Friday Favorites #21: Melanie Jacobson


Friday Favorites is a weekly meme hosted here, that spotlights a favorite author, book, series, publisher, cover, blog, etc. Basically whatever bookish thing that you love, recommend, and want to tell others about. Just pick one and link up to my post each Friday to share. You can use the graphic I used above, the other one here, or your own.


So my meme, Friday Favorites, is back! Have you guys missed it at all? Those of you who are new followers may not know much about these. This meme is exactly what it says and appears to be: a way for me to share my favorite bookish things and an invite for others to do the same.

Today I'm going to do something a little different. I'm going to talk about a favorite author and review her recent book, so lots of info today. Want to know who? Well, here you go...

I want to share with you one of my favorite LDS author's, Melanie Jacobson. Even if you're not LDS, I would recommend her books. The one I'm reviewing today, Second Chances, I would recommend to anyone who likes chick-lit and contemporary romance, especially with plenty of humor.

Why I love Melanie:

Well, she cracks me up. I can't help smiling or chuckling through most of her books. Such as in Second Chances, I think I couldn't keep a grin off my face for the entire first 2/3 of the book. The last 1/3 was a little bit more serious, but there was still humor there. Her characters have real lives and deal with real problems, but oh the sarcasm and wit. I just love it!

There is also always a great and gorgeous man somewhere in the picture at some point as well. A lot of times he is someone that the MC doesn't think is a possibility, so that adds some great drama and dialogue too. The guy isn't normally perfect (who is or should be looking for that in a partner), but is pretty close or doing his best, or is just the right man for her. There are also always great side characters, such as family, roommates, co-workers, or friends.

I always love her characters. I can't remember one character ever getting on my nerves that wasn't supposed to. I have loved her heroines and swooned over her heroes. I have felt heartache and a desire to cheer these characters on. I have related to them and the lives and choices they face. I have wanted them to find happiness and love. I have loved all of their journeys - seeing them change and learn and grow.

I would love to have a conversation with or hear Melanie speak. I think she would be lol funny and fantastic at teaching some important concept at the same time. You know like those great teachers who have you laughing and then the next second you could hear a pin drop when they share something that moves you or the audience just connects with? I think she is that kind of person.

I have two more books of hers that I have yet to read and I am planning on getting to them soon. Most of her books I just can't put down, so they end up being one-day/night reads. They also bring some lightness to my life and to the books I read. When I've been reading books a little on the heavier side, it's nice to have a book like hers sitting by to make me laugh and lift that tension. Definitely try her books if you haven't!


About the Author
(from her website)

Melanie JacobsonMelanie Bennett Jacobson is an avid reader, amateur cook, and champion shopper. She consumes astonishing amounts of chocolate, chick flicks, and romance novels. After meeting her husband online, she is now living happily married in Southern California with her growing family and a series of doomed houseplants. Melanie is a former English teacher and a popular speaker who loves to laugh and make others laugh. In her down time (ha!), she writes romantic comedies for Covenant and maintains her humorous slice-of-life blog. 

10 Things About Melanie
  1. I own a lot of shoes. A LOT.
  2. I could live on French fries and ranch dressing.
  3. I read super fast.
  4. I love reality TV. But the kind where people have to be good at something.
  5. I drink a lot of Kool-Aid. The real kind, not the metaphorical kind.
  6. I'm allergic to crafts.
  7. I own five pairs of glasses and can rarely find a pair when I need them.
  8. I'm fluent in sign language.
  9. I have ridden a camel around the Great Pyramids.
  10. I have an addiction to playing Scrabble online that will probably require an intervention soon.
You can find Melanie here:



Second ChancesSecond Chances
by Melanie Jacobson
LDS Romance
March 2013 by Covenant


Goodreads Summary:

After walking out of a thankless job at a prestigious marketing firm, feisty California entrepreneur Louisa Gibson is going into business for herself. Lou's pioneering venture, The Mormon Bachelor, is a reality dating web series sure to be fabulous advertising for her new marketing firm. And as a bonus, she can solve a problem close to home: while Huntington Beach is crawling with eligible, sun-bronzed Saints, they've forgotten the vital skill of dating. Lou hopes the reality show will finally inspire this group of hangout enthusiasts to pair off. But shortly before filming begins, the unthinkable happens -- Trentyn, a.k.a. The Bachelor, gets a girlfriend. And Lou needs a new leading man -- fast.

