Thursday, August 21, 2014

Thursday Thoughts: Autumn Getaway, Book One of Seasons of Love by Jennifer Gracen, a review

Author’s Synopsis
Newly divorced mom Lydia is just getting back on her feet. Her college roommate’s wedding promises a much-needed getaway weekend with old friends, at a beautiful manor in Connecticut.

When she meets Sam, a handsome friend of the groom, she's nearly overwhelmed by a confusing mix of hope and trepidation. Their instant connection feels intensely real, to both of them, but the ink is barely dry on her divorce decree. It takes all her nerve, and more than a little prodding from her girlfriends, to convince Lydia to give her heart — and Sam — a chance. But when the magical weekend comes to a close, Sam must return to Chicago, while Lydia heads back to her complicated life and young son in New York. Can their new found connection survive the trials of physical distance and years of emotional baggage?

Written with an appreciation for the day-to-day struggles of a newly single mom, Autumn Getaway explores the burdens and blessings of family, revels in the spirit of friendship, and celebrates the power of romance and hope as Lydia and Sam take a second chance at love.

How many women have been or are Lydia? If we have not had a failed relationship, either marriage or major-league dating, we haven’t been living. Living means taking a risk, jumping in.  But once burned, twice shy right? Lydia has to decide if she can try again?

In Autumn Getaway, we meet Lydia in this sweet introduction to her and journey. I have not read the second book so no spoilers here on whether this is a keeper in this review.

Lydia has just ended her marriage and finds herself a semi-single mom (ex is marginally involved) of a speech delayed son, Andy.  Full disclosure, I have a severely developmentally disabled sibling and have seen firsthand the impact that has on a parent. 

So Lydia jumps at the chance for her first weekend away since it all went south. Her college friend, Melanie is getting married for the second time. The wedding and reception is being held at a picturesque Connecticut spa/resort. It serves as a reunion of college friends as well. 

Lydia meets Sam, the younger brother of the best man. Sam is HOT, funny and understanding. He is in short perfect and just what Lydia needs. But is this a wedding fling or more?

There is instant chemistry. But the ink is barely dry on Lydia’s divorce and Sam’s family is quick to take issue, questioning the attraction between Lydia and Sam. Lydia who already feels broken and vulnerable freezes and questions what is happening.

This a charming, fun, and promising romance. I can relate to Lydia as I think most women can. My only wish is that Sam was more flawed. I am a fan of the flawed hero, perhaps I must read the rest of the series to discover the fully textured Sam… and I will!

Just in time for the crisp days of Autumn (or the fragrant but still cool days/nights of Spring in the southern hemisphere) grab Book One of the Seasons of Love series and curl up with a crackling fire, a glass of wine (or juice) and get introduced to Lydia and Sam.

Ms. Gracen is a talented writer and this is a wonderful debut. I look forward eagerly to her future novels.
Storyteller’s Grove gives Autumn Getaway 4 triskeles.


Jennifer Gracen writes contemporary romance and romantic women's fiction. She likes to write about tangled mature relationships, with equal doses of humor, warmth, passion, and gravity. A mother of two young boys, she originally hails from Long Island, New York and lives there currently. When not spending time with her family and friends, reading, or writing, she also does freelance copy editing and proofreading,
and is a professed social media addict.

Her publishing debut was with a short story, KILLING THE FANTASY, in the charity anthology ORANGE KAREN: TRIBUTE TO A WARRIOR, released in April 2013.

Her Seasons Of Love series is published by Booktrope Editions. A four book contemporary romance series, it centers on the growing relationship between Lydia, a divorced single mom who's afraid to take a second chance on love, and Sam, a widowed graphic arts executive who's afraid to NOT take the chance -- he wants to find happiness again, and he wants it with Lydia.
Book 2, WINTER HOPES, was released on July 1, 2014.
Book 3, SPRING SHADOWS, will be released on October 1, 2014.
Book 4, SUMMER CHAMPAGNE, is set for release in early January 2015.

Her Christmas novella, ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS, will be published by Tule Publishing on November 11, 2014. The novella is part of a linked four book set, titled CHRISTMAS IN NEW YORK, with three other authors from her local writing group, the Long Island Romance Writers, writing the other three novellas.

You can find her on Facebook among other places and on her Amazon author page 
Jennifer is proud to be part of her local RWA (Romance Writers of America) chapter, and is serving as Secretary in 2014.