is his piercing green eyes. I don’t think I’ve ever seen eyes that green on a human being that weren’t Photoshopped
The second thing I notice is his messy, light brown hair. It doesn’t look like it’s been combed it in a week. It makes me wonder if it’s some new hair trend or if he just doesn’t bother to style it. Not that I have too much room to talk when it comes to hair. My curly red mop has been the bane of my existence since I was a kid. About the only thing I can ever do with it is pull it back into a pony tail.
I nod.
Have a seat.” He points to the chair right next to him.
I remember Lewis’s warning and take a seat across the table instead. I want to be as close to the door as possible. The guy is big and muscular and much more intimidating than I imagined he’d be.
My heart is thumping in my chest because his size and rough demeanor are making me nervous.
When he pushes one of the fast food containers in my direction I cringe. I rarely eat fast food and when I do it’s from Just Veggies, an organic vegetarian place near campus.
He doesn’t hesitate to open his container and take a bite of the messy burger that’s dripping some kind of white sauce all over his pile of fries.
My stomach turns in response.
I bought you a burger.” He points to the second container he’s pushed in my direction. “Ambrose scheduled our sessions during lunch.”
I make a point of pushing the container back over to him. “No thank you.”
He frowns. “It’s from Frankie’s. Everybody loves Frankie’s burgers.”
Clearly not everyone.”
His brows knit like he can’t believe I refused the food he bought.
You don’t want it?” He actually sounds hurt.
No, I don’t.”
I lift my book bag from the ground and point to one of the many political cause buttons I have covering the knitted tote my mom made for me.
He barely acknowledges it. “What is that supposed to mean?”
Now I’m the one who’s frowning. “Meat is murder. It’s a slogan. It means that I don’t eat animal flesh.”
You’re one of those vegans?” He doesn’t bother hiding the condescension in his voice.
Technically I’m a vegetarian. I eat free range, organic dairy products.”
Fine. I’ll eat the burger.” He glares at me as he opens the second container and takes a huge bite of the burger.
I’m appalled until I notice that he slyly pushes both containers away and doesn’t take another bite of either burger.
I guess I should have brought an apple for the teacher.”
Only if it’s organic. And I’m not actually a teacher. I’m a tutor.”
We both stare at each other for a long moment. Awkward does not even begin to describe our pairing. We’re like two people from different planets trying to communicate when we don’t speak each other’s languages.
I remove a slip of paper from my bag. “Mr. Ambrose gave me your schedule of classes for the semester. You’re taking Film Appreciation, The History of Jazz, Advanced Yoga and Stress Management. What’s your major?”
He shrugs. “Undeclared right now. But I’ll probably go with Sports Management.”
So these are Gen Ed classes?”
He cocks his head and looks confused.
General Education classes,” I clarify. “Elective classes you need to take to fulfill requirements that aren’t directly related to your major.”
I guess so.”
I’m a little disturbed by his lackadaisical attitude, but I let it go for the moment. We’re clearly not going to be able to develop much of a rapport so maybe it’s best just to get down to business.
We’re just handed a class schedule,” he clarifies. “Assigned classes. We don’t pick them ourselves.”
And they assigned you the History of Jazz? That’s the class that you’re having trouble with?”
The dude who was supposed to teach the class croaked and they got this new chick who apparently doesn’t like basketball.”
There is so much wrong with his statement I don’t even know where to begin. “Might I suggest that you call your professors either professor or doctor and not chick.”
I bristle at my own use of the derogatory word, but I continue, “And what does her not liking basketball have to do with your performance in the class.”
At this he gives me a sly smile. “Let’s just say she’s not willing to play ball the way the other professors are.”
I’m not sure exactly what he means by that, but there seems to be some kind of sports reference that is lost on me.
So you’re saying your other classes are going well and you’re just having trouble with the one class, History of Jazz?”
He leans back in his chair and eyes me for a few seconds before he nods. I don’t like when he looks at me like that. It’s like he’s examining some weird, new specimen and trying to make sense of it.
All of my other teachers are huge basketball fans and they know I’m the in the starting lineup. I’m not sure what the jazz goddess’s problem is.”
I take in a deep breath before I say something that’s sure to get me fired. “Why don’t we start by calling her Dr. Fisher? I think that might help. And why do you think she has a problem?”
She doesn’t like basketball. That’s not normal. Everybody loves basketball. This entire campus lives and breathes the sport.”
I don’t love basketball. I don’t even like it. Not even a little bit.”
He actually looks stunned for a moment. Like I slapped him. Then he regains his cocky composure.
You’re one weird chick,” he mutters almost to himself, but still loud enough that I can hear him.
Excuse me?” I say even though I heard him. I just didn’t like having an insult hurled at me by someone I don’t even know.
You. Are. One. Weird. Chick.” His words are slower and louder as if I didn’t hear him the first time.
I actually heard what you said. I just didn’t like it.”
A smug smirk appears on his face that I would love to slap right off if I could.
I continue. “In case you haven’t noticed I’m not a bird I’m a human being. I’d appreciate it if you didn’t refer to me as a chick.”
He bites his bottom lip as if he’s actually giving it some thought. Then he says, “You’re one weird woman. Is that better?”
I’m not sure why you have to bring gender into the equation at all. Why not just call me a weird person?”
That makes him laugh. “You don’t care that I think you’re weird. You just don’t want me to call you a chick?”
I’ve been weird my whole life. I’m used to it.”
At least you’re willing to own it.”
So did you bring your textbook with you or are you just going to spend the next ninety minutes taunting me?”
I kind of like taunting you.”

