Monday, December 9, 2013

**Spotlight on Jessica Ingro** Their Merry Little Christmas, Love Square, His Ever After

With the past behind them and all their skeletons out of the closet, the couples have just begun to settle into their relationships when they find things shaken up yet again.

Will Sam and Aiden’s marriage be able to survive the demands of work, shopping, decorating, and of course… baby Tessa? Will Jacob make a good first impression with his future in-laws and secure Kara’s position by his side until death do them part?

Join your favorite Love Square couples as they deck the halls and have themselves a Merry Little Christmas.

Excerpt from Their Merry Little Christmas
(Sam runs into Jacob)


The Meeting



I walk triumphantly out of Toys ‘R Us, pushing Tessa’s stroller. I got the damn Elmo alright. I might have had to be a little underhanded to do it, but I got it. The bitch deserved it anyhow.

“You stole her Elmo?” Michelle asks in between laughs.

“Well, technically. When the clerk put the dolls on the shelf, the women there descended like vultures. I had to push Tessa towards the side so she didn’t get hurt in the stampede and when I reached for the last one, that witch grabbed it from my hand.” I cradle my cell phone between my chin and shoulder as I situate my packages in the stroller.

“Was it actually in your hands or was it still on the shelf?” Michelle asks with a serious tone to her voice.

“What difference does it make?” I reply, while walking down the strip mall towards the photography studio, where I parked my Tahoe. After I drop off these bags in the car, I need to pick up the last of Aiden’s gifts.

“It makes a big difference actually. If it was off the shelf and fully in your hands, then she stole it from you. But if the box was still resting on the shelf and you both grabbed it at the same time, then it was ‘may the best woman win’ territory.”

“I don’t really know,” I grumble, pissed that if what she says is true, then I probably shouldn’t have chased the woman down and stolen the Elmo out of her cart when she wasn’t looking.

“Oh my God! You are such a bitch! You stole that poor woman’s Christmas present!” Michelle hoots into the phone, knowing full well what my silence says.

“I… I have to call you back…” My voice stutters and trails off as I hang up the phone on Michelle. It immediately starts ringing so I push the button to send her straight to voicemail.

I watch in astonishment as Jacob and a redheaded beauty walk hand-in-hand down the strip. His eyes are shining and happy as he tugs on her arm to stop her forward progression. He reaches up and tucks her hair behind her ear, before leaning down and brushing his lips against hers. The woman leans into him, placing her hand on his chest and curling her fingers into the lapel of his jacket.

My steps falter, and tears prick the back of my eyes. My heart begins to break at the sight of the two of them. It’s not that I want Jacob for myself. I’m happy and in love with Aiden. It’s just a total shock to see him so obscenely happy. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him look the way he does now, as I watch him whisper into her ear.

They start walking again, right towards me. But I’m still stuck in place, grieving over the loss of a love that it turns out, I never really had.

When I realize that there is nowhere for me to hide, I begin to panic. I don’t know if I can handle seeing them together. The very thought of meeting this mystery woman, scares me.

It’s been at least a year and a half since I saw Jacob last. I sent him away after learning about Aiden and Brooke’s deceit, and the difference is night and day. I wanted him to find a woman who would make him happy, I just didn’t realize that I never actually made him happy. Not even one iota as much as this person does. It’s plain to see.

Jacob is visibly startled when he sees me standing in the middle of the sidewalk, staring. He looks worriedly at the redhead, before walking over to me.

4 Fabulous Stars
 Review by Jen Hagen  

The holidays are quickly approaching for Sam/Aiden/Jacob and it’s time to meet the parents, bake cookies, fight the crowds for the perfect present for little Tessa, and play Santa for the darling nieces.  This fun little holiday novella gives us everything we have loved in our Sam/Aiden/Jacob tryst, from Jacob and his dirty talk, to Sam seeing for herself what true love appears on a face when looking at the person you love, and when an omission of truth results in insecurities it’s time for introductions…”hello pot…meet kettle!”  
Of course there has to be a little drama thrown in, as we wouldn’t enjoy the story as much if it was laced with hearts and flowers all the time.   This little novella gave me the peace of mind that all is right in their worlds and the choices they have made were the correct ones.  I can ever dare say this novella gave me the closure I needed in order to move on as everybody is happy in their lives.  This novella will lead us into the next book involving one of Jacob’s co-workers, and there’s a story waiting to be told inside the walls of the happy suburbia home involving Emma and John.    

