Blog Book Tour | “Her Lost and Found Baby” (Book One: The Daycare Chronicles series) by Tara Taylor Quinn by #Harlequin Special Edition

Posted Wednesday, 1 August, 2018 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Acquired Book By: I started hosting with Prism Book Tours at the end of [2017], having noticed the badge on Tressa’s blog (Wishful Endings) whilst I was visiting as we would partake in the same blog tours and/or book blogosphere memes. I had to put the memes on hold for several months (until I started to resume them (with Top Ten Tuesday) in January 2018). When I enquiried about hosting for Prism, I found I liked the niche of authors and stories they were featuring regularly. I am unsure how many books I’ll review for them as most are offered digitally rather than in print but this happily marks one of the blog tours where I could receive a print book for review purposes. Oft-times you’ll find Prism Book Tours alighting on my blog through the series of guest features and spotlights with notes I’ll be hosting on behalf of their authors.

I received a complimentary copy of “Her Lost and Found Baby” direct from the author Tara Taylor Quinn in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why this particular Harlequin story stood out to me to read:

I spent all of July wholly consumed by my readings of #LoveINSPIRED Suspense novels – especially by the authors Laura Scott (of the Callahan Confidential series) and Lenora Worth (of the Men of Millbrook Lake series) to where I knew why my Mum has been insisting I start reading these lovelies now that I’ve had a thirst of what inspires her own bookish heart!

It was a lovely month, as I was able to reclaim my reading life – gain back the stamina in my eyes and in my concentration for processing the stories I’m reading – migraines are beastly for what they take away from us, and if your a chronic migraineur like I am, sometimes those deficits can take you by surprise, as they did me this past Spring and Summer.

I hadn’t realised initially this was a Romantic Suspense novel – as I caught sight of the blog tour in a moment of checking my Inbox. I read the synopsis and liked how it sounded and decided to take a chance on the novel. What ticked me is how I found another Rom Suspense story to be reading the one month I elected to read so many by Love Inspired!

Special Edition and Love Inspired are both imprints of Harlequin, the only difference being Love Inspired is their faith-based line of stories vs their mainstream imprints. As a hybrid reader, I love reading both sides of Literature across those divides, regularly reading Romantic Suspense by all authors who curate a plot I can sink my bookish teeth into – thus, as I began reading this one, I was prepared a bit for how a Harlequin author might set the foundation of the story for the suspenseful bits but there are a few differences between the two imprints as well. I only would notice those small differences having read four Love Inspired Suspense novels, wells, technically three but one still felt like a Suspense even though it was a Romance kicking off a Rom/Suspense duality series (ie: Men of Millbrook Lake).

The irony though is although I did enjoy reading Her Lost and Found Baby – there was something missing from this story… something I can’t even be sure to put into words properly which I happily found in the other imprint’s releases. It wasn’t the difference between mainstream and INSPY story-lines but rather, something in regards to how to spin a Suspense plot and how to hold me in the grasp of wanting to know ‘more’ than what is on the pages in front of me – I seemed to have felt the other stories left me on ‘pins!’ to turn the pages, whereas there was some lost moments in Her Lost and Found Baby where I was finding myself losing a bit of traction in the context.

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Blog Book Tour | “Her Lost and Found Baby” (Book One: The Daycare Chronicles series) by Tara Taylor Quinn by #Harlequin Special EditionHer Lost and Found Baby
by Tara Taylor Quinn
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

Friends. Without benefits. They both agreed.

Until she stole his heart.

Tabitha Jones will find her kidnapped toddler…even if it means searching every daycare in Southern California. So when her hunky, wealthy neighbor, Johnny Brubaker, offers a deal, Tabitha sees it as an ideal way to expand her search. In exchange for working his food truck, Johnny agrees to pose as Tabitha’s husband. It’s the perfect relationship…until Johnny realizes posingas a family man isn’t enough anymore.

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance, Romance Fiction, Romantic Suspense

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

ISBN: 9781335465948

Published by Harlequin Books, Harlequin Special Edition

on 1st August, 2018

Format: Mass Market Paperback

Pages: 219

Published by: Special Edition (@HarlequinBooks) | imprint of Harlequin

Formats Available: Ebook and Paperback

Stories within the series The Daycare Chronicles:

Book One: Her Lost and Found Baby

Book Two: An Unexpected Christmas Baby | Synopsis → #PubDay is 16th October, 2018

Converse via: #Contemporary #RomSusp + #Harlequin

About Tara Taylor Quinn

Tara Taylor Quinn

The author of more than 70 original novels, in twenty languages, Tara Taylor Quinn is a USA Today bestseller with over six million copies sold. A 2015 RITA finalist Tara appears frequently on bestseller lists, including #1 placement on Amazon lists, and multiple showings on the Publisher’s Weekly Bestseller list. She has appeared on national and local TV across the country, including CBS Sunday Morning.

