About Novel Girl

Rebecca Berto is the author or the dark contemporary/literary novella, PRECISE and the new adult contemporary romance novel, DROWNING IN YOU. She is also a freelance editor. She writes stories that are a bit sexy, and straddle the line between Literary and Tear Your Heart Out. She gets a thrill when her readers are emotional reading her stories, and gets even more of a kick when they tell her so. She’s strangely imaginative, spends too much time on her computer, and is certifiably crazy when she works on her fiction. Rebecca Berto lives in Melbourne, Australia with her boyfriend and their doggy.

“The Rental” book blitz and review copy sign ups

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The book blitz is here! Well, sign ups are. For offer are teasers, eBook prizes and an Amazon gift card!

If you are interested in a review copy, sign ups for that are also open:

Sign Ups:

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♡ ♡ ♡       A B O U T       ♡ ♡ ♡

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The Rental 
Rebecca Berto
(The Rental #1)
Publication date: September 22, 2014
Genre: Erotic Romance

Add To Goodreads

At first, Rick Delaney watched Vee Wyland with the hungry eyes of a fox as if she were a rabbit … his rabbit. But one day, he slunk away without notice.

Months away from graduating high school, Vee’s life is on the verge of crumbling. At home, dire finances and long hours test her family. Her boyfriend hardly pays attention to her. And she can’t shake her feelings for his older brother, Rick.

Then, all in one night, tragedy tears her teetering life into shreds.

When Rick and Vee reunite, the sparks fly. However, she unwittingly signs away a future for both of them. In his world, a place called The Rental, she becomes Victoria and Rick becomes Rhett. One part of her watches with fascination, while the other unfurls and embraces her sexual awakening. It began as a game, but the consequences are real.

Following their heart’s desire is forbidden, but walking away could strip their hope for a future.

The Rental is an erotic romance that explores how sex isn’t purely physical; sometimes, it’s a gateway to your soul.

PRE-ORDER HERE


Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Rental by Rebecca Berto

The Rental by Rebecca Berto

Giveaway ends September 30, 2014.

Enter to win

THE RENTAL — cover reveal and excerpt!

Title: The Rental

Series: The Rental (book #1)

Author: Rebecca Berto

Genre: Erotic Romance

Expected Release Date: September 22, 2014

Cover Designer: Berto Designs

goodreads

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000032_00030]

Synopsis

At first, Rick Delaney watched Vee Wyland with the hungry eyes of a fox as if she were a rabbit … his rabbit. But one day, he slunk away without notice.

Months away from graduating high school, Vee’s life is on the verge of crumbling. At home, dire finances and long hours test her family. Her boyfriend hardly pays attention to her. And she can’t shake her feelings for his older brother, Rick.

Then, all in one night, tragedy tears her teetering life into shreds.

When Rick and Vee reunite, the sparks fly. However, she unwittingly signs away a future for both of them. In his world, a place called The Rental, she becomes Victoria and Rick becomes Rhett. One part of her watches with fascination, while the other unfurls and embraces her sexual awakening. It began as a game, but the consequences are real.

Following their heart’s desire is forbidden, but walking away could strip their hope for a future.

The Rental is an erotic romance that explores how sex isn’t purely physical; sometimes, it’s a gateway to your soul.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000032_00030]

Pre-order The Rental today:

Amazon global link  |  iTunes  |  Kobo  |  B&N

The Rental header

For more teasers, visit the book page here.


Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Rental by Rebecca Berto

The Rental by Rebecca Berto

Giveaway ends September 30, 2014.

Enter to win


Chapter 1

Rick Delaney was parked outside my house with my boyfriend. He stepped out of his car and lifted two fingers, saluting me at the front door. He shouldn’t have been.

How could he return to Melbourne after a whole year when I resigned to a life without him—a life, specifically, with the brother he’d arrived? Bottled-up feelings pounded in my chest so hard I was glad no one was home to witness it.

