Jilted

JiltedJilted by Carla Laureano
Series: Discovered by Love
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by LCM on January 19, 2016
Pages: 140

 

About Jilted (from the back cover):
Three days. Two jaded hearts. One unexpected love.

Bethany Hall is hiding out on a remote private island off the coast of Belize, creating romantic meals for the rich and the privileged. But when her client Derek Moretti’s bride jilts him at the altar, he’s left with a bitter view on love, a $30,000 a week bungalow, and for the first time in his life, nowhere else to be.

After Derek overhears his beautiful personal chef talking about how he dodged a bullet when his bridezilla left him, he begins to think that maybe she’s right. He convinces Bethany to act as his personal tour guide for the remainder of his trip, but neither expect that their purely platonic arrangement could shake their preconceptions about love.

Could Derek have been in the right place at the right time…just with the wrong woman?

 

Carla Laureano is one of my favorite voices in contemporary Christian romance, so I was supremely excited when I heard that she was branching out into the clean contemporary romance genre with a free novella for her newsletter subscribers.  Jilted (which I hope will be the first of many like this from Carla) is a fun and swoon-worthy read sure to make her readers do any and all of the following: a) develop a sudden fascination with potted palms, b) crave gourmet meals, particularly seafood, and c) book Belize as their next vacation destination.

From the very first line – “Bridezilla! Incoming!” – Laureano drops readers into the middle of the action.

From the very first line – “Bridezilla! Incoming!” – Laureano drops readers into the middle of the action.  The bustling gourmet kitchen. The instant chemistry between Bethany and Derek. The stomach-clenching drama of the wedding that wasn’t.  Seeing Belize through Bethany’s eyes, then Derek’s.  The sights, the sounds, the smells, the breathless emotions – all of it sweeps you up and keeps you riveted until the last word.

Sometimes in a novella, due to the nature of its limited space, the action (more specifically, the romance) is too fast to be believable.  Other times, an author spends an inordinate amount of time on buildup and then… that’s it. It’s all over and tied up with a pretty bow in a couple of paragraphs.  I tolerate both scenarios if the writing is otherwise good, but in Jilted I get the best of both worlds. Delightful writing and a pace that ebbs and flows naturally.  But it doesn’t leave you hanging either…

…which brings me to my next point.  Y’all.  THAT KISS.  I’ve still not recovered.  Derek and Bethany have an instant attraction, a palpable chemistry, that by necessity of circumstance must be held at bay.  Let me just pause a moment here to say that Carla Laureano writes some of the yummiest heroes in contemporary romance – Christian, general market, across the board.  Falling right in line with this statement, Derek’s smiles had me grinning right back, and his deliberate pursuit of a friendship with Bethany made him all the swoonier. Whew.  The romance – from its simmering-under-the-surface beginnings to its progression along the way to a certain THAT KISS – will be at the top of my favorites list for a long while.

 Carla Laureano writes some of the yummiest heroes in contemporary romance – Christian, general market, across the board.

I should probably mention that, if you’re on a diet, this might not be the best story to read while hungry 😉 Laureano’s mouthwatering descriptions of Bethany’s gourmet dishes on the island – as well as the food to be found while touring Belize – made even this non-fan of seafood crave a decadent tropical meal. Don’t let a diet deter you however. Do grab a healthy snack and press on anyway because Carla’s writing voice is just so fabulous. You will be immediately drawn to the characters, to the plot, and … whew… THAT KISS is so worth a little “hanger”!

From start to finish, this is an absolutely delightful novella – full of everything that makes a great contemporary romance.

From start to finish, this is an absolutely delightful novella – full of everything that makes a great contemporary romance.  And one of the best things about this novella is that Carla is currently offering it for FREE to readers who sign up for her newsletter here.

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