(Full Length Romance)
This review is done in conjunction with the author's virtual tour with Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, so comment today AND follow the tour (if you click on the tour banner above, it'll take you to a list of his tour stops) -- the more you read and comment, the better your odds of winning. You could be introduced to a great new author AND win a fun prize!
Stella is one step from leaving her honky tonk town when bad-boy Dane roars through Main Street on his prized Harley-Davidson. Their dangerous romance keeps the locals talking, but when Dane is sent to prison for manslaughter after a bar fight, the couple discovers their love runs deeper than their reputations.
I wasn't sure what to expect with this story, but it had "honky tonk" in the title, and I'm a sucker for country. I didn't realize it was set in the recent past (1980's) but it was fun to revisit the decade of my youth. The author had the time down pat and I completely enjoyed the walk down memory lane.
Right up front I have to say that this was not an easy read. Both the hero and heroine are less than truly likeable to begin with, and the story itself is filled with so much emotion and angst that I was wrung out by the end. The author has a fantastic voice, though, and some serious writing chops so even though this wasn't my usual reading fare, I wasn't even tempted to put it down at any point.
Stella isn't a nice girl by any means. She feels a bit spoiled (though, really she isn't) and she doesn't really think twice about going after a guy who's already with someone else. To be fair, Dane certainly doesn't flinch at cheating either and without this love triangle, the story wouldn't have happened. They're incredibly far from "hero" material, but thankfully during the many years this book spans, they do some growing up, learning and changing.
I loved the town -- a typical small town where everyone is in everyone's business. It was filled with well-drawn, colorful characters (I truly loved Stella's boss and her perfume store) and even a place that was a character in itself (the water tower). The descriptions of people and places was lush and full without being overbearing and intrusive. The author has just the right touch with her words and I was so impressed by her skill.
If you're into emotionally charged stories full of growth and happy-ever-after love by an author who seriously knows what she's doing, I can highly recommend Stella & Dane: A Honky Tonk Romance. While it may not have been the kind of book I usually enjoy (I prefer a good laugh to a good cry), and while I probably won't read it again (I'm still exhausted from my first trip through), it's a really good story with a great ending.
4.5 / 5 Flowers -- a Really Good Book!
Her articles and short stories have been published in many magazines including The Writer magazine, The First Line, and publications by SCBWI and the Writers' League of Texas. Her best work has been collected into a short story collection Single Edged Blades.
She lives in Austin, Texas, with her two daughters and new husband. They were married 6.9.12!
Web site: www.deannaroy.com