Monday, June 15, 2015
Review ~ California Dreamin Timeless Romance Anthology
Six brand new contemporary romance novellas with bestselling and award winning authors.
In the sweet novella TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE by Heather B. Moore, Gwen uses her wedding photography business to keep her life simple and focus on something other than her own broken heart. When Jack, a guy too handsome for his own good, helps her clean up after a photoshoot, then asks her out, she doesn’t know if she can handle dating again. But Jack’s charm wins her over, and she agrees to meet him for dinner. The more she gets to know Jack, the more she likes him, but everything about him seems too good to be true.
GONE FISHING, a charming novella by Kaylee Baldwin, follows Claire as she tries to convince her dad to leave his start-up company as a boat guide and come back home to Colorado. He’s the only one who can defend Claire against her domineering mother. But when she arrives at the San Diego harbor, she’s met with more than one surprise. First, that her dad is truly living his dream and has never been happier, and second, she’s unexpectedly attracted to his business partner, Miguel.
In THE PIER CHANGES EVERYTHING, an enchanting novella by Annette Lyon, Alexandria has one last task to perform for her late husband, who died much too young: scatter his ashes in the Pacific Ocean. She goes to the Santa Monica Pier to do just that, but her plans get sidetracked after meeting Michael and feeling an immediate connection to him. They grab lunch, and the more time they spend together, the more they discover that they have in common—including past romantic hardships. As the day wears on, Alexandria begins learn that her heart just might be able to find love again.
In Jennifer Moore’s captivating novella A HERO’S SONG, AnneMarie’s career as a romance novelist is skyrocketing and her agent books her on a late night talk show. The host gets her to admit that she was in love once, with a guitar player. Moments after her segment, Lance Holden appears on the same stage, to perform his newest song. Is it a terrible coincidence? AnneMarie hasn’t seen Lance ever since he broke her heart ten years ago, and she has refused to think about him again. Their lives are worlds apart, but as Lance tries to reconcile with AnneMarie, she finds herself taking a second chance.
In STAY WITH ME, an endearing novella by Shannon Guymon, Jolie moves to L.A. to take on a nanny position for the summer, since apparently having a degree in art doesn’t translate to getting a job as a graphic designer. When Fitz, the family’s chauffeur, picks her up at the airport, she wonders if every man in LA is model-gorgeous. When Jolie meets her two charges, she finds them adorable and needy. But it’s harder to hold onto her job than she thought with a hostile Mrs. James and her spoiled brother. Fitz becomes both the silver lining of her job and the man who just might convince her to stay in L.A.
In the delightful novella, A PLACE TO CALL HOME, by Sarah M. Eden, Ada is the best realtor around. The best. She prides herself in matching each client with the house that will fit all of their needs. She hasn’t failed yet. So when Craig hires her to find him the perfect condo for him and his son, Ada is up for the challenge. What she may not be prepared for is her unforeseen attraction to Craig, her immediate attachment to his nine-year-old son, and her heart telling her that it’s okay to take another chance.
Since I recently took a road trip and my sweet husband drove the entire way, I got to read California Dreamin in one sitting! Such a fun escape from the long hours sitting in a car. Being a native to Southern California, I love to read books and short stories where the action takes place in places I know and love - places I can perfectly visualize because I've been there.
Each of these sweet novellas offer a different slice of the stereotypical Southern California life. They all take place in San Diego and LA areas and each offers a unique love story. We meet a photographer, movie and business executives, a realtor, a rock star, an author, a fashion designer, a fisherman, a web designer, a nanny, a chauffeur, and a business tycoon. As with all novellas I felt they were too short - I'm always left wanting more. That said, they are well-crafted for their length. Characters are dimensional and grow through their experiences and relationships. It's easy to fall in love with the main characters. While each is flawed, all have goals you want to see achieved and needs you want to see met. Each story is a sweet escape from reality - which is what people expect from a California Dreamin collection.
My only criticism of this fun anthology is that a few California details slipped by the authors and their editors. First - PCH (or Pacific Coast Highway) is NEVER referred to as "the PCH" or "the Pacific Coast Highway). While Californians do refer to the interstates as "the 5, the 405, the 10, etc.", one never places "the" before PCH - it's just wrong. Also, in STAY WITH ME the family Jo nannies for resides in Santa Monica. She takes the kids on a "day trip" to Redwoods National Forest, arriving in time for lunch and returning the same evening. Redwoods is, in fact, in the northern most coastal area of California - an 11 hour drive one-way. Perhaps readers who aren't from the golden state wouldn't have picked up on these discrepancies, but for this California girl - it made me laugh.
Honest disclosure ~ we received review copies in exchange for our honest review