Thursday, January 28, 2010

Feature Review: "Sweethearts' Knitting Club," By Lori Wilde

By PJ Ausdenmore and Gannon Carr, RBTB Correspondents

CONTEST TODAY!!! One randomly chosen commenter wins special-edition knitting needles plus "Sweethearts' Knitting Club!" Pls have ur email addy available in comment/blogger accnt.

Gannon and I both love a misunderstood bad boy who loses his heart to the good girl, and Jesse Calloway, the steamy hero of Lori Wilde’s new contemporary romance, “The Sweethearts’ Knitting Club,” sure revs our engines! After spending ten years behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit, Jessie returns to the small town that never trusted him and the one girl who never left his heart only to discover that she has finally accepted a marriage proposal from the town’s sheriff, who just happens to be the man Jesse believes framed him all those years ago.

Gannon: Jesse most definitely gets my motor running! And Flynn MacGregor has never forgotten Jesse and how he made her feel. But she realizes she can’t pine for him forever, so she finally says yes to Beau Trainer after ten years of turning down his proposal. No sooner is Beau’s ring on Flynn’s finger than Jesse strolls back into town. There she is, waiting tables at her family’s restaurant, Froggy’s, carrying a tray of fried catfish, hushpuppies and mashed potatoes, and in walks the bad boy who stole her heart. My heart just fell and I thought, “If she’d just waited a little longer, she could have had her true love.” I love how the line when she first realizes it’s Jesse illustrates that: The bridge of time snapped, butting her past up against her present, the future weighing heavily on her ring finger.

PJ: That pretty much says it all, doesn’t it? Flynn could be the poster child for doing what’s expected of her: caring for her younger sister and twin brothers, as well as their alcoholic father; running the family restaurant; taking her late mother’s place in the Sweethearts’ Knitting Club; even sacrificing her own dream of teaching to fulfill her mother’s dream of opening a yarn shop. Her only rebellion, her entire life, has been that brief period in her teens when she secretly spent time with Jesse. But now her family, the ladies in the knitting club, heck, the entire town expects her to marry the upstanding sheriff, not take up with the “no good ex-con.”

Gannon: Poor Flynn. Always trying to do the right thing, pleasing everyone instead of doing what she really wants. And now Jesse’s there every time she turns around, tempting her with those bad boy looks and passionate kisses. Jesse wants Flynn to break up with Beau and be with him, but he knows she has to make the decision on her own if their relationship is going to last. Will the ongoing animosity between Jesse and Beau drive Flynn away or will she finally do what she wants most and follow her heart?

I can relate to Flynn’s dilemma of being pulled in multiple directions by family obligations. As a lifelong “people pleaser,” it took me a long time to learn to put my happiness first sometimes. We women instinctively put the needs of others before our own, but if the reward was a hot guy like Jesse, putting ourselves first might be a whole lot easier.

PJ and I thoroughly enjoyed this heartwarming story of love, friendship and redemption, and the sweetness of first love. Treat yourself to a touching, curl-up-by-the-fire-with-a-cuppa read and--

Buy the Book!

Do the opinions of family and friends have an influence on the life decisions you make? Have you ever given up on a dream, job or guy because of someone else's expectations?

___

72 comments:

LisaK said...

Oh, this sounds like an absolutely heartwarming book - I feel sorry for poor Flynn even now without ever having read the book!

And I have to disagree with the we women ... before our own-line. I absolutely abhorr pleasing others when in doing so, I do something totally contrarily to what I want. I may feel like that because life has shaped me into a very strong person who'd rather displease everyone when I could just be happy or at least content.

I also have to say that people - women, mostly - tend to make me really aggressive when they're the type who jumps to everyone's bidding. I always feel like saying: "Hey, can't you just say NO?!?"

I do think the opinions of my friends and family - especially my mum's - have an influence on some decisions I make, though. But only when I'm not sure about something, when I'd be okay with either decision but just don't know which one to choose, or when I just don't care. As for things that I really, really want, I'd never let anyone's expectation's change my mind, although that's pretty hard sometimes since many people just don't understand or accept that attitude. But I'm very content with living that way! =)

destrella said...

Sounds like a roller coaster ride. The girl you love engaged to the man who framed you. Argggh! Thanks... :O)

estrella8888 at roadrunner dot com

moonduster said...

