Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Up Close and Personal by Jody Vitek (excerpt, review and GIVEAWAY) GFT




by Jody Vitek

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GENRE: Contemporary Romance

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BLURB:

Four years after losing her husband, Elizabeth Farefield’s mother-in-law still blames her for his death. Finding it difficult to move forward, she takes a Caribbean cruise to contemplate her future…bumping into the past.

Divorced for five years, Robert Burnhamwood is happy with his playboy ways until on a cruise, a chance meeting has him longing for something he hasn’t wanted since his first marriage...a monogamous relationship filled with love.

But when Robert’s youngest daughter retaliates against his new relationship, his oldest daughter takes up with a man against his wishes, and a rapist terrorizes her neighborhood putting his daughter at risk, a peaceful future with new found love may be beyond Elizabeth’s grasp.


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EXCERPT


“I’m sorry. Excuse me.” The beverage she held sloshed around. She regarded the man as familiar.

“No, please forgive me. I was too absorbed by the ocean.” Taller than her five-eight height, the muscular arms that held her proved he was a man who took care of his body. She stared into pale green eyes and her gaze fell to his chin.

His features took on a quizzical appearance. “Are you alright?”

“I’m fine. Thank you.” Her body froze in place.

“Liz?” He held her back by the arms. “Liz Farefield?”

With a mental shake of her head, she spoke. “Do I know you?” Her voice hitched.

“You resemble a woman I’ve met. Her name was Liz.” Releasing his hold, he stepped back. “I’m sorry,” he offered his hand, “Robert Burnhamwood. I believe we met at the opening of the Kids Kare Clinic. My firm, RB and Associates, designed it.”

Focusing more closely on Robert, her head tipped to the side as she recognized him. It was the cleft in his chin. “Yes, you’re right.” She nervously drank from her plastic glass.

Another man approached and presented his hand to Liz after handing Robert what appeared to be a beer. “Hi. Scott Jordan.”

He had jet-black hair with not a grey strand in sight. An olive skin tone gave him the appearance of Mediterranean descent.

“Liz Farefield,” she offered while shaking his hand. “Are you two traveling together?”



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AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Jody Vitek is a multi-published author with Satin Romance, an imprint of Melange Books, LLC. She has been a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA) and Midwest Fiction Writers (MFW) since 2001 and is a Provisional PAN member of RWA.
Born and raised in Minnesota, Jody remains close to home living with her husband of twenty-five plus years, three children and a cat named Holly. Growing up, she enjoyed reading V.C. Andrews’ the Dollanganger series, starting with Flowers in the Attic, S.E. Hinton, and Stephen King to name a few. Today her tastes run across the board in fiction and non-fiction, in all genres.
She has traveled throughout the United States, to the Bahamas and Cancun, Mexico. Between watching her youngest son playing soccer, maintaining one of the many scrapbook albums, gardening and being the COO of the Vitek household, she writes contemporary romances.

Contacts and Links

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GIVEAWAY


a Rafflecopter giveaway



The tour dates can be found here


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My review:




3.5 stars

Up Close and Personal is a contemporary romance with a tinge of suspense that centers around two people dealing with the challenges of balancing family responsibilities and personal happiness.  Elizabeth (Liz) Farefield, widow, has two children and an embittered mother-in-law who has not found a way to work through her grief four years after her loss.  Robert Burnhamwood has coped with the pain of his divorce by refusing to commit to one woman in his life, much to the chagrin of his eldest daughter and fanning the hopes of his youngest that the marriage will be saved.  A romantic interlude on a cruise ship forces both Liz and Robert to face their fears and decide whether to fight for a relationship but the obstacles facing them may be more than they want to deal with, particularly when their younger children vehemently oppose any change in their lives.  It’s a little difficult to make everyone happy unless compromise can be achieved, and complications with both Robert’s daughters and Liz’s son provide frightening challenges that make each of the adults face unpalatable truths and force them to decide what is truly important in life.

