Saturday, 31 January 2015

** BLOG TOUR ** REVIEW ** EXCERPT ** GIVEAWAY ** The Traveling Man (The Traveling Duet #1)

I love Jane Harvey-Berrick. There. I said it. She could write just about anything and I would read it and more likely than not, absolutely love it! 

Introducing, The Traveling Man (The Traveling Duet #1), her latest awesome read!

Title: The Traveling Man (The Traveling Duet #1)
Author: Jane Harvey-Berrick
Release Date: January 26. 2015
Genre: Contemporary Romance
This is part one of a two part series. It is recommended to read in order.

I was ordinary. Nice. He was extraordinary. And he wasn’t always nice.

Moody and difficult, brilliant and beautiful, Kes scared me and he protected me. He could be incredibly hurtful and incredibly thoughtful. He wasn’t perfect, but he was perfect for me. He challenged me, he took me out of my safe little box and showed me the world could be magnificent. He was everything I wasn’t. 

Aimee Anderson is ten when the traveling carnival first comes to her nice little town. She doesn’t expect her world to change so completely. But meeting Kestrel Donohue puts her life on a different path.

Even though she only sees him for the two weeks of the year when he passes through her home town, his friendship is the most important of her life. As a child’s friendship grows to adult love, the choices become harder, and both Kes and Aimee realize that two weeks a year will never be enough. 

 Kes returned a minute later with Brian’s BMX. According to Jen, it had been her ex-husband’s early mid-life crisis gift to himself, but one that he hardly ever used.

Kes adjusted the seat to accommodate his longer legs, then left it resting against a tree. Then he levered off his boots and socks, and whipped off his t-shirt.

Every set of female eyes was focused on him, and I wasn’t the only one who had to reel in my tongue.

The whip-tight body he’d had as a teenager had morphed into something amazing. You could count every muscle of his abdomen, which I did twice, because I lost count the first time. The V-shaped ridge that disappeared into his low slung jeans was advertised by a line of dark hair pointing down from his navel. Then he stretched his arms above his head, making his muscles dance and ripple. When he rotated his hips, I wasn’t the only one having a hot flash.

Obviously these were his warm-up exercises, but honestly it was the closest thing I’d ever come to watching porn.

Jennifer seemed to agree.

“Holy shit!” she whispered. “To think that you’ve slept with that!”

“Believe me,” I hissed out of the corner of my mouth, “he was hot as a teenager, but now…”

I was lost for words, but I think Jen understood because she nodded, following his every movement from behind her sunglasses.

“He moves like a dancer,” she sighed. “It’s a waste having him covered up in leathers all the time when he’s riding his motorcycle.”

I had to agree.

Kes wandered over smiling. He looked happy and relaxed; very different from the tense, angry man I’d met again less than a week ago.

“Ready as I’ll ever be,” he said. “Those kids look like a tough audience.”

I laughed. “Tell me about it. Sometimes third grade is more like crowd control than teaching.”

“I’ll need my assistant for this show,” he reminded me with a wink.

He held out his hand, and I could have sworn that I heard my sister sigh.

Kes strode to the center of her backyard and yelled out, “Who wants to see some magic!”

“Me!” all the kids screamed loudly.

One by one, he invited the kids to come and have coins and toys and carrot sticks appear out of their ears, out of their pockets, even out of their noses, which was really gross but funny to watch their shocked little faces. Then he did the same with the moms: conjuring up cell phones and wristwatches, and in one case a wedding ring. He winked as he passed it back to the astonished woman.

I had no idea that Kes had those skills, such magic in his hands. I wondered what else I didn’t know about him.

He started off juggling with a soccer ball and a football, telling jokes the whole time. I watched for his nod, then tossed him the watering can. Soon he was juggling four mismatched items, and then five, then six. The children’s mouths were open and their eyes bright with amazement. They all laughed when Kes tossed the watering can to me and I dropped it. Yes, let’s all laugh at the clumsy person.

After that, I was officially resigned as Kes’s assistant and the kids all took turns at throwing odd for things to him to juggle. He never missed once, even when their throws were nearer his knees than his chest.

