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.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Book Cover Reveal Promotion from Marching Ink

In association with Marching Ink, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the book cover reveal event for Peri in Progress by author Cat Lavoie and All I Want For Christmas (A Holiday Novella Collection)!

Peri in Progress by Cat Lavoie 
Publication Date: October 28, 2015
Genre: Chick Lit

Book Description:

You know what they say about best-laid plans…

After a disastrous thirty-first birthday party where she gets stood-up by a man she isn’t supposed to be dating, Peri McKenna decides it’s time to change what hasn’t been working—which is pretty much everything. Her love life is going nowhere fast, she’s bored to tears by a job that makes her the office pariah, and the lifelong junk food addiction that used to be somewhat quirky is now positively problematic. To top it all off, her newly-purchased home is falling apart and wishful thinking hasn’t done much to fix the leaky roof.

It’s time be an adult now that she’s officially ‘thirty-something.’

But when the first step of Peri’s self-improvement plan backfires, she starts to wonder if change might be overrated.

Enter Milo Preston, an up-and-coming chef who’s in town to take over a local restaurant. When Peri and Milo begin working together, she finds it hard to ignore his easy charm and captivating emerald-green eyes. Since Milo is her best friend’s estranged brother, Peri has to keep reminding herself that he is completely off-limits. As they grow closer, Milo introduces Peri to new foods, the joy (and pain) of jogging, and makes her think her luck might finally be turning. But when the past catches up with them, Peri finds herself back at square one. Will she be able to sort herself out—or will the roof cave in on her once and for all?

All I Want For Christmas (A Holiday Novella Collection) by Samantha March, Laura Chapman, Cat Lavoie 
Publication Date: November 11, 2015
Genre: Holiday Novella Collection

Book Collection Description:

Making Christmas by Laura Chapman 

While settling into a new career in a new community, Ivy is determined not to let the holiday season pass her by. Enter the grownup advent calendar: twenty-four days of festivities to celebrate Christmas. What begins as a bit of fun turns into a mission to spread cheer when she meets Everett. After learning about his bad Christmas attitude, she invites him to join her quest. Despite his initial reservations, Everett quickly gets caught up in the spirit of the calendar. But when new feelings surface and are impossible to ignore, Everett’s inner curmudgeon threatens to put a damper on the whole experience.

Nine Ladies Dancing by Cat Lavoie 

Casey Ellis is the last person who should be planning her office’s holiday party. Convinced she’s plagued with chronic Christmas bad luck, Casey isn’t interested in tempting fate. But when putting on a party planner hat seems like a good way to get closer to her longtime crush, Casey takes charge—and braces for impact. When things start to fall apart—just like Casey knew they would—will she run and hide, or will she learn that bad luck can sometimes turn out to be Christmas magic in disguise?

The Christmas Surprise by Samantha March 

Juliette Mabry is a happily married stay-at-home wife and mother...until there appears to be trouble brewing in her nearly ten-year marriage. Juliette takes it upon herself to find out if her husband is up to no good, but does she want to know the truth? Everything is revealed on Christmas, and Juliette is in for her biggest Christmas surprise.

What Happens at Midnight by Laura Chapman 

Romantic comedy junkie Natalie lives out those fantasies in real life three New Year's Eves in a row when fate throws her together with the same handsome stranger. A heartbreaking turn of events leaves her swearing off of love, forevers, and the holidays (bah humbug). That is until the mystery man from her past reappears years later. Over a holiday season, Natalie struggles to reconcile the whimsical notions of her past with the practical sensibilities she has worked so hard to develop. With the countdown to a new year looming, she must decide whether or not she is willing to give happily ever after another shot.

Everything She Forgot by Lisa Ballantyne (Book Review)

In association with Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Everything She Forgot by author Lisa Ballantyne!

Everything She Forgot by Lisa Ballantyne
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Publication Date: October 6, 2015
Format: Paperback - 432 pages
               Kindle - 1113 KB
               Nook - 693 KB
ISBN: 978-0062391483
Genre: Mystery / Suspense / Thriller

Buy The Book:

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 Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours.

Book Description:

Driving home, Margaret Holloway is rear-ended and trapped in the wreckage of her car. Just as she begins to panic, a stranger pulls her free and disappears. Though she escapes with minor injuries, Margaret feels that something's wrong. Flashbacks to the crash are dredging up lost associations from her childhood. And somehow, Margaret knows that it's got something to do with the man who saved her life. As Margaret uncovers a mystery with chilling implications for her family and her very identity, Everything She Forgot winds through a riveting dual narrative and asks the question: How far would you go to hide the truth-from yourself?

My Book Review:

In Everything She Forgot, author Lisa Ballantyne weaves an intriguing suspense thriller that captivates the reader's attention and makes it hard for them to put the book down. Set in London and Scotland, and alternating between the present (2013) with flashbacks to the past (1985), this multi-layered story features four alternating perspectives with intertwining themes of love, family, childhood trauma, sacrifices, secrets, lost memories, choices made, and consequences.

When Margaret Holloway is involved in a near-fatal car accident during a blizzard and is saved by Maxwell Brown, a mysterious burn-scarred stranger, long-held suppressed memories from her childhood come to the surface. As Margaret searches her memory to uncover her hidden traumatic childhood past for her true identity, the author intertwines Margaret's search with a man's abduction of his seven year old daughter, and a newspaper man's determination to uncover the abduction.

Everything She Forgot is a fascinating suspense thriller that interweaves four people's lives in a riveting tale that has enough drama, tension, emotions, secrets, and surprising twists and turns that easily keeps the reader turning the pages in search of what will happen next. This is a complex and slow-building multi-layered story that makes the reader ponder about buried family secrets and the choices that are made. It delves into such issues as child abduction, PTSD, and how a person's mind can suppress traumatic truths when one chooses to protect themselves. I loved how the author takes the reader on a long-winding journey that alternates between the past and the present via the four major characters, their intertwining stories dovetails into one that ultimately brings a family's relationship full circle.

Author Lisa Ballantyne weaves a haunting story that will stay with the reader for a very long time.


About The Author

Lisa Ballantyne was born in Armadale, West Lothian, Scotland and studied English Literature at University of St Andrews. She lived and worked in China for many years and started writing seriously while she was there. Before being published, Lisa was short-listed for the Dundee International Book Prize. Her debut novel, The Guilty One was translated into over 25 languages, long-listed for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and short-listed for an Edgar Allan Poe Award. The Guilty One was also the Autumn 2012 Richard and Judy Book-club Winner. She lives in Glasgow.