Enter Nick, Lou's devastatingly handsome ex-boyfriend. He's the stereotypical actor: shallow, self-serving...and perfect for the job. A whirlwind of dating ensues, with Nick at the center of it all. Things are going according to plan -- that is, until Lou is forced to step in as a substitute bachelorette, becoming an unwitting cast member on her own show. Despite Nick's attempts to reestablish their friendship and the growing spark between them, Lou is determined to keep her distance. The show must go on -- but what's a girl to do when the Mr. Wrong of the past just may be the Mr. Right of the future?matters into her own hands, no matter the cost.

 


My Review

I forgot until I started reading this that it was a Mormon take on the popular reality TV show, The Bachelor. I have read three other books, Reality Check, The Reluctant Bachelorette, and Count Down to Love, with similar themes in the past year. I was curious how this one would compare to those. (Look for a full comparison of these books in the future.) I have to say that Second Chances was definitely my favorite of them all!

I pretty much knew what the outcome would be and who would end up with who. However, I began to doubt myself a little towards the end. I also wasn't sure how we would get to the happy ending. I loved the way the plot moved through the various dates, editing, and interactions between the characters. I loved, loved the humor! The author just writes humor so well. I couldn't hide the grin on my face as I read about the trouble Lou had gotten into and then her meeting with her ex-boyfriend, Nick. The plot just continues to thicken and Lou faces some challenges.

I loved the characters! Of course, I loved Nick! I could see how much he had changed and how vulnerable he was allowing himself to be. He was a really great guy and such a good sport to do what he did in playing the bachelor for Lou. I loved Lou and how she wasn't perfect. She originally thinks her break-up with Nick was all him, but then she gets a new perspective. I loved how she interacted with Nick, with the production team, and with Molly. I loved Molly. I think she added so much to this story. I also loved the other roommates, friends, and family who made appearances. It was great how all the characters used slang, which completely fit in with their ages and where they lived, in a hot beach town in California.

This was just such a fun and sweet book with great characters, charm, and some great moments! If you read LDS Romance then this is a must! If you like the Bachelor or Bachelorette, then definitely grab this! If you enjoy chick-lit and contemporary romance, then you would enjoy this! Can you tell that I really loved this book? I'll definitely be keeping this on on my shelf and re-reading it in the future!

Content: Clean
Source: Bought


Here is the information about the rest of Melanie's published books:



Smart MoveSmart Move
by Melanie Jacobson
LDS Romance
2012 by Covenant Communications


Goodreads Summary:

The spark was undeniable the night Sandy Burke met the devastatingly handsome Jake. Conversation flowed easily, so after they parted, she waited eagerly for his call. It never came. A high-powered career woman at the ripe old age of twenty-seven, Sandy feels she has had her heart broken one too many times, and now the redheaded trendsetter is facing a major quarter-life crisis. After some introspection, Sandy determines that helping others may be the key to helping herself. When she's presented with a job offer in Washington DC as the director of New Horizons, a nonprofit organization benefiting women in poverty, it seems providential.

But now that she's moved, two major obstacles threaten the success of her first assignment: The first is her mother and her constant fog of less-than-helpful New Age advice. Secondly, plans to build another New Horizons outreach center have come to a screeching halt, thanks to the interference of a pesky lawyer and his attempts to reverse zoning approval for the building project.

