Thursday, 12 September 2013

Blog Tour & Giveaway: B.L Mooney's "Striving for Normal."

The Hopeless Romantics Book Blog are pleased to be a part of the Blog Tour for B.L Mooney's "Striving for Normal."
(Giveaway at bottom of post: $25 Amazon/ B&N Giftcard )

Amazon UK:


The most intimate relationship Drew Clayborn had with a man in the last four years has been with her therapist. With a past that has left her broken and scarred, she tries to piece herself back together enough to make it through each day. Whether she’s ready or not, life brings her back among the living, and Drew needs to learn quickly how to deal with her troubled past. When the perfect opportunity presents itself to pursue her dream career, it also provides Drew her first encounter with a compelling man since her devastating breakup with the last one.

Carl Williamson is rich, powerful, and gorgeous. The desire she feels when he’s near makes it impossible not to melt into his arms. He wants Drew and will stop at nothing to have her. Carl promises to be her protector, but he brings familiar concerns to the surface.

Dennis Brooks is a nice guy her best friend thinks would be her perfect match. He’s strong, honest, and sexy as hell, and he makes her smile in a way no one else can. Drew feels safe and secure with him, but she isn’t certain he is strong enough to handle Drew and give her what she thinks she needs in a relationship. 

When Drew’s demanding, controlling ex comes back to stake his claim on her, the carefully crafted world she built for herself is turned upside down. Does she need a powerful man like Carl to help her? Will Dennis step up and be the man she needs? Or does she finally become strong enough to deal with her past on her own? Who is the true hero in her quest of striving for normal?

Blog Tour Review: Kirsty Lander:

I wanted to love this one. I really tried, but it just wasn't meant to be for me. 

I don't usually like love triangles, I am the first to admit that, but when they are done correctly and there is an 'easy choice' for the heroine, I am prepared to go along for the ride. The reason I found this one so hard to get in to and enjoy is because both of the heroes, Drew's 'choices', were not likeable in the slightest.

Drew is struggling to come to terms with her past. After surviving through a horrific relationship, she is finally trying to get her life back on track. In a small amount of time she is starting a new job, moving in to a place of her own and dating two guys. First off she meets Dennis, having been set up by her best friend, she really isn't interested in Dennis and I can't say I blame her. All the while I was reading I couldn't picture him as a possibility for Drew, I felt like he was weak and would never understand Drew's issues. 
And then we meet Carl. Carl's a father grieving the loss of his wife and raising his 4 year old daughter by himself. They meet at the daycare centre that Drew is now working at and there is an instant connection. I loved Carl. He was the type of man Drew was used to - controlling, strong and powerful, and everything she knew she had to stay away from. In my opinion, the author wrote the book in such a way that I felt, as the reader, the obvious choice for Drew, was Carl. Yes, he brought back unwanted feelings and flashbacks, but I felt like the times they spent together he would have been good for her in helping her get through her rough spots.

Drew fought and fought her feelings towards Carl and tried to focus 100% of her attention on Dennis. She frustrated me so damn much. She went back and forth, debated with herself time and time again, and refused to listen to any advice anybody was giving her.

Some situations also had me rolling my eyes, they were a little unbelievable. I'm just being picky here, but as I mentioned Drew works in a day care. I am thinking top security in this day care, kids are there after all. Only this wasn't the case, day in day out there was Drew's family coming in to say hello, Dennis's family, Carl was constantly in and out. I hated that, in a real day care these people would not be allowed to walk in and out.

As for the actual writing, I can't complain. The author did keep me engaged and the main reason I carried on reading until the end was because I was invested enough to have to know who Drew 'chooses'. My issues with not liking this book was down to the actual plot and story line, if the author was to write a new book tomorrow I would certainly consider reading it.


