Thursday, August 13, 2015

"Audrey's Promise" by Susan Sheehey!
*Review, Dream Cast, Soundtrack & Excerpt*

*Materials & images provided by Girls Heart Books Tours.
~Originally published in October, 2013; re-posted for our TBT Review!


~Published: July 24, 2013

~Published By: The Wild Rose Press

~Genres: Chick-Lit, Contemporary Romance

Goodreads

Audrey Allen is poised to become the youngest Texas senator, a position that fits her nickname, The Peacemaker. But she's unable to make peace with many in her hometown, where memories and grudges run deep from a decade-old tragedy. 

Ethan Tanner, an ambitious and tantalizing journalist, joins her at Thanksgiving for an in-depth look at the promising candidate. But he has an agenda of his own that's not entirely honorable.
Ethan could stir up trouble for her budding career, or awaken the deep passions she's buried for so long. Will Ethan find that he values love more than getting the story?


  “I do not want to give an interview to the Dallas Morning Journal’s most ruthless investigative journalist, just so he can write one of his infamous exposés. He’s a glorified dirt digger.” With each word Audrey lowered her voice.
       Though hidden in shadows, Audrey could see the figure smile, or more precisely the cheeks rise, in a mocking grin. He wasn’t tall, maybe an inch higher than her, but something about his air that screamed “dare me.”        “Shh. Peacemaker face,” Miranda whispered back just as they approached the dreaded figure.
       Audrey took a deep breath, forcing her diplomatic smile once again and braced herself for another onslaught. Ethan finally pushed himself away from the wall and stepped out from the shadows.
       Every impression Audrey had of male journalists consisted of pushy individuals in casual and baggy clothing, often appearing as if they had just rolled out of bed and grabbed their bags from a city dumpster.
       Ethan’s wrinkled sports jacket and cargo pants certainly fit the stereotype, but everything else about this journalist shook her resolve.
       Damn, it has to be illegal to have a smile that charming. The way it spread across his shaven jaw line and cheeks and up to the corners of his light gray eyes stunned her. The color matched his sports coat and glimmered under the studio lights as he reached out to shake hands. Strong hands, hmm. Smooth chin, wide shoulders, and short mahogany hair that curled at the ends. Now Audrey knew how he’d managed to dig up so much dirt in his career. He’d wooed it out of his sources with his slick style.
       All his charm and momentum vanished the second he opened his mouth.
“Audrey Allen, pleasure to meet you, but I only dig up dirt on the weekends. The rest of the time I just watch the stories unravel themselves.”
       “And you just happen to be watching from a shaded corner every time?”
Audrey pulled away from his soft hand, amazed by his strong grip. Its warmth countered his cold words.
       “That’s what makes me good at my job. Speaking of which, I’d love to catch you in a corner...for a quick chat.” The glimmer in his eye was hard to miss.
       Slippery and full of...something. A wannabe Casanova. Another check in the journalist stereotype. If Audrey wasn’t so occupied with trying to dislike him, she might feel sorry for him.
       “I’m sure you would,” Audrey murmured, hiding a smirk.
       “We’re interested to see how your columns for this runoff election will play out. What will you focus on for these pieces?” Miranda chucked her empty Starbucks cup in a nearby trashcan and flung her ponytail off her shoulder. Hard as nails when she needed to be, and Audrey needed it for this one.
“Well, I like more casual conversations. Fireside chats, so to speak.” He winked his long lashes at Audrey.        What was he searching for, an interview or a date?        “Do you plan on asking the same questions with Wyatt Williams? The same fireside chat?” Audrey let her smirk rise to the surface. The more this guy got on her nerves, the more she liked throwing a curve ball at him.        “I’m equally fair with all my interviews.”        “And equally brutal.” Audrey wanted it to sound like an insult, but why did this feel like flirting? She never bantered with media. What are you doing?      
       “I’ll be up front, Audrey.” Ethan pulled out a hand recorder. “What ghosts do you have in your closet?” The wink he threw at her didn’t disguise the seriousness of his intent, despite the playful tone.
       “Don’t you mean skeletons?” Miranda interrupted.                “Nope, ghosts.”
       “What’s the difference?” Miranda eyed the recorder.
       “Skeletons are only scary. Ghosts from your past can truly haunt you.”
       “Aren’t you a little old to believe in ghosts?” Audrey asked with an infectious smile.
       “No. They make my job the most entertaining.” The light flashed in Ethan’s eyes and his grin became wicked. Audrey’s heart thudded against her sternum. It wasn’t fair to look that enticing.


       “Sorry to burst your pubescent bubble, but Halloween is over.” Audrey smiled through Miranda’s chuckle. But she couldn’t take her eyes off Ethan, assessing his resilience. Would he push and badger just like every other journalist? Were his cojones as big as he flaunted?




Susan writes contemporary romance, romantic suspense and women's fiction. After spending six years in the corporate world, her true passion wouldn't let go and she's been writing ever since. She lives and laughs in Texas with her husband and son.

~ Connect with Susan Online ~

Goodreads ~ Website ~ Twitter

~ 4/5 Roses ~

I thoroughly enjoyed the plot in this book.  While somewhat predictable, there were plenty of surprises, twists and turns to keep you guessing.  Like any great contemporary romance chick-lit story, it was full of love, emotion, pain, angst, and just a dash of drama.  Every situation that came up, makes you hope the story will get better soon, and keeps you needing to know what happens next. 

It did remind me somewhat of the film “27 Dresses,” especially when comparing Ethan's character to the main male lead in that story.  The hard-nosed investigative journalist, determined to get the story, no matter what.  Following a politician who, up until he came along, had a clean reputation and no scandals to keep her from achieving her goals.  Said politician, easily negotiating and bringing peace to chaotic situations, has to deal with the tornado of emotions the journalist causes in her life, and her heart.  Together, these two make a match as unlikely, as it is perfect. 

