Posted in Blog Tour

The Summer House by Lauren K. Denton **Book Review** @tlcbooktours @thomasnelson

Happy Monday all!

These last couple weeks have been rough and heartbreaking and I’ve been very distracted. It was really nice to be able to escape into this delightful book full of kind characters and so much hope and heart.

My Thoughts

What a delightful unexpected gem! Lauren K. Denton has Spohn such a delightful feel good tale that warmed my heart and made me smile. It has been a rough heartbreaking emotional week and I’ve been so distracted. It was so nice to find a gorgeous story filled with kind characters to escape into. Lily has just moved from Atlanta to the Alabama Gulf when her husband up and leaves her. New to town and knowing nobody Lily finds herself in need of a job and a new place to live. While at the grocery store she runs across two older ladies and finds out there is a need for a hairdresser at their active living community. Rose is the owner and manager at the active living community on Safe Harbor. Rose is a little prickly, but when Lily interviews for the hairdressing job she has compassion for the girl. Lily now finds herself with a new job and living in a community where most of the residents are four decades older than her.

Loved every minute I spend with these charming characters. Loved the hairdresser setting, these characters were just like me and spilled all their secrets while sitting in that chair. Both Lily and Rose were wonderful characters and I love the friendship that grew between them. There was also a sweet dose of romance in the story that I loved. A lovely clean romance with a generous dose of hope and heart.

This book in emojis 🌹 ✂️ 💇🏻‍♀️ 🦐 🐊 🍋 🌊

*** Big thank you to Thomas Nelson for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***

About the Book

Sometimes it takes losing everything to find yourself again.

Lily Bishop wakes up one morning to find a good-bye note and divorce papers from her husband on the kitchen counter. Having moved to Alabama for his job only weeks before, Lily is devastated, but a flyer at the grocery store for a hair stylist position in a local retirement community provides a refuge while she contemplates her next steps.

Rose Carrigan built the small retirement village of Safe Harbor years ago—just before her husband ran off with his assistant. Now she runs a tight ship, making sure the residents follow her strict rules. Rose keeps everyone at arm’s length, including her own family. But when Lily shows up asking for a job and a place to live, Rose’s cold exterior begins to thaw.

Lily and Rose form an unlikely friendship, and Lily’s salon soon becomes the place where residents share town gossip, as well as a few secrets. Lily soon finds herself drawn to Rose’s nephew, Rawlins—a single dad and shrimper who’s had some practice at starting over—and one of the residents may be carrying a torch for Rose as well.

Neither Lily nor Rose is where she expected to be, but the summer makes them both wonder if there’s more to life and love than what they’ve experienced so far. The Summer House weaves Lauren K. Denton’s inviting Southern charm around a woman’s journey to find herself.

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

Connect with Lauren

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Have a delightful day! XOXO Berit🌊

Posted in Blog Tour

Carolina Breeze by Denise Hunter **Book Review** @tlcbooktours @thomsnelson

Happy Tuesday that feels like a Monday!

Excited to share with you today my review for this sweet cozy romance! This is the second book in this delightful series that I am thoroughly enjoying!🌸

My Thoughts

Romance, family, heart, and hope. Denise Hunter has written another Sweet cozy romance that made me smile. This is the second book in this delightful series and although it can absolutely be read as a standalone I would encourage you to read the previous book as well. Levi and his siblings are Busy running their family inn. Although Levi has not been completely upfront with his sisters the inn isn’t doing quite as well as he has led them to believe. But Levi is determined to honor his fathers dying words to take care of his sisters. Mia is a big-time movie star whose life is starting to fall apart. Her engagement has been called off and her name is now being drug through the tabloids. She needs a little getaway and why not take her honeymoon trip to that quaint North Carolina town by herself? It has already been paid for. Mia also has familial ties to Levi’s family inn. When Levi and Mia meet there is a instant spark that slowly ignites as the two get to know one another better. But what could this small town innkeeper and movie star possibly have in common?

