Monday, December 1, 2014

REVIEW/RELEASE BLITZ: Once Upon A Time by S.K. Hartley

Genre: Romantic Comedy | Contemporary Romance


I don't believe in fairy tales.
I don't believe in glass slippers.
I don't believe in Prince-Freaking-Charming.

Cinderella can kiss my ass.

I kiss frogs, sometimes even toads.
I've given up on meeting Mr. Right, instead it seems all I meet is Mr. Wrong, Mr. Very-Wrong and even, Mr. Lets-Not-Even-Go-There.

Fairy tales are for morons.

Well, that's what I thought until Gabriel Black barged through my life, turning everything upside down.
He's hot, sexy and little rough around the edges.
But, he's hiding something, something deep. I can feel it, taste it and smell it.

Now I'm left wondering if he's my Prince Charming or my fairy tale villain.
Will I ride away safely into the night, dreaming of happily ever afters?
Or, will I stumble and fall in ridiculously high heels only meant for women with a death wish?

Once Upon A Time...
I met Gabriel Black.

Cover Design: S.K. Hartley

3 Stars

Payton Miller is a Kentucky native trying to escape and hide her poor Southern roots by making it big in the PR world in NYC. (Scenes from Sweet Home Alabama—the movie, not the song—kept running through my head. Even Payton’s NYC friends tend to mimic the ones Reece Witherspoon’s character had in the movie.) For now though Payton has only made it physically to the Big Apple; career wise she’s only a personal assistant to one snobbish ice queen of a boss—an icon in the PR world. (Cue shades of The Devil Wear Prada movie now.) But then she’s given what could be her big break when her boss assigns her a meeting with her first actual client.

However, at a club the night before, Payton meets an anonymous hot and demanding man in grey who does her dirty in his office before shooing her out the door. But low and behold that is certainly not the last time Payton will encounter Mr. Black.

From here, the book bears some similarities to another rich CEO with the last name out of a Crayola box who has a slightly awkward average girl fall into his office. Said girl also has a roommate whose name starts with a K, and said CEO also has a playboy brother.  I think (and hope) it was done as a parody, but I honestly wasn’t sure.  This CEO isn’t into anything red room kinky though.

At first Gabriel Black is pretty arrogant and domineering, but eventually he becomes…well a real prince.  I wasn’t always sure the change came seamlessly or developed smoothly. None the less, Gabriel is pretty hard to resist (both to Payton and the reader). But alas life and even fairy tales have twists. I wasn’t expecting the climax, although really it was misconstrued making it feel a bit contrived.

Overall the book is well written; I just never felt a real connection with Payton or the story. Many will enjoy it I’m sure. Though it didn’t really produce any laugh out loud moments for me, it’s light-hearted and largely upbeat. Fans of contemporary romantic comedies will want to check it out.

S.K. Hartley is a wife and mother to an oil soaked husband and a tomato sauce covered son by day, by night an International Bestselling Author who's first novel, Finding You, quickly shot up the charts in fall 2013, winning blog awards for the tear inducing writing and breath catching ending. Since releasing her first novel, she then went on to release two more books in the series, Finding Me & Finding Us, proving that New Adult is vastly popular among readers and writers a like. Located in the not so sunny North West of England, UK, S.K. Hartley deals with daily battles against Microsoft Office Word translations. Working as a British author who writes in American English is a challenge that's both frustrating and fulfilling. When she's not doing all the above, S.K. Hartley spends the rest of her time interacting with her readers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and also via her newsletter.

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