Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Goddess Fish: "Away From the Spotlight" by Tamara Carlisle Book Review/Giveaway (Ends 1/18) WW


In the closing weeks of law school, Shannon Sutherland meets handsome and charming Englishman Will MacKenzie. Initially swept off her feet, Shannon finds that Will has a secret that, once discovered and the consequences realized, could destroy their fledgling relationship. Will and Shannon take great pains to have a normal relationship but, ultimately, find it impossible to do so. Will the pressures of their careers and the temptations of others drive Will and Shannon apart? Can Will and Shannon live a happy life away from the spotlight?

“I promise nothing will separate us again.  Just like it said in our vows, ‘Til death do us part.’”

“Well, about fifty percent of all marriages are ‘til divorce do us part.’”

“We’ll be in the other fifty percent.”

“How do you know?” I was still worried.

“Because I love you and I am not stupid enough to make the same mistake twice.  Unless you have any plans to break us up?”

“No.  I wasn’t worried about me.  I was worried about you.”

“We’re good then?”

“Yes, I guess so.”  I could hear a little sigh of relief on the other end of the phone. “Other than Saturday, have you ever noticed how we have a lot of these kinds of conversations over the phone or out in public?”


“I wonder why that is.”

“Because when we’re alone together, we can’t keep our hands off each other,” Will said in a sexy voice.

“I guess that’s true.  Do you think we’ll ever be able to have them when we’re alone together?”

“If you mean, ‘do I think that we’ll be able to keep our hands off each other at some point,’ I certainly hope not.  But I do think we might be able to figure out how to multitask.”

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book honestly has a lot going for it, and it deserves the four stars I gave it for many reasons.  First of all, this is basically a clean romance.  Very minimal profanity, and no sex scenes.  That doesn't mean there is no sex, but at least the couples receive privacy in the bedroom.  I can't tell you how much I appreciate that especially since this appears to be targeted towards the 20-30-something crowd (but youths can equally enjoy it).  I believe this is a book that reads like a young adult book, but it certainly above that.

As to the romance, yes, it is sappy.  I have to admit that at times I got tired of the texting, the love talk, and the insecurities they both expressed.  I could have done with less of this book in general.  It is a long book for a young adult romance.  Granted, the author is detailed and created very likable characters, but I wish sometimes the detail had been just a little bit less.

I can also say that the last few chapters truly seemed rushed.  I understand that the author wanted to give a complete overview of the lives of the characters, but I would have liked to have seen this book split in two.  This is not the only time I have said this when coming from a new author.  I think new authors might be concerned that this is their only shot at a book, so they don't automatically plan on a sequel.  I prefer reading a little bit shorter book with the option to have a sequel.  The book certainly has a surprise ending, and this very much redeemed some of the "sappiness" of the book, but I would have preferred it to be better-developed.

Don't get me wrong.  I loved Will and Shannon.  I wasn't as keen on John, but that's just a personal preference.  The story is definitely above average, and I would be very willing to read more from this author.

I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.  I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.

Tamara Carlisle is a former attorney and business consultant.  Away from the Spotlight is her first published work of fiction.  She currently is working on two additional novels:  one is about love in the music industry and the other is a work of paranormal fiction.  Tamara currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area with her British husband and daughter.  For further information, go to http://www.tamaracarlisle.com. 

Tamara’s Goodreads Author Page also includes a blog detailing trivia relating to Away from the Spotlight.

Tamara will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour, and to one randomly drawn host.  Be sure to follow the entire tour here for more chances to win.


  1. Good morning! Thank you, Ruth, for hosting me today and for your review of "Away from the Spotlight." I look forward to checking in and chatting throughout the day.

  2. Very insightful review. I am sure parents would appreciate this when they consider buying the book.


  3. Thank you for the honest review.


  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Thank you, Christine and Ingeborg, for joining us this morning! I hope you enjoy the book!

  6. Awesome review... I love to read honest reviews so I know what books are interesting to read!


  7. Congrats on a good review. I really enjoyed the excerpt and the last line about multi-tasking.

    strive4bst(At) hotmail(dot)com

  8. Thanks for this post. I like hearing about authors and their debut novels. And I think it's great that this book has likable characters. That sold this for me. :)

  9. Thank you, Chelle, Strive4Bst and Anne, for joining us here today! I'm glad you liked the review and I hope that you will all enjoy the book. I really like writing dialogue so the "multi-tasking" line was fun. I hope you like the characters, Anne. I think a likeable relatable heroine is a key to a good romance as is a hero that you would want to be with as well.

  10. Nice review about the characters.


  11. Thank you, BN, for joining us! I'm glad you liked the review and hope you like the book! Thank you, Ruth, for hosting me and for your time and consideration in reviewing "Away from the Spotlight." I look forward to continuing to follow your blog.

  12. Thank you for your review. I don't like waiting for sequels, so I'm happy to read one decent sized book.


  13. Thanks for the review. Love finding out about new books to read. Sounds good!
    michelletucker at baconnation dot net

  14. Thank you, Mary and Michelle, for joining us here. I hope that you enjoy the book. My aim was to provide an emotional story.

  15. Thanks for this review. I always like finding out about new interesting books to add to my TBR shelf :)
    sweetsindy93 at gmail dot com

  16. Hi, Shamara! Thank you for joining us here. I hope you enjoy my story!

  17. Wonderful review! I'm looking forward to reading Away from the Spotlight.


  18. Thanks, Lyra! Glad you liked the review and I hope you like the book.

  19. Congratulations to Jess1, winner of the $25 Amazon gift card! I am extremely grateful to Ruth for hosting me and reviewing my book, and to everyone who joined us here and elsewhere on my tour. Thank you and I hope you'll keep in touch!


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