Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Blog Tour: Inconceivable! by Tegan Wren

Today, let's talk about Tegan Wren's Inconceivable! This book was published Curiosity Quills on November 16th, and I have to say that I love, love, love its cover. I think it's adorable. And the silhouettes appear in the book at the beginning of each chapter, which is also pretty darn adorable. I'm hosting a tour stop today, so stick around for an excerpt and giveaway!

Check out the other stops on the tour at Tasty Book Tours.

The Book

A popular, young royal couple can't produce an heir? INCONCEIVABLE!

When Ozarks native Hatty goes “whole hog” during karaoke, she catches the eye of Prince John. He isn’t what she expects the heir to a small European nation to be: he's affable, witty, and isn’t put off by her tell-it-like-it-is demeanor. Their flirtation should be short lived, but a force stronger than fate—Hatty’s newspaper editor—assigns her to cover the royals. After spending time together, she and John soon begin dating, and Hatty finds herself making headlines instead of writing them.

But challenges loom that are even more complicated than figuring out how to mesh Hatty's journalism career with life at Belvoir Palace. Hatty and John soon find themselves embroiled in an unusual sex scandal: they can't produce an heir. Tabloids dub Hatty a “Barren-ess,” and the royals become irate. Hatty politely tells them to shove it. But beneath her confident exterior, she struggles to cope with a heartbreak that invades her most intimate moments with John. Pressured to choose between invasive medical procedures and abandoning John’s claim to the throne, the couple feels trapped until a trip to Ethiopia shows them happy endings sometimes arrive long after saying “I do.”

Inconceivable! is available now!

Amazon  | Goodreads


He leaned closer and sang softly. I recognized the opening lyrics to Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’.” His singing voice was soulful and sexy, and something deep inside me responded, making my heart beat a little faster.

He stopped and looked me in the eyes. “That song’s about someone who’s alone. But that’s not you. You’re too lovely to be lonely.”

A nervous laugh escaped my lips. “Are you kidding? Aren’t we sitting in a sanctuary for the lonely?”

“I don’t feel lonely right now.”
“Me either.” I blew into my mug, then took a sip. “Have you had one of these?”
“I don’t think so. What is it?”
“It’s called a chocolate kiss. It’s peppermint schnapps and hot cocoa.”
He reached over and picked up the steaming mug. His movement conveyed authority while his neat fingernails screamed uppity. They looked better than mine, damn it. After taking a long pull from the cup, he handed it back. Our fingers brushed together, sending a flash of heat through my body.
“Thanks for sharing a kiss with me,” he said, reaching over and lifting my chin.
Our eyes met, and I couldn’t tear myself away from his gaze. Yowza. Was he going to kiss me? Did I want him to?
“You guys know each other?”
I flinched at Plato’s words―I hadn’t seen him coming toward us―and pulled back. I sloshed a healthy dollop of my drink onto Farmer Joe’s pants. We both reached for the stack of napkins, but I got there first.
“Sorry. Here, let me,” I sputtered, dabbing at the wet patch.
I blotted along his pants, and my hand moved a little too close to the inside of his leg. A burning sensation rose up behind my ears. “Umm. I’ll just let you do it.”
I dropped the wad of damp napkins onto his open palm. Glancing at his face, I saw a half smile. I closed my eyes and touched my forehead, gently rubbing the area above my eyebrows as I always did when embarrassment overwhelmed me.

My Review

Inconceivable! is a bit of a conundrum for me. It's not quite a romance, though the first act of the book is focused on the romance between Hatty and Prince John. I wouldn't quite call it women's lit, because it doesn't *feel* like it, nor is it chick lit, because absent is the slightly snarky yet fluffy tone I've come to associate with that genre.

Now, I definitely can't dislike a book that defies genre labels. There's a romance here, there's the weighty issues of both life in the public eye and, more significantly, infertility. That's a lot to love. But. There were a few things about Inconceivable! causing me to withhold my full affections.

Let's focus on the positives for a moment, shall we?

I liked the modern take on 'commoner and royal fall in love.' Between social media, politics, and all the paperwork, there were some amusing and, sometimes bemusing, hoops to jump and issues to overcome. The twenty-four hour news cycle and the access created by the internet imposes a disturbing degree of pressure on public figures such as these royals. It's hard to fault them for the lengths to which they'll go to protect their own.

Hatty was a pretty darn relatable character. She doesn't quite fit into John's world, a lot more raw and uninhibited than the elite of Europe tend to be. I appreciated the balance of Hatty's confidence and self-consciousness. She'll fight when the chips are down, but she's got her own vulnerabilities as well. Her infertility issues are incredibly real and honest. Even for those who ultimately don't face serious infertility problems, that sense of uncertainty and the twinge of heartbreak every month it until those two lines finally appear on the pregnancy test is something I think a lot of moms or mom-to-bes can relate to.

John, on the other hand, was a bit of a flop for me. There's some adorable banter early on, but he quickly becomes too removed for me to like him very much. I understood that some of the emotional separation between Hatty and him is a deliberate depiction of the stress and strain infertility can cause in a relationship, but... Because John's no longer the 'romantic hero,' for me, before the infertility issues come about, I found it very hard to be emotionally invested in the success of the marriage. And that created this emotional disconnect between me and the story.

Even before the infertility issues take the forefront, and the focus of the story shifts to Hatty's struggles, I found John's distance off-putting. Because Hatty has to compromise or give up so many things in order to make the relationship work, I wanted more from John, whether through support or acknowledgement or romantic gestures or something to restore some balance. Then add in the emotional issues around the infertility and... well, I can't say I really loved this book from beginning to end.

Bottom Line

Inconceivable! has some amusing moments, a few romantic ones, and then some real tearjerker ones. I think this is a case of a book trying to do too much at once, because I found I didn't quite get enough of anything to feel fully satisfied. Still, if you like a good relationship story (not a romance!), this could be a great read for you!

3.5 stars
For fans of royals, real issues

About the Author

The best compliment Tegan Wren ever received came from her sixth grade teacher: “You always have a book in your hand!”

Guided by her love of the creative process, Tegan grew up acting in theatre productions and writing poetry, short stories, and plays. She turned her eye to writing about real life when she worked as a journalist, producing reports for various radio and television stations in medium and large markets in the Midwest and also filing some stories for a major national news network. Wren has both a Bachelor’s of Journalism and a Master of Arts in Communications. After completing her graduate degree, Tegan had the opportunity to teach journalism courses at a major state university. She absolutely loved training the next generation of journalists.

Tegan’s thankful that she’s had the opportunity to travel overseas, and uses those adventures to inform her writing. She also draws inspiration from her own struggles, joys, and other life experiences. Tegan and her husband, Patrick, experienced infertility for five years before becoming parents through adoption. Because she understands the financial stress of the infertility journey, Tegan is donating half the royalties from her book to Baby Quest Foundation. This charity awards grants to people all over the U.S. for fertility treatments. Tegan is thrilled to use her story to help other people find their happily ever after.


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