Short & Sweet Sunday: Overseas by Beatriz Williams

 In honor of Sunday – a day I reserve for reading and lollygagging – I bring you a short and sweet book review!

The gist: Meet Kate Wilson, an overworked, hyper-ambitious financial analyst. Caught up in a fast-paced, high-stress New York City lifestyle, she’s too immersed in her thankless job than to even consider falling in love. That is until she crosses paths with Manhattan’s most scrumdiddlyumptious British billionaire at a business meeting. Coveted by women and feared by Wall Street moguls, Julian Laurence embodies the trifecta of hotness: Power, smoldering good looks, and mystique. There’s something very odd about this golden haired It Boy. Not only does he avoid the vapid and soulless Manhattan party scene, he also seems to be from another time and place. He could have any woman in the world, but for some inexplicable reason he sets his sights on Kate. What is it about the shy bookish number-cruncher that has him so enamored?  Kate finds herself equally attracted and mystified by this curiously old-fashioned hunk of a man. What’s the deal with their instant attraction? And why does it seem as though they’ve met before? You’ll have to read the book to find out!

What I liked: The time travel. Despite its size, the book is a super-fast read. I was kept guessing about the whole time-space-continuum thing until the very last few pages.  The author expertly weaved together two narratives: one of Kate’s current situation in New York; the other of her time traveling adventures in World War I-era  France, where Julian serves as a dedicated officer in the British Army. As the story progressed, Kate’s mission to warn Julian about his impending death gets more desperate.  If he doesn’t heed her warning, she will be forced to roam the earth lost and alone.  

What irked me: I love a strong, fearless female protagonist just as much as the next girl, but Kate could have been a little bit more flexible with the whole money situation.  I get that she doesn’t want to be showered with material things, but she could have at least let him help her with her legal defense when her firm accused her of insider trading.  If I had a billionaire boyfriend, I sure would enjoy the safety net of all his riches in a crisis situation.  

This book is best read: On an airplane. I devoured this  400 + page tome while flying to and from Austin and California. The stern flight attendants, crappy watered down cokes and ear-splitting wailing babies didn’t faze me at all while I whizzed through the pages.

Favorite quote:  “There was really nothing like retail therapy for a girl with a train wrecked career and a near-paralytic case of sexual frustration.”

Casting call: If this book ever graced the silver screen, I could totally see the luscious Jude Law playing Julian. With his dark, golden hair and piercing eyes, he would be a perfect fit! Oh how I would love to hear those sweet nothings coming from his lips! As for Kate, I pictured Michelle Morgan, who plays Lou Flemming on Heartland. Her alabaster skin, long legs and raven locks perfectly match Kate’s classic good looks. Read my Book Boyfriend post for more Jude Law/Julian Laurence yumminess.

Overall:  Typically I like books in which romance is a secondary storyline. The swoony dialogue in Harlequin romances can be a little much. But this book is an exception! All of the plot threads – the time travel, the mystery, the paranormal romance – had me under a spell.  I was so lost in this book, I almost forgot to catch my connecting flight to Dallas! Or perhaps that was my subconscious telling me to not set foot in another busy, confusing airport. Either way, this book is worth reading!  Even though this is her debut novel, Beatriz Williams writes like a seasoned pro. Her lyrical prose and whimsical dialogue rivals that of Deborah Harkness (A Discovery of Witches) and Elizabeth Kostova (The Historian).

W… W… W… Wednesdays

Well this is a fun little weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. During the week I have no time or creative energy to devote to a full on blog post, but I can muster the strength to answer these three little questions about my reading itinerary:

What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m currently reading Dancing Naked in Dixie by Lauren Clark. So far I’m really enjoying the charming small Southern town, the eclectic characters and the witty dialogue. I also get a kick out of a good fish-out-of-water story involving an uptight city slicker learning how to slow down and enjoy the simplicities of small-town life. It’s just an easy, fun little read for a hot summer’s day. Go here for my review of Lauren’s debut novel, Stay Tuned.

I just finished reading Overseas by Beatriz Williams. I actually devoured this 400+ page tome in one weekend. Despite its size, it’s a fast read that kept me zipping through the pages until the wee hours of the night. It’s one of those books that keeps you guessing until the very last chapter. Don’t be afraid of those debut authors, folks. Some of the best books are by up-and-coming authors. Go ahead, put down that Charlaine Harris novel and live on the edge a little!  Stay tuned for the review.

Next in the e-book queue is Barefoot Girls by Tara McTiernan. I’m no stranger to mamma drama, family dysfunction and the transformative powers of hope and redemption, so it’s going to be pretty easy identifying with the main character.

Want to participate in this meme? Well then go pay a visit to Should Be Reading!   How I love my fabulous bookish community. It’s reassuring to know I’m not the only one who’s obsessed with books, kitties, cupcakes and caffeine. These are my people!

My Book Boyfriend (#5) Julian Laurence from Overseas

It’s been a tough month, so I’m going to cheer myself up with a fun little Book Boyfriend blurb. Pretty boys do have a way of perking me right up! That’s why I love reading romance novels during my blue spells. It’s hard to stay bummed when I’m picturing my celebrity crush du jour in the throws of passion.

For my fifth installment of the My Book Boyfriend meme, I bring you Julian Laurence from Overseas.

Description:  Julian is an extremely sexy, yet oddly old-fashioned British billionaire. With his tall, lean physique, broad shoulders, dark golden hair and soulful eyes, he brings women to their knees with just a twitch of a smile. Although he’s richer than Donald Trump, he has no interest in flashy cars or private jets. His passions are classical music, his grand piano, leather-bound books, and of course, his lady love Kate Wilson.

When Julian first entered the scene, I immediately thought of (*sigh*) the extremely hot, aristocratic Jude Law. Isn’t he a perfect fit?

Here are some quotes to send your hearts a flutter:

“Darling, when I tell you I love you, it means this: That I am your servant. That these two hands” – he held them up before me and then cupped my face – “labor for you alone. That you have a demand on me, an eternal one, which has everything to do with the incalculable favor, the immeasurable honor, you granted me last night, in taking me into your heart and your bed.”

“Sweetheart, I love you. Of course I do. I love every priceless inch of you. I love you idolatrously, for a thousand reasons, and I shall never stop. Hush,” he said, laying his finger on my lips again, “you don’t need to say anything. I’m a patient man. Just be easy. Know that it’s there, that you needn’t doubt me on this, at least.”

“Well, as they say,” he said, nibbling at my earlobe, slipping down to kiss the vale behind it, “faint heart never won fair lady.”

I lifted my hand to the back of his head. “I’m going…to find out.”

“Yes, I expect you shall. What fragrant skin you have, darling; how convenient that the woman one loves should turn out to be so perfectly…” He paused to kiss the curve of my jaw.

Oh swoon! Time for a Jude Law fix. I think I’m going to bump “The Holiday” up to the top of my Netflix queue.

My Book Boyfriend is a weekly meme created by Missie over at the Unread Reader that allows giggly book bloggers such as myself to match their literary crushes with a hot celebrities.