I sure do love a well told small town romance. Levi and Mia were both likable characters and I really loved watching their relationship develope. I also loved Levi’s relationship with his sisters Molly and Grace. Molly was the focus of the previous book and I liked seeing her relationship continue in a positive direction. There is also the addition of a little family mystery in this book that was lots of fun. Another wonderful installment in this series excited to see what’s in store for Grace.

This book in emojis 🎬 🌲 🏨 💎 🛥 💍 🥾

*** Big thank you to Thomas Nelson for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***

About the Book

A jilted bride. A struggling innkeeper. And a romantic mountain getaway that changes everything

Rising Hollywood star Mia Emerson is looking for a safe place to land in the wake of a public breakup and celebrity scandal, and she finds it in the lake town of Bluebell, North Carolina—the location of her canceled honeymoon. She wants nothing more than to hide and wait for the tabloids to die down.

Soon after her arrival at the Bluebell Inn, Mia meets Levi Bennett, who runs the inn along with his two younger sisters. Drawn to one another from the start, Mia trusts Levi to keep her location from the press, and Levi confides in Mia about the precarious financial state of the inn—a secret he’s been keeping from his sisters.

When Mia and Levi discover an old journal that hints at a rare diamond necklace hidden in the inn, they set off on a treasure hunt to find the long-lost heirloom. What they don’t expect to surface are feelings they thought were safely locked away. Mia and Levi must decide if falling in love again is too big a risk—or if it will uncover a treasure of its own instead.

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

Connect with Denise

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Have a beautiful day! XOXO Berit💕

Posted in Blog Tour

The Ingredients of You and Me by Nina Bocci **Book Review** @tlcbooktours @gallerybooks

Happy Thursday all!

Hope you’re all doing well! This was such a sweet small-town romance full of friendship, fun, and food!🥧

My Thoughts


1 cup romance

1 cup friendship

1 heaping teaspoon of charm

A generous sprinkling of humor

A sweet story filled with so much whimsy and heart. The perfect small town cozy romance, packed with lovable colorful characters and a darling setting. Parker is ready for a new chapter in her life so she decides to sell her successful NYC bakery and set out in a new direction. The problem is she’s not quite sure what her next chapter looks like and it appears as though she may have lost her baking mojo as well. When her BFF hears what is going on she invites her to come stay with her in the small town of Hope Lake. Parker knows a change of setting will probably do her good, but going to Hope Lake also means she will run into her ex flame Nick (a flame nobody knows about). What will make it even more awkward is that Nick completely ghosted her and it appears as though he is no longer single. But Parker decides the change of scenery is worth it and packs her bags for an extended visit. What follows is a fun story of awkward moments, golden girls, unsolicited advice, recipes, YouTube, friendship, a new business, chemistry, and love.

This is the third book in this delightful series, but it can definitely be read as a standalone. Parker is a relatable and likable character and you cannot help but put yourself in her position. I cringed and felt awkward right along with her as she navigated some of the situations in this book. One of the best parts of this book were the friendships. Not only Parker’s friendship with Charlotte and Emma, but also Parker’s relationship with the Golden girls. The golden girls were hilarious a group of senior ladies who have a lot of personality and even more heart. The romance in the story was very tricky. There was obvious attraction between Parker and Nick, but Nick had a girlfriend? Wasn’t sure how that was going to be resolved, but I was happy with the solution. The icing on the cake of this book was well, all the cake! These ladies could bake and I was craving sweets throughout the entire book. A sweet satisfying story in more ways than one.

This book in emojis 🥧 🧁 🍰 ☕️

*** Big thank you to Gallery for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***

About the Book

From the USA TODAY bestselling author of the “heartwarming and refreshingly sweet” (Lauren Layne, New York Times bestselling author) On the Corner of Love and Hatecomes a story about a baker who takes her chances on a new town…and an old love.

After selling her famous bakery back in New York, Parker Adams visits Hope Lake, Pennsylvania, to figure out her next steps. And soon she’s wondering why she ever loved city life in the first place. Between the Golden Girls—the senior women who hold court—and Nick Arthur, her equally infuriating and charming former flame, Parker finds a community eager to help her get her mojo back.

