Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Away from the Spotlight by Tamara Carlisle

Today I'm featuring and doing a review of the book Away from the Spotlight by Tamara Carlisle. This is a sweet romance with a lot of interesting life challenges along the way.


In the closing weeks of law school, Shannon Sutherland meets handsome and charming Englishman Will MacKenzie. Initially swept off her feet, Shannon finds that Will has a secret that, once discovered and the consequences realized, could destroy their fledgling relationship. Will and Shannon take great pains to have a normal relationship but, ultimately, find it impossible to do so. Will the pressures of their careers and the temptations of others drive Will and Shannon apart? Can Will and Shannon live a happy life away from the spotlight?


“What was that in there?  You know those are Will’s friends.”

“I know.”

“Will is my boyfriend.  You shouldn’t be doing things like that and particularly not in front of his friends.”

“Which is it that bothers you: that I was holding your hand or that Will’s friends might see?”


“I’m not sorry.  I need your friendship right now.  Anyway, isn’t that what friends do?”

“We’re not five-years-old.  At our age, no, it’s not what friends do.”

“Don’t be mad.  I’m sorry.  I can behave myself.”

“Can you?  Because I don’t know if we can be friends if you can’t.”

A pained look crossed John’s face.  “Yes, I can behave myself.  Please.”  We were silent as we continued to walk to my car.  As we approached my car, John asked, “Uh, can you give me a ride back to Max’s?  Because my car’s there and I’m kind of stranded.”

I rolled by eyes and grimaced.  “Get in.”


This book caught my eye because it had two things that always interest me: 1) a protagonist in law school or who has been an attorney; and 2) an Englishman. My eldest son is an attorney, and every Englishman I've known has been a wonderful gentleman and a friend. How could I go wrong with the book?

This is a sweet romance written primarily for what I would call the "new adult" market.  It follows the overwhelming romance of Shannon and Will from the time they meet, when she is in her last year of law school, through both of their deaths.  I have mixed feelings about the book.  On the one hand, it is sweet and kind and I liked the idea of finding a soul mate that is truly a part of your life forever.  On the other hand, much of the story is told as a combination of travel journal, diary, and phone texts. There were many parts of the story I felt could have been left out, and other places I felt needed to be more developed. I didn't personally care for the development of the story in the last 40 pages or so. But that is more of a personal preference. Some will probably like the fact that the author chose to play out Shannon's entire life.

In the end what kept me going was the love story between Shannon and Will and the cast of supporting characters in their friends on both sides. If you are looking for a more traditional novel with tight action and emotion and a more typical demarcation of the romance story, then you will probably feel this goes on too long and doesn't provide enough to keep you satisfied.  However, if you want something sweet, kind, and in a format that is more akin to your best friend writing you of her travels and life over about 50 years, particularly the all consuming love of her life, then you will like this book and finish it with a big smile.

Buy the book:  Barnes & Noble | Amazon


Tamara Carlisle is a former attorney and business consultant.  Away from the Spotlight is her first published work of fiction.  She currently is working on two additional novels:  one is about love in the music industry and the other is a work of paranormal fiction.  Tamara currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area with her British husband and daughter.  

Contact Tamara: * Website * Facebook * Twitter * GoodReads *
Shelfari * Library Thing *

* * *  GIVEAWAY * * *

 Tamara will be awarding a $25 Amazon Gift Card to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour.  So, do take a moment to say Hi and make a comment. You will also want to follow the tour in order to have more opportunities to comment and get more entries to win the prize. 

Tour Stops

January 7:  DanaSquare
January 8:  SnifferWalk
January 8:  STOP 2  Harlie's Book Blog
January 9:  Maggie's Meanderings (You are Here!)
January 10:  My Reading Obsession
January 10:  STOP 2  Journey with Books
January 11:  The Bunny's Review
January 14:  Kate Patrick...unlock your fantasies
January 15:  My Devotional Thoughts
January 16:  Wicked Readings By Tawania
January 17:  The Brunette Librarian


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting today.

Christine D. said...

Short yet intense excerpt. Whoa!

Tamara Carlisle said...

Good morning! Maggie, thank you for hosting me today and I'm glad you appreciated the love story between Shannon and Will and helped manage expectations of readers, who might be disappointed if they read something they expect to be a little steamier. Thank you, Christine, for joining us this morning. I'm glad you like the excerpt. I like writing dialogue. I'm a pretty chatty and snarky person so it's a lot of fun for me. I hope you like the book!

Ingeborg said...

Thank you for the review and excerpt.


Maggie Jaimeson said...

Hi Tamara, please do check back a little later in the day. Most of my blog readers work and it takes them awhile to get around to posting. You will see more posts about noon and then the rest in the evening.

Your story is sweet, and I know many of my readers appreciate a romance without explicit sex.

Evelyn Bohn said...

I love the cover of this and I love the fact there is no big sex scenes. Though I understand sex is a part of life and love, I don't enjoy reading it and end up skipping over those parts in most books. So, I'm going to add this to my TBR pile. Thanks Maggie for letting us know about new authors like Tamara. eviebohn(at)gmail(dot)com.

Tamara Carlisle said...

Ingeborg, thank you joining us. I'm glad you liked the review and excerpt. Maggie, I hope that your readers who like sweet romances will read and enjoy "Away from the Spotlight." Evelyn, I read all kinds of books, in every genre and from YA to fairly explicit. I find that, if the explicit nature has meaning in the story (is central to the plot or defines character), then I don't mind so long as it's not too repetitive (then, like you, I skip over those parts). That said, I wanted to write something that everyone could enjoy. I hope you like the book!

Karen H in NC said...

Sorry for the late post. I’m playing catch-up here so I’m just popping in to say HI and sorry I missed visiting with you on party day! Hope you all had a good time!

kareninnc at gmail dot com

Maggie Jaimeson said...

Karen, Rita, and Evie, nice to see all of you here! I'll be sure Tamara knows you dropped by. I told her some of my readers come in late to the party so I suspect she'll drop in again this evening.

Tamara Carlisle said...

Karen, thanks for stopping by the party - I'm glad you could join us here! I'm having a great time and hope everyone else is as well. I'll continue to check in, Maggie, since my tour is ongoing through January 18th. I want to thank you for hosting me and reviewing "Away from the Spotlight." I look forward to continuing to follow your blog!

Mary Preston said...

It's the love story that attracts me. I wonder what I feel feel about the ending?


Tamara Carlisle said...

Welcome, Mary! I guess it depends upon what you want out of an ending. I could name a few movies that end similarly, but it would spoil it. Hope you enjoy the book!

Lyra L7 said...

I like a solid plot in a story and interesting characters that are not too perfect.


Tamara Carlisle said...

Thank you for joining us, Lyra. I'd tried to make the characters as real as possible and they are not perfect as a result. I hope you enjoy the story.

Tamara Carlisle said...

Congratulations to Jess1, winner of the $25 Amazon gift card! I am extremely grateful to Maggie for hosting me and reviewing my book, and to everyone who joined us here and elsewhere on my tour. Thank you and I hope you'll keep in touch!