Monday, August 22, 2016

Audio/Book Review of The Seacrest: A love story (Paines Creek Beach Book 1) by Aaron Paul Lazar



Book Title: The Seacrest: A Love Story (Paines Creek Beach Book 1)
Genre: Romance/Suspense
Pages: 336
Audio Run Time: 8 Hrs 29 Mins
Author: Aaron Paul Lazar
Date Published: 14 October 2013 (E-Book)
17 December 2013 (Audio Book)

Synopsis:

They say it’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.

Finn McGraw disagrees.

He was just seventeen when he had a torrid summer affair with the girl who stole his heart—and then inexplicably turned on him. Finn may have moved on with his life, but he’s never forgotten her.

Now, ten years later, he’s got more than his lost love to worry about. A horrific accident turns his life upside down, resurrecting the ghosts of his long-dead family and taking the lives of the few people he has left.

Finn always believed his estranged brother was responsible for the fire that killed their family—but an unexpected inheritance with a mystery attached throws everything he knows into doubt.

And on top of that, the beguiling daughter of his wealthy employer has secrets of her own. But the closer he gets, the harder she pushes him away.

The Seacrest is a story of intrigue and betrayal, of secrets and second chances—and above all, of a love that never dies.

Review:


The Seacrest (Paines Creek Beach #1)The Seacrest by Aaron Paul Lazar
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the first book in the Paines Creek Beach series. I really enjoyed it.

I downloaded this book in audiobook format as I have listened to this author's work in this way before and really enjoyed it. This story is narrated by George Kuch. His narration was easy to listen to and his reading pace kept me engaged.

Finn McGraw is a wonderful character. I really liked this young man. He fell in love with a mysterious young girl he met on the beach when he was seventeen and had an affair. Ten years later he's married and working at the Seacrest, a horse farm, when his life is turned upside down by a tragic accident and his wife and his estranged brother are killed. As he delves deeper into his brother's life, he finds out secrets long kept hidden. With the help of his employer's daughter, he begins to realise that things are not all as they seem. However, Libby Van der Horne has her own secrets and demons from her past.

It is not often that I come across romance books told through the male POV, but I must admit that it makes a nice change. Each chapter is told through alternating time lines, flicking between 2013 to 1997. I did find myself wondering who the girl Finn met and fell in love with really was, as her identity was hidden for the majority of the story. Even Finn never really knew her real name until later (he gave her a nickname - Sassy). Nevertheless, their love story was extremely touching and made me a little teary-eyed at times.

There are a few story threads in this tale that weave into the whole. There is Finn's past and his one true love. Then there's the car accident that killed Finn's wife, Cora, and his brother Jackson, which creates a mystery that sees him trying to piece together the events leading up to the accident. Then there is Libby's past and her secret. All in all, this story is masterfully told with several twists and turns that kept surprising me. There is mystery, suspense, love, loss, forgiveness and redemption, along with a whole emotional roller coaster from start to finish. My only gripe is that I would have loved to have known the identity of "Sassy" long before it was revealed. However, that is only my opinion. Other readers may not have the same reaction. The ending, for me, was bitter sweet and something I didn't expect. I am looking forward to reading/listening to the next book in the series, The Seacroft, as soon as I can.

Aaron Paul Lazar has written a fantastic tale that captured my imagination. I love his writing style, which is fast paced and entertaining. I also love the flow. He has found another fan. I am now looking forward to reading more of his books in the future.

Although this book doesn't have any bad language, there are some slightly explicit scenes of a sexual nature. Therefore, I recommend this book to older teen readers and to adults who love contemporary romance or romantic suspense genres. - Lynn Worton

View all my reviews


               

About The Author:


Aaron Paul Lazar wasn't always a mystery writer. It wasn't until eight members of his family and friends died within five years that the urge to write became overwhelming. "When my father died, I lost it. I needed an outlet, and writing provided the kind of solace I couldn't find elsewhere."

Lazar created the Gus LeGarde mystery series, with the founding novel, DOUBLE FORTÉ (2004), a chilling winter mystery set in the Genesee Valley of upstate New York. Like Lazar's father, protagonist Gus LeGarde is a classical music professor. Gus, a grandfather, gardener, chef, and nature lover, plays Chopin etudes to feed his soul and thinks of himself as a "Renaissance man caught in the 21st century." This book has since be rereleased in 2012 as an "author's preferred edition," via Twilight Times Books.

The creation of the series lent Lazar the comfort he sought, yet in the process, a new passion was unleashed. Obsessed with his parallel universe, he now lives, breathes, and dreams about his characters, and has written ten LeGarde mysteries in eight years. (UPSTAGED - 2005; TREMOLO: CRY OF THE LOON - 2007 Twilight Times Books; MAZURKA - 2009 Twilight Times Books, FIRESONG - 2011, DON'T LET THE WIND CATCH YOU - 2013, VIRTUOSO - 2014, with more to come.) The author has just completed his twenty-first novel.

One day while rototilling his gardens, Lazar unearthed a green cat's eye marble, which prompted the new paranormal mystery series featuring Sam Moore, retired country doctor and passionate gardener. The green marble, a powerful talisman, connects all three of the books in the series, whisking Sam back in time to uncover his brother's dreadful fate fifty years earlier. (HEALEY'S CAVE, 2010; TERROR COMES KNOCKING, 2011; FOR KEEPS, 2012) Lazar intends to continue both series.

