Thursday, October 10, 2013

First Chapter Review: Weak at the Knees by Jo Kessel (Giveaway)

The first chapter of Weak at the Knees by Jo Kessel was sent to me by Pump Up Your Book. This is a new adult contemporary romance.

BLURB:  “We got so busy living life that we forgot to live our dreams.”

Danni Lewis has been playing it safe for twenty-six years, but her sheltered existence is making her feel old ahead of time. When a sudden death plunges her into a spiral of grief, she throws caution to the wind and runs away to France in search of a new beginning.

The moment ski instructor Olivier du Pape enters her shattered world she falls hard, in more ways than one.

Their mutual desire is as powerful and seductive as the mountains around them. His dark gypsy looks and piercing blue eyes are irresistible.

Only she must resist, because he has a wife--and she’d made a pact to never get involved with a married man.

But how do you choose between keeping your word and being true to your soul?

Weak at the Knees is Jo’s debut novel in the new adult, contemporary romance genre--a story of love and loss set between London and the heart of the French Alps.

COVER: Love it. The setting and the young couple are depicted. I'm seeing a lot of couples adorning new adult romance covers, so this shows a knowledge of the genre. The scenery is beautiful.

FIRST CHAPTER: Danni, who is the narrator of this story, reminisces about how she met and ended up with Hugo. Problem is, she's a bit bored with the whole relationship and is looking for excitement.

KEEP READING: I was eager to read this first chapter because I haven't had the chance to read any new adult novels yet. If this is what they are all about, I'm not sure I'll be reading a lot of them. Based upon the book blurb, I had high expectations. While I like how sharp and sarcastic our narrator Danni is, the lack of any depth to her character and the fact that the entire first chapter is backstory, didn't do anything to draw me in; though I did love the flashback to her conversation with her Polish grandmother. Hugo, even if he is being painted as a bit of a bore, has a lot going for him professionally. Is that why she chose him? What is it about him that she's dissatisfied with? What makes her stray?

I might give the book one more chapter to see if some of these questions get answered. It appears that the book will transition to the current story based upon how the first chapter ended. I would have much preferred a tiny bit of backstory and more current story in the opening chapter to hook me, but if it jumps right in with Chapter 2, then at least the pieces will start coming together.

The book needs some editing. Punctuation is very lax, especially around dialogue. I found this distracting, but not the end of the world. It just didn't help that this was the case when I wasn't totally pulled into the story yet.

Paperback: 292 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (July 20, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1490397604
ISBN-13: 978-1490397603

Purchase your copy at AMAZON (US) or AMAZON (UK)

Pump Up Your Book and Jo Kessel are giving away a $100 Amazon Gift Card & a French Gift Basket of French gift basket that includes a whole lot of goodies associated with the book, including a bottle of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, a famous wine from the Rhône wine region of southeastern France!

Terms & Conditions:
• By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
• One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $100 Amazon Gift Card and one winner will be chosen to win the gift basket.
• This giveaway begins October 7 and ends January 18.
• Winners will be contacted via email on Monday, January 20, 2014.
• Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received the first chapter of this book from the author's publicist. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.


  1. I usually read only historical romance it just recent that I got into the Adult genre

  2. Thank you so much for featuring my new release Weak at the Knees on your blog. Let me reassure you that the plot does heat up!