Welcome to My Book Snack's stop on the Once and Again virtual tour! Today I have a special guest post from Elisabeth Barrett, my review, the tour giveaway and a blog-hosted giveaway.
Second Chances with Sea Captains or Real Estate Magnates...You Pick
by Elisabeth Barrett
I love second chance love stories. Two people once found love…and the magic is still there so many years later. As readers, it’s a chance to live out our own what if? fantasy, which we rarely (if ever) get a chance to do in real life.
Once and Again, the first book in my Return to Briarwood series, is a second-chance story with a double reversal-of-fortune twist, and when I was writing the book, one of my inspirations was Jane Austen’s Persuasion (another second-chance story with a double reversal-of-fortune twist).
In Persuasion, wealthy Anne Elliot falls in love with Frederick Wentworth, a young sailor with modest prospects. She is persuaded to call off the burgeoning romance by a well-meaning family friend (as well as by pressure from her own family). Years later, Anne’s family is in reduced circumstances, and Wentworth returns, flush with experience and money from his time at sea. He’s Captain Wentworth now, and he’s never forgotten the bitter sting of Anne’s rejection so many years earlier. Anne confesses (on behalf of all women) to “loving longest, when existence or when hope is gone,” but Wentworth, too, has held a torch for Anne. Together, they navigate choppy waters to find out if their love is true, and I am happy to say they both get their happy ever afters.
Carolyn and Jake, the main characters in Once and Again, aren’t as civilized as Anne and Wentworth. They were once in love, but Jake now hates Carolyn with a passion. Why? After Carolyn’s dad got Jake arrested, her parents persuaded her to turn her back on him. Now he’s the owner of the golf club where Carolyn works, and they have a lot of issues to get through—hate, desire, class, money. Hard stuff.
There was never a doubt that these two would get their happy ever after (it is a romance, after all), but how they get there was so challenging and interesting to write. Just like in Persuasion, there are obstacles, personal trials, and of course, family members who continually get in the way of the path to true love. Most poignantly, Jake and Carolyn are their own worst enemies, and each must discover their true selves before they’re ready and able to love again.
Title: Once and Again
Author: Elisabeth Barrett
Series: Return to Briarwood #1
Release Date: July 14, 2015
For readers of Shannon Stacey and Susan Mallery, the heartfelt new Briarwood series begins with a tale of forbidden love, broken promises, and second chances.
Growing up in Eastbridge, Connecticut, Carolyn Rivington was a young debutante who did whatever her parents asked. So when her father demanded that she break things off with the boy from the wrong side of the tracks or else, she did. Now Carolyn’s family is deep in debt. She’s no longer a member of the Briarwood Golf and Yacht Club, she’s an employee. And the tanned, tattooed, dangerously handsome stranger who saunters into her lobby isn’t just her new boss . . . he’s also her first love.
The last time he saw Carolyn, Jake Gaffney was in the back of a police cruiser, handcuffed and humiliated. But seeing her again stirs other memories: a blanket on the beach, the moon above their heads, and the most expensive bottle of wine he could afford. Now the tables have turned. As a real-estate magnate and Briarwood’s new owner, Jake doesn’t have to answer to anyone. But now that he’s back home, he’s finding it hard to live down his old reputation.
Before they can move forward, Jake and Carolyn must face their pasts. But it’ll take more than sizzling chemistry for them to heal old wounds and return to the love they once shared.
This is my honest review
Rating: 4 Stars - LOVED
A delightful start to a new series!
Elisabeth Barrett begins her new contemporary romance series with two people deserving their second chance at love. Set in a charming New England town, Once and Again mainly takes place in and around a golf club that has a brand new owner.
As teenagers, Jake and Carolyn only had eyes for each other. He worked at Briarwood Golf Club where Carolyn’s father was one of its wealthiest members. After the blossoming relationship with Carolyn ended abruptly, Jake left town determined as ever to make something of his life. Several years later and very successful in his career, Jake returns to town having purchased the aging Briarwood Golf Club and unexpectedly finds Carolyn working there in order to pay off family debt.
I found Once and Again a pretty solid first book of a series. If you’re a golf enthusiast who loves reading romance, then you might enjoy being swept away in this story. Ms. Barrett continues to describe the setting beautifully in her stories. I can visualize the green and Jake’s renovation plans. The town that the golf course is in also seems like a lovely place to visit.
I loved Jake’s character so much! Right from the beginning, I could tell that what happened in his past had a huge impact on the choices he made in life and had driven him to succeed. He also carries this bad-boy essence that’s not too over the top. I can understand why Carolyn was and still is attracted to him. Carolyn was a little hard for me to relate to, but I did appreciate seeing her character grow into someone who is humble and deserving. I adored the endearing moments these two shared that Ms. Barrett sprinkled throughout the story.
The plot in Once and Again surrounds quite a few partnerships, friendships and new beginnings. Book 1 introduces many likable and interesting characters that may get their own stories told as this series develops. I eventually want to see Carolyn’s new friends achieve their own happy endings.
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Elisabeth Barrett lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and spends her days teaching, editing, writing sexy contemporary romance, and enjoying time with her sometimes-bearded husband and three spirited children. She is constantly perfecting her home-work-writing juggling act, but in her free time she loves to hike open-space preserves, grow orchids, bake sweet things her husband won’t eat, and sing in grand choruses. For more about Elisabeth, please visit her website.
~ Giveaways ~
There are 2 GIVEAWAYS!
~ Giveaway #1 Tour-Wide ~
One Loveswept Mug
One Flirt Mug
Ebook copies of: CLAIMED by Stacey Kennedy, MY OBSESSION by Cassie Ryan, DEEP AUTUMN HEAT by Elisabeth Barrett, TAKE THE FALL by Marquita Valentine, YOUR TO KEEP by Serena Bell, SWEET THE SIN by Claire Kent
~ Giveaway #2 Blog-Hosted ~
Elisabeth is giving away one digital copy of Once and Again (US only)