Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Modern Love by Beau North (Author Guest Post / Book Review)

In association with Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Modern Love by author Beau North!

Author Guest Post

The Evolution of a Story

By Beau North

Thanks Jersey Girl Book Reviews for hosting me today! Modern Love is my first venture into contemporary romance, a story that is very personal to me. I started writing this story just after the death of David Bowie, as the title might indicate, as a way of processing what it’s like to lose someone you’ve never met that nevertheless touched your life in a very real way. I intended it to be a very short and fun romance, heavy on the humor and pop culture references. I never meant for it to be anything deep or meaningful.

But the story had other ideas. The more I wrote, the more fleshed-out the characters became for me. Alice had always been a bartender in my mind, but then—to my surprise—she became a recovering addict. The ex-girlfriend was originally written as an ex-boyfriend, but that never felt right either, and so the terrible Jamie came to be.

I watched the words hit him, sink in. His eyes went wide, a second later his brows drew down. He shook his head, taking on a more neutral expression.

“So you like…”

“People. I like people. I’ve had boyfriends, girlfriends, everything in between.” - Modern Love, Chapter 6

Maybe one of the biggest surprises for me came when Will transformed from how I’d originally written him, an almost-middle-aged guy of Italian descent to a half-Indian man in his early 30’s. I remember making this change, feeling that click, the satisfying feeling of just having solved a puzzle. Will became something different from what I’d originally intended. He was still self-assured, but he now carried a new awareness of himself, a feeling of otherness that set him apart from the crowd.

“Al, I grew up the brown-skinned son of an Irish Midwesterner, in a big Irish family that I never quite fit into. It gave me some insecurities.” - Modern Love, Chapter 43

It was frightening, trying to tell this story without being exploitative of bisexuality, addiction, or people of color. Allie and Will’s struggles were not my own. I had no experience with them, but I wanted readers to connect regardless. I researched exhaustively, I talked to everyone who would speak to me, who would share their experiences so that I might have a deeper understanding of the characters that were taking shape in my mind and on the page.

“It was bliss, it was rapture, sickly sweet like circus peanuts until they’d stopped doing the job, until I’d needed more and more to reach that feeling. That feeling of a balloon tethered by the thinnest of strings, bob-bobbing in the breeze.” - Modern Love, Chapter 9

I hope that readers will like the finished product. I hope they will find something in Alice or Will, in any of the characters and their lives that makes the reader think “this is my life. This was written for me.”

Because it was.

Book Review

Modern Love by Beau North
Publisher: Independent Self Publishing
Publication Date: July 11, 2017
Format: eBook - 192 pages
               Kindle - 1971 KB
               Nook - 396 KB
ISBN: 978-0692894798
BNID: 2940154445334
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Buy The Book:

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours.

Book Description:

"Love at first sight wasn't meant for millennials," thinks Alice Aberdeen: art student, recovering addict, David Bowie enthusiast. Alice is among the recently dumped and only wants to keep her nose to the grindstone until she finishes her degree. Her sister has other ideas and sets her up with new-in-town Will Murphy--tall, dark, and aloof. To say it wasn't an instant attraction is an understatement: He finds her abrasive, with her sharp tongue and don't-screw-with-me attitude. She thinks he's excessively reserved, too damn serious. But the more time Alice spends with Will, the more their slow burn begins to thaw her heart. A man of two worlds, half-Irish, half-Indian, Will feels at home with Alice. He soon realizes her tough shell is hiding extensive scar tissue--from her addiction and recovery to her spectacularly bad ex-girlfriend to the loss of her mother. Modern Love isn't a story about love at first sight but learning to love yourself before being able to see the one you love.

Book Excerpt:

It was night by the time we got to the hotel near the hospital. The moon hung low and bone-bright in the winter sky, giving Will an otherworldly look, illuminating his eyes and casting his face in silver light.

He parked the Jeep and switched it off, looking at me expectantly. “You ready?”

We could have driven back to the farmhouse, but it was forty minutes away and I wanted to be closer to the hospital. Everyone had rooms at this hotel. When Deb asked if I wanted to stay with her and the twins in their room, I shook my head and told her I’d get my own room. I needed different company just then. A tremendous pressure had been building in me since we’d left Minnesota earlier that day. The need to release, to allow my control to slip in some way, was overwhelming. And who better to help me than Will Murphy?

Of course, I couldn’t bring my idiot self to say this. I couldn’t move across my seat, just a little, just enough to signal my wishes. He climbed out of the car, unaware of my turmoil. With a huff of frustration, I grabbed my backpack and followed him out of the car, across the parking lot, chalky from de-icing, and into the lobby, where I was immediately assaulted with the smell of chocolate chip cookies. Will asked the clerk, who had the kind of droopy features that always reminded me of a basset hound, for a couple of rooms. I put my hand on his arm.

“We’ll take one room, please.”

He looked down at me, surprised. “Are...are you sure?”

Was I sure? Sure as death and taxes. “Definitely.”

A hesitant sort of happiness slipped into his smile, making me strangely embarrassed and aware of what I was proposing. There was no doubt in either of us what I meant by asking for one room, and in that moment, it was like disrobing in a room full of strangers.

