Category Archives: Adult Contemporary

Rachelle Ayala’s Taming Romeo

Rachelle Ayala was a software engineer until she discovered storytelling works better inrachelle-rico fiction than real code. She enjoys writing love stories and has always lived in a multi-cultural environment. The tapestry of characters in her books reflect that diversity. She is an active member of online critique group, Critique Circle, and a volunteer for the World Literary Cafe. Check out her four romantic novels. Michal’s Window is a powerful, emotional journey as lived through the eyes of Princess Michal, King David’s first wife. Broken Build is a story of healing where a man learns to love and trust the woman who destroyed his life. Hidden Under Her Heart is a heartfelt love story combined with controversy over difficult decisions, and Knowing Vera is a suspenseful, cross-cultural romance mixing an unsolved murder, adventure, and hot, steamy love scenes.

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TRAbout Taming Romeo

Evie Sanchez is recovering from heartbreak by working at her parents’ Filipino restaurant when in walks Romeo Garcia, the boy she left behind. Only now, he’s a hot movie star surrounded by gorgeous actresses and adoring fans. Bad boy Romeo Garcia never understood why Evie stood him up at the prom. When he rescues her from a flying coconut in the dumpster, he is determined to dig into her heart for the reason. Their mutual attraction and unresolved feelings ignite in a scintillating night of daring sex, and Romeo shows Evie what she’ll miss the rest of her life if she walks away again. Evie lands a part as Romeo’s co-star and falls into her role, totally in love. He plays his part, too, with his romantic gestures and skillful lovemaking. But is the fantasy real or revenge? Evie and Romeo are about to discover if their buried feelings will explode in pure delight or utter disaster.

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Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon IndiaAmazon Canada

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Review

Rachelle Ayala’s Taming Romeo could be classified as a Filipino soap opera. Although I haven’t seen a Filipino TV drama, I think the characterization and high drama in this sizzling romance has all the essential qualities. What I enjoyed about this book are the detailed descriptions of Filipino cultural practices, sometimes quite ridiculous, like the three dates rule and also the delectable references to Filipino food.

Taming Romeo has mastered the art of being a sizzling romance and also a window into an ethnic community living and practicing their way of life. The characters and their individual relationships are skillfully created and Evie and Genie, her sister’s sibling rivalry makes it all the more real. Evie’s relationship troubles with Romeo and her ex-boyfriend Eric are all too characteristic of romances in your early twenties. The indecisiveness and the need to get all the attention you can is quintessential young adult behaviour, which is not confined to any particular culture. Rachelle Ayala’s treatment of these well rounded and flawed characters is to be applauded.

Although Taming Romeo is quite evidently an adult  romance with explicit sexual references, the book’s gastronomical, cultural and strong line-up of characters give it a whole new dimension. However, having said that, I also believe that the story line needed a stronger plot to make it even better. As you mentally eat your way through the story and go along with the hedonistic behaviour the story suddenly ends! Yes. quite abruptly. It is as if, suddenly, all their lives were fast forwarded. Romeo’s arrival in a street near where Evie lived could have had a gradual build up, instead, everything that happens after Evie goes back to University is crammed in the last few pages. If the author ever decides to rewrite the end and make the book longer I will definitely support it. In it’s current state I would rate it 3.5/5.

Taming Romeo is not for under 18’s although, I am quite sure ratings are there to make adults feel better!

I have intentionally not narrated or summarized the story for you because if the blurb, the cover and the review interests you, please read it. Also, don’t forget to participate in the  a Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win one Paperback, Winner’s Choice, of Rachelle Ayala’s Books.

This blog post is a part of a blog tour and I received an ARC to read an give my honest opinion of the book.

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Review: For the Love of Murphy

Murphy cover

For the Love of Murphy

Genre: Romance Anthology (Sweet)
Release Date: March 17, 2014
Keywords: Romance, Anthology, Sweet, Murphy’s Law, Short Stories

Description: They say love conquers all, but whoever “they” are, must not have heard of Murphy’s Law — whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.

These five tales of sweet, accidental romance prove Cupid’s arrows are a lot tougher than they seem, and sometimes it pays to be unlucky.

No Wrong Turns by Lisa A. Adams
Falling For You by Michelle Ziegler
Coffee and Cufflinks by Annabelle Blume
A Slippery Slope by Rebecca Hart
The Shamrock Incident by London Saint James

Buy Links

Print: Createspace | Amazon

Ebooks: Amazon | Amazon UK | Barnes and Noble | Smashwords

For the Love of Murphy is the perfect collection of short stories that you should read on your daily commute to work or while you are waiting in a long queue. It has all the characteristics that might improve your mood. The stories are exactly as the title suggests, a take on Murphy’s Law, ‘Anything that can go wrong will go wrong’.