Of course the opinions of my family and friends have an influence on my life decisions!

When I was young and married for the first time, I let my then-husband keep me from continuing at college, working, pretty much everything. Understandably, that marriage did not last, and as I grew and matured, I found myself and my goals again.

My forever-husband loves me for who I am and is willing to support me in everything I want to do and achieve. He has supported me through losing over 130 pounds, and he is supporting my dream of writing a novel. I returned to my novel-writing dream after losing the weight and realizing that I am capable of achieving amazing things! (Did I mention I have 7 kids?)

Everyone is capable of living their dreams if they are willing to put the work and effort in to get there!

Rebecca at Fyfe dot net

Kara said...

This sounds like a fantastic book!! I love reunited lovers and the tortured hero.

Yes, the opinions of family and friends have an influence on my life decisions. I don't like being that way...I want to be able to stand on my own two feet and do what I want to do. But it is hard when all your life your mother has controlled the decisions you've made. I could give many examples...however, let me just put it to you this way...If I had the chance to do it all over...I would definitely stand up for myself the first time it happened and grow with strength from there!!

Gannon Carr said...

LisaK, I used to be the people pleaser type, but now I have no problem saying no. I had to for the sake of my sanity.

I have a friend that is incapable of saying no, I think. Therefore, everyone takes advantage of her, even her family.

Gannon Carr said...

Destrella, it is a bit of a roller coaster ride, but it's a wonderful story. :)

Gannon Carr said...

Everyone is capable of living their dreams if they are willing to put the work and effort in to get there!

So true, Moonduster! I'm glad you have a supportive spouse. That makes such a difference.

Gannon Carr said...

Kara, I love the "reunited lovers" theme, too. This is a really lovely one.

hotcha12 said...

MOST DEFINITELY AN AWESOME BOOK THAT I QUITE ENJOYED! MAN I SEE SO MANY AUTHORS I NEVER READ THANKS TO SCROOGE! LOL

Rebekah E. said...

This sound like a great book. Thanks for the great post.

bc428(at)juno(dot)com

hotcha12 said...

OHHHHHHHH I SO NEED TO WIN LOL
IF NOT THEN CONGRATS TO WINNERS!

Anonymous said...

Family and friend tend to make me lean towards one way or another. However, if I would have listened to my friends, I would not have ended up married to my wonderful husband. I am glad I didn't listen.

Debi

Hegberg said...

I have it now getting ready to read it, can not wait,...

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Buongiorno, Bellas! Grazie, Gannon and PJ for sharing your take on "Sweethearts' Knitting Club," as well as once again talking with us about romance the same way we do with our best girlfriends.

I was for years people-pleaser #1 to folks around me. In some ways I remain so to a certain extent. BUt I gotta tell you: I hit 40, and really readjusted my take on how doing for me made me better and healthier, gave me more energy for the people in my life who matter -- and just is plain more fun. : )

LisaK, good on you, because I've met way more women in life who've been raised to please than not. Especially to please and defer to men. You're very lucky you didn't have that kind of influence.

It's really hard for women who are taught to please. and they've actually done studies about how around the time women turn 40, the hormone changes literally allow women to see how they've been pleasers -- I guess because our hormones arent telling us to protect our young and family any more.

Then, what Rebecca talks about comes into play. WE may be riding along on the tide of parents who controlled our movements/thoughts/emotions, and that may seep into our relationships; we may end up in unhealthy relationships and through all this lose ourselves as we please.

But, as Rebecca says, once the 'veil is lifted,' we've got to take responsibility for what we sort of 'went along with,' and how we're now going to do the work necessary to change our lives. Anyone who's traveled that road has my deepest respect, and is my idea of courageous.

Kara, I so wish I had that 20/20 hindsight, too! It's hard to shake all those years of negative 'voices' in our heads from folks controlling us and making us please them one way or another. But we learn to dim the static, no? And it's good to look back and realize how far we've come, and how good it feels to please ourselves and do for others because we choose to reach out, not simply out of guilt or obligation.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Wow, Debi! I'll bet that wasn't easy! But you rock for standing strong! Congrats. : ) I love those, "they told me he was all wrong, and we've been married a kajillion years' stories.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

destrella, it really doesn't get better than that!

LisaK! BTW, congrats on finishing your project for school! Please forgive my not congratulating you sooner!

jedisakora said...

