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 21, 2015

Review: Broken Resolutions by Olivia Dade / @pumpupyourbook @oliviawrites

Title: Broken Resolutions
Series: Lovestruck Librarians, Book 1
Author: Olivia Dade
Publisher: Lyrical Shine
Release Date: December 8, 2015
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
ARC Received From: NetGalley
Reviewed For: Pump Up Your Book

Love Between The Lines

Romance has never had a happy ending for librarian Penny Callahan, who could write the book on cheating, heartbreaking liars. So she’s made a resolution: no men for the next twelve months. If she can just get through the library’s New Year’s Eve singles night, she can return home to her pajamas and a good book. But when she finds herself checking out a hot hunk with an irresistible smile, an evening in the stacks becomes a lot more tempting…

Reclusive author Jack Williamson never should have trusted his mother. Even though he’s trying to avoid being recognized, she guilts him into attending a dating meet-and-greet—where an adorable librarian makes him question his lonely lifestyle. Is this just a fleeting, flirty scene? Or could love be the next chapter for them both?

When Penny gets wrangled into hosting the singles' night event at the library she works for, she hadn't counted on meeting a man who sent her world into a tailspin. Of course, she hadn't planned on meeting a man at all. Her New Year's resolution, after all, was to avoid men for a year. A singles' event wasn't exactly conducive to that goal, you know?

But she meets Jack, who was tricked into attending said event by his enterprising mother. He's divorced, a father to a little girl, a writer who has no desire to be recognized by anyone at this event. Meeting Penny brightens his evening and the attraction he feels for her certainly rocks him to his core.

Now, there are two things that may deter people from reading this story. I hope you're willing to overlook them because this really is an enjoyable read. A bit quirky with amusing characters makes it a fun read. But those two things... The first is the feeling of insta-lust/insta-love. This, I know, isn't for every reader out there. In the span of a few hours, Jack and Penny give into the attraction they feel. Bad? Depends on you, the reader. It didn't bother me because, well, it worked. The second is the lie. Penny's reason for her resolution is because she's been lied to and cheated on. It makes sense that she kicked up such a fuss over Jack's omission of truth. But, and here's why it wasn't such a big deal to me, is that it eventually got resolved. His decision to keep his profession from her made me roll my eyes but it's not one I haven't seen in a story before. Truthfully, it gave this otherwise formulaic story a much needed break for me. Everything to that point was expected. It was what Jack and Penny did after that point that would solidify if they were meant to be together or not.

Overall, I liked and enjoyed this story. It isn't heavy, dark, or angsty, but lighthearted, a little bit thought-provoking, fast and fun.

While I was growing up, my mother kept a stack of books hidden in her closet. She told me I couldn’t read them. So, naturally, whenever she left me alone for any length of time, I took them out and flipped through them. Those books raised quite a few questions in my prepubescent rain. Namely: 1) Why were there so many pirates? 2) Did women really get kidnapped that often? 3) Where did all the throbbing come from? 4) What was a “manhood”?5) And why did the hero and heroine seem overcome by images of waves and fireworks every few pages, especially after an episode of mysterious throbbing in the hero’s manhood?

Thirty or so years later, I have a few answers. 1) Because my mom apparently fancied pirates at that time. Now she hoards romances involving cowboys and babies. If a book cover features a shirtless man in a Stetson cradling an infant, her ovaries basically explode and her credit card emerges. I have a similar reaction to romances involving spinsters, governesses, and librarians. 2) Yes, at least in romantic suspense novels. And it’s still gloriously dramatic.3) His manhood. Also, her womanhood. 4) It’s his “hard length,” sometimes compared in terms of rigidity to iron. I prefer to use other names for it in my own writing. However, I am not picky when it comes to descriptions of iron-hard lengths. At least in romances. 5) Because explaining how an orgasm feels can prove difficult. Or maybe the couples all had sex on New Year’s Eve at Cancun.

During those thirty years, I accomplished a few things. I graduated from Wake Forest University and earned my M.A. in American History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I worked at a variety of jobs that required me to bury my bawdiness and potty mouth under a demure exterior: costumed interpreter at Colonial Williamsburg, high school teacher, and librarian. But I always, always read romances. Funny, filthy, sweet—it didn’t matter. I loved them all.
Now I’m writing my own romances with the encouragement of my husband and daughter.

I found a kick-ass agent: Jessica Alvarez from Bookends, LLC. I have my own stack of books in my closet that I’d rather my daughter not read, at least not for a few years. I can swear whenever I want, except around said daughter. And I get to spend all day writing about love and iron-hard lengths.

So thank you, Mom, for perving so hard on pirates during my childhood. I owe you.

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