Author Website

Virtual Book Tour

Tour Schedule:

09/14/2015 Showcase @ Books Chatter
09/15/2015 Review @ A Fold in the Spine
09/16/2015 Review @ Wall-to-wall books
09/18/2015 Review @ 3 Partners in Shopping
09/19/2015 Review @ The Book Divas Reads
09/21/2015 Review @ Tales of a Book Addict
09/22/2015 Review @ JulzReads
09/24/2015 Review @ Vics Media Room
09/26/2015 Showcase @ Hott Books
09/28/2015 Review @ Kritters Ramblings
09/30/2015 Review @ Booked on a Feeling
10/02/2015 Review @ From the TBR Pile
10/07/2015 Review @ Books Direct
10/07/2015 Showcase @ Writers and Authors
10/08/2015 Review @ Lazy Day Books
10/09/2015 Review @ Book Babble
10/09/2015 Review @ Deco My Heart
10/10/2015 Review @ Rockin Book Reviews
10/11/2015 Review @ Bookalicious Traveladdict
10/12/2015 Review @ Jersey Girl Book Reviews
10/13/2015 Review @ Deal Sharing Aunt
10/14/2015 Review @ Book Club Librarian
10/15/2015 Review @ Curling up by the Fire
10/16/2015 Review @ b00k r3vi3ws

Ex-Treme Measures by Mickey J. Corrigan (Book Review)

In association with Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Ex-Treme Measures by author Mickey J. Corrigan!

Book Review

Ex-Treme Measures by Mickey J. Corrigan
Publisher: September 18, 2015
Publication Date: The Wild Rose Press, Inc.
Format: Paperback - 238 pages
               Kindle - 544 KB
               Nook - 272 KB
ISBN: 978-1509203413
BNID: 2940151148313
Genre: Chick Lit / Mystery / Suspense

Buy The Book:

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

Vanna Treme runs a domestic investigations agency in downscale Deport Beach, Florida. She spies on cheating spouses while struggling to recover from her own imploded marriage. Vanna's unique PI firm also offers Ex-Treme Measures, special services designed to get rid of the marital problem. Forever.

Ringo, Vanna's trusted assistant, a hunky ex-cop, is worried. Their clients are lying to them, local competition is moving in, and everyone in South Florida is crazy or untrustworthy—or both. But Vanna refuses to listen. She heads for the superficial glitter of Palm Beach, where the hits just keep on coming her way.

Ex-Treme Measures combines humor, action, and evolutionary biology to investigate some of our culture's most pressing mysteries, including why men act like men, and why the hell women put up with it.

Book Excerpt:

“S’up, Van? You’re drinking like you’re in Dublin.” His frown deepened. “It’s that bastard ex of yours, isn’t it? He upset you today.” Ringo leaned farther across the marble-topped table between us, his impressive biceps bulging from under his tight white T-shirt. “I’m gonna have to beat that guy’s nasty ass, no matter what you say.”

Nasty ass. I swallowed hard. Some beer lurched back up my esophagus, so I swallowed again and shook my head. “This is not about Ashton. We got worse shit to take care of.” I held up my empty. “Get me another one of these suckers, and we’ll discuss.”

My assistant did as he was told. That was the best thing about sleeping with a man on an irregular, unpredictable basis. He would do anything to sleep with you again. Including refilling your drink order. Especially refilling your drink order.

Over a second round of ES, my new favorite drink, I told Ringo about Bella and Steven Cantor’s unfortunate business arrangement. I kept my voice real low. Not that the Tam clientele cared to listen. The second best thing about our favorite bar—the Prada crowd has no interest in other people’s business. They’re way too wrapped up in their own.

Ringo shrugged and sipped his beer. “So? We find out who this joker is, where he hangs. If he’s local, I eliminate the competition. He don’t know we exist, but we know all about him. Art of War—prepare to meet the enemy. I’ll handle this. No problem.”

My thirst had eased up, fortunately, so I was able to consider Ringo’s viewpoint on the issue with a somewhat clear head. Three beers, and I’d be three sheets. More, and they’d be scraping me off the walls. Vanna Treme does her Jackson Pollock impersonation. Again.

It was my turn to shrug. “Easy to say, but I don’t think so. Cuz I doubt it’ll be so simple. Here’s the thing. She hired this guy over the Internet. Never met him, has nothing but a phone number and a name. Mr. Grey.”

“As in, Fifty Shades of?” Ringo’s mind was headed down the single track men all jumped on after a drink or two. Already he’d undressed me in his mind and was licking his way up from my bare toes. I could almost feel his sandpapery tongue swirling around my right ankle bone.

When I shivered, he laughed. He knew exactly what I was thinking he was thinking. Because he was. Thinking it, I mean.

I gave him the look. The one that said, Okay, have it your way with me. But let me have a few drinks first.

My Book Review:

What's a girl to do when her marriage fails and she is stuck in a funk? Why seek revenge and start a domestic investigations agency of course!

Ex-Treme Measures is an intriguing tale that follows the crazy adventures of Vanna Treme, when she starts a domestic investigative agency in order to help others expose and get rid of their no good cheating spouses.

Ex-Treme Measures is written in the first person narrative that easily draws the reader into Vanna's attempt to recover from her failed marriage via her domestic investigations agency. Set in Deport Beach and Palm Beach, Florida, the reader follows Vanna and Ringo, her hunky ex-cop assistant, investigate cheating spouses and using Ex-Treme Measures special services to get rid of the marital problem forever. But their investigations gets a bit messy, dangerous, and their well-laid plans don't always go as expected, especially when Vanna can't seem to let go of her own failed marriage.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this crazy good story. I really liked Vanna, she's a straight-talking, street smart girl who easily draws the reader into her story with an edgy dark sense of humor. I loved the spin on domestic investigations that author Mickey J. Corrigan weaves, there is a sense of reality to the marital issues that kept me wanting to see what would happen next as Vanna and Ringo put their investigative plans and techniques into action. I loved the balance of humor and drama that is interwoven in the story, it keeps you engaged, and the unexpected twists and turns makes this story that much more thrilling a read that leaves you wanting more.

Ex-Treme Measures is an entertaining and edgy women's mystery story that is a blast to read!