But even though Hope Lake gives her the fresh start she’s been looking for, Parker discovers that it’s not so easy to start over again with Nick. Their chemistry is undeniable, but since Nick is a freshly taken man, Parker is determined to keep things platonic. With a recipe for disaster looming, Parker must cook up a new scheme, figuring out how to keep everything she’s come to love before she loses it all.

Perfect for fans of Amy E. Reichert and Jenny Colgan, The Ingredients of You and Me is a scrumptious romantic comedy that lets you have your cake and eat it too.

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Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

Connect with Nina

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

 

Let’s Connect!

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Have a splendid day!🦋

Berit☀️✨

Posted in Blog Tour

Salty, Bitter, Sweet by Mayra Cuevas **Book Review** @tlcbooktours

Happy Thursday all!

Delighted to share with you today this entertaining story filled with family, food, fun, and forgiveness!👩🏻‍🍳

My Thoughts

Food, family, forgiveness, fun.

This was a sweet and salty story about family, with a splash of romance and a ton of food. Isa has moved to France to live with her father and her new stepmother. She is not terribly fond of her new stepmother especially because she caught her kissing her father before her parents were divorced. The situation is not helped by the fact that stepmom is now pregnant and refuses to eat the food that Isa makes. When Isa’s new step brother Diego shows up things get even more complicated. This was a fun feel good coming of age story that made me smile. Isa is a likable character with A lot of determination. When she earns the prestigious apprenticeship with an internationally acclaimed chef she is definitely tested. The chef was very demanding and somewhat hostile, to say the least. I definitely admired her tenacity. My only tiny Kniggle with this book was I wanted more romance and less food prep. But that could just be me, I’m more into the eating and less into the preparation. A slow burn romance that will make you happy and hungry.

This book in emojis 🍽 🍲 👨🏻‍🍳 👩🏻‍🍳 🐶 🛵

*** Big thank you to Blink for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***

About the Book

SYNOPSIS: A slow-burn romance in a cutthroat kitchen! There’s more to becoming a top chef for 17-year-old Isabella Fields than just not getting chopped … especially when the chances of things heating up with an intriguing boy and becoming a food star in the kitchen are both on the chopping block.  

Aspiring chef Isa’s family life has fallen apart after the death of her Cuban abuela and the divorce of her parents. She moves in with her dad and her new stepmom, Margo, in Lyon, France, where Isa feels like an outsider in her father’s new life. Isa balances her time between avoiding the awkward, “why-did-you-cheat-on-Mom” conversation with figuring out how a perpetually single woman can at least be a perpetually single chef.

The upside of Isa’s world being turned upside-down?

Her father’s house is located only 30 minutes away from the restaurant of world-famous Chef Pascal Grattard, who runs a prestigiously competitive international kitchen apprenticeship. The prize job at Chef Grattard’s renowned restaurant also represents a transformative opportunity for Isa who is desperate to get her life back in order—and desperate to prove she has what it takes to work in an haute kitchen. But Isa’s stress and repressed grief begin to unravel when the attractive, enigmatic Diego shows up unannounced with his albino dog.

How can Isa expect to hold it together when she’s at the bottom of her class at the apprenticeship, her new stepmom is pregnant, she misses her abuela dearly, and things with the mysterious Diego reach a boiling point?


Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble


Connect with Mayra

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Let’s Connect

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Have a lovely day!🌸

Berit☀️✨

Posted in Blog Tour

The Road to Delano by John Desimone

Happy Tuesday all!

Delighted to share with you today this compelling story they gave me a lot to think about. 🚜

My Thoughts

A compelling story about an often forgotten part of history. John Desimone has skillfully captured time and place with his descriptive storytelling. 1968 the California central valley Jack is a high school senior determined to earn a baseball scholarship and make it out of his small town. Things have been hard for Jack and his mother after the death of his father. Resolute to save the farm Jack heads to town to sell some farm equipment when he runs across one of his fathers old friends who shares with Jack some information that his father was murdered. Jack wants justice for his father, but in pursuing it he gets his friend Adrian arrested. Will Jack be able to solve his father’s murder and save his friend from prosecution? Will he ever make it out of Delano or is this is destiny?

