Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Romantic Reads: Love and Other Mistakes (book) by Jessica Kate

Join me in welcoming Jessica Kate to the blog! She hails from Australia! 

I met her at a Christian writers conference five years ago. Since then, she's become a published author! We're featuring an excerpt from her debut book, Love and Other Mistakes on my blog today. 

Happy Reading!

Excerpt from Love and Other Mistakes by Jessica Kate:

The squeak of rubber soles on the court echoed around Natalie as she froze in the doorway of the recreational center’s basketball court, two weeks after leaving Jem on the hospital sidewalk.
Three guys raced toward the far end of the court, chasing their opponent, whose long legs propelled him down the court at a lightning pace.
After another depressing day of job hunting, the last thing she’d wanted to do on her Friday afternoon was play in the weekly social basketball league. But Mom had convinced her to get off the computer—she’d been researching weird M&M flavors to buy—and instead run off the stress, all with a twinkle in her eye Natalie hadn’t quite deciphered.
Now she recognized it—the cunning of a woman determined to get grandchildren. Mom had been single minded toward that endeavor ever since Natalie made the mistake of telling her why she missed the head-office rep meeting.
But if the dream involved Jem, it had to die.
Cheers swelled from the handful of bystanders as Jem leapt through the air and dunked the ball. Even the opposing team members clapped.
“Way to go, Jem!”
The corners of her mouth lifted. She’d practiced with him for countless afternoons till he mastered that move. From that day on, every time he nailed a dunk his eyes would search her out, whether she was beside him on the court or cheering in the stands. His lips would pull into a grin that seemed to combine Did you see that? with Couldn’t have done it without you, babe.
Her mind landed back in the present at the same moment Jem’s gaze locked with hers.
She froze.
He grinned. Did you see that?
The corner of her mouth twitched upward.
Another thought slammed into her mind. He has a baby with someone else.
She whirled and headed out the door. How could he grin at her, like the last seven years hadn’t happened?
Her ire built with each step, threatening to spill over into frustrated tears. He had a baby. She’d felt sick each morning when she woke and remembered that the man she’d thought would raise her children now had one with someone else. And the fact it bit so deep dragged her self-esteem down another three notches. He’d obviously not missed her at all, and here she was still affected by him. After seven years.
Natalie rounded a corner and pulled her keys from her pocket. She needed time with Jeremy Walters about as much as she needed a cockroach under her pillow.
“Nat! Wait up!” Jem’s voice echoed down the hall.
The open door to the sports equipment storage room presented the perfect hiding place. She flew in and dove behind a pile of dusty gym mats.
She fought a sneeze as his footsteps approached, then paused.
“Your foot is sticking out.” Laughter rumbled in his voice.
She wriggled her way upright, brushing a monstrous dust bunny from her blue-and-gold uniform.
“I was just, uh, looking for something.” Like peace and quiet.
He nodded. “There’s a dead moth in your hair.”
“Just kidding.” He smirked.
Trying to claw back some dignity, she crossed her arms and surveyed him. How was it fair that, even after so long, those mischievous blue eyes and boyish freckles hadn’t lost one ounce of their charm? Time to go on the offensive. “What are you doing on my team? Don’t you have an article to write or a baby to take care of?”
“Didn’t realize you owned the team. Or still played.” He quirked an eyebrow. “Is it a problem?”
Rats. No good way out of that one. “Of course not. You’d better be able to pull your weight, is all. You’ve got a bit of a dad bod going on.” An utter lie. Curse his physique.
He slapped a hand on his stomach. “Didn’t know you’d been checking my bod out.” The words were laced with laughter, but Natalie just stared. Not going there.
The mirth drained from Jem’s expression under the weight of the silence. “Okay, I can’t do fake nicety-nice with you.” He ran a hand down his face, pulling his cheeks. “I talked to your mom.”
The air left her lungs.
“She told me about Phil. I’m sorry, I knew he was sick, but I didn’t know how bad.”
She flinched at the mention of Dad. He’s in remission. She fought the urge to shout the words. Yes, technically he was in remission. But the writing was on the wall, and barring a miracle, they all knew what the future held. The question was when.
“And she said you can’t find a job and will have to move back in with them.”
Natalie sucked in a deep breath, pressure building in her brain. “Why would—”
“I need someone to take care of Olly.”
She gaped at him. “Have you lost your mind?” The man had told her he loved her. Asked her to marry him. Dumped her and disappeared for seven years.
And now he wanted to be her boss?
Blurb for Love and Other Mistakes:
Jessica Kate’s heartfelt and romantic debut proves that love always comes in God’s own time.  

           Natalie Groves once had big dreams. But soon after her fiancé, Jeremy Walters, inexplicably broke off their engagement and left town, her father was diagnosed with cancer. Now tasked with keeping her family afloat, Natalie’s grand plans have evaporated . . . and God feels very far away. Fast-forward seven years, and Jeremy is back in Charlottesville with an infant son and years of regrets. When his niece, Lili, lands on his doorstep in need of a place to stay, Jeremy needs help—and fast. 
         An internship opening finally presents Natalie a chance at her dream job, but she needs a second income to work around it—and the only offer available is Jeremy’s. They could be the solutions to one another’s problems, provided they don’t kill each other in the process. When they join forces, sparks fly. But they both know there’s a thin line between love and hate...and that love will turn out to be the best decision—or the biggest mistake—of all.
Review of Love and Other Mistakes by Erin S. on Amazon.com:

5.0 out of 5 stars Tackling some Hard Topics

Reviewed in the United States on August 6, 2019

My Thoughts on Love and Other Mistakes:
Love and Other Mistakes is a fast reading cute novel. While it’s a romance it adds other aspects as well that allow for deep thinking.

When I first picked up this book I thought it was just going to be a romance. A cute story about how this couple finds each other after years apart and a broken engagement. Then they realize they’re still in love, a few bumps in the road, and they get married. Cute and sweet mostly.

But instead, I got this book.

It’s. . . wow.

This book is so much more than that.

Here you have this book and yes it’s a romance, but it’s also so much more. Within the pages of Love and Other Mistakes you’re going to see a single dad, an affair, an out of wedlock pregnancy or two, hidden sins, hard lessons learned, lies, and so much more. It’s so much more than a romance book and I think you should read it.

I read the book in an afternoon/evening. It was so good I didn’t want to put it down. So many twists and turns that I was not expecting and so much good food within the pages.

Have you ever struggled to forgive? I know I have. And then I know that forgiving isn’t forgetting as well as forgetting isn’t forgiving are some key things that I’ve thought on before so it’s nice to see a character in a book struggle with this too.

Definitely a new to me author that I’m now wanting to read more from. This is one to watch!

Author Bio:

Australian author Jessica Kate is obsessed with sassy romances.

She packs her novels with love, hate, and everything in between—and then nerds out over her favorite books, movies and TV in the StoryNerds podcast (official podcast of Reading Is My Superpower!) 

When she’s not writing or discussing fiction, she’s hunting the world for the greatest pasta in existence.

Her debut novel Love and Other Mistakes released July 2019, while A Girl’s Guide to the Outback hit shelves in January 2020.

Receive her sassy shorts "The Kiss Dare" and "The Kiss Thief" for FREE when you sign up for her newsletter at jessicakatewriting.com.

Buy Jessica Kate's book, Love and Other Mistakes on 

Connect with Jessica Kate:
Facebook and Instagram: Jessica Kate Writing

StoryNerds podcast: Available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts and at www.storynerds.podbean.com.

The McLeod’s Daughters Podcast: Available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts and at https://player.whooshkaa.com/shows/the-mcleods-daughters-podcast.

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