Thursday, May 15, 2014

**Blog Tour Review & Giveaway ~ Return to Newport ~ A.L. Parks**

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for A.L. Parks' Return to Newport. I have all the pertinent information for the book, some teasers, my review of both The Return and Return to Newport, and a giveaway.

The Return
Return to Me #1
Genre: Contemporary / Adult / Romance
Release Date: December 21, 2013
Source: I received an ecopy in exchange for an honest review
Rating: 4 Bookworms

Eve Carlisle had a singular purpose - sell the rustic house nestled in the Colorado ski resort town. 

Tortured by her husband’s betrayal, the beautiful divorcee refused to give her heart to another man. But Jake had been a happy surprise, with his mesmerizing blue eyes, warm smile, strong but gentle nature – as well as being incredibly sexy.

She had convinced herself the relationship with Jake was nothing more than a fling. After all, she had a life in Newport, with society friends and a lucrative career as a family court judge. Still, Jake had a definitive hold over her, and she was finding it hard to think clearly where he was concerned. 

The demons of prior failed marriages haunt them both, and threaten to end things just as they are beginning. When Jake tells Eve he is falling in love with her, Eve refuses to believe it can last. Returning to Newport, the hollowness of her existence exposed, she must confront her fears before she loses Jake forever.

Return to Newport
Return to Me #2
Genre: Contemporary / Adult / Romance
Release Date: April 29, 2014
Source: I received an eARC in exchange for an honest review
Rating: 4 Bookworms

Eve is ready for a clean slate. She nearly lost the love of her life in The Return. Now Eve must confront the people refusing to let her go quietly into her happily ever after with Jake. Returning to Newport to tie up loose ends may be the biggest mistake of her life.

Jake wants one thing – and one thing only – Eve. He is ready to build a life with her, and spend the rest of his days loving only her. But his surprise visit to Newport makes him question everything he thought he knew about her, including her love.

At the center of the turmoil is Eve’s ex-husband. Intrigued by the changes he sees in her, Brad is determined to sabotage Jake and Eve's relationship - and take Eve back.

Jake and Eve must face their demons, and battle the outside forces that seek to destroy their future. Can their love survive the Return to Newport?

The Return

Okay, I'm gonna admit that it makes me ridiculously happy to read a book with characters that are my age! :)

The Return is a wonderful story of two people barely living following nasty divorces - two people who come to life after meeting and get a second chance at love and happiness.

Eve is spending her holidays at her cabin in Colorado. She needs to make some decisions about keeping it. On her way from the airport, she ends up in a snow drift and one very handsome fire chief comes to her rescue. Jake, the fire chief, is immediately taken with Eve. As they begin to get to know one another, the pull between them is undeniable. 

Eve, a judge back in Newport, lacks confidence in her personal life. Her divorce sucked a lot out of her. Where she was once was so full of life - cooking and baking and making her children happy - she now eats microwavable dinners and barely speaks with her daughters. Jake is equally non-confident when it comes to having a personal life. He essentially avoids dating. He is involved with his daughter though. And I delighted in seeing that relationship. I felt the damage Eve has suffered as a result of her divorce was more focal. Her change in demeanor had even affected her relationship with her daughters. Jake's divorce mainly affected his ability to trust.

Eve and Jake are instantly smitten with one another. But they each have demons and insecurities that keep them from taking that leap. I truly enjoyed watching them get closer and how they brought out the joy and vivacity in one another, that had been missing since their divorces.

The Return tugged at my heartstrings and left me hopeful. It was a pleasant, feel-good read.

Return to Newport

Return to Newport sees Eve and Jake working towards their HEA. But it's not all sunshine and roses for the couple. Especially since Eve must travel back to Newport in order to tie up loose ends. This puts her and Jake in close proximity to all the reasons Eve loathes her life there. Namely one ex-husband who decides that maybe he made a mistake in leaving Eve in the first place. Newport forces Eve and Jake to face demons and try to figure out if love will be enough to keep them together.

