Review: Maid for Love (The McCarthys of Gansett Island, Book 1) by Marie Force

Marie ForceHeroine: Maddie is a single mother, scraping to get by as a maid at the McCarthy’s hotel. She’s given all the crap jobs because of her reputation as a slut. The reputation is totally unearned. The one time she had sex she got pregnant. It’s all because of her endowments in certain areas. Boys in high school were cruel and the girls were jealous. Small town life and gossip sucks a big one, but what is a girl to do? She can’t save enough to leave.

Hero: The McCarthy golden boys are rich, sexy, athletic, and excel at all they touch. Mac is so successful he is stressing out and over-committing himself to his business interests. When his girlfriend dumps him, and his doctor tells him to take a vacation, Mac packs up and heads back to Gansett Island and his family’s hotel. Along the way he literally runs into the heroine and knocks her off her bike. As a gentleman he has to help, but she doesn’t want it! Why is she so stubborn?

Review: Love small town romances? Pick up this book! Wraps up happily into a HEA! A few negatives though… you’ll want to bitch-slap the hero’s mother. She can’t take a hint and is very small minded and petty. Also a negative is Maddie’s overreaction to Mac’s attempts to fix her reputation. He did well with that, I feel. Mac is a perfect hero. He rates very high!

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: Maid for Love (The McCarthys of Gansett Island, Book 1)

Review: Love at First Flight by Marie Force

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Based on the back copy, I was fairly certain that at best this book was going to be disappointing. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The novel while sounding like it would be better in theater then in print is very entertaining. The hero and heroine start off in relationships with other people. They meet at an airport on their way to Florida to meet their respective partners. Both are long term relationships.

Juliana and Jeremy have been together for so long, their names sound as comfortable as peanut butter and jelly. Juliana is surprised to see sadness in Jeremy’s eyes when they make love. The next morning a woman calls and Jeremy tells Juliana he’s been wondering what it would be like to be with another. Devastated by this revelation, Juliana insists on breaking up – but Jeremy doesn’t want to do that. So Juliana enforces a three month separation where they can do whatever they want with whoever they want and decide later if they want to get together again or stay apart.

Michael has a big case starting. All he wants to do is write the opening for it. Instead he’s participating in a three-ring circus that is his engagement party to Paige. In reality it is a political party for her father, the Admiral. During the party, Michael sees his whole life unfolding before him jumping through hoops to please his fiancee and her dad. He begs Paige to marry him now and forget the lavish marriage ceremony, something Michael is sure she wants more than the groom. When she refuses and he finds out about her most recent manipulation he calls it off.

Juliana and Michael reunite on the return flight to Baltimore/D.C. and catch up. When Juliana’s car won’t start it becomes the beginning of a beautiful and lasting relationship… with one or two hiccups along the way.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: Love at First Flight

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My Muse and I: A Complicated Relationship

by Marie Force, guest blogger and author of Everyone Loves a Hero

My muse chooses the damndest times to show up. For instance, I’m sitting in an airport bar with my husband a couple of years ago, killing some time before our flight home. Out on the concourse I watch a striking blonde woman rush into the arms of an arriving pilot. Riveted by their reunion, I watch them walk arm-in-arm into the same restaurant we were in and find a table. From there, I found my eyes darting repeatedly to them, wishing I had the nerve to go over, pull up a chair and ask for their story.

That’s where the idea for Everyone Loves a Hero originated. See how my muse shows up out of the blue? One minute I’m minding my own business, and the next minute I’m, well, not… Some people might use the word “nosy” to describe this character trait. I prefer the word “observant.” I’m asked all the time about where the ideas for books come from. I find that when you’re looking for them, ideas are everywhere. It then becomes a matter of figuring out which ones make for viable story ideas, which ones can support a full-length book and which ones are interesting enough to hold my attention for the two or three months it will take me to write the book.

In this case the muse gave me an idea that led to this:

“Everyone loves a hero. That’s the problem.

Hero pilot Cole Langston is learning to live with—and enjoy—his newfound fame and the rabid female attention that comes with it until a lucky punch knocks some sense into him and opens his eyes to true love.

When his copilot suffers a heart attack in flight, Cole lands the jetliner in a blizzard and revives the stricken captain. Catapulted to national hero status, Cole has more women vying for his attention than he knows what to do with. They all have one thing in common: they try without success to bring this happy-go-lucky pilot down to earth. Then comes an airport altercation, a punch to the face, and the lovely Olivia—a shy, timid artist who does what no other woman has ever managed to do: steal Cole’s well-protected heart. With women coming on to him everywhere they go, Olivia struggles to believe that Cole is ready for a committed relationship. His biggest problem is getting rid of all his extra ladies before the only one he wants figures out that she’s one of many.”

