BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Giveaway & Blog Tour Review of Aboard the Wishing Star by Debra Parmley

Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing
Format Read: PDF
Source: Tour company in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: October 11, 2012
Buying Links: Amazon* | Barnes & Noble | OmniLit
* affiliate link; clicking & making a purchase will result in a small commission for the blog.

Blurb from goodreads:
When Kara's, husband is shot and killed in front of her in what she's told is a random act of violence, she becomes convinced the world is unsafe. Her life is quiet and predictable, until she wins a Caribbean cruise for two and takes along her best friend.

On her trip she meets Nate, a scuba dive instructor and ex marine. He'll teach her to face her fear of deep water and teach her to snorkel. Will Kara learn to trust him with her heart, when she fears this shipboard romance will reach an end and she'll never see him again, leaving her broken hearted?

When Kara's boss shows up at their first port of call unexpectedly, Nate's protective nature comes out.

Her creepy boss becomes more aggressive after she returns to Ohio and when she calls Nate he gets on the first plane. Can Nate rescue her?

Bea's Thoughts: 

I have mixed feelings about this book. It's a romantic suspense that's light on suspense but generous with the romance. There are some things I liked a lot and some things that had me shaking my head. I'll start with those.

There were many, many, many copy editing and proofing errors and several times words that should have been adverbs had the -ly chopped off, resulting in odd or awkward sentences. There was some cringe-worthy writing also; here the author is attempting to metaphorically describe lovemaking:

Like the sea their night together was one wave after another crashing upon the beach they shared.
And then later, continuing with the sex as waves theme:
They kissed and touched each other, celebrating the gift of life, the gift they brought to each other until soon they both rode on a great wave of passion. She rose to meet him and together they crested that wave until it broke, leaving them both panting in each other's arms like the edge of the sea drifting in and out across the sand once the wave had moved on.

The heroine, Kara, is very naive, unbelievably so at times. We're told that she married young and that her late husband was controlling but even so, for a woman of thirty, she's remarkably slow on the uptake. For instance, although the author telegraphs early on what a sleaze Kara's boss Daryl is and the truth about her husband's death, Kara is much slower to catch on. The plot points with Darryl were too obvious, there was no suspense. It wasn't a question of what was going to happen or who was responsible, but merely how the author would play it out. I was also confused by the subplot involving Kara's friend Viv. She was rude, obnoxious and critical, qualities which we're told have only occurred recently. We're never given an adequate reason for the change in her behavior nor was her behavior necessary to move the story along.

Now, what did I like? The romance is sweet and watching Kara come out of her shell and confront her fears was a treat. She's a worrier and became more so after her husband's death, taking refuge in predictability and order. Nate encourages her to take chances without making fun of her fears and is there to support her if she needs it without taking over. At one point she worries that Nate will grow tired of her fears and constant worrying, a legitimate concern, but he surprises her by assuring her that has faith in her and thinks that she is brave.

Kara didn't go on the Christmas cruise to find a man but she enjoys Nate's attention and starts to realize that after mourning her late husband for a year and a half, she is ready to date again.

It was at that moment she realized she truly was ready to date. Nate made it seem easy, less intimidating. Why had she been so nervous about dating?

Nate is a former Marine (there's no such thing as an ex-Marine) who currently runs his own scuba diving business. He also wasn't looking for anything more than a shipboard fling but realizes that he loves Kara and is there for her when her boss starts stalking her on her vacation. He's also quite the flirt:
"Is that your guilty food pleasure too?" Kara (sic)

He leaned in close to Kara and said in a low voice, "My guilty pleasure is whip cream on naked skin."

"Oh my."

Parmley has an easy style, if occasionally too purple for my taste. Despite the poor proofing, the occasionally clunky writing, the lack of suspense, and the obvious plot points, "Aboard the Wishing Star" is a sweet, dreamy romance easily read in a few hours. It would be a good beach read.


Debra will be awarding a $5 Amazon gift card to one randomly drawn commenter at each stop and a signed print copy of her first book, "A Desperate Journey", along with a $5 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour (US ONLY). The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:


  1. Kara and Nate sounds wonderful and their romance sounds sweet. I totally agree, there is no such thing as a former Marine. :) Great review.

  2. Thank you for the honest review. I like the premise of the story.


  3. It sounds sweet - I'd like the romance aspect the best too. Yep, as the granddaughter of a Marine who served in Korea and WWII, there's no such thing as a former or ex. :D

    Terrific review, Bea. I appreciate the way you detailed what did and didn't work. :)

  4. Thank you for hosting me Bea and thank you for the review.

  5. Thank you Jenea. So true about the marines I have met. I'll have to see if there's a way to change that on the goodreads site. Good luck on winning.

  6. Thank you Ingeborg. Good luck on the contest.

  7. Thank you Barbara. There's just something about a marine, isn't there? :-) Good luck on winning.

  8. This looks so adorable! Definitely another to add to my TBR

  9. Oh this sounds like a great read, adding it to my list, thanks! Much Love, Amanda <3

  10. Thank you Helena. Good luck on winning.

  11. Thanks Amanda! Good luck on the contest! Love, Debra <3

  12. Congratulations Ingeborg! You are the winner of the $5 Amazon gift card on this Blog visit!


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