Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Book Tour for You Spin Me by Karen Grey (Review & GIVEAWAY).......

Readers will find themselves drawn to this nostalgic rom-com set in the world of 80’s music as a new year and a new direction in life brings surprising romance and change to two people.  Keep reading to get a tempting taste of You Spin Me by Karen Grey, along with my impressions of this exhilarating rom-com, then add it to your bookshelf.  In honor of this third installment in the Boston Classics series make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win 1 of 10 signed print copies of this book too!

Some scars go further than skin deep…

1988 doesn’t end well for Jessica Abraham. In just one week she turns thirty, loses her day job, and loses the role of Ophelia to a younger actress. Rallying, she goes after a part at a theater outside of the city, but the director’s plan to hide her beauty behind hair, makeup and wardrobe from Cosmo’s “Don't'' column shakes her confidence to the core.

For the first time in her acting career, she won’t be able to rely on her carefully managed physical charms. Only her craft will count.

On a snowy night early  in January 1989, a woman calls into DJ Callihan Alonso’s alt-rock radio show at the end of her commute. He asks her to call back the next night, and the next, just so he'll know she’s home safe. There's something about her voice that has him wanting more, but the longer they talk, the closer she gets. Compromising each and every wall he's built around his heart.

If two lonely people fall in love over late-night phone calls, will meeting face-to-face make them, or break them?

In this heartfelt, slow burn retro rom-com, it may be the end of a decade, but it’s the beginning of a love story.


It’s Tuesday, January third in the last year of the eighties. Still getting used to that. Cal Alonso here at WBAR to keep you night owls company. Weatherman tells me the skies are clear but the roads are still icy from the weekend storm, so be careful out there kids.
By the time I get on the road after my first rehearsal at Chichester Rep, the highway’s free of cars. The trip back is shorter than the trip up, but it feels longer. My day started way too many hours ago. I’ll miss the kids when my job ends in a couple weeks, but it’ll be nice to get to sleep in a bit.
At least the good radio station’s signal sticks with me for the whole trip. Singing and car-dancing keeps me awake, and the sexy-sounding DJ is an added bonus. This guy rocks.
Just as I pull into my apartment parking lot, he asks a trivia question that I actually know the answer to. I figure the odds of winning are low, but the cold night air has me sprinting from my car to my apartment anyway, so I may as well try for it.
“Come on, come on, you stupid door.” Sticky lock conquered, I race to the phone. The station’s phone number was seared into my memory the moment his growly voice recited it, so I punch in the numbers with confidence. When I get ringing instead of the usual busy signal, I do a little battement dégagé in celebration.
“Yello, it’s WBAR.” The guy who answers is definitely not the DJ. He sounds like he’s about twelve. “What’s the pencil sketch technique used in the ‘Take on Me’ music video?”
“Righteous. You won the Tower Records gift certificate.”
“Awesome! I’ve never won anything before.”
“Tight.” He doesn’t sound anywhere near as excited as I am. “Okay, uh...I need to get your name and address so we can send it to you.”
After I give him the info, I ask, “Hey, can you give the DJ a message for me?”
“A message?” I sure hope he’s not twelve. He sounds totally stoned.
“Can you thank him for me? He totally saved me from crashing into a ditch or something tonight. I have this new, long commute, and⁠—⁠”
“You know what? You tell him. Hang on.”
The heat is supposed to be fixed, so I try to reach the thermostat while I’m on hold. Unfortunately, the phone cord doesn’t quite reach. I’m about to put the receiver down when the voice from the radio lands in my ear.
“Cal here.”
“Oh, hi.” My heart jumps along with my feet as they fly into a changement. “You’re really...Callihan?”
“Thanks for—Um, aren’t you, like, on the air?”
“There’s a song playing right now.”
“Oh, duh. I get it. I was listening in the car, but I ran into my apartment to call in for the contest.” Why am I being such a Joanie right now? Boys never make me nervous. “Anyway, I wanted to thank you. I have this new job an hour’s drive away and I hate driving at night and you totally kept me from falling asleep on the way home and crashing my car on Route 3. So...thanks. I just wanted to say that.”
“I’m glad you did.” There’s a smile in his voice. Hopefully, he’s not laughing at me. But I wouldn’t blame him.
“Okay, well.” A ridiculous-sounding giggle chirps out of me. “Thanks again.”
“Wait. Do you work this late all week?”
“Um, yeah. Tuesday to Friday.”
“So you’ll call again tomorrow.”
“What if I don’t know the answer?”
“The answer to what?”
“To the trivia question.”
“That doesn’t matter. You can call anytime.”
“Even if there’s not a contest?”
“Even if there’s not a contest.” When I don’t say anything, he adds, “If you don’t call, I’ll worry.”
“Oh, gotcha. Well, good night.”
“Wait—what’s your name?”
“Jessica. Jess. Either one.”
“Good night, Jess. Sleep well.”
“You, too. I mean, when you get to. Not now. Silly me. You’re working.”
“Doing what I can.” When he laughs, the rumble rolls into my ear and rushes all the way to my lower belly, flooding me with...I don’t know. The vibrations are like a massage from the inside.
Damn. Now I’m more riled up than when I ran in the door. As I skip across the room, the hum of the dial tone makes me realize that I’ve still got the receiver pressed to my ear.
After setting it back in its cradle, I move through a series of pliés, kicks and extensions to wind down as well as work off the time I spent sitting at rehearsal and in the car. When my teaching job ends, I’m going to have to try and pick up more classes at the studio where I teach jazz on Monday nights—both for the cash and to stay in shape. Meanwhile, I may not have normal furniture, but I do have a beautifully crafted ballet barre in my living room, which I use more than I’d ever use a couch.
Discipline, my constant companion, guides me through my bedtime routine.
Skin care. Water. Sleep.
As I slide into dreamland, a question pops into my mind. I wonder if that DJ looks as sexy as he sounds?




