14 March, 2015

The Calum by Xio Axelrod

Print Length: 117 pages
Publisher: BookBaby (December 13, 2014)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
Author Blog: http://xioaxelrod.com/

Finished reading on Thursday but wasn't able to blog that day.

The Calum is an easy (and fast) read and the first of Xio's work for me, too. It won't be the last, though, and here's why.

First, it is evident by her style that she adores poetry, which helped to make the sentences flow with a strangely subtle hint of that poetry flare to make it sound almost lyrical at times.

Second, she's a rule-breaker, which equates to my kind of gal and kindred soul in the art of writing.

Third, I've never been to Scotland before and never had any desire to go there, but while reading The Calum, I couldn't help but be transported to that cold, blustery, and to me, dismal place just north of England.

This was a well-written page-turner about two good friends who spend their Christmas vacation overseas so that Lovie's friend, Jo, can search for, find, seduce, and then get hitched with a Calum or Scottish Book Boyfriend.

Jo is a flaky sort who reads a lot of romance novels and gets it in her head that if she just flies to Scotland, that her dreams will be fulfilled. Lovie is the reluctant yet supportive side-kick with the opposite thoughts about love and men on her mind.

This, actually, was about the only issue I had with the story. Jo started out as a stereotypical dork blond who toward the end did a one-eighty I just didn't see coming nor expected. She switched gears in such a way as to be a bit unbelievable or out-of-character.

That isn't to say Jo wasn't a believable character right from the start, because I felt that all of them were, including the Calum.

Lovie ends up in a situation she couldn't have anticipated much less hoped for, and it is her journey through Inverness that we end up discovering along with her and the man she meets on the Moors.

The sex scenes weren't too graphic for my uppity taste buds, and there was some 'language' involved, but not enough or too much to spoil the whole thing for me.

If you're in the mood for a quick romp through some Scottish moors covered in heather, a little romance, and some unexpected twists and turns along the way, then The Calum is for you.

The synopsis

Twenty-six is too old to believe in fairytales, but tell that to Lovie’s roommate. Convinced she’ll find a real life version of her ultimate book boyfriend, Calum MacKenzie, Jo drags Lovie to the Scottish Highlands. Lovie’s no cynic *ahem* but she knows The Calum is a myth. A construct. A freaking unicorn! And there are warmer places to spend a winter vacation.
If Duff had his way, he’d never step foot in Inverness again. Only his best friend’s wedding, and his ailing grandmother, could bring him home. Duff’s plan is keep his head down and stay out of trouble. Hard to do when the groom targets a pretty blond tourist for one last conquest..
When Duff and Lovie meet, stones, sparks and insults fly. He’s instantly attracted to the sexy, sharp-tongued American. She’s just glad to have someone to hang out with, especially the bad boy with a mysterious past. Lovie is determined to learn his secrets, but as they grow closer, Duff is forced to choose between his best friend and his heart.

An Excerpt

Lovie Grant wished like hell that she had paid the five dollars for the airline headphones. But that balloon had popped, and now she was stuck listening – again – to Joana’s latest “brilliant” plan. She hunched her shoulders and buried her face in the in-flight magazine. Anything to avoid one more word about their freaking trip.

“Are you even listening to me?” Her shrill tone bounced off the airplane window and directly into the oh-my-God-let-me-off-this-sky-bus-before-I-kill-her section of Lovie’s brain.

“What is it now, Jo?”

“You’re not paying attention. And you keep sighing like you’ve been left home on prom night.”

“I’m just tired, and I can’t sleep on planes.” And I should be relaxing on a beach instead of chasing after you.

Flip. Flip. Flip.

Page after page taunted her with one photo of crystal blue waters and palm trees after another. There would be no palm trees where they were headed.

Which asshole decided to put that magazine in her seat-back pocket?

“You’re upset.”

How very astute. “It’s a scientific fact that a lack of sleep causes a decrease in the neurotransmitters that regulate mood.” Flip. “Otherwise, I’m fine, Jo. Let it go.”

“I call bull. You’ve already convinced yourself that this is going to suck.” Jo’s bottom lip poked out in her signature pout. With her blonde locks twisted into two braids, and her bright pink Juicy sweatpants, the picture of a bratty twelve-year-old was nearly complete.

Lovie’s best friend, roommate and constant damsel-in-distress had a plan. A good plan, she’d said. A sound plan, if you dared to believe her. Lovie didn’t, but the plan was this:

● Go to Scotland
● Find “The Calum”
● Marry him

Where to Buy

Book one: The Calum available on:

Barnes and Noble
All Romance

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