And my boyfriend? He tripped getting out of the passenger seat. That’s what can happen when you looked at your mobile phone instead of your girlfriend’s smiling face. My expression soured as he passed me, not even a peck on the cheek.

“What’s with the ride?” I called.

Their mum, Mrs Delaney, should’ve been dropping Justin off like usual. But he ignored me and trudged farther into my house.

Rick noticed my expression and jogged up the stairs. Elder by three years, he stood tall with the composure of a man compared to his teenage brother. Strong shoulders filled out his dark T-shirt. He was bigger in not only his upper body but everywhere—thick arms and thighs and a solid build. Add that to a smile and he melted the hearts of women everywhere—seventeen-year-old girls included.

“Mum and Dad are in Europe,” Rick said. “They call it a long-awaited honeymoon. Justin and I call it a mid-life crisis.”

My jaw hung open. How could Justin not tell me? I thought this type of thing excited a boyfriend. Weeks of no parental supervision at home—it’d excite me if not for the sudden pit of worry in my belly. “They’re away? They’re not here?”

“That’s what a holiday is.” Rick deadpanned.

“It’s just that Justin never told me anything.”

“It was only a few days ago.”

As if that made it okay. If Justin didn’t spend so much time with his phone in his face, he might have remembered to tell me. I didn’t know why, but it cut me that I didn’t know an important change in his life. I told him every time my dad left to truck interstate for work and that was every few weeks. He was gone more than he was here, and Mum worked odd hours. It was lonely and hard to stay away from the temptations Justin and my best friend, Cara offered me at parties or when we hung out.

“Hey, bro,” Justin called behind us. He came up and slammed his hand on the side of the front door. “Come fix the washing machine.”

“Washing machine?” I asked. Why are you acting like you live here? I was close to adding.

“Yeah,” he held out the front of his top, “got a Coke from your fridge and it squirted everywhere.”

“We don’t have any Coke left in the fridge.”

“You do in the spare one.”

I bit my lip and flexed my fingers by my side. Facing him, I cracked a thin smile. Most of the time, Justin wasn’t like this. Correction, before recently, my boyfriend wasn’t like this. He kissed me like no one else, and made me laugh, but damn it, he either had the memory of a goldfish or was too ignorant to care.

“That was for tomorrow night!” I stared into his eyes with hope of making him feel guilty, but he was clueless. “Dad’s back from Sydney tomorrow, and Mum’s got a dinner for us three. You know he loves Coke. You know he’s been away for weeks. You know Mum’s too busy working to buy more groceries before then.”

Justin shook his head. “So uptight.” He squeezed my ass, smiling as he planted his lips fully to mine. “I love that about you, but seriously, I forgot. And, your mum works at a supermarket, for fuck’s sake.”

True, but Justin drank Coke, and ate all the ice cream, and ate all the chips, and I got sick of explaining to Mum why I was so selfish as to keep putting her out when she only requested little favours like these on special occasions. Such as tomorrow.

“I’m not uptight.” I paused. “It’s fine about the top—I’ll hand wash and Rick—”

But as I turned to tell him not to worry about fixing the washing machine, my hands met a rock solid chest. I froze. My palms lingered on the contours of his defined pecs with my fingertips at his collarbone. Not able to look at his eyes, I dropped my hands, as if that would undo our moment.

It didn’t.

I’d spend sleepless nights dreaming about his body, as I did when he was far away and stopped talking to me. Pictures and memories of him were all I had.

Justin was hot with his dark eyes and brown hair, but compared to Rick, he was scrawny. Mostly bones everywhere, and when we made out, his hips rubbed into mine. I’d forgotten his shortfalls when it was just him and me. I liked him plenty and that grew to love. But now my past was back, and I had no idea what to feel when seconds ago my hands were on his brother.

That brother with a firm build, one that wouldn’t rub against me if we were to … I shut down that thought pattern. I shouldn’t imagine Rick on top of me. We were three years apart, and at my age, sex with him was illegal.

