Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Hey to all the thick chicks and dudes of the world. Today we would like to introduce to you Karen Rock. She is the awesome writer of our featured book Someone Like You. Check out Karen's Love Checklist.

 The Love Checklist- by Karen Rock

It’s a perennial debate. One that goes back as far as love has existed. Do we fall for the people that meet our expectations, or do our expectations change when our heart leads the way? Many of us have a folded, dog-eared mental checklist of what we must have in the perfect mate. These traits guided us when single, helping us select our partner for life. Yet does 100% compatibility guarantee happiness? Emily Dickinson said, “The heart wants what it wants— or it does not care.” Does that give us license to follow our feelings, and ignore logic and reason, when we meet someone who takes our breath away? Or is love something that can and should be approached methodically?

When dating, I had an informal ‘code’ and even a test to determine if a guy was a ‘keeper’. Introducing him to my pets was the first task. It was crucial he liked animals. Important that they felt the same way about him. My pets were my family and no one came between me and those who loved me unconditionally. Another task was settling up the dinner bill. I know this is controversial, but on a first date, one in which I’d been invited, I hoped he’d offer to pay. It showed me a generosity in spirit that I looked for. A third task was asking something a bit embarrassing that I already knew about my date from another source. If he answered honestly, points in his favor. If not, adios. No room for liars in my life. Listening to me spiel girl power doctrine was another test to pass. I didn’t want a man who wasn’t strong enough to handle an equally strong woman.

In my latest Harlequin Heartwarming release, SOMEONE LIKE YOU, Kayleigh Renshaw has her own dating checklist. In the beginning of the book, she struggles to make sense of a broken engagement with her boss that upends her life. Recalling how her parents divorced because of incompatibility, she decides to create a smart phone app that will let people input their dating ‘must traits’ and check, before wasting time on a doomed relationship, how compatible they are. Her software designer and longtime friend, war veteran Niall Walsh, isn’t so convinced with her logic, but he’ll help her out— because of their friendship— and a dark secret he’s under orders not to reveal. This friends-to-love story challenges these two characters to figure out how to accept their new feelings for each other, and take the risk of giving up their friendship to find love.

Now it’s your turn. What’s guided you in making decisions about love? Do you have any ‘must traits’ for a partner?


About the Author

Karen Rock is an award-winning YA and adult contemporary author. She holds a master’s degree in English and worked as an ELA instructor before becoming a full-time author. With her co-author, Joanne Rock, she’s penned the CAMP BOYFRIEND series with Spencer Hill Press under the pseudonym J.K. Rock. She also writes contemporary romance for Harlequin Enterprises. Her wholesome romance, Heartwarming novels have won the 2014 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence and the 2014 Golden Quill Contest. When she's not writing, Karen loves scouring estate sales for vintage books, cooking her grandmother's family recipes and hiking. She lives in the Adirondack Mountain region with her husband, daughter, and two Cavalier King cocker spaniels who have yet to understand the concept of "fetch" though they know a lot about love. To find out about her upcoming releases, appearance and latest news, visit:


Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Title: Someone Like You
Author: Karen Rock
Genre: Contemporary, Sweet Romance
Rating: 2K1CH

You can't program love…or can you?

Kayleigh Renshaw has come up with the idea for a brilliant "compatibility app," a new kind of matchmaking software. All she needs is a programmer to help her bring the idea to market…and she knows exactly who she wants. But Niall Walsh—a code whiz and her former best friend—has been avoiding her since he returned from Afghanistan. In spite of their history, and some sparks that go beyond friendship, he's proving reluctant…. Is it her, or is something darker holding him back?

Someone Like You was a very sweet read. Kayleigh and Niall were childhood friends that developed feeling for each other before their young minds were able to actually comprehend what was happening between them. The story starts off with Kayleigh quitting her job because her boss/fiance, Brett, was found by her with another woman. After finally getting some faith in herself, she packs her bags and left her job. Brett gets into Kayleigh's mind by telling her she is an idea person not a doer so Kayleigh makes it her mission to start a new business to support herself and he deceased brother's family. On a visit to see her grandpa, Kayleigh runs into her childhood best friend Niall's sister. They go through the whole story about what happened and MaryAnne says that she is going to set a meeting between Kayleigh and Niall. You see, Kayleigh has this idea in her mind to make a compatibility app that will assist people at dating the right person. After her break-up and her parent's divorce, she feels it's important for people to be aware if they are a match for thier current or future relationships. She is excited to hear that Niall agreed to have the meeting with her because she has not been able to get in touch with him since he returned home.

