Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Six Strings by Jen Sanya Williamson (Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Six Strings by Author Jen Sanya Williamson!

Book Review

Six Strings by Jen Sanya Williamson
Volume 1: Six Strings Series
Publisher: Booktrope
Publication Date: June 17, 2014
Format: Paperback - 204 pages
             Kindle - 597 KB
             Nook - 538 KB
ISBN: 978-1620153550
BNID: 2940149837496
Genre: Young Adult / Time Travel

BUY THE BOOK: Six Strings

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours.

Book Description:

Riley Witt is running out of time.

Battling Alzheimer’s disease, Riley’s grandmother Mary suffers from memory loss, mood swings, and a tendency to wander off.

As senior year approaches, Riley has to face the reality that the one person she depends on most is slowly fading. Making matters worse, when Mary does remember the past, she tells tales of time travel and visions. As Mary’s version of the past gets more confused, Riley knows they are running out of time together.

But when Riley discovers a guitar belonging to a famous rock star at Mary’s house, the truth behind the crazy tales finally comes out.

Six Strings tells the story of Riley’s journey back to 1973 where she enters a world of music, long-lost family, and first love. Her adventure is all about discovering her past, understanding her present, and figuring out how to step into her future.

Book Excerpt:

Voices. Muffled, casual…overlapping. Not too far away.

I have landed with a thud, the contents of my bag scattering. The guitar case has opened, and the National makes the saddest noise as it, too, hits the tile.

Tile. Red and cold.

No longer is there a glittering scatter of copper pennies; now, the floor is all laid with old, cracked, Mexican tile. In fact, the space looks completely different from how it does in 2008: no revolving dessert case, no booths, no bar, no tables. There are boxes piled up and stacks of papers, a bunch of small, identical green bottles labeled Prell Shampoo. My heart begins to thud against my chest, and a nervous laugh bursts from my lips.

“I did it,” I say out loud, “I did it.”

I try to move quietly as I inspect the National, playing a note or two before placing it carefully in its case. I shove my belongings—toothbrush, underwear, loose change—back into my messenger bag and sling it across my chest.

I have no idea what will greet me on the other side of the door. The mystery of Time, why these portals are shown to me, isn’t known. Is this portal in this spot, at this time, because he is here? Will Jonah Wolff be right outside the door, and that’s it? My traveling explained, my life changed? Fear grips my movements, and I stop. Suddenly nauseated, I take several deep breaths, lean forward, and try hard not to throw up.

“Don’t be stupid,” I mumble. “Mary said you would feel sick. Traveling makes you feel sick. You can do this. You can do this. Great…now you’re talking to yourself.”

I stand up straight and steel myself to the task before me. I open the door slowly, just enough to see a sliver of bright yellow light. I open it a bit more, wide enough to peer out.

My Book Review:

Six Strings is an intriguing young adult novel with a time travel twist that engages the reader to follow Riley Witt's journey of self-discovery and uncovering the hidden dynamic and secrets of her family.

Author Jen Sanya Williamson weaves a wonderful story about the special bond between high school senior Riley Witt and her grandmother Mary, who is suffering from Alzheimer's disease. Before the disease takes away all of her memory, Mary tells Riley that they share the gift of being a time traveler, and that by finding the right musical note to open the time portal, Riley will be able to discover the secrets that hold the keys to their family's past, present, and future. Riley's time travel journey back to 1973 will lead her on an adventure of self discovery and a clearer understanding of her family dynamic that will change the way she views their life.

Six Strings was a fascinating story that easily drew me into Riley and Mary's story. The author engages the reader to follow Riley's amazing journey utilizing the key elements of music, family, and first love. I loved how the story intertwines the love of music and the intricacies of the family dynamic with time travel. While the time travel back to 1973 was like taking a walk down memory lane, what I loved most about the story was the special bond between Riley and Mary. It is a special bond and relationship that tugs at your heartstrings, I loved Riley's spirit and Mary's determination to pass on their share gift before her memory is forever lost to the effects of having Alzheimer's disease.

Six Strings is a thought-provoking and beautiful story about family relationships and personal growth that will leave you yearning for more. This is the first book in the Six Strings series.


About The Author

Jen Sanya Williamson is a graduate of the University of Arizona where she received a BA in creative writing. She spends most of her time with her junior high students, teaching and talking books. When not in a classroom, Jen is writing, watching TV shows from the ‘90s, or cheering on the Wildcats with her husband and children in her adopted hometown of Tucson, Arizona.


Contest Giveaway

Win An iTunes Gift Card

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Virtual Book Tour Schedule

Tour Schedule:

August 18 – Reading in Black and White – Review & Excerpt
August 18 – Ski Wee’s Book Corner – Excerpt
August 20 – TMWECSOFF – Excerpt
August 21 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt
August 22 – AJ Book Review Club – Review & Excerpt
August 25 – Chick Lit Plus – Review

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Open My Eyes by Jennifer Collin (Author Guest Post / Book Review)

In association with Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Open My Eyes by Author Jennifer Collin!

Author Guest Post

My Top 5 TV Crushes:
The Good, The Bad And The 1980s

I’m so excited to be here at Jersey Girl Book Reviews! Thanks for having me, and I hope you get a giggle out of my little confession below ;)

My leading man in Open My Eyes, Ben, came to life as I was watching Season 25 of my favourite reality TV show, Survivor. Fans of the show will remember the gorgeous Malcom, a tall, ridiculously good-looking sweetheart with long brown hair he often wore tied back at the nape of his neck. Like thousands of women around the world, he had me swooning. As I was building the character of Ben, I get thinking of him as a slightly older version of Malcolm. And when my husband asked me why I had a picture of Malcolm next to my computer, I swore black and blue it was just to keep me focused …

Malcolm is one of my TV crushes. There have been many over the years and the list is diverse, from bad boys to heroes. Some of them are embarrassing. After all, bad taste was the fashion in the 1980’s. But some of them have endured. I thought it might be fun to share my top five with you.

1. Faceman (The A-team) - The Scoundrel Crush

I’m definitely showing my age here, but Templeton Peck (aka Faceman) played by Dirk Benedict in the mid 80’s TV show The A-Team, was my very first TV crush. He was the seductive scoundrel who charmed the pants off every woman that crossed his path. Thank goodness I quickly moved on from my scoundrel fetish, although I must admit, I was mighty pleased when Bradley Cooper was cast as Faceman in the 2010 movie remake of the show.