A well told, well researched genre potpourri . A little historical fiction, a little mystery, a little coming-of-age. Jack was a great character, an all American boy I could definitely get behind. I liked how Cesar Chavez, the labor struggle, and the striking field workers were infused into the story. It was interesting and disturbing how crooked and violent things got involving these labor disputes. I felt for the small town, for Jack, for his mother Shirley, and for Adrian. A captivating thought-provoking story that made me more aware of an important piece of our history.

This book in emojis ⚾️ 🚜 ☀️ 👨🏾‍🌾

*** Big thank you to the publisher for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***

About The Road to Delano

• Hardcover: 320 pages
• Publisher: Rare Bird Books (March 10, 2020)

Jack Duncan is a high school senior whose dream is to play baseball in college and beyond?as far away from Delano as possible. He longs to escape the political turmoil surrounding the labor struggles of the striking fieldworkers that infests his small ag town. Ever since his father, a grape grower, died under suspicious circumstances ten years earlier, he’s had to be the sole emotional support of his mother, who has kept secrets from him about his father’s involvement in the ongoing labor strife.

With their property on the verge of a tax sale, Jack drives an old combine into town to sell it so he and his mother don’t become homeless. On the road, an old friend of his father’s shows up and hands him the police report indicating Jack’s father was murdered. Jack is compelled to dig deep to discover the entire truth, which throws him into the heart of the corruption endemic in the Central Valley. Everything he has dreamed of is at stake if he can’t control his impulse for revenge.

While Jack’s girlfriend, the intelligent and articulate Ella, warns him not to so anything to jeopardize their plans of moving to L.A., after graduation, Jack turns to his best friend, Adrian, a star player on the team, to help to save his mother’s land. When Jack’s efforts to rescue a stolen piece of farm equipment leaves Adrian?the son of a boycotting fieldworker who works closely with Cesar Chavez?in a catastrophic situation, Jack must bail his friend out of his dilemma before it ruins his future prospects. Jack uses his wits, his acumen at card playing, and his boldness to raise the money to spring his friend, who has been transformed by his jail experience.

The Road to Delano is the path Jack, Ella, and Adrian must take to find their strength, their duty, their destiny.

Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Rare Bird Books

About John DeSimone

John DeSimone is a published writer, novelist, and teacher. He’s been an adjunct professor and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Spalding University. His recent co-authored books include Broken Circle: A Memoir of Escaping Afghanistan (Little A Publishers), and Courage to Say No by Dr. Raana Mahmood, about her struggles against sexual exploitation as a female physician in Karachi. His published novel Leonardo’s Chair published in 2005.

In 2012, he won a prestigious Norman Mailer Fellowship to complete his most recent historical novel, Road to Delano. His novels Leonardo’s Chair and No Ordinary Man have received critical recognition.

He works with select clients to write stories of inspiration and determination and with those who have a vital message to bring to the marketplace of ideas in well-written books.

Find out more about John at his website, and connect with him on Instagram.

Posted in Blog Tour

One Little Lie by Colleen Coble **Book Review** @tlcbooktours @thomasnelson

Happy Tuesday evening everybody!

Just got informed that my high schooler will be home until April 30! So if anyone can help me with the teaching of calculus please let me know! Thank goodness we all have books to give us an escape from the craziness!

My Thoughts

This was a well crafted suspense novel with a splash of romance. This is the first book in Colleen Coble’s Pelican Harbor series. A police procedural series with a strong sassy female protagonist. The book kicks off with a young girl in a cult giving birth to a baby boy. The girl is told by her father that the baby has died. Then the book jumps forward to Jane Hardy The newly appointed chief of police in Pelican Harbor. Pelican Harbor is a sleepy little town on the Alabama gulf coast where nothing much ever happens. That is until the bodies start dropping. When multiple dead bodies start popping up Jane realizes something sinister is going on. Jane is determined to prove she is up for the job as well as to prove her father the X chief of police innocence.

