Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Story of Rachel by KD McLean (First Chapter Review)

The Story of Rachel (Tales of Pandora)
Rachel Collins is praying. And not for world peace. Thirty six years old and single, her prayer is self-centered. "Kill me now, Lord," she pleads during her latest attempt to meet Mr. Right via the internet.

She’s not hoping for a billionaire or even a millionaire, just a guy who can strike a spark to her tinder! Is she asking too much? She's a great gal! Just ask her parents! She might be a bit naive about some things, but capable enough- she's a correspondent for a major magazine, after all. So there!

On assignment she meets Michael, 42 years old, also a writer. The attraction is immediate and intense. Rachel, who sees vanilla as only a baking ingredient, enchants him. Michael can whip up some pretty hot delights himself, outside of the kitchen. He introduces a curious Rachel to powerful experiences of sensuality. Her Ladylike sense of propriety engages in a running battle with her now sparked Tinderbox desires.

Michael is an excellent cook and knows how to turn up the heat. Sampling the flavors offered, Rachel experiences humorous hiccups. On a date, Michael ramps up the risqué, resulting in a memorable skirt swirling salsa dance. Rachel's "What the hell, I ain't getting any younger" attitude spurs Michael to take her to the exclusive, adults only club Pandora's. Here, Rachel witnesses even more variations of earthly delights, and begins a lifelong friendship with another guest.

Michael is a realist, convinced that within 90 days, his affair with Rachel will be but another painful memory of loss. He is neither willing nor able to yell 'Geronimo' and fall for her. He can't, and that's that.

Maybe he should just get a damn dog.

This modern, urban, grown up love story is a recipe –three cups romance and one cup of slapdash humor. Blend in spices of eroticism, and beat until smooth.

KD McLean
Goodreads Profile: D Mclean

Guest Post

Thanks so much to Donna for inviting me here to share some thoughts with you all! I’m going to talk about one thing that I did when I went back into the dating pond.

I’m not a super detailed oriented person. I’ve never been accused of being anal retentive in my life. Usually, when I undertake something, I’m happy with the seat of my pants (which, as time has passed, has gotten a little bigger, so gives me room to work!).

Like many women, when I was in my 40’s, my spouse informed me that he had fallen in love with someone else, and that our marriage and relationship of a long, long time was over. Nope, not going to get into the poor me, left for another woman thing here. It happened a long time ago, and I’m past that stage of my life.

Well, let’s be honest here; mostly.

What I do want to talk about is not to flog my book, but rather to expand on a topic that was touched on in the opening scene- internet dating for those of us (like me!) who are going for the second time around.

I’m in my fifties, and so looking for love at this stage in one’s life required me to be a little bit more analytical. However, like I said, I’m not a detailed person. So it was tough. Then it got a little easier for me when I asked myself “What are you looking for in a guy?”

Which is a good question. You see, our values of what’s important change as we go through life. What I think are important qualities or traits a man should have today are different from what I would have thought ten years ago.

I never looked badly on Internet Dating. My site of choice was Plenty Of Fish- in my area (Canada) it has a lot of members. I think internet dating sites have a lot to offer- in this busy busy world, time is important. I’m not a churchgoer, and I’m not crazy about hanging out at bars, so my opportunities to meet eligible guys were limited. The internet took care of that problem, believe me!

So I made a list. A list of qualities, or traits- when I made the list, all I wrote at the top was “What I’m Looking For In a Man”. It was a pretty good process, actually. Because when I set about writing it, I learned some things about myself.

I’m giving a starting point. If you’re out there looking, then fill in what’s important to you. Be as honest with yourself as you can- you’re the only one who’s going to look at it right?

