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Friday, February 7, 2014

The Latecomers Fan Club by Diane V. Mulligan (Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Goddess Fish Promotions, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for The Latecomers Fan Club by Author Diane V. Mulligan!

Book Review

The Latecomers Fan Club by Diane V. Mulligan
Publisher: Self Independent Publishing
Publication Date: November 1, 2013
Format: Paperback - 198 pages / Kindle - 4406 KB / Nook - 239 KB
ISBN: 1492221996
Genre: Contemporary Women's Fiction 

BUY THE BOOK: The Latecomers Fan Club

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 Goddess Fish Promotions. 

Book Description:

What is it about guys with guitars in their hands that makes them so irresistible, even when they are obviously self-centered jerks? If Abby and Maggie could answer that question, maybe they could finally get over Nathaniel. There’s just something about him when he picks up his guitar and gets behind the microphone, something that makes sensible women act like teeny-boppers instead of rational, self-respecting adults.

Abby was first sucked in by Nathaniel’s rock ’n roll swagger four years ago when a drunken fling turned into a series of drunken hook-ups that became something like a relationship. Now, as New Year’s Eve promises a fresh start, she wants to believe he’s finally going to grow up and take their relationship seriously.

What does Nathaniel hope the new year will bring? An escape from the disappointing realities of his life. He’s thirty-four years old and he’s barely making ends meet as an adjunct philosophy professor, which was always only a back up plan anyway. Nathaniel's real goal was always to make his living as a musician, but his band, The Latecomers, broke up a couple of years ago, and he hasn’t picked up his guitar in months. When he decides to spend the holiday with some high school friends instead of hanging out at the bar where Abby works, he gets the happy surprise of reuniting with his long-lost friend Maggie. Newly divorced, Maggie has just moved back to her mother’s house to regroup.

Nathaniel and Maggie were supposed to be the ones who left Worcester forever to conquer the world. He was going to be a rock star. She was going to take the world of art by storm. He’s never gotten farther than Boston, and her best efforts only left her broke and heartbroken. As they ring in the New Year together, Nathaniel decides it’s time to take control of his life and to start making his dreams come true. He thinks the first step will be easy. All he needs to do is break up with Abby and finally admit his feelings for Maggie. But the new year has more surprises in store, and nothing is ever as simple as it seems.

Book Excerpt:

Of all the possibilities Nathaniel had imagined for New Year’s Eve, he never could have predicted that he’d be kissing Maggie Monahan next to a fire pit in his friend’s backyard at midnight. When he had told Abby that no one interesting would be at the party, he believed it. He thought he would go, hang out with kids he’d known since infancy, get shit faced, and pray the New Year would be better than the old one. He knew Abby was pissed that he had chosen his friends over her, and he had to admit, the scene at Zack’s was likely to be pathetic, hardly a step up from the Watering Hole. But his friends were there, his real friends who looked up to him, who were impressed by his stories about teaching college in Boston, who still believed he was someone special even though his big, starry-eyed dreams had not come true.

At least Abby had to work so he didn’t have to fight with her about his plans. She always wanted to come with him to these things, but he never let her. His friends joked that he must be embarrassed by them. Either that or she was imaginary. The truth: He was embarrassed by her. If they met her, they’d know that however great his stories about his awesome metropolitan life, he was just like them—stuck. Sure, he got out of Worcester, but he wasn’t living his dream, and Abby was proof.

It wasn’t that she was awful—she was cute enough, nice enough—but she was so ordinary, so boring. She had no ambition. She was perfectly happy buying clothes at J.C. Penney, and her dream vacation was a week at Disney World. She wasn’t the love of his life. She was the one he settled for. And thank God she wasn’t with him tonight, because he couldn’t take his eyes off of Maggie.

My Book Review:

The Latecomers Fan Club is an intriguing contemporary women's fiction story that revolves around the complexities of life, love and relationships.

