LinkedinTwitterThe DetailsConnectBlog Facebook Meet the TherapistHome For Writers

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Review and Giveaway of Coming Undone by Staci Stallings

About five months ago or so, I stumbled across one of Staci Stallings' blogs, Spirit Light Works. She's got several of her books there available to be read for free. I read through her back cover copy for all of them, and was immediately drawn to Coming Undone. Here's a blurb:

Ben Warren has life all figured out.  At 35, he’s successful in his work and free as a bird everywhere else.  He has no desire to be tied down like some of his friends, and he sees no reason to change that.  Then the unthinkable happens and causes him to rethink everything about everything.

Kathryn Walker can’t figure out what she’s doing wrong in the dating department.  The rest of her life makes sense.  She’s compassionate, strong, honest, hard-working and still alone.  She wonders if she is doomed to spend forever single.  Little does she know that fate is taking a major turn in her life.  In fact, she doesn’t even see it happening until it has.  Can she ever get past the fact that Mr. Right didn’t show up in the way she thought he would?

From that blurb, I wanted to read the book, mainly because I strongly identified with Kathryn. I was a "late bloomer" and while all my friends were getting married straight out of college, I was attending grad school and feeling like God had forgotten me.

So I started reading the first two chapters on her site....and got hooked for a variety of different reasons.

Kathryn is a grief counselor. I've read very few books, especially romance, with a counselor as the protag. I was curious how someone outside of my profession would portray a therapist. Would I relate?

Ben suffers a great tragedy right off the bat. Talk about inciting moments. When you're not expecting something awful to happen to you, and all of a sudden your life changes drastically [thus enter the counselor], there's high emotion. (Notice I didn't say high drama...Staci's book wasn't melodramatic at all.) Being a therapist, I live in a world of high emotion.

The romantic tension between counselor and client. When you click with someone, you click. It's not like therapists have some special talent to turn off attraction, even though there are tons of ethical guidelines about not hooking up with clients. I could tell immediately that Ben was going to be the love interest...I wanted to know how Staci was going to spin this. I wasn't disappointed. I appreciated the lengths Kathryn went to to have an appropriate relationship professionally while her heart still underwent the transformation necessary to keep romance readers turning the pages (or clicking through the consecutive blog posts, as I did).

Bottom line, this book had me sneaking in chapters while at work on my lunch break...which possibly went several minutes over my allotted thirty. A few times.

Staci has agreed to give away a copy of Coming Undone to one lucky blog commenter. This is your chance to find a new favorite author folks, so don't be shy. Since I like for the giveaways on my blog to be a perk for my readership, all I ask is for you to click "follow" over on the right of this blog and join the fun. Giveaway will run through Sunday.

Let's analyze: Have you ever read a book about a protag who had the same career as you? How did the author measure up with details?