venerdì 15 gennaio 2016

Review & Giveaway: The Evans Trilogy by Jennifer Collin

The Evans Trilogy
by Jennifer Collin


GENRE:  Chick Lit



Book 1: Set me Free

Disastrous love life aside, Charlotte Evans is rather content with her life. Her quaint little art gallery is plodding along nicely, and her sister Emily’s artistic career is about to take off, thanks to her tireless promotion. She even gets to see her best friend every day and drink his delicious coffee in the café next door.
But when dastardly property developer Craig Carmichael comes along, threatening to demolish her gallery and take everything away, Charlotte has an unexpected fight on her hands. Not only is she battling to stop Craig’s development, she’s also struggling against the mysterious magnetic pull that has her on a collision course with Craig himself.
Craig Carmichael is fighting the Battle for Boundary Street on more than one front. The tenants of the building he wants to knock down are mounting a strong case against him and in a hot-headed moment he put his career on the line for a project that is threatening to fail. If the project doesn’t succeed he will lose everything, but for some reason he’s having trouble maintaining his focus.
As their worlds begin to unravel around them, anyone could win. It’s what they might lose that has Charlotte and Craig wondering what it is they really want.

My Review

Luckily when I started this book I had the other two in the trilogy because I liked it so much that I wanted to read them right away. This chick lit is sweet, passionate and compelling. I like so much the stories in which between the protagonists is a love hate relationship.
The protagonists of this trilogy are three siblings  Charlotte, Emily and Andy Evans. The first book is focused on the life of Charlotte. She runs an art gallery where displaying the works of her sister Emily. But Craig, an unscrupulous businessman, decides to demolish the building where they have their activities and she and her sister will have to fight hard to save it.Charlotte will have to fight even against her heart that beats for that man so fascinating.
It's well-written and doesn't really seem to have been written by a debut writer, she does a great job in vividly describing of this Australia town, she makes you feel like you are actually there.

Book 2: Open My Eyes

Everything happens for a reason, they say. And sometimes the reason is you're stupid and make bad decisions. Sleeping with her sister's best friend is one of the dumbest things soon-to-be divorcee Emily Evans has ever done. But she's determined to put it behind her and move on. She's walked away from her cheating husband, managed to make a new friend, and found herself a real job and somewhere to live so she doesn't have to couch-surf any more. Everything should be falling into place but for one problem – there are some mistakes from which you can't move on.
Meanwhile, Ben Cameron is getting on with his life. After all, it's the only thing to do once your heart has been stomped on by the woman of your dreams. Expanding his business and getting cosy with the girl next door are proving welcome distractions. He's even happy to babysit his nephew, as long as he can to hand him back when he's done! And thankfully, Emily Evans, the woman with the heavy boots, is avoiding him like the plague.

But Emily can't avoid him forever, and when she drops a bombshell that turns Ben's world upside-down, suddenly, getting on with his life takes on a whole new meaning.

My Review

I'm really enjoying this book, it's an easy read and a total page turner with great dialogue, plenty of humor, lovable and believable characters.
The protagonist of this second episode is Emily, the artist sister of Charlotte. She's a funny and witty woman with a great passion for painting. While she is trying to overcome her marriage ended badly she commits another serious mistake, spends a night of passion with Ben, the best friend of her sister. Rather than confront him, she avoids him and follows her brother Andy in a tour in Japan. But she realizes that she can no longer do so and must reveal him her secret. But it is not so easy.
There was humor, hardship, romance, lots of family, friendships. With a plethora of well defined, complex characters, an engaging and well written plot this is a fantastic story to get lost in. 

Very enjoyable for great beach reading or a break from routine.

Book 3: Bring Me Back
Andy Evans is on the move. For six long, lonely years, he’s been running from his past, leaving his family and his life as a drug-addicted rock star far behind. His latest move takes him to the sleepy seaside town of Oamaru, New Zealand, to sell cigar-box guitars to tourists. The only running he’ll need to do will be training for the half-marathon in nearby Dunedin. But when Andy sets eyes on Steampunk HQ, Oamaru's main tourist attraction, he realises his days of running might not be over, especially if a certain Steampunk fan from his past catches up with him.
Annie Martin is on the cusp of great success. Her career as a Steampunk academic is about to take off, as long as she can convince one disagreeable, New Zealand-based Professor to sign up to the anthology she’s putting together. Thankfully, Annie is a master at maintaining her poise and few people, no matter how nasty, can rattle her. Not any more. In fact, it’d been a good six years since anyone had gotten under her skin, after her best friend’s brother had vanished into thin air.
When Annie finds her future career on a collision course with her secret past, Andy Evans is the last person she expects to find tangled up in the mess. With a vengeful drug-dealer or two hot on his heels, and a vindictive academic determined to ruin her credibility, can Annie bring Andy back to his family before it’s too late? Annie and Andy are used to being alone, but if they don’t work together, there’ll be much more at stake than her livelihood and his sobriety.