About The Author

Mickey J. Corrigan
writes pulp fiction, literary romance, and psychological thrillers. Her stories have been called "delightful pulp," "oh so compulsive" reads, and "bizarre yet believable." Recent books include the edgy novellas in The Hard Stuff series from The Wild Rose Press; the neo-noir satire The Blow Off; and the thriller Songs of the Maniacs from Salt in the UK. Salt will release her new novel in 2017.

Author Website

Virtual Book Tour

Tour Schedule:

October 5 – Mallory Heart Reviews
October 5 – Dena Haggerty
October 6 – I Love My Authors
October 7 – Chick Lit Plus
October 9 – Ashley Book Blog
October 9 – Granny Loves to Read
October 12 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews

Friday, October 9, 2015

The Truth About Caroline by Randi M. Sherman (Author Interview / Book Review)

In association with Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for The Truth About Caroline by author Randi M. Sherman!

Author Interview

Welcome to Jersey Girl Book Reviews, Randi!

Before we get to the interview, can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself. 

Yes, thanks for asking. I am a California native and now live in California’s wine country and love it. I have always had a tremendous grasp of the obvious and the ability to find humor in almost everything. I performed Stand-up comedy in Los Angeles and did Improvization in San Francisco. Now I share my sense of humor not from the stage but the pages of my novels.

How long have you been a writer? 

I suppose I started focusing on my writing in my twenties, when I wrote stand-up material. Ever since then, I don’t think I have stopped.

Do you have a day job, or is being an author your career? 

Fortunately and unfortunately I have another career. Although I would love to dedicate all of my time to being creative, I have bills to pay. I design and direct complex projects in the healthcare/IT industries. I know, I know, it’s not quite what anyone would imagine for a humor writer.

What inspired you to become a writer? Describe your journey as a writer. 

As I stated I started doing stand-up comedy and would write my own bits. Then write short stories and when the stories were too big to keep in my head – I would release the characters and plots onto paper and into my computer to grow and thrive. After I completed and published my first book PAULA TAKES A RISK, I was hooked and I always have one or two books in the works.

Please give a brief description/storyline about The Truth About Caroline.

THE TRUTH ABOUT CAROLINE picks up where my second novel CAROLINE STARTS OVER ends. Caroline has a terrible problem with honesty, she simply doesn’t see the upside to it and eventually it gets her into all kinds of trouble. THE TRUTH ABOUT CAROLINE offers a funny, quirky alternative novel featuring Caroline Matthews as she navigates to, through and around honesty, life and her sexuality. After being acquitted for arranging the long-distance, cross-country assassination of her husband, Caroline attempts to rebuild her life. Without skills of any kind and with no work experience to speak of, she has a challenge ahead of her. Then she remembers she has one supreme talent… she’s a natural liar.

What was the inspiration for this story? 

Truthfully, I could never figure out why people lie, but people do. It amazes me

How did it feel to have your first book published? 

After PAULA TAKES A RISK was published in 2012, I felt I could do anything. I took a huge risk, I was following my dreams. In 2014 CAROLINE STARTS OVER was published and I was over the moon. Now with THE TRUTH ABOUT CAROLINE – I think my head might pop off.

Do you write books for a specific genre? 

I love character-driven comedy.

What genres are your favorite(s)? What are some of your favorite books that you have read and why?

My favorite genres are biographies and autobiographies. I find people absolutely fascinating. Where do I begin? I started reading about movie stars, and families like the Vanderbilts, the Rockefellers, the Getty’s. I’m really fond of Ruth Reichl’s books and more recently I read Crazy Rich about the Johnson & Johnson Dynasty.

Do you have a special spot/area where you like to do your writing? 

I have a very sunny office with a view of our lush backyard. It’s like a create vortex for me.

How do you come up with the ideas that become the storyline for your books? 

Its funny. I usually come up with an idea or a scene, and story grows forward and backward from there. I allow the story to write itself and characters to create themselves as needed. I suppose that’s what you call a hyperactive imagination.

When you write, do you adhere to a strict work schedule, or do you work whenever the inspiration strikes?

I write every day. I have the book “in progress” open on my computer all day, every day. I jot down notes when I think of them.

What aspects of storytelling do you like the best, and what aspects do you struggle with the most? 

Oh my gosh, I love that I get to live my alter ego. Thru my writing I can be fearless. I can come up with a problem to be solved and map out all possible solutions or outcomes and decided which one to take. My struggle is that I have to choose just one at a time.

What are your favorite things to do when you are not writing? 

Spend time with my spouse, travel when we can, garden, cook, eat, eat and eat delicious food and wine.

What is/was the best piece of writing advice that you have received? 

Write something every day.

What is the most gratifying thing you feel or get as a writer? 

I feel like nothing is impossible, like I can make my dreams come true. Its amazing. Over the past 5 years I have become a different person. I am so happy and fulfilled.

How do you usually communicate with your readers/fans? 

Although I am challenged at it –I am getting better with social media. Follow me on twitter @RandiMSherman. I usually share hilarious observations and information about my books too.

Is there anything in your book based on real life experiences or are they purely all from your imagination? 

The short answer is yes… and no. Sometimes I'm amazed at what I can come up with out of nowhere. But I think it’s nearly impossible not to bring some personal thoughts, opinions or experience when writing fiction. But I’ll never tell what is “me.”

What authors have been your inspiration or influenced you to become a writer? 

Nora Ephron for her contemporary slice of life, Douglas Adams for his style and humor and of course, Erma Bombeck.

What is your definition of success as a writer? 

Being happy that I write and create because I love to do it.

Are you currently writing a new book? If yes, would you care to share a bit of it with us? 

I am. I currently have one book at the publisher, due our Spring-ish 2016 – A contemporary, humorous, character-driven novel made up of over fifty intertwined stories, with more than 200 characters and it all occurs in one location. AND –I am currently about 75% done with a humorous but inspirational character that is bawdy, bold and an unusually kind of hero. I hope to send it off to the publisher by the end of the year.

Thank you so much for the interview.

Thank you Randi for visiting Jersey Girl Book Reviews, and for sharing a bit about yourself and your writing career with us!

About The Author

With an eye for detail, an ear for well-tuned dialogue and an incredible grasp of the obvious, all honed while performing stand-up comedy in Los Angeles and improvisational theater in San Francisco, Randi M. Sherman adds just enough bawdiness to deliver character-driven contemporary novels that will have the reader laughing, thinking and even connecting with the characters in her books

Writing has been a part of Randi’s life since she was a teenager, one hundred and fifty thousand years ago. But being pragmatic and realizing that she preferred having an income, living indoors and eating regularly, she reluctantly put her dreams on hold and entered the corporate world, yet never left behind her sense of humor and creative storytelling ability, skills which were not always appreciated during budget and strategy meetings.