I was immediately intrigued by the idea of a pilot connecting in some way to a woman who works in the airport. I’ve done the long-distance romance thing myself, so that part interested me as well. The “national hero” part of the story came later. I wrote Cole and Olivia’s romance, but it needed something extra, something more. Enter Captain Sullenburger. I watched a news conference in which the “Hero on the Hudson” announced he was returning to work, and that gave me the idea to give Cole the national hero back story that’s included in Everyone Loves a Hero. The muse came to me in stages with this book. She’s fickle that way!

To the writers out there, where do you find your story ideas and is your muse as fickle as mine? To the readers, do you ever wonder where your favorite authors get their story ideas? Do you have an idea that you think would make for a good book? I’d love to hear it!

EVERYONE LOVES A HERO BY MARIE FORCE – IN STORES FEBRUARY 2011

Fame has its perks…

Reluctantly famous, First Officer Cole Langston finds being in the spotlight has its advantages—until he meets Olivia. Having women throw themselves at him everywhere he goes becomes a serious problem when he’s trying to convince her she’s the one…

And its price…

Olivia has trouble trusting a guy like Cole, and everywhere she turns she sees reasons to run. But he’s the only man who’s ever seemed to understand her as an artist and as a woman…

Cole is working overtime to prove to Olivia that he’s serious, but her deep seated mistrust and his entourage of unwelcomed fans may be more than they can overcome…

Buy: Everyone Loves a Hero

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Marie Force is a communications director and editor-in-chief as well as the author of Line of Scrimmage, Love at First Flight, Fatal Affair and Fatal Justice, as well as True North and The Fall (available as ebooks through Amazon.com). She is a member of RWA’s New England, From the Heart and Published Authors Special Interest Chapters. Marie lives in Portsmouth, Rhode Island with her husband, two children and their feisty dog named Brandy. To find out more information about Marie’s upcoming releases, please visit www.mariesullivanforce.com.

GIVEAWAY: I have 2 copies of Everyone Loves a Hero. Open to US and Canada only. Enter by leaving Marie a relevant comment. Multiple entries allowed! Last day to Enter: February 11, 2011.

Review: Everyone Loves a Hero by Marie Force

by Susan S., guest reviewer

A beautifully written love story! Marie Force has found a new fan in me.

Summary: Former Naval Officer and First Officer Cole Langston, hero, has just been catapulted into national hero status. After a pilot suffers a mid-flight heart attack, Cole lands the commercial plane in blizzard conditions. Now, he’s been dubbed, “Captain Incredible.” Hot guy/former officer/pilot/hero has more attention lately of the female kind. And more phone numbers than a yellow page directory. He’s a single, healthy male, who just hasn’t met…“the one.” He’s met all the others though!

Olivia Robison, heroine, is a clerk at Reagan National Airport. She’s working at the NewsStop to pay her way through school. Robison’s never had any luck with the male kind. She’s single too, and has never met… “the one” either.

After defending her against an ill-mannered customer, Cole finds himself on the receiving end of a fist. On the plus side, he did get her name…Olivia.

Olivia and Cole begin dating, but soon realize it’ll take more than attraction to make things work. There are just too many barriers between them. The women who throw themselves at him at every turn, her insecurity, appearances and calls from his former exes. And if that’s not enough, she lives in Washington, he in Chicago.

Ms. Robison suspects he’s not being entirely forthcoming. Will his lack of full-disclosure be the final barrier to end it all? More importantly, when all’s said and done, will their newfound love crash and burn? Or, take flight into happily-ever-after?

Thought Bubble: The other day I was listening to a song titled, “You Can.” It’s sung by David Archuleta; which I feel conveys the essence of not only this novel, but the hero and heroine’s feelings for each other.

Review: I began reading Everyone Loves a Hero and glanced at the clock, once, only to realize…two hours had elapsed. So, I’m dubbing this the, “Where did the time go novel?” I enjoyed many things, but what I enjoyed the most were the phone calls. Remember, theirs is a long-distance relationship. Cole brings her to life. Olivia fills a gap in his. Although this novel touches on real-life issues, such as agoraphobia, grief, and cancer, the romance is always front-and-center. With lots of I missed you intimacies and some fun traveling. He is a pilot, after all!

This novel made me laugh (Olivia driving his car when he’s sick), made me cry (when they broke up), and it made me smile (what happens right before the epilogue was simply, perfect). Would you believe me if I said, “I even enjoyed the acknowledgements?” I did! Marie explains how she thought up the novel.

