Monday, September 20, 2010

REVIEW and GIVEAWAY: Meet Me in Manhattan by Judith Arnold

ISBN 9780757315336
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Reality-Based Romance™
(c) September 2010, Health Communications Inc
Judith Arnold's website

Rating: 5 stars

Available at Book Depository (print).

Meet Me in Manhattan isn't your ordinary romance novel. It's more than that. More than fiction, certainly, as it's based on a real-life romance, where the HEA did happen. Awesome, isn't it? Makes you wonder how come nobody thought of this before.

Reading Meet Me in Manhattan is no different from the usual romance novel. There's conflict and tension and suspense, everything that makes a story really good. However, this story makes me believe--really believe--that true love does exist in the real world, and that despite the obstacles and trials that come your way, true love will triumph in the end. After all, Ted and Erika have experienced it and are in fact, living examples. Every so often as I read the book, I was thinking, "Wow, this truly happened. It happened to Ted and Erika." When I came to the last page, I couldn't be happier when everything turned out so well for them.

Young lovers who made the decision to part (okay, it was Erika who decided) only to meet again sixteen years later, this time as adults. Were the sparks still there? But while Erika was free, Ted was committed to another woman, with whom he has been living together for three years...

Judith Arnold wrote Erika Fredell and Ted Skala's story, and she is an amazing and talented storyteller. She kept my interest and attention throughout the entire story, and her writing style could be partly credited for that, but another part is also because Erika and Ted's story is so compelling. A sense of magic permeated their entire story, especially when you think of the love that wouldn't die even after so many years.

I really like the way Ms Arnold sketches the complexities of human nature and emotions with a deft and delicate hand, the way she takes us back into Ted's and Erika's past and gives us a greater understanding of how the love developed between them and the ensuing ambiguities Erika experienced as she was conflicted between her dreams and Ted's love and her relationship with him. Certainly, these are things we ourselves have gone through at one time or the other, which makes this story so relatable.

And for their love to survive sixteen years of separation! That is certainly an inspiration. Like Ted, I thought that if love wasn't nurtured, it died. Yet, theirs remained alive and the embers burning. Perhaps it just needed the right time, the right mood, the right moment to flare up once again. It's gotta be fate, something along the lines of, if you're meant to be together, somehow you'll find each other even though it's years later and you're miles apart.

Of course, Ted and Erika probably wouldn't happen without the help of their friends. We also see Ted's point of view in italics, and it was quite interesting to see how Erica and Ted both gave different interpretations to the same events. I thought the epilogue done in Ted's voice was just right and gave the perfect ending to this wonderful, fairy-tale-like yet true story. I'm looking forward to read more books in this genre! Recommended for all lovers of romance.

Note: This review copy was provided courtesy of the publisher/author.

Book Cover Summary:

A classic love story told only as Judith Arnold can tell it—with a deep grasp of the complexities of the human heart and unforgettable tales of love lost and then unexpectedly found again.

Ted Skala and Erika Fredell were the perfect New Jersey high school sweethearts. Like many teens Ted and Erika spent plenty of time in parked cars under the stars, but there was so much more between them than the chemistry that ignited their courtship, and Ted couldn't imagine a life without Erika. By graduation he was ready to get engaged. Erika, however, was ready to spread her wings and faraway she flew to college. She broke his heart. She sailed the world.

Fast forward 15 years.  When fate intervenes and their paths cross, the result is emotionally explosive and that old black magic is back with the force of a super nova. But Erika once ravaged his heart: How can Ted ever trust her again? And now that he's seriously involved with another woman, how can Erika hope for a second chance with the man she never should have let go? 

Interesting Links: 

About True Vows.
Blog tour from September to November.
Submit your own story.

Next stop on the tour: Simply Stacie (September 22)

  *Click here to register for the Twitter chat.

Please join us for a super-fun Reality Romance Twitter Chat with MEET ME IN MANHATTAN author Judith Arnold, as well as the real couple the book is based on! We’ll be giving away signed copies of MEET ME IN MANHATTAN every 10 minutes during the hour-long chat!
Register to attend the live Twitter chat by going HERE and receive 5 free chapters of the book to check out in advance of the chat!
The chat will take place on Tuesday, October 5th, at 6pm PST/9 pm EST.  Remember to use the hashtag #TLCbookchat.  We hope you can make it!

Now for the GIVEAWAY!

One lucky commenter will win a set of three books: Meet Me in Manhattan, Hard to Hold, The Icing on the Cake. Check out the stories. Believe me, you don't want to miss this!

US/Canada only, and no P.O. Boxes. 

How to Enter/Rules:

1. The giveaway will run from September 20 to October 26, where we'll be posting the review for Hard to Hold by Julie Leto.

2. You must be a follower (GFC, at least).

3. Comment in this post by answering the following questions:

What do you think of this new sub-genre of romance? Of True Vows, Life...Romanticized, Reality-Based Romance™? Would you submit your story? 

Note: Not a follower + no comment = no chance to win 

Additional Chances to Win: 

1. Each time you spread news of this contest (via Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc) earns you one point as well. Be sure to come back and give us the link of your tweet or announcement.
2. Follow us! Blogger, Facebook, Twitter, Good Reads. Each "follow" earns you one point. (Old followers are automatically entered.) 