Now, after living indoors for a while and eating regularly, albeit too much, Randi has picked up her pen again and her third novel, THE TRUTH ABOUT CAROLINE is here. It is the continuation to her second novel CAROLINE STARTS OVER (2014). Randi's first book PAULA TAKES A RISK was released in 2012. Look for Randi's next novel THE LOBBY, Spring-ish 2016.

Randi lives in the California wine country. She would never claim to have a genius IQ, the body of a super model. However, she can spell “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.” Randi maintains a trim, well-toned body that is cleverly concealed beneath twenty pounds of soft protective layering and she has the appetite of a bird (vulture).

Things that Randi cannot live without: people to laugh with, her car horn, a gym membership where there are chubby women who break into a sweat while putting on a jog bra, wine, waist capes, and her wife, Carol.

Randi can live without: mean-spirited people, liver, left-overs, communal dressing rooms, tight underwear, and people who point.

Randi is five-foot-seven.

Author Website

Book Review

The Truth About Caroline by Randi M. Sherman
Book 2: Caroline Series
Publisher: FriesenPress
Publication Date: July 28, 2015
Format: Paperback - 256 pages
               Kindle - 350 KB
               Nook - 431 KB 
ISBN: 978-1460265635
ASIN: B01357H8BI
BNID: 2940151145961
Genre: Chick Lit / Comedy / Women's Fiction

Buy The Book:

Buy The Series:
Book 1: Caroline Starts Over
Book 2: The Truth About Caroline

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:

Honesty has always presented a problem for Caroline.

Manipulating situations and navigating around blunders and deceptions have become second nature to Caroline. She could justify every lie she has ever told, and any truth she ever stretched. Honesty and revealing secrets would only keep her from moving forward with her life. What good would it do anyhow?

Even all of those bad financial decisions, flawed relationships and questionable life choices seem like child’s play compared to being arrested for the solicitation of her husband’s murder, and what follows. Could someone figure out Caroline? And what would happen if someone did?

Book Excerpt:

Sitting in the Human Resource reception area at Morgan’s appliances reminded Caroline of a dentist’s office. The receptionist or as her name placard read, “Executive Assistant,” occasionally looked up, gave Caroline a half-hearted smile and then turned her attention back to her magazine. Pictures of her boyfriend festooned her work area, along with a nearly deflated, Happy Birthday Mylar balloon as it sadly hung in the air, just two feet above the ground. And there was a bowl of hard candy positioned on the corner of the desk, next to the Sign-in Please clip board with its pen attached to it by a piece of yard. Caroline’s stomach was growling, she had skipped breakfast and sat there wondering if the candy was an innocent offering or a test of some sort.

If she got up and took a piece of the candy would it be considered too presumptuous? Would the action reveal some character trait that would result in a pass or a fail, rendering the applicant ineligible. The candy, Caroline thought, had probably been sitting there for months, maybe years. Like every grandmother’s coffee table candy dish, the candy in it was probably decades old. Would it be delicious and worth the effort to free it from the cellophane wrapper? Would it be worth the risk? Caroline wondered if other applicants obsessed about that sad, dusty little bowl of candy too.

Caroline looked down at her “interview” outfit, hoping that the scotch tape that she had used to hem her pants would hold until the meeting was over. Without much money or time to shop, Caroline grabbed the first affordable interview-type suit she saw at the Women At Work Shoppe in the strip mall near the Super Cuts hair salon where she had her hair dyed and cut in preparation for today’s meeting. She hadn’t bothered to try on the suit in the store. It was navy blue. The suit included a companion blouse and, more importantly, it was on sale. Unfortunately the pants were tailored for a giant. Without a sewing kit or a stapler, Caroline had improvised with transparent tape.

When a quiet ring came from the receptionist’s phone, she picked it up, whispered something and glanced at Caroline. “Ms. Pratt,” she announced quietly, “I’ll take you back to see Ms. Herrera now.” As Caroline passed her desk, she took a candy, unwrapped it and popped it in her mouth. “Oh, my mouth is so dry.” She smiled.

Tell me a little about yourself.” Ms. Herrera poised her fingers above the keyboard of her computer, ready to take notes.

The truthful answer would be: “I just got out of jail after spending six months awaiting trial for planning a hit on my husband. Fortunately I was acquitted. I have no prospects or work experience to speak of. I’m lazy and get bored easily. I’m terribly disorganized and have a problem with honesty. I desperately need a job because the insurance money will not last forever. When do I start?” But instead Caroline answered, “Oh heavens, where do I begin?”

“Well,” Ms. Herrera smiled. “Why don’t you tell me why you left your last job?”

Realizing that she was enjoying the hard candy a little too much, Caroline discretely spat it into her hand and began her answer. “Well,” glancing at the resume she had on her lap, “as you know I have been self-employed for a while and to tell you the truth,” she was thinking on her feet. “Freelancing is drying up and I am interested in working for a growing corporation where I can apply my skills and experience.” Aced it! She silently congratulated herself.

“Well, Caroline, this is an impressive resume.” She reached up and touched the crucifix that was hanging around her neck. “I see you were a missionary in Mexico. My family is from Mexico, where were you assigned?”

Oh crap! “Oh, um, truthfully Miss Herrera, it seemed like I was never in one place very long. I went where I was needed most.” She was hoping that the answer would be sufficient. “You know missionary work. Move, move, move. I wish I spent more time in the capital.” Caroline’s palms were sweating, the candy started melting.

My Book Review:

What's a girl to do when she has to navigate the daunting challenges of rebuilding her life ... especially when she has a problem with honesty, and manipulation and lies have been her go to methods of living.  

In The Truth About Caroline, author Randi M. Sherman weaves a humorous tale that continues the story of Caroline Matthews, who seems to have a penchant for finding trouble. The reader first meets Caroline in Caroline Starts Over, as she is restarting her life after the death of her no good cheating husband. In The Truth About Caroline, Caroline's story continues as her attempt to restart her life comes to a halt when she finds herself arrested for the alleged solicitation of murder-for-hire of her husband. Caroline's story is split into two parts: the murder trial and her attempt to rebuild her life post-acquittal.

