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, April 6, 2012

Exceeding Expectations by Lisa April Smith

Exceeding Expectations by Lisa April Smith
Published By: 2old2wait2young2giveup
Sold By: Amazon Digital Services / Barnes & Noble
Release Date: November 29, 2011
Format: Kindle - 459 KB / Nook - 288 KB
Genre: Romantic Suspense / Mystery / Suspense / Thriller / Contemporary Fiction

About The Author:

Author Lisa April Smith lives with her husband, He-who-wishes-to-remain-anonymous, in Eternal Playland, Florida, a delightful spot just off I-95. Ms. Smith describes Eternal Playland as: "a little piece of level heaven with occasional dampness, where the bugs are plentiful but respectful, and even the smallest strip mall contains at least one pizza place and a nail salon."

Before discovering a passion for writing, Ms. Smith sold plumbing and heating, antiques, taught ballroom dancing, tutored, modeled, designed software and managed projects for IBM. But her passion is writing mysteries with a healthy dash of romance/sex.

Lisa April Smith's Exceeding Expectations Virtual Book Tour Page On Pump Up Your Book! Virtual Book Publicity Tours

BUY THE BOOK: Exceeding Expectations

Disclaimer: Upon the request of the author and Pump Up Your Book! Virtual Book Publicity Tours, a Kindle edition of the book was sent, at no cost to me, for my honest review and participation in the virtual book tour event.

Virtual Book Tour Event: On Friday, April 6, 2012, in association with Pump Up Your Book! Virtual Book Publicity Tours, author Lisa April Smith participated in a virtual book tour event with an Author Guest Post on Jersey Girl Book Reviews.

Book Description: 

It's 1961 and Palm Beach socialite, irresistible rascal and devoted father Jack Morgan encounters genuine danger while staging his suicide to shield his beloved daughters from scandal and disgrace. Next, meet his daughter Charlotte (Charlie), an over-indulged 23 year-old struggling to cope with the loss of her beloved father, her sister's resulting mental breakdown and the discovery that she's now penniless. Fortunately Raul, an admiring young attorney, offers assistance to the traumatized young woman, who can joke about her inadequacies. As terrified as she is about paying for her sister's costly treatment and her own daily survival, Charlie soon realizes that she must learn what drove her father to kill himself. With Raul's much needed ego-bolstering, she pursues a career that makes practical use of her lanky 5'11" frame. Despite roadblocks and emotional upheavals, she embarks on an ocean-spanning journey that leads to a family she doesn't know, distressing truths about her father, crimes great and small, a diabolical villain and a fireworks of surprise endings.

My Book Review: 

What would you do if the father that you have loved all your life committed suicide and left you questioning why he did it? What would you do if you found out that he didn't leave a will, and now you are basically penniless? Would you follow your instincts and try to find out why your father killed himself, even if the search provided answers to secrets that may be better left buried? And now that you are left on your own, can you pick up the pieces and live an independent life? These are the questions that Charlotte "Charlie" Morgan had to answer during her journey to find out who her father really had been and why he decided to kill himself in Exceeding Expectations.

Twenty-three year old Palm Beach debutante Charlotte "Charlie" Morgan has led a charmed life until the night her father died. Left penniless and soon to be homeless by her stepmother, Charlie has to grow up fast and learn to take care of herself and her older sister Amelia, who had a mental breakdown and is in a clinic. Charlie wants to find out why her father committed suicide, and a young Cuban lawyer, Raul Francesco, is more than willing to help her get on her feet and investigate her father's death. Charlie and Raul embark on a journey that will span the decades of 1930-1940s (WWII) Paris to the 1950-1960s Palm Beach in search of the truth of who her father really was, as well as define what type of person she will become.

Exceeding Expectations is a fascinating story with a clever mixture of suspense, intrigue and romance. The storyline is well written, the author transports the reader between alternating decades as she weaves a story about Charlotte's father, Jack Morgan aka Alan Fitzpatrick in the 1930-1940s WWII Paris, with that of the  1950-1960s Palm Beach when Charlie searches for the truth about her father. The attention to detail for those time periods are first rate, the authenticity provides the reader with a fascinating look back at what our world was like in those time periods. The story is told in a first person narrative by Charlie during the current time period of 1962, while the 1930-1940s decades surrounding Jack/Alan's story is told in a third person narrative. The characters are realistic and have complex personalities, their engaging interactions with each other lend more depth to the story. I loved how Charlie's journey transformed her from being a spoiled debutante to a confident and independent woman. I enjoyed reading how the budding relationship between Charlie and Raul developed, it was fun and flirty. I was also fascinated with Jack's story, as a history buff, the authentic details of the WWII and early JFK time periods made the story more powerful and compelling. The story provides plenty of intriguing twists and turns that will keep the reader in suspense, while the subtle romantic scenes are fun and sassy. I love the author's style of writing, she provides the reader with a story that has style and sophistication.

I would recommend Exceeding Expectations to anyone who would like to read an intriguing romantic suspense story that has all the elements that would certainly exceed their expectations!



  1. I have become a bit fascinated by that time period so I think I will have to write this book down for future reading. Nice review!

    1. This was a great book and I am fascinated by the time period too, I hope you get a chance to read it. Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. :)