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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Taking Charge by Mandy Baggot (Author Guest Post / Contest Giveaway / Book Review)

In association with Reading Addiction Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews welcomes Mandy Baggot, author of Taking Charge!

Author Guest Post

10 Things You Didn't Know About Mandy Baggot

Wow! I'm actually going to find this really hard as I'm a real open book. I always publish my innermost thoughts and feelings on Twitter and Facebook and there aren't many things people don't know - but I'm going to do my best. I am going to delve into my darkest corners, reveal strange occurrences I might not have mentioned and hopefully raise a laugh or two!

1. I have a fear of astronauts and people in breathing apparatus!

Yes, ever since I saw ET as a child I have been freaked out by astronaut costumes and any type of breathing mask that makes that Darth Vader raspy breath noise. I lost it big time at a school visit to the local fire station and had to be escorted from the building!

2. My first film star crush was on Ralph Macchio!

I loved the Karate Kid - what more is there to say?

3. I am allergic to prawns, bananas and kiwi fruit!

I love all three but they don't like me - they bring on the stomach cramps and toilet action!

4. I once broke someone's nose playing hockey!

Lady Baggot is a little bit competitive and in an attempt to win the ball my head accidentally connected with my opponent's nose. I did apologize!

5. I was trapped in a lift in Cuba!

My husband (Mr. Big) and I got trapped in a glass lift at our hotel in Cuba. The sun was pouring in, we had barely any water with us and it was a good half an hour before we were rescued. We had to swing down the life shaft to our Cuban rescuer - eat your heart out Bruce Willis in Die Hard!

6. I've auditioned for The X Factor!

I love to sing and I auditioned for the UK version of The X Factor a few years ago. I made it to the last 500 out of 10,000 but that's when my journey ended. Ah well!

7. I dressed up as a chicken to promote my books!

To promote my book Knowing Me Knowing You that features a bird-costumed character called The Love Dove, I donned a chicken suit! There are photos - unfortunately!

8. I live near Sting!

I live just over the hill from Police member and singer/songwriter, Sting. He has much more of a garden than me!

9. I have a candle obsession!

I love burning candles and I am addicted to Partylite. I have candle parties almost every month so I can buy more! The stronger the fragrance the better I like them. My favorite smells are Ginger Pumpkin and Lime Twist. 

10. The first concert I went to was New Kids on the Block!

I remember begging my dad to let me and my step-sister go and see them when they came to the UK. I think I promised to wash up and tidy my room and be good for the rest of my life for Jordan, Jon, Donnie, Joey and Danny!

About The Author

Mandy Baggot is a self-confessed Twitter addict who likes to sing on You Tube. She regularly guests on book blogs and is a featured author on the innovative website She is also a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.

Taking Charge is her fifth novel. Mandy lives near Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK with her husband and two daughters.

Virtual Book Tour Contest Giveaway

Win an eBook Copy of Taking Charge

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Taking Charge Book Trailer

Book Review

Taking Charge by Mandy Baggot
Publisher: Sapphire Star Publishing
Publication Date: May 3, 2012
Format: Paperback - 384 pages / Kindle - 522 KB / Nook - 406 KB
ISBN: 1938404025
Genre: Contemporary Romance / Chick Lit / Women's Fiction 

BUY THE BOOK: Taking Charge

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

Book Description:

Is going back Robyn’s only way forward?

American-born Robyn Matthers is going home. With her dad in hospital, his roadhouse in ruins and the ice hockey team slipping down the league, she needs to take charge. But does she have the strength to do it?

Cole Ryan is a hockey player on a personal mission. He’s tall, dark, hot and Robyn’s noticed! But can she trust her feelings - or his? And what will Cole do when he finds out the truth about her?

Robyn returns to Michigan and things aren’t quite the same. Her best friend has grown up and is thinking about marriage and babies, the ice hockey team is no longer the life blood of the community and her father is engaged!

When Robyn’s twin cousins drag up past events that hold painful memories for her, she and Cole are forced together. But are either of them ready to start something new?

With an ill father, a trailer trash almost step-mom and ex-boyfriend Brad desperate for another chance, does Robyn have time to contemplate a relationship? Does she really want one? And is it physically possible for two people to fall in love in just three days?

Book Excerpt:

Cole opened the door and Robyn pushed him inside. She grabbed hold of his hands and put them on her hips. She kissed him, pushing him down onto the floor of the hallway. She wanted to get as close to him as she could. She pulled his t-shirt over his head and looked appreciatively at the firm, muscular chest underneath. She ran her fingers down, across his sternum to the waistband of his jeans.

Cole stopped her, taking hold of her hand and squeezing it in his.

She looked into his eyes, those deep, dark eyes. She kissed his lips again, closing her eyes and savoring every second of how it felt to lose herself in someone, without any questions or recriminations. Without anyone having to get up and go home.

