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About the Book
Traci and Marc may be the perfect match, but they don’t know it yet. With God’s guidance and the help of Gina’s matchmaking skills honed by her career as a bestselling romance novelist, there is hope for a happily ever after for these two broken hearts.
A Second Chance by Alexis Goring, the first work I’ve read by this author, presents an interesting premise and is a quick read.
Traci, the main character, is given a letter from her mother detailing the requirements for Traci to get her inheritance from him: she must be married and her mother must approve of Traci’s spouse. I’ve read this “must get married to get inheritance” in historical novels, but never in a contemporary. And though Traci worries about what to do as she is currently drowning in bills from her called off wedding, she seems to accept this condition without any problem. She’s likable.
Marc, the other main character, does not trust women because his exes keep lying to him. Marc was likable enough, though he falls into the “overprotective and I will hurt anyone who hurts you because you’re mine” trope when he meets Traci’s ex-fiancé and I HATE that in my romance characters.
The big misunderstanding” is based on Marc finding the letter about the inheritance by looking inside an envelope on the table—which Traci left out because she planned to tell him about the conditions to her inheritance—and assuming she’s dating him to get married to gain the money. He’s also mad because she lied to him about it, which is the only part of the conversation that I can stand. Marc never apologizes for the invasion of privacy and Traci acts as if the entire mess of the disintegrating relationship is her fault. I was so livid about the invasion of privacy and the non-apology that I almost put the book down.
The characters are also seriously old-fashioned, with Traci’s passiveness and Marc’s overprotective jealousy disguised as caring for her. Traci spends most of the book waiting for Marc to make the first move, even though he takes weeks to contact her after their first meeting and doesn’t contact her quickly after their dates, either. There was also a case of “insta-love” as these characters are convinced they are in love with each other after one date and so are both of their friends. I did appreciate that both Traci and Marc have friends and families outside of the relationship, which does not always happen in romance novels.
These characters needed to seriously talk with each other. At one point, they try a long-distance romance and I couldn't believe it. If they couldn’t even make it work in person, how would long-distance work? It’s much harder and requires much more communication, which neither of these characters do well.
There is a lot of telling rather than showing, and much of the romance seems to happen off-screen. Part of the quickness of the romance is due to the length of the book, and I was expecting the romance would feel rushed. However, it also feels incomplete. We’re told the characters love each other, but with both stubbornly refusing to discuss problems and not trusting the other, it was hard to see it.
I give A Second Chance 2/5 stars. The characters are overdramatic and uncommunicative, the plot feels contrived, and the entire romance feels rushed and incomplete and as a result I cannot recommend this book.
**I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author through CelebrateLit. All opinions are my own.**
About the Author
Guest Post from Alexis Goring
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
~Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
God has good plans for every single person living here on Earth. It’s important to remember to trust Him because no matter how bleak a situation looks, hope is always on the horizon when God’s in the picture…and the good news is that no matter what God is always in the picture.
I thought that it would be a good idea to explore the theme of Jeremiah 29:11 through a fictional story about characters who are in need of a second chance in life and love. So I create Traci and Marc and wrote their story, A Second Chance.
Traci and Marc are entry-level journalists therefore they struggle with the industry’s tough system of paying your dues and they know the conflicts firsthand about struggling to pay your bills because of that system.
But it’s not just the bills that weigh heavily on their hearts. Traci and Marc are facing battles that are unique to their individual life stories but common to people in the real world.
When the reader meets Traci, they see that she is bitter and cynical because she was left at the altar. Her fiancé ran off with her Maid of Honor and left Traci with a mile-high stack of bills to pay for their wedding that never happened. So when Traci’s Mom shows up on her doorstep with an inheritance letter that stipulates Traci must be married before receiving her inheritance from her late grandfather, Traci is closer to destroying the letter and being a bachelorette for life than she is about husband hunting.
When the reader meets Marc, they see that he is smitten with Traci at first sight. But they soon learn that he has trust issues because of his previous romantic relationships with women who would dump him because he was “too nice.” However, his niceness is of invaluable help to his newly widowed sister Gina who is struggling to raise her children in the wake of her firefighter husband’s death. Naturally, Marc wants to help his sister. So he volunteers to babysit her kids and take them out of the house so that she can meet her book deadlines. Gina is a bestselling romance novelist.
