Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Blog tour: Elly In Love (The Elly in Bloom #2) by Colleen Oakes + review

Elly is back! What can we say? We were hooked on Colleen Oakes' first contemporary romance novel, Elly in Bloom. We're thrilled to participate in the second novel in The Elly in Bloom series, Elly in Love, as part of BookSparks' Summer Reading Challenge. For our stop today we are including our review as well as spotlighting Elly in Love. Enjoy the summer!

With an army of peonies, a hot chocolate and a boyfriend who smells like sandwiches, Elly in Love is here! Order your copy on Amazon today!

Elly In Love (The Elly in Bloom #2) by Colleen Oakes
Contemporary romance
Paperback, 285 pages
Published June 24th 2014 by SparkPress

The much anticipated sequel to the bestselling novel, Elly in Bloom, is finally here!

Curvy wedding florist Elly Jordan has had quite a year. First, she had to design her ex-husband’s wedding to the mistress who split them up, and then she broke up with the hottest musician this side of St. Louis. Three months have passed since then, and now Elly is primed for what promises to be the best wedding season of her life.

Helped by her loyal friends, Elly is on the verge of opening a chic flower boutique uptown when BlissBride, a popular wedding reality show, asks her to design the wedding of a famous—make that infamous--celebrity. Elly is about to get everything she’s ever wanted, when a stranger shows up at her store with a request that changes every aspect of her life--including her budding relationship with deli owner Keith. As she struggles to stay calm in the midst of growing chaos, Elly will learn the true meaning of love and sacrifice.

Filled with the heart, humor, and horticulture that made Elly in Bloom a bestseller, Elly in Love welcomes readers back to Elly’s big, beautiful, and messy life.

Buy it: Amazon

Elly is back and I have missed her! The curly blond florist mending her broken heart (explained in book one, Elly in Bloom-my review) with her new boyfriend, Keith, endures some significant changes in the second book in her charming series. 

Elly in Love is first and foremost a love story. Readers know what Elly's ex-husband did to her and I still remember that book's touching and humorous ending. And then she met deli store owner extraordinaire, Keith. Oh Keith, what a romantic and he does loves Elly but the girl with the curves needs to learn to trust again. There are changes, surprises and more changes in book two. From snarky teenager stepping up to prove herself to Elly (and does she ever!) to Elly learning about the true meaning of the word 'family' to outdoing herself in the creative department as she fights to win a showcase spot on a reality show, Elly in Love is everything I have come to expect and love in this charming and gripping series. Of course, Elly has to endure some whoppers and she does. I loved how she befriended the celebrity actress and pulled her out of the nightclub. I also enjoyed how Elly's co-workers banded together to help out during a crisis. It was nice to see the secondary characters shine and Elly outdid herself during that time (the scene with the light on her as she got lost in her work was awesome).

As much as I enjoyed Elly's story, I did expect to see more romance with Keith. I know he had a secret but Elly seemed to keep her distance from him for too much of the book. She spent a lot of time with Dennis and his storyline did sag in parts. As for Snarky Teen, this character also grew but it would be nice for her to get the recognition she now deserves-like giving her a real name.

It's always refreshing to read about realistic characters, especially in contemporary romance. Ms. Oakes gives us hot-headed, mistake-making real people with love handles, bald headed hotties, teens with earned 'tudes and a lovable heroine anyone can root for. I know I read this book for a Summer Reading Challenge, but Elly in Love can be read and enjoyed any season. And did I mention the surprise ending? Hee hee, you will have to read the book yourself to find out.

With all of her flaws intact and a huge heart, I love the Elly in Bloom series. Colleen Oakes, I am a fan.

Rating: 4 Really liked it!

Cover comment:
Similar in style to the first book's cover. I really like them. They reflect Elly's character.

Book source:
I received a promotional copy.

Here's what others are saying about Elly:
Elly is so endearing that you can’t help falling in love with her. I thoroughly enjoyed being on her journey as she dealt with love, loyalty, friendship and following her dreams. Elly in Love is a delightful story and I can’t wait to see what’s next for this character!” – Susie Orman Schnall, author of On Grace
"Colleen Oakes is a crisp, intelligent new voice in chick lit fiction, adept at handling both a character's inner and outer world. Her dialogue is brisk and clever, and her plotting is a smooth invitation to keep turning pages."Andrea Waggener, author of Alternate Beauty

"I really loved Elly in Bloom. Despite her insecurities, Ellyforges ahead to make a nice little life for herself after her divorce. It is a refreshing change of pace from the formulaic chick lit novels." - Emily Kiebel, author of Serenade

About the author:

Colleen Oakes is the author of the Elly in Bloom Series and the Queen of Hearts Saga, both published via Sparkpress. She lives in North Denver with her husband and son. When not writing, Colleen enjoys swimming, traveling, and immersing herself in nerdy pop culture. She is currently at work on the last Elly novel and another YA fantasy series called Wendy Darling.

You can visit her webpage at: www.colleenoakes.net or at her very lengthy and sometimes embarrassingly personal blog, The Ranunculus Adventures.

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