Friday, August 29, 2014

Cassidy Lane - Review

Review by Darcie Czajkowski

Cassidy Lane has a life many would covet. She is a best-selling author of five novels, lives in a cozy, comfortable apartment in Manhattan, and has a loyal and supportive group of friends and family. This is how the world sees Cassidy, not only those with whom she is close, but everyone at her twenty-year high school reunion in Palo Alto: Successful. Glamorous. The person who has it all.

Only Cassidy sees herself differently. When she walks into the room where her high school classmates mingle, she is shrouded by memories of being the smart girl that was never asked to prom. A thirty-eight-year-old woman who is still single and searching for a happily-ever-after like the ones she writes about in her novels. That is, until Brandon Forrester saunters in, dressed to perfection, and catches Cassidy’s eye. Unsurprisingly, due to their vast high-school class, their interactions were extremely limited, a notch above complete strangers. Where was he hiding all this time? she wonders.

Post-reunion, Brandon e-mails Cassidy, telling her that he will be in New York for work and asking if she’d like to meet him for a drink. Elated, Cassidy accepts, and soon thereafter is involved in a bi-coastal texting relationship. Cassidy thinks Brandon could be her happily-ever-after and that she might finally get the ending that has historically been reserved only for the characters in her stories.

But as her burgeoning romance fills her with boundless hope, the writing of her latest book comes to a stalemate when writer's block threatens her ability to deliver her manuscript within her editor's tight deadline. And even when the words eventually resume their flow, they lead to a story far removed from her typical sunshine-and-roses, fairytale stories.

Which will it be for Cassidy? Happily ever after? Or will her romance end in heartbreak, the type of ending that her faithful readers never want to see?

Cassidy Lane is a likeable character, someone whom I was rooting for to find love. She has everything in her life, except romance and it's a piece that she greatly desires. While I was hoping that Brandon would be the one for her, I also felt conflicted when he failed to offer Cassidy the same attention and priority in his life that she afforded him. As I was reading, I wished that I were Cassidy's friend so I could have told her that she deserved to find a man who would treat her like a queen, that a man who would check every box is possible to find. All of these thoughts and feelings tell me that I was invested in this book. I felt like I knew Cassidy, as if she was one of my friends. And for this ability to bring a character to life to such a degree, Maria Murnane should be given tremendous credit. She writes with realistic dialogue and tells a story with a satisfying end, even with the inclusion of a minor cliffhanger which leaves the reader (me!) wanting more. An easy-to-read, enjoyable story from Maria Murnane.

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About the Author:
A former PR executive who abandoned a successful career to pursue a more fulfilling life, Maria Murnane is the best-selling author of the Waverly Bryson series (Perfect on Paper, It’s a Waverly Life, Honey on Your Mind, and Chocolate for Two), as well as Cassidy Lane and Katwalk. At her speaking engagements she shares the “story behind the story,” an entertaining tale of courage, passion and perseverance that has inspired audiences across the country to follow their dreams—no matter what.

A remarkable personal story:
Perfect on Paper, which Maria wrote during a year she spent playing semi-pro soccer in Argentina, was initially turned down by several major publishing houses. In an effort to prove them wrong, Maria self-published and implemented a creative, grass-roots marketing campaign. And it worked! Within a year Perfect on Paper attracted the attention of senior executives at Amazon, who chose it out of more than 10,000 self-published titles for the company’s venture into traditional publishing. They offered Maria a contract, and since then the book has also been published in Germany, Hungary, Italy, Serbia, Turkey, and Indonesia. Maria’s subsequent novels have also been purchased by Amazon Publishing, each housed under the Lake Union imprint.

Maria was a Regents’ and Chancellor’s Scholar at UC Berkeley, where she graduated with high honors in English and Spanish and was an Alumni Scholar. She also received a master’s degree in integrated marketing communications from Northwestern University. She currently lives in New York City.

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