Author Randi M. Sherman weaves an entertaining story that draws the reader into Caroline's quirky life with a mixture of drama and humor. I absolutely loved the trial portion of the story, the author transports the reader into the courtroom as the drama unfolds, you can't help but get caught up in the action. After Caroline is acquitted of murder, she attempts to rebuild her life by navigating through the challenging trials and tribulations and crazy antics that come with reinventing herself. The reader gets to go along for the ride as Caroline tries to reinvent herself, there is a lot of laugh-out-loud moments intermixed with a sense of reality that keeps the reader guessing how Caroline's life will turn out until the surprising conclusion.

The Truth About Caroline is a laugh-out-loud chick lit tale that will keep the reader in stitches.


Virtual Book Tour

Tour Schedule:

September 28 – Mallory Heart Reviews – Review & Excerpt
September 29 – Cheryllyn Dyess Writer – Excerpt
September 30 – The World As I See It – Review & Excerpt
October 2- Caroline Fardig – Q&A
October 2 – I Love My Authors – Excerpt 
October 6 – myhomemadelibrary – Review & Excerpt
October 6 – Change the Word – Q&A
October 7 – ChickLit Plus – Review
October 8 – Fiction Dreams – Excerpt
October 9 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review, Q&A & Excerpt
October 12 – Granny Loves To Read – Review & Excerpt

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Wrapped In Lace by Prescott Lane (Book Cover Reveal)

In association with Ardent Prose, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the book cover reveal event for Wrapped In Lace by author Prescott Lane!

Wrapped In Lace by Prescott Lane
Publication Date: November 2, 2015
Genre: Contemporary Romance (Holiday)

Book Description:

When I was a little boy, the best thing about the holiday season was unwrapping presents on Christmas morning — tearing off the paper and tossing it on the floor. Now that I’m a man, I like to unwrap slowly, deliberately, taking my time to savor what lies before me. I still like to throw the wrapping on the floor, but now I know the best gifts come wrapped in lace.

And unlike when I was a kid, I won’t get sick of this present by New Year’s. I’ll definitely be playing with this girl day after day after day.

After six years avoiding my hometown, the last thing I expected when I returned was a wannabe bad girl to unwrap my heart and rip open my soul. But that’s exactly what happened. Now if I can just get the hell out of my own way, maybe I’ll finally get the best gift of all — her!

Come get unwrapped by Drew this holiday.

Book Excerpt:

I sat back and studied the canvas. I’d finally gotten it right — the way his lips turn up in that smile that makes both my heart and panties melt. It had taken me over a dozen tries to get it just perfect, but I finally had. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel any better. I thought if I could capture Drew’s smile on my canvas, my pain would somehow lessen. Because I’d always have his image, that his leaving me wouldn’t hurt so bad. It hadn’t worked. The pain in my heart was just as sharp, just as overwhelming as it was yesterday and the day before. I knew I’d never get over him. I knew it like I knew the deep blue color of his eyes, the rough spots on his hands. I knew it like I knew the way his lips tasted, the feel of his thick brown hair.

About The Author

Prescott Lane is the author of First Position, Perfectly Broken, and her new release, Quiet Angel. She is originally from Little Rock, Arkansas, and graduated from Centenary College with a degree in sociology. She went on to receive her MSW from Tulane University, after which she worked with developmentally delayed and disabled children. She married her college sweetheart, and they currently live in New Orleans with their two children and two crazy dogs. Prescott started writing at the age of five, and sold her first story about a talking turtle to her father for a quarter. She later turned to writing romance novels because there aren't enough happily ever afters in real life. Happily Ever Afters Guaranteed.

Author Website

Other Books By Prescott Lane

Perfectly Broken
First Position
Quiet Angel

Speak Now Or Forever Hold Your Peace by Becky Monson (Book Review)

In association with Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to present a book review for Speak Now Or Forever Hold Your Peace by author Becky Monson!

Speak Now Or Forever Hold Your Peace by Becky Monson
Publisher: Independent Self Publishing
Publication Date: April 9, 2015
Format: Paperback - 364 pages
               Kindle - 893 KB
ISBN: 978-1511721226
Genre: Chick Lit / Contemporary Romance / Women's Fiction

Buy The Book: 

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

Book Description:

If there’s one thing that Bridgette Reynolds has learned recently, it’s that the perfect shoes, the perfect hair, and the perfect dress do not make for the perfect proposal. In fact, sometimes they make for the not-so-perfect breakup.

Now, Bridgette must do everything in her power to win Adam back. She knows they are meant to be. And nothing will stand in her way—not her friends, not her grandmother, not even the fact that Adam is now engaged to Serene after a whirlwind romance.

Focused on her plan to win Adam back, Bridgette isn’t expecting Ian—her college best friend, her love, her big regret—to come back into her life. They sink back into their comfortable friendship as if no time has passed at all, making Bridgette start to question her feelings for Adam. But Ian has a few secrets of his own . . . secrets that could shatter their friendship once and for all.

Bridgette has to make some major decisions—should she speak now? Or forever hold her peace?

Book Excerpt:


Tonight’s the night.

Tonight Adam and I will finally get engaged. We’ve been together for two years, and it’s finally happening.

Adam Dubois. I am going to be Mrs. Adam Dubois. Bridgette Dubois. It has a ring to it, doesn’t it? And Dubois is French for . . . er . . . something. I should look that up, since it’s going to be my last name and all.

I take a deep breath as I look myself over in the mirror. I left my dark blonde highlighted hair down and slightly curled, as Adam likes it. Just enough eye makeup to highlight my gray-blue eyes (he doesn’t like a lot of makeup on me) and I’m wearing Adam’s favorite color, red. It’s a low-cut knee-length dress that hugs my curves perfectly. Just the cut of dress Adam likes.

I scored some fabulous nude patent leather Louboutin stilettos in a steal of a deal to go with it, and I wore them around Gram’s apartment all evening yesterday to break them in. I don’t want to get blisters on one of the most important nights of my life.

He’s been telling me all week that he wants to have a special dinner with me, to discuss something important. Little, subtle hints here and there. He’s invited me over to his place and said he will order in from our favorite Italian restaurant, the one with the amazing lasagna—the place where we had our first date. It truly is perfect.

I top off my look with MAC’s Russian Red. It’s my favorite lip color and compliments the look well.

“Well, I’m off, Grams,” I say as I walk out of my room, stopping by the front door to grab my favorite Coach hobo bag and heavy coat. It’s guaranteed to be a cold night, since we are smack-dab in the middle of February. Good thing there’s a subway entrance right next to Gram’s apartment, so I won’t have to spend too much time in the cold. Then, it’s only a two-block walk from the subway to Adam’s apartment.

