Sunday, June 2, 2013

Lost and Found (Keller Family #5) by Bernadette Marie {Review + Author Interview}

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: May 9th 2013
Publisher: 5 Prince Publishing
Pages: 253
Format: Kindle/Ebook given by author for review

Darcy McCary came to Nashville with some big expectations--to find her birth parents. She had no plans of making a life in Tennessee. But when her sources lead her to Eduardo Keller, her heart took over, and plans changed. Eduardo Keller is a man who goes after what he wants and he doesn't have time for playing games. Darcy is exactly the woman he's been looking for to assist him in business and be his partner in life. Because he loves Darcy, Ed promises to help her find the answers she seeks. What he doesn't know is that if Darcy finds the secret to her past it might mend her curiosity; however, it might also tear apart a branch of the Keller family.

My Take:

Bernadette Marie is my go to author for contemporary romance, especially this particular series. Ever since I read The Executive's Decision I have been hooked on this eclectic family. The first four books in the series follow the original Keller children, with three out of four of them being adopted. Lost and Found begins the spin-off series featuring the children of all the original Keller family members. I love this series so very much and wait as patiently as possible for the next ones to come out because these characters are so well written that they feel like family as you read about them.

Eduardo Keller is the main focus of this book. When we last saw him, he was a teenager and now in present day he is a grown man working in his Uncle's building firm. Throw in his search for a new assistant and a chance meeting with Darcy, a woman in search of her birth parents that has lead her to his workplace and you get a train full of drama just waiting to happen. Eduardo and Darcy become co-workers after their chance encounter that plays out very similar to another couple in the original series and makes for a beautiful connection between them. They both adhere to a work only environment but as time passes and they spend late nights at the office together a spark develops which ultimately turns into a blossoming romance. As the two navigate this new relationship and Darcy spends more time with his family she starts to piece together the puzzle of her birth parents. What she comes up with couldn't be farther from the truth and when the pieces are all together it could threaten the connection Darcy and Eduardo have built on.

For fans of the series you'll pick up quickly exactly who Darcy is, but for the people who haven't had the pleasure of reading it, this plot twist will be a complete surprise. You don't have to read the entire series though, to pick up on everything because the author gives enough information for the reader to be able to jump right in. I absolutely loved this addition to the Keller family books. Not only was the romance well done and perfectly timed but the added scenes with the original four was a nice addition to the story. I loved how everyone welcomed Darcy with open arms when she was new in town and helped her get settled. The dynamic of this family is a very heartfelt experience to read about. They take care of each other and others no questions asked. With most of them being adopted they offered Darcy emotional support and stability as she searched for her birth parents.

I loved Darcy's character. She was sweet and kind but her vulnerability made me love her even more. After losing her adoptive mother she left her father, the only family she knew, behind in her search. The scenes she shared with her dad were emotional and added depth to the story beyond the actual plot. She's almost like a wounded bird, torn between her intense love for her adoptive parents and her inner turmoil about her birth parents. To me that made Darcy highly relatable as a character and I felt like it was easy to be put into her shoes despite her being adopted.

Now getting to Eduardo, my goodness I never thought I would be pining over a teenage boy but when I first met Ed in A Second Chance he stole my heart. Having to watch his mother suffer through breast cancer made him have to grow up a lot faster and ultimately shaped him into the man we see in this book. He's focused on his career and prides himself on working his way up from the bottom never taking for granted what he has. He was so serious especially when he realized he was developing feelings for Darcy and I loved watching him slowly start to loosen up. What endeared him even more to me was how much of a gentleman he was. He treated Darcy with respect and didn't push her physically until she was ready. 

My absolute favorite part of this book was the emotional reunion between Darcy and her birth mother. I won't spoil anything but seeing that finally come to fruition after all these books was beautiful and amazing. It was so wonderful to see Darcy finally have that validation she had been missing her whole life and understand the circumstances surrounding her adoption. Through the tears of joy, the drama and the romance Lost and Found delivered on what I come to expect the most from this author. Beautiful romance with heart and depth. I can't wait for the next in this new adventure in the series, because we get a glimpse into the next book which features Ed's sister Clara! Love it! I can't recommend this series enough!


“Here it is. I hate to say it, but I’m desperate. If I don’t find a job in three days, I have to go home.” “Why? Does that suit turn back into a pumpkin and your glass slipper breaks?” Loc. 119

“I’ll make love to you someday. For right now, I think I want to be a bit old fashioned.” Loc. 1966

“Darcy, you are my daughter. I don’t ever want to lose you again. I won’t. I didn’t want to lose you the first time. I don’t want to do it again.” Loc.3024

Interview with author Bernadette Marie:

 First off, tell us a little bit about yourself and why you became a writer:

I wanted to be an actress! That is where this all started. I wanted to just be “found” but that doesn’t just happen. So I thought, okay, I’ll write myself a movie! Well that was about the time when Mini-Series became popular and I saw books like The Thorn Birds, When Tomorrow Comes, Centennial…come to life. I wanted that! So I began to write the Great American (tragic) love story. I wrote it for 22 years, then found out I liked Happily Ever After better…so I shelved the other book (though you’ll find “hints” of it sprinkled in Aspen Creek…tease!) and the author you know was born.

