Friday, April 10, 2015

Review: Tate by Barbara S Stewart

** This love story is a suggestive romance. The love scenes will not be graphic.

A tease from page 256 - because that's what page number Gene called out! :)

“Maisie,” she said in a voice filled with delight, “it’s beautiful!”
“I see more detail, but I need time to sketch it out.”
“So, does this mean you forgive me?” she asked, guardedly.
“I can forgive,” I said, and hesitated. “I need more time to forget. Honestly, there’s been so much hurt through all of this that forgetting isn’t as easy. I’ll work with you.”
“Maisie, I’m sorry,” she said again.
“Let it go. Please. Let’s move on.” She’d been there over an hour and honestly; I was ready for her to leave. My mind was so full of everything that she shared – I needed her to go.
“I need you to know that Tate is a good man, Ami. I’m blessed. I didn’t know if I could ever move past Blake, but Tate pulled me out of my self-imposed asylum. He’s showed me a life I never knew possible. I never knew that I could feel like he makes me feel. I was ready to feel again. Tate made me feel again. I hope you find your own Prince Charming.”
“I’m not looking. I need to think about some things. I need to regroup and think about how a woman waits for love to find her.”
“You will, Ami.” Quiet a moment, I added, “Can we keep this conversation between us for now?”

4 Stars!
Review by Jen Hagen 

Tate Morrow is a 30-year-old tall cowboy who can croon a tune.  By day he is a UPS driver, but on the weekends he is the star of the local country western bar.  He was recently discovered by a talent scout and is leaving his Tennessee roots to record with Andy in Florida – yes, that Andy – that Andy of her Rock and Roll series.  I was so ecstatic to see Andy’s name in print again.  Back to Tate…He is a simple guy, works hard, and lives and breathes his country roots.  He is not set on superstardom as is his newly-hired manager, Audra.  Audra sees gold when she looks at Tate.  Here is her chance to shine at the Grammy’s, especially when paired with Audra’s other protégé, Ami.  Audra has big plans for Ami and Tate to collaborate and be country music’s super couple, but somebody forgot to include Tate in on these plans.  Audra insists that Tate give the women what they want, and that would be some eye candy.  She sends him to get his clothing seams sewed tighter to showcase his body.  At the tailor shop he meets Maisie.  Things get down to a personal level on their very first meeting.

“Before I start, I need to let you know that I’ll be working on this seam.  I hope I don’t slip and pin something I shouldn’t, so stand still,” she said, and grabbed the crotch of my jeans.
I heard the devil’s laugh, but when I looked at her all I saw was an angel’s face.

That’s about as daring as Maisie gets.  For years she has lived her life constrained. She has suffered grief so she keeps herself closed off, but even before that she still would never step outside the box.  Maisie is stuck in the past, not knowing if she should take the chance and move forward. Tate is definitely all about living in the moment and after meeting Maisie he has his head set on getting to know her better. 

I needed to know why she was so aloof, why just talking to her made her want to blow. I could tell it wasn’t sincere.  She’d let too many smiles and giggles bubble to the surface and then quickly tried to hide them.  She was trying to keep up an act, trying to convince herself that she wasn’t interested; this was what she wanted me to think, but it only interested me more. 

Tate is persistent and he wears Maisie down into giving him a chance. After enough time spent together, Maisie begins to realize that she is happy, and actually has never been this happy before in her life.  She knows now that her life before Tate didn’t include being able to just be herself.  She always had a standard she felt she had to live up to.  Not anymore…Tate is taking her on adventures and wanting her to experience life with no holdbacks.  

“I haven’t felt happy like this in so long that I didn’t remember what it felt like.”
“Did I do that to you, Maisie?”
“You did,” she said, and turned in my arms to face me.  “This big ‘ol cowboy walked into my life and made me feel happy again.” 

Tate is now on tour and with every chance he has Maisie by his side.  They have made the headlines and dirt is dug up on Maisie’s past.  This is hard for Maisie to deal with, and at the first sign of trouble Maisie runs from Tate, but Tate is strong enough for both of them to battle the ugly tales.  Somebody is out to sabotage their happiness and they find themselves wondering who in their tight circle of friends that they consider family would feed the press.  

Tate and Maisie are going to find their happily ever after no matter what happens and there is nobody that will be able to break them apart.  Their love with have to withstand the rumors and fabricated stories.  At first I thought Maisie was weak and wouldn’t be able to stand up against the so-called bullies, but she had me fooled.  She just needed to find her natural footing that she was holding back on.  Underneath her timidness and fears, she is a strong woman.  Tate helped her bring out these qualities and believe in herself.

I’m a huge fan of Ms. Stewart as she writes quality stories with a lot of character depth and intense details.  This is a sweet love story that isn’t rushed.  I would also say that is a more mature love story and not a lot of angst between the couple itself, but more so with life in general.  As the author states, this is a “suggestive romance” meaning details are left out of their sexual desires – that doesn’t necessarily mean this is a sterilized clean book as there is still some sexual tension noted.  I will end with the funniest line I have ever read in one of Ms. Stewart’s books (and it still makes me giggle)

"I’m a sweet kind of guy, but right now, all I can think about is getting inside you and doing some push ups!” 


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