21 August, 2017

Coming Home by Aline Kelley #BlogTour

 
 

Title: Coming Home 
Author: Aine Kelley 
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance 
Release Date: August 21, 2017 
Cover Designer: Sarah Hanson Okay Creations https://www.okaycreations.com 
Photographer: Regina Wamba http://www.maeidesign.com/ 









Five years spent wishing things were different. Five years spent trying to forget it ever happened. Five years spent wondering what coming home would be like. Five years spent hoping there was still a chance. For Jenny Foster, coming home was the scariest thing she’d ever faced, but she was tired of being haunted by the one boy – man – she’d ever loved. She was tired of hiding in the shadows of her childhood; it was time to be the woman she ran away to find. Jack Ryan knew he only had one chance to make things right with Jenny; a chance he didn’t deserve, but he knew he wouldn’t waste it. It had already taken him a lifetime to see what was right in front of him all along, and he’d be damned if he let her slip away again. Maybe time heals most wounds, but when it comes to wounds of the heart, Jenny knows time only builds walls to protect what’s already broken. Only love can heal a wounded heart, and for Jenny Foster that meant letting in the one person who broke it in the first place – Jack Ryan. And he was waiting for her; ready for her to come home…to him.










Aine Kelley is a Massachusetts native who resides in a small seaside community outside of Boston. Besides her immense love for her two girls, she's a huge fan of her Patriots. Bruins and Red Sox! She's a one click addict and loves getting lost in a story. Like her strong female characters in her books, she's a huge 80's movie lover, book addict and a music freak! Her love of words, books, beta reading for authors and reviewing for a blog, led her down this crazy yet exciting writing path. Her motto is: Live freely, laugh heartily and love deeply.















 









18 August, 2017

Rejuvenating My Weary Soul #MFRWauthor





Hey, everyone!


It's been a while since I last posted with these wonderful folks, but to be honest, the last few challenges weren't of any real interest, so I bowed out.

It's Week 33 now, and the challenge asks: What I Do to Recharge

Meh.

But, guilt has prompted me to write SOMEthing, so here I am!


When it comes to writing, there are a few things that help me to rejuvenate.

And, by rejuvenate, I'm going to assume it means ways to overcome writer's block or stagnation or "I just don't feel like doing this anymore" kind of thinking.

We have all probably experienced some type of deflation at one point in our hopeful careers, so we all know it is also quite temporary.

And yet,  while it's happening, it can be a little scary, if not depressing or even debilitating.

Here are a few of the ways I kick myself in the ass to get the creative juices flowing again.


#1 - I Unplug


I stop reading about and listening to what others have to say about the art of writing in general, and that includes disconnecting myself from all things Social Media.

Stephen King may be a terrific writer and wealthy as a result, but his wisdom (being spouted online and posted in countless memes) has an eerie way of putting me off my own game.





Petty, I know, but being a lover of all things Dictionary/Thesaurus, I would have to disagree with the man.

Information overload with everyone offering a different opinion about the same topic, or searching endlessly for info that isn't there... it becomes a distraction as well as a deflation mechanism (for me) so I avoid online time during a writing spurt.

BETA-Blockers


Until I'm finished with the rough-draft, I have learned the hard way to keep that work to myself and not let the BETA bug bite.

Yes, I'm a wilting, over-ripe fruit on the vine when it comes to my writing, and I know that's not a good thing, but my heart and soul are in each word and I know exactly where I want to go with the idea.

To have a stranger enter that magical world and slingshot the stained glass, bulldoze the marble pillars, and deface the priceless artwork with red ink...

It is the quickest way to halt my creativity and rob me of whatever mojo I've got left in me.

ONCE IT'S COMPLETED, that's a whole 'nother issue.

Now I'm prepared to have anyone and everyone have a go at my work with their daggers, torches, pitchforks, cannons, and dynamite.

"Miss R Has Left the Building!"



#2 - I Read



If there is one thing I've learned in all the years I've attempted to get anywhere as an author, it's that reading the work of others, and in a variety of genres, is probably the best way for me to realize I'm one of them and am perfectly capable of joining the ranks of published authors.

Educational AND recharging (at least in the ego department).

Of course, I don't read with the intention of stealing ideas or copying style.

