Char is an intriguing character that I felt I could relate to. What were some driving ideals behind her character?
I strive to make my characters believable. That’s why none of my characters are without flaws. I’ve written characters with depression, characters with insecurity issues, snarky characters, and even whiny over-dramatic characters, but when it came to Char, her flaws were my own. Every character I write has a little bit of me in them. Char, however, has a lot of me in her. It wasn’t intentional, but it worked. Everyone seems to relate to Char. It not only makes me feel good as an author, but also as a person to know that so many people can relate to my own personal struggles as well.
I felt like the book did a good job of exploring self esteem issues. What were some themes that were important for you to write about?
As I mentioned earlier, Char’s very much me. Char’s self-esteem issues are my own. As someone who has struggled with weight my entire life, I also wanted to make that part of Char’s struggle as well. In early drafts, I had her intentionally losing weight. But I changed it because it didn’t feel right for her story. She needed to learn to be comfortable in her own body, as opposed to transforming her body to meet societal ideals. As Char says at the end, “she is not every girl,” so I felt it necessary to make sure she remained true to that through it all. I also wanted to breathe some fresh air into the idea of a relationship where he adores her for who she is as opposed to her having to evolve into some “ideal woman” to win his affection. He’s obsessed with her for who she is, not who she should become, and I felt that was a reminder we all need.
What is the next book that you are writing and when will it be available?
Well, you never know when I might sneak something out. You just have to follow my social media for that. However, I can tell you that my next scheduled release is a romantic comedy entitled All the Wrong Places that will be out in summer 2019. It was so much fun to write. It’s not as deep as Anticipating Temptation, nor was it written to be. It was just meant to be fun. It’ll be the perfect beach read.
Char Brown is overweight and underappreciated. But at least she has a boyfriend and a job she enjoys.
Wait, scratch that. He just broke up with her. Over text. And told her to lose weight.
Overly self-conscious about herself and a classic introvert, Char isn’t sure what she’s got going for her anymore.
But Darryl Drummond sure does, and he’s insistent that she’s worth more than she thinks. The only thing he likes more than wine is Char, and he’s not going to relent until she notices. He’s a shrewd businessman and he didn’t get that way on hoping things worked in his favor.
Armed with a magazine column and a newfound appreciation for wine, love, and herself, can she recover from the bruises her ex left behind? Or will she be destined to live in the shadows of her own failures for good?
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I listened to this novel as an audiobook and thoroughly enjoyed the narrator’s voice and dramatic affect along with character voices. This sultry novel brought to us by Randi Perrin introduces us to Char Brown. She is a 30-something woman working at a magazine with her closest, and maybe only, friends. She admires the slim, physique of her best friend, Jenny, and begrudgingly attempts to eat salads in an effort to attain a slim physique of her own. She has a strange relationship with her boyfriend, one where he hides her from his mom, so she’ll allow him to continue living at home. When I heard that part, I knew that Char clearly struggles with her self-esteem and you see this theme permeating throughout the beginning of this story.
Things quickly change for Char as the boyfriend breaks-up with her, in a terrible way, and leaves her feeling low and unworthy. Fortunately, she has good friends who get her out and suddenly her world changes and she is caught in a web of seduction woven by a handsome cowboy type…who also owns a wine bar and has a literature degree! I absolutely love how Darryl is immediately drawn to Char. For anyone who has experienced love at first sight you know how that feels and that it exists. Some people might find it creepy that Darryl was able to hunt down her phone number in under 12 hours, but I understand that when that intense chemical attraction occurs there is nothing that will stand in your way. This book brought back happy memories of my own meeting with my husband and how it took me by surprise and swept me away. For that reason, I had an extra appreciation while listening to this story.
It is always refreshing to read romance where the male character is working hard to build the confidence of his female interest out of admiration and respect. He doesn’t just try to bed her but shows an interest in who she is and truly finds her beautiful. It is so common for a woman to experience low self-esteem due to the world and men beating them down. It is nice to see Char experiencing this affection and adoration and starting to realize her worth. There is definitely a kink in the sexy cogs where Char is disillusioned and brought back to her former beliefs about herself but that is totally normal, and I appreciated that it wasn’t all just roses.