Jane was a great character I loved her fighting spirit. The mystery was compelling and well paced. Where this book falls a little short is in the romance. There really is no romance even though this is classified as romantic suspense. There is a potential love interest Reid, A reporter who is writing an article about small town law enforcement. Jane is pretty much forced into working with him, so their relationship does not start off on a positive note. I’m assuming there will be more to this love connection in future books. In spite of this I really enjoyed this book. It was a great crime thriller with a lot of interesting angles to it. And bonus there is a police dog who you will love!

About the Book

It started with one little lie. But Jane Hardy will do everything in her power to uncover the truth in this gripping new romantic suspense. 

Jane Hardy is appointed interim sheriff in Pelican Harbor, Alabama, after her father retires, but there’s no time for an adjustment period. When her father is arrested for theft and then implicated in a recent murder, Jane quickly realizes she’s facing someone out to destroy the only family she has.

After escaping with her father from a cult fifteen years ago, Jane has searched relentlessly for her mother—who refused to leave—ever since. Could someone from that horrible past have found them?

Reid Bechtol is well-known for his documentaries, and his latest project involves covering Jane’s career. Jane has little interest in the attention, but the committee who appointed her loves the idea of the publicity.

Jane finds herself depending on Reid’s calm manner as he follows her around filming, and they begin working together to clear her father. But Reid has his own secrets from the past, and the gulf between them may be impossible to cross—especially once her father’s lie catches up with him.

“Colleen Coble always raises the notch on romantic suspense, and One Little Lie is my favorite yet! The story took me on a wild and wonderful ride.” —Diann Mills, bestselling author

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble | Thomas Nelson

Connect with Colleen

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Let’s Connect

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Have a lovely day!🌸

Berit☀️✨

Posted in Blog Tour

Eight Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson **Book Review** @wmmorrowbooks @harperaudio @tlcbooktours

Hello lovely book people!

Have you read this one yet? I strongly encourage you to pick it up, it was so good! The perfect read while your social distancing.

My Thoughts

What a clever book! A captivating, compelling, and intelligent murder mystery. Peter Swanson has really hit it out of the park with this one. Not a thriller, but a well thought out, refreshing, murder mystery. A nod two classic mysteries of the past. Malcolm Kershaw owns the Old Devils Bookshop in Boston. He is an expert on all things Mystery books, even though he’s not reading them anymore. Mal is approached by an FBI agent who believes that a serial murder is using a list he posted on his blog years ago to commit murders. The blog post was about the eight perfect murders committed in literature. Perfect meaning the killer was almost guaranteed to get away with it. Mal is sucked up into the investigation not only to find out who is using his list, but also to prove his innocence. Tense and addictive I was completely hooked!

Graham Halstead does an exceptional job of narrating this audiobook. He really brought the perfect voice to Mal. His steller delivery and perfect pacing added some extra tension to this already engaging story. I loved all the literary references in this book. The story unfolded so well the perfect amount of twists, turns, and misdirection. I have seen other reviews mention that this book does spoil all the books on the perfect murder list and I suppose it does, but I also think it probably sparked some interest for those books as well. Mal was such a sympathetic yet quirky character who I didn’t quite trust, bu I was definitely rooting for. The secondary characters were all equally interesting and I cannot forget the cat Nero. Another winner from this exceptional author.

this book in emojis. 🔎 📚 ✍🏻 🧩 🐱

*** Big thank you to William Morrow & Harper Audio for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***

About Eight Perfect Murders

• Hardcover: 288 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow (March 3, 2020)

“Swanson rips us from one startling plot twist to the next… A true tour de force.” —Lisa Gardner

“Fiendish good fun.” —Anthony Horowitz

From the hugely talented author of Before She Knew Him comes a chilling tale of psychological suspense and an homage to the thriller genre tailor-made for fans: the story of a bookseller who finds himself at the center of an FBI investigation because a very clever killer has started using his list of fiction’s most ingenious murders.

