#IndieApril Blog Book Tour | INSPY Contemporary Romance realistically authentic and humbling honest in its scope is found within the pages of “Formula for a Perfect Life” by Christy Hayes

Posted Friday, 3 April, 2020 by jorielov , , 2 Comments

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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. This is how I came to love discovering the Harlequin Heartwarming authors & series as much as it has been an honour to regularly request INSPY stories and authors. Whenever I host for Prism, I know I am in for an uplifting read and a journey into the stories which give me a lot of joy to find in my readerly queue of #nextreads. It is an honour to be a part of their team of book bloggers.

I received a complimentary copy of “Formula for a Perfect Life” direct from author Christy Hayes in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I LOVE reading INSPY, how this novel found me & why I needed to read it now:

One of the blessings I’ve had as a hostess with PRISM is being able to seek out Indie INSPY Contemporary novelists who are writing compelling entries in today’s INSPY Market. Being a hybrid reader – of both mainstream & INSPY stories, I’ve had my eye on both areas of literature since I was quite young as I danced through genres and stories of interest. It wasn’t until I was an adult where I fashioned an interest in INSPY Non-Fiction, however, in the earlier years – I had a soft spot in my heart for INSPY Historical Romance. It took a bit of time further, into my twenties and thirties to seek out the Contemporaries which truly stole my heart – in fact, my blog Jorie Loves A Story began on a note of joy having read my first Dee Henderson novel past the series which made her infamous – wherein I had the blissitude to discuss what this new series of hers was giving readers who loved edgy Crime dramas in an INSPY lit world.

I even spent my fifth blogversary celebrating an INSPY Contemporary novelist I loved discovering that particular year whilst as I embark on my 7th Year (as my 7th Blogoversary was officially the 31st of March, 2020; more on this epic milestone is forthcoming this April) as a Book Blogger it is a pleasure of joy to begin marking my readerly progress this #IndieApril not only in continued celebration of reading Indie stories (both Contemporary & Historical) as well as moving through Fiction to Non-Fiction stories of interest but to focus on the Indie side of the ledger, as well! I found a few different blogosphere events which are going to be championing Indie Authors throughout the month of April – whilst it is true to my own bookish heart to help send up a signal flare of joyfulness on their behalf.

As the month starts to get underway, you’ll find loads of lovely Indie stories being showcased (both INSPY & mainstream) as well as different kinds of story-tellers – such as unique story narratives which do not fit into a particular box of style.  This Friday, I have the pleasure of talking about “Formula for a Prefect Life” which I was able to read *after!* my parents’ dual medical emergencies in March  – a period of grace and reflective pause, where only the story and the characters within their chapters occupied my thoughts. I needed the respite and the re-alignment to rejoin the bookish world – as my nerves and my emotions were strained, taxed and blighted against how quickly our lives can blink into an emergency and how dearly we must rely on emergency crews to aide our loved ones.

I believe this novel found me – as there are two key films that came bursting back to memory when I first read the premise about the unexpected pregnancy in the premise of this story – the first of course, is the film I saw as a ten year old captivated by the three bachelors who were smitten by a little girl named Mary in “Three Men & a Baby” which became a familial classic in its own right throughout my childhood and of which graced me with a sequel. The second of course, is “Fool’s Rush In” wherein Salma Hayek and Matthew Perry are the quintessential couple who are completely head over heels in love but unfortunately do not realise it until its nearly too late to savage their marriage!

It was my love of those two films which captured my eye to read “Formula for a Perfect Life” and to see what was going to await me as I took on the adventure of settling into the life and story of Kayla and Ben!

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#IndieApril Blog Book Tour | INSPY Contemporary Romance realistically authentic and humbling honest in its scope is found within the pages of “Formula for a Perfect Life” by Christy HayesFormula for a Perfect Life
by Christy Hayes
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

Two practical strangers. One fateful night. Two pink lines.

College senior and obsessive romantic Kayla Cummings' dreams of a storybook life are spun off course by an unplanned pregnancy after a one-night stand with her secret crush. Devastated, Kayla turns to her roommates and best friends for advice. No matter what she decides, no matter how deeply embarrassed, she has to tell the father.

