$15 Amazon gift card Giveaway: First Crush, Last Love By Elizabeth McKenna
What do you hope readers take with them after they’ve read it?
I hope they, for a moment, remember how bittersweet love can be – especially that first love. I hope they are reminded that a bad relationship has to be ended, no matter how insecure you are, and I hope that the belief that things will get better is reinforced in the reader’s mind.
She shook her head. For all the bravado she showed in front of Lee, here she was acting like a scared twelve-year-old, alone for the first time while her parents were on a date night. Her mom had offered to cancel her trip to London when Jessie told her the date of the class reunion, but Jessie had insisted she go. Since retirement, these trips had become her mom’s main source of entertainment.
She rummaged in her purse until her fingers found her pepper spray. With the canister at arm’s length, she circled each room on the first floor, testing the locks on the windows. Everything seemed in order. She let out a breath and grasped the banister leading upstairs with her free hand while her foot straightened the rug.
“If you are looking for a sweet, fun read, then First Crush, Last Love is the book for you. Elizabeth McKenna is a talented writer who does not force the characters together and sets a beautiful stage for a wonderful story. Make sure you add this book to your To-Be-Read Shelf.”
Part I Senior Year, July 4, 1983 (beach during fireworks display)
Now, here they were side by side at the fire pit, and Jessie still couldn’t believe it. She didn’t know what had changed, but she wasn’t going to question whichever star had granted her wish.
Lee’s head dropped back to better take in the night sky. “I like the really big ones the best.”
Jessie forced herself to look away from his profile to watch the finale. Color upon color assaulted her eyes as the exploding fireworks mimicked the sounds of war. The last one shot into the night sky and a cloud of smoke drifted over the water.
“The heartwarming novel was fun and interesting to read. The characters were all flawed but trying to do the best they could with their circumstances. . . . The novel had an interesting premise of two people who liked each other coming together in the end despite the obstacles that stood in their way.”
Part I Senior Year, May 1984
At a party hosted by Sarah, they had their first big fight. After half a dozen beers, Billy accused Jessie of flirting with Lee. Later in front of Billy’s house, Jessie turned off the car and rested her aching head on the steering wheel. Billy hadn’t spoken to her since their public shouting match at Sarah’s house. She was scared she’d blown her first real relationship all because of a misunderstanding.
“Why, Jessie, why?” He slurred the question, and her name came out “Jeth-thee.”
“I wasn’t flirting. I pumped the keg for Lee, and we talked about the physics final next week. It was no big deal.”
Part III 10-Year Reunion, Saturday October 15, 1994
In the main banquet hall of Penbrook’s Restaurant, the band closed their first set with a slow song, and the Class of 1984 and their spouses headed to the dance floor. Jessie hadn’t slow-danced since her wedding reception and her mood turned bitter at the memory. She downed the rest of her drink. Love sucked. That was the bottom line.
She smelled Lee before she saw him. His clean, shower-fresh scent conjured up more memories. Sitting behind him in classes because “Baxter” came after “Archer,” she had breathed in his pheromones as if her life depended on it.
From behind, he nudged her shoulder with his own. “Hi there.”
“I am a big fan of older music and I loved the music that was mentioned in this story! I also married someone that I went to grade school with, after not talking for awhile. There is a lot to be said about your first love, and your last love that you are meant to spend the rest of your life with. . . . The author did a great job of making Lee and Jessie these two people. . . . I am giving this book a 5/5.”
Part I Senior Year, February 1984
“Hey, Jester, wait up!” Lee hustled down the school hallway. The red and pink Valentine hearts hanging from the ceiling fluttered in his wake.
When he reached Jessie, she offered him a tentative smile. Her wistful, blue-gray eyes met his before skittering away, and guilt hit him like a blitzing linebacker. He rubbed a palm across his stomach. He wished he could give her what she wanted—what she deserved—but he didn’t have it in him.
“I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a new romance novel, or to anyone who loves second chance romances. I’m not sure if this counts as second chance, because they were never together in the first place. However, I still consider it to be one, and this is definitely one of the best if not THE best second-chance romance novels that I have ever read.”
Part II Marriage Interrupted, June 1990
Jessie kicked the back door closed with her foot and set the grocery bags on the kitchen table. The sound of the shower running told her Billy would be home for dinner. She put away the food and walked into the bedroom.
A trail of plaid shorts, an inside out polo shirt, bunched up socks, and golf shoes led to Billy’s dresser. Reigning in her annoyance, she gathered the dirty laundry in her arms and closed an open dresser drawer with her hip. A handful of coins and crumpled bills decorated the top of the dresser, along with a bank withdrawal slip. Her jaw clenched, and her annoyance turned to anger.
Part II Marriage Interrupted, August 1990
Jessie woke up from her nap on the couch to find college football blaring from the television and Billy gone from the recliner. She thumbed the mute button on the remote and stretched. Her stomach rumbled to remind her it was almost suppertime. As she debated what to cook, her eyelids drooped and she drifted off again.
She awoke to Billy’s deep laugh, though it took her a full moment to put a name to the muffled noise. For the past month and a half, the only sounds the walls in their house had heard were tense words or seething silence. She padded down the short hall to their bedroom and stopped at the closed door. Her hand fell away from the knob when she heard him laugh again.
“Everyone remembers their first crush and the agony of loving someone who can’t seem to love you back. But what happens when you don’t get your happily ever after? Do you dare hope for a second chance? This is what Elizabeth McKenna explores in First Crush, Last Love…
A gripping, emotional tale more powerful because it based on a true story, First Crush, Last Love gives us the happy ending we all wish for.”
“First Crush, Last Love by Elizabeth McKenna is a Novella that takes you through all stages of the romance. . . I found some of it difficult to read but over all it was a very enjoyable read.”
Paperback & ebook, 314 pages
August 1st 2017
Back in high school, Lee Archer made Jessie Baxter’s cheeks flush and her heart race. But the popular athlete never wanted to be more than just friends. Ten years later, after a failed marriage and with her journalism career on shaky ground, Jessie’s come home for her high school reunion—and Lee still has the power to make her knees weak and her pulse pound.
Lee’s teenage years were filled with more trauma and drama than anyone guessed. Though his damaged past has helped make him a successful police detective, it’s hurt every relationship he’s tried. But seeing the grown-up, stunning Jessie might just change his commitment-phobic mind.
Jessie’s psycho ex-husband had her convinced no one would ever love her, but Lee is ready to step out of the friend zone and into her heart. Can she learn to trust again before she loses her chance to turn her first crush into her last love?
Elizabeth McKenna’s novel will have you remembering the angst of high school, the grief of a failed relationship, and the joy of finding true love at last.
Though Elizabeth McKenna’s love of books reaches back to her childhood, she had never read a romance novel until her sister gave her the latest bestseller by Nora Roberts. She was hooked from page one (actually, she admits it was the first love scene). With the urging of her children, she decided to write her own Happily Ever Afters.
– 1 winner will receive a $15 Amazon gift card and ebook of Venice in the Moonlight
– Ends April 25th