Delighted to be joining the blog tour today for Love Thirty by Jill Barry, published on 15th February by Endeavour Media and available from Amazon in the UK and US. I’m sorry though, it’s with that familiar sense of frustration that I just couldn’t fit in the reading. Don’t you think this looks rather good?
Georgia Lyle is an ambitious journalist when she interviews hopeful British tennis player Nick Pereira. It’s game, set and match, and soon wedding bells chime. At first the couple try to balance their careers, but eventually Georgia quits her job to tour with her husband. When she finds it impossible to continue being a tennis wife, the two split, but remain in touch as Nick moves to Australia to coach and Georgia begins a new career as a lifestyle and food writer.
Soon she’s jetting off to Paris to film a series with some very famous chefs, including Frenchman Jean Luc, who is quite smitten with her. But Yasmin, his right hand woman, has other ideas on that score. Everyone thinks Nick and Georgia regret giving up on their marriage. But how does Georgia learn to love reaching thirty and how do two stubborn people admit they were wrong and reunite?
With all the back and forth of a Wimbledon final, Love Thirty is a lively romance set among the gentle green of England and the quirky restaurants of France.
So, no review this time, but I am really pleased to welcome author Jill Barry as my guest on Being Anne, with a great post on the development of characters – when they don’t play by the rules!
I write character-led fiction but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy weaving an intricate plot. I always aim to intrigue my readers and make them wonder how on earth that Disney bluebirds happy ever after can possibly be achieved. But it’s because I find creating characters so satisfying, that I have brought to life several other personalities within Love Thirty who closely challenge my hero and heroine for centre stage. It’s Georgia’s colleagues and friends in particular, who insist on throwing away the rulebook!
Do you know what? The proper thing would have been for Georgia to knuckle down and share her husband’s jet-setting life on ‘the tour’ right to the end, but no, she has too much she wants to achieve in her own right. So the couple split though they remain in touch, neither willing to admit their true and still powerful feelings for each other. And it’s a good job my heroine strikes out on her own, because it would have been a very different and probably far less entertaining story, without this happening. Her unexpected new career powers her into a world nothing like the one where players’ wives and girlfriends, even though they may be the power behind the throne, spend large amounts of time hanging round tennis courts. Nick is well up in the rankings by this point, but something calls to Georgia and she responds.
Nick, who’s not exactly a plain, homely looking guy, might well have found some other attractive young woman to share his life. But he actually does what I intend him to do, which is remain in touch with Georgia and to be pleased for her success.
My wicked, outrageous, larger than life celebrity chef Oliver enters Georgia’s life when she (now famous in the foodie world) co-cooks with him in a television show. Their opposition is sexy French chef, Jean Paul and his sidekick, who also has her own agenda. Oliver, by now a reformed character, is happily settled with his latest wife, former model, Lana who keeps him in order. He is besotted with the gorgeous Scandinavian. But, after Georgia goes to Paris to work with Jean Luc (who is still sexy and has an accent to match) and as the action progresses, Lana realises something about Georgia. Having become fond of her, she takes it upon herself to initiate something, the result of which sends Georgia up to High Doh. She really isn’t meant to react in that fashion. A well-behaved heroine would surely not! Sigh…
So, still no happy ever after, as an angry Georgia buzzes off back to her little house in Wiltshire. Nick is still in Paris. And he’s puzzled, for a reason I can’t disclose, because it would be such a spoiler.
Luckily, it’s time for another character to intervene where hobnailed boots really shouldn’t tread. Georgia’s friend and former colleague, Andy knows her well, so we have to admire his courage in doing what he decides to do. But to discover what he gets up to, I hope you’ll read Love Thirty and enjoy it.
Thank you Jill! Shall we try an extract? Oh, go on then…
“Is there a window for romance in your hectic schedule?”
The ticking of the silver carriage clock on the mantelpiece sounded like a conductor tapping his baton on the music stand. Georgia forgot to breathe.
Nick relaxed against the cushions. “I’ve no particular wish to play mixed doubles.” His eyes sparkled with mischief.
“Humour me. I want to connect with both female and male readers.” She released her most beguiling smile, determined to win the point.
A muscle twitched in his cheek. “The answer to your question is, not at the moment. Certainly not until I’m a top ten player.”
It was as if tiny fingers tapped their way down Georgia’s spine. His eyes told her his own comment had surprised him.
Maybe it was the first time he’d confided his ambition. This made her heartbeat quicken though she realised there was no way Nick Pereira was media-savvy. By the end of this interview her squiggles would cover several pages and he probably prayed her article wouldn’t earn him too much flak from the guys in the locker room. He was a relatively minor British athlete, aiming to prove himself by actions not words.
Ignoring those amazing eyelashes and trying not to wonder what he was like with his shirt off, she challenged him with a drop shot. “How will you cope with the tabloids? They pounce on home grown players. Can you deal with that pressure-cooker situation as well as Andy Murray does?”
Nick hitched one long leg over the other and gazed up at the crystal chandelier. Georgia focused on the silky dark tuft at the open V of his shirt. Prayed the photos would prove finger-licking enough to make readers rush to buy the weekend paper.
With thanks to Jill and tour organiser Brook Cottage Books, I have a lovely giveaway of a £10/$10 Amazon gift card. Here’s the rafflecopter for entry:
About the author
Jill Barry enjoys drawing upon some of her favourite job and holiday experiences for her books. Her romantic novels and novellas have been published digitally and in paperback as well as large print and pocket novel format. Currently, she’s working on the first book of a trilogy highlighting the lives and loves of three women. She critiques for other romantic novelists and runs creative writing sessions for students at an online high school.