I pulled my thoughts in and mumbled, “Oh, um,” then took a breath and tried again. “Dad’s back tomorrow, so don’t worry about it. He’ll fix it then. I feel terrible putting you out.”

“It’s fine, Vee, really. Kill some time.”

“Thanks, fag,” Justin said, pulling at my arm to drag me away.

“God, Justin, you’re such an ass sometimes.” I shook out of his grip. He looked offended, so I added, “Gotta go clean up the Coke, remember?”

“Seriously,” Rick said, “you two just chill. I’ll let myself through. This way?” He pointed down the hall.

I nodded. “I’ll come with you.”

“Fine.” Justin walked the other way. “You two have fun. I’m hanging in Vee’s bed.”

“Such a tool,” Rick said, walking to the washing machine.

“I know,” I mumbled.

I took out the mop and bucket, and then went to the cupboard to grab the concentrate liquid.

“I was born with a link to him, but indulge me,” Rick crouched by the washing machine on his haunches, legs spread and hands dangling between, “why is someone as smart and gorgeous as you with him?”

“I ask myself why—”

I stopped.

He said I was smart and gorgeous.

“Oh,” I managed between strangled breaths, “thanks.”

He half-smiled then got to work. His T-shirt rode up on one side as he leant over. Just above his pant line, the angular ‘V’ at his lower back peeked out. Hard as I tried notto gawk, it was impossible when I was alone with him in this small space.

“The um,” I started and almost forgot what I was going to say. Luckily, I recovered. “The machine won’t start. Not sure what it is. Mum and I have been hand washing for now.”

Rick turned, focusing his attention on the washer. I wiped the laundry bench and cupboard and mopped the floor, trying to concentrate on the mop end and not Rick’s ass or his body bent over the machine.

After I was done, I went to my room to hang with Justin, but he wasn’t there. I did a lap of the house, called his name, and checked the other rooms too, but he had literally disappeared. I paused a moment in the kitchen, steadying myself on the corner of the bench while I let the realisation absorb. He left without a goodbye, without much of a hello for that matter.

“Rick!” I called.

He emerged wiping his top down his face. I looked away as fast as I could, but the image of his lean eight-pack projected in my imagination anyway.

Justin might’ve been outside or somewhere I hadn’t checked. He had to be. I pushed aside the topic. It would be stupid to suggest he left.

“Thank you so much,” I said, meeting Rick’s eyes, “for in there.” I pointed behind him.

“But you don’t know if I fixed it.”

“You tried.”

He smiled with his lip jutted out and nodded, as if I impressed him. “Well,” he said, “you can be a woman of modern technology from now on. All fixed. It was a loose belt. Slipped off.”

“Oh, lucky me.”

The silence became louder, and judging by the tightness between Rick’s eyebrows, he had just noticed Justin’s absence.

“Justin?” I queried, and he nodded cautiously. “Yeah, I looked everywhere for him. This might sound stupid, but I think he left. I couldn’t find him. He’s just not here.”

Rick tensed his jaw, scoping the open living area. “Bull,” he said, but by the dismissive tone, he sounded like he was saying it to himself or about something else.

He stalked off toward my backyard without another word, so I scampered after him, my little legs no match for his long strides. I flipped the light on outside and Rick walked down the steps, following the shallow lighting spilling over the clumpy, yellowed grass and shrubs lining the property fence.

“Unbelievable,” Rick muttered, I thought, but I couldn’t be sure with his back facing me or by the growl to his tone.

He eased me back with a polite hand and walked around to my front door and beyond. He surveyed the porch and front yard in the same swift and efficient manner as the back, and then turned to me. We were facing each other separated by my whole house. The front light slammed behind him and it made him glow. I supposed I looked the same, and wondered if I seemed as mysterious and alluring as he did. Not possible.