Cole brought her fingers to his mouth and softly kissed each knuckle in turn. His gentleness was too much to bear, and she drew herself away, let him go and got to her feet, sweeping her hair back out of her face.

My Book Review:

After spending the last nine years running away from her past in London, Robyn Matthers is heading home to Portage, Michigan after her father falls ill and is admitted to the hospital. She is going to help him out by taking charge of his rundown bar, the Roadhouse and failing hockey team, the Portage Panthers.

Cole Ryan is a hockey player from Chicago, Illinois, who is moving to Portage, Michigan to work for a pharmaceutical company and escape his own painful past.

Robyn and Cole meet at the airport in Chicago while waiting for the connecting flight to Portage. When her backpack's strap breaks, Cole helps her retrieve the items that fell to the floor. They talked during the whole fight, and when they arrive in Portage, Robyn gives Cole a sizzling kiss goodbye and invites him to visit her father's bar. But coming home isn't going to be a bed of roses for Robyn, she's got a lot of issues to deal with and so does Cole. Can Robyn and Cole leave their troubled pasts behind, give into their mutual attraction, and take charge of their future?

Taking Charge is a fun romance novel that will keep you in stitches. Written in the third person narrative, the author weaves a heartwarming tale of romance with drama, comedy, and hockey added in the mix. The story has a lot of depth and emotions as it realistically deals with family and relationship issues, it will pull at your heartstrings. But it also has a lot of comedic relief in the form of the sassy one-liners, and tension filled drama in the hockey scenes.

The author has created a quirky cast of characters who are realistic, engaging and complex people. I absolutely loved Robyn's sassy personality: she's strong, bossy, feisty and demanding, she's a tell it like it is kind of girl! Cole has a laid back kind of personality, he takes things in stride and goes with the flow. But he also is the kind of guy that is fiercely loyal, caring and passionate. The author does a wonderful job with the character development, there are a lot of intriguing layers to both Robyn and Cole, the reader is easily drawn into the many twist and turns, it keeps you guessing how everything will turn out. I really enjoyed reading about Robyn and Cole's deep secrets and troubled pasts, and how their romantic relationship progressed as the story unfolded. The colorful supporting cast of characters, the smooth dialogues and humorous interactions make this one heck of an entertaining read.

Taking Charge is a wonderful romantic story that will take you on an emotional roller coaster ride with it's dramatic and comedic twists and turns, but ultimately it will leave you with a satisfied smile on your lips.



  1. Thank you so much for having me on your website and for your fantastic review of Taking Charge! I'm so happy to be here!


    1. Hi Mandy! Thank you for the opportunity to read, review and host your virtual book tour event. :)

  2. Mandy, what a great review and post! Of course, you know I knew about Sting, but not so much about Ralph Macchio. Have you seen him lately? He looks a bit beat up now! I guess we all do. Best of luck with taking charge!

  3. Mandy did you know the Bat for Lashes song 'Daniel', is a paen to the Karate Kid himself. Natasha Khan had a massive love for him too. The CD cover is lovely. You should check it out : )

  4. What a lovely interview, Mandy! Well done on getting to the last 500 in the X Factor auditions - you're a woman of many talents (not least the chicken costume lol.)

    I wish you all success with Taking Charge.

  5. Mandy, allergic to prawns? That's tragic. Bananas and Kiwis I could take or leave, but prawns? You poor thing, my heart goes out to you! Love your Karate Kid confession and gutted I missed your x factor audition. Please post on YouTube post haste! Brilliant post, congrats on fabulous interview, too. Whoot!

  6. Thanks for all your comments! I think Ralph still looks hot - he did Dancing with the Stars not so long ago!
    Yes I LOVE prawns, just can't eat them!
    At X-Factor I did Bon Jovi's You Give Love a Bad Name - no footage available! LOL

    1. Mandy you're virtual book tour event has been a hit today on my blog. Lots of great comments. :)

  7. Haw, haw. Bruce Willis meets Mandy Baggot in a lift shaft - no contest. Mandy doesn't take prisoners, or does she? Love it! FAB review, Mandy! Well done, you!

  8. I agree with you about Ralph, I caught a photo of him and it wasn't bad. Might have been air-brushed though! Ooh it is a shame about the prawns though.... great review congrats and fab website!

    1. Hi Linn! Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment for Mandy! :)

  9. I've read one of Many's books and really liked it! Hope to read this one too!

    1. Hi Margaret! Thank you for stopping by. You'll love Taking Charge! :)

  10. What a sweet story! I have to admit, when I started this novel it seemed like it was going to be mostly humor-laden. Robyn's rapid-fire speech reminded me of Vince Vaughn in the movie Swingers. And honestly, I would have been okay with just that. However, the story turned out to be so much more and it was completely satisfying.

    micky of Collision Car Repair

    1. Hi Micky! Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. Glad you enjoyed the story! :)