Welcome to my tour stop for How to Woo a Widow by Barbara Allen! This is book one of the Widow Trilogy and is a contemporary women’s fiction novel. The tour runs April 11-22 with reviews, interviews, guest posts and excerpts. Check out the tour page for the full schedule.
About the book
Fate may have had its way with the Hamilton sisters, but their destinies are still up for grabs….
Something has to be done about the Hamilton sisters. Faith and Claire Hamilton are so focused on avoiding their pain that they are forgetting how to truly live. Fortunately for them, feisty family friend Ollie knows a little something about what it’s like to cope with the death of a husband. She also knows how to mix a splash of fun into the process. Now, she is determined to impart the lessons she’s learned on the two young widows she loves like daughters. Her efforts start discreetly; Faith doesn’t even realize she is being nudged into the arms of the man she has been denying her attraction to, and Claire’s long-buried lust for life is reignited by a challenging new job. With Ollie’s touch, massive meltdowns are turned into hilarious moments and the weight of shameful secrets is unburdened. Neither sister has any idea Ollie is mentoring the men who have fallen for them in the fine art of widow-wooing, and no one can predict how her students or protégées will fare. How to Woo a Widow is the first of the Widow Trilogy, Life After Death.
How to Woo a Widow was an emotional roller coaster for me. There were parts of this book that had me misty eyed, parts that had me laughing out loud and parts that had me clinging to my husband while he stared at me strangely (in his defense, I was petting him like a cat).
The first thing I’m going to say is: Ollie for the win! Ollie is by far my favorite character of the whole book. As an older family friend to the Hamilton’s, Ollie has so much flair and individuality that really makes her stick out from the rest of the cast of characters. It definitely helps that she one hundred percent considers herself a total matchmaker, so much so that her matchmaking actually gets her into trouble at the beginning of the story (her overall arc of revenge is the BEST). This book should really be titled Ollie’s Guide to Wooing a Widow, because she it the resident expert. Throughout the whole book, Ollie was a laugh out, eccentric riot. I’m actually considering going back to yoga because of her.
Throughout the book there are a bunch of different plotlines revolving around the Hamilton sisters, though mostly the oldest sister, Faith, and the youngest, Claire. Their middle sister, Ellen, while going through her own personal drama, isn’t a widow so she didn’t seem to garner as much attention as her sisters until the very end of the book. I’m hoping to see more of her in the next book as she has a lot of potentional and there was a SLIGHT cliff hanger involving her. However, when it came to her sisters, I was OBSESSED with Faith’s storyline with Max and his daughter.
I definitely related more to Faith than the other sisters, for reason I still don’t really understand why. I’m honestly a bit terrified of horses, I’m probably not too helpful on a farm, but I do try to get away with wearing little make up on most days and love my dog to pieces. While the reason for why Faith and Claire are widows is incredibly heartbreaking (cue: petting my husband like a cat while weeping) watching the progression of them both over time in all aspects of their life gave me hope.
My favorite thing about this book is how honest and realistic the sister’s progression into opening their lives back up to others was. While there was romance, it was delicate and slow building and at times left me shaking my kindle shouting for Claire to pull her head out of her ass and look at the hunky guy in front of her before some other bimbo stole him from her. Needless to say, I loved this book and I’m really looking forward to what’s to come next for the Hamiltons.
About the Author
“Normal” is for other people. The more Barbara Allen fought to be normal, the harder life laughed at her. And just when she thought she’d got the last laugh, life turned against her in a tragedy that almost destroyed her.
Barbara was just 32 years old in 2005, when her world fell apart. Her husband had been murdered in Iraq at the hands of a fellow soldier. Barbara was left to raise four young boys – just 6,5,3,and 1 year old at the time their father was killed. She wanted to give up. She very nearly did. And yet, in the midst of the darkest moments, she always found some reason to take one more breath. Face one more day.
Slowly, she found the strength to piece herself back together as she flew to Kuwait for one military court proceeding, and then spent years traveling thousands of miles to all the rest. She learned to navigate the military’s criminal justice system. She earned a Masters degree and wrote a book about her ordeal and the grave miscarriage of justice in this case. She learned how it could all have been prevented, and she began advocating for change so it would never happen again. Today, Barbara is deeply entrenched in veterans advocacy and her own steadfast pursuit of justice for her husband. She works as a Veterans Specialist and continues her fight to secure the Purple Heart for her husband. She has experienced impressive emotional face-plants and vast arrays of challenges- some self-inflicted, others randomly encountered. And she has acquired the skills to not just overcome it all, but to enjoy the ride.
Barbara may have learned how to turn her adversity into an advantage in life, but this lesson did not come easily. And this upper hand must be diligently maintained. Now, Barbara brings her life lessons to her audiences in keynote speeches and custom programs. She relates to her audiences’ lives and challenges, and teaches them how to become gladiators in their own life’s arena.