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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Reckless Abandon by Jenn Flynn-Shon (Author Guest Post / Book Review)

In association with Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews welcomes Jenn Flynn-Shon, author of Reckless Abandon!

Author Guest Post

Romantic Suspense: Falling In Love While Under Duress

I’ve been thinking a lot lately – how exactly did Jason Bourne have time or inclination to fall in love with Marie in the midst of so many fatal fight scenes, car chases and all of those bullets whizzing past his head? This was the central question I had in mind while penning my latest Romantic Suspense Reckless Abandon.

For this novella I drew from a place of real life experience. I’ve been married for the past eleven years to a great guy. We have a fairly low-key life filed with the normal day-to-day existence one might expect – work, laundry, time with friends, family gatherings, gardening, etc. I love my life and wouldn’t trade it for the world because every day, though similar in appearance to an outsider, is filled with our own brand of adventure on the inside. So while I was readying myself to write a new book in the summer of 2012 I thought to myself – what if our boring lives were suddenly shaken to their very core by something so grand it forced me into an unexpected adventure I had no choice but to embark on?

And so Reckless Abandon was born.

The main character, Shaw, is a lot like me in that she and Danny live a virtually humdrum existence of the everyday married couple. So when she comes home from an errand one day to find Danny missing and her bedroom tossed like a prison cell, the writer inside her kicks into high gear. She starts asking herself the w/h questions – who, what, where, when, and how but most importantly, why?

In her quest to answer these questions she witnesses a police officer’s murder in her own home and is thrust on a journey she never anticipated. Now you might be asking where the Romantic side of the Romantic Suspense comes into play. Clearly she’s not with her husband and she’s fleeing her home to escape becoming the next victim. Shaw is out there on her own. That’s where JJ comes into the picture.

A former cop turned Private Investigator JJ is not only the only person Shaw believes she can trust in the midst of all this madness but unfortunately he’s someone she already knows intimately. Her ex-fiancĂ© of two decades prior, Shaw knows JJ won’t exactly be doing cartwheels to see her again. But she has no choice in calling him. She needs help and that help must come from someone who has the resources to help track Danny down. Someone outside of the corrupt law enforcement.

Mundane and stale marriage collides with a first love. Bitter resentment bubbles on a cross-country manhunt. Plus there’s that amplified sense of urgency for Shaw to escape the drama unfolding all around her. When these two are tossed into some frantic circumstances there’s no doubt they’re going to start feeling the pull of their own mortality. And that begs the question - what happens when remembered passion sits precariously close to a lit match on top of a can full of heightened senses?

The explosion is inevitable. But the way it happens is a much more delicate matter.

In the Bourne movies, when she meets Jason, Marie is alone and somewhat of a drifter. She and Jason have that in common but in vastly different ways. Jason is trying to recall a past he can’t quite get a handle on and Marie plays a part of caretaker in many instances. It softens her heart and she drops some walls while around him, letting him in and showing that she loves him. But in order to take care of herself she has to leave him behind. So how then (spoiler alert) is it possible they end up together? Jason makes the grand gesture by hunting her down and just the act of him showing up is telling enough to Marie that he loves her too.

But in my novella things aren’t quite that cut and dry. Shaw is married. JJ wanted to be her husband a long time ago. He’s resentful but she needs him to help her. And he does, though at first it’s with an overabundance of disdain. As the story unfolds, even though decades have passed, their history starts rising to the surface, pushing them together while they teeter on the edge of Shaw’s present reality.

Just like it was for Jason and Marie tension and drama move Shaw and JJ from place to place together. Tension and drama make their hearts beat a little quicker in each other’s presence. In such nerve-wracking circumstances it’s easy to see how Shaw could find herself falling back in love with one man while on the hunt for another. But in the end which one of them will make the grand gesture and will it be what she imagined or will Shaw find it’s impossible to find love while under duress?

About The Author

Hi, my name is Jenn Flynn-Shon and I’m the Author of two books (Ripple the Twine, Reckless Abandon), a Chapbook (Trying for the Moon), multiple Zines, and Randomness and Lunacy (a digital-journal blog). I’ve been writing since age eleven and began penning fiction by age thirteen. My first publication was a poem published under a pen name in Bop Magazine in 1989. Since then I’ve had articles and interviews published online and in print.

I’m a two-time winning participant in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) (2009, 2010), an active member of the Scottsdale Society of Women Writers and Arizona Authors Association.

When I make time to relax I love to hang out with my husband at our home in Phoenix, AZ, explore the country on road trips, watch my Boston sports teams, share laughs with friends and family, and read everything from blogs to novels. I make a point to write daily, and I’m a shameless self-promoter.