Lazar's books feature breathless chase scenes, nasty villains, and taut suspense, but are also intensely human stories, replete with kids, dogs, horses, food, romance, and humor. The author calls them, "country mysteries," although reviewers have dubbed them "literary mysteries."

"It seems as though every image ever impressed upon my brain finds its way into my work. Whether it's the light dancing through stained-glass windows in a Parisian chapel, curly slate-green lichen covering a boulder at the edge of a pond in Maine, or hoarfrost dangling from a cherry tree branch in mid-winter, these images burrow into my memory cells. In time they bubble back, persistently itching, until they are poured out on the page."

In 2009, Kodak gave him up for grabs, and during the year off before he landed in his coveted new job with KB America, he had time to explore and reconnect with his environment. Little did he know that several trips to the Adirondack Mountains would reawaken his passion for that part of the country. Two new books were written in that time frame, starting yet another mystery series, Tall Pines Mysteries. The first two combooks in the series, FOR THE BIRDS - 2011 and ESSENTIALLY YOURS - 2012 have been winning literary awards. Keep an eye out for SANCTUARY (2014), and MURDER ON THE SACANDAGA (2015), coming via Twilight Times Books.

In between all the novels, Lazar found time to issue three writing guides based on his many years of writing advice blogs, entitled WRITE LIKE THE WIND, volumes 1-3. These are available in eBook and audio book.

In his twenty-first book, Lazar has jumped genre. THE SEACREST - OCT 2013 -, a love story, is poised to capture hearts across the globe.

The author lives on a ridge overlooking the Genesee Valley in upstate New York with his wife, mother-in-law, two dogs, and cat. He finds grandfathering one of the most precious and important times of life, and spends as much time as possible with Julian, Gordon, and Isabella.

Lazar maintains several websites and blogs, was the Gather Saturday Writing Essential host for three years, writes his monthly "Seedlings" columns for the Voice in the Dark literary journal and the Future Mystery Anthology Magazine. He has been published in Absolute Write as well as The Great Mystery and Suspense Magazine. See excerpts and reviews here:

www.lazarbooks.com
www.murderby4.blogspot.com
www.aplazar.gather.com
www.aaronlazar.blogspot.com

Contact him at aaron.lazar@yahoo.com.

Twilight Times Books by multi-award winning author, Aaron Lazar:

LEGARDE MYSTERIES
DOUBLE FORTÉ (print, eBook, audio book)
UPSTAGED (print, eBook, audio book)
TREMOLO: CRY OF THE LOON (print, eBook, audio book)
MAZURKA (print, eBook, audio book)
FIRESONG (print, eBook, audio book)
DON'T LET THE WIND CATCH YOU (print, eBook, audio book)
VIRTUOSO (~2014)

MOORE MYSTERIES
HEALEY'S CAVE (print, eBook, audio book)
TERROR COMES KNOCKING (print, eBook, audio book)
FOR KEEPS (print, eBook, audio book)

TALL PINES MYSTERIES
FOR THE BIRDS (print, eBook, audio book)
ESSENTIALLY YOURS (print, eBook, audio book)
SANCTUARY (2014)
MURDER ON THE SACANDAGA (~2014)

STANDALONES
THE SEACREST (coming fall of 2013)

WRITING ADVICE:

WRITE LIKE THE WIND, volumes 1, 2, 3 (ebooks and audio books)

Aaron Paul Lazar writes to soothe his soul. An award-winning, bestselling Kindle author of three addictive mystery series, writing books, and a new love story, Aaron enjoys the Genesee Valley countryside in upstate New York, where his characters embrace life, play with their dogs and grandkids, grow sumptuous gardens, and chase bad guys. Visit his website at http://www.lazarbooks.com and watch for his upcoming Twilight Times Books releases, SANCTUARY (2014), and VIRTUOSO (2014).


AWARDS:

Double Forté
* 2012 ForeWord BOTYA, Mystery, FINALIST

Tremolo: cry of the loon -
* 2013 Eric Hoffer Book Awards: Grand Prize Short List
* 2013 Eric Hoffer Book Awards: Honorable Mention, Eric Hoffer Legacy Fiction
* 2011 Global eBook Award Finalist in Historical Fiction Contemporary
* 2011 Preditors & Editors Readers Choice Award - 2nd place Mystery
* 2008 Yolanda Renée's Top Ten Books
* 2008 MYSHELF Top Ten Reads

For the Birds
* 2011 ForeWord Book Awards, FINALIST in Mystery
* 2012 Carolyn Howard-Johnson's Top 10 Reads

Essentially Yours
* 2013 EPIC Book Awards, FINALIST in Suspense
* 2013 Eric Hoffer Da Vinci Eye Award Finalist

Healey's Cave
* 2012 EPIC Book Awards WINNER Best Paranormal
* 2011 Eric Hoffer Book Award, WINNER Best Book in Commercial Fiction
* 2011 Finalist for Allbooks Review Editor's Choice
* 2011 Winner of Carolyn Howard Johnson's 9th Annual Noble (not Noble!) Prize for Literature
* 2011 Finalists for Global EBook Awards

Terror Comes Knocking
* 2013 Global Ebook Awards, Paranormal - Bronze

For Keeps
* 2013 Semi Finalist in Kindle Book Review Book Awards, Mystery Category

Author Links:

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