Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Count Down to Love Tour: Book Review + Giveaway

About the Book

Title: Count Down to Love
Author: Julie N. Ford
Release Date: July 2011
Publisher: Bonneville Books
Genre: Clean Romance
Abandoned at the altar, Kelly Grace Pickens finds herself left holding not only the bouquet but also the exorbitant bill for an A-list wedding. Homeless, a once promising singing career floundering, and her life bearing an uncanny resemblance to one of her country music ballads, she reluctantly accepts a last minute offer to appear on a reality TV show akin to the bachelor. Pitted against silicon-enhanced supermodels in four-inch heels, Kelly feels confident that she will be among the first would-be fianc├ęs to be excused. Only, when the mysterious bachelor from New York City, Dillon Black, invites her to stay, Kelly finds herself thrust into the vortex of a game she doesn’t have the first idea how to play. Nursing her hopelessly broken heart while avoiding the foils of her fellow contestants, Kelly is oblivious to Dillon’s affections as she wades through hurt and betrayal to discover, in the end, that she has landed firmly on both feet.

Leaving behind Nashville’s Music Row for the majestic Grand Teton mountains, Count Down To Love takes readers on a journey from duplicity to sincerity as Kelly discovers that being true to oneself is the first step in finding happiness and everlasting love.

As I have said many, many times on this blog, I'M A HUGE FAN OF "THE BACHELOR"! And because "The Bachelor" is my favorite guilty pleasure of television, it is only natural that my guilty pleasure for reading would be reality TV romance books! Who knew?!

But before I get carried away on a "Bachelor" spiel (trust me, it happens!), I need to point out that even if you are not a fan of reality television, Count Down to Love is still a good, clean romance that will make you smile and maybe melt your heart a little.

One of the things I like the most about "The Bachelor" is the many exotic places it takes you to. That is also one of my favorite things about Count Down to Love. From the glitz of L.A. to the backwoods of Tennessee, half of the country was used as the backdrop for this book! But my absolute favorite setting of all was when Kelly visited Dillon in the Grand Tetons. Of course, I grew up under these majestic mountains so I have an enormous appreciation for the beauty of this area. I felt right at home in the description of Dillon's family ranch and gorgeous surroundings. I wish they had spent the whole book there! (And as a native Wyoming-ite, I have to say that I especially appreciated the whole country girl/country music theme!)

Besides "The Bachlor" tie-in, the best part of this book was the character growth of Kelly. I was slightly amazed at how naive she was when the book opened and she was being left at the altar. I couldn't believe that it took nearly half the book for her to realize how awful her fiance was! However, as I thought about it, I realized that this in itself was a great lesson. For us as women, we tend to want to "fix" our men. We also want to be loved. And this can be a dangerous combination! I think many women give men the benefit of the doubt probably more often than they deserve, just like Kelly did. Luckily for Kelly, she was able to reach a point where she realized that she could stand on her own, without the support of a man. She definitely comes a long way during the course of this book!

And then of course there was the developing relationship between Kelly and Dillon. When Dillon was first introduced I wasn't very impressed by him. However, as the story progresses, the fliratious episodes totally sucked me in and had me rooting for their romance to blossom and for Kelly to finally find her "happily ever after".
Count Down to Love is a sweet, slightly quirky, romance set in the craziness of reality television. It is a totally fun read with some thoughtful lessons thrown into the mix. Make sure you have plenty of time to read before picking this one up because you won't want to put it down!
As part of the tour, Julie is generously offering a grand prize giveaway of a hard copy of Count Down to Love, a CD of the band Due West, and a copy of the single, “Who I Am”, which Julie and Due West wrote and recorded specifically for the book. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this post or any of the other stops on the tour. (Visit the tour page for the full tour schedule.) The more stops you comment on, the more entries you have into the contest!

                                         About the Author

Julie has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and a minor in English Literature from San Diego State University. In addition, she earned a Masters in Social Work from the University of Alabama. She has worked in teaching, childbirth education and family therapy. Besides writing, she spends many hours working along side her husband at their UPS Store franchise, but hopes to re-enter the Social Work field someday.

She is the author of three women’s fiction novels, The Woman He Married (March 2011) and No Holly for Christmas (November 2011), published by Whiskey Creek Press. The third, Count Down to Love (July 2011), published by Bonneville Books.

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  1. Thanks Lexie for posting this great review. I'm so glad that you connected with Wyoming scenes. The trip to Dillion's home was my favorite part as well. A dream of mine--living on a ranch under the Grand Tetons.
    Julie ;)

  2. I really enjoyed this one too and agree about the Wyoming setting! My husband's family is from Western Wyoming and I absolutely love the beauty and wonder of the mountains.

  3. This sounds like such a good book!