Going After the Heart
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Date of Publication: December 18, 2012
Number of pages: 234
Lizzy Bergstrum thought she finally reached a point in her life when she could honestly say she had it all. A thriving writing career. A wonderful daughter. And a marriage to the love of her life. But looks can apparently be deceiving because her husband just walked out on her and their eight year old daughter hates her.
Gavin Bergstrum can’t handle the direction his life has taken. Not only did he get laid off from his job, but his wife seems to barely remember he exists. Convinced he’s tried his best to change things, he begins to wrestle with the possibility of divorce. But he can’t think straight in the same house as Lizzy. Hating to leave his daughter, but needing time to think and come to terms with what he feels he needs to do, Gavin decides to return to his small home town in Oregon and stay at his family ranch with his father and brothers.
In shock, Lizzy gives Gavin his space. But as time passes and he doesn’t say a word about their marriage, Lizzy decides it’s past time she takes matters into her own hands. Without a word, she follows Gavin to Oregon.
Now facing a daughter who blames her for everything, an irritated husband, and a small town that feeds on the drama, Lizzy finds herself trying to figure out how to convince Gavin to give her another chance, teach her daughter it takes two to make a successful marriage, and overcome her own insecurities – all without compromising who she is.
Warning: This title is intended for readers over the age of 18 as it contains adult sexual situations and/or adult language, and may be considered offensive to some readers.
“Here’s the keys to the cabin. The round one is to the front and back doors and the square one is for the shed.” Ray’s voice sounded clear and even behind him.
Turning, Gavin watched his father hand Lizzy a small set of keys.
“I had Clare clean it up for you. Like I said on the phone, it’s not the newest place in the world, but it’s still in pretty good shape considering its age."
Lizzy gave his father a small smile as she took the keys from him. “I’m sure it’s great.”
Her gaze moved to him and resentment swelled watching her smile fade. Although, what did he expect, she hadn’t smiled at him for months prior to him leaving. Why would she start now?
But the indiscernible look settling on Lizzy’s features startled him. After ten years of marriage and five years together before getting married, Gavin would have bet big money he knew every single one of his wife’s expressions. But this one, he realized dumbfounded, he didn’t recognize.
Her gaze dropped down to Sky. “Come on, Sky, we’ve got to go up to the cabin to settle in.”
Beside him, Gavin felt Sky’s shoulders tense.
“No!” She shouted the word venomously. “I don’t want to go with you,” she spat before turning pleading blue eyes up at him. “Dad, can’t I stay here with you and Papa? I don’t want to go with her.”
Apparently he missed the memo about today being Surprise Day, Gavin realized, as he could only stare at his daughter for a moment, never having seen this side of her before.
“I tell you what, little missy, no little girl is welcome in my house that sasses her mama the way you just did. No matter what injustice you think she’s handed you, a child never speaks to their parent that way.” Ray delivered his little speech with an even look and matching tone.
Sky’s cheeks turned bright red. Gavin frowned down at her. “Your grandfather’s right, you know better than to talk to your mom that way.”
Looking up to his wife, he arched a brow. Apparently the statute of limitations for surprises for the day hadn’t been reached yet, he thought silently in disbelief when Lizzy didn’t scold, or even comment on, Sky’s behavior.
Rather than say anything, Lizzy looked away and her back stiffened so much he thought her spine would snap.
What the hell is going on? His bewilderment bothered him.
Seeing Lizzy wouldn’t say anything, Gavin looked back down at Sky. “Honey, since I didn’t know you were coming, I don’t have anywhere set up for you to sleep. I’m sleeping on a cot in one of the extra rooms. I’ll try to look at setting something up tomorrow so you can stay a few nights with me. How does that sound?”
A stubborn look Gavin recognized all too easily surfaced on Sky’s face, but she remained silent, temporarily mollified and nodded. Turning away from him, Sky made her way back to the car and climbed in without so much as a single glance in her mother’s direction.
Gavin returned his gaze back to Lizzy, but she completely ignored him as she turned to climb back in the car.
That, at least, he’d grown used to.
