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.

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Girl He Knows by Kristi Rose (Author Guest Post / Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Jen Halligan PR Tours and Events, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for The Girl He Knows by Kristi Rose!

Author Guest Post

First let me start by saying how honored I am to be here with Kathleen and all the people that love her. If you all have any questions or thoughts just leave something in the comments or swing by my site. I’ll get back with you as soon as I can. Until then, thanks you all, for welcoming me.  :-)

Top Five Things about me (that readers don’t know):

1. A spider laid eggs in my arm while I was sleeping. I was 4. Pretty creepy, huh!

2. A Knight in Shining Armor is my favorite romance of all time. When I read it, I cry. Even now.

3. I love listening to the Banjo (5 string-not claw hammer).

4. I can’t read scary books. I get too spooked out and can’t sleep.

5. The Philadelphia Story with Katherine Hepburn, Cary Grant, and Jimmy Stewart is my all-time favorite movie. Ever.

A Day in My Writing Life

(This varies based on whether it’s summer or school is in session as my writing revolves around my kids’ schedules and my part time job- unfortunately.) So for most of the year it looks like this on the days I don’t work.

5:30-7:30: The mayhem begins. I shower and get ready, make breakfast and lunches, get kids up, fight with them to get dressed, feed the dog, set out dinner and check my email.

7:30-8:05: Drive to school. I negotiate with them about how many times we can listen to a song repeatedly and the merits of silence. Last school year it was the FROZEN soundtrack. I’ve introduced them to Katy Perry- so fingers crossed.

8:05-8:20: Drive to a coffee shop. I live in the Pacific Northwest so finding a coffee shop is pretty stinking easy. I prefer those run by locals as to a chain.

8:20-11:15 If I’m lucky my critic partner (s) will meet me at said cafe and we chat briefly/brainstorm before we write and get hopped up on caffeine. She/They usually brings good writing mojo so it’s a perk having her/them there.

11:15-11:30- Drive like a maniac to pick up DD from pre-school because I stayed at café WAY to late.

11:30-1:45-Lunch with DD, laundry, library, or grocery store run. Or all of them.

1:45-3:05- Leave to get DS. DD sleeps in car and if I leave the engine to idle she’ll sleep until DS comes out at 3 and I usually write until then. In my car. Drivers seat. Like a weirdo. I don’t make eye contact with other parents in the pick up line because 1. Don’t want them to wake hellion DD and 2. I don’t want them to wake hellion DD and take away my writing time.

3:05-9:00: Home, snack, play outside (unless it’s raining- and it usually is) laundry, homework, dinner, feed dog, talk to DH, showers, chores, check email/social media, blog, jot down character thoughts on scrap paper while cooking etc., read to kids, prep for next day, kids to bed, and fall onto couch exhausted.

9:00-11:00: Write stuff that has to be totally reworked on the next writing day (yet, I continue to do this). Pretend to be watching TV with DH while trying to type quietly.

What was your inspiration to become an Author?

I don’t know if there was ever a specific impetus. I read a ton as a kid (and still do) and always made up stories. The back pages of my school notebooks were filled with little stories or poems. At one point I even tried to write a Harlequin (I was 13). The dream of becoming a writer became just that- a dream- as I got bogged down with being thrust into adulthood. Yet, I never stopped writing out plot lines and character drafts and now here I am.  : -)

About The Author

Kristi Rose was raised in central Florida on boiled peanuts and iced tea. She’s lived by an active volcano, almost fallen off a mountain, and was married in Arkansas by a J.O.P in flip flops named Earl. Today, as a proud military wife and mother of two, she’s been lucky enough to travel the world. No matter where she is, she enjoys watching people and wondering what’s their story? That’s what Kristi likes to write about: everyday people, the love that brings them together, and their journey getting there. Kristi is a member of RWA. The Girl He Knows is her debut novel.


Book Review

The Girl He Knows by Kristi Rose
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Publication Date: August 18, 2014
Format: eBook - 218 pages
             Kindle - 333 KB
             Nook - 323 KB
ISBN: 978-1616505608
Genre: Contemporary Romance / Women's Fiction

BUY THE BOOK: The Girl He Knows

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour hosted by Jen Halligan PR Tours & Events.

Book Description:

Waking up naked next to a good looking man is not a bad way to start the day. Especially since Paisley missed all those opportunities in college, when she was too busy supporting her no good, thankfully now, ex-husband. The problem? This hottie is Hank, her best friend’s older brother, a guy she’s known her entire life.

