Friday, July 18, 2014

Book Tour for Together Always by Mimi Barbour (Review & GIVEAWAY)


Today I'm bringing you a book with the unique premise of body switching involving a woman who longed to live a life and one who hated hers which leads to an emotional roller coaster ride of a story.  Keep reading to get a glimpse of Together Always by Mimi Barbour, along with my impressions of it, and learn even more about this book by visiting the other blogs hosting this tour.  Before you leave make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win a $25 Amazon GC and 2 e-copies of this book too!

A new body, a new life…
Because of a facial disfigurement, Nurse Grace Joye has never felt beautiful, and when she’s told a brain tumor will end her life within a matter of weeks, she’s devastated.  
Grace’s friend, psychiatrist Dr. Tobias Andrews has been experimenting with spirit travel. He suggests that Grace transfers her spirit to the body of his newest patient—Mrs. Vanessa Knight, a gorgeous-looking woman who is soon to be released from life-support. Grace doesn’t take much convincing to take this drastic step: she will live on and realize her two dreams: to be a mother, and be loved by a man….Only to hear her soon-to-be husband’s whispered words just before the life-support is switched off: “Good-bye, darling. I'm glad I’ll never have to see you again.”
Lucas Knight has been contentedly preparing for Vanessa’s death when the plug is pulled and the ventilators turned off. Throughout their marriage, this volatile woman had become increasingly vicious towards him and their young son. Therefore, he’s appalled and traumatized when, miraculously, she comes out of her coma. Strangely, this girl isn’t anything like the witch he’d said goodbye to. He could love this gentle angel. But, could he trust her to stay this way?

EXCERPT:

As these thoughts battled inside his head, Vanessa turned too quickly, missed catching hold of the nearest chair and, with a stifled groan, started to stumble. Instinct drove him to catch her before she hit the ground. They ended up entangled on the floor, him underneath her. He lay there with her resting on top of him, staring down into his eyes, and he watched as dismay fled and was replaced, first with shyness and then longing. Her hand rose to her cheek and then moved over his shoulder to the floor, so she could bolster herself away from his body.
He smiled, couldn’t help himself. “I would venture to guess that you’re not as strong as you thought? You have to give yourself more time, Vanessa.” My Lord, she’s beautiful. He took shallow breaths to control willful words that wanted to slip out. But he’d forgotten to place controls on his hands. They moved of their own accord and went straight to her face. Gently he lifted the golden mass of hair from where it had cascaded over her shoulders and, with hands full of silk, he cupped the back of her head while searching her eyes.
She sighed. The shaky moan penetrated his heart and built shivers that exploded everywhere. Most careened directly to his lower regions. The discomfort of being engorged for the first time in a long while made him swallow and then groan in unison.
Uncontrolled thoughts became words and escaped. “I can’t wait until you’re home, Vanessa. I need you desperately. It’s been so long.” He gently drew her face down to where his lips could reach hers and he kissed her.
Surprised and then shocked, he felt as if he were kissing a stranger. First her mouth refused entry, but she didn’t pull away. In fact, she nestled closer. After nudging her lips to part for him, she opened little by little until he had could taste fully. She was driving him mad. This side of the woman had never surfaced before and he found his rioting emotions close to going out of control. It’s like kissing a virgin.

BUY LINKS:  AMAZON  |  BN  |  KOBO  |  SMASHWORDS

MY IMPRESSIONS OF THIS BOOK:

Fans of the movie Freaky Friday will find this story an intriguing twist on the original when two women swap bodies.  When fate intervenes and they're forced into sharing one body it becomes a battle of wills to see who will remain....the kind hearted Grace or the emotionally unbalanced Vanessa.

Grace grew up lonely and on the edge of life as a port wine stain on her face had others shunning her and her chances of living a full life unfulfilled.  Grace was a sweet person with a kind soul who chose nursing as a way to express the loving heart others couldn't see past her stain.  All this shunning and loss of her dreams left her with low self-esteem with her only support coming from her doctor friend, Tobias, and his cantankerous maid Mrs. Dorn.  After discovering a brain tumor will soon kill her her friends set out to do something radical and use magical roses to put her soul in a woman in a coma who's been slowly dying.  Things at first seem like a success but when Vanessa makes her presence known the life Grace had created for herself starts to unravel and it will be the biggest fight of her life to stay in the arms of the husband she's come to love and the little boy that's become the world to her.