When you read, you learn about style and what works, what doesn't.

I even learned in a Linguistics class in college that we don't learn big words and sentence structure from our parents (just how to speak) but from books.

It's up to us to figure out style, and whether we wish to follow formulaic dogmas or piggy-back off of someone famous.

However...

There have been numerous times when I've bought a Kindle Romance because the synopsis captivated me to no end  --  only to start reading the story and come to the sad conclusion that the author missed the mark.

I think that's called Delivery, but I'm often tempted to pick up the ball that author fumbled and give it my own spin just to see if I can.

VERY invigorating (as a challenge, if you're into that sort of thing).

When I come to a road block in my own work, it often helps to just walk away from Word, curl up in a chair with a random book, and read.

It never fails that something in that author's work will trigger an Ah-Ha! moment in my own, and then I'm back at Word typing another thousand or so words like nothing ever happened to slow me down.

On the lighter side of Reading to Recharge the JuJu, I found the cutest story in Reminisce Magazine that gives an example of why I think it is so important to read if you want to write.

In the Magazine's Valentine's Day section, they posted a tiny story from post-war America that just made me go "Aw!" (my abridged version)

A GI is home from WWII and between jobs so becomes a Mr. FixIt in his neighborhood. He lands a house painting assignment for a young widow and paints every room, finishing with her kitchen. While he paints, she goes about her daily household chores but they find time to chat. He's sad to put the finishing touches on the kitchen wall. She fixes a pot of coffee and they sit at the table talking when he says, "It's a good thing I was off that ladder before I fell." (hint,hint) and the lady doesn't quite catch it, but starts to look around the room for any clues when she sees he's painted small red hearts around the entire border just below the ceiling, with one bigger red heard that he'd wrote "I Love You!" in.

So sweet!

How romantic!

And, damn me, if that isn't a terrific catalyst for a Romance Novel Hero.



#3 -  I Go Shopping



Seriously.

Even when I'm broke, if I'm stuck on a scene or start to feel down about my writing in general, I head for an area mall (yes, a dying breed now, but we still have two left that seem to continue to thrive).

Walking and window-shopping equates to thinking.

Thinking about real life is a drag, so I mentally shift gears to concentrate on a story idea.

While browsing a few of my favorites: jewelry, skincare, and lingerie, I am slowly but surely revitalizing myself, AND an old story idea that never made it to storyboard, or just putting together the twisted puzzle pieces of a stupid scene that refused to come together while I was at home staring at the dumbass blinking cursor for a few... DAYS.

(sorry)

A lot of people say they like to people-watch/eavesdrop as a way to stimulate the creative juices for their next novel.

I think I might qualify as a people-watcher, but definitely not in the way you might think.

And, I hardly feel that what I see is at all helpful for what I want to write about.

I'm the horridly wicked type who will internally poke fun at the interesting folks I see in public.

Shame on me, I know.

And, as luck would have it (or, is it Karma?) there have been a few times when I've seen something I really wish I hadn't, and those are the memories that simply refuse to leave me, too.

Like the lady holding her scruffy boyfriend's hand, and as they passed me by, I nearly dropped my mustard pretzel when I saw her SHEER blouse and no bra underneath.

Memory erase! Where's the eraser?

Or the time I was at Cedar Point, relaxing at the Beer Garden when the hottest, sexiest, -- like, he could definitely be a super-model he was that amazingly gorgeous -- guy strolls towards me, again holding the hand of his gal pal... who suddenly raised an arm to brush aside her long, brown hair... and there at her armpit was more dark, brown hair.

Sorry. Vomit.
Sorry! I just lost my appetite.
Apologies! I want to go home and cry now.

I'm sorry, okay!

It was gross, and I remember immediately zeroing in on her bare legs... just to check.

Yeah, they were pretty furry as well.

AND!  the time on campus when I sat outside waiting between classes and this 'dude' charges out the Prey-Harrold doors snorting his snot, which he then hocks loudly onto the sidewalk, proceeds to rub his nose with his palm, sneezes into that hand then swipes it down the front of his shirt, picks his ass, snorts again and hocks another lugee, coughs against his palm and swipes it across his ass, (and, no lie, I know he made a move to indicate he also farted) when suddenly this pretty, young thing comes racing towards him, hair flowing, backpack jangling, and she jumps into the guys arms, he presses them hands against her waist, and they French kiss for a few minutes.