Great write up! I keep hearing good things about this books.

Hmm.... It really depends. I'll admit i'm stubborn and don't being like to told what to do. On somethings i follow the opinions of certain family members, but if i feel really strongly on something and it doesn't follow their opinion i'll do what i want. I have some different values and beliefs from many of my family members. Therefore i don't always believe their opinion is right for my life.

I have always tried never to give up on anything do to someone's opinion. Right now i'm dealing with someone's or some people's opinion that the degree i just earned is useless. They actually told me as much and suggested i go back to school and get another one. It was my general expectation that i can get a job with it and until i've been hit in the face enough times i refuse to bow down to their opinion. I have high expectations of many things in my life and i prefer to keep them high than lower them to a place where i wouldn't be satisfied.

KarenMedeiros said...

If Lori wrote it I'm reading it!

Becke Davis said...

This is a great book, and Jesse is a FABULOUS hero! For some reason I always think of romances in terms of the hero, but Flynn's story is great, too. Even when I know there's a happy ending waiting, I still very anxious for the poor H/H!

PJ said...

Morning Everyone! Sorry I'm late checking in. Been busy getting the house ready for a showing.

Hotcha, Rebekah and Hegberg: Thanks for stopping by! Hope you enjoy the book.

Debi, I'm glad you didn't listen too! I faced the same dilemma when I met my husband. He was 19 years older and twice divorced - definitely not what family and friends wanted for me. I married him anyway - probably the first time I had ever gone against family on a big life decision. We were happily married for 25 years and even though I ended up a widow at 50, I'd never give up the happiness of those years together.

Melanie Murray said...

Hi PJ and Gannon! Great conversation about a great book! I just loved this one, and am a huge fan of Lori's - both her books and her person. She's lovely!

What makes this book transcend for me is how conflicted Flynn is. Really and truly torn by what she thinks she should do and what she wants to do. And Jesse is just pretty much the perfect bad boy, huh? Can take care of himself in a fight, is determined to move forward with his life, and is head over heels for our girl Flynn.

PJ said...

Jedisakora said: I have high expectations of many things in my life and i prefer to keep them high than lower them to a place where i wouldn't be satisfied.

Good for you! With that attitude you're sure to go far.

Thundermls said...

I ended up following my heart and I now wished I would have listened to my family & friends instead. Because he was no good for me.They saw what I hadn't. I was left with alot of debt from him. But I still believe you need to follow your heart or you will always wonder what would have happened if you had. I feel by following my heart it has brought me to a better part of my life and I know what I'm looking for in life. I believe he's out there and when I find him I'll know it.My 1st experience with love going bad has only made me into a better person. It's one of life's little hurtles you have to get by. I have the "Sweethearts knitting club" book to read next and I can't wait!

PJ said...

Even when I know there's a happy ending waiting, I still very anxious for the poor H/H!

Me too, Becke!

I only started reading Lori Wilde's books last year but I've thoroughly enjoyed her stories. This one is probably my favorite - due in no small part to the delicious Jesse. :)

PJ said...

Thundermls, I hope you enjoy the book! I'm sorry your first venture into love didn't work out but I love your attitude. When you're ready for your Mr. Right I hope he'll be there waiting for you.

PJ said...

Melanie said What makes this book transcend for me is how conflicted Flynn is.

Melanie, I think that's why I could so closely identify with Flynn. I've been there.

I hope to have the opportunity to meet Lori one of these days and tell her in person just how much I enjoyed this book.

Anonymous said...

I have never given up a dream, but family and friends do have an influence on decisonmaking sometimes.

Helen L.

throuthehaze said...

My family and friends opinions do have some influence in my life but if I truly loved something I would not give it up.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

jedisakora, I'm pretty much of the opinion that anyone's degree right out of school is worthless w/the exception of the entree it affords. We learn skills in college, but we don't learn how to apply them until we live "in the real world." It may be diff for adult learners, but not much. And sometimes we don't end up in the fields we studied. Yet everything we learned at some point in school helps us in the future, even if we choose 'just to raise kids.' Once we gain some emotional intelligence and business/workplace/social knowhow, we can apply the stuff we've learned. All that really matters is the degree. Time and hard work take care of everything else.

