Author: Jeff Bartsch

#PubDay Book Review | “Two Across” by Jeff Bartsch A Contemporary Rom feat. crossword puzzles! Jorie was smitten at first sight of the plot!

Posted Tuesday, 19 July, 2016 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I am a new reviewer for Hachette Books and their imprints, I started by reviewing releases by FaithWords (the novels of Stephanie Grace Whitson), their INSPY (Inspirational Fiction) imprint of releases focusing on uplifting and spiritual stories which are a delight to read whilst engaging your mind in life affirming and heart-centered stories. I found Hachette via Edelweiss at the conclusion of [2015] and have been blessed to start reviewing for them.

One of the selections under their Grand Central Publishing imprint which interested me was ‘Two Across’ publishing July 2016. I hadn’t realised it was the trade paperback edition – thus I was quite surprised when the hardback edition arrived by post! I made a note of the #PubDay for my review celebrating the new release! I felt blessed to receive this as I haven’t had the pleasure of reading Grand Central’s authors in the past, although Leila Meacham is one I want to focus on!

I received a complimentary copy of “Two Across” direct from the publisher Grand Central Publishing (an imprint of Hachette Book Group Inc.) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Happy #PubDay, Mr Bartsch!

#TwoAcross a #Crossword Romance!

Two Across by Jeff Bartsch

ISBN for the NEW Trade Paperback: 9781455554614 | Pub Date: 19th July, 2016

Hallo, dear hearts! I have some wicked bookish news for you! Today is the trade paperback release of ‘Two Across’ which was a title I found via Edelweiss when I originally discovered Hachette’s catalogues and their incredible resources for bloggers! I was not expecting to receive this novel until Spring or Summer, however, a kind publicist at Grand Central sent me the beautiful hardback edition! I earmarked the #PubDay on my calendar as I knew I wanted to help celebrate it’s release come July!

What drew me into wanting to read this lovely novel is how I felt it was original and different than a traditional relationship-based romance, wherein it’s set to a different pace and works within an interesting premise. I like stories that stand out from the crowd and this one definitely had that appeal!

I grew up wanting to be better at crosswords than I can honestly claim, as if the puzzles themselves weren’t pertaining to popular culture or films/tv or music, I was at a proper loss at times to understand the complexities of the clues! This is why I liked themed crossword puzzles rather than say the NY Times version! I also loved finding the puzzles included with TCM’s Guide for Classic Movie Lovers! Those were super awesome – you could go on a scavenger hunt through the guide itself if you were ‘lost’ on a clue!

I love finding new voices in literature – especially Contemporary voices who are writing about our contemporary world. I also liked how this felt slightly quirky – in the vein of “You’ve Got Mail”, “Music and Lyrics” or “Kate & Leopold”! I love sophisticated Rom-Coms in the movies and I’m slowly obtaining a list of authors who are writing the same caliber of Rom-Com in fiction! I was wicked excited to start reading this one, truly!

As I reviewed the hardback copy, you’ll find all the info for it below ahead of my review.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Notation on Cover Art: I personally *love!* the original cover art featured on the hardback edition – it especially captures the allure & joy of crossword puzzles! I even liked how it implies the connection between the two lead characters and how their story is starting to connect through their passion of the puzzles themselves whilst remaining a bit aloof and apart from each other. I just loved how the image pulls together the premise of the plot and ties into the synopsis quite well!

#PubDay Book Review | “Two Across” by Jeff Bartsch A Contemporary Rom feat. crossword puzzles! Jorie was smitten at first sight of the plot!Two Across
by Jeff Bartsch
Source: Direct from Publisher

Highly awkward teenager Stanley Owens meets his match in beautiful, brainy Vera Baxter when they tie for first place in the annual National Spelling Bee-and the two form a bond that will change both of their lives.

Though their mothers have big plans for them-Stanley will become a senator, Vera a mathematics professor-neither wants to follow these pre-determined paths. So Stanley hatches a scheme to marry Vera in a sham wedding for the cash gifts, hoping they will enable him to pursue his one true love: crossword puzzle construction. In enlisting Vera to marry him, though, he neglects one variable: she's secretly in love with him, which makes their counterfeit ceremony an exercise in misery for her.

Realizing the truth only after she's moved away and cut him out of her life, Stanley tries to atone for his mistakes and win her back. But he's unable to find her, until one day he comes across a puzzle whose clues make him think it could only have been created by Vera. Intrigued, he plays along, communicating back to her via his own gridded clues. But will they connect again before it's all too late?

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781455554621

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


Published by Grand Central Publishing

on 4th August, 2015

Format: Hardcover Edition

Pages: 304

Published by: Grand Central Publishing (@GrandCentralPub)
an imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc. (@HachetteBooks)

Formats Available: Hardcover, Trade Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

Converse via: #crossword & #RomCom

+ use these two in combo: #Contemporary #Romance

About Jeff Bartsch

Jeff Bartsch is the son of an English professor, and grew up surrounded by stories and literature. He studied creative writing at the University of Wisconsin, held the Katey Lehman Fellowship in creative writing at Penn State University. Before his career as as an advertising copywriter, he worked at the U.S. Postal Service, a plastics factory, a video monitoring service, delivered wedding cakes, was a baker, and an architect's assistant.

He wrote this book on New Jersey Transit trains while commuting to and from New York City. Jeff grew up in Wisconsin, and has lived in San Francisco, Boston and New York. His many adventures along the way include being held up at gunpoint, chasing down a purse snatcher, winning a trophy in a pool tournament, acting in a Woody Allen play in Germany, bicycling halfway across the country, and delivering newspapers on the coldest day in Milwaukee's recorded history at minus 26 degrees.

He's an avid cyclist, home brewer and cook, and currently lives in New York with his inspiring daughter and their collection of imagination vehicles, commonly known as books.

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Posted Tuesday, 19 July, 2016 by jorielov in 20th Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Coming-Of Age, Contemporary Romance, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Domestic Violence, Grand Central Publishing, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Mother-Son Relationships, New York City, Realistic Fiction, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, The Sixties, Vulgarity in Literature