Stopping after one night is the right thing to do. Being with him clearly breaks the best friend code, and from his career as a Naval officer to his Boy Scout reputation, everything about him screams monogamy and commitment. Two things Paisley has had enough of.

When Hank presents a “no strings attached” offer, it’s too good to be true. She can enjoy him while still embracing being single. But, poor choices force her to confront old fears of love and loss, and Paisley has to decide if Hank is worth the risk. The alternative is never experiencing the real deal. Or far worse, settling for less.

Book Excerpt:

Chapter 1

“Hank, honey. Time to get up.” Hank’s mom, calling through the door, wakes me from my sleep.

Disorientated, I sit up with a jerk. The blanket falls, exposing my bare breasts. Gasping, I pull the sheet up to my chin, squint, and do a long blink. My contacts are dry, which makes them feel stiff and scratchy and my vision blurry. Each blink offers a short snapshot of my surroundings.

I know where I am. Mortified, I drop my head and cover my eyes with the sheet. Why had I agreed to come here? What would make me throw caution to the wind and risk ruining a friendship?

Lust. That’s what.

“Hank, Dad says you have a tee time in one hour. Time to get up, sleepyhead,” his mom calls.

“Sweet Jesus,” I whisper. Panic seizes me as I glance to my left. Lying next to me is my best friend’s older brother, Hank. I’ve known Gigi and Hank my entire life. This is her childhood bedroom, now a converted guest room, and the voice on the other side of the thin door is their mother, Ms. Becky. I’d rather face all of hell’s demons than have her find me here, in her guest bed, naked, with Hank.

“Hmmphh? To slee….” Hank mumbles and his warm body rolls away, exposing his firm, well-defined backside. I close my eyes and count to ten. Now is not the time to get distracted by his assets or lost in the memory of how wonderful last night was. Now is the time to get the hell out of Dodge. I clutch the sheet to me as I shake his shoulder.

“Wake up,” I whisper. When he doesn’t move, I lean close to his ear. “Wake. Up. Your mom is at the door.”

He opens his eyes, or at least the one eye I see as he’s lying on his stomach.

The doorknob rattles, and I fling myself back, pull the covers up over my head, and try to burrow underneath him.

“I’m up, Mom,” Hank says, not even moving an inch.

“Well hurry. Dad’s anxious to get to the course.” Her voice fades, indicating she’s moving down the hallway.

“You can come out of hiding,” he says.

I flip the covers off my face, then clench them to my chest, “Hush. I don’t want them to know I’m here.”

“I figured. I don’t think they’ll care if they find you here.” His voice is a low baritone and I worry it will carry.

“Whisper,” I say. “I don’t care what you think. I don’t want them to know. I don’t want Gigi to know. I don’t want anyone to know.” Just saying it makes my stomach clench with apprehension.

“I don’t see the big deal.”

I sit up, rest on my elbow, and face him. “Of course you don’t. Let me tell you how it will go down if anyone finds out about last night.”

“This should be good,” he mumbles.

I continue, “I’ve been divorced a year now. Everyone wants to set me up because they think I need to be getting serious again. If our family gets wind of this…they’ll go nuts.” I shake my head. My mother would put an announcement in the social page of the paper, the engagement section, not five minutes after gaining this knowledge.

“I’m not so sure they’ll react like you think.” He’s a guy so he doesn’t understand the way a mother’s mind works, or his sister’s for that matter.

“You tell no one.” I point to emphasize my words.

“How do you figure you’re getting out of here if not through the front door? Dad and I are headed to the golf course. My mom is staying home.”

I give the room a quick scan. I want to leave unseen.

“There’s my exit.” I point to the window. I roll away and sit up again, tucking part of the sheet under my arms and wrapping the rest around my backside. I search for my clothes.

“The window? Really?”

“Sure. Trust me, it’s easy. I’ve done this before. Lots.” I wave my hand to emphasize that it’s no big deal.

Hank raises a brow. “You’ve done…what before?”

“Oh my God, not that. I mean, I haven’t done this”—I point to him—“but I’ve snuck out the window. With Gigi.”

His lips twitch. I’m prepared to slap my hand over his mouth should he start laughing.

“What if someone goes outside and sees you? It’s”—he turns to look at a clock— “eight-thirty.”

“They won’t know I’ve come out the window. They’ll think I’m coming from the back.” Gigi’s bedroom is on the side of the house. Gigi and I have run every possible scenario. This is something I’ve done often enough I could label it a skill. “And you’ll be in the kitchen distracting your parents. Close your eyes.”