2. Officer Tom Hanson (21 Jump Street) - The Enduring Crush

Ah, Johnny Depp. I first discovered Johnny Depp in the late 80’s TV hit 21 Jump Street and I have been smitten with him ever since. In this show, he played Officer Tom Hanson, the good guy, who was going undercover in high schools to teach the kids to stay off drugs. What’s not to love? And once again, although the recent 2012 film 21 Jump Street was only very loosely related to the show, I was quite happy with the casting of Channing Tatum in one of the lead roles. Good move Hollywood producers.

3. Fox Mulder (The X-files) - The Misunderstood One Crush

Oh, I believe you, Mulder! I believe there are aliens! I just wanted to reach into the TV and give poor misunderstood Fox Mulder, played by David Duchovny, a hug (and well, maybe a bit more than that too…). Mulder was the ultimate in sexy, brooding characters and he had me riveted every week.

4. Dr John Carter (ER) – The Good Guy Crush

I came to ER in its later seasons, when George Clooney’s character, Dr Doug Ross, was on the way out. The character of John Carter was only just developing and I very quickly fell for Noah Wyle’s portrayal of the smart, sometimes vulnerable and always sexy doctor. The sadness he endured in the final seasons of the show just broke my heart.

5. Sawyer (Lost) – The Bad Boy Crush

I always found Matthew Fox’s character, Jack Shepard, a little too righteous for my tastes and instead I preferred bad boy Sawyer. There was something mysterious and defiant about him that had me intrigued. He could have led me astray. He could have led me anywhere. He was a brooder too, which is always sexy on TV.

Looking back on my list, I can’t help but notice it’s pretty dated. After my husband and I had kids, we stopped watching TV for many years and are only now catching up on what we’ve missed.

Most recently we’ve been indulging in a bit of Parks and Recreation and I’m quite smitten with the lovely Ben Wyatt, played by Adam Scott. He’s my Nerd crush.

But I’m curious, who else should I be on the look-out for? Who are some of your TV crushes, new or old? Come on, don’t be embarrassed – I put Faceman out there, didn’t I?

About The Author

Jennifer Collin writes quirky, and sometimes gritty, love stories about ordinary people dealing with what life throws at them. She lives in Brisbane, Australia, with her husband, two noisy children and a cantankerous cat. She used to party, but now her idea of a good time is an uninterrupted sleep. These days, her characters do her partying for her, and she doesn't necessarily let them sleep.


Book Review

Open My Eyes by Jennifer Collin
Book 2: The Evans Trilogy
Publisher: Independent Self Publishing
Publication Date: April 7, 2014
Format: eBook - 293 pages
             Kindle - 1095 KB
Genre: Chick Lit / Contemporary Romance / Women's Fiction

BUY THE BOOK: Open My Eyes

BUY THE TRILOGY: The Evans Trilogy
Book 1: Set Me Free
Book 2: Open My Eyes

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours.

Book Description:

Everything happens for a reason, they say. And sometimes the reason is you're stupid and make bad decisions. Sleeping with her sister's best friend is one of the dumbest things soon-to-be divorcee Emily Evans has ever done. But she's determined to put it behind her and move on. She's walked away from her cheating husband, managed to make a new friend, and found herself a real job and somewhere to live so she doesn't have to couch-surf any more. Everything should be falling into place but for one problem – there are some mistakes from which you can't move on.

Meanwhile, Ben Cameron is getting on with his life. After all, it's the only thing to do once your heart has been stomped on by the woman of your dreams. Expanding his business and getting cosy with the girl next door are proving welcome distractions. He's even happy to babysit his nephew, as long as he can to hand him back when he's done! And thankfully, Emily Evans, the woman with the heavy boots, is avoiding him like the plague.

But Emily can't avoid him forever, and when she drops a bombshell that turns Ben's world upside-down, suddenly, getting on with his life takes on a whole new meaning.

Book Excerpt:

Annie pointed to the hand Emily still held behind her back. ‘Hey, I think the ten minutes might be up now.’

Emily looked at her watch for the third time. Annie was right, it was time to check the stick. Heart hammering, she fell back against the cubicle partition. She swallowed, squeezed her eyes shut, and took a deep breath. Slowly, she moved her hand around until she held the small stick in front of her. She exhaled and opened her eyes and looked.

Two little blue lines looked back at her.

She was pregnant.

She burst into tears.

Annie’s arms went around her, and Emily buried her face in her new friend’s shoulder. Annie stroked her hair and let her cry.

More punters came in to use the bathroom. Unlike last time, their chatter died immediately. Emily heard a tentative voice call out in Japanese and from within the hug she felt Annie answer.

By the time the newcomers left the bathroom, Emily was regaining control. She sniffed and wiped her eyes with toilet paper.

‘Sorry,’ she said to Annie.

‘It’s okay.’

‘So, now I know.’ Emily studied the scrunched up ball of paper in her hand. ‘We should get out of here,’ she said. She lifted the toilet seat and dropped in her little bundle of tears.

‘Are you sure you’re ready?’

Emily nodded.

Five minutes later, make-up restored and shoulders set, Emily let Annie lead her back into the noise and darkness of the club. The smell of stale beer was like a slap in the face. The music was too loud, the lights too flashy and the people too close. None of it had bothered her before, but now the room was spinning. She found a table edge to grip, and took a deep breath.

On stage, her brother Andy was ripping through a guitar solo. His brown hair fell over his eyes as he concentrated on the instrument in his hands. In skinny black jeans and T-shirts, the band looked like a bunch of clones. But unlike Annie, Emily didn’t mind them. They were definitely cocksure, but it was hard to go wrong with three-chord pop-punk guitar riffs.

Emily salvaged some sense of calm. It was Andy’s idea that she come to Japan with the band. He could see she needed the distraction, to get the hell out of the country. A quick overseas jaunt to escape a sticky situation was a technique they’d both observed Charlotte apply, again and again, after each one of her failed relationships.

Admittedly, taking advice from Andy wasn’t usually the best idea, but here she was, in the midst of a Japanese nightclub on her first overseas trip. Emily let go of the table and put her shoulders back. She was brave, she could step out of her comfort zone, and she had people around her who cared about her. Even the ones she’d only just met were looking out for her.

Her hand moved to her stomach. A little human being was growing inside her. One she would have to look out for. Holy crap.

My Book Review:

The Evans Trilogy is an entertaining set of stories about the trials and tribulations of the Evans siblings: Charlotte, Emily and Andy. In the first book, Set Me Free, the story focused on Charlotte and Craig's story, now in the second book, Open My Eyes, the reader follows Emily and Ben's story.