Ben Strickland’s future is written in stone—as long as he gets a decent score on the Law School Admission Test. Feeling pressure from all sides, Ben struggles to juggle his upcoming finals, another shot at the LSAT, and his needy girlfriend Darcy. When the girl he spent a memorable night with weeks ago shows up at his doorstep pregnant, his already chaotic life spins out of control.

With the clock ticking, decisions to make, and a boatload of people to disappoint, Ben and Kayla embark on a journey neither anticipated—a journey where falling in love might be the biggest surprise of all. But when old hurts and buried secrets pose a greater threat to their future than impending parenthood, will Ben and Kayla go their separate ways or forge a new path to happy ever after?

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, INSPY Realistic Fiction, Motherhood | Parenthood, New Adult Fiction, Romance Fiction, Romantic Comedy (Rom Com), Sweet Romance


Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781625720184

Published by CAH LLC

on 19th February, 2020

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 323

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This is a self-published novel by CAH LLC

Converse via: #FormulaForAPerfectLife, #ContemporaryRomance & #INSPYRomance
as well as #ChristianRomance, #IndieAuthor/s, #FPLPrism and #ChristyHayes

About Christy Hayes

Christy Hayes lives outside Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband and dogs. Christy writes Contemporary Romance, New Adult Romance, Christian Romance, and Women's Fiction. When not writing, she’s reading, walking dogs, or stalking her college-aged kids on social media.

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my review of formula for a perfect life:

Kayla was caught inside a pickle of a dilemma without the first inclination of knowing how to extract herself from the excruciating reality of realising that sometimes a one night stand is a forewarning to girls’ who might not realise quite what a night like that could entail if the entanglements of an impulsive choice seeks to alter their entire life’s course in one act of passion. Thus is the situation we find Kayla inside when we first pick up the threads of her life in the pages of Formula for a Perfect Life – wherein, we are stepping into the shoes of a University sweetheart whose roommates stage an intervention on her return from class. It is during this meeting of the minds where we find that she isn’t the first to give into the impulse of taking a relationship further than presumed whilst at school but she’s the first girl in their circle whose been caught with the gravity of the choice – where a pregnancy comes calling even if the reality of that situation takes a bit longer to caught up to her emotions!

You truly feel for Kayla in this circumstance – she’s not the party girl nor is she the stoic scholar – she’s a bit betwixt and between the two, where she toys the balance between being studious and carefree on campus. The choice to be with a bloke that one fateful night was out of character for her and that is something all three of her roommates agreed upon but that doesn’t change the facts of course! The hardest hurdle she has is sorting out her heart – how she feels about the pregnancy itself, the uncertainties of pending mumhood and of course, what she feels about the discussion she needs to have with the father whose still walking campus ambivalent to the fact he’s fathered a child!

The suffocating future Ben was facing was one you wouldn’t wish on anyone – much less a bloke whose barely sorted out his LSTATs and is now being forced to consider the bride he needs to take down the aisle to settle some kind of arbitrary issue with his family and the expectations they have on him. The same kind of story you’d expect from a bloke whose family thinks they can talk him through his life rather than allowing him to choose the kind of life he wants to be living. In some regards, you can see how he and Kayla took one moment of their lives to simply break-free and do something a bit random and reckless. He was in a potboiler of a pressure-box to perform and to excel at a level that no one could handle the weight against if they were honest with themselves.

Theo was the kind of friend Ben needed as much as Kayla needed her girlfriends – her roommates were a rock of advice as much as Theo was giving Ben the realistic reality he was trying to avoid facing – why Ben thought he could shrug out of the complexity of what this situation was erupting into his life was a bit beyond me but I started to side with Kayla’s friends. I felt Ben was owning to the shock of thinking your life’s plan was on one set of trajectory and was about to be realigned onto a completely different one; one that wasn’t planned and wasn’t entirely an expected outcome. That kind of shock takes time and measure to put into prospective and sadly even then, some people take longer to mature into a new set of circumstances; which I felt Ben might fit into himself.

