Review with Author Interview: Links by Lisa Becker

Posted August 3, 2017 by Lisa Mandina in Review / 4 Comments

Book info:

TitleLinks
Author:  Lisa Becker
Genre: Adult sports romance, second chance romance
Release Date:  August 1st, 2017
Publisher:  Desert Breeze Publishing
Source:  ARC received from author for honest review
My rating:  4 stars

Synopsis:

In high school, Charlotte Windham was a typical
student going through an awkward phase — glasses and all. She harbored a crush
on Garrett Stephens, the teen heartthrob everyone can’t help but fall for
during that unfortunate ugly duckling phase of one’s teen years.
Flash forward fifteen years later, and Charlotte and Garrett have a
second chance encounter at a Los Angeles restaurant. However, this time around,
Charlotte has leveled the playing field. She’s a bestselling novelist and no
longer “Glasses,” the humiliating nickname Garrett called her in high school.
In short, she’s a catch now and, thanks to corrective eye surgery, it’s not
just her eyes that see better…so does her heart!
Garrett hasn’t fared poorly either, transforming from teen heartbreaker
to adult lothario. A now successful professional golfer, he’s recently suffered
a major setback in the form of a possible career-ending injury.
With the upper hand, can Charlotte forgive Garrett for his past ways,
and for his more recent Don Juan lifestyle? Will she even want to? And, can
Garrett change his ways for a second chance with Charlotte, who may just be the
perfect fit for him?

 

Purchase links: 

Barnes and Noble:  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/links-lisa-becker/1126897467?ean=2940158588785
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/links-6

 

My review:
I am finding that I really do like books that we get both of the main characters’ viewpoints, chapter by chapter, and this fits into that perfectly.  We get both Charlotte and Garrett’s thoughts in basically alternating chapters.  Because of this, it makes you a little irritated with Charlotte at being so hesitant.  Although I understand her trepidation, having been in the same types of situations as a nerdy high school girl with crushes on the cute, popular guys.  But you’re definitely rooting for Garrett, as he has become a pretty good guy, even to the point of realizing what he did when he was younger was stupid, or at least he knew it was part of being a stupid teenage male.  The grown up Garrett is all about doing what he can to convince Charlotte he is a good guy and truly interested in her, by getting to be friends with her first.  But even when he can tell that the two of them are definitely starting to feel as if they are more than friends, he has to fight to get her to see him that way.  While you can see how she might get the right idea with the last little hang-up at the end, I felt that she definitely overreacted, especially after getting to know Garrett as well as she did, and after how he’d told her how he felt about her and wanted more than friendship.  

Overall it was a very sweet and easy summer read.  It had a little bit of sex, but not a ton.  It really got into a lot of situations, and I feel like Charlotte was pretty realistic in how she handled it all.  I loved when she got to get back at a college frenemy, as well as Chapter 48, and the very last chapter.  If you’re looking for a perfect summer read, this is one you should pick up.

 Book Trailer:

 Excerpt:

I stand but hesitate when I see Tamika’s disapproving look. Fi
notices as well. “It’s okay, T. I got this,” she says, motioning for
me to follow her back. When we get to her small office, she closes the door and
gestures for me to sit on a red vinyl chair, circa 1972. She stands in front of
me, leaning against the desk, and crosses her arms in front of her chest.
“Spill!”

