Always a Booklover

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Blog Tour: Almost Perfect by Jenna Jaxon - Guest Post + Excerpt

Hey guys! Welcome to today's blog tour! Sorry this is so late, I just got home. Crazy day, I say. So yep. Presenting... Almost Perfect! Oh! One really important thing to note! All proceeds for Almost Perfect for the month of May will be going to Relay for Life! So you see, get the book now!

Almost Perfect by Jenna Jaxon

Pamela Kimball’s birthday present, a 1Night Stand adventure, promises jump-start her life, put a new man in her bed, and help her forget her past. Unfortunately, movie-buff Pam’s Pirates of the Caribbean fantasy takes an alarming wrong turn when she’s abandoned on a not quite deserted island—with ex-husband Roger Ware.
Forced by hunger to accept Roger’s offer of dinner, Pam realizes the geek she married has transformed into one of the most charming, sexiest men she’s ever met. His newfound confidence—and hot body—re-kindles old fires. A simple kiss leads Roger to challenges her to discover how much his lovemaking skills have improved, leaving Pam torn between self-preservation and burning desire.
With time running out before they’re rescued, Pam must decide if her heart can survive the consequences of becoming Roger’s “almost” perfect 1Night Stand.

Buy it from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Decadent Publishing | All Romance Ebooks

Jenna Jaxon

Jenna Jaxon is a multi-published author of historical and contemporary romance who has been reading and writing historical romance since she was a teenager. A romantic herself, Jenna has always loved a dark side to the genre, a twist, suspense, a surprise. She tries to incorporate all of these elements into her own writing.
Jenna lives in Virginia with her family and a small menagerie of pets. When not reading or writing, she indulges her passion for the theatre, working with local theatres as a director. She often feels she is directing her characters on their own private stage.
She has equated her writing to an addiction to chocolate because once she starts she just can’t stop.

Time for a short excerpt!

She inched into the lapping surf, searching for movement. Reflection off the water made this task harder than expected. Wasn’t the Caribbean supposed to be teeming with fish? Now that’s something she’d had a lot of instruction in. Almost every marooned-on-an-island movie had a scene where the heroine learned to catch fish. Six Days, Father Goose, Blue Lagoon. All you needed was your hands and patience. She could do this.
Pam waded out further then stopped just before the water hit her now dry shorts. “Not gonna to have a damp crotch all night.” The words reminded her of exactly what she had hoped for tonight. “But not from wet shorts!” She headed back to shore to remove and drape them next to her shirt. The bandeau was a different story. Still damp, even after several hours, and uncomfortable. Might dry better if not next to her skin anyway. “Screw it! Live dangerously.”
Standing as good as naked on the deserted beach, Pam smiled as the warm breeze caressed her bare body. The sense of being slightly naughty added to her delight in the sensual feel of the air as it dried her breasts. Her nipples peaked as the wind cooled them. She strutted down to the water’s edge to sink her toes in the sand, the salty tang in the air adding to the perfect moment.
“If you’re skinny dipping, you forgot to remove one very important piece of clothing.”
Pam whirled around. Roger stood on the beach behind her, a green bottle of Perrier in one hand. His gaze played up and down her naked torso and his salacious grin widened. “Mind if I join you?”

And now, let's welcome Jenna to the blog!

Different Strokes: When A Relationship Comes Apart

It always happens. You’re in a committed relationship, everything is sunshine and roses (especially in a romance novel) and then something happens. It might be a big something (like cheating) or it might be a little something (realizing he likes action films and she likes romantic comedies) but usually there comes a time when a couple begins to realize they might not be meant for each other. In one of my previous blog posts, I talked about the process of relationships coming together and specifically about memorable meetings. Today I’d like to explore the flip side to that, and take a look at what happens when a relationship begins to come apart.

According to Mark Knapp, there are five stages of a relationship coming apart, just as there wee five stages of coming together. The first stage of the coming apart process is called differentiating. During this stage, couples begin to realize the honeymoon is over. They begin to emphasize a focus on “I” rather than “we.” They spend more time focused on individual pursuits and prefer to have their “own space.” Whereas in the early stages of coming together they focused on things in common, now they can only see how they are different. As this stage progresses, the couple must address the underlying problems in the relationship if they are to keep it from advancing to the next step.

I chose to look at the differentiating stage, because it is so often apparent in relationships in romance novels. Often, novels open at the point where the relationship has started to go sour. Or the lovers meet, fall in love and marry, only to have second thoughts later in the book. A good romance novel will mirror the back and forth nature of the relationship stages. These stages aren’t achieved in a precise march toward the inevitable. Couples in the differentiating stage may stay there for a while, jockeying for a position in the relationship where they can be both themselves and part of the couple and so reverse the trend downward. If one or the other of the pair, however, is unwilling to negotiate things like personal time and space, then the couple may descend to the lower levels of termination model.