But... I don't consider ANY of those occurrences to be novel-worthy, do you?

LOL



#4  - I Create My Own Worlds



Yeah, sounds like a storyboard to me!

Whatever.

I'm talking about times of crippling depression that occur due to an inability to write even when you are being urged by your characters to do just that.

If I'm not able to or don't want to leave the house to roam around in public when I'm feeling so depressed about my flagging career choice that I wish I was dead?

I'll create my own fantasy worlds through imagery.

Hot guys, sweet rides, fabulous destinations, amazing architecture, and just colorful, sparkly, dynamic WOW.

(or I binge-watch 007 flicks -- same thing)

If I know I'll never be able to afford it, it goes into my Pinterest Folder labeled MY WORLD.

You might want to try this and see if it works for you.

And, it isn't often at all that I do this, but if anything, it's fun so give it a try and let me know what you think.

Either go online or into your old magazine stash and start swiping pages until something catches your eye.

A color, a spark, an object, whatever... and just stare at it for a time.

If you're able, rip the image out and tape it to your writing area wall.

If your favorite color is Green, then hunt for all things green and display them around or close by your writing station.

If your favorite animal is (an animal) then do the same thing... surround yourself with images of that animal.

Go on Pinterest or just Google images that you know you'll adore and spend an entire DAY examining everything you like.

I created a MUSE folder in Pinterest that's increasingly loaded with imagery, hot guys, a lot of fantasy artwork, and beautiful places with a body of water close by -- all with the intent of offering the inspiration I need to get the writing goddess back into position.

Funny thing is, it's not exactly a storyboard, but sometimes it ends up becoming one!



# - 5  I Travel




And by TRAVEL, I mean hopping in my trusty Honda Civic and going 'somewhere' for a few.

Usually close to home, like a leisurely wind through Hines Park, or west on Michigan Avenue until it reaches Lake Michigan, or an I-94 jaunt East (which is actually North) until it dumps into the Saginaw Bay at the tip of our state's thumb in Port Austen.

Tourist Traps, Farm Country, Little Town Main Street, historical places, and I've even downed a few cold brews in Hell!

Hell, Michigan, that is.





When I need to recharge the creativity battery, nothing seems to beat a good drive in the car.

Favorite music on the MP3 player? Check
Tank Filled to F with Gas? Check
Will it be Twilight Soon? Bonus Points
Heading Towards a Body of Water? Double Bonus Points
Return Trip Through a Neon-Lit City? Ding-Ding-Ding! We Have a Winner!

Detroit after dark is an ideal location to cruise if I need a recharge or ideas.

The casinos, Greektown, the Riverfront, Hart Plaza, the GM Building, the Yacht Club... it's all lit up, glowing against a black skyline, and with Windsor vying for attention across the wide, flowing river.


YouMaCon 2013


A story character is living in one of those sparkling high-rises, and by day works at a hipster micro brewery or a trendy cafe.

Or, they live in the suburbs and come down to the city to shop at the Farmer's Market.

One of them is a musician (or works for one) and has to set things up for an outdoor concert in Chene Park!

The possibilities are endless, and they don't even need to be Detroit-based for the idea to take hold and blossom.

Heck, it's possible for the same things to occur in Toronto or London or even somewhere as innocuous as Boise, right?

A good drive at the right time of day, and especially with the right type of music blaring in the vehicle-of-choice is probably the best and most fun way for me (at least) to get my writer's groove back.

Here's a video my daughter made of our crossing the Bluewater Bridge from Canada to Port Huron, MI






We just hopped in the car (my Elantra at that time) and went -- and day-tripping occurs for me a lot more often than even I tend to believe, but it always works.

Invigorating!

And, even if there isn't peaceful silence to concentrate on the story idea, it doesn't mean you've wasted a lot of time on a lot of nothing.

We're discussing Creativity Recharge here, and believe me, a change of scenery, 9 times out of 10, will do the trick.

As recently as June, when school let out and I had the whole summer to concentrate on my novel, there was still one thing bugging me to distraction about the story, which I have set in the Northern Lower portion of Michigan.