A love triangle gone bad...

He was the one guy I couldn't get enough of. One look from him would make me melt. He was the one I always wanted to love me, but always seemed so far away. Now he stands before me and he's turning my world upside down.

At one time I would have done anything to be close to him. But will that anything include betraying the man I pledged myself to and that loves me faithfully?

Samantha Monroe had it all. Or at least everyone thought she did. A career on the rise, a gorgeous husband, great friends and a beautiful home. So why does she feel so alone and empty? When she reconnects with an old flame, lines are tested and compromises made in a quest for happiness.

Jacob Matthews always wondered what happened to Sam Monroe. When fate brings them together after all these years, he can't help but wonder if its meant to be. But when he meets his perfect woman, there is no doubt in his mind she's his soul mate.

Will the search for happiness cost them everything or will their love square show them what really matters?

4 Fantastic Stars
Review by Jen Hagen

“I allowed the love I once had for a beautiful boy to almost destroy everything that I held dear.”

Aiden and Samantha (Sam) have been together for 10 years.  They have spent the last couple of years trying to become pregnant without success.   This has caused stress in their relationship and they have distanced themselves from each other in the bedroom and also in their everyday life.  Sam knows that she wants more from Aiden, but she can’t put it to words and just allows the distance to grow.

God I just want to scream, “Say something already!  Please just tell me what is wrong with us!”  But again…silence.

These days I don’t think he heard anything I was saying but rather thought of me as an adult in Charlie Brown – with the only sounds coming out of my mouth being “mwa mwa mwa mwa.”

Sam and Jacob were involved with each other 16 years ago during his senior year/her junior year of high school.   Samantha is an author and is having a book signing event.  She is completely surprised when she looks up into the green eyes of Jacob standing in front of her.   She agrees to meet him later for drinks to catch up on the last 16 years.

He was my first real love and my first real heart break.

Jacob is intuitive and acknowledges that Sam doesn’t seem happy in her marriage.   What begins as fun role-play emails following their meeting advances into real-life steamy sex scenes.  Sam is caught up in a web of lies and can’t bring herself to break the affair off with Jacob even though she knows it shouldn’t continue.

Being with him felt incredible and I still can’t understand how something so wrong could feel so unbelievably right.

 Jacob has strong feelings for Sam and they are caught in a dilemma of Jacob continuing to be the hidden lover or for Sam to leave Aiden.   Sam has put herself in quite a conundrum. 

I’m afraid to hurt Aiden.  I’m afraid to hurt Jacob.  And most of all, I’m afraid that it will be a mistake and that I’ll regret my decision.

Sam has finally made a decision”For this to work, we both have to want it.  And I don’t want it anymore.”  But is that her final answer? 

This book definitely filled the angst-hole in my heart.  I was caught between liking/disliking Aiden, Jacob and Sam at various times in the book.  Just when you think “oh for sweet” you turn the page and are then saying “you can’t be serious!”  The epilogue will definitely leave you muttering things to yourself and will change your feelings towards a certain character.   I was ecstatic to turn the final page and see that there is a book coming from Jacob’s POV and will be released soon.   “Love Square” can be read as a stand-alone novel, but I don’t think you want to miss Jacob’s POV. 

All is fair in love and war.

Jacob Matthews learned that lesson the hard way when he discovered just how far some people will go to win someone’s heart.

When fate brought Samantha Monroe back into Jacob’s life, he finally started to believe that his world was going to be complete. He loves Sam with the kind of intensity that burns deep and scalds your very soul. But fate had other ideas in mind, forcing him into a life filled with cold touches, long silences and complete misery.

Brooke Dugan had to have Jacob Matthews. It didn’t matter that he was in love with someone else, she always got what she wanted. And what she wanted was Jacob. Brooke vowed that she would stop at nothing until Jacob was tied to her forever… in both life and death.

