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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Book Review & Excerpt: In Search of a Love Story by Rachel Schurig


Please visit Rachel Schurig's tour page on CLP Blog Tours for more information and grab your chance to win  a $20 Amazon gift card!

In Search of a Love Story (Love Story #1)
by Rachel Schurig

Genre: Chick Lit, Romance
Publication: May 4th 2012
Format: ebook, 281 pages
Author: Website, Facebook, Twitter, Mailing List
Emily Donovan doesn’t have a romantic bone in her body.

At least, that’s what her friends Ryan and Ashley keep telling her. They’re convinced her bad luck with men is directly related to her life-long lack of interest in all things romantic. When Emily’s latest relationship crashes and burns, she decides to go along with her friends’ plans for a romance research project. Sure, the idea that she’ll have better luck if she learns about the great romances of literature and film seems a little silly, but Emily figures it can’t hurt.

In no time at all, Emily finds herself buried under a mountain of romance novels, chick flicks, and sappy love songs, hopeful that her hard work will pay off with true love. When she meets Greg, Ashley and Ryan are convinced she’s found prince charming—after all, he’s rich, handsome, and totally into Emily. What more could she want? And why does it seem that her friend Elliot isn’t exactly happy for her?

Faced with misunderstandings, miscommunications, and a seemingly endless string of missteps, she is nevertheless determined to give true love a try. In doing so, Emily will eventually find that true romance, the kind that lasts, has little to do with stereotypes or clich├ęs, and everything to do with finding out what’s in her own heart.

I received a copy of In Search of a Love Story by Rachel Schurig for free from CLP Blog Tour as part of the blog tour.

Oh! Wow! In Search of a Love Story by Rachel Schurig is such a cute, light read. I enjoyed the story and the plot. Emily had broken up with his boyfriend, Dylan. Her best friend, Ryan and Ashley convinced her that she was not a romantic person and shoved her into a romance research project where she was required to read romance book and watch more chick flick. Then, she met Greg who seemed like a perfect man.  But her friend, Chris and Brooke wasn’t happy when she started to change after she dated Greg.

Emily is a likable character. She was this normal girl who was as confused about relationship and guys like the rest of us. I enjoyed reading about her adventure with romance and finding the love of her life. But her cluelessness drove me crazy sometimes. I love her friends! Ashley, Ryan, Chris, Elliot and Brooke made nice supporting characters. And not to mentioned Emily's patient from the clinic, like Frank, Mrs. Z. They made the story much more fun!

In Search of a Love Story had a nice, although a bit predictable plot. But I had a great time reading it. It was a cute, light read with a bit of humor. I love the ending and am looking forward for the sequel!


Book Excerpt

Chapter One

That’s it. I’m done with men.

I mean it. I am absolutely, completely, one hundred percent finished with the male species.

I’ve come close to swearing off men before. Like after my break-up with Jacob. I was nearly ready to throw in the towel then. Or after my disastrous experiment with speed dating (you don’t even want to know). But my optimistic side always won out in the end, and I would give dating another shot.

Not this time, though. This time I really am done. Finished. For good.

I explained my newfound determination to my roommate Ashley as I drove to work that first morning AD (After Dylan).

“You don’t mean it,” Ashley soothed, her voice crackling somewhat through my cell phone. “You’re upset. You just got dumped!”

I made a face at the phone.

“I did not get dumped,” I said. “I did the dumping.”

Ashley was quiet for a moment. “Oh,” she said. “I guess I just assumed…”

“Thanks, Ash,” I said. “You really know how to make me feel better.”

“Sorry, sorry,” she said hurriedly. “So what happened?”

I had a mental flash of the night before, sitting in Dylan’s kitchen, take-out from his favorite restaurant laid out on the table in front of me, an ill-advised surprise to celebrate our three-month anniversary. From the hallway outside the apartment, I had heard the muffled sound of voices and the rattle of keys, which surely signaled Dylan’s arrival. Then I froze. Along with Dylan’s deep, familiar voice, there was another sound. A high-pitched, giggling sound. A girl.