Tara is a supporter of the National Domestic Violence Hotline. If you or someone you know might be a victim of domestic violence in the United States, please contact 1-800-799-7233.

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my review of her lost and found baby:

Whew! As far as feeling as if I stepped into an emotional drama, this one packs quite the punch at the jump-start as we find ourselves aligned with a Mum attempting to locate her missing son whilst helping out a widower whose trying to honour his wife’s dream: a food truck whose profits go directly to charity! What endeared me straight-off is how Johnny is both an attorney and a man of his word – he’s dedicating a portion of his life to carry-out the dream of his wife but at the same time, he’s aiding a woman whose own life is shattered out of control: Tabitha. The honour of giving both women a chance at redemption at the same time is heart-warming!

On a personal note, I wish we had more food trucks locally – I was caught up in the culture of the trucks as soon as I saw them on Food Network and whilst sorting out travel plans to different cities and states I’ve yet to visit. Food trucks have a way of getting you at ‘hallo’ and for a girl who loves healthy street food, there is an abundance of choices out there! The food bowls Johnny is making aren’t exactly ‘Buddha bowls’ as I’d prefer, unless he has tempeh, tofu or seitein hiding in his kitchen but they sound equally delish if you’d hold the ‘meat’.

I understood better than most the grueling schedule of working 12 hour shifts, as my Mum started to take those on after working seven days a week consistently for more than half a year after my Dad’s stroke. The hours were most ideal when she worked overnight, as it left her with her days – which is why I knew Tabitha was most happy with her own situation – freeing her the chance to search for her son whilst still being able to provide an income. Johnny was the kind of salt of the earth best friend you could hope to cross paths with as he was willing to take-on the extra weight of posing with Tabitha to see if they could spot the ‘daycare’ of choice for her son; courtesy of the father who hadn’t returnt him. I can’t even imagine the emotional collapse she went through and the fortitude of spirit, mind and heart it would require to do everything ‘by the book’ and not allow yourself to be overtaken by the innate need of reconnecting to your child – if and when – you found them.

For Tabitha, the all-out search she was undertaking to locate her son was part of being a protective Mum who would move Earth itself if it meant relocating the son who had been taken from her whilst Johnny was still sorting out where he stood in regards to how he responded to life’s emergencies. It was interesting actually – Tabitha was very clear-minded about her search, of how methodical she was in what she was doing online for ‘research’ into the daycare centers and how she was looking for solid clues towards what had become of her son.

In deference to her, Johnny was a man stuck in a void – unsure where he fit moving forward, even if tradition and expectancy of duty was calling to him at the moment, part of me questioned if his motives for resuming his prior life (as an attorney in the upper middle class world) were based more on comfortability without risk than outright passion for the job. Johnny was comfortable around Tabitha, almost to a fault as he was allowing himself to become emotionally invested in a platonic relationship where the other party was not prepared to develop an equally reliable emotional connection at this stage in her life. The danger of course, is falling too deep, too fast and not allowing room enough for love to blossom.

Similarly, you felt dearly for Tabitha – of her arduous searching, the desperateness of wanting to confirm she’s located her missing son and the ache of wondering, ‘what if’ this time she was right and ‘what if’ this time nothing could be done to return him? The law is a curious thing – about the conditions of maternal and paternal rights, the after effects of a kidnapping by a non-custodial spouse or parent and how to right the wrong which led to the separation of Mum and child. Ms Quinn delves into a bit of this legality in Her Lost and Found Baby – where you start to see how the undercurrent of Tabitha’s search is remaining mindful of her options as the parent with legal custody of Jackson.

The closer the search came to finding it’s natural resolution, the closer we find Tabitha and Johnny muddled in the close-knit quarters of the food truck, completely uncertain of their ‘relationship’ and the barriers they had fought to keep in place between them. A bit of a classic turn of events there – of where the harder you fight to stay separated or to keep a relationship from turning romantic when you are busy with other plans (in this case finding a missing child!) – life has a way of surprising you!

