Beautifully Awake by Riley Mackenzie – Blog Tour, Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway

Posted November 19, 2013 by admin in Adrienne's Reviews, Blog Tour, Giveaways, Reviews / 2 Comments

Beautifully Awake by Riley Mackenzie - Blog Tour, Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Beautifully Awake by Riley Mackenzie – Blog Tour, Review, Excerpt, & GiveawayBeautifully Awake by Riley Mackenzie
on October 2, 2013
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult
Format: eBook
Buy on Amazon

Diagnosis: Sleep-running

Treatment: Truth

Prognosis: Beautifully Awake

Lili Porter hates the rain. Bad things happen in the rain. As a small town social worker dedicated to protecting children, she is forced to start over to escape her rural disaster. Determined to follow her father’s advice—head up and chin high—Lili finds herself in a new city, taking on a new system, this time healthcare. In doing so, she gets something she never expected, an intimate behind-the-scenes look at life in the hospital.

Lili learns that a surgeon’s hands have the power to heal more than physical wounds. And a prescription for truth can cure three years of sleep running and leave you beautifully awake.



Several things I need to discuss regarding this book.  I actually really liked the setting.  We don’t get to see hospitals very often.  Well I don’t anyway.  I liked the setting very much.  I think this is something more authors should explore.  I know it’s not college.  It’s not publishing/marketing.  It’s not law.

It’s hot doctors!

Our two leads, Lili and Chase both work in a hospital.  Lili is a case worker, Chase a neurosurgeon.  Both have tons of baggage.  Lots of secrets on both sides and you know right away it’s going to be a bumpy ride.  What a ride it is.  Lili has come to Philadelphia to get away from her hometown and the pain she incurred while living there.  Chase is in Philly for pretty much the same reasons.  He has ties to NYC and Boston and neither of them are happy.

Chase is your typical alpha, uber hot, crazy possessive leading man.  I found him to be a compilation of our all our favorite book boyfriends Gideon, Gabriel, Travis, Christian, Kellan, the list goes on and on.  Chase is not only a doctor but an entrepreneur, a doctor/teacher (he’s the chief neurosurgeon), a former rocker, he even boxes.  He has a bad relationship with his parents, specifically mommy.  See what I mean?  He’s all those boys rolled into one.  This is not necessarily a bad thing.  We all love those guys and done right you get one crazy, hot, brooding, intense, alpha male.  I’ll admit his use of “baby” drove me batty but I did love when he called Lili, “blue”.

Lili was for me also a typical leading lady.  She didn’t speak up for herself when she should have.  Well that’s not true.  She wasn’t one to hold back necessarily unless it came to the important stuff.  Like the “why she ran to Philly” important stuff.  She’s also oblivious to her beauty and all the guys and gals adore her.  She’s not innocent but she isn’t experienced either.  Of course she’s no where near rich but she is educated.  She’s not after Chase’s money, sadly, that would be an entirely different kind of book, lol.  I found the different names that she and Sierra came up with clever:

Dr. Intensity

Dr. Playful

Dr. Know-it-All

Dr. Sexy

Dr. Orgasm

Dr. Sweet

Dr. Rock-n-Roll


Dr. Possessive

Dr. Hot-as-Balls

Dr. Fucknuts

Just to name a few.

Together these two light the pages on fire.  They are both intense, needy, broody.  Neither of them do much talking.  I mean eventually they do talk, obviously.  But lets face it there is lots and lots of steamy sex.  And we have another pantie ripper!  Again, I saw lots of similarities to other stories we’ve all read.  Sex in a museum, sex up against a brick wall in the rain, lots of shower sex, lots of sex up against walls, on desks.  I think the only place they didn’t do it was is in the OR thank goodness!  The scenes in this book are definitely smoking hot.

As usual I found myself drifting towards the side characters.  Sierra, Lili’s bff has the best lines in the book!  No question there, she’s hilarious.  She’s also fiercely loyal and loves and cares for Lili.  Asher, Chase’s best friend, is similar.  He’s definitely got Chase’s back.  He loves him and cares for him.  You know that he’s loyal and will do whatever he can for Chase.  He’s very sweet and I look forward to reading his story.  There there are other characters as well, nurses like Leeanne and Kate and other doctors, Jack, Sam and Guy.  All of which make this story even more special.  I found myself craving the hospital scenes and the scenes where everyone met up together after work.  For me it was like ER in book form and Chase was George Clooney.  I really hope Guy gets a story too at some point.  I found myself rooting for him several times.  I loved that he called Lili, “Doll”.  He came across really sweet and he obviously cared for her.

I certainly hope he hear more about Lili and Chase.  I felt like their story ended kind of abruptly.  There are some loose ends that I felt needed tidying up.  Maybe that’s in the works for Asher’s story.

Unfortunately, at about 8% in I came across a description that almost made me stop reading.  A word was used to describe Jack that I found to be offensive.  I reached out to the authors for an explanation.  I didn’t want to jump to conclusions.  I know that we all grow up with different experiences, we come from different cultures, and backgrounds.  I didn’t want to assume anything based on my own background.  But I just couldn’t let this go.  I even sought the advice of a friend.  I wanted to make sure I wasn’t the “only one” that would be offended.  Here is sentence:

“His gorgeous mulatto skin, built body and glistening smile were a sight most females couldn’t ignore.”

I have to admit that I didn’t grow up hearing the term ‘mulatto’.  I actually didn’t even know what it meant until I was married with children.  My mother in-law was searching through genealogy records and I saw the term on the 1920 census.  She was the one who explained to me that ‘mulatto’ was used to describe a person with a white parent and a black parent.  Seems innocent enough until you look at where the word comes from.

