New York, Actually

Sarah Morgan
New York, Actually
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HQN Books
Release Date
June 2017
Book 4 of From Manhattan with Love
Contemporary Romance

One man. One woman. Two dogs.

Meet Molly—New York's most famous advice columnist, she considers herself an expert at relationships…as long as they're other people's. Still bruised from her last breakup, Molly is in no rush to find happily-ever-after—the only love of her life is her dalmatian, Valentine.

Meet Daniel—A cynical divorce lawyer, he's hardwired to think relationships are a bad idea. If you don't get involved, no one can get hurt. Until he finds himself borrowing a dog to meet the gorgeous woman he sees running in Central Park every morning…

Molly and Daniel both think they know everything about relationships. But as they try—and fail—to resist their undeniable chemistry, they'll soon discover they just might have a lot left to learn…

Book Review by Dawn (reviewer)
May 30, 2017   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
166 people found the following review helpful
Also posted at Reading Alley:

Molly lives a double life. On one hand, she's a new resident of New York and enjoying her incognito independence after an embarrassing situation caused her to flee London. On the other, she's an online blogger and writer who gives relationship advice under the guise of 'Aggie', her alter ego. She has everything she desires and chooses to share her life with her dog, Valentine. She has no need for a man nor does she ever plan to follow the advice she gives her readers in order to get one.

Daniel has seen it all when it comes to relationships. As a divorce attorney, he has handled the dissolution of marriages in every flavor, from nasty to worse. So when it comes to dating, Daniel has a few strict rules and one of those is to never fall in love. That's easier said than done, because after spotting an intriguing woman running in the park with her dog, he's already smitten.

It isn't until Daniel gets the bright idea to borrow a dog in order to meet the woman that things start to get dicey. His initial greeting doesn't go as planned but that won't stop him from trying, again. And again. Even the big, silly dog is starting to grow on him. If only he could convince Molly to develop a fondness for him, too. But all secrets must come to light and this book has several of them lurking underneath.

I think I should nickname May as 'the month of secrets and lies'. It seems like just about every book I've been reading lately is filled with fibs of all sizes and secret identities. This one had a few of those, too.

For the most part, I enjoyed this book. There was a lot to love and a few things that irked me. Those are my personal preferences, of course. For one thing, I don't usually love animals as main characters in books and this one had a dog who was in practically every single scene. Don't get me wrong; I like animals. I'm just not one of these people who embraces the whole "furbaby" trend.

That being said, I liked our two main characters. Both were intelligent and witty. The small snippets of Aggie's blog that we got to read were highly entertaining. Some of the questions and responses made me chuckle. Getting a peek into Daniel's work with the divorcees was interesting, too. I wish we could have seen more from his side since we got to see a lot of Molly's work.

I did find the conflict to be over-exaggerated at times though. Molly's claim that she can't ever fall in love, as if it were impossible, was a big pill to swallow. And she really clung to this defensive mechanism, too. I'm not sure if the turnabout was genuine enough to convince me, but I'll cross my fingers and hope for the best for her.

Daniel, on the other hand, was my favorite part of this book. His relationship with Brutus was adorable and his persistence was commendable. Most men probably would have given up, but not our calculated lawyer. And his sisters were nice secondary characters, too. I liked watching their interactions and the bickering between Dan and Fliss was funny to read. Overall, I was really impressed with the colorful cast of characters and the picture that the story painted of New York.

In closing...
There are hints dropped about Fliss's story and I'm curious to see what happens! Four stars!
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Book Review by Administrator (author,reviewer)
Jun 14, 2017   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
157 people found the following review helpful
Originally posted by snoopydoo77 at Reading Alley:

This is my first book by Sarah Morgan and part of a series. I must say I didn't pay attention when I got this title for review. But it can easily be read as a standalone without being confusing or having the feeling you miss something. I wasn't sure if I would but I really enjoyed this book.

I liked the story, the writing and the characters. I also really enjoyed the Dear Aggie parts, which was really Molly but still… it made it just a tad more enjoyable.