Set in Boston and the suburbs of Somerville and Worcester, the story is told in the alternating third person narrative with flashbacks to the past involving three complex individuals and their complicated love triangle. The reader is introduced to Abby, Nathaniel, and Maggie, who are all struggling in their individual lives and romantic relationships. Abby is a twenty-seven year old bartender, who met Nathaniel, a thirty-four year old adjunct college philosophy professor and struggling musician, four years ago when his former band the Latecomers played at The Watering Hole. Their one night stand turned into a complicated and toxic relationship that seems to be going nowhere. Maggie is a thirty-three year old struggling artist who came back home to Worcester after her divorce. Maggie and Nathaniel were childhood best friends, and even though Maggie had deeper feelings for Nathaniel in the past, he didn't act upon her feelings because he felt that she wasn't "the perfect one." While Maggie worked on New Year's Eve, Nathaniel and Maggie were reunited at a former school friend's party. Nathaniel becomes involved with both Abby and Maggie, and what ensues is a tangled web of emotions, drama, and unexpected trials and tribulations as the complicated love triangle becomes interwoven with their individual struggles and unfulfilled life expectations.

Author Diane V Mulligan weaves an interesting tale that easily draws the reader into the complicated lives of Abby, Nathaniel, and Maggie. The trio's alternating perspectives flow seamlessly as their individual struggles in life intertwines with their complicated love triangle. The author does a really good job of portraying the characters and the complexities of their lives in a realistic way that makes it easy for the reader to relate to. The reader steps into Abby, Nathaniel, and Maggie's lives and is able to see their strengths and weaknesses as they struggle to find the path to love and happiness. I really enjoyed the differences in each of the characters: Abby is young and naive, has never had dreams or goals, and is desperate to hold onto a toxic relationship; while Maggie and Nathaniel are both in their mid-thirties and are disenchanted with the way their unfulfilled lives have turned out, they are struggling to achieve their dreams. I was fascinated with how their lives and relationships unfolded in an entertaining and moving style as each comes to the realization that life doesn't always turn out the way they expected.

The Latecomers Fan Club is a refreshing true-to-life story about the complexities of life experiences and romantic relationships, it is a fast-paced and thoroughly enjoyable read.


About The Author

Diane Vanaskie Mulligan began writing her first novel, Watch Me Disappear, during an after-school writing club she moderates for high school students. She published it in August 2012. It was a 2013 Kindle Book Review Best Indie Book Award Finalist in the YA category. Her second novel, The Latecomers Fan Club, was released in November 2013.

Diane holds a BA in American Studies from Mount Holyoke College and a Master’s degree in teaching from Simmons College. When she isn’t teaching or writing, she’s the managing editor at The Worcester Review and the director of The Betty Curtis Worcester County Young Writers’ Conference You can also find her occasionally strumming her guitar and singing at various bars in central Massachusetts, where she lives with her husband.


Virtual Book Tour Contest Giveaway

Win A $25 Gift Card 
Amazon / B&N / iTunes

Author Diane V. Mulligan will be awarding a $25 Gift Card to Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or iTunes, to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.

The tour dates can be found here:


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you for visiting Diane's virtual event on my blog. :)

  2. A very helpful review thank you.


    1. Hi Mary! Thank you for visiting Diane and posting your kind comment. :)

  3. Replies
    1. Thank you for the opportunity to host the virtual book tour event.

  4. A really great review. Sounds like a complex but fascinating story.

    1. Hi MomJane! Thank you for stopping by and posting your kind comment. :)

  5. Great review, thank you. Sounds like a great book.


    1. Hi Rita! Thank you for visiting my blog and posting your kind comment. :)

  6. Thanks for your kind words on The Latecomers Fan Club!

    1. Hi Diane! I really enjoyed reading this interesting story. Thank you for the opportunity to host your virtual book tour event.

  7. Sounds like a great read!!
    Thanks for the chance to win!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

  8. I really like the fact that the author has chosen to write about a love triangle that involves real adults who have lived, loved and lost, something not entirely believable in YA or NA books.