I'd been to the Petoskey/Harbor Springs area before, but in my childhood, and I could only remember there being a lot of rolling hills (mountains to my young, impressionable mind) and the most spectacular sunset spots on the planet.

Google Earth wasn't cutting it and neither were the vast quantities of stock photos and websites I'd been visiting in all this time.

So, I picked a day when my daughter didn't have to work a shift at the Coney Island, I stuffed a cooler with sandwiches, fruit, veggies sticks and them cute little Ranch Dressing cups, and we headed WA-AY up north.

I was right about its being hilly.

Our ears actually popped like we were at 30,000 feet on an airplane, and it hurt :(

The sunset was as spectacular as I'd recalled, too, being right there on Lake Michigan and all.

It was the twin cities themselves that I had a hard time recalling.

What the houses looked like (lots of 1800s 'cottages' of the rich/famous),



told you it was 'hilly' up there!


the local businesses (old mom & pop places),


https://youtu.be/4cJoagmZ_Kg


and the distance between people/the water (a two-lane road separated them... no expressways or buildings to block the wonderful view!)


Harbor Springs Lake Michigan side


so to be able to go there in person and really study the place was a huge help to my story!

Sometimes, doing anything other than writing is the best way to rejuvenate your desire to start writing again!







Thanks EVER so much for joining me today and reading my post!

Now it's time to hop on over to the next in line and find out what they do to rejuvenate!







11 August, 2017

Wait a Minute, I Need a Moment in Context

double-id.fr


Another Linguist Lesson from yours truly today.

We're talking pure CONTEXT here.

I've done my homework/research and conclude that this is another of the English 101 rules currently making its way through every college campus on earth.

Below are two Merriam-Webster definitions and a synonym chart.


Minute  -  noun


1.  the sixtieth part (1/60) of an hour; sixty seconds.
2.  an indefinitely short space of time:
Wait a minute!
3.  an exact point in time; instant; moment:
Come here this minute!

Synonyms


instant, jiffy, little while, minute, moment, second, space, spell, stretch, tick, while, bit


mo·ment  -  ˈmōmənt  noun


1.  a very brief period of time.
"she was silent for a moment before replying"
synonyms: little while, short time, bit, minute, instant, second, split second; informal
"he thought for a moment"
2. importance. (     formal) (accent on second syllable)
importance, import, significance, consequence, note, weight, concern, interest
"issues of little moment"
"the issues were of little moment to the electorate"


Before I go on, let me just say that after having assumed forEVER that adding an S to the end of toward was silly, wrong, and bad form, I noticed in a lot of Pre-WWII black & white movies where the word is spelled with an S.

Towards the Dawn and not Toward the Dawn.

I looked that up as well.

According to the Chicago Manual of Style, the preferred form in American English is toward without the -s, while the preferred British English form is towards with the -s. This general rule works with other directional words, including forward, backward, upward, and downward, along with afterward. (Feb 11, 2015)

And now back to using moment for minute and minute for moment.

That Chicago Manual of Style thing...

It proves I am right when I say the nonsense is derived and absorbed and believed and then proliferated by a ton of hapless students who simply refuse to question any authority outside their own parents.

I went to college as well, twice actually, and it was the second time around and just a few years ago, that I learned quite a lot MORE about the English language and how relatively easy it is to eff it up without even trying, thinking, or (more importantly) caring.

If you subscribe to and believe in the rules/guidelines set forth by a PUBLICATION manual, then you are in for a lot of strife from folk like me, who do not.

Newspapers, Magazines, and even online Article/Journal Publications have these rules in place as a means of saving time/money and little else.

Especially if ink and paper are involved.

Long Story Short -- they are not always right nor correct in their thinking/rule making decisions and more inclined to cost-cut think than anything else.


Bottom Line


If I have to read one more "I waited a moment," or "I'll be back in a moment," or "She returned after a few moments," I'm going to go berserk.

Well, I already have.

Gone berserk, that is.

Which is why I'm writing this ANTI post.

Am I the only one who HEARS and SEES how wrong and stupid the above sentences are and sound to the ear?

It is jarring and makes me want to do the proverbial Kindle Toss thing every time it occurs.

Never in my life had I ever heard anyone say, "Wait a MOMENT."