After weeks of verbal sparring over the phone, Sandy is in for a shock when she comes face-to-face with her foe. The smooth voice at the other end of the line is a heart-wrenching blast from the past. In this twist of fate, Sandy sees the perfect opportunity to ensure the success of the outreach center — and to enact a little payback on this man she thought she'd left behind. And so the battle of wits begins. Will Sandy's "flirt-to-convert" plot sway her nemesis' determination to block the center, or will his charming and undeniably attractive ways convince the sassy redhead to give love a second chance?

 



TwitterpatedTwitterpated
by Melanie Jacobson
LDS Romance
March 2012 by Covenant Communications


Goodreads Summary:

Jessie Taylor is furious when her roommate secretly posts her picture on the dating website LDS Lookup -- furious, that is, until she spends all night instant messaging Ben Bratton, a man whose wit and warmth just might make Jessie forget the train wreck of her last romantic relationship. Their first date is a smashing success (literally), but Ben's overall awesomeness can't save Jessie from having to deal with Craig, her competitive coworker whose baiting behavior sets new standards for obnoxiousness. Determined to beat Craig at his own game, Jessie spends long office hours finishing projects and putting out fires, but while her performance wows her boss, it only makes Ben skittish -- after a failed engagement to an up-and-coming lawyer, he's not about to pair up with someone who's married to her job. Will Jessie figure out how to be true to herself and take her big chance at love before it's gone with a click of the mouse?

You can see my very, very brief review of Twitterpated on Goodreads.
 



Not My Type: A Single Girl's Guide to Doing It All WrongNot My Type: 
A Single Girl's Guide to Doing It All Wrong
by Melanie Jacobson
LDS Romance
September 2011 by Covenant Communications


Goodreads Summary:

Twenty-three-year-old Pepper Spicer is not living the dream. She ended her engagement at the last minute because her fiancé -- a musician and soon-to-be reality TV star -- wanted her to sacrifice her own career ambitions for his.

Now she's stuck at home sharing a room with her little sister, trying to pay off massive debt for a wedding that didn't happen, and spending Friday nights Facebook-stalking everyone who has a better life. Her therapist father urges her to choose her career dreams and count her blessings by writing weekly thank you notes, but gratitude is a tall order when she botches an important job interview and has to settle for writing an undercover dating web-zine column -- the last thing in the world she wants to do. Still, as Pepper (byline: Indie Girl) chronicles her bizarre and hilarious blind dates, she gives her father's challenge a try and slowly finds herself leaving self-pity behind. Life takes a major upswing as Pepper's column hits the big time and she tastes the exhilarating thrill of success. But there's one tiny problem: the intensely hot man she's falling for is having issues with her job (again). Will Pepper trade her personal ambition for another chance at love?


You can see my brief review of Not My Type on Goodreads.
 


The ListThe List
by Melanie Jacobson
LDS Romance
March 2011 by Covenant Communications


Goodreads Summary:

Ashley Barrett doesn't want to get married. At least, not anytime soon. She doesn't care how many of her friends and family members and fellow churchgoers had weddings before they finished college -- the last thing she needs in her fun-loving twenties is the dead-weight of some guy. And that's why she created The List. By the time she completes all twenty-five goals -- from learning a language to skydiving to perfecting the art of making sushi -- she'll be more ready to settle down. Maybe.

This summer in California is a prime time for Ashley to cross two items off the list: learn to surf (#13) and have a summer romance (#17). And Matt Gibson, the best surf instructor in Huntington Beach and the most wanted guy in the singles ward, is the perfect man for the job. Ashley hatches a plan to love him and leave him before heading off to grad school in the fall (#4, get a master's degree). But when Matt decides he doesn't like the "leaving" part, Ashley's carefully laid plans are turned sideways. Now Ashley faces an unexpected dilemma: should she stick to the safety of The List, or risk everything for a love that may tie her down —- or might set her free?

 



Do you have a favorite to share this week? Just leave a link in comments!





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