We shut the doors and walked towards each other, meeting near my kitchen bench.

“Did he tell you he was leaving?”

“Not at all,” I said, scratching my head. “I just came from the laundry and he was gone. Maybe …” but I trailed off, feeling stupid for thinking it.

“What?” Rick said, eyes narrowed.

“Maybe he texted me letting me know why.”

Rick shrugged. “You could check.”

I did, returning with my mobile phone. I had one new message.

Justin: Had to go. Sorry, babe xoxo

“Unbelievable,” I muttered, embodying the same rage as Rick.

“What? He didn’t—” Rick looked at my mobile which I handed over, and he cut himself off to read. “He did. Where did he even go? What a bastard.”

Rick’s cheeks were inflamed now, and a telltale vein popped from his forehead. He scrubbed his temples with the heels of his hands.

I remained there not doing a thing. I hadn’t seen Rick for so long. I hadn’t a clue how to calm him down or what would be appropriate.

“It’s not a big deal,” I said. “He’s my boyfriend, not yours.”

“He’s my brother. I’m here to look out for him and the kid slips from my fingers.”

“Look out?” I asked.

Rick’s face blanched. He stood there with these big helpless arms dangling on either side of his body. He coughed and said, “Parents are away. Someone’s gotta keep him out of trouble.”

“Oh.” I sighed. “It’s nice of you to come back to keep an eye on him. I’m sure he doesn’t think so. Now he can’t run amuck with freedom.” I had so many questions to ask Rick, like whether London was an extended holiday or was he there for work or did he miss me? I couldn’t ask any of them though when we had more important things on our minds.

“I don’t think so either,” Rick said in a solemn tone. The severity of it hit me square in the chest like a physical force, and my body stood immobile while I adjusted to the weirdness of everything. Justin leaving, but also the aloof Rick Delaney that had changed since I last knew him.

“I better go search.” He patted his pockets, looked over the bench, and then ducked into the laundry room. When he emerged, he walked to the front door.

I followed, and we both turned to each other at the same time, emitting a startled chuckle from me. I placed my hand over my chest. “Thanks for everything. It’s good to see you back, Rick.” I leaned up to kiss him, and he stooped to my cheek, pecking it so lightly, only the bristle of his stubble grazed my skin.

He jogged down the front steps, unlocked his car, and was about to jump into it when he looked up at me, this big, lost expression on his handsome face. “See ya,” he called. And then he hopped in and drove.

At least he said goodbye, but the whole night had left me shaken.

• • •

Handsome man in black hoodie showing his abdominal muscles

Want more? Read the first 3 Chapters on Wattpad (free, no sign up required):

http://www.wattpad.com/66159659-the-rental

 

About the Author

IMG_20140714_10443Rebecca Berto writes stories about love and relationships. She gets a thrill when her readers are emotional reading her books, and gets even more of a kick when they tell her so. She’s strangely imaginative, spends too much time on her computer, and is certifiably crazy when she works on her fiction.

Rebecca Berto lives in Melbourne, Australia with her boyfriend and their pets.

Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Blog/website | Pinterest

 

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Read the first 40 pages of “The Rental” for free!

Click to read!

Click to read!

I’ve uploaded the first three chapters / 40 pages of The Rental to Wattpad. What is this site? It’s a place readers can view whole or partial excerpts of books and you can view everything there for free. No sign up is needed. Just click the link below to go through.

READ ON WATTPAD

but I have even bigger news . . .

. . . ready?


You can now PRE-ORDER The Rental!

Amazon global link  |  iTunes


The cover reveal is coming on Aug 21! Make sure you subscribe to Novel Girl so you don’t miss it. It is HOT and BEAUTIFUL! (If I may say so. Berto Designs did it ;) )


Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Rental by Rebecca Berto

The Rental by Rebecca Berto

Giveaway ends September 30, 2014.

Enter to win

Pre-orders now available for Amazon KDP users

That’s right! You heard it!

