Here we are to Friday Eve. The week is almost over. Hope you had a good week and that sunshine is in your forecast for the weekend. If not, grab a good book and curl up. I have the perfect easy, breezy weekend read. A sweet little romantic read without drama or angst, plenty of sizzle in looks and a touch instead of sexy time. I thought this was a cute, pick me up read perfect for when you need something light and easy. I am excited to welcome back author Ophelia London. For those of you who missed Ophelia back in February when she stopped by for Fire and Ice, you can see her post here. Definitely, Maybe in Love is one of my top picks for 2014 so far, and definitely one of the best romances I have read in a long time. I highly recommend checking it out, and for all you Pride and Prejudice fans, it is a modern retelling. Ophelia is back today with the latest book in her Perfect Kisses Companion Novel Series, Falling for her Soldier. Before we get to the book, let me take a moment and reintroduce you all to Ophelia:
Ophelia London was born and raised among the redwood trees in beautiful northern California.
Once she was fully educated, she decided to settle in Florida, but her car broke down in Texas and she's lived in Dallas ever since.
A cupcake and treadmill aficionado (obviously those things are connected), she spends her time watching arthouse movies and impossibly trashy TV, while living vicariously through the characters in the books she writes.
Ophelia is the author of DEFINITELY, MAYBE IN LOVE, ABBY ROAD, the Perfect Kisses series including: FALLING FOR HER SOLDIER, PLAYING AT LOVE, and SPEAKING OF LOVE.
Visit her on her website, Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads andPinterest. But don't call when The Vampire Diaries is on.
Ophelia is here to tell you a bit about Charlie and Ellie Bell the two main characters from her novel. Here is Ophelia:
Hi there! Thanks for having me on your fabulous blog again, this time to talk about my newest novel, FALLING FOR HER SOLDIER. The story is about Ellie and Charlie, a couple who get to know each other through emails. When they finally meet in person, Ellie doesn’t know that uber-sexy, bad boy “Hunter” is the same super-sweet nice guy she’d been falling for online, because he goes by his Army nickname (“Big Game Hunter”). Think: You’ve Got Mail meets An Officer and a Gentleman with a touch of Dirty Dancing. I know, right?
For fun, I decided to do a little profile sketch of my two main characters. Try not to fall in love with them as much as I did!
Profession: Former professional ballerina, current children’s ballet teacher and owner of the Anastacia Ballet Studio, secret wannabe surfer.
Origin: Irish (which explains the fiery red hair she shares with her brother, Sam).
Home base: Franklin, Indiana, but she’s been bit by the wanderlust bug. Hawaii, anyone?
Workouts: Running around the ballet studio chasing after her pint-size students, the occasional jog through the park (so she can keep eating hot fudge sundaes), and giving private tango lessons to one sexy soldier.
Vices: Workaholic and always falling for the bad boy…until now.
Kudos: Principal Soloist at Ballet West. 2-time recipient of the Mikhail Baryshnikov National Dance Scholarship. Awarded: “Most Irresistible Tango Instructor” from Charlie.
Profession: Staff Sargent in the United States Army.
Origin: English, French and a touch of Greek.
Home base: Franklin, Indiana (born); various army posts across the world (job).
Workouts: Running, free weights, early morning hockey, dancing the tango with Ellie…because he can’t say no to her even when she plays Michael Bublé.
Vices: Like any typical type-A alpha male, he carries the world on his big, broad shoulders.
Kudos: 10 years in the US Army. Purple Heart and Good Conduct Medals while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Restored his black 1967 Impala by hand. Awarded “Best Future Uncle” by his sister and “Most Reformed Bad Boy” by Ellie. Bears a striking resemblance to Dean Winchester (swoon). (Click on Photo for credits).
Shew! Is it getting hot in here? If these little tidbits whet your romance whistle, don’t forget to check out FALLING FOR HER SOLDIER to find out what happens when the Elvis-obsessed Charlie falls for Swan Lake-loving Ellie.
When it comes to reading romance, are you more about opposites attract or a perfect match?
Oh wow! Who can resist a sexy soldier that bears a striking resemblance to Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles)? Sign me up! Seriously, I loved the chemistry between this two and I especially enjoyed how there was so much chemistry in a simple look or touch! The tango was smoking hot! A huge thanks to the lovely Ophelia for stopping by again today. Ophelia doesn't come empty handed, she is offering a chance to win Falling for her Soldier. For all U.S. residents, you can enter to win a signed paperback copy, but fear not, all you International residents can enter as well as Ophelia is offering an ebook copy to you. To enter read the Contest Policies and fill out the Rafflecopter. Good Luck!
Here is my review:
Falling For Her Soldier (Perfect Kisses #3) by Ophelia London
Ex-ballerina Ellie Bell has twenty-four days left until her self-imposed man-less year is up. No more falling for the wrong kind of guy—charming, sexy, bad. Why can’t she find someone sweet like Charlie Johansson, her soldier pen pal? His e-mails meant the world to her, and she can’t stop thinking about him…until she meets Hunter, whose muscles and cocky smile threaten to have her relapsing.
