Thursday, May 22, 2014

Book Spotlight & Sale: Playing For Love At Deep Haven (Enchanted Places #1) by Katy Regnery {Review + Teasers}

Thank you for stopping by the blog today! I am a huge fan of Katy Regnery and wanted to spotlight her book Playing For Love at Deep Haven today because she's doing a special sale for it! It's only $1.99! Below you'll find my review and several teasers for the book so grab a copy for your kindle before the sale ends! -Hootie

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: Adult
Publication Date: January 8th 2014
Series: Enchanted Places #1
Pages: 281
Format: Kindle
Source: Purchased from Amazon

Violet Smith and Zach Aubrey have history…
…the kind of history he regrets and she wishes she could forget.

She was the girl. The only girl. Ever.

Nine years have passed since heavy-metal songwriter, Zach, slept with, then walked away from, his best friend, Violet. But that doesn’t change the fact that he’s never gotten over her.

He shattered her heart.

Despite the years that have passed, chick-lit novelist, Violet, vividly recalls the pain of Zach's rejection, and hates that she's never been able to completely let go of the brooding boy who turned his back on her.

When the rocker and the writer find themselves thrown back together in a strange twist of fate, their chemistry is just as scorching as ever, but old wounds don’t just disappear. Even if Zach can explain why he walked away from Violet, can she find the courage to trust him again? Together they will discover if a love that broke them both is worth a second chance at forever.

Playing songs, playing for keeps…
…Playing for Love at Deep Haven

My Review:

Playing For Love at Deep Haven is the reason I love romance. I've become a cynical, unfeeling bitch in my old age and as many times as I've had my heart broken, sometimes I don't think I'm even human anymore. It's stories like this though, with their deeply emotional characters and intensely sensual chemistry that makes me believe in love all over again. Reminding me that love is REAL and that connections like this, between Zach and Violet, a man and a woman, actually exist.

Zach and Violet are a couple who met in college over a shared love of music and poetry. After becoming fast friends their relationship soon became more intense, quickly going more into the physical realm with Violet falling pretty quickly for Zach. He didn't know how to handle the feelings she has for him so the only thing he knows to do is walk away leaving Violet crushed and heartbroken. The two have spent the past nine years trying to get over each other, Violet with Shepard Smalley, a boy who picked up the pieces in her college years and Zach following a music career into the panties of just about every groupie that blinks at him. When the pair end up at Deep Haven by way of misunderstanding they face the choice of rehashing their past if they stay or walking away for good.

It's easy for me to sit back and say that Zach was the asshole of the story because he was the one who hurt Violet by walking away. For the first half of the book I am ashamed to admit I actually did blame him but after getting to know him and seeing the past from his eyes I was disappointed in myself. Zach is a very peculiar man both then and now. He had a difficult childhood because from a young age his musical talent discovered by his parents was used as a tool to keep him from basically living his life. He didn't get to be a kid and do simple things like go play with his sister or hang out with other kids. He was forced to practice constantly and was physically abused when he deviated from his schedule. I had to ask myself "Hootie, how can you hate a guy who has never KNOWN love?" Answer.... I couldn't. Finding out Zach never even knew what a hug felt like weighed down my soul. I wanted to leap into the pages and just hold him for an hour. He feels every emotion a man can possibly feel but doesn't know how to express them because he was never shown how. He's been unable to forget Violet for years and has been hollow inside because you never really get over your first love.

After getting to know Zach throughout I kind of started to look at Violet in a different way than just identifying with her in true female solidarity. The pain she's carried with her after Zach's rejection was harsh and shaped her life from that point on but knowing she ran away pretty fast without giving Zach a chance to come around made me feel mixed emotions for her character. After the split with Zach she started seeing Shepard Smalley and has spent nine years with him in a complacent and lukewarm relationship that was nothing more than a cover for her true feelings for Zach. She was always a poetic soul and free spirit but over the years she has changed everything about herself so that woman is carefully locked away. Violet hasn't done too bad for herself after finding success as a novelist but after the death of Shepard and a deadline by her publisher she needs an escape to finish her book and regroup which brings her to Deep Haven. to be such a sensitive and loving girl she carries a strength within herself that has gotten her through not only the breakup with Zach but the passing of her almost fiance Shepard. I was sad for her loss and having to deal with his parents afterward was acca-awkward but how can you really be upset about something that brings a character you love back to their destiny?

