Book Review: Constellation, Book 1 of a Romantic Trilogy by Jennifer Locklear

Book Cover, Constellation, by Jennifer Locklear

Constellation

by Jennifer Locklear

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: October 20

Goodreads

Synopsis

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?

 

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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.

About the Author

Jennifer

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.

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New Release! Constellation, by Jennifer Locklear

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Congratulations, Jennifer Locklear!

Constellation

Releases Today!

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: October 20

Goodreads

Synopsis

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?

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About the Author

Jennifer

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.

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Roman Crazy, by Nina Bocci & Alice Clayton: A Review

Roman Crazy is available NOW on all platforms! Check out all the details, order your copy, and enter the giveaway here!

Roman Crazy: My Review

Roman Crazy (Broads Abroad, #1)Roman Crazy by Nina Bocci and Alice Clayton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Serendipity: the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.
synonyms: (happy) chance, (happy) accident, fluke; luck, good luck, good fortune, fortuity, providence; happy coincidence; usage: “the consequence of serendipity is sometimes a brilliant discovery“*

*for example, the discovery of a book that makes you happy to be alive. Roman Crazy is one of those books for me, and this is why:

Avery Bardot didn’t go to Rome looking for love. She went to Rome to discover herself, apart from all of the stereotypes that had come to define her life: garden clubs, society luncheons, family gatherings, and exquisite boredom. A woman who felt like, and had gradually become little more than attractive arm candy for her wealthy, successful, recently-discovered-cheating husband. Avery wasn’t looking for someone to sweep her off her feet, to rescue her from boredom or loneliness, or to “complete” her. She was looking for a second chance at life, on her own terms. And she found it.

The fact that she also found Marcello — a lover from a happier time, the man she let go of nine years before — and proceeded to fall head-over-heels in love with him again was pure, sweet serendipity. Call it fate, call it destiny, call it what you want – to me, it was a magical happenstance. And I loved experiencing it with her every step of the way.

Several of my favorite authors — all much more articulate than I — have reviewed Roman Crazy, and loved it as much as I did. It’s hard to follow such glowing, succinct reviews. So I’ll sum it up: Roman Crazy is THE most entertaining, light-hearted, genuinely heartfelt romance I’ve read in a very long time. It’s an ultimate reading experience for the end of summer, precisely because it lacks mind-bending twists or the deep, angsty drama of darker romances. I can only imagine what a pleasure it was to write, because I could feel the creativity, camaraderie, and genuine fun pouring off of every page. It reads like a summer vacation feels: refreshing, warm, relaxing, and simply beautiful.

The visual imagery is so stunning that the characters came to life in a setting so perfectly laid out that it feels like a virtual trip to Rome. The sights and sounds of the city; the scents of the flowers, the clay, the markets and fresh paint; the taste of the food; the fragile beauty of ancient tapestries and frescoes was all so vividly described that I lost myself in the experience. The intensity of every character’s feelings – be it embarrassment, delight, anger, confusion, happiness or sexual ecstasy – were perfectly woven within the story, making the entire package powerfully real on every level.

Of course I fell in love with Marcello; you can’t help but fall in love with Marcello! But I loved every quirk of every character, even Daniel, Avery’s ex, because they were all so relatable and approachable. And even in its very few, slightly darker moments, there is an underlying steadiness, a seamlessness, that made the story flow effortlessly from scene to scene. Other than imagining Alice and Nina laughing their way through parts of the manuscript, there is little evidence that Roman Crazy was co-authored, because it is so tightly woven it’s an artistic tapestry unto itself.

Roman Crazy is a deeply passionate love story, with touches of gentle humor; but it is so much more. It’s a story of steadfast friendship, self-discovery, maturity, and awakening. It’s deeply satisfying in every way. I can’t wait to see what the other “Broads Abroad” come up with as the series continues, but I’d give anything to hide away in their luggage.

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