One of the best moments I felt in the storyline is where Kayla is talking to her Mum – their trying to make sense of Kayla’s new reality – sorting out the emotions of her pregnancy and trying to look ahead to the future where Kayla and Ben have to sort out how to forge their own tomorrow together. Whatever they would choose to do for their child, they would choose to do on their own terms – that was something Kayla’s Mum understood. His parents were the opposite variety – the controlling kind, who liked to hug themselves to the law and readjust everyone else to their own will and worldview. For Kayla’s Mum, in that one moment of sincere compassion for her daughter you saw how a true mother’s love could encourage a daughter during a moment of her life where darkness threatened to erase the Light. It was also where Hayes started to insert the INSPY threads of the narrative – where she was trying to point towards how God was at the intersection of their lives and was truly at the head of where their compass was starting to point them into a new path they would be walking together rather than apart.

Hayes kept me anchoured into the story – she didn’t make excuses for her characters, nor did she overtly bring into the forum of their duress the inspirational messages you might have felt could have been added into the fray of their spiralling anxieties. She was allowing them some space – some time to breathe and feel the weight of their choices – good, bad or indifferent, they had lived those hours together and Hayes was presenting the outcome of what happens when you take one reckless romantic night and wake-up with the consequences of that affair. She openly lets her characters choose their own words and to fumble their own way through tomorrow – in that regard she had my respect because it was a very adult way of presenting a New Adult narrative on what happens when co-ed University students suddenly find themselves contemplating Mr Mom and Mrs Baby scenarios.

The hardest character to reconcile for me was Ben’s father – he was such a difficult person to read in the context of the story because of how blackened his heart had become through cynicism. He was definitely the antidote to self-doubt and anxiety because his soul was no longer fused with optimism. It was clearer to see a path forward if you turned away from his influence and I was thankful his presence in the novel was not to become a shadow which lingered over the rest of the characters because Kayla’s parents, and Ben’s mother, despite their initial reactions were better representations of the kind of loving parents who adapt to unexpected circumstances.

I needed a story to pull me back into the joy of reading – Hayes gave me a story which rooted me into her characters’ lives, gave me a reason to champion their cause and gave me such an uplift of joy to discover their story to where I felt renewed in the healing grace of finding stories which lift our spirits during moments in our lives where sometimes connecting to stories is one of the hardest obstacles we need to overcome.

I love returning to the world of INSPY and/or heartwarming romances (such as Harlequin Heartwarming) wherein I know I can be greeted by a cast of characters who will give me something to chew on whilst anchouring me into their heart-centred storyline wherein I’ll feel refreshed and rejuvenated for having met against the page. How blessed was I then to have sought out this blog tour and had the proper chance to ‘meet’ my first Hayes novel! It was a wicked brilliant introduction to her writing style and I hope others will pick up a copy to see what I found – adding to their own sought after blisstitude for uplifting fiction during the uncertain tides of everyday life (whilst we’re all surviving through a pandemic we never saw coming!).

on the contemporary inspy romance styling of christy hayes:

What I liked about how Ms Hayes approached telling this story is that she roots you in the life of a University student as they are living their life – but not in a way that is either a) nauseatingly cliche or b) predictable to the point of boredom like too many stories I’ve read in the past. Instead, she presents a well-thought out scenario about how a girl from a good family gave into her emotions and the feelings of a singular night and choose to take a risk she felt wasn’t going to alter her future because in that one singular act she had acted with forethought even if the outcome was less than stellar from what she had hoped might be one reckless night in the midst of an ordinary semester.

Hayes tucks you close to the mindset and emotional state of Kayla – digging into her fears, her emotions and the ways in which her thought processes were trying to make sense of how altered her life was now that she had a confirmed pregnancy test in her hands. It was a moment that defines you and a moment where you have to sort yourself out before you can hope to move forward – something you could tell even Kayla’s roommates understood a bit before Kayla herself. Whilst at the same time, there is a definitive style in this novel – as Formula for a Perfect Life has the beauty of a Rom-Com within its folds – as it is told in a light-handed manner of exploring what a twenty-something college co-ed is going to to after a test is taken to determine her future. It is a novel hinging on Kayla’s actions and reactions to the test itself whilst everyone round her also has to react and adjust along with her – that in of itself was a bit genius as it takes the films I loved previously to a new area of enlightenment. Where the characters are younger, not quite as seasoned on life and still find themselves in a bit of a pickle when it comes to sorting out love, parenthood and the artful imbalance of romance and life!

