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The Round Up: What I've been reading

I don't write a lot of book reviews anymore. Not because I'm not reading, but since I started writing myself I've been developing friendships with more and more authors. I figure if I write a review, it's going to be a truthful review...or else I just won't write it. That's not saying that if I don't write a review it wouldn't be can a slippery slope this whole building relationships with both authors and readers thing.

All that being said, I'm going to write a review on these novellas.

At the 2013 Emerald City Writers' Conference Drink Divas several of us wound up at earls drinking and laughing away the evening. Cary Morgan Frates was there and told me about the novella she would be signing at the book fair later that weekend. She showed me the cover and I swooned.
Completely swoon-worthy, right?? I downloaded the book and there it sat...waiting for me to deal with the chaos of conference, then post conference wrap up, then cleaning my long neglected house before the onslaught of a kid's birthday and Thanksgiving...oh, and I participated in NaNo. Yeah, it was a busy month.

Thanksgiving weekend rolled around and I finally sat down and dove into the novella, laughing along with Audrey Wells and her friends as they meet at a Bellevue hot spot. Audrey's love for her new Louboutin shoes are something I'm all too familiar with. Shoe love is nothing to sneeze at.
Audrey meets Mr. Gorgeous, who is staying on his boat in the marina next to hers when his ill-mannered puppy crashes on board, knocking both the shoes and booze into the water. What's a guy to do but dive in after them? (They are Louboutins after all.)

Christmas Delight leads Audrey and Mack through a solitary Christmas holiday (complete with the Puget Sound boat parade) and into romance.

I finished the story, gave a blissful sigh...and immediately contacted Cary telling her I NEEDED more of this couple. This novella wasn't nearly long enough.

A couple weeks later, at our Greater Seattle Romance Writers of America Holiday party she pulled me aside to tell me she submitted a proposal for a Valentine's Day anthology, which would include more Audrey and Mack.  I'm not ashamed to admit that I squealed in delight.

Valentines Soaring picks up with Audrey and Mack left off...starting a new relationship while dealing with the fact that they both lead very busy lives and live across the country from one another. With their commitments pulling them in opposite directions Audrey plans a surprise visit, only to run into Mack-literally-in the airport. He's on his way out of the country for work and sends her on to his house without him. Whereas most women would be crushed, Audrey gets a peak into Mack's heart...and sees that she's firmly in residence.  She is quickly welcomed into Mack's life and family.

Mack, meanwhile, is struggling with the fact that the demands of his life aren't meshing with the desires of his heart. Can he make everyone happy without sacrificing himself? With his newest business partner lending his support, Mack makes some plans of his own to surprise Audrey in grand fashion.

Valentines Soaring is the wonderful follow-up with Christmas Delight. I couldn't be more thrilled!


  1. Thank you for your wonderful review Carmen, and thank you for suggesting I continue Audrey and Mack's story. Laughter and love go hand in hand, and beautiful shoes are obviously the best sort icing on a fulfilling life. :) Sadly, Mr. Louboutin has sold out of the shoes (pictured above) featured in the story, so they will have to remain in our hearts, in not in our closets. Again, thank you for your kind words, and thank you for all the hard work you do for ECWC - an absolutely top-of-the-line writer's conference.
    -Cary Morgan Frates

    1. You are so welcome Cary. Really, it was to my benefit to make the suggestion. As I told you, I enjoyed the characters very much and really needed to follow their romance.

      And so sad about the shoes selling out. I like to pretend that I would have bought them if not for that. ;-)

  2. I have Red Soles at Night. I must get onto reading it!

    1. Do Rowena! It was one of those books where at the end I was still trying to turn the [electronic] page, hoping there was more.