Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT From Here To Nashville by Julie Stock @wood_beez48

Today’s team book review comes from Heidi, find her in facebook here https://m.facebook.com/#~!/heidi.simon.921?ref=bookmark

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Heidi chose to read and review From Here To Nashville by Julie Stock

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From Here to Nashville

By Julie Stock

Review by Heidi Lynn

 

First, I would like to thank Julie Stock and Rosie Amber for providing me with this book so I may provide you with this review.

 

From Here to Nashville by Julie Stock is one of the best books I have read in 2015!! She had me smiling from ear to ear throughout the book. I knew I was going to like the book because of my love of country music and romance novels. However, I had no idea how much this book would actually touch my heart. There was even a part in the story that I shed a tear-a happy tear.

 

Dreams can come true if you just follow your heart. Never give up on your dream. Julie installed that theme into the whole novel. It was a joy to read Rachel’s journey and see her dream blossom into reality.

 

I totally fell in love with Jackson’s character. He was a true gentleman, handsome, successful, treated Rachel like a queen. Sure, he had one flaw that I didn’t care for. However, nobody is perfect. I can officially say he is my new book boyfriend.

 

Rachel wrote her own song lyrics and many of them pulled on my heart strings. One of them I would like to share:

 

“This is who I am, what you see is what you get, I wear my heart on my sleeve and hope you’ll do the same, Accept me with all my faults and don’t try to make me change, just love me, love me, take me as I am, love me….”

 

I really enjoyed reading Julie’s acknowledgments in her book. I love how she was thankful for all her reader fans on social media.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

 

 

 

 

 

Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT From Here To Nashville by Julie Stock @wood_beez48

Today’s team review comes from Barb, she blogs at http://barbtaub.com/

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Barb chose to read and review From Here To Nashville by Julie Stock

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In her debut novel, From Here To Nashville, Julie Stock checks off all the romance novel tropes. Her heroine, Rachel Hardy, dreams of success in Nashville as a country music star. She just has a couple of little problems. First of all, there’s the accent. For some reason, the country music world just hasn’t attracted that many stars from coastal cities in England. Then there are her abandonment issues. But, with backup from her childhood friends, Rachel writes and performs her own songs at neighborhood pubs and gigs. As we meet her, she is singing and looks up to meet the eyes of hot American, Jackson Phillips. When he tells her he’s from Nashville, Rachel takes it as a good sign that her dreams will come true. But Rachel is still reeling from the loss of her parents and disappearing fiancé, while Jackson is hiding secrets of his own. There are more half-steps forward and back than a Texas two-step as the couple try to advance her career and their relationship.

Reading From Here to Nashville was like eating comfort food—it’s easy to digest, feels familiar, and fills you up. You know going into it what you’re looking for, and Julie Stock competently delivers just that. The steady pace and predictable plot didn’t get in the way of the resolution. Rachel and Jackson’s alternating points of view were telegraphed in bold font, which was helpful, especially because I thought both could have used a more individual voice, not to mention richer use of colloquial expressions and speech patterns. Jackson, especially, would have benefited from an edit with a more authentic drawl and fewer Brit-speak slips (his living room is a “lounge”, he cleans by “having a tidy up”, sleeps late with a “lie in”, refers to a degree program as “on my course”, late night partying leaves him “shattered”, etc.). But overall, the writing was well-edited and clear.

The settings in the beginning of the novel were lovely and believable. I could picture the small British seaside town, Rachel’s cottage, and her life there. But when the action moved to Nashville, it lost me. I haven’t spent much time there, but I didn’t recognize the almost sterile portrait of a place I found full of eccentric characters and colorful locations.

I do have some small complaints that didn’t really get in the way of enjoying the story. For example, I wish there had been more explanation of how a Dorset girl came to be a country singer, even if it’s only the Taylor Swift/country princess variety and not LeAnn Rimes/Coyote Ugly. We never got a convincing picture of the Nashville music scene, which would have been fun.

My biggest complaint, though, is that I found myself wanting to tell both Rachel and Jackson get over yourself. He’s apparently the insanely wealthy young head of his own music label, but he takes almost no CEO-type actions, and defers to his secretary as his “office mom”. She’s supposed to be incredibly talented, but we have no idea where her training and background comes from. He’s rich and handsome, she’s beautiful and gifted. I know those people have problems too, but it’s hard to make myself care deeply when each one is just keeping secrets and expecting the other to hurt their feelings.

