Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Review & Giveaway: The Triple-Date Dare by Lauraine Henderson

Genre: LDS, Christian, clean romance
Publisher: Indie

Publication date: December 8, 2016

Number of pages: 212

Writer Laura Nelson can’t believe her luck. Since staying in a beach house on the Oregon coast, she’s had two run-ins with the police. The upside is that handsome Officer David Harrington handled both situations.

Laura, still stinging from years of making poor choices, has come to Oregon to take control of her life. She recently renewed her relationship with God and the church, and she’s in the process of writing her next mystery. But is she ready for romance?

David has a rule: don’t get close to women. He is ashamed of his unlawful past, a father in jail and an alcoholic mother. His triple date dare is a sure-fire way to keep women at bay. Who would love him with all his baggage anyway?

When he asks Laura out, David figures she will crash and burn as planned. He had no idea she would not only change the rules of his famous dating dare, but sneak her way into his heart.

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it

There is a good balance between hilarious scenarios and deep introspection in this character-driven novel of redemption and forgiveness. Laura is transforming herself from one lifestyle to another, so sometimes she is a study in contrasts. I loved that in essence she stays true to her real self and is able to shed the facade she wore in her former life. David senses her genuine nature and is drawn to her despite his resolve to stay out of a relationship. Their banter is interesting, and Laura often takes David off guard, which he doesn't always know how to deal with since he likes feeling in control. Both David and Laura have several occasions of internal musings about faith, life, and the confusion they feel as they are figuring out how to adjust to the unexpected changes that occur. I liked that Laura focuses on increasing her spirituality in a genuine way and improving her deteriorated relationship with her sister. I has tears in my eyes a couple of times as David and Laura share share special moments and epiphanies. 

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)

I recently moved back to Oregon with my husband of 31 years, where we’ve built a house on 68 acres about 40 miles outside of Portland. After growing up in Oregon, we’ve lived in Utah, Arizona, and Hawaii. We have three children, two girls and a boy, all grown and all writers themselves. We also have a dog (Golden Retriever) and a cat (Black). I love to write inspirational romance and hope my readers will be both entertained and uplifted by my stories. When I’m not writing, I love to paint (watercolors, oils, and acrylics), sew, knit, crochet, and read (of course)! My second novel will be published in 2017. 

Laura Melemanu Nelson

Laura spent the first fourteen years of her life in Oregon, and then moved to Hawaii. Her parents always had a great affinity to Hawaii and gave each of their children Hawaiian middle names. While they lived in Oregon, they had a vacation home in Sunset Bay, on the Oregon coast, where they spent several weeks during the summer. Laura went to high school and college on the Big Island of Hawaii where she studied English with a Creative Writing emphasis. Her English professor introduced her to a publisher and she was able to publish her first novel. While in high school, Laura became rebellious of her moral and religious upbringing. She made numerous poor choices which lead her to living with her boyfriend and being involved with drug dealers. When she was caught by the police, she was tried and convicted as an accessory to drug trafficking and served one month in jail and five hundred hours of community service.
After being beat up by her boyfriend when he was released from jail, Laura went back to her parents for help. Sitting in a stake conference, she discovered a desire to return to church and put herself back on the straight and narrow. She’s run away to the Oregon coast to finish her second novel and get away from her recent past.

Laura is a slender 5’7”, with short cropped, bleached blond hair. She has a sweet, pretty face with crystal blue eyes. She’s quick witted and feisty, and is trying very hard to made positive choices in her life and hear the whispers of the Holy Ghost. She’s pretty game for any activity and sees through deception easily. She loves her family, is closest to her father, but struggles with her relationship with her older sister, Suzanne. She is not a deep thinker nor terribly far sighted, focusing on the here and now to get her life on track, but she wants to understand the gospel of Jesus Christ better. She’s humble and honest about her emotions, but doesn’t share her feelings and life story easily.

David Ezekiel Harrington

David grew up in Portland with his parents and his older sister, Margaret. Their life was fairly ordinary until his father became involved in illegal activities. His mother turned to alcohol to hide from his father’s choices. When Margaret moved out at eighteen, David was left alone with his mother and father, where he witnessed his mom’s alcoholic binges and never knew what his dad was up to. When he was in high school, he became friends with the wrong crowd and participated in an armed robbery of a convenience store. He was arrested and served a five-year sentence. He finished high school in jail where he also met a member of the church who reached out and taught him the gospel. When he was released from jail, he was baptized and vowed to turn his life around. He worked with his uncle, a policeman in Sunset Bay, to have his father arrested for second degree murder and decided to become a police officer. After attending the police academy, he was hired by the Sunset Police Department, where his uncle still worked.

David is tall, well built, with short brown hair and deep blue eyes. He has a strong jaw and captivating smile. He loves to be outdoors, hanging out with his friends, and has a knack for turning driftwood into artistic sculptures. He loves the church and works in the nursery where he has a devoted following of four two-year olds. He was recently able to buy a house near the beach from a ward member who was moving into a retirement home. He is close to his sister, who is married and works as a para-legal. Although ashamed of his mother, who is often arrested for drunken and disorderly behavior, David always bails her out, and frequently tries to help her find a way out of her alcoholic pit, thus far without success. He is extremely embarrassed by his parents’ behavior and can’t imagine any good LDS girl wanting to be associated with such a family. He’s fun and spunky, but reserved with his emotions. He’s kind to rookie officers and respectful of all authority figures.

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