Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Blurb Blitz for The Reluctant Lover by Justine Lewis (Review & GIVEAWAY)


The theme of the older woman/younger man relationship plays an important role in this sensual tug of war between two journalists trying to keep working in a field where looks and making money are all important.  Keep reading to get a tempting taste of The Reluctant Lover by Justine Lewis, along with my impressions of it, and learn even more about it by visiting the other sites hosting this tour.  In honor of this exotic read make sure to fill in the form below for the chance to win a $25 bookstore GC!

Katherine Bright is one of Australia’s most acclaimed television journalists, but rumor has it her show is about to be axed. Katherine has given up everything for her career—her marriage and the chance of having children— she isn’t about to give up on her show.
Enter Liam Kennedy, a foreign correspondent back in Australia for an awards night. Liam is the whole cliché – tall, dark and totally kissable. Except for one thing. He’s younger than Katherine. Much younger.
And when Katherine realizes she needs Liam to save her show she finds herself in an impossible situation.

EXCERPT:

'Kissing you. It never should have happened,’ she said to Liam the next morning.
They were in Katherine’s office, with the door firmly shut. Again. He knew his flirting was exasperating her; that was his intention, after all.
A mistake?’ It was hard to believe that kissing Katherine could ever be a mistake, but he’d listen to what she wanted to say.
She lifted her shoulders as she took a deep breath. ‘Yes and you’ve been teasing me about it. And I don’t think it’s appropriate to do that on air.'
Katherine was standing behind her desk, with a hand on each hip. She was wearing a straight skirt that cinched at her narrow waist, skimmed over her lovely hips, down to her knees. He imagined his hands following the same path. ‘So it’s not appropriate on air, but is it appropriate in our office?’ he suggested as he leant in across her desk. Partly to get a rise out of her, but also to find out if she smelt as good today as she did yesterday.
Yep. Yep, unfortunately she did.
She pulled back, but not before he noticed her pupils dilate. ‘Not our office, my office.
OK, so I can flirt with you in your office?'
She stifled a groan and took several deep breaths. He was pushing her to cracking point and enjoying every minute of it.

MY IMPRESSIONS OF THIS BOOK:

There are times I feel that reading romances are the cheapest way to vacation as I can experience other cultures and see exotic scenery through the author's talents.  With Ms. Lewis' latest release the beauty of Australia is on vivid display, along with the colorful vernacular of its people, to all combine in fully immersing readers in the world these two strong-willed protagonists find themselves in.  On one level this is a carefree read between an older woman and younger man while on another level it deals with the bigger issue of looks, ageism, and sexism in the journalistic world.  Ultimately the author handles both nicely to make this an enjoyable read that's a bit light on the steamy encounters but rich in its handling of weighty issues.

Liam Kennedy grew up in a small town where his diverse ethnic background stood out and made him a target for bullying.  It tainted his view of home and set him on a path to being a foreign correspondent.  Driving him on, keeping him running from his past, is his perceived obligation to the grandmother who sacrificed everything for his family to live freely.  These acts molded him into a passionate journalist, sworn to protect others through his words, but never making a home of his own is a lonely existence.  With budget cuts looming though Ian could lose the most important thing to him...his job.  With few options left he soon finds himself co-anchor of a news show struggling to stay on the air and paired with the more seasoned Katharine Bright.  The sparks soon fly as his attraction to her has him goading her at every turn.  After one unexpected kiss he realizes he wants more, but with her self-esteem issues and his problems with committing, they may never find a HEA.  Liam's immensely likable from the moment we first meet him, rugged and sexy with just a bit of arrogance.  He openly flirts with Katharine and makes her see past her age through his sensually-charged compliments and constant acknowledgment of her journalistic talent.  Seeing him surprised by his ever-strengthening feelings for her was sweet and made him even more charming as he set out on his plan to claim her.  The compromises he set forth showed a man of maturity, one who realized that love is more important than accolades and that living a life of happiness is the greatest honor you can give to your ancestors.