By now, Kes was really sweating in the formidable summer sun. But instead of looking disgusting like anyone else would, it made his smooth skin gleam, and I couldn’t help following the drops of perspiration as they tracked down his broad chest, disappearing into that loose waistband.

Finally, he grabbed hold of Jen’s bicycle and started showing the kids wheelies and various balancing tricks. Of course, it was slower and less sensational than his stunt riding, but I think it connected with the kids better because they all rode bikes themselves. What they couldn’t do was somersault off them like Kes, or do handstands on the seat and over the handlebars. It was like watching an Olympic gymnast perform in your backyard. I had no idea he was so flexible—and my mind went straight to the gutter.

He finished with a flourish, cartwheeling off the bike, which brought a round of applause from the adults and whoops and cheers from the kids.

I hoped that none of them tried to copy him at home, or there would be an epidemic of broken bones in the neighborhood.

Then he flopped down on the grass and let the kids jump all over him. I bet some of the moms would have liked to jump all over him, as well.

“Oh my God!” gasped one mom, her hands fanning her face. “Does he do kids’ parties?”

“Forget that!” said her friend. “I want him for my party!”

I watched him playing with the kids, listening to each of them, making everyone feel special. I realized with a pang, but no sense of shock, that I was in danger of falling for him again—and there was no safety net for love.

Fantastic! Another fabulous read by the delightful JHB! Captivating, original and flawlessly written. All things I expect from a JHB novel.

This is a beautiful story of Kestrel (Kes) and Aimee who are two people from extremely different upbringings, fighting the stereotypes that plague them and finding a connection that's deep and long lasting.

The younger of two children, Aimee comes from a very conservative family, and her father begrudgingly agrees that Aimee can have her tenth birthday family activity at the carnival.

"The carnival is full of people who want to waste all your money on silly games, just so you can win a $2 stuffed toy. Is that what you want for your birthday, Aimee? Your birthday money wasted? You might as well throw it away."
I couldn't tell you why the carnival lured me with its sticky fingers and bright, whirling colors, except to say that is was different, and that excited me.

The two meet and over the next 6 years, Kes and  Amiee develop more than just a friendship of companionship for the fun and games that the carnival brought to her small town for two weeks over the summer, but also understanding and longing as they taught each other about their lives.

"I wrote my name," he said, and his voice wobbled like his word.
I nodded solemnly. "Yes, you did. You're not dumb."
His eyelashes slanted down and I knew he was hiding tears. He sniffed a few times, then risked a glance at me.
"Thanks, Aimee."
"You're welcome. Kes."

The anticipated love, lust, angst, miscommunication and external elements that play against them come in the year that Aimee turns 16, when both are now no longer in the skinny awkward pre-teens phase. Their bodies changing emotionally and physically. They then cross paths again after eight years where the connection is still as strong under the misplaced resentment and anger that they hold against each other.

As per usual Janes writing is flawless, her characters are completely original and outside the box. Be warned though, this contains a cliffy, however don't worry too much it's what I would call a soft one. But if you disagree, you don't need to wait too long as the second book, The Traveling Woman, (which the title gives me great hope to how this will end) has been scheduled for some time in the Spring 2015 (Autumn for us who are in the southern hemisphere), so only a few months away.

One of the things I absolutely love about reading a JHB novel, is that Jane always seems to search for a concept that is somewhat original in an industry that is saturated with similar storylines. Jane also has this uncanny knack to push through and break stereotypes that we as a society place on others who are different to the 'norm'. I can understand that in some instances the timeline could get long winded and annoying, but here, it really does work to gain an understanding of the difficulties that the two have faced and the connection that they have with one another. I have loved every book that I've read by Jane, and this is no exception. Go #OneClickThatBitch :) 

**I received a copy of the book for an honest review**

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I lived in London for over 10 years and have a love affair with New York. It's only since I have moved to the countryside, that the words have really begun to flow.

I live in a small village by the ocean and walk my little dog, Pip, every day. It’s on those beachside walks that I have all my best ideas.

Writing has become a way of life – and one that I love to share.

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