Wednesday, April 9, 2014

{Blog Tour} ARC Review: Stroke of Love by Melissa Foster

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Title: Stroke of Love (Love in Bloom: The Remingtons #2)
Author: Melissa Foster
Publication date: March 3rd 2014
Publisher: World Literary Press
Source: Received copy from tour host (Thanks, Julie from AToMR Book Blog Tours and Melissa!)
Buy the book: Amazon / Barnes and Noble / iTunes

Kate Parello runs a volunteer program in Belize for Artists for International Aid, where she deals with self-centered artists who use the program as a means to repair their marred reputations. She loves the country, the people, and what AIA stands for, but too many diva volunteers have turned her off to press-seeking celebrities altogether and left her questioning the value of the volunteer program. When she meets incredibly handsome and charming Sage, he stirs emotions she hasn’t felt for ages, even though he represents the things she despises.

Laid-back artist Sage Remington escapes his wealthy lifestyle in the Big Apple for a two-week journey of self-discovery to figure out how a guy who has so much can feel so empty. When he meets ultra-organized Kate, who lives her life the way he’s always dreamed of living his, the attraction is too hot to ignore, but Sage is there to figure out what’s missing in his life, not to find a woman.

Every look, and every late-night chat in the romantic jungle brings them closer together, but Sage can barely think past stripping away Kate’s misconceptions about him. Kate fights him every step of the way—even though she finds it hard to ignore the strikingly handsome, generous-to-a-fault artist who wants to do nothing more than right the wrongs of the world—and love her to the ends of the earth.


I read Game in Love (book one of the Remingtons series) and I quite enjoyed it, I liked the general feel and theme of the novel but wow, I absolutely adored Stroke in Love. Melissa Foster was able to create a fairly solid story that stemmed out and managed to elevate it to another level. Sure it was a love story and there were a few mushy and sweet scenes but I felt that Stroke in Love had a depth that its predecessor lacked and I was glad to have seen that substance in her books.

Meeting Sage in the previous book (still love his name) made me feel like I already had a grasp as to what kind of character he was and what he stood for and it was great witnessing him become even more of a man than I already thought he was. He was such a great confidant and friend to his brother Dex in Game in Love and seeing him fly solo made me realize how great of a guy he really was. The fact that he braved living in an area with limited resources and questionable health care while his "companions" bitched and moaned about their accommodations made my respect for him get even higher. His genuine eagerness and joy at seeing the children of Punta Palacia learn and appreciate art made me smile and go "aww". His quest to find that inner peace and a fulfillment that not even his passion for art could fill made his journey to self discovery all the more amazing. Sage was never the type to want to be in the spotlight or exploit the less fortunate for his gain, no, he was the type to try and think of every possible way to help others and to maximize his gifts to give other people better opportunities. Melissa Foster could not have created a better leading man, really.

Kate is a wonderful girl, she really is but there were moments (mostly in the first half of the book) that I wanted to just smack her upside the head. I understand that she has seen and experience first-hand meeting obnoxious and snobbish celebrities but the problem is that she has the stigma stuck inside her head that she never gives anyone the benefit of the doubt. She immediately judges people based on first impressions and never allows others to try and prove to her that they aren't what she thought they were. That was my only peeve regarding Kate but other than that, it was smooth sailing. At the beginning, you could see the attraction between her and Sage but you could also tell that her need to be right prevented her from truly seeing how amazing Sage really was; but it was nice to see that they were able to work through those issues. I really admire Kate as a person, she was just so genuine. Her love for the people of Punta Palacia was so tangible that you could see and feel it flow through the pages. She really does everything she can to help the people there and that was so admirable. Kate is definitely very inspirational and her dedication and love for her calling completely sealed the deal for me.

In terms of the romance aspect of the book, the steam and swoon definitely were not lacking in this book. I felt that the experiences that Kate and Sage went through made their relationship stronger and allowed them to be more open to each other. You will see walls crumbling and when you do, you will breathe a sigh of relief and do a happy dance. I just love them together, seriously.

As I continue to read Melissa Foster's books, I see how diverse of an author she really is because every novels she brings out is unique and different from anything else she has written. Her books are not all completely fluff and happiness, there are still slightly darker themes but that just shows how you can fall in love with her books in different ways. I'm already a fan and I can't wait to see what else Melissa Foster has in store for us!


About the author:

Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes contemporary romance, new adult, contemporary women's fiction, suspense, and historical fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Her books have been recommended by USA Today's book blog, Hagerstown Magazine, The Patriot, and several other print venues. She is the founder of the Women’s Nest, a social and support community for women, and the World Literary CafĂ©. When she's not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on Fostering Success. Melissa has been published in Calgary’s Child Magazine, the Huffington Post, and Women Business Owners magazine.

Melissa enjoys discussing her books with book clubs and reader groups, and welcomes an invitation to your event.

You can find her here:

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