Straight up...this book deals with the death of a child; and, although it occurs several years before the story begins, there are a few flashbacks toStraight up...this book deals with the death of a child; and, although it occurs several years before the story begins, there are a few flashbacks to when it actually happened. This is simply a heads-up for those of you who do not feel comfortable reading a romance novel that employs this subject matter.
Lisa Alvarez is getting married again. Her fiance is her boss...a solid, hard-working businessman 22 years her senior. True, she never knew her father; but she is not seeking a father figure in Raymond. He is a good companion, a courteous lover and an overachiever in his business endeavors. Does Lisa love Raymond? She supposes she does in the way one loves a good friend. But love him in the heart-stopping, stomach-fluttering, sex on the kitchen table or up against a wall, wild & passionate sense? No. Never again. Lisa had that long ago...and when it was over, the grief and sorrow and pain was so intense she vowed she would never be that person again. Lisa is glad she is marrying Raymond. They are quite compatible.
Maggie Scott is seriously considering having a nervous breakdown. Her three kids are running her ragged, her house is a total mess and her life has been reduced to nothing more than one pile of dirty laundry after another. Since her husband had died less than a year ago, she thought she was doing pretty good holding it all together. But then she received that letter the other day...addressed to Keith from some woman named Serena who wanted to know why he hadn't called her. Didn't he want to see her again? And suddenly Maggie felt like her world was crumbling around her. She had to get away...have some time to herself...relax...breathe again...and track down this Serena woman to find out how she knew her husband. Maggie would ask Lisa to come stay with the kids for the weekend. As her best friend, Lisa would do this...in fact she owed it to her for not showing up to Keith's funeral. Okay, so Lisa had made it clear she was never coming back to San Diego. After the death of their child, she had divorced Maggie's brother Nick and had made a new life for herself in L.A. But this was a matter of Maggie's life or Maggie's death. She grabbed the phone and headed into her sanctuary, otherwise known as the broom closet...
One True Love was one of those books that I couldn't seem to find the right place to stick the bookmark in, close it up and walk away. Just one more page...just five more minutes...and then it was morning; and through blurry eyes (more from the predictable but satisfying ending and less from exhaustion) I read the epilogue. What a sweet, romantic ending to a story that, overall, wasn't very sweet or romantic. Instead, it was a well-orchestrated blend of three, individual stories with one common theme - surviving the loss of a loved one. Maggie...her husband killed in a freak accident that threw her into the immediate role of both mother and father...never stopped to grieve alone. Lisa...her baby girl dying from SDS at 2 months old...shut everyone she loved out of her life and ran. Nick...losing his daughter, which soon led to the loss of his wife as well...sought comfort through alcohol. Barbara Freethy does an excellent job of fleshing out these characters and giving each one a unique personality. As a reader you share their private thoughts & emotions, understand the personal demons they face; and, ultimately, feel an overwhelming (with just a hint of bittersweet) happiness when everything falls into place.
For the reason previously stated, I won't be recommending this book to anyone in particular. However, although somewhat abstract, I hope that I have conveyed a relatively decent idea of what this story is about. I am pretty sure you will enjoy the book if you choose to read it.
Lady Elyssa has a secret admirer and she wants to meet him. Her brother Harrison, the Marquess of Fellingsdown,An excellent HR by a new author for me!
Lady Elyssa has a secret admirer and she wants to meet him. Her brother Harrison, the Marquess of Fellingsdown, is horrified when he learns that the so-called admirer is nothing more than a fictitious gentleman their twin sisters have created in the hopes that their older sister will feel better about herself. You see, although she is breathtakingly beautiful and has a charming personality, Elyssa has never had a suitor. A freak accident at the age of nine left her with a mangled foot that could not be corrected, and she can not walk without the use of a cane. Her coming-out Season had been a mortifying experience, and she has been residing at the familial country estate ever since. Harrison, ever the protector of his sister, immediately organizes a house party to which he entices Brent Montgomery, the Earl of Charfield and most eligible bachelor in London, to attend. If Brent will "pay attention" to Elly for the 2-week duration of the party and cause her to forget about the secret admirer, Harrison will let Brent sire a colt on his prize-winning Arabian horse.
Historical romances with house party themes are always fun and this one is no exception. Of course the "deal" goes awry from the get-go because Brent is immediately attracted to Elly, and vice versa. As they become better acquainted, Brent teaches Elly to look past her disability and strive to do all those things she once thought to be impossible. There were several touching scenes...Brent teaching Elly to waltz and how to play croquet...he was really the hero extraordinaire. In fact, their relationship reminded me of that between Kit & Lauren in Mary Balogh's A Summer to Remember. Add to this, a thoroughly enjoyable secondary romance between Harrison and the woman he loved and lost 4 years prior, a peer at the party who wants Harrison dead, a kidnapping and ensuing chase, and of course what transpires when the bet is discovered, and you've got one damn good book! The sexual content is mild and limited, but the sexual tension carries the story right on through.
