Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Another First

I'm trying something new this week.

I've co-hosted a book giveaway before, but have never been a host for a blog tour.

And today I am! Granted, this is only one blog among many for this whirlwind tour featuring Barbara Freethy's series about the Callaway family. But it's still exciting for me.

About the Callaway Blog Tour & All Its Great Prizes!

This is the week you finally meet the Callaways! Not only are they all over the web as part of their extraordinary blog tour, but they are also out and about in your neighborhood. That's right; we're celebrating the print launch with Ingram by throwing a party all over the world! Make sure to follow this tour closely for your chance to win gift cards, swag, autographed books, and other incredible prizes.
All the info you need to join the fun and enter to win amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE. Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment—easy to enter; easy to win!
To Win the Prizes:
  1. Purchase any of the Callaway novels by Barbara Freethy (optional)
  2. Enter the Rafflecopter contest on Novel Publicity (go here)
  3. Visit today’s featured social media event (that's where the HUGE prizes are)
About The Callaways: The Callaways were born to serve and protect! In Barbara’s new connected family series, each of the eight siblings in this blended Irish-American family find love, mystery and adventure, often where they least expect it! Each book stands alone, but for the full enjoyment of the series, you might want to start at the beginning with On A Night Like This! Get the eBooks via AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooks, or Kobo.
About the Author: Barbara Freethy has been making up stories most of her life. Growing up in a neighborhood with only boys and a big brother who was usually trying to ditch her, she spent a lot of time reading. When she wasn’t reading, she was imagining her own books. After college and several years in the P.R. field, she decided to try her hand at a novel. Now Barbara is a #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author loved by readers all over the world. Her novels range from contemporary romance to romantic suspense and women's fiction. Learn more on her websiteFacebook page, or in her Street Team.

Although I did receive a free copy of On a Night Like This, the first book in the series, I wouldn't post a review if it were not an honest one.

So without further ado. . .

Sara comes home to celebrate her dad's birthday, but is not welcomed warmly. Quite frankly, her father's reaction is cold and rude. Even after the reason for his attitude is revealed, I had a little trouble empathizing with him. It's no wonder that Sara, a lawyer on the path to becoming a partner in the firm where she works, has never felt like she could do enough to earn his approval.

Aiden arrives at the family home next door just in time to save Sara and her father from a fire. However, he's dealing with a problem of his own. He's the leader of a smokejumping crew, and his best friend just died on the job under his leadership. His dad and older brother, firefighters themselves, push him to tell folks what really happened and defend himself against the accusations that it was his fault. But Aiden can't remember what happened clearly, and until he can he refuses to talk about it with anyone.

Brought together again after a decade, these two have to deal not only with their current issues,  but also a shared history; one that Sara sees as another rejection while Aiden believes he was protecting her from himself.

My Rating

I've read family series books by a few other authors and was looking forward to meeting a new family.

There are a couple of things that kept this story from earning a 5-star rating from me.

The first was the Point of View (POV) shift to that of Aiden's sister Emma. Usually if a book uses a POV in addition to the main characters', it reveals something about them or is related specifically to their story. But Emma's section of the book really had nothing to do with this story. It's just something that takes place chronologically at the same time.

And that leads me to the other problem that reduced the rating. When starting the book, I did not know it is NOT a stand-alone story. If you want everything, including a mystery introduced withing its pages, tied up in a neat little bow by the time "The End" appears, you will be disappointed.

What saved the 4-star rating was Barbara Freethy's comfortable story-telling style and the characters themselves. This family is not a picture perfect image - they squabble and argue; tensions occasionally run pretty high. And where other reviewers may think Sara's feelings toward what Aiden did a bit overdone, I find it real. People do sometimes hold on to hurt for a very long time. I appreciate characters that aren't perfect; they're easier to identify with. And that is the element that pulled me into this story.

I like this family enough to want to keep reading!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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