Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Review & Giveaway: Dawn at Birch Crossing (Book One) by Stephanie Rowe

Dawn at Birch Crossing (Book One)Amazon Synopsis
June 13, 2012
"Dawn at Birch Crossing is m-a-g-i-c-a-l! Hands down, it is one of the best romances I have read." ~Sharon Stogner, Love Romance Passion Reviews

The moment his ex-wife took his daughter and walked out, Griffin Friesé lost everything that mattered to him. After two years of agonizing failure to reconnect with his daughter, he's heading to Birch Crossing to find her. Unfortunately for Griffin, he arrives to find the town has rallied against him to protect their own. His only ally is a single mom whose warmth and determination just might break through the scars on his heart.

Since the day she became an eighteen-year-old widow with an infant, Clare Gray's only goal has been to provide for her daughter. She has worked so hard to be strong, and the last thing she can afford is to open her heart to an outsider who will soon be leaving town. But when Griffin helps save her daughter's life in a storm, an unbreakable connection is formed between Clare and the tormented business mogul.

For these two single parents, love is the last thing they are looking for, but in Birch Crossing, love always seems to find a way.

"Dawn at Birch Crossing is contemporary romance at its best….There was not a moment that I wasn’t completely engrossed in the novel, the story, the characters…these ‘tender’ moments in particular were so beautifully crafted, poetic even…I would most definitely and happily reread, which is an absolute first for me in this genre." ~Becky Johnson, Bex 'N' Books

“Dawn at Birch Crossing is an amazing story of love and life…I literally laughed out loud, cried and cheered... This book is one of, if not the, best book Stephanie Rowe has ever written. Dawn at Birch Crossing is a must read and must re-read.” ~Jeanne Stone-Hunter, My Book Addiction Reviews

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Four-time RITA® Award nominee and Golden Heart® Award winner Stephanie Rowe is the nationally bestselling author of more than twenty published novels with major New York publishers. Stephanie has received starred reviews from Booklist and high praise from Publisher's Weekly. Stephanie writes romance (paranormal, contemporary and suspense), teen fiction, middle grade fiction and motivational nonfiction. For more information on Stephanie, visit www.stephanierowe.com.

Author's Note: This novel is approximately 400 pages and there excerpts from other books by the author in the back of the book.

‘Dawn at Birch Crossing’ is contemporary romance at its best.

Visualise that checklist; you know the imaginary one that we all have whilst reading. The one that you’re metaphorically ticking off to see if it meets your literary standards! The one that, by the end of the novel, you mull over to see whether or not the book that you’ve spent the last few hours, days, or even weeks reading, has been worth your while. Of course you know the list that I’m refering to. Well, throw the list away. You will not need it with ‘Dawn at Birch Crossing’; it does everything it says on the tin and more!
Okay, enough of the clichés, but surely you get the idea!

Immediately, Stephanie Rowe throws her readers into the thick of drama. We are greeted with fairly complex, yet deeply human and therefore ‘normal’ characters. Both of the characters, who are quickly established as the two protagonists, Griffin and Clare, clearly are individuals with ‘history’, and what we’re interested in, considering the genre, is the romantic history and baggage attached to both of them.
Both Griffin and Clare are extremely likeable individuals (you’ll soon be cheering for them and be swooning over Griffin) with deeply embedded morals, values, ambitions and even flaws. It is the development of these characters, the level of depth and detail that is used to tease out their characteristics, that makes this book so very enjoyable and powerful to read. Yes, this is a contemporary romance, but there’s a hell of a lot going on in this novel, by no means is it all fun, laughter and kisses, even though there’s plenty of that too!

The path that both Griffin and Clare find themselves on is unexpected for them both. In many ways, their lives are turned upside down, which inevitably creates amazing tension in the novel. We never fully know how things are going to turn out. I think this is a testament to Stephanie Rowe’s skill and talent, one that deserves applause; her ability to keep the reader second, third and even fourth guessing was pretty phenomenal. I was amazed by her adeptness to successfully fool me, yes frustrated too, but a little in awe of her ability to craft and shape her novel so very successfully.

Stephanie Rowe very effectively paints a realistic world for Griffin and Clare: a world where emotions, desires and ambitions are carefully considered and crafted; they drive the characters along in their journeys. There was not a moment that I wasn’t completely engrossed in the novel, the story, the characters. I very audibly cheered for them and did not shed just one tear, nope, rather bucket fulls. My heart at times broke for them. The narrative and dialogue surrounding these ‘tender’ moments in particular were so beautifully crafted, poetic even; it was this that had me blubbering. And of course on the flip side of the heart-wrenching events, was the amazing, witty humour.

There are numerous, superbly developed and highly likeable secondary characters in this novel, who really helped to raise the humour to the next level. Yes, there were a few quiet giggles, then the huge stomach hugging laughter, one unfortunately, at the most inopportune time, was when I was sipping my tea!