Nor had I ever read "A few MOMENTS later."

Until now.

It sounds backwards, illogical, and stupid to my ears (and my eyes) and makes me want to cry.

MOMENT has always meant a span of time... an instance when... a dawning... and Eureka.

I'd much rather hear (and read) "I'll be back in a few," over "I'll be back in a moment" any day.

With the latter, I'm forced to hang suspended in time, awaiting the Eureka MOMENT to occur when what the author really means to say is, "Give me a MINUTE to fix my hair."

THAT I can deal with and will gladly oblige, no worries.

"That moment when I realized 2+2 really equals 4" would sound asinine were it to read, "That minute when I realized 2+2 really equals 4"

Yet, today's author seems to think interchangeability is an okay thing when it isn't.

Can you imagine watching Jayne Seymour and Christopher Reeve starring in A MINUTE in Time?

Russell Crowe starring in For the MINUTE?

Jennifer Jason Leigh starring in The MINUTE?

A terrific example of WHY minute and moment aren't the same thing occurs within a movie aptly titled MOMENT TO MOMENT (1965) starring  Jean Seberg, Honor Blackman, and Sean Garrison

Kay Stanton, her husband Neil and son Tommy live on the French Riviera. While at the port, when her husband was on a trip she meets an American naval officer, and they begin an affair. Kay knows she loves her husband Neil and tries to end the affair, but she and Mark fight over this and she shoots him accidentally. Her next door neighbor, Daphne, takes Mark's body and throws it in some dump. Later she calls the police to tell them where she dumped him. Neil is called by the police so he can help them with an ensign who is an amnesiac victim recovering from a gunshot wound; this man happens to be Mark. He regains his memory and recognizes Kay, but keeps quiet when Neil introduces them. Neil has a deep feeling that Kay and Mark know each other, but knows Kay really loves him. 

You might think MINUTE TO MINUTE is an okay sentence that makes perfect sense and you would be right but very, VERY wrong about context.

It isn't about minutes ticking by but about moments in time leading up to a movie's climax.

So, there is overwhelming proof of there being a huge difference between the two words and how they should/need to be used in a sentence in order for them to A) make sense and B) work for the reader and the situation.

And, while remaining on the topic of movies and their titles, would you say "The most memorable MINUTE in that movie was..." or would you say, "The most memorable MOMENT in that movie was..."

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

"I need a minute to think" and "I need a moment to think" say two entirely different things, believe it or not.

#1, you are hesitating to think before reaching a decision, and that's cool.
#2, you are going to deliberately stall until time actually runs out and no one wins.

So, in the minute it took me to reach my decision, you won the MOMENT by avoiding the issue and upsetting the apple cart.

"Have you got a moment?" and "Have you got a minute?"

#1, well... I have a few moments, actually. That time I knew my marriage was truly over, the time I felt truly mature at age 33, and the time when I bought my first car.  All moments in my life I still remember with either fondness, joy, or sorrow.

Were I to say, "All MINUTES in my life..." it would sound stupid, right?

#2, Yes, I can spare you a minute of my precious time. Maybe even three if you make it quick and worth my while.


No one can logically or successfully argue with me that the two are interchangeable, so there is no way I can ever accept the misuse of either word in a sentence that deliberately makes it sound illogical.

If you're going to make me wait a MOMENT, I'm not going to bother giving you another MINUTE to impress me with your story.

I am through reading the word the wrong way because I cannot abide by such a thoughtless request.

Please take a MINUTE to absorb my logic, and then use this MOMENT to pat yourself on the back for being re-educated on the subject.


10 August, 2017

Coming Home by Aine Kelley #CoverReveal #Giveaway


 

Title: Coming Home 
Author: Aine Kelley 
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance 
Release Date: August 21, 2017 
Cover Designer: Sarah Hanson Okay Creations https://www.okaycreations.com 
Photographer: Regina Wamba http://www.maeidesign.com/








Five years spent wishing things were different. Five years spent trying to forget it ever happened. Five years spent wondering what coming home would be like. Five years spent hoping there was still a chance. For Jenny Foster, coming home was the scariest thing she’d ever faced, but she was tired of being haunted by the one boy – man – she’d ever loved. She was tired of hiding in the shadows of her childhood; it was time to be the woman she ran away to find. Jack Ryan knew he only had one chance to make things right with Jenny; a chance he didn’t deserve, but he knew he wouldn’t waste it. It had already taken him a lifetime to see what was right in front of him all along, and he’d be damned if he let her slip away again. Maybe time heals most wounds, but when it comes to wounds of the heart, Jenny knows time only builds walls to protect what’s already broken. Only love can heal a wounded heart, and for Jenny Foster that meant letting in the one person who broke it in the first place – Jack Ryan. And he was waiting for her; ready for her to come home…to him.