My Review

This third episode is really exciting, with the usual dose of humor, romance and passion but there are also twists and suspense.
In this book we make a wonderful trip in the cute small town of Oamaru in New Zealand. The main characters are Andy, the third Evans brother and Annie, a close friend of his sister Emily. The last time they met Andy was going through a terrible time, had entered the ugly turn of drug addiction. His family was helping him to get out and Annie had tried to give them a hand without success. She has always felt guilty about her failure. They meet again in Oamaru. She is there to work and he has taken refuge there to complete his rehabilitation. The chemistry between them is really strong but Andy is ready for have a relationship?
This was a truly engaging and delightful read. It was beautifully written and the characters had so much depth that you felt as though you knew them.
It 's a great trilogy, highly recommended for those who love contemporary romances.



Book 1 Set Me Free

The Evans Gallery was his last stop before he called it a day.

A little golden bell above the door tinkled daintily as he walked in. He noticed two things immediately: the intriguing painting on the wall to his right and the beguiling woman smiling lazily at him from behind a sleek-looking asymmetrical 1960s Danish-styled desk. Unsettled by the pair of slightly smoky grey eyes that came with the lazy smile, he moved directly toward the painting to take it in.

The canvas was large; it took up almost a quarter of the wall. The image was a view down a narrow alley corralled by stark grey skyscrapers that, thanks to the wash of the paint strokes, appeared to be crumbling. At the end of the alley, a small dog with a broken tail lay beside an old-fashioned dustbin, chewing a small, bright red ball.

‘Hi,’ welcomed the woman behind the counter. Her voice was as tired as her eyes and smile, but there was still something smouldering under the surface, like a combusting rain cloud. ‘Can I help you with anything in particular or would you just like to browse?’

‘Can you tell me anything about this piece?’ he asked, unwisely. She stood up to join him, swinging her hips as she walked, subtly but hypnotically. This might turn out to be the hardest conversation of them all; particularly given he was struggling to keep his eyes on her face and off those swinging hips. He looked up. Nope, no respite there.

Book 2 Open My Eyes

‘What the hell is she doing here?’

Ben Cameron froze mid-swipe of the café table in front of him. He focussed on the cloth in his hand. It had been some time since he’d heard her voice. Two long months of convincing himself she didn’t matter any more. But now, the sound of her huffing and puffing behind him brought everything back in a flash flood of frustration.

He straightened and turned towards her slowly. ‘Hello, Emily,’ he said.

Her hands were on her hips and she was glaring at Cassie behind the espresso machine. Memories best forgotten returned. He pushed them aside, wanting – needing – to see her differently.

Her long dress swirled around her slightly fuller figure. Her hair hung loose, a new fringe framing her face perfectly. Yes, outwardly different, but there was something all too familiar about the rush of his blood and the ache in his chest. He steeled himself, mustering some indignation of his own, while her sea-green eyes moved between him and Cassie.

When she didn’t return the greeting, he checked to see if her foot was tapping.

Book 3 Bring Me Back

She didn’t have much time. Even in regular clothes she would’ve been conspicuous, but in her Victorian skirts and corset, she stood out like, well, like someone from Victorian England had been dropped at the finish line of a twenty-first-century marathon. Most of the runners were walking in circles, shaking their legs, breathing heavily. Some were lying on their backs, chests rising and falling, eyes closed. One was bent over, hands on his knees, head down. The only runner with a beard.

Annie looked around to make sure she was still unseen by the officials. In the clear, she inched closer, careful to stay behind him so he couldn’t see her.

When she was close enough to reach out and touch him, she clasped her skirts with her shaking hands. ‘Andy?’ she said.

‘Yeah?’ He looked up and saw her.

Andy Evans watched Annie’s eyes widen and her face whiten. Then he straightened, cursed, and bolted.

Behind him, Annie cursed as well and started chasing him.

He dodged through the crowd, leading her to the end of the park and down the beach. He was running on pure adrenalin – there was no strength left in his legs. He glanced over his shoulder to see he was getting away as Annie stumbled in the sand in her boots.

‘You’re such a jerk, Andy Evans!’ she called after him. ‘Don’t you run away from me!’

