Title: Standing By
Author: Claudia Burgoa
Release date: September 23rd 2014
About Standing By:Mitch Knight 1. Loves a good challenge 2. Never turns his back on a dare 3. Loves to create nicknames 4. Nobody cooks better than him 5. Doesn’t believe in love
When Parker Welsh sells Mitch Knight his organic restaurant, Willows, he not only gives Mitch ownership; but everything entangled with it. Including the annoying pastry chef who supplies the muffins and cupcakes.
Hayley Roth-Welsh 1. Loves To-Do Lists and Five-Year Plans 2. Has her dream job of baking sweets 3. Always tries to make others happy 4. Never seems to succeed with her family 5. Is still a virgin, waiting for love Hayley played by her mother’s rules for the first eighteen years of her life, instead of heading to college as her family expected, she rebelled and opened a bakery, Pieces of Heaven. Her family expects her to fail and head back to school and their wish may come true once Parker sells his restaurant to the handsome, arrogant Mitchel Knight. It’s either join forces with him or lose her dream.
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Mitch “Repeat after me,” Hayley says. “’This is good’, or if that’s too hard for you, try to say: ‘Not bad’ then rub your tummy and make a yum sound. Now, if all of the above are beyond your scope, then stay quiet instead of making yourself sound like an arrogant ass.” “Arrogant ass?” “Yes, it’s when you say things like: ‘I can cook you something much better. This is too greasy.’” “Do I also sound like a whiney little girl?” she stomps her foot and makes a noise that sounds more like a moan. We’re at the bowling alley at four in the afternoon eating junk: mac-n-cheese—Hayley’s favorite meal, nachos and a variety of tacos. They are acceptable but as I told her before, I can cook something better. “From the first day we’ve eaten together, you’ve made sure to inform me that there’s nothing better than what you cook.” “You admitted that my mac-n-cheese is the best you’ve ever tasted,” I say as she takes her bowling ball. She walks toward the lane, seizes the target and swings her arm after walking two steps, then Hayley and I watch her stupid ball score another strike. As of yet, I haven’t found anything that’ll take her concentration away. “I haven’t said such a thing about your pastries, Miss Éclair.” “Because those are baked goods.” She grins. I shake my head, surprised that she didn’t sneer about the nickname. I need a new pastry related nickname for her. “You’re the one who makes me sound like an egotistical asshole.” I grab my ball and head to the lane. “Which I’m not.” “That’s you, Mitch, without the a-hole part,” she says as I try to tune her out. “Your ego likes to take part in every event, Mr. Knight. I can guarantee you that it is the biggest thing you have going there.” She pokes me on the back with that pointy finger of hers. Gutter ball. “Oh sweetheart, I do pretty well in all departments.” I turn to look at her and pin her down with my stare, one I try to complement with a provocative grin. I’m trying to behave and stay away from those tempting curves of hers, but there’s only so much a man can stand before acting stupid instead of moving away. I bend to brush her cheek with my lips, and the surge of electricity that hits me is too intense for me to handle, but I try to act casual. A week with this woman has been more fun than I thought. “I have something bigger than my ego; let me know when you want to try it.” “And that would be?” she takes her ball and releases it, not missing one pin, damn it. When she comes back I look down at my groin; the furrows in her brow deepen, and her eyes shine for a second before they close. “Are you going to finish losing or would you rather call this a day?” Nice recovery, I want to say.
-Tell us about your first book. What would readers find different about the first one and your most recent published work?
First and most, Where Life Takes You is in one word, Drama, while Standing By has a fun, light hearted touch to it. I also want to think that the readers will find a degree of maturity on my writing from WLTY to Standing By. A growth so to speak.
-Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Definitely, always remember that everyone struggles in one way or another, and that even the most put together person can be a total mess on the inside.
- Does music play any type of role in your writing? It’s a huge part of my first drafts I like to listen mostly to Alternative-Indie music. Upbeat with angsty lyrics are my favorite.
★★★★ 1/2 stars
I was very eager to read Mitch's book. He played a vital role in his twin brother Jake's romance and I was excited to see how he and Hayley would get along. I was expecting them to be antagonistic but the fireworks I was expecting them to give off never really manifested. Instead of hot and spicy, I got sweet and sensitive with a dash of spice thrown in.
I liked Hayley and Mitch a lot, so it was easy to get sucked into the story. I liked how they played off each other but when the time came, were also there to support one another. I especially liked how Mitch handled Hayley's family. Most of them were nuts and just plain horrible to her. I liked how they slowly fell in love. It was a slow burn and I was taken by surprise when it finally happened, because I wasn't sure when it had happened.
The only things I wasn't very excited about was the conflicts in the story. Not the one between Mitch and Hayley, but the situations that arose with Hayley and her family and the drama from Jake's life. They were essential to the story but I thought they could've fit in a little better. I guess I didn't understand the reason why both issues existed and how they touched Hayley. They seemed a little far fetched and misplaced.
I do want to give Claudia the proper accolades for handling an issue she put into this book. It's quite sensitive and can be easy to overlook in real life. She dealt with it very well and it shows. She also wrote a great story and you can she the research and hard work she put into it. I can't wait to get Liam's book. I expect him to be like his brothers and fall hard. I liked the clues Claudia put in Jake's book for Mitch's story, and I wonder if she's done the same for Liam.
* A copy was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for them in any manner.*
About Claudia Burgoa:Born on the mystical day of October 30th in the not so mystical lands of Mexico City, Claudia grew up with a childhood that resembled a caffeine-injected soap opera. Seventeen years ago she ventured to the lands of her techie husband—a.k.a. the U.S.—with their offspring to start a new adventure. She now lives in Colorado working as a CFO for a small IT company, managing her household filled with three confused dogs, said nerd husband, two daughters wrought with fandoms and a son who thinks he’s the boss of the house. To survive she works continually to find purpose for the voices flitting through her head, plus she consumes high quantities of chocolate to keep the last threads of sanity intact.