Review: Georgetown Academy Book 4 by Alyssa Embree Schwartz and Jessica Koosed Etting

 

 

Title: Georgetown Academy Book 4

Author: Alyssa Embree Schwartz and Jessica Koosed Etting

 

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

 

When the vice president resigns and Ellie and Taryn’s parents emerge as the frontrunners, the girls find themselves back in the spotlight.

Ellie could not care less about becoming the Second Daughter, but she knows how much the opportunity to make history means to her mother – and women everywhere. With her family taking center stage, Ellie must decide whether she can put her feelings for Gabe on hold – again.

Taryn, so used to captivating the hearts and minds of everyone she meets, is unbothered by the increased media scrutiny. But an inopportune screw-up has her beholden to an unlikely – and unfriendly – source for help.

Overnight, Evan has skyrocketed from social pariah to Miss Popular. As she and her reluctant parents adjust to her new lifestyle, the last thing she needs is a front-page scandal.

Brinley can’t stop thinking about her Stowe-bound hook-up…until her father’s intern, Patrick, starts flirting. Is it time to abandon her fling now that she has a more appropriate suitor?

With the second highest office in the land up for grabs, everyone is picking sides. But where does the heart lie when duty, truth, and love collide?


Review:

Oh, my gosh, I don’t even know where to start with this one!  I really like this series, and while I didn’t feel that Book Four was as strong a read as Book Three, it still kept me turning the pages at a frantic pace.  Ellie and Taryn get some big, big news – Either of them could potentially be the Second Daughter of the good old U S of A!  Yup, Ellie’s mom and Taryn’s dad are in the running to be the next VP of the US, after the current Vice President had to resign due to an illness.  Nice!  That means moving to bigger digs, and living life under even closer scrutiny.  Yay! Sign me up!  Not!

In additional to all of that competition to see who will be the next Vice President, Evan is finally living her dream.  She and Hunter are an item, even though she is assailed with self-doubts.  He is so far out of her social circle that it’s not even funny.  She keeps wondering what he sees in her, and the stress of trying to live up to her expectations of what she thinks he thinks she should be like is exhausting.  That sentence exhausted me, and I hope it made sense!  Yes, here’s Evan of the humble background dating Hunter, he of the golden spoon in mouth.  When Evan mistakes someone else’s jacket for hers, she opens the door to more grief than she ever expected.  Who knew those innocent looking mints were anything but?  And now she has a scoop that could change the outcome of the VP race, but she’s not going to spill the beans, because she’s so afraid nobody will believe a nobody like her!  Oh!!  Poor Evan!  While the set up for this disaster was more than obvious, I still got caught up in Evan’s downfall.  Just one mistake in this series and you. Are. Toast!  Your social standing is GONE!  At least until the next sap gets caught up in the next breaking headline.

Ellie’s got a lot of stress to deal with, too.  Her mom is in a war with Gabe’s dad, not like that’s anything new, but with the stakes so high, her mom finally takes off the kid gloves.  She verbally strikes out at Gabe’s mother, which he just does not appreciate.  With the press sniffing around for a sensational story, Ellie has to be careful, too.  She can’t let on that she and Gabe might be an item.  Everything has be kept on the lowdown.  Worse, their parents feuding is starting to needle into their relationship, confusing things even more.  I like this pairing!  It’s hard enough to be an couple when the whole world is watching your every move, but mix in your parents and their complete and utter dislike for each other?  Ugh! That is one ugly time bomb waiting to explode!  Will Gabe and Ellie be able to keep the love alive?  Maybe we’ll find out in Book Five whether they have any chance at all of having a happy ever after.  I don’t think I’m going to count on it.  Sad face.

Taryn makes several major blunders here, and while I wanted to feel sorry for her, I could not.  She throws one of her friends under the bus to keep her father’s chances of being the VP alive, and she starts thinking that she is just too cool for school.  After her father hires Brinley’s dad to manage his PR campaign, Taryn finds herself on the receiving end of all kinds of advice she isn’t sure she needs.  Brinley has been tasked to groom Taryn so that she always gives the best possible impression to the press, but Taryn chafes at being forced to act like someone she isn’t.  With Brooks assuring  her that she should just be herself, she makes a major misstep.  It’s like she took her eyes off the pathway, tripped over her fuzzy boots, and face-planted.  It’s so not good!  I was disappointed that Taryn would treat a friend as poorly as she did, because of all of the girls, Taryn seemed the most level headed to me, but after suffering some major embarrassment, I didn’t want to see her meet any other disasters.  Even if she deserved them and brought them on herself. 