Aine Kelley is a Massachusetts native who resides in a small seaside community outside of Boston. Besides her immense love for her two girls, she's a huge fan of her Patriots. Bruins and Red Sox! She's a one click addict and loves getting lost in a story. Like her strong female characters in her books, she's a huge 80's movie lover, book addict and a music freak! Her love of words, books, beta reading for authors and reviewing for a blog, led her down this crazy yet exciting writing path. Her motto is: Live freely, laugh heartily and love deeply.


















09 August, 2017

Her Backup Boyfriend (The Sorensen Family 1) by Ashlee Mallory #Review


Pages -  276 pages
Publisher -  Entangled: Bliss 
Published -  January 19, 2015
Sold by -  Macmillan
Kindle Edition -  Amazon
Series -  Sorensen Family 1 of 4
Genre -  Clean Contemporary Romance
Narrative -  3rd P
Sexual Content -  0/5
Language -  1/5



One little white lie leads to more than she planned…

Straight-laced lawyer Kate Matthews always plays by the rules. But when her ex gets engaged and a big promotion is on the line at work, she blurts out that she has a new boyfriend. And now that she's proved she “has a life” outside of work, everything is perfect. Except for one teeny little detail―there is no boyfriend. And now Kate's liable for her little white lie...

Dominic Sorensen is hot, charming, and very definitely not Kate's type. But not only does Dominic want to help Kate renovate her home, he's also willing to play “boyfriend.” All he wants in return is a little pro bono work for his sister. Now, instead of Mr. Right, Kate has a delectable Mr. Fix-It-Right―and some unbelievable sexual chemistry. And if falling for Dominic is a breach of contract, Kate is guilty as charged...




326 reviews at Amazon (to-date) and only 25 are critical (3-stars and one 2-star).

I gave it 4 there and despite the flaws, really enjoyed this story.

A No-Regrets Read

Zero Personal Opinion or PSA

HEA occurs

NOT a cliffhanger ending

First, let me explain why I enjoyed the story of Kate, the attorney, and Dominic, the carpenter.

It read well, I could easily envision the characters, most of the surroundings, and even the time-frame and seasons.

I thought that the fake-dating trope, while ubiquitous to most Contemporary Romance novels, was still plausible and no way over-the-top in its inception or play-through.

The author used effort to let these two take time to unravel, regard their decisions, and enjoy their time together before the L-word appeared or the two landed in bed, thank you very much.

And, this being a 'clean' copy, she left all the explicit sex details to my own imagination and I, for one, am grateful.

Dominic Sorensen was HOT.

Sweet, thoughtful, gentlemanly, and cautious about lending his heart out to another woman while not being so withdrawn as to be unapproachable.

The author did a terrific job of never going too far left or too far right in any situation that arose in this story, and I am appreciative enough to want to read more of her work as a result.

As for Kate, the Attorney clawing her way to the top?

Hit and miss for me.

I'm not a huge fan of redheads, and unless they are loaded with Irish blood, I find it really hard to believe they are true redhead and instead of the bottled kind.

Talking about freckles and moles is NOT my idea of sexy, Sorry.

Anyway, Kate is not from a prominent or sociable background yet managed to earn her degree and land a job at a prestigious Utah firm, where she is in the running for junior partner if she can prove to the higher-ups that she is stable (in a relationship) and trustworthy (despite their clients' lack of promise).

The hokey ensues, but c'mon!

This is a romance novel, not a textbook.

She's recently purchased a lovely, older house in an established neighborhood, and Dom's aunt happens to live... either across the street or right next door... this area grew hazy when a few instances got me confused.

