Monday, June 29, 2015

Loving Cassie by JoMarie DeGioia
Narrated by Wendy Rich Stetson

Publisher & Release Date: Bailey Park Publishing, April 27, 2015

Time and setting: Present Day, Cypress Corners, Florida  

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Length: 313 pages

Heat Level: 1 Scorching Hot Flame

Rating: 5 Gold Crowns

The girl with a knack for getting into trouble 

The guy who comes to her rescue again and again 

Can he be the one to save her from herself? 

Or is she too much to handle? 

Cassie Chapman finally caught her father’s attention when racy photos of her hit the tabloids. She comes to Cypress Corners to get a job and find herself. She reconnects with her family but doesn’t believe she deserves their faith in her. Or their love. 

Ty Walsh makes sure the animals at Cypress thrive in their habitats. He can’t resist Cassie’s combination of boldness and vulnerability. As he rescues her from wild animals and her own enthusiasm, he sees there’s so much more to her than she thinks. 

Can Ty prove to Cassie that she can find herself with him? 

Or will she let her past mistakes cost her the life she was just starting to build?

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Vikki’s Musings

I am so pleased I had the opportunity to review this audio performance and the book. When I received the request from Ms. Stetson, I was thrilled. I recently reviewed Finding Harmony and Taming Jake and enjoyed them immensely. I looked forward to reading/listening to Loving Cassie with great anticipation. Cassie’s character in the first two books intrigued me, so I was anxious to learn more about her. This book is definitely an excellent read. I thoroughly enjoyed Wendy Rich Stetson’s narration tremendously as usual.

So far, Cassie’s life has been aimless, until her father steps in, cuts off her money, and then sends her to Cypress Corners to her brothers. She’s never worked a day in her life. Can she find her way and learn to take care of herself, instead of depending on others to do it for her?

Ty Walsh spends his days working at the institute as the animal conservationist, and his weekends with Riley, his adorable niece, the daughter of his late troubled sister. He has to battle Riley’s father for visits constantly. His mom suffers from Fibromyalgia and needs his attention as well. When Cassie blows into his life, can he find a loving relationship with this troubled party girl as she learns to find a new way to live? 

Ms. Stetsons’s narration brings the sensual love scenes to life in a way that had me fanning my face several times! The chemistry between Ty and Cassie heated up my iPhone, to say the least. Her ability to get the emotion and passion that the couple feels for each other to come out with just the right inflection of her voice is fantastic.

Ms. Stetson has worked very hard on perfecting a New England accent for Cassie’s father, and it shows. She was spot on with this performance of the cantankerous man with his brusque style of speaking. She truly brought his character to life.

I was so pleased that Lettie, the older gently-bred southern lady introduced in the first two books was also in this book as well. Ms. Stetson is able to show this delightful character with her at times scandalous talk, as the humorous, playful character she is. I love the narrator’s smooth voice and well-modulated tone a great deal and would definitely listen to future books with her as the narrator.

JoMarie DeGioia writes another light-hearted story with engaging characters and an interesting story line. I fell in love with Ty’s character from the first page and remained in love with him throughout the entire book.  His ability to encourage Cassie to look at her potential for the future, rather than dwelling on her past mistakes was fantastic. He’s such a caring man with his concern for his mother and his desire to have a meaningful relationship with his darling niece.

Cassie is an endearing character, and I liked her a great deal. I could feel her pain over living such an only for the moment life, and allowing her father to influence her decisions. She was a party girl, and her shame over her previous lifestyle came through loud and clear, gaining my empathy for her character. Cassie suffers from a huge lack of self-esteem. I can identify with her character, since I’ve had bouts of this in my own life. This definitely touched my heart in a big way.

In this story, Bill Chapman takes a stand with Cassie, lying down the law, cutting off her allowance and sending her to Cypress Corners. This put him in a better light than in the previous books in this series. His reveal at the dinner with Cassie and her brothers, also showed a different twist to his character, allowing me to see him a better light.

I felt a deeper connection with Cassie and Ty in Loving Cassie than I did in the characters of the earlier books in this series. I truly felt Cassie’s emotional pain, and the heartache Ty feels over the situation with his niece. Ms. DeGioia has penned an emotionally-charged story, and I thoroughly enjoyed the romance between the pair, and I also enjoyed seeing Cassie blossom under Ty’s loving care.

This is by far my favorite of the three books, and I suspect there will be another one in this engaging series with Bill’s astonishing news. The pacing is excellent in Loving Cassie, making it an easy read and kept me entertained, and isn’t that what a book should do? Happy reading!

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