I have so much fun watching Brinley squirm!  When she learns that Taryn’s dad has retained her father’s services, she is disdainful.  At first.  Until Brooks points out that another major loss for their father is going to have a direct reflection on how they are treated by the DC public.  Ha!  Then she’s like a chameleon.  She is all about coaching Taryn on how not to embarrass her family and, as a direct result, reduce her father’s chance of being elected to Vice President.  She is even forced to “fluff” Tayrn’s dress at a major party.  Score!  This horrible girl, who only thinks of herself, finally gets a taste of humble pie.  Sadly, it wasn’t much of a taste, and I doubt that she has anything to take away from the experience, but it sure was fun while it lasted.

So!  Did I enjoy GTA Book Four?  You bet!  This is such a fun read, with a varied cast of characters that I both love and HATE.  Often at the same time! Everyone gets a kick in the face to keep them all honest, but they also achieve little victories to keep them, and me, coming back for more.  Bring on Book 5!!

Grade:  B/B+

Review copy provided by publisher

Interview with Robin Bielman, Author of Kissing the Maid of Honor and Giveaway!

 

Please welcome Robin Bielman to the virtual offices today!  Robin is having the biggest bridal party of the year, and everyone is invited!  Make sure you follow the other stops on the blog tour to learn more about Robin’s new release Kissing the Maid of Honor.  Don’t forget to enter the giveaway, too!  Five lucky readers will be chosen to be Robin’s bride’s maids and will receive a Kissing bridal gift pack! (limited to US and Canada)  But that’s not all, one international winner will be selected to receive the coveted position of Maid of Honor which includes the Kissing bridal pack and a gift card of her (or his) choice from Etsy, Amazon, or Barnes and Noble!

[Manga Maniac Café] Good morning, Robin!  Thanks for dropping in!

[Robin Bielman] Hi everyone! Julie, thanks so much for having me today! I’m really happy to be here to answer your great questions.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Robin Bielman] Except this first question. LOL I’m not very good at talking about myself. Should I use first person? Third person? Ack! Okay, here goes… I’m a wife and mom, drink too many café mochas, and when I’m not attached to my laptop, I can almost always be found with my nose in a book. I write contemporary romance.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Kissing the Maid of Honor?

[Robin Bielman] Sure. This is the first book in my Secret Wishes series. It takes place in a small fictional seaside town in Oregon and focuses on Sela Sullivan and Luke Watters. Sela is the maid of honor in her best friend’s wedding and the best man is Luke. Luke also happens to be her best friend’s brother and the boy who left her humiliated—and heartbroken—in high school. Sela wants to keep her distance from Luke, but with all the wedding festivities that’s impossible. Soon the teasing that’s always taken place between them turns much more flirtatious and feelings Sela fought to avoid come flooding back. Can Sela trust Luke not to break her heart again? Is kissing him worth the risk? He thinks so. ;)

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Robin Bielman] My editor had mentioned that she’d love a story centered on a big family wedding and I loved that idea so I ran with it. Sela came to me first—the small town sweetheart, loved by everyone. Luke followed—the small town boy who couldn’t wait to leave and see the world.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Sela?

[Robin Bielman] Loyal, generous, friendly

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Luke had a theme song, what would it be?

[Robin Bielman] Fly Away, by Lenny Kravitz (Totally have this song in my head now!)

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Sela is never without.

[Robin Bielman] Sela always wears the three tiny silver bands with different-colored birthstones on her middle finger. They hold special meaning to her.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Luke’s bedroom?

[Robin Bielman] Ha! I love this question. You’ll never find a mess since Luke is very neat. You’ll never find a plant. He travels a great deal for his job as an extreme-sports photographer so he’s gone a lot and wouldn’t be around to water it. And you’ll never find candles. The only thing Luke wants to smell is the great outdoors. And Sela.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Sela’s greatest regret?

[Robin Bielman] Sela’s greatest regret is that she didn’t stand up to Luke back in high school and she kept the hurt he caused her bottled up inside. Being with him again, and discovering he’s not the same person, helps her to let the past go.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Robin Bielman] I love to read so that’s probably my greatest creative influence. Romance—in all genres—is my favorite, but I also love YA and New Adult, mysteries, urban fantasy and women’s fiction. I’m a big TV watcher, too, and sometimes when I’m watching a show something a character says or does will spark an idea in my mind and I quickly write it down—otherwise I’ll forget!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Robin Bielman] My laptop, my gazillion notes (I’m a pantser, but I do jot down little things about my characters or the plot in a notebook and on sticky notes so I don’t forget them), and silence.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Robin Bielman] I’ve got to say Second Chance Boyfriend, by Monica Murphy. She also knocked my socks off with the first book in the series, One Week Girlfriend. They’re New Adult books and rarely do I read books a second time, but these I most definitely will. I loved them.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Robin Bielman] Oh gosh, let’s see, I don’t think I can pick just one! When I was young, I loved the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books. Then as I got a little older I loved Stephen King and Ray Bradbury. I only started reading romance a few years ago and the first book I read was The Bachelor, by Carly Philips. I loved it and was hooked.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Robin Bielman] I love to read. If I can read while sitting on the beach, even better! During the school year, I enjoy my younger son’s cross country and track and field meets. He’s also in drama and I love his productions. I also like to run, hike and hang out with my hubby. Oh, and play with my dog Harry.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Robin Bielman] My website/blog: http://robinbielman.com

