Saturday, November 17, 2012

Once Upon A Second Chance blog tour: review & giveaway

Once Upon A Second Chance by Marian Vere
Adult contemporary romance*Paperback & e-book, 210 pages
Published November 6th 2012 by Omnific Publishing (first published November 2012)

What happens to your Happily-Ever-After when your Fairy Godmother doesn't show up for work?

Julia Basham’s life was perfect. She was finally done with school, about to start an internship with a prestigious financial company which would lead to a great job and, best of all, she’d just become engaged to her very own Prince Charming, Nicholas Kerkley. Unfortunately, while Nick was warm, intelligent, and completely devoted to Julia, he was also a college dropout, with no job to speak of, and almost completely broke. While none of his shortcomings were a problem for Julia, they were a big problem for her older sister Lisa, who told her that a guy like Nick wasn’t proper marriage material for a girl on the fast track to success, Julia began to reconsider the relationship. Although she didn’t wholeheartedly agree with Lisa, after some thought Julia decided that she would take her sister’s advice and end her engagement with Nick, convincing herself that it was the right thing to do. Only after breaking Nick’s heart, and her own in the process, did Julia realize what a horrible mistake it was. 

As the story opens nearly a decade later, Julia is the quiet shadow of the woman everyone thought she’d be, who’s once fulfilling life has fallen into a stale and safe existence. Her shell of a world is thrown into upheaval when she finds out that the financial planning team she works for has taken on a new client; a now successful and very rich Nick Kerkley. Stuck in a horribly awkward situation, Julia makes a decision–take charge, step up, and find her own happy ending. However, she quickly realizes that fairy tales aren’t as strait forward as we’ve been brought up to believe. Sometimes, to get to happily ever after, you have to stop waiting for fate, strap on a pair of wings, and be your own fairy godmother.

Once Upon A Second Chance, is a modern yet whimsical take on Austen’s classic love story, Persuasion.

About the author:

Marian Vere is a twenty eight year old writer of Women's Fiction. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, she received her degree from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania in--oddly enough--vocal music performance, only to later discover her love of writing and storytelling. Marian is represented by Carly Watters of PS Literary, and currently lives in the suburbs of Chicago with her Husband, and two daughters. 

As much as I love Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen's Persuasion is my favorite story.  Anne Eliot and Captain Wentworth's tale simply tugs at my heart strings. When I read the summary for Once Upon A Second Chance, a contemporary romance by Marian Vere, I knew I had to read it.

Marian Vere's debut adult romance is clean, sweet, and enchanting. Julia is a humorous heroine, at times sad over her decision to not marry the love of her life, Nick. Eight years pass before they meet again when he becomes her firm's client. While on a business trip to Maine, Julia feels the similar pangs of affection for the good looking, now successful, Nick, except she believes he's interested in someone else. That someone is her co-worker, Bree. There are some similarities to Persuasion, but Anne's father and family friend are missing, as are other characters from Austen's novel. What Vere has added is that magical element--the fairy godmother. I liked Julia's rationale on fairy tales as she explained in one one passage. Throughout everything, from seeing Nick flirt with another woman, to deciding to take charge of her life and go after what she wants, Julia keeps her sense of humor and that's part of her charm.

Speaking of charm, Nick was a pure heart throb. Unlike in Persuasion, Vere gives us Julia and Nick's HEA so we don't have to wonder what happened after their reunion scene. Here we are treated to page after page of this couple reveling in their finding each other again. Once Upon A Second Chance is a fast read, I read my copy in a couple of hours, and I enjoyed the pure romanticism of this story. There are lots of characters to like but Julia and Nick are the stars of this tale and I let myself get swept up in their love story. Fairy tales have winged grandmothers waving wands; romance readers have authors like Marian Vere sprinkling magic with their words, helping us believe in love, soul mates and happy endings.

Rating: 4 really liked it

Favorite excerpt: (From Nick's Best Man speech) "Real love is rare. It's something that, quite honestly, I believe very few people ever truly experience.
However, when love--real love--finds you, I believe you'll recognize it instantly. Chris and Bree have gotten something of a hard time about the fact that they got engaged within a month of being introduced. That may seem strange to some of us, but that's the thing about real love: when you know, you know. When you meet that one special person, somewhere deep inside, your soul recognizes its other half. Somehow you know that you have found the person who will make you happy for the rest of your life, the person who makes you the man or woman you were meant to be. It's not easy to come by, and it's easy to be fooled. However, I've always believed that the real thing is worth waiting for." Fooled. He thinks he was fooled.

I am still sitting perfectly still, staring at the empty space beside Nick. The only difference is that now I can't even blink, because if I do, the tears swimming in my eyes will spill over, and I can't allow that.

"Now, as for me," he continues after a pause, "I'm still waiting. But as someone who is still waiting, I can tell you that Chris and Bree remind me of what exactly it is that I am waiting for. And I think I can speak for everyone here tonight when I say that seeing the two of you --" he turns to face Chris and Bree "--and the love that you so obviously share, gives us all a little more faith in love and a little more hope in that age-old idea of happily ever after. Congratulations, and all the best to you." He raises his glass; we follow his lead, drink, and applaud. Nick takes his seat, and as soon as discreetly possible, I steal quietly out of the room and lock myself in a bathroom stall."

Cover comment: Very cute, though at first glance, one might mistake this cover for a YA.

Book source: Received a complimentary e-ARC in return for my honest review during a book tour.
The author is giving away (5) swag bags that include a magic wand charm necklace, a magic wand book mark, and custom lip gloss with the book art. Open to US only. The publisher is giving away (5) ebook copies of ONCE UPON A SECOND CHANCE. Open International.
U.S. only Rafflecopter
International Rafflecopter

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