As You Wish
By Elyssa Patrick
September 3, 2012
Famous, and infamous, Rock Star bad boy Aubrey Riley has been on a downward spiral since the death of his beloved wife six years ago. Burying his pain in drugs and alcohol, he left his career to founder; his baby daughter to be raised by relatives. Only the threat by his sister and her husband to take Aubrey's daughter away from him permanently penetrated the pain and sent him into rehab. Now clean and sober, Aubrey is on his way to Vermont to spend the month of December with his family in a last ditch attempt to mend his family relationships, especially with his daughter. The last thing he expects to find stranded along a dark, deserted, snowy road is a cute, quirky woman who seems immune to his fame and, in fact, claims to not even like his music. Oh yes, and who also seems to have an irrational fear of wolves - the four-legged ones.
Portia Jackson has enough on her plate this Christmas without getting involved with an arrogant, self-absorbed rock star who undoubtedly is just looking for a fling. The small-town florist is trying desperately to save the family business she inherited but she's running out of time. She has enough problems without adding Aubrey's to the mix but there's a chemistry between them that just won't be denied. And, when they take the time to get to know one another, emotions come into play that leave them both wondering if there just might be more to this relationship than they first thought.
Can a small town girl find love and happiness with a world famous rock star? Will Aubrey rediscover his love of music? Will the lyrics that have been missing from his life return? Will he lower his protective walls enough to let the love and affection of others inside?
Patrick's debut novel is fresh, engaging and, for the most part, well-written. The story moves along at a good pace, the characters are vibrantly depicted and the relationship between Aubrey and Portia is realistic and believable. Secondary characters are more than just window dressing, with some playing vital roles in the outcome of the story, especially the father of Aubrey's brother-in-law.
A couple issues kept me from scoring this book higher. First, the hero can be a real jerk - and often is. Yes, there is some redemption and Patrick does a good job of peeling back layers to give the reader insight into the background that shaped Aubrey's character, enough that I probably could have forgiven some of his behavior if it hadn't skated so close to the line between being a jerk and being cruel. As it is, I was able to accept him as the hero and believe in his relationship with Portia but I couldn't embrace him as wholeheartedly as I would have liked to. The other issue is the secondary romance in the book. Without giving too much away, there is a shift in affection toward the end of the book with a resolution being quickly wrapped up with a nice tidy bow. I didn't buy it. The decisions and declarations made were not believable for me. I felt the emotions were too new and fragile to be taken straight to the finish line. Open-ended "possibilities" would have been much more believable.
Those issues aside, I did enjoy the book. I like Patrick's voice and her fresh approach to contemporary romance. I enjoyed the humor, emotion and sizzle of her story. I especially enjoyed her pacing and the fact that she gave her characters time to grow their relationship from an emotional level before adding sex to the mix. It made the sizzle that much more satisfying when it finally arrived.
While I had a few quibbles with this book, Patrick's potential is clearly evident. I predict we'll be seeing more from this talented writer.
I had to pay a visit to my local DMV office this morning so I downloaded Elyssa Patrick's new novella, "One Hit Wonder" to keep me entertained while I waited for my number to be called. Following is my review.
"One Hit Wonder"
By Elyssa Patrick
Digital - Self Published
Release Date: December 4, 2012
Former teen idol, Damon Suarez knew the minute he met prim and proper Jane Timmons that she was the right woman to be his personal assistant. Over the past two years he has come to rely on her to the degree that he can't imagine his life without her. But now, he's having to do just that. How can he possibly let her quit, especially when he's working so hard to finally make a comeback? He has two weeks to change her mind, using every means at his disposal but what will happen when he slowly begins to realize that it's not the personal assistant that he needs but the woman herself? Will the flamboyant singer and the buttoned-up assistant make beautiful music together or will they part ways, causing the melody of their potential happiness together to go silent forever?
I loved this story! Patrick has written a charming, humorous but emotional tale of friendship and love between two unlikely people. Damon and Jane are both likable characters and such fun together. Patrick brings them to life so vividly that they practically dance right off the page. Their banter is bright and engaging, their chemistry sizzles and their individual thoughts give the reader insight into each character's motivation and help move the story along. I adored them, individually and as a couple; so much so that now that I've read their story once, I'm going to go back and read it again. I'm not quite ready to say good-bye.
Looking for something that will make you smile, laugh and sigh without requiring a full day out of your busy holiday schedule? If so, I highly recommend "One Hit Wonder" by Elyssa Patrick - only $0.99 at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other e-retailers.