That said, I know plenty of folks w/out degrees way smarter than me -- although, in honesty, that's not raising the bar too high -- and extraordinarily more successful.

oops. that was a lot of unsolicited advice. sorry!

anyway, I wouldn't get too worked up over what other folks have to say about your life. I'd spend the time instead reading romances. :)

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Hi, Peej! Ooo, I wish you all the best w/the showing. We'll be putting our house on the market soon, so I'll trade you good thoughts.

becke, melanie, pj: I'm desperately searchng for my extra copy of this book! i want to toss everyting aside to start it! i just love this theme. And if becke says she finds the heroine memorable? I'm all over it, because I'm a total, "Oh, there are heroines in romance?" girl, too.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

throughthehaze and helen! I wish i always had your conviction. :)

Margay said...

When I was younger, I was more influenced by the opinions of others in certain aspects of my life. There were a number of times that I didn't pursue a certain career because someone talked me out of it.
Margay

Margay1122(at)aol(dot)com

Virginia said...

This sounds like a fabulous read and I would love to read it!

To answere you question,yes opinions of family and friends influence our decisions more then we ever realize! They may be just throwing little hints but in the back of our mind we are taking it all in. It shouldn't be this way but it is!

Becke Davis said...

PJ, I love your story but I'm so sad you lost your husband at such an early age.

And I'm annoyed that I didn't read over my post and catch the missing "get."

Michelle - I know we've talked about this before. Are we the only ones who think romance novels are all about the hero, even when the heroine has the primary POV? I don't want to know what that says about us.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

I don't thinkd we're alone on that, becke. I just know it's really sweet of all these nice romance authors to write so many dynamic placeholder roles for us. : )

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

hi, margay! i did exactly the same thing.

hey, virginia. it's that passive-agressive thing. so frustrating.

PJ said...

Margay, that's true for me as well. The older I get, the easier it's become to say "no" to things that are not in my best interest.

panda girl said...

I used to be the type who always said "Yes" even if it meant going out of my way. It seems the older I get the word "No" comes out a lot more.

Lori Wilde said...

Hi everyone, just wanted to say thanks for reading!

jedisakora said...

Hi Michelle. ^^

Thanks of the unsolicited advice. ^^ You reminded me of something my English 2 teacher told us the first day in class. He said that the only real point of college is to learn big words to make it sound like your really intelligent. He added that this is because 2 or 3 semesters after the class your most likely going to forget everything you learned from it anyways. Something i will say is mostly true except for fundamental things. My degree is social structure, theory, and change with a focus on law and society and in all honesty i have a feeling i'm not going to end up in a law office. More likely i'll be in office work.

I would love to be able to make reading romance books a profession. ^^ That's something i can do now, but not for long.

Melissa

Anonymous said...

Of course influence of friends and family are considered. I have not really had any big dreams sorry to say.

I do like Lori's books so would love to win this one.

Karen T.

Jane said...

Great review, Gannon and PJ. I was definitely influenced by my family regarding decisions about school and what I wanted to be. Ultimately the decision was mine, but I did ask for their input.

janie1215 AT excite DOT com

Becke Davis said...

Wonderful book, Lori! It's on my keeper shelf with your other books.

robynl said...

oh I like that book already and I do knit so it makes it more interesting.

My family definitely influenced my decisions; I have been one who never ever wanted anyone mad at me or upset with me and it took a toll on my life. Even with my second wedding I listened to my parents on who I should invite; I only wanted to invite a few cousins and they said that I couldn't do that SO I didn't invite any of them because I didn't want certain ones there.

lastnerve said...

Yes, my family's opinions do make a big impact on my life. I did want to be a police officer or social worker but my husband at the time said it wasn't a job that I was suited for. As far as giving up on a guy because of family, I haven't had to but my daughter is facing this right now. She is white, her boyfriend is black and one of the funniest people I have ever met. Her dad, his side of the family and most of my family are against them having a relationship. My husband and I were having problems anyway but when I saw how he was treating his daughter, that was the last straw. I now have my three teen daughters living with me. My daughter is still going out with her boyfriend and for once they can go somewhere and feel totally accepted. Everybody in this world just wants to be loved.

I can't wait to read the book! I've been looking forward to reading it for some time.

Val
lastnerve2000@gmail.com

Scorpio M. said...