In Open My Eyes, Author Jennifer Collin weaves a heartwarming tale of family, friends, and romantic relationships. The reader is easily drawn back into the trilogy as they follow Emily and Ben's story. Their story is full of humor, drama, and romantic trials and tribulations, and there are cameo appearances by the other Evan siblings: Charlotte and Andy and their romantic partners.

After a one-night stand that ends with the dreaded "love" word from her sister Charlotte's best friend Ben Cameron, Emily runs away with her brother Andy's band for their tour in Japan. But there is more than just the "L" word that is the problem, Emily finds out that she is pregnant, and while she has broken his heart, Ben has decided to move on ... that is until Emily drops the bombshell and turns his world upside down.

Open My Eyes is an engaging romantic story that has a little bit of everything that keeps the reader engaged and turning the pages. From family dynamics, to the drama of a friends-to-lovers romantic relationship, to troublesome secrets, to the everyday life trials and tribulations, this is an entertaining story filled with humor and enough plot twists and turns that it feels like an intriguing soap opera. With a quirky cast of fun loving characters, humorous dialogues and dramatic interactions, a rich description of the setting, and a thoroughly entertaining romantic storyline, Open My Eyes is a wonderful example of what fun romantic Chick Lit stories are all about!

Even though Open My Eyes can be a stand alone read, I would recommend reading the books in the trilogy in sequential order as they flow smoothly from one story to the next. I look forward to seeing what the author has in store for the reader in the third book of the trilogy when the focus is on Andy's story.


Virtual Book Tour Schedule

Tour Schedule:

August 18 – Ski-Wee’s Book Corner – Review
August 19 – Chick Lit Plus – Review
August 20 – Karma For Life Chick – Review
August 20 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review, Guest Post & Excerpt
August 21 – eBook Addict – Novel Spotlight
August 22 – The Modern Jane Austen – Review
August 22 – Samantha March – Q&A & Excerpt
August 25 – Keep Calm and Blog On – Review

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Girl He Knows by Kristi Rose (Author Guest Post / Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Jen Halligan PR Tours and Events, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for The Girl He Knows by Kristi Rose!

Author Guest Post

First let me start by saying how honored I am to be here with Kathleen and all the people that love her. If you all have any questions or thoughts just leave something in the comments or swing by my site. I’ll get back with you as soon as I can. Until then, thanks you all, for welcoming me.  :-)

Top Five Things about me (that readers don’t know):

1. A spider laid eggs in my arm while I was sleeping. I was 4. Pretty creepy, huh!

2. A Knight in Shining Armor is my favorite romance of all time. When I read it, I cry. Even now.

3. I love listening to the Banjo (5 string-not claw hammer).

4. I can’t read scary books. I get too spooked out and can’t sleep.

5. The Philadelphia Story with Katherine Hepburn, Cary Grant, and Jimmy Stewart is my all-time favorite movie. Ever.

A Day in My Writing Life

(This varies based on whether it’s summer or school is in session as my writing revolves around my kids’ schedules and my part time job- unfortunately.) So for most of the year it looks like this on the days I don’t work.

5:30-7:30: The mayhem begins. I shower and get ready, make breakfast and lunches, get kids up, fight with them to get dressed, feed the dog, set out dinner and check my email.

7:30-8:05: Drive to school. I negotiate with them about how many times we can listen to a song repeatedly and the merits of silence. Last school year it was the FROZEN soundtrack. I’ve introduced them to Katy Perry- so fingers crossed.

8:05-8:20: Drive to a coffee shop. I live in the Pacific Northwest so finding a coffee shop is pretty stinking easy. I prefer those run by locals as to a chain.

8:20-11:15 If I’m lucky my critic partner (s) will meet me at said cafe and we chat briefly/brainstorm before we write and get hopped up on caffeine. She/They usually brings good writing mojo so it’s a perk having her/them there.

11:15-11:30- Drive like a maniac to pick up DD from pre-school because I stayed at café WAY to late.

11:30-1:45-Lunch with DD, laundry, library, or grocery store run. Or all of them.

1:45-3:05- Leave to get DS. DD sleeps in car and if I leave the engine to idle she’ll sleep until DS comes out at 3 and I usually write until then. In my car. Drivers seat. Like a weirdo. I don’t make eye contact with other parents in the pick up line because 1. Don’t want them to wake hellion DD and 2. I don’t want them to wake hellion DD and take away my writing time.

3:05-9:00: Home, snack, play outside (unless it’s raining- and it usually is) laundry, homework, dinner, feed dog, talk to DH, showers, chores, check email/social media, blog, jot down character thoughts on scrap paper while cooking etc., read to kids, prep for next day, kids to bed, and fall onto couch exhausted.

9:00-11:00: Write stuff that has to be totally reworked on the next writing day (yet, I continue to do this). Pretend to be watching TV with DH while trying to type quietly.

What was your inspiration to become an Author?

I don’t know if there was ever a specific impetus. I read a ton as a kid (and still do) and always made up stories. The back pages of my school notebooks were filled with little stories or poems. At one point I even tried to write a Harlequin (I was 13). The dream of becoming a writer became just that- a dream- as I got bogged down with being thrust into adulthood. Yet, I never stopped writing out plot lines and character drafts and now here I am.  : -)

About The Author

Kristi Rose was raised in central Florida on boiled peanuts and iced tea. She’s lived by an active volcano, almost fallen off a mountain, and was married in Arkansas by a J.O.P in flip flops named Earl. Today, as a proud military wife and mother of two, she’s been lucky enough to travel the world. No matter where she is, she enjoys watching people and wondering what’s their story? That’s what Kristi likes to write about: everyday people, the love that brings them together, and their journey getting there. Kristi is a member of RWA. The Girl He Knows is her debut novel.


Book Review

The Girl He Knows by Kristi Rose
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Publication Date: August 18, 2014
Format: eBook - 218 pages
             Kindle - 333 KB
             Nook - 323 KB
ISBN: 978-1616505608
Genre: Contemporary Romance / Women's Fiction

BUY THE BOOK: The Girl He Knows

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour hosted by Jen Halligan PR Tours & Events.

Book Description:

Waking up naked next to a good looking man is not a bad way to start the day. Especially since Paisley missed all those opportunities in college, when she was too busy supporting her no good, thankfully now, ex-husband. The problem? This hottie is Hank, her best friend’s older brother, a guy she’s known her entire life.

Stopping after one night is the right thing to do. Being with him clearly breaks the best friend code, and from his career as a Naval officer to his Boy Scout reputation, everything about him screams monogamy and commitment. Two things Paisley has had enough of.

