If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all. - Oscar Wilde
We shouldn't teach great books; we should teach a love of reading. - B. F. Skinner
No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting. - Mary Wortley Montagu

Monday, December 14, 2015

Review: The Christmas Bridge by Elyse Douglas / @TLCBookTours @douglaselyse

Title: The Christmas Bridge
Author: Elyse Douglas
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: September 15, 2015
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday, Romance
ARC Received From & Reviewed For: TLC Book Tours

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A First Love. A Second Chance.

A young widow travels to New York on business a few days before Christmas. She has reluctantly made a date with a lover she hasn’t seen in 20 years, and she is nervous and apprehensive. Twenty years before, she made a difficult decision that has both troubled and haunted her ever since. She knows she’s about to come face-to-face with her past and she’s hoping for some redemption and resolution. She also wonders if she can somehow pick up where she left off 20 years ago and start again.

An exciting chance encounter changes everything. Now, not only will she face the past with hope to rekindle an old romance, but there is the possibility that this chance meeting will bring her love and happiness she never thought possible.

Once again, she will have to choose. She will have to make the right decision. She will have to believe that Christmas miracles can still happen.

Please note: This is not a Christian novel.

Olivia has been widowed a year, and at almost forty is still drifting on the seas of Just Existing. She has her job, a daughter, a father-in-law she adores but she's simply living the day-to-day instead of experiencing the day-to-day. There was no doubt in my mind that Olivia wasn't as in love with her late husband as he had been with her. Sad? I don't know. She didn't seem to have that spark with him or for the man she turned down years before. That doesn't mean she was a horrible wife. She repaid her husband's love and devotion with loyalty and devotion of her own. She was faithful, attentive. Just...not in love. And maybe I'm wrong there. Maybe she really was but it didn't seem like it from way she was written.

Can you imagine being widowed and a younger man taking notice of you? Not because he recognized you from the two times you appeared on his favorite TV show. Not because you were drop dead gorgeous. Not because you were obscenely wealthy. He took notice you because you were you and something in you answered something in him.

Brett was, without a doubt, overwhelming at first. Sure, he was famous from being a baseball star but that wasn't what made him so...large to me. He was...live and in color, you know? Forward without being an ass, confident without being arrogant, self-assured without being vain. A star he may have been but he was a down to earth as they came. The attention he gave Olivia seemed too good to be true, even though it always came across as completely genuine.

I wasn't sure what to make of Olivia's attempt to rekindle a romance with Andrew. To be honest, I didn't think it was necessary, although it was her other reason for visiting New York. Even Andrew questioned her motive in contacting him after so long. *shrugs* I'm not saying he was never on Olivia's mind, because he was, but it was just a "What if?" scenario that was more a distraction than anything.

The ending of this interesting little story was...amusing. How Brett ended up in a hospital is for you to discover, but it was a twist I wasn't expecting. What Olivia experienced before going to where Brett was seemed almost...supernatural, premonitions that assured her of who her future really belonged to. Did I like this story? Kind of. It was intriguing. The back and forth between Olivia's present and past was a little confusing at first and I was thankful when I was more in her present than not. The writing was good, solid. The main characters, Olivia and Brett, were likable. With the exception of Taylor Scott (her ex father-in-law), the others were neither here nor there for me.

It was worth a read, that's for sure, with a happy ending that Olivia had waited her entire life to experience. It wasn't as fulfilling as I thought it'd be but it wasn't reason enough to put it down either.

Elyse Douglas is the pen name for the married writing team Elyse Parmentier and Douglas Pennington.

Elyse grew up near the sea, roaming the beaches, reading and writing stories and poetry, receiving a Master’s Degree in English Literature from Columbia University. She has enjoyed careers as an English teacher, an actress and a speech-language pathologist. She and her husband, Douglas Pennington, have completed five novels: The Astrologer’s Daughter, Christmas for Juliet, Wanting Rita, Christmas Ever After, The Christmas Town and The Christmas Diary.

Douglas grew up in a family where music and astrology were second and third languages. He attended the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music and played the piano professionally for many years. His two detective books include Death is Lookin’ for Elvis and Death is a TapDancer. His great great grandfather lived to be 132 years old, and was the oldest man in the world when he died in 1928.

Elyse Douglas live in New York City.

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