“Where should I
start?”
“At the
beginning.” She walks around to her chair behind the desk and pulls out a
yellow legal pad.
For the next half hour, I
go over my encounter with Garrett, from the moment we bumped into each other
and he didn’t recognize me, to the embarrassment of being called ‘Glasses.’
Fi takes notes furiously
on her pad and grins, nods, and cringes at all the appropriate times. When I
finish, she puts her pen down and asks, “Do you want the ‘best friend
experience’ or the ‘brilliant legal mind experience’?”
I can’t help but laugh.
“Are they mutually exclusive?”
“They are,” she
says nodding.
“Okay. I want the
best friend experience.”
She rushes around from
behind the desk, wraps her arms around me soothingly. “I’m so sorry, hon.
That sounds just awful. Let’s go get margaritas tomorrow and drown our sorrows
in tequila and lime wedges.”
“Thanks, Fi. You’re
the best.”
“Anytime,” she
says, rubbing my back. She pulls away and walks around to the back of her desk.
She sits down and puts the legal pad to the side. I can’t help but notice the
writing scrawled across it.
“Just for kicks, what
would you have said if I had asked for the ‘brilliant legal mind
experience’?”
“You sure you want to
know?” Her lips pull into a grim line. Honestly, I’m not sure I do want to know, but curiosity gets the
better of me.
“Lay it on me,”
I say.
“You need to get
laid. Not the kind of bland, missionary style sex you had with Alex. You need
hot heat, sweating up the sheets, crazy animal sex.”
I bust out laughing.
That’s your brilliant legal
advice. Crazy animal sex?”
“Yes. That’s my
brilliant legal advice,” she says with complete seriousness. “Listen,
hon, it’s been a year since that insecure jerk Keane dumped you. I have no
doubt it’s been even longer since you’ve, well, you know.” She wags her
eyebrows up and down. “Before that, you only seriously dated Travis the
cheater and Alex who, let’s face it, despite being completely gonzo for you,
was a cold fish and a bore. It’s time to stop comparing every man to this
fantasy of Garrett Stephens and just do it with him to get it out of your
system. He asked you out for Saturday night. Go! Enjoy!”
“I don’t compare
every man to Garrett,” I snap at her.
“Don’t you?” she
asks, looking down at me sternly.  
“I’m offended you
even suggested that.” She looks at me, her sharp eyes boring into me, like
she can read my every thought and knows I’m full of it. I imagine this is how
she bears down on witnesses on the stand. I don’t like being on the receiving
end of that look.
“Even if that’s
true,” I start and she nods her head, “and I’m not conceding it
is.” I point my finger at her. “Even if he did mean to ask me out, there’s no way it’s a good idea.
He’s a total player. It would only be one night of fun and I don’t think I
could get over that kind of hurt.”

“Then you need to get over it now. Sorry for the tough love, hon, but
you need to move past the fantasy of this man and find someone passionate and
amazing who is deserving to love you for all of the great things you have to
offer including your messed-up childhood and your incredible success
today.”

 

Author Interview:

1.  What does your
writing process look like? Do you know the whole story when you start?  Or
do you just start writing and go with it (seat of the pants writing)?  If
you plan it out, how do you do that?  Outline, notecards, post-it-notes,
etc.?