Andy was doing his best, but it was looking more and more like he’d have to obey her command. His legs weren’t promising to carry his weight any further, and at any moment they would give out beneath him. Still, he pushed on and somehow managed to increase the distance between them.

Something slammed into his back and he broke stride to see what had hit him. A leather ankle boot fell to the sand behind him. She must’ve taken off her boots and decided to throw them at him. He spared her a glance and tried to recover his pace. A knock to the back of the head told him she’d thrown the second boot. He stumbled and crashed face first into the sand. Annie reached him in seconds, jumping onto his back and pinning him with her knees.

Andy couldn’t breathe. She was crushing his already spent lungs. He tried to tell her as much.

‘I don’t care,’ she said, and ground her knees into his back.

Desperate, Andy mustered his remaining strength and lifted himself, with Annie on top. He flipped over onto his back and she landed on his chest for a split second, before rocketing to her feet and stepping away.

She searched around for her boot, picked it up and threw it at him again. It hit him in the chest.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Jennifer Collin writes quirky, and sometimes gritty, love stories about ordinary people dealing with what life throws at them.

She lives in Brisbane, Australia, with her husband, two noisy children and a cantankerous cat.

She used to party, but now her idea of a good time is an uninterrupted sleep. These days, her characters do her partying for her, and she doesn't necessarily let them sleep.

Links  (Amazon buy links)

A Little Interview

Where are you from?
I live in a small city on the east coast of Australia called Brisbane. It’s subtropical, with hot, humid summers and mild winters. I live five kilometres (about 3 miles) from the CBD in a house with a backyard big enough to fit my husband’s skateboard ramp, a trampoline and swings for our two girls, a clothesline and a patch of grass you can kick a ball around.

I moved to Brisbane as soon as I finished boarding school and have lived here ever since. Prior to boarding school, I lived on the edge of the Australian outback, on a farm you could get lost on. It was drought-stricken for most of my childhood – dry and dusty.

Who are your favorite authors?
It’s hard to pick favorites, but in my own genre, I’d choose someone like Jenny Crusie. She writes light, fun reads with intriguingly flawed but adorable characters and she doesn’t shy away from a sex scene.
If I step out of my genre, I like the dark and disturbing Chuck Palahniuk and Neil Gaiman.

How/when did you realize you wanted to become a writer?
I wrote my first short story when I was in the second grade. It was about a little girl who came across a glowing rod in the footpath on her way to school. She picked it up and was transported to another planet. I handed the story to my teacher and when he gave it back to me, he’d written “great work” at the bottom of the page. It was the first time I’d been told something I did was “great” and I knew I’d found my calling.

What gave you the inspiration to write this series?
Many years ago I was working with town planners putting together transport plans for my city. I found myself submerged in the world of urban design and it was fascinating. If urban design is done well, it can transform urban spaces into something wonderful and I wanted to capture this in a story. So I created Craig Carmichael, the developer with a heart of gold and the hero in the first book of the Evans Trilogy, Set Me Free. His love interest, and the pivotal character of the whole series, Charlotte Evans, came next and from there it simply snowballed. I didn’t set out to write a series, but as I was developing Craig and Charlotte’s supporting cast, I found Charlotte’s sister Emily needed a story of her own. And again, in developing Emily’s supporting cast, I needed to give their little brother, Andy, his own story as well.

What else do you enjoy doing, when you're not writing?
As a mother with two young girls I don’t have a lot of free time. With a family and a full time job, I barely have time to write! The free time I do get is usually spent reading, sleeping or watching Netflix with my husband. It’s a fairly subdued life, but we make up for it by travelling and exploring the world whenever we can.

What are your dreams and plans for your future as a writer?

I dream that one day I’ll be able to do it full time. I have so many ideas swirling around in my head. At the moment I’m planning at least three standalone contemporary romances, and two series of children’s books that I’d like to write for my daughters.



Jennifer Collin will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

12 commenti:

  1. Thank you for the excerpts. Sounds like a great series!

  2. Awesome post, thanks for sharing your reviews! I'm looking forward to checking out this series :)

  3. Thanks so much for having me, and especially for the fantastic reviews! I'm so pleased you liked the series. xx

  4. Thank you for the great excerpt, but how do you come up with the theme of your books?

  5. I enjoyed the interview. Thank you.

  6. These reviews are great. All the stories sound wonderful.

  7. Thank you for the amazing post and contest!

  8. Enjoyed the interview and excerpts, sounds like great reads, thanks for sharing and for the review!

  9. When did you know you wanted to be an author?


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