Niall is a depressed war veteran that has closed himself off from the world. He knows his stuff in the IT world so he works as a programmer from home. Niall's background is deep. While in the service, he was on a classified mission that resulted in him losing his leg. There was also another causality but I won't spoil the book. Due to what happen, the guilt has eaten Niall alive so he separated himself from his family and best friend Kayleigh. When MaryAnne let him know that Kayleigh needed him and what happen, he agrees to have lunch with her. Niall knew this was going to be a business meeting but he didn't expect from those long ago feeling to come back. After Niall hears Kayleigh out her compatibility app, Niall becomes the douche that he thinks he is and rejects her ideas. Niall didn't get the whole picture on why Kayleigh is fighting for this start-up so bad until he found out that she supplements her deceased brother's family financially and the risk that this help she offers could end.

Someone Like You was a very sweet story. It's always cute to see the childhood friends eventually fall in love. It's like the parents set them up to have a future. These two have always been there for each other. They went to camp together and when Kayleigh found out her parents were divorcing, Niall was there. Even as a child, Kayleigh made the decision that she would not date a man unless he met her checklist of must traits. This chick had her ducks in a row at a very early age. Unfortunately, that list didn't help when she was planning to marry Brett. Niall had a lot of past hurdles to jump over but Kayleigh pretty much forced their relationship to get back on track. One thing I didn't like about the story is the constant reminder of the secret that Niall is keeping from her. Every time they have a super sweet moment, I get told about the secret. After about 10 times, I wanted him to just freaking time her because I didn't want to read about it anymore. That really killed the book for me. I could understand the guilt that Niall is feeling over the secret but goodness it was just too much.

Overall, Someone Like You was a super sweet. It's shows the importance of friendship and how it's ok to ask for help. Niall and Kayleigh were meant to be together and I was happy to see them make things work. I'm giving this love story 3 sultry keys.

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Check Out This Awesome Excerpt

Kayleigh’s eyes followed the hostess’s down to the run in her nylon, and she tucked one leg behind the other. “I’m here to meet a man.”

The woman’s eyes widened, and her nose piercing twitched. “Anyone in particular? There are quite a few at the bar.”

Kayleigh felt her forehead bead and started again. “His name’s Niall Walsh. He’s got dark hair…” Her voice trailed off. Did he look the same after his time in the army? She imagined his tall, wiry form and boyish handsomeness.

“She’s with me,” a husky voice interrupted her. She whirled, shocked into silence at the powerfully built man looming beside her. He’d definitely filled out from his military days. Her eyes flicked to his left leg, but not so fast that he didn’t catch her glance, his lips firming in a straight line. Warmth crept into her cheeks. She hadn’t wanted to make him feel self-conscious, but she’d gone and done it anyway. Not the best start to their reunion.

“It’s good to see you, Niall.” She searched his eyes, a jolt of familiarity zipping through her veins. The deep brown depths held the gold flecks she could count by heart, his lashes so thick they’d look girlish if not for his angular, masculine features. He’d always had high cheekbones, but now there was sharpness in his face, as if someone had chiseled out his firm, square jaw and the prominent brow that gave proportion to his strong nose and full lips.

His chestnut-colored hair was no longer clipped short, but layered lightly across his forehead and ears. He’d transformed from the young, earnest man she’d known to a hand- some stranger. She flushed despite the steady stream of cool air blowing from an overhead vent. MaryAnne should have warned her about this change. It was doing something funny to her stomach.

“Shall we?” He held out his arm, and she took it, feeling awkward. Once she would have flown into his arms, and he would have swung her, laughing. But those days seemed distant, out of reach. Hopefully, they’d loosen up over lunch. She’d lost so much since she’d last seen Niall—Chris, her job, Brett. She wondered about Niall’s losses and knew the past few years must have been very difficult for him.

They ambled through the nautically decorated restaurant, navigating a maze of dark wood tables. Kayleigh forced her racing thoughts from the man beside her and surveyed the scene. The room resembled the inside of a ship with a wood-slatted ceiling, a brass railing along the oak bar and fishing nets and lures dangling from the walls.

She peeked at Niall’s stern profile. He looked as uncomfortable as she felt. But this was Niall. The boy she’d beaten in a bubble-blowing contest when they were eleven, the teen who’d taught her how to parallel park, the high school senior who’d celebrated with her when they’d been admitted to the same college, the young man who’d promised to write her every day from Afghanistan and then had stopped communicating with her altogether.

In crisp khakis and a white polo shirt that showed off his coloring and broad shoulders, Niall looked great. He was pale, probably from staying indoors as MaryAnne mentioned, but handsome. It felt as though she looked at him through the shifting lenses at an eye doctor’s office. One minute she saw him as her old pal, and the next she glimpsed an unfamiliar man with experiences and secrets she no longer knew. How strange to feel as if she was meeting him for the first time. 


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