“Return to Love” by Betsy St. Amant

“I’m not the man I used to be!”

 Okay, she hooked me with this line alone. 

If only Gracie Broussard could believe that!” 

So many questions went through my head reading these two simple lines on the back cover of Betsy St. Amant’s debut novel, “Return to Love.”  What did this guy do?  Why is he back?  What does he want?  Why can’t she forgive him?

 I’m a sucker for a great love story and the more conflict the better. 

I had the opportunity to meet Betsy at the Nola Stars conference in Shreveport, Louisiana back in March.  What a sweetheart!  She not only let me pal around with her, but our editor and agent appointments were back to back.  Talking with her before I went in calmed my nerves and I have to say it was the best pitching experience I’ve had so far.  Thanks a million, Betsy!  “Return to Love” is a wonderful sweet romance about the ups and downs life throws at us and how faith and forgiveness can mend all wounds. 

Years ago, Carter Alexander broke Gracie’s heart when he left without explanation.  It was the worst kind of betrayal because he was her best friend.  She trusted him, believed in him, and secretly loved him.  Now he has returned just when she needs him most asking her to believe he’s changed.  How many times are we given a second chance in life?  I don’t know about you, but boy are there are a few things I’d like to go back and do over.  🙂

But now all Gracie remembers about the handsome rock star is the arrogant jerk with a guitar, lead singer of the band Cajun Friday and his dozens of girlfriends.  He was too big for his britches then so why should anything be different now.  And besides, she’s busy fighting to raise money for a new addition that will save her beloved African penguins at the Aquarium of the Americas where she works as their keeper and can’t risk trusting him again.  This time her heart won’t be the only thing in danger of being crushed.

Carter isn’t the rebel he once was.  He’s hid the real reason he left all these years because he knows, Gracie will never believe it.  It’s a horrible secret about his now deceased father and their past.  One that will destroy Gracie’s memory of the only father-like figure she’s ever known. 

As fate intervenes, Gracie finds herself and the future of her penguins in the hands of the man she’s sure she wants nothing to do with.  At least that’s the lie she plans to keep telling herself.  What she learns is a great lesson for us all.  Things aren’t always as they seem and being too quick to judge is never the right decision.  I couldn’t put the book down.  Great characters you can relate to and a storyline that keeps you wondering how these two will actually get together with all that’s stacked against them.  But it’s a romance after all and the sweet ending will have you wanting more.   

Lots of interesting facts about penguins here as well as a believable story full of hope and promise that in the end, good really does conquer all.

 Be sure to check out Betsy’s newest release on sale now, “Rodeo Sweetheart” as well as her second book, “A Valentine’s Wish.”  And check back on May 31 when Betsy joins us here on the blog for your chance to win one of these perfect summertime reads!  Rumor has it she has a contract for another new book .  Congratulations, Betsy!  You are on a roll and I can’t wait to read more!

 If you had a second chance to do something over again, what would it be?

 For me, I would have stayed in school and finished my college degree instead of getting a job fresh out of high school and taking night classes.  I always thought I would have plenty of time to go back later.  Not gonna happen now. LOL

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13 Responses

  1. the danger with doing it over again is that I believe I am who I am based on the life experiences I’ve had. Those experiences shaped who I am. If I changed the past, I change who I am and where I am (in my life) and I like where I am. My faults still need work! LOL

    BUT if I were to change anything, I might start writing earlier in my life…Give me more time to learn and get it right.

  2. Second chances; sounds like a book in itself. Sci-fi of course. I just had a reunion, I know one thing, I could have done alot worse. LOL

    Yes, education would be more of a priority. Trying to do it now is a real pain in the rear, to say the least.

    Another thing I would change is the SUV I bought 4 years ago. Its at the shop for major engine repairs, I would definately change that. 😦 And they didn’t even offer me a cup of coffee (hint).

  3. Very good point, Cyndi! Now that I think about it, I might not have met my hubby if I’d gone off to college and I certainly don’t want to change anything about that part of my life. 🙂 I agree on starting the writing earlier. Who knew there was so much to learn!

  4. LOL, Terri! I’d say you are pretty darn lucky! 😉

    Sorry to hear about your SUV. New or used, you never know exactly what you’re getting until it’s too late. Hope they fix the problem and you get your cup of coffee real soon.

  5. There are a couple of do-overs I wouldn’t mind having, not major things, but small choices I made that ultimately (and inadvertantly) hurt someone.

    And of course there are all of those calves I missed and barriers I broke while competing that I wouldn’t mind having a second shot at.

  6. I’m sure I have some do-overs, but I have to say I’m pretty happy with the way my life has gone. I married my high school sweetheart, so no broken hearts behind me. I did finish school and enjoyed teaching (most days) and I have two healthy kids. I’ve been a pretty lucky duck and I’m not taking a bit of it for granted.

    But I am reading Betsy’s newest book…well, I started it. I have several started but the last few weeks have been way to busy and I’m swamped with revisions at present. But I will get to finishing it….as soon as summer hurries up and gets here.

  7. Kari Lynn, I think those hurtful choices are the hardest. I have a few of those myself. And I bet those slippery little calves wouldn’t stand a chance the second go around. 🙂 This is one of my favorites to watch at the rodeo.

  8. LOL, Liz. May gets pretty busy here too with the end of school. Good luck with the revisions on top of everything else!

  9. I had a great time chatting with both of you at the conference this year. We took a lot of pictures, but I still haven’t gotten mine developed! I need to do that soon.

    I agree with everything Cyndi said. My life experiences make me who I am, and they also make me a stronger individual. However, I still have flaws I need to work on.

    And I’m with Liz on doing those revisions. I can’t wait to get those things done soon!

  10. You had me at Rock Star. LOL!
    Do overs? I’m not airing any dirty laundry! HA! Sure, there are a small handful. But, if things in my life hadn’t happened the way they did, I wouldn’t be where I’m at now. And I kind of like it here. 😉

    Jenn!

  11. Jamie, I’m so glad we got to meet at the conference! Loved hearing about your book. Good luck with those revisions. I feel like I’ve been doing them longer than it took me to write the book. LOL

    Those life experiences sure can make you a stronger, can’t they. Just wish they were a little less stressful and painful sometimes. But then I guess we wouldn’t grow. Hmmm. I feel like it’s a never ending circle…

  12. LOL, Jenn! Now how did I know that might catch your attention. 🙂 I guess looking back can be a good thing sometimes. Helps us appreciate what we have now.

  13. Thanks for such a great review, Melissa!! 🙂

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