Barbara Freethy’s Blog Tour


Welcome to the tour! There’s lots to win, lots to read, and lots to talk about!
So sit back, relax, and scroll through to find out more about The Callaway Family Series.

Callaway Tour Badge

 

Learn about the blog tour
and how to win some great prizes, first.
Then read a short excerpt from the first of the series,
and finally read my review
where I’ve hazarded some predictions for the series!
Then let us know what you’re thinking.

Ready? Let’s go!

 About the Callaway Blog Tour & All Its Great Prizes!

This is the week you finally meet the Callaways! Not only are they all over the web as part of their extraordinary blog tour, but they are also out and about in your neighborhood. That’s right; we’re celebrating the print launch with Ingram by throwing a party all over the world! Make sure to follow this tour closely for your chance to win gift cards, swag, autographed books, and other incredible prizes.

All the info you need to join the fun and enter to win amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE. Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment—easy to enter; easy to win!

To Win the Prizes:

1. Purchase any of the Callaway novels by Barbara Freethy (optional)
2. Enter the Rafflecopter contest on Novel Publicity (go here)
3. Visit today’s featured social media event
(that’s where the HUGE prizes are)

About The Callaways:

All Callaway Book CoversThe Callaways were born to serve and protect! In Barbara’s new connected family series, each of the eight siblings in this blended Irish-American family find love, mystery and adventure, often where they least expect it! Each book stands alone, but for the full enjoyment of the series, you might want to start at the beginning with On A Night Like This! Get the eBooks via Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, or Kobo.

About the Author:

Barbara FreethyBarbara Freethy has been making up stories most of her life. Growing up in a neighborhood with only boys and a big brother who was usually trying to ditch her, she spent a lot of time reading. When she wasn’t reading, she was imagining her own books. After college and several years in the P.R. field, she decided to try her hand at a novel. Now Barbara is a #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author loved by readers all over the world. Her novels range from contemporary romance to romantic suspense and women’s fiction. Learn more on her website, Facebook page, or in her Street Team.

Check out this excerpt from
#1 NY Times Bestselling Author
Barbara Freethy’s
first book in
the Callaway family series

Sara met the first firefighter as soon as his feet hit the sidewalk. “My father is trapped in the basement,” she said. “The door is off the laundry room by the kitchen. Aiden Callaway went to get him, but they haven’t come out yet.”
“Aiden?” the guy echoed.
She nodded, not really surprised that the firefighter seemed to know Aiden since so many of the Callaways worked in the department.
“Wait here,” he told her.
She crossed her arms in front of her waist as the firefighters entered the house. Everything would be okay, she told herself. Aiden was with her father, and they were both going to be fine.
Aiden must have seen the flames from next door and in typical Aiden fashion, he’d run straight into the house without waiting for backup. The Callaways had never been short on courage; sometimes on good sense, but not on guts. And Aiden didn’t just end up in trouble; he often went looking for it. At least, he had when he’d been younger.
It had been more than ten years since she’d seen the very attractive guy-next-door, who had been the object of the most intense crush she had ever had in her life. Aiden had been a bad boy and she’d been a very good girl. But one reckless night had taken their relationship to a new level. Then Aiden had brought it all crashing down.
Her gut clenched at the memory of what had been the best and worst night of her life. She’d put Aiden out of her mind for a long time, but now he was back, and so was she.
Only temporarily, she reminded herself. This wasn’t her home anymore and never would be.
“Sara?”
She turned to see Lynda Callaway, Aiden’s stepmother, crossing the lawn at a brisk pace. A tall, willowy blonde, Lynda Callaway moved gracefully, like the dancer she’d once been.
“Are you all right, Sara? I couldn’t believe my eyes when I drove around the corner and saw the fire engines and the smoke. What happened? Where’s your father?”
“He’s inside. So is Aiden,” she added.
Lynda paled at that piece of news, her gaze flying to the house. “Aiden? Aiden’s here?”

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco at sunset
Book One of the Callaway Series

 

Book Review: On A Night Like This
Author: Barbara Freethy
Genre: Romance
Format: novel
Series: 1st of The Callaway Series

In brief:
If you love your romance with big Irish families, sweet girl next door and a hunky (and a little bad) boy next door, then this book is a must. Add in a deep family secret or two, a whole lot of firefighters along with a teenage dream come true, and you just won’t be able to put down Barbara Freethy’s On A Night Like This.