Despite enjoying the overall drama of the story, part of me was pulling out of the pacing and flow of the narrative – something, which having read a lot of Harlequin Love Inspired Suspense novels recently felt more than a bit ironic as I was more than attuned to the nature of how these stories are set and paced out. Yet, perhaps this is where I found the wrinkle of disconnection? The way this one was pacing? As when the focus was on searching for clues and following leads after they worked at the food truck, I found the most continuity and the best pacing – where Tabitha and Johnny were at their best. What led me to feel ‘pushed out of the story’ a bit was when we started to try to transition them out of the ‘friend zone’ and into a quasi-relationship status – something I think felt forced as the characters weren’t ready to explore this side of their natures, even if desire or outright lust might be directing some of their instincts, on a personal side of truth, neither of them were fully prepared to re-open the door on permanent relationships this early-on in trying to find Jackson.

By ‘early-on’ I’m referring to the moments leading up to sorting out if where Tabitha felt she had found Jackson was really the place in which he was being cared after. Even then, part of the Suspense was lingering too far off-camera for me, as if this had a fast resolution based on what we knew of this one daycare; if that would play out, I would know immediately I would feel short-changed as the pacing had let me down quite a bit. I’d rather have the whole affair dragged out further into the back-end of the novel, where the pacing could be kept taut and where my misgivings of this having a ‘neat and tidy’ exit wouldn’t have distracted me from actually ‘reading’ where the story was taking me.

The best Romantic Suspense novels for me are the ones where you never feel you can see the foreshadow of where your being led. You don’t want to feel you’ve uncovered more than you ought to have out of the opening bridge or even at the halfway mark – you want to feel pulled into the vortex of the unknowns, to the extent, where you really aren’t entirely sure there is a positive ending in sight. You want to feel the stress of the emotions the characters are feeling and you want to feel as if they might not be fully braced for the ending they may or may not be able to live with by the time the story concludes – those were my exact thoughts about the Love Inspired Suspense novels I read this July and sadly, this was not true of Her Lost and Found Baby.

A small fly in the ointment:

There were a few overtures of romantic interlude I felt might have been overdone – in regards to how the growing need for close contact between Tabitha and Johnny were slowing overtaking the scenes where they needed to be more focused on their plans to rescue Jackson. I understood Ms Quinn was trying to stipulate how their fondness for each other and the shorter time window they would have together was pulling them closer into orbit of exploring a romantic relationship vs a platonic one they had endured thus far along but for a few passages and chapters, it felt like this newer territory was becoming a bit too forced into the foreground. After all, there are only so many times you can talk about a man lusting over a woman he genuinely cares for before it becomes arbitrary or unnecessary.

on the contemporary romantic suspense styling of tara taylor quinn or TTq:

Ms Quinn has a naturalness about her for disarming our nerves and putting our emotions on high alert but in such a way as to give us time to breathe through the disclosures she wants us to understand about her characters. She jolts you into the heart of their lives but allows them to also introduce themselves, let you feel comfortable round them and then, I am quite sure will give us a roller-coaster of gripping emotions as we propel ourselves forward into the heat of the action surrounding the suspense of a missing child!

The realness of her disclosures of the procedures to find the missing child Jackson and the ways in which she approach showing the emotional highs and lows of both Tabitha and Johnny were what rooted me into the story-line. She took an honest approach at showing how the lines start to blur between friends who become ‘something more’ but without the flexible freedom to explore those newer feelings and sensations of connection between them. She has written a stimulating suspense on the level where missing child cases pull at your maternal or paternal heart – especially when it’s of a parent who doesn’t have legal custody of the child.

I wish I could have felt the pacing and the conviction of the narrative had held me in its vice – to where I couldn’t put the book down. There were moments where I was engaged with her characters but as far as the ‘Rom Suspense’ bits – I found they were faltering too much for me, to where I was expecting to feel let down by how the plot was diffusing a bit too quickly for me from a ‘suspense’ to a ‘contemporary romance’ – as despite those lines being naturally blurry, I prefer a Rom Suspense to keep a tighter clip of suspension on the height of danger and the ambigiousness of knowing if the relationship can withstand the direness of the circumstances.

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This blog tour is courtesy of: Prism Book Tours

Prism Book Tours

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Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2018.

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Wednesday, 1 August, 2018 by jorielov in 21st Century, Blog Tour Host, California, Contemporary Romance, Family Drama, Kidnapping or Unexplained Disappearances, Life Shift, Mental Health, Modern Day, Prism Book Tours, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Romantic Suspense, Second Chance Love, West Coast USA

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