One time she left the back door with Dom and 'walked' to his aunt's place.

Another time Kate worried about leaving the front room curtains open after dark for fear of what his aunt might witness.

Then, she is in her driveway staring at Dom's truck parked next door.

I got lost, but whatever.

Dom's aunt introduces them, telling her nephew that Kate could use his help around the house, and Kate wants to be a good neighbor so goes along with the older woman's 'machinations'.

From Merriam-Webster
a plot or scheme.
synonyms: scheming, schemes, plotting, plots, intrigues, conspiracies, ruses, tricks, wiles, stratagems, tactics, maneuvering
"they were always wary of the machinations of rival gangs"

The author used that word quite a bit, and some of the time it just didn't fit the situation, sometimes as if it meant thoughts, ideas, or social planning.

Anyway, Kate sees Dom as a way of helping her Junior Partner cause, and Dom sees Kate as a way of helping his younger sister with her as-yet uncontested divorce.

They both enter into this rushed deal thinking little to nothing of it, except that the two are supposedly eyeing one another at the very start and repressing smoldering, budding, growing, and whatever other adjective used to describe instant attraction for one another.

Dom's good at what he does, but after his father's heart attack, he left school to help at the family's Construction Firm, where his older brother, Cruz, has practically taken over in their father's absence.

Dom is a family guy who takes care of his siblings and parents first, and he's also a once-bitten fella in the love department.

He's not anxious to get with Kate any more than she is, because Kate is also suffering a one-sided love with her ex, who also happens to work at the law firm and has broken their engagement due to family pressure.

He's also pawned off his new girlfriend on Kate as her assistant in their latest, big case.

So, long story short, the plot revolves around these two and their wary misconceptions about love, relationships, and most-importantly, self-worth.

Dom let his ex deflate his ego while Kate let her ex steer her determination in a direction she isn't even sure she wanted to head in the first place... other than always having wanted to become a judge.

Much of the chapters work on resolution of these issues while including just enough interaction to keep me interested, rooting, and wanting more.

****************************************

The Down Side


The author uses Entangled Publishing, and I'm not sure about you guys, but it never bodes well when I see that house publishing any Contemporary I am interested in reading.

The type-o's increase as the chapters do, and a lot of other things occur that shouldn't IF the editor truly understands her job and takes it seriously, but they don't.

Which is a shame, especially for the author.

Here's a bit of what I highlighted for example purposes in this post

  • About the moment she took a long slurp of her cocoa, leaving a creamy chocolate mustache on her upper lip. She then used her pert little tongue to slowly lick the foam from across her lip. He closed his eyes. Maybe keeping his eyes
  • No matter much cajoling I did,”
  • Despite the fact she could not longer feel her face,
  • it she
  • as much I think the guy
  • as many cookies she could
  • right things to do
  • I just figured weren’t
  • He glanced at this watch.
  • and pulled out of the beers Kate
  • as she raised her mouth to his in a welcome.
  • protected the wide porch, almost hugging it and keeping it dry and protected.
  • was absent her doorstep—likely
  • to turn this around.” He paused and turned around and met her gaze.
  • she’d using
  • he’d had fallen
  • his grinned


Quite a lot of colloquial and cliche nonsense words/phrases being spoken by two apparently young and modern leads.

  • champing at the bit
  • Color me impressed.”
  • Throwing the baby out with the bathwater,
  • with bells on.”
  • on the road to good health,
  • paint the town red after
  • nose to the grindstone, not


And finally, just awkward usage by the author that gives the impression of her lack of English education or a complete misunderstanding of how things are actually supposed to be said

  • at a loss of how to
  • take offense from that.
  • She set the bottle back to the counter
  • and that been with
  • the help from
  • lips under his again.
  • over toward
  • that makes you actually happy?


If I knew how to find work as a Professional Proofreader, it would be terrific... especially for a lot of authors!

So, to wrap this one up nice and neatly, I still liked this story, the two leads, and their plight/resolution.

I am very interested in reading more of this author's work despite the above-mentioned issues with her and her choice of publishing house.

I would recommend this and any other Ashlee Mallory novel to anyone looking for something light and tame (especially after having read a lot of intense, by-the-throat, reality-based anything).

This is Book One of Four in the Sorensen Family Series