I also liked that they took it slow and started being friends first even though both felt the attraction. I wasn't sure about Molly at first and she seemed a bit too much initially, but I ended up really liking her and of course Valentine.

I also really enjoyed Daniel. Just enough macho; not too much, not too little.

Overall, the book was really enjoyable and I will be reading more by this author.

I rate it 4 stars.
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Sarah is here to talk about her latest book, New York, Actually, the 4th book in her From Manhattan with Love series.

Q: What's your inspiration for this story?

I was on Facebook one day when I spotted a photo of a Dalmatian with a heart shaped nose. He was completely adorable and I knew he had to have a starring role in a book. I decided his name was going to be Valentine and that the heroine loved him more than any man. The story for New York, Actually grew from there. Also, one of my favorite books from childhood was The One Hundred and One Dalmatians, so that probably played a role in providing inspiration. I still have my original tattered and battered copy of that story.

Q: New York Actually is book 4 in the From Manhattan with Love series. What connects all the stories in this series? Would we see previous characters in this book?

Each story in the series stands alone and is complete in itself, but they are connected by the characters who are part of a community, and also by the city. For example Molly uses a dog walking business called The Bark Rangers to help her with Valentine. It's run by twin sisters Fliss and Harriet, who appeared briefly in Miracle on 5th Avenue, and who will be major characters in the next two books. Readers who have enjoyed other books in the series will be pleased to catch the occasional glimpse of familiar faces, but readers who are new to the series won't feel that they're missing out because the main focus is on Molly and Daniel.

Q: What do you enjoy most about writing this book?

Dogs play a major role in this story, which is new for me. Valentine the Dalmatian and Brutus the German shephard (that's not his real name, but you'll have to read the book to find out more!) played a pivotal role in bringing Molly and Daniel together but also in the development of their characters. I love the way that my publishers in both the UK and US have reflected their importance on the cover. On the US cover the dogs are in silhouette, but you can clearly see the breed.

Q: How do you come up with emotional scenes that tug at the reader's heartstrings?

As a writer you have to be prepared to be very mean to people! Generally that involves working out what the character dreads most, and making it happen to them. You want to put them under pressure. I ask myself ‘what would this character do almost anything to avoid', and then I make that happen. You hope that the reader will be sufficiently invested in the character that they are going to live through the pain with them and keep turning the pages to find out how they move through it.

Q: What is a typical writing day like?

A published author's day is about more than just writing the book, although obviously that's the most important part because without a book there is nothing to publish. Because I have deadlines, I set myself a weekly word target (that works better for me than a daily target) so I can be confident I'm on track. I write full time and I write most days because that works best for me. If I take time away from the book I find it then takes time to immerse myself in the story again, so I prefer to bury myself in it until its done. For years I wrote anywhere and everywhere - in the back of the car, waiting to pick kids up from school, watching a football game. A few years ago we built a small office at the bottom of our garden so now I work there and it's bliss. I have no internet connection, so that's where most of my writing takes place. Social media and other parts of the job take place later once the words are done.

Sounds perfect, since we have awesome books to read from you. :) Thank you for your time, Sarah, for this interview!

About the Author

USA Today bestselling author Sarah Morgan writes hot, happy contemporary romance and her trademark humour and sensuality have gained her fans across the globe. Described as ‘a magician with words' by RT Book Reviews, she has sold over 15 million copies of her books. She has been nominated five times for the prestigious RITA© Award from the Romance Writers of America and won the award twice; in 2012 for her book ‘Doukakis's Apprentice' and 2013 for ‘A Night of No Return'. She also won the RT Reviewers' Choice Award in 2012 and has made numerous appearances in their ‘Top Pick' slot.

As a child Sarah dreamed of being a writer and although she took a few interesting detours along the way, she is now living that dream.

Sarah lives near London with her husband and children, and when she isn't reading or writing she loves being outdoors, preferably on vacation so she can forget the house needs tidying.

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