When Hank presents a “no strings attached” offer, it’s too good to be true. She can enjoy him while still embracing being single. But, poor choices force her to confront old fears of love and loss, and Paisley has to decide if Hank is worth the risk. The alternative is never experiencing the real deal. Or far worse, settling for less.

Book Excerpt:

Chapter 1

“Hank, honey. Time to get up.” Hank’s mom, calling through the door, wakes me from my sleep.

Disorientated, I sit up with a jerk. The blanket falls, exposing my bare breasts. Gasping, I pull the sheet up to my chin, squint, and do a long blink. My contacts are dry, which makes them feel stiff and scratchy and my vision blurry. Each blink offers a short snapshot of my surroundings.

I know where I am. Mortified, I drop my head and cover my eyes with the sheet. Why had I agreed to come here? What would make me throw caution to the wind and risk ruining a friendship?

Lust. That’s what.

“Hank, Dad says you have a tee time in one hour. Time to get up, sleepyhead,” his mom calls.

“Sweet Jesus,” I whisper. Panic seizes me as I glance to my left. Lying next to me is my best friend’s older brother, Hank. I’ve known Gigi and Hank my entire life. This is her childhood bedroom, now a converted guest room, and the voice on the other side of the thin door is their mother, Ms. Becky. I’d rather face all of hell’s demons than have her find me here, in her guest bed, naked, with Hank.

“Hmmphh? To slee….” Hank mumbles and his warm body rolls away, exposing his firm, well-defined backside. I close my eyes and count to ten. Now is not the time to get distracted by his assets or lost in the memory of how wonderful last night was. Now is the time to get the hell out of Dodge. I clutch the sheet to me as I shake his shoulder.

“Wake up,” I whisper. When he doesn’t move, I lean close to his ear. “Wake. Up. Your mom is at the door.”

He opens his eyes, or at least the one eye I see as he’s lying on his stomach.

The doorknob rattles, and I fling myself back, pull the covers up over my head, and try to burrow underneath him.

“I’m up, Mom,” Hank says, not even moving an inch.

“Well hurry. Dad’s anxious to get to the course.” Her voice fades, indicating she’s moving down the hallway.

“You can come out of hiding,” he says.

I flip the covers off my face, then clench them to my chest, “Hush. I don’t want them to know I’m here.”

“I figured. I don’t think they’ll care if they find you here.” His voice is a low baritone and I worry it will carry.

“Whisper,” I say. “I don’t care what you think. I don’t want them to know. I don’t want Gigi to know. I don’t want anyone to know.” Just saying it makes my stomach clench with apprehension.

“I don’t see the big deal.”

I sit up, rest on my elbow, and face him. “Of course you don’t. Let me tell you how it will go down if anyone finds out about last night.”

“This should be good,” he mumbles.

I continue, “I’ve been divorced a year now. Everyone wants to set me up because they think I need to be getting serious again. If our family gets wind of this…they’ll go nuts.” I shake my head. My mother would put an announcement in the social page of the paper, the engagement section, not five minutes after gaining this knowledge.

“I’m not so sure they’ll react like you think.” He’s a guy so he doesn’t understand the way a mother’s mind works, or his sister’s for that matter.

“You tell no one.” I point to emphasize my words.

“How do you figure you’re getting out of here if not through the front door? Dad and I are headed to the golf course. My mom is staying home.”

I give the room a quick scan. I want to leave unseen.

“There’s my exit.” I point to the window. I roll away and sit up again, tucking part of the sheet under my arms and wrapping the rest around my backside. I search for my clothes.

“The window? Really?”

“Sure. Trust me, it’s easy. I’ve done this before. Lots.” I wave my hand to emphasize that it’s no big deal.

Hank raises a brow. “You’ve done…what before?”

“Oh my God, not that. I mean, I haven’t done this”—I point to him—“but I’ve snuck out the window. With Gigi.”

His lips twitch. I’m prepared to slap my hand over his mouth should he start laughing.

“What if someone goes outside and sees you? It’s”—he turns to look at a clock— “eight-thirty.”

“They won’t know I’ve come out the window. They’ll think I’m coming from the back.” Gigi’s bedroom is on the side of the house. Gigi and I have run every possible scenario. This is something I’ve done often enough I could label it a skill. “And you’ll be in the kitchen distracting your parents. Close your eyes.”

“Huh?” He rests his arms behind his head and yawns. It must be nice to be so relaxed.

“Close your eyes. I want to get out of bed and get dressed.” I’m not ready to be naked in front of Hank in broad daylight. I’m pretty confident my backside isn’t as well defined as his.

“Do you not remember last night?”

“Just shut up and do it.” When he closes his eyes, I toss my pillow over the top of his head. I swing my feet out of bed and lower them to the ground. The crinkle of a wrapper halts my flight.

I peer over the edge of the bed where condom wrappers lay scattered.

“Holy shit,” I whisper and look over at Hank to find him smiling.

The light of day casts a whole new perspective on last night’s choices, and even though I thought I was making a sound decision, it’s obvious now I was conned by lust…and alcohol. Enough to impair my common sense and my moral compass, but not so much I can’t remember.

“Hurry, I want to get up, too.” He grunts when I punch him in the gut.

I slide out of bed, pulling the sheet with me. Hank pulls back when I’m three feet away, my bra and panties are just out of reach. I give a firm tug and meet resistance. Hank still has the pillow over his eyes, but is it enough? Will he look? I snap the sheet in a hard tug and let go when he resists. The fabric floats back, covers his head, and I dash to scoop up my panties and bra. I have one leg in my jeans when another knock at the door startles me, and I fall back onto the bed. When the doorknob rattles, I roll onto the floor and try to crawl under the bed, but bump my head on the frame. I don’t fit.

“Hank, here’s coffee,” his mom calls.

Hank jumps off the bed and snatches up condom wrappers. He puts his pants on with amazing speed, tucking the wrappers into his front pocket. I jump up and hop toward the closet as I pull on my pants, stopping only to gather my shirt, purse, and boots. I ease the folding door closed. The closet is empty save for a few Rubbermaid bins. I dress with deliberate movements, careful not to bump a wall, pausing, one arm in my shirt, the other midair, when the low creak of the bedroom door opening paralyzes me.

“Oh, you’re getting dressed. Good. I thought you might be having a hard time waking up. You got in pretty late. Did you have a good time last night?”