You have to look at the etymology of the word in order to understand why it’s offensive.

Etymology:  Spanish mulato, from mulo mule, from Latin mulus Date: 1593

The Spanish interpretation of the word mulato is derived from mulo/mule.  This mule, produced from a male donkey (62 chromosomes) and a female horse (64 chromosomes) has 63 chromosomes.  This resulting number of chromosomes inhibits sterility in mules over 99.99% of the time (there have been a few documented cases of sterile female mules).

During slavery many people operated around the assumption that black people and white people were different species. So when a mulatto was born it was believed to be sterile, much unlike mules. Unfortunately, whether you believe it or not this was a dominant perspective at the time.  Of course mulatto’s would go on to produce healthy and normal children with white, black, and other mulatto people, thereby contradicting this perspective of sterility.  With that being said if you were mulatto you were different, too different to be accepted.  You were defined as a mule, a cross breed.

I speak only for myself and my husband when I say this, mulatto, for us is offensive.

Our beautiful daughters are bi-racial.  I NEVER want my children to think they are mules.  That they are a cross breed.  That they are anything other than the beautiful and intelligent young ladies we’re so proud to call ours.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with using the terms ‘mixed’ or bi-racial.  Better yet use descriptive words, not words associated with slavery and racial oppression.

In all fairness, I want to share that my responses from the authors were apologetic I do believe that they did not intend to offend anyone.  They admitted that although they were using it to describe “beautifully bi-racial light brown skin coloring” it did not come across in the description like that.

When I asked if they were going to remove the word, I was told that, “they would definitely consider it with the next edition”.

I wish I could say that answer made me feel better.  Better would have been “that word will definitely be removed”.

In my opinion, there is no excuse for ignorance.  In my opinion, if I’ve offended someone, I do everything I can to fix it.

Thank you for taking the time to read my review as well as my comments on this subject.  I seriously debated marking this as DNF.  I wasn’t sure if I could continue to read the book without my views being clouded.  But I thought about what I would say to my kids in this situation.  I had to decide if I could set this aside and push forward.  Could I review this book honestly for the writing, the plot, the character development.  Could I show the authors the same thing we teach our kids, tolerance, and the answer was yes.

*A copy of this book was kindly provided by the author in exchange for an honest review*




“Baby, I want to sleep with you.”  His voice softened.  “This isn’t about sex.  This is about sleeping … with you … in our bed, just sleeping, no talking.  Just silence, me listening to your soft breaths.  That’s truth.”  And once again this man had completely disarmed me with words alone.  “See you soon, baby.”

Silence filled my ear.  I turned and dropped my phone on the bed.

“You’re not going to tell him, huh?”  Sierra raised her eyebrows and frowned.

“I don’t know, but I’m definitely not ready tonight.”

“This thing with Dr. Hot-as-Balls is serious, isn’t it?”

I couldn’t help but nod.  My gut told me she wasn’t wrong.


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Hosted By: Love Between the Sheets


About Riley Mackenzie

Yep. That’s an “s.” There are two of us!

We’re East coast girls separated by Long Island Sound who met in Physician Assistant School and have been besties ever since. We can safely say that thirteen miles of water does not get in the way because we talk or text, no exaggeration, at least 150 times a day. No, really, we do—about everything and nothing. Shockingly, we never (we mean never) run out of things to say.  Umm, ever. We definitely laugh A LOT and we’re a tad sarcastic. And if we’re being totally honest, one or two people might have, on occasion, used our names and ‘dramatic’ in the same sentence. But it’s hard to trust the sources since they married us.

It only took twelve years, two husbands, five kids, two dogs, and a two-week vacation in Cape Cod later to decide the romance world needed a splash of medicine. Write what you know.

So you can easily find us at 4 o’clock on Bank Street beach with a glass of cold Prosecco brainstorming. And guaranteed if we bump into you, literally, it’s only because our iPhones are glued to our hands (totally out of our control) either writing or editing our next novel (and yes, it is possible to do from your iPhone, we mastered it … damn those straight quotations).

When we are not working on our book or reading the latest angsty romance on our kindles, you basically name it and we have it going on. Soccer, lacrosse, golf, swimming, dance, gymnastics, football, chess, baseball, basketball, skiing, ice skating, school, homework, and more school.

Oh yeah, did we forget to mention our careers in medicine?

Needless to say, we realized fast that something had to go, so we opted for sleep. It’s completely overrated (yet so AMAZING) and delirium makes everything funnier. Good thing we share a brain and can pretty much complete each other’s sentences (definitely weird, we know).

So that’s our story, who we are … just add AUTHORS to the list!

Rating Report
Overall: 3.9

2 responses to “Beautifully Awake by Riley Mackenzie – Blog Tour, Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway

  1. First, we wanted to say thanks for the great review:) Second, we are still completely horrified that we offended anyone. As we explained- it was NEVER in a million years our intention. Our intention was to describe a breathtakingly gorgeous man (and one of our favorite characters in the book,, especially since we share the same profession) To be honest, until you brought it to our attention, we had never associated the word with anything other than a striking color shade and definitely not anything negative. We are probably jaded by growing up in one of the most diverse areas of the world where families of mixed race and religion are the majority (our own’s included). That being said, we HAVE replaced the term in hopes of not offending anyone else. We truly appreciate your honest input. Thanks again. xo, Riley Mackenzie

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