I'm currently reading another book by Laura Landon that is showing promise of being just as good as Shattered Dreams, and Ms. Landon is showing great promise of becoming an auto-buy for me. Seriously, if you are in the mood for a fast-paced, well-balanced HR with an awww-worthy love story (or two) and a sweet HEA, this would be the book to pick up (for only .99c on Kindle)!
(No, Dina, I will never grow tired of him.:)...more
Why didn't I know about this book? I mean, I've seen it on occasion when searching through the Kindle books at Amazon, but I don't recall seeing a revWhy didn't I know about this book? I mean, I've seen it on occasion when searching through the Kindle books at Amazon, but I don't recall seeing a review here on GR nor have I noticed it being discussed in a thread. O M G why not??!?
Julie Seagle has just moved from Ohio to Boston to begin her freshman year at Whitney College, only to find the "apartment" she had procured online (and paid 1st and last months rent) was a burrito stand! Fortunately, Julie's homeless situation was short-lived, as her mother was able to reach an old college friend living in the area who seemed genuinely happy to have Julie come stay with her family. And so began a year-long journey that was about to change Julie's life forever.
It didn't take long for Julie to realize that the Watkins family was the real-life version of Modern Family - completely dysfunctional but totally ignorant of the fact. Both parents were professionals who showed little compassion for their 3 children, and seemed to be content with being away from home most of the time. Their son, Matt, was a 21-year old college student and extreme techie geek who Julie forged a somewhat tentative friendship with. Their son, Finn, 23, was the free spirit of the group who was off to explore parts unknown and whose bedroom Julie was now "borrowing". Finally, there was the 14 yr-old daughter Celeste, who could only be described as "interesting". Oh yeah...there was one other painfully obvious member of the Watkins family (he sat at the table, he rode in the car)...Flat Finn.
FF (Julie's unappreciated nickname for Flat Finn) was a life-size cardboard cutout of the real Finn that Celeste carried with her wherever she went. While Matt had always had his nose in a book and the parents were busy with their careers, Finn was the fun-loving, carefree brother that always had time for Celeste when she was growing up. Now that Finn was out of school and away from home doing volunteer work in remote, foreign places, Celeste was lonely and missed him terribly... thereby prompting her to order his cardboard twin online.
Julie didn’t particularly care about Flat Finn’s presence. If everyone wanted to act as though it was perfectly ordinary to hang out with a flat, replicated family member, it was fine by her. After all, he was polite, not at all bad to look at, and didn’t hog more than his fair share of the Thai dumplings. Granted, his conversational skills were lacking, but he was probably just shy around new people…
Julie was cool with FF because she knew it was Celeste's way to keep Finn close and the loneliness at bay. however, she was not cool with the fact that nobody seemed to realize and/or care that Celeste was NOT a normal teenager. She did not interact with other kids, she dressed like a 6-year old; and, what infuriated Julie the most was that Celeste never used contractions when she spoke. Frustrated with the lip-zipped family members, Julie sought Finn out on Facebook. Delighted when she found both him and Matt, she sent each brother a friend request.
Matthew Watkins My visit to the O.K. Corral was… well…
Finn is God I “Facebook like” you, but I’m not IN “Facebook like” with you.
Julie Seagle Going to write a book called, “Binge, Screw, Loathe.” It will be about a hateful woman who travels across the U.S. visiting all-you-can-eat brothels.
It didn't take Julie long to completely understand why Celeste missed her oldest brother so much. Finn was witty and charming, understanding, compassionate and genuinely concerned about his baby sister. And, judging by the pictures he posted to Julie, as well as her interacting daily with his cardboard twin, Finn was - by all serious female standards - a total HOTTIE! As time progressed, the casual email correspondence Finn and Julie shared evolved into a personal Facebook chat where they conversed daily for hours. Finn would be home in the summer and Julie couldn't wait to finally meet and touch and kiss the guy she had fallen head over heels in love with.
For all the humor involving Flat Finn and the sweetness of Julie helping Celeste become a normal teenage girl, there is an essential element to this story that is very sad. I caught a glimpse of it coming but I stayed in denial until that was no longer an option. Then I started to cry.
As in buckets.
I...who never used to cry (before discovering indie authors)...was sobbing miserably. I do understand, however, that it was key to the plot and I love this author for pulling it off so beautifully. It also paved the way for a very happy ending!
Thank you, Jessica Park, for writing such a sweet yet poignant,touching story. I loved it and I'm in love with it! I loved how thoughtful and expressive Finn was and how he totally "got" the uniqueness that was Julie. I loved how the chapters began with the trio's Facebook status. I loved Julie's determination to make Celeste happy, even going so far as to put hinges on Flat Finn so he could sit comfortably! And I loved the Watkins brothers and their individual relationships with Julie. When it was over and I was reflecting back on the story, I came to the conclusion that, although extremely understated, Julia ended up with one of the best contemporary romance novel guys ever!
If you love college-age romances with happy endings, and can handle a scene guaranteed to make you cry (not just sniffle), then I recommend this book to you. Seriously, Flat-Out Love is a gem!