Contemporary Romance / Romantic Comedy
Date Published: 5/17/2012
Time and setting: Present Day, California
Length: 203 pages
Heat Level: 1 Scorching Hot Flames
Rating: 4 Gold Crowns
They say life gets more interesting after 40. Chloe sure hopes so.
Freshly divorced at 40, Chloe has few illusions left about her ability to make any of her dreams come true. She is never going to be thin, never going to be a famous singer, and obviously never going to be sexy enough to keep a man like her handsome ex-football player husband from cheating. Thank heavens she at least has great friends.
Celebrating her return to Cali with a long weekend at the 5-star Blue Skies Hotel and Spa with them seems like just the thing she needs to jump start her “do over” post-divorce life. How much Chloe ends up liking sexy owner, 45 yr old Jasper Wade, is a surprise though. So is the way Jasper's unrestrained kisses send lust and renewed hope singing through her.
I read Her Best Mistake by Donna McDonald and loved it. When I discovered Next Song I Sing, I immediately downloaded it. It has taken me a while to get to it, but what a delightful read. As with the first book of Ms. McDonald’s, this one had me laughing out loud all through the book. Donna McDonald writes sparkling dialogue that brings her characters to life.
Chloe Zanders is a free woman. Her divorce papers are only a week old, and she has arrived in California to start her new life with her BFF’s from college. To celebrate her release from the cheating ex-husband, she begins her vacation at a 5 star hotel and spa, determined to find her easy-going fun self again.
Jasper Wade owns the Blue Skies and Spa Hotel. He has been divorced from his model wife for two years, but like the preverbal bad penny, Rayonna shows up once or twice a month. While no longer attracted to her, at least his sexual needs are somewhat taken care of, even if they are lack luster.
When Chloe and her friends take over the piano bar in the hotel, Jasper is blown away by the gorgeous, well-endowed woman with the fantastic set of pipes. He’s not alone, the bar patrons feel the same way. While Jasper is normally reserved and always conscious of his image, he cannot resist Chloe and pursues her in a way he has never done before.
Will Chloe give him a chance to prove he is sincere, and finds her more than generous curves, her amazing voice and quick-witted personality a huge turn on, or will she allow her beaten down self-esteem to keep him at arm’s length?
I love a good romantic comedy, and Next Song I Sing is a fantastic one. I fell in love with Chloe and Jasper’s characters from the first page and rooted for them to find their happy ending. The romance between the pair sizzles, and the love scenes are combustible. They are truly an explosive combination!
Chloe’s ex-husband did a real number on her self-esteem. She’s self-conscious of her size 14 body and her double D chest after five years of constant comments concerning her weight. This aspect to her character immediately gained my empathy. It’s not often where a heroine is less than perfect, and I found this great fun. Her ability to laugh at herself makes her a truly entertaining character.
Jasper is a bit straight-laced, but Chloe is so good for him. She helps him let go of his cheating ex-wife for good. Once he sees the delightful Chloe, he at last kicks her to the curb for good. I loved his journey of self-discovery, and his determination to capture the heart of the first woman to send his libido into over drive since his college days. But, please understand, he is also drawn to Chloe’s effervescent personality. The woman just glows.
The secondary characters, from Jasper’s brother Max, to Chloe’s BFFs, add greatly to this hugely entertaining book. Ms. McDonald sets up the future books in this series perfectly, and I can’t wait to read the next novels. I was a bit disappointed to find out that they are not out yet. Since she is doing a book tour for Next Song I Sing, I hope they are at last going to be released.
Now for the reasons I could not give this book 5 Gold Crowns. It needs professional editing badly. There are a lot of missing words, which had me re-reading to get the full meaning. Also, Ms. McDonald does a great deal of head-hopping. That kept me from getting as attached to the main characters in the beginning. While these issues were irritating, the story more than made up for these problems.
If you enjoy an entertaining romantic comedy, then you are going to love Next Song I Sing. This is an amusing tale of a woman starting life over at forty. At times, I laughed so hard, I had tears in my eyes. Bottom line, I loved this book, and will be looking for the next two stories in this great series. Hurry Donna, I want to read them. Happy reading!
Chloe had laughed so much in the last hour that her face hurt. And several mai tais had put a humorous haze over pretty much everything.
“Emma, those quizzes are all going to say that I can’t get a guy because I have some sense of decorum about not groping a guy’s crotch in public. Do women in their twenties actually follow that advice?” Chloe demanded.
“Yes,” Emma said firmly. “And I think they have a lot of sex.”
“But do they ever find a genuine love-that-lasts kind of relationship?” Taylor asked, trying to sound wise.
Emma scrunched up her face. “Well, two of them found mine and Chloe’s husbands, so I think the answer is yes in some cases. Of course, this is assuming they actually love our ex-husbands and vice versa.”
Chloe snorted. “Well, I say good luck to them for trying. My ex’s new woman better stay skinny for the rest of her life.”
They laughed again and took another sip of their drinks.
“Okay—okay,” Emma said more soberly, “one more question and I’ll quit.” She paused until she knew Chloe and Taylor were paying close attention.