The Whole story:
I must confess to this being the first Barbara Freethy book I’ve read so when I started reading it, I didn’t quite know what to expect. I must also confess that I wasn’t totally gripped by the first few chapters. There’s nothing wrong with them–a lot happens very fast, and Sara and Aiden quite literally are in the heat of the moment from Chapter 2–it just felt like this book was going to be a tad boring for me…but by Chapter 5, I was hooked. I raced through the novel, dying to know what happens next, and how the mystery was going to be solved.

So without spoiling anything for you, here’s what you should know about the story.
Sara has returned home to try to connect with her icy cold father. He’s not dead, just the most emotionally distant father you’re ever likely to meet. The last thing Sara expects is a fire in her father’s house, and for the first fireman on the scene to be her old crush, Aiden Callaway.
Aiden’s also just returned home after the mysterious death of his best friend, Kyle. The fact that most people are accusing Aiden of being responsible for Kyle’s death, and that Aiden can’t remember much of the event surrounding the tragedy, also makes him the most unpopular fireman around. So the last complication Aiden needs is for sweet Sara to snare his attention once again.
But life is full of complications, especially with Aiden’s big family, Sara’s immovable father and them both still being neighbors.

Where I got snared:
It was the introduction of Aiden’s family, the Calloways, that really had me hooked. The relationships are so well drawn. You’ve probably met someone very much like one or two of them. This being the first of the series, Barbara Freethy expertly introduces us to each family member and hooks us with a hint of their stories to follow. I was particularly drawn by Nicole, one of Aiden’s sisters, and her love for her autistic son. Around Chapters 4 and 5 was when I started to root for Aiden; when it becomes apparent that he won’t speak about Kyle’s death because it’s all a bigger mystery to him than to everyone else. It was then, too, that I really started to understand Sara and her strength. This is when she became a real character to me, and not just a vehicle for the story.

What elevates this story:
For me, it was the very clear visuals I had of the time and space the characters live in. Despite never visiting the US, I could well imagine San Francisco, the end of summer, and the community Sara and the Calloways belong to. There are times when you feel like one of the neighbors. I also liked the way Sara and Aiden are given more and more depth through the ordinary and even mundane things that they do. Most of all, it’s the almost palatable love from family, and the love between Sara and Aiden that really makes this story great.

What could have been better:
Sometimes there are too many threads and characters around. Had this not been the first in the series, and had I not known that fact, then it would have been a serious disappointment. As things stand, I can’t wait to begin the 2nd in The Calloway series.

“People don’t change the core of who they are.” pg 137
This line, uttered by Sara, really stood out for me. It seems like such a universal truth–one we often forget. And this I believe is the theme for Sara and Aiden’s story. It explains the mystery of Kyle’s death and it explains why Sara felt so unhappy. It’s a truth that I try to live by, because I know what’s in my core–betraying that, or pretending I’m someone other, would never end well for anyone, least of all me. It’s recognizing the core of yourself and others around you that makes for the best relationships, unless one of you is ignoring who you really are.

So what did I learn from this whole experience?
I learned about wonderful smoke-jumpers. On my holiday in Aus, and during the recent Cape fires, I have grown to respect them, so it was great to read about what they actually do and a little on how they do it.
I learned something about San Francisco neighborhoods and San Franciscans.
I learned that teenage fantasies are the same for most young girls.

My predictions for the series:
There were lots of tantalizing hints about what’s headed our way in the rest of the series, which I’m really looking forward to. So in the spirit of the neighborhood, some fun (and some gossip), I thought I’d make a couple of predictions ‘cos it’s the first book in the series. So here goes:
I predict that the biggest tears will be shed for Nicole’s story; with her autistic son, Brandon, and her man, Ryan. (What can I say, they really got to me).
I predict that the most jaw-dropping secret will come from Grandma and Grandpa Calloway. (I can’t imagine what that would be yet…)
And I also predict, (way out on a limb here), that Sara and Aiden are probably going to have twins just about the time that Sean makes it big on the music scene!
What would you predict for the Calloways? I’d love to know if you agree with me 😀

Teary Sniffle Rating: 4/5
Sigh Rating: 5/5
Recommended to: lovers of romance, and girls and boys next-door

About Leenna:
Leenna is currently prepping her novel Settle Down Now for release, which is her first chick-lit-like attempt at fiction.

 Thanks for dropping by. Remember to enter to win all that great swag 😀

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