Friday, February 3, 2017

Can't Stop Loving You by Miranda Liasson - Book Review, Guest Post, Excerpt & Giveaway

 
Review by Suze

Bella and Roman used to be deeply in love when they were teenagers, until something devastating broke them up. Many years later they are still not completely over what happened to them. While she's almost thirty Bella is still single and no man ever made her feel like Roman did. She's moved on though. She's a successful psychologist and she runs a group for single seniors, mostly women. Her clients adore her. Bella's brother is almost grown up and she's been like a mother to him. Her father has a garden center in Mirror Lake and she helps him whenever she can. That means Bella's days are filled, but something is missing. Bella's friends try to make her life complete by sending her on blind dates, but will she ever find someone she can love as much as Roman?

Roman has inherited his grandparents' orchard and is back in Mirror Lake for good. He has big plans for the future and knows exactly what should be done to achieve his goals. He's living alone and hasn't been able to find someone like Bella. Living in Mirror Lake again means that he's bound to meet Bella and when it happens he instantly knows his feelings for her haven't changed. There's been so much heartbreak in the past and Bella's father isn't his biggest fan, so is there a second chance for them or is it better for Roman to stay away from her?

Can't Stop Loving You is a beautiful story about true love. The main characters are wonderful and easy to like. Bella is kind, fiery and protective. Roman is a real gentleman, he is gorgeous inside and out. The story is set in both the past and the present and it's clear from the beginning that they are the one for each other and have found their soul mate. Their love is like a ray of sunshine, it sparkles and lights everything up. This put a big smile on my face, but also brought sadness because they didn't get a proper chance together. Miranda Liasson has written an amazing book about two very special people whose struggles are raw, realistic and moving.

Can't Stop Loving You is set in a small town. Miranda Liasson describes the inhabitants and the town itself in a vivid and colorful way. Bella has an Italian background and Roman a Greek, which adds extra temperament to the story and I liked that a lot. Strong emotions are having an important function because of the tempestuous nature of the relationship between the two. There are many fantastic layers, the story is fascinating, passionate and incredibly romantic. Bella and Roman's feelings are intense and it wasn't difficult for me to understand them and sympathize with everything they were going through. The happy moments made me smile and the sad and tragic ones brought tears to my eyes. Can't Stop Loving You is a terrific spellbinding story. I absolutely loved this book.

Advice

If you like romantic stories about true love, second chances and strong emotions you will love this book.

About Miranda Liasson

 
Miranda Liasson loves to write stories about courageous but flawed characters who find love despite themselves, because there’s nothing like a great love story. And if there are a few laughs along the way, even better! She’s a former Golden Heart winner who writes contemporary romance for Montlake Romance, Entangled, and soon for Grand Central. She lives in the Midwest with her husband, three kids, and Posey, a rescue cat with attitude.

Links
 

Guest post
 
Christmas Movies and Stories of Redemption and Forgiveness
by Miranda Liasson
 
The other night, I was watching the end of a Hallmark channel movie when my husband walked into the room.
 
“Don’t ruin it,” I said. (He can’t help himself. His urge to say something, usually sarcastic, is too great.)
 
“Are they about to live happily ever after?” he asked, sitting down beside me.

“Shh,” I said. “Don’t talk. Just watch.”
 
The heroine was climbing up a ladder, her job to place the star atop the community center Christmas tree. (The community center that was saved from the wrecking ball, of course.)
 
“She’s going to fall, and the hero is going to catch her,” he predicted. (That’s the other thing he does. Tries to guess everything that’s going to happen. Anyone need a spare husband?)
 
“The hero is across the room,” I said. “She’s not going to fall. Please go away.”
 
At the top of the ladder, the cute German Shepherd that was in the movie nudged the ladder, causing the heroine to wobble precariously. The hero bolted across the room and was there in a flash!
 
Sure enough, she fell right into his arms, creating a beautiful moment where they shared a Christmas kiss. (No tongue. Because it’s Hallmark!) The movie ended.
 
“I should’ve been a romance writer,” my husband said, complimenting himself on his ability to predict things.
 
Honestly, I did not see that coming. Know why? Because I was under the magic spell of Hallmark Christmas movies. Sometimes (okay, often) sappy, always emotional, they bring out everything we love and hate about Christmas. But in general, they are about love. About mending fences. Facing up to your past. Correcting past wrongs. Finding someone who loves you for who you are and brings out the best in you (never the rich guy with lots of money and terrible parents).
 
