Friday, May 1, 2015

REVIEW: Ride Your Heart 'til It Breaks

Title: Ride Your Heart 'til It Breaks
Series: N/A
Pages: 306
Date Published: 2015
Publisher: Deborah Hawkins
Format: Kindle
Genre: Romance
Source: Goddess Fish Blog Tours
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Sometimes life brings you to a split second when you suddenly understand everything is about to change forever. But now Stan knew he didn’t want to be the shallow bad boy Marilyn had described. He wanted to be the man Carrie Moon had loved. Loving him was all that had kept her alive. The emptiness of her marriage had made the ache of lost love burrow deeper into her heart and soul. Carrie stood transfixed between worlds: life, but emotional death if she left alone as he wanted, or death in all forms if she stayed, and the fires reached them. On a cool October evening in 1994, attorney Karen Moon enters an enchanting little jazz club, in San Diego and unexpectedly falls hopelessly in love with the star attraction, trumpeter Stan Benedict. Although Stan is a world class flirt, who has every woman in the audience longing to go home with him, Karen hears a deeper truth in his music. Behind the performer’s confident, shallow mask is a vulnerable, lonely man longing to be loved. Karen risks her chance of partnership at Warrick, Thompson by secretly crossing ethical boundaries to save the club from destruction by her client, Waterfront Development. She and Stan begin a tumultuous affair that culminates in an unplanned pregnancy and a hasty marriage. But their relationship is increasingly threatened by the demands of Karen’s job as a highly paid securities lawyer and by the rising crescendo of Stan’s frequent infidelities. Through mounting heartbreak, Karen struggles to hold on to Stan until they are swept apart by a tide of personal and professional loss. Thirteen years later, longing for forgiveness, Stan reappears in Karen’s life. Now a superior court judge and married to Warrick, Thompson partner Howard Morgan, Karen is faced with Howard’s threats to destroy her if she leaves their marriage. Ride Your Heart ‘Til It Breaks is an unforgettable, intricately woven tale of passion, loss, self-discovery, and redemption.
~My Thoughts~
Every once in a while, there comes a romance novel that means so much more than just the hearts and flowers, and sweet kisses and muscley hunks. That novel would be Ride Your Heart 'til It Breaks

While the title may be a bit of a mouthful, the book itself was all sweet longing, bitter memories, self-discovery and loss. I really enjoyed the exploration of Karen's previous affair and love life through all the backstory. I also LOVED how in depth and detailed Deborah's research was for creating Karen and her lawyer job. I'm used to vague legal jargon when a character is a lawyer, but this was in depth, to the point, I feel like I'm in someone's private law practice kind of thing. Very cool! 

Usually in these sorts of things, it's very easy to choose one person who is wrong and who is the one who needs to learn something or grow up. In this instance, both Karen and Stan have their weaknesses, but they also have strengths that endear them to both each other and the reader. I've read other books by Deborah before, and I just love her style. She can draw emotions from even the starkest of characters. Another win with RYHTIB!
~Try an Excerpt!~
November, 1994
Through her tears, she watched Stan vanish up the path toward the parking lot.
 Go after him.  Fight for him, her heart said.  Show him you won't desert him.  Show him it's safe to love you.
He had already left when she reached her car.  She drove the few blocks to his loft at Fourth and G.  By some miracle, there was an empty meter in front.  She got out and hurried up the steps to ring the bell. 
Answer.  Please, answer, she prayed.  Her breath came in short, harsh sobs as she stood waiting for a reply from upstairs. 
None came.
Karen rang the bell, more insistently this time.  She counted ten seconds and rang the bell again.

Then suddenly the iron security door swung open, and Stan was there.  Without a word, he pulled her inside and into his arms.  
~Meet Deborah!~ 
Deborah grew up in the South, wrote her first novel at the of age thirteen, and has been writing ever since. In graduate school, she studied Irish Literature and came to believe all Irishmen and Southerners are born storytellers. In addition to writing, she loves music and plays the clarinet. Now that her children are grown, she devotes her time to law, music, writing, and her two Golden Retrievers, Melody and Rhythm.

Deborah taught college English and worked as a technical editor before going to law school. She worked for several large East Cost firms before coming to California in the mid-1980's where she developed a solo practice as an appellate attorney while raising her three children as a single parent. She is admitted to the bar in two states and the District of Columbia, is a certified appellate specialist, and has a Master of Laws in addition to a Masters in English. She believes that even a legal case always begins with a story.
Deborah Hawkins will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.  


  1. Isn't that fun, you were drawn to the realism of the lawyer aspect. I was drawn to the realism of the music part when I read it. It really is true two readers can take away different (not conflicting) experiences from the same book.

  2. I find the plot interesting, but somewhat of a far-fetched nature- second chances rarely happen.

  3. Hi, everyone. Thanks for your comments. Thank you, Andrea for hosting. I am so happy that you liked Ride and that the emotions the book relies on to make the story memorable came through. (You're right it is quite a title!) I am also happy that Felita responded to the musical side of the book. I am both a lawyer and a musician, and I am happy to know I wrote convincingly about both. Maybe Cindy is right about the return after so many years. But I do have a friend whose high school sweetheart returned after thirty years. At first it was thrilling, but they eventually found they had become different people. I wonder if Stan and Karen make a life together or if they have been apart too long. Still thinking about that one. Thank you all for taking time to leave your thoughts for me. They help me learn and grow as a writer, and writers are nothing without their readers. And, as you know, reviews help writers find new readers. I am deeply grateful to all of you! Deborah

  4. I really enjoyed the review and I loved the excerpt.

  5. The impressive cover is my favorite part of the post.

  6. So glad you liked the cover. I was thrilled when the artist came up with it. I think it really captures the spirit of the book. Andra, thanks again for hosting and thanks to everyone who came by and left a comment!