Vanessa was an unhappy woman with lots of emotional issues.  She hated women, loved looking perfect, and never wanted to be a mother.  She was full of lies and rage and it was easy to hate her.  There's more to her apparent misery and as the story unfolds we get to know her.  This was a twist I didn't expect but found intriguing.  In her internal battle with Grace I was left on the edge of my seat fearing for Grace and the happy life she created.  Vanessa was in true misery and desperately wanted to die as she didn't know how to be happy.  It was in those moments that I felt sympathetic for her but in every other instance I was praying Grace would overcome Vanessa's nasty outbursts.

The secondary characters were a delightful bunch who supported Grace in both her incarnations.  Tobias and Mrs. Dorn were sweet and loving and Mrs. Dorn's antics always brought a smile to my face.  They had used the magical roses before which helped in making this part of the story believable, though Vanessa's aggressive re-emergence caught them by surprise too.  Lucas was Vanessa's loving husband who had to deal with her rage for years.  He came to hate her because of it and was shocked by her dramatic personality change after waking from her coma.  His love for her returned and he was desperate to keep her with him as she is now.  He was a sweet man, loyal, who tried to always make her happy.  Vanessa's rages made him a bitter man full of tension but Grace brought out his sexy and charming side and you could feel a weight had been lifted off him as he spent more time with her.  Their son Samuel was a sweet child who had been traumatized by Vanessa's rages as well but he gave Grace the opportunity to be a mother as she never thought she'd be and she was wonderful with him and the three of them became the perfect family until Vanessa's intrusions started creating cracks which kept me on edge until the very end.

This was a cleverly crafted story that took some intriguing twists and turns.  Grace was a wonderful heroine who was quiet early on but became more assertive as the story progressed and as Vanessa asserted herself more fully.  The romance was sweet yet sensual with Grace's relationship with Lucas progressing at a believable pace.  The secondary characters added much needed humor amidst the scenes of Vanessa's rages and I thoroughly enjoyed Mrs. Dorn and looked forward to every one of her scenes.  Though this is the sixth book in the Vicarage Bench series it's not necessary to have read the other installments to enjoy this one.  Fans of fantasy and paranormal reads will definitely be drawn to this, but hold on tight as it's a bumpy and unexpected journey to HEA!

My rating for this is an A-

*I got this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.

AUTHOR INFO:

Author of five series: The Vicarage Bench, Angels with Attitudes, Vegas, Elvis and the brand new sizzling romantic suspense series called Undercover FBI. Mimi lives on the East coast of Vancouver Island and writes her romances with tongue in cheek and a mad glint in her eye. “If I can steal a booklover’s attention away from their every-day grind, absorb them into a fantasy love story, and make them care about the ending, then I’ve done my job.”

WEBSITE:  http://www.mimibarbour.com/
BLOG:  http://mimibarbour.blogspot.com
TWITTER:  https://twitter.com/MimiBarbour
FACEBOOK:  http://www.facebook.com/mimibarbour

**********GIVEAWAY**********

a Rafflecopter giveaway

18 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thank you, Mary. Because the story takes place in the UK in 1960's, I did want to stay in fashion. I know net veils were worn by most brides back then.

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    1. I thought the review was pretty darn great also LOL

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    2. Why THANK YOU, Mimi! I'm honored to have hosted you!

      The Scarf Princess

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  3. Thanks so much for hosting, me and sending out the tweet. It's really appreciated xo

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  4. It's an interesting concept, to switch bodies to get a better life.

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    1. Try the sample chapters and see if you might like the story. I double-dog dare you LOL

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  5. While reading, I had the same thought as Denise about the concept -- but the word that came to my mind was "intriguing." Best wishes with your book, Mimi!

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    1. I do hope you enjoy "Intriguing" because for sure then, you'll like the story - Together Always. Thanks for commenting :-)

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  6. This sounds like a wonderful read, adding it to my tbr list!

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    1. I'm so glad, Theresa. Hope you enjoy it xo

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  7. Enjoyed reading your great review.

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    1. Thanks for coming by and leaving a comment :-)

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  8. I love Mimi's books, it is all about some Mimi time when you read her books. She takes you into her world and you live thru her words in always a super good book.

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