Overall, I’d call From Here to Nashville a solid three-star debut effort. Julie Stock has a firm hand on her characters and plot arc, and a nice way of turning a phrase. I think if she takes a few chances, stretches some of those tropes to their limits, and pushes her characters harder, her next book will be irresistible. I, for one, would like to find out.

*I received this book for free from the publisher or author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Terry Reviews From Here To Nashville by Julie Stock

Today we have a review from Terry she blogs at http://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

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Terry has been reading From Here To Nashville by Julie Stock

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From here to Nashville

3 out of 5 stars

The debut novel by Julie Stock is a sweetly old-fashioned romance, in which English country singer Rachel meets her handsome prince, Jackson Phillips – who just happens to be a rich and successful independent record mogul from Nashville.  It’s strong attraction at first sight, but the path of true love is not a straightforward one.

I think this novel will appeal very much to readers who love traditional romance stories; I describe it as ‘old-fashioned’ in a good way; there’s little reference to popular culture or general 21st century attitudes and it’s very much of its genre.  It’s not what I gather is called a ‘sweet romance’ as there is a bit of earthy passion there too, but of the ‘mounting desire’ type, nothing at all graphic, and there’s no bad language in it, a factor that will appeal to many.  Obviously it will have an added attraction to country music fans, too!

This is a difficult book for me to review as Julie Stock has written a weekly blog about her path to publication, many episodes of which I have read, so I know a little about the quandaries that presented themselves during the process.  As far as the continuity, structure and pace go I think she has made an excellent job of it, and she made a good decision to tell the story in two alternating first person points of view, which always adds interest.  The book is well presented with minimal errors.  I read that she was worried about lack of description of her settings, but I thought that the beginning, in particular, was illustrated very nicely.  The sense of an idyllic British seaside town in August is all there; there’s a slightly dreamy quality about it which really worked.

The majority of debut novels have room for improvement and, for me, the weak points in this book were the dialogue and the feasibility of some of the characters and their reactions.  I thought Rachel’s co-musician Sam was very realistic and by far the most well written character; his reluctant sulkiness about Rachel and Jackson’s attraction was spot on.   However, sadly, though I found Jackson delightful he didn’t come over to me as a successful, multi-millionaire record producer.  Why not?  It’s a hard one.  This is what I think: to have achieved all he had at such a young age would probably mean his being confident, very worldly-wise, street sharp, artful in dealing with people and no doubt experienced in romantic matters too, especially as he’s a handsome chap, whereas Jackson comes across as just your average nice guy-next-door with insecurity issues.  The ‘big row’ that explodes in the middle of the book didn’t quite work for me; I couldn’t see a man of Jackson’s age/standing/charisma/experience reacting in as extreme a fashion as he did to a few bitchy remarks (I won’t say any more: spoilers), especially when he was so happy, and Rachel didn’t behave like someone who loved him, either.  I do get that the story about their relationship is much to do with overcoming their own misgivings and hang-ups due to past events, though.

The problem I had with the dialogue in the first half of the book is that it’s a tad stilted; characters talk to each other in perfectly structured sentences, giving just the right amount of information required to take the plot forward, whereas in real life people use colloquialisms, half sentences, private jokes, make grammatical errors, go ‘um’ and ‘er’ and ‘y’know’, have personal conversational quirks, etc (admittedly, Jackson says ‘sweetheart’ a lot, an endearing trait of his!).  I’d have liked to see a better understanding of how young single women talk to each other, how men discuss women between themselves, dialogue that illustrates character rather than merely supplying info.  I’m happy to report, however, that it does loosen up about halfway through; the lovely happy bit when Rachel and Jackson are first in Nashville together, and meeting his family, is very sweet and should put a smile on the faces of all romance lovers, as will further sections later in the book.

To sum up – the research of practical details throughout the book cannot be faulted but the lack of insight into the music industry and character realism weakened it. However, there are plenty of positives, lots of happy gooey bits for romance addicts, and I’ll give this suggestion to Julie: try writing a big emotional scene over a couple of glasses of wine, it helps you to let go and feel what people really would say under certain circumstances.  I wrote a difficult chapter of one of my earlier books via Blossom Hill red, and it’s one that people say actually makes them cry.  It works!

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com