by Jennifer Locklear
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: October 20
She’s intelligent, beautiful, and emotionally numb.
He’s older, sophisticated, and harboring secrets.
Up-and-coming executive, Kathleen Brighton is ready to launch her family’s firm into the next level of success. Polished and professional on the outside, Kathleen’s personal life is a source of constant struggle and letdown. But after one night alone with Jack Evans, her sexy new colleague, her life takes a turn toward erotic intensity.
Torn between her instinct to guard herself and her irresistible desire for Jack, Kathleen has only known heartache. And when she finds herself in the middle of a shattering personal crisis, she must trust fragile and uncertain bonds to survive. Will Kathleen conquer the demons of her past to find a future worth fighting for?
Book Review: 4 Stars
I absolutely love the premise, and the promise, of Constellation. Jennifer Locklear has set up a sexy, suspenseful story; a story of two broken people, two broken families, and the torturous journey they undertake with the hope of becoming whole. The characters are well-developed and complex. The relationship between Jack Evans and his daughter, Heide, is so touching and emotional that it feels undeniably real. The stress between Jack and his ex is palpable. The sexual relationship between Jack and Kathleen is scorching hot, but also tender and needy in all the right places. Their love seems deep and meaningful, but then…it isn’t. Or, if it is, we won’t find out until the next book in the series, or in the worst case scenario, not until their trilogy ends. The cliffhanger leaves that outcome squarely up for grabs, with no guarantee of a HEA. I have faith that Jennifer will deliver one, but these compelling characters will have to work for it.
There is a lot to love about Constellation. The author’s description of the settings, the storyline arc, and the plot twists are well-written. The suspense gradually builds, then peaks and explodes, evoking every imaginable emotion, right up to the end, which comes sooner than I’d expected, or I’d hoped. I deliberately didn’t read any reviews before taking the plunge into the book, and for that reason, I didn’t see the cliffhanger coming. While I usually don’t mind cliffhangers, this one left me feeling uneasy and more than a little uncomfortable. I know it’s a sign of a good read when you wake up thinking about the story in the middle of the night — but it didn’t feel good. I was left with a sense of hopelessness for the three characters I’d come to love: Jack, Kathleen, and Heide. There were hints along the way about the secrets Jack is hiding from Kathleen; there is one character, Ryan, whose role is yet to become clear; and without more information, I felt confused about the direction of the story.
I have to say that I loved Kathleen’s generous, loving side, but she frustrated the daylights out of me with her insecure, impulsive over-reactions and her inability to make good decisions when it mattered most. As in many broken families navigating choppy waters, Heide was set adrift in a sea of adult problems. It broke my heart and made me resentful of the three adults in her life who let her down. It’s real, it’s relatable, but it’s painful to witness and it nagged at me long after I closed the book.
As a solo debut novel, Jennifer Locklear has proven her story-telling ability with an engaging, emotional read that promises even more suspense as the story continues to unfold. The sequel can’t come soon enough for me, and I will definitely pre-order as soon as it’s available. If you can handle an emotional family-centered drama with moments of breath-taking romance, unexpected twists and the promise of more to come, don’t let the cliffhanger deter you from starting this series today.
Jennifer Locklear lives in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. She married her high school sweetheart, Morgan, in 1995. She is the mother of two children, a son and daughter.
Jennifer enjoyed creative writing as an adolescent, but set aside her favorite hobby to concentrate on college studies, career and family. In 2010, she rediscovered her passion for writing when her husband recruited her to edit his own stories. They co-authored and published their debut novel, Exposure, in 2014.
Since 2000, Jennifer has been employed in fundraising and development for a non-profit organization. She has been a contributing reviewer for the “Bookish Temptations” book blog and is a founding moderator of “Argyle Empire,” an approved fan site for author Sylvain Reynard.
She also enjoys participating in charitable activities, both locally and online.
Constellation is Jennifer’s first solo novel.