June 17, 2013

Tour Stop Review: Conceal by Juliana Stone

Series: Barker Triplets 3
Format: Digital ARC
Release Date: June 15, 2013
Publisher: Self-published
Source: Author's Taproom
Genre: Contemporary Romance
No one said going home would be easy…

Black sheep and all around trouble maker, Betty Jo Barker is back home and hoping for a do-over. Things are finally looking up until Beau Simon comes to town. The man pushes every button she owns and manages to awaken long dead emotions she’d rather leave buried. Beneath the surface she knows she’s a wreck–her scars run deep–and she can’t help but wonder, is Beau Simon the one who can fix her?

Beau Simon, the brightest star in Hollywood has come to New Waterford for one reason only. He’s determined to have Betty Jo Barker star in his next film. He knows she’s perfect for the part, but a past encounter might prove more than a little difficult to overcome. As Beau turns on the charm, hoping to win over this complicated woman, he realizes it won’t be easy.

Only time will tell if what lies beneath can ever be overcome. Or if love can heal all…

It was love at first book for me as far as Juliana Stone is concerned. Since I've read The Summer He Came Home a few weeks ago, I can't get enough of her contemporary romance stories. Naturally I gravitated towards her self-published series, The Barker Triplets: Billie-Jo, Bobbi-Jo and Betty-Jo. Interesting names, I know, and despite their monikers, I promise these girls are far from Southern Belles.

A quick rundown. The Barker Triplets are infamous in their small town of New Waterford. Aside from being identical triplets, each sister is known for her own thing in their little town. Each had their own annecdote that the local townsfolk can't forget. As grown ups, each triplet went their own way and tried to make something of themselves. Billie's an ex-Olympian hockey player who after an injury had to drop out of the professional league; Bobbi tried her hand in being an anal proper lady but she's too much of a party girl to pull it off; and Betty, the most infamous of the triplets. Betty is the black sheep, the slut, model and sex bomb, the girl whose life was gold until the demons inside her had taken over and she'd fallen into the cliche of drugs and booze and diva behavior. Her career had ended as abruptly as it had began. And CONCEAL is her redemption story.

Offside and Collide slowly prepped us for Betty Jo Barker's tale. Aside from falling into the fame trap, the girl's got issues not to mention her attitude stinks. It was so easy to hate her! CONCEAL humanized Betty, JStone made her strong but vulnerable, beautiful and broken and a bitch you'll root for and maybe even identify with. When she finally had that much awaited blow-out with Billie, I just want to slap her for blaming Billie for things they both have no control over and hug her at the same time for enduring and nursing such pain for so long. I just wish it was drawn out more because that moment was pivotal in the triplet's relationship and in a way it felt like it was brushed under the rug.
Sometimes, the connection alone, the need to feel as if she mattered to someone -- even when he was a nameless guy she could never see again -- was enough.
As for Beau Simon, sexy A-list actor whom Betty had a short liaison with that ended in heartbreak for her. Betty had one of those proverbial casting couch session with Beau because the latter wanted to make a point at Betty's expense. And now he's back to make amends and win his girl over. Despite Beau's d-bag moves in the past (told you, it's in every male's DNA) he's still your classic leading man. A little bit of a rake but enduring, a gentleman and just the right man to heal Betty and remind her of her worth.

Now for my favorite part. Aside from CONCEAL being the Barker Triplet's last novel (maybe), it's also an introduction to JStone's new series. Here we get to meet Beau's family and they're a curious bunch. I was just about to say that I wish JStone would write a spin-off about the Simon Brothers and it looks like my prayers have been answered before I even asked because JStone's next project is about The Simon Family! Woot!

Back to CONCEAL.

I loved how the series wrapped up with Betty's story. Hers is probably the most difficult to read not because of the writing or anything but because Betty's path to rediscovering herself is long and hard because Betty's stubborn as an ox and has too much pride in her to bow down and admit defeat gracefully. And though her story still remains "formula", JStone still managed to give us a wonderful love story with solid HEA's, not just Betty's but her other two sisters as well. I enjoyed the dynamincs of the triplets' sisterhood and each of their struggles and sibling rivalries. Bottomline, if you like classic, lighthearted, romantic love stories, add Juliana Stone to your repertoire, she'll make you feeling giddy with her couples and I promise she won't disappoint.

Other books in the series

Offside is currently FREE at Amazon!
Get your copies now!

Purchase Conceal

Juliana Stone’s love of the written word and 80s rock, have inspired her in more ways than one. She writes dark paranormal romance as well as Contemporary Romance and spends her days navigating a busy life that includes, a husband, kids, a dog and a cat.

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  1. Betty Jo, all the way! sdylion(at) gmail(dot)com

  2. I'm kind of leaning towards Bobbi Jo.

    GFC: Mary Preston

  3. In my younger days I was more Betty Jo, theses says I'd say I'm more Bobbi Jo

    GFC Heather Mitchell

  4. I'm a little bit of Bobbi and Billie who wants to be more like Jo!

  5. I'm more of a combination of Bobbi Jo and Betty Jo.


  6. I'm not really like any one of them. I am too shy to play sports or be a party girl and I sure do not have a perfect controlled life, I wish I was combination of all 3.

  7. I first heard about Juliana Stone when The Summer He Came Home released. I haven't read any of her books yet, but they're all on my TBR. Since I haven't read The Barker Triplet books yet, I can't say for sure who I'd identify with most, but I'm thinking I'm a cross between Bobbi Jo and Billie Jo. :) Thanks for the giveaway!

    1. Wasn't The Summer He Came Home awesome?!?!?! You should definitely read this series, you'll love it!

  8. I believe Lady Betty Jo.
    Thank you for the giveaway.

  9. I haven't read this series yet so I'm not sure but maybe a combination! Thanks!

  10. Probably Betty Jo with a little Bobby Jo lurking around the corner!


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