Friday, August 12, 2011
About the book:
Kelly Grace Pickens is an excited bride - until she's abandoned at the altar. Desperate, she accepts an offer to appear on a reality TV show, Count Down to Love. Her country ways are a stark contrast to the mysterious bachelor from New York. Wading through hurt and betrayal both on and off screen, Kelly discovers that being true to yourself is essential to finding happiness and love.
This book surprised me by how much I loved it. And not just because the writing was stellar. I thought, "Sweet romance? Okay, I'll try it." This was sweet by secular standards but a sizzler when it came to kissing and emotional turmoil. It made me think of the reality show THE AVERAGE JOE, but in reverse because the star was a guy and not a woman. (I don't watch much television and this is the only reality show I've ever seen.) But this book was better than the show. Plus, I got to go on a ton of adventures with Kelly to include going up in a hot air balloon and skydiving.
I was as confused as she was about my feelings for a very long time. Dillon was a great hero, and he was stuck in the role he'd committed to, but that also cost him a lot. What woman would enjoy watching the man they are falling in love with kissing other women? But he had to for the show, and make it look convincing. Of course, it didn't hurt that he loved kissing. :) Anyway, this story was told entirely from Kelly's perspective, but I loved that it was limited to her point of view because it intensified the tension. We only knew as much as she did and it wasn't much most of the time.
Some people might have gotten frustrated a bit with her dedication to Trevor, but he was a great manipulator and she started to see that, but at the time time who wants to admit they made a bad choice? I loved how the author tied a lot of her issues into her mother leaving the family when she was young. That kind of trauma to a ten year old definitely leaves its mark. And so often what happens to us in childhood drives our motivations as adults. I was also pleasantly surprised with the subtle faith element and that the character had a spiritual side. Most books unless they are blatantly Christian fiction don't include that aspect in the character's personality. I thought it made her more well-rounded.
When it all came down to the wire, I was near tears myself. I felt as betrayed as Kelly did, but there was a part of me that wanted to hope that what she'd experience was real and not all staged. Then again, she'd fooled herself for a long time about Trevor, right? Anyway, her personal growth in this book from a woman who is led by a man to a woman who knows what she wants and is willing to buck up and deal with some things was truly inspirational for me. I loved experiencing Kelly's life with her and was sorry to see it end. What a great book! Now I want to read the next two books the author has coming out in the future. Loved this one! It's making my favorites list for 2011 because I kept wanting to read it and do nothing else until I finished. Seriously, my butt fell asleep in the easy chair, but I kept on reading... Highly recommended!
A copy of this book was provided for me to review by Tristi Pinkston virtual book tours and the author Julie N. Ford for the purpose of reviewing it for the book tour. I had no idea I would love this book as much as I did, so I am so glad the publicist found me on the net and provided me with a copy so I could join the tour. Count Down to Love was published by Bonneville Books and was released July 14, 2011.