The clerk, clearly bored with our loaded glances, never took his eyes from his computer screen, only meeting our eyes when he handed over the plastic keycards to our room. We found the elevator and got in, Will punching the button for the third floor. When the doors closed, I stepped closer to him, resting my body against his. One of his long-fingered hands found its way onto my hip, traveling up under my coat and layers of t-shirts, stopping just above the top of my jeans. I shivered at the contact, wondering how his cold hands could make me feel so warm. He dipped his head so that his cheek rested against my neck. His breath shuddered in my ear, and I waited to feel him kiss my neck. He didn’t kiss me, only brushed his lips down my neck, back and forth. It was a torment, but a delicious one.

The chime of the elevator told us we’d reached our floor, and I bit back a frustrated scream. Will removed his hand from my waist and cupped the back of my neck, fingers kneading gently as we walked to our room. It took him a few tries with the keycard before the light flashed green and the door clicked open. It hit me that his hand had been trembling. It took me back to that moment in my bedroom months ago. Had I always affected him this way? The possibility made me feel strangely powerful. I moved, he followed. Action and reaction, the curious geometry of lovers.

I tossed my bag on the floor and sat on the edge of the bed, trying to calm my thundering heart. He stood in front of me, his long fingers grazing the line of my cheekbone. At last, after the painful, almost oppressive silence, he spoke:

“What does this mean?”

I turned my face into his hand, kissing the small mound of flesh under his thumb, the divine bit that palm readers called the Mount of Venus. My lips parted enough to taste that part of him, firm and sweet as ripe fruit. He made a sound deep in the back of his throat and I once again felt a surge of my own power, that I could create such a sound in him by simply surrendering to my own desires.

“Does it have to mean anything?” I spoke into his hand.

He sighed softly, fingers curling around my chin, tilting my face towards his. “Yeah, Al. It does.”

 The words hovered in the air between us, shapeless and unspoken, waiting to be given form.

“Allie, I—”

I pulled him down to me, pressing my lips to his, cutting off the words before they could fully be uttered. It was too much, too confusing, too painful with everything else that was happening. I felt his breath quicken as his lips parted. There was the momentary shock of sensation, the fullness of his lips, the soft heat of his mouth, the pulse-quickening feeling of his hand cupping the back of my head, his fingers buried in my hair.

I reached for his shirt, eager to feel his skin against mine. He pulled away for a second and asked me in a shaky voice if I was sure.

“I’m sure,” I said, kissing the spot on his neck just under his ear, where the vital smell of him was most potent. A strangely, heavy feeling stole into my arms and legs, and I realized that, for the first time in years, I felt intoxicated.

My Book Review:

Modern Love is an intriguing contemporary romance story that follows the unexpected relationship of Alice Aberdeen and Will Murphy.

From the day that Alice and Will meet, there is a strong connection and mutual attraction between them. Alice's personal baggage and tough exterior makes their relationship develop slowly, but Will is determined to beak down Alice's wall and teach her how to find her true self in order to allow love and happiness in her life. 

Author Beau North weaves a wonderful tale full of pain, angst, drama, humor, and tender romantic moments that easily draws the reader into Alice and Will's story. The slow building development of their relationship makes this compelling story worth the read, as their connection is put to the test by serious personal issues in their lives. You can't help but feel for Alice as she struggles with her past emotional baggage, and cheer her on as she embarks on a personal journey of self-discovery with Will's help. 

Modern Love has an intriguing cast of characters who are realistic, flawed, and easy to relate to; witty dialogue and engaging interactions; and a powerful storyline that will take you on a hauntingly beautiful journey where you will experience the full gamut of emotions.

If you are looking for a hopeful and heartwarming love story that follows the unexpected journey of two people who learn to let go of their pasts and open themselves up to a healing and loving relationship, then Modern Love is the story for you!


About The Author

Beau North is a native southerner who now calls Portland, Oregon home with her husband and two cats. She attended the University of South Carolina where she began a lifelong obsession with English Literature. In her spare time, Beau is the brains behind Rhymes With Nerdy, an internet collective focused on pop culture.

Author Website
Amazon Author Page

Virtual Book Tour

Tour Schedule:

July 10 – Brianna Remus Books – Review
July 11 – Chick Lit Goddess – Guest Post & Excerpt
July 11 – Book Lover in Florida – Excerpt
July 12 – Living Life With Joy – Review &  Guest Post
July 13 – SNS Promotions and Reviews – Excerpt
July 17 – Jersey Girl BookReviews – Review, Guest Post & Excerpt
July 17 – Chick Lit Plus – Review


  1. Thanks so much for this amazing review, and for being a part of my blog tour!

    1. Hi Beau! Thank you for the opportunity to feature Modern Love on my blog. I really enjoyed reading Alice and Will's story! :)

  2. Beautiful review of an incredible book. I think it should be a movie!

    1. Hi Christina! Thank you for visiting my blog and posting your kind comment, I appreciate it. :) I think it should be a Lifetime movie! :)