Amazon is now making the pre-order function available for all self-publishing authors who publish books via KDP. You don’t have to be part of their Select program.

I’m going to set up one soon for The Rental! Watch out for the links :)

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Find out the details here: https://kdp.amazon.com/help?topicId=A3P7F81795P0RA&ref_=kdp_EB_PREORDER_phl

N.B: If you weren’t aware, pre-order function has been available at the site Draft2Digital for some time, and you can use them to pre-order your book to iTunes, Kobo and Barnes & Noble, get paid from one place, receive easy and fast customer service help, and use an efficient system. Read up about D2D here.


Goodreads Book Giveaway

 The Rental by Rebecca Berto

The Rental by Rebecca Berto

Giveaway ends September 30, 2014.

Enter to win

Daily Inspiration . . .

Quote

Sometimes the right path tests us beyond our limits.

Just recently, I had to delete 55,000 words and write 60,000 more, but I’m well on my way to achieving my goals for this manuscript. And if my amazing editor Rogena Mitchell-Jones is giving me a thumbs up then I’m pretty darn proud. 

There is a lot of sadness in this world — recently with the touching passing of actor, Robin Williams. We should note, however, that the moment just after we break is often the point when we are rewarded.

Never give up. If I did The Rental would never exist. For every low, there is a high just over the horizon.

#‎sorryforthedramatics‬

Writing is hard; here’s a plan

I finished my manuscript, The Rental and have handed it into my editor. Now I have a new task: how the hell do I plan and start the sequel to his novel? All the stress! All the things to resolve! All. The. Writers. Block.

I want to share something with you today, and it’s what I’ve done to get myself out of that anxious/stressful/sanity-testing phase of how to put a story together when it’s just not coming together.

Call it writers block. Call it a hole. Or call it the writing blues.

But you need to read these tips, so you might not have any of those feelings going forward.

◊  ◊  ◊  STEP ONE  ◊  ◊  ◊

The important thing here is to develop ideas and a plan based on tension, twists and conflict that will serve your manuscript as best possible. What am I talking about?

Stakes. Stakes make a story, and without good ones, they are bad. And bad stakes make for boring and even confusing storytelling.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What are the worst things that could happen?
  • What are the best things that could happen?

Under each of those question headings, list 5 –10 things that come to mind. Issues to put down could include:

  • The MC (main character) gets hurt/killed if the antagonist (bad guy) wins out;
  • the love interest hurts the MC;
  • the MC’s past comes back to haunt him or her;
  • the MC’S family or friends get hurt because of the MC’s issues; and
  • the MC is betrayed/cheated/harmed/hated/discarded, etc.
  • The main character could finally marry their lover;
  • the MC and lover can put their dark pasts behind them; and
  • the MC is happy again, and has a purpose in life.

Writing down these ideas can help resolve your own inner conflict by surfacing the essential need of the story. When you put these ideas together, you can develop a workable plan, one that will test your characters to their limits and by the end, your ending might just write itself. Endings don’t happen when storylines and character arcs are screwed and/or inefficient. All the endings in the world won’t feel right if you don’t nail the characters, theme, pacing, plots and subplots up to that point.

◊  ◊  ◊  STEP TWO  ◊  ◊  ◊

Now that you have jotted down the best and worst things that can happen in your story, you can write out a plan, dividing the story into four quarters (I say “four” because movies operate on the three-act structure, but books have four definitive sections).

Use the worst things you listed at the plot or pinch points, the midpoint and black moment.(You’ll read what these are below.) Pepper in the good things you listed along to create hope.

Section your plan into:

Beginning — ¼: (include the hook within the first scene and first plot point* between 20 — 25%)

¼ — ½: (include the first pinch point [otherwise known as a low point where things fall apart] at ~ 37.5% and the midpoint† at ~50%)

½ — ¾: (include the second pinch point (see above) at ~ 62.5%)

¾ — end: include the second plot point* at 75 — 80% and the black moment [otherwise known as the moment everything falls apart and nothing looks like it'll work out] at ~ 90%)

* plot points are moments that change the direction of the story such as going on a quest, accepting a deal, etc.

