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.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Intimate Strangers by Anne M. Strick (Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Reading Addiction Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews welcomes Anne M. Strick, author of Intimate Strangers!

About The Author

Anne M. Strick has spent over twenty years in the movie industry. She has worked for Universal, Warners, Paramount and EMI, as a Unit Publicist, Project Coordinator and National Publicity Director, and with such Hollywood legends as Jack Nicholson, James Earl Jones, Sean Penn, Arnold Schwarzenegger, David Lynch, Sting and Dino De Laurentis, among many others. She has published theater reviews, articles in Parents Magazine, Frontier and The Nation, and six books: two novels, two self-help books, one memoir (a best-seller in Italy); and a non-fiction, scholarly critique of our adversary trial system. (”remarkable”). Born in Philadelphia, and educated at Bennington College and UCLA, she lives in Los Angeles.

Virtual Book Tour Contest Giveaway

Win An eBook Copy of Intimate Strangers

Contest Dates: Oct 1 - 26

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Book Review

Intimate Strangers by Anne M. Strick
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing
Publication Date: January 5, 2011
Format: Paperback - 448 pages / Kindle - 334 KB / Nook - 1 MB
ISBN: 1453776257
ASIN: B004SP105C
Genre: Contemporary Romance / Women's Fiction

BUY THE BOOK: Intimate Strangers

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 Reading Addiction Blog Tours.

Book Description:

Intimate Strangers is the rich, complex and passionate story of a contested adoption and the two women lawyers who join to save a small boy's life. The book examines the various faces of love: sexual love and romantic love, the love of parent for child and child for parent; and what "really" makes a parent. This is a tale of loss, of healing and of redemption. And a cry for justice for children.

Book Excerpt:

                                           CHAPTER ONE

Her lashes were wet with tears.

Will. Dear Lord, this time let my will not fail.

This time, let me keep a small boy safe.


Naked, temporarily satiated, forgetting already the man who lay sprawled asleep in her bed, Georgie stood at the window, rubbing her arms against the late-June California chill, and prayed. Prayed to whatever God there might be. The moon threw into relief her sculptured cheek, her stubborn chin, her high full breasts, still trembling; the navel delicate as an almond in the subtle round of her belly, the narrow waist, and generous curve of hip.

She was not classically beautiful, the woman who gazed, unseeing, out at the dark. Rather, she was tall and richly made and ineffably sensuous. Handsome. In the lunar light, a pagan earth goddess. A goddess not in her first youth, a goddess showing, in the fine lines beneath the slight Tartar tilt of her amber eyes, the wear of life, yet somehow more seductive for it. Her magnetism, the sexuality that pulled men as flies to sweets, was stronger than mere beauty.

And she cared not a damn for any of it. She cared only that this time…this time. Guiltily she brushed at her eyes.

Her father’s imperative reverberated down through the years. “Allchecks”, he had commanded so long ago, fixing her with a meaningful stare as the emergency room nurse had comforted her and the doctor wrapped her badly broken arm, “never cry. They tough it out.”

Greg sighed and turned over in the bed behind her.

Go, she said silently to him. Leave. Turning away from the window, she picked up the trousers he had dropped in haste on the floor and tossed them at him. He mumbled sleepily.

“Time to go”, she said aloud. As politely as she could.


“Time to go”, she said again. “Sorry, but I’ve got an early day tomorrow.”

He sat up, pulled on the trousers, reached for his shirt. “I thought…”

They never got the message. None of them.

“No. No one spends the night. Ever.”

Naked still, careless of her lushness, she found his socks, let him gently cup her chin and kiss her cheek and—in abrupt remorse at her curtness, at her failure to care enough, at her inability indeed to love any of the men in her life—spontaneously lifted on bare toes and kissed him back.

“Sleep well”, she said, softly. And forgive my flawed heart.

He looked at her for a long moment, briefly touched her disheveled auburn hair, shook his head, sighed and left.