“Let’s watch another one,” my husband said, putting his arm around me and settling in. Because secretly, he can’t resist the pull either. Now if only I could get him to watch in silence!
 
About Can't Stop Loving You.
 
Lovers of romance understand that these stories, both on the screen and between the pages, touch longings deep within us to reconcile our own pasts, forgive ourselves for mistakes, and experience our deepest hopes and dreams for a loving relationship and family. Things are often far from perfect in a lot of these story worlds. But we latch onto the hope of things getting better for the hard-working but flawed heroine and the sincere, heart-of-gold hero. We want them to find happiness just like we want ourselves and our loved ones to find peace and a good, loving life.
 
The couple in my new release, CAN’T STOP LOVING YOU, truly have a lot of fence mending to do. Separated by a tragedy in their teenage years, they haven’t really spoken in twelve years. The story is about love, loss, friendship, family, and the idea that you have to confront your past in order to move on to the future.
 
Arabella D’Angelo worked hard to escape her past and move on—not an easy feat in her small town—until one day it returns in the form of her 6’2” darkly handsome, enigmatic first love, Roman Spikonos, who is settling back into town to take over his grandfather’s orchards, right next to her traditional Italian family’s garden center.
 
Arabella fell in love hook line and sinker with Roman Spikonos in high school. Their love was explosive, wonderful, and all-consuming…until she found herself pregnant, causing her to leave her private high school and give up her scholarship to the out-of-state she’d dreamed of attending. Yes, she was that girl in high school. And just like that, all her dreams fell apart. The life she’d imagined was nothing near the life she was suddenly forced to live.
 
And because of the anger of her traditional Italian father, she had to make an awful, heartbreaking choice that cost her everything. And then she had to somehow find the strength to move forward with her life.
 
My heroine undergoes a tremendous amount of growth as she is forced to confront feelings she’s swept under the rug for years, not only with Roman but also with her very supportive friend Ethan, and last but not least, her own father. CAN’T STOP LOVING YOU is a romance, and is told from both the hero and heroine’s points of view, but I consider it first and foremost Bella’s story.
 
I hope the end result is an emotional but hopeful read and a beautiful love story that took a very bumpy path to come full circle.

Excerpt
 
Just then, Bella saw a man walking toward her from across the square. She looked the other way, pretending to be fascinated by a couple of little kids kicking up leaves. Because she’d know that sweeping, confident gait, that straight-as-a-cornstalk carriage, those big, strong shoulders anywhere. And the way her limbs were going weak, the way her heart had catapulted into her stomach like a basketball and her breaths were coming raggedly, her body knew it, too. All that told her that the man striding quickly toward her was no surfer guy. It was Roman.

She glanced up to find him standing there, wearing jeans and a black sweater. Looking like sin, as usual.

“Oh, it’s you,” she said, trying to sound disappointed, but she couldn’t help smiling a little. “I’m expecting my big, burly, blond Swedish date.” When she showed him the photo on her phone, his response was an emphatic grunt.

He sat next to her on the bench, his leg grazing hers unapologetically. He smelled like woodsy cologne and shaving cream, and it was making her giddy. Like he’d just had a shower and was going out for the night. Maybe he was. An image of him on a date with some gorgeous woman floated through her mind. Him laughing and sipping wine with someone and caressing her hand across the table.

She pushed back that image. It made her uncomfortable. Sad. It was only a matter of time before he met someone. He was too good looking, too funny, too chivalrous. Too everything.

His leg touched hers again, but he didn’t say anything, like excuse me or oops. It seemed . . . intentional. Yet he sat there, focused on watching the sun sink over those gorgeous trees, that New England autumn post-card view . . .

She couldn’t take it anymore. She moved away into her own personal space. “Oh, for the love of God, what are you doing here?”

He sat up a little straighter. Eyeballed her in a way that confused her . . . he seemed hesitant, very unlike him, who usually said what he meant and didn’t play games. Finally he spoke. “Your date’s not showing tonight.”

“Oh.” Great. Apparently she was being stood up based on appearance only, since Jess had told her she’d e-mailed her date a photo. That was confidence inspiring. And worse was that Roman knew she was being stood up. Not only knew but came bearing the news. Wait a minute . . . She stopped in the middle of gathering up her purse. “How do you know that?”

He leaned forward on the bench, resting his elbows on his legs, tapping his fingers together. “Trust me, he’s not your type.”