Contest Duration: September 20 to October 26, 1159pm EST 

Contest Winner Announcement: October 29

The winner will be selected via Please send your name and mailing address to caroletrr(@), so be sure to come back and check because we won't hunt you down. If we don't receive the email within twenty-four hours, a new winner will be chosen.


yllektra (force-oblique) said...

Wow this book seems really good! :)
Thanks for the review!

debbie said...

I am a gfc follower. I don't mind the new sub-genre, as long as it is written well. I hate to say this, but I don't want it to happily ever after. I mean, I want to hear there was obsticles, or whatever. (I want a little reality in it). I don't have a story to submit.

PoCoKat said...

GFC follower.

Interesting concept. No I wouldn't submit my own's private!

littleone AT shaw DOT ca

Michelle V said...

I haven't read any of the true vows books yet and I would love to! I love the idea of true romance stories! Please enter me in the drawing. I am a follower.

Michelle V

Alexa said...

I think this is an interesting new genre of romance. All the fairy tales are great but it's hard to find those stories in real life. I think it would be interesting to read books that have a real life feel to them. I don't have a story to submit though.

I'm a follower

Kate said...

I'm a follower! I guess I should have expected that books would eventually follow the reality tv fad. Personally, I don't think I would want a past relationship to end up in a book, but I will check out this series for fun.

Kate @

Carole said...

@debbie Not to worry, there are obstacles in this book too! That's what made it a good story. There's conflict and tension and suspense, and I kept wondering how the two characters would finally end up together.

Jolene Allcock and Family said...

I'm a GFC follower, a facebook follower, twitter follower and goodreads

I haven't read anything like this before, but am really intrigued and can't wait to dive into it. My husband and I have been together for 10 years and the stress of everyday life and growing up has hit us and we have days where life's frustrations find their way into our marriage. But, when I sit down and think about us, the story of us, it amazes me that we have our own happily ever after and I couldn't imagine what life would be like if we didn't find our way into each other's lifes. I would love nothing more than to read about someone else's happily ever after. I love romance books and sometimes they get real sappy towards the end and you have to think, this would never happen. So, I would love to read a real life romance. Thanks for the giveaway :)

Andrea I said...

GFC follower.

I think it's different and interesting. No, I wouldn't write my story.

Follow on Facebook Andrea Infinger
Follow on Twitter @lillieblue613
Follow on GoodReads Andrea Infinger


Sheree said...

This new genre is interesting, but I think of it as another aspect of contemps which I read anyway. Of course, it'd be terrible to find out in 20 years that the HEA isn't EA (but more in line with reality). Still, it's good to root for the HEA of real people for a change; there's just a bit more invested in the characters. As for my own story, I'm not sure it's quite HEA yet; we've only been together for 15 years.


Carole said...

@Sheree I see what you're getting at, which is something I hadn't thought of. Of course, Ted's and Erika's story had only reached a milestone at this point. There's a news article about them actually, and they were only married last year. Still, I hope for the best for them, that having been separated for 16 years and finding each other at the end of it and being together, their love is a rare thing, something they should treasure. And, I'm sure you know that being in love and loving is merely one aspect of marriage. There are a lot of other factors that could tear a marriage apart and couples do have to work on their marriage if they want it to last.

And congratulations on your 15 years! I hope and pray that you have lots more years together. :)

Nicole said...

I absolutely love this concept!! I think it is so great. I would totally submit my story, but I don't know that it is book worthy (not a whole lot of drama here!)

I'm a GFC follower, Follow on Twitter (@MinnChica) and Goodreads.

Anita Yancey said...

I am a follower on GFC! I haven't read anything quite like this before. But I like the idea of reality based romance books. I would never submit my own story. Please enter me. Thanks!


misskallie2000 said...

I really enjoy reality based romance stories but has been a long time since I read one. Would love to win this book. Thanks

GFC Follower

Twitter follower(@misskallie2000)

Email subscriber

FB Follower(@Brenda B. Hill)

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Pam S (pams00) said...

I like the idea of realty base romance books and looking forward to these on HQ. I'd submit my own story if I had one ;).

gfc and twitter follower - pams00

email subscriber

pams00 @

Leni said...

This sub-genre is new to me so I haven't had a chance to read any books on the subject.I would not submit my story, but I will give this genre a try.


Dana V said...

I'm a follower via GFC!!

I love romance novels,but have not ready any of the True Vows. They look like they will be awesome! I think reality-based romance is good because is not far fetched and can seem like it could really happen

Dana V said...

i like the romance reviews on FB!

MommyWantsToRead said...

I am a GFC follower. I haven't read this genre so I would be interested in it. I think that having reality based romances are interesting especially right now when there is such a glut of paranormal romance.

giveawaymommy at yahoo dot com

Virginia C said...

I think that this is a fabulously fresh idea for lovers of romance reads! I enjoy great fiction, but I also know that true life sometimes eclipses fantasy : ) I had a wonderful real-life true love, with whom I did not have my own "HEA". However, I believe in first loves and second chances ; )

US Resident, GFC Follower, Subscriber

gcwhiskas at aol dot com

allisonsbj3 said...

I think this is a great new sub genre! I'd love to read it!


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