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.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Open My Eyes by Jennifer Collin (Author Guest Post / Book Review)

In association with Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Open My Eyes by Author Jennifer Collin!

Author Guest Post

My Top 5 TV Crushes:
The Good, The Bad And The 1980s

I’m so excited to be here at Jersey Girl Book Reviews! Thanks for having me, and I hope you get a giggle out of my little confession below ;)

My leading man in Open My Eyes, Ben, came to life as I was watching Season 25 of my favourite reality TV show, Survivor. Fans of the show will remember the gorgeous Malcom, a tall, ridiculously good-looking sweetheart with long brown hair he often wore tied back at the nape of his neck. Like thousands of women around the world, he had me swooning. As I was building the character of Ben, I get thinking of him as a slightly older version of Malcolm. And when my husband asked me why I had a picture of Malcolm next to my computer, I swore black and blue it was just to keep me focused …

Malcolm is one of my TV crushes. There have been many over the years and the list is diverse, from bad boys to heroes. Some of them are embarrassing. After all, bad taste was the fashion in the 1980’s. But some of them have endured. I thought it might be fun to share my top five with you.

1. Faceman (The A-team) - The Scoundrel Crush

I’m definitely showing my age here, but Templeton Peck (aka Faceman) played by Dirk Benedict in the mid 80’s TV show The A-Team, was my very first TV crush. He was the seductive scoundrel who charmed the pants off every woman that crossed his path. Thank goodness I quickly moved on from my scoundrel fetish, although I must admit, I was mighty pleased when Bradley Cooper was cast as Faceman in the 2010 movie remake of the show.

2. Officer Tom Hanson (21 Jump Street) - The Enduring Crush

Ah, Johnny Depp. I first discovered Johnny Depp in the late 80’s TV hit 21 Jump Street and I have been smitten with him ever since. In this show, he played Officer Tom Hanson, the good guy, who was going undercover in high schools to teach the kids to stay off drugs. What’s not to love? And once again, although the recent 2012 film 21 Jump Street was only very loosely related to the show, I was quite happy with the casting of Channing Tatum in one of the lead roles. Good move Hollywood producers.

3. Fox Mulder (The X-files) - The Misunderstood One Crush

Oh, I believe you, Mulder! I believe there are aliens! I just wanted to reach into the TV and give poor misunderstood Fox Mulder, played by David Duchovny, a hug (and well, maybe a bit more than that too…). Mulder was the ultimate in sexy, brooding characters and he had me riveted every week.

4. Dr John Carter (ER) – The Good Guy Crush

I came to ER in its later seasons, when George Clooney’s character, Dr Doug Ross, was on the way out. The character of John Carter was only just developing and I very quickly fell for Noah Wyle’s portrayal of the smart, sometimes vulnerable and always sexy doctor. The sadness he endured in the final seasons of the show just broke my heart.

5. Sawyer (Lost) – The Bad Boy Crush

I always found Matthew Fox’s character, Jack Shepard, a little too righteous for my tastes and instead I preferred bad boy Sawyer. There was something mysterious and defiant about him that had me intrigued. He could have led me astray. He could have led me anywhere. He was a brooder too, which is always sexy on TV.

Looking back on my list, I can’t help but notice it’s pretty dated. After my husband and I had kids, we stopped watching TV for many years and are only now catching up on what we’ve missed.

Most recently we’ve been indulging in a bit of Parks and Recreation and I’m quite smitten with the lovely Ben Wyatt, played by Adam Scott. He’s my Nerd crush.

But I’m curious, who else should I be on the look-out for? Who are some of your TV crushes, new or old? Come on, don’t be embarrassed – I put Faceman out there, didn’t I?

About The Author

Jennifer Collin writes quirky, and sometimes gritty, love stories about ordinary people dealing with what life throws at them. She lives in Brisbane, Australia, with her husband, two noisy children and a cantankerous cat. She used to party, but now her idea of a good time is an uninterrupted sleep. These days, her characters do her partying for her, and she doesn't necessarily let them sleep.


Book Review

Open My Eyes by Jennifer Collin
Book 2: The Evans Trilogy
Publisher: Independent Self Publishing
Publication Date: April 7, 2014
Format: eBook - 293 pages
             Kindle - 1095 KB
Genre: Chick Lit / Contemporary Romance / Women's Fiction

BUY THE BOOK: Open My Eyes

BUY THE TRILOGY: The Evans Trilogy
Book 1: Set Me Free
Book 2: Open My Eyes

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 Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours.

Book Description:

Everything happens for a reason, they say. And sometimes the reason is you're stupid and make bad decisions. Sleeping with her sister's best friend is one of the dumbest things soon-to-be divorcee Emily Evans has ever done. But she's determined to put it behind her and move on. She's walked away from her cheating husband, managed to make a new friend, and found herself a real job and somewhere to live so she doesn't have to couch-surf any more. Everything should be falling into place but for one problem – there are some mistakes from which you can't move on.

Meanwhile, Ben Cameron is getting on with his life. After all, it's the only thing to do once your heart has been stomped on by the woman of your dreams. Expanding his business and getting cosy with the girl next door are proving welcome distractions. He's even happy to babysit his nephew, as long as he can to hand him back when he's done! And thankfully, Emily Evans, the woman with the heavy boots, is avoiding him like the plague.