One reason I like to read upcoming voices in Contemporary INSPY Romance is because of the changing ways the voice of the market is able to yield a wide field of narratives giving us a better grounded array of stories, characters and sequencing of stories to read. I sometimes find some of the authors’ have a style which is hit or miss for me personally, but I love the ability to seek them out all the same. With Hayes, I feel a bit vindicated that my openness to seek out new authors of Contemporary INSPY was well-placed because she’s struck the balance I was hoping to find with the ability to carve out a wicked good Contemporary Romance!

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🎧 I decided to listen to #Spotify whilst reading Formula for a Perfect Life. 🎧

The channel I felt fit the storyline as if it had become an organic soundtrack to the novel was “Folk & Friends” – wherein the lyrical Indie vibe this channel of selections provided was the kind of atmosphere which befit the vibe of the story and the lives of the characters. It is lovely being able to match music and soundscapes to stories I’m reading – thus, give this a whirl if you pick this up to read! I hope you’ll love the Folksy afterglow and the soulful ballads which keep you company!

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This blog tour is courtesy of: Prism Book Tours

Prism Book Tours

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Formula for a Perfect Life blog tour banner provided by Prism Book Tours and is used with permission.

End of the Blog Tour badged provided by Prism Book Tours

By clicking this badge you can find out about the giveaway associated with the tour;
my particular tour stop doesn’t host the giveaway as I’m a review stop, however,
you’ll find many other bloggers who are hosting the information!

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I look forward to reading your thoughts & commentary!
Especially if you read the book or were thinking you might be inclined to read it.
I appreciate hearing different points of view especially amongst
readers who gravitate towards the same stories to read.
Bookish conversations are always welcome!

{SOURCES: Cover art of “Formula for a Perfect Life”, synopsis and biography of the author Christy Hayes as well as the blog tour banner and The Prism Book Tours badge were all provided by Prism Book Tours and used with permission. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets embedded by codes provided by Twitter. LibraryThing banner provied by librarything.com and used with permission. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: Book Review banner and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2020.

I’m a social reader | I tweet my reading life

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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 Friday, 3 April, 2020 by jorielov in 21st Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Child out of Wedlock, Coming-Of Age, Contemporary Romance, Family Drama, Family Life, Inheritance & Identity, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Life Shift, Modern Day, New Adult Fiction, Post-911 (11th September 2001), Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction, Sisterhood friendships, Sweet Romance, Unexpected Pregnancy, Women's Fiction, Women's Health, Women's Right to Choose (Health Care Rights)




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2 responses to “#IndieApril Blog Book Tour | INSPY Contemporary Romance realistically authentic and humbling honest in its scope is found within the pages of “Formula for a Perfect Life” by Christy Hayes

    • Hallo, Hallo Ms Hayes!

      I am terribly sorry it has taken me so long to respond to your lovely note! I appear to have gone in cycles this year with being able to respond to my comments & notes whilst most of the time it felt like a year you must live through and wait to calm down. I am sure others have felt similar. However, I truly *loved!* discovering your writing style with this novel!! I was so thankful I could be a part of your blog tour – knowing you’ve visited with me and were able to see how your story resonated with me felt like the circle is completed between writer and reader. Whenever I am blogging the heart out of the stories I’m reading – I feel like those notes, those keen insights into my readerly life are strictly between me and the author; whilst I hope they also encourage and inspire those who read my blog to pick up new authors they might not have otherwise found. I am so thankful how I wrote this review resonated with you and that you knew how much I loved the story.

      I pray the rest of the year has been kind to you and yours; many blessings to you. I look forward to seeking out more of your stories.

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