Putting a new book out is always a bit of a mixed blessing. After months of writing and editing--and sometimes years of knowing this story is coming--it is both awesome and terrifying to release it into the world, especially when it's near and dear to your heart. Although Nate and Dorie will always be special to me because they were my first, and Deke and Fitz worked their way into my soul, Lola and Jack have always been something special to me. Jack was actually one of the first characters I ever conceived of. (I know, I know--'of whom I ever conceived.' Sigh. As a friend just said to me in an email, this is the curse of being an English teacher's daughter.) The original opening scene of Calling It (book #1 in the series) actually had Nate, Jack and Courtney coming face to face on a red carpet in front of a whole lineup of photographers; that interaction is still incredibly vivid to me (even though in the evolution of the story, it has been relegated to scenes that got cut from both the book itself and the storyline).
Lola, although a very minimal character in book #1, was as defined to me then as she is now. The single (widowed) mother of four, she is confident and unafraid to cut her losses no matter how painful they may be. She loves her four young boys, but, oh yes, is quite tired, which only adds to her reluctance to open herself up to anything even remotely verging on serious relationship territory.
But for as much as I love them, I am always worried that no one else will. So it was with great relief that so many early reviews showed Jack & Lola some major love.
Not all of them did, of course, and I know that you might have a very different feeling for this book than I do. I'm sure it comes as no surprise that I hope you love it, but if you don't, I will still be grateful for your taking the time to read it. There are so many incredible stories out there and we are all so limited in time. I appreciate any time you have devoted to my books. And if you've written a review--good or bad--I am even more grateful.
With that said, however, as Lola's and Jack's book birthday rapidly approaches, I am going to list here some of the words that have meant so much to me from the advance reviews on GoodReads.
Drum roll please... Here are some of my favorite quotes from these early reviews (you can read the full text of these reviews [and more] at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34372440-called-out):
"Okay, I am in love! Great lead characters, wonderful secondary characters, melting hearts, believable conflict, and a happy ending. What more could you want?" - NovelMomma
"Jack and Lola's story is a sensual and playful delight that took my breath away..." - Becky
"It's a story of love, of healing, of atonement and redemption. It's a story of friendship and family. It made me laugh, tear up, and swoon, and most of all, I really enjoyed it. I am absolutely looking forward to more stories from Inspiration." - Sam
"The rest, as they say, is history; but in the most unexpectedly intense, sincere and super hot ways. These two have the most delicious conversations, passionate encounters, and every day moments. ... I managed to laugh out loud and then within minutes, also shed some tears. Always a sign of a really good book I think. Thank you Ms Doyle, and I am looking forward to the next installment." - Ruthie
"Ms. Doyle mixes moments of insight with humorous delivery and emotional storytelling as she creates a masterful story of maturity and romance." - Isha
"This is probably the ultimate fantasy read for every single mum everywhere. ... Only Jen Doyle could write such a domestic romance without it ever feeling domestic and I am once again surprised by how much I enjoy this series. The blurbs make me want to run - I don’t do charming, sweet or white picket fences. I usually hate cute kids and their fictional parents. But there is a layer of honest and slightly dark humour in these stories that really strikes a chord with me. I love this series and I can’t wait for the next book." - Sarah
"This is a great story with an original plotline, a fast pace and amazing characters. I loved every page!" - LeeAnn
"Overall, I ADORED this book. It was so sweet and heartfelt and heartbreaking and heart-mending." - Nadwa
"This was a sexy, romantic read with great characters, a wee dose of angst and hefty dose of adorable courtesy of Lola's sons." - Nicola
Again, the full reviews are available at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34372440-called-out -- and if you happen to head over there, please be sure to read *all* the reviews, not just the good ones, so you can get the full sense of what people are thinking. And please do "like" those reviews, too, so that the reviewers know their work is appreciated.
So we're down to an hour and a half now, and I must go find something to do other than be nervous about what everyone else will think when Called Out hits their e-readers at midnight. (What that something is, I have no idea.) But thank you once again for your support, thank you for reading this post, and a big, fat, messy-kiss thank you (in advance) for reading Called Out. Happy reading!