“You and your best friend are having lunch. She tells you there’s a hot guy checking out your breasts,” Emma said seriously. “What do you say in reply? Taylor—you go first.”
Taylor laughed, the drinks having worked their magic on her by loosening her tongue. “Well, I would dip into the sarcasm I hold back just for these special situations. I would say ‘Sure, him and every other guy’ in my best, most confident voice. Then I’d do this.”
Lifting her small breasts in her hands like an offering to the gods, Taylor pursed her lips in a smooch, and leaned over the table to her friends. They laughed so hard and so loudly that all the people in the pool starting leaving.
“Just like the old days,” Taylor said. “We’re clearing the area.”
“Okay Chloe—what would you say?” Emma said, swinging an innocent gaze in her direction.
“If the man is checking out my breasts, it’s because he’s not used to seeing so much untanned flesh in the state of California,” Chloe declared, laughing and holding the edges of her lapels open as wide as she could to peer into her dress. “Look—the girls and I haven’t seen sunlight in five years. It will take me months to tan all this.”
They all looked at Chloe’s large and very white breasts, giggling without denying her statement. It was the truth after all.
“Maybe you can start with one of those self-tanners or a bronzer. You have to work your way up to a real tan again,” Emma said with a laugh.
“Emma—that question didn’t sound like the other quiz questions,” Taylor commented, looking at her not-so-innocent friend who was giggling softly and looking guilty.
“Okay—fine. It wasn’t a real question on the quiz. There’s a good-looking guy in the dining room who has been admiring Chloe’s cleavage since we sat down to have lunch,” Emma said, laughing. “I think she should practice her subtlety theory on him.”
“Well I’m certainly in the mood to practice after three mai tais. Show him to me,” Chloe demanded on a tipsy laugh.
Emma’s eyes grew larger as she giggled and whispered. “Okay I will, but just don’t turn around. He’s headed to our table. Just smile at Taylor and pretend to be fascinating.”
Chloe’s eyes widened as she heard the deep voice at her side.
“Good day, ladies. I’m Jasper Wade, hotel manager. I hope you’re enjoying your stay. If you need anything while you’re here, please let me know,” he said gallantly, his gaze taking in all of them before coming back to Chloe and her breasts.
Chloe, full of mai tai and happy laughter, turned her head and smiled into his very nice face, sighing with ego happiness as she watched Jasper Wade’s gaze straining to stay away from her cleavage. The day was certainly turning out to be a very nice way to celebrate her return to California.
“Well, aren’t you sweet, Mr. Wade? I was just going to look for the ladies room,” she said, laughing. “Can you point me in the right direction?”
“It’s in the hallway just outside the dining area. If you like, I’d be happy to show you,” Jasper said, his heart beating rapidly as she rose slowly to her full height.
Jasper couldn’t remember the last time he had been so excited by a woman he didn’t even know. She was tall, smiling, and quite an alluring woman altogether. It was all he could do not to reach out and put his hands on her to assure himself she was real.
Chloe purposely stayed bent over the table until the last minute, and then straightened slowly, her breasts following her slow moments. “Sorry. I seem to be a bit tipsy. Too many mai tais.”
“Lovely way to enjoy a sunny afternoon by the pool,” Jasper said with a smile, placing a solicitous hand on her arm, or at least he hoped it was coming off that way.
Chloe took two steps and stumbled slightly, forcing Jasper to catch her, which momentarily squashed her ample cleavage against the front of him. “Oops—sorry.”
She watched his eyes darken and had to restrain the giggle fighting to be set loose. Behind her, Chloe could hear Emma and Taylor’s in-drawn breaths at her boldness.
Turning innocently to look at them, she had to fight laughter at their obvious surprise. She didn’t need a damn quiz to tell her how to interest a man. She just needed the good-looking motivation currently with his hands on her. It was the most wickedly confident thought she’d had in years, and it brought an equally wicked smile to her face.
“I’m fine girls, but I guess I need to walk off a little of the buzz. Don’t worry. Mr. Wade seems quite dependable. I’m sure he won’t let me fall,” Chloe said, winking at their wide-eyed expressions.
Chloe turned back slowly, brushing her breast lightly across his sleeve as she put her arm through Jasper Wade’s. He inhaled sharply at the contact, but Chloe pretended not to notice or hear, though of course she had. It was all she could do to bite back a sigh of happiness. “Sorry again. Can’t believe I’m so tipsy. Thank you for helping me, Mr. Wade. You really do have a nice hotel.”
“Really?” Jasper asked, his voice breaking on the word so he cleared it. “Sorry. I mean—thank you.”
About the Author
Donna McDonald is an active dreamer and finds writing to be the best way to use her creativity. Needing to satisfy both sides of her brain, she is a cross-genre author of contemporary, fantasy, and paranormal romances. Her books appear on bestseller lists for humor, romantic comedy, space opera, and more. She craves laughter from her readers and focuses her attention on making that happen as often as possible. She loves to hear from anyone who has read her books.
2 Signed Print copies (US ONLY)