Find out what happens when lies are revealed and the bitter truth comes out. Hearts will be broken and bonds will be tested.

Everyone is worthy of love -- even Jacob, but can he find his happily ever after?

Prepare yourself for the emotional follow up to Love Square…

4.5 Fearless Stars
Review by Jen Hagen

This is the continuation of Jacob’s story from Love Square.  This book is mainly told in his point of view, although we do get to see and hear from Aiden and Sam along with Brooke, the other characters from Love Square.


Jacob is in a dark place.  He is still living in a dream world where he and Sam are in love.  He can’t seem to move forward and accept the fact that she has moved on with Aiden. 


“I’m not exactly sure what a broken heart feels like, but I’m guessing this is as close as it gets.”


Jacob and Sam had a history that went back 16 years.  Unfortunately, an 18-year-old Jacob made a poor decision that has perhaps changed the course of his life and any chance at finding love will never be his as he will always be pining for his true love, Sam.  While Sam and Aiden are a happy family, Jacob is trying to put his life together again.  Brooke is there to help him, in fact she is more than happy to be there for him and desperately wants to be in his life, even if it means deceiving him is the only way to become part of it.  Jacob feels he deserves the unhappy life he is suddenly dealt.  He feels he is to blame for an event that has left him devastated. 


“I cry because I couldn’t be what she wanted.  But mostly I cry because this is all my fault.”


How do you move forward when all you can do is place the blame on yourself?  How can Jacob let go of the guilt and self-loathing?  If you’re Jacob, you try by numbing yourself in alcohol and women…lots and lots of women.


“I’m not even sure how many women I’ve slept with or what all their names are.  All I know is that it allows me to forget everything for a little while, before it all comes crashing back into me.”


During this time period in Jacob’s life he is not a nice guy.  In fact, I referred to him as being a douche bag.  He is in a dark, dark place and he says hurtful things to people who care about him.   You know the author has done such a fine job creating a character when we can sympathize with him and forgive him for his poor choices.  I never found myself disliking the character of Jacob even when he was being a jerk.  Sure I got disappointed in the poor choices he was making and would slap my forehead and say to myself  “I can’t believe you just said that, Jacob.”   I was always able to forgive him because he had worked a way into my heart.  I knew he was so broken and he just needed to climb out of the dark at his own pace. 


Eventually Jacob becomes aware of the deception that Aiden was willing to go to in order to save his marriage to Sam.  Could this be his chance at finding happiness again?  Will Sam come to him when the truth is revealed? 


“Jake.  I’ll always love you.”  Her words make my heart soar.

“Then say you’ll be with me.  Say you’ll let me love you forever.  Say you’ll make me whole again.”


Will it be Sam that puts the pieces of his heart back together again?


“Why do you call me sunshine?”  She asks with her eyes still closed.

“Before you, all I knew was darkness.  You brought the light into my life.”  She gifts me with a warm smile and with that, I finally feel at peace again.


If anybody deserved a happily ever after, it was Jacob.  He was a tortured person whose life was changed by somebody who decided to play God with his life and change the course of fate. 


One of the reasons why I embraced this story is because it involved characters that I could relate to.  They weren’t 20 year olds being involved in their first relationship and wanting to test the waters.  These were characters who were older and more established in their lives.  Jacob is 34 and still trying to find some semblance of happiness.   Life isn’t all hearts and flowers and I was glad to be given the opportunity to read a book that dealt with problems that even a married woman could see herself going through.  We could relate to Kate in Love Square that she had hit a stagnant place in her marriage and was searching for something…she didn’t even know what it was, but she knew she wasn’t happy.   We can relate to Jacob and forgive him because Kate was his one true love and how do you ever let go of that?  When reading about 20 year olds caught in a love triangle and the one not chosen hurts, I always find myself thinking “you’ll find love again” but as the years progress and if you have never gotten over the love you let go, then I can sympathize with the character a little more.  I think that’s why Jacob’s hold on my heart was so strong.  Jacob faced a lot of challenges in this book and if you didn’t love him before, you will at the end of the book.

Nook Their Merry Little Christmas

Nook Love Square

Nook His Ever After

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