“There was someone else,” I said to Ashley, forgetting to signal before I switched lanes. The driver behind me laid on his horn, and I fought back the urge to flip him off. “Another girl,” I clarified to Ashley. “He showed up at his apartment with her last night.”

On the other end of the phone, Ashley gasped. “The bastard!”

I felt myself flush as the mortification washed over me again. The cheating wasn’t even the worst part. Much more humiliating was the look on his face when he saw me sitting there at his kitchen table in my stupid red dress. He didn’t even have the decency to look scared or guilty. Instead, I caught a clear flash of annoyance in his eyes. That’s all I was to him: an irritation standing in the way of his plans to get lucky with the wide- eyed bimbo behind him.

“I should have known,” I told Ashley. “I mean, it was clear he was a bastard long before last night.”

“Love blinds us,” she said sagely, and I rolled my eyes. Typical Ashley. “Em, I’m so sorry I wasn’t there when you got home,” she continued. “You should have called me! I would have come back immediately.”

The truth was, I felt a measure of relief when I got back to our apartment last night and found the note from Ashley letting me know that she’d be spending the night at her boyfriend Chris’ss place. Under her familiar handwriting, Chris had added a little note wishing me luck with my surprise dinner and seduction plans. The embarrassment had been too much, and I was grateful that I’d have an evening alone to nurse my pride (or at least drown it with wine) before I had to tell either of them about it.

“It’s okay,” I told her. “I wasn’t up for much company anyhow.”

“You poor thing,” she said. From the other end of the phone I heard the muffled sound of a bell ringing, signaling the start of Ashley’s day as a kindergarten teacher.

“You should go,” I told her. “I’m almost to work anyhow.”

“We’ll have dinner tonight, whatever you want,” she told me. “I’ll call Ryan on my lunch break and tell him to come over.”

Ryan was one of our closest friends, so I knew he would find out what had happened eventually, but I still groaned softly at the thought of her telling him all the details. “Em, he loves you,” she said, obviously having heard me. “He’d want to be there.”

“I know,” I said, resigned. “Thanks for calling him.”

She was quiet for a moment. “What about…um…Chris? Do you want…I mean, he would want to come too, I bet. But if you don’t want him to—”

“Of course,” I said, feeling slightly awkward. Chris had been our friend for years—actually he’d been my friend first, since we’d been lab partners back in eighth grade science. We had bonded over a joint refusal to dissect the frog Mrs. Carter had provided. But now that he and Ashley had finally figured out they were meant for each other and started dating, the boundaries of my friendship with him seemed a lot blurrier. “The more the merrier.”

“Okay,” she said, clearly relieved. “So we’ll see you at home around six?”

“Sure,” I said. “Thanks, Ash.”

“Listen,” she said hurriedly, and I could hear the sound of lots of little voices in the background. “Everything is gonna be fine, okay? You can call me any time, and I can have Jana cover my class if you need to talk—”

“I’m fine,” I assured her. “Get to work. I’ll see you tonight.”

I ended the call and threw my phone into my bag on the seat next to me. I was almost to work now, and the thought of trying to make it through a long day with the remnants of my wine-induced hangover did nothing to improve my mood. I said a silent prayer that my patients would be easy as I pulled into the parking lot of the small outpatient facility where I worked as a physical therapist.

Friday was usually my favorite day to work—most people didn’t want to spend the first evening of the weekend at therapy, so we closed at four. Since the schedule was usually light, there was only one therapist on duty. It was a nice change of pace from the usual crowded and noisy weekdays.

After gathering my things, I pulled down the visor and peered at myself in the mirror. My eyes looked a little on the puffy side, more from the wine than from any tears. I hadn’t cried much last night. Hopefully I could get away without anyone noticing anything was amiss.

“Hey!” Sarah called from the front desk the moment I walked into the reception area. “How’d it go last night?”

