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Saturday, September 19, 2015

Jewell by Tina DeSalvo

Hi guys and gals!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

For those of you that follow me on Twitter, you may have noticed my rants of late (well, the last 48 hours or so) about my laptop.  It may have completely bit the dust just out of the blue.  It's only about two years old and one day fine, the next SPLAT.  Nothing.  It's processing a complete wipe of the system today, so we'll see what happens when I get home (*fingers crossed*).  Worst case scenario, there's another in the house I can use...aside from my case, it's back in action minus some files/programs.  *sigh*  Computers...ugh.  Definitely a love/hate relationship, but I believe it deserves a second chance if it makes it through all of this, just like the characters in this story...
Did you like that little transition?  ^-^  Seriously though, it falls right in line with today's featured title.  It came to my attention thanks to the fab team at Author Marketing Experts, Inc and while it is the second book in a series, it reads perfectly well on its own.  Don't you just love it when that happens?  Now, I for one will be backtracking to the first book just as soon as I have a chance but for now, let's dive into this bayou read with both feet, shall we?  Today's book of choice is...
A Second Chance Novel, Book 2
Tina DeSalvo
About the book...
Once invited into New Orleans’ historic mansions to evaluate prized antiques, Dr. Jewell Duet held a coveted professorship at a top university. With her deep knowledge of Louisiana history and antiquities, she was the go-to person for anyone requiring professional appraisals. But, one hasty decision cost her both her reputation and possibly her freedom. Now, as she waits to discover if her future includes prison, Jewell knows that taking the job at Sugar Mill is necessary if she is to support her beloved grandmother who has advanced dementia.

Charming, sexy lawyer Beau Bienvenu's attraction to the intriguing historian vies with his distrust of her motives. Beau has one simple goal when it comes to the family that rescued him and made him part of their clan…protect them at all costs. He doesn't trust Jewell, nor her reason for taking the lowly job at Sugar Mill Plantation. What is she really up to? Is it possible Jewell and her quirky grandmother are there to try to profit from a Bienvenu family mystery? If so, both women are out of luck.

Jewell and Beau are at odds about almost everything. The only things they agree on are that family is everything…and that their mutual attraction is inconvenient.

 The story is certainly not as simple as it seems but it's filled with heart, laughter, tears, and secrets.  That last one is what drives a wedge between many of the characters but by book's end, all is revealed.  Along the way, we discover the intricate nature of antiquities, the ups and downs of health decline in our loved ones experienced up close and personal, and why the benefit of the doubt should be extended to everyone.  The trips down memory lane are beautiful as is the scenery depicted in the passages as we explore the backcountry of Louisiana.  Never been there myself, but I've heard it's rather nice.  Anywho, while I loved the story as it simmered along, the real draw for me were those within it.
I really enjoyed the characters in this one. Jewell may be down but she's definitely not out.  I heart her character from her unassuming beauty and spirited attitude to her colorfully cute collection of wellies.  She's a kind soul (as evidenced with her care of Mignon) with much to give and deserving of much more than a second chance.  Mignon is a sweet old soul.  Life may be throwing her lemons but she's turning them into her own version of lemonade.  The tender passages shared from her mind really touch your heart.  Elli may not be family, but she makes sure to extend her kind heart to all; a friend worth making indeed (definitely have to explore her story as told in the first book). Beau on the other hand...goodness me!  I admit he's charming, anyone with a pulse can tell you that, but his instant penchant to suspect Jewell is up to something, made me cringe from head to toe.  I mean seriously!  I understand doubt and mistrust go with his line of work ( you know why there are so many jokes about them!) but this much is ridiculous!  The evidence in support of her true nature is there while that supporting the case against is circumstantial and veiled at best.  Guess it's just the nature of the person...but once he gets his head on straight, watch out buddy; there's no stopping him (in more ways than one!).

All in all, a wonderful story and a good reminder to give people the benefit of the doubt. The love I have for the characters I met along the way (both mentioned and not because the whole cast is wonderful) is greater than I can say. I even grew to love Beau even though I SERIOUSLY wanted to swat him upside the head and drop him by the side of the road throughout most the story.  The final revelations come about in their own time, so don't go in expecting to get the whole scoop up front.  Like most things in the Bayou, they let things take their own course and you just go along for the ride.  Recommended read for Women's Fiction and Contemporary Romance fans in their later teens through adult years.
About the author...
Tina DeSalvo is a journalist in Southern Louisiana… and she is a Breast Cancer Survivor. While Elli’s story is fictional, it is inspired by Tina’s real emotions and those of the people who fought cancer alongside her. She hopes you find inspiration when you read Elli’s journey in that wonderful, difficult, joyful, and fearful time after the cancer treatment ends and a renewed life begins

Special thanks to Penny at Author Marketing Experts, Inc and author Tina DeSalvo for the copy for review (and extra SIGNED book, tote, mug, and pen!).  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title, the author, the series, or those promotions on the horizon, feel free to click through the links provided above.  This title is available now in both print and ebook formats, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf or virtual retailer of your choosing.
Until next time...happy reading!


Barbara S said...

AS ALWAYS YOUR REVIEWS ARE SIMPLY AMAZING I have been lucky enough to own this splendid novel what a love it is thank you for your insight and as always keep on bogging

Tina DeSalvo, Author said...

Hi Gina! You are a delight. I enjoy reading your blog and hearing your spirited take on books and life. I'm sorry about your tech problems and all of the reasons for your lap-top rants. I had some of my own just a few weeks ago. Ugh! I am tickled you enjoyed reading my book, Jewell! I'm glad you liked hanging out with Jewell and the cast of characters in bayou country. Thank you for the fun-to-read review! I hope you enjoy my other book in this series, Elli, a Second Chance novel, too. Thank you to the other comments too. I love, love, love getting feedback and meeting readers.

Gina R said...

My pleasure. Yes, computers are great...when they work...but books never let you down. Thanks for your enthusiastic response. I think I see where your characters get their kind spirits. :)

Lisa Hutson said...

Hey Gina, fabulous reviewing!! Professional looking and great to read!!

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