All of these main characters go on their own faith journey with God. Some resist His love at first (like Traci), some draw back because of broken trust (like Marc) and some heal slowly from pain (like Gina) but they all realize how much they need God in their life.
Faith elements are a woven lightly throughout this story but also go deep as the characters work toward wholeness and restoration.
If anything, this is a story about how the Creator of the Universe (God) loves humankind and desires to restore broken hearts, homes and lives.
I hope that you will enjoy reading this book!
God bless your heart.
Alexis A. Goring
Author of A Second Chance
May 4: A Baker’s Perspective
May 5: Inklings and notions
May 6: Blossoms and Blessings
May 7: Moments Dipped in Ink
May 8: Books. Books. And More Books.
May 8: Captive Dreams Window
May 8: Daysong Reflections
May 9: Christian Bookaholic
May 9: A Greater Yes
May 10: Quiet Quilter
May 11: Remembrancy
May 11: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations
May 12: Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner
May 13: Reading Is My SuperPower
May 13: Through the Open Window
May 14: Carpe Diem
May 15: Neverending Stories
May 16: my site/autism mom
May 17: Avid Reader Book Reviews
To celebrate her tour, Alexis is giving away four eBook copies of her book – A Second Chance!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b54b
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About the Book
Hope Beyond Savannah
Lily Allman and Nikotemo (Nik) Lagatuo were the poster children for the term “opposites attract.” He was an evangelist and CEO for a non-profit from Samoa who grew up in a large loving family. She was a blond bombshell with a funky style and no family to call her own. Two of the most unlikely people meet in the most unlikely of places, but God had a plan when He brought them together. They never let their differences deter them from the love they had for each other, but when Nik’s mother comes to the States for the wedding, the idea of wedded bliss is shaken. Can prejudices be over looked, insecurities overcome, and hope for a better future be restored so that these two can have all that was promised?
I generally do not read romance novellas as I feel the stories often become rushed and as such, a little less believable that the couple will make it beyond the end of the book to their happily ever after. However, I have been trying to broaden my reading horizons and when A Spring of Weddings by Toni Shiloh and Melissa Wardwell became available, I knew I wanted to try it.
See, I love reading wedding stories, and the only thing better than one wedding is two!
Ms. Shiloh’s story, “A Proxy Wedding”, is first in the book and it’s a great story.
I’ve only read one other book with a marriage by proxy and it was a historical, so I was interested in finding out if it would work in a contemporary. And I think it does, because the main characters, Carly and Damien, are getting married as stand-ins for their respective best friends, who are both in the military.
I loved Carly. She’s trying not to repeat mistakes her parents made so she doesn’t make any tough decisions. She is also perfectly content to teach art even though it doesn’t make her extremely happy the way creating her own work does. And I relate to that! I think we’ve all had moments where we’re content with our lives but not necessarily happy.
Damien is uptight. He’s also a divorced workaholic who is terrified of repeating mistakes that led to his previous marriage dissolving. Watching him slowly learn how to unwind and relax is extremely rewarding.
I liked this story. The characters are great and Ms. Shiloh packs a lot of character development, lessons on second chances and forgiveness into her story, though the romance does feel a bit rushed. However, it doesn’t detract from the story all. I give “A Proxy Wedding” story 4/5 stars and recommend it to readers who love contemporary romances.
“Hope Beyond Savannah” is by Melissa Wardwell, and I’ve never read any of her work before. I love trying new authors and this novella is wonderful. We rarely see stories start out with the couple already in love and planning a wedding, so it was a treat to see a couple at this point in their life together.
Lily and Nik come from very different racial and cultural backgrounds and it made the story even more interesting. I liked Lily, as she’d been brought up in less than ideal circumstances and had made a good life for herself.
I liked Nik, too. He’s open and affectionate. He loves Lily and his family and is absolutely torn in two when his mother doesn’t immediately love Lily as much as he does.
I did think the resolution with Nik’s mother happened a little more quickly—I would have liked to see it take a little longer to resolve, but of course the novella format condenses the storytelling. I did believe it was sincere.