On Facebook: http://facebook.com/RobinBielman or http://facebook.com/RobinBielmanWriter

On Twitter: http://twitter.com/robinbielman

Goodreads: http://goodreads.com/robinbielman

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

Giveaway!

Five lucky readers will be chosen to be Robin’s bride’s maids and will receive a Kissing bridal gift pack! (limited to US and Canada)  But that’s not all, one international winner will be selected to receive the coveted position of Maid of Honor which includes the Kissing bridal pack and a gift card of her (or his) choice from Etsy, Amazon, or Barnes and Noble!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A bit about Kissing the Maid of Honor:

Kissing her best friend’s brother never felt so right…

Sela Sullivan is resolved to be the best maid of honor ever, even if it means tolerating the best man. Insufferable, too-handsome Luke Watters is not only the guy who humiliated her at a kissing booth in high school, but he also happens to be her best friend’s older brother. Positive he’s the same arrogant jock, Sela vows to focus on her duties and steer clear of the frustrating—and frustratingly tempting—Luke.

As a world-renowned extreme-sports photographer, Luke is used to undertaking life-risking adventures. But risking his heart for the beautiful Sela Sullivan, who clearly still hates him for his rejection all those years ago? He didn’t see that coming. Sela inspires a passion he’s never known, and the more time they spend together, the more he craves her. But can he prove to the maid of honor he’s become a man of honor?

A bit about Robin:

Robin Bielman lives in Southern California with her high school sweetheart husband, two sons, and crazy-cute mini Labradoodle, Harry Dresden. When not attached to her laptop, she can almost always be found with her nose in a book. She also loves to run, hike, and dip her toes in the ocean. Writing is a dream come true, and she still pinches herself to be sure it’s real.

She is also the author of Worth the Risk and Yours At Midnight from Entangled’s Ever After line. She loves to connect with readers.

Visit her online:

Website: http://www.robinbielman.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/RobinBielmanWriter

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/#!/RobinBielman

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/robinbielman

Buy Links:

Amazon: 

Barnes and Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/kissing-the-maid-of-honor-robin-bielman/1115213931?ean=9781622660889

ITunes:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/kissing-the-maid-of-honor/id642292859?mt=11

Interview with Nancy Fraser & Patti Shenberger, Authors of Gambling on Love and Giveaway!

 

Patti Shenberger and Nancy Fraser are visiting the virtual offices to talk about their new release Gambling on Love.  After the interview, there is a cool tour-wide giveaway, so be sure to enter!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

Patti – I’m a wife, mom, mother-in-law, soon to be grandma, pet mommy and full time writer. Love to read, travel, eat!

Nancy – I’m a coffee-holic writer as well as a mother and mother-in-law x2, and a grandma of 4 with a 5th due in July.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Gambling on Love?

Gambling on Love is set in 1867 along the Mississippi River and is the story of Felicity Beaumont, a rich man’s willful daughter, who believes in President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation so much that she’s willing to face her father’s wrath to help free his wrongfully indentured slaves. To do this, she disguises herself as a boy, sells off family heirlooms and secures passage for herself and her friends on Jake McCade’s gambling boat, the River Maiden. Unfortunately, her plan unravels fairly quickly, and Jake is arrested for theft and kidnapping. He’s saved from jail when Felicity’s father, wanting to save face for the sake of propriety, agrees to drop the charges as long as Felicity and Jake are married. Initially, they plan to separate after an appropriate amount of time. However, the fates intervene and true love blossoms through mutual respect and a very strong emotional/sexual chemistry. Just as you’re certain they’re destined for a happy-ever-after, a woman from Jake’s past threatens the very foundation of their relationship and puts Jake’s life in jeopardy.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

Nancy, this one’s for you (G)

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far … no wait … that’s someone else’s blockbuster! A number of years ago, we were attending a conference in Washington, DC. Patti had an editor pitch for a book about a Mississippi Riverboat gambler (think Maverick-a young and not-so-controversial Mel Gibson) and asked for some input (a request she’s probably regretted ever since). Nancy kept saying, “Jake needs a book, Jake needs a book”. Patti’s pitch for a single book, turned into an idea for two books. Then, as the characters came alive in our heads (Can you say, “too much caffeine”?) we thought ‘why not three books’. From that craziness, came the idea of writing it as a team!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Felicity?