When I started reading Deep Haven I had no idea that this story of second chances and reconnecting would get so far under my skin but I shouldn't be surprised by Regnery anymore because all her books seem to dig beneath my layers. While at Deep Haven Zach and Violet rekindle the connection between them that never died and discover more about each other and the changes they have gone through. Zach is no longer the scrawny quiet guy he was in college. He's buffed up, tattooed and pierced and his music is a driving force of his personality, writing music for several popular bands and touring a little bit. Violet is more of a straight laced, prim and proper suburbanite woman who has hidden the real woman inside behind country clubs and tea service which Zach hates. When the passion between them ignites Zach realizes he has to win her back and proposes she stay long enough to write some songs together that will mutually benefit them both. Zach and Violet were one of those couples that you could feel the physical string of connection with every glimpse into their lives. I loved that Regnery included a chapter that looked into their past together from both perspectives. Seeing what exactly happened between them was a much needed catalyst to solidify them in the present. 

It's not easy to forgive someone who has hurt you so deeply and it was touch and go for the longest time between these two. One of the most realistic aspects was seeing Violet vacillate between what Zach was like now and who he was then. She was torn between wanting to believe he wouldn't hurt her again and knowing that he did it once what would be different this time? That's a very valid way to feel especially after everything she had felt and experienced since then. What impressed me was seeing Zach go to any lengths necessary to prove to her that he was genuine and wouldn't betray her trust. Even when you think he's doing it again he's really just taking care of her in his own way. One thing I wasn't prepared for was seeing the DEPTH of his emotions and feelings and his internal struggle. It wasn't just Violet who was hurt by their split but Zach suffered just as much. They had a love story I could get behind and once again I fell in love with two broken people who found each other and healed together. The poetry was flawless and the lyrics to Zachs' songs were so heartfelt my chest squeezed from all the feeling behind it. I knew Regnery could write a great love story but her poetry reached into my inner Poe-natic (see what I did there?) and made me rediscover my love for the art.

Playing For Love is a story I could keep talking about for as long as anyone would listen because there were so many wonderful things to point out and I know I didn't cover nearly enough. I think the best way to describe how this book made me feel is to take a page from Zach's book and say this book felt...

Like taking a breath after nearly drowning— a big, giant, grateful breath of the freshest, smoothest air the earth had to offer, and he wanted to fill his lungs until they matched the fullness of his heart.

 The kind of feeling you want to have after reading a truly amazing story that takes you on an emotional journey such as this one. One thing I have to say I'm looking forward to is seeing Zach's sister Cora get her story because as rough as his childhood was hers wasn't much better so I'm anxious to see how her book will turn out. She seems like a real hard ass and God help the guy she's paired with because he's going to need it. I was so absorbed into this book I hated to put it down. When I did have to put it down it was never far from my thoughts and my pulse would race wondering what was going to happen to these two. The sweet way the story came to a close felt so rewarding after not only rehashing the past but reconciling the future made me glad I picked this up when I did. I needed something that would make me want to experience this kind of love again. That's why we read books like this that bring out in us things we forget from time to time. You can't go wrong with any of this author's books but because I'm such a sucker for second chances, I think that's why Deep Haven feels so special for me.


“In a million years I wouldn't want to pick up where we left off. Where we left off is the biggest regret of my life.” Kindle 19%

This was separate . Unique. Unequaled. His body was perfectly matched to hers, as though she was the split-apart half of his flesh, of his soul, finally back together , finally whole. Kindle 33%

“I can't not have this,” he'd whispered, his breath warming her bare shoulder . His voice was so soft, she wondered if she was even supposed to hear him. “I can’t lose it again.” Kindle 51%

About The Author:
KATY REGNERY, winner of the 2013 NECRWA First Kiss and 2013 Maine RWA Everything But the Kitchen Sink contests, has always loved telling a good story and credits her mother with making funny, heartwarming tales come alive throughout her childhood. A lifelong devotee of all romance writing from Edwardian to present-day, it was just a matter of time before Katy tried her hand at writing a love story of her own. As it turned out, one love story turned into a series of five Heart of Montana romances, following the love lives of the Yellowstone-based Lindstrom siblings. In addition to small-town contemporary romance, Katy is presently writing a paranormal romance that takes place in northern New England and the forests north of Quebec. Speaking of forests, Katy lives in the relative-wilds of northern Fairfield County, Connecticut where her writing room looks out at the woods and her husband, two young children and two dogs create just enough cheerful chaos to remind her that the very best love stories of all are the messy and unexpected ones. 




  1. Loved reading this post! I'm going to go grab it now. Thank you!

  2. BEAUTIFUL REVIEW, BABE! You've convinced me 100%.


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