At the beginning of my novella, Almost Perfect, the couple has already achieved the termination stage and divorced two years before. During the course of the book the reader finds out how their relationship slid down that slippery slope. And readers see first hand how the couple’s personalities and circumstances helped bring about the demise of the marriage. Here’s an excerpt of one of their early meetings on the island that illustrates some of their differences:

Excerpt from Almost Perfect:

“So what’ve you been up to the past two years?” The question, on the heels of those carnal thoughts, made her scowl. Staying celibate, that’s what. But she wouldn’t admit it.
“I tried teaching for a while.” Not one of her successes.
“You didn’t like it?”
“Not really. I substituted at an elementary school. Thought I might pursue a Masters so I could teach full time, but it didn’t seem right for me.” She shrugged. “Then I worked at an advertising agency.”
His prolonged silence irked her. Was he waiting for a confession of some sort?
“Why advertising?” His eyes never left hers. Jesus, was he going to give her the third degree?
“I thought it would be fun. And there was this guy.…” Now that was an excellent way to lead him to the wrong conclusion. Her friend Greg, from high school, needed an assistant after his previous one quit. She filled in for six months, until the initially exciting and fast-paced job wasn’t so exciting anymore. “Unfortunately, that didn’t work out.” Let him think she meant the guy, not the job. For some reason she didn’t want him to know about her lack of boyfriends.
“You’ve just had all the bad luck with jobs, haven’t you?”
She raised her chin. “I haven’t had to struggle to make ends meet.”
“Thanks to the alimony I deposit into your account each month.” He picked up her water-stained sandal, pointedly staring at the name emblazoned down the middle. “Gloria Vanderbilt? I do remember some of the designers you used to frequent.”
She sprang onto her knees and snatched the shoe out of his hands. “What I do with my money is my damned business. You wanted out of the marriage bad enough to pay substantially for it.”
“I think any man would want out of a marriage where his wife compares him to a lukewarm Pee-wee Herman, then likens his lovemaking skills to ‘Pee-wee’s Big Top Adventure with the good bits taken out.’” Spoken in a soft, even tone, the words made her squirm. But there was no way to deny it—those were her exact words the night he’d thrown her out.
“I just called it as I saw it.”
“And you saw it so infrequently I’m surprised you remembered.”
“You can’t put it all on me! You were at the damned office all day and half the night. Can I help it if I was too exhausted to stay awake to ‘service’ you when you got in at 3 am?”
“Why were you so exhausted, Pam? You didn’t work. You sat around and watched those damned movies all day long. How tiring is that? Unless there were additional ‘coming’ attractions in between show times?” The mild manner of his voice suggested disinterest, but his eyes focused on her face, alert for any hint of guilt.

Is there any wonder these two got a divorce? They didn’t just slide down the slope, they galloped! And seem willing to take termination to a new low now. But, as I said above, these stages can go forward or reverse and given the right circumstances (as so often happens in romance novels) even a lost cause can be given a new chance at love.

So yep, that's about it for today! Go here to check out the other tour stops! You'll find loads of awesome stuff on the other tour sites too! :D Remember, the proceeds for this book is going to Relay for Life for the month of May! I know the month is ending but there's still time! Look at it this way. You get to read a great book at the same time doing your little bit for charity. What's not to love? ;)


Relationships coming apart are so tragic, but sometimes it's inevitable. Thankfully, Pam and Roger find a way to deal with their issues. This is a great story, Jenna, and a wonderful campaign to participate in. Best of luck!


Thank you, Patricia! It is a worthy cause and Pam, Roger and I are happy to be a part of it. Turning their trials into a positive experience gave me a new perspective about the idea of second chances. Thanks so much for coming by. :)


Your posts are always so informative, Jenna! Enjoyed this one, even if break-ups are hard, but I love the second chances premise and can't wait to read this one. So happy Pam and Roger get their happy ever after.


Thanks, Jennifer. Yes, break-ups suck, but sometimes they're right for the couple--to take some time apart and do some maturing. And if it's not meant to be, then maybe there's another HEA out there with the character's name on it. :) Thanks for coming by!


I love second chances - it is one of my favorite romance tropes! Good luck with your book!


Thank you, Kristina, both for the good wishes and for coming by. :)


What a terrific post!
I remember my first break up with my first boyfriend. I thought I was going to die, lol. But before long, I realized how much better I felt without him in my life.


Interesting post Jenna! I've always had a soft spot for 2nd chance's fun to see the interaction between a couple that have a history and are discovering they just might have a future again too!


The first break up is probably the hardest, though none are ever easy. But it's nice when it turns out for the best. Great attitude, Brenda! Thanks for dropping by. :)


It's funny to think you have to have a break-up in order to have a second chance. LOL Great way to put that, Christine. :)


Thank you so much, Victoria, for having me on Always a Booklover. I've enjoyed myself immensely! :)


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