So, without further ado, here’s K.D. McLean’s Top Ten List of Guy Qualities:
1.      Why is he online? What’s he looking for?
a.       More importantly- what the hell am I looking for?
          i.      Something casual?
          ii.      Something long term?
          iii.      Something casual, but with an eye for long term?
b.      How I answer this question determine how strongly I apply my list:
          i.      If I’m looking for casual, no commitment, have some laughs, I’ll be more tolerant than if I’m looking for a life partner
2.      How single is he?
a.       Is he really single? How long ago did he split?
b.      This is important, because you will run into married guys looking for a little ‘extra on the side’. Maybe it should be my number one; except I’m able to pick those guys out real quick.
3.      Decent looking: does he take care of himself. He has to be attractive to me.
a.       Maybe that seems shallow, but there has to be a spark, right?
4.      Is he funny?
a.       Does he have a sense of humor? Like Jessica Rabbit said about Roger Rabbit- can he ‘Make me laugh?’
5.      What’s his temper like?
a.       Does he fly off at the handle, or is he more patient? How does he handle frustrations of life? Of work?
b.      This is a deal killer: if he has a volatile temper, I’m history.
6.      How’s his sex drive?
a.       Mine’s pretty… ummm… healthy! Is his compatible?
7.      Does he dance?
a.       I sure do, and I want a guy who enjoys dancing too.
8.      Does he have goals? Dreams?
a.       Or is he just marking time?
b.      What gets him out of bed in the morning?
9.      Are our education levels compatible?
a.       If he’s a PhD or a doctor or lawyer, we probably won’t hit it off as much as if he’s working class like myself
          i.      If he dropped out of High School, same thing
10.  How does he talk about his ex or ex’s?
a.       And that’s looked at through the lens of as Stephen King said in ‘Duma Key’ whe we reminisce, we always stack the deck”
          i.      That gives me insight into his makeup, and how he’ll treat me
BONUS POINTS!!! These ones are nice if they’re present, icing on the cake sort of thing!
a.       Handy! A guy that can change a faucet, build a room, fix stuff around the house and has the tools for it is a bonus
b.      Likes animals- does he have a dog, and if not, can we get one?
c.       Cleans up well- looks (((good))) in a suit
          ii.      I like suits! Well, on special occasions.

So that’s my list. Do you have a list? What are the top traits you look for in a man? You don’t have to have as many as I do, but if you’re single, and meet a guy, what are the things about him that floats your boat?

Have a great day!
K.D. McLean
The Story of Rachel on

My First Chapter Review:
I was contacted to do a First Chapter Review of The Story of Rachel. My reaction to the first chapter was one of excitement. I felt the author did an outstanding job with dialogue, and after reading the first chapter, I definitely wanted to continue reading.

I like the conversations that Rachel had with herself in the mirror - who doesn't relate to that? The book begins with Rachel meeting yet another loser from an on-line dating sight where pictures and truth need a reality check. 

Chapter One opens with Rachel entering a bar for yet another date from the on-line dating site she frequents. 

"'Kill me now, Lord.' Sighing through a forced smile, Rachel took a seat at the bar."

"A man seated at the bar waved his hand and caught her attention. She realized that it must be her date. He looked to be a good five, if not ten years older than the picture he had posted on the site. Damn. She sat on the bar stool - still alive despite her prayer."

"I wouldn't have recognized you from the photo on your profile," she said as the bartender prepared their drink order. "You look like you could be your older brother."
He turned, and informed her bust-line, "Yeah, the picture's a couple of years old. I'm better lookin' now. Just like a fine wino...I mean wine, I get better with age."

I thought the author set up the storyline very well. The blind date/bar scene was a scenario  we could all identify with, and as the chapter ended with a conversation with self in the mirror and then a  steamy fantasy dream, you just know the rest of the book will be interesting.

Technically speaking, the book had a great beginning, the character was off to a good start, and I found no grammatical errors. I'm giving the first chapter five stars. 

Purchase The Story of Rachel by clicking the book icon below:

Disclaimer / Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of the book with no obligation for a positive review. No compensation - monetary or in kind - has been obtained for this post. Cover art and book description courtesy of the author, publisher, or PR firm. 
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