Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Review and Giveaway: Carolina Blues

Carolina Blues (Dare Island - Book 4) by Virginia Kantra

Publication Date: 10/07/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Sensation
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 304
ISBN-10: 0425269698
ISBN-13: 978-0425269695

(Received for an honest review from Berkley Sensation)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indiebound

Virginia Kantra on the WEB: website, twitter, facebook, goodreads

Books in the series

Dare Island

1. Carolina Home
2. Carolina Girl
3. Carolina Man
4. Carolina Blues

Coverart: Click the Image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.

Excerpt from, Carolina Blues, courtesy of the author's website.


Jack Rossi is Dare Island’s new police chief. The laid-back North Carolina community is just what he needs to recover from a rocky marriage and a big-city police department.  He’s learned his lesson: no more high-profile women or high-pressure jobs. The last thing he wants is an unconventional alt girl rocking his world.
Grad student Lauren Patterson made headlines when she kept a bank robbery from going bad.  She’s fled to Dare Island to clear her head and focus on writing her story. However, sexy Jack Rossi is a distraction that’s too hot to ignore, and it’s igniting an affair too combustible to resist—or quit.
But when their pasts come looking for them, Jack and Lauren find themselves fighting for the future they deserve, whatever the price.


Virginia Kantra once again reminds readers why small town romances are oh so goood to read with her latest book, Carolina Blues. This is the fourth book in the Dare Island series and readers looking for a sweet romantic story about two people who are trying to move on from their troubled pasts will find it enchanting. Kantra's writing is smooth and flows with ease, as she wades some deep waters with PTSD and betrayal as themes in this book. Readers looking for passion and love won't be able to resist this amazing addition to the Dare Island series.

What I liked:

Virginia Kantra is one of those writers that I have on my watchlist. I look forward to every book she puts out and I was eagerly awaiting Carolina Blues for several reasons. I knew this would be a transitional book for the series and I wanted to know where Kantra would take us next. The Fletcher's have been an amazing family to read about, but they are settled into their own lives and loves now and the series continues. 

I liked the way that Kantra decided to go here. She starts to let the reader develop a relationship with Dare Island itself and not just the Fletcher family in this book. She is branching out and including some of the characters who have been more secondary in the first three books of the series. I loved the addition of Jack Rossi as the new chief of police. It puts the series on a good track to continue for some time and that's what I was hoping would happen. 

Jack is a little different than Kantra's other heroes in this series. He is a big city police officer that takes a job in a small town. He is a bit darker, a bit more edgy and more world weary than we've seen before in the series and I definitely thought that was a good move. He is sexy, passionate and he has a soft side. From taking in strays to helping Lauren with her PTSD, Jack is what a hero is all about. He has his own demons to fight, but he doesn't shirk helping others with theirs. I loved his character development throughout the book and felt that Kantra really gave readers a lead character that mattered.

Lauren's story was both poignant and scary at the same time. She was able to talk down bank robbers but she has trouble getting through a normal day. Readers join her in the aftermath of a traumatic experience. She is has been flooded with attention and she isn't dealing with it well. I know from personal experience that a person needs a measure of calm after a storm and that's what Dare Island was providing for Lauren. I loved the way Kantra was able to show the reader what Lauren was going through and how it affected every aspect of her life. She was a great character with a lot of courage and strength. 

The relationship that develops between Jack and Lauren is pretty straight forward. There isn't a lot of severe conflict or emotional gut wrenching moments. It's just one of romances that make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. These are two people who have had trouble in their past. Jack's ex-wife's betrayal was painful and Lauren's near death experience changed her life and together they weather the storms of moving on. 

Bottom Line:

I didn't need a lot of hoopla with this one, it was just passionate and romantic and what I needed to uplift my spirits and make me believe in happy ever afters again. Kantra does a great job of transitioning the series and moving the reader forward. I loved it, and so will you!

Carolina Blues is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

About the Author:

New York Times bestselling author of the Dare Island novels, including Carolina Home, Carolina Girl, and Carolina Man, and the Children of the Sea series, Virginia Kantra has won numerous industry awards, including Romance Writers of America’s RITA Award and two National Readers’ Choice Awards.

Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Carolina Blues by Virginia Kantra.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, November 5th.

1. Please leave a comment. How do you feel about stories where the people have had a traumatic experience and then turn it into a book? Non-fiction or otherwise.

2. Please fill out the FORM.


Charlotte said...

It is fine with me.

Anonymous said...

Really have no feeling either way.

rubynreba said...

I think it often makes the book more real.

NoraA said...

I think it depends on the disaster they were involved in. But on the whole I'm not into non-fiction books that much. I read auto biographies only of people I've met or thought were special.

I've read at least 2 of the Dare Island books and loved them. I'd kill to own this one so I could add it to my home library.


traveler said...

It makes the book unforgettable and real. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

lag123 said...

I think it is probably cathartic for the author to write a book after their tragedy. It makes the story more realistic.

lag110 at mchsi dot com

Anonymous said...

Forgot to answer the question. I don't have a problem with a story coming from a traumatic topic as long as it is a good story. I am seeing this contest on Debbie's Book Bag.
Maxie > mac262(at)me(dot)con <

Karen B said...

Depends upon my mood!

Anonymous said...

I rarely read non-fiction and most likely would not read this type of book.

Karen T.

Marcy x said...

sometimes writing or talking about is therapeutic.

bn100 said...

not a fan of reading them

Anita Yancey said...

I think it is how a lot of books get written, and I'm find with it. Thanks for having the giveaway.


Natasha said...

I like to read them sometime.
Thanks for the chance to win!

Anonymous said...

Even tho I rarely read nonfiction, it is ok with me; depends on who the book is about.
Helen L.

Texas Book Lover said...

I swear I already left a comment and filled out this form...if you have the form twice I apologize.

i think they can make good stories as long as they don't go too over the top.

Nancy Luebke said...

It depends on how or why it was written. I've heard more than once that the process was a very healing experience. In which case, I think it's great. Especially if it's well written.