I cover my mouth with my hand to keep from snorting. He’d better say he had a fabulous time. I press my head into my palms. What is wrong with me? I’m talking about Hank. Yes, last night I experienced alter-my-psyche, toe-curling sex with him, my best friend’s brother. It’s the last part that makes me want to hurl. If our acquaintance was recent, not a familiar one with the baggage of a past, if I wouldn’t have to hear about it for years to come from my family or his sister, if I knew he could walk away after a few more encounters wanting nothing more, I wouldn’t hesitate to repeat last night. Often. This is wrong on so many levels I can’t even wrap my mind around it.

The last thing I should care about is whether or not he enjoyed last night. I should care about leaving without doing any more damage. Still, I wonder—what did he think of last night?

“Yeah, it was fun. Tell Dad I’ll be ready in a minute.”

Fun? He closes the door and I resume dressing. My bra is on inside out, but I don’t care, I want to leave. I put my purse on messenger-style and reach to pull on my knee-high socks.

Hank opens the closet door. “You can come out. She’s gone.” He has a mug of coffee in his hands and a grin on his face.

“Remind me why we came here?” I look up from the closet floor. Neither of us lives here, in Lakeland. We spent last night at a concert in Orlando and could have gone north to my house instead of coming south.

“I’m helping Dad balance his business accounts this weekend. You said you thought it’d be fun to come with me.”

“Yep, fun.” I say. There’s that word again. Fun. Clearly, it’s synonymous with stupid.

“I’ve had fun. You haven’t?” He offers me his hand.

“You would describe last night as fun?” I pull on my boots, forego his hand, and scoot past him until I can stand.

“Yeah, fun. What did you have?”

“I don’t know.” Maybe I had my mind blown, a fantastic night, or experienced a whole different level of pleasure. Whatever I had, Hank had fun.

“Never mind. Help me with this.” I walk to the window and ease up the blinds. Hank doesn’t move, just stands by the closet with his coffee. His dark hair is so short it hardly looks mussed and last night’s smooth face and jawline are now covered with the shadow of a beard. When we first kissed, yesterday, I held his face between my hands. Today, I want to stretch across the space, hold his face again, and compare the touch, to commit both to memory. My palms itch with need.

“You’re really doing this? You think this is a better option than going through the front door and saying you crashed here because you drank too much?” he asks.

“Yes, I do.” I ease up the well-oiled window and pop out the screen like a pro. Ten years later and I still have skills. Gigi and I used to sneak out of her room without even waking the dog. I lean over to lower the screen to the ground and check to make sure no one is outside. The desk chair is the perfect height to get me up onto the windowsill, and Hank steps aside to let me drag it over.

I whisper, “I’ll hand you the screen, you can put it back, and then you’ll need to go distract your parents.” I climb up and lower one leg over the sill.

He sips his coffee, makes a face, and puts it on the desk.

“Did you hear me?” I ask in a loud whisper. If I wasn’t sitting on a windowsill, half in, half out, this moment would be like all the others I’ve shared with Hank: comfortable, easy, laughable at one point or another.

“Yeah, yeah. I heard you.” He shakes his head with what I’m sure is disbelief. After all, I’m a twenty-five-year-old sneaking out a bedroom window like a fourteen- year-old.

“Just do it,” I tell him then jump off the sill onto the ground. I hold the screen and wait for his head to appear. When it does, I hand it to him.

“Don’t forget to distract your parents.”

“How could I?” he mumbles and fixes the screen.

My Book Review:

Can friends become lovers ... especially when it is with your best friend's brother?

After a painful divorce, Paisley McAllister is on a journey of self-discovery and rebuilding her life. But after waking up next to her best friend Gigi's older brother Hank, she's broken the BFF code of not coveting or fornicating with a friend's brother ... so what's she to do now?

Hank Lancaster is a Naval Officer who has returned home to Florida after an overseas tour in Japan. He secretly always had a thing for Paisley since they were kids, and now that she's single again it's his turn to make her see that they are right for each other. So when he presents a "no strings attached, friends with benefits" arrangement to Paisley, he's hoping that the girl he knows will see that it's worth the risk and turn it into something more.

In her debut novel, The Girl He Knows, author Kristi Rose weaves a lighthearted and entertaining romance novel that easily draws the reader into Paisley and Hank's story. Set in Daytona Beach and Lakeland, Florida, the reader follows Paisley as she rediscovers who she is and what she wants in her life after a painful divorce. Determined to recapture what she had missed when she had married young, Paisley embraces her singlehood status, but never considered the possibility of it including her best friend Gigi's older brother, hunky Naval Officer Hank Lancaster! So can a friends-with-benefits, no-strings-attached arrangement work, or can it be worth the risk of taking a chance on true love?

The Girl He Knows is a sassy fun read, it has a great mixture of humor and romance that makes it so easy for the reader to get drawn into the story. I loved the friends to lovers storyline, especially when it is about two people who have known each other since childhood. Paisley and Hank's connection and attraction made me smile, I loved how their banter and playfulness helped their unexpected romantic relationship blossom, even after years of secretly being attracted to each other. And when you add in the quirky personalities of Paisley's best friend / Hank's sister Gigi, Paisley's older sister Sarah Grace, and the rest of their families, you have one delightful romance story that will leave a smile on your face!


Contest Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Virtual Book Tour Schedule

Tour Schedule:

Monday, August 11th - Books Over Boys
Wednesday, August 13th - Two Children and a Mirgraine
Friday, August 15th - The Fake Steph Dot Com
Monday, August 18th - Jersey Girl Book Reviews
Wednesday, August 20th - Thoughts in Progress
Friday, August 22nd – Refreshingly Riki \
Friday, August 22nd - Penny For My Thoughts Book Blog
Monday, August 25th - Once Upon a Twilight
Wednesday, August 27th - Reader Girls
Friday, August 29th - The Bookshelf Intruder

Friday, August 15, 2014

Worlds Apart by Ber Carroll (Author Guest Post / Book Review)

In association with Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Worlds Apart by Author Ber Carroll!

Author Guest Post

Family Secrets 

Family is at the heart of all my novels. I can’t help being fascinated by the unconditional love that glues families together, not to mention the in-jokes and shared memories, the politics and allegiances, the conflicts, grudges and ever changing dynamics. But what I am most intrigued by are the secrets which can be unearthed in families. If you dig deeply enough. 

‘We’re a close family. We have no secrets.’ 