Katharine's a strong-willed woman who's sacrificed much for her career.  She gave up the chance to have children when she divorced the man who thought she should be at home instead of having a career and working so many hours leaves no chances for dating.  Approaching the age of 40 though is bringing certain truths to light that have her fearing for her future and the career that's defined her.  Television news seems to be all about looks and with the appearance of more wrinkles she feels as though the sand in the hourglass is running out.  Meeting the brash Liam on a night where the torch is passed to a younger generation gives her a momentary soothing of her bruised ego but leads to bigger complications the next morning when he joins her at the anchor desk.  Theirs is a connection that crackles the moment they meet.  Sexual tension oozes from them both on the air and off and while it makes for great ratings it leaves her confused as they continually fight their attraction.  With management weighing in on her looks and her future with Liam in question Katharine takes a bold stand that's cheer-inducing, but will it be enough to help her get her HEA?  For the most part I liked Katharine and her classiness in the face of humiliation and uncertainty.  Her strength will always have her landing on her feet but it's her self-doubts that sometimes hold her back.  There's one cutthroat moment though that reflected her desperation and tarnished her image a bit in my eyes.  As this is a cutthroat business it didn't completely surprise me and it led to Liam's eyes being opened to the reality of ageism in their field and ultimately brought them closer.  It still felt wrong but as long as Liam could forgive her so could I.

From the first page to the last this is a compelling read that subtly yet believably depicts the ins and outs of the journalistic world.  Ms. Lewis nicely balanced a sweet and sensual romance with the handling of issues related to sexism and ageism in that world while also touching on issues related to the theme of an older woman in a relationship with a younger man.  All these issues were thought provoking and handled with respect, showing promising talent from Ms. Lewis.  Liam's brash and playful and just what Katharine needed at this time in her life.  He brought lighthearted moments to a life that was becoming less clear for Katharine while she helped him stop running from his painful past.  She helped him become the man his grandmother always wanted him to be as opposed to living a life of loneliness in her honor.  Though I enjoyed the scenic excursions I felt they went on a bit long and made the middle section of the story lag a bit.  Despite that the likable main characters, engaging narrative, and immensely satisfying conclusion made for a good read that will have me looking out for this author in the future.

My rating for this is a B+.

*I bought this book with my own money for my personal bookshelf.

AUTHOR INFO:

Justine is the award winning author of fun, contemporary romances. She has spent her professional life writing legal advice – which some may say is similar to creative writing– but the lack of sexy heroes and happy endings led her to try writing romance.
She loves Earl Grey tea, talking about which of Jane Austen's novels is her favorite, and searching for the perfect frock. She will read anything, but loves romance most of all.
She is published by Destiny Romance and you can find her all over the Internet.

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

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15 comments:

  1. How many languages do you speak?

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    1. Hi Mai - just the one. I've tried learning two others (French and German) but I don't have a very good ear sadly.

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  2. Hi Jody - thank you for having me on today and for your lovely review. I'm really glad you enjoyed it.

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  3. I love the cover and the book sounds like something I will enjoy reading - I'm looking forward to checking it out! Thanks for sharing :)

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  4. This was a very good review. Sounds like a very interesting story.

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  5. Good luck on your book. It sounds great.

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  6. GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR BOOK AND THANKS FOR THE GIVEAWAY! SHELLEY S. calicolady60@hotmail.com

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  7. Thanks for that great review and excerpt. This book sounds fantastic. Can't wait to read it. What kinds of books do you like to read?

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    1. Hi Joanne - sorry for the delay in responding, I've been away for the weekend. I like reading all sorts of things! For fiction I read mostly romance, women's fiction and occasionally crime. I also like reading memoirs and history, but I'll give anything a go once!

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  8. I'm looking forward to reading this. Good review :)

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  9. Thank you for your impressions.

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  10. I love the older woman younger man angle.

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  11. Hi Jody - thanks again for having me on!

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