This gently unfolding story provides a look at the ups and downs of life when the family unit has been disrupted, by death, divorce, and fertility challenges.  There are other topics touched on, including office romance, sexual assault, parental influence, and the complications of juggling family and employer relationships.  The conflicts faced by the main characters are nicely detailed and the emotional impact of their decisions and their interactions with various individuals is portrayed with realism.  I think there are a few too many threads touched upon, as multiple points of view are shared, and the action bounces around between so many different characters that it becomes difficult to establish a rapport and become invested in each conflict.  It seems that several of the issues raised are solved a little too simplistically or conveniently while others are left dangling and the pacing of the story was a little erratic for me, with such a large percentage of the story devoted to the cruise and minimal buildup and development of the suspense aspect which became a little awkward and forced.  I think that this story would be enjoyed by those looking for a light read featuring two characters finding a second chance at love and searching for a way to blend families successfully and pleasantly for all involved.


A copy of this title was provide to me for review 

39 comments:

  1. Thank you for hosting me and your honest review.

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    1. Hi, Jody! Sorry to take so long to greet you, I am still running around madly nowadays, but hopefully things will settle down a bit next month (she says optimistically, lol). Thank you for taking the time to interact with my visitors, it is very much appreciated! Thank you also for giving me the chance to read your lovely story...I was hungry reading about all of the great meals they were having on the cruise, lol. I hope the tour is going well for you!

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  2. Replies
    1. Your welcome, and thank you for visiting, Danielle.

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    2. Good luck, Danielle. Thanks for popping in!

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  3. This sounds like my kind of book. Thanks for the giveaway!

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    1. Thank you for stopping by, Angel. Good luck.

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    2. Good to hear, Angel, hope you get a chance to read it! Thanks for dropping by!

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  4. Replies
    1. Happy you think so, Rita. Thanks for the visit!

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  5. thanks for sharing the great excerpt

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    1. You're welcome and thanks for stopping by.

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    2. Always happy to share excerpts, thanks for popping by Danie!

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  6. Sounds good. Have to check it out. :) Sue M. Van/Haven Malone

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    1. Thank you and for visiting, Haven.

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    2. Enjoy, Sue. Thanks for the visit!

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  7. Sounds like a great book. You are a new to me author and always looking for new books to check out.
    My question is what is your favorite genre to read? to write? what genre would you like to try out writing? Thanks for the chance to win.

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    1. Chris, thanks for stopping by and the questions. My favorite genre to read is romance, but I do cross into others. I write contemporary romance. As to what genre would you like to try writing, I actually did this summer. I wrote my first YA, written in first person versus my normal third person. This story is a short story and will be featured in an anthology. I wish I could write a murder suspense, but it's just not in me right now. Good luck to you.
      Do you have a favorite genre to read?

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    2. Great questions, Chris. Thank you for taking the time to visit and comment!

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  8. Great post, thanks for sharing your honest review! I'm looking forward to checking this one out myself :)

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    1. Thank you for visiting, Victoria. I hope you enjoy the book and would love to hear from you, if you decide to read it.

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    2. Great to see you, Victoria! I look forward to your review!

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  10. This sounds like a great book that touches on issues that many people have to deal with, thank you for sharing!

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    1. Betty, thank you for stopping by.

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    2. Hi, Betty! I thought it definitely covered a variety of issues. Thanks for popping in!

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  11. I enjoyed the excerpt, sounds like a really good book, thanks for sharing and for the review!

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    1. I appreciate you taking the time to visit and read everything, Eva!

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  12. Replies
    1. Thank you for the compliment, Mary, nice to see you!

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  13. Mary, thank you for stopping by.

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  14. I really enjoyed the excerpt. I'm intrigued and want to read more.

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    1. Thank you for visiting, Ree Dee. If you decide to pick it up and read it, I'd love to hear from you. You can email me, comment on my website, or let me know via Twitter or Facebook.

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  15. Replies
    1. Amy, thank you for stopping by. I love this cover, too.

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