“Have a wonderful night, my dear,” Gram says from her favorite chair, where she’s reading a book. She puts her Kindle down in her lap and looks me over. “Well, don’t you just look stunning,” she beams at me.

I do a little turn for her, and she claps her hands, saying, “lovely, just lovely,” as I spin around.

“Okay, I better go. Wish me luck.” I put my coat on and grab a thick scarf, draping it around my neck.

“Go get ‘em,” Gram cheers me on. “I can’t wait to hear all the details. Will I be seeing you tonight?” She tilts her head to the side inquisitively.

“Don’t wait up,” I wink at her and open the door. She gives me a little snort and shoos me off with her hand.

I take the elevator downstairs, walk the corridor to the front door, say a quick hello to the doorman as he opens the door for me, and step out into the frigid night air.

Down in the subway, I wait for the F Train which will take me from Carroll Gardens to the Lower East Side, where Adam lives. I wonder if we’ll live in his current place once we’re married. It would be fun for a little while, but the Lower East Side of Manhattan has a more single-lifestyle feel to it and might not be the best place to raise a family. Not that I want to rush into that. But I do think about it. I’m secretly hoping we get out of the city altogether. But if we had to stay—I know Adam loves it here—I guess we could end up in Tribeca or maybe Park Slope.

I know the subway ride is only fifteen minutes, but tonight it feels like hours. I just want to get to Adam’s place. My feet feel jittery. I keep shifting in my seat.

When I finally walk up the stairs from the subway and start the two-block walk to Adam’s place, the butterflies start. In fact, they are multiplying rapidly. I kind of feel like giggling, which is so not like me, and I try my best to stifle it. I’m pretty sure there’s a big, goofy smile on my face at this moment. Anyone watching probably thinks I’m high.

I reach Adam’s building and dial his apartment number from the call box outside.

“It’s me,” I say brightly as he answers. I hear the door unclick, and I open it and leave the icy night air for the warmth of Adam’s building.

In the elevator on the way to the fifteenth floor, I’m doing the fidgety thing again. I’m starting to annoy myself.

I wonder what kind of ring he picked out. I hope it’s the princess cut in platinum I hinted about. Whatever it is, I’m sure I’ll love it. I’ll wear it for years and maybe one day pass it down to our daughter to use as her wedding ring. It’ll become a Dubois family heirloom.

Okay, I’m getting a little ahead of myself. But I get to be a part of the Dubois family, and that is most definitely a benefit. I love his family as if they were my own, and I know they feel the same. I will have the best in-laws ever.

I’m excited to start a life with Adam. I honestly never thought I would find love again. Not after college. Not after the man who I thought was the love of my life walked away from me. It’s still hard to believe that was four years ago. It seems like a lifetime ago.

But I did find love again, with Adam. He’s really been an amazing boyfriend. It’s almost been two years ago exactly since we met at the deli near Gram’s apartment. I just happened to stop by that day, to surprise Gram with her favorite sandwich, and there he was. It was love at first sight. Okay, it was more like lust at first sight. But there definitely was an instant attraction. He later told me he felt the same when he saw me. He struck up a conversation, asked for my number, and two nights later we had our first date at what became our favorite Italian restaurant on the Lower East Side. It’s been pretty much bliss ever since.

I knock on the door to Adam’s apartment, and I hear his footsteps as he saunters toward it. I had pictured him waiting for me by the door (with a red rose, no less), since he knew I was coming up. I think I need to reel it in. My brain is on romantic overdrive.

“Hi, sweetie,” he says as soon as he opens the door. He reaches for me and pulls me into a tight hug. Pulling back, he leans down and gives me a quick kiss on the lips.

“Oh crap,” I say as we both start to reach for his mouth. Adam hates it when he gets my lipstick on his lips. He says it never comes off. I try to wipe it off with my thumb but have no luck.

Well, that doesn’t get us off to the right start. Fortunately, he doesn’t seem as put out by it as he usually is. Thank goodness. He grabs a balled-up tissue from his pocket and wipes off the offending Russian Red.

I look him over. He’s barefoot, wearing jeans and a ratty, old sweater. I’ve tried so many times to get rid of that thing, but he always seems to find it in my “discard” pile and puts it back in his “keep” pile when we’re cleaning out his closet. I’m somewhat taken aback by his outfit. I mean, I had figured he’d be wearing something nicer. I’m feeling ridiculously overdressed now.

I guess it doesn’t matter. What matters is this night and what’s about to happen—not what he’s wearing or the fact that his thick, brown hair is a little tousled, not that, from the looks of it, he probably hasn’t shaved in about three days. Seriously?

I guess I won’t actually remember what he was wearing when I look back at this night. And if I do, it will end up being one of those funny stories you tell your kids.

He takes off my jacket and looks me up and down. “Wow, Bridge, you look fantastic.” He kisses me on the cheek, purposefully avoiding my lips this time.

“Well, you said you wanted to talk to me about something important, and so I thought I would get a little dolled up, just for fun.” I’m feeling a little ludicrous. Why couldn’t I go with a simpler look?

He looks down at his outfit and shrugs apologetically. “Sorry, I threw something on when I got home from work. It’s been a long day.”

“Poor boy,” I rub his cheek lightly with the palm of my hand. He pulls my hand away from his face—dang, I forgot he hates it when I touch his face. I’m zero for two tonight. Did I completely forget our last two years together?

“How’s business?” I say, trying to get some conversation going to cover up the fact that I’ve lost my mind and am dressed up like we’re going to the prom.

“Fine.” He shakes his head. “Just hard after losing Joey and Chuck.”

“I bet,” I say and grab his hand to comfort him. “You’ve had to do practically everything yourself.”

He scoffs at that. “Yeah, at least I have my brother.” We both laugh. Frank Junior is not much help with anything.

The export/import business Adam helps manage has been more than lucrative for his family. Fortunately, sporting goods and equipment don’t seem to take a downfall when the economy plummets. I guess people don’t give up their hobbies when things take a downturn.

Holding my hand in his, Adam guides me to the couch, and we take a seat. I angle my body toward him so I can see his face. I truly do love that face. Those high-arch brows and deep-set brown eyes. Adam is handsome—not model handsome—but handsome as in boy-next-door.

