We’re pleased to feature romance novelist Kele Moon as our November Featured Author. A freckle-faced redhead born and raised in Hawaii, Kele Moon has always been a bit of a sore thumb and has come to enjoy the novelty of it. She thrives on pushing the envelope and finding ways to make the impossible work in her story telling. With a mad passion for
So obsessed is she with the beauty of romance and the novelty of creating it, she’s lost in her own wonder world most of the time. Thankfully she married her own dark, handsome, brooding hero who has infinite patience for her airy ways and attempts to keep her grounded. When she leaves her keys in the refrigerator or her cell phone in the oven, he’s usually there to save her from herself. The two of them now reside in Florida with their three beautiful children, who make their lives both fun and challenging in equal parts—they wouldn’t have it any other way.
Our first review this week, coinciding with the blog tour for Moon’s latest in the Battered Hearts series, is book one, Defying the Odds. Thanks to Kele and As the Pages Turn for allowing us to participating in the tour.
When struggling waitress Melody Dylan gives a handsome, lonely stranger a
The stranger ends up being Clay Powers, a famous UFC heavyweight fighter. Clay’s large build and dangerous fists have always intimidated. People in his hometown keep their distance and Clay is fine with that. Everything changes when a new waitress at the local diner buys him a piece of pie on thanksgiving. Touched by the gesture when it’s obvious she can barely afford to survive, her warm smile and lush body churn up powerful feelings that leave Clay wanting more from her than pie.
Melody is running from her past and the small, country town of Garnet is the perfect hiding place. With an ex-husband after her and scars from her abusive marriage etched deep, the last thing she expects is to fall for a man who makes a living with his fists, but she can’t resist Clay or the tender connection they share.
Finding love in the most unlikely of places, the passion is undeniable, but Clay and Melody know their haunted pasts and unpredictable futures leave the odds stacked against them.
Full disclosure: I’ve known Kele Moon for almost a decade. She’s a great friend and, to be honest, what drew me to her, initially, was her amazing ability to craft characters that are real, honest and stories that are compelling and heartwarming. Then, I met the lady and realized that the woman, just like the writer is kind, compassionate and creative.
So when I began to read the first novel in her Battered Heart series, I knew what to expect: characters that are flawed, endearing, and a story that would have me eagerly flipping the pages.
I wasn’t wrong.
Defying the Odds concerns waitress Melody who is trying to forget her past to keep it at bay. When she sees Clay sitting at her table on Thanksgiving, something clutches at her heart (and the readers). She gives him a slice of pumpkin pie (which he hates) and he shovels it down just to see Melody’s smile.
So begins a whirlwind, funny, sweet love story that sees the couple fighting for one another and to secure the newborn love they’ve kindled. It’s a love that seems to be something that is as natural as breathing:
“How’d this happen?” Melody asked in a stunned whisper…”We just met.”
“I don’t believe that,” Clay argued as he turned her palm over in his and traced the lines of it with the pad of his finger. “I’m pretty sure we’ve known each other forever. Seeing you the first time was like coming home, and there ain’t been anything to happen since that’s disabused me of the notion.”
Add a vicious ex and secrets of abuse and the reader is instantly transfixed and crossing their fingers that Melody and Clay will get their happily ever after. Moon’s ability to transform readers is amazing. We can smell the sweat, see the blood flinging around during Clay’s matches; hear Melody’s heart beat thundering every time Clay kisses her. Putting readers right in the thick of the story isn’t an easy thing to do, but Moon manages effortlessly.
If you love angst, steamy connections between the hero and heroine and a wonderful happily ever after, then you’ll love Defying the Odds.