How many times have you heard this proclamation? ‘Rubbish,’ I always feel like saying in reply. It’s the ‘close’ families who are the most secretive. There’s often a driving instinct to protect the other family members, or an overwhelming need to save face, or both of the above. If the family isn’t close, there isn’t so much at stake, is there? I like to think that behind every family secret there’s a good intention: not to hurt, or to upset, or to embarrass someone you care about. And it has to be said that sometimes secrets are for the overall good of the family. What we don’t know won’t hurt us, right? 

Worlds Apart is about a big Irish family, and a secret from long ago. 

Erin loves her family dearly, but has always felt like an outsider looking in. And, Laura, Erin’s cousin, feels as though she has been abducted by aliens and dropped into a life that isn’t hers. Aside from the Irish family at the centre of the story, there’s a diverse cast of characters from all over the world, each of whom plays an important role in helping Erin and Laura discover the life they should be living. But secrets have a way of bubbling to the surface, and nothing will ever be the same once the cousins find out the truth about their family. 

I come from a big family: five siblings, twenty-odd first cousins, and hordes of aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and other relatives. And, yes, there are secrets aplenty. Old secrets kept from us by my mother (who is the most secretive person in the universe!). Newer secrets held by me and my siblings from my parents (Now Mum will be demanding to know what we’ve hidden from her). Age-appropriate secrets, screened from the younger members of the family until they are the ‘right age’ to understand. Partial secrets, where the full (true) version of the story hasn’t been relayed. Developing secrets, where we are still deciding how to handle a particular situation. 

Families. The tenderness. The hurts. Sticking together. Pulling apart. The things we don’t tell each other in the name of love. Does your family have a secret, old or new?

About The Author

Ber Carroll was born in Blarney, County Cork, and moved to Australia in 1995. Her first novel, Executive Affair, was inspired by her initial impressions of Sydney, and her exciting, dynamic work environment at the time. Ber now lives in Sydney’s northern beaches with her husband and two children. Worlds Apart is her sixth novel. Incidentally, Ber is short for Bernadette, but please don’t call her Bernadette: this is what her mother calls her when she is in trouble for something.

Ber’s novels have been published in five countries, including Ireland. If you would like to know more about Ber and her novels, you can visit her website at, or you can subscribe to her newsletter (Book Chat) with fellow authors Dianne Blacklock and Liane Moriarty (see Ber’s website for a link to the newsletter and to find Ber on Facebook).


Book Review

Worlds Apart by Ber Carroll
Publisher: Killard Publishing
Publication Date: April 14, 2014
Format: Paperback - 316 pages
             Kindle - 574 KB
ISBN: 978-0992472108
Genre: Women's Fiction

BUY THE BOOK: World's Apart

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours.

Book Description:

Two women worlds apart ... one secret that changes everything.

Erin and Laura are cousins and best friends who share a love of languages and travel.

Erin, a French teacher in Dublin, reaches crisis point and drops everything to move to Australia. In Sydney, not only does she land the perfect job, but she meets the perfect man. Finally, her life is falling into place. Except Sydney isn't home, and never can be.

Back in Ireland, Laura is struggling. Her husband appears distant, her work life is spinning out of control and her daughter's strange new nanny is undermining her at every turn. She longs to travel in Erin's footsteps, to drop everything and run far away. But these are dangerous thoughts for a mother and wife.

As Erin and Laura desperately try to find their place in the world, a shocking family secret comes to light, and nothing will ever be the same again.

'Ber Carroll has given us a cast of warm, engaging characters in a sparkling story that crosses the globe between Ireland and Australia. I enjoyed every page of this touching, authentic novel.' - Liane Moriarty.

'This novel is a wonderful full-bodied read. Ber Carroll has a clever eye for characterisation and story.' - Cathy Kelly

'With all the humour and empathy of Binchy ... Carroll captures the conflicts and compromises women make.' - Daily Telegraph

Book Excerpt:

Chapter 1

Dublin, February 2010

Erin gazed at the narrow, jagged lines streaked across the window panes. The rain had ice in it. All day it had been coming in short, bitter bursts, whipping sideways against the glass. It felt reassuring to be inside, and to imagine, rather than experience, how cold and sharp it would feel against her bare head. The room was artificially warm and bright, the oil heaters lending a slight stuffiness to the air, the electric lights overcompensating for the gloominess outside. It would be dark by the time she left school at four o’clock and, if the weather forecast was to be believed, it would be freezing by early evening.

‘Tristan Keary, stop that right now!’

‘Sorry, Miss.’

‘It’s Mademoiselle, not Miss.’

‘Sorry, Mademoiselle Donovan.’

‘Sorry? I thought we were in a French class here.’

Tristan looked blank, an expression he had practised and perfected since the day he’d started secondary school, in fact maybe since the moment he’d been born. Erin emitted a long-suffering, very teacher-like sigh.

‘Emily, please tell Tristan how to apologise en français.’


‘Merci, Emily. Tristan?’

‘Pardonnez-moi, Miss – I mean, Mademoiselle.’

‘Lucky for you, Tristan, that an apology somehow sounds far more genuine when it’s said in French! Now, everyone, continue with your work, please.’

Erin stared at her students until one by one they succumbed, heads swooping towards exercise books, pens twirling in thought, and silence – beautiful, rare silence – crept across the classroom and into the recesses of her head. Not pure silence, of course. Sighs, sniffs, shuffles and position-changing in chairs, rulers clattering against desks, the rain thrashing against the glass, thwarted in its attempts to get in, the sound of paper being torn – coming from Tristan’s direction? – all removed the possibility of complete quiet. Nevertheless, it was as close to silence as Erin would get in the remaining twenty minutes of this forty-minute class and it was to be enjoyed.

In these rare moments of quiet, she often paused to consider how fond she was of them, her students, and this class of third years in particular. Each of them, in their own unique way, had a special place in her heart: Emily, bright, earnest, a question always hovering on the tip of her tongue waiting to be asked – its answer, when provided, promptly analysed and catalogued for future use; Tom, awkward, self-conscious, far too serious; sweet little Aoife, always so eager to please; Darragh, accident-prone, writing clumsily with his left hand, his right in plaster after tripping over in the school yard last week, his second broken bone since Erin had known him; Aaron, looking achingly more adult than his classmates, downy hair on his upper lip, his long legs folded under the desk, towering over Erin and most of the other teachers in the school; Lisha, originally from Nigeria, who had arrived in Ireland and into this class two years ago but who remained on the outer and unsure of her place amongst these teenagers who were the same age as her but with so little else in common. Even Tristan, with all his bravado and clowning around, was special. Erin hadn’t told them yet that she was leaving, that this was her second-last week at St Patrick’s Community School. She would tell them next week. She smiled to herself as she imagined the outcry at her news.