Your Keller Family series is one of my favorites so I'm curious where the inspiration for the characters came from:

The Kellers are everywhere! I used to joke that you couldn’t be my friend, growing up, if you weren’t adopted. Most of my friends were. So their eclectic mix just happened from that. But I’ll be honest, I have a great family and I have this amazing best friend whom I’ve had since I was 6. We are different as night and day and so are our family dynamics, but if you meld them you get the embracing spirit of all the Kellers.

In Lost and Found you bring in Darcy who is looking for her birth parents. Did you always foresee her coming into the series or was it something that happened naturally?

To be honest, when The Executive’s Decision was penned, it was a standalone book. So I can’t say Darcy was thought of—at first. But once I knew the books would span the next generation she jumped right to mind and she HAD to be with Ed. I don’t know why, but that part was in my heart!

What are your thoughts on the New Adult genre that seems to be taking over the book world?

You know everything in the world seems to be just a little more out there and in your face. The language on the street, the clothes we and our kids wear, and what is shown on regular TV. So I think it moves right along with what is happening in today’s society. Perhaps it’s a movement toward more acceptance.

You write romance without including the racy bedroom scenes so my question is, Do you read other books that get a little steamy or do you tend to stick to more mild romance?

I don’t mind hot and wild in books. As long as the author is comfortable in what they write…it’ll fit in the story. I found, after having written a few steamy scenes, I was more comfortable letting the reader put it in their head. I don’t mind an author shutting the door. I know what’s going on! I don’t need it spelled out. BUT, I certainly don’t mind when they do spell it out. However, I also think it depends on the story. For example, Center Stage, it was about that lust that had been building for years. So it was okay to have it. In Lost and Found, we walk a very sacred line. Darcy isn’t to be exposed in such a way.

What are some things you like to do during your free time?

Due to my hectic schedule I haven’t been able to train in karate as much as I used to, but I love doing karate. So I’ll do it during breaks while I work. I love to walk, I want to run…but I walk mostly. I’m a hockey mom and I love that. So it takes up a lot of my free time. But mostly, I like spending it with my hubby and my boys. 5 boys will keep you busy at any time, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Before becoming a writer, what are some other jobs you have had?

I’m kinda one of those people that never gives up jobs! So some I still have. I grew up in the food service industry so I have been working loading docks, warehousing, and office work since I was 10. I still fill in! By trade I am an award winning nail professional and a stylist. I owned 2 salons (opening my first at the age of 20) and I still have a salon in my home for my good friends and family. Before being published I had an online, direct sales company called The Greeting Cake Company ( I then sold it to my sister and she sold it to a mutual friend who has it today. Now I’m an author and I jumped into publishing…but I never, ever, thought it would lead me to where I am…or take me to where I’m going.

If you could collaborate with another author on a book, who would it be?

Oh WOW! I have no idea! I once would have said Nora Roberts. She really got me to where I am, the thought of her success and just the force she is. But because my style is so similar, which is why I enjoy her style, I think collaboration wouldn’t be anything new. BUT if I could work with JK Rawling, that would be an adventure. I totally admire someone who can create the world she did! What an amazing thing. I live a little too much in the real world to have my imagination soar like that.

With so many new books out there, it can be intimidating for new authors. What advice would you give someone who is afraid to jump in with both feet?

Close your eyes and jump! The old saying is “there is only one story, it’s how you tell it.” And that is so true. You have to let go and just throw yourself out there. You’re going to get beat up, but then you have the scars from your battle and you’ll come out on top. Don’t stop writing while you try to publish. Keep writing. Keep getting better. And by GOD! Don’t give up!

If you could do anything else in the world besides write, what would it be and why?

I suppose it is still in me to be a teacher. To mold young minds and watch them grow. (I gave up that dream because kids come with parents…you can’t get away from that.) I get to do that with writing and karate…though it’s different than in a classroom everyday. And the only other thing I ever really wanted to do was to be a singer. My cousin Randy Sayner is about to take Nashville by storm and I put a good word in so that maybe I can live all my dreams! 

About The Author:
Notebooks and pens have been my obsession since childhood. Later it became books and stories others weaved into the perfect escape. The day I received my first typewriter was the day the passion for spinning a tale hit me – and it hit hard. I was thirteen when I first sat down to write the great-American love story. I didn’t have much to say at thirteen. But over the years I did fall in love, get married, have children, and an array of amazing adventures happened along the way. And the passion for writing stayed with me. That first book took me twenty-two years to write the way I really liked it. When I was done, I boxed it up, put it away, and went to write twelve more books that next year and a half. In December of 2009, I signed my first contract and the published author was born. I enjoy writing about close-knit families, the bond of friendship, and of course falling in love. Happy endings are a must and characters that my readers can associate with keep me typing into the wee hours of morning. Contemporary Romance is the genre I call home for now, but in the future be assured that you will see a Paranormal Romance or a Historical and who knows – maybe someday you’ll see a Romantic Suspense. I enjoy writing for those whose guilty pleasure is the happily ever after. I hope you’ll come along for the ride!



Book one  in the Keller Family Series: The Executive's Decision is FREE on Amazon!

1 comment:

  1. I picked up The Executive's Decision a few weeks ago. Now that I know how much you love the author & the series, I'm really excited to read it!


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