The moment I saw this book cover was a moment where I was taken back in time, a time for me of growing up and heading off to college. Seeing the two lead characters go through changes too drew me to them and kept me invested in their journey every step of the way.  It was a journey that was sometimes heartbreaking, belying the cutesy book cover, as both had difficult childhoods and issues that were timely and realistic in their depictions.  There's surprising depth to this rom-com, an intensity that pulled at my heartstrings while I rooted for these two through every high and low.

Callihan Alonso is a late night DJ who just wants to bring a sense of family to his listeners, make them feel like a part of something.  When readers are first introduced to Cal they sense a man with a good heart, hear a captivating voice, and discover a past that helps him understand loneliness and a desire to help ease it.  The depictions of his past hurt my heart and had me desperate to hug him and let him know his true worth beyond what the world sees.  The pain of his past had him build a wall around his heart that has kept him separate from others and hiding still today in a job that makes hiding easy.  The moment he hears Jess calling in to his radio show though is the moment everything changes for him.  In their slow-burn journey to finding something deeper between them, readers will be charmed by their fun and flirty chats that sometimes veered into mini-confessions.  For them, it becomes not only a romantic journey but a healing one as well when it comes to slaying the demons from their pasts.  Jessica Abraham is a compelling character too and a great match to Cal, one with her own painful past that roars back late in this story to create a jaw-dropping moment.  Jess is a former teacher on the cusp of 30 when this story starts.  As an actress, looks are vital in her mind and it drives her fear of her future in such a shallow profession.  It's a weight that's always been with her and it really consumes her here.  Her late night chats with Cal are moments of light in her dark moments though, a joyful time that made me smile and that was a delightful way to start their relationship.  Their interactions were sweet early on and were a nice balance to the raw reality of her medical issues, issues that were realistically depicted as the story progressed.  By the end I was on the edge of my seat, not knowing where Ms. Grey would take this couple next but rooting them on wholeheartedly.

This was a well-crafted story, a story full of heart and soul as two people show themselves to be perfectly imperfect.  They have a lot of emotional baggage that they need to deal with before finding HEA, and watching them grow stronger as individuals and as a couple, made for a richly rewarding story from the first page to the last.  There was a strong sense of nostalgia permeating this story too and it was a captivating element.  Along with the charm was gritty and emotionally intense depictions of mental and physical health that Ms. Grey presented with respect and realism.  I applaud her for not sugarcoating things as it made this story even more impactful and will draw even more readers to this book in the future!  On a whole, this might have been my first time reading this author but it won't be the last!

My rating for this is an A-

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


KAREN GREY is the pen name for award-winning narrator Karen White. A stage, screen and radio drama actor in Boston, New York and Los Angeles in the late 20th century, she started recording books in 1999. Now back in her home state of North Carolina, she shares a home with her family and (probably) too many pets, where she continues to narrate audiobooks as well as make up stories.
The first three books in her Boston Classics series of retro rom-coms released in 2020, with more to come in 2021. What I'm Looking For, #1 in the series is the winner of AudioFile Magazine's Earphones Award, the NJ Romance Writers' Put Your Heart in a Book contest and Hearts Through History’s Romance Through the Ages contest in the Modern History category.


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