Ms. Wardwell has written a great story that deals with interracial dynamics with family and the couple. I give “Hope Beyond Savannah” 4/5 stars and recommend it to readers who love contemporary romances.
**I received a complimentary copy of this book from the authors through CelebrateLit. All opinions are my own.**
About the Authors
Guest Posts From Toni and Melissa
A Proxy Wedding
By Toni Shiloh
Spring is here! I love it because I always think of new beginnings as the flowers bud and then bloom. The trials and tribulation of the winter season are no longer on my mind. My hope that the winter season would not linger begins to become visible as new life takes shape on the bare trees. The seeds I planted in faith of God’s faithfulness sprout up in hope and promise.
When I sat down to write A Proxy Wedding, I had to imagine spring time, because the dreary, overcast skies outside my window were a constant reminder that I was in a season of sickness. One person would get sick, then the next, and the next. By the time the last person got sick, the round would start over. Visits to the doctor were made. Miserable kids were constantly whining in their discomfort.
It. Was. Rough.
It made perfect sense for me to throw my characters into a new situation. One that would make the stretch, take them out their comfort zone, and search for God’s goodness. I wanted to give them a hint of goodness and throw in a trial or two so they could make the decision that sometimes, risk is worth it. Just as we all react differently to new situations, so did my characters.
Carly was intent on making lemonade from her lemons. She tries to get the handsome broker, Damien, to see the importance of smelling roses and lingering over new adventures. Of course, Damien wasn’t partial to the frivolity. He’s so intent on becoming a success that he had no time to slow down.
In order for them to see God’s handiwork in their lives, I had to remind them that they were not products of their past. That in God, they’re a new creation with new opportunities available to them.
I hope you enjoy A Proxy Wedding. May you think of the Father’s love as you take time to stop and smell the roses.
Hope Beyond Savannah
By Melissa Wardwell
I hope you enjoy this story of love, acceptance and new beginnings. It was a joy to write because there is much more to it than the hope of marriage. It is about the blending of two families who are from two completely different cultures. Researching the island traditions, beliefs, and customs was not only fun, but enlightening. Being able to return to my background in bridal as well as the most beautiful city in the United States was just an added bonus.
With Nik and his family being from another country, I gave you a glossary of words and phrases used so you knew what was being said. I found the language to be rather beautiful and to not include it would take away from who these people are. I also give a small explanation as to what Rock-a- billy is. Lily is a funky chick who dresses in a fun and exciting way. When I saw this couple in my head, I knew it would be quite the uncommon match. As you will soon see, they fit together quite nicely.
My point in using a bi-racial couple for this story was based on what we have been seeing in the news lately. It is unlike anything I have ever done but after talking to friends in similar relationships, I knew I had to step out on this limb. I think it is time we begin to look at people through the eyes of God and not man, then we would see how beautiful we all are. It doesn’t matter what color our skin is or what our past contains, we are all God’s creation and we are beautifully and wonderfully made.
April 25: Blossoms and Blessings
April 25: Lighthouse Academy
April 26: A Baker’s Perspective
April 26: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS
April 27: Blogging With Carol
April 27: Avid Reader Book Reviews
April 28: Moments Dipped in Ink
April 28: Mary Hake
April 29: Reading Is My SuperPower
April 29: The Power of Words (Spotlight)
April 30: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations
April 30: Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner
May 1: Quiet Quilter
May 1: Kristin N. Spencer
May 2: Kat’s Corner Books
May 2: Karen Sue Hadley
May 3: Books. Books. And More Books.
May 3: History, Mystery & Faith
May 4: Jeanette’s Thoughts
May 4: A Greater Yes
May 5: Carpe Diem
May 5: Christian Bookaholic
May 6: These Splendid Sentences
May 6: Just Jo’Anne
May 7: God is Love
May 7: Ashley’s Bookshelf
May 8: Autism mom
May 8: Caffeinated Reads
May 9: Bibliophile Reviews
To celebrate the tour, Celebrate Lit Publishing is giving away a Kindle! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!
Writer/Editor. Voracious Book Reader. World Traveler. Veteran.