Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Jane Harvey-Berrick's "At your Beck and Call."

The Hopeless Romantics Book Blog are pleased to be a part of the Blog Tour & Giveaway for Jane Harvey-Berrick's "At your Beck and Call."

Amazon UK:     http://amzn.to/RH8ECY
Amazon.com:    http://amzn.to/1mMb1jt

Synopsis:

Hallen Jansen has it all. At 28, he has a flashy car, a great apartment, and a job he’s good at and that he loves – as an escort – working at your beck and call.

His life is easy, with no emotions or attachments slowing him down – choosing to keep moving, always running from the past.
But when a new client awakens unfamiliar feelings, all bets are off. Can he convince a recently divorced woman twenty years older to trust men again – to trust him? Can Hallen trust himself not to screw things up?

Surrounded by people who choose to judge them, will they make their relationship a reality, or is it heartbreak for both?

Not all services are professional.

Review: Surj Harvey

"At your Beck and Call" was not what I was expecting at all. The story was unconventional, unpredictable and unique in it's own right and I was fascinated, enlightened, entertained and most definitely captivated as I turned the pages. If you haven't read this book, you must because you really don't want to miss out on meeting Hallen  Jansen ... that man will grab a hold of your heart from the very first page and will not loosen that grip.... not even at the very end... in fact just for good measure... as you read the last word, he'll just give it that extra little squeeze just to thank you for joining him on his journey.... and trust me... it really was one hell of a ride. 

Some nights I felt like I could never get clean again. 

Told mostly from Hallen's POV, the first half of "At your Beck and Call" gave me a frank, honest and very candid account of this man's past. Let's just say his childhood hadn't been the best and his college years were spent struggling to make ends meet taking any job available... including a brief stint in the porn industry which had me giggling somewhat!!! If he was a tortured, broken soul, I didn't feel it... closed off from letting people see the real him maybe, not getting emotionally involved with anyone ... absolutely... but broken... definitely not. The reasons for his detachment became apparent as I progressed through his story... certain experiences and life events playing a huge part. 


I didn't want to get close to anyone, because those you love leave you.

But it was Hallen's recollection of his life as a high class escort that really piqued my interest.. the highs, the lows, the ups, the downs: each encounter he shared with the reader brought something new... a new experience, a new lesson learned and a new rule made (and trust me there were a few). Let's just say, this lifestyle wasn't all it appeared to be and sometimes.... well sometimes it was tough. But Hallen was a true professional with a very strong work ethic so even when things went pear shaped... he got through it (after all what else did he have other than his job?)

You should see some of the things women expected me to go down on- 
it was difficult not to gag sometimes. 

It was the second half of the book though, that really tugged at my heart strings because despite being emotionally closed off from women, Hallen found himself attracted to one of his clients (Laura) ... something that was completely alien to him. It wasn't cheesy despite how it might sound... in fact what transpired was a beautiful yet heart breaking love story and I for one was rooting for this couple to work despite the millions of obstacles they faced... it was one thing after another... but each hurdle was realistic and believable for the situation  found themselves in and that's why I was 100% invested in their story. This wasn't a forbidden romance so much as a relationship that was frowned upon... age, social status and career choice playing a huge part in that. Ladies... be prepared for your heart to be left bruised and battered. 

"I can hear you," she said. "Your heart is racing."
"I know."
"But why?"
Because I'm fucking terrified."
"I don't understand."
"I'm terrified of you."
"Hallen?"
"I've never done this before."
"What do you mean?"
"Made love. Never. Only fucking. And I don't know what to do." 

The shift in Hallen's character during the second half of this book really excited me. What can I say, I'm a hopeless romantic. I loved watching him go from someone that had more or less closed the real him off from the world to a man who was all of a sudden feeling emotions that were confusing the hell out of him. The confidence was gone... in fact slowly but surely the layers were being peeled back and what I found was a vulnerable, yet beautiful man who had so much to give ( god someone pass me a kleenex because he will bring a tear to your eyes). 

The secondary characters in "At your Beck and Call" each brought something to the table... Eloise was like a mother to Hallen (OK so maybe a pimp), Vero... his first ever client,  Carl (his roomie and best friend from college) and last but not least Laura... this amazing woman who stole the heart of our gigolo. My heart truly went out to her for so many reasons but mainly because all of her fears and insecurities felt so real. I know if I was in her shoes, I'd have felt the exact same way. 

"I've done a lot of things I'm not proud of, but when you look at me like that
I feel like I've been given a second chance."

All in all, I loved reading Hallen's story. I laughed, I cried, I tore at my nails with nervous anticipation... oh and I got all hot and flustered too with all the very hot sex scenes but that was a bonus because that's not what this story was about. It wasn't even really about being an escort. "At your Beck and Call" was a story about finding who you are, accepting who you are and finding your place in the world. Yes there were a few detours along the way but I honestly believe Hallen found his way home in the end. A beautiful, beautiful story that everyone should read. I rated "At his Beck and Call" 5 Hearts. 
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Excerpt:

“Seriously, Eloise? A high school dance. Balloon arches and spiked punch?”

She laughed, although there was an edge to her voice.

“I would have thought it would make a nice change from older women, Hallen, and for once you can a knock a couple of years off your age.”

I frowned.

“Besides, the money is the same so what difference does it make?” Eloise said, brusquely. “Look, have you got any idea how brutal high school is for plain girls?”

Sometimes she made it sound like working as an escort was a mission, not … well, what it was.

“Melissa’s mother says she is very shy and a little overweight. She doesn’t want all her daughter’s memories of high school to be ghastly. And, frankly, there are very few reputable escort services offering anything to girls of her age. You’re only three years older and when you shave you’ll look younger. Look on it as an act of charity.”

“Oh, I’m sure Melissa would love to hear that,” I snarkedback.

“I told you to look her age, not act it,” Eloise replied, sharply. “Sweep her off her feet, but don’t sleep with her. Understand?”

“Yes, boss.

Author Bio:

I started writing contemporary romance two years ago. Before that, I didn’t think I could write a sex scene. Turns out I can!

My lucky number is 13 because I was born on the 13th and live near a haunted castle by the ocean. My number one past-time is watching hot surfers get changed into (and out of) their wetsuits.

My husband doesn’t read my books. My mother does.

Writing is my love, my hobby, my total addiction. All my characters are important to me and whisper their stories, even when I’ve finished writing their books. That’s why you’ll often find bonus chapters/out-takes from various books, because those voices just won’t be quiet.

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2 comments:

  1. Love LOVE your review! Thank you so much. Really happy you enjoyed my story :) jx

    ReplyDelete