Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Audio/Book Review of The Seacroft: a love story (Paines Creek Beach Book 2) by Aaron Paul Lazar



Book Title: The Seacroft: A Love Story (Paines Creek Beach Book 2)
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 294
Audio Run Time: 8 Hrs 11 Mins
Author: Aaron Paul Lazar
Date Published: 4 September 2015 (E-book)
24 November 2015 (Audiobook)

Synopsis:

Falling for the wrong guy can be hazardous to your heart.

Vivian Wood is desperate. After her beloved brother dies of a sudden aneurysm and her mother develops Alzheimer’s, she needs a good job and a place to stay. She finds it at The Seacroft, a Cape Cod seaside mansion ruled by a mysterious and demanding woman looking for a personal assistant.

Vivian soon discovers that being broke and having to deal with her cranky new boss are not her only problems. The gardener at The Seacroft, Cody McGraw, is young, gorgeous, and the bane of her existence—until she starts falling for him.

But Vivian isn’t the only one captivated by Cody’s charms. Their sultry employer quickly takes an interest in him—and the developing relationship between Cody and Vivian is threatened by the loss of their jobs and more, should they upset The Seacroft’s exotic mistress.

Set against the breathtaking backdrop of the Cape, The Seacroft is a steamy story of difficult choices, heart-wrenching sacrifice, and the ultimate salvation of love.

Review:


The Seacroft: a love story (Paines Creek Beach #2)The Seacroft: a love story by Aaron Paul Lazar
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the second book in the Paines Creek Beach series. I 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 audio book is narrated by Gwendolyn Druyor, who has narrated other books by this author. She has a pleasant voice to listen to, though she has a drawl that I struggled to like, and I enjoyed her narration of the story much better than the Bittersweet Hollow series.

Vivian Wood is a wonderful character. I liked her a lot. When her brother dies from a brain aneurysm and her mother develops Alzheimer’s, she needs a good job to pay for the medical bills. She finds the perfect job, working for Uvi Polanski at The Seacroft. There she meets the gardener, Cody McGraw and is attracted to him.

Cody McGraw is also a fantastic character. I liked him a lot too. He was briefly introduced in The Seacreast at the end as a teenager. In this story, he is in his early twenties and works for Uvi Polanski as her gardener. As a hurricane threatens the coast, Cody and Vivian grow closer together. However, there is danger in the form of Uvi and her jealousy. Can Cody and Viv survive the storm?

This story is told through the eyes of both Viv and Cody in alternative chapters. I enjoyed this, as it gave me (as a reader/listener) a chance to see what they were thinking and feeling. The various characters that dot this tale are interesting too: Viv's mother suffers from Alzheimer's and this broke my heart. I have never had to deal with someone who has this terrible disease myself, but my heart goes out to those who have to. It is worse for those who care for those with the disease than those afflicted with it, I feel, and I am in awe of them even when the stress and despair gets them down. I salute you!
I loved to hate Uvi; she makes the perfect villain. She is creepy, manipulative and slightly insane (in my opinion).
However, I loved meeting Finn and Libby (and their kids) again.

As the story unfolded, I found myself hooked by the storyline and there were several twists and turns that surprised me. Unfortunately, although the descriptions of the characters and places came alive, I thought this story was not as good as book one. Yes, the characters were interesting and the mystery and suspense was high, but I felt the dialogue was a little too sappy/cheesy in places. The romance between Viv and Cody is incredibly sweet. However, Uvi's manipulation of both Cody and Viv's need for employment made me feel ill at times. I know that such things happen in real life and it really makes my blood boil. This gave the story a dark undertone that resonated through the book. There are several scenes that had me sitting on the edge of my seat, though I enjoyed the one with Viv and her mom at the home during the flood. The story ends satisfactorily, without a cliffhanger, and I am now looking forward to reading/listening to The Seadog as soon as possible.

Aaron Paul Lazar has written an intriguing tale that captured my imagination. I love his writing style, which is fast paced and entertaining. I also love the flow. 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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