“Huh?” He rests his arms behind his head and yawns. It must be nice to be so relaxed.

“Close your eyes. I want to get out of bed and get dressed.” I’m not ready to be naked in front of Hank in broad daylight. I’m pretty confident my backside isn’t as well defined as his.

“Do you not remember last night?”

“Just shut up and do it.” When he closes his eyes, I toss my pillow over the top of his head. I swing my feet out of bed and lower them to the ground. The crinkle of a wrapper halts my flight.

I peer over the edge of the bed where condom wrappers lay scattered.

“Holy shit,” I whisper and look over at Hank to find him smiling.

The light of day casts a whole new perspective on last night’s choices, and even though I thought I was making a sound decision, it’s obvious now I was conned by lust…and alcohol. Enough to impair my common sense and my moral compass, but not so much I can’t remember.

“Hurry, I want to get up, too.” He grunts when I punch him in the gut.

I slide out of bed, pulling the sheet with me. Hank pulls back when I’m three feet away, my bra and panties are just out of reach. I give a firm tug and meet resistance. Hank still has the pillow over his eyes, but is it enough? Will he look? I snap the sheet in a hard tug and let go when he resists. The fabric floats back, covers his head, and I dash to scoop up my panties and bra. I have one leg in my jeans when another knock at the door startles me, and I fall back onto the bed. When the doorknob rattles, I roll onto the floor and try to crawl under the bed, but bump my head on the frame. I don’t fit.

“Hank, here’s coffee,” his mom calls.

Hank jumps off the bed and snatches up condom wrappers. He puts his pants on with amazing speed, tucking the wrappers into his front pocket. I jump up and hop toward the closet as I pull on my pants, stopping only to gather my shirt, purse, and boots. I ease the folding door closed. The closet is empty save for a few Rubbermaid bins. I dress with deliberate movements, careful not to bump a wall, pausing, one arm in my shirt, the other midair, when the low creak of the bedroom door opening paralyzes me.

“Oh, you’re getting dressed. Good. I thought you might be having a hard time waking up. You got in pretty late. Did you have a good time last night?”

I cover my mouth with my hand to keep from snorting. He’d better say he had a fabulous time. I press my head into my palms. What is wrong with me? I’m talking about Hank. Yes, last night I experienced alter-my-psyche, toe-curling sex with him, my best friend’s brother. It’s the last part that makes me want to hurl. If our acquaintance was recent, not a familiar one with the baggage of a past, if I wouldn’t have to hear about it for years to come from my family or his sister, if I knew he could walk away after a few more encounters wanting nothing more, I wouldn’t hesitate to repeat last night. Often. This is wrong on so many levels I can’t even wrap my mind around it.

The last thing I should care about is whether or not he enjoyed last night. I should care about leaving without doing any more damage. Still, I wonder—what did he think of last night?

“Yeah, it was fun. Tell Dad I’ll be ready in a minute.”

Fun? He closes the door and I resume dressing. My bra is on inside out, but I don’t care, I want to leave. I put my purse on messenger-style and reach to pull on my knee-high socks.

Hank opens the closet door. “You can come out. She’s gone.” He has a mug of coffee in his hands and a grin on his face.

“Remind me why we came here?” I look up from the closet floor. Neither of us lives here, in Lakeland. We spent last night at a concert in Orlando and could have gone north to my house instead of coming south.

“I’m helping Dad balance his business accounts this weekend. You said you thought it’d be fun to come with me.”

“Yep, fun.” I say. There’s that word again. Fun. Clearly, it’s synonymous with stupid.

“I’ve had fun. You haven’t?” He offers me his hand.

“You would describe last night as fun?” I pull on my boots, forego his hand, and scoot past him until I can stand.

“Yeah, fun. What did you have?”

“I don’t know.” Maybe I had my mind blown, a fantastic night, or experienced a whole different level of pleasure. Whatever I had, Hank had fun.

“Never mind. Help me with this.” I walk to the window and ease up the blinds. Hank doesn’t move, just stands by the closet with his coffee. His dark hair is so short it hardly looks mussed and last night’s smooth face and jawline are now covered with the shadow of a beard. When we first kissed, yesterday, I held his face between my hands. Today, I want to stretch across the space, hold his face again, and compare the touch, to commit both to memory. My palms itch with need.

“You’re really doing this? You think this is a better option than going through the front door and saying you crashed here because you drank too much?” he asks.

“Yes, I do.” I ease up the well-oiled window and pop out the screen like a pro. Ten years later and I still have skills. Gigi and I used to sneak out of her room without even waking the dog. I lean over to lower the screen to the ground and check to make sure no one is outside. The desk chair is the perfect height to get me up onto the windowsill, and Hank steps aside to let me drag it over.

