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Monday, December 5, 2016

Serendipity of Fate by Becky Banks (Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Roger Charlie PR, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Serendipity of Fate by author Becky Banks!

Book Review

Serendipity of Fate by Becky Banks
Publisher: Ha'iku Press
Publication Date: November 11, 2016
Format: eBook - 311 pages
               Kindle - 2473 KB
Genre: Military Romance

Buy The Book:

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 Roger Charlie PR.

Book Description:

It’s been two years since Cason McPherson watched his best friend die in his arms. With shrapnel in his hip and a war behind him, he keeps focused on building a civilian life and not on what he wants most: the woman of his dreams, Savannah. If only she’d stop bringing up topics he has to keep secrets about.

Savannah Sparling has no time for baggage, and Cason McPherson brought home a matching set in scathing green—with a carry-on duffel bag full of lies. He’s the childhood friend who enlisted with her brother. He came home, and her brother didn’t.

Balancing work with demanding clients while fulfilling a personal vendetta against Cason consumes Savannah’s already full schedule—until a series of unstoppable events leads to a collision between Savannah’s work and personal lives. Her carefully structured path in the world is crushed, her own blood is spilled, and passion between her and an unlikely bedfellow ignite.

Cason and Savannah find the only the people strong enough to save them from themselves is each other. But will either one of them accept the help—and the love—that’s offered?

Book Excerpt:

Scene setup: Savannah has been coerced into attending her mother’s tea that morning by Cason and when she arrives he’s nowhere to be seen. She finds him half dressed in his room.

She flicked through his shirts.

“I have a shirt out,” he said.

“The one on the bed? I saw. Theodore showed up in couture. I’m helping you, so shut up.”

Cason grunted. “Couture? The UFC fighter?”

She turned her gaze back onto him. “The what fighter?”

“Never mind.”

“Right.” She continued to dig. “Is this all you have? Oh…” She stepped deeper into the closet to dig out something she’d glimpsed at its very back. “Oh yes.”

“No. I’m not wearing that.” His voice was calm and definitive.

“It’ll be tight, for sure. But formfitting we can work with. Take off your undershirt.” She pulled the pitch-black long-sleeve shirt off its hanger.



“Screw you, Sparling.”

“Tell me something you don’t want to do. Now, take it off,” she said, pointing to his white undershirt.
A warm flush of color spread across his cheeks. “Fine.” He pulled it off and tossed it onto his cot, then snatched the black button-down out of her hand.

Before he buttoned it up, it was already obvious it would fit as if it were tailor-made for him. As he closed the peekaboo show with each button, Savannah noted the shoulder seams were set just right at the edges of his wide shoulders, and the sides fit slim against his skin. The black provided perfect contrast to the gray of his straight legged slacks.

“Where’d you get this?” Savannah asked as she leaned against the closet frame. 

“What do you care?”

“Just want to know if you actually have taste, or if someone you know does.”

He glared at her. “It was a gift.”


His lips went to a thin line as if glued shut in reluctance to admit what he was about to: “My mother.”

Savannah’s brows rose. Envisioning the woman as someone who would purchase something other than hooch was hard. “That’s weird.”


“Why did she buy it?”

“What’s with the twenty questions?”

“I’m trying out a new technique. If I can’t be polite, I ask questions.”

“Do you even know how to be polite?”

Her smile was caustic. “Very funny. Why’d she buy it?”

Cason took his time with the two top buttons and with answering her questions. Eventually he said, “She probably traded a family heirloom for it, thinking she’d give it to my father—then remembered when she sobered up that he’d left her.”

Savannah knew the story of his mother well and let it be. “Either way, the shirt fits you great. Leave the top two buttons open, and yeah, this belt will work.” She held one out to him.

“Leave it open? No. I was instructed to wear a tie.”

“Mama has old-fashioned sensibilities. I say leave it open.”

He snatched the belt from Savannah. “Has she caught a look at you yet?” he said, giving her shorts a glance.

“Yes, not to say anything, though.” As his hands were busy looping his belt, she yanked his top two buttons open.

He met her gaze. She was his height in her heels. “Really?”


“No need to rip my goddamn shirt off.”

“I will rip those off if you try to button them again,” she said, pointing to the offending buttons.

Cason’s eyes narrowed, creasing the skin on either side. “Ever think to say so nicely?”

She raised her eyebrows at him. “With you? No.”

“Right,” he said. “Your mother’s gonna pull something like what you just did when she sees you. You might as well be in your pajamas.” He buckled his belt.

“There are things girls can get away with that boys can’t. Such as using shoes. Simply wearing tasteful heels with shorts makes them instantly upscale,” she said and, stepping into his space, pulled gently at his tightly tucked shirt.

She wasn’t sure why she did it, the adjusting. It was a habit. A kind of caregiving that she did in the homes she designed for clients. The constant fiddle and nudge of objects and fabric so that they looked just so, leaving her mark on them. She didn’t have to do that with him, but she was just doing what felt right.