Honestly, I rarely ask for opinions and when it's offered I usually don't take it. My mother often says that I am like a train going full-steam ahead. It's an ego thing I'm sure, I want my successes or my failures to be all mine, you know? or maybe I can't handle the burden of a misplaced decision, hmmm...something to consider. Boy, Freud would have a field day here.

Regardless, I am a romantic at heart and EVERYONE knows that romantics will never let anyone/thing get in the way of their dream job, dream guy, etc.

jenma76(at)hotmail(dot)com

lrwirum said...

I might listen to what my loved ones have to say but I wouldn't necessarily give up what I want either. It would kind of depend on the situation. There are times I have done what other wanted versus what I wanted but it wasn't life altering either. So it would depend.

This sounds like a great book.

Larena (lrwirum)
lrwirum@q.com

Anonymous said...

If I really had a dream, would not let anyone discourage me but in other things, sure would take into consideration family or friends input.

Karen T.

Gannon Carr said...

Rebekah and Hotcha, I hope you enjoy the book!

Gannon Carr said...

I'll admit i'm stubborn and don't being like to told what to do.

Jedisakora, sometimes that can be a good thing. :-D

Gannon Carr said...

For some reason I always think of romances in terms of the hero,...

Becke, sometimes I do the same thing.

Gannon Carr said...

And Jesse is just pretty much the perfect bad boy, huh?

Melanie, you said it! *g*

Gannon Carr said...

Thundermis, I'm sorry your relationship ended badly, but as you said, now you know what you're looking for. Mr. Right is out there and you will know it when it happens. :)

Gannon Carr said...

,..if I truly loved something I would not give it up.

Throuthehaze, I would be the same way.

Gannon Carr said...

Margay, when I was younger, I was much more influenced by others' opinions than I am now.

Gannon Carr said...

Virginia, it's a great read, and I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

Gannon Carr said...

It seems the older I get the word "No" comes out a lot more.

Panda girl, I'm right there with you. LOL

Gannon Carr said...

Lori, thanks for stopping by! As you can tell, PJ and I loved the book!

Amber said...

This sounds like a great book! Who doesn't love a story that involves a bad boy, plus a reunited couple.

I agree that my family's opinions do play a part in my decision making, but I have learned that at the end of the day I'm the one that has to live with that decision.

adeversmeyer(at)hotmail(dot)com

Linda Henderson said...

My ex-husband was responsible for a lot of good jobs I gave up, and multiple moves in his search for a better job. He never could stand it if I made more money than him. Notice I said ex.

seriousreader at live dot com

mariska said...

sometimes if a big decision want to make i'll discuss it with my big family, and my hubby. but if it's only a small one, me and hubby will decide together.

I haven't given up any of my dream because of someone else. coz my family always give me support for whatever dreams, in positive dreams, that i have. very supportive family :)

uniquas at ymail dot com

Sue A. said...

I love reunion stories and who can resist the town bad boy.

alternate email from blogger
magenta 2 red [at] gmail [dot] com

yvonne said...

This sounds like a good read. I love romances and why not :)

LisaK said...

Michelle, I only now saw your congratulations. Thank you very much! I'm so relieved the stuff is finally finished! Did you check out the pictures? I'm sooooo proud of them and never expected them to turn out like that!

CrystalGB said...

Sounds like a good book. My family has influenced me regarding jobs, guys, etc.

email is in profile.

orelukjp0 said...

This really sounds great. I have it in my to be read pile.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lori, I have taken up knitting now, I love it. I am knitting for The Hugs Project in OKC. We knit hats and neck pillows for the troops overseas.

Lisa

Anonymous said...

This is a sweet book and I loved it. Part of it I had my Kindle read to me it and pronounced Jesse's name as Jes SIE. I do love my Kindle though.
Barbara

Stacy S said...

This was a great book, imo. I do listen to my family and friends somewhat.

Pat Cochran said...

I'm the person who could never say
"No" when asked to take on varied
tasks. Honey says the word is not
in my vocabulary, anywhere! My good
friend Fran says the word IS in my
vocabulary. It's the word that
comes before the word "problem!"
Nowadays, I think before I speak
and check with Honey to see if the
request will fit into our schedule!
LOL!

Pat Cochran
p-cochran@juno.com

Anonymous said...

Looks like a wonderful read.

I would never let anyone influence me not to do something that I really wanted to do. Smaller things of course I would take input into consideration.

Rosie G.

love and romance said...

It seems to be a real cool book..