From nearly getting married to the wrong friend and then being jilted at the altar to rebelling against your parents, leaving home and immediately losing your wallet half way down the street is what all the stories are about. Every character is believable and either we are them or we know of people who are quite similar.

You will invariably do something silly or get a bump on your forehead in front of a very interesting and date-able guy like in London Saint James’s The Shamrock Incident.

Olivia of Coffee and Cufflinks has a high powered job and she meets this wonderful guy everyday at the same coffee shop. They know nothing about each other, other than their coffee orders and her love of expensive bottled water. How fate brings them together after a series of disasters proves that once everything that can have gone wrong has gone wrong, something will go right!

I will not go into great details of each story as that would spoil the fun of a short story. I believe all of these authors have a lot of potential and I hope they’ll write more in future.

These stories are extremely short and just right. They are quite predictable as well if you are a champion romance reader. However if you do read a lot of romance then you must love happily ever-afters as well. I would recommend that you read For the Love of Murphy if you are after something sweet and uncomplicated to read. If you are having a moment when you don’t want to be logical and practical read this anthology. However if you are after stories with a lot of complications in plot and denouement I would suggest you don’t read it because it would be an injustice to these authors, the stories and to you.

However, when I finished the book I wanted to read a few more stories like these. These are times that I miss paper books, you can’t flick the pages to the best bits. E-books have made life a lot easier and cheaper for debut authors and PR’s to get the word around but at the cost of the reader not being able to flick pages!

This blog post is part of a blog tour and I received a free advanced review copy of the book to review. All opinions are my own and I wasn’t influenced or asked to write it.

murphy blog tour

Review: Slide by Michelle Congdon

Book Tour

Slide is one of those feel good novels that I would read when I am down in dumps. Michelle Congdon’s venture into the world of fiction has had a good start. From the delectable Ryan Fox to the perfect Evangeline, everything and everyone in this début novel is designed to please. Fast paced and slick Ryan Fox the hero of Slide might just develop a fan following amongst the young adult readers.

I would have enjoyed more if there was more of a mystery behind the various deaths in the novel because in the beginning there were hints that  the deaths were not just accidental. However after the slight build up of suspense the story changes its course. Elaborating on the suspense element might have added a little more depth to the story.

This was also the first time that I realized, I am older than the protagonists! It did come as a shock but adult contemporary novels are often written with a certain age group in mind. However, are present day 22 year olds thinking of marriage? Slide and its issues felt like going back in time. Other than the presence of cellular phones, Slide could have been an Adult Contemporary Novel from the 1980s. But, as I have mentioned before, Slide is a wonderful book to pick when you need lift.

Michelle Congdon has very graciously shared Ten Random Facts about Slide. So, I hope they satisfy your curiosity. If not, I am sure she’ll oblige to answer more questions in the comments section below.

Ten Random Facts about Slide by Michelle Congdon

  1. Her grandparent’s real names are Caleb & Marina Sinclair.
  2. The first dream I ever had of Slide ended completely different. Derek was mean and evil!!
  3. I couldn’t think of a title for a very long time. At work one day, I ended up getting a group of my friends to think up of a name each. The best two were then put into a bucket and the winner was drawn out. Slide won, obviously. 🙂
  4. When I wrote in Ryan’s mother and sisters, the beautiful actress Monica Bellucci popped into my head, so she was my inspiration for the girls.
  5. The scene where Ryan’s dog almost bites him, happened in real life to my cousin while I was holding his small Chihuahua. Even though it was my cousin’s puppy, Toby, was quite fond of me and thought my cousin was trying to hurt me. I still laugh about it to this day.
  6. Just like Derek and Evangeline, my friends and I watched re-runs of Will and Grace when we were younger. We also watched re-runs of Friends and the hilarious Australian comedy, Kath and Kim. We would spend entire weekends without moving away from the television.
  7. All the re-writes were because Ryan had something funnier to say.
  8. The twins, Willah and Hunter, were the last characters to be written into the story. I had almost reached the end when Hunter popped into my head. He wants a story of his own, and so does his sister!!
  9. Even though a friend of mine inspired Ryan’s character, and also some of my favourite TV shows, all I picture when I think about him is the extremely delicious model, David Gandy. Swoon!!