I whisper, “I’ll hand you the screen, you can put it back, and then you’ll need to go distract your parents.” I climb up and lower one leg over the sill.

He sips his coffee, makes a face, and puts it on the desk.

“Did you hear me?” I ask in a loud whisper. If I wasn’t sitting on a windowsill, half in, half out, this moment would be like all the others I’ve shared with Hank: comfortable, easy, laughable at one point or another.

“Yeah, yeah. I heard you.” He shakes his head with what I’m sure is disbelief. After all, I’m a twenty-five-year-old sneaking out a bedroom window like a fourteen- year-old.

“Just do it,” I tell him then jump off the sill onto the ground. I hold the screen and wait for his head to appear. When it does, I hand it to him.

“Don’t forget to distract your parents.”

“How could I?” he mumbles and fixes the screen.

My Book Review:

Can friends become lovers ... especially when it is with your best friend's brother?

After a painful divorce, Paisley McAllister is on a journey of self-discovery and rebuilding her life. But after waking up next to her best friend Gigi's older brother Hank, she's broken the BFF code of not coveting or fornicating with a friend's brother ... so what's she to do now?

Hank Lancaster is a Naval Officer who has returned home to Florida after an overseas tour in Japan. He secretly always had a thing for Paisley since they were kids, and now that she's single again it's his turn to make her see that they are right for each other. So when he presents a "no strings attached, friends with benefits" arrangement to Paisley, he's hoping that the girl he knows will see that it's worth the risk and turn it into something more.

In her debut novel, The Girl He Knows, author Kristi Rose weaves a lighthearted and entertaining romance novel that easily draws the reader into Paisley and Hank's story. Set in Daytona Beach and Lakeland, Florida, the reader follows Paisley as she rediscovers who she is and what she wants in her life after a painful divorce. Determined to recapture what she had missed when she had married young, Paisley embraces her singlehood status, but never considered the possibility of it including her best friend Gigi's older brother, hunky Naval Officer Hank Lancaster! So can a friends-with-benefits, no-strings-attached arrangement work, or can it be worth the risk of taking a chance on true love?

The Girl He Knows is a sassy fun read, it has a great mixture of humor and romance that makes it so easy for the reader to get drawn into the story. I loved the friends to lovers storyline, especially when it is about two people who have known each other since childhood. Paisley and Hank's connection and attraction made me smile, I loved how their banter and playfulness helped their unexpected romantic relationship blossom, even after years of secretly being attracted to each other. And when you add in the quirky personalities of Paisley's best friend / Hank's sister Gigi, Paisley's older sister Sarah Grace, and the rest of their families, you have one delightful romance story that will leave a smile on your face!


Contest Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Virtual Book Tour Schedule

Tour Schedule:

Monday, August 11th - Books Over Boys
Wednesday, August 13th - Two Children and a Mirgraine
Friday, August 15th - The Fake Steph Dot Com
Monday, August 18th - Jersey Girl Book Reviews
Wednesday, August 20th - Thoughts in Progress
Friday, August 22nd – Refreshingly Riki \
Friday, August 22nd - Penny For My Thoughts Book Blog
Monday, August 25th - Once Upon a Twilight
Wednesday, August 27th - Reader Girls
Friday, August 29th - The Bookshelf Intruder


  1. thanks for hosting Kristi and her wonderful book-I am so proud of her!

    1. Hi Kim! Thank you for stopping by my blog. This is a wonderful debut novel. :)

  2. Thanks Kathleen for hosting me. I enjoyed being here. I thought of you this weekend bc in my latest book I have a hurricane scene and I reference Sandy. As a Florida girl, I know the impact of hurricanes. Love your Jersey strong! AND I love your kind words about my book. Thanks for reading and being a part of my release.

    1. Hi Kristi! Congrats on your delightful debut novel, it was so much fun to read. Thank you for the opportunity to host your virtual book tour / release day event. :)

  3. Thank you so much for hosting, Kathleen! I love this interview :).
    ~ Jen @

    1. Hi Jen! Thank you for the opportunity to host the virtual book release / tour event.

  4. Wow! I love discovering new authors. I cannot wait to read this after reading the excerpt. It had me chuckling at times because I could picture this scene unfolding. Wishing Kristi Rose the very best on this debut novel & future ones!

    1. Hi Jessie, thank you for stopping by! This is a fun story, I hope you get a chance to read it. :)