05 October 2014

Finding Julia Tour Stop!

Can a moment of passion outlast years of secrets and misery? For Julia Patterson, meeting Luke Buchanan awakens within her a passion she's never dared dream possible. He claims her body and helps her remember what it means to be a woman. But Fate has a twisted sense of humor. Just when Julia is ready to step over the threshold into a wonderful new life, her almost-ex-husband is diagnosed with a heart condition that puts her divorce on hold. Turning her back on Luke is the most difficult thing she's ever done. But Julia has a secret, one that Charles discovers and uses against her.

Years later, when Luke walks back into Julia's life, the passion between them is just as explosive. But Charles is still controlling her from the grave, and the secret Julia has hidden for fourteen years could destroy their dreams forever.

I must stress that the 3 star rating has NOTHING to do with the author’s talent. She created a piece of work that left me thinking about my own approach to people like Julia and what I might need to change and understand in the future.  My rating is on my personal feelings regarding Julia and the direction this story took along with the drag time in the story.  In the synopsis you will see it said “fate  was laughing at Julia…..” well I don’t think fate had anything to do with her story, I think her fear and weak spirit was what caused her to lose so many happy years in her life. 
So many times I wanted to scream at her to wake up and go check out the things she was hearing.  If rumors and threats were confirmed then find a lawyer to fight for you, at least have enough desire to rescue your children from the life she had with Charles.  Julia’s story was always one step forward and two steps back, even if it was just a hint of Charles memory that was enough to send her back those two steps.  Luke was a dream come true, I think had I been in this situation I would have wondered if he was a bit too good to be true, but I can see her falling in love with him.  What I am still left wondering is why she didn’t trust him enough to help her and protect her and her children in order for them to be together.  I explained Julia to a friend as an orchid, you have to be timely and precise in your treatment of her, she is easy to damage, intimidate and destroy, but she is also easy to find beauty in and to love.
Some blame Charles for tearing Julia and Luke apart, but I have to place the blame on Julia and Luke.  They both could have fought for each other but they each gave up in their own ways, which made their reunion lack luster for me.  This might be where fate comes into the story, but I personally still give the credit to choices they made. 
So my confusion about how I feel regarding this story is due to the brilliance of the author.  She kept Julia real, so real in fact it was easy for myself as part of society to judge her and mark her with the disgrace to all women brand.  I am not proud of myself for getting angry at her, the author did a wonderful job at showing us the life of a woman who has been beat down by her husband, made bad choices out of trying to escape, kept secrets out of fear and just spent each day trying to survive and be there for her children.  She also gave us a look into her world when she found the ounce of courage she possessed and took the chance without thinking it through.  To just say screw the risks I am tired of not living.  I think the author painted a pretty clear picture of how society views women who are in abusive situations and why they become a victim to ridicule as well as the abuse. 
Luke, oh Luke…how I would have loved for him to have slammed  his hand down on the table and yell at Julia once he found out the secret.  I wonder how long she would have stayed silent if events hadn’t unfolded as they did.  Once again the author shows us how we tend to convict the man who shows the pain he is in while giving the love and forgiveness to the woman he desires.  We call him weak but I think after the emotions I felt died down, he showed just how strong he really was. 
I will admit if it was just these issues that frustrated me I would have given a 4 rating, but I did find a lot of the book dragging and my mind begging me to put it down and walk away.  I couldn’t do that though because with the author’s style, I felt I would gain the answers soon and it would pick up again.  I just wanted to see that consistent back and forth throughout the whole book, not just at the beginning and end.  

Finding Julia was not the Desiree Holt book for me. I’ve read several of Ms. Holt’s novellas and books and find her writing style to be quite enjoyable. The same holds true for this book. She has produced a cast of characters in this book that were, for the most part, rather entertaining – even the ones you’re meant to hate. However, for me, I didn’t like Julia much at all. She had moments here and there during which I found her likeable, but for the most part she annoyed me and pissed me off. Her martyr syndrome got to be way too much and I just wanted to take her out to a big body of water and drown her. At about 75% into the book I finally realized why I disliked her character … she reminded me of an ostrich with her head buried in the sand. This is not to say that she wasn’t dealing with some serious situations – because she most definitely was – but the things she agreed to do just to avoid confrontations with her prick of a husband (soon-to-be ex) were mindboggling for me. I kept waiting for her to say enough is enough.

Fortunately it was Luke and the supporting cast of characters that made this book palatable for me. While I was rooting for Luke and Julia to get together, it had nothing to do with her and everything to do with Luke being happy and Julia made him happy. The fact that he obviously knew his way around a woman’s body made for some STEAMY sex scenes. Claire and her husband were a wonderful support system for Julia, with Claire providing reality checks as need. I loved the relationship she had with Miranda, the live-in nanny/housekeeper/cook – it went far beyond employer-employee and made Miranda yet another individual in her corner.

While there were references to her past, I never felt like an actual explanation was given as to why she married and then stayed with her husband. Maybe a better understanding of Julia would have enabled me to connect her, but it just wasn’t meant to be. With all that said, do not allow my dislike of Julia to sway you against the book. Ms. Holt is an excellent writer and Finding Julia is a well-crafted novel. I suggest you download a sample and check it out for yourself. Just because I didn’t like Julia, doesn’t mean you won’t. You may love Finding Julia because ultimately it is the story of a woman who finds herself and the trials and tribulations she endures to get there. 
Desiree Holt has lived a life of excitement that brings the color to her writing. She spent several years in the music business representing every kind of artist from country singer to heavy metal rock bands. For several years she also ran her own public relations agency handling any client that interested her. She is twice a finalist for an EPIC E-Book Award, a nominee for a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award, winner of the first 5 Heart Sweetheart of the Year Award at The Romance Studio, and is published by four different houses. Romance Junkies said of her work: "Desiree Holt is the most amazing erotica author of our time and each story is more fulfilling then the last."
When she's not writing she's traveling Texas and, in season, obsessively watching football.
You can find her at www.desireeholt.com and www.desireeholttellsall.com


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