“You hungry?” he asks evenly, clearly not as unnerved as I am at this moment. How does he stay so calm all the time?

Just thinking about it makes all desire to eat go away. Even so, I nod my head yes, and we get up and move over to the table.

I had, of course, envisioned a table set with place settings and candles, but Adam throws down a couple of paper plates and some random nonmatching utensils. He then pulls out a brown paper bag from the oven (where he had apparently been keeping it warm) with Gaia Italian Café printed on the side of the bag.

“Bon appetit,” he says as he sets the bag down on the table between us.

I really need to work on not being such a girl. Who cares about that stuff, anyway? And come to think of it, I don’t think Adam even owns a candle. It truly doesn’t matter that my engagement dinner is on paper plates, and my future husband is wearing a scruffy, old sweater (gosh, I hate that thing). It’s all good.

We serve up our dinner, which consists of lasagna, salad, and garlic rolls. The exact meal we had on our very first date. This is, of course, the same meal we request anytime we order from Gaia. But it’s still romantic and thoughtful of him.

“So, you wanted to talk to me about something important?” I say, pushing my salad around the plate. I’m still finding it hard, with all of the butterflies, to find room to eat. Adam, on the other hand, is scarfing down his food like a ravenous homeless man.

“Yes, yes,” he says, wiping his mouth with his napkin.

He places the napkin next to his plate and reaches for my hand across the table. “Bridge, we have been together for two years, and these have been some of the best years of my life. You are an amazing person with the most wonderful qualities.” He looks me directly in the eyes.

Okay, now we’re talking.

“But,” he looks down at his plate.

Wait . . . did he say “but?”

He looks up at me, staring into my eyes. “But, I just don’t see a future for us.”

“What?” I take my hand away from his and grab the sides of my chair firmly with both hands to steady myself. Did I hear him right?

“Bridge, don’t be angry.” He tries to soothe me, seeing the reaction on my face. “I’ve been thinking about this for a while now, and I just don’t think we are . . . meant to be.” He gives me a repentant look.

I sit there, holding myself steady on my chair, not moving. Not even blinking an eye. I think I might be in shock. Or maybe I’m having a nightmare. I close my eyes, willing myself to wake up. But I’m not asleep, and this is not a nightmare.

Adam is breaking up with me.

“I . . . I . . .” I don’t even know what to say. “Why?” is all I can sputter out. My bottom lip begins to quiver, tears welling in my eyes.

“Bridge, don’t cry. Please? I hate it when you cry.” He reaches for my hand again, but I don’t extend it to him.

“Then don’t make me cry,” I offer, hoping against hope he might realize he’s making a mistake. Because he’s making a huge one.

“I’m truly sorry. I wanted this to work. Believe me, I did. But it’s just not in the cards for us.”

“Not in the cards for us?” My voice rises, alarming Adam. This was definitely not the night I had planned out in my head. Complete opposite, more like it. I hate my girly overly romantic brain so much right now. Were there signs? How did I not see this coming?

I grab the napkin in my lap and ball it up, blotting my eyes as the tears begin to come quickly. “But . . . I thought we were going to get engaged tonight,” I say through what has become something like sobbing.

He curses. “Bridge, I’m so sorry,” he says with sincerity, running a hand through his hair, tousling it. “I thought you felt the same.”

Is he kidding? “No. No, I didn’t feel the same,” I say, pounding the table with my fist, my voice rising. “Call me crazy, Adam. But I thought we had a future. I actually thought,” I close my eyes and swallow, “I thought we were going to settle down and have a family.” I open my eyes, feeling the anger stirring in my stomach. “If at any point in this relationship I wasn’t feeling it, I would have ended it. But I’ve given you two years! Two years I can never get back.”

There’s a string of expletives going through my brain at this moment. But I hold myself back from rattling them off. Instead, I put my face in my hands and blubber as I realize what I’ve just said.

Two years, down the tube. Two whole years.

“Bridge . . .” I hear Adam’s chair squeak as he pushes back from the table and the shuffle of his footsteps as he comes around to my side. He puts his arms around me from the back and holds me. I keep my face in my hands as I continue to blubber.

“Bridge, I will always care about you. You have to know that. And I hope we can still be friends, because—”

“What?” I interrupt, looking up at him with what I’m sure are mascara-stained, crazy eyes. “Did you say friends? Did you actually say that?” I push his arms off of me.

“Yes, I want you to be in my life. Of course I do, Bridge.”

I stand up and turn my body around to look at him. “I have friends, Adam. I don’t need any more friends.” I practically spit out the word.

I look at him, his stupid deep-set eyes and his annoying thick, brown hair, and I decide right then and there that I’m much too proud to beg. So I stand up defiantly (albeit, totally acting), and without a word, I walk to the door, grabbing my coat, scarf, and bag. I swing the door open with full force and walk out.

“Bridge,” I hear him call from his door, but I don’t turn back. “Come back. Can’t we talk about this?”

But there is nothing to talk about. So I don’t say anything. I just keep walking.


I’m sure I look like a zombie on the subway with mascara running down my face. I don’t have any tissues, so I use my scarf to wipe my black tears. An old bum two seats down offers me his used handkerchief, which I politely decline and try not to gag visibly.

I’m not exactly sure how I ended up back at Gram’s place. I was on autopilot, blinded with feelings of despair and foolishness. How could I be so clueless? I need time to think. I need to reach back into my brain and do some analyzing. But right now I only have the capacity to feel sad and disappointed. I’ll do my overanalyzing later.

“Oh honey, what happened?” Gram says to me as I walk into the apartment.

“I . . . I . . . Adam . . . he broke up with me.” Really, it is more like “meeeeeeeeeeeeee” because I start blubbering again when I get to that point.

Through hiccups and snot and tears, I explain the whole crappy, sordid night to Gram as we sit on the couch. My coat is still on, my snot-filled scarf still around my neck. She rubs my arm and offers a sigh or a “hmph” or a “tsk” when it’s appropriate.

“Oh, Bridgette, I’m so very sorry,” Gram says, her eyes round with empathy. “You know, if he doesn’t see all that you are, then he doesn’t deserve you.”

I let out a big breath and give her a look of defeat. She’s going to pull out the sympathetic looks and words of comfort already? I really don’t want to go there yet.

“Thanks, Grams. I know you mean well, but I’m not ready to hear how ‘it’s his loss,’ or ‘I could do better,’ or ‘you’ll find someone better,’“ I say and look down at my hands, twiddling the ends of my scarf.

