Hey Guys! Let’s welcome Tia today!
Thank you for letting me stop by your blog today to share my new release, Taste for Love. Taste for Love is a contemporary romance pairing two of the most unlikely characters for love from my novel Playing for Love – Carlos and Shelly.
This is my final stop on the ‘Taste for Love Blog Tour’ and I have loved every minute of it. Sharing my experience writing about Carlos Ortiz and Shelly Gauthier… two people that don’t quite scream potential happy couple at the end of Playing for Love. I wanted to write something about Taste for Love, hoping to draw you into my story…
Instead I decided to let someone else tell you what she thinks of it. Nia Forrester (author of Afterwards) recently reviewed Taste for Love and this is what she had to say:
Having read just about everything that Tia Kelly has written to date, it’s been fun watching her writing style and voice evolve. The most recent read of hers that I loved was ‘And Then’ which I thought was such an adult piece of writing. So I was silently hoping that this new installment in the ‘Wilkersons in Love’ series would live up to that book’s promise. It did. ‘Taste for Love’ follows two of the most interesting characters from ‘Playing for Love’, Shelly and Carlos.
Carlos was the best friend (and potential lover) of the main female protagonist in PFL, Paige. Father to her daughter and protector to Paige, Carlos was a hard man to get to know in that book, but fascinating nevertheless. While he was undoubtedly possessive of Paige and their daughter Melody, his feelings for her seemed to fall somewhat short of romantic. And it often seemed as though he was the anti-romantic hero. So I was actually relieved that Carlos didn’t get the girl in PFL.
But I was also curious to see what girl he did get, or rather, what girl would get him.
This author bit off quite a large challenge when she opted to match this anti-hero with the anti-heroine of PFL, Shelly Gauthier who in that book, almost inexplicably betrays the family that has taken her in and is her most reliable source of love and support after the loss of her parents.
So I went into ‘Taste for Love’ daring the author to make me feel anything other than disdain for Shelly, and curiosity for Carlos. Well, she succeeded.
In ‘Taste for Love’, Tia Kelly made the extremely smart choice to focus on the building of trust, friendship, and camaraderie before taking the leap into love. She knew her characters, and her readers’ reactions to her characters in the previous book well enough to realize that a sudden and passionate spark between Carlos and Shelly wouldn’t be convincing.
Carlos distrusts Shelly too much, and maybe even dislikes her when the book opens. And Shelly is far too cautious and focused on rebuilding a new life for herself. Neither of them is thinking about ‘falling in love’ and neither of them have a history of relationships that would prepare them to recognize it if they did. But we recognize it.
Through a series of short scenes that catalog the process of Carlos managing the development of Shelly’s business venture, in which he and the Wilkerson brothers have invested (under pressure from the family matriarch)we see Carlos and Shelly become friends with an undercurrent of sexual tension, mostly on Carlos’ side. Then a reminder of a tragedy in her past throws them together so that their physical attraction finally combusts. But Carlos is far more experienced than Shelly and just as he is a partner in her business, he becomes a partner in her sexual awakening as well.
I loved that we could see Carlos falling in love, and that Shelly couldn’t see it. I loved that we learned more about the man he was and why, and the woman she was (and why) — just as they were learning about each other as well. I loved his strength and protectiveness, and that he seemed to soften his rough edges the more he fell for her. And most of all, I loved that he emerged as her champion of sorts, when the Wilkerson brothers persistent distrust of Shelly (and reluctance to give her the benefit of any doubt) threatened to derail her dream.
And most of all, I loved that in this book, the author wasn’t too heavy-handed with the sexual connection. She managed to make their relationship highly sexually-charged throughout, but without explicit of frequent sex scenes. Their connection was VERY sexy WELL BEFORE the actual sex. As a writer myself, sometimes the challenge isn’t to get it all on the page, it’s having the courage to leave some things off the page, and trust that what you wrote speaks to your reader.
This book spoke to me. And I’m betting all five stars that it will speak to you as well.
To start reading, here’s the first chapter.
Thanks again and happy reading!
To read more of Taste for Love:
about Taste for Love
Rochelle “Shelly” Gauthier is no stranger to loss. Hurricane Katrina taught her that in the blink of an eye, you can lose everything and everyone who matters most to you. So being cast out of the Wilkerson clan for betraying her cousin Kenneth, his fiancée Paige and their best friend Carlos only resulted in her being exactly how she always knew she would wind up anyway: alone.
Carlos Ortiz, on the other hand is alone by choice. Or so he tells himself. When Shelly makes an unexpected request for help from the Wilkersons, Carlos recalls a time when fate put him in a position where he had no choice but to accept Shelly’s assistance.
Now he must decide whether what he feels for her is a sense of obligation, or something else.
Taste for Love is the third novel from the Wilkersons in Love series.
Tia Kelly invites you to come meet the Wilkersons and get ready to fall in love.
Taste for Love Blog Tour Visits:
April 8 – Nia Forrester (www.niaforrester.com)
April 9 – Love Belvin (www.lovebelvin.com)
April 10 – MJ Kane (www.authormjkanebooks.wordpress.com)
April 11 – Christopher Bynum (www.theblackwriter.wordpress.com)
April 14 – Delaney Diamond (www.delaneydiamond.com)
April 15 – Sharon C. Cooper (www.sharoncooper.net)
April 16 – Candace Shaw (www.candaceshaw.net)
April 18 – Christina Jones (www.beingmrsjones.com)
About Tia Kelly
Tia Kelly may be witty and feisty on the outside, but she is a die hard romantic at heart. She likes to bring ‘life moments… one character at a time’ in the contemporary fiction and is the author of nine books.
In addition to her love for writing, reading, playing chef in her own kitchen and traveling, Tia loves to kick back with a glass of wine and a good game on her television screen. And if it’s baseball season, you will probably hear Tia shouting the loudest (or checking out the cuties in the dugout)!