I really enjoyed this installment. I liked that we got to meet Eve's daughter, Clarissa. That she and Jake began forging a relationship was a delight and I liked Ms. Parks' inclusion of Clarissa. I also liked the fact that Ms. Parks had Eve and Jake seek help in dealing with their issues. It was a nice, realistic touch. There are a few new plot twists thrown in that I'm eager to see play out.

I did miss Jake's daughter, Lauren, in this one. Even though we haven't 'met' her yet, she was an important part of The Return and I was sad to see her almost non-existent here. Also, I felt it odd that Eve's younger daughter, Amber, wasn't included in this part of the story. As a mom, I felt that Eve's making such life changing decisions shouldn't have been done without including her daughter.

In The Return, I felt the focus was primarily on Eve's demons and self-esteem uses. Though they are present in Return to Newport, it focuses more of Jake's. And they are heavily spotlighted while the couple are in Newport. I delighted in Ms. Parks' ability to convey the differences in mentality and culture between North Easterners and Westerners. I thought it was a realistic portrayal - at least according to my perception, as a Texan/Coloradan.

Overall, Return to Newport was a pleasure to read. And I look forward to seeing what life's roller coaster ride has in store for Eve and Jake next.

Both The Return and Return to Newport rated 4 Bookworms.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Born and raised in the Rocky Mountains, A.L. Parks has spent the last 25 years moving all over the United States. Married to the Navy - well a man in the Navy - Parks has lived in various places throughout the United States. Now she resides in the Washington D.C area, and loves every minute. She has four children, and one spoiled German Shepard. 

2013 marked her debut in publishing. Her first novel, Strangers, released on her 45th birthday. She was amazed at how many people fell in love with a story about two people dealing with grief, and finding love again. Abby and Bryce were the perfect couple to introduce Parks as an up-and-coming author.

Her second novel, The Return, released in December 2013. A wonderful Christmas romance, it is the first book in the Return To Me series. Book two, Return To Newport, is set to release on April 29, 2014.


  1. I've just commented on your "That's what he said" post, and now I'm even more curious about these two!! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Brandee!!

  2. The covers of this series do absolutely nothing for me, so I'm glad I checked-out your review, otherwise I wouldn't have given Return to Newport a second look. Thanks for the chance to win!

  3. You and me both! As I get older my tolerance for immaturity is getting less and less so reading romance stories about people younger than I am rankles me now. There should be more books with people our age, we deserve happy endings too! LOL

  4. It's good to hear you had a good time reading those books. Both characters have demons and insecurities, huh? That gets me intrigued... I have to agree with Carmel, though, the covers didn't do anything to catch my attention, but your reviews did the job just fine! So, thank you very much, Brandee!! :)

  5. Thanks for hosting AL Parks today!! Wonderful post!!

  6. I really love to read characters around my age, as well. I can relate to them so much better. This looks like a good series. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

  7. I agree, it's refreshing to read books about people who aren't super young from time to time. Sometimes it feels like the message is that life's over after your twenties!! (and since I'm turning 30 in a few weeks, I really don't like that message!) Sounds like a good series, thanks for the great reviews Brandee! Especially since I have to agree with everyone, those covers totally didn't grab me!

  8. I'm not sure if they are writing characters my age, ha! * sad face * But I am glad you enjoyed this read. I haven't heard of it. I do like reading about stories set in Colorado. I have a thing about Colorado :D I gotta admit the covers aren't real eye catching, but I have learnt my lesson aka Colleen Hoover and her covers ( original ) for Slammed series. Now I totally dig those older covers.


  9. Oooh... this sounds like a great journey for Eve and Jake. They grow so much throughout your review. I shame you missed Lauren in the second book. But overall, it sounds like a great read! Fab review Brandi!

    Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace


Now you know what I think...what are your thoughts??