Reckless Abandon by Jenn Flynn-Shon ~ Virtual Book Tour Page: Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours

Book Review

Reckless Abandon by Jenn Flynn-Shon
Publication: Writesy Press
Publication Date: eBook October 30, 2012 / Paperback January 4, 2013
Format: Paperback - 142 pages / Kindle - 263 KB 
ISBN: 098856680X
Genre: Romantic Suspense

BUY THE BOOK: Reckless Abandon

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:

How far would you go for love? Young Adult fiction Author, Shaw McLeary, returns from Whole Foods to discover her husband, Danny, is gone. So is their stash of cash, his clothes, passport, and her wedding rings. He took off in a hurry and left her behind. While trying to piece it all together Shaw witnesses a cop’s murder in her home. Determined not to become the next victim, she flees. She fears dirty cops are involved in Danny’s disappearance. There's only one person she can trust to help her - JJ Anderson, Private Investigator. Also, her ex-fiancĂ©.

A retired Phoenix cop turned PI, Shaw hopes JJ will be inclined to take her case. Despite his resentment for how their relationship ended, he agrees to help her track down leads on Danny. They chase the clues from Phoenix to Manhattan to upstate New York. In such close quarters Shaw finds it difficult to maintain a professional distance from her first real love. Then what happens if she finds Danny? Can she still love a man who abandoned her or is she too drawn to fixing her past mistake to let go of JJ again?

Book Excerpt:

We both relaxed back into our seats and within ten minutes we were taxiing down the runway. I couldn’t think of anything to say and apparently neither could JJ because we sat for at least a full hour of the six hour flight in total silence.

When the attendant came around to give the bag of peanuts I all but grabbed them out of her hand. I was famished. The chips and snickers bar from the day before weren’t holding me over anymore and I tore into the bag as if I’d never seen a peanut in my life. JJ watched me devour the contents and without a word he passed me his bag as well. I looked at it, looked at him and smiled.

“I totally forgot about your blood sugar issues. I should’ve gotten you a breakfast sandwich with the coffee this morning. Sorry.”

I stared at him, bag of peanuts held in mid-air, speechless. His eyes flicked up from the bag to meet mine. Years flooded back in an instant. His caring nature. His longing to take care of people. His longing to take care of me so long ago.

I felt a long-dormant flip in my belly when he smiled and placed his hand on mine. He gently placed the sustenance in my hand then moved my arm down out of mid-air. I chuckled.

“Drink?” The Flight Attendant asking for a drink order snapped me out of the past.

“Double vodka tonic on the rocks?” The old line flew out of my mouth and I smirked.

“Oh, okay. And for you sir?”

“Miss? I was just kidding about the vodka. Coffee would be fine.” I said and smiled.

I watched as she physically seemed to show relief that I’d changed my order. She returned my smile, took JJ’s order and moved on.

“I think you woke her up.”

“I couldn’t help it. For some reason I just remembered when we used to go to Denny’s and play that one on the waitress on Sunday mornings. You probably don’t even remember.”

“Oh I remember. Her name was Stacy and she brought you a Shirley Temple every time. Extra cherries. God, sixteen. Seems like a million years ago.”

“It was.”

My Book Review:

What's a girl to do when she comes home from the store to find her house ransacked, her husband gone, and a cop gets killed on her doorstep by two bad guys? Why she flees to the safety of her ex-fiancee for help in solving the case of her missing husband!

Reckless Abandon is a quick little romantic suspense novella that is quite the page turner. Author Jenn Flynn-Shon weaves an action packed thriller that is full of intrigue, drama, suspense, deceit, murder and romance. Written in the first person narrative and set in Phoenix, the reader follows the adventures of Shaw McLeary and ex-fiancee, Private Investigator JJ Anderson, as they track down leads in pursuit of Shaw's missing husband Danny. As Shaw and JJ stay ahead of danger and dodge the people chasing them, they follow clues that send them from Phoenix to NYC to Upper New York State, all the while dealing with their intense romantic past that has old romantic feelings simmering below the surface.

With an engaging cast of characters who are realistic and flawed; witty dialogue and dramatic interactions; richly detailed descriptions of a variety of settings; and a storyline that has a great mixture of intrigue, suspense, drama and humor with a touch of romance that doesn't overshadow the action and intensity of the story, Reckless Abandon is a riveting romantic suspense novella that you won't be able to put down!


Tour Participants

April 15 – The Book Bag – Review
April 16 - The Book Bag – Guest Post
April 16 - The Self-Taught Cook – Review
April 17 – Samantha March – Q&A & Excerpt
April 18 – Chick Lit Goddess – Guest Post
April 19 – Storm Goddess Book Reviews – Excerpt
April 22 – Change the Word – Review
April 23 – Change the Word – Q&A
April 24 - Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review, Guest Post & Excerpt
April 25 - Books Etc – Review
April 26 – Every Free Chance Book Reviews – Review
April 29 – Books Etc – Guest Post
April 29 – Chick Lit Plus – Review


  1. Replies
    1. It really was a good quick little novella. Thank you for the opportunity to host the virtual book tour event.

  2. Thanks so much for your review! I'm so happy you enjoyed the book and appreciate you taking the time to share your review :-)

    1. Hi Jenn! Every now and then I love to read quick novellas, and your's was really a fun read. Thank you for the opportunity to host your virtual book tour event. :)