Her first book, "The Next Door Boys" (Cedar Fort, Oct. 2011) is our offering for today. And it's coming, signed, all the way from Alaska. They can actually do that these days.
So on to my review...
I read this book over the holidays as we were doing a mad week long dash as a family through Arizona, Utah, Nevada, and California, visiting MORE family. I stuck it on my iPod and read and read and read while my hubby drove. And drove. And drove.
Frankly, I couldn't put it down. This is a contemporary, clean romance with location very familiar to me: BYU. I've been there, lived that life she describes so effortlessly. I really liked Leigh Tressman, her main character. She is a well rounded, flawed, living, breathing person. She's someone I would have wanted to room with.
And Leigh isn't the only character so real you think you've met them at church already. Her brother, Jaron, is the best older brother. His "newly returned missionary" zeal has him hovering over her as Leigh struggles to learn how to grow up after her traumatic diagnosis and treatment, but he grows as well in a natural progression. As does her relationship with Brian, Jaron's roommate, and part of the "Next Door Boys". It's a relationship that grows slowly, respectfully, and deepens into something Leigh never expects when she left for school, determined to make it on her own.
I think the think I loved best about this book were these characters that seemed so real I felt like a voyeur, peeking in through the windows. All their behavior was a natural outgrowth of who they were. There were no obvious contrivances. I fell completely into the story from beginning to end.
Don't take my word for it, though. Here are a couple of other endorsements of Jolene's book:
This book is filled with heart. I loved Jolene's easy going pace, her characters, the romance, and the beautiful message she imparted. Definitely recommend this book!
- author Rachael Ranee Anderson
I loved this book! Touching and heartfelt, Next Door Boys introduces Leigh, a young woman who is struggling to find independence and normalcy after a year of dealing with cancer. This is an engaging story that stayed with me long after I read it.
- author Kaylee Baldwin
Enter today to get a chance to win this fabulous book. And if you don't, go buy it. You won't be disappointed!
ALL ENTRIES MUST BE MADE BY 11:59 PM MST tonight, January 225, 2012. Winners will be posted tomorrow morning in our Winner's Circle (tab at the top of the blog home page).
As usual, there are multiple ways to earn entries into this drawing, make sure you take advantage of ALL of them.
1. Leave a comment on this post.
2. Become a follower of this blog or tell us you already are (you must clearly state in your comment on this post that you are a follower to receive credit for this).
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