Monday, March 3, 2014

Spotlight: Book Two in the French Kiss Series by Gwen Jones

A little while ago I was fortunate enough to read Wanted: Wife by Gwen Jones.  It was a fabulous debut - a perfect combination of wit, humor and romance with a dash of sexiness thrown in for good measure.

Book Two in the series - tentatively titled My Dear Captain is set for release by Avon Impulse in September.   Andy Devine’s half-brother, Marcel Mercier, is a billionaire playboy who unwittingly falls for the only female captain in his shipping fleet - and you can have a sneak peek at the first chapter here

In case you missed my review of Wanted: Wife I've re-posted below, along with details of the book and Gwen.

Title: Wanted:  Wife
Author:  Gwen Jones
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Publication Date:  June 4, 2013

Andy Devine is advertising for a wife on a utility pole, and interviewing him is the last thing TV reporter Julie Knott needs. Especially after her cheating fiancé just tweeted their disengagement. Now she has got to choose: get the story—or become it?

Wanted: Wife

Landed, Financially Secure 40-Yr-Old Male

* Handsome, but with old-school communication skills and a secret past *

Seeks Healthy, Athletic Female

* Preferably a pretty reporter with a messy love life who has never spent a day in the woods *
For Marriage and Family
* What could possibly go wrong? *
If you love the humor and romance of Rachel Gibson and Susan Elizabeth Phillips, don't miss the fabulous debut of Gwen Jones

Wanted: Wife is a quirky story about finding love in the most unexpected places - a fabulous debut book from Gwen Jones.

Julie Knott is a TV reporter on the upward climb of her career.  Engaged, viewer popularity growing and a wedding to end all weddings just two weeks away – what more could you ask for??  How about your fiancé NOT leaving you for his ex and tweeting the ‘disengagement’ before he’s even finished the conversation with you??  That’s exactly what happens to Julie and before she knows it she’s single, homeless and seemingly all out of options.
That is, until she heads out to cover the story of Andy Devine, who’s advertised to find himself a wife by posting flyers on utility poles.  She arrives in Iron Bog with camera man Denny in tow to interview Andy and film the wife interview process.  What she is not prepared for is “the most stunning man I’d ever laid eyes on” who also happens to be incredibly smooth, intelligent, and absolutely set on having Julie as his wife. 

The two enter into a rather unconventional relationship and the story follows what transpires between them.  Both Julie and Andy aren’t being completely honest with each other from the outset.  Told from Julie’s point of view we know what her angle is and whether you agree or disagree with it, you at least have some understanding of why she’s agreed to enter into the relationship with Andy.  When it comes to Andy, there’s this mystery surrounding him.  He seems almost too good to be true at times but I did wonder just what it was that was going to come to light and bring everything unstuck. 

The two have an undeniable chemistry and some of the banter and exchanges between them were gorgeous:
”So . . . I guess we can pretty much agree we’re attracted to each other.”
God, he was so cute.  “You can say that.”
He leaned back against a post, taking me with him.  “Even though we may have nothing in common?”
I pushed up on my toes, brushing my lips against his.  “Seems like we’ll have a lot of time to find out.  We’ve already taken a big leap.”
“By getting married”, he concluded, kissing the corner of my mouth.
“By falling seriously in lust,” I said, kissing him right back.
For a “wordly” television reporter, Julie is incredibly naive when it comes to relationships.  Mind you, not having had great success with them in the past, and starting off in such an unorthodox fashion as she does with Andy, it’s not really that surprising.  There was lots of lessons for Julie throughout the story and she really did become a different person:
Where was Andy?  But then, where was I?  And where in hell was I going?  If this was a precursor to what my life would be like later on, then I’d better get used to it.  Damn reckless of me not to see what lay down the road, naive of me to think it would be easy.  And shame on me for thinking I could come out the other end the same.
I really enjoyed Wanted: Wife.  It was funny, it was sexy, it was romantic and is definitely worth picking up.

4 out 5 stars

Gwen Jones, after spending years writing several unpublishable novels, decided to learn what she was doing wrong or give it all up. So after earning an MFA in Creative Writing from Western Connecticut State University, she’s now so good they even allow her to teach there. An unabashed born-and-bred native of Southern New Jersey and the Jersey Shore, she lives with her husband, Frank, and the absolute cutest cat in the world, Gracie.