“Well, all those things are true.” She pats my shoulder. “But I’ll hold off on all that until you’re ready. How about a cup of hot chocolate to warm you up? I’ll put marshmallows in it, just the way you like.”

I actually stopped liking marshmallows in my hot chocolate when I was twelve, but I haven’t had the heart to tell her. “I’ll pass tonight, Gram. I think I’m going to go cry myself to sleep.”

“Yes, yes. Cry it all out. I will be here if you need to talk,” she says, sympathetically. It occurs to me that Gram has most likely been through breakups in her time. I seem to imagine the only person she ever dated was Pops, but I can tell by the look on her face she knows exactly what I’m going through.
I go into my room and shut the door. I take off my coat and dress, put on a tee shirt and sweats, and crawl into bed without brushing my teeth or washing my face.

I cry until I fall asleep.

My Book Review:

What's a girl to do when she's expecting to get engaged, only to get dumped by her boyfriend?

Speak Now Or Forever Hold Your Peace is an entertaining chick lit tale about romantic relationships and friendships. Set in NYC and written in the first person narrative, sassy Bridgette Reynolds takes the reader along for the ride as she plans to win back ex-boyfriend Adam's heart, only to have her plans turned upside down when she unexpectedly runs into Ian Davies, her ex-college best friend turned boyfriend who broke her heart. Suddenly Bridgette is feeling all sorts of things that she never had planned. As Bridgette struggles with her feelings for Adam and Ian, her romantic relationships and friendships are filled with drama, trials and tribulations, and awkward predicaments that are endearing and humorous.

Set in the present and intermixed with flashbacks to Bridgette's college relationship with Ian, the reader is in for a treat when they read this lighthearted story. It has enough family, friendship, and workplace drama, and a subtle romantic triangle that keeps the reader engaged and turning the pages. I really loved Bridgette's witty personality, it was so much fun to follow her story. I found myself either laughing or cringing at the quirky antics and awkward situations that she found herself in as she struggled to find romance and happiness. From her supportive co-workers/best friends Ashley and Justin, to her lovable grandmother, to Adam's crazy Italian family, Bridgette's story will surely tickle your funny bone in a hot New York minute!

Speak Now Or Forever Hold Your Peace is a delightful chick lit tale that will tickle your funny bone.


About The Author

By day, Becky Monson is a mother to three young children, and a wife. By night, she escapes with reading books and writing. In her debut novel, Becky uses humor and true-life experiences to bring her characters to life. She loves all things chick-lit (movies, books, etc.), and wishes she had a British accent. She has recently given up Diet Coke for the fiftieth time and is hopeful this time will last... but it probably won't.

Becky runs a large on-line book club called "This Chick Reads". Check it out on Facebook!

Author Website

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Taken Away by Patricia Yager Delagrange (Book Review)

In association with Pump Up Your Book, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to present a book review for Taken Away by author Patricia Yager Delagrange!

Taken Away by Patricia Yager Delagrange
Publisher: Black Hawk / Ravenswood Publishing
Publication Date: June 1, 2015
Format: Paperback - 400 pages
               Kindle - 1897 KB
               Nook - 557 KB
ISBN: 978-1508660439
BNID: 2940151356527
Genre: Women's Fiction

Buy The Book:

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a book review program hosted by Pump Up Your Book.

Book Description:

Jessee Bradford, a respected young veterinarian in Santa Barbara, California, comes home to find his wife Serena and baby daughter Sofia missing. Jessee fears they have been kidnapped or worse. The FBI investigators believe his wife, the only daughter of a wealthy philanthropist who never approved of their marriage, simply abandoned Jessee and took their child with no intention of returning.

After months of fruitless searching, Jessee relocates to his grandparents’ home in Iowa, where he takes over his grandpa’s veterinary practice. There he finds the family closeness he’s been missing and falls in love with a female equestrian Laura. When Jessee and Laura attend a gallery opening of an artist named She, the paintings remind Jessee of his wife Serena’s art work. Thus begins Jessee’s search to find She while his future with Laura teeters precariously on the edge until the truth about She is discovered.

My Book Review:

What's a man to do when his wife and baby daughter suddenly disappear without a trace? How can he move forward with his life when the endless search for his family leaves him emotionally devastated?

Taken Away is a heart wrenching story of love, loss, betrayal, recovery, second chances, and moving forward. This hauntingly poignant story is narrated in the first person perspective of Jessee Bradford, who takes the reader along on his heart wrenching journey of recovering from the devastating disappearance of his wife Serena and baby daughter Sophia. Jessee's emotional journey brings some very unexpected changes as he tries to move forward with his life. The story draws the reader into Jessee's life, you can't help but feel the full range of emotions as the story unfolds.

The author creates a cast of characters that are realistic people with issues that occur in their lives that the reader can easily relate to. You'll feel your heart strings being pulled as Jessee struggles to deal with the sudden disappearance and endless search for his wife and child, and his need to move forward with his life. I couldn't help but feel compassion for Jessee, he's a special kind of guy that any woman would love to have in their life. I can't tell you how much I disliked Jessee's wife Serena, as the story unfolded my contempt for this woman grew. I loved how Jessee's life came full circle with a second chance at love and having a family, I couldn't help but smile and cheer for him. The author transports the reader to two very different locales: Santa Barbara, California and Earlham, Iowa, with rich descriptions of each town.

The author weaves a story rich in detail and emotion, it deals with realistic situations and issues that occur in everyday life. This is a powerful and compelling story that masterfully intertwines issues that occur in real relationships: love, loss, betrayal, recovery, redemption, closure, second chances, and moving forward. While I enjoyed how the story unfolds throughout the book, the last quarter of the story is full of enough drama, suspense, surprising twists and turns, and romance that makes it so hard to put down until you reach the satisfying conclusion.

Taken Away is an emotional story that is so much more than the usual contemporary women's fiction novel. This is a story that will captivate you and pull at your heart strings, it will make you ponder about the complexity in relationships, and it will leave you emotionally spent but fulfilled with its wonderful ending.


About The Author

Patricia Yager Delgrange was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She attended St. Mary's College, studied her junior year at the University of Madrid, and received her B.A. in Spanish at UC Santa Barbara, then went on to get her Master's degree in Education at Oregon State University. She live with her husband and two teenage children in Alameda, across the bay from San Francisco, along with our two very large chocolate labs, Annabella and her son Jack. Her horse lives in the Oakland hills in a stall with a million dollar view.