Cason cast her a dark look and then stepped out of her reach to fasten his cuffs. “Sounds like sexism.”
Savannah made a sound at the back of her throat. “It’s amazing that you, a, know that word and, b, used it properly.”

“I’m here to amaze.”

Savannah stepped back to get a better look at Cason.

“Why do I feel like a set of your client’s drapes?” Cason mumbled.

Ignoring him, she said, “That must be very expensive Egyptian cotton, the way your shirt has a sheen like that. And the reason you don’t need a tie is that we don’t cover that bone structure,” she said, coming around to reluctantly admire the work that hard labor and sun had done. His work replaced the gym and tanning beds celebrities worshiped. He naturally came by the collar bones that were playing peekaboo with his shirt’s neckline. Sandy hair and sharp eyes and strong jaw…All of it made him look the part of ex-military Southern playboy.

“You going to stand there and eye-fuck me all day, or are we going out there?”

Savannah’s gaze went to his as she debated what she really wanted to say, and whether or not admitting he was a fine specimen of human male genetics was wise. She broke his challenging but waiting gaze to turn for the door and said, “There’s no need for you to be crass, Cason. I was just thinking that it’s too bad I hate you. You really can wear poor man’s linen like a god.”

“Wow, Savannah,” he said, following her, “that was almost nice of you to say.”

“Today I’ll try for almost nice because there are witnesses, but starting first thing tomorrow, I’ll be back to trying to run you over with my car.”

“Roger that.”

My Book Review:

If you are looking for an enticing military romance that will pull at your heartstrings, then look no further, Serendipity of Fate is that book.

Author Becky Banks weaves an intriguing tale that follows the complex relationship between interior designer Savannah Sparling and childhood friend Army veteran Cason McPherson.

Set in New Orleans, it has been two years since Army Sergeant Cason McPherson has returned home from a traumatic tour in Afghanistan with a wounded body and painful memories that haunts him everyday. Cason's emotional baggage and secrets that he carries revolve around the death of his best friend Ryan Sparling during the insurgent attack, and his promise to Ryan to not act on his longheld secret feelings for Ryan's younger sister Savannah. Savannah is a highly respected and successful interior designer, who puts business before anything else, including her family. Savannah blames Cason for leaving her brother Ryan to die while saving his own life, plus she is deeply angered and feels betrayed by her mother, who has allowed Cason to live in her house in Ryan's bedroom for the past two years. Cason and Savannah have a frosty relationship, always challenging each other and trading snarky barbs with hostile interactions, but below the surface simmers an attraction that may help them heal from the painful emotional baggage that they both carry, and guide them to discover love along the way.

Serendipity of Fate is a wonderful military romance tale that easily draws the reader into Cason and Savannah's story. You can't help but feel empathy for them as they battle with their private demons.

This is a fast paced and multilayered tale that has an intriguing mixture of emotion, drama, angst, and romance that keeps the reader turning the pages. I really enjoyed this storyline, especially when it is about two people whose connection and attraction is so powerful and palpable that they can't resist each other, especially when their mutual attraction simmers under the surface. I loved how their witty banter and sassy playfulness helped their unexpected romantic relationship blossom, especially since it is their longtime friendship and shared personal emotional baggage that brought them back together, and showed them that they really need each other, and that there is so much more to life. I would be remiss if I didn't mention how much I enjoyed the author's rich description of the allure and mystique that is New Orleans.

Serendipity of Fate is a compelling, raw, and realistic romance story that will leave you wanting more!


About The Author

Becky Banks grew up, like the generations of Bankses before her, in the Hawaiian Islands. With the islands as her roots, Becky was raised within the time-honored tradition of “talking story” before a backdrop of grassy fields, blue waters, and cloud-clad mountains. She moved to the mainland after high school to attend Oregon State University, where she studied forestry, natural resources, and science education. One fateful day she realized that her decades of scribblings promised the makings of a romance writer. Becky’s first novel, The Legend of Lady MacLaoch, achieved the Night Owl Reviews Top Pick Award and Amazon’s Best Seller for Historical Romance.

Becky lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband, Keith, and their wild toddler, Sammy.

Author Website
Amazon Author Page

Contest Giveaway

Enter To Win The Following Items:

Virtual Book Tour

Tour Schedule:

December 1
Tour Kick Off with Review and Excerpt Feature at Night Owl Reviews

December 3
Excerpt Feature at Hott Books

December 5
Review and Excerpt Feature at Jersey Girl Book Reviews

December 6
Spotlight and Excerpt Review at Storeybook Reviews

December 7
Excerpt Feature at Serenity's Lovely Reads

December 8
Review at The Phantom Paragrapher
Spotlight Feature at Desert Rose Reviews

December 9
Review at Nightly Reading

December 10
Review at Books are Love

December 11
Spotlight Feature at My Fiction Nook

December 12
Spotlight Feature at What Is That Book About?

December 13
Music Playlist Guest Post on Between Printed Pages

December 14
Spotlight Feature on My Life. One Story at a Time

Also on the Tour
Musings from an Addicted Reader
The Romance Studio
I am a Reader

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