If it’s not obvious by now, then just to be clear, I love this book! I would most definitely and happily reread, which is an absolute first for me in this genre.
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You can purchase your very own lovely copy of Dawn at Birch Crossing from:
Amazon US / Amazon UK / B&N /



Sneak Peek
Something inside her leapt with hope at the sight of him, at the sheer, raw strength of his body as he came toward her. This man, this stranger, he was enough. He could help her. Sudden tears burned in her eyes as she finally realized she didn’t have to fight this battle by herself.
He held up his hand to tell her to stay, then he slogged over to the front of his truck. He hooked something to the winch, then headed over to the tree. The trunk came almost to his chest, but he locked his grip around a wet branch for leverage, and then vaulted over with effortless grace, landing in the mud with a splash. “Come here,” he shouted over the wind.
Clare ran across the muck toward him, stumbling in the slippery footing. “You’re crazy!” she shouted, shielding her eyes against the bright floodlights from his truck. But God, she’d never been so happy to see crazy in her life.
“Probably,” he yelled back, flashing her a cheeky grin. His perfect white teeth seemed to light up his face, a cheerful confident smile that felt so incongruous in the raging storm and daunting circumstances.
But his cockiness eased her panic, and that was such a relief. It made her able to at least think rationally. She would take all the positive vibes she could get right now.
He held up a nylon harness that was hooked to the steel cord attached to his truck. “If the tree goes over, this will keep you from going with it.”
She wiped the rain out of her eyes. “What are you talking about?”
“We still have to get you over the tree, and I don’t want you climbing it unprotected. Never thought I’d actually be using this stuff. I had it just out of habit.” He dropped the harness over her head and began strapping her in with efficient, confident movements. His hands brushed her breasts as he buckled her in, but he didn’t seem to notice.
She sure did.
It was the first time a man’s hands had touched her breasts in about fifteen years, and it was an unexpected jolt. Something tightened in her belly. Desire? Attraction? An awareness of the fact she was a woman? Dear God, what was wrong with her? She didn’t have time for that. Not tonight, and not in her life. But she couldn’t take her gaze off his strong jaw and dark eyes as he focused intently on the harness he was strapping around her.
“I’m taking you across to my truck,” he said, “and then we’re going to get your daughter and the others.”
“We are?” She couldn’t stop the sudden flood of tears. “You’re going to help me get them?”
He nodded as he snapped the final buckle. “Yeah. I gotta get into heaven somehow, and this might do it.”
“Thank you!” She threw herself at him and wrapped her arms around him, clinging to her savior. She had no idea who he was, but he’d just successfully navigated a sheer mud cliff for her and her daughter.
For an instant, he froze, and she felt his hard body start to pull away. Then suddenly, in a shift so subtle she didn’t even sense it coming, his body relaxed and his arms went around her, locking her down in an embrace so powerful she felt like the world had just stopped. It felt like the rain had ceased and the wind had quieted, buffeted aside by the strength and power of his body.
“It’s going to be okay.” His voice was low and reassuring in her ear, his lips brushing against her as he spoke. “She’s going to be fine.”
Crushed against this stranger’s body, protected by his arms, soothed by the utter confidence in his voice, the terror that had been stalking Clare finally eased away. “Thank you,” she whispered.
“You’re welcome.”
There was a hint of emotion in his voice, and she pulled back far enough to look at him. His eyes were dark, so dark she couldn’t tell if they were brown or black, but she could see the torment in his expression. His jaw was angular, and his face was shadowed by the floodlights. He was a man with weight in his heart. She felt it right away. Instinctively, she laid a hand on his cheek. “You’re a gift.”
He flashed another smile, and for a split second, he put his hand over hers, holding it to his whiskered cheek as if she were some angel of mercy come to give him relief. Her throat thickened, and for a moment, everything else vanished. It was just them, drenched and cold on a windy mountain road, the only warmth was their hands, clasped together against his cheek.

In celebration of the release of Dawn at Birch Crossing and because I loved this book so much, there's an international giveaway!

All you need to do to win an ecopy of this book is fill in the Rafflecopter form below. There will be two luck winners!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

18 comments:

  1. Looks like another book on my TBR list I think I am up to about a million now LOL but now seriously right after the first readable draft of A Guardian's Life The Seven Deadlies I am taking some much needed time away from my writing before starting on Katy Lily 3 and all I plan on doing is reading! And this has been added to the list of books! and you know we all love to win! ;)

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    1. Lol - I know how that ever growing list looks. There's simply not enough hours in the day. I could do with 6 months off work to catch-up!
      Good luck and thanks for entering :-)

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  2. Started reading the sneak peek. I had to stop. I want to read the whole thing instead, lol. Looking forward to the giveaway!!

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    1. It's pretty amazing hun. Good luck x

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  3. I would love to read this thanks for the great giveaway!

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  4. Woop Woop! Another read of the TBR!!! lol oh goodness. Great Giveaway M'lady! <3
    ~Steph Trujillo

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  5. It's pretty awesome Steph. Unusual for me to be raving so much about a contemporary romance, but it was that good! Good luck x

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  6. this looks like a really good book and i read the sneak peak...just made me want to read it even more xD

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    1. Yay. Thanks for entering and good luck

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  7. Thank you so much for this giveaway. I so look forward to these, even if I don't win, I still have a lot of fun. Heather Heslip Alexander

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    1. Lol - I know what you mean Heather. I probably spend and hour or so every evening following email links to bogs & their giveaways. Yay!
      Good luck x

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  8. Hi hun, not entering as I have this already, I jus wanted to say I totally agree with, it is a great read, I loved it too x x

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  9. Hello, thanks for your review - this doesn't look the sort of book I'd normally pick up but such a glowing recommendation means it's now on my ginormous tbr pile ;-) Grateful for the giveaway too, especially the international love <3

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    1. hi Liz. I tend to read paranormal etc books, that's all I seem to read recently, but this was such a refreshing change. Thanks for entering and good luck x

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  10. You have been awarded the Liebster Blog Award!!!

    Click here for more details!!!
    http://booksaremybestfriendforever.blogspot.in/2012/06/liebster-blog-award.html

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    Replies
    1. Thank you!
      I hope I don't get the rules wrong! :)

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