There you have it 10 random facts 🙂 Have any more questions? Send them my way and I’ll try my best to answer them. M Xx

About the Author

AuthorMichelle Congdon resides in Sydney, Australia. She has Dalmatian named Jett, who to this day continues to hold an 8 year grudge against her after she had to leave him with her parents when she moved to the big city- this only proves animals are much like their owners. Michelle enjoys reading books of all sorts of genre’s, watching way too many movies and TV shows (and Disney cartoons), singing out aloud to her favourite hits and going on adventures involving food and travel. Michelle is loud, talks a lot and shares an ever-growing list of fictional husbands with a friend. From when she was a small girl, she has always had an over active imagination and has tried to put it to good use by sharing her stories with anyone willing to listen.

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Slide by Michelle Congdon Releases Today

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After surviving a horrific car accident that claimed the lives of her mother and brother, Evangeline made a promise to herself to never go back to the city filled with the memories of her tragic past. But when her estranged father suddenly falls ill, she has no choice but to return to New York and to the life she spent twelve years trying to avoid. Since the accident, heiress to the multi-billion dollar Montgomery Empire, Evangeline has always feared the media attention that comes with having the Montgomery name and would immediately give it all up if it meant the chance to bring back her loved ones. Delicate and camera shy, the last person she should have on her mind is a type of guy like Ryan Fox. Witty, extremely arrogant but undeniably good-looking are only a few words Evangeline can use to describe the New York Yankee’s hot-shot. The notorious bad boy― well-versed at playing the game both on and off the field― isn’t fazed about the media circus following his every move and couldn’t be any more different to the quiet, shy girl that she is. So, what does a guy like him see in somebody as messed-up as her? And although everything about Ryan screams trouble with a capital T, why can’t Evangeline seem to stay away? It’s not until they’re away from the cameras that Evangeline begins to see the real man hiding behind the cocky facade- one that’s hurt and haunted by a dark and terrible secret.

What will happen once Evangeline finds the courage to reveal what really happened on the evening her mother and brother died? And how will she react when she finally learns the truth about Ryan’s chilling past? Will baring their deepest secrets bring them closer together or will it tear them apart and have them sliding into darkness all over again?

The Book Releases Today!

 

MEET RYAN FOX

Ryan Fox

Full name: Ryan Aaron Fox

Age: 24

Date of birth: 15th February 1989

Race: American/ Italian

Gender: Male

Height: 6’4

Weight: 205lb

Eye color: Greenish Hazel

Distinguishing features: Dimple on left cheek

Build of body: Tall, Athletic

Hair color: Dark Brown

Hair style: Wavy, Medium Length

Complexion: Olive

Current residence: New York City

Occupation: Pitcher for the New York Yankees

Hometown: New Jersey

Parents: Joseph & Serafina Fox

Siblings: Chiara, Liliana, Gabriella & Annabelle

Hobbies/past times: Collecting sports cars and artwork, attending and supporting local charities, spending time with family, watching the NBL, modeling.

Talents: Highest paid baseball player in the MLB to date.

Favorite types of music: R&B, Alternative, Old School Rock.

Favorite types of food: Mom’s homemade Italian cooking, Sushi and Pizza.

Favorite types of drink: Beer, Scotch and vintage Champagne.

Ryan picked up his first baseball at the tender age of six. He played throughout his school years and was drafted into the major leagues by the New York Yankees two weeks before his sixteenth birthday. He played his first game in the same week, placing him in the same category as some of youngest players in the world. During the past eight years, Ryan has impressed the baseball world by winning two MVP Awards, Rookie of the Year and two Cy Young Awards. He has also made six All-Star game appearances. When not busy training, playing ball or modeling for endorsements, Ryan likes to spend his down time helping his favorite charities, going to NBL games and going out with his friends and team mates. He would do absolutely anything for his family and is very protective of his sisters, especially Annabelle. Since his father’s passing, Ryan has made it his duty to be a strong, positive role model to his youngest sister. Ryan has had no previous relationships due to his baseball commitments. He prefers to have one-night stands, so neither party has time to develop feelings. That is until Evangeline Montgomery walked into his life…

About the Author

AuthorMichelle Congdon resides in Sydney, Australia. She has Dalmatian named Jett, who to this day continues to hold an 8 year grudge against her after she had to leave him with her parents when she moved to the big city- this only proves animals are much like their owners. Michelle enjoys reading books of all sorts of genre’s, watching way too many movies and TV shows (and Disney cartoons), singing out aloud to her favorite hits and going on adventures involving food and travel. Michelle is loud, talks a lot and shares an ever-growing list of fictional husbands with a friend. From when she was a small girl, she has always had an over active imagination and has tried to put it to good use by sharing her stories with anyone willing to listen.

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