Years ago, bookseller and mystery aficionado Malcolm Kershaw compiled a list of the genre’s most unsolvable murders, those that are almost impossible to crack—which he titled “Eight Perfect Murders”—chosen from among the best of the best including Agatha Christie’s A. B. C. Murders, Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers on a Train, Ira Levin’s Death Trap, A. A. Milne’s Red House Mystery, Anthony Berkeley Cox’s Malice Aforethought, James M. Cain’s Double Indemnity, John D. Macdonald’s The Drowner, and Donna Tartt’s A Secret History.

But no one is more surprised than Mal, now the owner of the Old Devils Bookstore in Boston, when an FBI agent comes knocking on his door one snowy day in February. She’s looking for information about a series of unsolved murders that look eerily similar to the killings on Mal’s old list. And the FBI agent isn’t the only one interested in this bookseller who spends almost every night at home reading. There is killer is out there, watching his every move—a diabolical threat who knows way too much about Mal’s personal history, especially the secrets he’s never told anyone, even his recently deceased wife.

To protect himself, Mal begins looking into possible suspects . . . and sees a killer in everyone around him. But Mal doesn’t count on the investigation leaving a trail of death in its wake. Suddenly, a series of shocking twists leaves more victims dead—and the noose around Mal’s neck grows so tight he might never escape.

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Photo by Jim Ferguson

About Peter Swanson

Peter Swanson is the author of five novels, including The Kind Worth Killing, winner of the New England Society Book Award, and finalist for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger; Her Every Fear, an NPR book of the year; and his most recent, Before She Knew Him. His books have been translated into 30 languages, and his stories, poetry, and features have appeared in Asimov’s Science FictionThe Atlantic MonthlyMeasureThe GuardianThe Strand Magazine, and Yankee Magazine. He lives outside of Boston, where he is at work on his next novel.

Find out more about Peter on his website and follow him on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

Posted in Blog Tour

A Flame Through Eternity by Anna Belfrage **Guest Post** @tlcbooktours

Happy Thursday!

I always love when an author shares something a little unique on my blog! Thank you so much Anna Belfrage for this wonderful guest post!

About the Book

According to Helle Madsen, being the protagonist of a time-spanning epic love story has some things going for it, primarily Jason Morris. Because seriously, meeting up with your fated lover after 3 000 years apart is not bad–at all. Unfortunately, where Jason goes, there goes Sam Woolf, yet another very, very ancient acquaintance–with the fundamental difference that Sam is not into Happily Ever After. He’s into destruction, more specifically of Jason and Helle.

Helle may believe in second-chance love, but she sure doesn’t believe in reincarnation. Okay, she didn’t believe in stuff like that until she met Jason Morris a year or so ago. By now, she has accepted that sometimes impossible things are quite, quite possible–like an ancient princess being reborn as an ambitious financial analyst.

Finding Jason was like finding the part of her that had always been missing–a perfect match. But handling Sam Woolf, the reborn version of their ancient nemesis is something of a trial. No sooner do you have him well and surely beat, but up he bounces again. Sheesh, will it take an oak stake to permanently rid their lives of him?

Sam Woolf is a powerful adversary. Too powerful, even. Jason and Helle will need help from unexpected quarters to finally bring this tangled, ancient love-and-hate triangle to some sort of conclusion. Question is, will they survive the experience?

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

Connect with Anna

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Guest Post

The Romantic hero – a victim of male objectification

Some time ago, I heard an interesting interview on the radio about the objectification of the male body. This, apparently, was major news, with the male presenter almost stuttering as he expressed just how upset he was by this new development. (The fact that women have been the unfortunate recipients of equivalent objectification since ages back was sort of glossed over)

That young male presenter had it wrong, IMO. Men have always been objectified. Take, for example, the depictions of the male body on ancient Greek urns—these are handsome, chiselled dudes with bulging muscles and narrow waists. Somehow, I think the majority of those ancient Greek men did not look quite like that, but they likely wanted to look like that, so they spent hours in the gym, oiled their hair and generally went about beautifying themselves as much as they could. Yup: clear case of male objectification.

The trend continues through history:

Roman statues may often depict graceful female nudes, but just as often virile, potent males with bulging muscles, profiles to die for and jawlines that show just how determined these men are—were.