Determined, compassionate, generous

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Jake had a theme song, what would it be?

Patti: This is a great question and one that makes us think. Hm, let’s see. Nancy, what do you think?

Nancy: If I were keeping to the time period, Champagne Charlie (which we actually used in a McCade Interview trailer) – it sounds like music you’d hear on a riverboat or in an 1860s saloon! If I’m thinking more modern/character driven: You Sexy Thing by Hot Chocolate!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Felicity is never without.

Patti: hope

Nancy: compassion

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Jake’s bedroom?

Patti: I’m leaving this question for Nancy (G).

Nancy: His gun (he only uses it when he’s on the River Maiden); condoms (McCade men believe in carrying on the Legacy – with the right woman of course); and once married, never another woman! (Ok, so we get caught on that one a little bit – however, the “other woman” isn’t in his bedroom, she’s in a stateroom on the boat.)

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Felicity’s greatest regret?

Patti: That her father wasn’t more compassionate about his indentured workers.

Nancy: That despite the fact she wants to see her friends (the slaves) have a better life in the north, she knows she will miss them and regrets having to send them away.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

Patti: I have read every book that Jude Deveraux has written. Her work has been a huge influence on my writing. I love how she created strong, honorable, loving families that lasted throughout time. To me, there is nothing better than reading a series that can span centuries and still hold your interest.

Nancy: Real life and good music. I recently opened an old shoe box that belonged to late my mother. In it I found everything from a card of buttons that cost 10 cents to a book of WW2 ration stamps. And, the ultimate prize … old love letters! I’m also inspired by song lyrics, especially those from the 50s and 60s – when you could actually understand what they were saying.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

Patti: Pepsi, Ritz crackers, a good office chair with excellent lumbar support

Nancy: Coffee, chocolate and a good idea!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

Patti: My Life Uncovered by Lynn Isenberg – it’s a keeper.

Nancy: Don’t Know Much About the Civil War by Kenneth C. Davis. It’s an older book (1997) but it’s comprised of actual diary entries of citizens in and around the war-torn areas. Some of the accounts are heartbreaking, some uplifting.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

Patti: The first books I really remember reading was about the Bobbsey Twins – The Secret at the Sea Shore, and Cherry Ames – Army Nurse.

Nancy: Nancy Drew mysteries. The bummer is, I’m old enough to remember when they first came out and waited somewhat patiently for the next in the series!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

Patti: I love to read, travel, eat out. And doing all three at once is even better.

Nancy: Promo, Twitter, FB. Totally away from writing … spending time with my grandchildren.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

Patti: They can find me at www.pattishenberger.com

Facebook – www.facebook.com/AuthorPattiShenberger

Twitter – @pattishenberger

And of course pattishenberger@comcast.net

Nancy: www.nancyfraser.ca

Facebook – www.facebook.com/nancyfraserauthor

Twitter – @nfraserauthor

Blog – www.nancyfraser.ca/wordpress/

Email – romwriter96@gmail.com

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

GIVEAWAY TIME!!

Name the Hotel!

As part of a tour-wide giveaway the authors are offering one lucky winner the chance to not only name the hotel which will appear in the second McCade Legacy novel, but will also have their name used as a character in the book as well! The winner will also receive a copy of Gambling on Love and a copy of the second book when it becomes available.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Purchase Links:

Purchase from Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/gambling-on-love-nancy-fraser/1115213928

Puchase from iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/gambling-on-love/id642292916?mt=11

Purchase from Kobo: http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Gambling-on-Love/book-aftKHQRQpEuwineHwZWX8w/page1.html

Book Description:

Mississippi after the Civil War isn’t easy when you’re a willful young lady nor if you’re a slave, and Felicity is determined to make their lives better. She devises a plan to move her father’s illegally indentured workers North. After conning Jake McCade, the owner of the gambling river boat known as the River Maiden, into helping her, she, disguised as a boy, accompanies her slaves. Everything is going according to plan until Jake gets a little too close and discovers her subterfuge.

While Jake and Felicity find themselves in agreement about helping the slaves, they are at odds over everything else, including their quickly escalating feelings for one another.

When her father catches up to them, it’s either marriage or jail for Jake, so they decide to chance the wedding –for propriety’s sake. Will gambling on love be a bust or reap a happily ever after?

 

Check out the rest of the tour! http://www.entangledinromance.com/2013/05/29/gambling-on-love-blog-tour/