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

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Review: Laguna Lights by Kaira Rouda / @pumpupyourbook @kairarouda

Title: Laguna Lights
Series: Laguna Beach, Book 3
Author: Kaira Rouda
Publisher: Real You Publishing Group
Release Date: November 10, 2015
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
ARC Received From & Reviewed For: Pump Up Your Book

Laura Kinkaid’s glamorous Hollywood life is falling apart. After years of reality television stardom beginning in high school on Laguna Nights, her career and relationship with her long-term boyfriend Scott are fizzling out. Laura decides to go home to Laguna Beach for the weekend to attend a baby shower for her high school friend. That decision – and a car accident – will lead her to a new future, if she’s ready to take a chance at love.

Paul Dorn’s former life in New York City is far behind him and he’s working in a popular Laguna Beach surf shop when fate brings the most beautiful woman he’s ever met into his life. The attraction is instant and he has an overwhelming desire to protect her. While Paul’s retail sales career is a short-term job for market research purposes, his focus on Laura is long-term.

Will Laura allow a handsome stranger to help her create a future unlike her past, or will the bright lights of Hollywood pull her back to LA?

Other books in this series

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Hmm... So this was a somewhat hard story for me to connect to. Actually, Laura was hard to connect to. I haven't read the other books in this series, not that it mattered because this read like a standalone, so I have to prior knowledge of Laura. But I found her a little...aloof, distant, like she was portraying someone she's supposed to be as opposed to who she wants to be.

My struggle to attach to Laura didn't make this a bad story. Not at all. In fact, it was enjoyable because of one thing: Laura's growth.

This turned out to be a story of redemption and self-discovery with a touch of romance to sweeten Laura's new beginning. I'm not down-playing her relationship with Paul. In truth, it was nice to see her with such a stand-up guy after that ass of an ex she got rid of. But their relationship wasn't front and center for me. I enjoyed watching Laura outgrow the plastic shell she wore and grow to love the skin she was in, the person she hid from others.

I feel cheated though. Like I missed out on a huge chunk of Laura's life because I haven't read the first two books. Motivation to read them? Definitely. And not only because I got to see Laura change so much in this story, but because I like Ms. Rouda's clean writing style. It isn't all sharp edges and straight lines. It's...descriptive, precise, inclusive. You know? Connection with characters is a must but so is immersing myself in the story. Don't just tell me what's going on, paint the picture so I feel like I'm in it. Ms. Rouda did that beautifully in this story.

I'm glad I didn't quit this story. I would have missed out on so much. This is a great story for anyone wanting a little lighter material in the New Adult genre, who is looking for a romance about a young woman who comes into her own without a million pounds of angst weighing her down. But I highly recommend reading the first two books to appreciate her growth like it should be.

Kaira Rouda is a bestselling, multiple award-winning author of contemporary women's fiction and sexy modern romance novels that sparkle with humor and heart. Her women's fiction titles include HERE, HOME, HOPE, ALL THE DIFFERENCE and IN THE MIRROR. Her bestselling short story is titled, A MOTHER'S DAY. Kaira's work has won the Indie Excellence Award, USA Book Awards, the Reader's Choice Awards and honorable mention in the Writer's Digest International Book Awards. Her books have been widely reviewed and featured in leading magazines.

Her sexy contemporary romance series set on INDIGO ISLAND includes: WEEKEND WITH THE TYCOON, Book 1; HER FORBIDDEN LOVE, Book 2; THE TROUBLE WITH CHRISTMAS, Book 3; and THE BILLIONAIRE'S BID, Book 4. Each of these novellas can be read as a stand alone, or enjoyed as a series. Her new series is set in LAGUNA BEACH and includes: LAGUNA NIGHTS, Book 1; LAGUNA HEIGHTS, Book 2; and LAGUNA LIGHTS, Book 3 coming winter 2015. She also helped launch Melissa Foster's The Remington's Kindle World with her bestselling novella, SPOTLIGHT ON LOVE, and is part of Carly Phillips Dare to Love Kindle World with THE CELEBRITY DARE.

Her nonfiction titles, REAL YOU INCORPORATED: 8 Essentials for Women Entrepreneurs, and REAL YOU FOR AUTHORS: 8 Essentials for Women Writers (available for free download on her website) continue to inspire.

She lives in Southern California with her husband and four almost-grown kids, and is at work on her next novel.

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