‘But, Miss, I mean Mademoiselle, it’s the middle of the school year!’

‘And this is our Junior Cert year. The most important year of our lives!’

‘Why are you going? Is it something we did? Is it Tristan?’

‘Of course it’s not me, knuckle-head!’

‘Who will we get now? Don’t say Grouchy Gallas! Not her, please. Anyone but her!’

Erin would miss them – more than she could ever tell them. She felt guilty for leaving like this, in the middle of the academic year, the Junior Cert exams looming on the horizon. She wished that she had it in her to stay, that she could hold it together for another few months and guide them through the mock exams and then the real thing.

‘Is it your health, Mademoiselle? Is it because of your heart?’

She imagined that Aoife, trying harder than the others, would hit closest to home. Yes, it was her health, and in many ways it was her heart, too. Despite the guilt, the worry that they might do badly in their exams because of her untimely departure, the suspicion that Madame Gallas would be too stern with them and ruin their enjoyment of the language, Erin felt sheer and utter relief that she only had the bones of one more week to get through. She was hanging on by a thread, the thinnest thread imaginable. Part of her, the part that felt a week was interminably long, wanted to stand up right now and walk without explanation from the classroom, through the grid of corridors that led to the main door, outside into the stinging rain, breaking into a run halfway down the drive, no longer able to disguise or control how desperately she needed to get away. In light of thoughts like this, and the disruption they’d already suffered in term one due to her ‘heart’ trouble (which had in fact been a severe – not to say, excruciatingly embarrassing – panic attack), it was much better that her students had someone more steady to guide them over the coming months.

The sounds of fidgeting increased in volume, a sign that some of the students had finished their assignment. Erin’s attention was required, to control those students who were finished and allow the slower ones to complete their work in some degree of peace and quiet.

‘Tom, avez-vous terminé?’

‘Oui, Mademoiselle.’

‘Apportez-le ici.’

Tom gathered his book and pencil and, looking as though the weight of the world were on his shoulders, loped towards her desk. Erin quickly marked his work, keeping one eye on the classroom, particularly Darragh and Tristan, who looked as if they were up to no good.

My Book Review:

Worlds Apart is an intriguing story about two cousins, the complexity and drama of family relationships, and the buried secrets that come to the surface and changes their lives.

Author Ber Carroll weaves a fascinating tale that transports the reader between Dublin, Ireland and Sydney, Australia, as the reader follows the alternating life stories of two cousins: Erin Donovan and Laura Torres. This is an intriguing story that delves into the complexities and drama of the cousins' lives and family relationships wrought with trials and tribulations, drama and buried family secrets. A world apart, the reader gets drawn into Erin and Laura's story, as they both face challenges in their lives with tension, drama, and an unexpected touch of mystery thrown into the mix. The author does a great job of drawing the reader into the story by alternating between the lives of both cousins, while adding in surprising twists and turns, and intertwining the complex dynamic of the family's past and present that swirls with mystery and secrets.

The author takes the reader on a wonderful journey that is filled with an interesting cast of characters and enough drama, tension, and even a touch of romance, that easily keeps them turning the pages and wondering what will become of the cousins lives and their family's relationships when the buried secrets come to the surface. You can't help but get drawn in as the cousins learn to deal with the challenges, choices, disappointments, and successes of everyday life, and how they overcome them in order to find a happy medium in their lives.

I loved the author's rich description of the alternating settings of Dublin and Sydney. It feels like you are transported to these cities where you get to vicariously experience the sights and sounds and landmarks, it makes you want to visit them.

If you love to read stories about complex and dramatic family relationships interwoven with everyday life experiences, then Worlds Apart is a must read.


Virtual Book Tour Schedule

Tour Schedule:

August 11 – Keep Calm and Blog On – Review
August 11 – Ski-Wee’s Book Corner – Review
August 13 – A Writer in A Wheelchair – Review
August 13 - Chick LitPlus – Review
August 14 – Relatively Yours – Guest Post
August 15 – Annabel & Alice – Review
August 15 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review, Guest Post & Excerpt
August 18 – Reading in Black and White – Review & Excerpt

Luck of the Draw by Cheri Allan (Author Guest Post / Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Goddess Fish Promotions, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Luck of the Draw by Author Cheri Allan!

Author Guest Post

Chairs, Yard Sales And The Tales They Tell

I have a confession. I collect chairs. Maybe it’s because, in this busy life, I have this subconscious and perpetual desire to sit down for a minute. In our early years of marriage, I could not pass a yard sale without picking up a chair that I wanted to paint or re-cane for the front porch I did not yet have. And while I was on the hunt for a bargain (and a place to relax) my Dearest Husband, it turns out, was On a Mission. 

I didn’t realize this right away. For a long time I simply questioned my beloved’s negotiating skills and taste. (You paid what for that?) 

It wasn’t until much later I realized the truth. 

DH was late coming home one night, because he’d seen an advertisement for an old boat trailer. (We had no boat, mind you.) The older gentleman he met with needed to clean out his yard. You see, his wife had passed away some months before, and the grown kids were pressing him to move out of the old homestead he could no longer care for. So DH talked with the man and wandered around his yard and listened to stories about his late wife and living at the farm and how they used to go up to the lake just the two of them... 

And we now have a boat trailer in our back lot. 

There was the woman who was throwing out old hand saws at the dump. My husband struck up a conversation. Later that day, we arrived at her house, and I watched as DH stood in her cramped basement as she reminisced about the days when her father and uncle used to take the scythes down to the old hotel by the lake to keep the rolling lawns trim for the weekenders from Rhode Island and Connecticut. The hotel was long gone. The rolling lawns had reverted back to forest, and the scythes hung, dirty and unused by the furnace she struggled to keep filled with heating oil… So now we have scythes in our garage. 

We have a treadle sewing machine, duplicate power tools and old-time fire extinguishers, and I’ve stopped asking why, because I realize it’s not about the things it’s about giving real people a chance to tell their stories. The man who suffered a stroke and couldn’t work his job on the mountain anymore? An ice saw. The woman whose father had been a wood-shop teacher for many years? Power tools. The family whose elderly aunt worked as a seamstress and telephone operator? Her old Singer. 

I love that the stories of these people aren’t forgotten, and that’s true for Kate, my heroine, in Luck of the Draw. She is drawn to the stories of old things and loves to infuse them with new life from mismatched chairs to an old ice box, and she’s hoping to work some of that same magic on herself. But, at 31 years-old, Kate is at a crossroads. She’s searching for direction and purpose at a time when life feels like it’s crumbling around her. 