Damn, I thought. I had totally forgotten that I had told Sarah about my anniversary surprise.

“Good morning,” I said, plastering a smile on my face as I slipped behind the desk to hang up my coat. Maybe I could deflect her. “You’re here early!”

Fat chance. “I wanted to get in a few minutes on the bike,” Sarah said, waving her hand dismissively. “Who cares about that, how’d it go?”

I cursed myself for telling her about my plans. I should have known she’d act like this. Despite her predilection for overexcitement, particularly when it came to boys and dating, I like working with Sarah. She is a bit younger than I am, still in college, but she is good at her job as a physical therapist assistant, and the patients seem to love her. But this morning I could do without her eagerness.

“It didn’t go too great,” I told her, deciding vague was the best policy. “I’m not really feeling it with Dylan, actually.” Sarah stared at me with wide eyes. “But he’s so handsome and charming!”

I felt a little twinge, wondering just how charming he had been with her on the few occasions he had come to pick me up from work.

“Oh well,” I said, shrugging. “Plenty of fish in the sea.” She looked ready to argue the point, so I continued. “So what’s on the schedule today?”

Sarah looked down at the appointment book. “We’re pretty booked.” I sighed. Of course we were. “You’ve got most of the regular crowd this morning. Mr. Brandon and Mr. Cowdin are coming in on their lunch breaks. And you have three evals this afternoon.”

I stifled a groan. Evaluations were time consuming and tedious, requiring all of my attention and leaving no room for just going through the motions. This was exactly the kind of day I had been hoping to avoid.

“Well,” I said, moving around the desk to head to the tiny office at the back of the room. “I’m gonna review my charts. You may as well start getting everything prepped now. The weights and resistance bands are looking pretty disorganized; will you take care of that, please?”

“Sure thing,” Sarah said. “Let me just put the towels in the dryer…” I made it to the safety of the small office and collapsed in my desk chair. For once, I wished one of the other therapists was here. Then I could foist off some of my clients and go home. There was a beep from my cell phone, and I pulled it out of my bag, looking down at the new-message screen. Ryan.

Ash just txtd me, it read. Dylan is a prick and ur better off. I’m bringing vodka 2nite, C ya soon!

I sighed. It was only 8:15, and already the news of my humiliation was going viral. I stared at my phone for a minute, debating. There was one person in the world that I was actually eager to talk to that morning, but it was early, and if I knew her, my best friend would be rushing to get to work. I pictured Brooke, her hair probably wet, maybe thrown back in a ponytail, a coffee most definitely in her hand, probably searching for her shoes in her notoriously messy bedroom.

The image, as clear to me as if she were really there before me, brought a sharp little pain to my chest. The thought of talking to her was just too tempting. I picked up my phone and dialed.

“Hello?” she said a moment later, her voice every bit as harried as I had imagined.

“Brooke?” I said, embarrassed to feel my voice catch slightly on her name. “It’s me. Do you have a minute?”

“What’s wrong?” she asked immediately.

“I’m having a crap day,” I said, sighing heavily.

“Em, it’s like, eight a.m. How could your day be bad already?”

“I broke up with Dylan last night,” I said quickly, wanting to get this part over as soon as I could. “He was cheating on me.”

“Shit,” she said. The curse almost brought a smile to my face—it was so typical of my brassy, loud best friend. “Did you kick him in the balls? Do you want me to kick him in the balls?”

“Might be kind of difficult from two hundred miles away.”

“A four-hour drive to castrate the son of a bitch would be well worth it to me,” she muttered. “God, Em. Are you okay?”

I closed my eyes. “I’m freaking out a little,” I admitted. “I feel like I’m in a giant shame spiral right now.”

“Shame spiral?” Her voice was sharp. “What do you have to be ashamed about?”

I didn’t respond. How could I explain to Brooke what I had felt sitting there, watching Dylan and that girl walk through the door? I didn’t think Brooke had ever had a moment of self-doubt in her life.

“Emily,” she said, her tone softer now. “This had nothing to do with you.”

