Thursday, February 9, 2017

Blog Tour & Giveaway - - Donna Alward's Somebody Like You


Somebody Like You
By Donna Alward
Darling, VT - Book 1
Publisher: St. Martin’s
Release Date: February 7, 2017
    




Where do you go when your life has changed in ways that make it awkward and damaging to your self-esteem to try going on as if the changes are insignificant. If you are Laurel Stone, an employee in the same accounting firm that employs your recently uncloseted ex and his lover, a partner in said firm, you return to your hometown, Darling, Vermont, a New England town where everyone knows your name and most of your business, and you open a gardening center, hoping to find emotional satisfaction as well as economic success in your new business. Laurel is still sensitive to her recent divorce and the circumstances surrounding it making her the focus of gossip, but her business is going well. She has reconnected with Willow Dunaway, an old friend from high school, and life seems promising. Her confidence in that promise is shaken when her gardening center is the target of vandalism. Her stress grows when the investigating officer is Aiden Gallagher with whom Laurel has a long history. One particularly memorable bit involves a milkshake she dumped on him.

Aiden is no longer the immature kid who behaved like a jerk back in high school, but he knows Laurel may not be ready to believe he has changed. He doesn’t really expect her to be pleased to see him. He regrets that he hurt Laurel and would like to apologize for his immature behavior. When he sees Laurel and is reminded of all the reasons he once liked her, he is even more determined to make amends for the past. However, he is wise enough now to know that he has to move slowly.

Laurel, reluctant though she may be to admit it, also acknowledges that the attraction between them is still strong. She remains wary, however, and when she is approached about reenacting the iconic pose captured in Darling’s famous tourism photo (two five-year-olds, dressed for their parts as flower girl and ring-bearer in a wedding, kissing at the town’s Kissing Bridge where, according to legend, a kiss guarantees a forever love), she refuses. But as she spends more time with Aiden and discovers the kind of man he has become, her defenses weaken. Perhaps a new photo at Kissing Bridge is not a bad idea; perhaps that old legend is more than a tale for tourists.

Donna Alward is among the best at creating small towns that have the requisite quirkiness without losing authenticity. With Somebody Like You, she introduces her readers to a new series but one that has the same heartwarming appeal that made her Jewell Cove series a favorite with readers. The covers of the Darling, Vermont series are enough to make some readers fall in love with town, and the novel reveals a town that lives up to that impression.

Alward also takes common tropes of romance and gives them twists that make them feel fresh. The heroine’s returning home after a shattering divorce serves as the beginning of many a romance, but Laurel’s situation is more fraught than the typical case. The lingering effects of high school heartbreak is another much-used device, but Aiden has neither forgotten his actions nor does he avoid accepting responsibility for them. I found both Laurel and Aiden likable and sympathetic from the get-go, and I award major kudos to Alward for letting their relationship develop credibly rather than rushing to consummation. The love scenes include the sweet, the tender, and the sizzling plus a golf-course scene that is giggle-inducing.

Secondary characters are also important in small-town romances, and Alward gives her readers a cast designed to win hearts and pique interest. Willow Dunaway, Laurel’s bestie, is a delight with hints of depths readers will be eager to see explored in a later book. Aiden’s large, lively, loving family includes enough unattached siblings to keep the series going and readers intrigued for quite a while. George, Darling’s homeless man, serves not only to reveal the kind of man Aiden is but also to impress the reader with his humanity and dignity.

If you are a fan of small-town romance, I recommend you add this one to your list. I think you will be as eager as I am to pay a return visit to Darling, Vermont. Lucky for us, we don’t have to wait long. Someone to Love, the story of Willow and Aiden’s brother Ethan, will be released March 7, and Somebody’s Baby, a third book, with another Gallagher hero, releases April 4. I do love back-to-back releases.

 ~Janga

Are you a fan of small-town romances?

Do you enjoy a large secondary cast surrounding the main couple?

Is Donna Alward on your reading list? Do you have a favorite of her books? 

One randomly chosen person leaving a comment will receive a print copy of Somebody Like You. (U.S. addresses only) Deadline to leave a comment for the giveaway is 11:00 PM (EST), February 11, 2017.



Marti Corn Photography

While bestselling author Donna Alward was busy studying Austen, Eliot and Shakespeare, she was also losing herself in the breathtaking stories created by romance novelists like LaVyrle Spencer, Judith McNaught, and Nora Roberts. Several years after completing her degree she decided to write a romance of her own and it was true love! Five years and ten manuscripts later she sold her first book and launched a new career. While her heartwarming stories of love, hope, and homecoming have been translated into several languages, hit bestseller lists and won awards, her very favorite thing is when she hears from happy readers!
Donna lives on Canada’s east coast with her family which includes a husband, a couple of kids, a senior dog and two crazy cats. When she’s not writing she enjoys reading (of course!), knitting, gardening, cooking…and is a Masterpiece Theater addict.