She closed and bolted the front door firmly behind him and—breaking her usual habit— expertly mixed her second martini of the day. The cigarettes she reached reflexively for were no longer there. Sex and booze and cigarettes: painkillers. Only sex still brought respite. And not as much as it once had.

Striding into the crimson-carpeted bathroom, she filled the sunken tub with sudsy perfumed water. It was only Sco whom she had never scrubbed off immediately. Sco, in the faded reach of her girlhood. And Macauley.


Abruptly, she could smell him again, his smell on her flesh.

Think of something else. Think of what you can do. Concentrate.

Lying in the fragrant, lapping warmth, intermittently sipping her drink, Georgia Allchek soaped her silken skin and set her jaw and focussed all her force. Her will.

Dear Lord, let this threat not be real. Or this time, come hell or Heaven, let me avert the disaster.

Dru. Dru'll obsess about the extra work load if I get involved. But she's perfectly capable of carrying the brunt of the practice for a while, just for a while. And if she doesn't understand at first, well, she'll deal with it.

Georgia Allchek had never asked for understanding. Never asked for quarter. From anyone. Compliance would do.

She allowed herself a small rueful smile.

But her eyes, her shadowed amber eyes, were heavy with fear.

Timmy. Timmy Janus.

Until yesterday, just yesterday, things had seemed perfectly under control. Perfectly—well, almost perfectly—under control for almost two years. Despite the decision so long hanging, the brink of the past upon which she still remained so anxiously teetering, unable to say either Yes or No. Only a day—hours—ago, she had felt in charge of her world, felt confident in the work she was doing. She and Dru, of course.

How in bloody hell had this chapter begun?

Late yesterday afternoon, Thursday, with the memo from Tip.

Just yesterday, with the memo that augured all the unraveling to come, all the old ache reawakened.

The memo she had ignored.

My Book Review:

Attorneys Georgie Allcheck and Dru Cunningham are partners in a law practice that specializes in adoption cases. They are dedicated to working with young pregnant women and prospective adoptive couples, assisting in the placement and adoption of their babies. They are also devoted to working on contested adoption cases, and it is such a case that is the main focus point of Intimate Strangers.

The contested adoption case revolves around the adoption of two year old Timothy Janus, who had been placed with and adopted by Lara and Theo Janus when he was four days old. After two years, Timmy's biological father has surfaced and is asserting his parental rights and contesting the adoption of his son, even though he has never taken care of his son. The Janus' are devastated that they may have to hand over their son to a man who was never in his life, so they retain Georgie and Dru to fight on their behalf. Georgie and Dru agree to take on the case and will do whatever it takes to protect the best interests of young Timmy and maintain the validity of his adoption.

Intimate Strangers is a passionate and compelling story that takes an inside look into the legal, ethical and moral issues involved in adoption cases. Author Anne M. Strick weaves a powerfully emotional and heart wrenching tale written in the third person narrative that focuses upon the journey of attorneys Georgie Allcheck and Dru Cunningham as they represent the Janus family in a contested adoption case. The storyline is well written and has intriguing subplots: the societal issue of adoption, the history of Georgie and Dru's traumatic pasts, and it even has romance in the mix. This is a riveting, emotional and thought provoking story that will pull at your heartstrings.

The author has created a variety of realistic and complex cast of characters who are human with flaws and issues that the reader can easily relate to. The focus of the story is on the relationship and past history of Georgie and Dru. They are two strong, passionate and compassionate women who fight for social justice in adoption cases. You can't help but get drawn into this story and feel empathy for the attorneys and Janus family. At the heart of the story is the social issue of adoption, as the story unfolds there are many twists and turns that engages the reader to follow along with the lives and concerns of the birth parents, the adoptive parents, the children and the attorneys.

Rich in detail and vivid descriptions, with strong characters and powerful dialogue and interactions, Intimate Strangers is a compelling story that shines a light on a very sensitive social issue that will resonate with you for a very long time.


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