† The midpoint marks the change where the characters now somewhat control their future. From 0 — 50% they might have been forced on their pathway, confused or lost. But, from 50% on, they might have a clue which sheds some light, or maybe they willingly accept their fates and go on with renewed vigour.


I hope the above helps you. Writers block, writers blues, writers hole and all that jazz really sucks. Cheers to happier writing from here on out! *raises champagne glass*

 

The Rental teaser – “sex”

Gallery

This gallery contains 1 photo.

♥ ♥ ♥ Cover reveal sign ups: http://wp.me/p1WPf3-1bn At first, Rick Delaney watched Vee Wyland with the hungry eyes of a fox as if she were a rabbit … his rabbit. But one day, he slunk away without notice. When he returns, that … Continue reading

Bloggers and readers: cover reveal sign up for “The Rental”

Click to request an ARC

Click to request an ARC


 

Cover RevealIf you’re excited for The Rental and want to show off the cover on reveal day, August 21st, then read on!

In the past I’ve asked only bloggers to sign up, but this time, I’m including everyone.

Bloggers 〉〉〉

You can now sign up to reveal the cover and some teasers for The Rental. You should receive the images and information a couple of days beforehand.

SIGN UP HERE

Readers 〉〉〉

You can also reveal the cover even if you don’t run a book blog. You’ll receive the cover, and even some teasers.

SIGN UP HERE

♥ ♥ ♥

R E Q U E S T  A  R E V I E W  C O P Y

♥ ♥ ♥

~ ABOUT ~

Reveal date: August 21, 2014
Reveal time: MUST be posted between 7 a.m. and before 6 p.m. of the 21st. (no earlier)

Title: The Rental
Author: Rebecca Berto
Series: book #1
Genre: Erotic Romance
Publication date: September 22, 2013

6bea2-addtogoodreads

♥ ♥ ♥

Novel Girl - book description

At first, Rick Delaney watched Vee Wyland with the hungry eyes of a fox as if she were a rabbit … his rabbit. But one day, he slunk away without notice.

Months away from graduating high school, Vee’s life is on the verge of crumbling. At home, dire finances and long hours test her family. Her boyfriend hardly pays attention to her. And she can’t shake her feelings for his older brother, Rick.

Then, all in one night, tragedy tears her teetering life into shreds.

When Rick and Vee reunite, the sparks fly. However, she unwittingly signs away a future for both of them. In his world, a place called The Rental, she becomes Victoria and Rick becomes Rhett. One part of her watches with fascination, while the other unfurls and embraces her sexual awakening. It began as a game, but the consequences are real.

Following their heart’s desire is forbidden, but walking away could strip their hope for a future.

The Rental is an erotic romance that explores how sex isn’t purely physical; sometimes, it’s a gateway to your soul.

✮✮✮

This series follows stories from characters working at the company, The Rental. Book #1 and #2 follow Rick and Vee’s story.


Find Rebecca Berto’s books on Amazon and Goodreads.

Follow Novel Girl by the buttons in the top left corner of the home page.

The Rental: blurb reveal!

8048905957_198c8c8751_oI’m so excited to reveal the blurb with you today for my novel, The Rental.

If you haven’t heard of it before, it’s the first book in a new erotic romance series. Book #1 and #2 focus on Rick and Vee, and the other books will focus on other characters you meet along the way.

Without further ado, here is the blurb . . .

Novel Girl - book description

At first, Rick Delaney watched Vee Wyland with the hungry eyes of a fox as if she were a rabbit … his rabbit. But one day, he slunk away without notice.

Months away from graduating high school, Vee’s life is on the verge of crumbling. At home, dire finances and long hours test her family. Her boyfriend hardly pays attention to her. And she can’t shake her feelings for his older brother, Rick.