“Of course it did,” I whispered. “He didn’t want me. He didn’t even respect me.”

“Because he’s an asshole. Not because of anything you did or didn’t do.”

“It’s just hard to not feel terrible about myself right now.”

“Alright, let me ask you this,” Brooke said. “Who do you trust more—Dylan or me?”

“You,” I said immediately. “Obviously.”

“Well I chose you to be my best friend. No one made me. It was my decision, and I chose you because you are funny and smart and loyal and all that other crap.”

I snorted, and I could hear her laugh softly on the other end of the line. “I mean it, Em. I’ve known you since we were, what, six years old? His asshatness had nothing to do with you. I promise you that.”

“Thanks,” I said. “I know you have to get to work. I just needed a little pep-talk, I guess.”

“Work can wait. I have time.”

“No, it’s okay,” I told her. “I feel better already.”

“God, I really am a spectacular friend, aren’t I?” she said, and I laughed. “I mean that took like, what, five minutes for me to pull you back from the edge?”

“You are pretty amazing,” I said drily.

“You sure you’re okay?” Her tone was more serious. “I really can talk for a minute if you want.”

“Thanks,” I said. “I’m okay. I should get to work too.”

“Alright. Well, call me anytime. Really.”

“Okay,” I said. “Thanks, Brooke.”

“Bye, babe.”

“Bye.”

I ended the call, tossing my phone onto my desk. Talking to Brooke had helped, but I was still feeling like a hot shower and a shot of Jack Daniels would really do the trick.

“Emily?”

I looked up to see my friend Elliot standing in the open office door. He had two paper coffee cups in his hands, and I smiled. Elliot was the manager of VitaLife, the health store next to the clinic. He had become a pretty good friend over the last year—even though he was always bugging me to start taking supplements. He often came over to have lunch with me in the office, and we had gotten into the habit of trading coffee-fetching duty most mornings.

“You are a lifesaver,” I said, holding out my hand for the coffee. “I couldn’t remember if you were working today.”

“Bright and early,” he said, smiling back. Elliot was usually smiling—he was one of the most genuinely happy, friendly people I had ever met.

“You gonna be around for lunch?” I asked.

“Inventory day,” he said. “I’ll probably be tied up for most of the day.”

“Next week then,” I said.

“You could always join us for a hike tomorrow,” he said hopefully. In addition to trying to convince me to get on a vitamin regimen, Elliot also seemed to think that my life would be more satisfying if I joined his Adventurers Club for their weekly outings. You could tell Elliot was the outdoorsy type just by looking at him—his feet were almost constantly clad in hiking shoes, and he seemed like he’d be much more at home in faded jeans and Henley shirts than in his work uniform of khakis and Polos. His red wavy hair usually looked pretty messy, like he had just come in from a windy day. He even had a bit of a scruffy goatee thing going. Total mountain man.

“We’re heading down to Lake Erie,” he continued. “Supposed to be some pretty amazing bird-watching.”

I laughed. “You really know how to tempt a girl, Elliot. Bird-watching? It’s almost too exciting to imagine.”

He laughed too. “You don’t know what you’re missing,” he said.

“Maybe next time.”

“I’ll hold you to that,” he said. “Alright, I’m off.” He tapped the doorjamb twice, flashed another smile, and left.

I decided I’d spent enough time socializing. My first patient, Frank, would be here in fifteen minutes. I picked up his file and opened it, looking over the notes of his previous session. If I had to be here, I may as well get some work done. With any luck, it might keep my mind off things.

Author Bio

Rachel Schurig is the best selling author of the Three Girls series. She lives in the metro Detroit area with her dog, Lucy. She loves to watch reality TV and she reads as many books as she can get her hands on. In her spare time, Rachel decorates cakes.


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3 comments:

  1. Love this excerpt! Thanks for sharing, this sounds like a light, fun read. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nice review! It is a fun, light read that makes you feel positive and cheerful.

    ReplyDelete

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