I am not a drinker but there was a lot of wine knowledge embedded in this story that a true connoisseur would enjoy. There are a lot of sexy wine metaphors as well! There is a little erotic action, but it is done respectfully and not in a raunchy or distasteful way. This was a fun read with a beautiful and romantic story that got me feeling all warm and fuzzy and wanting to relive my romance all over again.
Pages: 126 | ASIN: B073HF2LG8
Tags: adult romance, alibris, Anticipating Temptation, audible, audiobook, author, author life, authors, barnes and noble, book, book club, book geek, book lover, bookaholic, bookbaby, bookblogger, bookbub, bookhaul, bookhub, bookish, bookreads, books of instagram, booksbooksbooks, bookshelf, bookstagram, bookstagramer, bookwitty, bookworks, bookworm, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, ilovebooks, indiebooks, kindle, kobo, literature, love, love story, nook, novel, publishing, randi perrin, read, reader, reading, romance, shelfari, smashwords, story, wine, womens fiction, writer, writer community, writing
With an intriguingly unique title, Gravity Games, “A Nathan Sherlock Foodie Thriller,” by John Matsui certainly piques readers’ interests right from the start. The crossover of foodie and thriller novel is not one that is commonly found on bookshelves, and Matsui cooks up a plot that is decidedly more interesting than any book reviewer’s lukewarm cooking puns. The novel follows the title character, Nathan Sherlock, and his sidekick, Bonnie Nakagowa, as they venture through an international conspiracy full of modern-day super-humans and, of course, a few supervillains.
Gravity Games starts off at a quick pace with a plotline that immediately pulls readers in. Nathan Sherlock, famously known around the world as “Nate the Nose” for his otherworldly sense of smell that renders him capable of creating literally orgasmic food and wine pairings, also dabbles in crime-solving. Thanks to his heightened sense of smell, Nate can conveniently detect the smell of murder, as well as other useful emotions, like fear, lying, and attraction. The novel seems to relish the fun and lightheartedness of being a foodie thriller novel: the last name Sherlock, the food puns, and the clichéd beautiful FBI agent. But the superficial fun can only sustain readers for so long, and unfortunately most of Matsui’s novel falls somewhat short of expectations.
Matsui’s thriller deserves a well-earned four stars for creating a completely unique plot and fascinating set of characters. The international mystery that dabbles in physics, finance, and genetics is certainly full of enough intrigue to keep readers motivated, and Matsui also weaves in modern issues like the Occupy Movement, sex trafficking, and the energy sector to keep the thriller somewhat grounded in reality. That perhaps, though, is Matsui’s downfall: by creating so many captivating characters and throwing in a myriad of plot twists, it is hard to follow the novel’s true focus. There are several competing story lines, and each is mesmerizing but feels squeezed for time in Matsui’s concise thriller. Matsui also packs his fast-paced novel full of one-of-a-kind characters, from mad scientists to vicious oil tycoons to mysterious ladies of the night. But apart from Nathan and Bonnie, most of the characters lack the development that their interesting backstories deserve, and it feels as if Matsui could have dedicated entire other novels to some of his supporting stars.
Matsui writes in clever and well-written turns of the tongue, keeping a quick stride to accompany Nate and Bonnie on their adventures. Gravity Games weaves an unbelievable, eye-popping series of events into one cohesive tale that culminates in a delicious finale, leaving readers drooling for the second installment of the Nate Sherlock Foodie Thriller Series. Part of the joy in reading about super-humans and fantastic events is simply how unrealistically fun they are, and Matsui embraces that. Though readers may be craving Aunt Lucy’s famous cabbage rolls by the end, readers will be craving a more thorough and in-depth novel by Matsui even more.
Pages: 266 | ASIN: B01755YLN4
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