Overall, I really enjoyed this book.  Since it is an adult contemporary romance, there was one area of  somewhat graphic content, although still clean enough to allow me to keep reading.  One thing I loved most about this book, were the alternating view-points.  They weren't completely structured, but flowed with the story perfectly.  When the focus needed to shift from Audrey to Ethan in the story, the view-point changed, and kept the events unfolding naturally.  The alternating view-point can sometimes be tricky to write, but in this case, was done brilliantly.  Thankfully, this book is very well written, and one of the best contemporary romance novels I've read in a while.  I would recommend this book to any fan of contemporary romance or chick-lit.

*I was given an eCopy of this book, from the author via Girls *Heart* Books Tours, to read in exchange for an honest review.

&
Character Bios  By Susan Sheehey

~Main Characters~

Amy Adams as Audrey Allen
28 years old, a promising Texas State Senate candidate that works as a Senator’s Office Manager. Incredibly intelligent and pursues civil service in memory of another and to champion a Women’s Crisis Center in her district. During childhood, she loved playing with her “Irish-twin” brother Adam, and their best friend Jack. Through high school she was a promising artist with incredible artwork, and the town prankster. She was a self-proclaimed outcast, marching to the beat of her own drum. She intended to go to art school after high school, but a tragedy during senior year changed her directions. Because of the tragedy, Audrey holds a deep aversion and distrust for the media: journalists, news anchors, and photographers. Her opinion is that media will only present one side of a story to boost their ratings, even if it’s untrue. She prefers her campaign be more focused on the issues and doing what’s right than pandering to constituents and posing for photo-ops.

James Marsden as Ethan Tanner
29 years old, a journalist for the Dallas Morning Journal that is famous for investigative techniques and uncovering scandals. He hopes to find something unsavory in Audrey’s seemingly unflappable demeanor and pristine track record, so it will propel him into a more coveted role with a New York based newspaper. Ethan holds a very warped view on the world, with a deep animosity for politicians. After years of working for a tabloid-junkie editor/boss, Ethan developed an even more warped view of relationships. When he meets Audrey and uncovers a few secrets, he thinks this is the chance of a lifetime. But her generosity, intelligence, and passion reignites a softer side of him he’d thought lost. The belief and trust in the good side of human nature.

~Side Characters~


Sam Worthington

(from Clash of the Titans, Avatar)

as

Adam Biddinger

Sean Bean
(from National Treasure, The Lord of the RingsPercy Jackson)

as
Paul Biddinger

(father)

Fionnula Flanagan

(from Dinvine Secrets of the YaYa Sisterhood, The Others, Yes Man)

as

Myrna Biddinger

(mother)

Sara Paxton

(from Sydney White, Superhero Movie, Return to Halloweentown)

as 

Adelaide Biddinger

(sister)

Sandra Bullock

(from The Proposal, Miss Congeniality, Divine Secrets of the YaYa Sisterhood)

as

Miranda Gates


Darren Criss

(from Glee)

as

Canyon Wilde

William H. Macy

(from Sahara, Wild Hogs, Seabiscuit)

as

Bose McGevin

Zac Efron

(from The Lucky One, High School Musical,  17 Again)

as

Jackson Davis


Can you share your idea of the perfect soundtrack to Audrey’s Promise with us?

Various songs come to mind for the different chapters. Below is a list of music that I either listened to while writing a particular scene, or fits the tone of the events taking place. It’s fairly eclectic going back and forth from contemporary songs, to instrumentals, and alternative. Try to listen to these as you read it. Hope you enjoy!

Chapter 1: “Learning to Breathe” by Switchfoot

Chapter 3: “Eyes Open” by Taylor Swift (acoustic)

Chapter 4: “Secrets” by One Republic

Chapter 5: “Where Are You Going” by Dave Matthews Band

Chapter 10: “Be Here Now” by Ray Lamontagne
“You And I” by Lady Gaga

Chapter 13: “This Love” by Craig Armstrong/Elizabeth Fraser

Chapter 15: “Titanium” by Madilyn Baily (acoustic)

Chapter 16: “You” by Switchfoot

Chapter 17: “Any Other Name” by Thomas Newman

Chapter 18: “Perseverance” by Michele McLaughlin

Chapter 20: “Walk Away” by Ben Harper

Chapter 21: “What I Didn’t Know” by Anenaeum

Chapter 24: “Pretty Girl (The Way)” by Sugarcult

Chapter 25: “About Today” by The National

Chapter 27: “The Descent” by Michele McLaughlin

Chapter 28: “Home” by Phillip Phillips

Chapter 29: “Look After You” by The Fray

Chapter 30: “Gravity” by John Mayer

Chapter 32: “Comfortable” by John Mayer

Chapter 34: “No One” by Cold

Chapter 35: “My December” by Linkin Park

Chapter 36: “A Thousand Years” by The Piano Guys

Chapter 37: “Somewhere Only We Know” by Keane

Epilogue: “Say (All I Need)” by One Republic



Well, I obviously really enjoyed this book.  I love the dream cast the author put together, and think it would make a pretty darn good movie!  What do you guys think, does this book sound interesting?  Would it make a good movie with the cast assembled?
Let us know in the comments below!

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Thanks for stopping by!

3 comments:

  1. This was a fantastic book guys!! Be sure to enter the giveaway, for your chance to win a copy!! :D


    ~Rose

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you all so much!! Good luck on the drawing!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank YOU Susan- you wrote a great book! :)

    ReplyDelete

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