Michelangelo’s Davide is yet another example of male perfection, and I wonder just how many Florentine youths stood in front of it and cursed the artist to hell and back for placing the bar so very, very high. How would a real man ever compare to this marbled perfection? (I dare say they were very relieved that Davide’s package is surprisingly modest)

To the Tudor gentleman obliged to sport hose all the way to the very, very short puff breeches, keeping his legs looking good was important. As were codpieces, even if I suspect the more exaggerated among these did not have women swooning in hope at the delights potentially offered, but rather giggling on the sly.

In the 18th century, gentlemen would pad their stockings so as to get the required muscular calf-profile. The handsome rakes of the Regency period worked out with boxing, riding and fencing – because wearing tight, tight buckskin breeches with no muscular thighs beneath was not on.

For most of recorded history, men have taken centre stage. It follows that they have groomed their bodies and adorned themselves in rich cloths, in jewellery and other accessories. Like preening peacocks, the males of our species have showed off, spending a lot of time and money to ensure they looked their best—all the way from their arranged locks to their muscles. Male objectification, dear peeps, has been de rigeur through the ages.

Male objectification is standard in romance novels – as is the female version. Rarely do we read of ugly, squat and overweight people being swept off their feet by love. One could argue there should be a niche here, as the number of people in the world who are not gorgeous, tall, well-muscled (if they’re men) or gorgeous, well-shaped and with masses of glorious hair (if they’re women) is relatively low. Writing a romance featuring a protagonist that is more like most of us—a woman who has to hold her breath to close her jeans and then goes about the entire day tugging at her sweater to ensure it hides the roll of fat above the waistline, alternatively a man with thinning hair and a slight paunch that strains against the buttons of his shirt—should lead to mases of readers identifying with the main characters, thereby driving sales. Yes? No.

You see, we read romance to escape. We read to pretend we’re somewhere else, someone else. As a fifty-plus woman I like pretending I’m a young gorgeous someone who has her whole life in front of her—and an equally gorgeous man by her side. Which does not mean I don’t read novels with a far more realistic depiction of life and the people who walk this world—but it sure doesn’t qualify as romance!

I shall continue indulging myself. In the romances I read, I like my male heroes tall, strong—maybe somewhat dark—and brave. In the books I write, my male protagonists tend to be of the same ilk: they’re men of integrity, of eyes that flash with conviction. They’re strong and muscled, they’d die for their lady-love (except that she is usually the kind of lady-love that would be really, really angry with him if he did something that stupid) and look surprisingly good when naked. Am I guilty of male objectification? Yup—and utterly unrepentant!

In my series The Wanderer (the third book being A Flame Through Eternity), my dashing hero is Jason. Tall? Tick. Muscled? Tick. Amazing eyes? Tick, tick. A profile to die for? Tick. Add to all that gorgeousness a sensitive and very, very, very experienced man—that’s what you get when you’ve lived through fifty-odd lives (well; unless you go totally crazy) and I’d say Jason is the perfect man. Except, of course, that while we want our romantic heroes hot, we don’t want them without flaws, and Jason has his fair share of those!

***************************

Anna has recently released A Flame Through Eternity, the third in her Romantic Suspense series, The Wanderer.

When she isn’t writing contemporary suspense with a time travelling twist, Anna is usually visiting her favourite historical periods, namely the 17th century and the 14th century. And yes, she is quite convinced people were as much about love back then as we are now!

Find out more about Anna on http://www.annabelfrage.com.

Or pop by her Amazon page and browse through her books, http://Author.to/ABG

Posted in Blog Tour

Last Day by Luanne Rice **Book Review**

Happy weekend bibliophiles!

Do you like a good who done it with a beautiful setting? Then this is the book for you!🖼🌼

My Thoughts

Murder, Family secrets, infidelity, betrayal, friendship, and a tragic past. This was a who done it with a whole Lot of suspects. What I liked best about this story was the relationship between the sisters and how their past tragedy had ties to the current murder. The bulk of the story is told from the perspective of Kate and while I did like her she wasn’t easy to get to know. This was a story that kept me guessing… Red herrings, miss directions, loads of secrets, and plenty of suspects. The setting of the book added a lot of intrigue to the story. I was completely hooked until the very end and then I was kind of let down. The ending while it caught me completely by surprise, I cannot for the life of me figure out why this person behave the way they did?