But Emily can't avoid him forever, and when she drops a bombshell that turns Ben's world upside-down, suddenly, getting on with his life takes on a whole new meaning.

Book Excerpt:

Annie pointed to the hand Emily still held behind her back. ‘Hey, I think the ten minutes might be up now.’

Emily looked at her watch for the third time. Annie was right, it was time to check the stick. Heart hammering, she fell back against the cubicle partition. She swallowed, squeezed her eyes shut, and took a deep breath. Slowly, she moved her hand around until she held the small stick in front of her. She exhaled and opened her eyes and looked.

Two little blue lines looked back at her.

She was pregnant.

She burst into tears.

Annie’s arms went around her, and Emily buried her face in her new friend’s shoulder. Annie stroked her hair and let her cry.

More punters came in to use the bathroom. Unlike last time, their chatter died immediately. Emily heard a tentative voice call out in Japanese and from within the hug she felt Annie answer.

By the time the newcomers left the bathroom, Emily was regaining control. She sniffed and wiped her eyes with toilet paper.

‘Sorry,’ she said to Annie.

‘It’s okay.’

‘So, now I know.’ Emily studied the scrunched up ball of paper in her hand. ‘We should get out of here,’ she said. She lifted the toilet seat and dropped in her little bundle of tears.

‘Are you sure you’re ready?’

Emily nodded.

Five minutes later, make-up restored and shoulders set, Emily let Annie lead her back into the noise and darkness of the club. The smell of stale beer was like a slap in the face. The music was too loud, the lights too flashy and the people too close. None of it had bothered her before, but now the room was spinning. She found a table edge to grip, and took a deep breath.

On stage, her brother Andy was ripping through a guitar solo. His brown hair fell over his eyes as he concentrated on the instrument in his hands. In skinny black jeans and T-shirts, the band looked like a bunch of clones. But unlike Annie, Emily didn’t mind them. They were definitely cocksure, but it was hard to go wrong with three-chord pop-punk guitar riffs.

Emily salvaged some sense of calm. It was Andy’s idea that she come to Japan with the band. He could see she needed the distraction, to get the hell out of the country. A quick overseas jaunt to escape a sticky situation was a technique they’d both observed Charlotte apply, again and again, after each one of her failed relationships.

Admittedly, taking advice from Andy wasn’t usually the best idea, but here she was, in the midst of a Japanese nightclub on her first overseas trip. Emily let go of the table and put her shoulders back. She was brave, she could step out of her comfort zone, and she had people around her who cared about her. Even the ones she’d only just met were looking out for her.

Her hand moved to her stomach. A little human being was growing inside her. One she would have to look out for. Holy crap.

My Book Review:

The Evans Trilogy is an entertaining set of stories about the trials and tribulations of the Evans siblings: Charlotte, Emily and Andy. In the first book, Set Me Free, the story focused on Charlotte and Craig's story, now in the second book, Open My Eyes, the reader follows Emily and Ben's story.

In Open My Eyes, Author Jennifer Collin weaves a heartwarming tale of family, friends, and romantic relationships. The reader is easily drawn back into the trilogy as they follow Emily and Ben's story. Their story is full of humor, drama, and romantic trials and tribulations, and there are cameo appearances by the other Evan siblings: Charlotte and Andy and their romantic partners.

After a one-night stand that ends with the dreaded "love" word from her sister Charlotte's best friend Ben Cameron, Emily runs away with her brother Andy's band for their tour in Japan. But there is more than just the "L" word that is the problem, Emily finds out that she is pregnant, and while she has broken his heart, Ben has decided to move on ... that is until Emily drops the bombshell and turns his world upside down.

Open My Eyes is an engaging romantic story that has a little bit of everything that keeps the reader engaged and turning the pages. From family dynamics, to the drama of a friends-to-lovers romantic relationship, to troublesome secrets, to the everyday life trials and tribulations, this is an entertaining story filled with humor and enough plot twists and turns that it feels like an intriguing soap opera. With a quirky cast of fun loving characters, humorous dialogues and dramatic interactions, a rich description of the setting, and a thoroughly entertaining romantic storyline, Open My Eyes is a wonderful example of what fun romantic Chick Lit stories are all about!

Even though Open My Eyes can be a stand alone read, I would recommend reading the books in the trilogy in sequential order as they flow smoothly from one story to the next. I look forward to seeing what the author has in store for the reader in the third book of the trilogy when the focus is on Andy's story.


Virtual Book Tour Schedule

Tour Schedule:

August 18 – Ski-Wee’s Book Corner – Review
August 19 – Chick Lit Plus – Review
August 20 – Karma For Life Chick – Review
August 20 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review, Guest Post & Excerpt
August 21 – eBook Addict – Novel Spotlight
August 22 – The Modern Jane Austen – Review
August 22 – Samantha March – Q&A & Excerpt
August 25 – Keep Calm and Blog On – Review


  1. Thanks so much for the lovely review, Kathleen! I'd love to hear who your TV crushes are ;). Anyone else game?

    1. Hi Jennifer! Thank you for the opportunity to host your virtual book tour event. I really don't have any TV crushes, I usually watch realityTV or my favorite sports teams (hubby hogs the remote) when I am not reading or trying to get through my massive TBR list. lol :p

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