Once
inspiration strikes, I typically know how the story begins and how it ends. The
fun and challenge is in the journey of how my characters get to their happily
ever afters. I typically do a written outline, mapping out each chapter and
then begin to write. At the moment, I am working on a story called The Subway Girl, which is based on a
screenplay I wrote for fun a few years ago. Each chapter is based on a specific
day, so I’ve mapped out the story on a calendar.
Fun writing process fact: I like to write with the TV on in the
background. When I first started writing, I was obsessed with Law & Order reruns and then NCIS. 
Now I’m hooked on reruns of Burn
Notice
.  I guess there’s a part of me
that likes to see justice served. 
2.  How do you come up with your
ideas for your stories?
I always hear that writers should “write
what they know,” so as much as possible, I try to draw upon personal
experiences.    My husband and I met
online on a popular dating website 17 years ago when online dating was in its
infancy.  When it came time for me to
check off my bucket list item of writing a novel, I recalled some of the
hilarious experiences I had with both traditional and online dating to write Click: An Online Love Story.  
Click
is loosely based on my real-life dating experiences, as well as stories friends
have shared with me.  In some cases, things are written as they actually
occurred.  Other scenarios are
exaggerated for entertainment value or comedic affect.  And some scenarios are completely
fictionalized. But I really did go out on a date with someone I met online who
started every story (no joke!) with
“My buddies and I were out drinking last night.” 
For my latest
book, Links¸
I had been thinking about the types of
love we encounter and recalled the unrequited high school crush, which was as
much a part of the teen years as football games, acne, proms and final
exams.  I’m not too ashamed to admit I
had such a fierce crush on a boy, I willingly sat with him in the bathroom at
parties while he puked up wine coolers, just so I could spend time with him.
Thankfully, that soul-crushing time in my life is over, but I couldn’t help but
wonder what would happen if I came upon that secret crush as a confident,
successful woman.
3.  How long have you been
writing?
I remember writing poems and short stories as a little girl and
always told myself I would write a book one day. I released
Click
in
2011. Based on
the reviews and feedback from readers, I turned it into a trilogy, which now
includes Double Click and Right Click.  Links is
my fifth novel and the first two be told in alternating perspectives of the two
main characters – Charlotte and Garrett.
4.  What tips do you have for
aspiring writers?
Pardon the pun,
but don’t write off self-publishing.  Upon
completing Click, I explored the
traditional publishing route and got feedback from multiple literary agents.
One in particular explained the current economic state of the publishing industry
to me. Due to the large investment to edit, produce, distribute and market a
work by an unknown author, many large publishers won’t take the risk. If you
aren’t able to secure an agent or publishing offer, self-publishing is a way to
get your work out there.
After
self-publishing several books and building up a following and making industry
connections, I secured a publisher for my latest release.
I’m also reminded
of some advice I was once given. I had interviewed Charles Rosen, one of the
producers of the original Beverly Hills
90210
, for an alumni magazine article while I was in graduate school. And
I’ll never forget what he told me, “Don’t fall in love with your words,
because somebody above will probably change them.” One of the great
benefits of self-publishing is that you can really take control of the process.
5.  Some favorites:
Books/authors/genres – I’m a romance and
chick lit junkie. If it has a swoon worthy hero and a happily ever after, I’m
in. 
Right now, I’m a big fan of Colleen Hoover. While her books fall more
into the women’s fiction genre, I can’t put them down. Her stories are filled
with developed, realistic and likeable characters.  Over the course of her books I feel a range
of emotions from completely gutted to over the moon elated with a happy ending.
Movies/TV Shows – My taste in
television and movies mirrors my taste in books. I want heart, flowers and
happy escapism.  Some of my all-time
favorite movies include Love Actually,
When Harry Met Sally and Singles.
Music – I’m currently
obsessed with the soundtrack for Hamilton
right now and can’t wait to see the production when it is in Los Angeles this
fall. 
Food/Writing
snack

Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate
!  Like most writers, I endure bouts of writer’s
block and when I do, I eat chocolate. If I’m stuck on a certain section or not
feeling motivated to write, I give myself little chocolate incentives to get
past the blockage.  Judging by my thighs,
I had some serious problems writing this book. 
😉

Social
Media Site
– I’ve recently become more
active on Instagram and actively follow and admire the work of some amazing
Bookstagrammers who turn books and their covers into beautiful-designed visual feasts.
 

About the Author:

Lisa Becker is a romance writer whose
previous novels include Click: An Online Love StoryDouble
Click 
and Right Click. The books, about a young woman’s
search for love online in Los Angeles, have been called, “a fast read that will
keep you entertained,” “a fun, quick read for fans of Sex and the City,” and
“hard to put down.” The first in the series was optioned for a major
motion picture.

Lisa’s writings about online dating have been featured
in Cupid’s Pulse, GalTime.com, Single Edition, The Perfect Soulmate, Chick Lit
Central and numerous other book blogs and websites.

As Lisa’s grandmother used to say, “For
every chair, there’s a rush.” Lisa is now happily married to a man she met
online and lives in Manhattan Beach with him and their two daughters. So, if it
happened for her, there’s hope for anyone!

   

Twitter: @lisawbecker

Instagram: lisawbecker

YouTube: https://youtu.be/BSwM4S3l9Pc

 

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4 responses to “Review with Author Interview: Links by Lisa Becker

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