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Friday, May 11, 2018

TLC Book Tours presents... MY OXFORD YEAR by Julia Whelan

 HI there!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

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Today, we're joining TLC Book Tours as we help close out a tour that's been making its way through the blogosphere.  It stars a newly released title via William Morrow Paperbacks that fits into several categories...Fiction, Women's Fiction, and Contemporary Romance.  The story itself brings to mind the works of Cecila Ahern and Jojo Moyes, but in the end, it's in a world all its own.  So, if you're ready to escape away to jolly old England and the hallowed halls of education scholarly minds have sought for decades (but trust me, are far from stuffy!), please join me as we welcome today's blog tour guest and book of choice...

Julia Whelan
William Morrow Paperbacks

About the book...
Major Motion Picture Already in Development with Temple Hill Entertainment

Set amidst the breathtaking beauty of Oxford, this sparkling debut novel tells the unforgettable story about a determined young woman eager to make her mark in the world and the handsome man who introduces her to an incredible love that will irrevocably alter her future—perfect for fans of JoJo Moyes and Nicholas Sparks.

American Ella Durran has had the same plan for her life since she was thirteen: Study at Oxford. At 24, she’s finally made it to England on a Rhodes Scholarship when she’s offered an unbelievable position in a rising political star’s presidential campaign. With the promise that she’ll work remotely and return to DC at the end of her Oxford year, she’s free to enjoy her Once in a Lifetime Experience. That is, until a smart-mouthed local who is too quick with his tongue and his car ruins her shirt and her first day.

When Ella discovers that her English literature course will be taught by none other than that same local, Jamie Davenport, she thinks for the first time that Oxford might not be all she’s envisioned. But a late-night drink reveals a connection she wasn’t anticipating finding and what begins as a casual fling soon develops into something much more when Ella learns Jamie has a life-changing secret.

Immediately, Ella is faced with a seemingly impossible decision: turn her back on the man she’s falling in love with to follow her political dreams or be there for him during a trial neither are truly prepared for. As the end of her year in Oxford rapidly approaches, Ella must decide if the dreams she’s always wanted are the same ones she’s now yearning for.


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Holy snikies!  It's the place in the book where...well, you'll see... ^-^

I went in expecting a light story about a girl exploring life in Oxford, perhaps sampling authentic fish and chips with a pint, and having adventures with new found chums to reminisce about in later years.  What I got was a bit of the preconceived but with a giant helping of SO MUCH MORE!

At first, I was worried.  Don't get me wrong, Ella was a GREAT character. At first glance, she was disarmingly innocent, but once you got her started, she was surprisingly witty, opinionated, and not about to back down for simply the sake of propriety.  No, Ella from Ohio a she was dubbed by her first jaunty restaurant encounter was a force to be reckoned with and memorable to no end...but that wasn't the worrisome part.  No, my worry stemmed from the political aspect of the story, her job away from home, if you will, while attending the infamous Oxford.  I was afraid once it cropped up initially that it would become the focal point of the story, but I was worried for naught.  Though it is a part of Ella's character per se, it's merely a piece of the ever growing puzzle not the entire picture.  *Whew!*  Anywho...

There are shenanigans from the very start as she's almost run over by a careless bloke (though she DID look the wrong way), has her blouse ruined by the very same prat, and wouldn't you know it, ends up having to see the same said prat at least once a week in her studies.  A shame really...I mean, true he's easy on the eyes, but I had a feeling he wouldn't be easy on the heart.  Admittedly, I was wrong in some ways, but then again, there was still an awful lot of heartache where these two were concerned.  The flights of fancy that Ella's life takes ends up deliciously entangled with this Jamie fellow...and while the good times roll as their agreement for a non-relationship with a deadline unfold, shaking on an arrangement means zilch when it comes to matters of the heart.

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I was truly and madly caught up in this one and was ever so grateful to be.  Life right now is complicated for me and the ability to be whisked away to another place, seeing life through another's eyes, their joys and pain, celebrations and regrets, even for a little while makes those burdens that weigh us down a little lighter.  This one reminded me greatly of those heart tugger stories we know and love...a bit P.S. I Love You and a twist on Me Before You.  There's friends to be made (Maggie, Tom, Charles...the whole lot were wonderful!), lessons to be learned, heartstrings to be pulled, and life to be experienced.  Take it from me, you'll run the emotional gambit with this one, but those highs and lows add up to a life well lived because in the end it all came down to LOVE.


About the author...

Photo by Kei Moreno
Julia Whelan is a screenwriter, lifelong actor, and award-winning audiobook narrator. She graduated with a degree in English and creative writing from Middlebury College and Oxford University. While she was in England, her flirtation with tea blossomed into a full-blown love affair, culminating in her eventual certification as a tea master.

Find out more about Julia at her website, and connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.


Special thanks to Trish at TLC Book Tours for the chance to bring this tour to you as well a the HarperCollins team for the ARC for review.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title, the author, the publisher, THIS TOUR, or those on the horizon, feel free to click through the links provided above.  This title is available now via William Morrow Paperbacks, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishing, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf or virtual retailer of your choosing.

Until next time, remember...CARRY ON...and if it looks good READ IT!


Felicity Grace Terry said...

A book I've seen featured on several blogs now, thank you for sharing your thoughts.

trish said...

You hit on some of my favorite stories: PS I Love You and Me Before You. Also, I laughed when you said she almost got ran over because she was looking the wrong way. That would totally be me in Europe!

Thanks for being on this tour!

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