BUY LINKS:


SOCIAL LINKS
Twitter- @DonnaAlward
Facebook- @DonnaAlwardAuthor
Author Blog



28 comments:

  1. Donna Alward has long been a favorite. Her stories set in Western Canada were the first I read. The cast was often small, but the topics dealt with always pertinent. Her characters are always so human and relatable. My favorite is one of the first I read and I can't remember the title. It was about a son dealing with a dad with Alzheimer's Disease and a woman dealing with her and her daughter being abandoned by her husband. She does an excellent job of taking 2 very different issues and melding them into a good story.
    Since I love series, having a good group of secondary characters is important. You get to revisit them in books and the next couple is usually drawn from them. Small town books, which I enjoy, are especially suited to this.
    I love the cover of SOMEBODY LIKE YOU.

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    1. Her characterization skills are superb, librarypat, and I also agree about the cover. All the covers in this series are lovely.

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    2. I am reading SUMMER ON LOVER'S ISLAND. Excellent as are all of her books I have read.

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  2. I have been reading Donna Alward's novels for years because they are so well written, memorable and captivating. I enjoy small town romances since they are meaningful and for me old school. A large secondary cast is always interesting and provides me with so much more in the book. I enjoy the Jewel Cove series greatly. What a wonderful feature today.

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    1. The Jewel Cove books served as my intro to Alward, traveler, but the first one made me an instant fan. I think the new series will prove to be as good.

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  3. When I read a Donna Alward book I am enmeshed within the pages of the story and become enthralled with the characters and their trials and tribulations. Her books are the best and all of them are favorites but small town romances give me a good feeling.

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    1. I think the ability to create engaging characters is one thing all my favorite authors have in common, petite. It is certainly a skill that Donna Alward possesses in abundance.

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  4. Would love to win this book; I have read some of her books, love small town romance and like good secondary characters but not an overabundance that I cannot keep track of who is who.
    ladbookfan@yahoo.com

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    1. I'm a fan of small-town romances too, Anonymous. I especially like those like this one in which the small towns are distinct places and not just generic small towns.

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  5. I love small time romance and have read several of her books. When the secondary characters stand out I know it means more books in the future.I'd love to read this.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

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    1. Yes! I'm a series addict, Carol, so I too love a large secondary cast with potential.

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  6. I love small time romance and have read several of her books. When the secondary characters stand out I know it means more books in the future.I'd love to read this.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

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  7. I've read several of her books. A Cowboy to Come Home To is my favorite

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    1. I'll have to check that one out, jcp.

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  8. have to be honest, I've never read any of Donna's books but the concept of SOMEBODY LIKE YOU sounds very interesting! Seeing its based in a small town can be a plus since everyone can take care of everyone else, not just be the topic of gossip! Very much look forward to reading this book! and look forward to back-to-back stories like the Harmony series by Jodi Thomas. Thanks for opportunity to win a copy of book! Mickey3214 at aol dot com

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    1. The taking-care-of-our-own attitude is definitely part of the appeal of small-town romances, Mickey. And I love Jodi Thomas's Harmony series.

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  9. Small town romance is my favorite, and I love series because you get to see characters appear and reappear in them. I'm really looking forward to this new series. She's really great! PS Her NCIS recaps at http://happyeverafter.usatoday.com/ are spot on!

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    1. Another small-town romance fan! I think there are great numbers of us, Nikki. :)

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  10. I love small town romances. And of course there would be many characters involved. If you have ever lived in a small town, you recognize the fact that everyone knows everyone and everyone knows every teeny tiny thing about everyone. If the cast of characters are done right, it gives the sense of walking to the town square and seeing everyone you know by the time you get to the bank.

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    1. What a great description, Annette!

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  11. I just saw this tonight and may I just say... I love the review but all the comments have made my rather stressful day soooo much better! Thank you all! Mwah! <3

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    1. Welcome to the Romance Dish, Donna. As you can see, you have enthusiastic fans here. PJ is attending a book signing and other events related to our genre, and her access to the blog is limited today. But I know I speak for her as well when I say that we are delighted to host a stop on your blog tour.

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  12. I've never read any of Donna's books, but they sound wonderful! Would love to try one! Thanks for the offer!

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  13. Thanks to everyone who stopped by and especially to Donna. As Janga mentioned, I'm out of town at a romance event.

    Thanks for holding down the fort, Janga!

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  14. I do enjoy reading small town romances. Jill Shalvis, Susan Mallery and Cindy Kirk come to mind.
    I have read some of her category romances.

    I do like the mention of other members of the community including family and friends and neighbors.

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  15. I do like small town romance novels and do like the supporting characters to the h/h.
    pattyb43corcal@gmail.com

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  16. I have read Donna before and enjoy her books. O love small town romances a lot...

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