Before Charlie “Big Game Hunter” Johansson’s last tour of duty, he’d gone through women like crazy. But after connecting on a real, emotional level via letters with his best friend’s sister, Charlie’s ready for a relationship—with Ellie Bell. But then her brother introduces him as Hunter. Proving he’s no longer a player by becoming Ellie’s dance partner for an Army benefit seems like it could convince both siblings he’s changed, but the harder he falls for Ellie, the harder it is to come clean. Can he convince her to fall for the real him before it’s too late?(less)
Four Stars: A light, feel good romance with lots of chemistry and sizzle.
Ellie finishes her ballet dance class amidst a gaggle of giggling four year olds. She loves her job, in spite of the fact that her injured knee makes dancing more difficult. Over the past year, Ellie has thrown herself into her ballet studio after her mother's death, her brother's deployment and a cheating boyfriend, she was in a tailspin. She swore off men for a year, but when she started getting emails from a fellow officer in her brother's unit, she sort of fell a bit in love with him. Then his emails stopped, and Ellie is left wondering. Had she imagined it or was there some chemistry between them? Ellie then meets Hunter, another soldier in Sam's unit. Hunter has a bad reputation for being a ladies's man. Ellie and Hunter are soon working together to help save the resource center for veterans. That means a tango and fundraiser. Could Ellie be falling for Hunter or is her heart still pining for the man who emailed her?
What I Liked:
- It is so nice to pick up a contemporary romance these days and not encounter broken damaged characters and drama. I loved that this was a simple romance that kept it light and fun. If you are tired of the drama and angst in the romances on the market, grab this one for a sweet, pleasant read.
- I liked both Ellie and Hunter. Both characters overcame some difficulties in their past, Ellie deals with the loss of her mother and an injury to her knee, while Hunter was recently involved in an ambush in Afghanistan. Ellie has sworn off men for an entire year due to her always seeming to attract the wrong men. Ellie instead has thrown her whole focus into her dance studio. She is content and happy until her brother is injured. When she starts receiving emails from one of her brother's fellow soldiers, an unexpected friendship is born, and then it starts to become something more until the emails cease. I appreciated that even though Ellie had been through plenty of hurt, it is never the focus, and I liked that she is always optimistic and upbeat. Hunter has earned a bad reputation among the men in his unit. His nickname is Hunter because he is a bit of a womanizer. After the attack, he has turned over a new leaf, but no one believes he is giving up his womanizing ways. Even though he has seen lots of negative things as a soldier, he refuses to let it get to him. Again, it is so nice to meet two characters who have overcome big obstacles but they are happy and bright. No broken or damaged characters in this one.
- The romance is a bit fast moving, but no insta love. It starts out with a firm foundation, though one of the characters doesn't know it. I won't give the details away here as to what is going on with the romance, let's just say that Ellie is a bit in the dark about Hunter when the first meet. What follows is a hesitant friendship because Ellie has heard of Hunter's reputation through her brother, and the last thing she wants is to get involved with another man that is all wrong for her, besides she is still a month away from completing her year long commitment to not date, and she still has feelings for the man who was emailing her. Ellie and Hunter are thrown together to work on a benefit to help fund the center for the soldiers. Ellie is going to teach Hunter to tango for the fundraiser. These tango lessons are all about chemistry and sizzle. I loved how the romance was developed through a heated touch or a look it made it so sexy without actually delving into the sex part. It just goes to show that a romance can be incredibly hot without sex scenes.
- I liked that the author kept the explicit sex scenes out of the book. If you want intimate rip your clothes off scenes you will be disappointed, but if you enjoy lots of kissing this is your book. I personally loved that this book managed to be so sexy without trying too hard.
- I loved that the story calls attention to the military. Ms. London gently reminds us how much military personnel and their families sacrifice for our benefit. Then to return home only to find a valuable resource for returning service men and women in danger of closing due to lack of funding is heartbreaking. We need to do a better job of supporting our military.
- The end left a big smile on my face, and I loved how everything worked out. It was nice to get a happy ending and close the book feeling satisfied.
And The Not So Much:
- There is plenty of miscommunication between the couple. I won't give away all the details, but I will say that it was frustrating. I kept waiting for the truth to come out, and by the time it did it was almost too late. I was wanting to pull my hair out waiting for the big reveal.
- Ellie takes on a huge undertaking in agreeing to organize a big benefit and fundraiser to keep the military resource center open. All the details were glossed over as to how Ellie magically pulled it all together. I was wondering how she did it, but there are no details. The only thing that the reader sees Ellie actually do besides teach Hunter to tango is work with the press. I wish that more information was shared on how Ellie organized the event.
- This is a minor quibble, but I grew rather attached to Tess, Charlie's sister. She was eight months pregnant during the story and she didn't know the sex of the baby. The book ends with no mention of Tess' baby. I wanted to know if she had a boy or a girl.
- I think Ms. London should have included some resources at the end of the book for readers to reach out to help those who serve in the military. I have no doubt that there are many places like the WS in the book that could desperately use some donations.
Falling For Her Soldier is a delightful, light romance with plenty of chemistry and sizzle. This is the perfect read for spring, or anytime you need a pick me up book. I recommend this for anyone who wants a romance without drama and angst, and for those who like to end the book with a smile.
"He tasted like cake and sunshine and the sweetest love."
"He loved his car. He loved his family. He loved the way the sky smelled just before it rained."
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.