You see, Kate’s soon-to-be EX-husband dies suddenly, and she is stuck in the emotional in-between of grieving for a man she’d intended to divorce. I have a scene in the book where she must decide to take off her wedding ring again, and it occurred to me as I wrote it that it didn’t matter what the ring looked like. The real story was in the emotion, both happy and regret-filled, that that single ring represented. 

As readers, it’s not the stories we care about so much as the emotions they carry with them, isn’t it? 

So, when my husband arrives home with another ‘treasure’ crammed into the back of the car, I ask him the story… because stories are how we share the emotions of our lives. And what better place to sit, retell and remember them than an old rocking chair on my front porch? 

Do you have a treasured item with its own story? What are the emotions it evokes? Share!

About The Author

Cheri Allan lives in a charming fixer-upper in rural New Hampshire with her husband, two children, one dog, four cats and an excessive amount of optimism. She’s a firm believer in do-it-yourself, new beginnings and happily-ever-afters, so after years of wearing suits, she’s grateful to finally put her English degree to good use writing romance. When not writing, you might find her whizzing down the slopes of a nearby mountain or inadvertently killing perennials in her garden.

Cheri loves to hear from readers! E-mail her at, friend her at, or visit her website and blog at Luck of the Draw, Book 1 in the Betting on Romance series is available now through Amazon and Smashwords.


Book Review

Luck of the Draw by Cheri Allan
Book 1: Betting On Romance Series
Publication Date: August 9, 2014
Format: Paperback - 286 pages
             Kindle - 3123 KB
             Nook - 735 KB
ISBN: 978-0990481515
Genre: Contemporary Romance

BUY THE BOOK: Luck of the Draw

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Goddess Fish Promotions.

Book Description:

If only life had a refresh button...

Kate Mitchell never planned to be a 31 year-old widowed single mom, but when her soon-to-be-EX husband up and dies, her dreams of finishing college and starting over are thrown in the air like a game of 52 pick-up. When she’s given a leave of absence from work and told to “quit or recommit,” Kate retreats to idyllic Sugar Falls, New Hampshire, to figure out whether she can discover her passion and pay the bills. Cue the fresh air, summer sunshine and one sexy local contractor.

Tall, dark, and handy…

Volunteer fireman and all-around hunky guy in a toolbelt, Jim Pearson has sworn off complicated women with messy baggage. They cling to his nice-guy stability and skills with a power saw just long enough to straighten out their lives and move on… but then he meets the cute single mom staying at Grams’ lake house for the summer.

While a sizzling attraction draws them together, Jim's distrust of complicated women and Kate's incredibly complicated life threaten to pull them apart. But forces beyond their control—match-making grandmothers, the lazy backdrop of summer, and their own reckoning with the past—conspire to make them risk it all... and bet on love.

Book Excerpt:

She could hear their breathing in the quiet room, the air a bit close from the heat of the day. She smiled.

He grimaced.

“Kate, I—”

She put her finger to his lips. “Please, don’t. I know this must seem crazy. We hardly know each other, but… I don’t want to analyze it. Not now.”

She didn’t want to talk. Didn’t want to admit her behavior was so far removed from her usual comfort zone it was like observing someone else. But Jim made her feel safe in a way she couldn’t put her finger on. Safe… and alive. No, that wasn’t right. He made her feel… hopeful. There was something about his eyes. So gentle, so kind. When she looked into his eyes, all the sad, lonely years melted away, and her heart felt light again, like a butterfly in her breast. She hadn’t felt that feeling in so very, very long. She couldn’t bear to turn it away. Not now. Not yet.

He nodded, his gaze boring into hers as he grasped her hand and pressed a kiss to her palm. His thumb brushed over her fingers as he looked at her hand. “You took off your ring,” he whispered.

She nodded, and he brought her hand to his lips again, looked her in the eyes. “Tell me what you want,” he said.

“For you to,” she managed a shaky breath, “do that again?”

He grinned against her wrist…

My Book Review:

Luck of the Draw is a wonderful story about self-discovery, finding your passion in life, and an unexpected second chance romance.

In the first book of the Betting On Romance series, author Cheri Allan weaves a sweet romantic tale about two people who are trying to figure out their lives, and are having a hard time when it comes to finding true love.

When Kate Mitchell's soon to be ex-husband dies leaving her a widowed single mother, her life is turned upside down, and she is left trying to figure out how to pick up the pieces and go forward in her life. She leaves Connecticut for the small idyllic town of Sugar Falls, New Hampshire to clear her head and come up with a new direction for her life.

Volunteer Fireman and hunky handyman Jim Pearson has a way with using tools, but when it comes to romance, he's sworn off complicated women and their messy baggage. That is until he meets Kate, who is staying at his Gram's lake house for the summer.

This was such a fun romantic story to read, I couldn't help but get drawn into Kate and Jim's story. I loved the attraction and connection that Kate and Jim shared, it was fun following them as they struggled to find common ground, and let their romance blossom with the well-intentioned matchmaking by their fun loving meddling grandmothers. I also loved following Kate's journey of self-discovery as she learned to embrace the changes in her life and find passion to move forward. The author uses a nice mixture or humor and romance to weave a sassy tale that is thoroughly entertaining.

With a quirky and cast of characters who are realistic and fun loving; humorous dialogue and interactions; a richly descriptive lake town setting; and a satisfying romantic storyline that easily draws the reader into the story, Luck of the Draw is a wonderful first book in a new series that I am eager to read.

Luck of the Draw is a heartwarming story of self-discovery, finding the passions in life, and a pleasantly unexpected luck of the draw at getting a second chance at romance.


Contest Giveaway

Author Cheri Allan will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during this tour and the Super Book Blast Tour, and a $15 Amazon or B&N gift card will be awarded to another randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during both tours. A $10 Amazon gift card will be awarded to a randomly drawn host between both tours as well.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.

The tour dates can be found here:

Virtual Book Tour Schedule

Tour Schedule:

August 11: Long and Short Reviews 
August 12: Welcome to My World of Dreams 
August 13: Underneath the Covers 
August 14: Musings and Ramblings 
August 14: Happily Ever After 
August 15: Jersey Girl Book Reviews 
August 15: Kaisy Daisy's Corner - review 
August 18: The blog of C.R. Moss 
August 18: Musings From An Addicted Reader 
August 19: Renee Entress's Blog - review 
August 20: Dena Garson - Real... Hot... Romance 
August 21: It's Raining Books 
August 22: Susana's Morning Room