I took a couple of steps forward and started raising my voice. “I want to know what kind of man you are. I want to know what you’re capable of. All you do is try to please me. A relationship is supposed to be give and take, for Christ’s sake, and all you do is give!”
Dennis started shaking his head. “That doesn’t make sense to me. I want to make you happy. I don’t see how that should be a problem.”
“But it is a problem, and that’s why I’m afraid this won’t work.” I started to pick up my coat, but Dennis took it from me.
“Don’t run away from this. Tell me what you need.”
“I don’t want to have to tell you. It’s something you have to do on your own and I just . . .” I sighed. “I just don’t think you have it in you.” I tried to take my coat again, but he dodged every attempt. “Dennis, give me my fucking coat.”
“Why? So you can wait by the phone when he calls to pull funding again? Are you going fuck him for more money to save your precious center?”
It was like a slap in the face, and I stumbled back a few steps. Again I wanted it, begged him to lash out. I just didn’t think he would have struck so hard. I was so stunned that all I could do was shake my head as I lowered my eyes to the floor. I didn’t see Dennis come up to me. He grabbed my face and made me look at him.
“Is this what you want? Is this the type of man you want to be with for the rest of your life?” He didn’t stop when I started crying. “You say I do nothing but give you everything. You say I need to take from this relationship. How about if I just take you right here where you stand? Is that what you want and how you like it? Is that how I can prove my love for you—take you hard and fast right here, right now? Or do you need me to yell at you some more? How about I point out every little thing you do wrong and when you try to change it I’ll still tell you that it’s wrong!”
He made his point even if he didn’t get mine, and I couldn’t bear to hear him be cruel anymore. It wasn’t Dennis. This time I grasped both sides of his shirt near his hips and put my face in his chest. “Please stop.”
Dennis started to raise his hands as if he wanted to hold me, and then put his fists down by his sides. “Is that what the type of man you want to love you would do? Would he stop just because you asked or would he keep going and get everything off his chest?”
“I don’t deserve you. Men like you deserve a lady, and I’m not a lady.” I kept crying in his chest and let go of his shirt to wrap my arms around him. He grabbed my shoulders to hold me at arm’s length before I could cling to him again. I looked up at him puzzled. Was he finally going to be tired of me? Had he finally realized I was too fucked up and complicated?
His face was hard. I’d never seen it like that before. “Men like me? Men like me want a real woman. We want someone who isn’t afraid to go after what she wants, and that includes the bedroom. I just want my bedroom to be the only one you visit. I’m not sure what your idea of a lady is, but I am sure that I don’t want it.”

Dennis bent down and grabbed my coat off the floor. He held it out to me, but I didn’t take it. “Two seconds ago you were begging for your coat.” He put it around my shoulders. “You wanted to leave.” He turned me towards the door and started walking. “I’m apparently not the type of man you have conjured up in that head of yours that you think you need to be with. Nor do you think you’re the type of woman I want to be with.” Dennis opened the front door. “You’re right that it won’t work out. I’m looking for a girlfriend, not a punching bag.”

Author Bio:

B.L. Mooney started writing when the voices and storylines in her head ran out of room. They were getting too cramped and neither B.L. nor the characters could take it anymore, so she did the only thing she could do—she made room. She always knew she wanted to write, but vowed to make time for it later. Now that she’s made time for writing, most everything else falls to the wayside. That seems to suit the characters that keep popping up just fine.

B.L. lives in the Midwest and her other talents include in-demand cookies, a very dry sense of humor, and stealth eavesdropping. Some mannerisms, attitudes, or twists come from random sentences picked up while passing by strangers. So speak up the next time you have something to gossip about. You never know, it may just end up on the pages of the next book you read.
Giveaway: $25 Amazon/ B&N Giftcard
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  1. I read Striving for Normal, and I thought it was a fantastic book. Yes there are the two possible love interests (which is a love triangle) and Carl was more of what Drew was used to but the underlying meaning of the book to me was that she was striving for her normalcy back and to get back to the life she had before Craig turned her into a self-doubting person. Dennis was "boring" in the beginning of the story as far as the strong male persona but he understood she was working in therapy on her issues so I can see why he didn't play the controlling dominating male role we normally read in books at the beginning. Dennis did win me over in the end, he was the better choice for Drew. Carl was grieving his late wife however he was trying to guilt and force Drew to live in the same relationship she was working so hard to overcome, not to mention he was using his daughter as a way to get Drew to be around.
    I didn't feel there were characters walking in and out of the daycare for no reason. Craig went there as a potential parent to sign up a potential child (even though he didn't have one and just wanted to scare Drew). He wasn't around the kids, he was just taken back to Drew's office. Carl's daughter went to the daycare and his sister had been given permission by Carl to put up his daughter since he worked late. I can also say that if the other characters were "in and out" of the daycare they were only in the doorway, since the door had to be opened for them. I don't remember reading they were given free will to walk around.
    I personally enjoyed this book it showed a woman who was her own person at one time, being mentally and physically abused by a boyfriend, then rebuilding her life with the help of her two best friends. Drew was striving for her normal and I can honestly say this was a great read.
    I respect your opinion on your review as I hope you can respect mine. I look forward to reading other books and following your blog.


  2. Hi Sara
    Thank you for your comment. I absolutely respect your opinion. Books are so subjective... what one person likes isn't necessarily what the next will like. I couldn't believe it when I heard people didn't like 50 Shades or SC Stephens Thoughtless series but I guess it's each to their own (although it still surprises me when I hear negative comments about these books lol).
    Thank you for following the blog. I really appreciate it xxx