My Review

Interference is a mixed bag for me. Mostly, I love the ideas but I wasn't thrilled with the execution of them.

Trying to avoid spoilers, I really liked the premise of the book. I liked that Sedona and Jesse are attracted to each other despite coming from very different areas of their university - she's academic, while he's more athletic. I also liked that they have to deal with a realistic problem. What I didn't like so much was that the relationship explodes out of nowhere. While Jesse seems relatively interested in Sedona from the get-go, Sedona's interest in him seems to sort of materialize out of thin air - or, I guess, a few observations of his hotness.

I really enjoyed that Sedona was such a colourful character. I liked that she wore clothes that were all secondhand, and didn't have a cell phone. Her background (raised on a commune by a mother who believed heavily in reuse, recycle, repurpose) really worked for this story and made Sedona a little bit different from the usual female leads in the genre. I liked that she was very smart and was a senior despite being only nineteen. Unfortunately, her best friend and roommate, musical prodigy Lewis, drove me nuts. He's a broken record, spouting off the same warnings and dire predictions for almost the entire book and I wanted him to put a sock in it!

While I appreciated that Jesse didn't quite live up to his 'bad boy of basketball' reputation, I had mixed feelings about all of the surprises he had for the reader and particularly by how his emotions developed. I found it almost uncomfortable, and that's not so good. There was something very endearing about him - I liked the little ways he tried to make Sedona comfortable or to please her, but there was just something a little too... much about him. I can't quite put my finger on it, but it didn't sit entirely well with me.

The relationship itself felt pretty realistic to me, with its jumps and bumps. There's an element of leaping without thinking it through, and before Sedona and Jesse are both ready to really figure out what's going on. I think university relationships can be like that - that whole experimentation, raging hormones thing, diving into something because it's new and exciting and without really thinking it through.

The dialogue occasionally felt stiff or unnatural for me. There was a certain formality to it at times that felt inappropriate for characters in their late teens and early twenties. Some of it could be written off as individuals simply being uncomfortable and having that reflected in their speech, but there were definitely a few moments (such as Jesse first opening up about his family) that made me cringe. The delivery didn't work for me at all.

Overall, I enjoyed parts of the book, and I liked the idea of it all. Without getting spoilery, the issue at the core of the story is quite real and while I had it figured out and wanted the big reveal to be much earlier than it was, I still appreciated that Interference tackled it.  

The Bottom Line:

Interference was a real toss-up for me. On the one hand, I really appreciated that it tackles some realistic issues in a sensitive fashion. On the other, I found some of it a bit clunky (as in much of the dialogue, and some of the secondary characters). I'd suggest checking this one out of if you're a fan of the smart girl meets athletic guy pairing!

3 stars
For fans of New Adult, love triangles, smart-meets-sporty romances

About the Author

USA TODAY Bestselling Author Karen Mueller Bryson writes romance novels under four pen names: Dakota Madison, Savannah Young, Sierra Avalon and Ren Monterrey. She lives in a small town outside of Phoenix, AZ with her husband and their bloodhounds.

Find her on the web:

Website/Blog | Facebook | Twitter 


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1 comment:

  1. Thank you for taking the time to read and review my new book.