This was not my typical read. I mean, I am sure plenty of people like books about collapsed relationships and them being put back together, but it's not typically my thing. Too many years ago to count, it seemed like every other book that I saw was about a feuding couple and how they were about ready to divorce and them fixing the relationship. I think I was burnt out on them, or maybe just burnt out of the drama laden story lines with the characters doing pages and pages of soul searching monologues. Blech!. I am a simple girl - give me good dialogue and lots of it and I am a happy camper. And that is probably why I was drawn to this book. Yes, the drama is there, but so is the dialogue. The dialogue is witty and thought provoking and snarky and funny and alive . The plot moves along because the characters are interacting with one another. It is a beautiful thing when done right. And it was done right in this book.
We are introduced to the characters Gavin and Elizabeth "Lizzy" Bergstrum when she shows up at her father-in-law's Oregon farm three months after Gavin has retreated to it for "time to think". Basically Lizzy is tired of waiting around for her husband and is there to either get him back or figure out how to move on without him. Lizzie is upfront and honest about admitting that she had been ignoring her husband due to the demands of her writing career. She is willing to make changes and compromises to her writing career in order to get Gavin back. Lizzie just wants the chance to work on it with some honest communication.
Gavin on the other hand is massively pissed that his wife has intruded on his time away. He wanted the time to get it figured out in his head whether he wanted to move forward with a divorce. And now Lizzie has shown up and upset his equilibrium and caused him to reexamine just where the blame in their relationship actually lies. At first all Gavin does is snarl and snap and growl and basically be a horses ass, but he eventually stops and actually talks to Lizzie and not just at her.
What was great about this book, was not only was this the story of Lizzie and Gavin, but also about Graham, Gavin's younger brother and Clare, a long time friend of Graham. It was like 2 romances in one. Plus, Gavin and Graham's dad, Ray was a hoot. He practically stole every scene he was in. He dispenses words of wisdom and kicks in the rear in equal measure, dependent on what is needed most. At this point I want the younger brother's stories, just to be able to see more of Ray.
I am so glad that I got a chance to read and do a review for this book. There was some minor tear shedding, but more often than not I was giggling and smirking at what was going on between the characters. This book is getting 4 stars on Goodreads. I will have to keep my eye on Ms. Beairsto in the hopes of the younger Bergstrum boys getting stories of their own.
5 ebook copies (1 each to 5 winners) of "Going After the Heart" from Kristen Beairsto. Contest is tour-wide and ends June 16. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.
Book Tour Info:
Don't forget to check out the other stops on the Book Tour:
May 13 - Bunny's Review - Guest Post
May 15 - Have Novel, Will Edit - Guest Post
May 15 - Ms Romantic Reads - Author Interview
May 16 - Book Reviews & More by Kathy - Guest Post
May 17 - Love in a Book - Author Interview
May 18 - Jody's Book Reviews, Giveaways & Tours
May 19 - Musings and Ramblings - Review
May 20 - Aspired Writer - Guest Post
May 23 - Storm Goddess Book Reviews - Guest Post and Review
May 24 - Regina May Ross's
May 28 - Rachel Brimble Romance - Author Interview
May 30 - Dawn's Reading Nook
June 02 - Janna Shay's Fair Play - Guest Post
June 04 - Author Raine Delight's World
June 06 - Sweet n' Sassi - Review
June 07 - 4 the LUV of SANITY - Guest Post and Review
June 07 - Harlie Williams, Writer - Author Interview
June 09 - Samantha Holt - Guest Post
June 11 - Harlie's Books - Guest Post and Review
June 11 - Jersey Girl Book Reviews - Guest Post and Review
In between her to-be-read pile and trying to bring the characters in her head alive, Kristen spends as much time as she can with family and friends. Much to her husband’s dismay, she enjoys collecting purses, shoes, and jewelry. During those rare times she’s not working at her day job, rushing her daughters somewhere, watching movies with her husband, and trying to meet a deadline, she can usually be found energetically cheering for one of her favorite New York sports teams.
As with just about every other writer on the planet, Kristen grew up an avid reader. She started with young adult before she technically hit the age range and moved on to sci-fi classics by Isaac Asimov and Ray Bradbury. At fifteen, her best friend gave her a book she just had to read! The book was Honest Illusions by Nora Roberts. Always a sucker for a happy ending, she was a goner and fell in love with the romance genre. Having started writing novel length stories at the age of eleven, Kristen’s stories all took a romantic turn from that point on.
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