“You interfered with my date? How could you? I thought we talked about this.”

Roman sighed heavily. He turned toward her and spoke. “Your date’s not showing because he doesn’t exist.”

Her heart skipped a beat. Or two. “Did you annihilate him?”

“No, I made him up. I gave Jess a stock photo to show you.”

“To play a joke on me?” Why would he do that? Her throat felt lumpy. Through everything, she thought at least they were friends. “That is the lowest—”

He grabbed her by the shoulders. “Bella,” he said and shook her a little. “Look at me.”

She did, through narrowed eyes. When she saw his face, all the fight whooshed right out of her, like a balloon let loose before it’s tied. There was something different about him tonight. A graveness. The way he looked at her was just different, like he was not joking or being sarcastic. In fact, he looked dead serious, those big brown eyes staring right at her, those long, lovely lashes looking sinfully angelic on such a gorgeous hunk of man.

“I did it because I want to be your date for tonight.” She must have still looked confused, because he said, “I knew you’d never agree to it the regular way.”

All Bella’s critical body parts were humming. She was filled with elation, with hope. Maybe it was wine or desperation or the upcoming birthday, she didn’t know. But she had the distinct feeling she was about to do something reckless, and like it.

She must’ve looked dumbstruck because he repeated, “I want to take you on a date.”

“Take me on a date?” she echoed. A bright bulb, she was indeed.

“Yeah, you know”—he pointed back and forth between the two of them—“go out together, you and me. Tonight.”

“I’m not so sure that’s a good idea. Our history, you know.” Their history was a mess, and they both knew it.

“Right, right,” he said, pretending to contemplate that. “But still.”

But still what? “Why me?” she asked. It came out sounding very quiet and clogged, because she was having difficulty getting the words out.

“I think you know why.” His eyes dropped to her lips. Her stomach dropped to her feet. Oh God.

Date him? That would be foolish. Do him? Even worse. To her horror she realized she wanted to. A lot.

Giveaway

 
One very lucky reader of With Love For Books will win a signed paperback copy of Can't Stop Loving You by Miranda Liasson.
 
 
The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. Please add withloveforbooks@gmail.com to your list of approved email addresses. All of our giveaways are international.

38 comments:

  1. Can't stop loving you sounds like a fun romance. Thank you

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  2. This sounds like a wonderful read and would love to read in print and post 2 reviews! Thank you for the chance and this always is a good site as the review and preview of the books are always so good.

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  3. If you can read this without thinking of Ray Charles then you're a better man than I am.

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  4. This sounds like a great book and I love the cover.

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  5. The book review and excerpt sounds intriguing. Thanks for sharing. Love the cover and guest post too.

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  6. Love the book review & excerpt ~ definitely a book I would love to read! Thanks for sharing!

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  7. Suze, thanks so much for your very kind review! It warmed my heart and made my day. xo Miranda

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  8. Congrats on the new release! Lovely cover. Thanks for sharing the great excerpt.

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  9. Sounds like a classic love story :) Sometimes it's refreshing to read a story that has probably happened to many of us. I'd love to read this book :)

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  10. The review is positive . I guess it's my sort of book . I would love to get it because I'm from India and I don't have a single signed copy :'(

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  11. Thanks for the giveaway.

    mia2009(at)comcast(dot)net

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  12. The reviews are very intriguing! Absolutely love the sound of this book!

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  13. Thanks for the review and giveaway!

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  14. There seems to be a lot of good books around and this sounds like one of them

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  15. This book looks Great Miranda ! I can't wait to read this book !!!

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  16. I want you to thank for your time of this wonderful read!!! I definately enjoy every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff of your blog a must read blog!
    buy facebook photo likes

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  17. Sounds a great read

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  18. I love Miranda! Loved her 'Heart and Sole' story. I can't wait for the next book of this!

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  19. I look forward to reading your new book

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  20. Lovely giveaway! Your book sounds wonderful!

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  21. Love the sound of this book. Thanks for the chance x

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  22. Love, love, love. This is just my kind of read and I'm really excited to read it.

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  23. Looks like my kind of book. Good luck everyone!

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  24. hope you sell lots of copies

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  25. Oh I cannot wait to read this! I love when they are reunited again years later! Cannot wait to see what happens between them!

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  26. Looks great! (@PeanutHog)

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  27. Book me in

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  28. look a fab read on my shopping list

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  29. I love to be surprised by a new book, sometimes they are really good.

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