This book in emojis. 🖼 🩸 🛩 🕵🏻

About the Book

SYNOPSIS: From celebrated New York Timesbestselling author Luanne Rice comes a riveting story of a seaside community shaken by a violent crime and a tragic loss.

Years ago, Beth Lathrop and her sister Kate suffered what they thought would be the worst tragedy of their lives the night both the famous painting Moonlight and their mother were taken. The detective assigned to the case, Conor Reid, swore to protect the sisters from then on.

Beth moved on, throwing herself fully into the art world, running the family gallery, and raising a beautiful daughter with her husband Pete. Kate, instead, retreated into herself and took to the skies as a pilot, always on the run. When Beth is found strangled in her home, and Moonlightgoes missing again, Detective Reid can’t help but feel a sense of déjà vu.

Reid immediately suspects Beth’s husband, whose affair is a poorly kept secret. He has an airtight alibi—but he also has a motive, and the evidence seems to point to him. Kate and Reid, along with the sisters’ closest childhood friends, struggle to make sense of Beth’s death, but they only find more questions: Who else would have wanted Beth dead? What’s the significance of Moonlight?

Twenty years ago, Reid vowed to protect Beth and Kate—and he’s failed. Now solving the case is turning into an obsession . . .

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

Connect with Luanne

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Let’s Connect

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Have a Beautiful day!🌻

Berit☀️✨

Posted in Blog Tour

Groomed by Elizabeth Melendez Fisher @tlcbooktours *Review*

Happy Monday all!

This year I’ve decided I’m going to try to read more nonfiction and this is one of the books I decided to give a go. Some of the subject matter was really tough to read about, but I think it is so important. Additionally I think all these victims deserve to have their stories told and heard.

My Thoughts

This book was so powerful and insightful. It shed light on being groomed and how it has so many more meanings and implications than I previously thought. As somebody who was in an emotionally abusive toxic marriage for many many years, this book really hit home for me. It made me think about why I reacted and acted the way I did. The book also focused on the who the what and the how of grooming and how to move on from it. It also offered up a lot of information on human trafficking. It is so disturbing how prevalent this is not only in other countries but right here in the US. This is a small book that packs a big punch! Full of relevant and important information that all women will truly benefit from. About the Book

Someone in your past sold you a false story about who you are and what you’re worth. It has been holding you back for too long. Take control of your future.

A staggering one out of three women in America was a victim of sexual abuse at some point in her childhood. No matter how many years it’s been, if that’s your story, those scars are probably still with you. But even if that’s not part of your story, this book is for you. Women today have been groomed for a lot more than just sex.

Using her own story of abuse, family tragedy, and rebellion, Elizabeth Melendez Fisher guides readers toward an understanding that grooming is oftentimes subtle, but it’s always life-altering. In GroomedFisher incorporates the language and lessons gained over the past decade working with sex trafficking victims and her work in ministry and counseling before that. She draws out five specific ways that women have been groomed, from physical appearance to spirituality to finances, and shows how those manipulative messages have affected the way we see our worth and how they’ve oftentimes stifled and limited us. From there Fisher offers readers a way to overcome their past, starting with the all-important but rarely explored idea of a selah, or a time of rest and reflection, and exploring active ways to forgive and move forward to a new level of freedom.

No one has to be defined by her past. No one has to live for her groomers. It’s time to take a look back at where we came from to escape the messages of our past and take control of our future.

‘In Groomed Elizabeth shares a raw, heart-wrenching story, digging deeply to save others–a vital education, a sad tale, and a miracle of truth. Stopping sex trafficking and helping young women thrive is only possible through the education this book provides. And, ultimately, the sad realization that it could have been any of us!’ –Dina Bair Maher, WGN-TV, Chicago, anchor/reporter

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble | Thomas Nelson

Connect with Elizabeth

Selah Freedom Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram