Blog Tour: Teaser, Review & GIVEAWAY – BETTER by S. Walden


Better-coverTheir 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.

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Expected Release: November 19, 2013

Links for book #1 – GOOD

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



Mark sat in his car staring through the windshield. Any minute now, Cadence, dressed in graduation robe and cap, would round the corner with her brother and Fanny. All he wanted was to see her smile.

He knew her parents didn’t show up. They made their intentions clear three nights ago when Cadence called home to speak to her mother. After she hung up, she told Mark she didn’t care that they refused to attend, but he awoke later that night to the sounds of her soft cries. She was curled up lying close to the edge of the bed, far away from him. He reached out to touch her, then stopped. Something told him not to, that it’d be disastrous if he tried to comfort her. So he left her alone. The next morning she was bright and cheery and as fake as he’d ever seen her.

He drummed his fingers on the steering wheel. “Please smile. Please smile. Please smile.”

He thought back to the first time he saw her really smile. She grinned at him on the side of Highway 28, but it wasn’t until she sat on a metal bench in the bus parking lot on the first day of school that he saw a real smile. She giggled about the names she’d been calling him, revealing pretty teeth with one imperfection. She had a calcium deposit on her eye tooth. Yeah, he’d noticed. And he recalled feeling like a total creep for liking it so much.



Better is the second and final installment in the story of Cadence and Mark. You must read Good before you read Better. And if you don’t read these books, you are missing out.

I literally do not know where to begin with this review. I was so excited about this book and when the ARC showed up in my inbox I was like:

So here’s the thing. I loved Good. It was so different from other books that I had read. I’ve read a lot of teacher/student romances and some of them are my favorite books. And Good was no exception- it was easily one of my favorite books of the year. I put Good in the same category as other forbidden romance stories, but in a lot of ways this series goes above and beyond being a teacher/student forbidden romance. All of the elements of those types of books are there but this takes it to another level. Of course I should say- it’s not illegal in anyway BUT it definitely pushes the boundary. In Better- we are sort of over the things that make their relationship taboo and despite how excited I was, I just wasn’t sure how it was going to drag me in the way Good did.

I should have never doubted for a second…

When we left Cadence and Mark in Good, their relationship had been exposed but in many ways was stronger than ever. Cadence’s parents, specifically her dad, had driven her to Mark who was happy to have her in a permanent way.

Better picks up right where we left them as Cadence’s dad comes trying to force her back home. The rest of this book really focuses in on Mark and Cadence and especially the parts of Mark’s past that he has been hiding. I think for me, I kind of pieced together some parts of his past along the way but just hearing the actual story ripped me apart.

But unfortunately it also causes issues for them and a large part of this story is about Cadence sorting her feelings- not always in a healthy way. In fact I was really surprised by the direction the middle of the story took. But it was so well written, so well done- AMAZING.

This is where S. Walden BLOWS ME AWAY. When Mark and Cadence are good- she has the ability to make you forget their age difference. But then she goes and writes these pieces of the story where Cadence’s age is so obvious and Mark’s love for her despite that is so great and all you can do is a lot of this:

I did have a little trouble with how Mark snaps Cadence out of her crazy spell but even that was done in such a way that makes me want to meet SWald and just be like:

because it pushes boundaries and forces you to get out of your romance novel comfort zone and I LIVE FOR IT.

It is so hard for me to tell you how much I loved this book without gushing. There are so many times that SWald could have taken the easy road out. She set up perfect moments for cheating, or for Cadence’s age to win out, or Mark’s past to ruin them. But instead she chose to make their road- all the ups and downs- completely about them and it was PERFECTION and not always what you would expect.

All of the relationships in this were amazingly written- whether they were good or bad. I loved the relationship Cadence had with Mark’s mother. I thought that Avery and Cadence’s relationship was one of the best things about the book. For one thing- I loved how they interacted with one another but again, their ups and downs are such a huge part of what proves that S. Walden is a writing goddess. I loved the brother/sister moments we got in this book and even the turmoil of Cadence’s relationship with her parents was amazingly done. The only thing that threw me was the stuff with Grace. I thought more might come out of that and when it didn’t I just found myself wondering what the point was. But I can honestly say that was one of the only moments I was not totally obsessed with every single word of this book.

As I said in Good, the whole battle of Christianity in this book is one of my favorite parts. It’s simply magnificent and just makes you think about the difference between Christianity and Christians. It may not be a big deal to some but it really sticks out to me.

The epilogue was beyond anything I could have imagined. I loved that she took us out a few years so we could really get a glimpse of the future.

Sorry- I tried not to gush but its impossible with this book and this series because it is SO DAMN GOOD. In fact, the Good got even Better!

Seriously- just read this series.



IMG_2348S. 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.



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  1. Hey Michelle,

    Thank you so much for that honest review of Better. I’m thrilled you enjoyed the sequel. Thank you for supporting this series and helping me promote!

    xo Summer

    • Thank you for writing it! I just love this series and want other people to know about it. Thank you for writing something that not everyone would have the guts to write!!

  2. Amy Pollard Woolard says:

    I cannot wait to read Better!!!

  3. brandy myers says:

    Yeah, can’t wait

  4. Emily McDonald says:

    I can’t wait for Better.

  5. Nellie Clements says:

    Yes! Anxiously waiting!

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