Friday, October 25, 2013

Friday Reads: Lost and Found by Chris Van Hakes

Chris Van Hakes is the Nom de Plume of blogger (and my self-professed internet BFF) Shalini of Reading and Chickens.  I have loved and related her blog for a while now and have been waiting on the edge of my seat since the day she announced that she planned to self-publish her novel.

Well, this week it finally happened!  Lost and Found hit the ebook world...and I rushed to buy and download as quickly as I possibly could!  After all - I love the way she writes on her blog - how could I not adore her novel (and, at $3, it is a total steal)

Here's the premise (from the virtual dust jacket):
Delaney Curtis just broke up with her boyfriend and moved halfway across the country to start her life over, a life that does not include men, especially not her perpetually grouchy neighbor, Oliver. He calls her ugly, hates her clothes, and has a trail of women leaving his apartment.
Oliver Webber can't seem to stop insulting his new next door neighbor, the unnervingly sweet Delaney. He plans to stay far away from her and everyone else and lick his wounds after unrequited love. Except he keeps running into Delaney, and she's so fun, and kind, and pretty. Before long, he's making up excuses to spend time with her. 
Soon they're in the middle of a blossoming friendship. But when exes come back to find Delaney and Oliver, they both need to figure out if love is a losing proposition, or worth the gamble.

I bought the EPUB version of the book on Smashwords shortly before Shalini posted this on Twitter

Meh - whatever.  The copy of LOTR I've been re-reading changes font sizes 12 times per chapter. I read A Million Little Pieces despite the fact that it had two words to a line.  As long as it has words, I'll read it.   I read the Smashwords epub mostly on Bookish and, while a bit cramped in the line spacing - it actually didn't bother me that much.

The book is fantastic (like I knew it would be).  Delaney is a quirky librarian to Oliver's distracted doctor.   While they hate each other on sight, it quickly becomes a struggle to keep them apart - each insisting that friendship is all that is in the cards.  I loved the banter between the characters - both between Delaney and Oliver and between Delaney and her girlfriends.

The story flows at a pretty quick pace and I read it in a couple of hours. Besides - any book that drops an f-bomb on the first page is bound to suck me in (So what? I loved Nick & Nora's Infinite Playlist).  She manages to develop the characters quickly and gets right to the heart of the story.  I loved how she split the first-person time between Delaney and Oliver so the reader could see the feelings develop on both sides.  To see two people who have been so badly hurt by their pasts and how self esteem issues come into play was heart wrenching.  Watching them overcome them together to find happiness made my heart happy.  There were a few places where I felt some disconnects, but nothing world shattering and I didn't feel like it affected the story in any significant way.

Now, y'all know me and you know I don't read a lot of's kind of a guilty pleasure thing for once in a while with me...when I need a break from orcs and magicians...but I really enjoyed this.  So buy it.  Support a great indie writer so she'll keep writing wonderful offbeat, romantic escapes like this.

You can buy the ebook at the following places: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords (for pretty much any other format)

Support her - she's awesome!   and just to prove how much I think you should read this book - I am going to buy a copy of it for one of my lucky readers!   Yeah - I'm totally generous like that.  Throwing around $3 like it's burning a hole in my pocket!  Shalini doesn't even know I'm going to do it (well, I guess she does's outta the bag).  Keeping it simple - just enter on Rafflecopter below.  You can earn free entries everyday by tweeting about the giveaway.   I will send the book as a gift from whatever site the winner prefers.  Tell your friends so they can enter too.

Good luck and happy reading!  Contests ends October 31 - winner will be notified by email.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I love finding smaller authors to support!

  2. I am reading two books...christompher moore - Fool and about to start The Truth About Style by Stacy London (loaner from you!!!). I need to read more In past year i have dropped off. silly. Cause i love reading!

  3. Replies
    1. I think I messed up my twitter address when doing my entries...I did tweet...not a cheater! :)

  4. I'm not reading anything right now...and it sucks!


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