Then, all in one night, tragedy tears her teetering life into shreds.

When Rick and Vee reunite, the sparks fly. However, she unwittingly signs away a future for both of them. In his world, a place called The Rental, she becomes Victoria and Rick becomes Rhett. One part of her watches with fascination, while the other unfurls and embraces her sexual awakening. It began as a game, but the consequences are real.

Following their heart’s desire is forbidden, but walking away could strip their hope for a future.

The Rental is an erotic romance that explores how sex isn’t purely physical; sometimes, it’s a gateway to your soul.

✮✮✮

This series follows stories from characters working at the company, The Rental. Book #1 and #2 follow Rick and Vee’s story.

Release date: coming September 22, 2014

6bea2-addtogoodreads

 

A cover reveal will be coming up. I’ll post the link to that soon to sign up and participate.

UPDATE: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1H9hVK_lL52cXmMrRcasJbcGVSyX8FdW72k7-fzZ-Sew/viewform


Rebecca Berto button

♥♥♥

Find Rebecca Berto’s books on Amazon and Goodreads.

Follow Novel Girl by the buttons in the top left corner of the home page.

Book review : “Jane’s Melody” by Ryan Winfield

18632103Title: Jane’s Melody

Author: Ryan Winfield

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Publication date: June 2013

My ratingNovel Girl - 3.5 stars

Novel Girl - Add to Goodreads

♥ ♥ ♥

Book Description

What boundaries would you cross for true love?

That’s the question a grieving mother must answer when she takes in a young street musician she believes can shed light on her daughter’s death—only to find herself falling for him. A sexy but touching love story that will leave you both tantalized and in tears, Jane’s Melody follows a forty-year-old woman on a romantic journey of rediscovery after years of struggling alone.

Sometimes our greatest gifts come from our greatest pain. And now Jane must decide if it’s too late for her to start over, or if true love really knows no limits.

♥ ♥ ♥

MY REVIEW

5181210Jane’s Melody is a sweet, lovely romance. I was excited to begin it because it was a little different and that captured my attention. Jane is 40 and her love interest is an almost-25-year-old guy, Caleb. A guy who happens to be connected to her daughter. When Jane meets Caleb she doesn’t know how exactly, and pursues him secretly to find out more about her daughter through him. Because Jane didn’t really know who her daughter was in the last few years of her short twenty years. She was an addict and for the last year Jane hadn’t spoken to her at all since she’d taken off from home.

Part of what made me love this book early on were the poignant moments. Ryan Winfield writes simply and emotionally and maybe more so than other female writers. I was so entranced by how much he’d nailed the voice. Quotes like this:

“I remember reading somewhere that you have to learn to love yourself before you can love someone else. But I don’t think it’s true. I think you have to learn to forget yourself before you can love someone else. At least I seem to forget about myself when I’m with you.”

. . . had me. sigh.

Caleb was a treasure to learn about. Yes he was fifteen years younger than Jane but he was both the dominant man when it counted, but the younger boy other times. Reading about the two of them put a smile on my face for most of the novel. They matched so well.

“I don’t know if I have the right words, but love is this feeling I get when I look at you. A feeling that as long as you’re near me, or in the world even, then everything will be okay. That everything has meaning. It’s as if the world was all shades of sepia—like an old movie reel—and that everywhere I looked I saw suffering and pain. Then I heard your voice, I saw your face, and somehow the color came into everything.”

But unfortunately the twist at 3/4 through just did not work for me. I was disappointed and made myself read on since I’d come so far. The way the stakes/conflict were upped didn’t have enough reasoning to make me excited, and rather did the opposite. The ending happened quickly, so I didn’t get to experience their happiness.

Nevertheless of my feelings of its shortfalls, this is an emotional, romantic, sweet and beautiful story. I’m glad I tried it! :)

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