Review-O-Meter Rating: ★★★★★

Buy: Everyone Loves a Hero

Romance, Copyright 2010, February 2011, Trade Paperback, Print Pages 379, Sourcebooks Casablanca. ISBN# 978-1-4022-4574-9.

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An Excerpt of Love at First Flight

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By Marie Force, guest blogger.

Thanks for having me today and for the lovely review of my second book, Love at First Flight. I’m so glad you enjoyed the flight! I thought it would be fun to give your readers a taste of the book with an excerpt that’s never been made public before now. Enjoy!

As they left Baltimore and all their troubles behind, Juliana began to relax.

“How long will it take to get there?” she asked Michael.

“Six or seven hours, depending on the traffic on the Jersey Turnpike, the Cross Bronx Expressway, and in Connecticut, which is always the worst.”

“Do you usually fly or drive?”

“I fly because I never have much time, but I prefer to drive.”

“If I had this car, I’d prefer to drive, too.”

“Want to?”

Her eyes widened. “Really?”

He pulled over. “Really.”

Juliana clapped her hands with glee and jumped out of the car to change places with him. Once in the driver’s seat, she put on her seatbelt, shifted the car into first gear, and hit the gas.

“Jesus!” he said, gripping the armrest with alarm.

Juliana smiled at him. “Hold on to your hat, baby.”

“I’ve never gotten to Connecticut this fast—ever,” Michael said just over three hours later. “How about giving me a turn?”

Juliana smiled. “Nope. I’m having too much fun.”

He cringed when she darted between two semis. “You’re stressing me out.”

“Don’t look.”

“The way you’re changing lanes, I’ll puke if I close my eyes.”

“I never knew you were such a wimp.”

“You weren’t calling me a wimp last night.”

Snorting, she glanced over at him. “Just a tad bit full of yourself, aren’t you?”

“Watch the road!”

Cruising along the southern coast of Connecticut, Juliana confessed that she hadn’t been to New England before.

“Never?”

“Nope. We didn’t really go anywhere when I was growing up. A daytrip to Ocean City was a big deal.”

He reached for her hand. “You didn’t have an easy go of it as a kid, did you?”

She shrugged. “It was what it was. Most of the time, it was just my parents and me since the next oldest—Vincent—was eight years older than me.”

“And your parents were unhappy together?”

“That’s putting it mildly. They fought like cats and dogs—when my mother wasn’t loaded, that is.”

“Your brothers and sisters weren’t around?”

“Not unless they had to be. They all moved out as soon as they turned eighteen.”

“Why didn’t you?”

“Well, by then my father was heavily into his ‘extracurricular activities,’ as my mother called them, and she was hitting the bottle pretty hard. I just felt like I needed to be there with her.”

“So how did you end up moving out?”

She glanced over at him and then back at the road.

“Juliana?”

“Jeremy kind of put his foot down about it. He hates the way my family treats me, so he insisted I move out of my mother’s house and in with him.”

“He insisted?”

“He gave me the push I needed to do something about a bad situation.”

“Like an ultimatum?”

“Of course not.”

“I’m sorry.”

“He didn’t give me an ultimatum, Michael. It wasn’t like that.”

“It’s none of my business,” Michael said, looking out the passenger window.

Juliana tugged on his hand. “Hey. Don’t check out on me. What’re you thinking?”

“I forget sometimes that you’re not really free. Then I’ll remember all of a sudden, and it just kind of hits me right here.” He ran a hand over his gut.

She sighed.

He looked over at her. “What am I going to do if you go back to him?”

“Can we not do this?” she pleaded. “I don’t have to make any decisions today, tomorrow, or even the next day. Can we just be together for now?”

He studied her for a long time before he answered. “I guess we can do that.” Kissing her hand, he added, “For now.”

Have you ever been impossibly torn between two men? If so, how did you decide which one you belonged with? I’ll give one copy of each of my books—Line of Scrimmage and Love at First Flight—to two different people, so leave a comment for a chance to win! Already read Line of Scrimmage? Just let me know.

If you wish to discuss all the rules I broke in Love at First Flight, join me Monday, July 20, at 7 p.m. EDT on my blog (http://mariesullivanforce.blogspot.com) for a Book Club discussion. Warning, there will be spoilers, so make sure you read the book before the party! I’ll be giving away some great prizes to participants.

Once you’ve read the book, come by my website at www.mariesullivanforce.com to find out how to enter the contest for the Love at First Flight Grand Prize gift basket. I’ll accept answers to daily questions about the book through July 15. The winner will be announced during the July 20 Book Club Meeting.

Buy: Love at First Flight